Archived Messages from 8/13/01 to 8/16/01

I absolutly love korlrabi, years ago, out next door neighbor planted half her garden to it, and she had a MAJOR garden. Come harvest time, we got bags of the stuff. We always just peal it and eat it raw with a bit of salt, but I understand you can use it most any way you use cabbage.

Jerry Ericsson 8-16-2001 22:50

Hi all,
Where he hits her is suposed to be an accident. My first draft had him really hitting her but I couldn't see letting her leave with him after that. The acid in the bathroom was a 'red herring.' When I put it there, I didn't know where it was going. The main point was that she was married to a man who had to relocate (military intelligence? not allowed to tell anyone.) often and she hated it. Once they get on the road, she remembers why she puts up with it.--- The fact that I have to explain it means it needs work. She's also stupid for having a pet.

It was an excellent subject. Thanks a lot.

MEL, (again)
I just read your duckie story. It's great. Really loved it. The only thing I would change is the yellow feathers. It should be fuzz. Baby ducks don't have feathers. Got to watch techinalicalities. (which I probably spelled wrong.) Good old Tody had a walk through. Yaaa!!

The husband said she had three weeks notice but I could have given that character a couple of months notice and she still wouldn't have been ready. Almost a psychosis about packing and moving.

Rosemary--last time I promise 8-16-2001 22:22

whoops. forgot. TEEKAY, are you gonna share your letter to the editor with us? HMM? You can submit it under IMA or somebodeez. We won't tell. Hee hee

Mel 8-16-2001 21:16

JERRY: I like Rosemary's ending for your story too - hee hee! If you must be mean to him, that is! I love warped humor. <-)

MARY: Never had kohlrabi but I think I'm coming over to try some, sounds delish the way you've fixed it...mmmm...'course, garlic and butter make anything taste good, probably even mushrooms (yechh!). :-)

Mel 8-16-2001 21:14

*Yet another post from me with no writing content whatsoever*

Have any of you guys ever tried kohlrabi?

My neighbor sent a bunch of it over here a few days ago and I didn't even know what to do with it. I ended up peeling it, grating it then sauteeing it in butter with fresh garlic and a diced vidalia onion. I think I have found my new favorite vegetable.

Back later if I come up with a moving shortie.

Mary 8-16-2001 21:07


JERRY: Loved your story, but I found the end confusing too. Because of Alfred the cook I began to think it was a spooky story and the ending made me wonder if he were a dead, eaten away type of ghost and that's why the recuers were pointing guns at him, coz they were freaked out, but it didn't really sound like that was the case.
And then I wondered why the rescue people were going to kill him.
I think ROSEMARY's ending is pretty cool, where after all he's been through they go and land on top of him :-D

ROSEMARY: Your story was great too. For a story that makes no sense??? It certainly made sense :-)

Got my letter to the editor published in the Sydney paper today. I used a different name coz you just never know who you might offend and who might decide to come find you and hack you to pieces.
It's the best fun. I've only just discovered it. It's sort of like the notebook, but on paper.
For someone who never read the paper it's the first thing I buy in the mornings now.

Have a great day all.

Teekay 8-16-2001 21:05


Shorties busting out all over... (To the tune of 'June is...') :-)

JERRY: I liked your shortie, 'though I see what Rosemary means about the ending - he's been wanting to die then a glimmer of hope at a possible rescue, but the rescue turns out to be death...come on, give the guy a break! Or maybe they're coming to get a fresh stock of the critters beneath the sand...and then leave him there...again, or something, I don't know! Something's missing anyway...but the rest of it is really an intriguing read.

ROSEMARY: I liked your shortie too, but it twisted and turned a few times - I thought she was gonna make a ghostie of herself in that closet before her husband came in! Then he hits her and a moment later sh'e still loving him - I'd swat her again, if I were the author! His job is a real curiosity hook for the reader - could you do more with that? He just comes off sounding like a mean that all he is?

Okay, now that the critic jury is done with yours, here's mine to pick apart - heh heh! :-)

(again, for Rosemary, whose friends I'm borrowing for this shortie, and for my Tim, who helped me name them)

"ACK!!! Time to waddle! The whole flock's flappin' out front! WHAT are you still doin' in here, Dilly?"

Dilly hopped off her suitcase, noting with satisfaction that it was now firmly closed. She peeked at her brother from beneath her fluttering lids. "All packed."

Dally sashayed closer to his sister and scrutinized the small bag. The bag suddenly twitched sideways. "ACK!! What did you pack in there, Dilly?!!?" He flapped to the suitcase and popped it open.

Out sprang Toady! With a grunt of disgust, the big brown toad jumped beyond Dilly's grasp and disappeared into the shadows.

"Poop." Dilly prepared to reclose her suitcase.

"Oop. Wait a minute, Sis." Dally ventured a closer look into the bag. "Say! What's this?" Before Dilly could stop him, he scooped pieces of grain into his mouth.

"Hey!" Dilly whined. "That was my snack for later!"

Dally gulped. "Not any more." He peered once more into his sister's bag. "Oh no, tell me this is not what I think it is."

Dilly fluttered in front of her brother and tried to snatch the yellow feathers from his grip. "They have nostalgic value. They're all I have left of my babyhood."

"Hrmph. Oops..." A sudden gust of wind plucked the feathers from Dally and swept them into the night.

"ACK!!! DILLY!!! DALLY!!! Time to go!"

"Um, sorry, Sis."

"Well, you were right. I'm not a baby anymore. So, no prob, Bob." Dilly closed her case and waddled with it to the yard.

Dally, right behind her, cried "Hey! Your bag is empty now! Don't you want to leave it here?"

"No," Dilly yelled back to him. "I'm gonna fill it with souvenirs from our trip to town."

Dally stopped in his tracks to ponder that remark for a moment. "Hmm. Better make it croutons."

END of story. Now I'm going to duck for cover.

Mel 8-16-2001 21:02

Rosmary - that works too. Guess your are right, I should have hinted at that, you know how it goes when your writing, it seems that it should be perfectly clear to the reader, it is so vivid in my head, but I can understand where you are coming from. I did like your shorty too, but you did leave me wondering what sort of transfer he was getting with that short a notice?

Jerry Ericsson 8-16-2001 20:23

I didn't really get your ending. Maybe a description. If your character were worried about enemies or war, he should have mentioned it earlier( I went back and did notice it was a transport ship, but is that enough warning?) but without giving away the end. I'm not sure. Below is my feeble suggestion.

Day Five Hundere Nine: They saw my fire! As I write this last entry in my journal, a rescue barge is dropping from the sky. It's coming, it's coming. Good Lord, I've got to run. It's landing here. "Not right here guys. Not right h-----."

Rosemary--again--again 8-16-2001 20:09

Well, it's certainly been busy here. ;-}
Brace yourselves and JERRY, take aim, here is my shorty.

---------------MOVING DAY--------

Gloria's nose dribbled as she pulled the old hardback suitcase down from the top shelf in the closet. She flung it on the side of the bed and fumbled with the latches. "They can't be locked," she mumbled to herself. A fluid sniff didn't releive the runny nose problem.

"Aren't you packed yet? We've got to go. Now!" Albert's voice grated on her nerves.

She dumped the contents of three dresser drawers into the case, pulled skirts and blouses off their hangers and laid them on top of the other contents. An extra pair of loafers nestled in the corner. As she ran toward the bathroom, she could hear the van's engine start.

"Oh Lord," she moaned, wiped her eyes before picking up the contents of the medicine cabinet shelf. "I don't want to leave. How can I get him to let me stay here?" She looked at a gallon bottle of muratic acid sitting in the back of the linen closet and wondered.

The bedroom door slammed open and hit the wall. Albert looked at the open suitcase and said, "That's all your stuff. Where's mine?"

"You'd better get to it if you're in that big of a hurry." Gloria dumped the toothbrushes and other toiletries into a side pocket of the old case.

His arm swung across his chest as he reached for the closet door and caught her across the shoulder. She fell across the bed and hit her head on the bedside table. Through the pain, Gloria wondered if she just kept still and held her breath, maybe he would think she was dead and go on without her.

Albert cursed under his breath and pulled her up by her arms, scooped one arm under her legs and carried her out to the van. The side door was open and he dumped Gloria uncermoniously onto the bench seat. He stomped back into the house, closed her suitcase, then grabbed a couple of large trash bags and loaded them with everything he could reach that would fit.

Finally, everything was loaded and Gloria could feel the van moving. Suddenly, she heard whining from the back yard. "Wait! We can't leave Mutzy to starve. Let me call someone to come get him."

"You've known about this move for three weeks. I warned you we had to leave." He turned left on their street and headed for the freeway. "You refused to believe me. You always refuse to believe me." He pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and threw it to her. "You know the drill. No hints, no code. You tell Sussie to go get Mutzy and hang up."

Gloria's hand shook as she dialed her next-door neighbor's number. Sussie didn't like Mutzy and would probably turn him in to the dog pound, but there wasn't anyone else.

Her mother had warned her not to marry a man who was here one day and gone the next. A man who was vague about his profession, a man who had no relatives or a past. But, nooo, she had to fall for his mischevious blue eyes with thick black eyelashes and brows. His patience with her little foibles, and she ablolutely loved to run her hands through his thick curly black hair. More important, he loved her so much, he would never leave without her.

She took a deep breath as she heard Sussie pick up the phone. "Hi Sussie." She didn't have to put extra panic in her voice. "It's Gloria. We've had an emergency and have to be gone for a while. Please take care of Mutzy for me." Before an indignant Sussie could reply, Gloria pressed the power button and closed the small phone. She leaned over the front seat and slid it into albert's top pocket.

Gloria leaned her head against her husband's shoulder and said, "It's just that I really hate it when you get transferred."-----------------END-----------------

I think I'm really getting better at stories that don't make any sense.

Rosemary again 8-16-2001 19:50

Aw, come on, what's wrong with the ending? I am open for suggestions for a new ending. Post above.

Jerry Ericsson 8-16-2001 19:26

Howdy paadners(phonetically)

I loved your story. Read with bated breath right up til the last paragraph.---Now,---you go back and fix the ending and I'll help donate toward the postage for you to send it off.

Thanks for the honor. I had a feeling that joke might cause a rash of a certain type of humor.

I hear screeching outside my window. My sister must have let the geese out again. They like my front yard.

I think I'll try a shorty for tonight. Haven't really done any writing lately.

Rosemary 8-16-2001 17:37

Here is my shorty for tonight:

Day seventeen. Thus far, I have found no other survivors from our escape pod. Fifteen of us were in the pod when it was ejected from the transport ship Titan. I can only hope and pray that they too were able to open their parachutes when we were close enough to the surface as I did. I have spent the previous sixteen days preparing a shelter, and searching for food and water. Water is no problem, as it flows in streams across the surface of this dismal moon.

Food, however, is a problem. There appear to be edible plants, and I have been eating my fill, but they are few and far between. I have seen small animals swimming in the streams; they look much like the fish I used to catch back on earth. I shall try and form some sort of net for catching them from the remnants of the parachute.

Day twenty. They are fish, and they are truly tasty. I never liked fish, used to say that I loved to catch them for others to eat, but these fish are the very best fish I have ever had. They look a lot like earth fish, except for the color of their skin, it is the strangest hue of pink, much like the salmon I used to eat from a can on Fridays.

Day fifty. I found the escape pod today. There are no other survivors, they were still strapped in their seats, maybe they didn’t know that one must escape from the pod before it impacts with the surface. I buried them in a common grave, then took some of the plastic that was intact on the pod and carved the names of those I knew, then placed it over their grave. Should anyone ever find this moon, they will know who lies beneath the surface.

There was a silver lining to my digging the grave; I discovered small animal-like creatures live just under the surface of this planet. When skinned and cooked over a low flame they proved to be quite tasty. They taste a bit like chicken (now where have I heard that before?).

Day one hundred seventy-five. I located this log near that grave, must have dropped it when I went to visit it some weeks ago. Strange how one’s mind changes with nobody to talk to. It felt good knowing there were bodies beneath the sod, almost like talking to a friend.

Day two hundred. I must attempt to write in this log more often. I think I am loosing my mind. When I woke up this morning, Alfred, the cook who was on the escape pod was seated near the fire. Well what was left of him, it seems that those little animals who live beneath the sod also find us tasty. I must have dug up the grave and brought Alfred back with me. I shall return him to his grave today, but you know just having his body present made the loneliness a bit easier to cope with.

Day three hundred ten. A starship passed near this moon last night. I tried to light a rescue fire, but by the time I had the blaze going enough to be seen from that distance, it was gone. Now I will have to spend many days’ collection dead plants to burn just in case another ship passes by. I returned to the escape pod and rummaged around the survival gear. There was a survival gun on board. I brought it back to the cave I have been using for shelter. I know that there is only one reason for me to have it, that being to end my life should this loneliness get much worse.

Day four hundred seven-teen. I have dug my own grave, being dead is so much more inviting then another day here, alone. I shall place this log next to the grave, and then take my own life.

Day four hundred eight-teen. There is a safety device on that gun; it will not allow me to use it to take my own life. I shall have to find another way.

Day five hundred. It has been so long since I have seen another human. I talk to myself now regularly, just to hear my own voice. I have searched this entire moon; there are no cliffs high enough to jump from. The foliage is not strong enough to hang myself from. All the plant-life appears to be edible, as I have tasted them all in search of a poison. I even tried laying in my self dug grave to await those little creatures who live beneath the sod, hoping against hope that they will eat me, that would end it. It appears they are frightened of me because I am warm, as when they come close to me, and detect the heat, they scurry away.

Day five hundred seven. I have tried to stop eating, but to no avail, when I awaken from my sleep, the remains of the meal I have eaten in my sleep lay beside me.

Day five hundred eight. I saw a light in the sky, probably another ship, I light my huge signal fire, but they must not have seen it.

Day five hundred nine. They saw it! As I write this last entry in my journal, a rescue barge is dropping from the sky. It has landed now the doors are opening. I see my rescuers coming toward me. Why do they have weapons? Is the war still going? Why are they pointing them at me?

Jerry 8-16-2001 15:20


Okay, people, you can slow down the influx of jokes now, before I split my funnybone, hee hee! DEBRA, all I can say is EWWWW, GROSSS!!!! ;-] JERRY, um, thanks, I think, for that little old lady joke (haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!) 8-] ROSEMARY wins for JOKE OF THE DAY! :-) TEEKAY, it's okay, don't rack your brain - you need it for other things, hehe.

JERRY: Lovely description of Fall activities, sigh. I'm ready!! :-)

TAYLOR: Have fun experimenting with POV! :-)

GS: YES! :-) We Geneseo students nicknamed a whole quad of dorms "Cuylerville" after that neighboring town. The dorms each had other, official names, of course, many Indian names.

EVERYONE: I found a website today that is WONDERFULLY refreshing, in case anyone else out there suffers from the blues or lack of inspiration... go to
(that's three l's in a row) - check it out! :-)

Mel Full Life Online 8-16-2001 15:08


There is a town called Cuylerville about ten miles west of Geneseo. Maybe your dorm Cuylerville was west of the Tundra.


gariess 8-16-2001 13:20

I have some toliet humor too.

Two girls walk into a greasy spoon diner. There's the chef standing there with no shirt on, and a mixture of grease and crumbs in his chest hairs.

They sit at the counter and ponder if they should leave, finally they order a hamburger.

The chef takes the hamburg and slaps it onto his chest flatens it out and throws it onto the grill.

"Oh that's gross!" Screams one of the girls.

"Really," states the waitress.
"You should be here in the morning when he makes donuts." She says matter of factly

Debra 8-16-2001 11:22


8-16-2001 8:18

set a little task for myself...something to try and enhance creativity

which is to write several shoties from a POV of an animal, while basing the animals personality on people I know
Already asked my friends if they dont mind me doing this
The keep asking...What am I? What am I?
Most of thems jotted down, this is gonna be fun

taylor 8-16-2001 3:57

JERRY: You beat me to it. I hot footed it back here to tell that very joke, wondering all the while if I should or not. Thank you for taking the pressure off of me. hehehe

Mary 8-16-2001 2:29


JERRY: Funny joke. Should I be admitting that? It was a shocker.

MEL: I've been racking my brain, but still haven't come up with a joke. I've heard heaps, but can't remember any of them.
Oh, here's one that I found funny ages ago:
I too wish to offend no one.

Nope, decided against it.
It's good to see that my brain does actually pull me up and save me from myself - sometimes.

Teekay 8-15-2001 23:53


YAAAAY some more posts

MARY: Sorry about thinking your post was MEL's. Now that explains why you can get away with not doing laundry everyday. I was wondering how with 5 kids MEL wasn't doing at least 2 washes daily.

ROSEMARY: HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHA. I love bathroom humour. It's toilet humour I draw the line at. And I'd never heard that one before.

JERRY: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Well your sense of humour isn't entirely gone (re: packed ducks ).
No snoring in our house last night. I think we were both so tired from the previous night that we slept like logs

Teekay 8-15-2001 23:46

Has anyone noticed that I am talking to myself here in the notebook? There are those days when it happens, today is just one of them.

Jerry 8-15-2001 23:34

For those of you who never attended the Jerry Ericsson school of spelling, cucues mean cucumbers, you know those things that look like a small zucchini, sort of like a huge dill pickle before it got pickled.

Jerry 8-15-2001 23:32

Ok, I have this joke, I hope it offends none, and brings a smile to many.

A little old lady had always wanted to join a local biker club.

One day she goes up and knocks on the door.
A big, hairy, bearded biker with tattoo's all over his arms answers.

She proclaims, "I want to join your club."

The guy was amused, but says she needs to meet certain biker
requirements in order to join.
The biker asks; "Do you have a motorcycle? "

The little old lady replies "Yep... my bike's parked over there , " and points to a flamed black Harley chopper in the driveway.

The biker asks, "Do you drink?"

The little old lady replies, "Yep, drink like a fish.
I'll drink any man in your club under the table."

The biker asks, "Do you smoke?"

The little old lady replies, "Yep...smoke like a chimney. At least 4 packs of cigarettes and three joints a day and a couple of cigars in the evening, while I'm shooting pool."

The biker is very impressed and asks, "Last question . Have you ever been picked up by the fuzz?"

The little old lady thinks for a minute and says, "Nope, but I've been swung around by my nipples a few times!"

Jerry 8-15-2001 23:29

You can sure tell summer is nearing it's end, by the lack of posting on this wonderful site. Everyone is taking this last opportunity to get out in the sun, get out in the fresh air before that wonderful white icy snow begins to fall. Before the leaves fall from their trees, before the bear finds his cave to hibernate, before we learn all over to turn INTO the skid. Ah yes, the garden goods are ripening, we are enjoying the fruits of our labor in the sod. The caucus are all sliced, and in vinegar, slowly becoming pickles. The pint jars are filled with string beans, and the tomato's are now red, and so full of juice, natures nourishment, it won't be long before our cupboards are filled with salsa, tomato juice, V8 juice and the likes. We already have several ice cream buckets filled with choke cherries, to make jelly and syrup, our plum bushes are heavy with plump plums, just turning from green to a lovely purple. The corn is as high as an elephant's eye, it's ears now almost ready to be harvested, for that wonderful sweat corn on the cob. Fall is such a wonderful time of the year, I can hardly wait.

It won't be long too before all the little kiddies will again trek off to school to learn all the things taught, but alas no teaching of the Golden Rule. Our winter coats have come out of the box and are ready for cleaning and another year of protecting us from that horrible cold that is just around the corner.

Damn - A bank robbery just north of here, now that's something new. We suffer from those maybe once every five or so years. I think it is the fact that most who try end up with a bullet of some sort somewhere in their body before they are captured. It does have a shock effect when someone thinks to try to do that horrible deed.

Jerry 8-15-2001 23:02

Yep, heard that one before too, but I laughed the first time, and laughed again this time, even though it was predictable.

What do ducks pack? Well the ones I have known pack those little squares of bread, what do you call the, mixed with some sage, oh and their giblets, makes a wonderful stuffing.

Ok so I have also lost my sense of humor.

Spent most of today our wedding anniversary hauling tree branches from our daughters back yard to the local dump, she is cleaning up years of neglect on the home she bought, that one for a thousand dollars. The old lady that rented it for the last twenty years refused to have any type of maintenance done on the place, except that she did allow the landlord to come in and keep the weeds mowed. It was once a wonderful yard, with lots of trees, lilac bushes all around, huge flower beds, a quaint garage in the rear of the yard. Now the bushes have taken over, killed most of the trees, which stand like skeletal guardians of some mystic land. She bought one of those little tree saws and went to work. What took her two hours to cut, took us that long to haul out. I think the fellow who guards the dump grounds was getting tired of waving us through. Well we only hauled for two hours, then went home and got cleaned up. At four PM the daughter dropped by with ice cream treats for our helping her clean her yard, then she and the wife took off for her house to do some other chores. At a bit after six, they called, and I met them downtown for our anniversary dinner. Now as I type, my wife and daughter are in the dining room playing cribbage. I am so tired that I fear I shall be asleep shortly, just driving that many trips to the dumps has tired me out. And to think, I used to be able to march twenty miles, then participate in war games, sleep for two hours and march twenty miles back. Those indeed were the good old days.

I still remember our third anniversary, the first we were ever able to celebrate, you see on our first anniversary, I was at Oakland Army Replacement depot on my way to Vietnam. I called the wife and wished her happy anniversary from a pay phone, had to cut it short as my plane was loading. On our second, I was stationed in Nam, had a few friends in other units, one of whom had a friend in Saigon Overseas Switchboard. He arranged it so I could call home using Official U.S. Channels, had to be collect from Oakland Overseas Operator, but I called and wished her happy anniversary from Nam. Our third found us stationed in Fort Bliss Texas. I planned on taking her out to the Heinz German Restaurant, but when we got there, there was no room, and since I had never in my life made a reservation, I learned that they are required if you wish to dine over the normal dinner hour. Well we drove around for a couple of hours, and I finally pulled into a Der' Weinersnitzle drive in restaurant and bought us each a hot dog with sour kraut. I have never, to this very day lived down that anniversary. Hey, I figured with a name like that, it had to be German right? Anyhow that was thirty years ago today, and I shall never again be so young, or so hungry. Had prime rib for supper, the potatoes were horrid, I ordered hash browns (First mistake) what I got looked like they had been sitting in a vat of lard for a week, then pulled out and slapped on the grill for a few seconds, melting the outer grease and leaving the lard in the center. They tasted even worse, despite the ketchup I smothered them with. Well I wasn't that hungry anyhow, and the prime rib was great.

Oh you were talking of snoring earlier, seems I did snore last night, the wife so politely informed me on the way home from the restaurant that she had to sleep in the spare room last night, as she simply could not get me to stop snoring. I told her she should have waken me, but she said since I was so very tired from lack of sleep these past few days, she would rather leave the bed then disturb my rest. What a gal. No wonder I fell in love with her oh so many years ago.

Jerry 8-15-2001 21:29

Thanks, Rosemary! I needed that!!! :-) Hee hee - I had heard it before too, but it was time to hear it again. As for what ducks pack, well you'll just have to tune in tomorrow for shortie-night, heh heh.

Mel 8-15-2001 20:45

Hi everybody,

Okay, you asked for it.
I heard this joke on the radio and if I don't leave more than half of it out, it might cheer you up. :0>

Seventy year old lady enters doctor's office. It's a regular checkup and afterward she says, "I just thought I'd mention that I have been having a lot of flatulance. It doesn't bother me and there is no odor and no smell so it doesn't bother anyone else, but it happens hundreds of times a day."
The doctor says, "There's probably no problem but let me give you a prescription and you come back in two weeks and we'll see if there has been any progress."

The old lady stomps into his office two weeks later. Madder than a wet hen. "Doctor, this medicine is awful. I absouletly will not take it another day." She throws the pill bottle across the room. "It hasn't helped with the gas problem. In fact it has made it worse. It smells terrible now. I can't stand to be in an enclosed area with myself."

The doctor says, "Now, now. That was just the first step. You must keep taking those pills." He retrives the bottle and gives them back to her. "We've cured your sinus problem and now we have to work on your hearing."


I know, it's gross, and I normally don't like bathroom humor but that one really tickled me. The DJ said it was an old joke and some of you might have heard it, but what the heck.

I giggled for a long time about the vision of a line of ducks with small bags all packed waiting to be taken off into the great unknown. What in the world would ducks pack?
Grasshoppers? mud? spare feathers?

Rosemary 8-15-2001 20:38

Um, Teekay, that was MARY's "what no kiss?" :-) And actually, most of the NB-ers post during my late evening, i.e. your daytime, so since it's only 8 P.M. here, check back in a few hours, when the muses drag out the shears and cut free from the duct tape. :-)

meanwhile, i've lost my bushy-tailed demeanor, sigh. i think it's the blues comin' back, drat. anyone got a good joke or two?

Mel 8-15-2001 20:06


Now I'm positive the notebook has come to a grinding halt. It's 9:45 AM now and only 2 posts during the night. What is going on????

MEL: I so relate to your post. Especially the "What no kiss? What if there's a car accident?"

JERRY: I have never seen a house with a basement. Not in real life anyway. I think it would be great to have one.

Well, I'm off to playgroup this morning.
I stared at the trees for long enough yesterday and a story idea came to me.
It never ceases to amaze me how once begun a story begins to expose itself.
It's sort of like seing something in the distance and the closer you move toward it, the more obvious it becomes.

Sound wierd?
Yeah, thought so.
Guess I'd better do some laundry when I get home :-)

Sure hope there's some more posts when I get back.

Teekay 8-15-2001 19:51

You know the wife used to tell me the same thing, we had a very deep basement. Now deep basements are great if you happen to be in a tornado, or if it is very hot outside, as it is cool and relatively safe if your house is taken by a tornado. The problem is that there are a whole bunch of steps going up and down, and like most homes, the washer and dryer were down there. I felt sorry for the wife having to climb all those steps, and when we found that we would be moving home, the first thing on the list of homes was a main floor laundry room. Well when the time for searching for a new house came, the wife had to stay up there and work, while I came down here, accompanied by our daughter, and began the search for homes. The one we are living in now was selected ONLY because it has the main floor laundry room. It is a nice home, and the wife was very happy to see the little laundry room, in fact she was overjoyed. Now laundry day begins with a smile. Only problem is that she uses the kitchen floor to sort cloths, now it isn't a real problem, but I do have to step over them when I go for my Saturday morning coffee.

Jerry Ericsson 8-15-2001 18:28

TEEKAY: I used to love to do laundry...I don't know what happened, but somewhere along the line I just quit doing it. Now 'laundry day' falls on whatever morning that my husband dares to speak to me before I have had my first cup of coffee and says, "Is it so much to ask for a clean towel?" My usual response goes something like this:

"How dirty could your towels possibly be? You use them after you are clean, right? Is it so much to ask for a first floor laundry room? I don't think so. There, you see hon, its all relative. If I didn't have to descend to the bowels of this house to wash undirty towels you might not have to wait so long..."

This is the point where I am usually talking to his back as he shakes his head and walks out the door to head for work. Then I say, "What? No kiss goodbye? You will be sorry if you get in a car accident and die without kissing me goodbye."

Then he comes back, kisses me and comes home later that night to clean towels which he is generally very grateful for. Soooo...TEEKAY, I think you are on to something when you say laundry can keep you sane. It is quite an outlet for displaced aggression and, at least in my house, leads to nice kisses.

Oops, grandpa is here...back later to check in.

Mary 8-15-2001 11:11


MEL: Hi there. I was beginning to think the notebook had come to a grinding halt.
It's no longer 12:39PM here, it's now 10:45PM and I'm headed for bed and hopefully not another night of the snore bores.

And you could be right. I might just be totally insane thinking all the while that I'm totally sane. There may be absolutely no need for me to do the laundry at all WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE :-D

Teekay 8-15-2001 8:43


G'mornin' You-All! :-) Am feeling a bit brighter-eyed and bushier-tailed this a.m., 'though could have used still more sleep (I'm a glutton for soft pillows and quiet in the house!). Maybe I'll be able to accomplish some WRITING today - ooh, be still my heart. Ms. Muse, I'm preparing my lasso, ya better run...

JERRY: HAPPY W.A.!!! :-)

ROSEMARY: Yeah, I saw 20 ducks, all packing their bags, lining up for the drive into town...just a matter of time. Thought I'd say my "fare thee wells" while I was thinkin' of 'em, heh heh! :-) Um, pass me some of your excess energy, will ya? :-) Chasing my kids, hubby, the cat, AND my muse is wearing ME out, hee hee. :-)

TEEKAY: Oooh, what an intriguing thought, "laundry keeps me sane." Hmmm, umm, then either I'm saner than I thought (I have TONS of laundry) or else...your theory doesn't work! Heh heh! You'd better keep a notebook in the laundry room, just to be on the safe side. Re: snoring husbands...Tell Mrs. Thingamybob that she ain't heard nothin' yet till she's heard my hubby dive-bombing snores into my ear!!! Every time he does that, I'm sure he's gonna crash-land us both, the bed will break through the floor, and we'll end up two floors down, on top of the family pc in the basement...or maybe we'll keep a-goin' and land on YOUR doorstep - heh heh! :-) "Oh, good morning, Teekay! Are we in time for breakfast? Er, supper??" Hee hee...

It's a reflective kind of day... MARY has us all packing up for the big move... hmmmmmmmmmm.............

Write well, y'all! :-)

Mel 8-15-2001 8:37

SHORTIE NIGHT THEME: in packing up all your crap and getting the hell out of Dodge. Good luck.

Mary 8-15-2001 1:53


JERRY: Read your story. I liked it, but you really ought to have edited it first up. I agree with what HEATHER said, I did think that it might end that way, but I like the way it did, but yeah, maybe a little character build up would get us more involved.

And one other thing that sticks out in my mind is that the meathooks in the bedroom is a bit unbelievably wierd. Can you work around that somehow?

I loved: “Looks like you didn’t bring enough courage for all night.”

and: “You wanna share the wealth with that second bottle?” She asked with a chuckle.”

All in all you've inspired me and I'm going to take my trusty pen and paper outside and stare at the trees for a bit while waiting for inspiration to strike.

Teekay 8-15-2001 0:36

Hello everyone: Finally got my computer back and have my fingers crossed that I can get all my software reinstalled correctly and other elements in place. Early as I can I will archive the Notebook and get us down to an acceptable size. So, stay tuned and I will get things running correctly probably no later than tomorrow.

Jack Beslanwitch 8-15-2001 0:33


ROSEMARY: Well huge thankyou's to you! When I typed in what time it was here, this distant memory from this morning of my daughter saying "Mum, pick me up at the back of the school at 12:40, okay, don't forget 12:40."

I gathered the toddler and raced to the car only to find that either a pteryodactol or a large swallow had pooed on the drivers side windscreen and had set like cement, so I had to spend a moment or two gauging it off, so all in all, thanks to you, I was only 10 minutes late.
I was still subjected to a certain amount of child abuse from irate daughter though.

Teekay 8-14-2001 23:18


ROSEMARY: I haven't a clue what I accused you of either, so you can either resent it or be flattered to bits by it :-D.
Life is what you make it and it's all in the attitude and blah blah blah.

Well seing the soy drink gives you cause for a big healthy burp on completion I fully suggest that you stick with it and to hell with having to run circles about the farm to get rid of the energy.
I think the burp was a farily crucial point and should have been included in the initial post, otherwise how do you expect people to make an informed decision given only half the imformation?

The time here is 12:39 PM.
OHMIGOD gotta go and pick up my daughter!!!!!!

Teekay 8-14-2001 22:39

Me Again,
The !! was mine. I was trying to see what the time difference between here and the notebook was.

Seems 8:35 on the notebook is 7:35 here. It used to be a 2 hour difference. Probably doesn't matter, because by tomorrow I'll forget which way the difference is. The point is, the Notebook was unchanged for so long I wondered if it was broken or had my post shocked everyone into silence.

I'm not sure what you accused me of, but I think I resent it. :-P My soy shake is not nearly that healthy. I don't like banannas and forgot about bran so it was just soy power, powdered milk, ice water and strawberry syrup. A new gadget, the Thunder Stick fuzzes it all up and doubles its volume.
I have noticed a tendency to burp afterward.

Have I missed the Shorty theme?
Gone again

Rosemary 8-14-2001 22:30


TAYLOR: Surfers Paradise. Sounds great. I haven't been there, but I used to live in Cairns and I just adore what I have seen of Queensland.
Have a wonderful time.

Teekay 8-14-2001 22:29


Oh yeah, and still on the 'exploring snoring' subject, he has the hide to tell me that he has to put up with my snoring.
Of course I say, "I do not." Then he says, "Yes, you do." Then I say, "Do not." And he says "Do so, I'm just not mean enough to wake you up." And I say, "Rubbish, next time it bothers you I want you to wake me up." And he says "Okay then I will."

But, he hasn't woken me up yet and we have that conversation fairly regularly.

Honestly, sometimes the conversations we have would put a kindergarten class to shame.
But sometimes we have really interesting discussions like how the holocaust was similar in its atrocities as to what Judism did in the name of religion back when Christ was born.
Yes, it's these little golden nuggets we find within each other which keep our love alive
and then he has to go and snore!

Teekay 8-14-2001 22:27


JERRY: Ah your poor wife. I always think it would be a good idea to record hubby snoring, but I only think to do it when his snoring wakes me up and then I never feel like getting out of bed and hunting down a tape recorder and a blank tape.
There was one point during the wee hours when I yanked the pillow out from under his head (hoping the fall may break his neck perhaps?) and he goes:
"hunh? What the....? Was that you?"
No it was a ghost DUH! No, I just thought that,what I really said was:
And he said:
"What did you do that for? I was awake."

Yeah, right.

Teekay 8-14-2001 22:16


teekay: Im off to surfers paradise for the week

On snoring: I have been told I don't snore, but I do have the habit of talking in my sleep...

I am far from disheartened about my story, I sent it off and it did not get accepted...It did come back in the reply paid envelope I sent them so they must have seen it...cover sheet gone...But as I said, that story is not sitting on the shelf and wandering whether to send it off again

This thing is funny though: I am actually looking forward to my first rejection slip in a way

taylor 8-14-2001 22:15

Teekay - Snoring - my father could wake neighbors for miles around, and always denied that he snored. When I came home from Nam, I brought one of those new fangled cassette recorders, the portable kind and one night after dad had passed out on his bed, I put it in his room and recorded thirty minutes of his sawing logs. We played it back to him at regular intervals, whenever he denied snoring.

Sadly, that snoring is something I happened to inherit. Now the wife has yet to resort to recording it, but I have had comments on the volume of it from neighbors several blocks away. I have considered trying that de-snore stuff they advertise on TV, but I doubt it would do any good. Besides it does give the wife and kids something to talk about after I am gone. To this very day, when the family gets together at moms, the subject of dad's snoring comes up, and mom, without hesitation, brings forth that tape, and we all sit in awe listening to that familiar snore. You see, Dad passed away in 1972, but through that tape, he lives on. So snoring is not all bad, now is it?

My wife has a handle on my snoring though, at least she did have until recently when she quit working, there was always that, hon you have to quit snoring, I have to work in the morning! Now, it is just a poke in the ribs, followed by a gruff quit snoring. There are, however those rare days when my wife cuts loose with some of that female snoring, you know the kind, those just audible snores that ever so gently keep you awake. Now it doesn't bother me a bit to poke her in the ribs and tell her she is snoring. The only problem is, she denies it. "I wasn't snoring, I was awake when you poked me!" I wonder what I did with that old tape recorder?

Heather WHAT DO YOU MEAN PREDICTABLE! Just kidding, aren't most ghost stories predictable? I know it needs some work, like I said, this is just the first draft that I threw together the other night while watching television, and visiting with my wife and daughter. Yep, and I can rub my head and pat my belly at the same time too.

Jerry 8-14-2001 21:35


TAYLOR: Oh yeah, sorry, I forgot that they didn't enclose a rejection slip. Sounds a bit strange.
But it's probably one of the things ROSEMARY said, not a lot else it could be.

Blame my husbands snoring on my halfwittedness.

Teekay 8-14-2001 21:13


Hi All;

TAYLOR: Ah, the dreaded rejection slip. Embrace it, it is validation that you are indeed a writer.
A holiday sounds great. Where are you headed for in Queensland?

MEL: The laundry in my attic is 'real life', take out the laundry and I'd be this glassy eyed dreamer who wanders about aimlessly trying to remember where she last left her notebook. I guess it's the laundry that keeps me sane.

JERRY: I sympathise. I too was awake at 5AM listening to my husband snoring fit to burst. While regularly turning his head into different positions I devised this cute little story it went something like this:

JUDGE: "Mrs. Thingamybob, you stand before this court today charged with the most heinous of crimes. The acts wrought upon your husband are such as have never before been dealt with in this enlightened day and age. How do you plead?"

MRS THINGAMYBOB: " But your honour, the man was snoring and he wouldn't stop and there was nothing I could do to make him stop, and I just couldn't take it any more."

JUDGE: "Snoring you say?" And this is where she gets up and belts her gavel on her table and yells, "Why is my time being wasted like this? What is this woman doing in my courtroom? Case dismissed!"

Well, it was sort of cute at 5AM.

I haven't read your shorty yet, but I will a bit later.

ROSEMARY: I think I'd give up the shakes. I went through this healthy phase, I go through them fairly regularly, probably about twice a year, and I was drinking soy milk with bran mash and a banana. It was so totally foul that I had to close my eyes and hold my breaath to drink it, but there was no disguiseing the horrible slimy lumps going sown my throat. It was the shortest health fad I've ever had.

Feeling drained today, i think it's from living 2 lives instead of one for the past while. Going to have a guilt free rest and recoup my energies.

Have a great day all.
Or a good sleep, whichever you need or desire.

Teekay 8-14-2001 21:08


8-14-2001 20:35

Greetings all,
I've been getting around so well lately, I decided to stay home today and get some rest just in case I might need it.

On Randall's typo, I thought the original 'our poor wifey' was more interesting---.

Sounds like there should be a warning on dill pickle jars. "Do not sip juice at night. Hazardous to your family's sleep." (Crazy computer listed hazardous waste, but not hazardous. Strange.)
I think you didn't finish my post. I mentioned that there were about 20 ducks left. It's going to take a few more trips before we'll even be able to tell the difference.--- At the rate my backyard dog is going through the adolescent chickens, their number is going down too. It's his territory, he's just thinning out the stupider birds. I guess. Makes my sister crazy. I used to bury the dead birds next to plants and bushes for fertalizer, but between my knee and the sheer volume of dead chicks, the trash man is getting mystery garbage bags.

That proverb about smell and taste is a real insight. A trueism. Bet if we tried, we could get a real list going.

The castle looks and sounds great but the lack of moat Monsters is critical.

Could you tell if they read the story? Did they use your SASE? Maybe the address was wrong and it was just returned. If they read your ms. and returned it without anything enclosed; I think that is very unusual. Perhaps it was a place that does not accept un-agented ms. Good luck and keep trying anyway.
A local writer's club has a contest every December. The writer with the most rejection slips wins a $100 bill.

I've been having soy protien shakes in the morning and the excess energy is wearing me out. Should I give up the Shakes?


Rosemary 8-14-2001 15:36

Sleepy, my god so am I! I have been dozing most of the day away, and today is the wife's birthday! She is going to skin me alive, I can tell. At lunch, she tossed me a plate with a sandwich on it. It woke me up when it hit my chest, then I heard "Since you aren't taking me out for lunch, here's your sandwich!" All I could say was "Yes dear!" Guess we are going out for supper. Right now she and our daughter took off in the daughter's van, the gift our daughter gave us for our 32nd anniversary (tomorrow) is one of those small windmill's. She put it together for us, well almost when she got to the wind part, the company seems to have put too small a bearing in it. No degree of pounding, hammering pushing could get it through that little hole. Well anyhow they are taking it back to the lumbar yard where she purchased it to see if they happen to have one that fits right.

The day started out bad and got worse. I woke up at 5:00 AM with such a pain in my back, I thought I would have to go to Hospital, but a bit of exercise and a half hour soak in a hot tub of water got me moving, sort of. Hit the pill bottle and took all I am allowed, then put my tens unit on, and sat in my recliner. That's about all I remember, until the plate hit my chest. I think the wife understands, but I can see where she is just a bit disappointed. We had planned on going camping over her birthday/anniversary, but when she checked in with her Dr. in Rapid City, he was out and will be back tomorrow, so we have to stay home and await his call to tell her what they are going to do next with her knee.

Guess it's just one of those days, must go now, as I hear the daughters van pulling up in the driveway.

Jerry 8-14-2001 15:35

Jerry - Phantasium is indeed still open for story contributions.
However, I found your recent story a little predictable and the characters lacked emotion. It fits the bill just fine, of course, but will need work to be included - I thought it was an imaginative idea, and could be rewritten and turn out fabulous! Don't worry!

Well, these last few days I've written more or less a page per day, but I have added more dimension to dialogue, etc., and edited... so the final count means I've written a page more per day than I've cut. My total word count is just under 35,000 words (a hair's breadth under!) so this is great news for me. I'm half way there!
Just that thought has me eyeing the time until I can write tonight!

May your wits be razors
and your confidence rock;
but when it comes to rejections,
let's find them soft.

Heather 8-14-2001 15:34

Oh yeah - now I remember! VIV: 'Dropsy' is what people used to call Epilepsy. Just as 'Consumption' was what people called Tuberculosis. The 'nickname' given the condition is more of a description of how it seems to affect the person rather than a name that simplified a complicated terminology. I suppose over the years since 'Dropsy' was no longer used to describe a person's seizures (since it's really not politically correct!), it has metamorphosed to mean clumsiness, or the inability to grasp objects without dropping them (of which I am afflicted rather often). Of course, the official term for this affliction is called 'Griswoldese', after the Griswolds, of the various 'Vacation' films by National Lampoon. Chevy Chase would be proud.

Heather 8-14-2001 15:26



But getting there is where we lose our minds and everything else you mentioned.

Debra 8-14-2001 15:16

ROSEMARY: sigh. "fare Thee wells"... it's a "TYPO's RULE" kind of day...

Mel 8-14-2001 15:07

RANDALL: I DID correct that typo, I DID!!! um, "YOUR poor wifey..."

Mel 8-14-2001 15:05

--mel zzz---

yo. i'm in sleep-mode. two nights little sleep. am working while dozing even now.zzzz. saturday a.m. was COOL and refreshing but heatwave lingers in the evenings. sigh. i still wish for (don't look, Tina...oh yeah, she's away, so i can say it...) AUTUMN. :-) hubby and i celebrated 23 years together Sunday eve with dinner at a Chinese restaurant. my fortune was loaded with omen. it said: "Don't wait too long." hmmmmm.......

VIV: Sounds like my muse could use some of your borage; she needs some oomf - heh heh! Oww! Mom, she hit me-- BTW, I get dropsy a lot too. Not a pretty picture early in the a.m. when stiffness cramps the back and hips, and oops, there goes that, way down there... good thing no one else is awake yet to see me do the stiff bendover-thing...!

HEATHER: Just the way I like to see a garden, one flower after another, each in its season. :-) Your garden sounds beautiful (or it will be when enough rain hits!) BTW, I think helping each other with query letters here is a great idea - bring yours on! We'll be nice. ;-]

JERRY: My 11-year-old is asking about family heritage these days - he informs us that the American Indians originally came from, I think I heard that somewhere too but it sure messes with the mind... I enjoyed your latest ghostie! :-)

RACHEL: My 13-year-old is also bigtime into RPG: Baldur's Gate or Diablo 2 on the net, when he's allowed, Final Fantasy on the PlayStation, when he's allowed, and the rest of the time, his Gameboy's glued to his hands. I don't complain; he does his housecleaning chores more thoroughly than all his siblings combined, and sometimes does more! :-)

RANDALL: hee hee -- our poor wifey! Hmmm, dill pickle juice... wonder if I had a sniff of that the night, years ago, I dreamt I opened my mother-in-law's fridge and there saw a teeny tiny Tarzan-man, swingin' from the bars of the shelves...and not far behind him, also swinging, a round-headed, fuzzy, green monster with bead eyes, and it chasing the little Tarzan-man! I was horrified, of course, but before I could move, they both dropped to the bottom of the fridge, into a meat grinder. I slammed the door shut. I did NOT want to see any more. End of dream. (Sounds like a dill pickle juice dream, doesn't it?!) <-]

LITTER: Ohh, I LOVE secret passages!!! Even the cramped stairwell within the walls of the House Of Seven Gables in Massachusetts where slaves used to hide.

TEEKAY: Okay, so explain what the dream-laundry is doing in your mental attic!! I do, however, know what you mean by having to scrub before you can glitter, heh heh! Hoo boy, housecleaning is NOT funny.

ROSEMARY: Ohh, fond fare tee wells to your little ducks... :-) I expect you'll have more again next Spring?? BTW, I too love the smell of coffee but can't stand the bitter taste. Or how about vanilla extract? Or baking cocoa? New proverb: Do not judge a taste by its smell (scent?).

MARY: Pymatuning? I think I camped there once, oh about 30 years ago! The name sounds extremely familiar! :-) Um, not meaning to be a nag, but is there a shorty theme this week?? My muse, you know, I have to round her up and corner her, and then there's the duct tape ceremony and well, every scream shoves inspiration a little farther from my itchy fingertips...just need some advance prep time - heh heh!

JON: My French is rusty, but I understood your post, mostly. Um, what are "faitsneants?" I'm not sure I want to resemble one of those, unless it's a good thing, of course!

TAYLOR! Hiya! :-)

HOWARD: (((HUGS))) my blood-brother. Poem-trade good medicine to heal your wound. Peace. :-]

EVERYBODY: pleasant dreams and mounds of writing-time!

Mel 8-14-2001 15:01

Debra - Haven't we all made it as writers. From what I've seen posted on these pages, it is apparent that we are all writers. Now all we have to do is convince the world what we write is worth reading, right?

Jerry 8-14-2001 14:59


Isn't that when we've finally made it as a writer?

Debra 8-14-2001 13:31

Jingles - We do have things to loose, our money, our status as writers, our composure, our manuscripts, our patients, our minds.

Jerry 8-14-2001 13:26


Sorry for my absence, been so busy lately hardly had time to scratch myself, with gym, gym programs, spiritual group, writing

Unfortunately I received my short story back, it wouldnt have been so bad, but I didnt even get a rejection slip...
At least that story hasnt been sitting on the shelf wandering....received it back today...Onto next one anyway

Changed my mind going off to queensland in October....a trip before I save up for the big one...AMERICA!!
New computers going great

See everyone again soon hopefully
Write On! if you have nothing to write, write anything

taylor 8-14-2001 8:45

Did I hear that the deadline is approaching for our little ghost story collection? I know it is very soon.

Heather, when is it? I have one that I would like to offer, I will post the first draft, see if you think it will fit in. I think it will.

Just Hanging Around
By Jerry Ericsson

“Are you sure this one is haunted?” He asked, as he pulled the half pint of Calverts from his back pocket.

“Well that’s what they say, hell everyone in this neighborhood knows that.”

“I’m not from this neighborhood, you know.” He replied, passing the bottle to her.

She wiped the top of the bottle on her shirt sleeve, as if he had some sort of germ or something. He looked at her as if she were nuts for the precaution.

“Well how much farther is it to this haunted house anyhow, seems like we’ve been walking for hours?” He complained as she handed the slim flask-shaped bottle back.

“Just over this hill, then across Timber Creek.”

“How long’s this one been vacant?”

“Oh from what I hear been thirty years since anyone lived in the place.”

“Thirty years?”

“Yep, thirty years ago tonight, the last tenants of that house left. Seems there was a couple lived there for about a month, they had a son about seven I think. Anyhow one morning the boy woke up and found both parents hanging in the upstairs bedroom, from some sort of hooks they say.”


“Hell yes dead, from what I hear, the kid is still in the looney bin.”

“Anything else?”

“You bet. This place is in the top ten of hauntings in this area.”

“Well tell, do tell.”

“This old place was built about a hundred years ago, seems this buffalo hunter, and was only home a few weeks a year. Well one year, he never came home. His wife fearing the worst, hung herself in that very same room.”

“Ok, well two hangings, that does put a bit of psychic energy.”

“Three, if you count both parents, and that lady, then there was that criminal who escaped from the Pen. He holed up in that house, and the authorities found him about three weeks later, when the smell got bad enough that folks passing by on the road began to complain.”


“Yep, hung it that very same room, from that very same hooks.”

“Well I’ll be dammed. It is sounding better and better.”

They finished climbing the hill, and both were panting like an old steam engine.

“Time to take a break, and catch my breath.” He said, as he walked to a nearby rock and sat down. He took the bottle out again, and took a healthy swig, then lit up a Camel. He drew in the smoke, and let it out puffing little smoke rings into the still almost stagnant air. She found another rock, and accepted the bottle. When she finished taking her sip, the bottle was nearly empty.

“Looks like you didn’t bring enough courage for all night.”

“Got another in my jacket pocket, go ahead and finish that one off, I don’t need the extra weight.”

Done with their break, they walked down the hill, the sun had finished its trek across the sky, and dusk was upon them. In the dull glow of the full moon, the saw the creek, the last obstacle in their quest for fear. He backed off, just a yard or so, then ran and lept across the creek, which was full from the rains in the past few weeks.

“I think it narrows a bit down stream!” He shouted across the water.

“No need, I can do anything you can!” She shouted back, then ran with all her might and lept. If the bank had been just a few inches closer she would have made it, but as it was, he had to reach out and grab her, or she would have taken an early bath.

“Thanks, I didn’t realize how long your legs were.” They both laughed, then resumed their quest for adrenalin.

By the time they arrived at the old house, the full moon that had so generously provided them with light for the trip had hidden behind the massive thunder heads that rolled in. The house looked uninviting. It was even more so with each flash of lightning. The old house stood there, where once was a large porch, just perfect for sitting in a rocker on hot days was now just a pile of wood, the roof having caved in long ago. They began circling the house, seeking an easy entrance.

“One of the windows was open a couple of days ago when I was scouting this place out.”

As they came around to the back of the house, he noted that one window seemed darker then the rest, the shutter having fallen off or having been pulled off by spirit hunters long ago. The rain began, first just a few drops, then a bit faster, then a downpour. He crawled through the window, it’s pane of glass long gone, then turned and helped her in. She stopped and in the flash from the lightning, took her shirt tail and wiped the rain from her glasses. She wanted to be able to see these spirits, clearly.

“I brought a candle.” He said.

“Great! No sense frightening off the ghosts with electricity.”

He pulled the old candle from his jacket pocket, then struck a farmers match on his front tooth, it flared, then began burning. He lit the candle.

“You look frightening enough without the match.” She commented with a chuckle.

“Me frightening, you should see yourself, after being drenched with rain, you make the perfect witch.” He said between bouts of laughter.

“Well we are wasting time down here, lets find those steps and get up to that haunted room.”

They began their search, it didn’t take them long to find the long narrow stair case that led to the second story of the huge three story house. Quietly they made their way up, testing each step first before putting more weight on it, old stairs have a nasty reputation of breaking and sending the ghost hunter through to the basement in many cases. They knew more then a few ghost hunters who spent weeks in a cast, having broken legs and arms in just such a fall. They made the climb without incident. It was difficult to listen for sounds of spirits, with all the noise of the thunderstorm that raged outside.

When they arrived at the top of the stairs, they took another break, he sat down on the top step, she joined him. It was tight quarters, but she didn’t mind, not really, she kind of liked her fellow hunter, even though they had met only yesterday.

“You wanna share the wealth with that second bottle?” She asked with a chuckle.”

“Sure, why not.” He said, reaching behind himself and pulling the second half-pint from his hip pocket. He broke the seal, then screwed off the cap and passed it to her, giving her the first drink. He watched, as again, she wiped the neck of the bottle before drinking, when she was done, she wiped it again. He felt a bit better, knowing she always wiped the neck, it kept him from taking it personally.

When he got the bottle back, he took a healthy drink, the bottle was now half empty, or was it half full, he could never decide.

“Well time’s a wasting, what say we find that room before my candle burns down.”

“Why not?” She replied, getting up from the floor. Arm in arm they walked down the old hallway. They could see by the lighting flashes that the plaster was nearly all down from age, the lightning showed the skeleton like structure of the old place.

“Well this is the place.” She announced as the came to the room at the end of the hall.

“Humm.” He said, as he held the candle high, those must be the hooks.” he commented pointing to the two meat-hook like structures sticking out in one corner of the room. He was amazed at the fact they were shinny, almost new looking in this delapidate old house.

“Those are the ones.” she replied, they backed against the opposite wall, and began their vigil waiting for a ghost to appear. He removed a couple of sandwiches from his fanny pack and passed one her way.

“Thanks, these storms always make me a bit on the hungry side.”

He handed her the open bottle again, and she finished it off, then handed it back. He stood up and threw the bottle out the window just opposite the hooks.

“Good shot!” She said, with a nervous giggle.

“Well it is nearly midnight, isn’t that when the ghosts are supposed to appear?”

“That’s what they say, have you ever wondered who they are?”

“I quit wondering that years ago.”

They waited, and thirty minutes after midnight, they gave up.

“Well time to go.” She said, as she got up and began walking for the door.
“Hal, are you there?” she called.

“Hal, HAL”

She turned and there on the hook were two bodies, swinging from the hooks. She looked again, and all she could see, as her brain began to black out was an empty doorway just across from where she hung.

Jerry 8-13-2001 23:11


I know! heeeheeeeeheeee!

Debra 8-13-2001 15:32


Me either!

How about this? Did you ever wear a long t-shirt to bed with just underpants underneath and somewhere along the line in the morning forget and go outside only to find it a bit windy?

Me either!

Debra 8-13-2001 14:03

Jack! Good site! Went there and found a lot of information I needed. Looking forward to hearing from you and maybe a picture of a wreck. Lucky guy! Enjoy a great vacation.

Tina: You too! Manitoba. Wow! That sounds neat. It's on my list of I want to visit places. I think there's a lot of empty space there. That's why I want to go there. I want to stand in a place where I can only see land for miles and miles around and no houses and no people. I want to be the ONLY person for miles around. Then I'm going to yell and yell crazy things because no one will hear. I am going to twirl around and dance like a kid again. Drive far away from your relatives and do that for me if there's empty space there.

Jerry, I understand your feelings exactly. I've felt itchy crawly "you ring my doorbell and I'll squirt you with my garden hose" for the entire week.

YOu know what you wrote about Arlington actually sounded decent. Read it to my husband and he laughed.
Washington on the other hand...nope. Actually Japan right now is good training!

I hate to say this but the gun free society doesn't work so well in Japan either. They just don't report rapes (fault of the woman) and crime in general. Usually though, the criminals are pretty creative. Kitchen knives are a big one in murders and rapes. I think next they will have to take away all kitchen utensils and give us plastic knives in their place. I will love cutting carrots with those! Someone will figure out a creative way to use it to commit murder. Sarin gas took out more folks than a gun in Tokyo, a kitchen knife was used on a bunch of school aged kids. They guy got 14 of them and a teacher. Cut them down like little bunny rabbits. A girl was beaten to death...stomped. And a Korean worker was recently stomped but the culprit won't be found because he is foreign. I carry a nice big umbrella with a heavy steel point because women get attacked at our station near school. My friend was mugged. The newest sport is attacking older men. A gang of youth decends on an older male and beats on him until he is unconscious. This new sport is called papa-bashing. So when you hear a Japanese say in a smug way that they have a crime free society and no guns...snigger. It's a lie.

Viv 8-13-2001 11:58

Just found this site, I hope it is legit. I have been searching for a site like this for a couple of years now, and one of the stupid SPAM emails had it at the bottom. It supposedly removes you from SPAM email lists. Somehow, someone somewhere sold my primary Email address to some stupid SPAM list, and I have been receiving all sorts of junk email. I had a special email address just for that kind of crap, and any time I had to fill in my email address, I used that one. I have no idea how they came up with my primary, and if I find out, God help the optimization who gave it up. Anyhow, I put both my email addresses with this opt-out list, now I just have to wait and see if I get more or less SPAM. Oh how I hope it is less. The most recent emails I have been getting are offering me UNLIMITED CREDIT, and YOU ARE ALREADY ACCEPTED for a gold card! Also the HOMEOWNERS REFINANCE NOW! I should apply for all of them to see if they give credit to a person going through bankruptcy.

Jerry Removeyou 8-13-2001 9:51

Just a note, I received an offer to work at home from an online writers orginization I belong to. I am not all that good at HTML, and this job involves both writing and editing their web pages. It is open to anyone world wide, the orginization is located in England. It pays 7 Pounds an hour, with an average 70 hours per month. Anyone intrested, click on the link below, I don't know enough HTML to do anything like this.

Jerry Writer Editor wanted 8-13-2001 9:32

Hello, Notebookers!

I'm back from a couple of weeks in France, where, besides other entertaining things, I attended the divorce ceremony of Jon and Pussycat (her full name). This took place in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, with the presence of Mr Chirac, the French President, and got full coverage of the world's media, as you may have noticed if you still watch TV or read newspapers. Now the happy divorcees only speak French and drink champagne, as you may also have noticed if you read their posts. Hope this happy period (a true honeymoon) lasts some time. Their 13 children, who took to the streets and are faithfully following their parents' example of being different to be true, are also very happy and send you greetings.

I missed you all and thank the generous people who remarked my absence. I also thank those who sent me e-mails from all parts of the world, including the Moon.

By now everyone must have already ordered and read S* and written all the short-stories necessary to complete the one thousand pages of our next project, "Saints and Sinners", which we still hope Jack will launch in the near future. So everything is all right and we will be rich and famous soon. I am reading intensively and brushing up my French, so that I can understand Jon's and Pussycat's fabulous posts. I will not have so much time for the Notebook as I wished, but count on me to go on being your most faithful reader.

Americo 8-13-2001 8:59

Hey, People! You GOTTA know about this--a must-know, must-have event! This conference for us newbees is gonna accept manuscripts to publish at the event! I registered and entered their contest to boot. Donne know 'bout you, but i'm way serious about being published. check 'em out you don't, you lose.

Jingles 8-13-2001 8:37

I can't believe this! My second post was chewed somehow and a whole great lot of it didn't show up! But the beginning did, and then a repeat of the message to Teekay. HUH? HOW THE HECK DID THAT HAPPEN????

There's no way I can re-do it. *SIGH*
Anyway, Viv, there was a reply to you that got maimed and hacked, but I'll try again tomorrow... after all that I'm winded!


Sorry folks, your smirk of the day is a goner.

Heather 8-13-2001 5:22

Hello friends!

TEEKAY: It's not the same cottage/cabin, but it is right across the road from the lake, and (whew) NO mother in law.
I think I'm going to have far more fun for some reason. Can't figure out quite why... :*O

Jerry - you're funny when you're mad! (Uh, did that make you mad?) :o) Another hug for you. (((Hug)))

Hope everything goes well for you Jack, and for Fran as well.

Tina, it indeed sounds like a wild ride! I hope you will have the time of your life.

Pussy! Est-que je puis allez... (uh, on second thought)

Ah, this is already too long to even attempt an apology!
Off to write I plod...

Heather 8-13-2001 5:18

Hello friends!

TEEKAY: It's not the same cottage/cabin, but it is right across the road from the lake, and (whew) NO mother in law.
I think I'm going to have far more fun for some reason. Can't figure out quite why... :*O

Heather 8-13-2001 4:28

Hello everyone: Sorry that it somehow slipped my mind to archive before my computer went in, but in addition some of the software necessary to handle things did not get backed up. Hopefully, will have my main computer back tomorrow and I will have time to at least archive things here. They are up to 700 k. Sorry in the extreme that life has been keeping me somewhat sidetracked.

Re the beginning of the fantasy, it is indeed a way of dealing with the death of my cousin. I am not sure the actual character will take on full characteristics and personality issues of Bud, but the broad outline lends itself to the story. I will probably work shop it first at a local writing group I have been scarce from for a couple of years, but plan to go to in preparation for possibly applying to attend next years Clarion West. We will see.

Fran and I went diving, first in a pool that went quite well. We were testing some of our equipment in preparation for the live aboard dive trip we will be doing in Fiji starting around September 13 and going through September 30. Our second attempt was at Mukilteo with drive suits, but after several snafus including Fran's tanking deciding to become dislodged from her BCD, her regulator seems to have malfunctioned and she was getting water in with each intake of air. We will be trying again this Thursday, hoping to give it a good try to get some more experience in before we head to the sof coral capital of the world and our first experience of drift diving.

At any rate, hope that my main computers is back, I have high speed internet access (dial up sucks big time)and I can begin working on the fantasy story again. I have the first opening prologue done. Still trying to decide if I am using a short story pacing or novel pacing. I tend towards the latter, but would prefer to encapsulate this story at around 15,000 words, no larger than 18,000. We will see. BTW, I got the address below wrong, it actually is Writers Cramp and the URL is and that is indeed the local group I used to attend here in Seattle.

Jack Beslanwitch 8-13-2001 4:00

Teekay, thanks I needed that. It has been one of those days, seems everyone forgot that I was disabled for a reason, the list of "fix this next" was nearly as long as my arm. I tried to do most of them, but had to quit, then explain to those who should know better that I am limited in what I can do. Anyhow it all came out in the wash, and I am much better now.

Just saw the advertisement for American Pie II, I think they had a camera in the wife's apartment that day, the 4th of July, 1969, when my in-laws first decided to drop in unannounced. The never knocked of course, and this being a few months before our wedding, we had just finished one of those wake up sex things. We heard the door open, and there we were both naked as jay-birds. Well it only took me a second to pull on a pair of pants, and the wife put on a robe. Now this was the very first time I ever met my future in-laws, and it was frightening to say the least. You see my mother-in-law, God bless her soul, was a very LARGE woman, over six foot three, and weighed in at nearly three hundred pounds. She ran everything on the farm, it was like first thing in the morning, she would give orders to her husband, a stoop shouldered little Norwegian with just that little crown of hair left on his head. He would give the obligatory "Yes Dear" and go about his daily chores on the farm. Anyhow, after the first bit of shock, we settled in at getting acquainted. Luckily it was hot that day, so I had an explanation why I just had pants, no shirt or anything on. Oh they knew exactly what was going on, but they played dumb so as not to embarrass the wife. I think she knew that they knew, but I never asked. Funny how things like that stay so enprinted in your mind, while other things you would rather remember are fuzzy images one could never bring to light. Anyhow we topped that day with a picnic at the lake, and that evening, her dad, her brother and I sat down and drank about a case of beer before I had to go home. (My folks thought we had broke up or something, as I hadn't slept in my own bed for nearly a month.

Jerry 8-13-2001 0:46


JERRY: I get that feeling about once a month. Thankfully it only lasts for about 21 days.

((((((((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))))))))) 2 U, it sounds like you need them.

Teekay 8-12-2001 23:56

Did you ever get that feeling, you know the one, where the next person who gets in your way, the next person who crosses you, the next person who slams a door in your face is going to GET IT? That feeling where you want to turn and slam your fist through the wall, where windows are no longer safe in your presence, because you will throw that damn phone through it the next time it rings? That feeling where if the dog is laying in your path, you will simply kick the little bastard out of the way rather then stepping over him? That feeling where it is damn lucky you don't have a gun, or that next damn sales man, or JW who knocks at your door will not be long in this world?

Me either, I was just wondering.

Jerry Ericsson 8-12-2001 23:47

So long, farewell, I'm off to see the wizard...

Actually, we're heading off eastward to Manitoba. We'll be gone until the 22nd or 23rd. Yes, the car we're driving has air conditioning. As much as I love the heat, I don't like driving in it all day. :-}

Doubt I'll be able to check in. Most of my relatives don't have the internet.

Should be an interesting ten days. We're camping all the way, and will be attending both a family reunion and my father's burial ceremony. I'm expecting a wild emotional ride.

See y'all next week!

Tina 8-12-2001 21:37


Hi All,

HOWARD: I think that maybe you've taken an extra dose of your pain medicine.
Should I or should I not be flattered at your 'Just 'cause it's you' post.
Please explain as am waiting to experience the appropriate emotion :-D

ROSEMARY: Daddy Warbucks! That must've been it. Warbucks - Starbucks - Starbucks - Wallbucks. Yup, silly me.
The going rate of any coffee here is about $2:80 upwards, so I imagine once converted that would be about $6:00 for a Starbucks coffee.
That's probably why it hasn't made it over here, we simply don't have the population to support the asking price.

HEATHER: Your garden sounds absolutely gorgeous.
And vacation at 'the cottage'. It sounds so pretty and sweet and sunny. Like those movies from the 40's and 50's after they've coloured them.
Have great fun.
Is this the one with the log cabin and the lake (and the Mother in law?)

ROSEMARY: Yes he is Italian and no, thankfully he doesn't read the notebook. I think he'd be mortified at some of the things I write. And I'd probably be mortified if he read them, especially that last one.
He's such an innocent :-)

VIV: I admit riposte, but not ripost.
And as you have nothing to back up your allegations shall we just say that you are
W-R-O-N-G!!!!! and we'll put it down to your bad mood.

LITTER: I'm so glad to hear Dot's books going ahead. It is one of the more memorable things I've read.
I laughed so much while reading it.

AMERICO, PUSSY, JON: Welcome back from.....France? The south of? Snow drop beaches and forget-me-not sea?

Well, it's Monday, and before I can even consider writing I have to clean up this total pigsty that has become my home over the weekend.
I feel like a Monk who has to clean toilets or something.

I will glitter amongst the stars on higher planes, create beauty and vision, turn a thought into a work of art,
but first I've gotta mop the floor!

Have a good day all.

Teekay 8-12-2001 21:02

Viv - To tell the truth, the city (well county, when we lived there it was not incorporated as a city) was nice. We lived a block from Four Mile Run Park, and it was a wonderful place to cool off, with a beautiful stream running through it. There were warning signs to stay out of the water because of pollution, but we went wading all the same. I was stationed at Fort Meyer VA, with the Old Guard, and that was an experience. We did all the ceremonies for the White House, Congress, and that lot. We also did all the Army Burial at Arlington National Cemetery. It was exciting, as we were there during the bi-centennial, that being 1976. The only thing I didn't like was the school system, we looked into it when our son was about three months from starting, and found that there had been three killings on the school grounds within the last school year. That was enough for me to volunteer for Recruiting duty. (Recruiting duty was the ONLY way you could get released from the Old Guard short of serving the required three year term.) We lived in an old four story walk up garden apartment, on the fourth floor. Even back then crime was a real problem, on night we heard screaming in the grassy area between apartment buildings in the complex. I went to my window to look out, and there was a man trying to rape one of the ladies from the next apartment. As I was reaching for the phone to call police, the window in the next apartment came open, the screen fell to the grass, and a black hand with a .357 magnum in it barked three times. The rapist gave up his mission and fled into the trees that bordered our apartment complex. I saw the fellow from that apartment the next day, and told him how happy I was that he took such quick action. His response "What action, what gun, man, what the hell you been drinking?" with this, he winked and went to his car to drive in to work. I understand firearm ownership is still legal in Va. However DC now has some of the strongest anti gun laws in the US.

Litter, sounds like a plan, maybe some day when our financial health is recovered and we are both able to travel comfortably (if we ever get that way that is.)

Jerry 8-12-2001 18:32

Bon soir!
Moi, je parle aussi le franŤais, la langue de ceux qui ont du charme.

Pussy 8-12-2001 17:32

Hi Peeps!

Thanks for the positive comments on the Carberry Tower Primer site. The main site is still at the building stage, but everything is ready and awaiting the full size pics to be uploaded and installed. I should warn you that a lot of the photos you have not seen yet are people centred as the site is a record of this years festival as well as a sort of promo for Carberry.

I’m reading the notebook backwards now, to see who is due a reply, so if I miss anyone out I apologise. Just repost anything you have asked of me…

JERRY – I had a look at the Gardenia Press thing as well – I just must rush to send my manuscript off to be critiqued for a mere $225… Really cheap, huh? Somehow I don’t think I’ll be availing myself of their services anytime soon.

TEEKAY – You must have had a dream of Carberry during the festival. The building houses about 100 guests, plus some staff, each week during the festival, and the campsite between 100 and 150. When those of us ‘above the salt’ are at breakfast or evening meal the house showers and bathrooms are open for use by the campers. As you can imagine, during wet weather the house, which is carpeted throughout, gets covered with a blanket of mud and grass. The house is not ‘revered’ as an ex-Royal residence but used as a big family house. It sometimes seem incongruous that this noisy messy bustle is going on while artworks dating back 500 years, and worth up to tens of thousands of pounds each, look down on us in disdain, and as children play ‘chopsticks’ the Grande Piano in the main sitting room …

ROSEMARY – No moat I’m afraid, but there is a ghost. Camping is normally kept for the weeks of the festival as there is plenty accommodation inside, but if anyone were to turn up with a caravan or a camper, they would not be turned away. Oh, and there is supposed to be a secret passage, which is quite possible as the walls are 8ft think in places, especially in the original keep.

JERRY (again) Leave your camper at home, enjoy some time sleeping in one of the Turret Rooms, maybe the one that the princesses Elizabeth and Margaret slept in? And, yes, it is a great source of inspiration to me and others, in fact it was there some 10 years ago that I felt compelled to write. That’s another story.

MEL – I could live there too, nearly did once or twice…

RHODA – you are welcome. (for the pics) Also, you can run any Scots dialect past me at any time. My main email address is below.

TEEKAY – Dot has dropped out of circulation of late – family probs. Far as I know, Porncop will still happen but has been suspended for now.

HORWAD – sorry to hear about your latest physical setbacks but glad to see you are still in good spirits.
I’ve probably forgotten someone or something, but it’s back to turning 100+ pics into web pages… Groan…

Ciao for now,


Litter Carberry Tower Pics 8-12-2001 17:04

Whatever Teekay! You got me laughing. Put up your dukes and come out swinging. What’s fun is I can always count on getting a rise out of you. Riposte away …or don’t!

Hey Heather! Your post wasn’t boring at all. Not to someone who is into gardens!
I love the idea of bulbs. Our ground is much too wet to try that unless you like a water lily in a bucket of water.

Have you heard this old poem about the foxglove. I learned it from my grandfather who was a country doctor: The foxglove leaves with caution given/another proof of favoring heaven/ may happily display/ the rapid pulse can regulate/ the hectic flush will moderate/ and blessed by Him whose will is fate/ may give a lengthened day. Uh, if you have high blood pressure trouble… see your doctor. My grandfather called it Dropsy, not high blood pressure. Dropsy could be something different. I have the dropsies about once a day, I dropsy some pencils, a few glasses a couple of spoons on the way to the silverware drawer.

On the query, could I help at all? I could at least read it and tell you if it made me sit up and take notice. I’m not in a kind mood so I could be very likely a realistic critic. I won’t say it’s good unless it is…and I’ll word it tactfully if I have to say the opposite.
You did it for me, so I will do my best!

Ok Jack….I’m waiting to hear more of that story. You started in really well and got me grabbed. Now I want to hear what happens to the beggar next. It really sounds like something I’d get if I got Kipling to write. I love Kipling. Go for more. Can you please give us perhaps another little scrap of a line or two on that??? I know from all this silence it has you completely caught in its spell.

Jerry: Hey cool, you MADE a Texan. Not bad. Tell me, how’d you like Arlington VA, That’s another place we get threatened with occasionally. Is it really as bad as some folks make it sound? Are prices within a human level? I know it’s been a long time, but you like it there?

Rosemary: Hey we have Starbucks here too. It’s in Shinjuku and Hon Atsugi. I like the smell but not the prices! You actually toured that plant. Neat. Now, tell me about the bathrooms. Are they as wild as Sony Headquarters in Hon Atsugi Japan? Now those are some wildly engineered bathrooms. Ought to be in a museum.

What’d they show you on this tour? Man, I never get to see anything good…just a stupid conference room and yes, the same plate of stale rolls and little paper cups of coffee. Ugh. It’s not real coffee…it’s instant. You don’t want it anyway. And the rolls…well two cockroaches I know swear by them. They say they are absolutely the best thing since sliced bread. You know, I'm exaggerating about never getting to see anything good, I've been in those bathrooms. That’s a treat for sure and for certain. Maybe I need to do a whole article on bathrooms. The Japanese must have some pretty weird toilet training. I'm going to have to check out that with some mothers who live around here. They produce folks who love building intricate bathrooms. What this makes me think is they might have some secret that makes the whole proceedure very entertaining so that the kids just want to build better and better bathroom equipment when they grow up. Interesting observation. I hope I didn't offend anyone but you know you think of the strangest things late at night and it's 4:24. Whoever wrote about her 12 year old 19 year old is scaring me. Nice I have this site to retreat to before she turns me grey.

Viv 8-12-2001 15:32

A calm Sunday to all who are having a Sunday.

An idea came to me as I read about you writing longhand but couldn't remember where you had left off. If it is not convenient to go to the computer and backtrack, you might consider just writing scenes that you know you will need, or think might come in handy later. Then, when back at the computer, you can work them into the text at the keyboard.

I do almost none of my writing longhand because I keep scratching things out and changing words. Then I can't read the mess.
ABOUT the query letter, I've been told it should be only three to four paragraphs long. So, one page sounds just about right, not short at all.

I do hope your husband is either Italian or does not read the Notebook. ;0)

I just got back from selling six of your duckies. (Only have about 20 left.) Usually we exchange them 2/to/1 for chickens or whatever seems useful, but today I was alone and stood there hemming and hawing because we have too many of everything and she asked if $5 each would be okay. I said okay. We didn't know she would give money for them. I'm $30 ahead. Have to split it with my Sister. I'll wait a couple of weeks and take her some more if she has sold what she has. Looks like she's getting overstocked to me.

Enough of that for now,

Rosemary 8-12-2001 14:47




and incoherent, as well!

Teekay - laughed heartily 'bout the Italian!!!!

WHoooooo hooooooo!

Heather (again again) 8-12-2001 14:00

Well, now I've bored you all for certain! Guess it was my turn to double post! I tried to catch it before it posted to add a welcome back to Jon, Pussy and Americo!
I've blurred even my own vision with so many words.

Fare thee well, my beloved friends,
on your voyages over the great white page.

Heather 8-12-2001 13:50

Hey everyone!

VIV - don't worry about it! The water restrictions aren't so bad for me - I'm out there with the watering jug anyway, and our lawn is the greenest on the street because the kids have been running through the sprinkler so much (just after supper, or early in the morning, because we've had water restrictions for months already - alternate day lawn watering....) Until the water ban, of course. Before the ban, on the days we weren't supposed to water we were at the pool, the river, etc. The kids and I benefitted by both cooling off, and the lawn and flowers got watered at the same time. Hee hee. You can tell who has kids on this street!
I don't start seeds in August or September because the cold will kill the plants before they're large enough - it starts getting cool here by the end of September. In the early fall I plant a lot of bulbs - like tulips, crocuses, lilies, irises, snowdrops, etc.; but they don't come up until after the snow melts in the spring (the earliest sprout in April). Eventually I won't have to keep planting more bulbs - they come back every year - but we've only had this house for two years, and I'm still building up the gardens. I'm a bulb fanatic, anyhow!
I'm cultivating Japanese irises and pirate lilies for groundcover in between the taller irises in one front garden (with a dappling of white climbing roses, foxgloves, hosta, columbine, a patch of lily of the valley and so forth) - that's one garden, and those plants come up after the huge show of tulips and other bulbs planted underneath the summer perennials. In the front I have a shade garden as well (also full of bulbs beneath), and then there are the back gardens.... the goal is to have flowers all through the season - when one show of flowers dies off, another is just coming into bloom...

Well, the query will wait another day or three.
I'm not quite sure if I'm ready to post it after all! It's a little unusual, I think, to start off a query with a question. The query is very short - one page, if that - and packs as much punch as I have so far been able. The aim is to have the editor sit up and take notice. Of course, all queries are aimed that way, so mine has to be fresh, direct, different.

Anyhow, I've written another thousand words since Thursday, but plan to get back tonight or tomorrow for more. Next week I'm off for vacation at the cottage, so I will only be able to write longhand. I haven't been writing it out longhand lately, but it'll be a nice change. Once the manuscript got to a certain size, I'd go up to write longhand and forget where I left off exactly. Then I'd re-read or print it out, and be sitting at the keys - well, it was just natural to start writing it directly by key.
I've got lots of notes jotted while I was at work. One long page I've got from work dissects human motivation and the factors involved. Need to know these things! I have that hand-written page by the monitor.

God, I feel boring.
Am I putting you all to sleep?

You are getting very sleepy
and you are about to embark on a fantastic streak of inspiration and writing. Full steam ahead!
To the wheel, helmsman! To the wheel!


Heather 8-12-2001 13:48

Hey everyone!

VIV - don't worry about it! The water restrictions aren't so bad for me - I'm out there with the watering jug anyway, and our lawn is the greenest on the street because the kids have been running through the sprinkler so much (just after supper, or early in the morning, because we've had water restrictions for months already - alternate day lawn watering....) Until the water ban, of course. Before the ban, on the days we weren't supposed to water we were at the pool, the river, etc. The kids and I benefitted by both cooling off, and the lawn and flowers got watered at the same time. Hee hee. You can tell who has kids on this street!
I don't start seeds in August or September because the cold will kill the plants before they're large enough - it starts getting cool here by the end of September. In the early fall I plant a lot of bulbs - like tulips, crocuses, lilies, irises, snowdrops, etc.; but they don't come up until after the snow melts in the spring (the earliest sprout in April). Eventually I won't have to keep planting more bulbs - they come back every year - but we've only had this house for two years, and I'm still building up the gardens. I'm a bulb fanatic, anyhow!
I'm cultivating Japanese irises and pirate lilies for groundcover in between the taller irises in one front garden (with a dappling of white climbing roses, foxgloves, hosta, columbine, a patch of lily of the valley and so forth) - that's one garden, and those plants come up after the huge show of tulips and other bulbs planted underneath the summer perennials. In the front I have a shade garden as well (also full of bulbs beneath), and then there are the back gardens.... the goal is to have flowers all through the season - when one show of flowers dies off, another is just coming into bloom...

Well, the query will wait another day or three.
I'm not quite sure if I'm ready to post it after all! It's a little unusual, I think, to start off a query with a question. The query is very short - one page, if that - and packs as much punch as I have so far been able. The aim is to have the editor sit up and take notice. Of course, all queries are aimed that way, so mine has to be fresh, direct, different.

Anyhow, I've written another thousand words since Thursday, but plan to get back tonight or tomorrow for more. Next week I'm off for vacation at the cottage, so I will only be able to write longhand. I haven't been writing it out longhand lately, but it'll be a nice change. Once the manuscript got to a certain size, I'd go up to write longhand and forget where I left off exactly. Then I'd re-read or print it out, and be sitting at the keys - well, it was just natural to start writing it directly by key.
I've got lots of notes jotted while I was at work. One long page I've got from work dissects human motivation and the factors involved. Need to know these things! I have that hand-written page by the monitor.

God, I feel boring.
Am I putting you all to sleep?

You are getting very sleepy
and you are about to embark on a fantastic streak of inspiration and writing. Full steam ahead!
To the wheel, helmsman! To the wheel!

Heather 8-12-2001 13:47

Oh, merde! Pas d'accents dans ce site...

Jon 8-12-2001 7:21


Je suis allŽ en France mais j'ai retournŽ au Portugal, pour lire vos messages et rigoler un peu. J'Žcrirai en franŤais. Maintenant je ne suis plus votre empereur mais simplement le roi des faitsneants. Au revoir!

Jon 8-12-2001 7:16

Howard - I had assumed room temperature. Glad to see you are back amongst the live posters.

Speaking of Texans, I made a Texan once, my Daughter was born in El Paso Tx. Of course she was, really made in Tacoma Washington, the product of a surprise visit by my parents, forcing me and the wife to share this little dinky narrow roll-a-way bed in the living room. But she was born in Texas, that makes her an official Texan, as I understand it. She has been after us ever since to go back there, just one time so she can see what it looks like, all she has are the pictures we took of her and her brother while we lived there. We moved to Arlington Va. when she was three, and to Minnesota when she was four, then to South Dakota when she was five, another town in SD when she was six, then up north to North Dakota when she was seven. She grew to the ripe old age of eleven when we moved farther north, always in persuet of more money. No wonder she has no roots. Any way, I ramble on, it is late and I hear the bed calling, I must go. Good night to all, I long ago tired of watching meteor showers, used to see them all the time when I worked nights on the PD. On quiet nights, I would drive out to the fair grounds (security check you know) and just sit in the car watching the show, smoking Kools and drinking coffee from the old steel thermos that the wife filled for me each night before I went to work. Ah those were the good old days. Oh, had the shock of my life yesterday, went to see my doc for my regular check up, and he advised me to INCREASE my salt intake, seems my blood pressure is to low? Did I mention that before, it looks familiar.

Jerry 8-12-2001 1:40

Hello All! You guys are like a breath of fresh air.

Pymatuning Lake Festival today, we had lots of artery-clogging grub and winged, multi-legged friends. Stayed late for the surprisingly impressive fireworks display and now we are home. Hubby is tucking in the chillins then we are out to the patio to see if we can spot any flaming stardust.

I have just enough time to wish you all well, laugh at Randall's post, have sympathy pains for Howard, grin wickedly at Teekay's Italian and see where my Fantasy Football players are after the games today. Hope none of them got hurt...I actually have a semi-decent team this year if I don't lose any of them. (Crossing fingers)

I hear steps creaking...time to get the wine. G'night all.

HOWARD: It is a touch too cloudly here too, but I don't really mind. Hugs and 'feel betters'. ;-)

Mary 8-11-2001 23:20

I'm Baaack,
Starbucks is a fairly expensive coffee house that sits on almost every corner in the U.S. I thought it was world wide by now. If you are inclined to spend $3.50 for Iced frapachino(?) you'll love this place. I get dizzy inhaling as I go by. Love the smell of fresh ground coffee. Too bad it never tastes as good as it smells. (My opinion.)
P.S...I think you were thinking of Daddy Warbucks from Little Orphan Annie.

I've been on a tour of the Sony plant. Very nice setup. Except, it was early morning and they herded us into a conference room to wait for the tour guide and whouldn't let us have any of the coffee and rolls that were waiting for the next meeting.
Your friends might like it here. There is a fairly large oriental community because of the military bases.

Geepers HOWARD,
that sure sounds painful. I really hope they won't have to operate on my knee. Can't quite figure how that will keep me from writing, but I'll think of something.

I showed my ghost Granny story to a friend and she asked me three times if I wrote it myself. I'm going to have to think about that for a while.

Rosemary 8-11-2001 22:58

TEEK - Just 'cause it's you -- what do you bait your breath with, he asked with bated breath, waiting for the other shoe to boot.

VIV -- I used to grow borage in my garden - it's a really nice but very different salad green. Also attracts bees and butterflies. It does tend to self-seed, though, and can get out of hand. It's nowhere near as bad as mint, though. In a very less-than-lucid moment I planted a sprig of mint in my garden. Now, three years later, it's growing all over the place!
I dug the remainder of my garlic today. It did very well, and I'm pleased with it. I think I'll triple my planting this fall, and mayhap make a buck or two on it next year.

No lizards around here to speak of, but we do have some fairly large garden snakes, and once in a while we get a milk snake passing through.
My mother was picking blackberries in our back lot yesterday, and thinks she saw a bear at the other end of the patch. It's possible - there's one around.

Too cloudy to see the meteor shower, so I'm going to bed.


howard 8-11-2001 22:42


So why not go back and delete it I hear you say. well the reason for that is simple.

I have the wordpad open so that I can respond to each post as I come to it, and sometimes I think of things and put them in and then go back and put other things in between them, and, once I've completed my post I then cut and paste it into the notebook.
So sometimes I forget what I've put in.
Were I wise I would go back and check.

I have just validated myself for the benefit of any riposters out there who are feeling the urge.

Teekay 8-11-2001 22:30


ALL: I apologize for the Italian thing. I meant to go back and delete it after thinking better of it, but I forgot.

Teekay 8-11-2001 22:06


VIV: Okay now, I want proof of my riposterishness!
C'mon, c'mon, show me your proof, for were there ever one so foul as a riposter for a riposter to be is to be kin with the very dregs at the bottom of the on sale dictionary pile.
Besides, I'm the first to admit that I don't know much (read: anything) about grammar, so I'm not likely to go pointing the finger at anyone else, and as for the spelling thing, well after the incident with RACHEL I am very conscious in regard to that as well,
so come on, money where your mouth is girly, where is your proof????????

DEBRA: You are the sweetest thing :-)

MEL: Got a bit of brain fry I see :_D (oops, put my nose on crooked) feels good doesn't it? Brain fry I mean, not a crooked nose.
This is my dream interpretation and it could be boring, so I'll give you a minute to get either !/ some pillows
2/ some caffeine.
Okay, ready?
Right, the house I dreamt of was actually myself and the dream means that after all these years I have finally come to accept myself, warts and all for who I am.
The End.
I didn't say it was long, just that it might be boring.

Your interpretations were good, but if you ever have a dream you want interpretated, why for the small sum of only $4678:00 I can do it for you. And it might even be right :-D

HEATHER: YAAAAAY you're baack. I anxiously await your email with baited breath aquivering ;_) (having a bad nose day.)

ROSEMARY: You went out and ordered salad???? Where is your sense of adventure? What is starbucks? I've heard of Daddy Starbucks, is it the same sort of thing?

TINA: If you haven't already put the address in the book, do you want to email it to me?
Thanks, and if noone claims it by Friday I'll post it back.

RACHEL: That is so fantastic that S* is being distributed to so many places!!! Still feeling a shade green with envy :-)

RANDALL: That is sooooo funny. I think it warrants breakfast at MacDonalds for your wife though.
Your dream means there is an opportunity coming your way, don't be afraid to face it.
That will be $4678:00 thank you :-D
Move over Freud!

TINA: HAHAHAHAHAHHAHA I was wondering who RINA was. It sounded like she'd been here before.

ALL, I have no Indian in me at all, but when I'm really good, sometimes I get a bit of Italian.

Okay, that's it. Of to the in laws for Sunday family get together.

Teekay 8-11-2001 22:03

Hey Randall! That was a great story about the Lizard and your wife. I love the way you write.

Viv again 8-11-2001 21:26

Actually, that last one was from me :-)

Tina 8-11-2001 21:25

Randall, I'm sore!

You see, my hubby dreams the way you do, actively. He has not yet been chased by a little green lizard, but a response like yours would probably result in a similar action from me! I love lizards, just not at two(ish) in the morning, and not in my bed.

Just stopping by, time for dinner...

Rina 8-11-2001 21:25

Rosemary: AAAAAAHAH! I UNDERSTAND! You have a Sony plant there in San Antonio. My friend Megumi went there with her husband and they plan to become Texans. They were working on all kinds of weird things when they left. Saying yehah with the right "texas" accent. The best one was the father saying "How-dee, ya....all" and bowing at the same time. I tried to help as much as possible but I figured some Texan was going to get a real belly laugh, and that most Americans are kind enough not to hurt feelings for differences. Hey, we have enough differences that a bow combined with How-dee..ya....all isn't going to probably lift an eyebrow.

The enthusiasm was very infectious. They were given boots and cowboy hats at the Atsugi Sony plant as a going away gift. I think they aren't coming back. They had a nice son and they wanted to raise him in San Antonio. If he works his career right, he can pull it off. That kid will be a Texan through and through. They even want him to go to "the college that makes Aggies."

Anyway, that's how the sushi got into your Target! Boy, those folks know their market.

You know we are looking at moving to America this year. We keep looking at all the places we might be placed. We'll have to go and take whatever job they have where-ever they have it. We're terrified but it's the little information like Sushi in Target that tells me we're going to be ok. So THANKS Rosemary for that gem of information.

I don't know if borage will grow in your garden. Mine is watered too much all the time. Here it's the sort of climate where stuff molds from too much water most of the time, but it does get dry sometimes. September is dry. I usually start plants in August because everything grows rampantly. You throw a seed out the window it will sprout, Kudzuu covers everything, shoes in your closet mold, and fungus grows between toes if you aren't really careful. Great time for athletes foot and seeds!

Heather, I'll send a little water your way. Our rivers are having flash flooding now. I didn't read your post carefully enough. I'm sorry about writing about your garden in my post. Maybe you can start all the seeds for the fall in your kitchen by the sink now! I know that's sneaky but you can dump those little left overs of water on them easily that way. I lived in Colorado as a kid. Every summer they had water restrictions and certain days for watering. I'm so sorry I wrote that! No wonder you feel out of sorts.

Personally, I'm a little grumpy as well. I'm ready for a vacation somewhere but there isn't any money to go anywhere. Lots of time, little money. Got to choose treats that don't cost anything. The seeds and planters at the 100 yen store were a good deal for us because they gave us a summer project. Learning the names of the plants and how they have been used historically is kind of interesting. We hit the library a lot because it's airconditioned.

Viv 8-11-2001 21:23


RANDALL - Please! It still hurts when I laugh!

ROSEMARY -- I'm still here, just moving as little as possible in this beastly heat. This pillow/harness I'm wearing on my side doesn't help a bit! Doc says another month, then therapy. Gonna need more than just physical therapy after another month with this thing! Moan, grumble, whinge, gripe, carp, foo foo.

MEL -- I'm Mohawk/Onondaga way back there somewhere. Sent you a note about it.

JERRY -- You forgot room temperature.

ALLA REST -- See Rosemary above...

howard 8-11-2001 21:07


Hi everyone:

Glad to be back..............

Had a bad night. Wife all upset, barely speaking to me today. Asked her if she wanted breakfast this morning, but had to retreat as her eyes were brown chambers of rage.

"Yes dear," she glared at me from the couch. "How about a cold wenie sandwich with mustard and peanut butter chaser!"

Women, huh? Not my fault I have vivid dreams. And a fondness for wenie (or Franks as some people call ‘em) and mustard snacks just before bedtime. Ah, I use a spoon full of PB to clean the mustard taste out of my mouth. Doesn't everyone? I always nuke the wenie, even a guy like me will draw the line at a "cold" wenie sandwich. I'm not totally without class, er taste. I often sip a little dill pickle juice, that'll prime the dream factory big time! Lay down, enter sleep and hold on Bubba, here come the giants!!!!! Better than LSD!!!!

Dreams are big with me. I would relate a few here, but... perhaps some other time. The novel I'm working on came out of a dream. The most fantastic one I've ever had. But last night was a dilly.

We were peacefully sleeping when a tiny green lizard entered my dream. He/she was a small one, I believe they call ‘em Geckos? They are harmless, see one or two a week in the yard. Our boy often captured the occasional lizard and brought it inside. That is until my wife found out that a reptile was in the castle! Who ever said the truth will set you free, never held a lizard inches from a woman's face and said...."Mom look, I caught a lizard."

For whatever reason (pickle juice perhaps?) a lizard came into my dream...and was chasing I lay in bed. Debbie is well acquainted with my thrashings at night, usually touches me or asks if I'm dreaming. Sometimes works, often only delays. The bad thing ‘bout my dreams, I usually get right back into the darn thing. Which is okay, if it's a good one, and not so good if it's a bad one. There is no telling how many miles I've fled, scrambling from immense giant humanoids or F5 tornados or raging floods. But I've never had to flee from a green lizard.

As usual Debbie shook my arm. "Randall, are you dreaming?" (Again!!!!!)

More than half-asleep, I mumble. "Lizard in the bed."

For the ordinary woman, the transition from horizontal to a vertical position in a water bed usually requires more than 1/10 of a second. To turn on every light in our bedroom requires at least 30 seconds, more so if the dog is sleeping in the floor at the foot of the bed, which he was.......Debbie was in action quicker than a Marine could shout, "Incoming!" Our Silky Terrier was snarling after she stepped on his paw, the small Mexican dog we have was barking loudly. I roused from one heck of a dream to the sight of my lovely spouse stripping the top sheet away with one hand while holding a kitchen broom with the other. Her pose was striking, gown askew, face contorted, the broom held as a Samurai warrior in the heat of battle.

Well it took a while to sort things out. All explanations fell of deaf ears. My bride of 20 years huffily gathered her pillows and with the shaken dog clan close behind headed for the couch. I was forced to re-make the bed. (After checking for green lizards... you never know.) The mumbling from the couch was faint in my ears as I eased back into a dream of tiny green lizards, cold wenie sandwiches and dill pickle juice on ice.

A Day in the Life, as the Beatles so aptly described.


randall 8-11-2001 18:58


How true that is. I have a tweleve year old girl who gives me a hard time most of the time. She plans all her free time to be away from home. I'm trying to get her to cool her jets and she doesn't want to hear it.

I love her even while she is giving me the run around.

It wouldn't matter what she did. I hope I don't have to find out.

Debra 8-11-2001 18:55

Mel - What they used to tell us about being indian (back when we were kids) is: "If you ain't got enough blood to get a check, you ain't an indian!"

Jerry 8-11-2001 18:18

Hi there all,

This was a new SUPER Target. The first in San Antonio.(that I know of although another one is almost ready a few miles away.) It has a big deli section including a Sushi chef standing there making the stuff. I don't think they were making up much ahead of time. We also have Super KMarts and Super Wal Marts. Suposed to be one stop shopping, and it is if you're not too careful about your prices.
About your herbs, I never heard of trefoil and don't exactly know about borage, although it sounds vaguely familiar. Would they grow here?
This morning, I transplanted some baby cacti that I started from seeds. I know..why would anyone ever do a thing like that...the seed kit was a gift. Suposed to be all different kinds of cacti plants but the babies all look the same. (do they say that about humans?) My sister says they are probably all prickly pear which is a pest plant here.

Good to see Heather back. It's been a rough summer on most of us and sounds like the northern group is already coming out of it. We have about two more months give or take a week.

someone needs to nudge that girl. She should at least say hi once a month, preferably more so no one will worry. Not that I would ever do anything like that. :oP No...Not me.

Better go, got books to read.

Rosemary 8-11-2001 13:40

Out of ciriousity, I went to that gardinia press website advertised below. I did find it interesting that the first page says authors pay nothing, but digging a bit deeper, I find that there is a reading fee of $65.00. They accept credit cards, or checks, but NSF checks incure an additional fee of $20.00. That was as deep as I read, but I would guess that deeper research could show more charges. Makes on wonder at the statement that they don't charge the author, and if in fact they have ever published any matierial. I recall seeing a 60 minutes program dealing with a simular program, where the head of the outfit kept all the money and only published one or two novels, which were so poor that they never sold any copies, except those that the publisher required the author to purchase as part of the deal. I guess one should look carefully at publishing houses before becoming involved. Just goes to show that it can be a cruel world out there and we need to be carefull.

Jerry Ericsson 8-11-2001 11:29


Hi all :o)

I have some more news about "Shadows in a Dream". It can now be ordered from:

My mother ordered and read S*. She loved the book. She tells me that it was hard for her to seperate Emma from me, but that she did do that. Her husband loved the book, but when Emma got up to adventure he needed to stop reading. He was unable to seperate Emma from me. He however very much enjoyed what he read.

This has been a very busy summer in our house. We have had Sebastian moving like a wild man (big smiles). Our home is more baby safe every day. We have had one of our foster sons need to move. That means that I will soon have somebody new in my home. My eldest foster soon will soon be thirteen. For all those who have a child or have ever spent time with a child this age, you likely know what that means (laughter). He is all that (winks). He is Sir Brilliant. He is Sir Know All (oh yeah) He more than anything knows that an adult could never know more than a thirteen year old boy. He is also very into R.P.G. Sometimes I wonder if he is a little too into R.P.G. My eldest bio son continues to roll along with very few problems. He has always been quite an easy child. My daughter is as always a little on the demanding side. I think we should have said no to her more when she was young (grins). We tried that 'never say no' approach. I wouldn't use that again.

Debra - I don't know if girls are so easy or boys are so hard. I have the feeling that personality is personality. Slap it on a boy or a girl and it will likely be about the same. Besides, it doesn't matter how our children behave we will love them no matter what (smiles and hugs).

8-11-2001 11:04


Viv, I'll pass on your address, thanks! I don't know when she'll contact you, but her name is Genny, just in case her e-mail comes across your desktop one day unexpectedly.

Heather, glad to see you back! Good luck on that letter. I've been telling myself to start mine, but I keep putting it off.
I'd cry if I couldn't water my plantlings. Not a problem this year. My front lawn is still green, despite me complete ignoring it.

I'm hoping that everyone who hasn't been around is on holiday, or the like. Ben, T.O.M., Arik, Trudy, Christi, Americo, Richard, Cassandra, Hop, Kru, Taylor, and everyone else whom my feeble mind is unable to name by name, hope you are well!

Another call for the Great Book Exchange. Has anyone claimed 'Contact' by Carl Sagan? Currently Teekay has it. Speak now! It's far better than the movie!

Going now.

Tina 8-11-2001 10:55

Did you say your brave friend had Sushi in a Target???? They sell sushi in Target. Man, Target is improving! Yes, way to go America. I love the way good food spreads around the globe. We have hamburgers in our D-2 store with french fries, why not sushi in a Target store in America. Where is that Target...I'm going there.

Viv 8-11-2001 7:54

Are you a new writer who has never been published? Please check out this Website. A dynamite writers' conference is presented and they are guaranteeing to accept a bunch of manuscripts at this event to publish. They pay ALL publishing and distribution costs. I'm going, are you?

T.J. Gardenia Press 8-11-2001 7:44

Hi Tina,
I'd love to e-mail your friend. Tell her to write me! I'll answer the questions truthfully and even give her a couple of places she can write and check. I'll give her the best times to apply as well because the school year is different over here. A lot of teachers hire on in the States. I don't know how they do that, but I'll ask someone and find out. Apparently the colleges get recruiters from Japan for Nova Company and some of the other big places.

Heather: Nice to see your words in the notebook again. How's your garden growing? I've gotten into herbs lately. What is fun is I know so little that it's all new to me. We're experimenting with different things in salad. I planted trefoil today, borage the other day. The borage is up and running. I also discovered a 100 yen store where they sell nice planting pots. Unfortunately, I'm doing too much gardening and not enough writing. Luckily it will rain all day tomorrow. That ought to help.

Viv 8-11-2001 7:44

Ahoy! Seafarers of the page! Cast your rope to shore and gather round! Come and sow your tales among the rock and grasses, and among friends.

(Pardon, pardon, that I haven't been among the campfires to listen lately...)

Jerry - I am very sorry to hear of your loss. She sounds as though she was a very fine person. Very fine.

Teekay! I whooped so loud I scared the kids when I read what you wrote a while back - am I scorched and braised Heather? Well, a scarce shade away from coffee I am, in all this oppressive heat and ray! I wonder if it's not the sun itself resting its laurels under my roof! How about convection roasted me? Ah, like Jerry's cooler weather, to me this fine 32 degrees today, and the even more lovely 25 degrees tonight is respite enough. FINALLY~!
*cool sigh*
(Though I do have air conditioning in the rooms upstairs, the rest of the house is hot as a bunsen burner cranked to full gas)

Tina - yes indeedy, Toronto was declared hotspot of the world just this week... heh heh. But on a more somber note, some folks died of the heat. :o(
Guess it was as good a time as any to go swimming in the beyond, since the water's fairly dried up around here...

There's a total watering ban in effect here - can't even be caught with a hose in my hand, I'll bet. Ha ha - I'd get HOSED. If I want to water my poor shriveling plant-life, I have to drag pitcher or can to water by hand - or so my husband heard. Too late for the annuals, though.

Mel! :o) You sure are a voice of bubbling glee!
Good for you in all the stifling temps of late... I was much the grumpy girl this week, so had to keep my head in a few good books lest I let my nasty mood spread.

Tomorrow, my friends and peers, I will plunk upon this wonder of a web space my tentative opening for my Query letter...
Ah, but don't spring mightily to any conclusions! I'm not finished my novel yet. When I'm too flailed and maimed from the writer's bent, I delve into other writing tasks. Too bad lately I haven't been disciplined enough to reply to my emails! Naughty me.
(Teekay - by the way, that means I'll be getting back to your email a.s.a.p.! Forgive me!)

Christi! Hey there! Do drop me an email! I'll get back to you... uh, very soon - maybe so soon I'll send you one first! Hope you've been feeling joyous, and enjoying the weather like the rest of us grumpy quills. (Oh, 'cept for Tina, and I'm JEALOUS! I have to get to the beach yet! It's been wading pool, sprinkler, wading pool, pool and river for us these last few weeks, though now the sprinkler lies dormant - boo hoo!)

anyhow, I shall lump and drag myself to bed, and sharpen my query as I sleep.
A better day is merely a blink away.
(It's supposed to rain!)

Heather 8-11-2001 5:27

Mel - I did it the other way, careers that is, first I was a cop, (Well first I was a soldier), then after my back injury, Workers Comp sent me to college to become a paralegal. It was very difficult for me, as I was in constant pain, but I still managed to be the first in the history of the paralegal program at the University of North Dakota to maintain a 4.0 GPA for the entire two year program. The only paralegal work I ever did, was my internship with the judge. On graduation, I couldn't find a job in my chosen retrained field, and eventually took a job as an office manager for a pretzelmaker franchise holder called Outback Industries. I worked there nearly six months before my Doctor gave me the bad news that there was absolutely nothing else they could do to block the pain and took me off work permanently. It was interesting though, going to college at my age, I ended up being the surrogate father to half my class, and the one that all the police officer candidates sought out to pick my brain for answers to the thousands of questions that ran through their brains as the University prepared them for a life in law enforcement. It was while attending college that I found out that I could write, and others enjoyed my writing to some extent at any rate. My English 101 teacher was the one who inspired me to continue writing after college. When I began the course, she began with a review of parts of speech and all that jazz, well I didn't know an adverb from an adjective, and had no idea what a prepositional phrase was. The early tests in that course appeared to be the ones to spoil my perfect 4.0, and when our instructor talked to me about my trouble identifying those parts of speech, I told her that while I couldn't identify them in the text book, I did know how to use them. Well following that sorry point in my college career, we came to our first writing project, and when I handed in my first draft, it came back with a few suggestions, and she had written across the last page something like "you are right, you do know how to use them!" Well it was down hill from there, and since the parts of speech thing was just a review, my writing saved the day for my gpa. I followed that by joining the fledgling college news paper. Although there had been a paper many years in the past, none of the instructors in the English Department wanted anything to do with such a project. Well one of them relented and said she would give it a try, when I heard of it opening, I signed up for the course and quickly became the layout editor, and had two columns of my own, both dealing with political commentary, and politics on campus. Working on the paper was a blast. I followed that with every English class I could fit in to my already heavy course load. I was so sad that the college didn't offer any creative writing, except at the main campus and that was much to far for me to drive for one course. I attended the Devils Lake campus, some ninety miles west of the main campus in Grand Forks. Anyhow that's how I got to where I am today, sitting in my recliner with the television blasting an advertisement for Once Upon A Song, during a break on the History Channel, a keyboard on my lap, and one of my home-built computers sitting to the left of the chair (much to my wife's chagrin).

Jerry 8-11-2001 0:47

Hi all!

I've decided that my muse has a sick sense of humour. She gets me all fired up to write at the worst of times. (Perhaps she's collaborating with your muse, Mel) I'm supposed to be getting ready for our trip across the prairies, and SHE'S prodding me to write write write! I have all sorts of ideas, and no time to sit here and get them down. Fortunately work continues to be slow - who goes shopping when the weather is so good? - so I get a bit of writing done at work.

Viv, a question for you. I have a younger friend who is considering teaching in Japan, after she finishes her degree. Any chance I could put her in touch with you, to ask those pertinent questions that need to be asked/answered? She has e-mail, so if you don't mind, I could give her your e-address. I think she still has two years of school to go, but she's already measuring her options.

Okay I'm out of things to say.

Tina 8-11-2001 0:05

Yup Teekay: Absolutely right. Sometimes it's best to say nothing. And yup, you're definitely the worlds best at the ripost!

Hey Mel! How's it going? I'm having some fun with herbs. I just planted borage...the plant of courage. It's actually a mild antidepressent which was combined with wine in the time of the ancient Celts. It helped them get up the ooomf to go into battle. I'm going to get it started then get it to run wild down the hill if the kudzu doesn't take it first.

Viv 8-10-2001 22:32

Damn, sure glad someone posted after I did, mine has been sitting there since this afternoon, I was getting a bit embarrassed, being the top poster for so long. Let's not let that happen again! Ah ... ... ... Just a second, if I post this, I will be on top again . . . ... .Not sure I want to push that enter button. . . ... Gotta do it, as Millionaire is just starting. Check back in an hour, I best not be on top again.

Jerry 8-10-2001 22:01

Happy Friday all except Teekay,
(I think it's Saturday in Australia?)

No one has posted since noon so I thought I'd try even though I have virtually nothing to say.

A friend and I met at 1:00 and headed for a new Super Target that just opened this month. It is another of those monster stores carrying everything. Groceries, the usual Target Mds. and a Starbucks. My brave friend had Suschi(sp?) and I had a salad. We took a table in Starbucks and ate there. I showed her a short story and a couple of other things and all in all, we took long enough to each receive servings of two free samples of fuzzy drinks with whipped cream on top. Luckly, I didn't like the Hazlenut coffee one so she had to force down three. I didn't need the calories.

Told you I didn't have anything to say.

I have been missing HOWARD and CHRISTI. :o<
Hope Howard's shoulder is getting better. Type with the other hand, it'll make you feel better. Gripe to us about life's unreasonable twists and turns. We'll probably tell you about worse twists and turns. That should make you feel better.
Is everything okay??? Your usual loquatious self has been missing.

Bye for now,

Rosemary 8-10-2001 21:51

Well they tell me there is a bit of Indian in my blood to, but it is so small as to be undetectable any more, of that I am sure. Back in 16xx something one of my ancestors came to New France, where he joined the first 100 settlers in the new world. After a few years of loneliness, he met and married an Indian maiden, I had her name for awhile on my computer but lost it in one of my famous crashes. All I recall was that there was an 8 in her name, as there was no letter for that point in the alphabet of her native tongue.

Dad always pointed out to my Grandmother Nora that she was a squaw, and she did look the part with her jet black hair and very dark brown eyes. I am sure there wasn't enough Indian blood in her to even show, but, of course I could be wrong. I guess there could have been more joinings with my ancestors with the natives, as the new world was so very young back then, and white women were as scarce as hens teeth. You have, of course heard of the hot blood that flows through the veins of the French. We have a distant cousin in Rhode Island who has the whole tale on his web site, but again that was among the favorites that I lost when I reformatted my hard drive.

Now there is a way of saying he passed on in today's world, could we say he "reformatted his hard drive?"

Jerry 8-10-2001 11:51


Here's my favorite, that I use all the time.

No longer with us.

When I see a person that I knew from a long time ago and I really liked their parents I always say is your mother/father still with us?

Debra 8-10-2001 11:33

I forgot the assignment, be it ever so brief. Must be the pills, or something, but other ways to say kick the bucket, was that it? If so, here are a few I recall.

Bit the big one.

Gone home.

Dropped of the edge.

Turned tits up.

Pushing up daisies.

Gone to the great beyond.

Went to join Elvis.

Assumed room temperature.

Sleeping in the deep.

Went to prepare a room.

Toes up.

Visited that last outhouse.

Sleeps with the fishes.

That's about all I can think of right now, and believe me, I was scratching the bottom of the barrel.

Jerry 8-10-2001 10:32


You are a poet and now we all know it.

I don't think you will have to wait long. You don't have to worry about the phone. They will bang down your door.

Debra 8-10-2001 9:16


Howdy,y'all, from a bleary-eyed humidity-sponge. No rain last night till about 3:30 a.m. and then it was barely the edge of the storm - rats! Not enough to dampen the bottom of a bucket (yes, the very same bucket used for the proverbial kicking). Sigh. It's gloomy today, at least - maybe the heavens will open and dump sweet, moist coolness upon us frazzled Summer sweathounds before much more time passes. I await the coming deluge with ravenous sweatglands...

Actually it's not quite that bad - I'm at work in the A/C, heh heh! :-)

TEEKAY: Thanks re: the poem. :-) BTW, maybe the ruby red batteries are dead. Heh heh. Try Duracell. And the horror-scope didn't say WHICH weekend, now did it? :-) Keep wishing on stars. You never know! Re: your house dream -- #1-you're planning on moving into Litter's castle and taking all of us with you; :-) #2-"in God's house there are many mansions..." -- you're planning your eternity, after you "pop off the perch" in some FAR distant time from now, and you're discovering the NB-ers heaven... #3-you're feeling crowded in the laundry room and plan to make some changes...?!! :-D Am I close?? Huh?? Okay now, cough up YOUR interpretation!

JERRY: Oops, correction. I'm 1/32 Oneida Indian. My dad's grandmother's grandmother was full-blooded O.I. So, lessee:

Great-great-ever so great grandma ------- 100% O.I.
Great-not as great grandperson ---------- 50% (half-breed)
Slightly-great grandmother -------------- 25% (1/4-breed)
Oh-so-Grandperson ----------------------- 1/8 O.I.
My Dad (he's great too!) ---------------- 1/16 O.I.
me (greatness yet to be proven, um, will I?) - 1/32 O.I.

See - I was right the second time. I stand corrected (all by myself). Uh, that is, I corrected myself all by myself. I hope I'm not standing by myself, although it is a thing I can do, when I want to, mind you, but, just now, I'm sitting.

Hoo boy.

Hi, VIV! :-)

Hi, TINA! :-)

Where is HEATHER?!! HEATHER!!! Report in, please - we miss you. I miss you. Or did I miss you? Are you here somewhere in the mist? Oh, mistaken for missing??!! Please clarify lurker status; my brain is lurking somewhere too but I haven't found it yet today in all this excessive heat.

Y'ALL - well, you know, carry on (don't party without me just, you know, carry on with...things as usual. You can do
it! Um, I'm not sure if I can carry anything this morning but I will endeavor to--oh, go back to sleep!) Um, don't mind me, just talkin' to meself...heh heh... have a good one! Whatever your "one" may entail - and it better be writing something!!! :-)

Mel 8-10-2001 8:44

VIV: Am I a rip -it- aparter? Gee, I didn't realize.
Anyhow, I must have read it too fast because nothing caught my eye, so I guess you'd have passed the spelling and grammar test, but for your own admission.
Sometimes it's best just to say nothing.

Teekay 8-10-2001 3:18

Hi all!

Had a most wonderful kind of day. Work was excrutiatingly slow and boring, so I wrote a story. A whole short story, and a ghostie to boot! So I finally have a ghost story for **P**! Yay!
It felt wonderful, to have an idea and take it from seed to harvest in one day. It needs some cleaning up, but otherwise it's done.

No shortie tonight. We had guests. Maybe I'll write my shortie tomorrow at work ;-)

Be well!

Tina 8-10-2001 1:59

Pardon the writing and grammar in that post. Rip it apart if you want to Teekay. I'm sure there are some major bloopers there. Still, got it done in time to take the kids down to the pool. With all of them standing there waiting for me to finish...well, not always easy in summer to say what is on your mind.

Viv 8-9-2001 23:22

Hallee: You are the person who is going to be responsible for the outcome of your daughter in the long run. If you think the school is pushing it, tell them. If it's a private school they'll listen because they want your money...private schools are business oriented. If it's a public school it's probably because they have an overload of students in the class and are looking for someone who is "easy" and will allow their child to be advanced. It's flattering to some folks that their kid is "smart" enough to advance. I'd just say no and be stubborn. If they didn't like that, well it's time to find another method that will work to your satisfaction. Usually with a school a nice firm "no, that isn't going to happen," works. The administration will act like a spoiled child for a moment or two, but if you are firm and calm and point out the statistics of older children being leaders and the old learning readiness spiel, they'll come around and find another "easy" parent. Just be a rock in the river. Eventually if you hold steady, they'll learn to flow around you.

Back to work. Couldn't resist the school dilemna. Been there a lot, done that a lot. Still up to my old tricks. I've fought on both sides of the trenches, so those battles are old hat. The important thing is that child is yours. You get to make the decisions. You have that right all the way up to when she leaves the nest. It's a special right because you are only a parent once. Decisions as to readiness, development and timing can only be made by a person in such close touch with a child that you can feel when things are right.

Viv 8-9-2001 23:20


Hi ho all you clickety clackety keyboard clappers and all you pernickity pen pushers and all you fantasy weavers out there,

Well today is Friday and even though there were no rejectionslips or bills in the mail box, there was no acceptance letter either. There was a long awaited letter for my daughter, so at least she'll be pleased.
Oh, I forgot to put in the most telling part of the horoscope yesterday, it was this:
............particularly if you have certain cherished ambitions or professional relationships to pursue.'
Cripes, how did I not put that in????

Anyhow, it's all rather irrelevant now as tomorrow is the weekend and no post comes on the weekend, darned ruby slippers, they don't work, I'm getting a refund!
Might take the newspaper back while I'm at it and tell them their horoscopes are faulty.

HALLEE: Thanks for the hug :-). I appreciate it. I think you should tell the school what you want for your daughter, not the other way around.
I was put up a year when I first started school and it was one of the most frightening and confusing experiences I have ever had. I really do believe that that experience went a long way to destroying any confidence I may have had at that age and instead of boosting my love of learning (if I had any - I'm sure I did, I'm a fairly inquisitive person) it hindered it.
What happened was that without any explanation to me I was taken from where I was happily scribbling on a blackboard one day and taken into a whole new class and sat down at a desk between two other children.
Then the teacher told us to write 'good morning'. Well, I didn't know how to write good morning. I had only learned to write my name, so I looked at what the person next to me was doing and the teacher saw me looking and got angry with me, smacked my hand and I was sent back in disgrace to where I came from?!?!?!?!?!?!
I admit, it may not have happened excactly that way, but that's how my child's mind saw it, and that's how I remember it today.
Of course, the behaviour of the teachers had a lot to do with that situation, and even today, or especially today, there are a lot of teachers out there who would probably be better suited to careers not involving children.
Sorry about the long post, but I thought I should share this with you.
I also remember the time I got my head stuck in a chair, but I'll tell you about that another time. :-)

LITTER (AND ALL): Your pictures reminded me of a dream I had last night. I had this wonderful huge, rambling house. It was about three storeys and a maze of rooms leading into one another and it was all cluttered and messy with things I love and there were family and friends from old all about the place. Right at the top was this lovely huge balcony on the roof which was actually a park like garden, but hardly anybody but me ever went there, it was a bit messy with some clothes hanging on the line and bits and pieces that really shouldn't be there. It was the most comfortable wonderful house.
I've already analysed this dream, but if anybody else wants to take a crack at it, I'd love to hear it.
I'm sorry LITTER, I'm sure you weren't expecting this type of reaction when you posted those pics. :-)

RHODA: I don't really put too much faith at all in horoscopes. I read them for fun and if I don't like them I ignore them and if they sound good, well, then I hope that they might be right. :-)
It just seems the last 2 I read have seemed rather portentious.
He-e-ey, where have I heard that word in the not too distant past?
BTW: Good luck on making the right choice for you :-)

DEBRA: Heeeee I don't think you need to wait that long. :-? But wait, there's always the phone. Perhaps I ought to get off the net in case publishers are trying to call.
Yeah, good one.

JERRY: HAHAHHAHAHAHA great joke. I did not see that ending coming.
Fantastic story. MEL's right, you should send it out, try and get it into a magazine.

Okay, I'm going,
may your never run out of A4 paper and your printers never run out of ink.

MEL: Thanks :-)
And ditto on your solitude poem. Perfect!

Teekay 8-9-2001 22:46

JERRY: ahh hahahahahahahah!!! The joke was great! (I'm 1/64 Oneida Indian so I can say so.) Your Nam story was eloquent and very moving...except you need a better ending. I think getting older, after our teen years, is but a shell on our outer bodies; we are still youthful teens within our hearts, our spirits, our minds. And because we are still youthful within ourselves, we can remember our youth with such vitality, with such a oneness in time that those memories only happened yesterday, didn't they? You should publish that Nam story somewhere, Jerry - I was right there with you.

Mel 8-9-2001 20:31

Got this note in my email, thought you could use a laugh:

The Indians asked their Chief in autumn if the winter was going to be cold
or not. Not really having an answer, the chief replied that the winter was
going to be cold and that the members of the village were to collect wood
to be prepared.

Being a good leader, he then went to the next phone booth and called the
National Weather Service and asked, "Is this winter to be cold?"

The man on the phone responded, "This winter was going to be quite cold

So the Chief went back to speed up his people to collect even more wood to
be prepared.

A week later he called the National Weather Service again, "Is it going to
be a very cold winter?"

"Yes", the man replied, "it's going to be a very cold winter."

So the Chief goes back to his people and ordered them to go and find every
scrap of wood they could find.

Two weeks later he called the National Weather Service again: "Are you
absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?"

"Absolutely," the man replied, "the Indians are collecting wood like

Jerry 8-9-2001 19:32

Ok then I won't tell you that it got up to 72 degrees today, that was the high. I won't mention that I kept cool even as I mowed the daughters lawn, then went to mom's and mowed hers too. I won't mention that I am cool now, almost cold, my fingers are in fact cold, I kept them warm by typing this little bit of memory:

It was March 1971 and the war went on. Rumors of peace were many, and both sides feeding on the rumors increased their attacks, increased the killing, increased the death. I was leaving my old unit, which was disbanded, going home they said. Sure it was going home, the General, his Command Sergeant Major, and the colors left, we the working soldiers went to new posts, new units feeding the hunger of those going home, both in boxes and in freedom birds. I was in Cam Rahn Bay Aerial Port, awaiting an airlift north to join my new unit, then on to the US, where my wife was due to give birth to our first child. It was late, and all flights had been diverted north to Da Nang, the home of my new Unit, but not for passenger service, they were transporting the good needed to keep the war going. A new assault on Kah Sahn was underway, the Army of Viet Nam was on it’s way to try and cut the Ho Chi Minh trail by crossing the border just east of Kah Sahn into Cambodia.

I was, of course not aware of the big picture, all I knew was that I needed to get to Da Nang, check in with my new unit, the 45th Engineer Group, then get my young ass home so I could be there when my son came into this world. In order to be there, I re-enlisted in the Army, then extended my tour in Viet Nam by three months. I wanted to be there that much, and I didn’t even like the Army, and God knows I hated Vietnam. It was raining, those torrential rains that come with the monsoons, rains that kept coming night and day, day and night. Everything was wet, even inside the huge aerial port, we felt wet with the high humidity; and it was hot, so God damn hot that you felt you were inside an oven, an oven filled with water.

I check with the desk, there was a tired airman behind it who informed me that my seat on the plane I was supposed to take was preempted by some Major who demanded he be transported north at any cost. The next flight north was in three hours, he would try and get me on that one. Three hours, that was like a lifetime when I had my future on my mind, three long hours, I had already been there for twelve hours, waiting, getting a flight number, then being bumped by some officer who NEEDED to get north, sure they did, they needed to get out of the heat, that’s what they needed, and once the aircraft got above ten thousand feet, it cooled down, I knew that, having traveled up and down country many times in my first six months in country.

I decided to take a nap, looking around the floor for a likely spot, although most of the good spots out of the walk-way were already taken by tired GI’s laying against their duffle bags, sleeping the restless sleep of a warrior awaiting his next battle. Then I saw a spot open up in the corner near the exit. I worked my way over, stepping over both GI’s and Vietnamese, who were also waiting their chance to jump a flight somewhere. Getting to my corner, I dropped my heavy duffle and sat on the floor, then lit up a Kool and tried to relax. After five minutes of tossing and turning, I decided that sleep would not come. There was just too much on my mind. Going to a new unit, going home, meeting new buddies, getting to gather with old ones who moved north before me. I got up and slung my duffle over my shoulder, my stomach told me that it had been nearly fifteen hours since I had breakfast at the mess hall, before Ralph, my best buddy in my old unit drove me over to the aerial port. I worked my way across the huge converted hanger to the exit that led to the twenty-four hour dining facility for in-transit soldiers, sailors and airmen. As I neared the entrance, I met up with another GI, who was standing by the door, smoking his cigarette.

“Can’t go in with a smoke.” He said, mater of factly.

“What, no smoking in the mess hall?”

“Yep, that’s what some asshole sergeant at the door told me.”

“Well fuck that!” I replied, and moved to the side so some airmen from inside the aerial port walked in.

We began to walk, this GI and me. When we got inside the aerial port, I could see by his uniform, he had been in country for quite some time, his Olive Drab jungle fatigues were almost white, as was his handle bar mustache, contrasting with his almost black hair.

As we walked, we two strangers, we began to discuss such things as the war, he was a grunt, having just been transferred from the Big Red One, 1st Infantry Division, having suffered the same fate as my old unit, the 18th Engineer Brigade.

My three-hour wait quickly became another twelve, as did my newfound friend. I don’t remember his name, maybe I never knew it, and I doubt he could recall mine, but what I remember was that talk, that long twelve hour wait that seemed more like two with my new friend. We shared our family life, we talked of the politics of the war, together, we solved all the problems in the world. We spoke of what would happen if one of us ever made it to the white house, what we could do with the world, how we could bring peace, how we could get the people to work together for the common good. We were young, I was just 18, and I would guess he was maybe 19 or so.

When you are young, you must be a liberal, and I guess we were liberals, when we were solving the world’s problems, distributing all the wealth amongst the poor, stopping war, teaching the world to love one another. We talked of the hippy movement that was still so active in “the world” the free love that we were missing there in Nam. We talked of the stories of those who came back from “the world” hurt at their reception at home. We talked of the bravery of those who fled the country to Canada, to avoid the draft.

I sit here today wondering what ever happened to those two young soldiers who met that rainy night in Cam Rahn. Did he make it home? When did I change, was that part of growing up? When I think of that day, of the high from just walking talking, finding someone as lonely as I was, and sharing the minute, hour, day. It makes me sad to know that both those young men are gone, and will never be the same again. What happened to us? How did we become so callus, so hard. How did I ever get so old?

Jerry 8-9-2001 19:22

My birthday is in November and I started 1st grade at 5yrs old. We were in Japan at the time and I think the base school would take anyone that showed up. The thing is, I always wound up being the tallest and youngest in all my classes. I don't think it hurt my developement any more than moving to another place every year-and-a-half did. (I guess you can't really use me as an example) Who knows? Hate to think I would be even taller in those classes.

Loved your castle. Do they let you camp for weeks? or just a day or so? Is there a Moat? Maybe a few moatmonsters? Great website.

I don't want to hear about your lousy temperatures. We've got at least another month or so of mid-ninetys to 100 f. Sorry when others suffer, but they could suffer a little longer.

Finally got my appointment for the Knee clinic. Middle of next month. Whooo Boy.


Rosemary 8-9-2001 18:00



I do feel sorry for you now that I know you live in the Northeast--its only Northwesterners I have no sympathy far (No, no, Rachel,Jack and Allein, just kidding there). If the truth be know, I am just envious. I would love to be North of here right now.

Glad to hear your heat wave is ending, MEL. It isn't so bad when it lasts so long.

Rhoda 8-9-2001 17:51

From me, below:

Mel 8-9-2001 14:53


Hello, all! :-)

RHODA: I'm from the Northeast, not the Northwest, so go ahead and feel sad for me (hee hee). Actually, our heatwave is due to end tonight, with thunderstorms after midnight. I too like Julie Andrews' acting and singing. Re: mid-life crisis - GO FOR IT!!! :-) Re-read your paragraph: you said you'd have to take a test in the field in which you WANT to teach. You've already made your decision - a challenging but GOOD choice. :-)

JERRY: 40's?!!!! You lucky guy. What crazy weather!!! Just after I logged off the NB last night, we received a lovely COOL breeze through the West windows of the house! What powerful lungs you have! Heh heh! Thanks for sharing! :-) Enjoyed the court room story. :-)...So, did you ever finish the paralegal work, become a lawyer before you became a cop? And wouldn't it be fun for all of us NB-ers to meet at Litter's castle? We'll each wander around gathering story ideas in the myriad corridors and rooms, and then have a picnic on the lawns near the gardens. :-) I'm ready to go!!! :-D

MARY: Whoever thought gopher guts could travel so far and go through so many transformations? heh heh! :-)

TINA, HALLEE: So glad SOMEONE likes the heat. Now we can justify all four seasons of the year, something a bit different for everybody.

GS: Enjoyed your Cape Cod-inhabitant terms. :-) Reminds me of college days in Geneseo, NY. The town residents we called "townies" -- can't remember what they called us (I may not want to remember!), and on campus there was a set of dorms far removed from the rest of the campus across "the Tundra" which we called "Cuylerville." I guess it pays to do some local research for terms like these if you're writing historical or local kinds of stories.

TEEKAY: No rejection here. :-) We love ya! Keep writing anyway and pay no heed to those silly papers in the mailbox, unless they're acceptance letters! :-) Dreams: sometimes I have to ponder them before I can pull usable story bits from the remnants of dreams I remember. Maybe your dreams are, in part, feelings, if not tangible plots or scenes. Describe "disjointed" from your character's perspective, perhaps after your character was dreaming he saw YOU in a K-MART, heh heh! :-)

Oh, Teekay, I LOVED your poems, both the blistery blustery :-) and the SOLITUDE. Sheer loveliness...

Ever read politically correct fairy tales? Hoo boy - er, hoo person (although why "person" is acceptable--with "son" in it--I'll never know.) BTW, I'm NOT a "politically correct-minded" person, but that sort of thinking does entertain me, it's so silly (no offense intended to any true believers of political correctness out there!). Now, how about those new death cliches-to-be? Not to sound callous, but I enjoyed Teekay's "pop off the perch" - hee hee! I get stuck on old cliche's - never heard that one! Like it! :-) Anyone else got a new cliche-to-be for "kick the bucket?"

HALLEE: Tell Kaylee's preschool how you feel about her advancing too soon to a higher level. I let my oldest son start school early; with an October birthday, he was always a year ahead of his age-group--but maturity-level was not. If I could re-do that decision, I'd hold him back a year, to start Kindergarten at 5 with the rest, maybe an older 5 but also more stable.

OHH, LITTER!!! I could WRITE in a castle like that...Heck, I could LIVE in a place like that (with someone else doing the housework and gardening, of course, heh heh!). :-) BEAUTIFUL photos - they'd make a lovely calendar, hint hint! Thanks for sharing Carberry Tower with us. :-)


on a beach,
feeling one with the sand, the waves, the wind...
a mother's respite.

in a castle,
feeling one with history, medieval, romantic...
a writer's infusion.

in a church,
feeling one with God,
stained glass sparkling,
altar calling...
a human's rebirth.

Mel 8-9-2001 14:52

Litter - what a wonderful place. Just to visit a place like that is a dream of mine, maybe some day when the world slows down just a little bit. You must have wonderful stories running around in your head from contact with that castle, ghost stories. How easy it would be to let your mind run with the location, the stairs, the turret, the tower. Oh and the keep, what a great book that was. I wonder how much it would cost to ship my camper? Ah I guess what ever it would be more then the dang thing is worth, then I would have to ship my pickup. Na maybe if I rented a camper...

Jerry Ericsson 8-9-2001 11:10

Well the Dakota's are known for their rapidly changing weather. I awoke this morning shivering. The thermometer said it was only 42 degrees. It is now 9:00 AM and it has risen to 46. Ah but it feels good even if it is a bit cold, it feels so good after all that heat.

Jerry Ericsson 8-9-2001 10:57

***Rhoda again***


I looked at your pictures. Stunning! I love that castle. Thank you so much for sharing them.

Rhoda 8-9-2001 10:34



Long, long ago when I used to read the Horoscope in the newspaper, I read mine one particular morning, and it said, "Do not travel." Imagine my dismay because that morning I was setting out to drive 900 miles from Waco, Texas to Evansville, Indiana. That was when I was in grad school and I would drive home for Christmas break and that break between the spring session and the first summer session. I had to decide long and hard whether I was a believer in that stuff because driving such a distance made me nervous even in the best of circumstances. I drew a couple of deep breaths, threw my suitcases in the car and drove anyway, and made it home without mishap. It wasn't a comfortable or pleasant drive because of that stupid Horoscope.

Still I hope you have success. Just be careful with Horoscopes.

Decisions, decisions. Here before me I have an application to apply for teacher certification in Oklahoma. To start this process will be an investment of time, energy and money. I will have to pay the fees and then sign up for competency tests--a general skills one and then one in the field in which I want to teach. My degree is in chemistry, but I haven't had anything to do with it since before my daughter was born. So I will have to review the material. I know I still have a lot of knowledge, but I am so rusty. I admire teachers greatly. My mother was a teacher and so was my father. My brother is an assistant school superintendent, so education is in my blood, but the only teaching I have done was conducting undergraduate labs when in graduate school.

Oh dear, am I going through mid-life crisis?

Rhoda 8-9-2001 10:24


Don't leave us hanging. We all need to hear from you come

Debra 8-9-2001 8:46

Felicitations to you all,

Just popped in to post the URL for an interim view of my holiday website. The main site is going to be large, so I thought that, in the mean time, I would give you a taster of the opulence and beauty of my yearly holiday home, by posting some pics of the house and grounds, prior to completing the main website. The URL should also be including beside my name, but here it is again:

Still catching up on the rest of the notebook news…

Ciao for now,


Litter Carberry Tower Pics 8-9-2001 8:05


ROSEMARY: I tried...honest.

RHODA: I'm sorry you had difficulties like that. My sister had such a miserable pregnancy, that she intends to never to it again. Poor girl. Her morning sickness, even, lasted right up to the last day.

TEEKAY: That's a cool horriscope. ((hugs)) on the rejection.

GARIESS: Too cool. I also find it hillarious that your little chat/gossip group is so segregated. Hahaha.

TINA: I LOVE the summertime and the heat. The heat index here yesterday was like 110 - I loved it. Kept the a/c off in my car all day.

JERRY: I'm glad you'll enjoy the cool weather. I would feel cheated to lose the summer to a week's worth of autumn weather, though.

MEL: ((hugs)) on the a/c incident. Hope you cool off soon.

Was informed yesterday when I picked Kaylee up from preschool that they're bumping her up a class. Instead of starting 4K this year, she's going straight to kindergarten. I'm not too thrilled about that, because she goes into public school once she reaches first grade instead of staying at the academy she's at, (ignore my hanging preposition, it's early and the coffee level is still high) and she just turned four. I don't want her starting first
grade next year.

So, I'm delema-ized. I think I'm going to call the school board this morning and see if she graduates from an accredited kindergarten, if perhaps they'll let me enroll her into kindergarten through the school system. That will keep her with her own age group.

I'm still not sure. Tonight is the orientation, so I'll find out more about why then. I don't think intelligence should play a huge factor in preschool advancement. There are so much more issues involved - the time spent simply "playing" instead of "learning", naps, a certain maturity-gap between 4 and 5 year olds, etc.

We'll see. Happy Thursday all!

Hallee 8-9-2001 4:48


Back again. I just read todays horoscope from the daily paper, (not the local one where they put them all in a hat and just pick them out willy nilly) and it says:

'By the weekend you should be able to say you hit your target with a breakthrough for your career or status. Your way with words is going to help you at every step.......'

Now the outcome of this is certainly going to put my belief in astrological credibility to the test.
Eyes closed tight, fingers crossed, clicking heels of red ruby slippers together three (no more, no less) times;
I believe
I believe
I believe.............

Teekay 8-9-2001 4:05


Rhoda - I had news from Arik not so long ago (in Arik time - grins). He is well (smiles). Think of him well.


8-9-2001 2:30


Am feeling a bit guilty about what I said about 'ferrying' my mother in law round. It's just that she tends to suffer from 'mild' hypochondria, so sometimes it's a bit frustrating. (I don't let her know that though)
I sure hope she doesn't go and pop off the perch now. That would make me feel REALLY bad.

Okay, definitely going.

Teekay 8-9-2001 2:20


Hi All,

Well the first of the rejections was found crouching sinisterly in the mail box today.
This isn't supposed to be. I read my star sign last night in the bath and it said that I would be rewarded for all my hard work - and basically the only 'hard' work I've done has been writing, so hey! What's going on?!?!??!?

JERRY: Nope, I haven't run into any of my characters in the shopping centre yet. Strangely enough I don't really know what they look like, I just sort of know what they're like.
Yeah, I know, I'm doing little loopy signs around my ears too :-)

HALLEE: That is soooo great for your friend. I visited the link and had a bit of a sob. I bet it would be a beautiful, life afirming book to read.

TINA: Seems it wasn't only the dog who could've used a bit of training, it's owners sounded a bit on the mannerless side as well.

MEL: I don't think it would be too bad if it fell off before you cooked the waffles, but to have gone to all that trouble for nought, well, it seems such a shame really :-D
No, I disagree with the dreaming thing, because it's not sensible dreaming where I can wake up and go, 'Oh yeah, that made sense' and then jot down 10 or so pages. It's more disjointed fleeting sort of stuff that just disrupts my sleep.

RHODA: Thanks :-).
I'll get back on track with V.S. soon. I've been a bit distracted with ferrying my mother in law around to all these doctors.

JERRY: That link is sooo funny. I even took the trouble to find out how to e mail it to someone.
Actually it was really easy to do, wish I'd looked sooner.
I think it's lovely that your Aunt and Uncle were allowed to room share in the nursing home. I've not come across one here where that's allowed and I think that is one of the saddest things.

Here's something a little sadistic for you all who are smoultering out there.

And the blistery, blustery wimpity wind,
trivered and twirled and pushed to get in,
but the fire did crinkle and poople and spit
and the blistery blustery thought better of it.

Then the slivery blithery snow came down,
and covered the crusty frosty ground,
it sittled on rooftops and pluffed down on sills,
but the crinkle and poofle kept out all the chills.

Then the rain came a drizzling and spiving right down,
and sloshed and slopped about the town,
it skoched the cold footses of those out and about,
while the crinkle and spit kept the shiveries out.

MEL: I put in all the insane words for you. I know how you like them :-D

a giant red mountain in a sandy desert
gossamer curtains blowing in an empty room
a wooden swing beneath an ancient oak
moss strewn headstones crumbling with the age
the last autumn leaf on the tree.

It's Thursday here, though most of it's past now, but I've still got half the night left. Does that make it Thursnight? That would be the politically correct term wouldn't it?

Seeya guys.

Teekay 8-9-2001 2:09


No time to read your posts. I am off in the morning to a two day party in Syracuse. Will I be near any NBer's? I have allowed two days travel time because I am going on my cruising bike. Just me and my 600 VLX setting out for an adventure. My friend Sammy says I won't make it on such a small bike. He is betting I will be back in two days minimum. I told him I went to the Chespeake on a 350, once. I just didn't tell him it was in 1978.

Hey, guess who moved into the neighborhood and who joined us at the coffee shop for our daily gathering. Surely you have heard of Jack "Popeye" Doyle who busted the famous French Connection drug ring in New York City. Remember Gene Hackman playing his character in that silly pork pie hat, and Roy Scheider was his partner? "We have granted him honorary "wash-ashore" status. Actually, it's the lowest social order and is granted to all new-comers without honor or ceremony. We have old-comers, wash-ashores, and bog frogs.

When you Come down from Boston, or up from New York. and you buy a cottage to use on weekends, you become a weekender. When you retire, later, and come to live in the cottage you become a wash-ashore. If your kids move in with you and have children, those children, being born here, become bog frogs.

If your grandfather's grandfather was born here chances are you are an old comer. Or at least your great great grandaddy was. Most auspiscious of all; if your ancesters include any Wampanoag indians, you are a native Cape Codder and your status is considered unchallengeable.

Must go,


gariess 8-9-2001 1:51


Well, today was lovely and HOT again! Yay! Not a cloud in the sky. After work, we went out on a friend's boat, and I tried waterskiing for the first time ever. Five tries, no luck, and then my toes cramped up. Maybe another time! I love jumping off the boat in the middle of the lake, swimming without a beach or lake bottom, just endless depths of rich water.

Brilliant sun, soaking through my skin, pulsing with my blood. Good friends, music, and rippling water on all sides, calling me to stand up and jump in. The thrill of weightlessness and the stunning shock of fresh water, so cool on my baked body, removes my day of doubts and worry.

Here's to another hot one tomorrow! (At least in my corner of the continent)

Rosemary, keep at 'em. And keep off it!

Outa here now. Gotta warm up!

Tina 8-9-2001 0:37

Been a long day, sometimes I write to relax, just finished this short memory of years gone by and thought I would share it. It was a good day in court. This is how it happened, or at least how I remember it.

I had just finished my internship with the Honorable James Bekken, District Judge in the South Central Judicial District of North Dakota. During the three-month internship, I accompanied the good judge on his trials, researched his cases for him, and drew up memorandums on how I felt the law said he should rule. Now the good judge never introduced me to the attorneys who appeared before him, and many of them looked at me like I was some sort of spy or something. I was privileged to sit with them during in chamber conferences both pre-trial, and during the trials. At one of them, I met an attorney from Jamestown, and while we were never introduced, he remembered me the next time I saw him. Paralegals, such as myself are trained to do almost everything a lawyer is, however we are not allowed to practice in most courts. Criminal courts are, of course off limits.

My son, had recently broken up with his girlfriend of several years, and was, at the time engaged to this preacher’s daughter. The x-girlfriend brought charges against my son, but the states attorney refused to press charges because he didn’t believe the gal. Not satisfied with the states attorney’s decision, she found a private attorney, that very same attorney to bring her case before the court, in an attempt to get a restraining order against my son. Well my son told me of this, and he was due in court in just a few days, so I decided to appear with him, as a friend of the court. As such, I could sit beside him at the table reserved for the defendant in criminal courts. This lawyer saw me, and asked if I was an attorney. I told him I was not, and his first motion was to have me moved to the gallery. The Judge, not the one for whom I interned, asked me why I was there, and I explained that I was only there for moral support for my son, the Judge allowed me to stay.

Before the trial, I prepared my son the best I could on how to question, what to ask, how he could make motions, and objections. I felt he was very prepared. Well the gal got up on the stand and told a tale of abuse, stating that she was attending college at Jamestown College, and that my son came up to her in the hall, and slapped her hard across her face. That he had done this twice. My son questioned her very well, and then sat back down. Her attorney glared at me, as I patted my son on the back.

The next witness was what could be best called a lawyers nightmare. He had very long hair, holes in his blue jeans, hadn’t shaved for several days, and had the greenest teeth I have ever seen. He sat in the witness chair, showing no respect for the court, or the judge. I could see the anger of the judge, but he kept his cool, as the lawyer talked him through the case, and got his testimony that he saw the alleged assault. In doing this, he slumped down in the chair, crossing his legs, showing off his worn out tennis shoes. My son asked him a few questions, and then let him go. Again, I patted him on the back in congratulations. Again the lawyer glared at me, and renewed his objection to my presence. Again the Judge told him it was OK for me to sit there.

Finally it was time for my son to put on our defense case. His first and only witness was his future father-in-law, the preacher. Now he took the preacher through the day in question, and it just so happened that my son was that day accompanying the preacher on his rounds at a nearby Indian reservation, and was with him all day. When he was asking the questions, he though of one, and turned to whisper to me, I nodded my head to his question, and the lawyer was on his feet, screaming at the judge, “SEE He is giving legal advice, I WANT HIM HELD IN CONTEMPT!”

“SIT DOWN!” the judge ordered, then turned to me, and said, “Guess you better move back before Mr. Larson has a heart attack.”

I moved back with a chuckle, that the judge shared. My son finished with his defense, then gave a closing statement that we worked out the day before, that would have put Perry Mason to shame.

Now usually judges retire to chambers for a short time before they make a ruling, but not in this case. The Judge had both my son, and his accusing x-girl friend stand, then began his ruling.

“First of all, I want to say that Mr. Ericsson has put forward a defense that is better then most attorneys I have seen before this court. Secondly, Mr. Larson, you are damn lucky that I am in a good mood, or I would find you in contempt for even bringing this case before the court. Now Miss. ______ I want to tell you that there are laws against using the court to try and get even with your former boy friends for breaking up, and you too are lucky that I don’t hold you in contempt of court, but your lawyer apparently felt you had a case. I will tell you one thing, if either of you ever come before my court again, with a case that is so plainly a bold face lie, I will put you both in jail! “ Mr. Ericsson, I am sorry you had to come before this court under these conditions, you are free to go.

With this, he gaveled, and left the courtroom. Her lawyer just sat there, in a daze as the rest of us filed out. That afternoon was a day of celebration.

Jerry 8-9-2001 0:25

Coolness update! - Have to close the windows, getting COLD, they say it may get into the low 50's tonight, the highs are supposed to stay in the low 70's for all week. Weather chart had a huge circle on it, labled 20 to 30 degrees lower temps!

Hope the rest of you get just a touch of this wonderful cold, sleep well in your freezers, I will be under the covers, under the afagan, shivering in my sleep. AND LOVING IT!

Jerry 8-8-2001 23:36

I thought it went:

Great big gobs of greasy, grimy gopher guts,
Mutilated monkey meat,
Little turdy birdie feet,
All wrapped up in a rotten poison ivy leaf
And I forgot my spoon.

Mary 8-8-2001 23:08



Poor thing. I hope you are able to remain cool tonight. I should feel extremely sad, for you, and my better self does, but there is a perverse side of my nature that is a little smug about people from the Pacific Northwest feeling some of our pain. Misery does love company, I suppose. I really do hope that your heat spell ends soon. I wouldn't wish this heat on anyone.


Sorry to hear about your aunt. I know you will miss her very much.

We went to see The Princess Diaries tonight. It was cute and very good for a movie rated G. Julie Andrews was magnificent. Last week I saw America's Sweethearts. I recommend that one also. I think the best movie I have seen this summer was Legally Blonde.


For the past few days I have been working on something set in Scotland. I shouldn't have done it, but I couldn't help myself. After visiting I had to do something. Could I run some of the dialect past you sometime just to see if I have caught on to it? I hated scrapping my other project. I suppose I will have to go to California to inspire me for that one. But I do hate being in the habit of writing one or two chapters of something and then going off to something else.

Rhoda 8-8-2001 22:56

Oh, THANK YOU, JERRY!!!!!!! :-]

HOWARD: Oh, THANK YOU for Hiero #2 - came in the mail today and I started right into it! :-)

Slithy toves aren't as distracting tonight - rats! Guess I'm gonna have to sleep in the freezer or somewhere...

The search for I can write... Maybe I'll just write about sleeping...oh, that's not even funny to me.

Well, g'night you-all. %-]

Mel 8-8-2001 21:29

Ok, I will blow a bit of this nice cooooool air to the east, once an hour. At that rate, it should be on the east coast by, oh, say, WINTER TIME! Just kidding, I hope all who are still sweltering will soon enjoy the same nice cool weather that we have right now.

Jerry 8-8-2001 21:10

Geez, I hate typos... "dat" should be "sat" - as in, we sat there sipping ice water!! ;-/

Mel 8-8-2001 20:44

JERRY: I'm so glad SOMEONE got cool! :-) Meanwhile, here in the northeast USA, people are going crazy swarming to all kinds of stores and buying air, I hate to say, before me! DRAT!!! All gone, not one to be had...sigh. We opened our camper in the driveway, hoping it'll be cooler out there sooner than the house will be.

Reminds me of the time as a kid when my family camped in Needles, California, on the edge of the desert (on our way across country). It was soooo hot, we tossed and turned till 3 a.m. and then piled into the car, drove into town to a Denny's restaurant and dat there in the A/C, sipping ice water. We crashed to sleep the next day in a cool motel somewhere! Whew! Our thermometer we had with us on our trip broke that night; the mercury went up to 120 degrees F and stuck there! No wonder we couldn't sleep that night!

Now, where did I leave that cool rabbit hole? Ah, there it is..." 'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves..." :-)

Mel 8-8-2001 20:43

There goes the siren again, another fire by the lightning. It is still raining, but they say the severe warning has been canceled, seems the storm "fell apart" when it hit Lemmon. We are So lucky.

Oh sorry about that double post, on my laptop again, due to the storm, and I must have double clicked when I should have clicked. It is still raining, still cool.

Jerry 8-8-2001 20:20

Aaaahhhhhh, the storm did it, it was the "perfect" storm. A bit breezy, but the temp dropped from 98 degrees to 72 now. We got oh, about a half inch of wonderful COOOOOOLLLL rain. As the rain fell, I heard the individual blades of grass go oh, ah, oooooooh. The trees seemed to perk up, where their leaves were droopy, now they stand proud, happy. The dust that covered our car and pickup is gone, replaced with cool, clear rain. Oh the thunder is still thundering, the lightning, that struck south of town, causing the fire department to go south sirens screaming is still flashing, but oh the air is soo nice and cool, yes, it is wonderful to be alive in such nice cool weather. Think I will go camping this weekend.

Jerry 8-8-2001 20:01

Aaaahhhhhh, the storm did it, it was the "perfect" storm. A bit breezy, but the temp dropped from 98 degrees to 72 now. We got oh, about a half inch of wonderful COOOOOOLLLL rain. As the rain fell, I heard the individual blades of grass go oh, ah, oooooooh. The trees seemed to perk up, where their leaves were droopy, now they stand proud, happy. The dust that covered our car and pickup is gone, replaced with cool, clear rain. Oh the thunder is still thundering, the lightning, that struck south of town, causing the fire department to go south sirens screaming is still flashing, but oh the air is soo nice and cool, yes, it is wonderful to be alive in such nice cool weather. Think I will go camping this weekend.

Jerry 8-8-2001 19:43

SHIT! Bad thunderstorm coming, gotta go.

Jerry 8-8-2001 18:41

Missed us again, this time north of here they had 120 miles per hour straight line winds, the City of Hillsboro lost roofs, over two-hundred trees blown over. Sure am glad that didn't hit here.

We said good bye today to Rosie the Riveter, my aunt who died after living a full life of 81 years. It was so sad to see my Uncle saying good bye, they lived the original love story, never has there been a happier couple who shared so much for so long. When she had a stoke several years ago, and was forced to live in the nursing home, he joined her, they stayed in the same room, together even in illness. He is in a wheel chair now, and I suspect he will join her very soon.

Oh why do I call her Rosie the riveter? Well during the second world war, she answered her nations call by traveling out to Washington State, where she worked in a Boeing plant riveting together the aircraft that won the war. That's where he met her, although they grew up only miles from each other, they never met until he hopped a freight with my dad, his older brother, to travel out to the fruit groves where they could make a few bucks picking apples. It is a long story, and I shan't bore you with it. But today sadly it ended, for now anyhow.

Jerry Ericsson 8-8-2001 18:10

JERRY: BWahHaHAHHAHAHAHAHAH!!! Oh, man, on that site of jokes, I'm going home! :-D

Mel 8-8-2001 15:53

Here is a chuckle, Microsoft should put this on your computer in place of that stupid one that pops up when you mistype an address, or the web is down, or that site is down. Click on the link, then make sure you read the whole thing, it is great.

Jerry Ericsson page cannot be displayed 8-8-2001 12:47

JERRY: Share nice - blow some coolness eastward when you get it!

ROSEMARY: Still chuckling...I just love your little animal visuals! :-) Poor duckie.

RHODA: Last week, Mark said he'd be away for six weeks...

Time for lunch and some writing/critiquing! :-)

Mel 8-8-2001 12:06

More MIA's:

Richard and Arik.

Rhoda 8-8-2001 11:57

***Rhoda ***

If I have one praise to give to Oklahoma weather in the summer, it is that it is predictable--HOT,HOT,HOT. DRY,DRY,DRY. Nothing has changed for four weeks. Never do you have to wake in the morning and ask yourself, "What shall I wear?" Last night we enjoyed a nice break. There were actually cool breezes. It looked like rain, even smelled like it, but ... nothing. I nearly cried to hear today's weather forcast. High 101 and no mention of possible rain.


Can't wait to see your pictures.


I am glad you are doing better. I will still keep you in my prayers.


I am glad to know that your sister and her baby are alright. I have had to have two of my babies induced for preclampsia (it never got life-threatening because I was put to bed and then induced at term). I was told not to have another baby after my third because it seemed to be a pattern with me.


Are you still lurking? Haven't heard from you for awhile. Are you still doing the hoof and mouth work? Has there been any let up on the disease? There is nothing here in our newspapers about it.


Where are you guys?


I am glad to read you are enjoying your writing and the ideas are flowing.

I shall try to muster up enough will to work out at the gym today. I have been so good these past two weeks. Unfortunately I haven't lost a pound.

Rhoda 8-8-2001 11:53

Morning all,
It's only suposed to get to about 100 degrees today so we'll be ok.

About the knee, I had an appointment to get an xray, an appointment to see what it said, an appointment for a MRI, and appointment to see what it said. All of those took at least two weeks each. A couple of them more. Now I'm waiting for an appointment to the Osteo. Clinic. They're suposed to call me within two weeks from the 3rd. All of the above has taken about two months or so and the knee is feeling much better. (but it's not well. Now the other one is trying to act up from the strain of doing the other one's work.) Maybe they drag it out like that to see if it'll get better on it's own.

you didn't blow hard enough. It looks like Barry just made it to Alabama and is about kerput now. I guess I shouldn't complain about the lack of rain because I couldn't mow the grass now if grew anyway.

Ghost, my sister's grey arabian gelding, standing contentedly, head in his feed bucket, eating. The gang of ducks jockying for position underneath, waiting for crumbs to fall. Ghost shifts a bit to the left to get a better angle at the fodder and the peaceful scene is split by screeching, honking, duck curses. Wings beat, feathers fly.

I'm standing nearby, waiting for the water barrel to fill and look over to see a very nice shapely arabian hoof planted firmly on top of a flat, webbed duck foot. I move toward Ghost and he looks up to see what I want and shifts his bulk a bit to the right. This releases the duck and he limps off muttering to himself about inconsiderate monsters with big feet.


Rosemary 8-8-2001 11:44

The weatherman says we will get a break in the heat tomorrow. Ah but today another sweltering humid miserable day. And me with a funeral to attend at two o'clock PM. Well I guess it is about time to turn on the air, get a head start, just a tad over 80 right now, but warming up fast.

He best not be lieing! If he is, I fear for his safety. Not from me, but these good folks here in Lemmon don't take kindly to liars, especially ones who do it on the nightly news, oh no. He is predicting tomorrow's highs to only be in the low 70's! YES! 70's! There will be dancing!

Dancing in the streets!

Jerry Ericsson 8-8-2001 10:46

Hmm, at least we're all agreed on the "great gobs of grimy gopher guts" - perhaps the years of passing down children's chants have only been kind to the first line, so well remembered. This leads me to wonder if only OUR first lines - of any work - will be all that is remembered...Scary. Let's make those first lines DYNAMITE! :-)

Mel 8-8-2001 10:45

Oops. My turn to double-post. Sorry.

Tina 8-8-2001 9:55

So funny, we sang that song this way...

"Great green gobs of
Juicy grimy gopher guts
Mutilated monkey feet
Itsy bitsy birdy feet.
Great green gobs of
Juicy grimy gopher guts
And me without a spoon!"

Mel, the beauty of an Okanagan Summer is the beach. When the temperature climbs up, the beaches fill up. There is always a bit of a breeze there, and the water is always perfect for a cool dip. If I don't take my dog, there are 11 different local beaches on two lakes that I can choose from! (If I do take my dog, there are only 2) The joy and bliss...

Yay! Another sunny day! (she says, ducking the objects being flung at her by heat-exhausted notebookers...)

Tina 8-8-2001 9:55

So funny, we sang that song this way...

"Great green gobs of
Juicy grimy gopher guts
Mutilated monkey feet
Itsy bitsy birdy feet.
Great green gobs of
Juicy grimy gopher guts
And me without a spoon!"

Mel, the beauty of an Okanagan Summer is the beach. When the temperature climbs up, the beaches fill up. There is always a bit of a breeze there, and the water is always perfect for a cool dip. If I don't take my dog, there are 11 different local beaches on two lakes that I can choose from! (If I do take my dog, there are only 2) The joy and bliss...

Yay! Another sunny day! (she says, ducking the objects being flung at her by heat-exhausted notebookers...)

Tina 8-8-2001 9:54

Impromptu Shortie Night Theme: SOLITUDE

Mary 8-8-2001 9:31


whew!!! That was nothing like a good night's sleep - it was STIFLING. My husband and I are walking zombies today... Guess what, though--we're shopping for an air conditioner after work tonight!!! I love plastic money... but only when absolutely unavoidable. And suffocating from heat is not a pleasant or acceptable alternative!!!

JERRY: I--um, fell down a rabbit hole last night...nice and cool there (mentally); might go back there again tonight. Come on down! Oh, I see you found your way - heh heh! Only WE sang:

Great big gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts
Mutilated monkey meat
Little dirty birdy feet
Great big eyeballs mixed in a bowl of blood
Eat it without a spoon.

(Oh yes, gross to the max!) ;-/

TEEKAY: :-) Oh great! You build your castle on a cliff, are just fixing the morning waffles and--whoops! Off you go, with the kitchen, into the sea. I hate soggy waffles! A little seaweed with your juice? BTW, dreaming about your characters IS a good thing, I agree with Jerry. The more time you spend with them, the better you'll know them and be able to convey them to others with your printed words. I think it's best, unless your only income is from writing sales, to just write for your own enjoyment, no pressure there. :-) Keep rolling! (Just watch out for that cliff...)

TINA: Um, I wished for Autumn, but only because I especially love Autumn as much as Spring. I know Autumn lasts only a short time and then BAM! we're into Winter, but the Summer is way too hot where I am, so, I wish for Autumn. Okay! Your lawn is lovely--Send us the brown-grass owners some inspirational pictures (and throw your A/C in there, while you're at it, heh heh!) :-) See, Heinlein was right to say "it's always a lovely day somewhere" -- and you're being piggy! (Just kidding, of mail the A/C and the green pics!) ;-]

HALLEE: Okay, I'm a-comin'... :-) I'll have a large delivery fpr you soon, anyway...Life in general and the heat in particular have slowed down my crit for you, but whenever I do work on it, I'm enraptured every time! I Love your characters! :-) Well, except for the bad guy - I Hate him. :-)

HOWARD: As in...bat in the house?! Oh, my - get him out carefully!! My mother-in-law had a bat swooping in her house just the other night. She opened the door and it swooped back outside, thank goodness!

Y'ALL: "And the mome raths outgrabe." (from "Jabberwocky" in Lewis Carroll's "Through The Looking Glass, 1871)

I'm gonna think about icebergs today.

Mel 8-8-2001 8:42


howard 8-8-2001 5:57


HOWARD: Glad to see your post. Hope the arm is 100% soon, so that everything else can be, too. ;)

JERRY: At the end of the story about W/C, I said "whew" out loud! Goodness - I'm glad all that worked out.

TINA: It's pure laziness that creates untrained dogs, and it irritates me to the far reaches and back. I have 10 puppies because someone let their dogs run loose. My well-trained, obedient dog was in her own yard. (sigh) The dog and the owner are both happier if you have a dog who is trained to listen. arghh - I can't believe that happened. Pretty cool about the buck, though.

MEL: Come on over. I have central air, hon, and we can sip iced tea (southern style with a little secret added to the end I learned in a Country Cooking type restaurant that will make it the best iced tea you've ever tasted) in my Florida room and watch Kaylee play in the wading pool.

MARY: I don't know. Where I live, nearly everyone has central air, unless it's a really old house. I love the summer time - the heat and humidity - I love to sweat. And, I turn my air way up, to 80 (unless Mel's coming over - I'll turn it down for you, dear.) When it's over 100 outside, 80 is extremely cool. Try doing that and see if the shock going outside is a little lessened, allowing more enjoyment of it. (If have no idea if this makes any sense.)

RACHEL/JACK/ALLEIN/AMERICO: Hey guys - how are the book sales going?

A friend of mine wrote a book called "My Perfect Child has Cerbral Palsy" about her little boy, Jimmy. She went through First Books, or something like that (a print on demand book publisher) to have it printed. (Maybe it originally cost her money - I don't know). A segment of the book was turned into a short story and was in "Chicken Soup". This book is fabulous - touching, wrenching, warm. The local press where she lives did a lot of stories about it, PBS in Indiana did a story on her, all sorts of good things happened with it. Anyway, she sent me a link to a newspaper article about it. Apparently, it's now required reading for medical students somewhere. It's so exciting - I'm thrilled to death for her. I've put the link for the story above.

Okay - off to write. Have a great Wednesday all!

Hallee Marie Kennedy 8-8-2001 4:47

Tina - sounds exactly like what we have experienced this year, first we had a fabulous spring, followed by most of the summer rain, in fact we didn't have to use our well much at all. (We water from our private well, as city water seems to destroy more grass then it saves. Makes you wonder what it is doing to our insides.) Then came the HEAT the past ten or so days have been over 90 yesterday and today up in the low hundreds. The weatherman says it is almost over, cool air is on it's way from Montana. I hope so. Went out and mowed my grass yesterday before it got to hot, and boy did it need it, what with all the rain we have been having before the heat the grass has been growing like mad. It was only three days since I last mowed. Have to drive my little garden tractor/mower over to the daughters house in a couple of days and mow hers. Her mower isn't working all that well, and she has a massive yard with her thousand dollar house. Then if I have the energy, I will bop over to mom's house and do hers too. My sister usually mows mom's but it has been awhile now and hers is high too. My mower has a bagger attached so I can bag up the hay that we mow and transport it to the local dump grounds.

It is nearly 11:00 PM now, and the temperature has fallen to a warm 84, the humidity is still so high that sweat rolls from your body doing absolutely no good. Turned off the air though, as it only cools the living room. We have talked of moving out here to sleep, as we have one of those beds built into our couch, but with my back, and the wife's knee I doubt we would get much sleep, as that bed has to be one of the most uncomfortable beds ever made. No, I guess it will be another night of sleeping under the caring eye of the fan that sits atop our tall chest of drawers.

Good night all, and Teekay, sometimes it is a good thing to dream of your characters, it makes them much more clear in your head, and gives you so much more to describe. Now if you begin running in to them in the K-Mart then I would begin to worry.

Jerry Ericsson 8-8-2001 0:54



Bite yon tongue, and may your teeth fall out if my summer goes away!

Okay, I don't mean the curse. But while the rest of you are sweltering away, I'm having what the weather reports call 'an unusually cool summer'. Rain. Rain. Clouds. Rain. Today was day 2 of beautiful weather, after nearly three weeks of gross weather. I will happily trade with anyone who will package up and mail me their sun. My lawn is still green, and it's been over three weeks since I watered it. My lupine, a spring flower, is sending up new flowers! This has never happened before. I've used my A/C three times. THREE! This nonsense must end, now!

Went to the beach today, a lovely one well away from town. We have to hike 10 minutes down a trail through a ponderosa pine forest to get to the spot where we can take our dog. Only one other couple was there with their mutt. It came over to greet our dog, sniffed noses and butts, and then proceeded to pee on my backpack. I was furious. The couple laughed, apologised in that 'I'm saying sorry but I don't really mean it' way, and weren't even decent enough to come clean up. My husband launched their spaniel 5 meters across the beach, by its collar.
Ah but karma! When we left at sunset, we walked back up the trail and were graced by a two-point muley deer buck, standing barely 10 meters away in the bush. He saw us and kept nibbling at the snowberry bushes. For five minutes we watched him, he watched us. Our dog is trained well enough that, though she twitched in excitement, she sat and stayed by us. It made the early annoyance fade away, and reminded me that you receive in equal proportion to what you give. That couple weren't graced by that buck, and never will be with a dog that poorly trained by their own lack of responsibility.

Heather, I hear that a state of emergency has been declared in the Toronto area, due to the heat and humidity. Is it affecting you? May your A/C keep humming!

Howard, glad to see things improving. Evidently you're trying to get back to your old tricks. Such problems require creative solutions... (wink wink ;-D)

Rosemary, keep resting that knee! Have you seen that doctor yet?

Given the current rash of ailments, my wish for the night...
May all your joints articulate painlessly!

Tina 8-8-2001 0:29


Gosh you guys, do you think perhaps this heat wave could be El Nino up to his tricks?
Our weather is not so bad as of late, there are days when you could swear it was spring - and I can't wait for that.
I hope our summer doesn't get as unbearable as the rest of you guys are having.

HEATHER: Where are you? Have you melted? Braised HEATHER, simmered in her own juices with just a touch of garlic and maybe some chard.

MEL: Love your posts.
I was watching Jimeoen on TV last night and he was doing a tour of Ireland and there was this absolutely glorious castle built along a cliff outreach. It was totally amazing. Apparently, at one time the kitchen part fell off and into the sea. I'm not sure if he was joking or not though - it seems quite possible that it did.

MARY: Love your posts.

HOWARD: Love your posts - some of them make me drool.

LITTER: Whatever happened to DOT who posted that first part of 'Porncop'? Is she still working on it, do you know?

JERRY: Bloody hell. well I guess that counts for a blessing then. See, things are looking up. *phew*

JACK: I think that opening passage had the makings of a novel in it. it sounded really interesting and piqued my curiosity - though I admit, that doesn't take a whole lot to do :-)
BTW, you've been saying you're going to archive since almost 800k :-D
Everything will happen in divine time.

Well I can't go without telling you all how thrilled I am with the way my writing is going. I have never written this much before and am totally absorbed in this world I have created. The characters have become so real to me I find myself dreaming about them. (This is not a good thing.)

I am writing without the view to publish so that I don't put any pressure on myself and simply write for the enjoyment of it, so 96% of it is most likely unpublishable. Nevertheless, when it's done I shall lay it aside for a while and then go over it and see what can be done with it and perhaps send it off to some publishers if I see any hope in it.

However, as it is, I'm thoroughly enjoying my absorption into this fantasy world of my making and minglingb with the characters there, getting to know them all better, and hopefully at the end of my visit I shall emerge a wiser person.

Teekay 8-7-2001 21:47

Remember this:

Ruben, Ruben I've been thinking,
What the hell have you been drinking?
Smells like whiskey, tastes like wine

Now that was always followed by a bit of:

Great big gobs of greasy grimey gopher guts,
Greasy grimy gopher guts,
Greasy grimy gopher guts.

Hasten, hasten bring the basin!

EEEErp Slop, bring the mop!

Jerry 8-7-2001 21:19

Mel - what the heck have you been smoking? (Save me a toke will ya?)

Jerry 8-7-2001 21:15

Okay, folks. I get it. You guys are writing now, aren't you? Well, I'm done surfing and am toddling off to bed so I can get up early when it's much cooler and maybe get some real writing stuff done.

Have a good evening!

Mel - the final word 8-7-2001 21:05

Oops, forgot to say

MARY: more favorite words of mine are nonsense words that make some sort of sense, like

'Twas brillig
and the slithy toves
did gyre and gimbol in the wabe.

All mimsy were the borogroves (sp?)
And the moon---- outgrabe.

(Yea, Lewis Carroll!) :-)


(--David Steinberg)

Okay, I'm going, I'm going!

Mel again again 8-7-2001 20:52

MARY: What is this week's shorty theme? Or did you mention something and it fell out of my brain?? :-/

Mel 8-7-2001 20:48

Rats. The Chat-room isn't loading.

But I'll lurk here at the NB for a few more minutes...

Mel 8-7-2001 20:32



Anyone want to chat? :-)

Mel 8-7-2001 20:28

Oh joy of joys - a few minutes on the family computer in the COOL basement. :-) I DID unexpectedly find another cool spot in my house (Not counting the freezer, Rosemary!) - my bedroom closet! (Um, Ms. Muse, I am NOT going to write in the closet...uh, oh boy it's hot out, okay, go get the flashlight!)

ROSEMARY: I'm saving up for A/C for the main bedroom, I'm convinced!

drip, drip, drip...write, write, write... sigh.

I'm ready for AUTUMN!!!

Mel 8-7-2001 20:27


Psssst, pssssssssst buddy, I've got some information (grin wink). Americo is on vacation. He will be back in a few days. I believe that Jon and Pussy are somewhere on the moon. They like to get away from the crowds. Jon can't go out the front door without people hounding him for his attention. It isn't really Jon who minds all the fans. It is more Pussy who gets really angry. She doesn't like people who cut into her "time" with Jon.

Yikes! Sebastian has done several laps of my bathroom and has decided that he is going to come into my bedroom to join me. He is so funny! He says 'yea,aha,aha,yeee' to all of you.

Take care all :D


8-7-2001 20:25


Debra 8-7-2001 20:18


He does sometimes bounce right into my arms.

Good one on your part!

8-7-2001 20:18

The heat goes on, temp is now 104 dew point is at 70 heat indices is 118 right now according to the TV right now. I did uncover the air conditioner, and it is working nicely in the living room, (Window air) the dining room is comfortable, kitchen is hot rest of the house is closed off. Put the dog out for five minutes, and he is scratching to get back in.

The bad luck just keeps on coming. Today the wife noticed that my workers comp check is like two weeks late. Now anything happens with WC my heart skips a beat or two, seems they care more about saving the State money then injured workers. To make sure, we tore the house apart looking for the check, just in case. Called the bank in case we deposited it, but no, it was no place to be found. With all that has happened the past few weeks, I prepared myself for the worse, figuring the bureau had found some way to take me off the disabled list, knowing that they have sent private investigators down three times in the past few years (have a contact in the police dept., don't you know). So, I took a deep breath and dialed them up. The first lady I spoke with said something like, just a sec and I will pull you up on the computer. Well the phone went dead for like four minutes, I was about to hang up and call again, when she came back on the phone with; sir, I am going to have to transfer you to your case worker. Well my heart dropped another few feet, then my case worker came on. Sorry for the delay; she began, the computer made a mistake, your check will go out in today's mail. I could breath again, the weight of the world got much lighter with that, she apologized again, and hung up. Now I am not sure that this cleared everything up, with the bureau you never know, but hopefully it was just a glitch. Maybe things will change a bit for the better. Hey, I can always hope right?

I too have been wondering what happened to Americo, I miss his wit, and his animal friends. And by the way, what ever happened to Arik?

Tune in tomorrow when we will hear Howard say _ _ _ _.

Oh did you know that the weather bug tray temperature turns red when the temp hits 100? Kind of neat I guess, and it has been flashing high temp warnings all afternoon.

Jerry Ericsson 8-7-2001 19:19

So glad you're feeling better. Too bad about the harness, but at least there is something that works. I absolutely love swiss chard. It is very expensive down here so I don't get it very often except in early spring. Never thought about putting garlic in it but since both are wonderful, why not. With lots of butter. Yum. :-P

Have you thought about just getting a window unit for the bedroom(s)?(almost forgot there were so many of you) Even if you had to get three or so, at about $150-$200 ea., that would be far less expensive than a central unit. Especially since you don't usually need much air conditioning up there.

I find it odd that younger people (children) don't notice the heat the way adults do. We have always lived in the Southern part of the US and I don't remember the heat bothering me back then. My mother did mention that one of my first phrases was "wanta defanna" at night when she tiptoed in to take their one fan. I think that was either in Nevada or Oklahoma.

Happy Writing,
PS: I'm getting around better now so beware of new visuals in near future.

Rosemary 8-7-2001 12:50

HOWARD: I'm so glad your shoulder is finally improving! :-) If you hadna posted soon to let us know, I was gonna look up YOUR phone number, or send you a singing mail-o-gram or something...heh heh. Oh, you're too quick. Now you don't get nuttin' ('cept my continued good wishes for that shoulder). ;-] Keep smilin'! September will be here before you know it.

MARY: Dreaming of outdoor swimming pools and indoor A/C - ahh, cool... No worries for me. I'll leave the outdoors out there and stay in the house forever if it's cool enough! I don't garden, so no worries there. My kids' greatest hobbies are video games, computer games, and movies, so nothing to drag me outside there...Just the money thing (i.e. current lack thereof) holding me back from pure comfort of A/C. ENJOY yours - hope you have time to write in all that coolness. :-)

Mel 8-7-2001 12:12

MEL: Some of the best money I have ever spent went to the air conditioning we put in the house three years ago. There is, however, a draw back to making your house such a haven from the heat. It turns you into a hermit. Before the A/C, I would spend countless hours outside working my flower beds, sitting in a lawn chair with my feet in the kids wading pool, or just sipping iced tea on the front porch swing. Now that I have an escape from the heat I don't spend enough time outside. My garden looks like hell, my porch rails need painted, there are weeds in between the stones of my patio. The whole place is going to pot and here I sit in 70 degree coolness and I can't even force myself to care about what is going on outside(where right now at 11:30 AM it is already 92F). I think that even my birdbath is dried up, but I haven't seen it in a while so I can't really be sure.

Ah well, just keep that in mind if air conditioning is ever something you are tossing around. There is a price bigger than the chink it takes out of your wallet.

Mary 8-7-2001 11:26

It's HOT here too!

Shoulder is stll hurting, but not as badly now. The doc said I have to wear this pillow/harness for another month at least, and put tentative date of 9/1 for return to normal activity.

What a bummer trying to type with this thing on! Or wash/cook/sleep/whoopie/pick blackberries/drive/whoopie/write/read/eat/whoopie/whatever!

I did manage to dig some garlic yesterday. It turned out beautifully! Nice big heads. Now if the chard will come on I can have sauteed Swiss Chard and garlic, with a nice cucumber/radish salad on the side. MMmmm!!!

howard 8-7-2001 11:23


Yo, Hello everybodeez! :-) I don't know about the rest of you in the summer season, but I thought last night's heat was worse than Heather's "nuclear." Hot, hot! Sweltering, sweat-swamping, ankle-swelling torridity (okay, Ms. Muse, put away the thesaurus!) My point, and I do have one, is that last eve there was simply NO PLACE to escape the heat that drains my brain, and Ms. Muse, my plucky she-devil, kept jabbing me in the ribs to alight somewhere and write, write, write...I think she was chanting in rhythm to the sweat dripping from my head...write, write, write...drip, drip, drip...Aarrrgggghhhh! The diningroom where I usually spread the mss. was stifling, no breeze. No breeze on the porches. Ms. Muse finally dragged me UPSTAIRS (hot, hot, hot!!!) to my bedroom where I cranked the fan to "NUCLEAR HEAT REPELLANT" and crashed on the bed with a cold, wet washcloth till I could think again, and THEN I let Ms. Muse have her way. Oh, to think of all the times I wanted to write and couldn't find her; then she paid me back last night, I didn't want to write but she made me. The painful ecstasy...heh heh. :-)

JERRY: The only folks with no problems are no longer living. :-) I bet you never felt so alive! Heh heh. I think insurance companies are worse than the utility companies. We're forced to pay insurance on our homes, our vehicles. Then, if an accident or an Act of God occurs and we call our friendly insurance companies to pay on their promises to us, they do so GRUDGINGLY...and then they raise our premiums to cover what they had to forfeit back to us. What a racket!!! (((HUGS))) for the loss of your aunt...

DEBRA: I think your son is just trying to bounce himself into your arms. :-)

LITTER: I LOVE castles!!! :-) Can't wait to see your pics.

JACK: Love your opening sentence about magic coming in the middle years. :-) Your new story sounds like, perhaps, a further tribute to your cousin? Nice beginning...

Okay, Teekay, cough up some cool weather for us so we can write better... Um, Hop, you can send some too...Americo, where are you?

Y'ALL have a good day! If'n yore hot, try to stay cool. If'n yore cold, think of us poor sweltering writers in the western hemisphere swimming in our own sweat...and stay cool!!!

Mel 8-7-2001 8:53

I will archive before I take my computer in in the morning. That said, I have the password protected and tree form bulleting board scripting under my built and will get it up and running for the Workbook sometime this week. Most likely off of my laptop, rather than the desktop that will have to go into the shop. Also, I have a fantasy story that is building in pace using Office XP. Trying to decide if it is a short story or the beginning of a novel. This is the first paragraph.

This is the start of it:

Magic came to him in the middle years of his life. This was long after he had served with distinction and personal anguish in the Foot fighting east of Adjimour and Kesh. They mustered him out with the rank of Corporal. Only to find work was scarce indeed. And when it was not, he had a taste for wine or worse. So he eventually was pitched from job to job, until one day he huddled among the miscreants, swaddled in rags, at the gate wall simpering and yelling “Alms. Alms, Sooor. Alms for the poooor.”

Jack Beslanwitch 8-7-2001 6:29

VIV: His name is Hal. :)

MEL: I think she is so happy not to be pregnant anymore that none of that will matter. She had a miserable pregnancy, and better to get up to feed the baby than to be ill.

ROSEMARY: We surrived pretty well. The city is flooded all over the place, including my laundry room (and the poor wet puppies in there - worked in there for 2 hours last night to get it and them dry and set something else up for them.) I'm blowing west really hard, hoping it moves the clouds your way.

JERRY: Look into the Atkins diet for your mom. My father in law completely controls his diabetes, drug free, with just his diet, and he follows it strictly. As he says, he'd rather change his diet, deny himself things he used to love, than to have to give himself a shot every day.

That firefighter story was terrible. to write. Happy Tuesday all!

Hallee 8-7-2001 4:32

Tina, please finish the critique before I send you the new version, I'm having trouble with my WP program. I caught a virus (Or my computer did) and although I got rid of it,i'm having to do some editing and re-installing before I can do much on my novel...

Laura 8-7-2001 1:38

You have to wonder where this country is going, when four brave firefighters die because there "MAY" be endangered fish in a river so the aircraft are prohibited from using that water to save the lives of those brave souls.

Jerry Firemen die to protect fish 8-7-2001 0:13

You just keep unloading on us if it makes it easier for you. (besides that, it's interesting) I'm sure most of us have been through bad patches where we have to keep slogging through it until the other side shows up. I can't remember going through a sequence as bad as yours but there's always a far side. Sometimes it's just seems like you'll never get there.

Hope Barry is treating you with respect. If not, give him a boot in the rear and send him this way. We know how to welcome a wayward hurricane.

I recieved the long touted tax refund today. Definitely not unwelcome due to the property tax problems I am having. They give to me and I give it right back to them.
Oh well, I didn't have it to start with so I can't miss it. Can I?


Rosemary 8-6-2001 21:32

Big Hi’s to everyone.

Just a brief visit between web-pages. Doing a web site of the Festival I attended last week and it has grown into a monster – about 230 or so pics and thumbnails and lots of pages. It’s been taking up lots of my time as I’m sure you can imagine…

MARY – got your mail – I’ll reply soonest.

The festival was held in the grounds of a 15th century castle where my wife and I walked the corridors and slept in the rooms that our present Queen and her sister Margaret stayed in whilst they were children. Read books in the libraries that their father King George VI languished in whilst his kids played in the gardens that my kids played in every year for most of their lives… Ahhh history in every step… The castle and it’s extended mansion house were a gift to the Church of Scotland by a cousin of the present Queen some 30 odd years ago and I am now a minor member of the Trust that now owns and runs it as a retreat and conference centre – we even allow peasants and colonials to visit :o) Lots of Pics to follow when I get the website up, in a week or so.

Don’t know what people are talking about as I have yet to update myself on notebook goings on and such, but I shall be back soon.

Ciao for now,


Litter 8-6-2001 20:52

Mel Rachael:

It seems almost as if you are geared towards a high energy day then you don't see boys as hard. I like things a little softer. My son bounces off the walls and no one else seems to see as much of it as I do.

Who knows!

He is cuddley when he is on break though.

Debra 8-6-2001 19:49

Teekay - I tried that once or twice, the first time got me in so much trouble, that I still hear from the folks who hated my writing, and that was back in, oh must have been like 1974. I shan't go into the particulars, but suffice to say never call a whole town ungrateful, people remember that forever. The second time nearly got me fired from my job as police chief, when I unwittingly talked to a fellow who identified himself as a representative of the Roosevelt Custer research group (A group dearly loved by our mayor), who was in reality a reporter for the Dickinson Press, doing an article on that origination. I gave him the information he requested, he promptly used it for an article on the impact of the oil boom on Western ND. When the mayor read my comments on the shortage of the budget, and the need for additional officers on the street, he nearly went through the roof, even though it was the truth, and he damn well knew it. After his tirade, I explained the treachery of the reporter, and he must not have believed me, as he called that organization, and found out the truth. A few days later, he apologized, but I decided right then and there, that talking to the press was one thing to be avoided at all costs. My last experience was not so bad, after being chosen to represent North Dakota, along with two other peace officers (A game warden, and a Deputy Sheriff) at a National Gathering of Peace Officers in Washington DC, sponsored by the National Rifle Association, and attending the meetings, followed by a mass assault on Congress by group, I wrote an article about it, and mailed to all the major newspapers in ND. They all published it, several giving me a Full column, (When I write, I take up lots of space if you haven't noticed) others just putting it in the letters to the Editor section. It went over quit well, and for the next several months I was answering letters from the gun crowd in both North and South Dakota. No, I think I will stay away from letters to the Editor. I have, however written to all my congressmen, and the President. (I am probably on some kook list with the Secret Service, and I would imagine the ATF has now dug through their boxes of yellow forms of former gun dealers to figure out how many guns I have in my collection.)

Just letting off steam here in the notebook does wonders to break the tension. Things just keep happening, and since I am on the downhill roll now, add to the tension, mom just got a letter from her home owners insurance that they were cancelling her policy because she has had two hail claims in the past ten years. We have been trying to work that out for over a month now, add to that the fact that her doctor just told her she is diabetic, and changing her eating patterns after 75 years is very hard for her. Then today one of my aunts died, the funeral is Wednesday. Yep thing just keep happening, but am I letting it get me down? Hell no, well maybe just a bit, but that's ok too.

Jerry Ericsson 8-6-2001 19:48


8-6-2001 15:54


Hi everybody! May your muses stick better than duct tape today, and the river of inspiration overflow your toes...

RACHEL: Just when you think the house is babyproofed, the intrepid little explorer finds a long-lost treasure (um, that's NOT for little kids) underneath the sofa...or a piece of lint. Into mouth... (((HUGS))) for your little guy.

DEBRA: My 4-yr-old Martha has been cuddlier than any of her brothers ever were! :-)

JERRY: I loved the story of the rags-to-riches drunk -heh heh! :-) Meanwhile, the Northeast USA is sharing your heat (90's) - yuck.

RANDALL: So sorry to hear about your doggy - it's always hard to lose a pet. (((HUGS))) for you and the family. BTW, we have VERIZON here in the Northeast too - yippee.
Our phone was out of service for a whole day last weekend, a short in the outside wires, which they came to fix...when they got around to it. Luckily for us, we didn't have to wait for service as long as you did, only a couple days.

MARK: (In case you pass this way) Your pond sounds lovely, a nice story setting, even if it was a lot of work to construct. Don't let your muse get away - (mental duct-tape works wonders!).

MARY: I love foreign words too - Italian, German, French, Greek...just know a foreign phrase here and there, but I love the SOUND of the words themselves and the accents of people speaking them. I also love music-words and musical words: alleluia, hosanna, kyrie, andante, allegretto, fortissimo, pianissimo (see, more foreign words - Latin, Italian, French...) and percussive words or words that sound, when you say them, like the thing they represent, like reverberation, ringing, buzz, clatter, murmer, echo, shriek, howl... Um, I think I better STOP! :-)

ALLEIN: I'll be waving to you from 3 and a half hours away. :-) Enjoy the conference!! (Report back to us when you return, for those of us who can't get to a conference this year...)

VIV: Enjoyed the "Paduka" story. :-) My husband wouldn't have been nearly so polite to a flat tire! Heh heh. And anyone who says the Harry Potter books are bad in any way for kids either hasn't read the books or is a superstitious twit! The books are glorious fun; you can't learn any real magic from them; they're just a GREAT adventure. I've read all four with my Tim, and we both love the characters, the plots and subplots. What amazes me is the really young age of some HP fans, since the books, especially #4, have many good-sized words in them. See? The books are good for something more than entertainment - they're great vocabulary builders! :-)

TINA: I too like the music to Crouching Tiger... Of course, 'cello music is dear to my heart as I played 'cello from 5th grade through college days. And still my beloved Arathodden (gee, where did that name originate, I wonder? Heh heh!) sits in his 'cello case in my closet, gathering memories and lost chords...maybe one of these days I'll rescue him). The music muse is even slower than my writing muse...good grief!!!

HALLEE: Congrats on your new nephew Hal Samuel - a large baby, whoo boy! Hope your sister is recovering smoothly (yeah, and about now wondering WHAT she was thinking to go through all that followed by NIGHT feedings, messy diapers...ahh, the joys of new motherhood, heh heh! But sweet baby-smell makes up for all that other stuff, of course!) :-)

TEEKAY: Um, your weather is "gorgeous?!" All right. What have you done with grumpy Ol' Man Winter? Did you tweak his barren eyebrows or something? Did you give him a swirly mustache with a new pen? or maybe just a swirly? Heh heh!
Enjoy! :-)


Mel 8-6-2001 13:17


i all,
this is just going to be a quick post so here goes...(deep breath)
JERRY * RANDALL: Maybe you guys ought to use your writing talent for writing to the local paper (or at least threatening too) After spending so much money on advertising, i'm sure these companies are going to want to do their best to preserve the false front they've put up for the public.
Check where you stand on the slander libel thing first though before you post it.
But I would definitely be gently encouraging them with letters to the paper.

RANDALL: Sorry to hear about the dog.

MARY: I love the words peculiar, shimmer, curious. I regress to my childhood days of Enid blyton books every time I hear them.
And yes, I did say waffle out loud ;-)

ROSEMARY: I really enjoyed your ghost story.

TINA: If I don't get any takers on your book REAL soon, I'll send it back to you.

RACHEL: I've put in another query with the book shop, but it seems they are still in the same position as their agents order the books in through the publishers and not through bookshops *sigh*.

ALLEIN:: You go girl, your life is just opening right up for you now :-)

HEATHER: Tomorrow okay. I'm sorry I'm so slack.

Ummmmm I think that's it.

Hello to all of you. I have been soooo busy just lately.
The weather is gorgeous.


HOWARD: AS ABOVE. I sure hope your shoulder is better. Yo're not all spaced out on pain killers are you, and can't find the on key to your computer.

I think you're all wonderful and hopefully I'll be back regularly real soon.

Teekay 8-6-2001 1:53

There was this fellow who lived in one of the towns where I was a police officer, he was sort of the town durnk, but he had a farm just a few miles north of town, and while he didn't make much money off the farm, there was enough for him to buy his booze, and a night or two in the motel should he get enough. Well one day they struck oil on his farm. Big oil, lots and lots of oil. This made the fellow filthy rich. Not that he changed his way, nope, never even bought any new cloths, never started to take care of himself, he just kept on drinking, and staying in motels when he had enough. One day this company that was doing the drilling invited him out to sign some papers in St. Paul Mn. He flew out, and went to register at a motel near the airport. The lady behind the counter falt out told him that they didn't rent rooms to bums, and that he should find his way down to the local shelter. Now he wasn't real happy about that, and went down the line a ways and found him a motel that would rent to him. The next morning, a limo came to the motel picked him up and gave him a ride to the company headquarters, where he signed the papers that needed signing. Then he sat about to find out who owned that motel, and bought it outright, wrote a check right there and the motel was his. He took a cab out to that motel, and promptly fired the gal who refused to rent him that room. He had more fun telling that story, and he even kept the motel, just in case he ever needed to fly out there again. Guess he found some poor soul to run the place for him.

Just gos to show you what goes around comes around.

Had our usual pinochle game today, and they were telling me that they had to make a trip to a neighboring town, and enroute they ran into road construction, the norm for the summer in this country. Now there was this gal with the slow/stop sign doing flagging duty, and as they approached, she had the slow side of the sign to them and was bouncing it up and down. THey slowed, and started to drive by her when she slammed the sign down on the hood of mom's car. Of course she stopped and rolled down the window, when this gal read her the riot act, complete with numerous cuss words, her favorite seemed to be the "F" word. Seems the gal thought that she had the stop side of the sign facing them. At any rate, none of the ladies in the car were brave enough to call her on her mistake. Too bad, they should have found the foreman and lodged a complaint, these construction crews know good and well that they piss off the public simply by being there, let alone having a foul mouthed woman carrying the stop/slow sign.

Jerry 8-6-2001 0:40

Randall - when you get that book you're writing, and the bucks flow in, your first purchase should be that phone company, then you can simply fire those two gals for what they have done.

Jerry Ericsson 8-5-2001 19:31

Jerry: I'm sorry for that loss. What tough but tight timing, you arrived home just in time to take care of your wife and daughter. It's funny how husband's always arrive on the scene just when you need them the most. My husband senses problems like that too. Last night we rode past where I had a flat tire on my way to work and he just "happened" to drive by about three minutes later. Husband ESP told him to drive out of his way.

Hallee: Welcome home. What a scary birth, glad your sister and baby are ok. What's the name of the new little one?

Tina: I like your favorite words. You are right, Italian food names! And the German, doppleganger. I like German words...and Italian. They have neat sounds. I'm going to listen and see what other words I like and where they are from.

Boy, the allergies are playing up today! I wonder what is growing outside. I can barely breathe. Rats more antihystamines to cloud up my brain. Better than asthma.

Back need to tell you I'll bet you already know...attempts one and two of death scene were terrible. Attempt 5 is getting there but lacking something....well, it's harder to write a good murder than I thought. It's got to be a murder because I have the niftiest weapon. Now if I can just get this to line up properly. It sounds a little weird when I write this but I never realized how tough it is to write something like this. I just never even walked in mystery country...I figured I couldn't somehow. You know, I think science fiction is the same. Teachers always say, write with your own voice, well, it's like gotta try out some different songs now and then even if they sound off key or not quite right in the rhythm area.

Gotta go to Tokyo. Viv

Viv 8-5-2001 18:31

TINA: It's right on top of us. Not too bad - just heavy rain. I'm sure it will flood, though - they've already closed several roads in anticipation.

RANDALL: I'm so sorry about your dog. *sniff*

JERRY: I'm sorry you have to declare bankruptcy. That must have been a difficult decision to make.

MARY: Thanks :)

Hallee 8-5-2001 18:26

Hi all!

Allein, have fun!

Heather, I know that feeling. I'm on the same kind of plan as you... 6.9cents/minute anywhere, anytime in Canada/US. I love it. And the other long-distance providers stop calling eventually. Maybe they blacklisted me or something because I laugh so hard at their offers :-D I get to laugh at cell phone providers too. After 6 years with Telus, I can get plans that kick butt on the advertised offers from other companies.

Rachel, one of my favourite baby-stages is when they are just figuring out how to walk. The 'bumb' syndrome, and the bow-legged walk, the careful balancing, their tiny hand wrapped around your finger for support. I just love 'em!

Randell, my condolences. Pets shouldn't age, they should stay young and playful forever. (sigh) ((HUGS)) for your family.

Hallee, Congratulations on your new nephew! Ready, set, spoil! And brace yourself for that storm! Is it headed for you?

Now I get to go paint more of my fence. Yay.

Tina 8-5-2001 17:51

Rachel - Actually, I'll be in the Albany area of NY, but I wish I was going to the city, that would be cool. :)

Allein Allein's World 8-5-2001 17:21

YEAH! Allein - you do, uh, just what Rachel said!
Blast off at NYC, er... no, blast 'em! That was it, I think...

Heather 8-5-2001 17:21


Debra - Hum... My eldest bio son has almost always been an easy child. He is mellow (unless he is on the ice).

Sebastian does the bump thing. He wants to pull himself up on things. He will start to, then his little arms will give out and bump. I can't move fast enough to stop all of these bumps. I did not remember what an endless gut dip, heart jump being a parent to a baby can be. Yikes!

Allein - Have a blast in NYC!

Ciao, ciao, ciao!


8-5-2001 15:45

Randall (and your family) - sorry about the loss of Meechi. And sorry about all that phone company trouble...

I'm glad we've got Bell Canada here - though we are inundated with annoying long distance companies, vying for our business. I just laugh at them all. They offer me 10 or more cents a minute on evenings and weekends, all over Canada. Then they hit me with the supposed bargain of 15 cents a minute for weekdays. I smirk to myself and let them babble for a while before I ask what their rates are for calls to the U.S. When they ask me if their 20 cents a minute evening/weekend plan to the U.S. sounds good, I surprise them with a very loud 'NO'. I then tell them that if they can beat the plan I've got then I'll sign on. I get 7 cents a minute, U.S. OR Canada, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That's in Canadian funds, so it's, like, practically FREE to you guys in the States. It's like being able to call long distance for 2 cents a minute.
Anyhow, the caller always stutters a little bit. They never have a cheaper plan, so the conversation doesn't last very long after that.
I've never had any problems with Bell Canada. I've never had any problem with the gas or hydro company. BUT, when I was on my own, just barely an adult, I must say the deposits for initializing service were phenominally huge. $400 bucks for deposit on a phone line that costs $15 a month is a little high - especially because my rent cost less than 400! I decided I'd use the payphone down the street instead. I have run into difficulty with my phone long ago when someone charged $700 worth of long distance charges to my number without my consent. At that time, all you had to do to charge a call was tell the operator the number to charge it to - and you didn't need any authorization beyond a valid number. You know, one that actually existed. Of course, shortly after I received the bill (and nearly collapsed) Bell Canada changed the policy. A little late for poor little me. I had to pay that *#)%$)$%^(* money anyway. I talked to the police, and there was nothing they could do unless I found out (I thought that was their job) who did it.
I never did. The bugger(s) called Australia, England, and some other countries on my account!
It's a good thing that Bell changed the call-charge policy when they did or that bugger might have continued to charge calls on me.

Anyhow, I really hope that things get worked out for the best - for everyone.


Then I proceed to tell them that I have a

Heather 8-5-2001 14:43


Good Morning

You know Jerry, it seems there is an epidemic of ineptness in our country. I believe the federal government is swollen with rules and regulations and many overpaid employees who are simply there to pick up a paycheck and do not really care about us. And, sadly, it's not likely to change. Public Utilities are behind in incompetence, but struggling to catch up!!!! There is a saying that upward mobility ceases after a level of incompetence is achieved. Folks, considering I went through with UTEL and what is going on in Washington right now....."We're in a heap of trouble boy!"

I have had, at one time, every utility service disconnected for non-payment. It is or was a fact of life with me over the years, part of the game known as "Poor boy money ballet." Local utility companies are as a rule agreeable and will work with you, sometimes that is. But this UTEL (United Telephone) in Lubbock had in their possession my 200 bucks for 10 days and did not communicate with Verizon that I had made payment. It is probable there was some "hanky panky" going on, that is, someone in their office needed a little weekend money and made an adjustment on the books, hoping no one would notice. I know that goes on. Last month in Brownwood the traffic citation office in the court house came up missing $6,000 from collected traffic fines. The matter has been swept under the rug, of course, as the "powers that be" deemed the money... lost only a paperwork problem. Right. Someone obtained a cash drawer pay raise as we call it. When you put human frailties and cash money together only strict accounting procedures will keep the bucks from developing legs and walking off. Fact of life.

Last week without a phone was a double whammy because out oldest dog Meechi, a Lasho was slowly dying of cancer. We were graced with her sweet personality since 1986. She was Sara's, my daughters pet, but hung out with me when Sara was away. Sara was in the 1'st grade when Meechi was a just puppy, about the size of a coffee cup. Meechi died last Thursday afternoon ten minutes to 5 PM in her chair as my daughter and wife sat by her. I had a feeling that death was approaching our family and left work early.We had decided to have her put to sleep but unable to communicate on a time because of the *$^!@#% UTEL company!! It was too late. Meechi died minutes before I came in the door. Bad scene. More so for Sara, because she is entering San Angelo State College later this month and won't have Meechi to come home to on weekends. I told my wife that night this was the end of an era for our family. I'm going to write a little more of Meechi later on, when I can write without my vision blurring. Meechi was a true Chinese Princess, no doubt she was royalty and only visiting us for a short time. Karma you know.......

My thoughts are with you Jerry, try to maintain.


RANDALL 8-5-2001 14:21

HALLEE: Welcome home.

RANDALL and JERRY and anyone else who has gotten screwed over by utility companies: That really sucks. When I sold my old house three years ago the new owner opted to not continue service from the same gas company that I had used. So...I had to have my gas company come out and disconnect/remove their tanks. First I told them I wanted credited for the amount of gas in the tanks. They waited two months to come read the meter and meanwhile the new tenants had used almost all the gas. Then they said they wouldn't take the tanks until I paid a $70 pick-up fee. Ok, here is the $70.00. Three years later, those damn tanks are still sitting there and I am sure have been refilled dozens of time by the new tenant.

Keep that in mind when you move and are faced with taking on current utilities in the house you move into. Just say you aren't going to use the same company, but then go ahead and do it anyway. You will get two months of free service! Geez.

Level Propane, the company mentioned above, is now under scrutiny for questionable business practices and a class action suit has been brought against them by the hundreds of customers they have hosed over the last ten years. When I got the letter in the mail asking if I wanted to be part of the lawsuit, I promptly check marked the NO box and wished them luck.

I always wonder why it isn't alright for Bill Gates to dominate the software business but I only have one electric company to choose from. Only have one telephone company to choose from. Now there is only one gas company around. Whenever you call customer service, you seem to get the attitude of, "It really is too bad that you are unhappy, because you can't do anything about it.".

High fives you guys. I have heard plenty of horror stories about stuff like this. JERRY: I must say that yours is the worst case of Backdoor Bashing I have ever heard. Jerks. But at least I can call them jerks without being worried about getting carted off and being euthanised.

TINA: Great words!

And that Padunk story is classic.

Mary 8-5-2001 11:28

Hi all - back from vacation. My sister, after a bit of a scare with what the doctor called severe preeclampsia, was hospitalized and induced, and had a healthy baby boy. His name is Hal Samuel, and he was 8lbs 10oz, 21 inches long. Looks just like my sister - what a doll. He was born Friday, just hours before we had to leave. Then we come home to Tropical Storm Somebodyorother (Barry, I think). Welcome back to Florida - hahaha.

I don't think I'll even attempt to catch up on the posts. Hope everyone is well. It's good to be home, but I already miss my family.

Hallee 8-5-2001 10:39

Speaking of banks, I have always tried to do the right thing, sometimes this is not all that easy.

I was in the army, stationed at Fort Bliss Texas, come payday every GI and his brother was trying to get to the bank to cash his check. The lines at the drive-up were blocks and blocks long, and it was hot, much like it has been here today. My old Plymouth didn't have air conditioning, and the engine was flashing the red over heat light by the time I got to the drive up window. I handed my check to the gal, she handed me a pile of 20's without counting them out, which I had never seen before, so once she was done, I pulled over and counted it for myself. There were two extra twenty's in the pile. Now I wasn't about to go to the rear of the line, which was still blocks long, so I parked and went into the bank. I stood in line nearly an hour, before getting to a teller. "Can't help you" she said with a smirk, "you will have to see one of our officers." Now it wasn't like I was trying to get a loan, just return forty bucks that I could use, but I was trying to do the right thing. I waited nearly another hour before a gal took me back to one of the officers. "Can't help you." the fellow says, you will have to see one of our tellers." Now this was nearly closing time for the bank, and I was hot, and getting a bit pissed off. I just said the hell with it, took the money and drove home. The next day being Saturday, I took the wife and kids out for dinner on the First National Bank of El Paso, and never had the slightest bit of guilt. The following week, I moved my checking account on base to the Federal Credit Union, who I hoped had a better hold on their (my) cash.

Jerry 8-4-2001 22:58

I love italian food words. Spaghettini. Fusilli. Caciatore. Penne. And the word aluminium, said with an English accent. And the word doppleganger (sp?).

I've never had too many troubles with either utility companies, or the government. BANKS on the other hand, drive me crazy. Name a bank screw up and chances are good I've been through it. Well, maybe not that many, but a lot. I've finally found one that treats me like they're borrowing MY money (which they are), not as if I'm taking their last penny, so I'll stick with these guys (plug here for Bank of Nova Scotia).

Found an amasing piece of music this week. The soundtrack to 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon'. Wonderful cello and drum solos. Very lyrical and poignant. PERFECT for writing to.

I'm off to write now. My muse and I are currently on a roll, so I must not stall her now!

Tina 8-4-2001 22:41

Jack, you are in luck, you can get those good services from a national company, here we are stuck with the only phone company that services this area. Luckly they are good old boys and it is localy owned, so when we call them, we know who we are visiting with, much like the old Andy Girffith show. We can dial 611 and tell our woes to Erma, or Betty depending on which gal answers, and they need not give their names, we recognize them. As far as internet service, we have a choice of several but only two are local, and I use one of them, knowing the fellow who set it up, and runs things. I understand I am among the few who can talk to him and not get put down. Maybe it helped that one day I was in the shop, and he had this computer all torn down, and could not find the dang CMOS battery. Well I pointed it out to him, and he has treated me well ever since. The fact that my daughter worked for him for several months no doubts helps too. Way back when there was only one telephone company, they had a big office here, but when it was torn apart, a bunch of local fellows bought up this area, and have guarded it with their lives. We are very thankful that they did. I recall when I lived up north were there was compatition for your phone dollars, we were always bothered by phone call trying to switch us from one to the other, it got almost comical. It is so nice to just have to deal with the good old gals at 611.

Jerry 8-4-2001 21:36

p.s. Will archive tomorrow sometime to give any discussion about what Jerry and Randall wrote to have time to be aired out. Ciao.

8-4-2001 20:06

Randall and Jerry: My sympathies go out to both of you. Having only dealt with private lenders and where necessary, as in the case of booting the non paying squatter on some land I had in Montana at the time, I have dealt with the authorities - local authorities in this case. The individual in that instance turned out to be a Freeman wantabe and started throwing around frivolous lawsuits and was obviously peeved at me for shooing him off. Since he had not paid a dime in four years and left a mess of junk cars and trailers on the land that required six thousand to clean off before I could sell the property, I had little sympathy for him. Other than that, I have always used mainline phone companies, US Worst, er, Qwest, @home for an internet connection and DirecTV for television. I have had annoyances at time, but mainly related to service quality and then only rarely. Encounters with the federal government have been usually amicable, albeit when not usually were my fault through omission rather than comission. All things got squared away reasonably. When we were setting about to buy the house I live in now, our real estate person advised strongly not to use my VA loan to acquire the property and since we had a sizable down payment, we went through private lenders. From what you relate about the federal government I think I am happy that I did. Good luck and I will throw prayers in both your directions in hopes that it is all resolved without too much more animus on anybody's side. Take care.

Jack Beslanwitch 8-4-2001 20:04

Rosemary - We took the outside cover off several weeks ago, but have yet to take the inside cover off. The inside cover is one of those shrink to fit plastic storm windows, the kind that you use a hair dryer to make it tight. Anyhow, I planned on taking it off today, but thus far I have been relatively cook sitting in front of my fan. My mother called us over to play cards today, she has central air, so we cooled off nicely. Now the house feels a bit warmer. The temp is right at 100 degrees, and humidity is so thick, you can see it in the air.

Randall - you have my deepest sympathy, I know exactly how you feel, having dealt with the feds, and Rural Housing administration now for several years. They did fun things, like calling me one day to tell me that since someone had offered to rent my house up there (the one they foreclosed on) if I didn't rent it to the renter, I would have to make payments equal to the rent to them. So OK, I says, and I rent the damn house out to some folks who tore the hell out of it. About six months later, after calling all over the damn country to see who wanted the damn rent money, they call me and tell me that since I haven't sent the rent money to them, I am not eligible for a simple deed back on the place, and they filed to foreclose on the house. Ok, now when they did that, they said, it was a simple procedure, and that once they had the paperwork done, they would set a cash price, and I could simply make a one time payment, (small they said) and it would be over. So they sued me, without my being there, in fact without telling me they were (they said I had signed some paper several years ago, waiving that part of foreclosure?) but since I didn't give them that rent money, I was not eligible to make the one time payment, and that they would take all my income tax refunds until the house which I paid 14 thousand dollars for back in '89, and they sold for 4 thousand dollars, leaving a balance of (the first gal told me one hundred and seventy five thousand dollars!) Well when the wife got me back up from the floor, and I called Senator Dashall (About my seventh mistake in this deal) they called me back and apologized for looking at the wrong figure on the computer, then told me it was only a little over sixty thousand dollars! Well now I didn't think that sounded right, and after several weeks of calling all over the damn country, speaking to all sorts of insolence federal workers, some of which I am sure have now placed me on the dangerous kook list, I was transferred to the United States Attorney in Fargo, who told me that it was only a bit over sixteen thousand dollars, but that there were penalty's to be attached for every day I haven't paid, and that this would differently add to the amount due. I was told like fifty times that they could not, and that they would not take my social security disability. Well then I get this letter saying that they were taking a substantial chunk of my Social Security, and that should they find any other funds that the Federal Government was paying me, they could take anything over the mandated $750.00 that they must leave me to live on. Now I am also getting a hundred bucks a month from the VA for the injuries I suffered in Nam, and since the wife is unable to return to work, she has applied for Social Security, which according to them, would ALL go to the Federal Government, and with all that money going in per month, only a few bucks would go toward paying the debt, the rest would go to cover penalties. It was when they explained that, that I began calling attorneys, after talking to three, all of which recommended I pull the pin and go through bankruptcy, that I agreed, all was lost, my credit rating was already shit because of the Federal Judgement, and the reported garnishment from my social security check, which has yet to go into effect, (Scheduled for the 1st of Sept.). It will be another month of cussing, and gritting my teeth, then I will have my meeting with the creditors (what used to be called bankruptcy court) and one month following that, I will be out from under the heavy thumb of the Federal Government. Then all they can do is screw with me and try to screw up my social security some other way, but I understand they usually don't once the debt is gone. After all this I wonder though. Times like this make me have a bit of understanding as to where those in the militia groups are coming from, and yes the tax protesters, the kooks with guns who practice in the woods shooting feds, who think the government is no longer there to serve and protect their citizens, but to control and punish them. Oh well, like I said, I think I understand where you are coming from.

Jerry Ericsson 8-4-2001 19:28


Hi! Haven't been on here for a while. And below is the reason! I have never been as disgusted with any utility as UTEL of Lubbock. I was lied too constantly, during a week when I desperately needed a phone. So, here is the whole sad story...taken from a complaint I am initiating with Texas Public Utility Commission.


August 2, 2001

Public Utilities Commission
Austin, Texas

Dear Sirs:

I find it necessary to bring to your attention deception, lies and ineptness regarding telephone service provider, UTEL, 10 Briercroft Office Park, Lubbock, Texas, 79412. Through no fault of my own, UTEL has denied my family telephone service since Friday July 27, 2001. As of this moment, August 2, 2001 we have no telephone service. Sadly, I have serious doubts as to UTEL's abitity too and integrity in, restoring our service because at least of one of their employees Ms. Christine Alvarez lied to me. (Detailed later in the document.) As a telecommunications company offering a service to the citizens of Texas, UTEL is expected to adhere to a basic concept of provider/customer fairness and good business practice. Sadly UTEL has not honored this relationship, lied to me and discouraged my attempt to resolve a situation not of my choosing. Are there any other customers with problems with UTEL?

Phone service to our residence was disconnected during the second week of July because I forgot to make a monthly payment in June. This initial disconnection was my fault. On July 17, 2001 I promply made a full and complete payment of 204.72 at the UTEL colection outlet, Allsups/Mr. Payroll in Brownwood. Agent #18200. The clerk who took payment was "Don." Phone service from UTEL was restored within a day or so. No problem here, a simple matter of a service provider insisting a customer honor payment obligations.

However, amazingly, on Friday, July 27, 2001, 10 days later, our telephone service was again disconnected! Why do these things always happen on Friday afternoon? I contacted UTEL Saturday morning, no one there, and left a note on the "repair line." On Monday, July 30, 2001 I made contact with UTEL. I spoke with a Mr. Roberts in billing. He assured me my account was current. Much later in the day I again spoke with Mr. Roberts and he said I had been accidently disconnected and service would be provided that day.

Service was not restored and I again contacted UTEL on Tuesday morning. I spoke with Christina Alvarez and Jennifer Castille. They assured me service would be restored ASAP, but one of them, I believe Ms. Alvarez said Mr. Roberts should have not told me service would be available on Monday. Strange, as if the left hand does not know what the right is doing? I spoke mainly with Jennifer Castille and she stated service had been "accidentally" disconnected by Verizon Telephone Company. Apparently Verizon owns the lines and UTEL only rents them. Ms. Castille told me my payment had been received, a connection initiated...but there was a "delay" between UTEL and Verizon. Which might lead one to ask...what the hell is Verizon doing in disconnecting UTEL's customers, 10 days after payment is made? And where was the 200 bucks I had given them? Ms. Castille said she was monitoring Verizon and service would be available Tuesday afternoon. I contacted her about 5:00 PM the same day and she related a service connection with Verizon was proceeding and would be complete that evening. Ms. Castille said she had spoken with her supervisor and we would receive a month's free service if connection was not made that day. Considering some of the tales I have heard this week this might just be one more!

Nope, no service. Missed that deadline. A month free. But no phone now.

Wednesday morning I contacted UTEL. But, contacting UTEL is not easy. One is put on hold for minutes at a time. On many occasions as I waited a phone would ring on the line. It appeared as if someone would lift the receiver, disconnect and I would again be on hold. I was forced to hang up many times and dial their office again. Ms. Alvarez often answered the phone and after one particular long wait Tuesday I asked to speak with "her supervisor." She transferred me to Ms. Castille. Ms. Castille on Wednesday morning asked me to wait while she spoke with her supervisor, Christina Alvarez. Which would lead me to believe UTEL was playing "Footsie" or "Let's confuse the customer." Ms. Alvarez later told me she was the "supervisor." Puzzling.

Wednesday afternoon Ms. Castille asked me to hold (again!) and Christina Alvarez came on the line. And one of the most incredulous, curt statements I ever heard played out. Ms. Alvarez's tone was terse, irritable as if she was greatly put out having to deal with such a piddly little problem as mine. She said Ms. Castille had spent the whole day working on my account. (WELL DUH!!) I would hope so, as a paid account was unfairly disconnected. Ms. Alvarez said Verizon would "come out" and hook up our phone on Thursday, August, 2, 2001. I questioned her on the "come out" business. She repeated the statement. I asked her what she meant and she again stated. "Verizon would come out and hook up the phone." I was stunned when I understood that she meant they would come to my neighborhood, drive into the back alley, climb up the utility pole, and connect the phone line. What? I have a friend at Verizon and asked him an hour later about this. He laughed. Why he said, when all disconnections were done in the Central Office. One wonders what Christina Alvarez was thinking? Had Verizon sent a rep, utility truck and tools to manually disconnect the telephone line and the Central the same time?

I asked Ms. Alvarez to let me speak with her supervisor. She refused. I asked if she was the boss? She said yes. I asked if she owned the company? She said yes. I asked her 3 times to speak with a supervisor. She refused. I told her I was initiating a complaint with PUC. She said fine. Ms. Alvarez may indeed own UTEL. Only an owner would brusquely brush off a disturbing situation so coolly.

The rudeness of UTEL's Christina Alvarez is simply incredible, unlike anything I have endured from a utility company doing service with the public. Ever. She was not willing to try to resolve the problem, not willing to let me talk to someone else, (indeed, transferring me to Ms. Castille making her the supervisor) other than a statement that Verizon would come out and hook the phone up. Why would Verizon manually disconnect our telephone when both Mr. Robbins and Ms. Castille told me it was accidently disconnected in Verizon's, Central Office in Brownwood? I can only attribute Ms. Alvarez's truculent attitude as the situation was either of her ineptness, or carelessness, or disregard of UTEL guidelines. There is a ten day gap between my payment of July 17, 2001 and the disconnection on Friday 27, 2001! Ten days!!!! Perhaps Ms. Alvarez was over her head, panicked and began lying. Neither are attributes of professional conduct and sure as heck not conducive to good public relations.

If there is a communications problem between UTEL and is one of the more hilarious parodies of modern time. Companies who offer public service in... specialize in.... vast connections around the world... forerunners in hi tech communications... Internet Access... fiber-light optics... unable to reconcile a simple accidenly disconnection without resorting to terminal inexactitude?


Randall 8-4-2001 17:49

The fact that you don't uncover your airconditioner until August is discusting. Actually, the fact that you cover it at all is .....Well, I'm just going to take my jealous green self away from this nonsense.

The above is because we have to run our airconditioners from mid March through early October. Sometimes more than that. Seldom less. The only good thing is no heating bills.

Rosemary 8-4-2001 16:04

Mary- you've got me thinking. I think I know the characters now. Just a bit of research and I've got my victim...and believe me...(s)he deserves what (s)he's gonna' get. I have to figure out the scene, but it's coming together. I've already got my weapon researched. Oh fun. Thanks Mary! I'll be ready to post by next Thursday I think...sorry to always be sooooo slow. You keep showing me a new way to even consider writing. I'd have never thought of writing a ghost story without Heather...and now a death scene. Those were things I never tried to write because normally you are taught in classrooms that if you write things like that you aren't "thinking right thoughts". I always have to giggle and throw off the visions of all my former "idea police". I even had one "idea policewoman" who thought that humor wasn't a "good" thing.

What really annoys me is the idea that Harry Potter is not an ok thing for kids to enjoy. Still, many people say that the woman who wrote the book is spreading pagen thought among children. I think that is silly. Even a child would know that this is not real but a wonderful game of pretend. Hope I didn't offend anyone with that last remark, but if you try to consider everyone, you may as well give up writing altogether. Thanks though for helping me forget the former strict training.

My favorite words...tintinabulation (from Poe's "Bells") because it's fun to read, and persnickity, and Paduka which is a town in Illinois we passed through one night. We hit a pothole and the tire went flat just as we passed the sign Paduka. The tire was making the same sound as the name of the town. It went Paduka, Paduka, Paduka all the way over to the side of the road. When my husband got out of the car and looked at the tire, he roared, "OH PADuka!" After that it became a favorite cuss word around our house.

My favorite German word is Ausgesiznet, which sounds like a good sneeze but means Fantastic. My three year old neighbor proudly taught me to say it. He'd laugh at all my attempts, and say it for me again and again. When I finally got it, he clapped for me. His name is Stefan, he lives in Bann Germany and would be 14 years old now.

Viv 8-4-2001 13:12

Rachel - Sebastian's on the move already?! :O Wow, it seems like he wasn't born all that long ago. Make sure he doesn't crawl into the kitchen for a midnight snack. :)

I leave for New York on Wednesday. :)

Allein Allein's World 8-4-2001 13:09

I have always been found of the word warp. If you say that word enough in one day, people begin to laugh, the more you say it the more they laugh. I don't know why, it just happens, try it some time. Work that word into your conversation, say five times in ten minutes, I guarantee you the sixth time, someone will chuckle.

Jerry 8-4-2001 11:52

VIV: You could have your 'victim' run around in really ugly clothes saying "Holy _______" all the time. I would cheer on your murderer then.

Mary 8-4-2001 10:44

One of my favorite lines from a movie.


"Let me add one more salient point to this most edifying conversation."

Oh my, two of my favorite words in the same sentence. ;-)

Mary 8-4-2001 10:41

nefarious: I love that word.

My mother thinks the word 'waffle' is fun to say. She can't say it without a silly grin on her face.

more words to love: edifying, salient, clarity, petard and supplicant.

Ok, how many of you said 'waffle'?

Anyone else have a list of favorite words?

Mary 8-4-2001 10:38

Haven't read all of the posts yet, but stopped when I came to VIV's dilemma. Dillemma. Dillema. Hmmmm...dilemma. None of those look right.

VIV: Reader's don't have to dislike the person being murdered. Good people and likable fellows are murdered all the time. As a matter of fact, it is more traumatic/dramatic when the reader DOES like the victim. It makes us hate the murderer even more. However, if you are wanting us to root for the murderer then I can see your point. I was always wishing that Batman would turn his back for just a second and let some thug beat the worms out of Robin. Robin Hood is another good example...he was actually the 'bad guy' but everybody liked him a hell of a lot better than the Sherrif of Nottingham. (Two Robins...koinkidink?)

It might be easier for you to give your murderer qualities that your readers will like or enjoy rather than get us to hate your victim. Try turning the tables that way. Of course, if you can do both you have a winner. Is that what you needed to know? Good luck.

Mary 8-4-2001 9:47

## Mark ##

JACK. I'm using Windows XP RC1 and like it a whole bunch. Got the download of RC2 yesterday and will hang on to it for a week or more while I use this one. Have pretty much already determined that when the 6-month license on this runs out, I'll buy the commercial version.

ALL -- My reading and writing have suffered under an onslaught of activities imposed by such nefarious people as my employer and my wife.

I dug a pond hole, lined it with EDPM rubber, lined *that* with big rocks, filled it with water, and created a pump-fed waterfall. Next I have to wheelbarrow in enough gravel to cover the exposed rim of the pond liner and make a nice gravel border all around the thing. Did I mention that it's 15 by 35 feet? Did I mention that I don't know how I'm supposed to mow the lawn around it without throwing grass into the *@*#&%^ thing?

While I'm doing that I'm also teaching myself another programming language because I go to Rochester next month for training on some new Microsoft stuff and it's for programmers. Somehow, I haven't a clue how, they got the idea that I already knew Visual Basic and XML and .ASP and ADO DB connections. Gee. I don't know who would ever have given them that impression. But since my boss says he'll cover half the tuition and pay me like I'm working . . . well, I'm off to Rochester.

So, what's all this technical gobbledy-gook have to do with the NB? I won't be around much (if at all) for about the next 6 weeks. See ya then.

Mark 8-3-2001 23:56

Aaaahhh, sayyyy, could I trouble you to, ohhh send just a few clouds, and maybe, just a bit of rain, or hail, that would do it, a short hail storm, with say pea size hail. God is it hot today, high 90's with over 50% humidity, heat index of 115. Think I will have to uncover the air conditioner tomorow.

Jerry 8-3-2001 21:28

Jack - I have been reading about that new windows you have, from what I read it is one great system, but you can only install it once, then it will refuse to be installed again unless you jump through some mighty small loops with Microsoft, thanks to their copy protection scheme. Have they relented, or did you get lucky? I think I will stick with 98 or ME for awhile until they have the bugs out of this new system. Well maybe I might put 2000 back on one of these days, but my system seems to be functioning nicely on ME now. It is an extremely rare thing to see the blue screen of death that has been the norm for most of windows system since the introduction of 95. Sorry to hear of your hard drive trouble, I have a 20 GIG that I got used off Ebay, the fellow said he was selling it because it was noisy. I have the exact same drive in my main computer, and it has been great, so I bid 30 bucks, and low and behold, I got it. When I installed it, I listened, no noise. Well I forgot that I left over 20% of my hearing in Vietnam, when the wife came into the room, she nearly screamed. There is a high pitched squeal coming from it. Well I tried everything, wrapped it in foam, stuffed foam all around the drive in several different cases, to no avail, not only did the wife hear it, but my daughter refused to be in the same room with the damn thing. I was having visions of my new thirty buck wonder in the trash and my old faithful 3 gig Bigfoot coming back to my machine. Then I saw this ancient computer case sitting in the back room, I got it from my nephew, who found it in the trash at a ham fest. Well it is a desktop case, and the hard drive mounts on top of the power supply, clear in the back of the case. It got me thinking, and then I went to work, mounted my whole system in this old case, built it up the way I wanted it, with my DVD drive, my LS120 for a floppy, and my 20 GIG hard drive on top of the power supply, a little 2 gig for those extra little programs I like to have handy. When I turned it on, the wife thought I had removed the 20 gig drive, and we have been living happily ever since. I don't know why that power supply counteracts the squeal of the drive, and maybe when it got broke in, the squeal went away, I don't know for sure, and to tell the truth, I don't care. Just as long as I have the room I want, and my computer set up the way I want, I am happy. Oh and everyone who comes to visit, thinks this old computer must be a 386, or maybe an early 486. I haven't told them different.

Jerry 8-3-2001 21:23

p.p.s. Also, since I will have my system down largely for three to four days, sometime this weekend I will archive the Notebook. I am still looking at possibilities for the Workbook and hopefully will have them up as well before I become incommunicado mostly for four days.

8-3-2001 19:58

p.s. The worm virus itself just rested in the background and then start to disseminate itself out and then out and then out and then out, so potentially it could have made the network that is the internet slow down. In reality, none of that materialized and what was not mentioned is that a goodly bulk of the backbone of the internet rests on Linux and Unix and have no problems whatsoever with the Red Worm Virus.

8-3-2001 19:56

Viv: No, nothing hit my computer. Actually the Red Worm Virus is not really that big of a deal except to those running IIS, so just NT or Windows 2000. As it happens, I am running IIS, but I have it patched and have had it patched since middle of July when it first became an issue. You can also get rid of it by just rebooting your computer. And the patch just makes sure that it does not allow for reinfection. The problem with my computer is that my 60 gig hard drive is corrupted and when I attempted to install Windows XP Pro, it discovered the problem and noted that it could not be installed. After calling in to the company that put my new system together I discovered that this newer batch of IBM drives did indeed have a potential of going south. So, I am taking my computer in no later than this Monday and having the single sixty swapped out for two Seagate thirties.

Jack Beslanwitch 8-3-2001 19:41

Just wanted to report:

I DID write on my lunch hour - a whole page of longhand - yee hah!!! :-) What a lovely flush of freshness in my day, all because I did that for myself. I wrote on my *P* story and the words flowed, with only a few halts, That's it. I'm going to take myself out to lunch more often and leave the internal editor at my office desk to wrap things up there - in fact, maybe I won't go back to work with such an instigator in charge of my affairs! Hee hee Oh, I must correct myself. I didn't go to lunch alone...I took my muse. :-)

Mel 8-3-2001 19:12


I've said this before, and I'll say it again boys are harder in the begining. That could be anywhere from one to 19 or older. Okay they are harder.


I call my son Mr. jumpy, flippy,floppy, hoppy,fally, bangy, crashy. Sometimes I just call him Mr. for short.

Be prepared. They are more cuddley then girls. So there's that.

Debra 8-3-2001 12:17

Hi all :D

Heather - I'm here and there (grins). Summer vacation has begun for my children. That means that I'll be on the run for the rest of the month. It's going to be fun!

Rosemary & Mel - The camping trip was GREAT!

Teekay - I have been doing some looking into this. It isn't quite as easy as you might think. I hope that doesn't sound pissy. It is not intended to. S* is not the first book to be completed by people who have never met one another. I also think that the story of how S* came to be is a very interesting one. I however would (grins and laughter). I am the agent for S*. I am surprised by how much is involved in not only finding a publisher but in each step that moves towards the publication of a novel. It is an experience.

You should be able to order S* from Amazon. I went and looked for myself. There is also a site called booksamillion. I believe that I posted their site link here. They apparenlty have the book in stock. Let me know if you were able to order the book.

All - Sebastian is on the move. What a wild man! He is so fast. We spent yesterday making the family room "baby safe" Yikes! He gets at everything:o) He isn't even at a proper crawl yet. That does not slow him down at all. I swear, one morning he was rolling around (not very quickly) then I turned and he was tuckering all over the place! It is really wonderful. A lot of work, but wonderful.

I better dash.

Hugs to all.


Rachel 8-3-2001 12:05

BTW, EVERYONE/ANYONE: My "shorties"--especially the one I posted last eve. from my novel--are OPEN SEASON for critics, whether typos, word choices (yeah, I know I used forms of menacing at least three times in one paragraph; I appreciate reminders to pull out the thesaurus, in case I didn't notice!), plot/scene concepts -- anything. If you're a sf&f fan and my shortie made you yawn, let me know. I am a LONG way from being published or even polished; and any input you want to give me, I will treasure and ponder. (makes good reading for the muse, too, when I have her duct-taped to the mirror - heh heh!) :-)

Mel 8-3-2001 10:56

Okay, it should have been BTW
Bye for sure

Rosemary 8-3-2001 8:49

Early Morning to all,

Thanks for the good words. I reread the post attached to my ghost shorty and it looks like my writer's neediness is trying to become violent. Sorry about that. BTY (by the way) your poems were ...creative and well written. It's not often that you see vicious poems. 8-)(big scared eyes)

Got to get ready for a Dr. appointment so he can give me an appointment to see someone else. By the time someone does something about this knee, it won't need it any more. Meanwhile, I'm gaining weight because I can't get around that well now. (I don't 'think' I'm using it for an excuse.) :o <

I was worried I might not be able to get on the base for the App. because some idiot sent a mail bomb to an X-girlfriend. They caught him within 1 day. What kind of a moron would send something like that to a military base, much less at all. Good chance he'll never get out of jail. Meanwhile the base is open again so I've got to go.

Rosemary 8-3-2001 8:47


Ah, I see some of us survived the murderous night...heh heh!

ROSEMARY: Nice shortie. :-)

VIV: Thanks. Remember, Mary only said a theme of death, not necessarily a murder.

HEATHER: Thanks. Your death poems gave me the spookies! Whoa. Good writing. Last night's heat Was "nuclear," wasn't it?! Just wiped a kitchen counter and the sweat poured from my head like I'd been in the shower. Hoo boy.

JERRY: Rain dance seems to be working; a bit of rain this a.m. in Ithaca, NY. Thanks! Send more!! The whole eastern coast of North America, from Heather down to Hallee, can probably use some (oh and drop some on the way to our Texan and mid-plains friends). :-)

Gonna try to do some REAL writing today, on my lunch hour for starters. May you all find satisfying opportunities to do the same! A good day to you all!!! :-)

Mel 8-3-2001 8:28

Hi! I'm new to the board.

For Writers in the south Alabama Area, best-selling writer Jan Zimlich, rising star Delores Fossen, and I will be doing two mini-workshops entitled, "So You Want to Write A Novel" on Saturday. Aug 4. The first will be at the regular meeting of the GCCRWA at 11:00 am, at the America Cafe on Airline HWY in Mobile. The Second will be at 2 pm the same day, at Barnes and Nobles -- across Airline hwy in the mall.

Email me for more details :)


I write as Tori Light and Victoria Dark.

Tori Light Gambler's Gold, available now 8-3-2001 7:58

Whoops. Typo. Reverberate has only one 'r' at the end...

Heather 8-3-2001 5:35

Jerry - MANY THANKS! I could use a few weeks of rain. Might cool things off around here and bring the natural world back into equilibrium. A little too dry here this year. I found it difficult to tell that I'd mowed my lawn today; it hadn't been cut in 3 weeks, and I was afraid to cut it too short in case I killed off the whole lawn! But it hasn't grown much (well, the dead parts haven't grown at all) so I needn't have been uptight about it.
Ah, I fertilized again and the grass is perking up - all except for those bare patches... heh heh

Rhoda - thank you for the virus warning! Always smart to warn and prepare, rather than take chances. :o)

Heather 8-3-2001 5:33

Poems of A Nasty Nature, (c) Heather Myles, 2001.


I heard her cough, a distant
muffled growl;
Who knows how many yards of
kleenex fed the pail.
The pillow wet, she's still asleep;
Her snores reverberrate
I stir

And place my pillow firmly over top
and lean with
knotted hands
'til sweetly, I hear the silence
filling her.
And rolling back into the sheets
I have the longest sleep that
ever did occur.

Twisted Pasttimes

A warted thing,
of slippery gait and
white, oh pasty chest
I shot at him,
and so the splash
rewarded me with aim
I shot again, and
crimson waves lapped
against the rim.


Here is a poem I adore, by that famous poet: Anonymous. You know the guy... (he hee)

The Man Who Wasn't There

Yesterday, upon the stair
I met a man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today;
I wish that man would go away.


GREAT SHORTIES EVERYONE! Rosemary - I love it, and I loved the one about the house too. It's been a while since I read the first ghostie you wrote...

Tina, Mel, WOW!

G'night folks.
Hope you don't think I ever DID the frog thing. NO WAY.
Just know someone who did... YUCK. Cruelty. BAD.

Heather 8-3-2001 5:28

Heather - I am doing the rain dance for your area right now. I hope it does not backfire, we are so soaked, several people I know are talking of moving to the Seattle Tacoma area, because they hear it only rains there on an average three times a week, and they need the break. The bad weather has left us alone now for two days, I am begining to think maybe we are going to have a break, but today, the temps went up over 90, and they say over a hundred tomorow, with high humidity. In this country that can only mean one thing, dangerous severe thunderstorms.

I mowed my grass two days ago, and already it is so high that when Renn runs in the back yard, he totaly disapears in the high bright green grass. A normal year here, the grass would be brown, and almost dead by this time, normaly one doesn't have to mow from mid July till around October when you run the mower to pick up the leaves of fall. Hope the weather pattern returns to normal soon.

So how long do we have for final ghost stories? I had some going, but lost them, and haven't felt much like writing these past few months, just gettin an itchy typing finger of late, and I think there is one more ghost tale within my thick skull.

Jerry 8-3-2001 0:17


I tried to direct you to another site. The unfortunate thing is that the major news sites I look at such as ABCnews and FOXnews have no information about this virus. The code Red worms is such a hot story right now, but to my understanding, that one only infects networks and internet providers and is not a direct concern for the regular user.

There is a link to this story on the Netscape opening page. I have provided the link to that page. I suppose I am so alarmist over this one because I never get the attachments for all the other famous viruses that have come before this one.

Rhoda Netscape opening page 8-3-2001 0:13

From what I understand that red whatever virus that is all over the news infects only machines with Windows NT or Windows 2000. We with the windows 9X or windows ME are safe from that one.

There are however a rash of dangerous viruses now floating all over the web, I have received two of them myself, but I never open attachements unless I am very sure of where it came from, and I always look at the extension first, if it has a vb or vbs at the end, they it could be and probably is a virus, there are some other strange endings that could be viruses, so if it doesn't have eml or jpg or something I am used to seeing, I trash it. If I trash a virus, I immediately go to my deleted file folder and empty that too. I keep Norton Anti Virus running all the time, and have their email protection enabled. It has found the viruses that have tried to infect my machine most of the time, and I always update when I get the notice that it is time. No sense running an anti virus without the latest updates, as there are new viruses made every day, and old ones in disguise of new names floating all over. In fact there are even sites where you can go and download viruses! Now I have never done that, but I did visit the site, just to see what it was all about. The site claims it has the viruses so you can look at them, tear them apart and find out what makes the tick, but I can see where an angry teen could go there and pickup several viruses then send them all over. Should you happen to have told the kid to stop stomping on your flower garden yesterday, he may send it to yours. The whole virus thing is getting to be a real nightmare.

If however you keep your anti-virus running all the time, and update regularly (weekly at a minimum) you should be safe, or relativly safe. I would recomend that you use either Norton or McAfee's as both are kept uptodate, and have the latest data to protect your machine. I am sure there are others out there, but I haven't had much luck with some of them, and if you want to be very safe, use the best protection you can afford.

Jerry 8-3-2001 0:01

I tried to open the site but couldn't find anything there. Now I AM worried. I'm getting a little paranoid. I think I'll go archive now.

Viv again 8-2-2001 23:49

As I was writing my message you were posting yours. Weird.

Viv again 8-2-2001 23:46

Jack or Jerry or someone good at computers: what is the red bug virus doing? I'm hearing on the tv and not understanding. They are talking and showing pictures but I cannot fathom what is out there. It must be bad and quite dangerous because it's on the news. I'm scared of getting something in my computer that will mess it up. I need to sit down and stick my whole C drive on a zip drive disc tonight.

Anyway, let me know if that is what hit your computer Jack. All I'm hearing is aka no mushi aka no mushi and virus...over and over. Make the explaination very simple. Computer in any language is still scary and baffling.

Viv again 8-2-2001 23:45


I don't mean to interrupt the flow of conversation here, but do you all recall the message I put up a few days ago about the strange e-mails that I have been getting with 2 attachments? I have had variants of this message about 10 times in the last week. Evidently I am not so unusual because other people are getting them too, and those who are opening the attachments are exposing themselves to a very nasty virus. I have given a web-site with more information.

I know most of you don't open strange attachments, but beware because this particular virus that sends attachments randomly from an infected hard drive. The web-page will give you what to look out for. So, for Pete's sake, if you haven't read about this virus, read up on it and beware.


Rhoda SirCam Virus Information 8-2-2001 23:44

Mel: Loved your story! You know when it's good, when you wake up the next morning still trying to think of your shortie and think...I wish I'd thought of that!

Tina: I liked yours too. You guys are thinking of great ideas.

Mary: I'm stuck. I have a good way to murder someone but I can't think of a dispicable enough person to murder. I'm not procrastinating, and I'm on vacation so there is time. I just can't get my character mean enough that someone would say, Good she/he is DEAD! I'm glad! The person either comes out like a cut out life, or someone you feel sort of sympathetic toward. I'll keep going... there has to be a balance here.

Viv 8-2-2001 23:40


You humble okay has made me feel bad.

I didn't think you weren't being nice.

You were!

Let's just put those people over there. They are messing up our little party. Turn your head and don't look at them.

Debra 8-2-2001 22:22


Jerry 8-2-2001 22:09


Yes, you're right. I said that. I know that people call the police all the time and don't leave their name. What I am talking about is the motivation of someone who won't call the police from a pay phone, but will sit down and talk to a person who now has to sit in jail keeping his or her name secret. He puts his or her personal worth right up there, when it might have just been in the toilet.

I need to know what motivates sources to go down that road. I have a problem with the whole thing.

I do,do, do, do ,do ,do believe in freedom of press. I never said that. Right?

I do, do, do,do believe in it.

Be nice!

Debra 8-2-2001 21:40

I'm going to post my third and (Probably final)ghost story for tonight's short shorty. It kind of fits the theme.
PS: Thought I might mention that if you exclude more than two of my stories for *P*, there may be guided missiles from the south.


Linda stared at the hot sidewalk ahead of her as she stomped her small eight-year-old feet down the road. "Monica just had to send me for bread. I haven't seen Granny in almost a year. Now she's very late, and my sister sends me out while we're waiting for her to come." Linda was speaking to the unreasonable world around her.

I know I saw two loves of bread in the cabinet yesterday." She kicked a rock that dared to be in her way; oblivious to anything more than three-feet from her. "But noooo, Grandma can't eat white bread." The mocking tone of her voice dripped adolescent sarcasm. "Linda, you have to run down to Bradfords and get a loaf of whole grain wheat." She finished the bitter recital of the earlier conversation with Monica.

The small neighborhood store loomed a little more than a half-blick ahead. Linda looked toward Bradfords, across the street, and noticed the figure of an older woman standing at the corner of the building. She wasn't sure, but it looked just like her Grandma.

It seemed to Linda the woman shimmered a little in the heat as she started across the street. The sound of wheels screeched behind her as she crossed. Intent on the woman who looked so much like her grandmother, the sounds barely penetrated her conscious.

Stepping to the curb next to the woman, she squealed, "Grandma, you came to meet me."

Linda's grandmother bent and hugged her precious granddaughter. "Of course I came. I couldn't let you make that long trip into the light alone." The young girl and older woman shimmered, arm in arm, away from the small body lying in the street, surrounded by horrified onlookers.

"Monica should have received notice of my heart attack by now," said Grandma.
-----------------THE END

Bits and pieces might not be perfect :-P but I always consider suggestions right after I mutter a few disparaging words.

Bye for now,

Rosemary 8-2-2001 20:51

Now let me get this straight, you think the writer should give up her source because it was murder? You think the freedom of the press is so trivial that because one person is murdered, we should throw that whole freedom to the wind and force writers to give up their sources?

I don't think so. No indeed. I think that as has been said, if she found the source, if she found the truth, then the truth is out there for others to find. Now those fellows in the FBI are trained investigators, they have the ability to go out there and interview folks, to tell if they are telling the truth or a lie. They should be able to find that source, and squeeze that information out of them without the help of the writer.

What the hell do they think all writers are Jessica Fletcher? Have we gotten to the point were we need to assign little old grey haired ladies to go around solving murders, then turning their information over to the authorities?

No, God Bless this good writer. I think she is standing up for her right as a journalist. If writers and journalists begin going around and disclosing their sources, it won't be long before there will be no more sources to turn over. We will get to the point where the truth will never be known. There will be no more great true crime novels, because talking to a journalist will be considered, and will in fact be the same thing as talking to the police investigator.

There are reasons that informants come forward to journalists and not to police. They vary as much as people and crimes vary. Some come forward for the attention, some because they wish to see justice done, but to disclose their name will put them in danger from those people they give the information on. Some come forward to journalists because they want revenge on the person who they are telling on, but don't want to be raked over the coals in court by the defence council. I doubt that there are cases where the criminal comes forward to the journalist and gives them the story. I think if they did, the journalist would be within his or her right to disclose that fact, but I think that that decision must be left to the journalist, not the courts, not the prosecutor who is probably trying to work his way up to some high political office (many are.)

No, freedom of the press must be maintained. It is a free press that can keep the politicos at least controlled to some extent. It is the freedom of the press that prevents someone like Hitler from coming to power. It is freedom of the press that allows our children to enjoy the same freedoms that we have enjoyed. The founders of our great nation thought it so important that they put that in the Bill of Rights, right alongside the freedom of religion. We cannot sit still and allow the courts to take this freedom away.

Ok my rant is done for this evening.

Jerry Ericsson 8-2-2001 20:50

Okay, a murder or two, from the new beginning of my novel SHARDS:

At the sound of footsteps, Trillian gasped and squeezed his eleven-year-old body into a shadowy crevice in the cave wall. Why, oh why, had he chosen today to explore the palace caverns? He held his breath, sweat trickling into his eyes. He knew his tattered clothes blended into the wall; he hoped desperately for whatever sorcerer was coming to pass without noticing him.

The footsteps grew loud and rounded a corner with a flurry of cape. Trillian spied a tall figure in black striding up the corridor, closer and closer to Trillian’s trembling body in its hiding spot, closer still and...continuing past without hesitation. Trillian stifled a gulp, trying not to release his breath too soon for fear of being heard.

He strained his own hearing to follow the receding progress of the Black one. Could it really have been Zurgovikt? Trillian wondered what could be so urgent to bring Zurgo to a most-hated grandfather’s palace. The mystery clutched Trillian’s curious heart. Unable to wait any longer, Trillian slipped from his hiding place and stealthily followed in the great sorcerer’s wake.

After slinking along a few corridors, barefoot and silent, he came to the closed door of the great hall. He gasped, covering his mouth upon discovering the limp body of the guard, now dead. A curious wisp of black smoke arose from the guard’s bruised neck. Quickly, Trillian slipped sideways down the dark corridor, taking a few well-remembered turns that brought him a back way into the throne room itself. Without a sound, he found himself behind tapestries near the throne, and he peered with one eye through a tiny slit in the fabric.

Old Zol, beneath his glittering crown, seemed asleep on his throne. Trillian squinted his eye for a closer inspection and jumped when a black-gloved fist tapped Zol beneath the chin. It was then when Trillian noticed the wreaths of black smoke binding Zol’s neck, arms, and legs.

“Don’t die on me yet, Old Grand-Daddy.”

Zol’s eyes flashed angrily. “You’ve no right to call me that, Zolak, even if you were grandson to my wife.”

Zolak?! Trillian took extra care not to breathe on the tapestry and betray his suddenly quivering body. He knew that Zurgo’s powerful twin hadn’t been in the land since--well, since before Trillian had been born. Yet he’d heard many horrific stories of the sorcerer’s great strength and evil deeds: suffocated Zol's mate, his own grandmother, Zolak had, even as a little boy. Trillian trembled anew, unbelieving that this same monster was now in the room before him.

Zol winced as the wreaths tightened. Zolak brought his own face nearly nose-to-nose with the age-lined face. “You’re so mistaken, Grand-Dad. That’s why I’ve come back, to set things straight. Since my pathetic twin hasn’t had the brain to kill you yet, I’ve come to disinfect the throne myself.”

Zol’s eyelids fluttered. “You--your father was--Otherworlder. No throne for you--or your bastard brother--no one will honor either of you. It ends with me.”

Zolak threw back his head and laughed. In his hiding place, Trillian shuddered as the cruel noise arced over him and etched its way under his skin.

“Old Zol, you are such a fool. Did you think I wanted your throne? Rule this petty world when there are entire universes out there to explore and conquer?” Zolak raised his fist, all joviality fled. “I’ll have my birthright restored, first from you,” he squeezed his fist and Zol gasped for air, “and next from my old man. Your throne be damned.”

Zolak yanked his fist in a small gesture. The wreaths crackled with sparks, Trillian shuddered in his hiding spot, and Zol breathed his last. Slashing the air with his cape, Zolak sneered at the pitiful heap in the chair that was his grandfather. He leaned forward and dashed the old man’s crown to the floor, its jewels scattering.

“Rest in pain, you old tyrant.” Zolak spit on the ancient head and turned on his heel.

A few paces from the throne, he paused and turned back. Trillian held his breath, his heart racing. Suddenly, the tapestry was ripped from its bracing and flung halfway across the room by an unseen force. Trillian’s heart jumped into his throat. Twenty feet from him, Zolak’s stare pierced Trillian’s very soul.

Run! Run! I should run! Trillian’s wits scattered as widely as the jewels from the smashed crown. His legs jellied like water. He tried to muster his strength for a dash--Before he could blink, an invisible something grabbed his shirt front and raised him high above the floor, pulling him from his hiding spot, toward the sorcerer. Trillian braved a downward glance: Zolak had his fist raised, at him!! His mind raced, Oh God, oh God, don’t let me die here, not now, not like this!

Zolak reeled him closer with the invisible bond, a twisted smile on the Black One’s lips. When Trillian was eye-level, about a foot from the sorcerer, Zolak’s invisible grasp coiled around Trillian’s helpless body, squeezed him alarmingly and gave him an electrifying little shake. “You’d be wiser to worship me than some unseen god.“

Trillian couldn’t stop his quivering. Zolak had read his mind! The terrifying sorcerer glared menacingly at him for a moment then continued. “But, as it is, I’ll let you live for another day. Just,” his eyes twinkled with mischief, “in case you want to challenge me for this throne someday. Will it be today?” Zolak’s eyes gleamed with menace.

Trillian couldn’t find his tongue. The sorcerer’s power arced menacingly through him, shocking him, shaking him, squeezing him. His gaze was riveted to Zolak’s deep, black eyes. All Trillian could do was give a nervous twitch of a headshake to the powerful man before him.

Zolak leered at him. “Good. You can go tell everyone what I did here today. I dare anyone to enter here or bury this old tyrant or to even wipe my spit from his head! They’ll quickly find a grave-hole right next to him.” He momentarily turned his head to whisper to the air, “You hear that, Zurgo? I--am King here, without you!!”

All at once, Zolak released Trillian, spun even as the boy fell to the floor, and vanished in a cloud of glitter. Trillian wasted not a breath in scrambling to his feet and tearing out of the palace.

Mel 8-2-2001 20:50

OOOPS! I wasn't able to load the chat page - guess it's down too!?
I haven't tried it for ages. *shrug*

Heather 8-2-2001 19:44

It's just after 7, EST. The kids are running through the freshly mowed grass, (picking up grass bits for my kitchen floor no doubt), eating chocolate ice-cream cones (sugar, bags and bags of sugar to CALM THEM DOWN -- sure.) So I have the freedom of a few minutes before the next fight breaks out to chat. Perhaps I can chat and referee at the same time. Well, I can at least back away from the keys if I need to blow the whistle!

Anyone else finding the heat needling? In a sweat-drenched, nuclear meltdown kind of way? Where's that rain dance Jerry was up to last week? Show us your moves, Jerry!

Okay - so I'll be in chat if anyone's around!

Tick tick tick

Heather 8-2-2001 19:30

No, something about the name of the 'syndrome' is kind of 'catchy', in a goggle-eyed, drooly kind of way...
ahem - for guys, that is.
Well, unless you're a unich.

Heather 8-2-2001 19:25

And the clot thickens....

ha ha ha

well, I've had my cheap laugh of the day.

Heather 8-2-2001 18:34

DEBRA: Oh my. I don't think that men would think that 'Deep Throat Syndrome' is despicable.

Why doesn't the FBI just wait for the book to come out? Hahahaha. Sorry. I guess they could wait for it to be made into a movie.

If that author is doing jail time rather than divulge her informant, then the source is probably mob related and she doesn't want to wake up as just a bloody head in some judge's duffel bag at the hand ball court.

Either that, or she felt she needed the cheap publicity to rocket her career. You know more people will buy the book now, what with her doing hard time over it and all.

Or maybe she cares for the informant and doesn't want THEM to wake up wearing concrete shoes out in the middle of Lake Flacid. (Sorry Debra...'nother Deep Throat reference.)

I see it this way: If SHE could find it out, the FBI ought to be able to find it out and if she is worth a hill of beans, she ought to be able to figure out some creative way to let the FBI get the same clues she has without actually giving it to them in a spiral binder. They do it in the movies all the time. (Winks)

Murder is bad...but the victim is already might kill more people to get the information out. Isn't that bad too?

She better start scratching her head a little harder and come up with something quick. She might very well have writer's block by the time she gets out of 'The Hole'.

See y'all later. I plan on killing someone off this evening and I need to go iron out some details. You gotta finesse this stuff you know (hehe).

Mary 8-2-2001 17:40

I think that if doctors could get together symptoms and actions that correspond with other people that have been sources we could give it a name.

We could call it something dispicable like the Deep Throat Syndrome.

Debra 8-2-2001 15:00

While, we're at it, you gotta wonder why someone would even take steps and become a source. What are they looking for?

Maybe it's an illness that know one knows about. Remember munckinhouse or whatever? Why wouldn't they just call the police in the first place.

Instead they walk around feeling some kind of pride knowing that they are the ONE everyone is looking for. They might just be doing it for some sick, sad reason to make themselves more than they think that they are.

Debra 8-2-2001 12:39


It all comes down to a fundemental question, power. When one person plays God and decides when others live or die, that is the highest form of danger. We can't let that go. In other words, it's less dangerous to all others including the writer for us humans to band together and treat that as the highest form of treason. Forgive me! I like to think of myself as a writer too.

Everything else takes a back seat to one person deciding that they are Gods. They are not. We can't let them think that they are.

I can't stand murder. I can't process that kind of taking. Yes, it happens everyday. Yes, it will continue. But to publically say that my right outweighs that person's life, I couldn't do it. Because who will be next to die!

Fiction good!

I'm sure I'm standing alone in a sound proof box on this one. It's okay.

I know you all will still allow me to stay. You know why? It's because you don't share the same attitude as murderers. If even one of us was a victim of some kind to this maybe they might like to put their two cents in too.

I'd like to hear it, even if this person doesn't agree with me. I'm not sitting here thinking that they JUST will.

Debra 8-2-2001 11:25

Fiction good!

Debra 8-2-2001 11:07


I know what you're saying. I do. That's why is is so touchy of a subject. I don't think she should reveal her source. I don't. I just mean she sould tell them what she knows. Even Judge Judy doesn't need to know the person's name who told who what. Not that I think that the government wouldn't want the name. I'm sure they do.

I just think she shoud tell them everything except the person's name who told her.

You know?

Murder bad!

For the most part, I'm proud of my government. I'm happy to live in America the best free country on earth. Did I mention murder bad!

I wouldn't reveal my source either. I might talk to my source after this whole mess reared its ugly head. If they still didn't want to be revealed I wouldn't reveal it.

BUT what if the source was the murderer?


Debra 8-2-2001 11:07

Ok, now say the person who did the research was you. The person who gave you the information made you promise not to reveal where it came from. You made that promise. Now the information is such that to give up the information would also disclose your source, as that would be the only person who could have known that information.

Now if you give that information, and in doing so reveal your source, then the next time you are doing research, and find a source with the information, do you think they would give it to you knowing that you went against your word and disclosed a prior source to the Fed?

This is the reason that the press have always stood fast in not revealing sources. This is the reason that Ms. Leggett is now sitting in a cold frightening jail cell. I know that murder is a horrible crime. I know that that victim was once a child, a mothers son or daughter, a grandfathers pride and joy. There are just some principals that are too important to violate. This is one of them.

Should I be the investigating officer, I would be damn mad at the writer for siding with the murder (That might be what I am thinking anyhow) and as prosecutor, I would probably do the same. As a writer I would do no less then Ms. Leggett, for to do any other would be to set precedent for every other writer or journalist in the future. The prosecutor could then quote State v Ericsson showing that journalists do turn over information when it pertains to murder. Next they would be applying that case to other crimes and our freedom of the press would be a thing of the past. Once the freedom of the press is gone, can our other basic human rights be far behind.

Jerry Ericsson 8-2-2001 10:55

You know I do agree.

The thing is we are talking about murder. The victim was someone's baby once. He or she was someone's toddler and teen. He or she could have made a real difference in our world. Not to mention that he or she had a RIGHT to live.

I think that if they thought she had something that for whatever reason they didn't have, she might consider sharing under circumstances in which she wouldn't lose what she had, she should.

I do feel we are all in the same boat. We don't want to be killed or lose someone we love that way. Murder is so hanious that all bets should be off to get these people who do these crimes.

I would share. I might not reveal my source, but I would tell them what I knew. If they needed the source they could fabricate one, like they always do. heeheeehee!

In simpler terms, Murder bad!

Debra 8-2-2001 10:42

Hi all!

Laura, if I can't get to it through your link, then e-mail me the changes.

Hop, I've heard that snake tastes good. Never had a chance to try it, though. My exotic food experiences are few and far between. Does pemmican count? That was... okay. Not great, but okay. I eat many wild meats, moose and deer and elk. I've had bear, buffalo and cougar (yuck cougar wasn't good) and rabbit and grouse a few times.

Mel, that's what freeborn do. They are weapons-masters, body guards and assassins-for-hire. If they aren't good at what they do, they don't live long.

I'm going now. Be back later to read the shorties. A though for those who don't want to 'kill' a character... a death scene can be a natural event, old age/disease/accident. Just another twist on the idea...


Tina 8-2-2001 10:39

Jerry, I'm with you! That is ludicrous!! Whatsa matter they can't use their own investigative techniques faster than an author can research the whole sordid affair? Sheesh! And this IS the U.S.A. - freedom to speak, freedom to read, freedom to write, freedom to research for a book. I think the FBI needs some research experts/writers on their payroll but not at forced will! Good grief.

Mel 8-2-2001 10:02

Speaking of crime's, I just watched a report on the plight of Vanessa Leggett. Vanessa is an author, who has researched a book on a murder. It seems that the prosecutor ordered her to turn over her notes to a Grand Jury. She refused, and the State Prosecutor dropped it. The defendant was aquited. Now the US Government is getting involved in the case. They have ordered her to turn over her notes, and again she refused. The US Attorney has found her in contempt of Grand Jury, and she has been ordered to jail until she turns over her notes. This could be for up to 18 months, longer if they extend the life of the Grand Jury.

As writers we must condemn the actions of the US Government! This cannot be allowed to continue. Her claim is that she is an independant free lance journalist, and as such she is protecting her sources. This claim has been allowed in the courts for as long as there have been courts. The Government counters that she is not a journalist, but an author, and as such this protection does not cover her. She has sold many articles to newspapers, but because she is writing a book about the murder, the Government is forcing the issue.

What do you think? Personally I feel that she must be protected, if they want what she has, then they should have dug deeper in their investigation, not rely on hers. According to her attorney, the FBI first approached her and asked her to be a "Secret informant" and when she refused they went to the US attorney to have her jailed. Talk about blackmail. I used to respect the FBI, they seemed to be so professional, and I always felt it an honor to be asked to work them on a case, as happened a few times in the past. However with the recent revelations of their misconduct in so many cases, their carelessness in losing their guns, and laptop computers show a total lack of professionalism, that combined with their recent history against the citizens of the United States, such as the Waco incident, the murder of a suspect's wife and son at Rubey Ridge, and the recent terrorist actions of their sister agency the ATF, they no longer deserve our respect, or our support. This most recent action show their total lack of respect for the rights of the Citizens of the United States.

Just read the above, my God, I sound like a survivalist, or a member of some militia, nothing could be farther from the truth, I am just so disappointed in their actions. It is like finding out that superman plays with dolls on his off hours.

Jerry Ericsson 8-2-2001 9:39


Happy Day, O Murderous Ones! Heh heh! I don't know if I'll join the fray or not - have to gather my nerve, if I have any (I think my muse has my Nerve buried around here somewhere...I really need to keep her away from the shovel!).

VIV: :-) Worse still, my Tim hates to be laughed at...The "Burning Brain" story will NEVER die in our household--heh heh! I'm glad your back and your garden are doing well. :-)

TINA: Wow! What a battle! Do all your Freeborn fight as bravely? Cool. Just one suggestion (my opinion) - shorten your sentences in the fast-action scenes. The reader's eyes will move more swiftly with the fast-action intended.

HOP: Is it easier for you to write in winter or summer? Just curious. Sea cucumbers sound interesting but NOT the snake and shark food (although shark cartilage or something is supposed to help ease arthritis pain?). Since my beloved Mitch and Myrtle Turtle Turtles slipped down the toilet when I was 4 years old, I wouldn't dream of eating any turtles (just a personal hang-up, mind you). You're right--it's all what we're used to eating. I eat cow-meat, pig-meat, and chicken-meat with all abandon. :-) It is hard, I agree, to describe the sense of taste. It overlaps with the senses of smell and feeling. And of course our taste buds on our tongues distinguish only four tastes: bitter, salty, sweet or sour. To describe those overlapping tastes is a real challenge. Stay warm! :-)

Hmmmm. Now the day stretches before me like a sea of calm. But what lurks beneath the surface? Tiny ripples disturb the serenity...someone is going to die today, perhaps many somebodies...who will be next? (*bum, bum, bum, bum...JAWS music here*).

Back later (maybe) with a shorty of deathhhhhhhhhh...

Y'all have a lively day! :-)

Mel 8-2-2001 8:18

It's quite cold (for me anyway) in New Zealand so while you talk about the heat of summer I'm talking about winter.

You people need to expand your palate horizons, try a bit of exotic food. Let's see, I've had snake soup (once), turtle soup (once), sharks fins (many times) sea cucumbers (many times).

I've heard of Psi factor but Psiforce? Well, I went on the web to check it out and the only Psiforce I got was a comic book by Marvel in the eighties about 5 teenagers with Psi powers. Well, there was a Psiforce in Babylon 5 but that was a group within the Universe.

It's New Zealand Heather. We do get X-file reruns but we also get new episodes.

It's all in the eye of the beholder really. For some eating dogs is gross while for others it isn't. Similarly, eating insects is gross for some while completely normal for others. A small note here, I can't eat insects, I've a fear of insects and spiders. Strangely enough, I eat their 10 legged cousins (crabs and lobsters) with no problem and great zest actually.

Something you must try is Singaporean chili crab and black pepper crab. The taste is mouth-watering, and creamy. You won't forget it, not only because both are extremely spicy. I would add more adjectives but unfortunately the English language doesn't really know how to describe foods.

Be sure to talk to a few Singaporeans first though because they will recommend you to the restaurants which know how to cook chili crab and black pepper crab properly.

Can someone suggest a few ways of describing various foods?

Barnabas "Hop" 8-2-2001 5:44

Tina, that page is currently broken, That was why I wanted the WB up soon, and since no one will visit my site, I'm not really in any hurry to fix it. I told it to hide the page until I get it fixed. I will post it as soon as I can but It depends on what happens first, either I get enough time in one sitting to actually sit down and do all of the editing I need to, or the WB comes back up. right now, paycheck is warring with sanity.

I'm sorry if I got a little testy. I understand how busy people are, and yet, people have time to get on great sites like this, and it just is frustrating when Even my members won't post to it.

Anyway, if you want some interesting pics, look through "I wonder."

laura 8-2-2001 1:42


You caught me at a bad time. I just don't feel like killing anybody right now. I've been trying to work on that, lately.


gariess 8-2-2001 1:09

Howard - if those pills don't do the trick, see if you can come up with a TENS unit. I got mine about five years ago, and there hasn't been a week gone by that I haven't resorted to that little piece of science. There are weeks when I use it daily. It has these patches that attach to your skin, and a small unit that has wires to plug into the patches. This thing then pushes electricity through your skin, deep into your body where it overloads the nerves that are sending the pain signal to your brain, thereby blocking the pain. The nice thing about it is that the blockage lasts for several hours after you remove the unit. Most physical therapist have them and you can generally lease them, but they have to be prescribed by your doctor. The one I have is mine, as the therapist charged the full value of the unit for the first months rental, a fee paid by Workers Comp in my case. I have no idea what they are worth money wise, but they are worth their weight in gold when you need them.

Jerry Ericsson 8-2-2001 1:01

Without further ado... It's Thursday somewhere in the world by now... I think that this week's shortie theme is gonna bring out a new side of the notebook! hehehe
For anyone who has read part of 'Freeborn', this scene takes place 30 years after the events in the first part that I posted in the workbook. Bedaton was a member of a gang that very nearly killed Kris. I've edited it a bit for length.

Though he approached carefully he encountered no one, noticed nothing unusual. In his heart, though, he knew that this was the place. He stood in the middle of the alley, stretched out his arms and yelled, “Here I am, Bedaton. I hope you’re better than you were thirty years ago.”

A slight scrape in the dirt brought Kris around to the direction of the sound and he waited, keeping relaxed but ready. He held his arms slightly outstretched in front of him and stood with his feet apart at shoulder width, his left just a bit in front of his right. When Bedaton swaggered into the alley – just in the moment of taking a swig from a bottle – he saw Kris at his most imposing and dangerous and confident. He wore his black leather jacket with the armour sewn into the cloth, brown pants that were covered with daggers, his high boots and Voxdemala at his side. The studded gloves, knife belt and tonfa all added up to make Bedaton pause. This confident freeborn was not the same boy of thirty years ago and Bedaton had only just realised it.

“Is this between you and me, or did you bring help?” Kris inquired flatly.

“Goading won’t help,” Bedaton smirked. “I’m no fool, and it’s not between ‘you and me’. I just want you dead, and thought this way would be fun.”

“I didn’t think that this was about your honour, since you never had any. But I’ll give you a chance to leave. Now. After this, you’re a dead man.”

Bedaton laughed, a sincere smile crossing his face. “No, Kris, no. But thanks for the laugh.” Bedaton threw aside the bottle he’d now emptied, turning the motion into a gesture. A group of men stepped into the alley, some from the road and more from further back in the shadows. Kris counted eight plus Bedaton.

Nothing could be gained by waiting. Throwing stars flew in succession at the men advancing from the street, four razor sharp weapons thrown with all the accuracy and strength of Kris’ expert arm. As Kris knew they would they landed true, and from such a near range they caused harsh damage. The two men targeted fell back at the force, one screaming from the star buried in his cheek, both cut and bleeding badly enough to remove their threat.

Only momentarily stunned, the other attackers ran at Kris. He’d known they would and he pulled both his metal tonfa and Voxdemala in one movement without waiting for Bedaton’s thugs to reach him. Kris had no interest in them, he only wanted Bedaton. The others were just in the way.

The first man was still drawing his sword when Kris reached him. Kris clubbed his arm with the tonfa, following it with the edge of his sword. Sporting a broken arm and a long gash across his chest and right arm the man retreated. The second man – a tall, thin man with a curved blade – lunged for the freeborn and was turned aside. Kris swung the tonfa on its handle, aiming for the man’s head and catching the edge of his jaw with the powerful club.
He reversed his grip and brought the weapon down across the man’s clavicle; it shattered audibly. The first attacker made an attempt to charge Kris again. It was a poor attempt, even with the knife held in his uninjured hand. Kris swept him aside with Voxdemala and the razor sharp blade took off pieces of the man’s fingers.

Now Kris was closer to Bedaton than the other thugs were to him. Having already reduced Bedaton’s group by half Kris spoke up. “Now do you see why this was a bad idea?” Bedaton didn’t respond, he had his own sword out and was ready for Kris to charge. With his surprise advantage gone, Kris chose to be wary. This fight was with metal and he could not afford to get surrounded. It was five to one instead of nine but there were still no guarantees.

The alley was dimly lit and a poor place to fight, especially with wounded men around, so Kris led the group back onto the street. Nobody was out and about at such an hour, providing no witnesses or support. The lamp standard spilled a globe of light onto the street; Kris didn’t stand directly under it for that would limit his vision so instead he placed himself at the edge of the illumination and made Bedaton come through it.

Another thug came in first with Bedaton close on his heals. He fell when Kris’ throwing knife and a star landed in his gut and cheek, nearly tripping Bedaton. Kris had time to launch one more star before having to meet Bedaton’s sword but it missed. The group was aware of his tactics now and watched for the deadly weapons. Then Kris was too busy trading blows.

With several blades working on him at once Kris couldn’t afford to focus on Bedaton. Someone, he didn’t know who, struck his tonfa a sideways glance and sent it spinning out of his grip. The successful manoeuvre left Kris empty handed for a minute; he reached for his dagger, ignoring the oozing blood from where the sword had nicked his arm.

Wrapped up in the intensity of the moment Kris couldn’t even feel the wound and it didn’t slow him down. One of the thugs tried to get in close and pin Kris up to the wall. His feet were spread too far apart for good balance and Kris spotted his mistake. Keeping his opponents attention engaged on the swordplay Kris stepped close and kicked the inside of the man’s leading leg just above the knee. The joint crumpled at an unnatural angle and he fell against the nearest man. In that tiny space Kris threw the large dagger he held. It was a tremendously powerful throw and the long blade penetrated the target’s abdomen almost to the hilt. That man didn’t get up.

Bedaton didn’t care what was happening to his people. He saw a tiny opening and lunged in at Kris, swinging hard and forcing Kris to the defensive. Kris blocked the swing but was too close to the wall to retreat. Bedaton forced Voxdemala aside with pure brute strength aided by his better leverage, pushing until Kris was crushed against the wall and trapped.

Smiling smugly, Bedaton leaned into Kris’ chest with his forearm while keeping Voxdemala safely trapped. Though Kris held on tightly he was forced to release his sword when one of the remaining group pounded his knuckles into the wall. This time he couldn’t ignore the pain from his hand, and there was little doubt that something had been broken.

“Does this seem familiar?” Bedaton asked arrogantly. His foul breath lingered in Kris’ face and the freeborn wrinkled his nose.

“Yeah. You were always drunk.” With both of his hands now free, Kris grabbed Bedaton around the neck with his left hand and pushed away the arm trapping him against the wall, then fell sideways along the wall. It was a controlled fall that stopped when Bedaton’s face crashed into the rough bricks. Gathering his balance, Kris pulled Bedaton against the wall repeatedly while the man thrashed to free himself. Kris spun around to Bedaton’s back and wrapped his right arm around the man’s neck, then continued to spin so that his own back was at the wall and they faced the rest of the group. He pulled a dagger from its sheath strapped to his left thigh and held it against Bedaton’s chin.

“Say goodbye, Bedaton,” Kris breathed into the man’s ear just before pulling the highly honed steel across his throat. Blood poured out, indiscriminate as it stained Kris’ sleeve as well as Bedaton’s jacket. Within a moment Bedaton sagged in Kris’ grip, his resistance vanishing with his blood. Kris dropped him and stepped aside. “Do any of you want to finish this?”

Only two of the eight were unhurt, and one lay in the dirt unmoving. They stood their ground with their swords held ready, but their eyes were on Bedaton.

“He got you into this. Forget the money he promised, and forget about me.” It was a peaceable offer and the injured men who stood a bit farther back seemed inclined to take it. Kris shifted his weight, and though it hurt damnably he tossed his dagger from one hand to the other, then drew a second blade from his chest sheath.

“Give me my sword,” Kris demanded firmly, meeting the eyes of the one who’d taken the prize blade. “I’ll let you live, but not if you try and take it.” The man tossed Voxdemala in the dirt, scowling deeply but stepping away never the less.

That was enough, and the remaining men backed off.

Tina 8-2-2001 0:33

Heather: I agree! Hey, sorry about your tape. I still have it. It's copied and I've got to get it back to you.
Wow, the weeks fly and I move slowly.

Allein: ditto on the translation. We're doing everything slowly here...because everything is moving so fast all of the sudden. I feel like I'm on a treadmill that is moving too fast.

Mel: Back is back! I didn't even need the massage. I hopped in that really hot water and it made a little pop and felt wonderful! Yay hotbaths. Everyone needs one once in awhile. What am I going to do when I have to leave this place. I guess I'll build my own. Still, it's better to let someone else set the temp. I'd never believe I could get in that extremely hot water without burning my skin. I guess the Japanese have figured out exactly how hot to get water without actually scorching the guests. Sometimes when I dip my toes in though, I wonder if they are going to come out with blisters. It takes real courage to take those first stinging steps into the water.

Garden still looks just like I wanted it to.

Jack, it's time to look at your computer, stick out your tongue and go scuba diving for the afternoon. I'm going to do that with teaching all next week. There's a point where you just need to rediscover something beautiful and different.

Tina: fire away. I want to hear!

Viv 8-1-2001 22:58

Ah, scroll down a bit, did the notebook burp?

Jerry Ericsson 8-1-2001 22:40

I don't see any problem with 1700 words.

Jerry Ericsson 8-1-2001 22:38

Mel: I loved the story about your son and his burning brain! I once was teaching at the front of the class and noticed a student doodling on the desk in the back of the room. I don't like that so I went back to the back of the room intending to hand him a squirt can of detergent and a rag. I stood behind him and looked at his was a boy sitting at a desk with the top of his head exploding. It was so perfect. I wish I could have kept that drawing. I've felt like that a lot of times. It's that overwhelmed feeling you get when you have so much to learn and you are asorbing the information slower than an overloaded computer.

My question: What is so important to know that we have to make our kids miserable for such a long time? I shouldn't ask that question, because I have my own child who has yet to get into college and another that has two years to go before she can earn any money. My own job is stuffing facts into exhausted brains.

Well, I'm glad I'm on summer vacation now. I really need it! Hummmmm, who shall I kill today? Pedantic Perry the Persnickity Professor???? Hummmmm, perhaps......
Last words.....hummmmmmm, oh bye now! I got it.

Viv 8-1-2001 22:31

Tina: 1700 words never hurt nobody...

Heather 8-1-2001 22:29

I just keep thinking of Lewis Caroll's 'Jabberwocky'. The Vorpal sword went 'snicker snack, snicker snack' as it cut off the beast's head.

Snickers for snack: Really, really satisfying.

Laura - I think posting your link here is just fine - but with all this rampant spare time I've got about enough to tie my shoelaces - once. If they come undone during the day, I just say, 'Sorry, not enough time!' and trip about awkwardly. I do get down flights of stairs a lot faster, though - that saves a few minutes.

I have noticed that any time you've posted in the last month or more, you've only posted to inquire what has taken so long with the critiques. When you nudged again just recently, that's what finally made me sit up a bit straighter and respond. And let me tell you - I've got people reading my work, and some are really busy and haven't actually gotten to the reading part yet. They will, or if they don't I've got others out there who will. I understand it can be frustrating if you have no outside input/crits at all, but patience in this will pay off.
Carry on, and it will come.

Sorry to hear about the harddrive, Jack. Here's to a fast recoup. *tinkling wine glasses*

No, not wine glasses that pee, folks.
Let that be another day.

Heather 8-1-2001 22:27

Hi again.

I'm thinkin' of posting an excerpt from 'Freeborn' for my shortie tomorrow. Except, it's about 1700 words. I'm thinkin' it's too long. If no one objects (loudly) I'll post it tomorrow.

See ya guys and gals!

Tina 8-1-2001 22:05

Ohhh, noooo, JERRY, that was a HORRIBLE mess.... Just lost my lunch - ewwww, gross!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Nice writing, 'tho!) :-)

Welcome back, TINA! :-) Your trip sounded GLORIOUS!!! Even without s'mores. So glad you had a chance to get away for awhile! Now, I suppose, you're all fired to top Jerry's gruesome death shortie... I can't do the blood -and-guts thing...yechhhh!

Mel 8-1-2001 15:34

Ah yes, I did remember most of what I wrote last night, and to get back with the program, I shall post my shorty early as always, here it is. I hope you enjoy it. I know you will. Well maybe a few of you will. Or maybe not. Well at least I tried.

Happiness is . . .
By Jerry A.G. Ericsson

“In the year 2525, if man is still alive...” She sang, as she scrubbed her body, the hot water blasting down her back felt so good, so cleansing it made her feel young, vigorous, alive. Little did she know her life would last only minutes longer.

He stood by the bathroom door, listening to her song. God how that song took him back, back to the days when they were both so young, so full of love, full of life. Long before the split, before Tom, before the hospital, but that was all in the past, it was over and there was nothing he could do to change it. Ah but the future, he had a grasp on that, he knew what needed to be done to even the scales and it would be done today.

She was toweling herself off now, humming the tune to that song. She stopped and looked at herself in the mirror, little had changed over the last thirty years, she still had a body that would put most twenty year olds to shame, her breasts were still firm, they held their shape, the tan lines seemed to accentuate their shapeliness, their beauty. Moving down, her waist was still firm, still making that hourglass figure she was so famous for, her hips just right, yes the years were kind to her. Not that she didn’t try to keep in shape, with exercise every day, eating the right foods, and the fact that she practiced safe sex, helped that and her decision not to have children was the most important thing she knew that, despite that empty feeling she experienced on occasion when her friends told of the joy of children. Yes she missed them, but not what they did to her body, she was proud of that, she knew she could put most models to shame, that was her mission in life.

He listened, she was running water in the sink now, brushing her teeth, he could hear the brush, rinse, brush. Now was the time, it had to be now or never. He backed up a bit, and raised his foot, then with all his might, he drove his jack boot against the door, the latch gave way and the door slammed open. She turned, but before she could scream, his hand was over her mouth. He swung her around, and put his hands around her neck.

“No” she gasped.

“Yes, it is time, time for you to die!” With this, he let up the pressure on her neck.

“Why Albert, for God’s sake why?” she said between gasps for air and coughing.

“Because you broke my heart, that’s why, because I loved you for so long, it has turned to hate, that’s why!”

“No!” She gasped again.

With this, he tightened his grip on her neck, until he felt that little click of her hyoid bone cracking. A bit of blood formed on her lip. Her heart stopped and she was dead.

Gently he picked her up, cradling her in his arms, like a father with a small child. He carried her through the door, down the stairs, through her spotless kitchen, out the door that lead to the attached two car garage. He laid her down on the cold cement floor, and rummaged around the garage until he found some rope, and a three foot long two by four. He made quick work of placing the rope around the two by four, then he slit the skin and made a hole in each ankle between the ankle bone and the Achilles tendon. Next he pushed the two by four through each slit, then threw the end of the rope around a rafter, and then pulled the rope until she was hanging upside down, her head just inches from the cold floor.

Kneeling beside her, he took out his Kbar knife from the sheath hanging from his belt, and with a quick professional movement, slit her throat, the blood flowed a steady stream from her carotid artery, and juggler veins. Since her heart had stopped, there was no spurting, just a comforting steady stream. The blood pooled around the floor drain, then as the drain accepted it’s gory meal, the blood disappeared into the city sewer system.

He stood back and lit up a cigarette, and watched as the blood slowed to a drip, then to nothing, her body took on a pale look, gone was that youthful glow that filled her mirror just short minutes ago. He moved to her again, and with the knife made an quick slash from her crotch to her breastbone, her internal organs slumped, then fell to the floor as he cut the mesentery that held them inside. He looked around and found a hammer over the workbench, this he used to hammer the glistening knife through her breastbone, and when he was through, he spread her ribs and removed her heart and lungs. The lungs, he added to the gore on the floor, the heart he wrapped with his bandana, and made a knot to keep it from falling out. Then he stood back and surveyed his work.

Yes indeed, he thought, happiness indeed is a large gut pile.

Jerry Ericsson 8-1-2001 15:07

Hi all!

Back a day early. Excellent trip, despite nasty rain on Monday. Mel, I couldn't do the s'mores. It was a backpacking excursion, and all the food was dried ie: granola and dehydrated campfood.

Howard, hope it's improving today. If nothing conventional helps with that pain, consider acupressure/puncture. It can be a godsend. I'm having sympathy pains for you... just think about what Rosemary said. Nothing like first hand experience to lend spice to your writing... (she says, looking for that silver lining :-D )

Rhoda, nope. Nothing so sinister, lately. Hope you have a good virus scanner.

Laura, I went to your link, couldn't find your story. Do I have to get a password to go in and read it? Or did I just miss the link?
About 'being pushy'... I sometimes need reminders to stop procrastinating, but most of the time I'm just busy. Busy with work, family, my own writing (which will always come first before crits) house work/improvements/yard work, and a million other little commitments.
About 'being pushy' with Jack, the thing is that his recent occurances are like a 'don't worry about a thing/take your time/get out of worry free' card. Maybe you've never been where he is right now, but if you had I doubt you'd press him about something like re-launching the WB. In the greater realm of things, a few weeks or even months without the WB is not going to have far reaching consequences.

And it gives me time to work on my ghostie........

Mel, only four in the first book? I'm not even going to count how many in mine. Of course, my story is about assassins... this shortie should be easy. :o) If nothing else I'll use something I've already written.

Jerry, should we all start sending you e-mail reminders to back-up each night?

Just for my own curiousity, has anyone claimed my copy of 'Contact' by Carl Sagan, currently in Australia with Teekay? Or my copy of 'Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency', currently in Ontario with Heather? I'm just curious....

Okay, now I must get busy with cleaning up from my camping trip. It rained on Monday, and much of our stuff was soaked. The rest is filthy. Tuesday we hiked part way up to Monashee Lake, an incredibly beautiful hike through old growth cedar forests, avalanche run-aways, and an alpine caldera. The wildflowers were supreme! Waterfalls old lava flows, and there was one area were the snow had only just melted and the plants were just sprouting. Like time-travelling from early spring to summer, the plants at the edge of the snow are just sprouting and with every step away from the edge they are larger and fuller, until they are flowering and even past flowering just ten meters away. It was magical.

Okay, now I really am going.

Tina 8-1-2001 13:43


Hi, you-all! Made it lunch-time-yea! First things first. Gotta talk a bit to some friends and co-conspirators (heh heh! all right, who's scheduled to die tomorrow night? Line up the victims...)

VIV: How's your back today? Hope the hot soak helped you yesterday...

HEATHER: Actually, I was better at badminton than tennis: "Keep that birdie in the air!" :-) "No, no, Mel, only One bounce for the ball..." BTW, Hallee's away for the week; Ruth is off for the month. Ben is offline for the summer. Rachel's camping, so is Tina. That's as far as my remembery goes. The others must account for themselves! ... 1000 words? YES! Go, gal! :-) But don't tell--oh no, too late. My muse heard about yours in the pool. Mine's on her way - look out ---SPPLASSHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JERRY: I like your little murder-teaser. :-) Heh heh! I got a feeling Thursday eve's gonna be a gory mess! Someone should call BEN.

JACK: Good luck with the new short fantasy - I'd love to read it but first have a few others to finish...

TEEKAY: What? No snow? You're supposed to be freezing while we're drowning in sweat. (But I'm glad you're not. Not cold, that is! :-) ) Thanks for the kid-advice. Um, I knew that! I seemed to forget 'tho in the throes and woes of being badgered and pestered. I will make a sign "WRITER AT WORK - DO NOT DISTURB" for my area and post the list of jobs for kids (and hubbies?) next to it - heh heh! :-) re: the writing "buzz" - You Go, Girl! Keep it flying!!! :-)

Okay, Teekay, you've gone and done it - now I gotta tell:

THE STORY OF THE BURNING BRAIN (this is NOT my death shortie, heh heh! but a true story of parenthood)

Last June, a few weeks before the end of the school year, we had some gorgeous weather. This was great for the school kids, recess periods after lunch outside the school and all-day games and activities for the restless students who felt the coming 10-week summer vacation from classes and homework couldn't arrive soon enough.

One day during class, my ten-year-old son attracted the teacher's attention in an unusual way. Instead of being the class clown, my Tim was being very quiet. A paleness encompassed his young face. The teacher took him to the nurse's office.

The nurse, a why-am-I-here sort, couldn't note a thing wrong with Tim, other than his uncharacteristic solemness. Tim was worried about something. The nurse called my husband at work (closer than me and he had the car).

My husband hurried to the school. It was so unusual for anything to be wrong with Tim, normally a healthy and very active boy. When my husband arrived at the nurse's office, he rushed to Tim's side. With a mental burden much too heavy for a ten-year-old to fathom, Tim softly informed his father, "It feels like my brain is burning..." Fear tightened his little face.

My husband anxiously eyed the little tyke's buzzed head, wondering, 'what the devil is wrong here?' Then suddenly, with a great certainty of worry fading, my husband smiled. "Tim, your head is sunburned!"

I think Tim will remember to wear his hat next time he's out all day in the sun and that, just after a recent haircut. ;-]

Mel 8-1-2001 12:55

Laura - the notebook is like one big family, and like all families, tempers sometimes flare over misunderstandings. Stick around, we have all been there one time or another, given a few days all will cool down, and you will be wondering why you ever considered leaving home.

Had my shorty all prepared last night, this morning my computer refused to start, and I had to used GO BACK to get it working again. I love Go Back, it is a great little program but it also removed everything I did on the computer yesterday, so the shorty is gone. I think I remember it well enough to get it back by tomorow for posting. {When will I ever learn to Back-up?}

Jerry 8-1-2001 11:32

A moment of tribute here offered for Poul Anderson:

Over SIXTY book titles, written by Poul Anderson, are in our library system database(that only covers five counties within New York State, not necessarily a comprehensive list of Poul's work). These 60 were published over a FORTY year period, from 1960 to year 2000. That's an average of over one book a year, fellow writers! :-) His most recent works include:

Operation Luna
The Fleet of Stars
War of the Gods
All One Universe
Harvest The Fire
The Stars Are Also Fire
harvest Of Stars
The Time Patrol
The Shield Of Time
The Boat Of A Million Years

Poul has left us a rich legacy; he will be sorely missed.

Mel 8-1-2001 11:08


Many of you will have seen this from other sources, but thought it necessary to drop this off here as well. For those who are long standing science fiction readers, this will come as a piece of sadness:

Friends --

It's with a heavy heart that I write that my father, Poul Anderson is
receiving hospice care at home and is not expected to live more than
a week. I know that some of you are fans of his work, and if you
would care to send an e-mail direct to my parents house ( ) expressing what it has meant to you, he
would be very appreciative. I'll be going down there myself tomorrow
(they're in the Bay Area), so will not be getting mail here for a few

Astrid Bear

8-1-2001 6:45

Hello everyone: Well, I will still attempt to get to the Workbook, but I attempted install Windows XP Pro RC-1 only to discover that it was reporting that my primary drives were corrupted and ready to crash. Nice of it to inform me. I had noticed some weirdness already, but this just confirmed it. Then I got off the phone with Harddrives Northwest only to find that the particular drive that was at issue was noted for going south. I have some critical business responsibilities that take first in line and have to get to those first, but will attempt to get to the Workbook and get it up before I pack things up and get them off to the tech support people to replace my existing IBM Daystar 60 gig hard drive with two 30 gig Seagates, which, apparently, are more reliable. Sigh. Will note that I installed XP on Fran's computer (the oldest of all three in the house) without a problem. The only one that actually got as far as installing it. Once installed it is actually a quite nice OS. Anyway, I am babbling, and will talk with you soon, hopefully on the Workbook. I actually have three pages of a new fantasy short story that I hopefully will be shopping for a location to try and sell. We will see.

Jack Beslanwitch 8-1-2001 6:43

TEEKAYYYYYYYYYYYY: Oh my. Your poor wittle scalp. Sighs...well, what is the prognosis? (I just had to say HI before I go!)

Mary 8-1-2001 2:41

Just dropped by one last time before I head off to bed.

LAURA: I never thought you were the least bit pushy concerning inviting people to come see your site. I even went...and LIKED it. I only got irritated with your needling about the Workbook being down.

As far as welcoming people to use your site in lieu of the Workbook temporarily, that is very generous and thank you, but I for one will pass. I don't have anything going on that is so urgent it can't wait. I hope you don't stop posting over this...we have scuffles all the time; makes for good drama.

JERRY: Good luck with your Mac!

HOWARD: Any improvements?

OK, off to bed to think about what I will write for Thursday night. I won't remember it by morning, of course, but it is good exercise.

...Don't let the bed bugs bite.

Mary 8-1-2001 2:38


Hi all;

MEL: This is me reporting in for duty. Been a bit lax lately coz I've been saving the notebook to disk to read on my daughter's computer where it is lovely and warm in the main part of the house. Actually the weather here is really lovely, yesterday I was out in the garden pulling up weeds and being really productive - or destructive depending on how you look at it. STOP BLOODY YAWNING. YOU ASKED!!!!

Helpful tip*
One guaranteed way to get any child over the age of 10 to leave you alone is whenever they come to you, ask them to do something. You know, like sweep the floor, do the dishes, scrub the walls.
Try that and pretty soon you'll only see them at meal times.

DEBRA: I know, I know, the last words of the duct taped guy who's being eaten by rats could be.....wait for it........'RATS!' heh heh heh.

HOWARD: I'm so glad you're back. I'm not so glad you're in pain. Get some relief. Winge and Nag and whine and holler until you get it. If that doesn't work, then , what MARY said.

GARIESS: You are sooooooooo funny. In a demented, my brains fallen out, bash your head against a wall kind of way. I do love you.

MARY: Guess what I've found in the shops?!?!?!?!? This mousse that you put in your hair after each wash to lighten it naturally (yeah right) to your own hair tones. I just never learn do I? Just keep on making the same old mistakes over and over and over and ov.... ah well, you get the idea.
My scalps a bit itchy actually, I hope it hasn't burnt the skin off it. *gulp*
Better that than fleas though I guess.
Better for the cat anyway. :-*

HEATHER: Whoo hooo over here. I'm getting on with it, but you don't have to wait, you can just carry on coz it won't change anything. Okay? ;-)

ALL (who care): I have been having the BEST time with my writing. It's such a buzz. Please let it last, please let it last. It is the greatest feeling - or at least one of, and these past few days I have just been on a constant high.
Hope it doesn't hurt too much, IF, I land.

Teekay 8-1-2001 2:33

And as for my remarks to Jack, they were meant as good-natured teasing of the type that most of you get away with but the moment I try you bite my head off. Maybe I should just stop posting then.

laura 8-1-2001 1:06

Well, I'm sorry, I was not intending to be pushy, but I'm not the type to beg either. I only mentioned the site again because one it was something I thought you all might enjoy and could do in your spare time, and two, because the workbook is down right now.

As for my posts about the ms, I was simply telling you that I had started another rewrite but I would wait for your crit before I did too much. Just warning you so if you saw it again you would know it was a new version. And as for procrastination? That is all well and good, but I was not intending to be pushy, merely bringing up something I hadn't mentioned in a while and showing you that there was another change in the MS, I was not meaning to badger anyone but since I had worked hard on my site, I wanted people, no one in particular, to know that it was back online.

I'm sorry, I guess I'm just frustrated because I can't spend as much time here as I want to, and the Workbook is closed temporarily so I have time to work on my site, and then to be dismissed with a 'don't be pushy' is a little irritating.

Not to mention the fact that, and I will say it again, NOT ALL OF THE POST WAS ADDRESSED TO ONE PERSON!

end rant

laura 8-1-2001 1:03

Mary - no problem, I still have an old Quatra 800 Mac, got it awhile back and it came with a bunch of software on it, all set up to work on photo's with Adobe Illustrator, Photo Shop and a bunch of other software, has Netscape on it too, and an external 28.8 modem, so I can go online with it. I just liked the faster Power PC better, but my daughter will put it to work, where as I would simply keep it in a corner and turn it on from time to time, look at the monitor, and say "Yep, that's a Mac!" Think I will put it up on a yard sale to, what the heck, maybe I can get thirty bucks out of it.

Jerry 8-1-2001 0:20

Well I just made myself sound like a total idiot. I knew how to turn the thing on. I just didnt have any software for it and there was none installed on it for me to play around with. I couldn't download any programs off of the internet for it because I couldnt get online with it. Just turned out to be a pain in the buttinski. There...that's better.

Mary 7-31-2001 23:55

JERRY: I just sold an old MAC in my yard sale for $30. Worked just fine but I couldn't get the hang of it. Guess I shoulda asked you if you wanted it first. Color monitor, newer keyboard and mouse. I don't have any idea what capacity the hard drive was, or the speed because I had no clue how to work the thing. I couldn't hook it up to the internet either because it took cable and I don't have that service available.

Mary 7-31-2001 23:53

"""For she's a jolly good fella, for she's a jolly good fella, for Heather's a jolly good fellaaaaaaaaaaa, which nobody can deny!"""

Thank you big time! I owe you three new cars, two bottles of wine and whatever is behind door number 3. You have rejuvenated my efforts and, because of your help, all those corners I had planned on rounding off are going to be sharper than they would have been. (Just for the record...those three new cars are a big deal seeing as how I drive a twelve year old Mercury with vinyl seats that stick to the back of your legs if you wear shorts in the summer.) ;-)

Sighs...I can't even remember what new car smell is like.

Holy cow! What a great response to Shortie night already. I cannot wait to see what turns up Thursday.

JON: You know many famous interesting characters from all your travels. You must have a good death scene/last words story to tell us.


Mary 7-31-2001 23:48

Boy am I in the mood to kill of one of my charcters, this is going to be great. What with all that is happening in my life right now, I need an outlet for some of the frustration, and anger. Had to format the wife's computer a couple of days ago, so she is busy trying to get all her stuff back installed, plus I am about ready to format my server, it hasen't been formated since I put in the big hard drive over a year ago, so it is getting in real bad shape. To avoid a format I installed windows ME, it seems to be working fairly well, but not as good as it should. I just don't have the patients right now to dig into it, and it will take weeks to get it back up to standards what with all the stuff I have installed. Well I guess I don't need to put a bunch of stuff back, I had a lot of graphics stuff set up for my daughter to use when she came home from college on weekends, but she is done with college now, and working to pay off her student loans, plus she is living in her thousand dollar house, and has two compters of her very own. (Well one I built for her, and my Mac Power PC that she talked me out of)

Jerry 7-31-2001 23:38

Listen my children and you shall hear
Tales of murder and duct tape
Tales that make you shiver and your heart quake
Twas the last day of July in 01
The Sturgis Rally had just begun
The storm that night covered the noise of the fight
When that dirty dog Stiletto jumped Mellow Bob
Two punches, three slashes and it was done,
His tent burned to ashes.
The cops they came
Searched from Jackson to Main
And when they left
They were heard to say
"Damdest case of suicide we ever saw!"

Ok so I ain't no poet, just getting in the mood for Thursday night's murder bash. Already have the shorty rolling around in my head, hope I can keep it short.

Jerry 7-31-2001 23:32

Actually, I am not joking, Laura.

I did visit your site once, but I've already got the NB.

Heather 7-31-2001 19:04

Hey, Laura, just a hint: If you're going to get pushy with people (especially ones famous for procrastination, ie: WRITERS) then no one will be willing to do what you ask.
I HOPE you are kidding, but from the feel of many of your recent posts, you're not. Best policy for getting a critique? Ask nicely, send it on, and WAIT. Be patient. Don't fuss. Like an editor hates reminder calls, fellow writers don't like to be cornered and shoved into a critique. We're all busy! And Jack, well, we're just lucky to have him here. And he archives when the NB needs it, and he does what he can for such a completely BUSY man! Without Jack, this place would not exist. We should sing praises that the workbook has ever come into being at all. I've got a project up in the round robins that is on hold until he can get the WB up again - but have I complained once? NO. I am an understanding person, and I'm just happy I've had the chance to 'M.C.' the project at all.
And if you were joking, so was I... heh heh

JACK: Take your time - I know what it must have taken out of you to write your piece about your cousin. Don't let all this peskery banter get to you! (And NO, I'm not puckering my lips up to Jack's bum)

Gariess: You are splitting my sides! Any remedies?
Needle, thread, and what, a sour outlook? I feel like Winnie the Pooh doing his exercises. RRrrrrippp!~:o)

Mary: NICE shortie theme! You love to challenge us, don'tcha! By the way, the reply is in your email!
And I didn't start smoking from the ears. (Just nostrils...) ;o)

Great tennis match, Debra and Mel! HA HA HA HA HAAH!!!!
Well, where's TEEKAY? Miss you! Miss Christi too, and Hallee. And where might Jon/Pussy/Americo be? Sasquatch?
T.O.M.? Rachel? How are you?

Lots of people I've regrettably forgotten to mention - sorry!

Got another thousand words written yesterday... finally!
My muse has finally gotten herself out of the pool.

Heather 7-31-2001 19:02


I know what you mean about Sturgis. Here, we have Laconia. Laconia, Daytona and Sturgis are the three biggest rallies in the country. It goes total zoo at Laconia too. You also have to reserve there two years ahead. I never go, because I never figure I'm going to live that long. There's a small meet coming up in Syracuse that I might go to. There should be enough boobies there to keep me happy for a while.


Gariess 7-31-2001 18:37

not but to the chair...sighs.

I am such a loser.

7-31-2001 16:13

not actually death...sighs.

7-31-2001 16:12

"Death by Duct Tape"? You guys are scaring me. ;-)

But seriously folks, MEL: Go ahead and make your death scene your own death if you want; quite a nice angle, actually. Not your actually death of course, just the writing angle I mean.

Duct taping my but to this chair and trying to stay here long enough to get some writing done.


Mary 7-31-2001 16:11

Um, not my OWN death...or, well, say, there's an idea for shortie nite! Hmmm...

Mel 7-31-2001 14:55

Oh, man. Debra, how you make me laugh today! :-) I think the other NB-ers better start talkin' or the DEBRA-MEL show may never end - heh heh! BTW, thanks for the death scene - it was truly - um - moving. It moved me to the door to screech in more laughter! But for Mary's sake (and my own) I'd better write my own death scene - my muse knows I sure need the practice! Enjoy the rest of your day - I catch my bus home in an hour... :-)

Mel 7-31-2001 14:53


Isn't that just what you told me you needed? You wanted a death scene. You liked the duct tape and told me to go for it.

I did, just for the record, potty train my girls without covering up their private parts with duct tape.

Debra 7-31-2001 14:25

Debra: I may be crazy but you're really gross today! Eww!! Are you feeding your muse the proper diet?

Mel 7-31-2001 14:03


About 20% of the his left side of his mouth could be exposed and not duct taped so his screams are only silenced when a one or more rats crawl in.

I hate it.

Debra 7-31-2001 14:01


What if you duct taped your victim to a chair and then put some sort of rat bat at his feet. You could lure them to him and they could do the rest.

I hate it.

Debra 7-31-2001 13:47

Hmmm, death by duct tape... Go for it, Debra! :-) I look forward to your shortie. (No fair using your calendar for ideas!)

Mel 7-31-2001 13:36

Oh boy, I'm going to be a nuisance (AM a nuisance?)...I just remembered I have at least three-no, four! killings in my FIRST book! Sheesh!!! I'm more cold-blooded than I thought!!!! All's right with the world. I could re-write one of those scenes, yep, mm-hmm.

Mel 7-31-2001 13:34


May I suggest duct tape?

Debra 7-31-2001 13:31

Back from lunch but I don't think it helped much regarding saner thinking...

DEBRA: Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa HA HA! Hee Hee! Whoo boy. :-)

MARY: Another whooo boy. I'm in trouble now. I shouldn't have asked! Some may recall my previous friendly rantings at Ben for killing off his characters...Um, BEN can I borrow a death scene? Heh heh. Whoo boy. Now I gotta kill somebodeez. I don't think I've planned to kill anyone before Book Three. I suppose I could write that scene a bit early...hmmm, whoo boy. HELP!!!

Mel 7-31-2001 13:28

We might need one more piece for that funny look on their faces.

Debra 7-31-2001 13:14

I can see it now. I little wad with the sticky side out here. A little wad there. Presto chango, we have dry panties.

Debra 7-31-2001 13:11


You know a week and a half ago, I might have considered duct taping the babies bums.

I'm glad I didn't think of it.


I can see it now, potty training multiples, try duct tape.

Debra 7-31-2001 12:30

MEL: LOL, no procrastination is just what I have been doing, it's not really the shortie theme! ;-)


Write a death scene that includes the protagonist's/antagonist's last words.

Mary 7-31-2001 12:28

DEBRA: I forgot to say, hahaha - ow! My teeth hurt thinking about that one! :-) Let's hear another one! OKAY, RANDALL, WE'RE DOWN TO SWAPPING DUCT TAPE STORIES UNTIL YOU COUGH UP ANOTHER HIP-SWATTER!!

I need to get some lunch - brain's straining on breakfast fumes and mid-morning Wheat Thins! And while I'm at it, why do they call 'em Wheat THINS when they have a moorish flavor and I will keep eating them till they're either all gone or someone applies the honorable duct tape to my own jaw! Going...

Mel 7-31-2001 12:24

LAURA: For crying out loud, give the guy a break.

JACK: I don't think anyone else minds one single bit that Fran wants to escape with you for a while. As a matter of fact, it is safe to say that we would feel guilty if you didn't! ((Hugs))...have fun!

Mary 7-31-2001 12:17

Hey, MARY: :-) Hi and what's the shortie theme for this Thursday? Or are we still on procrastination? Boy, did we mess up last week's "portentousness!" Um, maybe we need a new direction? The many uses of duct tape? Er no, no--maybe something more stylish...???!!! Anything's good...I've got my muse duct-taped in a closet till I get home - heh heh! She should be there when I can use her, I hope!

Mel 7-31-2001 12:14

oops, my eariler post should have read,


Your week is up. (The sign on the WB says its down for the week...)

laura 7-31-2001 12:10

Probably we won't hear from Heather for a few days. I have sent her such a huge plea for help that I am sure I have over loaded her circuits. :-)

Actually, I am sure she can handle it...I just wanted to let her know in public how much I appreciate her!

Thank you HEATHER!

Mary 7-31-2001 12:05


I know where he was, STAYING OUT OF THE WAY that's where.

I love duct tape. In fact, I think there isn't another living human being who loves it more.

I have a calander of 365 days of duct tape use.

For today July 31 2001 it states and I quote

If you are having trouble with your wisdom teeth you should dry off each tooth so the duct tape stick, (like that would ever be a problem)"those are my words" attach one end of a twelve foot strip of duct tape to the unwanted extra molars and the other end to the back of a drag racing vehicle. When the light turns green, your tooth and probably a good chunk of your jaw will be removed.

This is from the duct tape guy.

Not my favorite use, but I do like to be current.

Debra 7-31-2001 11:58

DEBRA: And so where was this needful son when you were throwing things out onto the driveway? NOW he wants what you have left???!! Poor you. Shall we gather a cheer basket of survival goodies for you? :-) I'll throw in some duct tape, which has many uses: taping hungry mouths when snack-fever strikes before OR after you've stocked the cupboards, umm, tying the husband to, um, something (whatever's closest) so you can get some writing done (or whatever, heh heh!), ah, taping the dogs together to keep them out from underfoot, hmmm, well, use your imagination for further uses for duct tape! (How about taping down things you DO NOT want the oldest son to haul off as his own?) :-)

Mel 7-31-2001 11:43


I have a tweleve year old girl. She is either not home or jumping up right into my eye sight.

Also, my oldest son was here too last night. I had them all under one roof. Well, he is losing a room mate so he left with my old dishes and dining room set. Dan went up into the attic and got him some old speakers too.

I believe he will be back to look around for more stuff he can deam not needed by me.

And so it begins. The true meaning of being a mother, handing over all the household goods and seeing them drive off in a car.

Debra 7-31-2001 10:21

DEBRA: I can understand the little ones boomeranging back to Mom but the 13-year-old last eve drove me nuts!!!

Mel 7-31-2001 8:47


If I didn't know better I'd think you had a hidden video camera in my house. Wow!

Yes, I even have boomerang kid too. I love that. You made my eyes water.


Debra 7-31-2001 8:35

Nope, if Jack's wife is smart, this week is HERS. Family, and a little break Jack. Then the rest of the weeks in August are ours!

Howard: Hope the pain is better.
Jerry: Only in America does it cost to go bankrupt. I don't believe it...but then again I do. I wish you and your wife weren't physically in pain.

Tonight I'm in absolute pain from my back! It's my own fault. There was a flower sale. Plants were down to 28 yen a pot. I got greedy. I bought and planted 66 plants today, most of them really rangy perenials that were completely rootbound. For me this is a good buy because they'll last until Christmas. After that the weather gets cold and they'll drop back but come back again after rainy season. I spent all day planting them and now I hurt all the way to my knees. But the garden is absolutely fantastic. It's only the size of a postage stamp so you can figure what 66 plants did. I also saved all the little cups they came in and planted seeds. So now I have an herb garden to be. It's worth the pain but I sure hope it goes away by tomorrow.

Allein: Hana finished school today! YES! Now we can work full time on that translation. Finally, the 8th grade is in the mail! Whew!

Well, that's enough, I'm going to the hotbath. I'm going to get in up to my chin. If that doesn't do it, I'll get a massage afterwards. That ought to put me right. If not, it ought to at least get the dirt out from under my nails.

Ouch, ouch, ouch ouch ouch...bye. I look like a real obaasan right now. I can't get straightened up.

Boy if this was everyday all day, I'd be screaming nuts. If a doctor told me to suck it up, he'd be sucking his own front teeth. Howard, that guy was only being such a creep because he knew you couldn't sock him.

Viv 7-31-2001 8:35


All right. Everyone who isn't on vacation and didn't report in last night...REPORT IN!!! :-) Seriously, I love to hear from you-all. LURKERS, That Includes YOU!!! Yes, YOU!! (*index finger pointed at YOU*)

G'Mornin'. :-) That was a commercial break sponsored by my muse who seems to be having way too much fun without me, most of the time! Sigh. Last evening, the creative juices were flowing!...I sat down to the diningroom table after supper was cleared and pulled out my *P* story...and along came a child, then another, then...sigh. So I put the youngest to bed (yea!) and turned on the t.v. and another child followed me there...when I thought he was properly distracted, I attempted to sneak back to my writing area...nope. Boomerang child came back. Stuck to me like a magnet. I dearly love my family but once in awhile, like last night, I get such an itch to write and the kids/husband just won't leave me alone! I ended up going to bed early (I thought I'd fool them all and rise early to write, heh heh!) but I slept lousy, trying to piece various story-plots together in my head, plots that weren't meant to go together, and I awoke with only enough time to get ready for work. Arrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;-/

Okay, it's a new day. Readjust smile and try again (still writing mentally, anyway...! NO ONE can take THAT away from me!!!) :-)

JERRY: heh heh! Ohh, I know your pain - go to do something and the physical body won't cooperate. Some days, my arthritis flares in my hip and both knees and flames down the legs, and about all I can manage is to hobble to a recliner and moan mentally until bedtime. I would've just "waved" to Mt. Rushmore too! re: financial woes, Hang in there! These too shall pass.

TEEKAY: What's the snow doin' in your yard these days? Anythin'?

RANDALL: I NEED ANOTHER STORY! Pull another rip-snortin' gem from your archives, will ya? I think Howard and Jerry could use a good laugh too, and Debra and Mary and Heather and well, everyone else here. C'mon, give us some of your delicious Chicken Soup! (Or Cream of Potato, or whatever you prefer...) :-)

Mel 7-31-2001 8:19




7-31-2001 1:28

Ummm, first of all...

Jack: your week is us....

Second of all:

Tina, I'll wait for your critique, but I'm adding something to the story, a new character just...erm...walked in. Once you read it you will understand. Please visit my site since the workbook is down. I can be found at.

Laura Link 7-31-2001 1:13

HOWARD: What a bully that doctor was. Probably your wife put him in a full-nelson out in the hallway when you weren't awares. I think my plan of treatment was by far more humane and compassionate. Hehe. Hang in there big guy. We are all pulling for you.

GS: You are making my sides hurt from laughing.

HEATHER: I got your email, but it is now after midnight, I have spent the whole day sick to my stomach and I have nothing left. I will email you tomorrow when I am reasonable again. Thank you so much for your generosity because what I have to ask you is fairly involved. ((Hugs))

Mary 7-31-2001 0:20

Howard - What they said! I know about pain, been fighting it now since early 1993. There has to be something they can give you that will make you comfortable, they just haven't found it. Make them keep trying, call them, go see them, call them again and again until you get relief.

My wife is going through the same thing with her knee, we made the long trip to her doctor again just getting back a few hours ago, he gave her some new meds, and took her off work, recommending disability, as he thinks there is little else they can do to relieve her pain. (Where did I ever get the idea modern medicine could fix pain anyhow?) We did take a side trip to Mount Rushmore, as it has been nearly twenty years since we have been there. It was only 25 miles south of her Doctors office. Was kind of neat, where we used to park is not all paved over and full of rest rooms, and visitor centers, they have improved parking with a three tier parking garage, handicap accessible on each level. Only problem is, there is this one mile walk from parking to the real visitor center, and neither of us felt like trying that walk, so we just looked from a mile away, then said, "Yep there it is." Then we turned and walked back to our car parked in the handicap parking zone, and home again, home again, jiggity jog.

Saw our attorney on this visit too, he finalized all the forms, then explained that this is a three month process, he will file for us tomorrow, then thirty days from tomorrow, we have to be back down for the meeting of creditors, (What they used to call bankruptcy court), if all goes well there, thirty days later, we will be debt free, and the Fed has to keep their grubby paws off my pay check, and the wife's if it goes that far. And all this for only $800.00 what a bargain.

The weather has given us one day break with no rain, well during the day anyhow, we are currently under a severe thunderstorm watch, as well as a flash flood watch, seems the ground is so saturated with water that any new rain will simply flow, down streets, ditches, gulleys what ever, and gather in the low spots. Bet the bikers in Surgis will love this, they got 72 MPH winds tonight, just shortly after we drove through on our way home, this with three inch hail and torrential rain. This is early into the Sturgis Motorcycle raley, and the campgrounds are allready full of Harley Davidson's, drunken bikers and bare brested biker babe's. It was tempting to just stay over but the motels are all booked, as are all the campgrounds, back yards, and parking lots. I understand one must make reservations in that area a couple of years in advance to get so much as a back yard for your tent, and that is costly. I guess if one can afford a Harley Davidson these days, he can surely afford to rent a back yard space for fifty bucks a week. I wish them well, each and every one, for they bring tons of cash into the state, and drink millions of gallons of beer, most of which will flow down the alleys, gullies, streets, streams and rivers until it finds a low spot where it will gather and flood.


Jerry 7-30-2001 23:39


Horard was what?

Debra 7-30-2001 21:05


It sounds to me as though the hard-ass doctor Howard spoke of was not his regular doctor. It sounds like he was just the on-duty schlunk having a hissy. He was plobably pissed because Horard was serf-plesclibing.


gariess 7-30-2001 20:56

A quick note,

Sorry you have to go through this but, now you will be able to understand the feelings of your characters when you inflict terrible pain on them. Let them moan and groan without making aspersions about their courage, character or manhood.

There's got to be a good side to most bad things.


Rosemary 7-30-2001 19:24

Did I mention that my three year old twins DON'T nap at all and that has been since they were two?

Debra 7-30-2001 14:19

Has anyone else here been getting these ultra long e-mails with two attachments? One of them is called April. I have gotten 5 of these e-mails from different addresses. These has been a virus going around and I am convinced that is what is contained in these attachments. Unsually when something is going around, I get nothing having to do with it, but I am getting one of these funcky e-mails almost every day! I just mentioned this so you can all be on the alert.

Rhoda 7-30-2001 14:07

HOWARD: I'm with Heather on that. GET A NEW DOC! He sounds way too hoity-toity to be compassionate-or effective. You need pain-free rest right now! Tell 'im your writing cronies said so.

DEBRA: Yeah, way too familiar. (Hey! Grab that muse! Don't let her get away again - just wanna watch another 2 minutes of Who Wants To Be A, why am I watching this anyway??!!)

Mel 7-30-2001 13:48

Howard - that's terrible! You know, some people do not understand pain very well - (some) doctors included. It's very difficult to understand intense physical pain if you have never experienced it before - and some people haven't. And then again, some people have higher pain tolerances than others. It has nothing to do with how much of a 'man' (or a woman) someone is, this level of pain tolerance. Anyhow, surgery on rotator cuffs is notoriously painful. I've been in pre-op, OR, and post-op professionally, and I can tell you, even very minimal surgery affects different people in a myriad of ways. If your medication isn't doing anything to arrest the pain, I suggest you seek out a doctor willing to prescribe something 'better' - ie: more effective. The efficacy of certain pain meds depends on the person, the dose, the type of medication it is, and the type and level of pain. You will heal much faster if you're not in pain.
Take my advice - seek out a new Doc if you can. As soon as you can. Hopefully you'll find someone, or be able to talk to your present physician about the pain and get something better for it - otherwise you may be 'laid up' longer than anticipated. Pain does not aid healing one whit.
It lowers your immune system on top of that. I'll be thinking of you!

Debra - oh, it sounds familiar all right.

Heather 7-30-2001 13:29


I have five children too. I have two dogs and one husband. That makes eight. Gee did I lump my husband with my two dogs? Did I say two dogs before I said one husband?

The reason most of my pictures show four children is because one of my children is 25. He is busy most of the time. He does stop over a bit with his girlfriend though. I really love her. She seems to be taking good care of him.

I find I get my first break at 9p.m. every day. I think that's why I like late night television so much. I would love to meet Conan O'Brien. He is so funny.

I'm sure that's why I'm also so tired too. I stay up late because I don't get a minute to myself all day and am too tired to figure out how to get a minute from staying up too late trying to get a minute.

Anyone? Sound fimiliar?

Debra 7-30-2001 12:56

MARY - They're beeeyoootiful! Thanks! :-)

The surgery went well, I guess - still dunno what he did, though, because I haven't seen the doc since just before I went into the operating room.
He told my wife that he had to repair a 3 cm tear in the rotator cuff, and grind down several bone spurs. The nurse said he couldn't do it via the scope, but had to open it up.
I'm sporting a harness/pillow that holds my arm at 45 degree angle, and is rather uncomfortable. The pain was/is as you said - unique. They were giving me 2 percoset every 3 hours in the hosp Wed night, and that didn't do a thing for me. So the nurse called for reinforcements and they gave me a shot of morphine and 2 sleeping pills, and that still didn't touch it. At 7AM on Thursday one of the associate doctors came storming into my room wanting to know why I needed so much pain medicine. He said I should be able to control my own pain by biting my tongue. Then he turned around and stormed out, muttering in Korean.
All in all I'm not too impressed with the whole thing.
Now taking 1-2 vicodin every 4 hours, and they do absolutely nothing for the pain either.
I'm back to walking (1.5 mile this morning) but can't do anything until I see the doc on Thursday. They've already said 5-6 weeks in this harness before I can go for therapy.
Life goes on!

Thanks for all the good vibes!

Speaking of vibes, right now they're re-paving I81, right behind my house. Whatever machine they're using to chew up and spit out the old pavement is producing a low-frequency soound that's just above the audible threshold, and is more felt than heard. It is driving me right up the wall! Mark - you've probably heard similar in the Merchant Marine - it's very like the vlf sound of a large diesel. That constant rhumrhumrhum that can make you sick to hear it.
Gotta be a story element there.

Well, that angle I have to sit at in order to type this is really getting to my whatever, so I'd better put it away for now.

howard 7-30-2001 12:04

See that Mary? Guys, slurping and drooling in the aisles.
Like babies ogling dinner.

Mel - :o) GRIN!

Heather 7-30-2001 11:56

TINA: HAPPY CAMPING! :-) Have a s'more for me!

GS: Definitely dust-mite doo-doo, to be more specific in regards to my hubby's allergies (and also leaf mold, animal dander, perfume, paint...sigh.)

DEBRA: lessee, 5 "kids" plus one hubby plus one cat equals 7 children (plus me when I'm rebellious - heh heh!)

Mel 7-30-2001 11:53

Gariess - oh yeah, once you get thinking about it, no doubt it tends to give you the willies. I don't know about dust mites traveling in the air, but I know for a fact there are millions of them in the mattresses we tend to spend some time rolling around on, not to bring up the subject of PILLOWS. YEEEECCH! But thank you for the new perspective on dust mite poop. Never even thought about it. And to think (sheesh!) that poop is one of those subjects I've studied. HA HA HA. Well, I passed. (okay, sorry, bad joke)
As a nurse I've seen enough poop, and as a parent, I've seen more than enough. Hey, doing none of the above I've seen my share... and I'm getting worse with my poo jokes.

My best friend gave me a 'poopy pig' for part of a birthday gift once. You squeeze the little rubbery plastic pig, and a great sloppy hunk of slippery brown stuff sort of 'lobs' out of its butt. When you refrain from squeezing it any harder and release the pig, the poop slurps back in. DISGUSTING! But very funny. The best part about it is showing it to people who haven't seen it before. You just plunk it into their hand and wait to see what they do with it. You don't notice at first that the little pig has a giant arsehole in it. From the front it looks amazingly 'innocent'. Like it could be a child's farm toy.
If they don't turn it around right away, you tell them to "Squeeze it! Go ahead." If they were expecting a noise to be emitted, 'that's not it!'.

*ahem* Well, I never promised you a rose garden.

Mary - have done!

Heather 7-30-2001 11:51

MARY -- If your web site serves an ample helping of what you served Howard . . . Yes, you need to consider browser load.

Mark 7-30-2001 11:50

Hi all.

Going camping today. Be back on Thursday, if the weather holds. Yay! Much fun to be had.

Yes, Laura, this means a further delay. But if I was to say 'sorry' I'd be lying. ;-)

See y'all.

Tina 7-30-2001 11:21


You forgot to mention the worst thing about your sister’s Chevy van. As soon as she gets fed up with it, she’ll sell it for a song and someone will drive it another hundred thousand miles on all the parts she replaced (this happened to me with a chevy truck. Dirtyracknfracks)

Have a nice trip.

I want you to be my doctor.

Do you mean to say that all those macroscopic particles floating in the sun rays are 99% human hide? That’s kind of creepy, because we breathe that stuff, and dust mites live in it and consume it. And like all things that eat, they poop, which is the stuff that somebody’s husband is allergic to.

I always wondered, before I found this out, how one could be allergic to dust, since dust is a non-specific substance. However, dust-mite doodoo is not non-specific (does that count as a double negative?) No wonder so many people in Tokyo go around with those face filters. They must have found this out before we did. "Excusuh me prease. I do not wish to breathuh your Gaijin dust-mite shituh."

"Uhh, no problem, dude?"

I mean, after all, it was these guys who taught us to take baths.


gariess 7-30-2001 11:14

HEATHER: I need some advice of the artistic persuasion...can you email me when you get a chance?

Mary 7-30-2001 10:08


Aren't all husband graduated from the same college?
How many children do you have? We do gotta love men. They physically have all the things we need and none of the extras. They're walking talking toys.

It's just sometimes you wish you could remove the batteries for just a bit. Then on second thought, there was that door that needed fixing, and we're almost out of milk again. Just kidding. I wouldn't change a thing. hummmmmm!


I coouldn't read your shortie longie, because I didn't have time, but I refused to miss procrastination. I would love to talk to you about the dentist sometime. I have this theroy that it's just the simple act of opening our mouths that makes us so scared. All our instincts are screaming it's wrong. We need to use our minds in this case. The pain if any isn't as bad as the fear that we generate. We could run the lights for a large building if we could change that fear into power. It's not good.

Debra 7-30-2001 9:05

DEBRA: "Btu" is of course "but" - sigh. Someone always gets a typo from me. Today's your day! Don't say I never gave ya nothin'--heh heh!

GS: Yeah, yeah, I know. One 's' in "dust." Okay, so your present is done too. (The shopping list gets shorter!)

HEATHER: I do hope your cramp is not of the writing variety... Anyone got a masseuse (sp?)? Send 'im over to Heather's house and get her straightened out, STAT! :-) (Always glad to be of service.)

Mel 7-30-2001 8:24


Good Morning, future Pulitzer Prize Winners (and other honorific titles)!!! :-) (I'm hoping my bright cheery words will float high and break that ugly-lookin' cloud cover...)

RUTH: In case you hit an Internet cafe in your travels: NO Need for Hostility; I'm a woman, not a man; I haven't a wife because I AM one and I adore utterly my husband of 23 married years. I only wanted to stowaway to see some new horizons; I certainly wouldn't be a bother, I promise! :-)
(Still looking forward to some Italian visuals!)

TINA: I let my muse escape the laundry room. She wasn't doing the laundry anyway. But she HAS been firing my creative juices! :-) Now, to steal some moments somewhere to write down her good stuff... BTW, I have "life-river" motifs in my novel. I am so inspired by those flowing bubbly things. :-)

TEEKAY: Thanks. :-) The river of inspiration runs into my "life-rivers" (or maybe they run the other way?); I'm still exploring all kinds of "rivers." I even have an island in my novel called "Life Rivers Crossing" - still exploring that too; it's a most unusual place... hummm, dreaming of rivers and the secrets they embrace...

JACK: Nice article. :-)

DEBRA: Hmm. Your hubby and mine sound like they attended the same fraternity: I Felta Thi. Heh heh! (My husband's joke) They're "handy" to have around btu a bit obnoxious at times! No wonder we have so many kids! What we women do for the men we love...

GS: Ah yes, dust piling. We have great conventions of dust bunnies under various pieces of furniture. When my husband starts having trouble breathing (he's allergic to dust, darn!), it's then time (past time?!) to vacuum-suck the little beggars into the netherworlds. When I'm an old widow, one day they'll find me in my rocking chair, hip-deep in dusst, dreaming of stories yet to write (and still wondering where I left my teeth). BTW, DITTO re: dentists! (No offense, ALLEIN!)

HOP: I've played all the old Zork text games too. I'm hoping for a NEW one to be created! (But I hope they wait until after I've published my first novel or two...sigh. Oh boy, that could be a long while... BTW, I love Chinese food but I DO NOT--repeat, DO NOT want to know how they cook the dogs. Eww, gross!! :-/

RACHEL: Happy Camping! :-)

HOWARD: Ohh, kisses for your boo-boo. I do hope that long yowl means your surgery went successfully and that the pain is merely the natural sign of proper healing...?? :-) Still prayin' for ya, neighbor.

MARY: Hi, kid. Don't work too hard. I bet your site will be fabulous when complete. Search engines shouldn't charge anyone for anything - the WWW is just an electronic maze, isn't it? Everyone works hard enough on their own to link into it; linking should be free, merchandise or no. Who's pocketing your $$?? The bums.

HIYA to everyone I haven't mentioned. Have a GREAT writing day, y'all! :-) Keep your smiles attached and polished shiny. Might make someone else's clouds disappear. ;-]

Melanie 7-30-2001 8:14

Good advice for Howard, Mary~!
I think more of the guys here could use two of those. Not to wear, mind you, unless they are considering a new hat...

Oh, never mind, it's been one of those WEEKS.

I think I have a permanent cramp somewhere.

HOWARD! I hope your surgery went well - from the SOUNDS of things, you're in a LOT of pain. Surely a lot more pain than any cramp of mine. When you feel well enough to write more than 'owwww', please let us know how everything went. Bless you!

Hey Hop, did you know there is a TV show over here that's called Psi-Force? (in North America, I mean) Just thought you might not 'get' that station in Fiji (you ARE in Fiji, right?) and from what I gather about the show, it sounds like the same as your book/idea. Might be worth checking into, to make sure your book is saleable - might have to tweak a few things so it's not like a repeat.
*just a tip, just in case*
Do you get 'X-Files'(new or reruns)? There are a few shows on the same subject matter - actually, quite a few.

Well, Jack, thank you for posting the link to your site with your piece about your cousin. I thought it was well done. I'm glad you included his photograph - not only do you give us a picture of what it can be like on the street and/or to know a loved one 'out there', you give us a picture of what could be anyone's cousin, uncle, brother, friend, husband, son.
That's ONE of the most important points - anyone can find themselves on the street. We are all a stone's throw away.
Sometimes we put way too little value on the homeless without knowing who they are.
Thanks, Jack.

Well, fingers have been walking, talking and writing less than usual lately. *sigh* I've heard of the summer writer's slump, but I figured that was the writers' backs - slumping over the keyboards.
I've never been THIS slack during the summer - but my productivity before July was over the top. Could be why I'm having this slovenly span.

Gariess - your dissertation on procrastination was incredibly hilarious. Should any magazine require an essay on the 'art of dust', you might want to copy your post and hang onto it. Who knows - Dust Rhinos may have thier day in the sun, on the cover of a glossy international magazine.
Perhaps one day sculptures will be fashioned from that seemingly wasted conglomeration of dust. After all, there are poo sculptures getting rave reviews; why not dust?
The only thing I wonder about: Did you know that 99% of dust is human skin? There might be a whole other 'you' laying about on the armour.

Mary - I'll try to get the scans your way this week, though I was supposed to do that last week. As it looks, you're busy anyway, so the delay is a favour! Hee heee heeeeee.

Dog. Well, I've eaten moose meat on quite a number of occasions, and it's tough as a nail surrounded by the boot it punctured. Dog can't be so bad. But I wouldn't boil To-To to try it.

Later dear writers!

Heather 7-30-2001 3:33

Dogs for dinner?

I could never eat dog, I'd think of Pepper and not be able to do it.

My friend Pete had dog when he was stationed in Korea, he says it tastes like pork.

Allein Allein's World 7-30-2001 0:39

OH HOWARD! How are you? That owwww sounds pretty loud. Wish there were something I could do. Ummmmmm

Take two of these and call me in the morning



Mary 7-29-2001 23:22


Hi guys.

miva, cgi tags, metas, titles, keywords, ...all of this stuff is starting to sound like Charlie Brown's teacher talking to me. Bmwahhh bmwahh bmahh bmhwahhh. I can't figure out how to get my *&^$(@*@ guest book working. I can't have any pages still under construction when I submit to Yahoo! or I won't get listed in the directory. I am about ready to rip my hair out.

Get this crap, I paid to register my domain name, I pay monthly to keep my site...but none of this gets me listed in any search engine directories. (They could have told me that sooner.) Ok fine, no problem...what do I have to do? Oh, not much, just pay yahoo editors $200 to 'consider' your site for listing in their directory. The $200 is non-refundable even if they veto your site and refuse to include it. I could register for free if I weren't selling something from my site, but of course, nobody is allowed to make any money unless Yahoo! is making money too. is their directory after all. Shell out the 200 freakin dollars.

Yahoo! is so bombarded with requests for sites to be in the directory that they are getting increasingly picky about what they will include. This is a good thing because it limits the spammers somewhat, BUT it is wreaking havoc with my timeline.

My site is published on the internet and you can get to it with a direct link, but if you do a search for it in any search engine it wont link to me. (Until I submit it that is.) I think I will wait until I am completely up and running before start giving out my URL only because I don't like serving half-baked cake. I want my first impression to be a good one...not still soggy in the middle.

Thank you for your interest though, and believe will all be the first to know. I have to admit that I don't think a lot of people here are going to be very interested in what I am doing with my site. I am in a very specific niche. I welcome general comments about my site constuction though...and if it is clear and put together right on all browsers...loads too slow or just right...has annoying graphics...whatever.

Love you guys.

Mary 7-29-2001 23:19


howard 7-29-2001 22:55

Hi Hop!
Am I staying? Check archives--you'll see I've been around for over 2 years. I don't post regularly any more, because I figured out the only way to have time to finish my novel and write the sequels was to e-mail way less. But thanks for asking ... writing 'tis a lonely biz, but places like this make it less so.

Happy Writing ...

Ashling 7-29-2001 20:29

The fellow down town who sells computers will work on your sick machine for only $65.00 an hour, minimum one hour no matter how long it takes. I, on the other hand will work on my friends computers for absolutely nothing, and should they need a new part, I only charge them the actual cost.

One of these days the guy up town will notice this, and maybe lower his rates? Na, he could care less, that's why he is not so well liked here in town, just an attitude problem. I do get along with the fellow, although nobody can figure out why, I am just that kind of easy going guy I guess.

Just got a new next door neighbor, the new police officer here in town. I went over and introduced myself. Boy does that bring back memories, moving to a new town to cop. Lots of excitement there for the first few days, then it is just the same old drag.

Jerry 7-29-2001 20:14

Hi all - We are going camping. Not sure for how long. I'll have a little look in when I get back. Take care you wild things;o)

Rachel 7-29-2001 19:50

Me Again,

Actually the repairs I was thinking about are plumbing, auto, and carpentry. Especially auto repairs. Those things are not disposable, at least not in my lack-of-income-bracket. My sister has had a terrible time with her '94 Chevy van. It has been running about $500 a month in repairs lately. She has used the Dealer, a transmission place, a friend of a friend and someone out of the Phone book. Every time, within a couple of weeks, that van comes down with something else. There will be no more Chevorlets in our family. I'm not going to say anything about my truck for fear it will hear me and fall apart on the spot.

If my wording is getting odd, I'm going through the Agatha Christi books right now. I find it very interesting to see the difference in her writing skills as the publishing dates progress.

Time to feed the hordes. (that means all the animals. I did not spell horses wrong.) The wind is blowing today, so I'll come home with hay in my hair again.

Rosemary 7-29-2001 19:13

Sorry, that last was supposed to be adressed to Rosemary, not Viv.


7-29-2001 16:53


I have a degree of sympathy for the repair person. Products today are made to be discarded when they need repair. An unreliable repair will usually cost about 75% of the price of a new product which will usually have newer and better features than the one you currently have. The repair business must be frustrating under such conditions.

The reason that your repair people sneer at you is that they are in the business of selling the new product, and the repair business is just a shill to get you in the store. If you fail to take the bait, they will have to settle for the same profit they would get from the sale and have to do the repair work in addition.


gariess 7-29-2001 16:50

Howdy all,

That dust theory sounds a lot like my theory about washing the truck. After a while it starts getting cleaner because the dirt begins to fall off. And...Memory may be a gift, but I find it makes me very unhappy with current things, mostly prices. I remember what things use to cost and that products had price tags on them that indicated what store they came from so you would know where to go back to get more. memory keeps reminding me that in the past you could get service from repair persons. Now you have to beg them to take your money to do a job that is never done right, and then they sneer at you.

Okay, I'm mad now. Need to leave.

Rosemary 7-29-2001 15:53

Hop - I have done the same thing with my ROMS, I collected them several years ago now, so I probably don't have the latest, or maybe I have more then the latest collection. As far as MAME is concerned, to have all of those ROMS now, one would need a very large hard drive. I made a copy of MAME for my son last year, and it took four CD's to hold my collection. I have since quit trying to have a complete collection, just because of the space and the fact I don't play very many of those I do have. My SNES collection will all fit on one CD, as will my Sega Genies collection. My set of Nintendo NES ROMS would fill maybe a quarter of a CD, as their roms are rather small. I also have the RAIN emulator, up-to-date two years ago, and it will fit with the NINTENDO ROMS on one CD. I have the CALLUS collection, also stopped about a year ago, but they are rather large, I don't have them on CD as of yet, as there are more ROMS available that I haven't downloaded as of yet. The SEGA Master System and Game Gear system roms are smaller yet, and I have a fairly large collection of them, I guess I quit collecting them when the NESTICLE emulator showed up, and I could play nes games on my PC. My game gear collection was rather large too, but I didn't back them up, and lost them in a major crash, this being before I had a CD burner. I have the ATARI console collection, that I think is nearly complete in the 2600 and 5200, the 7800 collection is rather small as of yet, and I don't know if there are any more roms out there for that system. I am looking forward to the jaguar (SP?) emulator, and have downloaded a set of roms for it, should they ever get it up and running. My coleco collection is fairly large, as is my intellivision. I also have the spectrum emulator, and several of the small counsel emulators for the competitors of the Atari 2600, one (I don't recall the name anymore) is for a game system that we started with, it had only 15 or 20 roms before they went out of business. We got ours from Sears, and bought all the ROMS they had for Christmas of 1982 or 83. The system had some very good games but their controllers weren't very well made, and we had to send ours back twice, when the third one broke, Sears offered us an Atari 2600 as replacement, and gave us a bunch of cartridges to replace those we had for the other system.

I also have a bunch of emulators for different computer systems, like the Commodore 64, Atari 800, TI99, Spectrum, Amstrad and the like, with game roms for them. I guess I sort of got carried away with getting these dang things, I even have a MAC emulator that does a real nice job of turning my PC into a MAC, it runs all the older MAC software, which is kind of nice as I have an old MAC in the back room and can exchange software with it over my home network.

The wife has talked me into selling the old MAC, so I am going to make up a poster and hang in the grocery store, there has to be someone out there that wishes they had a MAC Quadra 800 for their very own.

Well I got a bit carried away with my emulation thing, sorry if I took up too much room.

Jerry 7-29-2001 12:20

Just re-read that last paragraph. Looks like I've baked too long in the sun. Don't look at the punctuation, grammar, etc. I'm on vacation today.

Viv 7-29-2001 9:18

Hop: There's a Korean lady who lives up the street from me. She's always saying that our dog looks good enough to eat but we need to fatten the dog up a bit first. I'll ask her the receipe for dog. It's pretty famous in Korea. You can try it and let all of us know how it tastes.

The Wet Noodle deal comes from someone called Dear Abby or Ann Landers. They are the great Gods who sit next to the cartoons in the paper and give out sage advice. I'm not sure I could take advice from someone who is located in the paper right next door to the comic strips. Anyway when dear old Abby or Ann Landers (her twin sister) make a mistake this is what they say. The entire concept is strange it makes me wince. Here are these 80 year old twins dishing out the same advice right next door to the comic strips and it has been the same way every day of my life.

Viv 7-29-2001 9:16

I've been busy resurrecting my University writing club. It's now turned into an e-mail exchange where I list works of members on a newsletter and see if anybody else wants to read them.

What is it about this "wet noodle" lashing thing? Is it some famous American expression? Sure, it's funny the first time but after hearing it several times it gets sort of stale doesn't it?

Newbies don't stay long. I guess I'm a bit old fashioned. You know, cruise around for a spot then once you find you colonise and don't leave unless you really don't feel comfortable.

I'm trying to create a Rom collection too. It's because all these sites are closing so I cannot rely on the internet as a back-up and have to turn to burning CD data.

For me I think we're actually the "anti-Universe" because of all that empty space between galaxies and things in the universe. The real universe is actually filled with matter.

You're probably right about the narrow miss thing for my story. I've come to a compromise about it. The bad guy is one of the main characters and will be delayed in a Psi-battle. The detective will narrowly miss him for that clue. Otherwise the bad guy will always be one step ahead until the end of part one.

When I finish re-writing I'll e-mail part one to you (I remember I've yet to) and you can judge for yourself.

I've never been a Zork fan myself (adventure games are way to hard for me, I always need the walkthrough). But I know a few sites where you can get old adventures games. Possibly even the original text-based Zork games. I'll send you the links in an e-mail if you like.

I've been hearing some rather weird things at Uni about those pictures of starving people.

1) that the news rarely report good news but bad news in very poor countries. This way we see how fortunate we are and do not focus on how poor we are in other respects and not question authourity. Thereby allowing those in power to continue to be in power.


2) teaching this could be a way of controlling us because by teaching us this we get the impression that the world is a much better place and not help the world. That is by ignoring the global problems we help those in power.

All in all, I believe things are bad but not too bad. Considering the world is such a big place and filled with so many people and cultures a lot of "bad" places like Africa aren't so bad after all. There are a number of students at Uni who frequent Africa and say it isn't as bad as what is shown on TV. They say there are some nice places.

No one in their right mind should microwave dog with all that fur. It loses all the taste in the flesh and becomes overcooked. Now, if you want to know how to cook dog properly, you have to ask a Chinese chef for hints. The guy might not know but he will at least refer you to someone who does.

Do tell us more about the on-line business.

I'm one of those people who believe prevention is better than cure. For me, I'd rather not exist then live in a fallen world. Then I wouldn't have to struggle with all these tough religious issues and plans. In some ways You know, all that Quest-for-the-truth-thing without having to travel out of the city.

For example, that abortions are wrong. I find anti-abortionist rather hypocritical in some ways. They say that they respect life so it makes sense we should harvest all the gametes from men and women and preserve them until they can be fused to create an embryo shouldn't we? Otherwise we would be committing murder wouldn't we? If not then how can a single cell be a life when a few moments ago it was only half a cell and not a life? One Christian guy pointed out that I mustn't think just believe blah blah blah...

For the record, I've had trouble with doing right because of punishment from God. I feel people should do right because it is right, not because they want to suffer in eternity.

Maybe I'll find my answers. Maybe I won't. .

Ruth (who's probably going to miss this)
Ahhh...ermmm. Mumble mumble...I wasn't really even being...mumble mumble....

Ah Hem!

It's just that we've had so many newbies come and go and it's annoying really. I mean it's like when you join a club then not turn up. So I was just impressing upon you how important it was to me that if you introduce yourself you stay or at least give us fair warning before moving. Of course, all my pleading to stay sounded like whining and I thought it sounded a bit too obvious.

Sorry, shorties are a bit difficult for me to compose because I don't check regularly with University on and by the time I do it's over.

I did have a few short stories and part one my Psiforce novel in the Writer's Work book but I don't think they're there anymore.

Barbabus? I'm shudderirng. The horrible mutations my name goes through. Please use Hop otherwise I'll start convulsing.

Hello? Are you staying?

Barnabas "Hop" 7-29-2001 6:03


Fran has indicated that she would like to do something after church tomorrow just fun. So, I may not immediately get back to the Workbook, but will make an attempt to get to it tomorrow.

Jack Beslanwitch 7-29-2001 3:00

Teekay: Thanks for the prompt on the clumsy sentences. I broke them up or shortened them.

Jerry: Thumbs up to your family for being proactive and reaching out in that manner. I wish Bud had been receptive to those kinds of overtures. Several attempts had been made and he rebuffed them. Also, the family life all of the children grew up in was not nearly so idyllic.

Still, it seems that my point was well placed and got across. Thanks to everyone and hope it helps. Take care.

Jack Beslanwitch 7-29-2001 2:58

Actually, on the matter of procrastination I ought to be able to say a fair bit. After all, it is one of my most abiding traits.

I have found that the condition of retirement makes a dangerous mix with this inclination. Those of you who are still employed, or who are heads of households may not be aware of how little there is in life that demands immediate attention when these restraints are removed from one’s daily activities, or inactivities as the case may be.

I almost never have anything that must be done at once. Housework is really a great myth when one truly puts the urgency of it to the test. It may surprise some of you to know that after a year or so, dust doesn’t get any deeper. There seems to be a point of equilibrium reached when the weight of the dust is greater than the ability of the underlying accumulation to sustain it, and from that point on it simply compresses. These are the kinds of things that one learns about procrastination through experience.

I have found that appointments confound the procrastinator more than any other single thing in life. How many excuses can one give the doctor for setting back the semi-annual check up—for four years. There comes a point when one has to decide if the dentist is to remain in one’s life at all or simply be abandoned to the oblivion of the past. I hate those occasions when one has a ripping toothache and must reacquaint one’s self with the dentist.

"Mister Souza, are you the same Mister Souza that I treated in 1986?"

"Yes, I was captured by enemy insurgents and held prisoner for sixteen years. Beastly conditions you know, bad food, nothing but sweets, and, of course, no dental treatment."

One needs to find one’s own level of procrastination, I suppose, somewhere along the path between over-zealous fanaticism to that undefinable place whereat one’s self respect begins to disintegrate entirely. Perhaps some of my illustration is a bit over-wrought, but I am trying to make a point, after all. Just what that point is I am loathe to recall at the moment. Memory, it seems, is another gift we take too much for granted, but that would be a topic for another occasion, then, would it not?


7-29-2001 0:30

Jack - good article, makes one think. Several years ago, I went to an uncle's funeral, another of his nephews (from the other side of his family) was there, he and I were friends in our youth, much like your cousin. It was the first time I saw him since I married and left home. I knew he joined the Navy, about the same time I left, it was one of those "Go in the Military or go to jail," said the judge. Anyhow, after the ceremony, we sat out on the steps of the church, smoking our cigarettes, and he related that he had a bad time in the Navy, and spent ten years on the streets of San Diego. It was the love of his family, as they joined together to find him that brought him back amongst the working. I was very surprised, as he was quite a guy when we were kids. It seems his brothers and sisters (he came from a very big family, 9 kids if I remember right) took up a collection and sent the oldest brother out to California to search for him, as the last they heard, he was discharged from the Navy in San Diego. It took nearly a year, but his brother finally found him, dried him out and got him in touch with an agency back here who sent him back to school. Now he is a plumber in Rapid City, making big bucks.

Jerry 7-28-2001 23:33


JACK: Your article was beautifuly written and very enlightening and does go a long way to getting people to realize that every 'drunken bum' they see or 'street hobo' is a human being with a past and quite possibly a tragic one.
Thank you for sharing your memories of your cousin with us.

On a technical note I picked these up on reading through it and I'm not being pedantic, but I thought I'd let you know in case you were able to re access your story and correct it :-)

1: Rescue mission where he lived in off and on for nine years. (2nd to last para.)

2: Let us, as some here in Seattle have done, stand up for their rights. (last para.)

Gee it's quiet here. I guess everyone did bunk off with RUTH.

Sunday here so it's lunch at the in laws and chances are a day when I'll get very little on the writing front done, but who knows.

Teekay 7-28-2001 20:25

Tina, did you get my e-mail?...I never heard back. I hope you did. As I said, please post to the new addy, Go is having trouble.

Laura 7-28-2001 13:00

Jack, well done.

Tina 7-28-2001 12:27



Yeah, I know. I do have my eye on him. He's a tricky one.

For the most part, the man won't keep his hands off of me, from the time he comes home to the time he goes to bed.

He can't walk by me while I'm quitely sitting at the table with out taking a grab or whatever at me .

According to him it just means he loves me. According to me he's a tab bit obnixous.

All in all it could be worse.
So round and round we go.
Where the twins come from we all do know.

I can't really complain; he's my muse.

Shsshhhhh! He doesn't know it.

Debra 7-28-2001 10:25

Jack: That was more than an article. Beautiful work. Your links to the sites gave me ideas on where to go to help more than just the Japanese homeless. Nice to be able to contribute a little to the American poor as well.
Don't worry about the notebook for now. Rest a bit. We're all still writing strong and this is one deadline that won't die if it waits for you. Keep yourself well and rested. Thank you for doing what was most important first. Your website on the homeless will make a good start toward making life a little easier for those who have it so tough they get frostbitten in winter.

Viv 7-28-2001 10:22

I have a part that I will behosting tomorrow - , but I will set aside as much of Sunday to get the Workbook back up and running. Also, note the link below and you will find the essay that I wrote in regard to my cousin. Sorry everything has been so busy that both the Notebook and have taken a back seat. Hopefully, all things being equal I will get things truly up and running.

Jack Beslanwitch Face of the Homeless - Memories of A Cousin 7-28-2001 2:40

Ruth, one more thing befor you go - - -


Jerry 7-28-2001 0:50

Hi writers! RHODA, HOWARD, TINA, MEL: Thanks for waving, it's heartwarming to be remembered.

JACK: Cool graphics, but I section the motion that you put your writing ahead of any web pages. Your Homeless essay sounds interesting, particularly the sub-title. I look forward to reading it.

RHODA: Don't despair, starting new writing projects are always herky-jerky for me. Keep cranking the engine up, and one fine morning your vehicle will purr right out of the driveway and onto the Muse Highway. Knocking your Internal Critic unconscious with your monitor or whatever's handy can speed things up.

I've neglected all my message boards of late, and can't remember who knows what, so forgive me if I repeat myself. I finished the first draft of Stray Souls April 30th. The first half of the novel has been rewritten many times, so it only requires minor touches, but I'm sandpapering the rest like crazy.

My frantic prep earlier this week wasn't for an editor appointment ... I have appointments with 2 agents at a writer's conference in September. Stayed up all night Wednesday, and I mailed off 3 copies of synopsis/outline and first 3 chapters Thursday afternoon. Whew!

Good luck to everyone on their current WIP (work-in-progress)! I'm trudging back into the Sandpaper Mines. Actually, I adore editing, it's tons easier than spinning flax into gold.

Ashling 7-28-2001 0:31


I don't think it's the fairy who is giving you the babies. If I were you I would keep my eye on that guy who reads the newspaper at your breakfast table.


gariess 7-27-2001 23:27


RUTH: Hopefully Geoffrey cotterel is an Australian. It’s not quite so bad when your
own kind bags you out :-) But when other countries do it one can get a bit sensitive
about it.
I wouldn’t mind living in France.
I hear you can get your bum pinched quite a lot there too.

Bon Voyage!!!
Ray Bradbury gave me goosebumps.

GARIESS: Oh, how hilariously you speak of it. You alwys know how to bring out the
humerous side of these frustrating, hair pulling episodes.
You should try publishing them.
I particularly remember the phone company one.

JACK: How's the homeless article coming along?

MEL: The river of inspiration post was lovely.

I’ve found the article in “chicken soup” which I relate to the most. It’s in ‘The Writers
Life’ segment and it’s on page 293 and it’s called ‘Summertime, and the writing’s not
easy.’ by Kerry Arquette.
It made me think of me, but without the deadline and with an extra child.

Have a good day all, it’s back to the grindstone for me.

Teekay 7-27-2001 21:38

From Ruth

Thanks for all the farewells Notebook people. I’ll be thinking of you! If I get ten minutes alone in an Internet café I’ll drop y’all a line. Rhoda, Mel, Viv, and anyone else, glad you liked the Bradbury poem. Makes me cry too. Don’t take much anytime.

Mel. What’s forty-six years and five children and a wife got to do with anything? Jawanna come to Rome or don’tcha? Well this is whatcha do then. You just get in the bunk and KEEP STILL FOR FOUR HOURS! Or I’ll shout “stowaway!” and have you FLUNG OFF THE DAMN PLANET! :-) See you soon.

Sing > > >

‘Twas on a week-end mor-horn-ing
Just as the sun was ri-hi-sing
I saw a petite redhead
Heading off to It-tal-ee -

And all she said was, “Don’t forget
It’s here my heart is ever yet.”

Waving farewell to her darling home
With Doreen and Kevin (and Joyce’s tome!)
She took her sweet self away.

‘Bye everybody!


7-27-2001 16:21

Strangely, I have had a recent experience with portentuosness, and I shall let the narrative of that stand for my shorty this week.

I recently called my bank and spoke to one of their new e-tellers. I explained that I needed copies of cancelled checks sent to a company I had recently paid. He apologized, and said the "system" was currently "down," the fatal news we dread so much, because it announces a dead halt in the progress of anything in the modern age.

The lad then asked a number of questions, transaction numbers, name and adress of payee, my account number with the bank, my account number with the payee, and so on.
All of this was time consuming, of course, but I was happilly encouraged by the idea that this boy was going to hold all this data and deal with my problem when the "system came back up."

After we go over the data and make sure all the numbers are correct-the total on-phone time running to something around twenty minutes-the child says to me. "What you will have to do is call back when the system is back up and tell whoever you speak to..." And then proceeds to recount all the data I had just given to him. We had a brief talk at this point during which I brought into question his apparent low intelligence quotient, the legitimacy of his birth, and the questionability of the chastity of his mother. That part was accomplished in three words. Readers are free to speculate.

This is the modern world, freinds, and here we have a person who is re-inventing lip service to the point of boring people to death for no earthly reason, and wasting the valuable time of his employer and his employer's clients time in the bargain. To the Almighty I decry my longing for the day when people understood what their jobs were all about, because if they didn't, they were soon looking to find another. It is so apparent that there are no consequences for incompetence in the world of people who stand behind counters, sit at computer terminals and wear head phones. Ah, the good old days.


7-27-2001 15:15

Ruth - no, my 486 is a DX4-100 but I do have some 486SX's laying in the back room, well not the whole computer, just motherboards. I see no reason why your compaq wouldn't read those floppies, unless of course they are 5 1/4 inch, then, of course there would be no place to put them. One can always install one of those old 5 1/4 inch drives if you wish, they are about a dime a dozen on ebay, nobody wants them. I came in possession of several of them when I was buying junk boxes on Ebay for a song, so I have a few, although I haven't checked to see if they work. I do have one 5 1/4 and 3 1/2 inch drive that fits in a standard slot that I had in one of my machines for awhile just in case someone came in with a 5 1/4 machine and no 3 1/2 inch drive, then I could copy drivers and things over to the big disks and use them on that machine. I have since taken it 0ut as I have never had a use for it.

Anyhow, Farewell, have a great vacation and think of us when you are having fun, then write about it so we can share it. (You are going on vacation right?)

Jerry 7-27-2001 14:52


Good point. We don't want the baby fairy thinking I want three more, now do we!

I do love clarity. It's one of my favorites. A writer only wants his or her readers to read a sentence more than once for pleasure not trying to understand what was meant.

Thanks for the advice. I'll take it.

Debra 7-27-2001 14:50


"I don't mind so much now having more than one baby pop out on the same day. They
are three. They are using the bathroom. Now!"

Clarity, my dear. This could easily be misconstrued to read that you have triplets. Since I already know you, I don't think so.


gariess 7-27-2001 14:18

(apologies for the double post .. I hit enter by mistake before finalizing my message, and I thought I caught it in time. Obviously not. *sorry*)

Surfcatss 7-27-2001 12:48

This is really a fun way to deal with writer's block, or simply take a break.....

Helping others make informed decisions and offering them solutions to everyday situations is a great way to keep up your writing skills, especially if you're having a block.

At a site called "Epinions", you can easily register and start offer your opinions and advice, which are published on-site. The better written opinions and essays do get recognized here! You can also read and rate others' opinions and advice.

It's all free, of course. It's really fun. And you actually get paid for your words. Well, ok, you aren't going to retire on what you make, but it's nice to be recognized for your writing, yes?

Writing is what it's all about. Check it out.

PS, I'm not posting this as "spam". I like to write and am a member of many writing boards and clubs. Epinions is my way of taking a break from my writing, by writing! I'd do it even without the penny-per-view payment. *smile* There are a lot of other writers who enjoy the site too.

I hope to see you there!

Surfcatss 7-27-2001 12:47

Helping others make informed decisions and offering them solutions to everyday situations is a great way to keep up your writing skills, especially if you're having a block.

At, you can register to offer your opinions and advice, which are published on-site. You can also read and rate others' opinions and advice.

It's all free, of course. It's really fun. And you actually get paid for your words. Well, ok, you aren't going
to retire on what you make, but it's nice to be recognized for your writing, yes?

Writing is what it's all about. Check it out.

PS, I'm not posting this as "spam". I like to write and am a member of many writing boards and clubs.
Epinions is my way take a break from my writing, by writing! I'd do it even without the penny-per-view
payment. *smile* There are a lot of writers who enjoy the site too.

I hope to see you there!

Surfcatss 7-27-2001 12:43


I had to bring the appliances back in. Later on the kids got a little hungry.

I don't mind so much now having more than one baby pop out on the same day. They are three. They are using the bathroom. Now!


I'll do it. I feel a little excited thinking about a house with working pens and pencils.

We really are getting rid of a lot of stuff every week. We have an organization that comes to the house and picks up stuff and leaves a tax slip. We have them here every week picking up a porch full. Last night when my husband was through filling up the porch again with stuff from storage, he said he wondered if the neighbors thought we had a clown house. You know what I mean, clown house, clown car. The stuff just keeps coming out. We are not through yet. Those floods really changed us.

I like the new us. We are traveling lite. Well all except for the Christmas decorations. They are all still here in tact.

Debra 7-27-2001 12:16


Beautiful poem--made my eyes cloud up a bit. Have a wonderful and safe trip to Rome. Yes, I too have heard that young Italian guys are very fresh. Just go with the flow, but go easy on those young swains and try not to break any hearts.

I loved your assessment on writers. As far as Americans, you were right on the mark. Success, especially financial, is everything here. Dollar signs are the way we keep score.


I will take some of your rain. Since you can't transport it, at least try to enjoy a little of it for those of us who haven't seen rain in a very long time.

Rhoda 7-27-2001 11:56


Mel, if your muse insists on living in the laundry room, bring some paper in there and catch her inbetween loads! And if she just goes in there to sit on the washing machine during the spin cycle (naughty wink ;-D) then tell her to get to work! I'd send my muse to straighten yours out, but she's on a roll here and I don't want her to leave!

My favourite song is 'The River' originally by Garth Brooks. I like the idea that inspiration is from a river that we're all travelling on. Maybe our muses are adrenaline junkies, pushing us to
'Choose to chance the rapids,
And dare to dance the tides.'

Ruth, your bunk could get full if you leave that as an open invitation!

Beautiful day today. Must water plants, do some errands, and then HIT THE BEACH! Yay!

Tina 7-27-2001 11:46

Ruth: Have a great time. Hope I got this in before you left! Keep writing and thanks for the new Ray Bradbury poem. Maybe you will meet a neat Italian guy…and no pinches just perfection! Good luck.

Christi: I think that about wins the shortie theme for the week: “Chicken Soup for the Chicken’s Soul.” I’m going to giggle every time I get next to those books in the library.

Heather, here is how my good ol’ Microsoft Word Thesaurus button (located under my tools button) defined Portentous.
Portentous = Pretentious; Self important; Overbearing; Haughty ; Arrogant
I’m not saying that Bill Gates is right, but it’s easier than trying to find the thesaurus my daughter has stolen from my desk and hidden somewhere among the mess in her room. If you looked it up could you tell me what you got?

It rhymes with a lot of names so it’s kind of a nice word. Another good idea is the word Jerry came up with. It’s my favorite word …procrastination… for a theme. I’m a real good procrastinator. I’ve done that all day on my shortie and all other work. The day after barbequing 2 sets of ribs, and 5 steaks, and about 15 hamburgers, plus making all the fixen’s that go with the meal, I decided a day off was in order. The end of the year blow out for my youngest. She and her buddies decided on a meat feast. All the families did a BYOM (bring your own meat) and we mixed it all together. Working together, I think we consumed at least a half a cow. It was fun but I feel a little beat. After the main party we had all the female teens spend the night at my house and the males at another persons house a long distance away! (That cured the get up in the night and go bother each other syndrome.) It was sort of a wild day ending in a wild night that went on until the last of the potato chips. What was cute was many of the kids owned dogs so the dogs all ended up spending the night as well.

After the kids left, I vacuumed up the potato chip crumbs and dog kibbles and gnawed on rib bones. (My living room was not a pretty site!). Then I went to a local garden shop. I kind of wandered around like a zombie looking at the pretty colors. Then I went home. I couldn’t even decide what kind of flowers to buy. Too tired to make decisions. I popped the last of the root beer, sat down on an ice chest and sort of ended up sitting there most of the evening. Now, I’ve made it up the stairs, checked the e-mail for disasters (one of my older daughter’s recent posts was “I was hit by a pizza delivery van today while riding my bike. I’m fine. It was interesting. The bike is fine too.) and I’m going to bed.

Procrastination I guess is my theme tonight. Jerry, you are right. It just plain suits my mood a lot better right now. I’ll write that shortie tomorrow, and maybe I’ll post it next week. Sorry Mary! Sometimes life dances so fast and I seem to be waltzing around right in the middle completely out of step. Yaaaaaawn. Good night everyone.

Viv 7-27-2001 9:41


Wow! From heatwaves to seeing your breath in the morning air - the cool streak feels great. Good Morning, Ever-Landers! :-)

JERRY: I do hope your weather settles soon - how unnerving! Hope the floodwaters stay clear of your humble homestead...

DEBRA: Um, how can you vehemently throw your appliances onto the driveway and forget to toss the jar of unsharpened, worn out pencils and pens?!!! You get my vote for the Procrastinators' Club secretary. Heh heh! :-)

TINA: TWO pages a day? YOU GO, GIRL! :-) I like hearing other people's progress reports. I wave them in the face of my muse, but she just sniffs, nose in the air, and returns to the laundry room. Hmm, maybe I'm being too hard on her for not producing...

ROSEMARY: Sorry. I generally use family-oriented language style (unless I get a finger pinched in a window or something!) :-)

RANDALL: Nothing fowl or foul about your little stories, my friend. They make people laugh and feel good. :-) YES! Start your own website and give us the addy. As for ancient quotes adopted to modern times, I like it! I like it! :-) You do them well. Now take your hopefully swollen head and go write us another amusing tale (can't get enuf of 'em!).

CHRISTI: Chicken Soup for the Chicken's Soul? YOU GO, GIRL! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Still laughing. :-)

RUTH: We could look at inspiration as an ever-running stream, a river of thoughts in which we each dabble a bit during our lifetime. We take a boat or a swim or wade a bit and then write what we can of the experience. There's no way any of us can write down all the thoughts running in that river in our own lifetime. We each are just a piece of the message flowing there...

(Uh, MARY, is it okay to tell Ruth about having more children than you can hold with each hand at the same time? Oh, okay, I'll be good.) :-) Ruth, I have five kids - ages 4,11,13,17,and 19 - um, one at a time is best (right, DEBRA?). But I don't write for my kids; they seem to prefer other interests to getting to know their parents. I write first for myself, next for reading fans of the genres I prefer to write (sf&f, romance). I look forward to some Italian visuals! :-) BTW, thanks for sharing the Bradbury poem - it was so beautiful it brought tears to my 46-year-old eyes. I remember too...

Y'all have a great writing day, I hope! :-)

Mel 7-27-2001 8:18

From Ruth

Hello Notebook People.

Farewell friends. If you want, do say a farewell to me this evening. That would be nice. I’ll look back at about 10.30pm, then pack this little machine away till I get back.

Mel. Re immortality: “I think what if something happens to me before I get all my story ideas in tangible form?” This worries a lot of writers, as I guess we all know. Not to do with immortality I think. I remember the same thing worried Wilfred Owen. He was tortured by a feeling he’d be die, be killed, before all his poetry was out of him. And the fear was justified. He was killed in action on just about the last day of WW1. But what he left us is fabulous, and he is of course immortal. Only four of his poems were published in his lifetime. Now we have everything. Not many people will achieve what he did in a full lifetime, that’s for sure, and that’s okay too. We’d all like to be great and be known world-wide maybe. What I think about is the family I may have. In the next ten years I’d like to have four children, and what I do - what I write - is in some measure at least for them, and whoever may come after. They are the ones I want to know who I am, who I was and what I stood for, as well as the warts. [Not that I have any, you understand boys, but you know what I mean!] That’s a kind of immortality. I would like that to happen. Glad you enjoyed Dressing Up, Mel. And if you want to stowaway, well, come aboard then and jump into the bunk with me! Italy: I’ll likely do some word-visuals when I get back. How’s that? That okay?

Viv. Thanks for your kind words on Dressing Up, and I’m very glad you liked it. Funny poem that, and not funny as well. And like you say, I don’t think I’ll change anything. I know what Mel means, though, although the language is what’s heard all over.

Teekay. You saucy sod. Get my bum pinched it Italy? I thought only blokes in Brompton-on-Swale pinched girls’ bums. Sounds like Italy might be a good place for a girl to be. I’ll let you know. I’m a pretty serious person really but I love flirting. Nothing too much. Winks and smiles and slightly daring words, is all. I’m a good girl see. I marry early next year. Then it’ll be babies and goodbye forever to all that. Isn’t that how it’ll be? Or will it always feel pretty good to know a lad thinks about me some? ;) BTW I like this: ‘In America only the successful writer is important, in France all writers are important, in England no writer is important, in Australia you have to explain what a writer is.’ Geoffrey Cotterell [Who he? As they say in Private Eye.] Especially I like the Aussie estimation. Right now the Australian cricket team is giving the English one a good hiding. Very unsporting. After all we did invent the bloody game. I hate all Australians. I love all Australians. Wonderful people who play very hard. Too hard for us anyway. Great sporting nation. Oh, and I’m glad you liked Dressing Up.

Mark. Job. Religiously I don’t know where I am, but The Book of Job is about as great as anything I’ve ever read. But I don’t think God has a bet there, Mark. This for me is what the great poet of the book is saying. There’s never any doubt Job will pass all tests. That’s what I think the book’s all about. He’ll question Him down to his toenails, but he will never reject God. It’s such beautiful story, and at the end, after all the suffering and misery, “And so God blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning.” Wow. If there’s any discussion on this while I’m away in Italy, do let me know when I get back, in about a month’s time.

Jerry Ericsson. “As I type these words into my little old 486, it is raining harder than that cow pissing on a flat rock!” Nice sentence Jerry. You still have a 486SX? Is that what you’re saying? Lovely machines. I didn’t know they could be linked to the Internet though. I’ve still got some old floppies I used with mine, and this Compaq can’t open them? Any ideas what I can do? There may be something on them worth taking another look at. Do say if you know how - short of buying another 486SX!

Here’s the Bradbury poem I spoke about a while back. Great poem. Ciao.


by Ray Bradbury

And this is where we went, I thought,
Now here, now there, upon the grass
Some forty years ago.
I had returned and walked along the streets
And saw the house where I was born
And grown and had my endless days.
The days being short now, simply I had come
To gaze and look and stare upon
The thought of that once endless maze of afternoons.
But most of all I wished to find the places where I ran
As dogs do run before or after boys,
The paths put down by Indians or brothers wise and swift
Pretending at a tribe.
I came to the ravine.
I half slid down the path
A man with graying hair but seeming supple thoughts
And saw the place was empty.
Fools! I thought. O, boys of this new year,
Why don't you know the Abyss waits you here?
Ravines are special fine and lovely green
And secretive and wandering with apes and thugs
And bandit bees that steal from flowers to give to trees.
Caves echo here and creeks for wading after loot:
A water-strider, crayfish, precious stone
Or long-lost rubber boot --
It is a natural treasure-house, so why the silent place?
What's happened to our boys that they no longer race
And stand them still to contemplate Christ's handiwork:
His clear blood bled in syrups from the lovely wounded trees?
Why only bees and blackbird winds and bending grass?
No matter. Walk. Walk, look, and sweet recall.

I came upon an oak where once when I was twelve
I had climbed up and screamed for Skip to get me down.
It was a thousand miles to earth. I shut my eyes and yelled.
My brother, richly compelled to mirth, gave shouts of laughter
And scaled up to rescue me.
"What were you doing there?" he said.
I did not tell. Rather drop me dead.
But I was there to place a note within a squirrel nest
On which I'd written some old secret thing now long forgot.
Now in the green ravine of middle years I stood
Beneath that tree. Why, why, I thought, my God,
It's not so high. Why did I shriek?
It can't be more than fifteen feet above. I'll climb it handily.
And did.
And squatted like an aging ape alone and thanking God
That no one saw this ancient man at antics
Clutched grotesquely to the bole.
But then, ah God, what awe.
The squirrel's hole and long-lost nest were there.

I lay upon the limb a long while, thinking.
I drank in all the leaves and clouds and weathers
Going by as mindless
As the days.
What, what, what if? I thought. But no. Some forty years beyond!
The note I'd put? It's surely stolen off by now.
A boy or screech-owl's pilfered, read, and tattered it.
It's scattered to the lake like pollen, chestnut leaf
Or smoke of dandelion that breaks along the wind of time...

No. No.

I put my hand into the nest. I dug my fingers deep.
Nothing. And still more nothing. Yet digging further
I brought forth:
The note.
Like mothwings neatly powdered on themselves, and folded close
It had survived. No rains had touched, no sunlight bleached
Its stuff. It lay upon my palm. I knew its look:
Ruled paper from an old Sioux Indian Head scribble writing book.
What, what, oh, what had I put there in words
So many years ago?
I opened it. For now I had to know.
I opened it, and wept. I clung then to the tree
And let the tears flow out and down my chin.
Dear boy, strange child, who must have known the years
And reckoned time and smelled sweet death from flowers
In the far churchyard.
It was a message to the future, to myself.
Knowing one day I must arrive, come, seek, return.
From the young one to the old. From the me that was small
And fresh to the me that was large and no longer new.
What did it say that made me weep?

I remember you.
I remember you.

7-27-2001 6:39

Easy. Rosemary cares for the chickens.

Heather 7-27-2001 3:37

Wait a minute!

Don't you mean pretentious?

Portentious and pretentious are quite different in meaning.

One portends to... I mean pretends to... and the other, well,

never bloody mind!

It's too confusciousing.

Heather 7-27-2001 3:36


Thanks for the 'welcome's guys, or rather, gals! Yeah yeah, I know. You men were thinking about it and didn't want to state the obvious. But really now, a girl could begin to believe she wasn't loved. (lower lip quivering, eyes welling up with tears, morose expression on face, shoulders slumped to the ground) Waaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!

Good big stuff going on here at the NB I see, as usual. Is there a shortie theme tonight?

On the Chicken Soup books, how 'bout Chicken Soup for the Chicken's Soul? I mean what up wit dat? (Ugh. I promise never to utter those words again.) All these poor chickens being slaughtered for all this chicken soup ... WHO WILL CARE FOR THE CHICKENS????????

Oh Teekay, you slay me! I enjoyed your rant very much. Please sir, may I have some more??? (In my very best Oliver Twist impersonation)

Debra, There's only one thing for you to do. Each time you pick up one of those non-working pens immediately walk to the trash can and throw it in. Then try another. Repeat until you find a working pen, and after using said pen, put it back in the jar. I swear it can work for you because it worked for me, a fellow procrastinator. You can do it!

Stay dry, Jerry.

Smoochie woochies for all and fun dreams tonight. Bye ya!

Christi 7-27-2001 1:54

As I type these words into my little old 486, it is raining harder then that cow pissing on a flat rock! The third tornado warning of the night is in effect some thirty miles north of here, the storm dropping this rain stretches from nearly twenty miles south of here to over a hundred miles north east of here. I am so tired, I keep falling asleep in my recliner, but must stay awake, as a friend from up north is bringing her computer down to have me check the modem, she won't be here until ll:00 PM.

I have discovered, however, I can stay awake reading down the notebook, and guessing who is making which statement before I get to their names on the bottom of the post.

Viv I intend on writing something on procrastination, maybe next week, if I get the chance and we don't float down the highway. And the rain keeps falling, the boing boing boing on the TV with more storm warnings, keeps boinging. The little crawler at the top of the screen tells us where the storm is now, as if we can't hear the wind screaming through the trees, and the rain bouncing off the awning outside our front door.

Jerry Ericsson 7-26-2001 23:54

Hi folks.
On this week’s shorty theme: I was just joking when I suggested portentous. I was still thinking of that toilet when I did it. It was the height of ostentatious consumer behavior. Still, I think we may as well leave as our theme for this week. It sounded like we could use a little comedy writing. There are so many fun ways of showing someone or something so completely snobbish that it reaches a level of ridiculous.

Sorry about the word choice. My vocabulary tends to get a little portentous occasionally. Need to go into a thesaurus and pull out some better more understandable words. Back to the theme: there are portentous poodles…portentous portly people…and I think a lot of ducks waddle around looking quite portentous. I learned a lot of my favorite descriptive words from my grandfather. He’d get on a silly streak and he’d go down the street making these sly little comments like: “ Well there goes portly Patricia and her portentous poodles.” He’d get going and sound just like Mark Twain. If you could keep up with his vocabulary (which was always a real challenge) you’d be giggling so hard by the time you reached the end of the street you could barely walk. Sometimes I’d miss the joke until I came home and looked up a word in the dictionary. Then every time I’d see old Portly Patricia I’d giggle and think that word.

So maybe if you all want to experiment with a single portentous word….who knows. You are all creative. Let’s see what happens and if nothing happens we’ll yell for Mary.

Thanks Mary for the opportunity, but I know you are a lot better at this than I.

Viv 7-26-2001 23:09


Rosemary....Thanks for the suggestion about getting a little relief from Jerry. We have a high pressure area sitting right over central Texas and Lordy Lordy is it hot. The AC in my pickup died, compressor failure, yesterday afternoon and another is ordered. Wouldn't you know, a NAPA delivery pickup would have a compressor on back order...from a NAPA warehouse!!!! I have a 12 volt fan mounted on a board in the seat, but all it does is circulate hot hair. But as the immortal Bard once said, no doubt during a heat wave in London, "... a fan is a fan is a fan...." Or was that Macbeth who wandered through a Scottish castle, "Is this a fan which I see before me? Come let me feel thy wind?" "Alas poor Yorick, knew him well...died from heat prostration as the R-12 Freon line split and his compressor exploded...."

Maybe I should began my own web-site? Ancient quotes adopted to modern times?

I'm tempted to insert something here, but what the hell, let it go.

Mel....Randall's chicken soup? I've been called many things but never fowl. Okay, okay bad joke. I was involved in a funny thing today....Our office lady is attending a family reunion in south Texas this weekend. Her boy friend is attending his family reunion in Reudiso, New Mexico this weekend. She is committed to hers and won't beg off. He is committed to his and won't beg off. There is a significant difference in temps between the 2 places. They were fussing in the office this afternoon as I walked in from a steamy delivery. "Hell," I said to her. "I'll go with the SOB and you go to south Texas." had to be there I suppose....

Time to get my carcass in bed.


"Damn the torpedoes! Everybody go below and have a cold one."

Randall 7-26-2001 22:50

In Texas it's "Dadburn Goose" Only usually it's stronger than that.

I forgot to thank you for the info. about email address and no email address. I never noticed the differences in name colors. So, "Thank You." :->

Mounds of puffy clouds, white tops and dark grey bottoms, scudding across the clear blue sky giving false promise of moisture to come.

Nite, Nite.

Rosemary 7-26-2001 22:30

Hi all again!

Busy day in here. Making up for last week, it seems.

Rosemary, your 'zoo' sounds quite wonderful. I have this concept, that one day I'll own a large piece of land (with my house in the middle; yes I'm anti-social) and have a few animals. A horse or two, maybe a couple llamas, many cats. Your duck descriptions make my think maybe ducks, too!

Laura, send me that material straight to my e-mail (below). I didn't copy it from the workbook, so I can't work on it right now. And if it's in my face, I can't procrastinate.

Putting out a couple pages a day right now, and I actually like what I'm writing a day later, not just at the moment. Good sign.


who me? 7-26-2001 21:17


I got another one. I have a pencil jar next to my phone. It has been there for years, years. It is stuffed full of pencils, not one of them sharpened. Every one of the pens no longer writes. I reach for it every day to get something to write with. I never find anything. Still it sits there, beckoning me to grab for something. Every day, I do.

Yes, I have a pen that writes. It is in another room next to my other place I write. It is no where near the phone. It would be so easy to go to the store and by new pens, and at least sharpen one pencil. Why don't I?

Procrastination that's why.

It's bad, bad I tell ya.

I don't think it would be chicken soup. I think it would be that green pea something soup.

Debra 7-26-2001 21:10

OK, now enough is enough, now they not only have us under a severe thunderstorm watch, but also a flash flood watch, they say we should expect 2 to 3 inches of rain in under an hour with these thunderstorms, what the hell did we ever do to bring this weather on?

Back to the fan plan in earnest.

Jerry 7-26-2001 20:37

Okay, okay, I'm answering all my own questions tonight. The American Heritage (NOT Webster's you'll note, though what that may portend I haven't a clue) says:

portentous (adj.)/ portentousness (n.):

ominous(ness), foreboding (ness), full of unspecifiable significance; exciting wonder and awe; marked by pompousness; pretentiously weighty.

Viv, I think you fulfilled this shorty theme already with your electric Japanese toilet! :-)

Now how the heck does one follow up THAT story?! (Oh no, little muse - get back to the laundry room! I'm still thinking writing thoughts!)...

Mel 7-26-2001 20:15

TEEKAY: Ah, I'm relieved to hear you're feeling as crazy as everyone else here today! :-) Keep up the good work!

Viv said the shorty theme for tonight is "portentousness." Drat. Now I have to go find my dictionary first.

Mel 7-26-2001 19:56


Mornin’ all’y’all,

GARIESS: I had to take a small break after reading your post to get my self together and
re-establish my humility and get my head back to normal proportions.
Though why my cute factor isn’t at ten is anybody’s guess, perhaps you can shed some
light on that
Dosh is Moolah, green stuff (and no MEL, not somebody’s sick teeth :-)) buckaroos,
Thanks for the run down on competition entries, I was racking my brain trying to
remember if my openings were attention grabbing and I think they might stand a
reasonable chance.
The reader may even get as far as half way before realizing they’ve been duped.

I noticed a post saying ‘writers?!’ - and I could sense the incredulous sarcasm in the tone
of it.
Who ever you are you are obviously of the opinion that writers?!, in order to be real
writers!, must don a pair of wireframed bifocals, slick our hair back with pomade, wear
plaid coats with leather elbows sewn in, have no sense of humour and bury ourselves
totally in our work.
I’m sorry, but you have been misinformed, it’s the ‘scientists! who do that.
You can find them at

I’m starting to regret telling you all about the submissions I’ve sent out, because now I’m
going to feel I have to inform you of the rejections I get back.
I’ve been doing that anyway, but of my own free will.
Now I feel obligated.
I can’t deal with the pressure.

On a more sombre note, those of you who don’t have cats and are looking at
microwaving your dogs instead, please don’t.
Not only does it carry a prison sentence, unless you’re intoxicated or driven insane by
fleas, in which case you may just end up with a hefty fine and a darn messy microwave,
BUT your doggy will never come when it’s called again. Just think of all the money you
spent at dog obedience school, up in smoke - so to speak.

Don’t get me wrong, I truly love animals and I am assuming that the people who frequent
this place are totally normal - please feel free to define that word to your own personal
taste, (anyone seen using a dictionary to do so will be disqualified)
and that my words, powerful, yet tasteless,though they may be *snigger* are just the musings of a sick mind and will not drive
anybody, sane or otherwise, to think that I condone that womans actions in following her
heart and cooking her cat.
Personally I would recommend one take up crochet or knitting, or perhaps even a dance
class of fishing.

In fact, said woman’s actions have weighed heavily on my mind and I find expressing my
emotions regarding her behaviour, here on the notebook is a darn site cheaper that

Plans for today:
Get the rest of the (fanfare please) ‘NOVEL?!’ typed onto the computer, so I can
continue on with writing it.

I read this in the ‘chicken soup for the writers soul’ and thought I’d share it with you.

‘In America only the sucessful writer is important, in France all writers are important, in
England no writer is important, in Australia you have to explain what a writer is.’
Geoffrey Cotterell

Why thank you Geoffrey.

So do you reckon this is a good thing or a bad thing?
Personally I thought it was a pretty good thing, shows there might be an opening in the

This was the little quote above Bryce Courtenays (Australian Author) little chicken soup
segment and after reading it I’m of the impression that by his article he’s trying to do to
writers, exactly what he was trying to do to the other fellow he was running with - and
that is to scare him off and get him out of the running.

Thanks Bryce for all your encouragement, love ya matey.

Teekay 7-26-2001 19:51

DEBRA: I dare not look when she thinks she's through!

BTW, ANYONE, what is shorty-nite them? VIV? MARY? Guess I'll have to go looking back...

Mel 7-26-2001 19:39


A muse doing the laundry. Now that's an idea. After you make her do the laundry you should document all that happened.

Debra 7-26-2001 19:10

7-26-2001 18:04



You are rating very high on the NB’s collective cute scale these days. I would guess your hugability factor is somewhere in the high eights or low nines. I am not up on my Australian, but from your context of the word, "dosh," I would guess you are referring to the pick of the crop, the sharpest crayons in the box, the sweetest peaches on the tree so to speak.

People who go through large numbers of entries in contests are normally chosen on the basis of their ability to quickly identify the non-contenders. I watched a video of some guys going through audio-tape entries for a rock group competition. None of the tapes they played got more than five seconds of attention, most got less. If there was dead space at the beginning of a tape, they jumped forward into the text of the song, not caring if they by-passed the downbeat.

Literary entries, it is my understanding, are handled in the same way. Non-contenders can usually be identified in the first few sentences. The longer an entry keeps the reader reading, the chances for that entry increase exponentially.

Contests are probably less likely to result in publication than submitting to publishers whose needs are suited to your work. I believe one is better off, if one’s objective is to get into print, to seek out the publications that print the kind of stuff one writes, rather than write the kind of stuff that one of them prints.

All the usual caveats apply—opinions, you know.


gariess 7-26-2001 14:35

JERRY: Typo translation for "A;;" should be "All" :-/ Thirty-twelve lashes with a wet noodle for me. Can I still have a S'more, Dad?

Mel 7-26-2001 13:42


Oh my, you're all actin' a bit crazy today and it's contagious (JACK, it MUST be WORKBOOK WiTHDRAWAL...!)

Just today I counted at least 35 different CHICKEN SOUP titles on our library database! We should be collectin' anecdotes for our own version. How about CHICKEN SOUP from RANDALL's SOUL? Heh heh! Or CHICKEN SOUP For the Bug Lover's Soul (Go, Tina!) hee hee OH! How about CHICKEN SOUP for the TATTOOED SOUL? (Go, Heather!) hum de dum... Somebody shoot me before I get any further...

TINA, MARK: I don't think we'll have to start CHICKEN SOUP for the PROCRASTINATOR'S SOUL tomorrow; the pages will all be blank anyway...I guess it's ready for the publisher now. Who wants to send it off? :-)

DEBRA: Good for you! We're all "WHEN" people here - yippee! (Um, did anyone see my muse go skipping by? WHEN I catch her, SHE's gonna be tied to my shadow and I'll make her do MY laundry while I go write. Heh heh!!)

JERRY: Okay, have you seen MEN IN BLACK? Where someone's entire galaxy lives inside a pendant hanging from a cat's collar?? I think it makes perfect sense (um, purrfect sense?) and really fans the imagination at the same time. :-) And who's to say that the biblical creation couldn't have encompassed other worlds? A;; we have is the recounting in the Bible of OUR world's creation...hmm...I'm a Star Trek die-hard.

ROSEMARY: A lot of folks don't have any animals; hearing your stories about your animals is like a trip to an open country pet carnival. :-) (*The tour bus stops.*) "Yup. Teenage ducks are as hungry as our human teens (put the Doritos away now). See how the ducks go after Rosemary, their human mom, until she tires of their nagging and throws them a snack? Mm-hm. And on her way back to the house, you can see her now, she's helping that fat toady down from the birdbath. What a nice mom, that Rosemary. No wonder the animals all love her so. Yup. Hey! Hey! Watch out for that Doberman chasing that--YEOWCH! dabburn goose goosed me..."

Um, I think we're ALL a little crazy today (I love it!). :-) Carry on.

Mel 7-26-2001 13:37

Hop - Who me (grin wink).

The Racher ;o) 7-26-2001 13:25

Jack, PLEAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSEEEEEEEEEE get the workbook going again, I have stuff to post. PS anybody who has crits of my novel in progress please send them to me at
the newer addy. If you send them to 'go' I may not get them. And I believe there is SOMEONE who knows who she is, who still owes me a crit on my new first chapters...

laura 7-26-2001 12:52

Hi there, Writers all,

Thanks. I never think there is anything special about those little visuals and tales until you mention them.

We have so many groups of ages of ducks (and chickens) right now. The adults that are two to 10 years old, the teenagers that hatched in the early spring and a batch of bright chartruse (some with black spots) fuzzy babies that hatched a couple of weeks ago.

That unusual wet spring this year caused everything to multiply and we need to get rid of the excess before we become bankrupt. If you have animals, you have to take care of them. We do it with less expense than most, but there are limits and someone forgot to tell them

Super glad to hear from you, drinking or not. We all miss you and wish you would drop in more often. :-)

Hope your weather is more comfortable than ours. I don't think this heat goes East like the storms. JERRY is hording the rain storms but even if he let them go, they probably wouldn't come down here. The weather map on TV the other day showed the entire US with rain storms except for a big bare spot that was Texas.

how about starting a group that gets the materials to Jerry for that giant weather blower. I'd join and your area probably needs it as much as mine.

Got to go. Bought a vacuum sealer on EBay and they want a money order.

Rosemary 7-26-2001 12:18


I have one for you Mark. We should stop sitting at a chair after we have fallen asleep and go to bed.

Debra 7-26-2001 12:01

*~ Mark ~*

OK -- "Chicken Soup for the Procrastinator's Soul." We can write that you know. We have the talent here.

Waddya think?

Start tomorrow?

Mark 7-26-2001 11:57

On that God thing. Well I guess I believe in God, in fact when I was much younger, I thought I had it all figured out. I looked on God as a scientist, who in a pitri dish planted a seed of mould, and from that mould evolved the Universe. Now I stuck by that until I got to Nam, and sometime during that tour, I figured out that when the experiment was done, that being the examination of the results of his experiment, he tossed the petri dish aside and forgot about it. That is why bad things happen to good people.

Then I got to looking at photo's from the space capsules, those taken from deep space, and those illustrations of the sun and the planets, the Universe and how it appeared to be made up of other "solar systems." Then I looked at those depictions of the atom, and compared them to the solar system, guess what, they look the same. Ok now apply the nature of both. Since they look the same, what is to say that our solar system is just part of a larger object, much like an atom, and that once we have the power of interstellar travel, one day we may reach the end of the Universe, when that ship pop's out of the edge what will the pilot see? Well it might be that when he is on the outside looking in, he will see that it is all just one small piece of a large tree growing on a huge planet in it's own universe. Then to reverse that logic, could it be that there are actually micro people on those atoms looking out with their telescopes at their universe, and dreaming of their God?

Did that make any sense? Well if not, it would make a fairly interesting plot for a sci-fi book.

Oh, I have since abandoned that theory in favor of the biblical creation, but it was interesting to think about anyhow.

Jerry 7-26-2001 11:05


You'll be happy to know that I did shed the if and I do say when. I don't do that here. I'm with other writers here and the people here I think of as my peers and equals. I like to talk like I'm the sameas everyone esle, as I am. We all are in a constant state of hope. I say (when) when I talk to my mom and dad. They believe me. That's a lot of pressure. I won't let that dream die. I won't. I also have one I'd like to implement with the social services in my area for free laundry services for these same women when they go to school. Laundry takes a lot of time and thought. To save time and worry is huge. Laundry sounds small, but when I talked to a women in that department and told her of the idea, she said it was the neatest thing she had ever heard. So!



Come over here. Sit down right here. Don't make me spank you. I'll do it. Teekay said you were being mean again. You have to make your bad boy ride in the trunk honey bun. It sounds like you are letting him drive again. Remember what we talked about about the bad boy? He's never quite gone, but he has to be gagged and stuffed into the trunk. Okay go ahead and get that done.


Debra 7-26-2001 10:44

Hi all!

Good to see the Return of the Lurkers. Christi, hi! Hallee, have fun. Allein, enjoy, but don't work too hard. Rosemary, I love the idea of a 'teenage duck'.

Teekay, best of luck with those submissions.

Mel, Chicken Soup for the Procrastinators Soul? I'm still chuckling... I SO need that book! ;-)

My hubby found a sweet addition for microsoft word, called wordweb. It's a dictionary/thesaurus, instantly available while I'm typing. Maybe it's already common knowledge, but I didn't know about it. Lovin' it already!

Time to get busy. Be well!

Tina 7-26-2001 10:39


Howdy, gals and guys! :-) We got rain - good thing, the grass was getting brown. Now to dream of azure and 65-75 degree (Fahrenheit) days... 'always a lovely day somewhere' ('tain't here!)

ROSEMARY: Duck-goo...Eww! :-/ Your animals all sound so precious (in spite of goo). I think your little animal anecdotes and visuals would make great fillers (if not stories) in any inspirational magazine or even Readers' Digest. It gave me a lift just to imagine your teenage duck tugging on your pant-leg, begging for bread. How cute! :-) The world needs to hear (and read) more little fun things like that! Give everyone a smile for their day! :-)

DEBRA: No, no, no. You shouldn't say "if I ever get my series published." You must say "WHEN I get my series published." :-) Your dream for opening centers for single stay-at-home moms to learn is TOO good to let slip into some netherworld. Make it happen. You can do it! Write and publish your series - You can DO IT! :-) What a great goal...I think one of mine is merely to pay off the mortgage...

HEATHER: Ooh, "Legendary..." I like the sound of that! :-) (supports Ruth's question on our seeking immortality through writing, too).

ALLEIN: Congrats on the job! :-) I expect you meant money by "green stuff" and not some poor person's sick teeth (eww, that was gross! Must be the humor-meter is off-again...)

MARK: I want to tread lightly on Holy Ground discussions too. Everyone's entitled to their own beliefs and opinions... I just want to say (MY opinion), the O.T. is not irrelevant; it's vital to help us understand the foundations of our faith and beliefs, just as Jesus was born a Jew and grew up among them, learning their ways, before he could re-teach them (and everyone else) about God's true ways. Just a thought to ponder...

CHRISTI!! Stop wining and share some cheese, will ya? :-)

TEEKAY: Them CHICKEN SOUP book authors sure have a great thing going, don't they? I'm still waiting for "Chicken Soup For the Procrastinator's Soul" - I guess they haven't gotten to it yet...heh heh! BTW, my kitty's at home, prob'ly beggin' someone to turn on a faucet so he can get a fresh drink.

HALLEE: A safe and happy trip, Auntie! :-) I hope to have a present for ya when ya git back...

EVERYBODY: May the pages never stick in your thesauruses and may you write oodles of inspiring, thrilling, can't-put-it-down stories - and start right now, if you haven't already! I has spokened.

Mel 7-26-2001 8:50


7-26-2001 8:38

7-26-2001 8:33

HEATHER: "He knew every possibility, and still decided to go forth with the Grand Design. Obviously, that smacks of something far more positive than negative." You need to keep that -- so well said. One day, when you're a famous author and everyone clamors for your books, you can be cited in one of those famous people quote things. (haha - hug) - no, I still haven't read what you sent me - aren't I terrible? (sigh) I'm taking it with me on vacation next week.

MARK: Of course, you also have to bear in mind that God knew the outcome. (smile)

One more day and I leave for West Virginia! My sister had a contraction yesterday, so maybe baby Hal will be there when I get there!

~back to lurking - life is so nuts right now (but vacation is looming on the near horizon~

Hallee 7-26-2001 4:26


Hi All,

RHODA: Pigs eh? Bet they're spewin'. :-D

RUTH: Arividerci, anda I hopa you enjoya your staya. :-D
Anda geta your buma pinched a plenty.
BTW I loved your dressing up poem.

MARK: I confess, pages ra - ri are missing. I had to improvise. :-D

DEBRA: MARK'S being me-e-an!

MARK: Now you're for it.

MEL: Thanks for the luck.
Perhaps if I just say, 'hey, don't worry about the free copy, you can have the story for nothing," they might be more inclined to publish it.
Actually, I'm not really hung up on it, I was reading 'chicken soup for the writers soul' last night, and I've still got a hell of a lot of rejections to get before I start getting to depressed about it all.

HEATHER: You have gotta gotta gotta read 'The Law of Love' by Laura Esquivel.
And here's a drink of water for your parched throat :-D
BTW: Are you happy for the woman who microwaved the cat?
Did the cat really choose to be microwaved?
HAHAHHAHAHAHAHA sorry, I can't seem to help myself.

ALLEIN: Congratulations on your new job.

CHRISTI: Well if you had to be drunk to come here I must say I hope you imbibe more often.

JERRY: I love a good thunderstorm. I'm really quite envious of what you are experiencing. (weatherwise I mean :-))
Remember those illegal immigrants I told you about?
Well they've bloody well gone and escaped again!!!
How do forty illegal immigrants hide? In a park? That'd be a tree each.

Well folks, I have to now get some competition entries out of the way.
D'you think they really read the entries? Or do they just collect all the dosh and just bin the rest?

do you know where your kitties are?

Teekay 7-26-2001 2:36


Personally, I don't know how the universe was created. What I do know is that nobody else knows either. People who say they do are making it up as they go along, or just taking it from somebody else. First they "believe" and then they build their theses to fit that belief. I assume the idea that it was once an idea, and then an ideal, presupposes that the idea was concieved by a supreme being. Of course that's based on the presumption that there was nobody else to get ideas before there was a universe. I find it easier to believe that the idea was concieved after the fact by the idealists. It makes a nice sounding guess, but a second guess at best.

Supreme being: "What if there was a universe, wouldn't that be cool? Hey, what am I saying? I'm the supreme being; if I want a universe, I can make one. So let's see, what if I try the big bang method? Well, better not be too hasty, maybe not."

I love it when we get all philosophical like this.


gariess 7-26-2001 0:09

Well the fan plan is back on the table. Woke this morning to a clap of thunder that sounded like it was in the bedroom with me. It rained for a couple of hours, not those gentle spring rains, but a torrential rain, or as we used to say back on the farm, it rained like a cow pissing on a flat rock! Finally at about 9:00 AM it tapered off, and stayed cloudy and cool, I think the high for today was like 82, and muggy as hell. There was a second rain at about 2:00 PM, that added to the humidity. Now we sit here under a severe thunderstorm watch till 2:00 AM. Yep, the fan plan is back.

Now where can I get the material, I know, I will put in for a federal grant, that should work!

No wait, the fed would just keep the money saying I owed it to them, back to the drawing board. I see flashes in the North, must sign off and shut down the computers, maybe I will just go to bed, no TV, no Computer, and the lights usually go out when the lightning gets close.

Good night to all, I wish these storms would go south where they are needed! (Read the story of an elderly farm lady who lost her home to a flash flood just twenty miles south of here. Lot of that going around.)

Jerry 7-26-2001 0:08


I have no opinion. I have no opinion. Well, really I do have an opinion, but it's too belated to be of any interest so I'll just say HI EVERYBODEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!! Missed you'se guys muy mucho!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I'll make my next appearance when I'm not drinking wine. The only words I'm capable of when I have even one drink are, "I love you, man!" :)

Christi 7-25-2001 23:58


Worry about nothing. I figured that there was so much to read that you missed the way I meant it.

Besides that, I have my picture of you by your posts and I know you support women.

Debra 7-25-2001 23:30

** Mark **

Oh my oh my

This religious stuff. I kinda think I shouldn't tread there; but, I don't always follow my own good advice.

One of the more interesting aspects of the Job story is God's role in the affair. The writer of that story (we're all writers here, correct?), anyway, the writer of that story makes God almost human. I believe it's the biggest example in the Old Testament of God having human qualities. In that story He gambles, He makes a bet with the devil, and Job is afflicted in order to satisfy a peculiar craving that God has to get over.

But that's trivial stuff. The real point of it all is in the New Testament when Jesus says, "I bring you a New Testament. Love thy neighbor." That's it. No commandments. No God of retribution. No eye-for-an-eye. Love thy neighbor. At that point in religious history, the Old Testament became irrelevant.

Mark 7-25-2001 21:50

Hi people! :)
I'm still around, I read the notebook every day though and lurk around.
But, see, I just got off my duff and got a job. :D I enjoy it, I work at a dentist's office and soon I'll have some of that lovely green stuff. :)

Viv - That's ok, I hope Hana's feeling better.

Allein Allein's World 7-25-2001 21:08

Whoops! Just wanted to tell Debra: I must have misunderstood what you said, then. I, of course, am happy for any woman that does what she truly wants to do, and is successful at it - but I feel the same way towards a man.

Do you want to know why I thought 'Pay It Forward' was a good movie? Because of the concept. Helping other people, and passing it along. It may be an idealistic view of things, but if it weren't for ideals, what then? Not much on that horizon.
The Universe was once an IDEA. Now the situations we envision for ourselves and the rest of humanity (according to what the ideal is) are our ideals. The Universe was also once an IDEAL. The perfect vision. Then it became reality, so the IDEA behind the IDEAL was expressed. Made real. Voila. Concepts. Conception. Conceive.
All root words from idea. God Conceived the Universe. He thought it up, gestated it in the Great Mind, and then gave it birth.
God knows all, so He knew what we would do. He knew every possibility, and still decided to go forth with the Grand Design. Obviously, that smacks of something far more positive than negative.

Anyhow, I'm rambling on about things pertinent to me, but perhaps a little wander from what I had intended to gab on about.

Writing. This profession, this passion, this 'calling', as I call it, is one of the most wondrous things a person can be called to do. Imagine a thought-story-idea of ours becoming legendary. Possibility.
I like possibility. A whole slathering lot.

Blessings to HOWARD! I'll be thinking of you. May you rain dance with your beautiful wife again soon!

Heather 7-25-2001 20:43

Pressed something (guessing it was the TAB button) and automatically entered my post before I was finished...

Well, that probably means I should end there. Obviously my fingers thought it was time to pack it in.

Wait - fingers controlled by brain. Alright, then, mind,
I'll go. I'll sign off!

I do have a book to recommend before I leave off, however~!

'As A Man Thinketh' by James Allen.
(It's very old, but is now available as 'As A Woman Thinketh', still by James Allen...:o) This book is a very small, almost booklet type of publication. I highly, highly recommend it. It's very interesting, and enlightening. Which reminds me, where is my copy?
The book regales (not windily, I might add) how thought becomes word and action, and how to see for yourself this interesting process - and how you can change things with it. Simple. It also ties into Jesus' teachings.

Hugs and smooches to all, and to all

Teekay - by the way - (you are so cute!) I could not be mad at you. Differences!? Verve! Les espice de la vie!
(Uh, my french is rustier than my car)

English burps.

Heather 7-25-2001 20:26

Rhoda: I like what you said. I think Job was a 'right thinker' and so when he was tested, his thinking stayed straight and true. Therefore, he stayed in God's favour.
When we think good, right thoughts, things go well - and if rotten circumstance should happen to visit, keeping right thoughts will help you(us) deal with the issues at hand in a very effective manner and will result in things working out. Some may think it's magic, or something esoteric, but really, what is one of the most sacred things God gave?
His WORD. Words come directly from thought.
There are references to this in the Bible in quite a number of places - think of Jesus, and Noah, for two shining examples. When Noah was being teased incessantly, did he begin to think angry thoughts, hateful thoughts about the tormentors? No. And things went smoothly for Noah - at least in comparison! And when we think of Jesus, being tempted in the desert, or confronted by people, he replied calmly, lovingly, with righteous thought in back of his words. Always. That's one of the principles he taught.
Also, when He talked about becoming 'like little children', most children speak their minds far more nobly than adults do. That honesty comes from right thought. Most of what children say (especially if they're not quoting) is kind, selfless, loving. At least if they haven't changed the positive thought patterns into negative.

Heather 7-25-2001 20:16

Loved the poem. I wouldn't change the language one bit. I had a beautiful book of Old Nursery Rhymes given to me when I had my second child. I put it on the shelf thinking that my children wouldn't like it because the language was too sophistocated. Wouldn't you know it, the 6 year old dragged it off the shelf and demanded I read it. The kids loved it for years. I was giving away books and no one would allow that one to go. They don't understand all the words but they create their own images. Anyway, maybe my kids are strange but they would've liked that one.

I'm joining you on this trip to Rome as well. The history of the Catholic religion is interesting and full of exciting characters. Good ideas for writing abound. So don't feel shy about looking into it all you want.

Allein: Sorry we are late. Hana's halfway through the translations but she's missed juku all week due to stomach flu.

Viv 7-25-2001 19:05


I agree with everything.

Well all except one. I do think women should stick together. I would not agree with a woman if she were wrong and a man was right, that's not what I mean by that.

I just mean that as women we should support each other. I hear people putting down successful women just because they are blond and beautiful, I don't do that. I'm glad that a woman is out there running the show and making it work.
If I ever get my series published and have some money to help people with, my group would be single mothers and single mothers with special needs children. I dream of opening centers where they learn to transcribe medical documents so they can stay home and not need daycare.

That's all I meant.

I wish I could worry less. I am trying.

I'll keep you posted on that one.

Debra 7-25-2001 15:08


Debra: This might NOT surprise you, but how much you worry about someone is often interpreted as how much you care about them. Why are those two linked in many minds? I don't know. Trying to worry less will probably not solve the problem. Then you will be worrying about all your worrying. See what I mean?
I think it might help assuage this difficulty if we show people we care about them more often in other ways. Instead of calling everyone to make sure they're home in a snow storm, (or even just a few inches of powder) perhaps your loved ones might start carrying a cell phone. If they get into trouble, they can call you right after they've called a tow truck. I don't know if that will solve it or not for you.

Perhaps you are a person, Debra, who worries about the whole world? You will have to, sooner or later, draw a line in the sand. Just where will your worrying end? Does worrying solve anything, prevent anything, or make anything easier/better? Usually it only makes you feel worse, losing hours of sleep. Here's a badge to wear: Only worry when you absolutely have to.
There's no sense in practice worrying.
Still, I can say that and it won't stop you from practicing. I wish I knew the formula to help!

But again, this touches on the great long post I wrote last night. People will do what they will. They learn the lessons they need to, for their own reasons. You may worry forever and still find use in it.

Want to know why I got into a terrible relationship (my first actual relationship)? As I look back on it now, I was testing my strength, testing to see what love I had, (let's call it passion, actually. Love came later...). I was testing my ability to dredge myself from the most fallow pitfalls, testing to see how much I could give. How do we know the strength of character we all harbour unless we test it?
Hence the real reason for childhood and adolescence. We don't know ourselves until we test us out. Once we know who we are, we know our limitations, or lack thereof.

Like the old adage of the boy walking the top of a fence: He didn't realize he shouldn't be able to do it until someone came along and yelled at him, "You're going to fall and hurt yourself!" So he did.
But sometimes we don't fall. Sometimes we fly.

Suffering does make for a universal topic, one that everyone (I think) can identify with - that's why it makes something compelling to read about. The same with what Teekay said yesterday about greed and all the vices we humans try on for size. The thing is, I believe we can either evolve or devolve. Sure, we've got free will and we have the chance to come back as often as we want, to a planet in a physical body. So that means we could totally destroy a whole whack of people or things and still be able to reincarnate, right? Yes. Well, we are the Masters of our own 'destiny'. Take a line from 'Gladiator' for instance:
"What we do in life, echoes in Eternity!"
It also shows up either in this life or in our next life ( or one of the successors). We may devolve, because we knew better but did it anyway. There is justice in the Universe, but the timing of this justice doesn't always coincide with how we think it should be metered out.
But we cannot know what's in another's soul. We're not the Judge. How do we know that a man who seems so rotten on the outside, rolling in what we see as undeserved health/wealth and wellbeing, isn't pious and humble on the inside? That he doesn't have right thoughts?

We can put whatever we want to into the vase. But then we have to deal with the results. The thing is, why put suffering in the vase more than necessary?

Part of the reason I had so much trouble in the big city is because of wrong thoughts that I harboured. Had I changed my thought patterns a lot earlier, I wouldn't have spent two years in misery, wondering where I'd stay the night, or when I'd lose my next job due to a jerk boyfriend. If I had held myself as a worthwhile human being, I doubt I would have considered a need for abuse and all that suffering. But pain is primarily TEACHER.
In hindsight, the only reason I can see for staying with him was to learn that I did have worth and a heck of a lot of strength. I stayed so long because that's how long it took to figure it out, and to find my Self. Some people don't figure it out in one whole lifetime, so yes, I'm lucky. Or maybe I'm just faster than some.

Teekay: About starving children in Ethiopia: Only the individual knows why they chose it. Hey, want to know what life is like? Live one. But you won't experience EVERYTHING in just one lifetime. So try another. Hmmmm. What's it like to live in Egypt? Maybe I'll go there again sometime. You get the idea!
Here is another example - and you may be right about not eating the greens! (Or maybe they were gluttonous? Who knows)
A woman who turned a blind eye to suffering was in fact, in her next life, born blind. See what I'm getting at?
Now, if she chooses to surmount the difficulty of blindness, rounds her character out, is positive and helpful and wonderful to be around, well, what do you know! The next life she's Queen. But careful! When in the 'Queen' position, it's easy to take advantage of others... and so around and around we CAN go. But we don't have to if we choose not to. It all comes back to personal CHOICE.

Back to Debra: Why should we word our questions so it appears we 'women' are sticking together? What is the point in taking sides? Are we to assume that men are wrong?
Assumptions do not take us to any higher understanding.
I take it to the individual level. A man can be wrong, but so can a woman. Both can be right. We are not at war between the sexes unless we want to be. I don't. Women can be just as chauvenistic as anyone.

I'll end here and read more posts! This is getting far too windy...

Heather 7-25-2001 13:18

Came in to lower my temperature to under 100 before going back out to finish mowing.

Do you think she had been dreaming about ducks? :-))

Any one who has had to clean up a sidewalk after ducks have been spending time on it knows that they're mostly stuff. Really icky gooy stuff.

I feed bread to the birds (chickens and ducks and geese) in the evening that we get from the used-bread-store. (maybe s/b old instead of used, but used sounded better.) The ducks are the smartest of the bunch and they are getting way too tame. I was giving a slice of bread to one of the horses and felt something pull on the back of my cut-off's leg. I was busy so I just pulled away. Then a few minutes later, I felt it again, stronger. I looked around and there stood a teenage duck trying to look innocent. While I glared at him, he reached up and pulled at me again. How can you punish that sweet duckbill face? I gave him a piece of bread.

I'm here, just not much going on. I'm staying inside most of the time--it's been too hot to go out and my knee has been gripeing anyway. Today is only suposed to get to 96 degrees so I went out this morning. A few areas had to be mowed or the weeds would get too tall to handle.
The dry heat is beginning to kill most of the growth but a few hardy weeds still thrive.

I don't appreciate you hogging all those wonderful storms. So wet and cool.

I think I'll just go climb into the freezer for a while,

Rosemary 7-25-2001 13:09

Oh, ROSEMARY: Here's an AUDIAL (AUDIO?) for you. I woke up my four-year-old yesterday morning, and the first thing she said to me was not "good morning, mom" or anything like that. One moment she's sleeping, not moving in the bed. Next instant she says "Mom, what are ducks made of?" :-)
(I told her "fluff and stuff" and we went on from there to what little girls and little boys are made of. But her first question of the day "cracked" me up with giggles! I thought of your downy little friends and thought maybe I should ask you the same question as a sort of reference question, in case "fluff and stuff" wasn't properly specific enough??!!) :-)

Mel again 7-25-2001 12:23

For anyone interested, there is now available, a non-spy ware version of Hot Lingo Spell checker for the internet. I use it most of the time, and it works fine, if you pay attention to which words it uses to replace those misspelled. This is something I should watch a bit closer, as I am on my way to being the King of Typos, even using Hot Lingo. I just downloaded the latest version of AW Ad ware remover, and was shocked at the new common programs that are in fact spy ware. Now Hotbar is spy ware, I used this program on all my systems, just to liven up the top of the browser, but since learning it reports on your usage of the web, where you go, what you look at, and so forth, then reports back to a central data base for advertisers to target you with email for their products. I was wondering why all of a sudden I was getting spam in my protected email address, now I guess I know. None of those who send me SPAM at this address will tell me where they came up with it, but apparently it was Hotbar.

Rude awakening this morning, another thunderstorm, lots of thunder, very heavy rain, I have yet to hear how much, but it caused a bit of street flooding in front of our house. This weather pattern is very unusual for this area, we normally get one or two thunderstorms in July and August, not a string of them as we have this past few weeks. The only good thing about it is that it cools down nicely following the rain, only 63 degrees right now, and heavy overcast.

Jerry 7-25-2001 12:16


Hi Everyone! Still humid here in NYS but as Howard said, last evening's rain was WONDERFUL!!!

TEEKAY: Good luck with the short mss. (*crossed fingers, toes, and anything else that crosses!*) :-)

HEATHER: re: the vase thing and free will - WELL SAID! You must be a writer... :-)

RHODA: re: the Bible - WELL SAID! Hear! Hear! You must be a writer too. :-)

HOWARD: Prayers for your successful surgery and swift recovery... so you can dance in the rain with your wife again soon! :-)

VIV: How come all those techno-buttons exist and they don't have the automatic flush feature many places now have? (i.e. you stand up, toilet flushes itself)?! Techno-progress: one panel of buttons forward, two steps back in user-friendly abilities! Where's Candid Camera when you need 'em? Heh heh! :-)

RUTH: Okay ROME STOWAWAYS, gather up! Count me in too. :-) Hope you have a wonderful and safe trip. You have to return here with great pictures (photos or word-visuals) for us stay-at-homes. :-) re: immortality through writing? Maybe...sometimes when I have to go for a long spell with no time to write, I think what if something happens to me before I get all my story ideas in tangible form? I feel there will be a loss to someone somewhere if the unwritten story ideas just disappear...and the characters of the stories - if they really exist somewhere and are inspiring me from afar to write their tales, what will happen then, if I don't get the tales written?? Not crazy here, just questing, as are most writers, I think, for the reason behind the urgency to urgency that is never satisfied until the words are down in tangible form for others to see (preferably polished somewhere along the way). Sigh. NEED TO WRITE!!!!! Gonna go write something now as I eat lunch!!! :-) BTW, I liked your "Dressing Up" poem - could be a neat poem-story for kids with a tiny bit of language modification. Or leave as it is for an adult poem anthology - for our more whimsical moments of need. :-)

Mel 7-25-2001 12:13

Mark Mark Mark:

There's no spell check in the NB and some people like speed. We all knew what she meant.

I would rather read more posts not spell checked then fewer perfect ones.

Debra 7-25-2001 11:30

~* Mark *~

TEEKAY : You wrote, "Websters is my highest source of refgerence."
Yes, dear. Whatever you say, dear.

7-25-2001 11:19

From Ruth

Hello Notebook People.

Saturday morning early we drive to the airport. Rome from home. The furthest I’ve ever been before is a little island just off the coast of England, the Isle of Wight. Travel is not for me. Well not yet. But even though I play down going to Rome I’m pretty excited about it. I was reading some autobiography of Elizabeth Jennings yesterday afternoon. Sitting on a bench in a local park at lunch time, feet up, sandwiches and a flask of tea right beside me. On a Somerset Maugham award she spent about three months in Rome and said it was a revelation. Behind the Michelangelo it may well be Roman Catholicism that’s pulling me there, as it seems to have been for Elizabeth in some way. I’ve just ordered her anthology, A Poet’s Choice, from my local bookshop. They swear they’ll have it in tomorrow [Thursday] afternoon. Take that with me. She says the poets in there were all influential to her, and, well, I like them all, but there are one or two unknown to me as well. I’ve never even heard of Arthur Hugh Clough. Emily Dickinson is listed. And that brings up the rub. The opening night of The Proms, the celebration of music that goes out over England from the Royal Albert Hall in London, concluded with a terrific piece by the American composer John Adams, Wild Nights, a setting of Emily Dickinson. Going to Rome means I’ll miss the broadcasts. In my room in the evening with a glass of wine I usually listen to maybe two concerts a week. Special that. Especially special when it’s getting on towards the end of the season, the light fading and all that. Well, I’ll be back home for some of them!

Barbabus. Hello and thank you for welcoming me to the Notebook. I don’t understand what mean when you say, “Am I being too blatant.” Are you flirting with me? ;) When like the night I am from nowhere? Well God willing I shall return. Talk to you then. Have you posted anything, Barbabus, poetry or prose? I don’t remember seeing anything around. Though I haven’t been here long. Have you been hiding? I’ll look back again before I go for a brief goodbye to everyone.

Howard. I assure you I was aware your piece was meant to be short, and that I admired it for that. ;) One of the styles I like to use is - what? I like to be dreamlike, to play with some central idea while not quite saying what it is. This was what was going through my head as I read your piece - rather, after I’d finished reading it. But you do say explain there, say what’s what. I was thinking your idea was excellent, but that you could have taken the reader on some kind of an excursion, reflective, meditative, always humming around the central meaning, if you’d wanted, and then, as you do, remove yourself from the scene while delivering the explanation. Most of all I think I wanted some play on that very evocative phrase you use, “Even if someone did remember,” and for that idea to come and go throughout a much longer, and therefore possibly more haunting, piece. Just me. It’s just me. It wasn’t of course a critique and I intended no criticism. What you did was fine and I certainly won’t forget it. - And yes indeed, isn’t Bradbury’s Remembrance lovely. [Oh Howard, can you [anyone] please tell me how you italicise on the Notebook? When you have a minute. At the moment my formatting goes when I enter stuff.]

Mel. Thanks for the hello - and yes, the need to write. It’s pretty odd when you think about it, and like you, and like everybody else hereabouts I guess, it’s what I think about when I open my eyes in the morning. Expressing ourselves on the blank white void of a screen. Funny life. Passing stuff on and that. Is the quest for immortality there it?

Tina. Pleased you like the poem, Tina, and yes, it’s one of my own. Since posting it I’ve turned it inside out. Well, it still says exactly the same thing, but I think I hooked out a couple things and straightened the road a bit. If you want I’ll post the result. I’m going to close with Dressing Up. I wrote it very quickly in just above an hour about two months’ ago, in a room containing nothing but myself, the chair I sat on and my laptop. So I think it might qualify for the quickly written pieces the group seems to go in for. See you when I get back.

Jerry. The Copland songs are great but may be awkward if you’re not used to them. His suite Rodeo I’m sure you’d like, especially if you’ve been to rodeos and can compare what he does there. The song he works over in the opening number [there are only four] is “If I knew a buckaroo by his trade,” and it’s wonderful. So you really were a police officer, a chief of police then. I can understand very well how you must have loved it, and how at times it may have been altogether too much. We have a police family right close to us. The youngest in the force, Vince, did his training as a military policeman, after we had the trouble with Argentina. What I get from him, when he’s in uniform, is a tremendous sense of authority and power. Power in the best sense, for people and not over them. Nice guy.

Rhoda. Thanks for the photos of your holiday over here. Love the Union Jack flying above all your shots of England. I know I live here, but like you over there I never get fed up with the place. Isn’t Edinburgh Castle an incredible building! The cannons looking out over the turrets reminded me of some good shots I took outside the Imperial War Museum, when I was in London. Don’t know how to do websites or anything otherwise I’d post them for you. Howarth I know well. Did you have Bronte cakes and fudge and everything? There are places worth visiting all over the England. When in Sussex last I went to Rudyard Kipling’s home, Bateman’s. Lovely. Tea and scones at Kipling’s! Oh, the moors, that’s a place everyone should know. It’s kind of scary though. I mean, if you go walking there alone. But even so the feeling is like no other. Great photographs of Ireland. So that’s you, Rhoda! Hello Rhoda!

Teekay and everyone who responded. Thanks for the info on Quo Vadis. It’ll have to wait till I get back, but then I’ll look into it.

An unbearable thing is running through the news here in England. A woman, a mother of two, became so incensed when her cat’s fleas bit her that she put the animal in the microwave and switched on. For a minute. There’s been a court case. Pictures of the cat in an awful state. Dead of course. Sounds the woman was drunk at the time. Usually when I wake at five in the morning I home-in on what an awful person I am and look around for forgiveness. Opening my eyes at five in the dark I could see that ginger cat again. Here’s a point where words break down. That poor bloody animal.

Speak to you all soon.


Here’s the poem:

Dressing Up

I’ll buy my dog a woolly coat!

That mutt of his - a woolly coat?
(Well knock me down and roll me round!)

And what about that crusty cat?

I’ll get my cat a Stetson hat!

My God, whoever heard such stuff?
(A Stetson for that surly cat!)

But what about those pigs he’s got?

My pigs will wear blue ankle socks!

Well blow me down a dime a time!
(Those awful pigs in ankle socks!)

And what about that vixen fox?

I’ll tie pink ribbons to her fur!

He doesn’t give a damn, I’m sure!
(Pink ribbons round a fox’s leer!)

But what about that boy of his?

My child will have a suit of moon!

A suit of moon? What will they say?
(Will such a suit yet keep him warm?)

But what about his daughter dear?

My child will have a dress of sun!

A dress of sun? Much good I’m sure!
(What will they say when summer’s here?)

That little wife of his, what there?

She wears a frock of nights and days,
Her frock of days with garlands round,
All bound with light and ribbons round,
A frock of days and nights and days!

7-25-2001 10:59

Hi Mel:
Yes, they really exist. That's not all. In the Sony Headquarters building in Hon Atsugi everything is so automated it's hard to figure out how to use the bathroom. Worst bathroom I've ever been in though was in a rather famous company who I will not mention bathroom. I went in to comb my hair before teaching a class. Put comb in purse, snapped purse tried to go out door. Door would not open. I freaked out and tugged HARD at the door. Then a woman in one of the stalls called out, wash your hands. The bathroom won't let you out unless you wash your hands.
Heck, I'd only gone in to Comb my Hair! Stupid place. Never went back there again. What's the sign of a company that is having trouble and getting ready for a big layoff? The executives order high tech bathrooms for the main headquarters building.

I like Nissan company. Nice building but not over fancy. The bathrooms are just nice normal bathrooms. Whew...not even a fancy seat. I also like the music...for classes they play the song "Yesterday...all my troubles seemed so far away!!!"

Viv 7-25-2001 9:50


Did I say matrix's ooooops!

I meant matriarch.

I am a bitch sometimes aren't I?

It's just one of the pleasures of being a woman.


Debra 7-25-2001 8:50

TINA: I'm here. Just lurking. Though, yesterday is the first day I didn't pull the notebook open and read off and on during the day, and it looks like I missed a lot of fun. haha ((Hug)) Thanks*

Hallee 7-25-2001 4:38

Debra, here's my e-mail address. Guess I'd better go to bed, rest this feeble brain of mine!

Tina 7-25-2001 2:00


Hi all!

Howard, 'luck' seems out of place in an operation. How about just 'safe voyage' (if the definition fairy will let me stretch the definition of 'voyage') ;-)
Good joke!

Debra, should we wish Howard more rain 'romping', too? hehehe And question for you... how does one get a copy of your book? I have a niece, 13 years old and sweetly naive, who I'd love to give a copy to. If you have an address or something, I've included my e-mail below.

About this case/investigation... while I sympathize with the victims, I think the whole thing is, once again, being blown out of reasonable proportion. Someone here said that the rich are able to interfere and ruin the police investigation. I honestly think that the media does that for them. The more the media jumps on, pumps up, and hypes these stories, the less truth ever comes out. It must not be swept under a mat, but justice would be much better served if the media kept their destructive, nosey, $#@!!@# asses out of the picture.

Jack, take all the time you need. The fact that this place exists is proof to your commitment. When you need to take time for other things, do so without guilt. We know you'll be back, just as soon as priorities are dealt with.

Allein, Christi, Taylor, Hop, Richard, Arik, Ben, Rosemary, Rachel, Hallee, Americo, Trudy, Laura, Jon, Sasquatch... (I'm sure I've forgotten people, sorry...) Where Are You? Hope all is well in your corners of the world.

Here and gone again...

Tina 7-25-2001 1:58


I wish you the best on your operation.


It was pigs, my girl--not cows.

Rhoda 7-25-2001 1:13


HOWARD: HAHAHHAHAHA Fantastic joke, one of the best I've heard.

All the best with your operation tomorrow, but if the pain gets too bad, just grit your teeth and think of what I went through today :-) And know, that even if you're on your own, you're never alone.
I made that bit up.
Does it show?

Teekay 7-25-2001 1:00


Whoooooo-eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee I've finished!!! I don't believe how long that took.
I'm starving.
I have a headaache.
I need a secretary. *snicker*

DEBRA: Just saw where you called me and HEATHER matrix's. Sometimes you are such a bitch. Sticks and stones etc etc.

RHODA: Is it true that in the first testament people weren't allowed to eat cows etc, and then in the second they were?

Thanks guys, you've all been wonderful company during a gruelling day.

Well I'm off to mail these stories.
No, fridge first,
then to mail these stories.

I imagine Stephen King has a secretary.
One day, one day.......

Teekay 7-25-2001 0:55


I'll say a prayer for you.

Have a successful operation.

I hope to hear about more rain stomping by your and your wife.


Debra 7-25-2001 0:47

Working on another story, I know I should work on the first one first, but this one simply needed to come out, sort of like a bad tooth. The link is below.

Jerry I had a dream! 7-25-2001 0:43

We had a beeeeeauuuutiful thunderstorm earlier this evening! I figured why waste all that coolness, so I put on my bathing suit and cooled off in the rain. Would have gone in my nudeness but the neighbors, dontchaknow. It was most refreshing! Especially the part where my wife came out in her bathing suit and splashed around with me. In the rain. And the donner und blitzen. But that made her a little nervous, so we went in and got dried off. Together. Oboy!
Surgery is tomorrow at 1:30PM. Dunno how long it'll last, but they said to prepare for some degree of discomfort, and possibly overnight for "pain management." Dunno exactly what they expect, but I quit taking pain meds over a week ago 'cause the stuff was making me stupid. I can be that on my own!
Going bonkers trying to find a job. Everyone says "just drop off your resume and we'll look for a match." Right. If I don't find something by the time this shoulder heals enough to use it, I'll look for a job driving a truck/bus/whatever.
Dunno when I'll be back - maybe tomorrow night, maybe not until the weekend.
Keep it warm!

I'll leave you with a chuckle from a friend of mine:

The old man enters the confessional.

Man: I am 92 years old. I have a wonderful wife of 70 years, many
children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Yesterday, I picked
up two college girls, hitchhiking. We went to a motel, where I had
sex with each of them. Several times!.

Priest: Are you sorry for your sins?

Man: What sins?

Priest: To be a good Catholic you must atone!

Man: But I'm Jewish.

Priest: Why are you telling me all this?

Man: I'm telling everybody!

howard 7-25-2001 0:15


I absolutely agree no one is having a cat fight. I said I was in a weird mood.

I just read Heathers felt her passion and then read your post felt your passion and wondered where it might all lead.

Then I realized I could say anything to my honey bun Teekay and went for it.

Debra 7-24-2001 23:51

Sometimes on this Notebook I feel like a character right out of the Canterbury Tales. Here we all are, pilgrams on a journey, a literary one, but sometimes we all hook up here on this sight and trade stories and debate on the intricies of life (I lost my Websters for the time being).


My head is still spinning from your desertation which was brilliant. You are indeed a wise and well-read woman. You are also a deep thinker, which I like, but I am not sure I entirely agree, but what the heck, I don't know all the answers either.

Well, I have given this matter some little thought. I have read through the BIBLE several times. I haven't studied other religions on this issue, so I do not pretend to be able to speak for them. But here goes. Since I am one of those people who believe that the BIBLE entails all of God's revelation to man, I will give it a try.

Man was created with free will from the very beginning. Man was brought into the Garden of Eden where all his needs were provided for him. He had a choice whether or not to obey God's one commandment, "Thou shalt not eat of tree of the knowledge of good and evil." Eve, tempted by the servant did eat and gave to Adam who ate also. Adam and Eve were tossed from the garden of Eden and were forced to live under a curse. Not only did Adam and Eve endure this curse, but the whole creation with them.

So, every human being lives under this curse of sin (and that only means falling short of the glory of God, not stealing, lying, cheating, etc., though those are sinful acts). Also we live in a fallen world that is subject to death, decay, natural disasters, disease, and the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Sin has a price and that price is death, both natural and spiritual death. Sin also cuts us off from God's presence.

Anyway without going too much into the particulars, bad things happen because of the fact we live in a fallen world. Also there are things that occur in the spirit realm which we cannot see. Read the book of Job for a picture on this. Satan came before God's throne and dares God to allow Satan to take from Job his children, his wealth and eventually his health. Satan contended that Job was so righteous because God had been so good to him and that if all these good things were taken away that Job would curse God and be as worthless as any other man. God told Satan to go ahead and try Job, but at the same time God set limits as to what Satan could do. The whole book of Job revolves around Job and his friends trying to figure out why all these bad things had happened to Job, just as we are doing here on the Notebook in behalf of the poor little hypothetical Bobby Jones.

The people in Jesus's day asked these same questions.

Every human being has a death sentence over his head. We all die. Some of us earlier than others. Some of us have horrible lives and some of us have not so horrible lives. But we all have troubles and things that challenge us and our faith. We all feel overpowered and helpless at sometime or another. However, it is not that we die that is the problem--it is that we are eternal and the decisions we make in life determine how and where we spend that eternity. Also we all account to God for how we spent our lives. There is a final judgement.

Some people are stronger than others. There are always poor, disadvantaged people. There are always sick people. There are always criminals and bullies and bad people. Bad people beat up on those weaker. That is the way of life from the very beginning. A good society is one which protects the weak from the strong. We all have devices to use to protect us from being a victim, but for some people that is not good enough. Unfortunately good people do fall victim to bad people. I believe that sometimes God intervenes. I believe that angels intervene, but not always. What happens then is in God's court. ONly he knows why.

Read the BIBLE. Many people in the BIBLE were delievered miracuously from evil. Many were not. Some died martyrs. Paul was delievered from death often, but he still ended up being killed by Nero. Why? Why would God deliver Paul one moment and the next let him be killed? Read the Book of Acts and come up with your own conclusions.

Of course not everyone believes the BIBLE to be completely true and to be God's only revelation. I respect those differences, but that is how I believe. It makes a lot more sense to me because as you read the BIBLE, you don't get a bunch of pat, easy answers. You get pictures and stories, and truths and wisdom come out of them.

All I know is that "All things work for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose." So I chose to love God and to believe that whatever happens it will work out in the end. God will be glorified even in suffering. In the end, God will even the score and answer the questions and put the world to right.

Rhoda 7-24-2001 23:49


DEBRA: But no one is having a cat fight.
Not to say that one might not arise later on if we keep discussing topics that are too sensitive, but as open minded spiritual people HEATHER and I would never cat fight.
Not today anyway, the weather is just too nice and sunny.

Or is someone else cat fighting and I missed it?

Back to the printer I go.

Teekay 7-24-2001 23:42


If we start to get too goofy we should just take it outside and not bother these fine people.

Debra 7-24-2001 23:42


There was a time when I thought that the world could just be held hostage to behave itself by playing that song endlessly until we all stopped fighting.

In fact I still say we should jusssssssssssst givvvvvvvvvve it a tryyyyyyyyyyyyy!

Debra 7-24-2001 23:41


We don't hate men. I mean they are perfect physically to suit our needs. Heh heh! Sorry I'm in a weird mood too.

We love them yes. But if we can't have debates without a cat fight then they have to come rescue us from ourselves. We are smarter than that. We are!

In fact, in my marriage, I think, he reacts. I always get calm when I'm angry. He hates that. He wishes that I would just blow up. Of course there are those rare occasions I do. Then instead of being happy, he high tails it out of my way.

I was just thinking two matrichs of the NB should not ever risk a rift. It would hurt me that's for sure. I always worry when Jerry and Gariess have a little word battle. I liken it to clash of the titans. I'm always glad when they work it out. I guess it's as close to having two husbands and they are arguing. I don't actually know what that feels like. I'm just guessing. Hummmmmm! I think I'll go there soon, in my mind of course. Now there's a plot.

With us, they could blame any number of things. That would just bring in more you know what? We don't need that.

Debra 7-24-2001 23:37


DEBRA: I love you, but aren't you by the very wording of your posts allienating men? Putting up their defenses so that they think woman are stupid and picky and men haters?


Well, I've done enough stirring for now, so it's make to the polishing and printing until somebody says something else I can jump on and have a field day with :-D

Teekay 7-24-2001 23:23


HEATHER: Please totally ignore my last few posts. Everyone is entitled to believe what they choose.
I was just feeling like a bit of a debate, but faith can be a bit of a sensitive issue.
Besides, it sounds like you and I probably think a lot along the same lines, with a few differences here and there. basically I've fashioned my faith to my own measurements, I prefer it to the normal run of the mill stuff :-)

Teekay 7-24-2001 23:20

Hi Teekay:

Miss you.

We women have to stick together. We should word our questions so we don't end up divided.

It would make men too happy for that to happen.

We can't have that.

No offense men.

Debra 7-24-2001 23:12


MARK: Forgot to tell you. It's the first option. Websters is my highest source of refgerence. When that fails, I just make stuff up. :-D

Teekay 7-24-2001 23:06


HEATHER: So would I be correct in assuming that those little Ethiopian children made a conscious choice to be starving and orphaned or was it their subconscious choice that they come back to the earthly plane because they had not learned to eat all their greens in a past life, nor respect their mothers and fathers?

Teekay 7-24-2001 23:05


Hey all!

Gariess, my good friend...several weeks ago I posted a note and said that I live to pull other folk's tail. It is an off shoot, I suppose, of the much aligned, self-imposed, verbal philosophy of "Stengelese." The utterly ridiculous, double-talk, mis-placed syntax, word confusing, twisted fact and outlandish butchering of modern English. As practiced to par excellence by Yankee baseball legend Casey Stengel. Gariess it gives me no small amount of fun to tweak the innocent, naive mind. To pull the tail of passé pompous overblown egos, over educated wimps, crippled where crutches can't help individuals. And Gariess this does not refer to you! You know the personality I'm talking about, we all meet them in life. I'm sure you've had the joy of meeting just such an individual. Those egos are fair game and the season is always open! :-))))))) Go get ‘em!

I like to fish among readers minds, post word thoughts... within sentences, hidden among phrases, buried under literary debris that invites head scratching insight, word reflection and the side-splitting, knee slapping reaction......"What the hell is Randall talking about....".


And along that pathway of mischief, a lot of my posts are firmly, and I can't believe you missed it, firmly, tongue in cheek, especially involving such a classic as Conrad's, The Heart of Darkness :-)

BTW friends. And no I'm not drunk, or taking drugs but I contacted the Find Chandra Levy web-site last week, ready for this?????? and told them I might have seen Chandra in Texas. No BS. It was in June and someone who looked a lot like her was in my town, driving an old Ford Bronco with New Jersey plates. Honest. I exchanged plesantries with the woman, whoever she was, and we parted. Anyway I wrote a complete report of the encounter and mailed it to the site.

Quo Vadis, Chandra?


randall 7-24-2001 22:49


The fact that I think we are all connected and some how related, makes me crazy when I hear about humans suffering. I wonder, is this person someone who was close to me some where along the line. It's enough to make me go back to the institution with you.

Maybe writer interupted wouldn't be so bad.

I am the person in the family who calls everyone when it snows to make sure they are home. I have to worry about everyone when it is a weekday and the snow is on the ground, I worry about too much.

I'm called the worry wart to my face. I don't like it either. I want to worry less, but then it would seem like I care less if I did that. There is no happy medium. They say suffering makes for a great artist. We all admit we have had our share of suffering. I guess the question is should we embrace the suffering and put that in the vase and make flowers grow that look like bestsellers?

How can I shorten that to sound like to be or not to be?

Debra 7-24-2001 22:46

Any other analogies?

The vase is similar to 'vessel', which has Biblical references....

Shall I NOT go on? Heh heh

Heather 7-24-2001 22:37


I got no such idea. In fact, I tried to keep saying that I don't have any bad idea about your opinion.

Okay? Be nice. We like each other and I want to keep it that way.

I would never say such a thing. No I don't think you thought that they brought it on or had it coming. You said that everyone can defend themselves. I just feel that somone has to be stronger in the end. I feel that lots of times it's not the victim.

Debra 7-24-2001 22:36

Sorry - we could decide we don't like THE vase....

not 'to vase'.

A new and interesting verb!

Heather 7-24-2001 22:25

Well, this is what I think:

Spirituality HAS to revolve around the individual in some way. We embody the God essense - though so often and so many of us choose to deny it, or deform it. We are each responsible for our own soul (if you will), and in a physical sense, our bodies. Take this analogy for instance: Hey, break the vase and the water and flowers rush out. Decorate the vase and it will stick out more than the other vases. Pick wild flowers to go in the vase rather than daisies, well, that's choice. So is not putting any flowers in it. We could choose boiling water for the vase. We could decide we want to chip off bits of the vase. We could decide we don't want to vase, or like the vase, it's passe, outmoded, too small or too big, to round, to tall, etc. Whatever happens to the vase, however, is merely temporary. The BIGGER PICTURE IS THIS: The water will never cease to be water. It may drain away, get polluted, it may evaporate, it may boil over, but it never ceases to exist. It's fundamentally water, no matter what we do with it. And, though the vase may be broken, banished to the far reaches of the planet or further, and the flowers may be looking simply sour; we still are that vase, we still have the option of beauty in our lives, and the water that sustains us can still be purified.
So little Billy's vase was smashed, and his water drained out and evaporated. That was his choice in life. Hey, he picked the vase. He picked the shelf, or the window, or whatever the location for his vase to spend a lot of its time. He picked the company with which his vase cohabitated. He picked his flowers. Ok, he may have put soil in the vase and planted seeds instead, and watered it. Whatever. The point is, when the vase smashes, goes out of style, has had its day; it's not needed any more. The water has other places to be. The flowers - there's always someone else's vase to decorate. The particulars don't matter as much as the actuality. I'm sure Billy learned all he needed to know before the vase went bottoms up.

Another angle - I personally believe that we can choose to take up another vase if we want to, so really, it's not so bad when you realize that the water can hop into another vase down the road. Tragedy looks a lot less tragic. That doesn't mean we don't miss the vases we can't be with for a while. A rather windy analogy, but a valid one.

Now, this is not a belief for the sake of peace of mind.
I haven't simply taken the best of religious beliefs and 'tweaked' them for my own benefit.

Read any Richard Bach book - especially 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull', 'Illusions; Adventures of A Reluctant Messiah', and 'One'. "Bridge Across Forever' is also good.
BUT more importantly, I see the same belief everywhere, even in the Bible. From the understandings I've worked on for years, and from hundreds of different sources, plus my own dreams, meditations, and time spent searching, (on top of a really strong intuition about these things) I have come to see the pattern among all religions. I don't think religion will ever nail it - it's up to the individual to find it on their own, as is everything in life.

Got to haul this vase out of this chair and give it a wash.
Oh, and I should fertilize these dandelions! Ha ha ah hahahahahahah

Debra: By the way, I don't know where you got the impression that I think female victims 'ask for it', or bring it on themselves.
BUT Well, yes, it's entirely possible that we might want to break our own vase. Suicide isn't always just the obvious hanging or bridge jumping. We can wish to die and end up in situations such as rape and murder. We simply DON'T KNOW what goes on in another's mind and soul. NOt that I'm condoning rape and murder. FAR FROM IT. We just can't know what another person needs, wants, anything. Unless they tell us - that's if they know.
And no, people are not defenseless UNLESS THEY CHOOSE TO BE. By the time this person was gagged and bound, they had already chosen to be in the circumstances that 'dictated' the events. I apologize if this pushes buttons, but on the level I'm speaking of, we DO CHOOSE TO LIVE OR DIE. We also choose every circumstance we put ourselves into - whether we believe the situation to be beyond our control or not. The reason? Experience. Vases, no matter what they hold or where they are, learn best by experience. Well, shit, it hurt to get broken, and I miss the other vases I was with. Next time I won't do that.... etc...

I don't think 'the Big Guy' just sits there all day making sure we humans here on earth don't run into each other, or DO, for that matter - and the reason that God doesn't do this? We'd then be puppets on strings. We have Free Will.
Therefore, these strange patterns, intricate that they are, are our own making - and therefore, we can choose not to make them so complex. Or make them even moreso. Whatever. It's our choice. If we have FREE WILL (and we do) then it's also our choice when where and with whom we are born and die. It makes perfect sense.

Now I don't consign to much of organized religion, mostly because I think they either take life way too seriously, or they take things way to personally, OR they take things and slant them according to the 'custom' of their particular churches (wonder if this is the origin of LEAN-TO, and 'LEANINGS' - meaning 'your particular lean on the topic'.)
Anyhow, I have tangented things. Where was I?
Oh, yeah. Religion hasn't everything to do with what I consider to be the basic simple truth (sometimes underneath the church's teachings, sometimes it's so warped I'm not sure)



I already stated what that was.

The truth is so simple that it is regularly scoffed at and overlooked.

So there you have MY SLANT. I hope it's not very slanted at all - that's my aim. To dig and sift and learn and understand, and really SEE the truth. Not impressions of truth.

Now that you are all wondering when I last escaped the institution,

I take my leave!

Heather 7-24-2001 22:24


I agree with you, but if it were any member of my family, I would think bother whoever you like, just bring my loved one back.

So it's one of those times when the needs of the few out weigh the needs of the many.

Remember Star Trek? Of course you do.

Any way, we are all at risk to go missing. Some lady my age from my town, not the one I live in now, is missing. It just happened yesterday. She was walking down a street I have been on many times.

I myself, was stopped by a person in a blue volkswagon bug back in 1970. He wanted to give me a ride. I swear it was Ted Bundy. They ran his plate it was from Conneticut at that time and I remember the name. Not only that I can remember his face like I just saw it. The first time I saw Bundy on TV, I got a chill. My conconsious mind tells me no you remember wrong. I'm sticking with that. At any rate, he did want something awful. At that time I did have long brown hair too. Wasn't that the girls who fit the pattern? I remember mostly his neck, it had a big adams apple. Scary!!!

No one is out of reach. Maybe we should treat them all the same and just have a whole channel devoted to this.

This is any parents worst nightmare, and any family members too. It's just wrong to steal family members. What ever happend to the old fashion burgulers who waited until you weren't home? Imagine that's when we had it good? Now people just break in while you're home,and rough you up and rape your, well you know.

I'm just plain disgusted by some humans nature!

Debra 7-24-2001 22:17

~* Mark *~

GS -- "Imperial" evidence? "Empiric" !

On the matter of spelling: I'll have to go to the archives to find the zing I sent TEEKAY, but I'll guess she used "According to Webster . . . " to lead off an item.

A standard and time-honored tactic in writing is the Appeal to Authority. The Merriam Webster Dictionary is an authority in its field, but not one worthy of first place in an intellectual endeavor. When a writer begins a piece with "According to Webster . . .," two signals immediately go out:
  1. This is my highest authority, and
  2. I don't really know how to quote from the book I just scanned.
On the first point, the opening of any piece of writing should lead into YOUR work, not someone else's. The real logic of Appealing to an authority is to bring their weight to bear on your topic. It never fails that essays begun with "According to Webster . . ." go on to add more to the definition. Yuh, OK, you understand a word better than the editors of the dictionary. Right.

On the second point, The word Webster is now a generic word which can be applied to any collection of alphabetically arranged words in a reference book. How do I know you didn't use Sloppy Smith's Butt-thumb Webster? {Maybe in this one you DO understand a word better than the editors. Congratulations.}

I have no issues with bringing in the dictionary on points of rebuttal, reply, or minor reference.

I have to shut off this PC and move to the other one. More later.

Mark 7-24-2001 22:06

Oh I guess the Levey case is a bit interesting, but come on, this is getting totally out of hand. Just to check, I turned off the Stereo a few minutes ago, and sure as hell, there they were a group of talking heads sitting in their chairs discussing "the latest development in the Chaundrea Levey case"

On a side note, the name Chaundrea where did that come from? I once knew a little girl named Chanda, and I swear to God this is the truth, her last name was Lear. Now there is an example of parents with WAY to much time on their hands, to name a poor kid chandalear, my daughter went to school with her, and told me the poor kid was teased horribly. Kind of like Johnny Cash's song The Boy Named Sue.

Jerry 7-24-2001 21:40

**Teekay** just one more time (if'n yer lucky)

I have to rectify that I'm not really amazed at all that humans tend to think that the universe, physical and spiritual revolves around them.
I would be more amazed if it didn't.
It's this self importance that makes us human.
It's what makes us greedy.
It's what makes us selfish.
It's what makes us weak.
It's what makes us destructive
it's what makes us feel better about all the horrible things we do.

Teekay 7-24-2001 20:45


HEATHER: Where is my brain????

When I wrote about the girl that had 'all this done to her'. All this included being overpowered, bound, gagged and raped.
I was a bit to generous with the cut option, and cut a little more than I'd intended.

Teekay 7-24-2001 20:37


HEATHER: Okay, now you've got me thinking about accidents and how everything that happens is for a purpose.
Okay, let's say it is.
Let's say little Bobby Jones gets run down in the street and is killed.
Now maybe, if we are able to see the big picture, we see the reason that 'the powers that be' saw it fit to kill off little Bobby Jones was that if the driver of the car hadn't hit him and wasn't detained at the site, he would have gotten home in time to watch 'The Weakest Link' which is his favourite show and which 'the powers that be' are making him miss as punishment for not ringing his mother for her birthday the day before.

Who knows? It amazes me that humans feel they are so important that all things happen to them for a divine reason.
Maybe they do.
But maybe it's a really shitty reason.

Teekay 7-24-2001 20:34


Just so there is no mistake, my remarks on the definition of treachery were in response to Teekay's post of 7/23/01, 20:58.

All the same, I don't disagree with anything you say about the evolution of the language. I only disagree that added meaning pre-empts the primary definition of a word. At least not at a point in time when that primary definition is still the one reported in present day dictionaries.

Somehow, I seem to have missed your humorous post. I will try to find it. This board moves awfully fast these days.


gariess 7-24-2001 20:21

stanger than fiction? Stanger??

Teekay 7-24-2001 20:20

Yo Dudes and Dudettes

GARIESS: And that is exactly what I said to MARK when he bagged me for the dictionary quoting.

VIV: Cripes! And you wanted me to write a fictional piece on duelling toilet seats?
This is one occassion at least when truth is stanger than fiction.
You'd think there'd be more important things to do wouldn't you? Like perfecting the bomb or something :-D

HEATHER: Hi Girly, I was wondering where you got to.
Okay, now about the defensless woman thing.
When you wrote what you did it brought to my mind in particular one girl who had all this done to her, along with torture followed by murder. She was defenseless long before she was dead.
Even the strongest, wether it be man or woman can been rendered defenceless. Sometimes it's just a matter of luck.

Well today is the day I devote to polishing up my shorties I'm sending out to those names I got from the writers magazine.
I haven't got much info on what they're really looking for, so I'm just going to post and hope. I haven't even heard of any of these magazines.
The hardest thing about sending stories out is all the fiddly bits you have to do to get them ready, and of course, once it's been printed out you notice that on page two you've got one sentenced twice typed and then you have to go and realign everything again.

Teekay 7-24-2001 20:19

Debra: No woman is totally defenseless. It's up to each person to defend themselves - be it with mental equipment or otherwise. Sometimes the bad guys or gals win. There's no question. But I don't see any single living (adult)person as being defenseless.
Some defenses start with things like your book, for instance. Teaching young girls about certain cons boys may have to get them into bed. That's part of the first line of defense - EDUCATION (like SKIN is our first line of defense against bacteria and viruses) Education may involve a form of self-defense course, such as the wonderful karate, jiu jitsu, etc.
Also part of this first line of defense is AWARENESS:

DON'T GET INTO A CAR WITH SOMEONE OFFERING CANDY *weak attempt at a really bad joke, combining several topics from today*

I should also tell you that I don't believe in 'accidents'.
And yes, I've lost loved ones, and I still don't believe in accidental anything. Not fate necessarily, but purpose. There is a grander purpose we may not be aware of in life's patterning; should we measure it by the larger picture, perhaps we might see the intricacy not available through close dissection of a small portion of this busy cloth we weave.

Must dash!
More later

Heather 7-24-2001 20:14


I must admit that I have considerable interest in what happened to Chandra Levy. My interest is fueled for the most part because of the questions involving the congressman. I also agree that the press, as usual, over-exploits the story. I get sick of them saying they have new information when they, in fact, have no new information whatever. They are just dodging and feinting to keep the story in our faces.

Rhoda is correct when she says that wealthier and more powerful people are in better positions to intimidate and defy police investigations than we ordinary chumps. It isn’t supposed to be that way, but only a fool believes that it isn’t

The Ramsey’s defied police and diverted the investigation of the murder of their child, because they were confident that they could get away with it. They put the police on the defensive from the outset, making them fight for every crumb of co-operation. When the police said don’t leave town, they were savvy enough to know that they didn’t have to comply.

It is mostly the underpriveleged who are unaware that they don’t have to help the police put them in jail. The congressman has acted arrogantly and defiantly. Give me a break, a lie detector test administered by his lawyer? Who has that kind of sand?

I don’t necessarily believe the congressman has any complicity in the woman’s disappearance, but there are certain matters that need explaining, such as the inexplicable trip that his wife made to Washington—something she rarely ever does—the day the woman disappeared. The guy is behaving in the tried and true fashion of the guilty. Denying facts until the end, and only admitting to them when there is no longer the possibilty of denial. At least he spared us any surreal definition of what actually constitutes a sexual relationship. I love the way these guys always want to dance out of the light.



gariess 7-24-2001 19:53

Gariess: That wasn’t Teekay doing the spoof on Treachery. It was I. Following the style of Kingsley Amis, I decided to do a humorous piece. Sorry if I offended you by tweaking the word to produce a comic rather than serious theme. Actually, in my opinion the language that is not constantly evolving is dead, so by boundary stretching beyond Webster we are doing the English language a favor. I’m well aware of the meaning, however I think that most words can be stretched to cover alternative themes and still work. I’ve seen a lot of treacherous canyons in my Western reading days!

Portentousness. Mary, that’s my suggestion for this week’s theme. Hope someone can manage something comic. Must be the heat. Otherwise go with your theme. You always choose something fun.

Jack: Thanks, and don’t worry about racing to meet deadlines. This is summertime. People are supposed to have LESS in the way of deadlines. How I wish that were true.

Viv 7-24-2001 19:53


I knew you cared. You are a good guy as you have proved over and over again here. And I agree with you about the news coverage. Well, I don't have television and I haven't heard much about the case on my local radio station, and whenever I am listening to Rush, he isn't even talking about it. Do what I do. Cut the cable, or somehow wean yourself away from cable and network news. I know if I had access to it, I'd be watching it a lot more than you do, and being the emotional person that I am I would go around upset all the time.

The news media is a strange thing. There are important events that happen everyday that you never hear about, and yet when they get on something like this Condit and Chondra Levy thing, they drive it into the ground.

I do think, though, that cases such as this one show us some interesting things about our society. I do not know whether the O.J. case and the Ramsey case and this one are the norm, but there is a disturbing tendency for rich and powerful people to minipulate the law-enforcement and the legal system to their own ends. The Ramseys called the shots at the beginning of the investigation of their daughter's murder and were treated with kid gloves as they protected themselves. There is no doubt in my mind that couple know who murdered their daughter, and it makes me incensed that they write a book telling how they have been victimized by the media. O.J. gets off scot-free by playing the race card. Funny, no one ever tried to find the person who murdered his wife, because anyone with a brain (including the jury) knew there was no other viable suspect than O.J.

The most troubling thing about the Levy/Condit thing is that Condit could not admit that he had an affair with Levy. Not only that, he lied about it. Many other people would have done the same thing, but other people are not U.S. congressmen. This man hires professional spin control people to help himself out, and soon we hear all these stories about what a slut Ms. Levy is. If anyone here on this Notebook had the same level of involvement on this case as Mr. Condit did, they would have been handled a lot more roughly than Mr. Condit. O. J. Simpson was allowed to return home after his wife was brutally murdered, while a Vietnamese immigrant in his same town in the same situation was jailed immediately. The Ramseys were allowed to decline being questioned and were also allowed to go in and destroy a crime scene. Would that have happened if they had been truck drivers or ditch diggers?

Worst of all, an army of Democratic politicians and operatives are circling the wagon in defense of Mr. Condit. No doubt there are some Republicans trying to advance their own political agenda at Mr. Condit's expense. Politics should have nothing to do with this situation.

I know that I am naive, but I still believe in justice and I believe that the strength, intent and the beauty of our law is that it seeks to provide justice for everyone despite their station in life, their age, sex, past indiscretions, and their political opinions.

Rhoda 7-24-2001 19:38


YES! It makes perfect sense.


I'm wiped.

Debra 7-24-2001 17:46

Well Ok, I guess I do give a rats ass, but what I am saying is I don't think I need to hear about it all day, every day. I don't think I need to be aprised of every move either the police or the congressman make. I don't think it will help the case to have it wide open in the public eye. I don't think all of America want's to see every step that each and every member of her family, what each and every member of the congressman's constitutiants say, what each and every talking head on the television thinks will happen next, what each and evey lawyer in the United States thinks should be done next. What I am saying is that the press is making way to big a thing about this one case. As has been said, there are thousands of women that go missing each day, and I don't see where this case is all that different. I know there is a congressman involved, but I don't think he is anyone special. I have watched as the talking heads on television have taken us step by step through so many of these cases that I am sick of it. Enough allready, we Don't need to watch each step, we don't need to know when the congressman last had a bowel movement, and what color it was, and how much it weighed. There MUST be other things happening in this world that are more important than that one case. I would be totaly satisfied if there were only one story per week updating the stupid case, not minute by munite updates on CNN, followed by ten minutes each night on the nightly news, followed by comentary by some idiot in the local TV station on what the other talking heads said about the stupid case today. Then pick up even a local newspaper and read a comentary by the editor of that paper on what Congress should do to prevent the mistreatment of interns. ENOUGH allready. Arn't there still other crimes happening, can't the talking heads find another case to tear apart. This is turning into a bigger case then the Clinton Impeachemnt, it is bigger then the second by second coverage of the OJ case, bigger then the assignation of President Kennedy. It is being blown way out of proportion, and I am sick of hearing about it. But no, should I turn off the sterio and turn on the television, I bet it woundn't be five minutes befor someone on CNN told me the latest from the DC Chief of Police, or maybe a commentary by the DA about the case. And this without even a trace of ANY crime being committed.

Does that make any sense?

Jerry 7-24-2001 17:44


First of all, I agree about the shaving. I'd love you to do it too. So would Peprika and Max.

I know you didn't mean that every women who had been killed by a man or men did something to cause that? Right? I have never been raped or anything horrible like that, but I don't think that women that have, caused it or maybe were slackers either. I know that isn't what you meant. Not only that some of these men kill children too. Children are defenseless. Yes, women are weaker physicallly then men. My husband is a good man, but if he weren't and he were chasing me to catch me and do me harm, he would have me in seconds. His legs are long, long and strong. I could never get away. His arms are longer and stronger than mine. Just playing with him in a wrestling manner, I know if he were a nut under the scalp, he would harm me even if I fought.

I do believe if I found myself in this situation, I would fight until I had nothing left, but what if by the time I ran out of energy my attacker was still rearing to go?

I don't carry weapons with me. I would like to have pepper spray, but I'm afraid to have it in the house or my purse right now. My girls are into everything and they go fast.

Just for the record, my husband cannot beat me in a good game of mental tennis. That is the foundation of our relationship, is our mental back and forth stuff that keeps us fresh. He knows what he knows and so do I. Like any good couple we compliment each other mentally.

But we are a couple, we are not attacker and victim. That is a different animal all together. The one that ends up dead in that situation, isn't necessarily not trying.

Debra 7-24-2001 16:10


I care very much about Chandra Levy. Young women and children disappear all too much in this society leaving behind the broken hearts and broken lives of all who loved them. That is not trivial, no matter who it happens to!

This case concerns me the same way the Jon Benet Ramsey case does. What do these two cases have in common? Someone powerful and rich was able to interfere in the investigation at the beginning and get in the way of law enforcement by either lying or by tampering with the evidence. I would think you as a former police officer would appreciate the importance of that. I hope Conduit's constituents and co-workers hold him responsible and accountable for his lying and his distorting of this woman's character. Perhaps he is just covering his precious political ass, but he sure acts as if he is guilty and has something to hide. I think such behavior is worthy of public scrutiny expecially since a high-leveled political person is involved.

As for Jon Benet? I pray every day the truth comes out about her death. Nothing will ever bring that child back, but there would be some satisfaction and benefit for the society as a whole to find the murderer.

Why is there this bias that when a young woman has an affair with an older and married man, that this woman no longer has the right to fair justice? Her reputation suffers and is dragged through the mud, while certain men and women, regardless of political affiliation, take sympathy on that poor middle-aged man who was tempted beyond reason. So it is perfectly alright for said man to lie, to purjure himself, and in the case of Conduit, to avoid doing his part in bringing justice to a missing and possible murdered woman.

Somehow a woman with less than perfect sexual morality deserves anything that happens to her. Such a man is pitied and defended. The sexual double standards are alive and well!

Rhoda 7-24-2001 16:00

All dogs should be shaved in summer!
I'd do it for you, but my clippers and your dogs are quite a number of miles apart.

Heather 7-24-2001 15:53

I've never met a defenseless woman before; what did she look like? Did she have no fists, no brain, no legs, or feet? Was she mute? Or was she already dead? Now that, I could say, is a defenseless person. Dead.

Now I'm not talking about people who agree to be in the situation they're in, however subconscious that agreement is. I'm talking about someone who has chosen not to want to be present, wherever it is that they're happening to be present, and not say pug about it. A person can be gagged and bound and still fight back. I know I would. That's what pocket knife gizmos are for, and mace, and pepper spray, and teeth. And '911' eyes.

Heather 7-24-2001 15:52


The weather has been getting us all down.

After reading most of your posts for a year next month, I can honsetly say I think you do give a rat's ass about the possible death of a defensless women.

I think you don't give a rat's ass if Congressman Condit loses his reputation.

It's mighty hot here too.

My dogs have been lying so flat they look like rugs.

Debra 7-24-2001 14:17

Viv: Not worry. Keep posting.

Everyone: I keep having responsibilies get in my way. I really really am trying to get the Workbook back up. But life keeps getting in the way. Many apologies. Talk with you soon when I have more to report and perhaps an invite to beta test when I have something up.

Jack Beslanwitch 7-24-2001 13:27


I don't have the sand to go anywhere near that one.


gariess 7-24-2001 13:05

Is it jut me, am I the only one in this whole United States who doesn't give a rat's ass what happened to Chundra Levey? And me a good Republican, I should be ringing my hands in anticipation of one of those Democrats bitting the dust for what he was doing behind the scenes. The press are having Chandura-gasems over this. [sorry for the spelling, it's been one of those days]

Jerry 7-24-2001 12:57


No doubt you refer to Brando in his role of the renegade officer in APOCALYPSE NOW, which was based on HEART OF DARKNESS. Brando’s line might have been, "The horror, the horror, etc.


Be careful with the candy, half of those guys are most likely diabetic (nyuk nyuk.)


I am hoping for the best for your wife.

Actually, I didn’t comment on the cold. Perhaps it was someone else. Although, if I had been asked, I would agree that 10 below is damn cold. I wouldn’t be influenced by the fact that colder is possible, I suppose even frozener is possible, however ungrammatical; only deader is not possible. BTW, I had no idea that mustangs could be so brittle.

What is curious to me is that the chill factor gets to minus 100, and it is Johnny Carson who makes the day famous. Was Carson responsible for the cold temperature? I know he practiced magic, but I would expect such a feat as that to be far more notorious than it seems to be.


When you say no one wants charity, I would like to report that there is a population segment in the U.S. that gleefully gobbles up all the charity they can sink their teeth into. It is a way of life for these people who are in some cases fourth and fifth generation free-loaders. They have been maintained all their lives by the society at large and entertain no misgivings about their "right" to do so. When you are born to it, it’s easy. You learn all the ins and outs of the system. They learn how to get welfare, how to get food stamps, how to get fuel assistance, and countless other scams, but most importantly, and at all costs to self respect and dignity about which they know next to nothing, how to avoid work.

Enough for now, I am the weakest link, Goodbye.


gariess 7-24-2001 12:50


Hi everyone! Sorry, I've been lax. At everything. With editing, with reading, writing, and email!
So slap my palms, I've been hiding out, having a break.
Got new windows installed in the front of the house - they were the only ones we didn't get replaced two years ago. They seemed quite fine, not needing replacement. Sound, solid, BUT un-opening. Why make windows - with storms on them I might add - that don't open? Well, this house was custom built in the 1950's. That was the way picture windows were built in these parts at that time. Storm windows that fit overtop of single paned windows.

Well, once these windows were replaced - with glory of glories! Opening, vented, beautiful vinyl-clads! - the next job is to fill in the nail holes with putty and sand, then paint the new wood trim. BUMMER. 'Least I don't have to do anything to the coping & framing installed on the outside. I'm hopeless with caulking!

Viv - if someone will get to picking butts up from public ashtrays (ie: the ground or the sand pits) then they'll get cigarettes from anywhere, anyhow. I guess that's the sign of the bonafide smoker? Smoke 'em even if they're mouldy and trodden on. I understand where you're coming from, and why you'd offer cigarettes before candy. Who wants to take candy... it could be poisoned, and we'd never know (GAK! Hack! ERRRGH! *drops, dead as a frying pan, but much more quietly* )
NOW, before I get flack, I KNOW that cigarettes are poisonous. Carbon monoxide and the fifty other fabulous treacheries stuffed into one sucker. BUT it's poison WE KNOW IS THERE. And it's a poison that a smoker has willingly agreed to be chained up with.
Besides, when was the last time a stranger offered you, 'a piece of candy?'
I'd run if someone did! But a cigarette - I'd not change seats to get away from someone who offered. Simple.

We've been taught by years of harping teachers and the health board and parents that we should never take candy from strangers, and if we did not to eat it until someone rattled the package and checked for pin holes. The anti-smoking campaign didn't come by as often as Hallowe'en did.

Mary - so kind! I'll see about sending a few scans your way this week. I've been putting everything off. I've been distant from the notebook recently and haven't been able to concentrate on much more than watching my kids battle it out tooth, fingernail and kneecap; and refilling the juice containers. They have invented a 'new' game: 'Beat the snot out of each other using the nearest available instrument'. I liken it to 'Muscle Tag'. I've caught them sparring with my bamboo gardening stakes, both rakes, the kiddie shovels/hoes, and found them slinging lassoos with skipping rope and hose. Yesterday they decided that if I was going to remove every toy on earth they'd resort to towel-whipping and finger gouging. Next it will be bathing suit snapping, since other than that and the pool, my yard will be barren.

Other than that I've been grappling with a few other issues.

We've been dividing up my granparent's estate lately, and it's been strange and difficult. My grandfather is still alive, but has moved into a retirement 'villa' in his own apartment, and his house has sold. The last of his things are to be moved out by the end of July.
I asked for his ink blotter (my Gimpa was a writer, and used to use ink pens before he had a typewriter) and this blotter is circa 1921 (stamped right onto it), the top plate and handle being pure silver. The blotter functions the same way a sandpaper block does: it holds the blotting paper (or sandpaper) securely in a device which then forms somewhat of a square top and handle. When my aunt sent the list of household items to be chosen from, as soon as I saw 'ink blotter' I asked for that - hoping that it was what I thought it had to be. I don't know if blotting paper is still available, but if it is, I'd like to give it a try. Probably my best bet is the art store - where, coincidentally, I buy my ink and calligraphy nibs.

I also claimed an antique dresser (beautiful mahogany) and the stool for the old piano. I didn't want to piano - it's in need of serious cash to repair. The stool, however, has always been a favoured spot to sit. It has a turnable top, which rotates up or down (yahoooo! FUN) and the four feet of the stool are all claw feet with glass orbs in the claws. I have loved that paino stool for years, and used to spin on it in lieu of a 'sit 'n' spin' at Grandma and Gimpa's house. Another good item I was able to nab before my cousins or aunts did is an old treasure trunk. I've got two kids, after all! It's now our costume trunk (Tickle Trunk) extraordinaire, after years of storing sweaters it's finally come into its own. Grandma would be proud.

That's all for now, but
perhaps I shall regale you all with my muse-filled week coming up. It's finally going to be coolish weather and I won't feel like a puddle. Yesterday the humidex was 41 degrees. CELCIUS! ICK.

COLD? I saw Jerry's recount of a broken moustache. YUP! Grew up in weather like that. Used to travel back and forth to school in -40 degree weather - when it's way too cold to even snow. Wish my air conditioner had a setting like that!

Ta ta!

Heather 7-24-2001 12:45


I don't know what Mark said about people who quote dictionaries, but some folks might resort to discrediting people out of hand who would prove they have the wrong idea about what a word means. "Oh, well, if you have to use the dictionary to make your point, then forget about it."

I concede, as well, that meaning is often added to a word over time, Consider how people use the word, "impertinent." In the dictionary impertinent is defined as "not pertinent, not pertaining to the matter at hand." Over time it became to mean rude or flippant and this became a second meaning, possibly, because in the Victorian era a rude or sarcastic remark was characterized as being beside the point. A secondary meaning does not pre-empt a primary one. Treachery still means trickery, primarily, even though it is commonly associated with a betrayal of trust of a considerable magnitude, and impertinent still means not pertinent in the appropriate context as well as "smart-mouthed" or "fresh bastard" in their contexts.

We have only learned the meanings of the tiniest percentage of our vocabularies from direct reference to the dictionary. In the overwhelming number of cases, we only assume we know the definition of a particular word. We are more or less sure in these instances on the basis of our experience, and in the contexts in which we have known the words to be used. So we use words for the most part having little or no imperial evidence as to their definitions. When a particular definition comes into question, as it did between you and me in the case of "treachery," the dictionary is the source, the authority, the ultimate resource for putting the question to rest. I am probably proved wrong as often as right in these instances, but I intend to continue using the dictionary to settle such questions, and I hope I will continue to report my findings, right or wrong, to those who question me.

On other matters, yes, you are still very cute, even though sometimes a tad impertinent, but I suppose that is all part and parcel of your special brand of charm (you know I love it.)


gariess 7-24-2001 11:38

Award winning literary website is accepting submissions of all kinds. We're also sponsoring a short-short-short story contest. Our current articles concern publishing, poetry, selling your writing over the internet, quitting your job to write, and two book reviews. For details go to our site.

Darkbloom 7-24-2001 11:30


Hi guys.

First thing I want to say is, "Sorry I haven't been carrying my weight in the Shorties Arena." I have been so unbelievably busy that I feel I am being shredded. You all, however, have been contributing some really great stuff and I just wanted to let you know that I AM paying attention. ;-)

Just acquired my own domain on this great thing we call the internet. I am up to my hips in html, wading around in search of my niche. I have to say, this is a lot more expensive than I had anticipated. I did expect the time input, but I am draining my savings rapidly just getting to be up-and-running. One good thing: My savings was piddly to begin with so I am not out much. Hehe.

Starting an online business myself and trying to get my inventory ahead of me at the same time when I am the only producer is like making babies and giving birth at the same time. I don't know whether I am coming or going. Go ahead GS, I triple-dog-dare ya.

HEATHER: How are you girlie? Feel free to send me those pictures so I can post your album for you. Now THAT is a piece of code I will enjoy. :-) Thank goodness for html generators that are all-browser friendly.

I have a recommended reading page on my site and have included a link to "Shadows" for all you contributors to that great project. I haven't ordered my copy YET, but I can show support in this way at least until I do.

TINA: Thanks for the cute stuff you send to my email. You make me smile.

TEEKAY: You are so cute.

HOWARD: How are you? I am so glad to see you posting again. (High-fives on quitting smoking back then, it's a good thing.)

JERRY: I write from my dreams all the time. As a matter of fact, the only time I feel like I have written something really tight is when it comes from a dream. My last **P** contribution stemmed from a dream.

GS: I haven't read your story here yet, but I have copy/pasted the parts into a notepad file to print and read soon.

Ok, SHORTIE NIGHT THEME: Ummmmm...Ok, I have an idea for one,BUT VIV: If you would like to pick this week's SHORTIE THEME and can have it posted here by tonight that would be great. If not, I will post the one I have. Good luck.

Of to the races. Take care.

Mary 7-24-2001 10:20


VIV: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA!!!! :-) Tee heee heeee---oh, still those electric toilets really exist? Ohh, what an adventure!!! :-)

RANDALL: Heh Heh Heh!!! Ohh, you poor hot Texan! We're almost as hot in New York State. 90's is too hot for me!! Good luck with your submission!!! (*fingers crossed for you*) :-)

HOWARD: Need a Hiero fix - uh, are you telling me he's gonna get killed off? I won't be mad at you, I'll be mad at Sterling Lanier!!!

JERRY: Um, I'll take the thunderstorms anytime...Last evening we had...METEORS!!!! A sonic boom that shook our house!!! HOWARD!!! MARK!!! Did you guys hear it???!!!
Spooky - I was awake half the night listening for more - thought I heard a couple whistles in the air but in my neighborhood it could have been firecrackers...?!?!

Meteor showers....Um, if THAT doesn't shake everyone's muses off Viv's electric toilet seat, nothing will!! Whatever you do, WRITE YOUR STORIES NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mebbe tomorrow there will be a bigger, Have a nice day, EVERYONE! :-)

Mel 7-24-2001 9:52

Teekay: This one is for you. Here’s what you said to set me off: **Teekay**

But treachery is when you trust in something and that trust is abused. There was no reason to put your trust in those guys in the boat.
And now don't go tellin' me the sea was treacherous, acause folk what puts their faith in the sea is jes' one darn fool.

Well, Teekay, can you trust your average toilet seat? Read on.

The Treacherous Japanese Toilet Seat
By VJ Masters
If you have never seen a Japanese electric toilet seat, I suggest you check one out. They are the ultimate weapons. They have 100000 buttons, and it looks like if you push the wrong one you might accidentally go on a trip to the moon. You won't though, what WILL happen is the following:

You are the token gaijin at an elegant little tea party. You realize you've had all the tea and well meant but impolite questions you can take for the moment. You wander off to the, oh so elegant little guest bathroom. You admire the decor as you do your business.
They certainly spared no expense doing up the joint. Everything smacks of money; even the bathroom slippers are Christian Dior. Look at this high tech toilet seat! Wow, it must have a million gadzillion buttons. Your own barely functional heat-your-bottom type toilet seat comes with two buttons. They are marked on and off, in kanji. This toilet seat has enough buttons to send a rocket to Mars. It looks much more high brow. You study the buttons and wish with a sudden rush of envy that you had such an obviously intellectual toilet seat.

A moment later, you are sitting there finished with your business and feeling dumber than your budget model toilet seat. You can't find the flusher. Worse yet, what you did, you can't just leave to float.

All the buttons are marked with little characters you can't read. In an attempt to "go international" the toilet seat manufacturers have placed cute little drawings that look familiar but nothing like anything you'd want to do on a toilet seat.

You decide to push the buttons randomly hoping you'll hit the right one by accident. You push button one, the toilet makes a sound like a river running but nothing happens with the water. Oh, you've found the button for those in too-much-of- a-hurry- to -pee- quietly button. Rats, that doesn't help. You aren't in a hurry. You are stuck until you manage to get rid of the droppings. Now where is that flush button?

You push the next button; the toilet seat begins to vibrate. "Oh Lord, what will they think
I'm doing in here," you panic. You push the next button in an attempt to get it to stop jiggling and making all that noise.

When you push the third button and that is when all hell breaks loose. A pencil-thick metal tube with a little round head starts rising out of the front of the toilet seat. Your jaw drops. What is this weird little thing?

Slowly it rises up between your knees. The little round head, the one-eyed
appearance combined with the vibrating seat convince you that you want no part of what is going to happen next. You abandon ship and watch from a distance!

You cower over by the sink watching as the strange metal tube with the rounded head comes to a stop. There is a dramatic pause then water begins to squirt out of the tube's little eye. It isn't a lazy little squirt of water. It's a full out, turn up the hoses, jet blast soaker. The water ricochets off the back of the throne and blasts straight onto the bathroom mat.

Now what! You are the only guest to leave a floating turd and a potty squirting water all over the guest bathroom. Wait, don't panic! Just stop that water! Grab the guest towel!

You wrap the guest towel around the little metal protrusion and hold it there. The water soaks the guest towel but at least it's stopped soaking the bathmat. You are also in a good position to push more buttons.

You hit the blue button with the square on it. The little metal protrusion begins to sink back into the front of the toilet. You sigh with relief as it slowly slides out of the guest towel and back into the depths of the still stinking, unflushed toilet.

You hear a grumbling noise and think, "Oh what next!" Slowly a small square appears from under the back of the seat. You stand with guest towel ready. Nothing happens. You open one eye, and peer downward. There reflected back up at you is your own embarrassed face. How silly you look with that sodden guest towel. How silly you feel in your wet feet in the equally wet guest bathroom slippers.

It's then you see it. The flusher. It's right where it should be on any toilet. Any idiot could have found it.

You flush, wring out the bathmat and the guest towel in the sink. You hang both carefully, ditch the wet bathroom slippers and head back to the ‘oh so elegant’ little tea party. You accept another cup of tea, smile politely, and set it to one side. You’ve had enough liquids for one afternoon. You want to get through this cultural occasion without revisiting that treacherous toilet. It could have more tricks in store

Jack: Sorry: I won't post again for a week or two. I had a sort of word binge today.

Viv 7-24-2001 2:08



JERRY: You are welcome, but while you'e feeling out of control (add to that the insurance stuff) You may be having them for a little longer yet.

VIV: Toilets and Teekay? Are you refering to my humour or is it because 'T' comes after 'S' in the 'Websters' dictionary?
And if you gave up smoking so easily well girly, you just weren't a real addict so there!
Bet child birth was painless too right?

Ducking for cover now.

Teekay 7-24-2001 1:04

No problem Howard. Gave them up when I had the flu. Didn't like the feel of being sick. I stopped. That was it. My choice. It wasn't a big deal. The big deal is in the mind. The reason quitting is easy is I have everything. If I had nothing or other addictions it might seem overwhelming. What bothers me is to see someone having to pick a cigarette butt off the ground. I'd probably still use the "gotta light" routine though. It starts the process rolling. Half of giving is not letting folks know you are doing it. No one WANTS charity. The ability to hang in there in life comes from Pride. Suicide is the rock bottom result of a loss of pride. So the sock idea...handle with care ought to be stamped on the side of the idea. I'm not even sure I like it myself, but it sure beats the idea of frozen feet, desu nee? Nuff said on this subject. I'm moving on to toilets and Teekay.

Viv 7-24-2001 0:06

Viv - guess I would agree about the smokes too. I smoked for over thirty years, and while I have a shortness of breath, thus far no cancer. I did manage to quit four years ago, and haven't had a smoke since but it was absolutely the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I was visiting with my dad's last living brother, he quit drinking, then quit smoking. He had been an alcoholic for over thirty years, and smoked about the same, he said quitting drinking was a breeze compared to quitting smoking. I have heard heroin addicts say the same thing about smoking, it is easier to quit heroin then smoking. I figured I had it licked now that I have been smoke free for four years, but a few nights ago, I got this craving for a smoke that was so strong I nearly broke down and bought a pack. I would have hated myself had I given in, and the craving went away. It scared me that it was so strong after so long.

Teekay - thanks for the dream interpretation, I think you may have a point there, hope that knowledge stops them.

It was a very long day so I'm off to bed, have to accompany my mom to the bank in the morning, seems her insurance company dropped her insurance because she has had too many claims. Now all the claims I am aware of were for acts of God the results of hail storms and the like, so I really want to see what the hell is going on. She has checked with the local agents, and they all refuse to insure her home since she was dropped by her current insurance company. Looks like I will be calling the State Insurance Director after our little trip to the bank. Seems it never ends.

Jerry 7-24-2001 0:03


Good luck on your submission and with the heat. Another extreme hot weather advisory for Tulsa tomorrow, but it is getting better! We should only get to 101 instead of 104. At least Texas has good company in this part of Oklahoma. Oh, the brotherhood of suffering.

Rhoda 7-24-2001 0:01

Randall - Hope some of our coolness comes your way, today was one of those days that justifies all the other hot/cold/snowy/thundery days, absolutely fabulous! Only trouble was, I was on the damn road all day in the car with the air on, instead of sitting beside the lake with a cool glass of ice water in my hand, and a fishing pole in the other. The wife's test went very badly, they called it off after the first hour because of her condition, and recommended that she quit work all together. This recommendation will be forwarded to her two doctors, to see if they agree, and I guess if they do, she will quit. I guess Social Security will get another application from our family if that happens. We are in hopes that her surgeon will find a miracle cure but this will probably not happen.

Garries - 10 below, cold? I can recall days when folks here a bouts were in the church praying for it to warm up to ten below zero. In fact, I happened to be working on the day made famous by now retired Johnny Carson, when the wind chill in Bowman North Dakota hit -100 F. Now that is cold. I got out of my patrol car and walked the few yards to the State Scale House to have coffee with the scale man, and in that short of time, my breath condensed on my stash, and when I went to wipe it off, one side of my handle bar mustang broke off. It was so cold we left our squad car running for fear it would not start should we turn it off, and besides, it is damn hard on the hemmoroids to sit on a frozen car seat.

Jerry Flight 800 7-23-2001 23:54

Good Luck Randall!

Still chuckling about the bird using a pot holder to pull out that worm. hehehe

Viv, I have to agree with Howard on that one. I'd use the candy.

Still chuckling....

Tina 7-23-2001 23:22

VIV - If only the guy with the smoking habit could actually have the luxury of choosing. Unfortunately, after the first few there's no such thing as choice. None. You're hooked, addicted, hung out to dry on RJ Reynolds' bottom line. The tobacco companies have flat out stolen your right to choose. Don't believe me? Try to quit.

I know, the compassionate thing is to give 'em what they crave. Been there. Done that. Got the scars on my lungs and on my back from two lung operations to show for it. No self righteous trip here - got none of that -- can't afford it.

I did a couple of research papers in school that were a real eye-opener for quite a few people. One of my writing teachers (a 2-3 pack a day smoker) asked me to send the first one in to the paper, and it made the op-ed page. Another writing teacher said I should do the same with the second one. It got published too, and later used in the heath science curriculum in several local high schools. She didn't see it though - she died from lung cancer before that happened.

We didn't realize that the tobacco companies referred to cigarettes as "dose units" of nicotine, and actually increased (still do?) the dosage per unit to the point where one or two was all it took to produce an addict. Bingo - no choice. They stole it.

Like I said, there's nothing self righteous about it - I just can't bring myself to drive any extra nails into someone else's coffin, no matter how much they beg.

Sorry to appear to be on your case, really it's the tobacco companies I have a beef with - not you.

howard 7-23-2001 22:50


Good evening!

It's scorching days like this that remind me of Joseph Conrad's immortal line from The Heart of Darkness... "The heat, the heat, the heat......" Or something like that. I believe Brando said something like that in a movie, but Marlon slurred the words so bad I've never been sure. :-)

It's hot in Texas. The weather folks will admit to 104 F but we all know they're lying through their capped teeth. Just to save the masses from panicking cause aliens invaders are seeking control over us and are more comfortable with body searing temperatures. But then, maybe I shouldn't be so hard on the Yanks who have come down.....:-) Day time temps in normal folks shops and porches are approaching 110 F, before noon.

If one person says to me..."This is nothing, wait till August." Or. "It's not the heat it's the humidity." I'm gonna turn postal and take ‘em out! HOT did you say.... "It's so hot it's like being bit by a rattlesnake, stay still and you'll be all right but if you move you're dead."

A mechanic confided to me today as he wiped at the river of sweat pouring off his bald head..."It's so hot," he said, "I saw a bird pulling a worm out of the ground and he was using a pot holder."

My uncle told me a couple of years ago..."It's so hot I saw a coyote chasing a jackrabbit and they were both walking." He also said it was so hot and dry..."Prairie Dogs are packing canteens and carrying hand fans!" And. "Catfish are crawling upon dry land searching for a breeze!"

Another frequently heard comment is "It's so hot farmers are buying snowcones for their hens so they won't lay hard-boiled eggs."

Ditto...."It's so hot I walked by a mausoleum and all the doors were open."

Now that.... is HOT!!!!!!

In all fairness Texas does have four seasons.... December, January, February and Summer!

Shade is highly prized when parking in weather like this. I've seen my wife accelerate like a pro stock drag racer, brake like a Tennessee moonshiner and lie like the devil to park behind a power pole at the local Wal-Mart store.

Pitched battles have been fought as heat crazed motorist jocky for position in sizzling-hot shopping mall parking lots. Police officers arrive at these disturbances and throw cold water on the combatants.

"Why mother, I didn't realize that was you driving the car?"

"Yes daughter it was. And if you want back in the will better vacate the shade."

The value of a parking space is not determined by the distance to the door, but by the availability of shade.

It's not easy being a Texan. And along that line, never ask a man where he's from. If he's from Texas he'll tell you. So there's no need to embarrass him if he's not.

See Ya!!!


PS.....Submitted today. Wish me luck.

randall 7-23-2001 21:02


MA-A-ARK: GARIESS is quoting dictionaries! What was it you told me about people quoting dictionaries???
heh heh heh

GARIESS: Okay, I had a bit of a think about what you said, and I feel I agree with what TINA said. Your character was tricked by his own bad judgement.
The actions of the people in the other boat would have had no effect on your character if your character had not made the decisions he did based on greed.

Am I still cute?
I hope so :-D

Teekay 7-23-2001 20:58

Jack, excuse the French. This time any other words would be too mild. Oh guys, it doesn't hurt to stick a McDonald's coupon in the sock if there's a McDonald's nearby. Even in Japan we're into risking Mad Cow disease and eating the occasional hamburger.

Viv 7-23-2001 20:22

Howard: I include the cigarettes because once I was walking through Shinjuku station all dressed up in my best suit with my little snazzy briefcase. I was having a huge nicotine fit, and there wasn't much time before my next train. I watched a bum walking in front of me stoop and pick up a cigarette butt and stick it between his lips. For just a microsecond, my brain thought, "Oh, great idea!" Then my rational side returned and I about gagged with revulsion. I realized how close I am to that guy in the station. I have nic fits/ he has nic fits. We both have a rotten habit. But if the guy has a smoking habit he should also have the luxury of choosing how he likes to behave. I don't like seeing folks rummage in trash cans for food and I don't like seeing someone have to pick up a cigarette butt in these days of AIDS and stick it between his lips. There are small luxuries in life. Choice is a big one. Cigarettes are also very useful in an environment where there isn't enough money. A cigarette can be shared with a friend.. A cigarette can be an item with which you can barter and trade. You can use it in a card game as money.

If you are going to do shoes and socks you have to do it right. I pick out folks that smoke. I find it easier to start a conversation. I stick a cigarette in my mouth, act like I can't find my lighter and kind of end up standing next to my "victim of good will".. Then I say, "Shit, you gotta' light? I can't find my lighter."
I get my cigarette lit and say thanks, ask if they think the socks and shoes would fit someone they know. Ask them to find someone that fits the shoes and tell them that the stuff inside is for their trouble. It starts with "You got a light?" They have to give you one. You owe that person.

"Can you do me another favor? I gotta give these shoes or socks away. You know anyone who might use them? If you do you can have the stuff inside. There's a whole PACK of cigarettes."
They are doing you a favor. They get the stuff in return for the favor. Even if they toss them in the garbage, everyone goes through the garbage anyway and they'll find a pair that fit. That's the system of distribution.

If you were addicted to cigarettes it's better not to smoke. Just use the same approach with a bag of candy.
I don't know what I'd say...Probably, "Umm, I've been craving this all day. You want one? I'm not supposed to be eating this. Would you keep the rest of the bag. I just had to have one." Yah, sugar rots the teeth and is bad for for you. It's not the sugar or the cigarettes. It's the shoes & socks. Most of all it's the person. What you usually think when you give something is "What would THAT guy Want."
The cigarettes stay in my socks....I don't like walking off from someone wondering if they'll fling those socks at the back of my head and scream "Self rightous Bitch!" So, I don't act like one.

Viv 7-23-2001 20:14

ASHLING !! HI !! Good to see you here again!

MEL - I'll try to find "The Unforsaken Heiro" and send it out tomorrow. You'll love the Children of the Wind, and you'll hate/love Solitaire. And then you'll probably hate me too...

VIV - We do the sock thing at Christmas time for the guys at the rescue mission. Our church has a once-a-month devotional time there, and I was the speaker for 6 or 8 years. We'd stuff a pair of boot sox with candy, trinkets, toiletries, notepaper, pens, stamps, etc etc. No cigarettes, though -- I'm an ex-smoker, and I know what it does to the lungs, so I'm not about to encourage it.

It's about 85F here. We were supposed to get some rain last night, but no luck. The garden looks terrible! The radar shows a couple of heavy Tstorms headed in your direction, Mel - maybe we'll get them later tonight. This has been fairly accurate so far. If anybody's interested, check it out - it's free.

Think I'll see if my wife wants to go fishing or swimming.

Swimming sound good - don't have to load the boat in the truck for that.


howard 7-23-2001 17:59


Good to see you. So how is your writing? You must be doing a lot if you have something ready for an editor appointment. My trip to Britain was definitely a highlight in my life. The closest I got to Wales was Chester. I tried to convince my sister-in-law to go west of there and visit Gwynedd, but in the end run we reasoned against it because the ruined stronghold I wanted to see was out in a field somewhere and we would not be allowed to visit it because of foot and mouth disease. As far as my Authur books, I have not had much luck. I have one proposal out to TOR/FORGE, and they have had it for seven months. There are probably a couple of more places that I could try, but I must admit I have not done much of late. I am trying to work out a new project, and the best I have managed are some false starts here and there. I am beginning to fear that I have only these dark ages stories within me. This past six months or so has not been very productive for me. I don't know if I am discouraged or if I am just trying to have a life in Owasso. My children are now home because of summer, and I have endeavored to enjoy my time with them and not worry so much about writing. Sometimes I feel bad about it, but I don't want to be so impassioned about publishing books that I forget I have a life.

Best of luck, ASHLING, on that editor appointment.

It is supposed to get up to 104 degrees here today with a heat index of 112. I could do with some of Jerry's thunderstorms. I remember a time about 11 or 12 years ago when we passed through Tulsa on our way to Louisville a few days before Christmas. The temperature was 10 degrees below zero and it was so cold that the clutch in my car was sticking, and the heater was going full blast and could not keep up. I think Oklahoma must be a land of extremes, at least on the temperature front. Oh well, but for the moment it is home.

Rhoda 7-23-2001 15:04


Treachery as defined by Webster is to decieve or to trick, derived from the Old French, trechier, trichier, to decieve, to trick. The guy was tricked into running aground on the shoal, fulfilling the definition of treachery to a "T."


7-23-2001 14:56


Hi all. :-)

A beautiful day! Finally! Yay!

Jerry, my sleeping brain concocts all sorts of wonderful plots. I write down any that have good prospects, and have turned several into short stories. They always need refining, but I find them very compelling.
Teekay's analysis of your nightmares sounds pretty good. I'm sending my dream fairy your way, and she has strict instructions to give you more peaceful dreams.

Ashling, hi! Always nice to see your name in here.

Mel, welcome back. I actually saw your visual yesterday, at the lake, where small children with blue lips had to be dragged bodily out of the water. It wasn't freezing, but cool enough! Glad the trip was fun, though. I'm jealous of everyone who has gone camping, since I haven't yet, so I'm having vicarious thrills reading about your fun.

Gariess, yay! After all that, he went fishing again. A true fisherman at heart.
I think the treachery in your story was internal. He trusted his judgement of those people in that boat, and based his decisions on that. He used what he new of such people and their equipment, and a wee touch of personal greed for bigger/better fish, and chose to follow their path. When he found out it was for naught, that they had tricked him, it was his own judgment that proved treacherous.
I like the irony of fishing for 'flounder' at the end.

Time to go enjoy this sunny day.

Tina 7-23-2001 11:02


Howdy, you-all! :-) Hope the sun shines on everyone who's had rain lately and hope you get rain all yoose whose lawns need it like mine! If'n ya got winter, hope the snow's light and fluffy and not too cold.

Back from camping - rain one day, mostly a nice relaxing time. Could have been improved with a softer camp-trailer bed (back ache - yeowchy!) and more writing time - sigh. Even a vacation--with the family--is not really a good time to write much..."whatcha doin'?" "whatcha readin'?" "can we go there?" "can we do this?" "I need a drink..." sigh.

RUTH and ASHLING: HI!! :-)

TINA: Camping bugs weren't too bad - mostly mosquitos in the evenings, gigantic spiders in the bathrooms - I was good and left them to their habitats unharmed...but I sure made bathroon trips FAST!! I liked your visuals :-) especially the stormy sunset. Um, "nicky-nicky-nine-doors?" We just played a rousing game of "Kick the Can" in the dark...

JERRY: GREAT rodeo news :-) -- I went to a rodeo once, years ago when I was a kid - I thought it was great fun! And I loved the old ATARI games! :-) MULE and Miner 2049er and invisible TANK were my favorites. Dreams - I often have wild dreams - I sometimes write down plot ideas from them for future story ideas; the best are the ones that involve me so deeply that I have trouble waking up because I'm trying to finish the story in my dream!

DEBRA: YEA for the twins!! :-) :-) :-) (last smile for you!)

HOP: Belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Hope your day was great for you, even if you didn't do anything big. The "narrow miss" of the bad guy in your story sounds more exciting to me; we don't need to know where the bad guy is; well, we want to know, but NOT knowing keeps the suspense level up! :-)


VIV: Your sock drive is a GREAT IDEA for the homeless. I have decided to continue on as an officer in the Order of the Eastern Star; when I am the leader, I hope to try a sock drive locally - thanks for the great inspiration!!

JACK: Your article for the homeless will be priceless. The world needs to hear more about them and more often! Maybe someday we will find better ways to take care of all of our own. May your article reach MANY who can do something about it!!!

ROSEMARY: As promised, a CAMPING VISUAL: young children running across the dew-laden grass to be first in the pool, mother with towels trailing a bit behind them... children jumping into the pool with glee, splashing, laughing, oblivious to the few adults who are climbing OUT of the pool because the water is FREEZING!!! :-) (No, I didn't go swimming, but my youngest three kids did!!)

Any ZORK gaming fans out there? I'm hungry for a new game! After RETURN TO ZORK, ZORK NEMESIS, and ZORK: GRAND INQUISITOR, everything else pales. (Of course, if I get into a new Zork game, the writing time will disappear for awhile...hmm, priorities, priorities...)

Gotta get back to getting up early. NEED TO WRITE!!!!!

Hope you all write quotable passages and pages today!!! :-)

Mel 7-23-2001 8:16

Hi Notebookers. Glad to hear so many familiar voices still here. I dropped by for a moment on my way to Museland ... In the home stretch on polishing a mss. for an agent appointment. More later.

Dear RHODA: Bless you for posting your trip. I bookmarked and will print up some of the pics. How excited you must have been. I'm so happy for you! Hope you can visit Wales too soonest ... any nibbles on selling your Arthur book(s)?

Happy Writing,

Ashling 7-23-2001 5:56


Whoopsy daisy!

GARIESS: The first part of my mind numbing little speech was for you.
Don't say I don't give you anything.

Teekay 7-23-2001 2:58


But treachery is when you trust in something and that trust is abused. There was no reason to put your trust in those guys in the boat.
And now don't go tellin' me the sea was treacherous, acause folk what puts their faith in the sea is jes' one darn fool.

I really don't know how to spell nanna, so I just guess. Also I used to think that mother and father should have been spelt with capitals (I think I picked that up from school), but from what I've read it seems that not everyone has learned that rule, so I figured the same applied to nanna.

Come to think of it, I think I may have meant a locquat or quondong tree. I'm not even sure what a cumquat is. Really must go and look that up.
There was a tree though, of that I am sure :-D

JERRY: I think you are having nightmares about Vietnam because in those times you felt you had very little or no control over the situation.
Now you are going through the same thing. Ie, you are experiencing things which are outside of your control.
Your mind is recalling Vietnam because the last time you felt this way, it was during that war.
You are experiencing the emotions, and the dreams are the minds way of dredging up the images that go with those emotions.

Too roo.

Teekay 7-23-2001 2:56



Cute little piece on smells. I am wondering about capitals for Nana. Do you folks spell that, Nanna? You mention a cumquat tree. There used to be a special aroma that I sensed was a condiment used in filipino cooking of some sort. Of course, I was in the Philipines at the time. I would smell it when walking in the town. It had a citrus quality that was remarkably enticing. I always assumed it was cumquat. I don't really know why, it might have been some kind of a lime I was unfamiliar with. I doubt that I have ever seen a cumquat tree here in the eastern U.S.

It is so difficult to picture it being winter where you are. I suppose that must apply in reverse. Maybe it being summer here doesn't seem quite real to you.

I have those photos stored on my hard drive that I said I would post. I should dig out my notes and do that. Maybe later.

Treachery, you say. I thought stranding a guy and leaving him grounded on a shoal is treacherous enough. Maybe your standards for treachery are greater than I can satisfy. Perhaps treachery for most involves greater motive and more sinister methodology. Long John Silver in Treasure Island was treacherous. Would something of that nature have requited your expectations? At least I finished the story. I can rejoice now that I know I won't hear any more about the kid and the dog and the pie.


7-23-2001 0:10

Oops, sorry about the double post, not used to being online at 31,200 and clicked again when I thought the dang thing stopped.

Jerry Ericsson 7-22-2001 23:52

Comming to you again tonight from my little laptop. We are again under a severe thunderstorm watch. The storm that generated warnings west of us just went by, happily it turned north just before hitting Lemmon, all we got was the gust front, and temprature drop that comes with such a storm. The wind wasn't all that bad, and the cool air was a relief from the high today of 90, it is now 69 degrees by the weather channel. I look forward to a good nights sleep, as we have to pull out at 6:00 AM headed for Rapid City where my wife has to undergo an all day test to see if she can return to full time work. I fear she will not pass the test, as she is having a lot of pain, and today was barly able to walk, I had to assist her at times, not that's a sight to see, me with my cane holding me up, and my wife hanging on to the other arm to keep herself upright. Sad part is that we arn't all that old, although I think today we both felt much older then our years. I haven't had a chance to do any more work on my flight 800 story, well not on paper anyhow, I have given it a lot of thought, and have much to add the next time I sit down with it. There is the begining of another story running around in my head now too, I am taking a pad of paper along to Rapid so I can jot down notes on that story, and maybe do a bit more on 800, I would take along a copy to work on, but my printer has run out of ink, and the pocket book says either I take the wife to Rapid to see her Doctors twice in the next ten days, or buy the printer ink. The Doctors of course win out.

Anyone ever written stories based on your dreams? Maybe it is the money thing, or the storms, or maybe something completely different, but I have been having horrid dreams of late, I awaken in a cold sweat, and it takes me several minutes to realize where I am. They always start out the same, somewhere in Vietnam. Anyhow maybe I will write them down, I thought that part of my life was over, and somehow it found it's way back in my head. Probably the result of all this crap with the Fed, I don't know.

Hope everyone is blessed with an active muse, and that your weekend was better then mine. I shall check in in a couple of days, I know I shall be way to warn out when we get back from Rapid City.

Jerry 7-22-2001 23:47

Comming to you again tonight from my little laptop. We are again under a severe thunderstorm watch. The storm that generated warnings west of us just went by, happily it turned north just before hitting Lemmon, all we got was the gust front, and temprature drop that comes with such a storm. The wind wasn't all that bad, and the cool air was a relief from the high today of 90, it is now 69 degrees by the weather channel. I look forward to a good nights sleep, as we have to pull out at 6:00 AM headed for Rapid City where my wife has to undergo an all day test to see if she can return to full time work. I fear she will not pass the test, as she is having a lot of pain, and today was barly able to walk, I had to assist her at times, not that's a sight to see, me with my cane holding me up, and my wife hanging on to the other arm to keep herself upright. Sad part is that we arn't all that old, although I think today we both felt much older then our years. I haven't had a chance to do any more work on my flight 800 story, well not on paper anyhow, I have given it a lot of thought, and have much to add the next time I sit down with it. There is the begining of another story running around in my head now too, I am taking a pad of paper along to Rapid so I can jot down notes on that story, and maybe do a bit more on 800, I would take along a copy to work on, but my printer has run out of ink, and the pocket book says either I take the wife to Rapid to see her Doctors twice in the next ten days, or buy the printer ink. The Doctors of course win out.

Anyone ever written stories based on your dreams? Maybe it is the money thing, or the storms, or maybe something completely different, but I have been having horrid dreams of late, I awaken in a cold sweat, and it takes me several minutes to realize where I am. They always start out the same, somewhere in Vietnam. Anyhow maybe I will write them down, I thought that part of my life was over, and somehow it found it's way back in my head. Probably the result of all this crap with the Fed, I don't know.

Hope everyone is blessed with an active muse, and that your weekend was better then mine. I shall check in in a couple of days, I know I shall be way to warn out when we get back from Rapid City.

Jerry 7-22-2001 23:43


Whoops, just remembered HOWARD, HEATHER & TINA, I thought your shorties were great.
I did one too off line and saved it to the computer and I know it's late, but I'm putting it in anyway.

There is a scent
Some gardens have.
My nanna’s had it.

I’m nine years old
in my nanna’s garden
making mud pies
between the hedge and the cumquat tree
while nanna bakes apricot jam tarts in the kitchen

Whenever I smell that scent
I walk past the garden back
and forth
and back
to be nine years old again.

JERRY: On the weather front. I have never seen that many storms together. We mainly get our stormy weather come November, but even then it's only occassional.
It's mid winter here and it could be a spring day. 10 degrees, blue, clear skies, kids running around the streets making the most of the final day of the school holidays.
Me sitting at the computer hoping against hope that by the time I get up all the dishes on the sink will have decomposed while awaiting my attention.
Notta hope.

Teekay 7-22-2001 22:00


Hi everyone.

RACHEL: I was thinking, why don't you or one of the others contact one of the big American talk back shows and tell them about how S** was a collaborative book done of the internet by people who had never met before.
Maybe they'll want to interview you guys.
I think it would make a really interesting feature.
Do you have an agent? If you do, would that be something your agent would do???

I'm going to try again with the bookshop. Maybe now that it's with Amazon they'll be able to get it in.
Fingers crossed.

GARIESS: Good story. But wasn't it about treachery? I didn't see much (read any) treachery in it.
I was happy to see that you included an ending however :-), and now that you have done so I will never again mention the story about the pie, the kid and the dog. Unless I forget and it just slips out.

Ummmmmmm what else was there? Thinking, thinking.... nope, that's it from me I think. Have a great day.

Teekay 7-22-2001 21:51

ON THE BAY part five of three parts.

When I saw the first boat, it was by way of a flash off a windshield. It came from the northeast, somewhere in the vicinity of Washburne shoal. I kept track of its progress as much as I could. Boats could appear on the water from a long distance and go out of sight quickly. If this craft was approaching the island it would be a long time before it was clearly visible. It was still early light, and I watched for sails coming out from Marion.

During the next fifteen minutes, or so, the flashes became more regular off the windshield in the northeast, and it did seem that the boat I sighted earlier might be coming toward the island. Boats being mostly pleasure craft these days, it is not useful to assign logic and purpose to the course of a particular vessel; the boat coming from the other side of the bay could be out for any reason, but since it was coming from my homeward shores, I took a particular interest in it.

Indeed it continued to approach, and by the time the sun was bright on the morning sea, I began to make out sails and other craft from the direction of Marion Harbor, I had no way to know from which direction my rescue would be coming. I thought that among them there might be a Harbor Patrol boat sent out to check for me. It would be known by last night that I had gone missing.

It became clear that the boat coming from the upper bay was keeping a course toward the island. After a long while I was able to make out the hull and anyone on board would have had a fair view of the island at that point. From the boat a pair of binoculars would enable someone to make out my distress flag, such as it was, and would be able to see me and the boat on the shore. If this craft stayed on course it would be within hailing distance before long.

I didn’t wait. I pulled the oar out of the sand and waved it aloft. I called out in my still hoarse voice, but I knew I would not be heard above the sound of the motor. The boat was still too distant for that. Still, there is something about yelling for rescue. If one sees an airplane from a desert island, one hollers at it in spite of the impossibility of being heard. At least, they do in the movies, but I still think I would yell, myself, if I were on a desert island and a plane came over. After all, I was on an island then, and I was yelling at a boat.

A while later I was certain that the boat was approaching the island. As it began to appear larger, I started to think it looked familiar. After some minutes had passed and I studied it, the boat turned in toward the lee of the island as I had done yesterday, and I saw a broader view of the side. I was sure I knew the boat. It was a Lapstrake design with a big outboard. When it came closer, passing across my view to get up tide, I recognized the small wheel house and the long low profile of the boat. It belonged to a friend I worked odd jobs with quite often. The skipper slowed the motor and turned into the tide in order to beach on the shore.

"That you, Ernie," I called out as loudly as I could. I saw a face through the glass and it was concentrating fully on maneuvering toward the small stretch of sand. It was Ernie, all right, and it was typical that he would not answer me.

"Get this line," he called out as he held the boat in the shallows just off the tiny beach. Holding the wheel with one hand, he tossed the line with the other. I had to wade out for it and it floated away. On the second try we successfully drew the boat up. Ernie threw me his Danforth, and I set it while he cinched up the slack.

Ernie Curry was the only guy I knew who could do voice-overs for John Wayne, if that unlikely need ever arose. It wasn’t a practiced skill; Ernie was not frivolous enough by half to ever do that. He just sounded like John Wayne, and he didn’t much like being reminded of it, either. "Get your stuff and tie off your boat on a stern cleat," he yelled out. "And get on board, I gotta get back in."

Behind me the terns brought the ruckus up as I stirred around collecting things into the boat. "How did you know to come here," I asked as I tied my boat to the stern. "How come you’re out looking for me? You were looking for me, weren’t you?"

"I was looking for you. Get aboard, I’ll tell you all about it on the way back."

There’s no talking to Ernie while he’s concentrating on something. While we pulled away from the island, I rummaged through some stores and grabbed a plastic soda bottle full of drinking water. Nothing was said for a few minutes while he put the boat on course and checked the compass. I finished most of the water in the bottle.

When we were under way and cruising smoothly, Ernie turned to me and said, "Here, take the wheel and hold two-eighty, I gotta rig up some stuff for a meat trip. I’m taking some guys to the grounds off Scorton for a load of flounder, later."

I hacked and cleared some of the sandpaper out of my throat. "You gonna tell me how come you came down to Bird Island to get me," I asked as I focused my attention on the compass.

Ernie kept busy with a small chest of flounder bait and a bunch of home made rigs. "A couple of guys came into Caldara’s dock yesterday. They were trailering a tri-hull, and joking about how they duped some fool in a fourteen footer into chasing them around Washburne’s shoal. They pretnded to be chasing a school of blues. They said the guy got hung up on the shoal and they took off. Caldara asked them if the guy got off the shoal okay, and they said he was fine. Said when they left, he was pulling grass off the shaft. Caldara didn’t think any more about it, but later your sister called there looking for you, it was after dark. She had gone down to Munck's cove. Your pick-up was still there and your boat wasn't on the out-haul stake. He told Jennie to call the Coasties. That reminds me. The Coasties are on down to Cleveland Ledge looking for your sorry ass, right now. I gotta get on the horn and call them off."

After he radioed the Coast Guard that he had picked me up, Ernie continued, "There ain’t much more. The Phinney’s harbor patrol is looking along the shore from Tobey’s Island to the causeway. The Corps of Engineers has got their guys out in the canal and one boat checking the channel from Hog Island to Onset. The Coasties’ll call them all off. The Marion Harbor patrol has a regatta to get ready for today, and nobody figured you to be that far. They all figured if you got under way after pickin’ off the grass, you’d head back for the upper bay, and if you didn’t, well, you would have drifted out toward Cleveland Ledge. I was the only one thought you’d be mule-ass stubborn enough to row for the Marion Shore. Figured I’d check Bird Island first just in case and then look along the south shoreline."

"Well, I sure am glad you came out, Ern. I had one hell of a day yesterday, and one hell of a night last night. My back is killing me. Did you talk to my sister at all, was she okay?"

"I talked to her. She’s okay far as I can tell. She’s gotta be used to you by now, trying to kill yourself in that piss pot we're towing back there. And don’t be grateful to me, mister. You still got eighty feet of fence to put up on that Standish Avenue job."

Leave it to Ernie never to forget about any work I owed him. "So, anybody know who those guys were in the Tri-hull," I asked.

"No," Ernie said. "Just a couple of Yahoos from out of town. You know, you ought to quit dogging faster boats when you’re out after blues. How are you gonna have time to get any casting in when you're trying to catch up all the time? There’s no percentage in it."

We were both silent for a minute. I thought about that fence job Ernie mentioned. "Tomorrow," I said.

"What about tomorrow," Ernie asked as he concentrated on pulling tangled flounder rigs apart.

"The fence."

Ernie paused and looked at me quizzically for a second or two. I don't think he put much faith in my promise to work on the fence. "You feel up to taking some flounder? They been damn good sized ones around those lobster pots off Scorton Creek."

I shrugged and worked my shoulders back and forth. I gazed out at the water and looked back toward the Marion shore. Ernie was still staring at me thoughtfully, and a small grin broke out across his face. "How’d you get along with them terns last night," he asked.

I stared back at him somewhat dumbly and after a moment I said, "Yeah, flounder, I could go for some flounder."


Gariess 7-22-2001 18:46

Go for it Jack! Do the writing first. The site can wait. The writing can't. Do it while it's fresh.

Can you also include something in your article about folks organizing a sock drive. You get a bunch of warm ski socks, and if you have any old shoes that aren't worn out. If you have boots those are best.
You stick comfort stuff in the socks. (toothbrush/toothpaste/little packs of kleenex tissues (make good toilet paper)/ shampoo/ lotion/ and a couple PACKS OF CIGARETTES). The cigarettes take the "goody-two shoes" missionary approach right out of the care package. Sounds dumb when I write it. I can think of a thousand reasons why cigarettes are a bad idea, but after watching the homeless people in Shinjuku station picking up used cigarette butts off the ground and smoking them, they just seem to fit.

Aim for September/November publication on your article. At least a few feet will stay a little warmer.

The story of the frost bitten feet in the cold Montana winter really bothers me. I usually give my stuff out in Enoshima or Shinjuku but if you had an address in Montana, I'd send it there this year. This place doesn't get cold like Montana.

Anyway, as all of us know, the writing comes first. The site comes second. Hope the article flies out of your pen complete. It needs to be written.
H.I.T. (Hang in there)

Viv 7-22-2001 9:29

Eddie Rabbit. Of course it was Eddie Rabbit. Duh. Twice.

Tina 7-22-2001 3:29

Teekay: Actually, I spent very little time at the Scuba Fest and the Ikelite Housing for my video camera has been sitting in its box since we brought it back yesterday. I have been stacked to the max with Westercon issues that I had to resolve. Sometime tomorrow I will endeavor to get something up. It may be minus the password protection component, but the rest should work until I have an opportunity to massage the code to see why it is not working. That has been the hold up from the beginning. So, we will see. I also took a moment to clear up some HTML oopses. Take care everyone.

The other thing I will probably be working on is an essay that I am writing entitled Putting A Face To The Homeless: Memories Of A Cousin.

Jack Beslanwitch 7-22-2001 2:46

Caught that spelling error, the error was mine, as when I typed it Copland, the spellchecker suggested the e. That's what I get for trusting a stupid spellcheker. Now if there were any smart spell checkers?

Jerry 7-22-2001 0:34

Sorry about that, old chap. Seem to be having trouble with my copy and paste technique.

gariess 7-22-2001 0:30

How about that, copied the page twice in the same post.

Moving right along... Aaron Copland, no E in the spelling, is considered to be among the three most important American composers of the 20th century, along with George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstien. I don't think Eddie Rabbit made the cut, but he too loved 'a rainy night.'

Neo-nazis and other so-called Christian Nazi groups disagree with these choices because they insist that jews are subhuman. God knows how much great art we would ever see or hear, if we waited for it to come from these ignorant miscreants. Besides, they couldn't distinguish musical quality from dogshit, if there were guns pointed at them (and I wouldn't be surprised if there were.) But why bother about them. I wonder who the important American Composers of the 19th century were. Maybe there weren't any. Stephen Foster?


gariess 7-22-2001 0:26

Garries - Never noticed your stutter before. (now where have I heard that one?)

Jerry 7-22-2001 0:22

Quo Vadis is a novel by Henryk Sienkiewicz, a Polish native and novelist from the 19th century. It was first made into a movie in 1902, one of the first silent spectaculars. The novel won the author a nobel prize in literauture in 1905. In 1916 Sienkiewicz died in Switzerland.

In all, the story was filmed nine separate times, including television productions and the most recent Polish version in 2001. The most important film was made in 1951. It starred Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, and Peter Ustinov. It was directed by Mervyn Leroy, and the screenplay was written by S.N. Behrman and Sonya Levien. Taylor and Kerr played Vinicius and Lygia, respectively. Ustinov was cast as Nero. The film figured heavily in the Academy Awards of that year. Critical recognition was mixed. Many reviewers felt the movie was cinematically lavish, but devoid of solid theatrical substance.


Returning to Rome after three years in the field, General Marcus Vinicius meets Lygia and falls in love with her. She is a Christian and doesn't want to have anything to do with a warrior. Though she grew up Roman, the adopted daughter of a retired general, Lygia is technically a hostage of Rome. Marcus gets Emperor Nero to give her to him for services rendered. Lygia resents this, but somehow falls in love with Marcus anyway.

Meanwhile Nero's atrocities get more outrageous, when he burns Rome and blames the Christians. Marcus goes off to save Lygia and her family. Nero captures them and all the Christians, and throws them to the lions, but Marcus, Lygia, and Christianity prevail in the end.

Then before you know it, the Jehovah’s Witnessess are coming to everybody’s door on Saturday morning…


Quo Vadis is a novel by Henryk Sienkiewicz, a Polish native and novelist from the 19th century. It was first made into a movie in 1902, one of the first silent spectaculars. The novel won the author a nobel prize in literauture in 1905. In 1916 Sienkiewicz died in Switzerland.

In all, the story was filmed nine separate times, including television productions and the most recent Polish version in 2001. The most important film was made in 1951. It starred Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, and Peter Ustinov. It was directed by Mervyn Leroy, and the screenplay was written by S.N. Behrman and Sonya Levien. Taylor and Kerr played Vinicius and Lygia, respectively. Ustinov was cast as Nero. The film figured heavily in the Academy Awards of that year. Critical recognition was mixed. Many reviewers felt the movie was cinematically lavish, but devoid of solid theatrical substance.


Returning to Rome after three years in the field, General Marcus Vinicius meets Lygia and falls in love with her. She is a Christian and doesn't want to have anything to do with a warrior. Though she grew up Roman, the adopted daughter of a retired general, Lygia is technically a hostage of Rome. Marcus gets Emperor Nero to give her to him for services rendered. Lygia resents this, but somehow falls in love with Marcus anyway.

Meanwhile Nero's atrocities get more outrageous, when he burns Rome and blames the Christians. Marcus goes off to save Lygia and her family. Nero captures them and all the Christians, and throws them to the lions, but Marcus, Lygia, and Christianity prevail in the end.

Then the Jehovah’s Witnessess started coming to everybody’s door on Saturday morning…


Quo Vadis is a novel by Henryk Sienkiewicz, a Polish native and novelist from the 19th century. It was first made into a movie in 1902, one of the first silent spectaculars. The novel won the author a nobel prize in literauture in 1905. In 1916 Sienkiewicz died in Switzerland.

In all, the story was filmed nine separate times, including television productions and the most recent Polish version in 2001. The most important film was made in 1951. It starred Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, and Peter Ustinov. It was directed by Mervyn Leroy, and the screenplay was written by S.N. Behrman and Sonya Levien. Taylor and Kerr played Vinicius and Lygia, respectively. Ustinov was cast as Nero. The film figured heavily in the Academy Awards of that year. Critical recognition was mixed. Many reviewers felt the movie was cinematically lavish, but devoid of solid theatrical substance.


Returning to Rome after three years in the field, General Marcus Vinicius meets Lygia and falls in love with her. She is a Christian and doesn't want to have anything to do with a warrior. Though she grew up Roman, the adopted daughter of a retired general, Lygia is technically a hostage of Rome. Marcus gets Emperor Nero to give her to him for services rendered. Lygia resents this, but somehow falls in love with Marcus anyway.

Meanwhile Nero's atrocities get more outrageous, when he burns Rome and blames the Christians. Marcus goes off to save Lygia and her family. Nero captures them and all the Christians, and throws them to the lions, but Marcus, Lygia, and Christianity prevail in the end.

Then the Jehovah’s Witnessess started coming to everybody’s door on Saturday morning…


gariess 7-21-2001 23:58

Speaking of missing my old job, a year or two after I had to quit, I dropped in to visit the Sheriff. We were friends ever since I first came up there, and he worked part time with us as a cop. We sat reminiscing over the days when we worked together, when a couple of my old officers showed up for coffee. As we sat having a good time visiting one of them asked “Don’t you miss it? I know I sure would if I had to quit being in law enforcement.”

Well I had to be honest, so I told them, “Well there are times when I miss it, like when I am driving down the street and some idiot blows a stop sign, or when I am sleeping and squealing tires wake me. Those times I wish I were still on the street. There are, however many things I don’t miss, like rotating shifts every week, from nights to days to nights to days again, I don’t miss that. Working on either Christmas day or Christmas Eve, I don’t miss that. Having to work three out of four weekends in a month, I don’t miss that at all. Having to miss the big days in my kid’s lives because I have to work, I don’t miss that at all. Having coffee in the café and not having every idiot in town asking me about what happened the night before, I don’t miss that a bit. There are thousands of things I don’t miss, and I guess the only thing I really miss is the camaraderie we shared every day.

Well I could see that this was having an effect on the officers, they all just sat there, looking at the floor. Nobody spoke for a few minutes, then one of the old cops asked, “That back surgery, did it hurt very much?”

I knew he was kidding, but you know from that time on, every time I went for coffee at the Sheriff’s office (it was just across the alley from my home) and the cops were there, none of them ever asked me that question again.

Jerry 7-21-2001 23:49

Ruth - one more thing, just checked on KaZaA and there are several songs by Aaron Copland - I am downloading a few to have a listen

Jerry 7-21-2001 22:14

Ruth - sorry for delaying getting back to you, I just reread your post. Yes, I was a police officer for just about 18 years, 8 of them as the chief of police for a couple of different small departments. It was a good job, and I loved every second of it (well almost every second of it). The name Copeland sounds familiar, I guess I was trying to put it to a country western singer and couldn't get it to stick. I will have to check around, maybe I can find something by him somewhere.

Jerry 7-21-2001 21:59

Ahhhh, the fan may no longer be necessary, a nice quiet night last night. The wife worked this morning, and left well before I usually get up, if it weren't for some idiot who was walking by, I wouldn't have had to get out of bed at 9:30 AM! Today was one of those nice days we all dream about, bright, sunny and almost the right temperature, it did get a bit close to 90 but I can live with that, and there isn't a cloud in the sky. I checked the radar, nothing for two hundred miles around, could this rash of storms be behind us? I sure hope so.

I won't throw away my plan for the fan just yet though, we have had rare nice days before.

Jerry Flight 800 7-21-2001 21:49


Good evening friends:

I've wanted to share this paragraph with you for some time. As you know I like quotes from writers, having posted several here. Why? Well...words of truly great writers are inspiring, in a sense an entrance to THEIR line of thinking versus us poor mortals. All processes we endure in life are learning experiences and we should assimilate useful knowledge. That we may learn from anyone is true and we should. I suspect that words have more meaning than we suppose. (Duh!) But then as the author of the segment below indicates, I am a "duffer." There is nothing under the sun I admire more than reading a person who weaves words with skill and intracity. And this discussion below would certainly apply to writers.

For your enjoyment.......

"Skill develops from controlled, corrected repetitions of an act for which one has some knack. Skill is a product of experience and criticism and intelligence. Analysis cannot much transcend these truisms. Between the amateur and the professional, between the duffer and the expert, between the novice and the veteran there is a difference not only in degree but in kind. The skillful man is, within the function of his skill, a different integration, a different nervous and muscular and psychological organization. He has specialized responses or great intricacy. His associative faculties have patterns of screening, acceptance and rejection, analysis and sifting, evaluation and selective adjustment much too complex for conscious direction. Yet as the patterns of appraisal and adjustment exert their automatic and perhaps metabolic energy, they are accompanied by a conscious process fully as complex. A tennis player or an airplane pilot is an automatism but he is also criticism and wisdom."

This is from "Across the Wide Missouri" for which Bernard DeVoto won the Pulitzer Prize. The quote is from "Mariner Book-Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston/New York. Page 158, First Mariner Books edition 1998.

Mr. DeVoto is discussing mountain men of the fur trade era, but his words have great meaning in our time. Mr. DeVoto wrote the novel in 1947.

I've had, in the words of the Eagles "....a world of trouble on my mind..." and been away for a week. So, it's good to be back.


Good night


Randall 7-21-2001 21:31


That QUO VADIS movie was made in 1953, I believe and starred Robert Taylor and Deborah Kerr. It was not as good as the book and took many of the expected Hollywood liberties with the story. Henry Schlisenick (spelled wrong because I cannot find my copy) is the author. HOWARD, set us straight on the spelling here.

One more time I will post my website for my Britain trip if you care to see it, RUTH. Meanwhile I will continue work on the posting of my latest pictures to Michigan.

Travel is a strange thing. My husband let me go without him and the kids believing that I would get my desire to see Britain out of my system. It didn't work. I am greatly determined to return and see all I missed as soon as possible.

Rhoda MY TRIP TO BRITAIN 7-21-2001 20:21

Yo! Dudes!

RUTH: Quo Vadis is about Rome in Nero's reign. It's one of the best books I've ever read. Ask Howard for the authors name coz I sure can't remember it.

HOWARD: Quo Vadis is RHODA's. I think the idea behind your shorty is wonderful and I honestly think you should somehow make it a longer short story and maybe go into some more depth and then at the end we find out he's the guy in the coffin.
It was such a great idea I really think you ought to do more with it.
NOT saying that your shorty wasn't good. It was. It's just that you hit upon a gem and now you really ought to polish it up.
P.S. Tell RUTH who wrote Quo Vadis.

JACK: I think you're a wonderful guy and I know you're really busy, but I think you shouldn't go to that scuba sale. Instead you should get the workbook up and running. Then, and only then will I give you permission to go and have fun. :-)

Any takers on Carl Sagen's 'Contact'? Speak now, or forever hold your peace.

Teekay 7-21-2001 20:01

It's not fair that each area has too much of one kind of weather. That's why I suggested the big fan that Jerry is designing. There's bound to be enough of us unhappy with their temperature to scrape together enough funds to buy the parts if he will build it. Blow the rain to the dry areas. Move the hot temps. to cold areas. Should completely confuse this poor old world.
BTW you wouldn't want 100 degree temps for two or three months at a time. San Antonio is very tourist oriented and so far they haven't admitted to more than 99degrees, but it has definitely been over a hundred in many parts of the area. I think they keep their thermometer in the coolest area possible.

Not writing much right now, get back to it soon. I hope.

Rosemary 7-21-2001 19:56

Hop - I too like those old NES, SNES, and Genies emulators, I even play some of the games on them. I use Nesticle for NES, SNES9x for super Nintendo, and KGEN for Genies. My grand-daughter loves them, and I have given her a copy of all of them on CD. Started collecting the ROMS's several years ago when you could find any ROM that was ever written all over the web. Now days it seems most of the Console sites have been closed down by that outfit that began policing them for copy write violation. I also use Ultra for Nintendo 64 emulation, several of the games work full speed on my machine when I have the good graphics card installed. I had to take that card out a while back when I found a DVD drive for 30 bucks, seems I couldn't get the DVD's to play with that card, went back to the on board video card and the DVD's play just fine (movies that is).
I also have emulators for Atari 2600, 5200, and 7800; Colecovision; Intellevision; and several of the old computers like the Commodore 128, Apple ][; and a bunch of the old European computers, with bunches of games for them. Kind of fun as we started out with the old Atari 2600, then went to a Commodore 128, then to a PC, (Well we actually started out with the old PONG game) so it is like a trip to the past to play some of the old games, like MULE, and Miner 2049er. I don't play them as much as I used to, guess I have other things that take their place, like reading, writing, and well yes television.

Jerry Flight 800 7-21-2001 16:24


howard 7-21-2001 15:05

RUTH - Thanks, but "a couple thousand words" to improve it? It's supposed to be short! :-)

I love Bradbury's "Remembrance" too. He's one of my favorite authors.

TEEKAY - I just realised/remembered that I have your copy of "Quo Vadis!" It's somewhere here in my computer room in a stack of books that hasn't been sorted out since we relocated these beasties. I wondered what I'd read following my shoulder surgery - now I know!

MEL - I'm still looking for that second "Heiro" book. I think it's with Teekay's book. I'll try to locate it and send it Monday or Tuesday.

MARK - The Mister Peanut store on Court Street was one of my favorite stops too. I remember they had a guy in a peanut suit handing out samples. We used to walk down Court Street at Christmas time, and look at the animated displays in Fowler's window, then get a sample of nuts a few doors down, then on down past McLeans and around the corner to lean against that brass railing and watch the presses run in the Binghamton Press building. Right across Chenango Street was the Mohican Market, with the meat hanging in the open air in the front of the store. I used to love to go there.

Back to work -


howard 7-21-2001 15:04


Later today: PART FIVE of the three part saga of The Bay will be posted. In the meantime here is a news-clip from the police reports. "A Sudbury man was injured at Dean's Tavern when a patron aimed a fart in the wrong direction. The man was treated and released from the emergency room at Jordan Hospital."

Dean better make a new pot of chili. It's pretty bad when misdirected windage can put a man in the ER. The report doesn't say if the man suffered from blast damage, or toxic effects.

Of course, it could be a problem with the F being next to the D on the keyboard. Reporters and copy people, beware.


Gariess 7-21-2001 14:46

Hi all!

'I love a rainy night
I love a rainy night
I love to hear the thunder
Watch the lightning
As it lights up the sky.'
The Eagles

That one's just for you, Jerry! hehehe ;-)

What I Don't Like is another rainy day! Where's my sun? Rosemary, I'll trade weather with you!

Hop, it's pretty normal around here that for every half dozen newbies, only one stays. Don't fret. Be glad for the ones that do!

Ruth, was that poem one of your one? I loved it.
And for the record, I'm Canadian.
I love your decriptive writing! I hope you do come back here when you return from Rome.

Ben, have a good summer! Don't be too much of stranger!

Heather, your shortie is great! I remember those kind of days, very clearly. A banana-seat bike... I had one of those! With tassles from the handles!

Okay, I'm gone now. I have guests here so I'm gonna go have fun!


Tina 7-21-2001 12:40

Hello Notebook People, Just to let you know I’ll be changing my ISP. Freeserve is giving me lots of problems. With emails mainly, but with the web in general. Slipping off-line, getting fussy about going online. Too tempermental. Two tempermental entities around here is more than I can handle. So I’m rooting it out. When I get back to you again the address will be: It doesn’t exist yet so hang on. When I ran overtime trying to get to you this morning freeserve was the reason why. Couldn’t paste my post – well, could paste it but not send it – couldn’t enter it onto the Notebook page that is. Keep your fingers crossed for me that btinternet does it!

Speak to you soon.


Ruth 7-21-2001 12:12

Hello Again Notebook People, Just to let you know I’ll be changing my ISP and email address. Freeserve is giving me lots of problems. With emails mainly, but with the web in general. Slipping off-line, getting fussy about going online. Too tempermental. Two tempermental entities around here is more than I can handle. So I’m rooting it out. When I get back to you again the address will be: It doesn’t exist yet so hang on. When I ran overtime trying to get to you this morning [see below somewhere]freeserve was the reason why. Couldn’t paste my post – well, could paste it but not send it – couldn’t enter it onto the Notebook page that is. Cross your fingers for me that btinternet does it!

Speak to you soon.


Ruth 7-21-2001 12:07

I'm here. I took us off line because the summer holidays came and my son was starting to spend way too much time on his chat line with his friends. We get 100 free hours at a base rate, well, with him staying on for most of the day while the wife and I were at work, the bill was starting to climb up steadily...from $29.95 to $50.00...$60.00, and still climbing. I said, whoa, I'm getting rid of it, cancelling it, and unplugged it on him without telling him. Never got around to plugging it back in because of other things we were doing. I wasn't missing it.

Been writing constantly though. Entered L. Ron Hubbard's contest for new writers of the future, got a few more rejection slips back, but have run out of funds to mail anything out right now.

Work in the mill is sort of week by week right now, which makes it difficult to make any plans of any sort.

Just finished reading THE POISONWOOD BIBLE last week at work. Excellent book, highly recommended.

I won't be posting too frequently here because it is summertime. I want to get out with the kids and enjoy the sights of all those young girls in their bikinis--I'm a lecherous old man. My son will enjoy it (my daughter will just call me a sicko of course, until she fills out and starts attracting the boys' attentions herself...and then I'll be watchdogging her).

I'd like to get away and do some camping, but we just can't seem to synchronize our holidays. The last thing I want to do is take two weeks off, and then come back to work only to find out that we're getting laid off for another two or three weeks after that. That seems to happen a lot around there.

So I'm gonna run away--(the circus is coming to town!)--and won't be back until school starts.

Ben 7-21-2001 11:05

My birthday just went pass on 20/7. No birthday cake, no candles no nothing. It wasn't special, but it wasn't too bad except for a sore throat I got which has passed now.

When I was first posting here I was a bit afraid of giving away personal info (I shall call this fear the "cyber-stalker syndrome"). Now that I've become regular I don't mind anymore. I'm just glad this is a warm friendly place.

You know, I try to be funny, I really do but no one seems to laugh, then I try to be serious and everybody thinks its funny and sneaky (with the Viewoods thing). In the words of Homer J. Simpson: "Doh!"

Funnily enough my family never has trouble with guests raiding food. Then again, it's an Asian custom to serve guests with some food every time they come.

Wouldn't it be nice to have a day known as "Hope" day where the people of Earth celebrate a day of "Hope" for everlasting peace on Earth?

My Psiforce is growing longer. I've really been re-writing, I've added new scenes to part one including an in-person Psi-battle with two main characters and a lot more about the Psi-detective and his partner.
Part of my story involves clues left by someone for the Psi-detective. Now, does anyone have any ideas on what I should do about these clues? Should the detective solve the clues and narrowly miss the bad guy or should the detective solve the clues only after the bad guy gives his location away? I really need help on this. So far I've written the story as the latter so the detective isn't smart enough.

You are quite justified in saying the country shouldn't forget their veterans. Problem is though its just as easy to remember them when the world they lived in is history. I mean look around, there are few things which remind people of the wars and the US is such a huge country not to mention the technology which continues to sky rocket. The younger generation just feels alienated. I mean why celebrate the Past when its all about the Future?

I'm not into arcade emulators or Roms...yet. I focus more on console emulators and Roms like Sega Megadrive and the Super Nintendo because I never really liked the arcade but a number of people I knew had consoles and I really envied them. So here I am having the proverbial last laugh because I can get all the games they spent money on for free.

Of course they've moved on to the Playstation while I'm stuck playing all those old games. But it's a dream come true for me.

I already know of those sites but they didn't contain any console Roms so I moved on. Thanks anyway. Do you ever spend time playing them?

Part of the psychology course in the Uni was done on Clinical psychology so I do have a little knowledge in that area (very little, although I do have a huge book which I can refer to).

Why do I get the impression you hop and jump on the bed mattress regularly?


Susan K. Perry

Hello. How are you? Can you read this or have you already left? I hope you're staying because a number of people have posted once and left us clueless as to who they were. The other two above have yet to post anything else or even introduce themselves formally.

Your trip to Italy sounds great. I hope you come back to us.

Wishing hard that some newcomers stay...

Am I being too blatant?

Paging Ben...
Ben you out there? Haven't seen a post by you in a while.

Barnabas "Hop" 7-21-2001 10:19

Hello Tina. Your style in your visuals makes the appearance of a poem from you not too surprising. Nice poem, good rhythmic flow, and very American I think. I’m not sure - you seem, one or two of you do at least, to be going in for sketches. I catch on see. Okay then visuals. Something quickly sewn together. Though your visuals, Tina, I’d have thought they took a while. Well I wanted to post Ray Bradbury’s Remembrance, to continue the theme of childhood times. Good poem that. I found it in one of my dad’s books but I don’t know where it is right now. Do that another time. Then I was going to send Dressing Up, something I wrote very quickly a few months’ ago, to join in this quick sketch/poem thing; but that must at work on the laptop. So later with that too. Rome - what I’d like is to visit Rome [or anyplace] by night. Go to St Peter’s and wherever else when no one’s around is what I mean. In London I could go to the Hayward, National and Tate galleries early morning when no one was about hardly. That was special. Don’t enjoy things when a crowd’s around. Probably because where I come from is so quiet like it is. I feel crowded-out in a crowd and that’s the truth. Crowds in the streets, that’s okay. A carnival. That’s what London was. But carnival crowds within walls don’t seem to work when Caravaggios and Munchs and Turners are hung around the walls. If I get up at dawntime over there I can visit places early. I’ll let you know how I get on. The laptop has been banned or I’d write as it happens. Not banned but you know what I mean. So it’s has to be books. Oh, your poem and, “soda pop.” I don’t think we call it that here and you reminded me of Shane, with Alan Ladd and the boy and all that. “Sodi pup,” I believe that’s how they said it. Anyone around here seen the movie? I’ve seen it a dozen times and it makes me cry every time. Accents, at a local writers’ group there are two Americans, husband and wife, he writes short stories and factual stuff, she writes poems. Good couple to be with, and she, Marti, is a very good poet indeed. She’d say, “Ah gut a few pow-ums for yuh.” Nice woman. BTW, I haven’t read science fiction in a long while, but I’ll read anything well done and I’ll order your book and tell you what I think when I get back.

Teekay. Quo Vadis. Tell me. Who’s it written by and what’s it about? Without giving anything away I mean. I saw an old film when I was a kid, Victor Mature and some boys. Gladiators? That’s all I remember. I think that was called Quo Vadis. “Wither thou goest?” isn’t that what it means? “Where are you going?” Re sexism, yes, I agree. I don’t give a bean. The world is how it is and it’ll get worse. Then better and then perfect. [I feel philosophy coming on so I’ll skirt around it!] But even at the end of the world simple fifty/fifty will never be it. We’d go insane. Life isn’t like that or meant to be. I think.

Howard. “Is late still better than never?” Lovely intro that. As for the piece, absolutely. Add a couple of thousand words maybe and play around. Good Idea.

Allein. Not being able to smell must be pretty rotten. Okay, at times a boon. A boy I know in the village has the same problem. Can’t smell cut grass and all that. Keep on with the sprays and the tablets and everything. I believe you can grow out of it.

Rhoda. The four hour by-pass must have been a nightmare. It’s lovely around York, but driving around lost in the heat isn’t too much fun. Though in England you don’t have to handle the heat too often, and were you here a couple of months ago you’d have had blankets over your knees. The further you come this way in England the lovelier the countryside and the less reliable the weather. Well, you can rely on it being as it usually is.

Jerry. Copland - not a music group but the American classical composer, Aaron Copland. My dad’s a music nut, and so his, Copland’s, stuff is in my blood, and I like it a lot. It’s very American indeed. The Tender Land and Appalachian Spring, Quiet City, etc. Look out for the suite I mentioned, Rodeo. The opening number is Buckaroo Holiday, and it’s wonderful. Trombone playing around with the tune of, “If I knew a buckaroo by his name,” and it finishes up with a crazy Hoe-down. Do you know about the English promenade concert, The Proms? They started yesterday evening and go on for a couple of months. Go out on tv all over England, some of the concerts, and every single note is relayed by the famous Radio 3. Famous here anyway. Copland will be represented there somewhere. Very much loved here, your great composer. Riding bucking broncos - okay then, tougher than I ever thought. I’d still like to take one on. How about a helicopter with a direct line to me, to scoop me up if the horse was winning too much? It must be one terrific kick hanging on to one. That’s why those guys do it. Do they have gal riders too? What does PD mean? Are you saying you were once a cop? So many questions!

I’ve overspent my time talking to you. Have to be on the road about half an hour ago for some partying tonight. Staying over with a friend in the village of Reeth. Viv. They have bands playing on the village green there some Sunday mornings. You can buy some buttered scones and Earl Grey tea and sit and listen and watch. It’s very nice. I’ll speak to you all soon. Middle of next week I guess. Then I’m over the sky to Eeetalliee. Here’s a poem from a cycle.

Going on

Our ways of being teach of turning round
To see the shrines where we may not return.
Within the silent wood, inscribed in time,
The warnings sough to say, “No, not this way,
For unto this place you may not return.”
But what if dreams in dreams emerged to say,
“The path is clear, be quick, your life is here!”

And running rapt by hope made you forget
It is a place where you may not return?
[Deranged at midnight by the staring moon,
Do not mistake your evening song for noon.]

A girl basked in a haven wrapped with skin.
No one governed there, but the light within
Illumed a shrine that will not brook return.
Within her dreams, among mute statues, still,
All clothed in royal shrouds that ruled her years,
She stumbles through the treasure house, would share,
Would offer back her days to light the stare
Of carefree sightless eyes, in dreamscape there.
But shrine it is, and she may not return.

Speak to you soon.


Ruth 7-21-2001 4:34

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Nancy Rose NexusTeq Publications 7-21-2001 1:15

I will start designing that fan today, however right now I am a bit short of funds for building it. God knows we would love to see them go south. Tonight the storms are quite a bit farther north then last night, might miss up. I can hope can't I.

Jerry Flight 800 the Whole Truth 7-20-2001 22:49



Heather 7-20-2001 16:50

Scent of Days Long Past

While I tend to scraped palms and one bloodied knee
Picking gravel from the gashes
I smear chain grease on my skin

I grab the handlebars of my banana-seat bike and yank
Until it hoists up and rolls with me
Blue, and a checker-print seat, one rip, and the foam peeks out.
The sky's more blue than blue itself, and someone's mowing
their lawn. I can smell the green of the grass, pale new-shoot green underneath,
And yellowing at the ends. Yellow;
like the flat plate of the sun that sits straight overhead,
My hair almost on fire with the intesity.

I smell cedar trees and crabapples are forming on the trees lining the hot asphalt, hot tar rubbery in the cracks along my street. I pick up a crabapple but it's too green to eat. Crabapples were made for whipping at boys.

I drop my bike on the driveway, bone white cement. It scrapes my feet as I walk along it, barefoot as usual.
Mom's making upside-down cake, and the melting brown sugar and pineapple make my head dizzy. There's more saliva in my mouth in the summertime.

Through the back window I smell flowers and chlorinated poolwater, and my Dad's rinsing the pool filters with the hose. Peonies line the deck and I like to poke my fingers in to find out how many ants are hiding inside.
I slip on my bathing suit in our change hut; chlorine stronger here than in the pool.
The first dive in is like ice-cubes in your shirt and lovely. I can smell the underwater calling. It smells deep.


Heather 7-20-2001 16:48

Smell? What is smell? Oh, I remember smell. :) The last four months, I've had allergies and I often can't smell anything. Maybe I'll try and write a story a little later. :)

Allein Allein's World 7-20-2001 13:26

Morning Writers all,

Can't they put up a great big fan and blow some of those storms down here? Goodness knows you have had enough of them. They could drop the tornados and most of the big hail coming down through Kansas and Nebraska. We need the rain. Some rain. Any rain. I think it's time the scientists get on the ball and start working on weather control. They have rested on their past achievements long enough.

I have been watching the weather forcast for Seattle Wa. for a while and the temp. range is very close to your requirements. If it wasn't so wet and cloudy all the time, my bags would be packed today. I think a dome is going to have to be our solution.

Well, it looks like today is one of my antispelling days. I can see things are spelled wronge above, but I don't feel like popping up my dictionary and fighting with it.

Sorry bout that,

Rosemary 7-20-2001 12:14

Is late still better than never?

I can’t get the smell of roses out of my nose. It’s nice at first, but I’ve realized that even that can get to be a drag.
At first I thought there were only roses, because that was all I could smell, but now I realize that there are other flowers here too. Someone brought sweet peas, and I dearly love the scent of sweet peas. I like them almost as much as the smell of locust blossoms, but I know that would be ridiculous. Besides, it’s too late for those, even if someone did remember.
I know there must be gladiolus, and mums too, but they don’t have much of a sweet smell to them. There’s only that subtle hint of decay, that starts as soon as they’re cut.
But it’s the roses that make the lasting impression.
Wish I could see them.
Why can’t I see them?
After all, they’re right there above me,
right on top of this box…

howard 7-20-2001 10:18

Ok, my shorty last night is proof that I didn't proof read it before posting it. I did it in such a rush because of the storm that I didn't even read it before posting, an error I will try to avoid in the future. Lots of typo's in that one.

Weatherman says another night of storms tonight! Will this madness ever end?

Jerry Flight 800 7-20-2001 9:47

p.s. Oh, and for the problem with the Enter button. When I get a chance I will try to take a look at the script and see if I can alter it gracefully.

7-20-2001 6:14

Hello everyone: Things are gradually beginning to decompress. Had to deal with a flurry of things after getting back from Montana. Am presently letting the words gestate for an essay I plan to do that may or may not go up on the web called Putting A Face To The Homeless. It will definitely go into my Episcopal Church zine, but not sure about the web. That will have to wait until I pass it through the filter of my cousins.

In other areas, Westercon 56 for which I am Vice Chair, now has a Programming head, so I can delegate some of the tasks I have been doing in that regard and I can step back and take a deep breath.

And in other areas, Lighthouse diving - - is having a blow out sale for diving equipment. So that is where I will be bright and early tomorrow. At the very least they have an ikelite housing waiting for me for my video camera and hope to get a chance to check it out in the next couple of weeks. If this happens I will share some of the results via Real Video clips. Take care.

Jack Beslanwitch Westercon 56 7-20-2001 6:13

Hi all! Glad to see some shorties being posted.

Yes, Gariess, I see you're STILL keeping us in suspense! (sigh)

Jerry, your weather is reason #287 why I still live Here. A few small storms, no real hail or earthquakes or tornados (a water spout once, but just a wee one) no volcanoes (active, anyway) or hurricanes or even tsunami! Our only hazard is forest fires, and then rarely.

Okay, here's my off the cuff shortie/poem, then I must get back to house cleaning. My nephew and his girlfriend will be here sometime tonight. Must find the floor of the guest room...

Summer holidays smell like Tang
Sugar sweet, frozen into popsicles,
The harshness of chlorine
In summer pools,
And sickly coconut sun tan lotion.

Those carefree days between grades
Smell like woodsmoke from the campfire
Where we made camp apples and s’mores,
Softly fruity watermelon,
And, occasionally, soda pop.

Even on rainy summer days, the house smelled of
Mouth-watering garden corn
Dripping in butter,
Dirt and flowers and lake water,
And the fresh freedom of childhood.

Tina 7-20-2001 2:07

Ok, so it is still thundering, but I MUST get my shorty posted! Here it is:

By Jerry Ericsson

Never in this entire world is there a smell so welcome as that of an old fashion country breakfast cooking on an old wood burning cook stove. The mixture of smell mingling together with some of the freshest air in the world makes awakening a true pleasure.

It was never more welcome then that day in 1971 when I woke from spending my first night in a civilian bed, my first sleep outside a war zone. The place, mom and dad’s house here in Lemmon. When I woke up, I turned and kissed my lovely wife, who was still sleeping so peacefully, she stirred just a bit, then muttered something about letting her sleep.

In no time flat, I was out of bed, pulling on my blue jeans, the felt so strange after a year wearing nothing but jungle fatigues, and an olive drab t-shirt. Quietly, I closed the door, and walked down the short hall to mom’s kitchen, a kitchen so famous in our family that to be asked to dine is the fantasy of all our relatives. The old wood burning cook stove threw off a heat that was so welcome on that chilly morning, even more chilly to me, only the day before, I was in the jungle the temperature was over one hundred and five degrees, and humidity near 100%, even 70 degrees brought goose bumps to my skin that had turned so dark I could be mistaken for a Mexican, or maybe Indian.

The table was set, and mom was humming a tune as she flipped the flap-jacks, stirred the pan of bacon, on the back of the stove sat a steaming pot of coffee, not percolated, or from one of those new fangled drip makers, but boiled coffee, the very best kind.

When that first mouthful of flapjacks hit my tongue, I knew I was home again, I shall remember that day so long as I live, and whenever I get a whiff of that smell, it brings back that ever-so happy day.

Oh, GS - Even on my little laptop, the Enter button is nearly a half inch from the scroll bar.

Jerry Ericsson 7-20-2001 0:23

I know those days are gone, but still I enjoy looking back for a few moments.

I used to get off the college bus and hang out in downtown Binghamton. Smack in the middle of downtown's five blocks, I'd hang out at the Nut House. They roasted their own nuts in that place, and made sesame goodies roasted with nuts and then had a corner for chocolates. I really enjoyed a fresh, warm bag of the premium mix with its emphasis on the cashews.

I didn't have a lot of money. The bus ride was free just for being a student. I could window shop at other stores downtown and watch the comings and goings of weekday afternoons. I always thought it a particular pleasure to be in small-town America. The place had a symphony orchestra with real talent, local and college plays to attend, minor league sports, and a free-and-easy downtown. I always knew (getting off the bus) that I'd wind up in front of the Nut House.

They kept an exhaust fan running over the door. Hanging around that building, I could sniff the roasters for maybe two minutes before I had to count my money and buy something.

Anything that has that smell sets me off. Suddenly I'm standing in the sun watching average folks go about their business while I feel a warm paper bag of premium mix, taste cashews and sniff the nut roasters of Court Street.

Mark 7-20-2001 0:02

Comming to you again from my old 486 laptop, the only computer in the house that I would use during a thunderstorm. The main brunt of the storm just passed, and tonight we got a bit of pea size hail along with our inch or inch and a half or horizontal rain, driven by winds gusting up to 60 MPH. Hopefully that will be the last tonight, however the radar shows another just twenty miles west of here, moving at 30 MPH.

Debra, I know there is still a bit of work to do on that story, I will try and get back to it tomorow. My wife has to work tomorow, she is down to 8 hours most weeks, but tomorow they need her in two different sections, so she will be trying 4 hours on the floor, and another 4 in the main office doing data entry.

Is there a part of this country, hell ANY country where thunderstorms and tornado's are rare occurances, where the temprature never exceeds 85 degrees, or gets below 50? Just wondering, I am so tired of these storms. I have lost so much sleep these past several days, and the damn weatherman says no change in sight, more heat, more storms, more warnings. So far this year we haven't had to take cover anyhow, so that is a plus. One of those huge very loud rolling thunder claps just told me that I probably should't even be on this little laptop, so I will sign off for the night.

Hope everyone is having a great week.

Jerry 7-19-2001 23:53


Here's what I think!



Debra 7-19-2001 22:23

Shortie Smells that make us happy.

Well this will be short. I usually drink wine on Friday and or holidays. I don't like beer. I drink it when it is required.

Well anyway one day at this picnic with family and friends, I was drinking beer, and lots of it. Not only that it was from the tap. We were playing a friendly game of softball. It was with kids too.

I was playing shortstop and no one was on second. Little Dougie was up at bat. He was five. When you're five you don't get three stikes. You swing until you hit.

Well he swung and swung. His father had him under his arms helping. I swiged and swiged. It seemed to take hours. Finally he HIT the ball. It flew up to my left and I briefly watched it. That's when it happened. For some unknown reason, I ran to third and then home. I didn't even wonder why it felt so weird running with a glove on.

So to me beer smells like goofball, not softball, because that's just what I felt like. It always makes me smile when I think of it.

Debra 7-19-2001 21:41

Hi guys - Long time no write. Wanted to drop in and let you all know that "Shadows in a Dream" can now be ordered at and

I thought that was very cool. Jack, Allein, Americo, we are on Amazon :o)

Ciao for now.


PS - My kiddies are almost done with school. I'm ready for summer vacation. I'm ready to sleep in a little tiny bit. I'm ready to not wake up so darn early every morning. Did I mention that I'll not have to get up so, so early? Yes, yes, yes! Summer vacation here I come!

Rachel 7-19-2001 21:22

Did a bit more work on my short story, you can still check it out at the link below, scope it out and tell me what you think.

Jerry Flight 800 the Whole Truth 7-19-2001 17:49

Sorry folks, I am just not the shorty type writer. I am more the long drawn out saga kind of guy. So sue me. Here is part four.

I soon learned that if I stayed flat on the sand I was fairly ignored by the islands population. If I as much as sat up, the fly-bys would resume. I had been accustomed to the presence of terns for some years. Still, I had never encountered them in their nesting areas. Terns had always seemed such an innocuous presence on the bay, but in far fewer numbers. I was reminded of the Ogden Nash jingle in which he vowed to leave no tern unstoned for reason of some offense, probably not unlike my recent bombardment. It amused me that in such a state of spent strength and muscular inflammation, my mind could entertain frivolous thoughts.

I found, after a while, that if I stayed below the high tide line, I could stand erect with only a raucous warning from the birds. I returned to the boat and fetched an oar and the hailing cloth I had brandished earlier. I tied the old shirt to the rowing end of the oar and planted it in the sand at the tide line. I had to further tax my aching shoulders to manage this, but I knew I would not be able to stand indefinitely and watch for passing boats. I let the distress flag flap listlessly in the fading breeze and stretched out to rest, keeping my ears tuned for the sound of motors or slapping sails. Marion harbor hosted many more sailboats than the motoring kind, and this island was a likely point of passage. No sailing skipper would beach to take me aboard, but, if sighted, my presence on the island would be reported to the Harbor Master.

In the misty afternoon, I heard a motor in the distance on three separate occasions. I called out each time at the sound of motors, but none responded, and no sailboats came close enough for me to detect. The expanse of water at the entrance to the harbor was so wide as to allow most boats to pass out of sight in the heavy haze. Judging the time on the island was no easier than on the bay. Later, when the light was unmistakably fading, I resigned myself to an evening with the terns.

When there was too little light remaining for me to be sighted, but still enough to see my surroundings, I decided I would make my way to the lighthouse. When I had looked at it earlier I was able to see what looked like an open entrance. The lighthouse was small as such structures go, and I figured it to be about thirty yards or so distant and slightly uphill from the shore. It was round in the traditional style, and I saw the entrance at an angle too sharp to be certain, but it seemed to be open.

Thirty yards may seem a trifling distance and rightly so, but in deep sand one’s progress is slowed greatly at any time. Since my arms were so weakened and inflamed, I had no illusions about crawling the distance. My legs were all that had not been taxed beyond reason during the days rowing. Still, under normal conditions I would never have considered facing an attack by the incensed terns by running or trudging in an upright stance. There was not a square foot of space on the island that was not claimed by incubating little fighter-bombers.

Earlier when I had crossed the high tide line, below which terns have the good sense to know they cannot nest, I had stood for no more than a few seconds before I was driven to the ground. Real estate among these hopeful parents is contested more hotly than it is among humans. The best ground—and that is where terns nest: on the ground—is higher and further from the water’s edge. Terns nesting at the perimeter of the rookery are those without the will or the physical resources to win a place further within the grounds. These weaker members of the colony were the ones that first opposed my arrival. To reach the lighthouse it was going to be necessary to prevail against the toughest and most determined of the population. So unwilling and incapable was my upper body that rather than crawl, I would run the gamut of an enraged and indignant body of winged creatures.

I took off my shirt to use it for protecting my face. A path of sorts led to the lighthouse from the small leeward beach. By keeping the shirt in front of my face and looking down at the mostly grassless sand at my feet, I could follow my way to the lighthouse. This narrow stretch with its absence of sufficient grassy cover was all that did not contain a nest on the entire island. I started off and the alarm was raised instantly. I gained no more than three steps before I felt the pelting against my shirt. The screeching chorus of a thousand or more terns was the most unnerving racket I can ever recall. I kept my eyes to the path and persisted until I felt the firmer footing of the lighthouse under my feet. I rejoiced when I found that the opening was clear, and that I would not have to retreat to the shore and face the wrath of the terns again. Once inside the dark space I could hear the screeching subside. The terns only regard a threat that they can see. I sank onto the sand covered floor of the old lighthouse, and when my eyes had fully adjusted to the dark interior I could make out a few details of the hollowed out building. There was no winding staircase with iron rails one might expect in larger and more elaborate lighthouses, but I could discern the remaining signs of the long since removed mountings for the light that once shone from the openings above. Apart from that I could distinguish a few shapes but otherwise not much.

After the sun had set, and after the twighlight faded into gloomy dimness, the island was enveloped by the almost total darkness of the night. I was then able to stand outside the entrance and look to the glow of the shore in the southwest. Seeing the dim light was reassuring, I thanked mister Edison quietly, because gas lamps nor lanterns would have reached the island through the haze.

The birds were at peace in the dark. No longer zealously vigilant, they roosted quietly, only alert to the stirrings of skunks and raccoons that would raid their nests in the dark on the mainland shores, but no such creatures existed on the island. Still, the birds responded to their instincts, and their gentle clucking was audible throughout the night.

As I rested on the sandy floor, I began to wish that I had brought a floatation cushion from the boat. Soon I decided that there would be no end to the comforts whose absence I would bemoan before I saw the dawn. I had greatly accelerated my normal rate of dehydration during the hours of rowing. A thirst worthy of three days drought built up in me, and I tried desperately to ignore it. My stomach cramped, no doubt from emptiness as much as from the soreness in my abdomen. As I lay there I felt a hotness through my back and limbs that made me think I might be feverish. I tried to rest, not feeling the need for sleep as much as for healing.

As unlikely as I thought it would be, I fell asleep. There was no period of drifting off. It seemed at one moment I was thinking random thoughts of rescue, and in the next moment I was waking from a deep void in which there had been no sensation—a dreamless state absent of any measure of the time elapsed. I felt instantly sick. I became aware of a damp chill that had invaded my meager shelter. The sound of the chuckling terns came from outside the entrance. I felt the cold of the concrete walls close around me.

I had heard that draft animals can smell water. I had always thought that to be a curious thing since science tells us that water is tasteless and odorless. None-the-less something in that darkness set me to exploring the space inside the lighthouse. For no rational purpose I moved about and came in contact with a number of objects in the dark. There were things I could not make out, but my exploration led me to a large, hard object with a crusty surface. I felt the upper part with my hands, and it seemed to be iron with a narrowing end and a ringed piece welded onto it. Feeling downward I groped along the metal and my hand dipped into water. The shock of it startled me. I traced the lower part with my hand and it felt round and solid. I put a finger toward the center and felt water again. Instantly I put my finger to my mouth. The taste was funky and unfamiliar, but it was surely water and not sea water at that.

A vision formed in my mind and it became clear to me what I had discovered. An old mushroom anchor was lying atilt against the wall of the lighthouse. Obviously the basin-like bottom of the anchor had filled with rainwater that had come through the upper openings. It surprised me that I gave so little thought to what I did next. I lowered my face into the base of the anchor and began to suck up water. I felt things straining through my teeth that I had no inclination to consider. In retrospect I suppose that I consumed a few dead spiders and other tiny creatures that might have drowned in the water, but none of that quelled my enthusiasm at the moment. I was in no frame of mind to question the source of any protein that came along with my drink. I sucked at the anchor until I emptied what water there was. It may have been any amount from a pint to considerably more. Had there been more I would have gladly finished it. I lay back and tasted the foreign contents of the anchor water for some time afterward, until I slept again.

I awakened with the early light, but not before the terns. I felt chilled and my returning consciousness brought an immediate, heavy sick feeling to my chest. I got to my feet and listened to the already active and quarrelsome birds outside. I wondered if terns, in fact, actually slept. I had never kept company with birds throughout the night before, and I had never given any thought to their nocturnal behavior. I was anxious to take stock of my circumstances and was eager to check the bay for signs of rescue. I stood up inside the lighthouse and looked about the floor. I was considerably stiff through the shoulders and in my back, but the soreness was not as intolerable as I had expected. Looking through the doorway I could see along the bay into the harbor. It was still too early to make out the shoreline, but from the crispness in the air I knew it would soon be another clear morning. I felt refreshed to the extent that I wanted to get to the shore and start watching for boats.

I looked about the floor to see if there was any water that I had missed during the night. In the dimness I surveyed the mushroom anchor that I had drained in the night. The anchor was bone dry and had been the only source of water in the lighthouse. I was grateful for what I had drunk from it. At least I would be, I thought, until I came down with dysentery or whatever disease one gets from ingesting rust, dead bugs and other nameless funk. Thinking about water made me conscious of the burden in my bladder. I decided to attend to that in a sandy drift against the lighthouse wall. I did not want to run the gamut of the terns until I had done so, and their clamor would make it especially inconvenient to do so outside.

I removed my shirt, hooded my face with it as I had the evening before and retraced the path to the shore. The distance was covered in roughly the same time and, as nearly as I could tell, with the same results. At least when I reached the water’s edge I was able to clean the shirt of a pound or so of guano. I may be overstating the total volume but the little beggars contained surprisingly large reserves of shit.

I took the old shirt down from the oar and replaced it with the freshly rinsed one. The sky was getting brighter quickly, and I scanned the horizon for boats. I saw none as yet, but I was hopeful, and it was very early. I looked to the northeast—to where the shoal on which I had run aground lurked in the distance. The shoal was not to be seen from the island at any time, but I looked beyond it for flashes of early sunlight off the windows of boats that might be approaching. To the west I looked to the harbor. Soon, from one direction or another, there was bound to be a boat. The terns in their nests at my back were fully active, squawking and squabbling in their incessant struggles to gain or to hold ground.

(to be continued)

gariess 7-19-2001 14:53

Hi all,

Just a quick visit before going on holiday.

Thanks muchly for those who offered names for my latest project – they have been filed and are under consideration.

Off early on Saturday to a week long Christian Arts festival, staying in a 15th century castle with a couple of hundred friends. Maybe I’ll even show you the pics when we come back from the festival?

Anyway, much to do, little time in which to do it, so I’ll catch you all later.

Missing you already...


Litter 7-19-2001 14:14

Have the first draft of my story done. How about a quick critic of it? Just click on the story link. Seems we don't have a workbook yet, or at least I can't get into it yet. No rush Jack, I understand you have had a horrible last few days.

Jerry Story 7-19-2001 11:12

Another stormy night in South Dakota. Again we missed the brunt of the storm, we are indeed living a charmed life. The storm that hit last night at about 10:50 PM dropped large hail just miles west of here, then the hail let up, we received very heavy rain and 70 MPH winds, but no hail, then just nine miles east the hail began again, doing lots of hail damage to crops, cars and roofs to the farmers and ranchers, and those few who still live in the little village of Thunder Hawk SD. While I haven't been outside, a quick peek out the south window shows that there are lots of strange things in the back yard, and all the sweet corn in the garden is laying flat instead of standing nearly four feet high, as it was when we retired last night. The weatherman is predicting another unsettled day of thunderstorms for us, so what else is new. Well back to my story Flight 800 The Truth.

Jerry 7-19-2001 10:10

"All happiness depends on courage and work. I have had many periods of wretchedness, but with energy and above all with illusions, I pulled through them all."

Honore de Balzak 7-19-2001 2:19

Me again.

If you're lurking, Christi, here's a (((HUG))) for you. Hope all is well.

Tina 7-19-2001 1:38


Hi all!

Rhoda, the book exchange is quiet but still hopping. There are At Least 6 books out there right now, more I think but I'm not sure. The only two I'm sure of are mine; Teekay has 'Contact' by Carl Sagan and Heather has 'Dirk Gentley's Holistic Detective Agency' by Douglas Adams. The rest are SOMEWHERE in the world!

Alein, glad it wasn't a virus. They Are Not Fun!

Went to see Final Fantasy last night, and was blown away. The graphics are simply phenominal, and the story was, surprisingly, very good! I didn't expect a real plot and story and character developement.
The highlight of the night, though, was a preview of Lord of the Rings. Aaaaaaghhhhh! I can't wait for December! It looks absolutely fabulous. They played a long preview, enough to see the amount of work and detail they've put in. I'm rereading the book right now, in preparation, and I'm very impatient.

Time to go. I've written 8 pages today so far, and I don't want to lose the momentum. Yay!


Tina 7-19-2001 0:54

GS - I do recall SKS, I think his email is in the BIO section if you want to send him a howdy

Jerry 7-18-2001 23:42


Welcome to the Notebook and enjoy your trip to Rome. I recently returned from my first trip to Britain and had the pleasure of passing endless villages on an ill-advised route from Haworth to York. Being green Yankees, we accidently took the 4 hour senic route.


Thank you so much for your your help with the V.S. chapter. While in Michigan I found a hardback copy of PILLARS OF THE EARTH. I was thrilled to have such a good copy of my own. Thank you for introducing me to the book.

It seems a bit quiet on the Notebook compared to the past week. Coming back from vacation, I find it hard to comment on anything because I feel so out of touch right now. The weather here is horrible with highs of 101 degrees F and lows at night of 85. The heat index got up to 108 today. Michigan was beautiful with moderate weather, just perfect for summer and now I return to Tulsa for this shocker.

Our vacation was great but a little sad because the cottage that has been in my husband's family since 1925 is on the market and I had to go through the house and tag those possessions I wanted to keep out of it. Everyone was emotional, and the family relations a bit tense. There is a bit of conflict over the sale of the cottage and Frank and I had to tip toe our way through to stay out of it. We rented a condo near by and it was extremely nice. We then took a trip down state to visit my husband's brother and his family.

It is good to be back home. It is hard to believe that in less than four weeks my kids go back to school. This summer has just rushed by.

Is anyone still doing the book exchange thing that Teekay started?


Enjoy your new computer!

Rhoda 7-18-2001 22:40

Hey people,
Problem fixed. There was no virus, just a really full hard drive so we got rid of a bunch of stuff and it freed up about 1/4 of the harddrive which is nice because now the internet is back to normal. :)

Allein Allein's World 7-18-2001 22:32

That damn weather warning is bonging on the TV again, now we are in a sever thunderstorm watch until 2:00 AM, so what else is new. There is a sever thunderstorm 65 miles west of here, another 100 miles east, another just south west I feel a bit surrounded.

Jerry 7-18-2001 22:00

GS - had me going there for a second or two.

Jerry 7-18-2001 21:58


Hi All,

RUTH: I really don't think you should let a bit of sexism stand in the way of a good poem or story. Reeks a bit of censure.
And as for good reading and especially as you're going to Rome, I 100% recommend Quo Vadis. Brilliant.

GARIESS: I think maybe I'm aiming too high too soon (is that possible?) Anyway, in this 'writing magazine' that I'm so in love with they have a list of magazines buying short stories, wether it be cash payment or payment in magazine copies, so I thought maybe I'd give them a go and that way I can at least say I've had stories published when I submit them to the big name glossies. (That's assuming I get some published).

Sent away for 'Markets for novels and short stories' yesterday. Can't wait till it arrives.

ALLEIN: Ah you poor thing. How frustrating.

TAYLOR: Oh you lucky thing. You must be so excited. Don't go wearing all the letters off the keys now will you :-)

GARIESS (again): I weally was wather impwessed with the way you waved on about winos and whingers. Well done and wittily witten.

Whoo heeee, I've finally finished my ghostie. Now I can move on - slowly, but surely.

Going guys.
And may your writing fingers be always itchy. :-)

Teekay 7-18-2001 21:46


Did you have to tell everybody that you have three inches more than I do? I suppose I'll have to answer one of those email ads I keep getting.

Hey, all,

Didn't we used to have an SK Perry that posted here? Maybe it was an SKS Perry. I seem to remember SKS. Wouldn't that be a strange coincidence?


gariess 7-18-2001 21:16

My Los Angeles Times bestseller, WRITING IN FLOW, is now out in paperback. To see excerpts, exercises, and more about the book, see my site. Also on the site is an extensive and candid Expert Q&A for writers (

I also teach writing nonfiction book proposals and articles via Writer's Digest Online Workshops. Connect via my site for more info. One of my students just had his book accepted by a university press!

Susan K. Perry BunnyApe 7-18-2001 20:01

Man am I tired. We have had a storm every night for the past four nights. Last night wasn't bad, just a bit of thunder, I got a fairly good nights sleep but the previous three nights, the thunder was so loud it nearly rolled me out of bed, and it stormed all night. We have been lucky, north of us last night, a tornado that was 3/4 mile wide stayed on the ground for 29 miles. Nice thing about it was there wasn't anyone living in those 29 miles, so nobody got hurt, just took down power lines and killed crops. Another town north of us got golf ball to softball size hail, lots of damage there. Just south of town they got over 8 inches of rain in four hours. We seem to be living a charmed life here, as we just get a nice inch or so of rain each night, but the 90+ heat the next afternoon seems to evaporate all that fell the night before. Well not all, my lawn sure needs mowing - a task I shall tackle tomorrow. Trimmed my hedges today, and I am back to writing, have the first few pages of a new shorty done and it is coming together nicely, if I just remember to save it in case I format this stupid computer again.

GS maybe you have your screen resolution set to low, I keep mine at 800 X 400 and there is about three inches between the enter box and the scroll bar.

Jerry 7-18-2001 19:16

Huston! We have clean panties.

By George I think they've got it.

Thanks for all your support.

Debra 7-18-2001 17:11


I think your sentence works well. It avoids the personal pronoun by making the servant the subject and the bather the object. I don't know what influenced the author to write it as she did. It is something I haven't seen her do before. It seems that this one small inconsistency in her policy had to be a considered act, but I don't know that, and I would not know what her considerations were. It seemed to me she must have wanted the sentence to read as it did, whether consciously or otherwise. It was interesting to see the different ways in which people responded to the exercise. Interesting that so many did. In the past people have suggested exercises that were largely ignored. It surprised me that so many took an interest in this one.

Also, Mary,

Part four will be an epilogue of sorts. Maybe. Maybe not. I think your suspicions may be warranted. I can't be trusted.


The trouble that I have with the ENTER button is that it is so close to the scroll tab I sometimes post a message in progress, when I just want to scroll the page. I must have dismally bad eye hand co-ordination. I don't see where anyone else complains about this. On my screen the separation is about one centimeter. Maybe it's not the same on every screen. Anyway, I am grateful that you maintain the site, and give us all the chance to stay in touch. I don't wish to be a whiner. I'd rather be a winer. That is until I become a wino, in which case I suppose I would be a whiner, whining on the street for someone to buy me wine. Unless I was in Teekay's neighborhood in which case I would be a whinger, whinging about the hardships of life as a whinging wino in need of some wine, trying to wheedle wine from every walking willy on the way.

It takes real sand to post stuff like that.


gariess 7-18-2001 13:45


Hi guys. I haven't been able to get online for a few days. I hope its not too late to suggest a shortie night theme, I am a tad surprised that no one else did already.

SHORTIE NIGHT THEME FOR TOMORROW: Smells/scents that remind you of happy things/times

GS: I think that my attempt at your sentence fits all the criteria except one. (It sounds unnatural.)

*Servants pour water over a bather who stands alone on a stone slab.*

Back later! :-)

Mary 7-18-2001 10:20

hi guys, got my computer today finally

now for serious typing!WOOHOO!

taylor 7-18-2001 5:57

Oh, forgot to say, glad you made it back from Montana, about country music, well back when I was 17 I loved country, when I was 19 I wouldn't allow a country record in the house. I spent my 18th year in Nam, and if you tried to listen to country over there, you became an outcast, a freek, a hick, a looser. I guess that was where I got to liken Rock and Roll, and I still listen to mostly rock, the wife still likes her old country, and I listen to some of it, some of it ain't half bad if you go for that sort of thing. The old joke, what do you get if you play a country record backwards? Well you get your wife back, your pickup back, your horse back and sober.

Jerry 7-18-2001 0:14

Jack - wasn't me having trouble with the enter button, think it was GS.

Jerry 7-18-2001 0:10

Hey everyone,
Unfortunately, I'm not sure how much I'll be around. No, I didn't drop off the face of the Earth, I've just been lurking. However, now our computer has a virus that seems to be eating the free space in our hard drive. This makes the internet slow and it's difficult to look at things or post.
We don't know where the virus came from, what it is or how to get rid of it. Our virus scanner won't even detect it. But we know it's there considering that we freed up a lot of space on the hard drive last night and now there's almost no free space.

Viv - I got your e-mail and I'll respond as soon as this virus thing is cleared up.

Ruth - Welcome. :)

Allein Allein's World 7-17-2001 23:35

Hi again all!

Ruth, you are definately welcome here! Me thinks my head is going to swell now! Sorry, I'm not published (yet?). I'm still working on my first novel. About books, if you like science fiction, a fine book that many of us here have read and shared is 'Enders Game' by Orson Scott Card.
Rome! What I wouldn't do to spend a month in Rome. I can't even begin to list the art and architecture I want to see in Rome. yes the Sistine Chapel and the Colosseum, but also Michelangelo's 'Slaves' and everything by Bernini and... and... oh! a month wouldn't be long enough.

Gariess, you faked us out! Three installments, eh? Yeah, sure. Keep us anxious some more. (tapping fingers impatiently...)

Okay, my muse is getting demanding. Gotta love it!

Tina 7-17-2001 20:38

Hello everyone: Got back from Montana at around 7:50 this morning. So, it was a bit of an early start for us to get to the airport and head back from Billings. The memorial service was held at the Rescue Mission in Billings in their chapel. It was somewhat eye opening since none of us were exactly sure where Bud had been except at odd snippet moments over the last nine years. The memorial service helped to fill in some of those gaps since in addition to family members stepping up to have their moments of memory, mostly from times long past, there were those among the population of the Rescue Mission that drove home the situation Bud had fashioned for himself and rightly or wrongly did not seek to change by reaching out to the rest of the family. Partly that could be because he had burned many bridges with alcohol and violent outbursts, but partly it was probably pride, not wanting to reveal the situation that had come to be his life. We did find out he had been homeless on the streets of Billings, had frost bitten his feet several times and more details I will not go into here. It did bring home a very personal face to the whole phenomena of homelessness that I will be thinking about a long time to come.

Jerry: I am not sure what you are referring to about the submit button. Or whatever, please email me separately and we can possibly work out what your difficulty is.

At any rate, it is good to be back and glad to see that the Notebook is charging along as usual. BTW, I noted the comment about country music. Sorry to say, growing up and living in Montana for the better part of 27 years cured me of that affliction and left me calling many portions of it crying, dying and puking music, but I could be wrong on this one and perhaps it has gotten somewhat better. And, yes, I have seen a rodeo in person. In Billings, actually. Lots of fun. Well, this is getting disjointed and I have to go. Take care everyone.

Jack Beslanwitch 7-17-2001 19:24

Ruth - guess I haven't heard of that music group, we have plenty of western singers here that sing rodeo songs, in fact the most famous local rodeo singer just died over the 4th of July, in a motorcycle accident. (Famous locally only, I don't believe he has ever cut a record or tape/cd or anything like that.) As far as riding in the rodeo, I guess if you have the entry fee, you can participate, however I wouldn't recommend it to any armatures. Most of the rodeo riders around here start in the South Dakota High School Rodeo group, and have been trained by that organization, also most are from the ranches in this area, so they were born and raised on horseback. The Rodeo stock (horses bulls etc.) Are all of professional rodeo ranches, who raise nothing but bronco's and brama bulls for the rodeo's. Now you might be able to talk a local rancher into letting you try one of his bronco's but I am sure in today's world, you would have to sign a stack of waivers freeing them from any responsibility should you become injured or die. Most of the riders now days wear special rodeo vests that protect their ribs should they be kicked or stepped on. The vests are sort of like the bullet resistant vests I used to wear when I worked on the PD, but they have a lot of padding on them in addition to the kevlar to offer a bit more cushioning. Saw one fellow get stepped on with one of those vests on the other day at the rodeo and he seemed no worse for it. One poor fellow who was riding a saddle bronco tried to dismount onto the steel pipe fence that makes the arena and about the time he jumped so did the horse slamming him into the fence at a terrible speed, I am sure he got a couple of broken ribs out of it, the ambulance crew checked him out, but I didn't see if he went to hospital or not. I know he was hurting when he picked himself off the fence.

Anyhow Welcome to our little world, I am sure you will like it here, it only takes a few visits for most to call it home, I have been here for a couple of years now. It is sort of like an addiction, you just can't help but come back to see how all your friends are doing.

Jerry 7-17-2001 19:07

Hello again Notebook People.

Heather and Hallee, Rachel and Teekay, Tina and Viv, thanks for the welcome.

Viv. London is lovely. Different from here. Here just everybody knows how much change you’ve got in your pocket. In London that’s not so. Once I got used to people not saying hello along the road I adored it. A bloke I went around with down there used to speak of the anonymity of the town, and that was what I liked. Nobody much knows anything much about anybody else. You can be who you like. You can do that in Brompton all right, but here everyone will know and they’ll say, “oh, it’s only her anyways.” Pleased you liked the Desperate Dan thing. I sent it to a few local friends. One got back saying it was a hoot, another said it was funny but too sexist, that I should watch out and not even dream about publishing it. [We still have policemen on peddle-cycles here.] When I’m in Scotland next I’ll go to Dundee and see that statue. Viv. Stop smoking. But you must be a real tough person. Getting through the flu bug in seven hours must be a world record. It kills me for a fortnight.

Tina. Yup, I’ll stay for at least a while. Thanks. You write beautifully. I like the visual of the kids in the field a lot. Within twenty words I was crouching and watching and waiting with them. That’s a good piece of writing. If you haven’t already used it then I think you should. The other one, the storm coming on with the bird flying past and looking down, that was also very good indeed. Pulled off extremely well, showing a mastery of English. Short pieces I know, but in the humble opinion of a Brompton lass, there’s no doubt you have the most terrific talent. I’ve read plenty of stories and stuff around the net, but those two sketches without doubt are the best writing I’ve ever seen there. If you’re published I’d go out and buy your work without hesitation. Can you let me know on that one Tina? I’d take it to Rome with me.

Jerry. Your rodeo sounds brilliant but it’s something I can’t even imagine. I’ve seen them in films and on tv, and one day I’ll be there in person to watch the dudes ride around. I want to ride one of those mad bitch broncos. Break it in. Could Betsy May have the chance of a go, be a buckaroo for a buck or two? Do you know Copland’s Rodeo music, Buckaroo Holiday and all? It’s in my dad’s collection. Pretty good stuff.

Teekay. Villages are okay. Bit incestuous but okay. Big bit incestuous. But lovely, very homey. Good places to raise brats in but you need to keep the curtains drawn as much as you can. Closed I mean. Towns and cities give me a terrific kick but I soon want to be back here. Something savage about cities. It should be savage here, Brompton being a step back in time to how it is roundabout, only it isn’t. Contained I guess. What was it Eliot said about wallowing in the sty of contentment? You can see a lot of that. Anyway, green fields falling across my sight, that’s what I need. Most of the time. When I itch I go scratch around the sleeping Knights of Richmond. Not like London and still less like New York, you can still untie hair-ribbon there. About. Glad you liked Desperate Dan’s thing Teekay. I had some fun with it.

Having just booked-in the Notebook I’ll be booking-out of it for a while soon. I’m going to be in and around Rome for a month. We’ll be travelling around a lot (I’m going with my bloke and his mother,) but the place I want to be at most of all is St Peter’s, Vat City. I want to see Michelangelo’s Pieta. Someday I’ll write about it. I’ve been wanting to see that statue practically all my life. So this is a little bit of holiday I’m excited about. I’ve actually got it right here in front of me. Downloaded framed photograph is all. I’d put in a bid while I’m over there, but I know the Pope likes it a lot and would let it go like hell. That’s how Popes are. Anyone around here been to see it? I’m also scratching around for some novels to read in mafiadom. If I’m not writing I have to read or I’ll go mad. Anyone read anything lately? Has anyone read Ulysses? Recently I read a hyped-up book by an Irish author, Felicia’s Journey, written by William Trevor, and was pretty disappointed. Not a good book. Something challenging, I think that’s what I need. So Ulysses is in. Any other ideas?

Have a good week over there.


Ruth 7-17-2001 14:41

part three

There came a time when my arms and shoulders ached so badly that I began to think about giving up. I pulled in the oars and let the boat float. I leaned back and forth a few times to loosen the muscles in my back. The sky seemed to have lost some of its earlier brightness. I wondered if the weather was changing, or if it was simply later than I thought.

I thought about letting the motor go. The idea to shed the extra wieght was a big temptation, but I had to consider the fact that the boat is designed to move forward with the bow at a slight upward angle. This angle was calculated to keep the prow from pushing into the waves, and it provided for the weight of a motor on the transom to keep the prow up. If the water had been flat and calm, there would have been no question. The extra weight would be best eliminated. As things were in this chop, it was better to keep the angle on the bow. Apart from these cerebral considerations, I was subjectively reluctant to part with my motor. It had been a good companion and I dearly missed its hearty performace in its current disabled state.

Up to that point I had felt only the physical exertion and the anguish of my plight. Before very long, barring sudden rescue, I would be face to face with the consequences of my misfortune. The light would fail at some point. If I hadn’t reached the shore by that time, I would be adrift in the dark. The only positive aspect of that was that I would have lights on the shore to reckon by, not that seeing lights one couldn’t reach was of much help. My saddest prospect was that I would never make Marion, Perhaps I had already passed the harbor. Maybe I would never see the Bird Island light. I could have already drifted too far south of it.

Still later, I felt the first sensations of thirst, something I knew it was best not to think about. I put the oars out and the first pulls, after a minute of rest, were exquisitely painful. I was sure my shoulders would give out. Blinding pain gripped my neck, and stabbing fingers of fire racked my back as I pushed into the next swell. I looked at the compass and tried to set the needle on the mark. The thin arrow wobbled and drifted back and forth as I struggled to keep the boat pointed west. More than once I regretted not having kept myself in better condition; surely there were those who could do a few hours of rowing with no serious strain. After some time had passed the agony in my body seemed to have returned to the level it had reached before I rested. I stopped turning my head to check for landmarks as often as I did earlier. I no longer believed I would see the lighthouse off the bow. Bird Island could be anywhere in relation to the boat at this point.

I estimated the visibility at less than a mile according to the way the whitecaps in the distance blended into the background. I could not say that the horizon to the west was gray land or gray sky. It looked the same as the horizon to the east, and I knew I would not be able to see the shore in the east, even if the sky had been clear.

I kept pulling for the west, because it was all there was for me to do. At some point I stopped expecting to reach the harbor. It was just as well, since I couldn’t let Marion be my only hope; that hope was too thin. At that point I only looked for land. Whether I would be able to beach safely or not was no longer the question. If I was to perish I wanted it to happen while trying to beach the boat, not from swamping in the dark in an aimless drift. Somehow that seemed the most ignominious of fates, even if it did take greater courage and determination to stay afloat to the very last.

I tightened my grip slightly on the oars. The searing in my hands had turned to a numbness that made my palms and fingers feel like lumps attached to my aching wrists. Reflecting for a moment,

I found it interesting to learn how one’s resolve takes shape in the face of adversity, not at all what I would have expected. I would have thought that in such a trial as this, I would have been either heroic and stalwart, or I would make a sorry show and fold up early on, being the example of modern-age man in all his weakness and frailty that I am. I never would have thought there would be so many shades of gray in between the two. I pressed on.

Water conditions can greatly affect the way sound travels. On a flat sea one can hear conversation of normal levels for a distance of a mile as though they came from a few yards away. On the choppy water I didn’t detect the sound of the boat’s motor much sooner than it appeared out of the hazy mist. It was passing to the starboard side. I began shouting at once, and I was shocked to feel how scratchy my throat was. The boat seemed to be about a thirty footer, a sport fisherman with a stern drive and down-riggers out. It was moving at trolling speed, not more than about five knots. I had an old shirt from my gear that I had set close by for hailing. I lifted it above my head and yelled loudly in spite of my hoarseness. The fisherman was trolling away from my bow and close enough to see clearly, but not close enough for anyone on board to hear my shouts above the sound of the motor. I waved and shouted frantically, but the craft passed out of sight in less than a minute.

I cursed the fact that no one on board had looked my way. My hope was not completely dashed, however, because the down-riggers indicated that they were trolling, and there was a chance they would pass by more than once. I kept listening anxiously, straining to keep the sound of the motor in my ears. The sound faded, but I continued to strain my hearing for the boat, hoping it would make a turn and come back.

I shipped the oars and looked toward the wake of the fisherman. A glimpse of something in the haze came into view as I strained to catch sight of the boat. I kept my stare in that direction as the faint form faded in and out, not lasting long enough to make out clearly. I wondered if the boat had changed course to make a troll in another direction. Soon I made out the sound of the motor ever so faintly in the distance. The sound faded in and out as well as the sighting did.

The misty haze is not of a perfect consistency on the bay. It thickens and thins and moves capriciously about causing the visibility to change with the moment. Sounds on the water are subject to the same unreliability; they come and go and are difficult to pinpoint. Soon I could no longer hear the motor, and I sat with the oars shipped for several seconds staring out to where I thought I had last seen the boat. The vision that had emerged moments sooner came into view and remained long enough for me to make out. The boat had come and gone, but in the slightest traces of what may have been its wake, the specter of Bird Island light had emerged from the haze. Indeed, the island was not in the direction I had been expecting. It could have been a half mile or more away, but it was unmistakably the lighthouse. I set the oars and began to make mighty pulls in the direction of the light.

I can not recall if I felt the pain of the rowing during those minutes. I was so focused on pulling for the island, I doubt that I felt a thing. I’m sure that adrenaline was performing its magic in my system. I looked at the compass and I saw that the light, as best I could figure, was a few degrees north of west from my position. That meant I was already down-tide of the island. This was what I had originally feared would happen. I strained my neck about to keep sight of the lighthouse. Indeed it seemed to get clearer after several minutes. At least it was not slipping back into the haze and in a few moments, if it stayed visible and appeared to get larger, then I was truly getting closer.

If the drift did not carry me too far south in the meantime, I hoped to get up-tide of the little rock and beach without too great a struggle. The lighthouse became more distinct, and I believed I was gaining on it. Every few minutes I checked to see that I was staying on a straight course. After repeating this a number of times I began to make out features of the island. The rowing became smoother as the island materialized in my sight. I was able to see the base of the lighthouse on the high point of the tiny island’s biggest dune, and make out the reaches of the land where it met the sea. The island was hardly bigger than anyone’s back yard, a treeless, grassy lump, covered in sand and rising out of the bay.

The outflow of tide from the harbor had slowed as it met the broader reach of the bay. The tide was apparently going slack, I must have been on the bay longer than I thought. Even though I was rowing almost due northwest, it didn’t appear that I was fighting a strong tide at all. The choppy water settled as the stubby lighthouse grew larger in my view and the sandy little shore grew clear. A rip off the seaward side showed the waning tide still had some fight left in it so I took some extra time, in spite of my spent condition, to get the boat into the lee, and I made my last pull onto the little beach.

The boat scraped into the sand and settled with a small jolt. The sudden feel of solid land unsettled my body, and I was almost instantly dizzy. I tumbled over the side and grabbed hold of the bow rope. Holding fast, I leaned back into the shore and pulled the boat up onto the sand. I lifted the Danforth over the bow and knee-walked up above the high tide line. Letting myself slump forward, I held out the anchor and its teeth sank into the sand. With an outrush of breath I rolled onto my back. The sky above me was a formless spinning mass of gray. My back pressing into the sand felt like it was a sack full of baseballs. I rolled over and lifted myself onto my elbows. My stomach began to spasm, and in an instant I was retching uncontrollably.

A sound had accompanied the unceremonious events of my landing. I had paid it no mind at first, but after the retching subsided, and my head cleared, I started to focus on my surroundings. The sound was a high pitched raucous cacophony that seemed to be building steadily. It soon filled my attention completely. I found myself staring into a sandy bank, and instinctively I rose to my feet.

Standing up turned out to be an unforeseeable mistake. I was immediately attacked by a large number of terns. Terns, sawed-off seagulls, feisty little feathered creatures, were nesting in droves on the island. Suddenly, as the squawking little sea eagles raised their noisy protest to a deafening screech, I remembered why they called this little rock Bird Island. It seemed that sometime after the lighthouse had been deactivated, the island was turned over to the Department of The Interior to be kept as a bird sanctuary for nesting shore birds. At that moment I was not aware of the details, only that I had heard this island had been given over to birds. Certainly, I was learning how zealously the terns were prepared to enforce their sovereignty. Screeching was apparently the first line of defense that the terns used to defend their nests from invaders. That failing, the birds resorted to formation bombing runs; coming in fast and close they timed their releases with uncanny accuracy. One could not help ducking from these attacks, because it seemed, for all the world, that the birds were aiming to fly right into one’s face.

The first sorties scored several direct hits and sent me back to hugging the sand. If I had developed any notions of being a brave and robust fellow in the wake of my recent trial, these feisty little birds set me straight on that point rather quickly. It was in this unlikely fashion that I celebrated my salvation and received my welcome to Bird Island—by retching and ducking bird shit. It had been a long day and for the moment, this is what it meant to be alive.

(to be continued)

gariess 7-17-2001 14:22

Ok, so it is just a wee bit lonely in here, I agree. This is the fourth time I checked in today and all is the same. Makes me wonder is it real or is it cache?

Jerry 7-17-2001 14:04

So quiet in here I just had to post a note to say 'hi'!

Think my muse is finally awake. Sat down to edit last night, and caught myself writing. I hope she stays around for awhile, breaks the writing drought I've been having.


Tina 7-17-2001 10:25


You get cuter by the day. So sorry about the story not getting picked, but as they say, The one that makes it, makes it all worthwhile. You will have to take their word for it. Just keep looking at the bug picture.

I must go to work on the next installment of the story. I have a burn healing on my leg (pressed against hot pipe,) and it is itching so intensely that I could scream. I wonder if I can work under these conditions.


gariess 7-16-2001 23:32

The 'bog' picture. Now there's a Freudian slip.
HAHAHAHAHA GARRIES, I beat you to it,nyah!

Teekay 7-16-2001 22:09


Morning All,

GARIESS: YAAAAAY! A++. I don't believe it. I'd like to say a big thankyou to my mum and dad coz I fundamentally have them to thank for my cuteness. And if it weren't for them I simply wouldn't be here today. Thanks guys *sniff*
BTW, now where did you say it had to be in the third person hmmmmm?
AND I'm very glad to see part 2 is posted because I read part 1 this morning and am a tad anxious to see what happens next.
AND a special hug to you because you know cute when you see it.
Yeah, I know, I really know how to make the most out of a compliment. :-D

HALLEE: We have that kind of football too, but the guys don't wear any pads at all, and it goes by different names in the different states. Footy's a really big thing over here.
We don't have grid iron . (I get the impression that this is your football)
And baseballs not a big thing either.

GARIESS: Well I did nag, er, I mean speak to you regularly about 'the mysteriously missing ending' but it seems you are indeed immune to naggi...,er, I mean, my charms.
Let this be a lesson to you.

A+++ goes to you and here's a hug too coz I'm so cute.

Well enough joviality for one morning. Now for some shitty news.
You know my story that was short listed for the magazine come October?
Well I received a letter yesterday saying it was a no go.
I'm soo glad I didn't tell anybody - well, hardly anybody.
BUT, on the bright side, the same day, the writing magazine which I have been waiting over a month for finally hit the shelves. There's a wonderful article in it on depression HAHAHAHA, but I haven't read it yet. Thought I'd wallow a bit. Only joking. I really think I must have this rejection thing pretty much down pat. Either that or I'm getting a silent but deadly stomach ulcer from repressing it.

Another fantastic thing is that in this writing magazine they have those writers markets etc books for sale. I'm soo stoked. I'm going to buy 'markets for short stories and novels'. And it's in Australia and using Australian dollars (well of course DUH)
And to think I'd never get my hands on one of them.

Busy writing day today. I have all these little scrappy things I have to polish up, before I can concentrate on the bog picture.
And yes, my bloody ghostie is one of them.

Teekay 7-16-2001 22:06

Hi. Sometimes it seems that the less I do, the more tired I get. The knee is some better, so I'm going to go back to the usual routine. The heat leaches my energy too. I don't have that much to start with. (not my age, never had much energy.)

I'm joining you in a smaller way. Having trouble with the property Tax people. Part my fault but mostly their fault.

Well, the Fear Factor didn't kill anyone so I'm going to get a book and go to bed. Regressing to my childhood and reading Agatha Christie's books. Not really sure I've read them before. Memories get mixed up with TV programs.


Rosemary 7-16-2001 21:13


Rosemary - I also am weary. I'm feeling quite worn out :o( Poor me ;o) Hope you feel full of life in the morning (hugs for you).

7-16-2001 20:37

A weary hello to all,

So far of all the blather quotes(not a mispelling), I like JERRY's the best.:-p

Sorry you feel bad. Hope it's at least allowing you to stay home and recuperate.

I think a little less info. on technicalities(like the time sequence) would increase the suspense. Although I'm not sure I could handle too much more suspense. Good story!!

The Fear Factor just came on. Got to go see if they are allowed to kill off a contestent.


Rosemary 7-16-2001 20:04

A servant poured water over a bather standing on a stone slab the bather was heard to say "No you idiot, the OTHER head!"

Jerry 7-16-2001 18:47

Howard, we live in SOUTH Dakota (you know THE OTHER Dakota). Those idiots up north think changing their name will make everyone forget that it gets cold up there in the winter, just goes to show you, the smart ones just move SOUTH.

Jerry 7-16-2001 14:44


It seems you are keeping your spirits up, old thing, in the face of you adversities. The Rodeo sounds like great stuff. We don't seem to get the good Rodeos here in the east. I think the one's that travel this far are the lesser ones.




(That's three Jack's for emphasis) Can you somehow get the ENTER button away from the bottom scroll tab? I keep posting incomplete and unedited text. I know I am old, clumsy and feeble, but I thought this was a geezer freindly board. I keep posting messages to people before I put in the part where I do all the slobbering and apologising for being so nasty. Then, by the time I get the window back, I can't remember the last post and go on being nasty to somebody else.

Jack, I need balance, here. The button is killing me. Soon, I expect threatening emails. There are people on this board who can drive to my house. I'll be afraid to answer the door. I'll be looking under my car. Are you listening, Jack?


gariess 7-16-2001 12:35

Teekay, you imp,

You are the very soul of nagging, even though you have the cutest way of going about it. You have needled me for what, two years about the story that went missing in cyberspace? You obviously remember more details of the beginning of it than I do. Perhaps if I had finished it soon after it went lost in the computer I would have been spared the occasional barb for the ensuing decade. I make you the promise that if you supply me what you know of the first chapter, I will complete the rest from your prompting. I know the essential points of the ending, I just need to square it with the critical points of the first part. Okay, we have a dog that ate a pie...


I know what you mean about "a little longish in the middle." Actually, I was having the same trouble with your 48 word critique. When I got to the part about the little canoe on the lake, I could not keep my eyes open. I did finish it after I awoke and mopped the drool out of my keyboard (I have that problem when I nap in the daytime.) Well, at least, I know something of what writers experience when their works in progress are subjected to the scrutiny of agents and editors. I suppose novelists and writers of all kinds hear the observations of people with tangible interests in their work before they finish it. Now that I have been properly advised, perhaps I can shorten the remaining portion of the story in order to compensate for the lagging middle. Would it do to shorten the horses rump in order to balance out a sagging, swayed back. It is too late too repair the middle. After all, one cannot unring a bell, even one that is more soporific than sonorous. Perhaps, especially one that is so.

As for the relative safety of the fresh water, those who live in the Great Lakes areas, the descendants of the Edmund Fitzgerald crew, for instance, can attest that there is much reason for caution on the unsalted seas. "...Superior they said, never gives up her dead, when the winds of November come early."

gariess 7-16-2001 12:11

Award winning literary web-site is sponsoring a
short-short-short (1 paragraph) story contest. Three entries are chosen for
posting on their site (with all vital author information), and the winner also
gets a copy of my book "One Note Symphonies". It's fun, it's free, it's

Sean Brijbasi 7-16-2001 12:01

Award winning literary web-site is sponsoring a
short-short-short (1 paragraph) story contest. Three entries are chosen for
posting on their site (with all vital author information), and the winner also
gets a copy of my book "One Note Symphonies". It's fun, it's free, it's

Sean Brijbasi 7-16-2001 11:59

Reading your writing on the rodeo and the weather is so nice. It's like spending a wonderful day out of here. I'm feeling really completely blah after the flu. Seems it's taking some time to shake this bug. Now I know I'm geting better, I'm grumpy....until I get to the rodeo news. Why is it that rodeos always are ended abruptly by summer thunderstorms. You always drive out of the parking lot in a real toad strangler! I'd forgotten that. Thank you! Your writing brought a lot of joy to me in the past couple of rather dismal days. (Nothing really wrong here except I don't feel good.)

Viv 7-16-2001 10:01

So Jerry - is it just plain Dakota, or its it still North Dakota?

howard 7-16-2001 9:58

Okay okay - he got naked and wet! ;-)

howard 7-16-2001 7:00

TEEKAY: That's what soccer is here, too. What I was curious about was, since the British, etc., call soccer "football", do you also have football, i.e. a concial ball made of pig's skin that gets thrown from one guy decked out in a bunch of pads to another guy decked out in a bunch of pads? (American football as opposed to European football).

Hallee 7-16-2001 6:58

I know what you're going to say: Is the bather standing on the stone slab, or the attendant/servant? The answer?


Heather 7-16-2001 3:48

Don't like 'servant'? Well, insert 'attendant' instead.


Heather 7-16-2001 3:47

A servant poured water over a bather standing on a stone slab.

There. That should do it.

Heather 7-16-2001 3:45

Gariess - got a little 'longish' in the middle, but so far so good! I'm not one for sea-going in small vessels - but give me a little canoe in a lake any day. Love the ocean, but it's far scarier and far more dangerous than anything freshwater, save rapids and Niagara Falls, I think.

And now a word from our sponsors:

Go to bed.

Heather 7-16-2001 3:44

Heather: I was thinking of other name which I won't mention because I don't like it

taylor 7-16-2001 1:32

Well we got rained out this the last day of the rodeo. Near the end of the rodeo, huge black boiling clouds loomed to the south. A very old gentleman who sat next to me all through the show, and visited back and forth about the riders and such was the first to leave. He turned to me, and said "Them dang clouds look mean, damn mean, me and the misses we are getting while the getting is good!" Well I hadn't the heart to tell him that I am a qualified tornado spotter and that while they looked like they could give us some hail, and rain the formations for tornadic activity just wasn't there. We watched for awhile, and the clouds continued to build until I saw tell tail danger signs the rapid lightning, a wall cloud began to form, and that was it, we were gone. Made it home just before the heavens opened and poured heavy rain on us. This was at about 3:30 PM, and the rain has yet to stop completely it is now 10:30 and we are under a flash flood watch. The rain continues, the thunder roars in the background as it has since we arrived home. I type this on my laptop which offers fairly safe operations under such weather.

Overall we had a great time, as we always do at rodeos, they are very trying events for me, as I must take a stadium chair along, which gives me a bit of support on my back, but I do suffer a lot of pain for my pleasure, but I wouldn't miss it for the world. And to think, I didn't care much for rodeos until we moved home.

The rodeo is a natural for this town, as it was founded by an old Texas cowboy who worked for the Railroad as a hunter. That is he hunted buffalo to feed the rail workers as they put the rails through this state. Seems the Railroad promised to sit him up with a town named after him as thanks for a job well done. They found this site, and began building the town in North Dakota. Well old GE. Lemmon looked around and told them to move it all south of the tracks, seems North Dakota was dry at that time, and GE enjoyed a drink a bit better then most. GE was still alive when I was growing up, I remember him well, as one of our school projects was recording history on one of those old tube type reel to reel tape recorders. It was so heavy it took two of us to carry it to his house, where we sat it up on the kitchen table and began interviewing him about his days as a cowboy. Now that was interesting. Probably why I still enjoy history so much today.

Even our school team name was the Lemmon Cowboys, and it was the in thing for all the fellows in school to wear cowboy boots, not the kind with the walking heal mind you, but with the tapperd riding heal. Yep, we were the cowboys, and I guess some of us still are in our hearts.

Well I am off to bed, going to be a bit hard sleeping with all that thunder. Oh forgot to mention, that must have been the reason for the stock being so skittish yesterday, at around two AM, we had a bad thunder storm, kept me awake for a couple of hours, seemed like there was just a steady rumble of thunder. Life on the high planes is always an adventure.

Good Night to all, hope you had as great a weekend as I did.

Jerry 7-16-2001 0:50


Sorry love, but you have changed the sentence to the first person. It must remain in the third person. In the first person the information is changed, and the gender implications become altered. In order to indicate I, one need not deal with gender. To indicate the third person singular is the exercise. It's the old he/she thing, not the I/me thing.

Still, you are very cute and you get an A++ for that, and a hug.


gariess 7-15-2001 23:35


Part two

After drifting away from the shoal for a moment or two, I reasoned that it must be just after noon. This was only helpful for guessing how much daylight I might have had left. On the bay the events of the day are measured differently than on the land. Ashore one hears the noon whistle, watches television, or notes the clock. I seldom have a watch with me in the boat, because it is, for instance, more pertinent to know when the tide goes slack and when the sea breeze starts than to note the arrival of the noon hour. Most times the onshore wind starts to stir when the strength of the sun raises the heat waves on the land. That might be just before eleven o’clock or it may be closer to noon, or may not occur at all. One might note these actual events in clock time, but there will be little importance in that, and their arrival won’t be influenced by human accuracy in measuring hours and minutes. The clock of the sea is not so easily accounted for. It doesn’t keep the same pace every day, and it measures its progress by a more inscrutable system.

The boat bounced and rocked in the tightly spaced waves. Being adrift in this kind of water was not as perilous as being under way in it under certain conditions, so I was in no immediate danger of swamping. Throughout the whole time, my eyes were alert for boats in the distance. There were few that appeared, and none seemed to be approaching me. I reckoned that if the closest craft I could see, a sailboat, had been coming directly at me it would be some fifteen minutes before I could even hail it. As it was the boat was soon out of sight. Had it been a weekend there might have been more boats and the chance of a rescue would have been increased.

The difficulty I faced was that in my earlier pursuits I had gone outside the confines of the upper bay into more open water. An important change in conditions had taken place since then. An entrance of sorts into the upper bay is formed by the end of Wing’s Neck on one side, and the Wareham spit on the other. Between these two points of land is about one-and-a-half miles of water that would very soon become too violent for a small boat like mine to negotiate. I had stayed too late on the shoal on an earlier occasion and the passage home had been troublesome. Today the wind would be coming up against the fastest moving part, "the meat," of the tide as a friend of mine was known to call it. This condition creates turbulence in the moving mass of water going seaward from the upper bay. Once inside this bar the water smoothes out and the waves are far more manageable. As my friend had further remarked in regard to the gentler water, "It's the gettin' there that's the trick."

This established incontrovertibly that, in my present situation, I would not be returning to where I had been. One’s first impulse when suddenly in trouble on the water is to try to get home. I felt this same impulse when I first summed up my circumstances, because that was the natural response, but I had no illusions about the possibility.

It was a certainty that for a few more hours, until the tide went slack, I would be drifting seaward. I would not drift further than the first of the Elizabeths, but that would be many hours from now, if ever. However far I went seaward, I would, from the present moment, be carried to where the shores would be less and less manageable for beaching a boat without power. There were steeply banked shorelines in most places on the western side where a boat could not even anchor. To the east the distance to the coves and beaches was too great, and many of them were strewn with rocky approaches. They were too far away and too dangerous even if I could get to them. My best hope would be to go as far westward as possible. Perhaps the oars would not be useless after all. It would have been hopeless to use them against the tide, but if I could maneuver westward as I drifted, I might manage to beach the boat on the outer reaches of Marion Harbor. If I missed that, the hope would be even slimmer that I would make it further west into New Bedford. After that only a faint hope would exist that I might reach Narraganset Bay, but so many grim possibilities stood between me and Narraganset Bay that I cut off all consideration of that likelihood. I was without water; I was without food, and my physical reserves were about to be stretched to their limit for the hours ahead.

The sharp clarity of the morning air was giving way to a humid haze. The warmer, more humid air was common to the bay in summer as it carried up from the southwest along the Chesapeake, Delaware Bay and Long Island Sound. Conditions had changed quickly from a crystal clear morning on a flat sea to a breezy, hazy afternoon. The chop would get even heavier as the tide pushed against the strengthening wind. The surface over the much deeper part of the bay would make swells upon which the choppy water would rise and fall. The wind would push the side of the boat in one direction, the tide would move it in another, and the choppy water rising and falling under the bottom would make it twist and wrench against all the other forces. I was in for a very difficult row, because against all these influences, I would be trying to keep the boat moving westward toward a harbor I could not yet see. Although I would be trying to row due west, a course I chose more arbitrarily than one would guess, I would, by design, be moving at an angle to the south that I hoped would put me on the Marion shore, or if possible, Bird Island, a little rock of an island with an old abandoned light house, that sits just off the entrance to the Harbor.

Looking to my objective shore I could see an outline on the horizon, a gray band separating the lighter haze of the sky from the deeper, greener gray of the sea. There was an Island there somewhere that could not yet be seen, the small white lighthouse on that island would be my mark. My rosetta stone, I thought. What actually is a rosetta stone I wondered? Is my analogous reference correct? I really must find out one of these days.

Something that surprises the inexperienced sea-goer is the way an island disguises itself against the shore when seen at a distance. Even when seen at close range, offshore islands don’t always reveal themselves as such, appearing only to blend into the background land. This same illusion applies to necks of land that reach out into the sea. On a map, what look like fingers of land that reach into the sea will look like nothing but a straight stretch of land from a mile or more out. A seaman learns to read the shore by landmarks and must abandon trust of his depth perception. Such trust is unwisely placed, and has caused the loss of men and boats from the very beginning of the time men rode the sea. One can look at a chain of islands, and if they are positioned so that no horizon shows between them, one sees what looks like continuos shoreline. People experience this often when departing Woods Hole and looking south to where the Elizabeths reach down to New Bedford.

Once deciding to row for Marion Harbor, there was no time to spare in getting the oars to work. I had no way of knowing the distance and time factors involved. I was only sure that if this was a chance, it could only be improved by hastening the process. I set the locks and took a few pulls to turn the bow westward. I was not encouraged by the difficulty with which the boat held steerage. It could hardly be said that steerage was what I eventually effected. As I had feared, the lightweight hull was pushed by the wind, rocked by the waves, and tried to twist and pivot on the shallow swells now forming over the deep water off the western shore. I had set my hand compass on the deck in front of me, because the bow was pointed at the shore. One must row backward to efficiently move a boat with a pointed bow, so to maximize that efficiency a compass is valuable to keeping the boat in the straightest line. Looking over one’s shoulder is no way to row a boat. Two-seventy was the course I wanted to keep. I marked the opposite point with the index and tried to keep the needle on the mark as much as possible.

The oars were no comfort to my bleeding palms. For a while I tried wrapping them in rags. My palms and fingers felt the better for it, but, alas, my grip was too weakened, and I had to trade comfort for more pull against the water.
The rowing was poor at best. The oars continually skipped as the boat pitched, and one, then the other, would come out of the water on the pull. Each time this occurred, and it was far too often, precious energy was wasted slapping the air and resetting the oars. The haze of the early noon deepened as I struggled to pull against the water. The shoreline to the east became dimmer and began to disappear. I would have been encouraged by this had I been naďve enough to think that distance was the cause. I was all too aware that had I been rowing toward that shore instead of away from it, it would still be disappearing in the thickening haze. Before long there was no sight of the eastern shore.

I still wonder, from time to time, if I had been able to measure the hours that passed in that strenuous and painful trial, I would have been more or less discouraged than I was. As it was, I could only tell myself from one minute to the next on that afternoon, that I was still afloat, that I was still alive, and that I was still on the sea and not below it. Time became measured in the stretches between shoulder cramps, pains in my elbows, and how often I struggled with myself not to quit because of the ache in my wrists, or the burning in my palms and fingers. Without a watch to look at, something always seems to take up the task of marking time.

I am still unable to account for what it was that kept me going that day. "Every minute above ground," I paraphrased, reminding myself of the much repeated homage to existing life. Only in this case it was every minute above water, and the homage, after a while, became a liturgy, a mantra to hold against my pain. "Every minute of pain is a minute of life," I ounce shouted at the empty sea, thinking that this was a great original thought. "Give me more pain, give me more life!" My spirit lifted at that and sunk quickly again as I considered that I would more likely than anything take that thought, original or otherwise, into the great hereafter before another sunrise graced the eastern sky.

"I hope this nasty world knows what they’re losing," I muttered sullenly as the oars skipped again, this time in unison, eliciting from me the foulest curse I could muster the energy to speak. I don’t really know what resource within me keep me struggling to keep that boat on course, a course that I scarcely knew would bring me safely off the bay. There was, however, one thought that accounted for a large part of my resolve. After what seemed to be hours of agonizing struggle, I became convinced I would see the image of the Bird Island lighthouse emerging from the misty gray shoreline in the west. I suppose it was a wishful hope, but that I would see the lighthouse soon, was all that I had to hold on to in that late afternoon. I rowed to the west on a bitchy snarling sea, tossed by swells, rocked by waves and buffeted by the wind in a boat too small to be there. That little fragment of the seaman’s prayer played over and over in my head until I had to chase it away. "… and my boat is so small."

"Too small," I thought. "They are always too small."

(to be continued)

gariess 7-15-2001 23:13


Hi All,
JERRY: Whata you wrote reminds me about what somebody wrote into the Sunday paper here.
Apparently these illegal immigrants were given these barracks to live in while paper work etc. was sorted out. Anyway, they trashed and burnt the barracks and so were given other accomodation.
The person who wrote into the paper was saying that those illegal immigrants who abused what they were given and were given yet more were in a much better person that she who had served in the war and done her bit for the country and was now just trying to survive on a pension and very little else.
You're right. That's the epitome of treachery.
BTW: The first and only rodeo I ever went to the bucking horse stepped on it's leadrope, broke its neck and had to be shot.
Bummer!! A lot of people went home after that. I was about 10 at the time so it's a pretty strong memory.

GARIESS: Here is my contribution (and this time I expect an A++)
'A bather, I stand on a stone slab while water pours over my head by another hand.'

HALLEE: I forgot to say thankyou on your compliment of my poem, so, thankyou :-)

VIV: I think it was you who suggested I forget about the chapters. I thought about that and I think it works better for me if I break it up. It's not so overwhelming that way.

HALLEE: Soccer here is played with a round ball which is kicked around and not touched by the hands at anytime except by the goalkeeper. It's great fun to watch.

RUTH: Hi and welcome to the notebook. I just love the name of the village you live in, and the fact that you have a village. We don't have villages over this way, which is a bit of a shame really.
Funny poem.

MARY: How's 'The Mummy' comming along?
Oh, don't worry. I just read your post where you said you've written nothing.

HEATHER: I don't think you should hold your breath waiting for the end of GARIESS' stories. It could kill you. :-D

ROSEMARY: Here's a thought. Do you take photo's? You could make a gallery collection of them. First the photo and then the visual description beneath. Enter them into the local show for starters and see how they go.
I thought it sounded like a good idea anyway.

Orright, orright, I'm of to read GARIESS story and I hope I don't regret it.
Still wondering what happened after the dog ate the kids pie and I guess I always will *sigh*

Teekay 7-15-2001 20:49

Afternoon all,

Taking it easy today. Thought if I stayed off the knee for a day or so, it might have a chance to recover on its own.

Gariss, Add my voice to the crowd waiting for the next installment.

Your visuals are great. Kind of like super short shorties.

Heat waves shimmer over a dry brown pasture while three horses stand, hipshot, under a ragged Hackberry tree, dozing the hot afternoon away.

Bye for now,

Rosemary 7-15-2001 17:26

Lookin' forward to part two, Gariess~!

Heather 7-15-2001 15:34

Taylor - I mentioned your name because I know a girl (who's four or so years old now) with the name Taylor. It was predominantly a boy's name up until the 90's, as far as I know. You're right in that it isn't a predatory name.

Well, I did a little writing today - first in a week.
Man, what a slump for me!
YUCK. But now that I've come out of it, I'll be on a roll for a while. Reports to follow...

Have a great afternoon all,
and may your keys be joyously clacking!

Heather 7-15-2001 15:13


I hope to have part two in later today.


gariess 7-15-2001 14:54


VIV: Glad to see you writing again - maybe you couldn't because you were coming down with being sick?

RUTH: Welcome!

TINA: Hi, you. ((hugs))

RHODA: Hope you're having a good time.

Happy Sunday all!

Hallee 7-15-2001 6:58

I wouldn't call my first name predatory, my one's lame
Names have changed alot over the years...Changing with the times seemingly

taylor 7-15-2001 4:13

Viv - you are very welcome! I don't think I invented it, though!

Hi everybody, and hello Ruth!

Gariess, I'm waiting for the next part of your short story!
C'mon now, whaaaaat happens?

Mark - I guess 'Les' is not much of a man's name... heh heh.
You are right - boy's/men's names tend to be tough or predatory. At least, many of the popular ones are.
Girls' names however, have come along quite far (tongue in cheek here) now many girls are given names that, forty years ago, were for boys only: Drew, Michael (yes, I know a young woman named Michael) D'Arcy, Mick, Taylor, etc...
so what does that say? Now it's okay for women to be hard and predatory as well? Hmmm.

Heather 7-15-2001 1:21

Another visual...

My knees ached from kneeling in the field, sharp with dry grasses. Dusk settled over us all, seven kids hiding from the two men searching the fields with flashlights and curses. It felt like hours, and when a beam of light crossed the ground just inches ahead of my knees I thought I'd been caught, but eventually they gave up and retreated to the safety of their houses.
A long while later, we kids cautiously crept from our hiding places and regrouped in a safe zone, a back yard a block away. Our hearts pounded from the adrenaline still abundant in our blood, but we firmly agreed that this had been the best night of nicky-nicky-nine-doors we'd ever played.

Tina 7-15-2001 1:05

Oh, forgot to mention, the winner of the ugly farm pickup gets a cash prize and the honor of running his ugly pickup in the parade.

Jerry 7-15-2001 0:31

Ah, another great night of rodeo fun! Last night is was so hot, we were all soaked in sweat fanning ourselves with the programs and wishing for rain, hail, snow ANYTHING but heat. Well tonight was different. It started off a bit on the strange side, the entrance of all the royalty, then the Boss Cowman and his wife in a wagon, but all the animals were skittish. You could see that so plainly, they couldn't keep the horses in line, they were whinnying and just plain jittery. The events showed the same with all the animals, the calves ran faster then ever, the bulls for bull dogging were fast and fought harder then ever. Even the goat for woman's goat tieing ran from them as they tried to catch them and toss them to the ground. The saddle bronco riding ended with one of the cowboys riding his ride to fame, taking first place, then just to celebrate the bronco threw him so hard it dislodged his shoulder and he had to be taken to hospital to have it fixed. It wasn't long before we could see why the animals were so nervous, a cold wind came in from the south, and blew at a steady fifteen to twenty miles per hour. Now that was great for all those setting on the south side of the arena, but we, of course chose to sit on the north end, closer to the pickup and all you know. The dust blew right in our faces, and when the horse exhaust was dropped in the arena, it's pungent aroma came on with the dust and wind. It got so cool that many left, my daughter was nice enough to run to the pickup and bring me by lined flannel shirt, and a quilt and afghan for she and my wife. The weather continued to effect the riders, ropers and the rest, not just the animals, it seemed to affect the contestants too, sort of on edge. Then off in the west came the rumble of thunder, and as the arena lights came on, the flashes of lightning continued to give the action a strobe-light effect, sort of stop action if you will. By the time it came to the bull ridding, half the bleachers were empty, and the weather got even cooler, the wind stronger Out of the first twelve rides, only one cowboy won, that is rode for eight seconds the thirteenth rider signaled our exit, to beat the crowd in their rush for the one and only exit from the fair-grounds. As I got in the pickup, I could see that rider still on board the bull as the whistle blew, probably missed the best ride of the whole rodeo, but we didn't have to wait in line to go home anyhow. Funny, the one rider who scored highest in the bull ride was on a huge black brama bull, the bull charged from the gate, ran to the middle of the arena then started spinning in circles, he kept spinning until the rider jumped from his back following the whistle, then kept spinning and spinning, he would not stop, the crowd were cheering, the clown was trying to get the bulls attention, but to no avail, this went on for what seemed like minutes, then one cowboy jumped down from the fence, and ran to the bull, taking his hat he swatted that bull right on the nose. Guess that bull got the message, and stopped spinning, to chase that cowboy back to the fence, then the bull headed right for the exit gate, and was gone. Well one more day of rodeo, then it will be over for the year. Great fun, and it gets one's mind off his troubles, if just for three or four hours.

Jerry 7-15-2001 0:29


Thanks, according to my family and friends I get really humorous when I'm nervous and frustrated.

You should see me at the dentist. I have those waiting patients on the floor.

Debra 7-14-2001 23:23


Hi all!

Uhm, Jerry, 'ugly farm pickup contest'? I used to have a truck that could've won that prize. My question is, what do they win? An ugly ribbon?

Welcome Ruth! Come on in and stay awhile!

Mel, have an excellent camping trip. I'm aching to do a good excursion, but have to wait ahwile yet. Don't forget the bug spray!

Very little to say. Summer is keeping me busy with a million 'other things to do', so I'm not writing much these days. We had a BIG wind last night, and it knocked down part of my fence. Just what I wanted to do, fix the fence... my hubby flew down to Arlington for the airshow there, so I have the house to myself. Perfect time to write. Maybe.... (fingers crossed) :-]

Sunset crowned the hills across the valley. Storm clouds tinted royal purple hung against the dark horizon, edged with gold and ripped by the sun's fierce light. Like guards along the dirt road, power poles stood at attention as I drove along. A dark shadow flew by, eclipsing the brilliant purple clouds for a fleeting moment before landing on top of a pole, there to sit and gaze on my dust streaked pickup, or perhaps she watched a mouse in the fields, still wet from the thirst quenching rain.

Have a great weekend!

Tina 7-14-2001 23:15


Hi, all. Am on vacation. I just finished reading some of the posts. I will be back home in a couple of days, and then I will make some comments.

Take care all.

With love from Michigan.

Rhoda 7-14-2001 22:27


Ruth - Hi you :o) Nice to meet yah.

Hi all. Bye all.

7-14-2001 21:12

where is ev'rybody???

7-14-2001 20:43

7-14-2001 18:12

Saw the word RODEO and got all twitterpated. My daughter and I are both enthusiastic rodeo fans. Her favorite part is the calf roping, mine is the team roping. The bull-riding is always an adrenaline rush, but I love the team-work it takes (and the timing) to get that steer all bundled up. The PRCA has a wonderful official website.

JERRY: That really stinks...shouldn't have happened to you and your family.

I haven't been writing anything because I am too involved in soaking up everything I can about Celtic christianity, learning Gaelic and researching the caves I mentioned earlier for my next story. Found an awesome singer and just ordered all of his CD's. I think I may have mentioned him here before, but in case I didn't, his name is Bruce Davies.

Off to reshingle the porch roof! Be well!

Mary 7-14-2001 11:41

Jack? Is that "test" you? Anyway, I hope your Friday the 13 was ok...well do-able. I'm glad it's now Saturday your time. Hope to see you back in the Notebook soon. If the "test" is you, you can write "test" Jack. That way we know you are out there and kicking.

Viv 7-14-2001 11:03

Hi Ruth and WELCOME. This is a friendly place. Your poem was appreciated! I've only seen England twice...London and Dover. I enjoyed both places, but I have to say that the chalk cliffs made me the most excited. I couldn't believe they really were CHALK. I'd read about it, but I didn't really understand. I went a bit crazy. I picked up all the pieces I could find on the beach and took them home with me. I also enjoyed the British magazines.

Hello eveyone else. I've been down with the flu. It hit me hard. I couldn't even look at anything. There is nothing more boring than a day spent lying around with your eyes closed. My family was kind and kept dropping in to chat. It took me 7 hours to get over the bug. I've decided to drop the smoking. Being sick is awful! I'd forgotten.

Jerry: I was homesick when I first started reading about the rodeo. As I got into what you'd written, I felt as though, I'd been there with you. I miss the smell of the hot July-August days and the horses. I know that sounds strange but there are a lot of smells at a rodeo and although they aren't your typical "rose" smells, they are nice comfortable old fashioned smells.

I think Hallee said it better than I could so I'm saying "ditto" on her reply. Hang in there. It's tough to be on the receiving end, but you earned the right to do it proudly. How many years have you been helping others?

Mary: I'm glad to hear you are having the same problems I had with Hana. I've felt guilty for getting mad for 14 years. I really regret not being gentle with her, but as I read what you wrote I remember the frustration. It's easier to forgive myself. One child was easy because she was obviously trying her best; the other was slow, lazy, and defiant about it. Whew! They all finally arrived. I'm glad my 20 year old is not in diapers although there was a time I could have bet she would be.

Allein: I saw you posted the song on my e-mail. I'll get it printed tomorrow first thing and hand it to Hana. Thank you for allowing her to do this. I think it will be nice for her this week. She is depressed. All her friends are moving away. They are demolishing the houses on the other side of the hill first. It's painful for her because she has little opportunity for friendship. She's at the tough age 14-17. She dresses so carefully to go out to walk the dog lately. I asked her why and she said it's because if you don't dress well kids ride by in their cars and scream insults out the window. It's not a fun age and it will make her feel competent to do this well.

Heather: You taught me a great deal about tightening up my work in your last critique. Thank you. I opened the dragon for the first time in a long time tonight. I looked at it and thought, ok, I can fine tune this. It's wandering and there's too much detail. Great! I saw the error. Now, can I really fix it without destroying it? Well, you taught me that nice key for editing and showing your edits. I'm going to use that and then put it away awhile. I'll take it out later, read through and see what I think. Meanwhile, more short story writing to improve the clarity. I think I'm moving forward. Again Thanks!

Viv 7-14-2001 10:57

Hello Notebook People, I’ve been having a look around here for a while, and might like to become a regular if it feels as friendly on the inside as it looks from the outside. I live in England, work in purchasing for a pharmaceutical company, and I write short stories. I’ve had two published, and some poetry as well. That’s what I want to do. Maybe novels will come later, but at the moment the shorter forms appeal to me more. I’m gone twenty-seven and still just about single. I live in a place called Brompton-on-Swale, a village in Yorkshire, not far from Richmond, where King Arthur and all the Knights are sleeping and ready to return. So be good or watch out. The song, Sweet Lass of Richmond Hill, was written about a girl who lived in Richmond. But have any of you ever heard of Desperate Dan? He’s a big star of the Dandy, a comic that’s been running for about thirty-five thousand years over here. You can find him online. He’s a big fat guy, double-elephant size and fearless, who eats cow pie. Not a beef pie, please understand, but a pie with a whole cow in it. Big pie that. Well today I just read they’ve done him in bronze. Somewhere around Dundee, in Scotland. Eight feet tall, so really a miniature is all that is. But I think it’s great anyway. Dan is great. Here’s a poem for the event. [Hope it comes out on your system here okay.]

Make the most of things. Say hello to me.


Bronze Giant

Desperate Dan in bronze, oh my,
My favourite guy, the great consumer
Of unadulterated cow pie. The man
Who eats like no other man can,
With a belly like a corner shop - I bet
He keeps the missus on the hop.
I bet that poor bitch never sits down
When the cow market rolls to town -
I bet, when she ain’t buyin’ ‘em,
She’s boiling ‘em up or fryin’ ‘em.
For why? For the love of big-bellied Dan,
Who eats like no man ever known can -
And the poor fool cow, she’ll bake cow pie,
Or Dan’ll know the reason why!

(At night I’ve heard they kiss, a kiss all bliss and stubble -
Then, “Get out there you lazy bitch,” roars Dan the man,
“And fetch me five cow pies - and at the bloody double!”)
Ruth Jennings

ruth 7-14-2001 9:46


7-14-2001 9:07


JERRY: Weren't you injured in the line of duty? I see no shame in a country where someone who was once physically capable of providing a living, then gets injured and is no longer physically capable gets provided for. You could be in a country where you would be a beggar on the streets. You served and protected first your country and then your community. Then you got hurt. Now your country and community serves and protects you. The problem is that so many people take advantage of the system and create the need for investigators to look for and find reasons to remove benefits. I'm glad that a few forms and a court appearance are all it takes. Look at it from that point. That's it - that's all you have to do.

Have a great time at the rodeo. My sister is a newspaper reporter in WV, and since she is the entertainment editor she had the feature of the week on this week. It was about their rodeo. She had a blast covering it, because my mom is a HUGE rodeo fan. I've put the link up in case you get bored and want to check it out.

Hallee rodeo story 7-14-2001 5:12

GARIESS: It's good to see you posting regularly again - even if I'm not.

Hallee 7-14-2001 4:56

TEEKAY: You said, "soccer game". Does that mean that in Australia, football is like American football?

Hallee 7-14-2001 4:55

I don’t recall what your suggestion was.

I totally disagree that there is not enough context to the sentence. I would like to see an example of where context makes a whit of difference in these situations. If it helps, the author is describing a bathroom from an ancient city in the desert, but I fail to see how that information is meaningful. She wants to keep the reference in the singular, probably because the slab is too small for more than one person to stand on, but why should she have to say so if she doesn’t want to go into it? "If the slab were large enough, bathers could stand on it and servants would pour water on them, otherwise one person would stand on it?" How far are we willing to go to preserve the integrity of our diplomacy?

If she opted to use the "him [her]" method, apart from being a stupid encumbrance it would have raised the question of which gender gets second billing. This author obviously finds that option unsuitable, and I agree with her. It does not fit her writing style, and I don’t believe she is bound by modern notions to alter her style of writing. This is the only example of this situation I have seen in thousands of pages of her work, so I know that she is not insensitive to gender in her writing. Quite frankly, if one is familiar with her work, the very suggestion is preposterous. I believe that in the case of this particular sentence, she simply said to hell with it.

So what else is new?


gariess 7-14-2001 1:55

Oh, forgot to mention, the BBC was at the rodeo, doing some sort of story on the mid-west US. Strange to see them there filming a rodeo.

Jerry 7-14-2001 0:31

Sorry for the ranting and raving, I just got real pissed off, but I got over it. Now to get down to the business of getting this mess untied, shouldn't take all that long, just a bunch of paperwork and one appearance in court, and it is all over. Somehow, it seems a total failure. It makes one feel that he has failed somewhere in his life when he can no longer pay his own way and needs to depend on the courts to nullify those debts but when pushed into a corner one must take the actions that are best for his sanity and his family, and failure that it may be, bankruptcy court is just around the corner. Now I am beginning to look at from the paralegal point of view, looking at the nature of the forms, the proper items that must be listed in the right boxes to ease the job of the lawyer I only know as a voice on the other end of the phone. A comforting voice all the same, a voice of reason, of experience, that of an expert in the filed. He comes highly recommended by a very good lawyer friend of mine here in town. The friend recommends him, saying he is the best, having gone up against him in a bankruptcy case. Oh well, one more road to travel, I might as well pay attention and learn what I can, observe what I can and record those feelings as they happen. Document our life as we make this transition from great credit rating to the bottom of the credit pool. I guess the feeling of failure will remain for some time, although I don't see it as my all our fault, we were handling things well finance wise until my wife's injury, the coup de grass was, of course the action of the Government, and their attorneys but I realise they are only doing what they get paid to do, and that they aren't taking it personal, so neither should I. They could care less that I am a vet, or that I served proudly. It just isn't one of those things they take into consideration. Their job is to collect a debt, and if I had the money, I would have paid them when it came due, but at that time we were burning our savings day by day, and when those were gone, we hit the credit cards, just to stay alive while awaiting the paperwork from Social Security, and fighting Workers Comp to make them do the job they are supposed to do, care for injured workers. Oh well, I am sure I am boring you all with this crap so life goes on.

Today, Friday the 13th was the first day of our rodeo and We just got home. Had a super time watching the show. If you have never been to a Rodeo, you should go at least once in your life. It began with a beauty contest, with a Rodeo queen contest, then the Jr. Queen and princess. The girls compete, not in bathing suites but in cowgirl garb, riding and so forth. They are crowned as the first action of the rodeo, and must work as helpers throughout the shows by escorting (read chasing) the calves, horses and so forth from the arena after the animals have done their jobs. Then the show with bronco riders, ropers, bare back riders, barrel races and last of all, the brama bull riding (everybody's favorite). One would think that Friday the 13th would bring bad luck but there were no injuries (thank God) and all went great, the weather was just right. As I was watching the show, a young girl maybe 10 or 11 years old walked by and I was struck with her beauty. She was absolutely stunning, now I am not interested in children that way, but this I noticed. I had to look around for her mother, and finally spotted her behind us in the grandstand. Now she too had a great beauty, and looked very familiar, then it dawned on me, the mother had to be the daughter of a girl I once knew very well and dated for a year or so when I was in High School. I guess that explained it, she looked so much like her mother it had to be her. Oh the joy's of living at home. I hadn't even thought of that young lady for over 20 years and it was just kind of nice to remember the times we had. I guess that was why the little girl caught my attention, she too looked a lot like her grandmother. Guess it is part of getting old.

Well I grow very tired now, it has been a very long day what with doing all that paperwork, inter spaced with trips over to mom's (my sister and brother-in-law are down for the rodeo) to eat and, of course, play pinochle. I haven't broken the news to mom or my other relatives about my financial woe's, I want to wait until the rodeo is over and things get back to normal, no sense in spoiling their fun with my problems, but I must tell mom, as she is one of my debtors, who, of course will continue to be paid no matter what.

Have a great weekend everyone, I know I am going to try, still two more days of rodeo fun, square dancing, free watermelon feed, a parade tomorrow morning, car show, ugly farm pickup contest and so much more to do and see.

Jerry 7-14-2001 0:25

~~* Mark *~~

GS -- There's not enough context to make your exercise meaningful. I believe this sentence describes the common occurence of some public bathing procedure; in which case "A bather stands on a stone slab while servants pour water on him[her]." makes perfect ritual sense. Should it be the case that this sentence describes one particular observation of one particular bather, then the choice of 'him' or 'her' only stands to reason.

I grew up and was educated in the time of male pronouns. I was fully formed in the 60's and 70's when the language revolution really happened. I, too, wanted to know why those bra-burners couldn't just leave well enough alone. However, I agree with those changes today.

{sigh} I wanted stand at the fire and watch them remove their bras, but I did not want to allow them to then change our speech. I believe that's called hypocrisy. On one point I haven't changed much.

We only have a few common nicknames for men: Stud and Tiger are the only two that pop up right now. Generally, men's names are hard, inanimate objects (stud) or predatory (tiger). Nicknames for women are from the realm of consummables or decorations: Sugar, Honey, Sugar Plum, Rose Petal . . ..

Rock Hudson, Stone Phillips. Men's names must come from an approved list, when a name has been used by women too much, it is withdrawn from circulation. Women's given names can be Daisy, Rose, Pearl, Opal, Violet. There's only one flower commonly applied to a man, and when it is he is insulted: Pansy.

For a while I thought our language was being emasculated, now I'd say it has been made more fair. Like quite a few others, I believe that language is a reflection of the way we think. Thus, when we train our children the language, we train them that men are hard and predatory and that women are consummable. Any change away from that is a change for the better.

Mark 7-13-2001 23:10

My tab button won't work...crap.

I have a feeling I have missed quite a bit in the archive, but I did notice some discussion of potty training. It is killing me. Oh sure, it started out ok. First I used the "Let's all clap for the one who peed" approach. That worked great but then my daughter back-slid and the applause no longer motivated her. Next we did a "Potty poster" which we painstakingly decorated with magic marker and hung on the bathroom wall. Every time she used the potty she received a sticker for her poster. That worked great until the dog ripped the poster down and chewed it into a million flourescent pieces. My daughter got irritated and wouldn't make a new one, so out went the poster idea. Now she has absolutely no problem whatsoever with number 1, it's number 2 she won't tackle. Saw on a website to try making them more responsible for their accidents so one time when she needed changed, I handed her the wipes and said, "OK, get yourself cleaned up sweetie." She looked right back at me and said, "MOM! I am not touching POOP!" She put her hands on her hips and called my bluff. And yes, I am frustrated; she is 3 and a half years old.

My son, on the other hand, is a dream. He made a poster and is progressing very well, but I did catch him sneaking stickers out of my desk drawer and putting them on his poster when he didn't think I was looking. He was so darn cute I couldn't spoil it for him so I let it go.

I absolutely agree that pull-up style training pants are a bad idea. My kids just thought they were really cool diapers. I use regular cotton training pants for home, vinyl covered ones for out and about. Diapers at bed time which admittedly is a huge mistake.

Debra: I feel your frustration but, Girl, you crack me up! Love the line about your husband.

Mary 7-13-2001 22:30



GARIESS: So what excactly is wrong with my effort? I really would like you to point it out cos I honestly can't see where it goes wrong.
I'll read your 'treachery' later, I'm being hounded to get off the computer at the moment.

ROSEMARY: If you type your email address in the space for it then your name will turn blue and if anyone wants to send you an email all they have to do is double click on your name.

Ummm, nothing else to say. Have to hurry, big soccer game today.
Just watching - not playing.

Teekay 7-13-2001 20:57


Thanks for saying I'm priceless. I needed that.

Since I always trust your judgment and after your analogy, I might reconsider and go get my major appliances from the driveway.


Debra 7-13-2001 20:50

I have had a visual in my head for a while, I thought I would share it with y'all...

Blue eyes bordered by a white, opelecent body, with red wings, like wine on freshly fallen snow...

Thought maybe with all the other visuals going around, i would throw mine in as well.

Jessica 7-13-2001 20:23

~~~ Mark ~~~

The bather poems were mine. Interesting, someone said Heather, someone else said TeeKay.

Mark 7-13-2001 18:33

~~~ Mark ~~~

The bather poems were mine. Interesting, someone said Heather, someone else said TeeKay.

Mark 7-13-2001 18:32


The poopie dance of joy? You are priceless.


gariess 7-13-2001 18:00



It means you are overwhelmed with concerns, there is too much on your plate. It is why the woman, mother, wife of the family is usually the one who does the getting rid of. The rest of the family normally just looks on in puzzled concern, not daring to speak.

To you guys who took a shot at the sentence I posted. "A bather stands on a stone slab while servants pour water on him." It was an interesting exercise. I found the sentence in a book by a favorite author. She is a meticulous writer and this sentence is the first I have ever seen wherein she uses a masculine pronoun to define a non-gender specific person in the narrative. I thought about it and decided that it was a good example of a sentence where only the old politically incorrect method would actually serve. Today’s methods would allow for one to write, "Bathers would stand on a stone slab while servants poured water on them.," but that wouldn’t do because it forces the writer to make the bather plural, and that is an unfair restraint. She isn’t writing about bathers; she’s writing about one, albeit hypothetical, bather.

There is actually a practice by some women writers to use the feminine pronoun in such a situation - in keeping with the old adage that turn-about is fair play - just to let us guys know how it feels. In this case the servants would have been pouring water on "her."

I see it stumped many of the panel who made it into haiku’s and jingles and even changed it to first person. I saw no example of anyone completing the exercise successfully.
Please feel free to try again. I have not been able to come up with anything, myself.


gariess 7-13-2001 17:57


7-13-2001 15:15


7-13-2001 15:12

ROSEMARY: Here's the link. His email address is

Hallee Ty Poe 7-13-2001 12:58

I meant potty not party damn it!

7-13-2001 12:15


You got yourself a deal.

The only thing I need is to convince my girls that if they put the poopie in the party that our doing the poopie dance of joy would be worth seeing.

I have told them if they put it in the right spot, I would dance for them. I guess it only works on my husband.

Debra 7-13-2001 12:12

DEBRA: Heh! Heh! Actually, I DID throw the mat away very recently - we have a nice new tire-tread-style mat now. You are very efficient. It's okay with my husband if you throw out the cat while you're there. (and if he won't come help, I will!) :-)

Mel 7-13-2001 11:49


You had me at Hey Debra:

I'll be there. When I get the key the first thing I'll throw into the driveway is the mat.

The first time your husband pulls down a pair of undies full of you know what, off a dancing screaming baby bum, hel'll be out of here so fast I won't even see his aura. Better leave that one to the professionals. It's hard enough watching it land on MY painted nails.

Debra 7-13-2001 11:43

DEBRA: That should be...stopping by MY house...

ROSEMARY: Thank your friend for me. I hope you explained it was your big fat brown toad visual that is responsible. :-)
Meanwhile, your visuals continue to inspire! A circling hawk sounds ominous... wonder what them chickens are thinking as they shake and quake in the bushes? :-) (No, not shake and bake, before someone else says it!) I'll see if I can find some cute visuals to return to you after a week's camping.

Mel again 7-13-2001 11:41

Hey, DEBRA, um, how about stopping by by house next week while I'm away camping and you can do your throw-out thing with abandon...? :-) You can start in the attic, work your way down and out to the garage... I'll leave you a key under the mat. (Either that or send me a taste of whatever virus you've picked up!!! My husband will be ecstatic if I start throwing things out! And when he sees the mountain of stuff you'll accumulate in our driveway when we return from camping, ha ha - he may come potty train your twins for you! Heh! Heh!!)

Mel 7-13-2001 11:34


Hi there,

You guys are beginning to scare me. I was using the Visuals as practice. Trying to get a visual image across with words. Actually I was kind of hoping others would pick it up and we could have some interesting visual scenes from all over the world. Oh, Well----The book is an interesting idea and I will play around with it.

I showed your poem to a friend and she saw the play on words with down immediately. I hadn't seen it at all. Amazing what you miss when you are too close. She loved the poem.
Have a great week camping. I envy you even though I live in the country, it's not the same. For one, 100degrees is too hot and will be until about the middle of Oct.

I would love to check out your brother's website. It must be great to have another artist in the family.:*) My email address is I noticed that it doesn't show up if you put it in the header.

I can't give much help with the diaper problem, the only time I used diapers was with my elderly incontent poodle a few months before he died. You do have my sympathy and beware of overstressing.

Mel mentioned posts by TEEKAY and HEATHER, but if I am suposed to say anything, it'll have to wait until I can get into the arcives.

A hawk floating above in the hot still air. Nervious chickens and ducks scooting for cover in the cool bushes and dark buildings. Geese, not hiding, but peering fearfully up into the sky.


Rosemary 7-13-2001 11:31

I seem to be having some side effect of all this drama.

What does it mean when I can't stop throwing stuff away?

I'm going threw every room and taking about 60% of everything I see and tossing it.


I can't stop.

Debra 7-13-2001 10:05

Sorry - the following long post is from me, for all you who read top to bottom.

MEL 7-13-2001 8:54

It's FRIDAY! YEA!!! (Down in front! Can't see the screen - oh, just the credits playing now...what? The story was by ROSEMARY? Yee hah!) :-)

ROSEMARY: Too bad about uncooperative photographic subjects. I was afraid you'd say that! We can keep the idea on a backburner for now, if you prefer. Keep sending "visuals" anyway - love 'em! :-)

DEBRA: Some kids are trained before they turn one-yr-old! By three, you should be able to MAKE them ready (especially if YOU are!). Make 'em drink gallons of water, take 'em every hour on the hour; make THEM clean up the messes! One a t a time was hair-pulling for me; I can't imagine trying to train TWO at the same time... (((HUGS))) for you!! Keep smiling--it'll help you stay confident.

TEEKAY: Gee, thanks! It's ROSEMARY's baby (um, wasn't that a movie?)--Anyway, I'm willing to collaborate if she decides to go for it (maybe an NB artist to do the drawings?? And some NB poets to shape up the rhymes/text?? What do you say, ROSEMARY? :-) ) BTW, TEEKAY, those bather poems were YOURS, weren't they? I thought them well done too (If yours, pat yourself on back HERE.) Your treachery poem was very good (too)!! :-)

HEATHER: Gee, thanks! (Um, ROSEMARY, are you hearing this stuff? They like it! They like it! :-) YOUR visual.) I've heard that about publishers preferring to choose the illustrators; might work in this case, just thought Rosemary's actual animals would be an added hoot of fun. :-) Too bad they won't stay in line (more TREACHERY!).

JERRY: I was too young to feel the nation's treachery to its own vets when Nam happened; but I feel it rates right down there next to the colonists' treachery to the Native Americans. (((HUGS))) for all the vets and the Native Americans too!!!

JACK: more (((HUGS))) for you and your family, and prayers of comfort too.

HALLEE: My family will be camping all next week (Sunday through Saturday) and I'm taking your story #1 with me to FINISH the crit for you at last! :-) Can't wait to get back to it!!! There've been way too many interruptions since I started it for you (Life IS what happens, they say, when you're making other plans...)

See y'all in a week! - Jerry, wanna come? :-) S'mores will be packed with the groceries...

Mel 7-13-2001 8:34


I forgot about rubber pants. You aren't preaching to the choir. Besides that my son is 10 and was a piece of cake. My daughter is 12 and I can't remember how that went.

I'm heading out to get the rubber pants. Yippeee!

Debra 7-13-2001 8:29

The following is a shortie on treachery. Too long to be a shorty so I will post it in three parts.

The morning sun was brilliant as I pulled the boat out of the cove. The Evinrude was purring nicely. I could feel the motor massaging my bones through the old wooden seat, and the smell of fuel and sea water was intoxicating. These were the sensations of adventure. There was possibility in the air. A possibility that was tangible enough to taste. It was the magic and the spell of fishing. It was the age old call of the sea to the hunter in the man. I was feeling the joyful anticipation of the predator. I watched excitedly as the shore became more distant. I looked out onto the glassy calm of the morning sea.

After I had run out from Wing’s Neck for about twenty minutes I set a troll for blues. I was more than a mile from the shore in a spot where bluefish had been caught in the previous days. It was early in the season and I hadn’t yet caught my first bluefish for the year. I was especially hungry to put that event behind me. I rigged up a Rebel swimmer with a shallow running lip. I made a number of trolls and decided, after an hour or so, that although I was doing everything perfectly right, I was doing it by myself with no particular encouragement from the fish. My enthusiasm for my current strategy was seriously impaired by lack of results. I needed a new plan.

To the south I had been keeping an eye on a tri-hull that was working the edge of Washburne shoal. It was a mile or so further out in the bay where a huge shallow area separated the shipping channel from the southewestern reach. The tri-hull was too distant for me to make out details, but one can recognise the manuevers of a boat taking fish. The boat was drifting in the outgoing tide along the shoal, and its two occupants were casting to the opposite side. I had just started the motor when I heard someone in the tri-hull shouting. The sound carried strongly on the flat water. When I looked that way I could make out what appeared to be the commotion of someone with a fish on the line.

I decided that if the tri-hull was taking fish, there ought to be enough for both of us. When I was closer, someone in the tri-hull started it’s motor and the boat pulled away toward the western end of the reach. Speculating on what little I had seen, I suspected these guys had gotten into a roving school of deep running blues and were dogging them. In this calm water the guy on the flying bridge of that boat had an advantage over me. From his higher angle he could see into the water enough to see fish if they were not too deep, where all I could see from my low point in a small boat was the surface reflection.

With a further disadvantage in speed I was only able to dog the bigger boat at a distance. Several times they drifted and made casts. At long range I could see the action, but I was always on the wrong side of the boat to get a look at the fish when they boated one. From the look of things these were good sized fish.

I spent about forty-five minutes just following these guys around the edge of the big shoal and never getting close enough to cash in on their quarry. I tried casting a few times, myself, but it seemed I was always a day late and a dollar short. They were dogging the damned school from that flying bridge, and whenever they made a run they were too fast for me to catch up. Every time I got close enough they made another run.

At last the boat started a high speed dash in the direction of the neck. I reasoned that the fish had moved off the shoal into deeper water, perhaps to invade a school of bait-fish. This time they were heading across my bow and seeing a chance to intersect their course, I turned toward the neck and ran wide open. I put the bow on a course toward a point for which I guessed the tri-hull was moving, and for a minute or two the boats ran full speed toward a convergant point. Suddenly, as the boats became closer together, and while I was eyeing what I thought would be the spot where we would both meet, I felt a mighty lurch. At the same instant I heard an unfamiliar grumble from the motor and then silence.

Tumbling forward off the seat and looking toward the sky from the deck, I guessed, with considerable alarm, that I had run aground on the shoal. I scrambled to pull myself upright rocking the boat as I did so from side to side. The now silent Evinrude had become a burdensome weight threatening to pull the transom into the water. I steadied myself and scrambled back to the motor. Taking hold of it, I pulled heavily to lift the propeller out of the water. The tide pulled at the boat which was holding itself fast on something. I pulled strongly, but I was unable to lift the shaft clear. Very quickly, afraid the current along with the weight of the inert motor would pull the transom under, I found the reserve of strength that one’s body keeps for such a moment and hoisted the prop out of the drink. At least there was a prop somewhere under the great drapery of sea grass that had wrapped itself around the shaft and the blades.

I started to work on the task of clearing away the entangled heap of vegetation that had fouled the prop. This was an urgent, and at the same time, rather delicate task. There was really no time to be too careful, because every passing second increased the danger of the stern swamping. The combined weight of the motor and the grass was pulling the transom dangerously close to the water’s surface. As I leaned out to clear away the grass, my added weight pushed the stern down even more. Frantically, I pulled at the grass, working on the part closest to me. As I fought to pull away the heavy wet clumps, the boat gained more balance and finally I had the prop cleared. All of this took place in seconds that seemed far longer than they really were. If the stern had sunk at any instant below the surface, the boat would have taken on enough water to swamp and my circumstances would have been very grim indeed.

I breathed heavily as awareness of my surroundings returned. A glimpse of red in the seepage water made my mind flash on blood from times when I had boated fish. What I saw, of course, was blood from my own hands. Small crusty barnacles that clung to the thick blades of sea grass had scored them deeply enough to cause bleeding. It was almost a welcome sight that came with the knowledge that I was still afloat.

After I had caught my breath I looked about to take stock of what had occured and what my situation was. I was drifting rapidly along in the tide and realized that I needed to restart the Evinrude, if I was going to avoid drifting further seaward into the bay. I tilted the shaft slowly back into the water and pulled on the starter cord. The reliable old Evinrude coughed in protest and sputtered reluctantly. After a few more pulls it started. I engaged the gear and as I revved up the motor it gave out an uncharacteristic roar. I slowed it down and tried again. It took only a moment for me to realize the motor was running but the propeller was refusing to turn. I engaged the gear lever a number of times, but it was clear that the prop was not going to turn. I sat for a few seconds and thought through my limited knowledge of the mechanics of my motor. With a sinking feeling of alarm I suspected that the propeller had ripped the shear pin. I tried to convince myself that it wasn’t so, because with a broken shear pin the motor was useless. The longer I considered it, the more it was clear that the motor was done.

I looked around to see what assistance was available. In times past I had towed a boat or two that needed help. The time had come for me to take a turn at being towed, myself. During all the commotion of my running aground, the tri-hull with which I had been playing tag had run out of sight. I did a quick search of every point on the compass. There were a few boats in sight, but none were in hailing distance. I could see a sail to the north, but it was making its way east away from me, not that a sailing craft would venture near Washburne shoal in any case. I was more than two miles from the nearest shore in a tide that was moving seaward.

I looked grimly at the oars under the seats, knowing that in this tide they were useless to do anything but hasten my progress toward the open sea. If I did not get under way and back to the lee of Wing’s Neck within an hour or so, the afternoon wind would come up and raise a sea that would run against the outgoing tide. Within an hour of that it would make no difference if my motor was running or not. This now placid water would have become so turbulent that a boat the size of mine would never survive.

Quickly I realized that if I could get the anchor out soon enough, it might hold on the sandy shoal. I scrambled forward and lifted the Danforth over the bow. It sank down to the bottom and dragged for a moment and then fetched up. Over the side the shoal appeared to stand still as the tide pulled at the boat. For a while the shoal appeared to remain still, and it seemed the anchor would hold. I looked about again for other boats, all were very distant. I looked down at the shoal again and saw that the boat was moving. The anchor had held briefly in the grassy sand, but had inevitably slipped. The same vegetation that had fouled the prop was now preventing the Danforth from biting in. After a few moments the bottom was no longer visible, only the gray green of the deep bay. I had crossed the edge of the shoal into water too deep for the anchor to even touch bottom. Soon afterward I felt the first stirrings of the on-shore breeze, the wind that would be a comfort to the folks on shore, the wind that would cool the land for the rest of the day sent an icy shiver that I felt in the deepest reaches of my heart.

(to be continued)


gariess 7-13-2001 4:57


Hi all. I'm feeling better - still haven't written, but I'm going to try this morning. Sorry to dump that way.


ROSEMARY: Thanks. :) My little brother has illustrated children's books. I'll give you the link to the books' website, if you want it. He did it in high school. Disney saw the books and offered him an illustrator job, but he turned it down because he wanted to go to college. He's a brilliant artist who now has a degree in art and is assistant manager to a gallery in Chicago. I'd be happy to give you his email address, if you wanted to talk with him about it.

TINA: ((Hugs)) back. turn 30 before me (na na na na naaa na) (And HEATHER hit it before both of us - HA!)

HEATHER: Hi, you. :)

MARY: Yes, it was sad to lose one. But, ten survived.

RANDALL: Most people create their own financial problems. (Trust me, I know.) And, it makes life miserable if that's your focus. Lose the focus, don't buy on credit, pay of debtors, and it's amazing the load that's lifted. (We're still working on #3).

JERRY: ((Big hug)). You've had a rough year.

TEEKAY: Howdy.

DEBRA: Sounds like you started a bit early. Careful, they may lose their enthusiasm if you push it too early, then it will be harder later. Just don't use pull-ups - they skip a kid backwards because they feel like diapers, and the kid doesn't care if they have an accident. Use rubber pants with the underwear - it will save the furniture and carpet, and the kid will feel every bit of it. (Wait - you have 2 older kids - sorry - I'm preaching to the choir) :)

Hi everyone else!!! **waving** I started to write out all the names, but I don't feel like leaving anyone out.

IT'S FRIDAY!!! And, my new secretary starts Monday!!!!

Hallee 7-13-2001 4:44

Hello All: Almost 800k, yikes. OK, I have it all archived to my hard drive and I will try to get it up and archived to the Archives before I leave for Montana tomorrow morning. I am just glad I finally took a look and wondered why it was taking such a long long long long long time to load on my cable modem. Everything should be working now.

And please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I head off to a potential familial mine field. Still, hopefully we can all come to some kind of resolution with my cousin's death as we deal with this all.

On a brighter note, I did sign the contract for the hotel for the science fiction convention I am the Vice Chair for. Hopefully I will be able to report on some items that may be of interest to us writers that might be very useful and make you all want to come and join in. However, until I have more information I am not at liberty to talk about it here or anywhere else. Talk with you next Tuesday if I cannot get my laptop to talk with a phone line.

Jack Beslanwitch Westercon 56 7-13-2001 2:37

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