Archived Messages from December 18, 2001 to January 24, 2002

Hi Everybody,

Sorrrry to hear about the sickness all over the countries. We're having wierd weather here. This morning at about 8:00am it was 70f. Within two hours it was down to 47f. It has stayed there and added a good bit of wind that lowers the wind-chill to levels I don't acknowledge. These up and down temps. are giving everyone fits, health wise.

If you're not caughing up anything with a color you can name and you can breathe fairly easily with or without nasal spray, you'll probably make it two weeks. A rattling in the chest is a bad sign. But, the good news is that pneumonia can "usually" be cured.

I'm currently reading a book of collected columns by a writer that I will name later, (the book is at the other end of the house and my program is coming on TV.) Anyway, the essays remind me of RANDALL's and JERRY's stories. Really great stories of early days of his life with terribly poor parents. A lot of humor in them. Also a lot of humorous stories about hunting.

Gotta go,

Rosemary 1-24-2002 20:04

Wait - before I'm comatose...

Hobbit names not allowed! In this state I'm too easily confused.

Tina, is that you?

Heather 1-24-2002 16:41

Mary - still thinking about the Cookie Monster!
I haven't come up with any title worth mention, yet.

Barely able to sit up, (still dedicated to the NB!)

off to bed.

Heather 1-24-2002 16:40

Evening all,
Hmmpfff! Litter.......Where are you?
Hope everything is ok with you just now.
Please drop in and say hi.
I'm just a bit worried because I would have thought that Litter would have had something to say today. Maybe he will post tomorrow, on the actual day.

Eddie 1-24-2002 14:34

Okay now, where DID I put that bottle of WRATH???

Oh, the muse is sniffing it.

Never mind! (*in a sweet, little Roseanna Roseanna Danna voice*)

Tigerlily 1-24-2002 14:09

Pgr: Write the articles they want for the newsletter, and take note of the time it takes you, and the amount of research/interviewing time as well. Since it's a non-profit organization, charge them for the article itself, and the time you spent researching and interviewing (if necessary) can be a donation. Ask for 10 cents a word, and see if that adds up to be what you would consider 'too much' for an article. I wouldn't sell them the articles for less than 5 cents a word. I'm going by what I've read in Writer's Market - I don't write articles myself. Please take this advice with a few grains of salt!
If you still want to be compensated for your time, over top of the article itself, work it out using $5 an hour and see what that adds up to be. If this is only a bi-annual newsletter, they may be more willing to pay a higher price than for a monthly or bi-monthly newsletter.
Let us know how things go!

Heather 1-24-2002 13:37

Morgan - you're welcome! Just wanted to give you a hand, and protect your 'investment'. :oD

Heather 1-24-2002 13:30

Debra - I have a similar chest-head-cold-sinus thing. It's not bacterial. It's viral. Antibiotics won't do a thing for it.
What you were talking about - the mutation of bacteria - happens when people dump unused antibiotics down the drain instead of taking the medication until it's finished. You also mentioned what's called a super-infection. When the antibiotic is wide-spectrum, it will kill benificial bacteria as well as malficient bacteria, sometimes leaving the body open to a second infection, and no beneficial bacteria to fight it. This is why it's much better to prescribe target specific antibiotics.
Doctors do not always prescribe the more specific antibiotics if the infection is full-blown, and the lab tests are going to take a long time to get back. They will prescribe a wide-spectrum at first, and when the tests are back, they'll change the Rx if needed, to a more specific antibiotic.
There's no reason to panic. Sinusitis is rarely, if ever fatal. It just sucks having it for the 4 or so days it rocks the system. Trust your immune system to hunt down the viral bodies and annihilate them without added help. The body will remember that specific virus, and you shouldn't be infected by it twice. Mind you, there are many, many viruses out there.

With sinus/head colds, sometimes it is bacterial, but most of the time they're viral, and you just have to sleep them out. With a lot of liquids, and someone to tuck you in. :o)

Heather 1-24-2002 13:27


All I'm trying to say is this. If you were to feel like you do now and have a doctor's app. next week, it might be all right.


If you were to feel like you do right now and have a doctor's app. next week and have already taken antiboitics that didn't knock out the bug, then they actually made the bug stronger. Antibiotics work this way. They go through your body and kill all antibodies. They get the good the bad and the ugly. If they don't get all the bad and the ugly and they got all the good too, which they did, then the bad and the ugly take over, which they are. When the bad and the ugly take over you are at risk, high risk for serious problems, fast moving ones.


Next week bad!

Today Good!

That's caveman talk for go now and run like the wind.

Debra 1-24-2002 12:54


Get yourself down to the ER rgith now. You have to. I think you have something serious brewing. Two weeks from now we are all going to be wondering why you haven't posted and it might be because you are gravely ill.


One afternoon and you could save yourself months or loose everything.

I'm begging!

Debra 1-24-2002 12:23

Debra - I have an appointment with my Doc the first week of next month, that would be the earliest I could get in anyhow, so think I'll wait till then. The wife just called for an appointment, they made one for next week, then called today and told her two weeks, as the doc's are booked solid.

I'll live, so don't worry, thanks for your concern.

Jerry 1-24-2002 11:55

Heather: Cheers for the advice, after speaking to my partner in crime, we're not going to be posting anymore samples from the book online. Thanks for taking the time to read it. Take care. A

Morgan Limpit Muskin 1-24-2002 9:49


Show them the paper work for your out of pocket expense and ask for that. You will get more of a good feeling than anything the xtra money could buy. It will look spectacular on your resume. Any company would want a person of that calabur working for them. Win! Win!

Debra 1-24-2002 9:17

I have been asked to write and produce a newletter for a non-profit agency. They are looking for a research based, article filled set up that would come out 2x/year. They want me to name a price & I have NO idea! I am passionate about the work this agency does & know they have little money, but I also want to make this worth my wild...any help???
thank you

pgr 1-24-2002 8:51

The wrong antibiotic gives the bug the home court advantage.

Debra 1-24-2002 8:49

Don't MAKE me come down there!

Debra 1-24-2002 8:39


YOU GO TO THE DOCTOR NOW! I MEAN NOW. Do not give me any lip. The dentist did try to help you, but you obviously need a different antibiotic. Not only that with the penecillian not working it actually made thing worse in your favor.


I mean it. This is just how Jim Henson started he's gone now. So are you in the car and on your way.


Debra 1-24-2002 8:37

hard to go
which end up?
hard to know

everyone's sick
even the muses
have no kick



Mel 1-24-2002 7:45

Now I know that viruses can jump onto your computer and spread like wildfire, but cold viruses?

Ok, so I had this sinus infection that the dentist gave me copious amounts of penicillin to kill, but it seems to have done absolutely no good. My sinus infection has gone on to be a full head cold. Oh and seems to have spread a bit to my lungs. Maybe that's why I was so down yesterday.

Oh well no matter.

Jerry 1-23-2002 23:38


No I'm pretty sure they are nationwide.

We have a sick house here too. Not good.

There are six people in this house counting me and they are all helpless except me.

So I have two choices hope they all get sick together by which I will black out and come too sometime in February or they get sick one at a time and I never close my eyes and live on straight suspense until March.

What to do, what to do!

Famous typos. I do hope that's not title that sticks.

Ya know when I win some prize for writing.

Geez one responsibilitits and you're marked for life.

Debra 1-23-2002 12:56

Oh, I don't suppose putting a Cd on either end of the toilet paper roll would serve any purpose, but it would be kinda pretty....

oh, I'm ill all right.

Heather 1-23-2002 12:34

Morgan - read a bit of chapter one, and your writing reminds me of Douglas Adams a bit! The only thing is, if I were you I wouldn't post any more of your book on the internet. Publishers won't want to publish a book that's already been read by masses of people rushing to your site! They will consider it e-published. But, DON'T PANIC (heh heh): Chapter one should be okay to have up.
Oh, and welcome to the Notebook!

Debra - there you go again with your famous typos. Genunises? Is that a local breed?

Sorry, I'm a smart ass on Sinutab.
My head feels rather buoyant at the moment. That paper cut idea for deflation might really not be good right now. There's nobody tall enough at home to catch me, should I reach high altitude.
Then again, whatever's in this Sinutab has me high by my standards. I consider a half glass of red wine my uppermost limit.

Removing the dust from my house should be an interesting achievement today. I might get a little creative and make patterns in it. Then maybe my husband will believe me that I'm really quite ill.
He has a problem with me whenever I catch a cold or the flu. He somehow gets it into his head that I'm some academy award actress, and I'm not really as sick as I make out to be. I suppose draining my sinuses onto his dinner plate wouldn't be the nicest way to give proof, hmmm?
I'll have to just forget it. No other ideas are forthcoming.

Keep your quills in motion, my friends!

Heather 1-23-2002 12:32

Yep, looking real smart those survivalists.

More uses for blown CD's when the burn fails:

Drill small holes in the top if them, then hang from a stick by fishing line, makes great wind chimes, also they reflect the light and keep birds from eating your apples.

Obvious - use for coasters

Put them on a stick and drive the stick in the ground on either side of your drive way, the light from your headlights will reflect from them and show you where to turn at night.


Put a hole in top and bottom, run fishing line through one hole, a fish hook on the other, makes great fishing lure for those big fish.

Tie several together with fishing line, attach line to a cat's tail, watch the fun as the can tries to get away from them.

Have a friend toss them up in the air, shoot the disks with your 12 gauge shotgun, wonderful way to relieve stress when you have been trying to burn that perfect CD from those MP3's that you downloaded from Kazaa.

Wash them, put a broom stick through the hole in the center, use the stick as a handle while you clean the storm gutters with the CD (May have to carve down the CD's a bit to make them fit)

Sharpen the edge, throw like a Frisbee at your enemies, like that big dude in 007 movies!

Attach to pieces of dowel about six inches across, tape to your shoes and skate down the street with them.

Paint swirl on them and tape to a fan blade, use to hypnotise your friends.

Put them under furniture keeps the legs from poking holes in the carpet also makes it easier to move.

Well that's about all I can think of off hand but there's got to be more.

Jerry 1-23-2002 11:54


You and me both think too much.

Boy those survivalists are starting to look like genunises. Aren't they?

Debra 1-23-2002 7:33

Christi: Cheers for the welcome! I hope you'll forward something you've written for me to read in my direction.

Rachel: Thanks again, it's really not a problem, email me a sample of your work and I'll take a pew when I'm having lunch!

Big 'Hello' from the UK to everyone else…

Morgan Limpit Muskin 1-23-2002 3:52


I'm here again... How you all doing?
Haven't been on for awhile, been creating certain folderlike things for my main characters.

Teekay: So far I love "Ice Station" more than half way through it... It's so suspenseful.

Not much to say here, bye for now

Taylor 1-23-2002 3:47

Hey, Mary! Sorry you're feeling like crap. Only a few days left until the appointment. XOXOXO HANG IN THERE! (((HUG)))
I'm going to check out the new necklace now!

Heather 1-23-2002 2:47

Thanks, Jerry. Now I know what to do with all those cheap, buggered up blank CD's that won't work in my CDwriter.
Wish I could record over stuff like I used to with music cassettes! Don't like Depeche Mode any more? Smear two bits of masking tape over the slots in the cassette, jam it into your funkadelic 70's tape recorder, and hit the buttons. Of course, there will be a whirring noise in the background, loud snapping and crunching sounds coming from the internal workings of those depressed buttons and into the mic, and you, crooning at top volume before realizing you're being recorded along with the radio. I should have kept some of those 'homemades' just for a really hearty laugh about now.

Sorry to whinge on and on. But that's the purpose of sinusitis, isn't it? Haven't whined about my predicament enough lately. I've been sent another reason. :o]

Heather 1-23-2002 2:45

Hi guys.

New necklace posted if you wanna see it. I feel like crap. Bye.

Mary new jewelry 1-23-2002 2:44

Hebbo, freds,
My head is like the Hindenberg right now - if I look in the mirror, I'm afraid I'd find the mirror too small.
Sinutab night time bonus triple your money's worth nuclear strength sinus missiles are working... but I think my head is too big for the dosage. Need twelve hundred more.

Rachel - congrats to Sebastian! He's now a teeter toddler. :o)

Christi - heyyy, girl. I could use some brightness for this indigo funk; anything to dilute this mood. It doesn't help that my neck is a bit skinny for my cranium. If it lasts a long time, I might get a shunt installed in my upper sinus cavities. It was my little brother's birthday yesterday, and my best friend's birthday today. I left them phone messages: "Habby birt-dey doo yoo..." which will likely need translations tomorrow, when I hope to find them both home.
This head cold thing must have been coming on for a day or two - I sent my best friend in Florida a parcel for her birthday, and got it back today. I'd forgotten to write her street address on it. I've never done that in my life!

Carol - don't worry if you miss the first round robin shortie - I was hoping it might turn into another NB institution, like shortie nights are, so you can join in next weekend if you like. NB institution. Now that's an interesting thought. Those of us here the longest will get the private padded cells. The only drawback to that is there's no medication-swapping that way.

I am going to begin the process of editing/proofreading all of our P/LT contributions, and will send each one back to the author with any suggestions/edits in the mss. I will only be sending back the stories that have made the cut, of course.

Got a rejection from Glimmertrain today. Yay. It was a virtual one, so I'll have to print it out and keep it. What for, well, shit. If my head gets any bigger, I might be able to give myself a papercut with the rejection page, and deflate myself a bit.
So long as I don't go puttering about the room balloon fashion, it should be a good thing.

Human whoopie cushion, anyone?

*Sickclaimer Dis* edy ub de abub might be rung. Und I'm weezlig out ove it by zaying ebreethig in code code. Sinutab, I ode yoo.

Heather 1-23-2002 2:37

A tidbit of news from the great frozen north country:

A freight train carrying tons of Anhydrous Ammonia derailed three days ago on the outskirts of the City of Minot ND. One of the cars broke open, covering North Dakota's third largest city with a cloud of deadly ammonia gas. Because of the cold and the late hour only one person died from the exposure, however over two hundred were hospitalized.

We used to go to Minot all the time for their flea markets held at the State Fair Grounds, it is a nice City, but you know I never heard a word about this accident on the national news, the local stations are full of interviews with the firemen, police officers, one of who lost the sight in one eye from exposure, and citizens who say that not enough was done to get them out of the danger. I guess this is the price we pay for the isolation we live in.

We are still in the midst of a temperature roller coaster today it was nearly forty degrees here, but up where we used to live is below zero. That weather is supposed to be here tomorrow, but then a warm front will chase it from here and raise our temps again. Sure glad I don't have to work in it anymore.

Found another virus in my stupid computer today as I was reinstalling some of the software, guess I'll have to toss that CD too. The wife has found a new usage for those CD's that didn't quite turn out as I intended. She sets them under the hundred or so candles that she has all over the house, they make nice reflectors of the light, and serve to catch the wax as it runs down, keeping it off the furniture.

Didn't go to the casino, just didn't have the extra money to donate to the Native Americans who run the joint. Instead, I went in the back room and took a bunch of parts that were laying around, and built a 486 computer. Put a 120 meg hard drive in it, and installed DOS. It did make me feel a bit more use full although I have no idea why I built it, nobody wants 486's anymore, so I will probably tear it apart one day and replace the motherboard with a Pentium, if I can find a cheap MB and processor.

Well back to King and The Dream Catcher. It has been a long read, I just can't seem concentrate enough to read, don't know why. The book is good enough, I should have been done with it a month ago when I first opened it, yet I just don't seem to be able to stay interested in it.

The wife tells me that I have been having nightmares, these past few days, bad enough where I cry out in the night. Kind of glad that I don't remember those.

Been thinking though, they showed a special on the History Channel a while back, before 9/11, about the Spanish Flu. You may have heard of the epidemic, it was so bad that they had to call WW 1 because too many were dead from the flu. Dad used to tell tales of the bodies stacked like cord wood beside the undertakers office as they just couldn't keep up with all the dead.

Anyhow, some scientist were going up to the Artic to dig up remains of those who died of this flu, seems that if they were buried in the perma-frost that the germ responsible for all that death would survive all this time in those bodies, and can be revived now in labs. - If we have the technology to do this, don't others? What if old Sadam gets his hands on that germ and decides it would make a nice weapon, or maybe bin Laudin? Can you imagine another bout of that horror?

I guess I think to much some times.

Jerry 1-23-2002 0:54

Is that all there is? Is that all there is my friend?

You give me fever!

Peggy Lee - dead today of a heart attack in her home.

North Dakota will long remember her name and her fame.

May she rest in peace.

Jerry 1-22-2002 23:33

Hi All :)

Christi -- awww, I don mind. I wikes laffs. Tank you. :)

Mary -- ummmm -- "AAAAHHH! I just got this face framed. You want to wash it???!!!" Your "carrot" of a prize made me look at that picture immediately -- how adorable! That's a picture to keep for boyfriend blackmail some day. hehehe

Suzy Homemaker came in handy today. I've gotten most of my main work done. A few odds and ends can be done in the morning -- the rest, well, this is home, what can he expect? His chocolate chip cookies will be ready for him at least. The kid will be 30 in a few months, but since we see him so rarely, I tend to spoil him rotten when he is here.

Off to pick up a few things. I think I better pass on the round robin for the time being. Maybe I can pick it up later when the visit is over and I can stick to my schedule better.

Carol 1-22-2002 22:12

Carol, What I said to you sounded so condescending. And I totally didn't mean to talk to you in baby talk. HEE! What I meant to say was that I laughed when I read your poem. What could be better than that? :D

Christi 1-22-2002 20:59


Rachel, I'm so glad you're posting for real! It's great to hear what's going on with you. I know everyone's going to say this, but holy cow, how can Sebastion be walking already??? Man do they ever grow up fast.

Aysha, Hey there, and good luck! Sorry, but most writers aren't going to be able to give you a lot of advice about getting a publisher; most are either writing or are trying to find their own publisher/agent. I'll just say the typical thing and say, get Writer's Market or subscribe to WM online; it's so much easier to do it online and narrow your search within a matter of seconds. Best money I've ever spent. Just research your little heart out and then submit, submit, submit!

Welcome, Morgan! I'd like to check your writing out as soon as I have the time.

Heather, Love the idea for your shortie night round robin! I'm game! And Heather, don't be sad. :D Maybe I can catch you on chat tonight and joke you out of that funk.

Howword, That one was really nice. ((((HUGS)))))

Hey, Tina, bambina! My mom just LOVES Jack Whyte. I'm reading about six books right now, and I've got about fifteen more on my shelves that need my attention after that. THEN I'm on to Jack Whyte, and Ice Station (Can't remember the author, TEEK), and whatever else my fellow NBers recommend. I've been in this odd reading frenzy for about three months now.
BTW, apparently I'm totally, completely and utterly insane. Like you all didn't know that. I howled for about ten minutes, maybe more. Rrrrrrrrrummmmmmmumumumumumumum! My two year old thought it was pretty darn funny too.

Carol, I thought you poem was so cute! :D

Hey JERRY, They keep wanting to increase the size of MY penis as well. Nothing like a good old penis enlargement offer to make a woman feel like a woman.

Teekay, Come baaaaack!

I'm leaving now. You can all stop sucking in your stomachs. HAHAHAHAHA!

Love and caffeine,

Christi 1-22-2002 19:10

Mary, That was the cutest picture in the world! My two-year-old son saw it and made monster sounds and said, "Cute!"

I say you call the picture, "Sugar Hi!" HEE! Ain't that sugar just dandy?

Gotta catch up on the rest, but I couldn't resist jumping right in. BTW, I think "Cookie Monster" should win the prize.

Christi 1-22-2002 18:48

I'm not worried about the prize but that PICTURE! What a giggle. I'm going to play with ideas all week in my mind.
Hope you don't mind multiple entries. Here's what first came to mind to place under that picture.

The Scream, 1893

Tempera and pastel on board. 91 x 73.5 cm.
Signed lower left: E. Munch 1893
Presented in 1910 by Olaf Schou

Viv 1-22-2002 18:03

Have your husband or another child distract the new walker, stand quietly at the edge of the room and take the picture. He'll be alerted to the noise turn and come at you WALKING and SMILING! At least that is how it worked with our little ham. It's a new trick, it's adorable, and those little guys know it. Have FUN!

On that class, don't thank me for being interested. It's something I'm REALLY excited about and can't wait to do again. I love a Lit survey course. The one you are taking is the absolute best! Those are the neatest books to study because you can actually see the English Language develop. You learn so many things from a class like that, Linguistics, History, and you can figure out how to write the strangest poetry. I'm looking forward to hearing about what you learn because even if you take that class once, another person knows another weird and strange set of facts and makes the class completely different. I wish we could go together. I cannot wait to get back to school. I don't mind teaching but I need a class too, and you know, this gets me all excited about getting back to America. My husband did not get extended, so maybe we'll get picked up in America this year. If not...well, maybe they'll buy him out and let him retire early.

Viv 1-22-2002 17:56

It is chocolate cookie shrapnel all over her face, if that helps.

Mary 1-22-2002 17:43

Hi guys!

I uploaded a picture of my daughter that I just snapped about an hour ago. It has inspired a contest.

Whoever comes up with the best caption for this picture wins a prize that I haven't decided on yet, but will be very good. I don't give crappy prizes! ;-)

You have until this coming Friday at midnight. Good luck.

Mary Cookie Monster 1-22-2002 17:40

RACHEL: By all means, have your friend get those pearls appraised by a jeweler. They will be able to discern whether they are dyed or natural color. Having held both in my hands, it is very difficult for me to tell the difference when you are dealing with high-quality dyed pearls. If they are verified natural, I wouldn't be surprised if the jeweler himself were interested in acquiring them or at least know of someone who would. I for one, wouldn't let such a once in a lifetime piece of jewelry pass me by, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and good, life-changing things could be done with money made from them. Good luck to your friend.

Mary 1-22-2002 17:26

I am new to the system and am looking for a publists.
If anyone can help me, please feel free to e-mail me at Enthusaim 1@ Thanks a million Aysha.

Aysha 1-22-2002 14:51


Andi - Thanks for offering to read my work. It's okay though. I know how busy it can be with writing. You keep at it. Head down, pencil moving, keys flying. That's a good way to be (smiles). As for looking at you work I was happy to do it. I know how it can be to want somebody, anybody to look at what you've done. It can bite the big one to ask and have people seem to brush you off. That isn't much fun.

Viv - It is really amazing to watch Seb grow. He is a new adventure each day. I adore him! We will need to get a picture of him walking. Right now it happens so quickly that in order to catch him at it we would need to follow him with a camera. He is such a camera hound that he wouldn't walk. Every time we pull out a camera he stops what he is doing, turns towards it and puts on a smile and pose. He is a total ham!

The readings we are doing in my class are of; Chaucer, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, Swift and Pope. We might get to do some Marlowe but he isn't set in the course at this point. I am really enjoying myself. Thanks for asking (smiles and hugs to you).

By all.

1-22-2002 14:01

Heather - sounds like a blast, count me in on your shorty round robin.

The link below shows the damage that can be done by a typo, this is reportedly a true story that just happened in Florida. Guess we need not wonder any longer at the election mix up with folks like that setting stuff up.

Jerry Typo? 1-22-2002 12:29

Heather: I like the idea of a shortie round robin and will enjoy celebrating my first Monday off with it.

Rachael: Congratulations! Those amazing first steps. Quick get out the camera. Take a picture and stick it in your favorite cookbook. I have one of Sarah there and it's been 19 years since she took that wobbly first step. Isn't it wonderful the way the hands are held so high.

A big congratulations on your first step too. Back to school! Another person to envy. You get to study English? Lucky! Whatcha' reading?

Viv again 1-22-2002 9:33

Ooooh boy, Mary, what prices. I had no idea. Sorry, I thought we were talking in the $50.00 per pearl range. I thought for a big splurge it might be fun to add one or two to a piece you intended for special. A $600.00 item isn't much fun is it? You'd spend all your time worrying you'd drop one. Well, we'll drool together. It sounds like I ought to get those pearls appraised before we move. Yuck, now I have to worry about them. Better not to have too much and then you don't have worries.

Yikes Heather, what a shortie theme! Wrath. It scares me to think about what I might come up with. I still need to work on my dog revision. Sorry to be slow. I've got a little flu bug.

Howard, LUCKY! I envy you! You get to work on a degree. Don't worry about the unemployment check, you'll be back working but on a higher level. I'll be following along behind you because when we get to America I'm going back to school too. I need to keep my brain cells active or I'm going to be a dotty senile old person by the age of 50.
Nice Poem. Hope your learning stimulates a lot more poetry and makes you feel SMART. It should.

Carol, hope your house is full of happiness today!

Viv 1-22-2002 9:24

**Rachel** Just read you post on my site, thanks for your comments, makes all the hard work worth while! Let me know if you would like me to read anything you may have written. Thanks again! Andi (aka Morgan)

Morgan Limpit Muskin 1-22-2002 9:24


Hi all - Wanted to drop in to tell you that Sebastian has begun to walk! He took his first steps two days ago. He hasn't worked up to a full run yet (winks). He however has taken steps more and more. It is so amazing to watch him grow. He will soon be eleven months old. His first birthday will be very soon. I am all ready excited!

I've not been around much these days. I have been kept busy with the children, reading, writing and school. Yes, I returned to school. I've decided to study English. I am enjoying myself very much.

Mary - I have a girlfriend who was just given a string of black pearls. They belonged to her mother. She has decided she is not going to keep them, but look at selling them. It sounds as if that could go quite nicely for her. You can't imagine how surprised I was to find talk of black pearls on the page after speaking of them so recently with a friend. It was kind of weird.

All - Hope you are all happy and well. Hope that your muse or your mind, or what ever it is that gives you inspiration is doing its job well.

Hugs to all!

1-22-2002 8:57

Hi there, totally new to this sort of thing, so forgive my petulance… need feedback on a book I'm working on (no surprise there) - anyhow the work is on any thoughts would be appreciated… if there is anything of yours you want me to look at… let me know… Thanks!

Morgan Limpit Muskin 1-22-2002 5:19

By the way, Oyster - I love the line you wrote, '...Shouldn't look a gift Chinook in the mouth.'

And thank you, for saying I'm warm! (((Hugs)))

Carol - have fun with your stepchild! Hoping to send chapter 4 your way soon, so long as you're still willing to read and critique for me?

I did SOME writing today - just have to transcribe it now, from the envelope I used to jot on. Found it in the glove compartment, just when I needed it!

Heather 1-22-2002 3:09

Anyone like the idea of a shortie round robin (posted in the NB of course)?
Each person could/would add 1-2 sentences.
I was thinking this might be an interesting exercise for one of the more boring periods of the week when most of us pop into the NB, read yesterday's posts over again, and then switch off the computer for the day -- Sunday evening.

The trick is, once the round robin starts, (topic UNKNOWN!)
each contributor must write the existing sentences before adding, so it makes sense, and can be read as a paragraph or more.
The idea isn't to replace shortie night on Thursdays by any means. I was thinking more along the lines of 'warmup for Monday morning' fun drill.

That's the first time I've ever written 'fun' and 'drill' in the same sentence.

Whatch'all think?

Heather 1-22-2002 3:04

Hey everyone...

Nice to see some cheerful people here, though I think Jerry, that you might have the virus blues.
I think my blues are frozen solid. It's so cold my eyes have decided to give up producing salt water. It's frozen too.

All right, I'll try to be cheerful. If Mary can be cheerful with a toothache like a grand piano with every key hammering, then I can surely raise my face into a semblance of a grin.

I had a thought when the talk was of black pearls. I think the Japanese do not like black pearls because they symbolize something - something the rest of us haven't heard about. Perhaps it's just a superstition.
I thought of 'black sheep' equating with black pearls.

Well, if that truly does equate, all of the black sheep on this board can celebrate! We'll be very sought after. I wonder if we'll be considered odd but rare?

There have been daydreams lately, that are so vivid that time stands still. If I sit in the same place that I had a daydream, I can return to the same daydream.
The million dollar question: Okay, so the only question I would say is truly a million dollar question is this: "Would you like this million dollars?"
That wasn't the daydream. The point's here... Somewhere.

That's the way tangents are -- when you go off on them, you don't usually meet up with the original streetcar of thought until much later. Especially if my Dad's driving.

I, on the other hand, have an innate sense of direction. I use a map, if I'm really lost. :o)

This Thursday's SHORTIE THEME IS:


Heather 1-22-2002 2:58

Been one of those days; well maybe it's been all week, I can't say for sure. I don't know why but I have been in the worst of moods, every thing I write is so depressing that I don't even want to read it myself. Guess I need to take some time off, from time off or something. Found another damn virus on my computer today, then when I rebooted, the damn boot disk had a virus. I reformatted the boot disk, and I think it's clean now.

Problem is that this is the boot disk I use on all the computers I work on, so there's a 50/50 chance that all the computers I worked on in the past few weeks have the same stupid virus on them.

It's the same virus that was on my sister's machine, now I have one of those chicken/egg questions running through my head, which came first the virus or the crash?

Have my system cleaned anyhow, the last virus check says it's clean anyhow, and I ran the fdisk /mbr on it, that should have killed any and all boot sector viruses, or at least Norton says it will.

Maybe a trip to the casino is in order, supposed to get up in the 50's tomorrow and the roads are all clear. Have to check with the wife and see if she's up for throwing away forty bucks in search of some relaxation.

Of course, I may be able to write some real scary stuff if I just sit here and let my fingers do my talking.

Speaking of pearls, I picked up some pearl ear rings and a matching necklace on my way home from Nam. Got them when we stopped over in Tokyo. They are pearls in a silver cage, kind of neat looking. Wonder if they're worth anything? Have to check ebay or something, I know the wife would never part with them, but if they are worth anything, maybe we should put a bit more insurance on them, or at least list them in the policy. I know the pearls were genuine, or at least that's what the gal at the PX said when I bought them.

And I ramble on, what with the notebook so full it can barley hold another "I".

Write on!

Jerry 1-22-2002 0:33

I just saw a natural color black pearl strand for $31,000.00 retail. It wasn't even that spectacular peacock color that is the most expensive. It was a classy, light gray.

Mary 1-21-2002 22:58

VIV: Hey! I checked out that link. Thank you very much, I bookmarked it, but only for drooling purposes. $950 for a pair of simple pearl stud earrings? Holy shnikies, that is more than my diamonds cost! They have some imperfect pearl pendants fairly low priced. I like their odd shapes.

They have a bracelet on there, with just two pearls for something like $650. Put the 60-70 together that it would take to make a whole strand necklace. OY!

Mary 1-21-2002 22:34

I'm drooling now ... black pearls in Viv's hands.

Thanks for the explanation on Daughter, there, Teekay.

And Randall, thanks for the tip on young Tolstoi.

And Carol, thanks for the tip on 21 Steps of Merlin.

And ... I'm running out of memory here, is our notebook out yet? Will it be the next time I post, telling me "this thread is way too long, come back later"??

Tina, you got snow? We got snow. More snow. More cold, I want Jerry's El Nino now, but I shouldn't look a gift Chinook in the mouth, we just had one. Getting greedy will get me into trouble.

Randall, did you say Merlin went mad? Oish! A little voice in my head said "That's what you get for messing with dark magic." Except Merlin was a Druid, and they were, according to lore and history Earth Magick practitioners!

Or was that Howard that did the Merlin speil? And Tina, too?

I give up, I'm confused. My short term memory is shot. I'm actually reading an Elizabethan Mystery about a theatre troup based in London around the time of The Bard (I think) called "Devil's Apprentice". It figures, doesn't it? The name of the Witch Character in the play featured in the Book is Mad Joan.

When I told Bwitch that bit this morning she howled with laughter and said "See, everything is connected!" We know a Mad Joan or two. And none of them are witches, just ... nuts!

Anyway, I've been so busy with 'other things' I can barely think straight to write anything to anyone here. Sorry!

I only remember that "Heater" (LOL, Mary what a good nickname for Heather, she's warm and makes me feel nice and snug!)is doing ShortyNite.

And can someone teach me how to Haiku-too? I flunked poetry in school. And you can so teach an old dog new tricks, I figure if I can learn to do emails, I can learn to do Haiku. Pointers, anyone?

Oyster 1-21-2002 21:58

Can't get this silence thing out of my mind (thanks a lot, Mary! :-))

Answers without questions.
Questions without answers.
Hear the busy-ness,
the invasive sounds
of a world gone mad.

No resolution
in the cheers
of the living,
or the hilarity
of the dying.

Deafened by the noise.
The incessant clamor
of empty minds
choking on
raw decibels of
manufactured platitudes.

But under it all
a whisper.
with those beyond reason.

Under it all
a still small voice.

May not be around much for a while -- school starts tomorrow, and I'll be going evenings and one class online, in case I do get a job offer. Living from check to check is even worse when it's an unemployment check! :-)
Gotta keep going though, and gotta keep telling myself that retirement is for older folks!

howard 1-21-2002 21:49

I found a site where you can get quotes on loose pearls out of Okinawa. It's interesting. I think if you were designing something specific it could come in handy to have in your links.

Viv again 1-21-2002 21:36

Mary: I don't know. Maybe the pinkish variety go better with their skin tones and hair color. I have a strand of very old black pearls that I love. My friends wrinkle their noses and say, "Humm, not so good."

I love them though. I also have some misshapen old black pearls and I think they are the best. I think I like odd things. I have very little jewelry, but those are special for me. I don't let what others think affect what I like.

The reason I mentioned this is maybe they aren't considered as valuable in Japan and might be cheaper. I don't know a thing about how to buy pearls but I'll check on line. Right now the yen rate is 129-130 to the dollar which makes price a little better for everything if you are using US currency.

I'll go now and check.

Viv 1-21-2002 21:23

VIV: Why don't Japanese like black pearls? What's not to like?

Mary 1-21-2002 21:12


Hey Howard, and everyone else who likes Merlin/Arthur, have you read any of Jack Whyte's novels? The series is 'A Dream of Eagles', and the first novel is 'The Sky Stone'. It's strongly historical look at the myth/story/truth, beginning long before Arthur when Rome began to withdraw from England. Very well written, although a bit long/slow in a few bits. I think it goes by a different name in the US; he's a Canadian author.
Hey, in fact, I'd happily put it up for the Great Book Exchange if you'd like to check it out! We need more books on the Exchange. (BTW For anyone relatively new, the Great Book Exchange is when we offer a book for exchange between notebookers, and mail it around to whomever wants to read it. A copy of 'Ender's Game' went around the world! It's fun.)

Must go do dinner. Chinese, with pork dumplings. :-D

Tina 1-21-2002 20:57

Hi All :)

Oyster - I think I mentined the 21 Lessons of Merlin -- I know I've got in on my shelves. I'm glad you got an idea from it -- sounds like a good idea too!

Mel -- waaaay back, you mentioned the muse. Yes, I believe you're right. She sits quietly at times absorbing the details of life. When its jelled enough, she sends it out. I've been getting some real short pieces done lately. They've been different than my normal work. They are "rants" of everyday life. Some funny, some sad. I'm going to let them collect for a while and see what happens.

There are so many posts! It took me close to an hour to read them all. My congrats to all who wrote on this weeks shortie. All of them were very well written and evoked emotions.

Mary -- a special congrats! The news of your interview is exciting. This should bring even more people to your website and more buyers of your jewelry. Yippee!

I'll pop in as I can over the next week. My stepson is coming home on his vacation and the week looks to be busy. But I insist on some writing time. Which will cut on time here -- again! Pooh!

Round and
Round she
Pieces of
through glass
whirl in heat
Mesmerizing silence
Ohh, to pull
a shirt
put it on
warm and fragrant
I love the

Ok - so it's terrible.... Guess I better try again ...

Carol 1-21-2002 19:39

RANDALL -- Edison Marshall has an interesting treatment of Merlin (and Art-tyr) in his "The Pagan King." I enjoyed Steven Lawhead's "Pendragon Cycle also, but got more of a feeling of authenticity from Marshall.

howard 1-21-2002 16:32

Hi all!

Gee, did I start something with the skydiving haiku? BTW Howard, some dogs love to skydive. More wind in their face than driving down a freeway at 110k/h.

Viv, do it! Do it! Do it!
And I think the nastiness of our commercials depends on the time slot, but overall Canada has tighter restrictions on advertising. We get stuck with US advertising, though, since half of our channels are US, so there's no avoiding it.


Tina 1-21-2002 11:00

Teekay: Isn't it funny that guys with strict standards marry women with not strict standards? Maybe you are supposed to do it, and say it for him!

Tina: It's good to see you back. Someday I'm going to try jumping out of an airplane. It's that or hang gliding.

Heather: How's the toe? And the snow?

Mary: How's the tooth? Congradulations on the interview and I agree with you on black pearls. They are the only ones worth owning, but the Japanese don't like them.

Jerry: How strange to get such racy ads on television. Ours are pretty tame except for sanitary products. Those always get a little too obvious. How about Canada, Australia and South America?

Viv 1-21-2002 9:30

OK, FFoF, back atcha!

They were much surprised
Me, a blind man skydiving?
Damn! It scared my dog!

howard 1-21-2002 3:40

And now for an entirely frivilous link. If you need a laugh (or not), check it out.

And yes, it proved what I already knew about myself. I'm just a wee touch nutso.

Tina insanity test 1-21-2002 0:19

I keep seeing these sites that pop up when you least expect them, and like many of the spam messages, want me to enlarge my penis. Now on the internet, I guess I can understand running into stuff like that, as it has been shown that over sixty percent of the folks on the www are seeking out porn. But I don't expect to see stuff like that on prime time TV. It happened tonight, we were watching The Practice when this add ran for some herbal remedy that increases the size and stamina of the male organ.

I guess, much like Chicken Man, It's everywhere It's everywhere.

Write ON!

Jerry 1-20-2002 23:47

Had a big breakup here in town. The fellow who came to town, and breezed his way into all our lives with a reasonably speedy internet connection (only 56K but hey, all the others were offereing was 28.8), who started another newspaper, who started a new computerized printshop, who assisted in bringing revival meetings to town, has split the sheets with his wife.

Seems she took the newspaper, and all the cash she could get her hands on and moved across the street.

We are unsure what will happen next, must wait and see, but any faster high speed service may be shit-canned, in fact it some fear we may loose our service with him completely.

We hope not, I get along with him nicely, however many here don't as he likes to get technical with those who have no understanding of technology, and that seems to offend them for some reason.

At any rate, the weather is getting warmer and warmer again. The weatherman has, at long last told us that it is another El Neno (SP) year. I think most of us knew that before his lecture. Another day of pinochle and family bonding. A good time was had by all.

My old grand-dad came over from the old country (Germany), and for some reason couldn't get this English language down all that well. He used to tell his boys to "go out to the barn and throw the cows over the fence some hay!"

Nite all.


Jerry 1-20-2002 22:32

I found a missing skydiving haiku:

Like a hawk swooping
Mastering the winter skies
Splat! No parachute.

Fickle Finger of Fate 1-20-2002 22:03


VIV: Nope, I don't even think beans'd do it. Unlike me, hubby has standards he abides by :-)

OYSTER: It's hormones and that's just the way it is *sigh*, I think it's natures way for preparing them for the time they leave the nest - it doesn't make the process quite so heart rendering when it's time to spread their wings and fly, and in some case mother's are packing the daughters bags and waving them merrily off at the door.
I always wonder what it was like back in the 1700 & 1800's, were girls tamer then or were they just potrayed that way in the history books.

Quiet today, not much to say,
think I shall just slink away.


Teekay 1-20-2002 21:15


Notebook 1-20-2002 18:12

Had comments ... notebook too huge ... it's appetite is ... aaaaaah! *GULP*

Christi 1-20-2002 18:12

I have to agree with Tina - the notebook is up to 747592 bytes, which is a large mouthful even for a cable modem.

howard 1-20-2002 16:14



Many thanks for you guys trying to help me with the glass percolator coffee pot and coffee grinder search... I have an avenue or two I can sniff out here...pun intended.

Oyster ... The sound you hear is me rubbing my hands together in glee. I love all things related to Merlin! Without a doubt, the best book on Merlin, well, in my mind, is Nikolai Tolstoy, THE QUEST FOR MERLIN. Yes, Mr. Tolstoy is the grandnephew of Leo, a writer of some merit. (GRIN!) Nikki explores the myth and legend of King Arthur's prophet and was featured on the Discovery channel a few weeks ago. It was a special about prophets, no doubt influenced by the success of LOTR.

I missed out on the conversation (par usual) but I believe you guys were discussing Merlin as Gandalf in the LORD OF THE RINGS. As you know, the story of Merlin has come down to us from Geoffrey of Monmouth's, HISTORY OF THE KINGS OF BRITAIN, through Malory and Tennyson, to the hip 50's novel and 60's movie THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING and, lets not forget, LOTR. Tolstoy explores the complex, mischievous Merlin, who may have been a real historical figure in the sixth century AD. Ah, a druid, living in the lowlands of Scotland. Druids at that time where under heavy pressure from religious newcomers, Christianity, and anyone possessing supernatural powers would have been notable, feared and shunned. As was Jesus when he went against the prevailing political and religious dogma of His times.

Mr. Tolstoy includes a photocopy of a page from "... Welsh annals from a copy of the Domesday Book in the Public Record Office ... are references to Arthur's victory at Badon and death at Camlann ... ‘The year [573]; The Battle of Arderydd between the sons of elifer and Gwenddolau the son of Ceidio, in which battle Gwenddolau was killed; Merlin was driven mad.' "

WOW! Driven mad!!! Heavy, huh? Chills going up and down my spine!

In another photocopy reference Tolstoy adds "... from the Book of Aneirin, containing verses from the sixth-century poem Gododdin. Halfway down (the page) is what may be the earliest reference to Merlin: ‘amuc moryen gwenwawt mirdyn'; Morien defended the blessed inspiration of Myrddin.' "

Merlin is spelled Myrddin or Merlinus in ancient texts and this could be his first or last name.... and in this context, the term ‘inspiration' needs no definition from me.

In a stunning work of analysis Nikolai Tolstoy identified and located a spring where Merlin lived (fled) ... Chalybeate spring at Hartfell Spa, after his patron (King Arthur?) was killed. Tracked down and identified the area, "The point where the River Pausail flows into the Tweed..." where according to tradition Merlin was killed ... A la, the Threefold Death, which I have referenced before ... "beaten and stoned (by shepards) ... impaled on a stake ... drowned as his head passed beneath the water."

Merlin (I referenced a lot of Tolstoys work in my own novel) is known as a Trickster and his archetype character has parallels...ready for this...even in the life of our Lord Jesus. The Threefold Death can be linked to Jesus dying on the cross, but it is a stretch...(Oh boy! No pun intended there for sure!)

A lot of what I posted is included in Tolstoy's book, so I have given credit where credit is due. It is a great work, very deep and requires more than one reading. But then, so did LOTR!



Randall "Hob" 1-20-2002 12:56

Some skydiving haiku...

Blue sky is the gift
Tempting me beyond my fear
I step into joy


Low clouds, white with snow
Falling, as I dream to fly
Drifting to the ground.

Snowflakes own the sky
Briefly, until spring returns
To paint the land green.

Over verdant hills
I will join the birds in flight
Free to touch the sky.

Tina 1-20-2002 12:46

Hi all! What a lovely snowy Sunday. Yay!

Just an observation for Jack if he's lurking; the page is getting kinda big. My computer is gagging on it, and that is rare.


Tina 1-20-2002 11:59

I checked out the voices net thing too. It is very busy-looking, but you can tell hard work went into it. I agree with Howard, it is worth a look-see and periodic read, but I can't see myself joining up.

JJ: I wish you all the luck.

Mary 1-20-2002 11:48

Hi everyone!

Haven't heard back yet from the writer who did my interview. It was completely via email, she sent me a list of questions I was supposed to expound upon.

I am now a proud member of the International Jewelry Designer's Guild. Sounds impressive, doesn't it? HA!

Heather is picking the shortie topic again for this coming Thursday. Good luck Heater!

Gotta run.

Mary 1-20-2002 11:26

I checked that voices net thingie and it's a bit to "themepark-ish" if you take my meaning... maybe nice for a visit, but here is home...

howard 1-20-2002 8:47

For some reason the link gets scragged when you do that -- the url is if anyone wants a look

howard 1-20-2002 8:41

WWW.VOICESNET.COM - Voices Network - For Writers and Poets of all Ages

Please try out our NEW website.

Submit poetry and short stories to our "Voices" Publications, enter contests, play free games, use our free forum and ads, buy books and videos and much more...


JJ Namcap

ps Also, read my regular editorial articles.

JJ Voices Network 1-20-2002 5:21

Hi Everyone,

Mary: Congrats on your interview (you deserve it) and thanks for explaining about black lipped oysters and black pearls. Sitting here imagining myself with black lips ... a Gothic Oyster. Uh, not hardly!

Oh, and thanks for the shortie inspirations, too. I've been practising shorties, sneaking them in emails to friends, trying really, really hard to get here for Thursday nights, but Spouse's been hogging the computer most nights with his 'work-work' and I've been in the Dungeon pecking away on That Story!

Carol? Heather? Was it you who mentioned 21 Lessons of Merlin? Well, I finally got it from the Library today and varoom, instant chapter idea ... a college professor who decides to write a book on Merlin and his son move to Salmon Arm!

Jerry, I glimpsed you and Viv and Literary Litter (of the four novels ...yes I have been reading, just no time to post) and everyone else seems to be back on track, and my eyes are aching from a new project. I have to transcribe my own handrwiting. Ick. From meetings of the Fine Arts Committee at the Kids' School.

I love music, art and writing, but guess what? No writing in the Fine Arts at our school. And ergh, fundraising seems to be the primary focus. I hate fundraising. But I hate sewing worse. There were murmurs about doing some of that, too! I think I'll stick with the notetaking for now.

Anyone else think Writing is a Fine Art?

Teekay, Mel, question: Do girl-children turn into little (very bad word here) as early as nine? Whoa, the Daughter is giving me a run for my money! She's on full self-absorption and self-centered mode. She had the nerve to tell me she was embarrassed by my car and demanded I get a new one because mine smells funny! And the almost-as-tall-as-me Ms. Charisma was in a tear because she was tired form a not-sleepover, wanted lunch out, didn't want to put away her clothes, and, and, and! All at full volume with words she shouldn't be using until adulthood. And the eye rolling and the lip!

Terrible, punitive images flow through my mind when girl-child acts like this. And there are times when I walk away, girl-child follows me! Blink, blink!

Even Spouse is getting a bit 'peeved' at the 'tude. Now we're at the point where we let her go on the sleepover because (rather cruelly) I said "Who wants a Daughter free night tonight" and everyone including me raised their hand! Even her brother has tried to reason with her and she ravages him, too!

I don't even want to think about teenagehood! Please, someone tell me that Katie Kaboom calms down for a least a day ... oh, if not a day, an hour would be good!

Thinking it be time for a Writer's Retreat here. Hmm. How far can I get on $12.00 (canadian)?

Oyster 1-20-2002 3:27

Hi Everyone - nice shorties on silence! Interesting that most folks equate silence with negative things. Me too. Mine was so negative I didn't post it.

Mary-congratulations. I want to read that interview. They are right, you are a remarkable lady.

Teekay - Serve enough beans and your husband might learn to say the word, "fart". Mine says the dog's name in a disgusted voice. The dog generally gives him one of those all suffering Jesus looks. (Well, if you need to blame it on me...ok, just add another nail there, buddy. I love you too.)

Howard: Thanks for the silence and the angels combined.

Viv 1-20-2002 2:08

Did my interview today. I hope that all goes well, it is out of my hands now!

Mary 1-20-2002 2:03

Randall - had you asked for a glass coffee perculator before we moved down here, I could have sent one, but those idiots who moved us down here broke it, along with about everything else breakable. It was the movers from hell, I swear. They left town about an hour before we did, but I drive fast, so when we hit the interstate, (A fifty mile drive) and I saw an Allied Van Lines truck, I figured it was them. When they arrived here, I asked if it was them. The driver replied that I must have been driving over a hundred to catch them, as he never slowed under 70 all the way to Bismarck. Now that road between where I lived and Bismarck was rough as hell due to constant flooding. When he told me that, I had visions of unpacking everything broken.

Well it wasn't that bad, the wife's china made it intact, as did her antique depression glass, but the our daughter's tea pot collection suffered the worst with over half them broken, as were hundreds of other things.

In the end, the insurance company paid for the move plus, but that doesn't bring back the antiques that were lost to those idiots.

Never thought about lighting our kerosene lamps to heat the house, not a bad idea, we have about a half dozen that we have picked up since we moved down, and four or five that survived. We only use them when the electricty goes out.

Well we got our meat and it filled the deep freeze to the top. Shouldn't have to buy beef now for about eight months, and at $1.59 a pound cut, wrapped and frozen, the price was right too. The fellow we buy it from raises them just for his friends and neighbors to buy, so they are pampered, and raised seperatly from his herd. The meat is so tender it sort of melts in your mouth. Great stuff.

We ate two of the phesants that our good neighbor John brought over during hunting season, boy were they good, took them to mom's and played cards after, she enjoyed them as much as I did. She hadn't had phesant since dad died back in 73.

Our cold snap broke, the temps got back up in the thirtys again today.

Turned on my computer this morning, and it came up in black and white, 640 x 480 with no mouse or sound. Worked till dinner time and got the picture right and the mouse working but couldn't get the sound for the life of me. When we got home, I worked another hour, but to no avail, so I did the big FORMAT C: /Q thing and started fresh. I now have it up and running, but still have a ton of software to put back on. Back to work.

May your paper stay dry and your pen never run out of ink, may the words flow forth smooth as cream. May your stories reflect that dream.

Good night John Boy.

Write ON!

Jerry 1-19-2002 23:59



Hubby just came in and I thought he was going to read the 'you know what post'.

That would have been it!

He would have realised I'm not the delicate, subdued, nice, gentle refined ladylike person I think he thinks I am.:-^

Lucky I was quick witted enough to minimise the page HAHAHAHAHAHAH OOPS, I mean :-D


Teekay 1-19-2002 19:15


My hubby absolutely cringes at the word 'farting'. It's so good to be able to say it without fear of discrimination. I wonder what he'd like me to call it.
Pop off; I don't theeeenk so.
Fluff; hardly, people call their cats that.
Can't think of anything else, except maybe vile wind from the nether regions - but that's wa-a-a-a-a-ay too long.

As Shakespeare might have said, and probably did as he flapped the bedsheets up and down as he laughed at Flavio (his bedmate): 'A fart, by any other name t'would smell as foul.'

To be honest, I do feel a little devlish after saying it, but it's rather a delicious type of rebellious thrill.
Tee hee.

Tee hee's make me think of insipid little school girls with grey tunics and come hither eyes.

Hyuks, make me think of Archie comics.

I hope I don't hate myself in the morning - again.


Oh yeah..........


Teekay 1-19-2002 19:11


CHRISTI: Forgot to say I think donkeys are gorgeous.
HAHAHHAHAH's make me think of cheap raunchy sluts leaning across the counters at sleazy bars, reeking with the potent smell of whisky and stale sex.

HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA aaaaaaaaah HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHZHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHA, what the.....? How did that z get in there? Is someone sleeping on the job???

really going now.

I mean it.



Teekay 1-19-2002 19:03


HOWARD: I'm pretty sure that happens to quite a lot of people.
Oooooooooooooooooooo don't it always seem to go that you don't know wacha got till it's gone.
Okay, you can stop cringeing now, I've finished :-)

CHRISTI: You punished your dog for farting?!?!?!??! Well then, if anybody needs the benefits of meditation it's you.
Perhaps Brambles does suit after all :-D
Poor doggy. :-(
Poor poor kitty.
BTW: Haw haw's always make me think of a donkey.

HOWARD: Or...silence is the echoing roar of an empty heart.
Too much?

TAYLOR: Now you're scaring me. I'm sure you will love it. The person who told me about it raved on no end about it and I told them to stop because they would build it up so much that it was bound to fall short. (this happened with the movie 'Pretty Woman' who everyone raved about, but I thought was a dud. Hearing all the high reviews had it built up to an unreachable level in my head, and of course it failed to meet standards) This didn't happen with 'Ice Station'.
Kick of your soppy shoes, make a nice hot cup of tea, settle back in your favourite chair and prepare to lose yourself :-)
I'll look at the book you recommend and let you know waht I thought of it.

MARY: A 'dookie bag' what a fantastic idea. Your family seems to have so many traditions, which is wonderful. Tradition is the thread in the patchwork quilt of life. It holds families together, wether they be near or far.

RANDALL: Well shooeet, if only you'd asked for that coffee percolater 2 weeks ago, before I finally got around to giving the bag of 'I can't stand this stuff lying around the house any more' to St. Vincent De Paul (charity shop)
A family friend gave it to us, but we don't like the taste of that coffee, plus we don't drink that much of it, so after sitting around for about 2 months I finally took a deep breath and got rid of it. This is a true story. Maybe I shouldn't tell you this, (what the mind doesn't know - the heart doesn't grieve) but my sadist streak is winning over.
Good news, I didn't have a coffee bean grinder :-D.

BTW: I was reading somewhere that it's perfectly normal for publishers to ask that imformation from you, which is pretty sucky.

Sunday - Lunch at MIL's day. Novel has reached chapter 15.


Teekay 1-19-2002 18:50

Randall - I think my mother may still have the old coffee percolator with the glass intact; we used to use it at the cottage, where we didn't have any electricity. We left a number of things at the cottage for the new owner, but I'm certain I've seen that perc at her house in Michigan long since we sold the cottage. I'll ask her via email and see. She might not want to part with it, however. My mom is very efficient - if it has no use or purpose, it's GONE. Out in the garbage, or given away. The only reason she never gave away our lego and some of our childhood toys is because her brother had kids a year or two after we grew out of the toys, and then he gave them back when his 4 kids were finished with them. Then she hung onto them for her grandkids. There wasn't too long a span when there weren't young kids visiting over holidays to play with the toys. Otherwise, they'd have been long gone!
I had to cordon off my hope chest when I moved away - I didn't have room for it, but I figured she'd throw everything inside it into the garbage or give it away if I didn't mount a huge Keep Away sign on it, and wrap it in Police tape. You know the kind: Police Line - Do Not Cross!

You should see my mother's attic. Not even a bat in there. :o)

Heather 1-19-2002 18:28



Thanks Mary, sounds like what you had was exactly what I wanted. Just my luck, a day late and a dollar short! Perhaps somebody else will come through. I will trade antique for antique if necessary. BTW...I am also looking for a glass coffee perculator. Larger that a 2 cup. My parents had one when I was young. I have the guts to it, but the glass container is long gone. I remember as a child watching the water filtering down through the grounds, turning brown. I am interested in anything that does not require electriticy. I have had enough of utility companies to last me two lifetimes.

We have been using eight kersone lamps when it is really cold at night. Which isn't that often, but they help offset the cost of electriticy. A single lamp will raise the temperature in our bedroom 10 degrees F.

I have access to "core" 12 volt car batteries through the store where I work. A "core" is what the buyer turns in when purchasing a new battery. It is stunning that people will bring in a battery that is fully functional and trade it in for only 4.00! We have one now on the core shelf that needed only a complete charge to bring it up. Good battery! The problem was not the battery but something in the cars charging system. What I'm trying to say is a bank of 12 volt batteries and solar panels could make one independant of utility companies.

My cab overcamper has 4, 12 volt, Group 65 batteries hooked together.These batteries are usually on Ford SUV's where a lot of electrical power is needed, to run onboard computers and added luxury accesories. They are, oh, about 80 to 100 bucks each. I purchased these good "core" batteries through the store for $4.00 each! People had turned them in as non-functional, where all the problem was someone left an interior light on overnight, or the alternator failed or a bad connection would not allow a full battery charge! A Group 65 battery will have close to 900 cold cranking amps each. I have access to 3600 amps of 12 volt power. That is, I can run the campers 12 volt system for 40 to 60 hours without recharging. Probably longer if conserving power.

Ain't this just like a writer Mary? Expand a simple thank you to a full post!



Randall 1-19-2002 15:51

DEBRA: It is Wire Artist magazine. The writer also writes for Lapidary Journal, and has features in both current issues. Both magazines have websites, LJ's is more generous, but the subscription price to Wire Artist is pretty expensive. You might check out there Newstand Link to see where you could buy a monthly copy. If you look that up, please let me know. I don't want to sink $50 into this, but I would like to have one extra copy to give to my Mom. I have even considered just waiting til later in the year and ordering it as a back-issue, but I don't know if that is any cheaper or not! Boy, that sounds really cheap! OY.

Mary 1-19-2002 14:49

RANDALL: Boy do I wish you had asked for that coffee grinder a week sooner. I bought a box full of stuff at a yard sale this past summer and stuck it in the basement. When I went through the box, at the very bottom was an antique coffee grinder. It was a wooden box, with an iron, hand-cranked grinder on the top. There was a little drawer on the bottom that you would pull out to retrieve the ground coffee after putting the beans in the top. It still worked and everything, and was very cool looking, but I am not functional enough in the morning to grind coffee beans, and if you are doing it the night before and letting it sit all night, you might as well grind it in the store and vacuum seal it, which is what I do. Anyhow, to make a short story even longer, I gave the coffee grinder to my Mother-in-law in a 'Dookie Bag'. It is a bag of stuff that I don't want, but is perfectly good that I give to my MIL when she comes over. The next time she comes over, she will bring me a dookie bag full of stuff and maybe I will take what I want and pass the rest to my sister-in-law who takes what she wants, adds to the bag and sends it to her cousin. Round and round it goes. The term dookie bag originated from my Great-grandmother on my mother's side who, when we were kids, would send us off with little lunch bags full of cookies, candy, yoyo's and small toys to dig through in the car on the way home. As I grew older it evolved into a traveling yard sale. Way too much information, I know, but you got me started! ;-)

Enjoy your weekends!

Mary 1-19-2002 14:45


I only need the name of the magazine and I can order it on the internet.

Let's have it!

Debra 1-19-2002 14:09



Happy Saturday!

For those who work Monday through Friday, Saturday is a GOOD day. Saturday morning, perhaps the best. Its when friends gather at the local car wash to shine up the vehicle for perhaps a Saturday night on the town. There is always a crowd at local auto parts stores, hogging the stools discussing hi performance motors, paint codes, who was doing what and what his wife thought about the new "friend." Usually negative in that aspect! Sometimes one can pick up tantalizing bits of info at George's Welding and Repair Emporium. Hear the latest from Red Britches. As Red operates on the fringes of every group, at every level of society in town he picks up a lot of information. The CIA should plant Red in Afghanistan. He would sniff out whats-his-names hiding place real quick.

I was up early today. As I get older my bladder seems to shrink. Down to about a thimble size I reckon. I soaked two cups of Pinto beans during the night. Got them cooking after a quick trip for bacon (we add bacon to the beans) that is after circling the car wash, then buzzing by the parts store to hear the latest. Didn't stay to long at Georges. Red was still under the influence of a slight over indulgence last night. Wanted to discuss the downfall in world economy and the possible effects related to grape production in California, Texas and France.

"Uh, gotta go Red. On an errand for my wife."

Ground coffee beans when back home. Checked to see if we had all we needed to make cornbread later. Didn't. Was headed out the door for a quick supply run when my wife halted me. She has this knack of verbally grabbing the back of my shirt collar, from ten feet away.

"Oh no you don't Buster Brown. That last "quick trip" took an hour and one half. This time I'll go."

Women, huh? Guess you girls know all about the quick trip for groceries. Oh, the coffees done! Gotta go.


BTW...anyone have an old, manual coffee bean grinder...laying around...that you don't use?

Randall 1-19-2002 12:45

It's never too late to post a shortie, Taylor!

Snowed three inches last night. Yay! I love snow.

Tina 1-19-2002 10:42


Teekay: I have that Ice Station book... It came in today at the book store.
It better be worth it... There was a slight thunderstorm, but I walked there anyway, it got worse the closer I got, I was wet, my shoes wet, crossing the road, part of my trousers legs got wet because I couldnt avoid the puddle on the side of the road.
But I have the book!
Teekay, may I recommend to you, Tom Clancy's "Executive Orders" That is one of my favourites. I will let you know what I think about Ice Station when I'm through with it.

Working on shortie... but is it too late?

Taylor 1-19-2002 7:11

This just woke me up!

Silence is the awful emptiness felt
when one denies the singing
of angels.

howard 1-19-2002 1:28

Christi - never had a dog do that to me, however when I was but a boy, my brother-in-law once took me down and did that. I have never forgiven him for that

Mary - congrats! Do we have the beginnings of our first dot com millionaire here?

Shorty night went a bit overtime, but it did produce some great work.

Well we made the trip up to pick up our meat. I drove my old chevy pickup there for the chore. Just a round trip with no stops to visit or anything as the weather was threatening, but we made it home OK. The temps have dropped to below zero and the snow has been flying. I knew a warm winter was to much to hope for, but I welcome the cold, makes it seem more like home.

Got a letter today from my old high school. Seems they are planning an all school reunion. I was never all that close to my classmates in High School, but I may drop by and say hello anyhow. I do keep running into the old home coming queen and she insists on visiting. Back when we were in School, she wouldn't have given me the time of day. Maybe I hold a grudge too long. Her hubby is the richest fellow in town, owning a large jewelry factory that employs more folks here about then all the other businesses put together. He was in our class too, but again, he was a jock, and I wasn't. No, I ran with the rough crowd, who would rather party then anything else, got in a bit of trouble back then, but I guess it was good to get it out of my system before I grew up.

I have run into a few others from my class, all seem to want to catch up. The sad part is that many of them have never left town, never traveled, in fact several of them have never been out of town and we are all over fifty now.

Jerry 1-19-2002 0:45

Mary - CONGRATS!!! :D That's really cool!

Allein Peachick's Gallery 1-19-2002 0:15

Mary! I think the real jerks are those who tout that they're all that (plus a small package of potato crisps)
when they're actually mediocre at prime.
You're definitely NOT a jerk. :o>

I certainly don't plan to be one, either. 8-}

I'd love to order the magazine in which the article on you and your jewelry work will be featured!

I think taking some down time after your teeth are out is a good idea, to prep your site for the after-effects of the article. Just remember to take into account you'll be healing physically at the same time! (((HUGS)))

Heather 1-19-2002 0:07

Thanks everyone for the well wishes and congratulations! It feels great!

DEBRA: I wish that the magazine that will carry the article had an online version, but they don't. They said that I will receive a copy of the printed magazine when it is published, maybe then I can scan it to pass around. I am sure that is against some copyright laws, but heck, it isn't like I can just come over to your house and show you the copy, now can I? I don't plan on republishing it anywhere or anything. ;-)

TEEKAY: Actually business is slow right now, which I didn't expect to be grateful for, but am. I just placed a raw materials order tonight, so until that gets here, I am going to take a mini-vacation from jewelry making. When all my new sterling wire and beads arrive, I will be well rested. I can spend this time designing in my head and on paper, sleeping, getting rid of some teeth and working on my website so that it is ready for the visitors that the interview will send my way. I don't expect the influx to last very long, so I had better take full advantage. Most of the people who buy this magazine are jewelry artists themselves, so even though I don't expect many orders from the thing, I should at least look professional to my peers.

CHRISTI: Yes! I did receive your email today and I am very relieved. I am glad to hear that you are still loving your bracelet, wear it in good health.

LITTER: Okie dokie, hon. I just wanted to make sure that I had sent it to the correct address after all the troubles you have had with your servers lately. No rush on that reply, but when you do, I have a translation I need you to do. I think it is a bit rude, but in all honesty I can't understand half of what the guy is saying. I think that if I could catch even a few more words I would be too embarassed to ask you what he is saying. For now, I will hide behind my ignorance and beg your forgiveness if it is too raunchy.

HEATHER: I have put a call into Snow White to see if she will loan me her magic mirror mirror on the wall. It would be great to feel as good as everyone is making me out to be! Maybe not, people with big heads aren't usually well-liked. Is it possible to know you are 'all that' without acting like a jerk? I wonder. I love the work of Georgia O'Keefe, and she was very humble, at least what I know of her, so maybe NOT KNOWING is the way to go! ;-)

Well, I am off for's Tylenol time!

Mary 1-18-2002 22:53

Oh, and I didn't plan on that shortie for the Silences theme. I had been thinking about

something completely different.

You're welcome, Litter! *giggle*

Heather 1-18-2002 22:47

Ewwww, Christi! As my husband sometimes says after someone's let one loose, "Did you get any on ya?"
Ha ha ha ha! I know, the dog fart happened to someone else... it was funny to me, regardless!
Of course, there's no telling for someone's sense of humour.

And our chat the other night gave way to my shortie, the first time I've really been ready, I think, to write it in a way that gives the whole setting and prelude.
I had to fictionalize small parts of the dialogue, because I don't actually remember the exact words exchanged.
But the rest? Real. Right down to the lab rat.

Sorry if I bummed anyone out, to coin a Californian phrase.
It must be the 'Sandybanks' in me. :oP

Heather 1-18-2002 22:45

All of the shorties were so insightful and a pleasure to read. Heather, Jerry, Tina, Teekay, Ben, and Howard; thanks, you guys! Very sad but grand.

Howard, You just keep crankin' em out. I laughed so hard I hurt myself, with the one about the sewing machine lady (I can still picture it), and now the news anchor. My guffaw-o-meter is going off the charts. My husband may not let me sleep in the same bed with him tonight; he's giving me that 'I married a psycho' look.

Mary, That is just wonderful. You know when you're doing the right thing for you when things happen like they have been for you (minus the broken toe, of course). :D I think you deserve it; your beading is the best I've seen. And PS, I suppose you know by now that I got your email. Did you get my email? :(

Litter, That's horrible! Those parents should be shot, and most likely will be when their kids enter teendom. Imagine, they'll have to live with it even in death, as their tombstones proclaim, 'Here lies Vagina,' and RIP St. John's Wort.

Teekay, I don't know quite what to say! You say the nicest things. But I kind of like brambles! Especially when they're attached to my hubby. XOXOXOOXOXOXOXOXOXO.

This is really pathetic, but then so am I sometimes. I can't believe I'm going to post this. On silences:

Of Kings and Queens and ...
by me

I sat in lotus position, muttering to myself. How was this meditation stuff supposed to work, anyway?
My thoughts wandered ... I stopped them.
My stomach growled ... I ignored it.
Was that my watch ticking? No, it was my brain, buzzing.
Finally I stopped all the exterior noise and interior thoughts from creeping in, and felt myself begin to enter a place I've never been before; a place where all is calm and focused and 'one.' I tried to fight off the excitement, as I knew my experience would end with it. And then it happened ... I went into the place of unconsciousness without having to be unconscious
... until, that is, I was jerked out with the sound of FFFFFFPPPPPPPTTTTTT, followed by a bushy blonde tail wapping me upside the face and poking me right in the eye.
My eyes flew open. "Princess! You gross thing!" I yelled, as I choked on fumes. My haughty golden retriever was positioned in front of me with her posterior in my face. Maybe dogs don't care much for meditation. All I know is, Princess went to bed without her supper and with a sore posterior.

The End

The above really happened, but not to me, though my Grandma's cat once sat on my face while I was sleeping at her house. I couldn't help what happened, it was gut reaction and I wasn't even awake yet. I drop-kicked that cat and she hit the wall, yowling to wake the dead. If ever a cat deserved the wall treatment, that one did. I don't feel a twinge of remorse.

Hi ya'll and by ya'll, must get back to (back to??? she says?) my writing. Pray for me. Haw haw haw. Haws are so ladylike, don't you think? HAW HAW HAW! I think there's something wrong with my brain tonight. Somebody flipped the switch to 'off.'

Christi 1-18-2002 21:35

TEEKAY -- the process is slow, it's the realization that can sneak up and catch one by surprise. That sudden shock of realizing that you've missed something important, and now it's too late. It didn't happen to me, but a friend who climbed that corporate ladder once opened up to me (in tears, actually) that he'd spent so much time concentrating on the wrong things that he missed seeing his kids grow up, and that realization was awful.

howard 1-18-2002 21:19


MARY: That's Brilliant! You'll probably be totally inundated with orders after that interview - you probably already are, but what a boost.

HOWARD: Thankee, but I fail to see much in my poem, no false modesty here, but I was just sitting and knitting my 'smelly belly dolly' and I took each letter of the word silence and just sort of put words to it. I guess it's true that you really only appreciate something you've done if you've put some effort into it.
Now, with your poem I got the feeling that it wasn't just a matter of getting old and having the family move away because of the lines:
'but something is wrong
Oh God
Please come back'
Which led me to believe that things had changed suddenly and had not followed their natural path.
Which just goes to show that poetry is what you read into it :-)

HEATHER: Thanks :-). No messy divorce - messy kitchen, but.
Woah Dude! Just read your story: Fa-a-a-antastic! What an ending , it was all so real. Very well written, wonderful use of words particularly:

>I'd be sitting at the end of the cold black table in biology, waiting to dissect another stinking rodent carcass, stiff with death and yellowed with formaldehyde.<

The entire story was like a three dimensional photograph. Or is that 2 dimensional I mean? Or 4? Anyway, very vivid, touched most of the senses and very memorable with a shocker end to make it stick around and play on the mind.
Not just saying this coz you liked my poem either :-D (Just thought I should let you know incase your the paranoid type - like me)

LITTER: You certainly have a way with silence. Spoke volumes without saying a word.

Saturday here folks, and I haven't rally got a clue what to do today - no plans, but I have another shorty idea I thought of and so I might get that out of the way.

The novel is crawling along, sometimes it'll get a breath of energy and rush off, but mostly it just plods.
My quota is a page a day though, I figure that's not too much to cope with, and usually once I get my head down I can fill a page and then some.

Be well all.

Teekay 1-18-2002 19:48

Well, my PC’s fixed, faster and meaner than ever. New motherboard and processor, and some extra RAM and a new modem (freebie) just for good measure. Now if I can only sort out the chaos that is my writing life, I’d be happy.

MARY – Yup, I got it and will reply soonest. (seems I’ve been fixing things ever since Christmas. (But my radio controlled car still works!)

HEATER -- Another award, oh my... And for best form too! Strange though, I don’t remember submitting a form? Some messages, the odd few verses of poetry and/or doggerel, a story or two, but no forms…

MEL – Didn’t know about STOMP. What a turn up!

Hope I haven’t forgotten to answer anybody? Probably have, I have a crappy memory…

Now, a belated shorty.

, , ? , : ; ; .
, , ? -- , , .
. ? ! …
“ , ! , .”


Thank you very much.

Oh, one last thing – Hobbit names! Welcome Ponto Hamwich and Peony Hamwich of Buckleberry Fern.

That’s it! Now I have to play catch-up all over again.

All good things,

But, talking of naming children after plants, I thought it was bad enough when one of the locals (ex-mining community, lots of inbreeding, etc., etc.…) said that she planned to call her first daughter, Vagina, because she thought it sounded nice. (True story, she was interviewed for local tv for a news snippet about changing trends in names!) But when I heard about the name given to our villages latest population increase, I had to say no, enough! Welcome St John’s Wort McLaughlin to the world. (helped her through her pregnancy, apparently…)

Litter 1-18-2002 18:23

Mary! That is beyond exciting!
You deserve to have an article all about you! I know exactly why she chose to interview you. :o} You have amazing talent! It's just hard to see it yourself.
I'm not sure what kind of mirror it takes, but someday you'll know what all the fuss is about!
7 days until your teeth are gone - oooh, I'm 'pullin' for you'! Hang in there.

Heather 1-18-2002 17:42


Where will this issue be?

I'd love to see it.

You know you are worth a hell of a lot more than 2000 words. You are and amazing women and person.

I can't wait to learn more about you.

Debra 1-18-2002 14:59

Whew! I am finally able to post a message! I was getting an 'internal server error' page every time I tried to post.

How Long Is A Second?
(c) Heather Myles, 2002

The day is bright, fragrant. The ditch grass reaches my knees, and the bottom's marshy, but my boots are tall enough I can muck around in it and not get squishy socks.
The culvert is a perch, and a row of my friends sit along it, each pair of feet digging a small trench. Cigarette butts sizzle out in the echoing length of culvert, laughter reverberates all the way out to the other side. Someone yells through the culvert, and we all laugh as kids on the other side of the street, sitting on the school lawn turn at the sound.
Someone jumps on another's back, and they amble around at the edge of the empty field. The friend on the bottom breaks into a loping run, and they bounce together, like horse and rider, until they reach the fence. When they fall, the laughter echoes all the way down in the metal culvert again.
"You skipping science?" I ask Jennifer, as she and her boyfriend Dave pick themselves up from the grass, and Jennifer is grabbing at the seat of her black jeans. The grass is a bit swampish, too.
"I'm skipping everything!" she says, her laughter like birds in flight.
Her boyfriend had just transferred to our highschool.
I nodded my head, but it was more of a shake, and I nibbled at my bottom lip, thinking. Some people could get away with skipping a day of school. I wasn't one of them.
"I'll get a copy of the handouts, if you want," I offered.
"Don't worry about it!" She giggles, vaulting herself onto Dave's back again. He flicked his cigarette butt into the growing puddle at my feet. I gave him a look of vapid disdain, but he had already looked away. Cheerlessly I sit down between Trevor and John on the curve of culvert, and light up another smoke.
Lunch hour was going to be over all too soon, and I'd be sitting at the end of the cold black table in biology, waiting to dissect another stinking rodent carcass, stiff with death and yellowed with formaldehyde. Much more distasteful than drumming my toes here, and watching as my time with Jenn evaporated. It had been evaporating steadily since Dave.
They were down the end of the ditch now, probably twenty yards off. Back they barrel, laughing and screeching toward us. When they reach us, they're out of breath, and Jenn slides from his back. She waits until her breath slows to light her Dumaurier.
She stands in front of me, and when I finish my smoke, I flick it headlong into the open mouth of the culvert, and then I stand up. "Jenn, I'm going to be late."
"Skip, too, Heather, c'mon!"
I shake my head noticeably this time. I'd like to, very much so, but she and Dave would hardly notice me, and that's not how I felt like spending another hour and fifteen minutes. I'd had enough nicotine to tranquilize myself already.
Suddenly Dave was behind her, grabbing her around the waist. I got talking to John, agreeing to meet him back at the ditch between next classes. Trevor was moaning about something, and before I knew it, Jenn and Dave were calling me. "C'mon! We've got to go in for a bit anyway," she said.
They turned around together, and stepped out onto the asphalt. All time stretched out, all sounds turned off, as if there were a mute button for life. My breath caught - all of our breaths caught. There they were, all slow-motion, walking out onto the road, their faces flushed with exhilaration, infatuation. There seemed a hush, and an uplift of air, where birds never flew. How long is one second of silence?

The next sound was the bellow of air brakes. And then my world seemed silent for an awfully long time.

Heather 1-18-2002 14:30

Just went through the posts to make sure I hadn't missed anything and somewhere way down there someone asked about black pearls. I am fairly certain it was OYSTER.

Well! Black pearls are my absolute favorite and I don't see myself ever being wealthy enough to buy a strand of them. Natural black pearls are extremely, extremely rare. They cannot be cultured with any amount of reliability. Only one type of oyster (the black-lipped oyster) can produce a black pearl and even then sometimes the color can be muddy, or too light or have imperfections which reduce its value. Oyster farmers and pearl cultivators can 'suggest' a color by implanting irritants of dark shades into the oysters, but even then results are sketchy.

Because of the beauty and rarity of these pearls and the demand for them in the market, most black pearls you see in jewelry stores are dyed. So much so that you can assume they are dyed unless otherwise specified, and the cost itself would indicate that. I could buy a strand of black dyed cultured pearls for probably $100-$300. A comparable strand of natural black pearls could be upwards of $3,000.00-$4,000.00, depending on size and grade.

QVC had some lower grade natural black pearls showcased one time and I couldn't even afford those.

Hope that answered your question!

Mary again 1-18-2002 14:29

Hi guys.

Hope you all have a productive day of writing or brainstorming or whatever you need to do.

I had sent a list of questions to that writer who wants to interview me about whether or not I would be interviewed as part of a larger article, what pictures they would want and so on. I received a response back this morning letting me know that the whole entire article would feature me, my work and my favorite tools. This is so unbearably exciting.

I just don't get it. Here I am, little old me, cranking out jewelry in Nowhereville and somebody thinks I am worthy of a 2000 word article. I just started doing this for crying out loud! Some people have been doing this stuff for years and don't get articles written about them. Quite honestly, I don't think I am all that great, so it is hard for me to understand their interest in my work. That isn't mock humility either, I really don't understand it.

Because this writer has an actual assignment, I am assuming it is a pretty sure thing that the article will be published (she says in the May issue), but even if it isn't I am elated that she thought I was worth the effort. What a major compliment. Thus far, it has been mostly friends and friends of friends that I get feedback from with the occasional comment from strangers. It is quite validating artistically to be going through something like this. (If I could find my dictionary I would check if I spelled artistically correctly, but I guess it looks ok!)

OK, enough about me. You will all be sick of hearing about it by May if you aren't already! ;-)

Seven more days 'til the teeth come out...I can't wait. I wish I could just go to sleep until then.

Take care!

Mary 1-18-2002 13:56

DOH!! I forgot the title to my story: SILENCE, IN AN OTHERWISE EMPTY ROOM

Ben 1-18-2002 12:32

Mark: I apologize to you if my story hit any exposed nerves. I just got back here and didn't know you were in Buffalo attending a funeral. Had I known that, or at least read the posts before I wrote it instead of after, I wouldn't have posted it.

Ben 1-18-2002 12:23

Ben, you hit that bang on. Wow. I've sat there in all three of those roles and you nailed every one. Very moving, you got me all misty.

Mary, congrats! That's way cool. Have fun. :-)

Thanks Mark! There are more changes on the way, once I get all the pictures the same width so it all sits better, nicer fonts in the captions, and just plain more stuff. Thank you for your super help. And I LOL at your awards. :-D

Great Shorties, all!

Tina 1-18-2002 12:17

Here's my shortie subject. I wrote it last night on the river in my spare time, but then had to work late and so didn't get a chance to post it when I got home. Of course the fact that I'm up after four hours sleep would get me killed by my wife and kids...but, they were so noisy leaving for school and work this morning. Sheesh...

Derrick stepped into the funeral parlour with the same sense of nervous apprehension he felt whenever he stepped into a hospital room for a visit. God, he hated funerals. Instead of the antiseptic smell that assaulted him though, it was the strange hush of silence that seemed to echo in his mind. Then he heard the music--and it started the moment they walked in through the huge portico, as if they were playing it just for him--the soft, melodic voice of Vera Lynn lamenting about the White Cliffs of Dover.

He held onto Katherine's arm gently in spite of himself, standing in the shuffling line that led to the coffin. There were aunts, uncles, cousins; nieces and nephews along with her brothers and sisters, and all the while he kept thinking about the eleven o'clock tee-off time he'd had to give up.

It wasn't that he was callous, or shallow, or even insensitive to the feelings of everyone here--you weren't in sales for fifteen years and not learn something about people. He was here for Katherine, and no one else. She needed him, and said she couldn't bear the idea of showing up for the funeral alone. He was here because she wanted him. There was no other reason. He told himself he should have been here willingly--a willing participant in a ritual he wanted no part of. Afterall, the man meant nothing to him. He was Katherine's grandfather, and Derrick had only met him three times in the last seven years he and Katherine had been together.

They made their way to one of the pews--and he asked himself if the benches in a funeral home were actually called that, or was that strictly a church word? Katherine took a tissue out of her sleeve and wiped the tears away gently, careful not to ruin her mascara. He wondered why a woman would put make-up on if she knew she was going to a funeral. He looked at the others seated around him--the aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews; the friends, and colleagues, and acquaintances--and tried to find a comfortable position, something where he might look like he was concerned, even though he was not. He thought about taking Katherine's hand, but again, did nothing. He sat in silence as Katherine's grandfather was eulogized by a parade of friends and relatives, and wondered what hole he'd be on right now, and what sort of approach he would be making.

When the young girl stood up to make her speech, he held back a groan, wondering what sort of parents would make a child stand up and make a speech at a funeral. He almost breathed a sigh of relief when the girl refused to take the microphone. She was a tiny girl, probably no older than seven or eight, dressed in a long black dress that ended well below her knees, leaving just a hint of her snow white stockings and bright, polished, black shoes.

"I won't need that," the girl said firmly, and looked out over the crowd of friends and relatives. "I'm sure everyone can hear me.

"Poppy was my hero. He was my friend. I loved him more than anything in the world. But I can't let myself be sad now that he's gone. He's with the angels now, and he's watching over me, just like he's watching over each and every one of us. He loved us all, as much as we loved him, and as long as we remember the smile he had everytime we visited him, and the mints he carried in his pockets for us--the love he seemed to have so much of--he'll always be with us."

Derrick saw the tears come to Katherine's eyes and looked away from her. He saw the others around him, and the tears they all spilled so easily, and closed his eyes, trying to escape into the silence of his own mind. But there was no hiding there. He reached out for Katherine's hand. She latched onto him like a drowning woman desperate for rescue. He listened, amazed, silent, while Vera Lynn crooned about seeing him in all the old familiar places. He felt the tears coming. He found himself thinking about his own father's funeral ten years ago, and his grandfather's when he was no older than the girl in front of him, and wished he'd been able to stand up in front of a room full of people and profess the love he'd felt for the man. God, he told himself, this is why I hate funerals, and he let the tears slide down his face in silence.

That's it! Now maybe I should try and have a nap...or maybe just go for it and sleep later--or at work...

ben 1-18-2002 11:59


I really wish I had seen that! I'm just writing the response to this story twenty times removed. So I can imagine how funny it was at the epicenter.

Debra 1-18-2002 11:37


MARY - That's great! You'll have to point us to the article when it's published. Be sure to put a link to it from your web page too!

TINA -- Very nice! Like Heather said, I can see the place too.

TEEKAY -- WOW! You can do it all, it seems! Very good poem!
By the way - they didn't go for milk either - the idea was really that the speaker spent all that time telling everyone to leave him/her alone, be quiet, etc, and now they're grown and gone, and there's no one there, and he's missed it all.

A friend just sent me this, and whether it's true or not it's too funny:

> This had most of the state of Michigan laughing for 2 days and a very
embarrassed female news anchor who will, in the future, likely think
before she speaks.

What happens when you predict snow but don't get any....

True story... they had a female news anchor who, the day after it was
supposed to have snowed and didn't, turned to the weatherman and asked
"So Bob, where's that 8 inches you promised me last night?"

Not only did HE have to leave the set, but half the crew did too they
were laughing so hard!

howard 1-18-2002 8:21

Ooops! I almost missed Teekay's awesome poem!
Very very cool. You know how to get to the point, and rip a few hearts out in the process. ;o<
If I didn't know you, I'd think you just went through a nasty divorce!

Heather 1-18-2002 3:05

Mary - CONGRATULATIONS!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tina, that is beautiful! Now, just have to give it a title!
I really got a great picture of the rocky outcropping where you sat to take in the stars. (You, meaning the main character... though from the way you wrote it, I can tell you've camped in a similar spot!)

I have to come back and write my shortie tomorrow. Just had a GREAT chat with Christi!!!!!!
And now I'm a lot pooped out. I had a good idea in mind for my shortie, but I think I'll get some sleep first, or I might botch it with my impatience.

Mark!!!!! Great to see you're back. I was worried about you. Sorry about the cold, though. Looks like the cold hasn't worn out your hormones!

Okay, okay, so I wasn't very imaginitive when writing the awards. I'll have to think of some more interesting.

Heather 1-18-2002 3:03

Here's my 'I don't know what to call this one' shortie about silence.

When I turned my back on Todd, he didn’t say a word. The trail branched, I took the one leading to Penny Lake, and he followed the one heading down the valley. The audacity of my choice to continue alone resounded with every crunch of my boots on the rocky trail, the same boots he’d criticised because they gave me a blister on my heel and squeaked when wet. But I had the tent, and the clear weather and bird calls beckoned me upwards. He left, making enough noise to scare away the mosquitoes.

The cliffs around Penny Lake act as a natural amphitheatre, echoing every small sound. No other campers were there, and I found solemn breezes rustling through my preferred campsite. My annual pilgrimage to the lake had become a solitary quest, and as I set up my camp I thought about Todd. He’d have reached the trucks, cranked his music, and be roaring down the forestry road by now. I tried not to care.

I lit a small, crackling fire, but used my campstove to cook. I’d remembered my fuel, not left it in the truck. When he’d realised his error, Todd’s foul cursing had drowned out the nearby waterfall. I’d known right then that bringing him along had been a mistake. A gentle rainfall had proven my theory; Todd refused to be quiet, refused to find silence here in the woods surrounded by the music of rain on leaves. But silence was what I’d come in search of. Silence as loud as fish jumping and ravens crying and squirrels chattering impudently. My soul had known that I couldn’t find stillness while in human company, but fear had spoken loudly and so I’d invited Todd.

Louder, though, was my need for space. As night fell, I climbed up to an open ledge and welcomed the stars. They danced to celestial music, and my heart thrilled as a distant howl brought every hair on my body erect. Such passion almost made me weep, and I longed for the song to continue. It faded and did not repeat, though I strained to hear. And in that straining, I found that I could hear the perfect peace of silence. The ever-present hum of society had faded from my over-stimulated ears, letting the whisper of wind through creaking trees and the tiny chirps of night animals reach past my wailing self-doubt and snivelling negativity. My nagging anger at perceived insults, my pounding drive for success, my ticking internal clock that said I needed to find a man; they all faded away in the pureness of a mountain evening. The lesson was renewed for another year; the trials of life will not win, when a seed of silence whispers in your heart.

© Tina Chambers

Bramblerose 1-18-2002 2:25

Well, I wasn't going to say anything, but as usual, that feeling lasted a whole three minutes. (About the same amount of time it took my browser to get me here from my email box.)

I received an email from a writer at Wire Artist Magazine and Lapidary Journal, asking me if I would be interested in doing an interview for her. She writes a monthly feature for those two magazines, saw some of my jewelry and said she would be thrilled if I would work with her on this.

At first, I wanted to instantly write her back saying YES YES YES, then I figured I had better check her out. So, I went through back issues of both magazines and sure enough there she was. Very professional, charming, informative. So I wrote her back and gave her a very sedate yes.

I might just be getting my first 15 minutes of fame. Or maybe it is my first two minutes and the other 13 are coming later. Hehe. I am pretty excited about this, but I have a lot of work to do. They will want some photographs of my work, and they will mention my site, which right now looks like crap, so I have to pull that together. OY.

I am glad to see everyone having such a good time with the Hobbit name generator. I thought it was awfully cute and knew I had to share it.

CHRISTI: I sent you an email yesterday...did you get it? I just wanted to make sure it went where it was supposed to because it got sent back to me once.

HEATHER: Big hugs for all you do. Thank you!

LITTER: I sent you an email too a few days ago. Did you get that?

Now I am starting to sound like I send hundreds of people emails and nobody ever answers me. Hehehe.

Later folks.

Mary 1-18-2002 1:40

Short huh. Well I ain't exactly short, in fact I used to be considered tall, but not any more. Not that I've shrunk all that much, only lost about an inch with my surgery, its just that all the youngsters are growing taller all the time.

Now I grew taller then dad by an inch, and topped out at 6'1" and a half to get accurate. Used to tip the scales at 225 but since I became very sedentary, I have now grown up to 265, and I now measure in at about 6'0" and a half.

The wife was 5'1" when I married her and she weighed in at around 105. Since then she has grown another two inches, and her weight is not allowed to be discussed revealed, or even spoken of.

The kids are both shorter then I, taking after their mom's side of the family. Funny, the in-laws were just the opposite, she was over six feet tall, he around five foot five. She was the dominant one in the family, that was very clear, but she really was a sweetheart once you got over the shock of her size, she must have tipped the scales around the 260's somewhere. She was one huge woman.

I will never forget the first time I met her, well both of them. It was around the 4th of July in 1969, and I had spent the night with my then girlfriend. In fact we were still in bed, quite naked, as it was hot in her second story apartment. There was a knock at the door, and the door opened. I think the wife mentioned something like "Oh my God my parents!" in a hushed scream.

We jumped from bed, and dressed as quickly as we could, we heard them coming down the hallway that led from the kitchen to the living room, in seconds they would be at the bedroom door.

I managed to get my pants on, the wife slipped into her dress (they actually wore them back then you know) and when they got to our bedroom door, we looked almost presentable.

I was buttoning my shirt when I first saw them. My first thought (I'm a dead man!) but they were so very nice about it. I know they knew what was going on.

After a short visit, they left to visit with Aunt Mabel and that afternoon we spent at the lake having a super time at a family picnic.

Jerry 1-18-2002 0:51

BRAMBLEROSE -- I see you made some web changes. Yup, improvement.

HOB BRANDYBUCK of BUCKLAND ?? Well, well. I wonder how we're related?
Let me see. Let me see. Texas. Alcohol. Writerly pursuits. (the first two of those are past tense for me now).
My, my. There is probably more, as well as less. Probably.

HEATHER -- Spent several days down with a cold. Not bad enough to stay in bed and stay home from work . . . but bad enough to make me flop listlessly in front of TV for several nights. I think the trip to Buffalo for the funeral did it. Between the Hot and Cold cycles of the truck heating system and my own sense of nerves at the whole family gathering, well, I been down. Thanks for the essay award (was there anyone else in the category?)

I need to toot my own horn more, get noticed for things like "Best Hands in the Darkroom" Award, or "Best Leg to Feel on My Hip" Award. Or maybe "Most Likely to Think a Horny Thought Before the End of a Paragraph" Award.

It's such a struggle.

Mark 1-18-2002 0:19


DEBRA: HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHA of course I was trying for a feel good feeling, but you need to have something to compare it to, it makes the highs so much higher :-D

HOWARD: tsk, what a shame, it would have been so much more poignant with a car accident.
Doesn't have the same effect if they've just gone to the corner shop for milk.

Got it!
Shorty on Silence:

Since you've been gone
Learnt that a day can seem
Endless and
Can be

Teekay 1-17-2002 23:47

TEEKAY -- Car accident? No, I wasn't thinking that at all. They just went away. That was one of those flashes that kind of put itself together. Glad you liked it.

I had a very strange Email today - from a person I knew in school, actually since age 5. It was an apology for a Halloween prank 45 years ago, when our windows got painted a beautiful shade of blue! My folks knew who did it, but since I promised to clean it up they didn't file any complaints about it with police or parents. Now an apology for that, and for the way they treated me when I was a kid in school. Will wonders never cease!

howard 1-17-2002 21:31


Thank you for that.

Actually although I do hate being short, I am long waisted and have shorter legs. My husband is 6 3 and when we are sitting down we are nearly eye to eye.

So no problem there and other places if you know what I mean. "Nasty chuckle"

Then again when I have on heels with short legs it (to the eye)almost looks normal. Have you ever seen someone with extremely long, "sigh" beautiful legs WITH heels. Well you feel like a good climb. Don't you?

I don't mean that in a dirty way. Most of the time.

So thank you!

That center of gravity thing reminded me of one more thing. My hands and feet are always rather on the hot side. They are always like ovens.

Can tall people do that?

I really don't know. My husband can't. That's all I've got to go on.

Debra 1-17-2002 21:19

Hi all!

Allein, send on the chapters!
Actually, anyone looking for some input, send it on! I find myself critiquingless. I'll gladly give my slow two cents worth.

Heather, the best self-confidence booster I've found lately involves airplanes and parachutes. When I'm doubting myself, I remind myself, 'I've jumped out of an airplane at 3500feet, trusting my instructors and a nylon canopy to keep me alive, while my heart topped 200 beats/minute. If I can do that, I can do anything!'

Debra, the trick to 'short' is to remind tall people about your advantages. Like, it's way easier to throw people when you're short. I can dump someone 6' tall a lot easier than they can toss me! No risk of hitting your head on doorways because you forgot to double check the height, and your legs always fit in the small space they provide on buses and airplanes. You may have to hem the legs of the long pants you buy, but they can't extend the legs on the short pants they buy. Your center of gravity is lower, so it's harder to fall on icy/slippery surfaces. See, short is wonderful!

Gotta run,
Blue skies!

Tina/Bramblerose 1-17-2002 21:02

Hob Brandybuck of Buckland


This is a name?

"Oh Hob," Bubbles sighed. "I just love to run my fingers through your hair. If we get married we will be Hob and Bubbles Brandybuck! Isn't that romantic?"

Well, in Texas there is a saying."Played Hob with that!" It usually means a foul up.

My oldest daughters name is Brandy. And at one time I was a mighty hunter of whitetail deer. And I believe Texas has the highest population of deer in the US (in excess of 3 million) conversely there would be a large percentage of bucks, soooooooooo I could be from Buckland?


The publishing company had my novel all of one night. At 9:30AM the following morning (Time track on the e-mail) a nice lady thanked me for the "Query letter" and requested the rest of the novel. Huh? Three chapters, a query letter? Wanted me to OUTLINE why the book was marketable? Also wanted a "bio."

Now, I am a fast reader, but unless that person worked all night or arises long before sunrise, I don't know how she could have digested 80,000 plus words.

I'm sorry, but I don't trust on-line publishing companies. There are simply too many opportunities for mis-management. I e-mailed her back and said, well, requested she read the three chapters I sent. Bio can wait. Marketing is their busisness, not mine. If they feel it is good enough to be published, it should be "marketable" Right? Whether the book has merit or not should be apparent in the first 80,000 words. Or so I would believe.

No reply as of now. Guess they do not want input from lippy authors. A shame.

See ya

Randall "Played Hob with that submission"

Randall 1-17-2002 19:32


Are you trying to make me feel good or bad?

First you say this.

DEBRA: When they get you up on stage to interview you about your best selling book, I'M HAPPY.

Then you say this.

they'll have to give you a crate to stand on, and only use special angles. NOW I'M SAD.

Then you say this.

They you say this.
Don't worry about it too much though I'M BACK TO HAPPY AGAIN.

Then this.
my extra tall girlfriend told me I was short BACK TO SAD EXTRA TALL ALWAYS MAKES ME A LITTLE SAD.


You're killing me.

Didn't you say you used to be a nurse?

Debra 1-17-2002 19:07

I'm sorry! Did I pick a real bungjungler of a shortie topic?

Too bad!

Ha ha hah aha hah aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Just kidding.

Why, thank you, Teek! But really now, I'm all tarnish and abrasives. I don't know about nicest anything!

And I have the rotten job of deciding which ghosties to keep, and which ones have to land on the cutting room floor. Everyone, please relax. This job is harder on me than it will be on you... wait, no, ummmm
didn't someone say that just before they were beheaded?

Not Marie Antoinette... somebody (headless) else.

Oh well. If that's not a 'guillotine day' quote, that's okay by me.

Heather 1-17-2002 18:39


DEBRA: When they get you up on stage to interview you about your best selling book, they'll have to give you a crate to stand on, and only use special angles, just like they do with Tom Cruise :-D
Don't worry about it too much though, my extra tall girlfriend told me I was short - and I thought I was average.
BTW: I didn't bring up my conceit, HEATHER did. She gave me an award for it
She's sooooooo nice :-D

MEL: Good news, you have no need to worry. It will only take you 32 years. I bet you're relieved huh? :-D

CHRISTI: Your Hobbit names suits you perfectly, except maybe not the Bramble-burr bit, it's a little too prickly! But you are definitely a daisy, all lovely, sunny and bright without pretensions. And Gambee-Took does you justice, unique and interesting with no hard edges - I recommend a divorce.
If I could design my own out of all I've seen on offer so far, I'm going for Bramblerose Goodbody of Lake-by-downs. It always does to have a nice address :-D
Makes me sound like a Hobbit Hooker.

RRRRRRRRRANDALL aka Hoooooooooooob (breathily, like Marilyn Monroe or the Hobbit Hooker might do): Hey! It's great to see you posting. Hope you stay around.

TIGERLILLY: I roll my eyes at you. Don't you know RANDALL is pronounced RRRRRRRRRANDALL??????

HEATHER: Geez, you have me feeling rather guilty about snatching that award off you, here, I'm giving it back and here's a packet of Cadbury's 'roses' to go with it.
Aaaaaaaaaaand here's the award for best shorties,
and the one for nicest hair,
and the one for best manners.
BUT, that's all, I'm keeping the rest.

JERRY: HAHAHHAHHAH I wonder how many deaf people you've depressed no end with your shorty.

HOWARD: *sigh* for fear of repeating myself I will not tell you your poem is fantastic.
Nor how you always know how to get under the skin to reach the deeper places.
The way I read your poem is that they all went out and got themselves killed in a car accident - maybe I'm morbid too.

Be well all,
shall mull over silence and see what happens.

Teekay 1-17-2002 18:26

Wait - Howard - you have to tell them to come back IN AN HOUR! Tee hee.

Flora Sandybanks 1-17-2002 17:20

Hey! If I were raised with my birth name, my Hobbit name would be Flora Sandybanks!


My daughter is Cora Tighfield of Tookbank
And my son is Popo!
Ha ha ha! Winnie the Popo.

I'm really enjoying that Hobbit Name Generator.
Thanks again, Mary!
You find the neatest sites.

Ah, and since I've spent so much time today shovelling snow, I think it's hot chocolate time!
In just half an hour outside, and it's not even that cold, nor is it windy, my wee son had white spots on his cheeks the size of dollar coins. Poor wee guy. He's now being tortured by a scarf. Little children always think they're being suffocated by scarves, when in fact, once they get used to breathing through cloth, it sure helps prevent a painful face.
I hope he gets used to it, or it'll be a balaclava next.

Scribbles on sheets of pressed tree guts to all,

Heather 1-17-2002 17:18

Howard: I sent you an email, but for some reason it didn't go through. I think it was working on an old server or something like that. I don't have time to figure it out right now because I have to walk to the store and get some milk before the kids get home from school. I have to mail Mel her copy of Tarot Cards And Tea Leaves as well. So send me a quick email--say anything you want--and I'll be able to respond that way.

ben 1-17-2002 16:33

Heather - sorry bout that, just the kind of mood I've been in lately

Jerry 1-17-2002 16:27

Leave me alone, I said
Can’t hear myself think.
Too much noise
I wish you’d shut up!
Work to do
don’t bother me
no interruptions
Can’t you be quiet?
So they did.
I can think now.
but something is wrong
O God,
please come back!

howard 1-17-2002 15:40

BEN -- Email me your address and I'll pack up a floppy drive and send it to you. I've got several just lying around collecting dust. Won't cost you a cent!

howard 1-17-2002 15:25

Jerry: I did go to ebay to look around. I don't want a box of parts...what, I don't have enough junk cluttering things up around here? :-)

Anyway, it's never been a big issue for me. I don't miss it, because I print everything up right away. I'll get it fixed eventually. People have been telling me to get it fixed for a while now. But it's not a priority for me.

Tonight's shortie night? I've been thinking about it, and might even have something later.

Hey RRRamon, nice to see you, kid.

Christie: My days are always sunny, even when it rains. But that's because I like the rain too.

Oh yeah, I checked out my name some time after that link showed up. I'm Todo Foxburr of Loamsdown. My wife is Marigold, my daughter is Dimple, and my son is Bingo. My son wasn't too impressed--not as much as my daughter was--but that's because he's sixteen now, and ain't that a surprise to everyone. Gee? A teenager who thinks it's silly? Nah...

ben 1-17-2002 13:44

Oh, Jerry, you're so morbid!

Heather 1-17-2002 13:38

Well since you explained it so well, I shall take a shot at the silence thing, here it is:

Silence is Black
By Jerry A.G. Ericsson

Whoever the hell said that silence is golden should be shot. Yes, I think if that son of a bitch were here right now, I’d shoot him myself. He surely never spent a day on Andromeda Three.

I have been here for these past four years, and during that time I haven’t heard a single word, not the sound of thunder, or the rain falling on my roof. I haven’t heard a baby cry, or giggle, or fart.

When we landed, I thought I was deaf, yes I was sure of it, but now I know better. Something much more sinister is going on here. I speak to myself, yet I cannot hear my speech, in fact I doubt that I could speak now even if I could hear it, simply because I am out of practice.

There seems to be something on the surface of this planet that absorbs sound. Well absorb isn’t the right word, it simply isn’t strong enough. No, the thing in the soil, in the very air that I breath simply stops sounds before they can be heard.

Oh you may think that I simply haven’t tried to make sounds, but I assure you, I have. My first attempts were simple, speaking, yet not hearing. Then I thought to smash two rocks together, and when I did, there was no sound.

My next experiment was simple, yet conclusive, I took the survival firearm, a .44 Magnum pistol, and shot a bullet into a stone at five yards. Nothing, oh there was fire, and a violent recoil from the small handgun in fact I could feel the pressure, the heat, the concussion of the impact of that bullet, but not a sound.

Well, I though maybe that simply wasn’t loud enough, maybe something larger was needed. I returned to the survival pod that lowered me to this hell, and there I found several pounds of C-4 plastic explosives. I took two pounds, enough to blow up a small sky scraper on earth, and dug under the largest boulder I could find. I fixed a blasting cap, with a small radio receiver, and backed off behind a larger boulder. Then I set off the charge. I felt the earth shake, bits and pieces of gravel sized dinner plates fell around me, rained down on me the very fabric of my pants flew away from that blast as if a huge wind was driving them back. Oh it was violent, but not one sound, no boom, no sounds of the small stones that beat all over my body, that fell to the hard earth, and would surely have echoed off the surrounding hills anywhere but this hell hole.

There are plenty of plants, that bear wonderful tasting fruit, and the animal life around me is plentiful, the climate seems to be almost tropical, yes indeed this could well be a tropical paradise, were it not for the unbearable silence.

I have made my decision, at midnight tonight, I shall take my life, I leave this document in the very slight case that a rescue ship ever finds this planet. I must explain why I have taken my own life, why I can no longer stand the silence. Oh, I am sure that the deaf who read this will have no pity on me, yet to have all your faculties, and not be able to use them, that’s the whole of my problem.

I can only hope that with the muzzle of that handgun against my ear that for one millisecond, I can hear the shot that takes me out of this horror.

Jerry 1-17-2002 13:25


Hey, there, Christi!
I'll send on chapter 4 as soon as it passes the scrutiny test. So, give me at least a month... kidding! :oD
Glad to hear you like it. For someone who lacks confidence, boosts from you and Teek and Mary, and everybody really help. Yeah, that's what I want for my birthday, confidence booster rockets.
But you know I'd never accept them!
Ha ha hah

Like that huge boost from Americo *ahem, sorry* Jon. I had to read it over twice just for it to sink in slightly. I thought - ME? Will I ever write too well? Is there such a thing?
If I'm writing too well, would I personally grade my own writing as a C+?

Anyone have any tried and true ways for all of us to improve our self-confidence?
A Pat-On-The-Back Machine?

Mary, could you make a beaded one?

Shortie night tonight, topic, just to remind everyone, is:


Jerry - there may be only one or two types of silence, but many reasons for that silence. It can mean so many different things - that's what I'd like the topic to inspire.
So set your stories down, and make them come alive.

Gee, what a small thing I'm asking! :oP

RRRRAMON! Nice to see you comin' around! Christi stole my joke!

The best of inspiration to all,

Prisca Tighfield of Tookbank 1-17-2002 12:35

Mel honey bun?

I knew you were kidding. You can kid with me it's safe.

I'm not one of those people who fool around and fool around then it gets high energy and get insulted.

never happen.

Worry about nothing.

Debra 1-17-2002 11:55

"Roll my rrrrrrs?" she said, "must be these new shoes!"

ponto 1-17-2002 11:50

You know, new lurkers aren't going to know who anyone is - hee hee hee!

PONTO: You're too funny!!!

DAISY: Thanks. You're missed too when you're too long gone, doggone it!

HOBBBB: Hiya! :-) I should really check the archives and find out why you trill your R's...!?

Back to my hobbit hole. It must be nearly lunchtime. Or snacktime. Whichever comes first, to a hobbit, you know.

Tigerlily 1-17-2002 11:29

Drogo, You conjure up all kinds of mysteries, you dapper dan, you.

1-17-2002 11:12

++Daisy Brambleburr++

Who am I, who am I? No fair paging down. It should become obvious once you factor in the overuse of exclaimation points and question marks. Oh, and don't forget the smileys! :D

Mary, How much fun was THAT??? Brockenboring, that's sooooooo hilarious!

Welcome back, Ben! May your days be sunny.

Mel, I'm so glad you're back. You were definitely missed.

Tina, Your site looks fab! I love the shorter 'do' on you. It's very energetic looking; I think it fits you perfectly.

Teekay, Your name is gorgeous, just like you.

Heatherific, I'm loving Chapter three! Have you sent Chapter four yet? I don't believe I have it yet, hint hint.

Hullo, Rrrrrramon! It's nice to see a guy with a goodbody any old day, har har har. I sound like a dirty old lady today.

Turns out I'm Daisy Brambleburr of Bindbale Wood (formerly Miss Daisy Gamgee-Took). My hubby is Marmadas Brambleburr, and my son is Falco Brambleburr. Looooooove it!

Off to the bookstore after some ghastly errands,

Christi 1-17-2002 11:08

DEB -- Just remember one thing -
1 - Your feet come just as close to the floor as anyone else's!
2 - You're not considered "short" until we can see your feet on your driver's license picture!
okay, two things...

ponto 1-17-2002 11:05

Tina - I got the e-mail, there was no attachment or anything. I'll send more chapters though if you want. :)

Allein Peachick's Gallery 1-17-2002 10:45

I just have to face it....There is no mystery to me at all!

Drogo 1-17-2002 10:38

Well hello to you all from someone who hasn't dropped in for some time - work is a killer at the moment and my writing has stopped in its tracks to make way for stress and frustration as well as the need to murder one's boss and studying.

My hobbit name is Hob Goodbody of Brokenborings

How odd.

I shall try to visit more often. Hi to those who know my name.


Ramon 1-17-2002 8:45


Hi, everyone! There's got to be some warm sunshine in Somebody's backyard today - it's not in mine!!!

DEBRA: Sometimes I feel as pouty being tall as you feel being short. God made us a variety on purpose, whatever the heck reasons He has, only He knows! Meanwhile, I'm CERTAIN you will NEVER be obsolete. Someone once said "The best things come in small packages." (Did I make up for yesterday's playful insult? I hope?) :-D Here's to friendship! :-D

TEEKAY: The 3-year writer's rule? Um, I hope that doesn't multiply itself proportionately...uh, lessee--30 years to write it, another 30 years to send it out, and then another 30 years to see it in print...Geez, I'll be 136 years old before I can expect to see my first novel in print! We won't even calculate the sequel novels...My balloon deflates...

Hi, EDDIE! Or, should I say, DROGO? :-)

Fast pens and hot words today, folks!!!

Be back later, I hope, with a shorty. [Silent pause here for contemplation... ]

Mel 1-17-2002 8:27

Wee! I've been working on my web page and it's actually going okay. Thank you Mark ((BIG kiss on the cheek)) for helping me out. I still have to refine it, but now I know how. I'm so happy!

Allein, I sent you an e-mail, did you get it? Hope I still have the right e-address. Take it easy; everyone is allowed a lazy day. :-)

The Hobbit names are a blast.

Blue Skies!

Tina/Bramblerose My home page 1-17-2002 2:35

It's my day off of work and I tried to write but I've had a headache most of the day and it's also been one of those days where I feel like doing absolutely nothing - y'know one of those lazy days. I'm working on a short story about some of my characters from Mali and Azol. I might post it in the workbook, maybe not. It's not very good. I'm gonna write this weekend for sure though! :D
Happy days!!

Allein Peachick's Gallery 1-17-2002 1:30

Milo Brandybuck of Buckland, married to the former Miss Daisy Knotwise of Michel Delving.

Mark 1-16-2002 23:12

Oh My...
My Hobbit name is Drogo Maggot
Who am I?

Drogo 1-16-2002 18:02

I know i before e except after c. Jack can we get a spellcheck?

1-16-2002 17:43


Since you brought up your conciet, I've never seen it. I really haven't. You can have "most typos" if you want that one instead.

Debra 1-16-2002 17:42


I'm pretty sure money from a bestseller would soften the blow!

Debra 1-16-2002 17:40

I've been found out!

Ponto 1-16-2002 17:40


That's just more bad news for me. Isn't it!

Debra 1-16-2002 17:37


Morning all;

TAYLOR: Hubby sent that to me in an email. I've been dying to use it :-D

HEATHER: Another two awards!!!! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY. But in all hoensty I don't know that I can accept 'Best Emoticon Enthusiast'. I think that one must have been rigged :-D
Except for smiley face ones that is, but that doesn't really count does it?
It does.
Well blow me down, another two awards YEEEEEHAW!
I'd like to thank my Mum and Dad and all my beautiful fans who really know a good thing when they see it.
WHAT?!?!?!?!??! I have to wait for next year!!! Excuse me, but evidence of my conceit has been apparent ever since I began posting!!!

RANDALL: The best luck in the world to you. Is this the book you've completed? So if they like it you have the whole thing to send them?
GO FOR IT!!!!!!!! How exciting!
And do what RHODA says, send it out everywhere. There is a 3 years writers rule I heard about somewhere, it goes; 1 year to write it, 1 year to send it out, then 1 year to see it in print.
Now just imagine how long you'd have to wait if you sent it to one publisher at a time.

TINA: Tee hee.

MARY: Bramblerose Goldworthy of Michel Delving - I like it!
Did you see the guys/girls copyright notice at the bottom? So cute.

ROSEMARY: Lake - by- downs - I like that soooo much better.

MEL: Can't take credit for the AntTracks post. Actually plagiarised it from an email and did a bit of surgery on it to make it apply.

MEL & DEBRA: It's common knowledge that you shrink with old age.

Back to it you lot, next time I check in I want to see lots and lots of posts.

Bramblerose Goldworthy 1-16-2002 17:31


It's a good thing we're friends. I would've given you the old "It could be worse I could be boring!" That one always leaves a mark!

Debra 1-16-2002 15:46

Wow! That's cold. I'm short. I hate it.

But now you've done it. You're getting the pretend I don't mind being short speech.

God made women in many shapes and sizes. I'm a small.

Sorry I had to do that. But you made me!


No my kids won't be that tall. It's true.

Mabe my grandkids. Then I'll be obsolete!

Debra 1-16-2002 15:35

DEBRA: Eldest daughter grew through her childhood at a rate of 4 inches nearly every year, until she was 12 or so, then slowed to one or two inches growth per year for a few more years - she's about 6 feet 1 inch now (I think she's stopped!). At 12, she was probably around 5 feet 7 inches (can't remember for sure). Mind you, my husband and I are both tall. Still, you're going to feel like a bush in the forest pretty soon. Enjoy the ground-cover plants while you're down there - somebody's got to do it! ;-]

Mel 1-16-2002 15:13


That's slada kids.

Dare I find out what might be awaiting me. How tall was she at 12 years and one day?

Debra 1-16-2002 14:39

DEBRA: Eldest daughter (20) is taller than me. Eldest son (18) is taller than me. Second son is my 14-year-old - he's looking me in the eye but not for long. Two kids still much shorter than me, but the 11-yr-old son is gaining fast. I think they eat growing pills when I'm not looking. Same problem with the wash. Um-hum. Not shrunken pants, just expanding children!!! 8-}

Mel 1-16-2002 14:27


Your daughter is 5 10? Wow. She must be stunning!

You know now that we are talking about this, I KNEW I WASN'T SHRINKING HER PANTS!

She kept accusing me of doint that.

I'm doing the laundry the same way I always have.

I'm going to speak to her about that. She should apologize.

Debra 1-16-2002 14:16


I was just nominated typos queen. I'm going to work really hard to hang on to that crown.

It couldn't be jealousy. I'm happy for her. So it must be envy. I do hope it passes. She got her hair cut for her birthday like Rachael's on Friends. I sat there as the locks dropped to the floor and watched my long haired baby turn into a young beautiful woman.

I do have little feet. In fact you might just have given me the help I asked for. I not only have small feet they are my only claim to fame. I could make any foot fetish man drool. I make sure they are always soft with perfect nails and easy on the eye. In the middle of winter I sit around bare foot at home just so my hubby can view them at all times. The other day he actually forbad me from wearing my open toed platforms out of the house until spring. We live in the Northeast. With them on I'm 5'4". Better? My feet never get cold thank goodness. Other than that, I've got nadda.

My mother-in-law just bought me for Christmas the hottest pair of black leather knee high five inch boots so I can make it till then.

Debra 1-16-2002 14:10

DEBRA: It's a scary thing, but my 14-year-old is now looking ME in the eye (5'10") - I guess we should be glad they're growing healthfully! :-] (And someone else can now reach that item needed off the top shelf...!)

Mel again 1-16-2002 13:59

And, BTW, DEBRA, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your 13-year-old daughter! :-)

Mel 1-16-2002 13:51

DEBRA: Now calm down and reinsert your tiny jealous feet into those platform shoes! And heavens to Betsy (whoever she is!), DO WATCH your typo's - you've made yourself 5 inches tall (" for inches) and your hubby only 3 feet 6 inches tall (' for feet)!!! (Either that or I'm talking to the teeniest midget known to RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT!)

Mel 1-16-2002 13:49

Guys! Guys! Oh my gosh Guys!

The day has finally come that I have been dreading. I don't know if any one remembers that I am short. Yes 5"0'. Who cares!

That's not the problem. My husband is 6"3' and my daughter just thirteen yesterday. It has come to my attention in the past 24 hours that she is in fact taller than me now. I walk past her room at night and I can hear her growing in her sleep.

I'm glad she is not going to be short since I hate it, but what am I feeling that does't feel like joy?


Debra 1-16-2002 13:07

Apparently my name is Pansy Burrows of Hobbiton and my husband's name is Till Burrows of Hobbiton.


Debra 1-16-2002 11:07

Ben - replacing the B drive is a very simple chore, and can be done in under a half hour. Go to Ebay and pick one up, shouldn't cost you over five bucks shipping included. Take the cover off the machine, unscrew four screws (two on either side) unplug the ribbon cable, observing which side the red stripe runs down, unplug the power cable, pull out the bad drive, insert the good drive and reverse the above proceedure. Anyone who knows who knows how to use a phillips screwdriver should be able to do that job.

Jerry 1-16-2002 9:57


Had to try the name generator, my wife came out Pearl Hardbottle.

Guess I will have to see The Hobbit, maybe when it comes out on VCR.

The snow keeps coming, just light though nothing serious. Had a call from the butcher shop, seems our half a beef is ready. Told them we would try this week some time, when the roads aren't so slippery, we have to drive 65 miles to pick it up.

Had the strangest dream last night, but I shan't go into it, suffice to say when I awoke at 4:00 AM I never got back to sleep for fear it might return.

Heather - Silences are there more then one type? No matter, I will whip something up.

Pimpernel Hardbottle 1-16-2002 9:53


Hi Everybodeez! :-] Had a GREAT time last eve - we saw STOMP live at our local arts theater! They were fantabulous, of course! So creative, making percussive music with every ordinary everyday object you can imagine, inclduing the KITCHEN SINKS - hee hee! What a blast!

ED, LITTER: I didn't know STOMP originated in the UK! Have you seen them perform? I understand they have five companies around the world!

HEATHER: Yesterday was thrilling from start to finish, what with STOMP in the evening and my luncheon interview with my chief antagonist! I had given my baddie a basic set of life problems and flaws - what I hadn't realized until yesterday is that his pain runs deeper than I knew! Talk about getting a monkey to pop the cork off a bottle, wow! All the new "history," characters and their stories that spilled into me after that interview with my baddie--!!!!! My muse is grinning like a Cheshire cat! She KNEW and I didn't! Scary how inspiration can all of a sudden wash over you like cresting waves of incoming tide!!! BTW, I withdraw my squished pinkie of last June from any consideration for Best injury, 2001, as I didn't break any bones and wasn't even late for my son's graduation party, even with a trip to the hospital in there before it! Now if injuries were judged by the colorfulness of their bruises, hee hee - I had a blue-green-purple fingernail for weeks!

CAROL: I hate to say it, but I've been discrediting my muse all these years for frequent abandonments. While I thought she must be living it up somewhere, carefree, she's really been working for me all the time, gleaning bits of inspiration here and there...and all of a sudden dumping incredible amounts of insights on me without warning! Just you wait - I'll bet your muse is gathering something really "hot" for you. :-)

TEEKAY: Loved the AntTracks story--hyuck! hyuck! And there's a pretty picture: a long table in the woods, set for tea for many writers (all mad, of course). Hmm, I spy many NB-ers here... :-D CHANGE SEATS!! BTW, I'd rather IRON than SEW!!! Um, do my sewing, I'll do your ironing? NAAAH! Let's do neither and just go shopping for new writing pens instead!!! :-) Mad, mad, we're all mad, I tell you!!!

RANDALL: YOU GO, BOY!!!!!!! :-) Fingers and toes crossed for good luck for you!!! Love your novel title. :-]

MARY: Last but not least, the hobbit naming site is too cute!!! :-D I had to play, of course. Here, my results:

My current family: the CHUBBS of DEEPHOLLOW
Beth (my middle name)=DOLLY CHUBB (take your pick, hee hee!)

My hubby is PONTO CHUBB
Oldest son is TODO CHUBB
Middle son is either BUNGO or MUNGO CHUBB, depending on short or full name used
Youngest son is FOSCO or SANCHO CHUBB (ditto above)
My littlest one is PRIMULA CHUBB

heh heh

My maiden name? BUMBLEROOT of FAIR DOWNS

I feel like a BUMBLEROOT, heh heh heh!!!

Way cool, Mary!

Y'all, have a splendiferous writing day!!! :-)


Mel 1-16-2002 9:27


Thanks for the Hobbit link.

My Hobbit name is Lila Underhill of Frogmorton and my husband's name is Fastolph Underhill of Frogmorton.

Rhoda 1-16-2002 8:49

Heather: The B-drive on the other computer is broken. It's just a glorified typewriter. I print everything out that has to be printed, and if I lose it, I just re-write it. Dumb, huh? I always mean to get it fixed, but the fifty or sixty bucks it'll cost goes to other things--milk, bread and eggs. I will get it fixed, but I don't know when.

Rosemary: None of the kids are welcome unless they have permission from their parents. You'd be surprised how many parents know their children sneak off to drink, and how relieved they are to know that their kids aren't out driving around and being stupid like so many of us may have.

Tina: I work outside. Do you know how hard it is to walk on a bundle of logs looking for a wire to cut, not knowing if the next step is really just a bunch of more snow, or...oops, fell in the river again. Brrrrr :-)

Teekay: I have a hard time with titles sometimes, and at other times they just come to me. "Tarot cards and tea leaves" just came to me...and so did the title for this present one.

But I have to go to bed now. It's 2:00 am. I'm tired, still cold, and have to bring the car into the shop tomorrow around 9:30 in the a of m. Funny thing, I was there today, and one of the guys working there was my old shop teacher from high school twenty-five years ago. He recognized me right away. He asked me how it was going. I said I have a wife, two kids, a house, a dog, a job, and that we were happily married and had been for eighteen years God has it been that long? He said, What more can you ask for?

So I think I'll go upstairs and cuddle my wife. :-)

ben 1-16-2002 5:03

Mary, we're neighbours! :-D I seem to be Bramblerose Peatfingers of Brockenborings. Nice little place, shall we have tea in your hobbit hole or mine?

Good theme, Heather. Hmmmmm...

Tina 1-16-2002 2:27

Mary's got enough pain with her teeth, so instead of paining her more and demanding a shortie topic,

how about...


There's our theme, ladies and gentlemen.
Have at it!

Heather 1-16-2002 1:12

Mary, thank you for some Hobbit fun!

My Hobbit name is 'Prisca Tighfield of Tookbank'!
And my husband is 'Podo Tighfield of Tookbank'. He's going to give me quite a look when I call him Podo tomorrow! :oD

My character, Piper is 'Wisteria Brandybuck of Buckland', should she find herself a Hobbit.

Methinks most of the female names are taken from flowers, hence Rosemary's Myrtle.

Funny, 'Prisca' is along the same lines as my birth name, which is Petra.

Howard's Hobbit name is THE BEST~!

Yes, Tina, someday I'll have the energy to wind some of my daily life into a book specifically - for now it's occasionally morphed into scenes of fiction!
Hope you catch old man Winter. He's been running through town lately. I think we've had enough of him! :oD

Heather 1-16-2002 1:08

A Hobbity Evening to all,

My Hobbit name seems to be Myrtle Moss of Lake-by-Downs. Have no idea if that's good or bad. Not really thrilled with 'Myrtle.'

Good luck with the party. I guess because the USA is so Sue happy, it would scare me to death to have kids drinking alcohol in my house. If anything happened, I would be libel. The thought of losing my house and winding up in jail just so a few kids could have some fun makes my hair hurt.

I'm not sure what happened, but the ENTER button has moved from bottom left to the right side. Poltergeist?

It's late for me. Gonna go now.

Rosemary 1-16-2002 0:22

HOWARD: I couldn't stand it another second. I had to put your name in ...drumroll please....

Ponto Bulge of Great Smials

Mary 1-15-2002 23:51

Hi guys.

Follow this link to find out what your name would be if you were a Hobbit.

Mine would be:

Lila Bunce of Brockenborings

More later....please post what your names would be if you check. :-)

Mary Hobbit names 1-15-2002 23:46


Teekay: Lol... I like that joke actually, but then again I think I will laugh at anything.

Mel: I already thought about doing that, but dont want to hit to close to reality if you know what I mean

Taylor 1-15-2002 23:38


Sorry Ben, but ha! who says all Canucks want it warmer? All of our snow is gone and I'm very disappointed! When I was a kid, everyone had a skating rink in their backyard for at least 8 weeks, and the lakes all froze over. During our local Winter Carnival, they used to do an ice sculpture contest. No more. I want a real winter! Lots of snow, temperatures below freezing, and cross-country skiing in the park.

Hey Heather you ever think about writing a story about your life? ;-) Seems to me 2002 is starting out as quite the adventure in your corner. (((HUGS)))

Teekay grrrooan. AntTracks. grrrrooaaan.

Randall Congrats, and high fives! I'm taking heart from your courage.

Now, I just hope I didn't bold-ize the entire notebook with my HTML attempts...
Allein, I'm sitting right here until I finish critiquing your most recent chapter. Well, I will after I go p....

Blue Skies!

Tina 1-15-2002 21:55


Actually it's garlic. I'm sure it's always garlic.


Geez one word responsibilitits and your marked for life.

Debra 1-15-2002 21:01


Thank you, HEATHER.


Best of luck on your proposal. I hope it is well received. Now, who else are you going to send it to? Do not believe the stuff you hear about simultaneous submissions. Send your book out to any publishing house who is looking for that type of work.

Rhoda 1-15-2002 20:55



Wish me luck.

Have submitted first three chapters of WHERE THE ROCKS COVER THE FLOWERS to a publisher.

Very hard to let the novel go.


Randall 1-15-2002 20:23

Wait! Most conceited prize will have to go to Teekay next year. The proof of conceit was in 2002. :P

Heather 1-15-2002 19:55

Oops, forgot:

Most conceited: Teekay

Most repetitititive: me, me and me

Most redundant: See above

Most annoying: see above 'see above'

Best injury, 2001: Cast your votes! I can't decide.

Heather 1-15-2002 19:53

Here are some more awards for Notebookers (2001) that weren't mentioned:

Best actor in a fur suit: Tie between Sasquatch and Jon

Best comeback: Christi and Eddie

Best form: Litter

Best dressed: Carol

Best Undressed: Me

Best Left Alone: Jerry, if the topic has anything to do with terrorism

Best Typos: Deebra

Best Morning Riser and Contest Entrant: Hallee

Best emoticon enthusiast: Teekay and Mary

Best Essayist: Mark

Best Political Analyst: Rhoda

Best Joke Sharer: Howard

Best Young Talent: Richard and Allein

Best Foreign Consultant: Viv

Best Disappearing Act: Ben, T.O.M., Sasquatch, Kitty and Pussy

Best Animal Trainer: Rosemary, Carol and Randall (hee hee)

Best Skydiver: Tina

Best Archiver/scuba gear (and photos to prove the latter): Jack

Best Agent: Rachel

Best Vehicle: Taylor

Worst offender using the ultimate in cuss words: Shit! That was me, too.

Worst for leaving a post nameless: __________

Heather 1-15-2002 19:50

...I just want to see that sewing machine walk in person!

Heather 1-15-2002 19:38

Howrad - I laughed at your description of that elderly lady's walk too...
I'm thinking air horns for my Grandma next Christmas. :-O

Heather 1-15-2002 19:22

Now...if I can just stop the tears from streaming and catch my breath........
I have this picture in my head of the sowing machine lady and the truck at the crossing.
It's not funny I know.......But...
Sorry but slapstick is just so catching.

Eddie 1-15-2002 18:47


HOWARD: That truck driver sounds like a bit of a hard ass, but I do admit to a bit of a giggle at the picture you put in my head.

RANDALL: You have such a talent for stripping off the mystery and getting right down to the nitty gritty, showing things in their undies - don't stop.

TAYLOR: Yesterday I was doing some baking. It was getting late and I was tired so I decided to leave the cleanup mess until morning. Good thing I did, because the next morning I noticed thousands of little tiny footprints in the flour on the countertop. Needless to say, I wasted no time calling the FBI. They confirmed that we did in fact have AntTracks. Blasted terrorists!

MEL: Bless you, but I don't have a drinking story, well, none in particular, and none where I can remember the end :-D
Sorry to have come off all dark and mysterious like that.
They call me Bond, Bond's Undies. (I don't know if you have Bond's brand of undies in America, but we do here, and that's what I'm referring to.)
Come to think of it, maybe manic depression isn't really what writers are prone to. Maybe writers are just your simple, everyday, down to earth mad people.

BEN: Both stories sound really intriguing. I especially like the title 'Tarot cards and tea leaves,' Wish I'd thought of it. I'm a bit sensitive about titles just now.

HEATHER: I believe it was the Buddhist (and only some of them) who used to go into such a deep meditation that they were able to cross over into the other realm, but they did this in order to prepare for death, so that they new what was coming and could go to it prepared.

Well, I have my morning dose of you lot and now I can go and see to getting some breakfast, and reading the paper, have been a bit lax with that lately.

The novel going rather s-l-o-w-l-y at the moment, but I write at least 1 page a day, and can't rest until I do. It's not bad once I start, it's the getting prepared to do it that hurts - like ironing.

Be well all.

Teekay 1-15-2002 18:36

Hi All :)

Thought I'd better get a post in here before you all thought I fell into some hole or other. Life just gets busy and I get lazy. But! I have started writing every day again. Blast those holiday vacations! Take two weeks vacation and spend another two weeks finding out what hot spot the muse disappeared to.

Randall - as usual your stories get me laughing. I related the car coasted story to hubby and got a good chuckle out of him. Course, being he's from the same generation as you and he's seen our German Shepherds at work, he could relate to every detail. Then I had to sit and listen to HIS stories the rest of the night!

Blue Tear - its good to see you again.
Christine - hello :)
Ben - welcome back and good luck with the party.

While I'd love to respond to everyone's post since my last one, methinks I would fill up the notebook too much.

Now, I've gotta yank the muse out of the cupboard I locked her in and put her to work ....

Carol 1-15-2002 18:22

Ben - if both of your computers have 3.5" disk drives, then you can send the short story file as an attachment. Save it to disk first, then take the disk to the computer that's internet capable. Bring up your email program, write a message, click on 'attach' (or in some cases, 'insert') and a window will pop up. Go to the top menu bar and choose 'A: disk drive'. Then, in the lower section of the window, the files on the disk will be listed. Click on the file you want, and bingo. You're done. Send the email. Voila!

Just a thought!

Heather 1-15-2002 17:56

Mel, even the worst antagonist will have his or her doubts, fears, and other hinderances. A rotten personality doesn't get that way without a reason. It's what a person does with the bad experiences that makes them what they are in the present tense.

Take my mother in law for instance. She's had a rough, blistering experience for a childhood, and worse when it came to marriage and divorce. Okay, so many people have had similar experiences. My mother in law has been running from her own fears, her own problems since she had the ability to run. She has refused to learn the lessons put in her path, and has skipped them, hoping she'd not have to learn them after all. Well, they're still there, tripping her at every opportunity. What she must do is stop running, turn around and face the problems head on.
Now, when I say running from problems, she's tried to do so literally, by moving from place to place as soon as things start happening that aren't positive. She can't even face the fact that should someone commit suicide, they have to work things out (like climbing back out of the hole you dug for yourself) in either the afterlife, or another lifetime. (For those of you who don't believe the same things that I do, feel free to cover your eyes, skip this part, or dance a jog as your computer reboots)
There are penalties for opting out of an agreement early - which is exactly what suicide is. You opt out of life before you've lived out the term you agreed upon with God ahead of birth. You opt out, there are penalties to deal with.
Think Beetle Juice here. I know it's the fantasized version, but remember where they placed the dead that had committed suicide? They were made civil servants of the afterlife, forever working to right the wrong they'd done by opting out early, and not learning the lessons they were meant to learn.
My mother in law couldn't disagree more, and in fact quoted some bullshit TV artist, who claims that those who have 'crossed over early' prefer to learn what they were supposed to learn in the afterlife, and not on earth.
Well, that's nice in theory.
Ever hear the expression, 'As above, so below'? Look at our laws. They reflect the Higher Laws.
We have penalties for opting out of agreements early, such as fines, etc. Well, we pay fines with the money we earn after working so many hours. Learning is work. Living is work. But it doesn't have to be labour. I think the word work has been bashed shitless so that we don't see it as a good thing any more. But even the Big Guy works 6 days out of 7. Even He doesn't get a two-day weekend! But why does He work? For LOVE!
Oh, I didn't plan on this being a little talk on why I write. For Love.
That's just what happened.

You want to know why I'm talking about my mother in law. Yes, let's clear that up.
She arrived at the door this morning, gabbing about how her life has changed, and she feels a great weight has been lifted, that she doesn't doubt that God's there for her now.
(Of course, during the conversation, I had to say, "If you knew God is there for everyone, how is it you'd ever be excluded?")
This is how her life changed. She tried to kill herself. Again. Only this time there's no way she could have survived unless God had stepped in Himself and intervened. That's what she told us. So now she doesn't doubt.

Okay, that's great that her doubts have been eradicated. The thing is, she's on this grand euphoria trip, and I worry it's an after-effect of swallowing 40 narcotic pills last week. She slept for three days, and when she woke up she was still out of it, and fell into the tub, bruising and cutting herself in the process. Now it's two weeks later, and I wonder how much of the narcotics are lingering. If this is a permanent change, then I'm celebrating. But if it's not, well...
Not much I can do about it. It's up to her to stop running.
Maybe, just maybe, she hit her head hard enough to come to grips. After visiting us, she was off to see her doctor, to see about a refill on her prescription, since she'd eaten them all the day after New Year's. Some resolution, I thought. (Save the planet, kill yourself?)
She asked me what she should tell her doctor, and what she should leave out. I told her to tell her everything about the pill-eating and the falling down, but to leave out the revelations. Her doctor would likely test her and confirm my suspicion that the pills are still in her system.

I do love my mother in law. I just feel like she's my third child sometimes. If she WERE my child, I think I'd have her committed for a short 'vacation' at happyville rest home. Sort of like Jerry's home, but with a few more tranquilizers and a lot more padding.
Sorry for boring the crud out of each and every one of you, my dear friends.
I just thought I'd share my oh, so flabbergasting life.
I'm sincerely happy that she finds our house relaxing to be in, and the atmosphere conducive to opening up and talking.
My brother in law's is the opposite (her youngest son's house) - if you happen to stop in there, you can't get out the door fast enough.

Ah, such qualities only seen in fiction or on Entertainment Tonight. Wonder when the papparazi will arrive.

Heather 1-15-2002 17:49

MEL: Yes, he learns it when he's dead. She's not there on the other side waiting for him like she said she would be. She died of cancer ten years ealier. He figures he had to come back to find his soul mate, but I don't know where she is yet. I'm still looking.

I no longer push out stories as fast as I can, but take my time and constantly rewrite them. Now instead of two or three weeks for a story, I'm willing to give it two or three months, put it aside and then come back to it later. I did that with TAROT CARDS AND TEA LEAVES, and ended up rewriting the whole thing from scratch. I'd sent a copy to Kitty and she made a few strong, valid points that made more sense than I realized. And even rewriting it, it still came out at ten or eleven thousand words. I'm hoping this one will come in at under eight.

BTW, I don't use this computer to write on, and the other one is not internet capable. If you want to read anything, it has to be snail mail.

ben 1-15-2002 17:23

BEN: I meant to add, I like your title :-) and story idea! If the man's wheelchair bound, how does he learn about his wife not being the ONE? Did he learn that when he was dead? How does he find his soul-mate, after all? You gotta let me read this one when it's done (pretty please?). I'm intrigued! :-)

Mel again 1-15-2002 14:40


Just wanted to report...if any of you authors haven't yet taken your most horrendous antagonist to "lunch", do it.

I can watch movies or read books and suspend reality to put myself into that story's reality. I used this technique with myself at "lunch" with the most dreaded enemy of my novel's inhabitants.

I'm still in shock - I learned he has a heart. And it's been broken. I learned he has a soul. And he has regrets.

Whew! And none of this is in my novel--yet!! NOW what do I do??!!

Mel, still here 1-15-2002 14:31

Thanks Heather: I know a couple of kids who were killed in school because of drinking and driving. If I can't prevent him drinking, at least let me keep an eye on him. I don't want him driving. Anyone who's parents don't agree that they should be here, isn't going to be coming; it's as simple as that. As long as the parents know and understand what's going on, as long as they pick them up at the end of the night, or I drive them home, I don't have a problem with it. It's not like this happens every weekend. It doesn't. He'll be lucky if he gets a whiff of another drink before his mother's birthday in March. (It'll be her 40th.)

Mel: My story? THE ALMOST MAN WHO NEVER WAS is the working title. It's not a ghost story, or suspense, or horror. It's about an old man who dies for fourteen minutes and miraculously comes back to life. He's confined to a wheelchair, and lives in a home where he has a lot of time on his hands to try and figure out just what happened. His one discovery that his wife of thirty some odd years was not his soul mate is probably the most distressing thing. He figures he's not allowed to leave until he finds her. I've only got around five thousand words so far, and since I don't write with a word limit in mind, I can't say how far I have to go with it. And of course, I don't write it on this computer.

But I gotta run now. I have to take the car in before I waste the entire morning. It's actually cold here today. We had frost last night--only the third or fourth time this entire winter. And who says global warming's a bad thing? :-) Nobody up here!

ben 1-15-2002 12:52

DEBRA: Actually, it was the lack of circulation in my blood vessels from that great squeeze. But, now that you mention it - what IS that smell? Garlic? Onions? Salsa? Tell me it's not chocolate-covered limburger cheese?? Oh me, oh, I'm off to have a real lunch now... :-)

And after that...(*shudder* shake!*) I'm meeting my antagonist--ZOLAK the black sorcerer himself--in my mental diningroom...Hope I'm not MENTAL when he's through with me! (*shudders!*shakes* uh, I'll take those shakes to go...)

Mel 1-15-2002 12:42


Okay I'll let go.

It's my breath isn't it?


Debra 1-15-2002 11:40

Who ever said muses could spell? Luncheon, bruncheon, it's all fat for the human brain. Muses don't eat (except maybe chocolate now and again, because I want it!) ;->

Mel's Muse 1-15-2002 10:00

TINA: I'm being good. (Aren't I always?) Inspiration-giving, etc., etc. Don't worry -- I'm marching Mel back to that airy (aerie?) restaurant today. Zolak's still waiting (quite a thing for such an A-type personage, really!) and boy, is Mel in for a few surprises! Heeeeee---

Flying off, till the luncehon interview---Ta!

Azure heavens!

Mel's Muse 1-15-2002 9:58


G'Morning/Evening,writing companions! :-] May your day/eve be filled with artistic successes!

DEBWA: Tanks for da squeeze awound da neck. Uh--could you please let go now? Ahh! Neck re-inflating to normal size.

BEN: Okay, who's this dead guy returning? Is he coming back as a ghost or a reincarnation or a (*shudder*) zombie or a vampire?? WHY is he coming back?? If you're gonna write a teaser, cough up a few more details, boy! We're waiting impatiently to hear more! :-)

JERRY: I like quiet, too. :-) It's such a rare commodity at my house! BTW, canes are our friends...It's to the NEW BODY SHOPPE we need to go!

HEATHER: Why don't you write a justice/solution-story for the guy who's worrying you right now? Real life - in all its crises - is hard to write about, but maybe writing about it will make you stronger, you know, a sense of doing something about an otherwise uncontrollable situation--? BTW, it is so cool to put your characters in a room together, outside the novel. My mountainside restaurant is a made-up place I must explore in a future story, I'm sure! :-) I find it interesting that I started my character interviews with the worst baddie of them all--I need to know him better, as much as I don't want to (he's a very controlling, tempestuous kind of person!) He might turn my novel upside-down--That could be for the better, I'm not sure yet! But I WILL return to that! (Um, it's been nice knowing you...) :-]

ED: Oh, a zimmer is a walker. I wonder where the word "zimmer" originated? Named after the inventor, perhaps? That's a great exit-line, anyway: "Got to go polish me zimmer now." Heh heh! :-)

TEEKAY: Oh yes, and what a grand time we borderline (?) manic-depressives have, when we're not watching the ink blot on the paper! :-D Okay, let's hear the drinking story. I haven't any of my own, as I could never stand the smell of beer, wine, or anything with alcohol. My hubby should write his college stories, though - especially the one where he went partying and awoke the next morning, unknown to him how he came to be in his 'jammies in his dorm bunk bed, his clothes neatly folded, buttoned, and piled...heh heh-it wasn't me! And while I'm still manic, let me say I think someone should invent a feeding bag for writers unable to leave their keyboards, y'know, like horses have, strap it around our heads/necks, nose-dive into the pouch for some popcorn, some 'taters 'n gravy, or whatever--and keep the keyboards clean! ;-]

RANDALL: Funny, your president story - hee hee! - We saw an "Outer Limits" episode last night about a senator/president-to-be on a plane and a time traveler from the future convinces him the plane will crash and he must jump to save his life (i.e. future technology will save him) - yeah, right! He jumped, wasn't saved because he'd become a tyrant. Hey, ya never know the real scoop on these government guys unless people like you write the real stories, heh heh! :-)

TAYLOR: Someone needs to write a story about all the anthrax sociopaths having their field-day. Personally, I think they're all "outstanding" in their field, as in OUT--Standing in their field like idiots, alone, unsupported by the normal masses because they're CRAZY! (What? No, Ms. Muse, I am NOT writing it! Back to character interview-luncheon preparations...) :-]

Write well, everyone!

Mel 1-15-2002 9:55


Randall: Thats actually really funny

Got a scare going on in Aust. now, an anthrax scare at macdonalds stores over Sydney.

Taylor 1-15-2002 4:29

Eddie - Zimmer huh. My old HS Principal was named Zimmer. Lyle D. Zimmer, I will never forget him so long as I live. He ran that school like it was a military unit. Everything had to be dress right dress, shoes were to be shined, no blue jeans for the boys, dresses only for the girls. The dress length was specified, as was the boy's hair length. Beards and mustaches were forbidden for those with enough juice to grow them at our age.

We used to call him chrome dome due to his shaved head, and when you were bad enough to have to stand before his great walnut desk, it was stand at attention, don't move, don't talk unless spoken to. I remember the day when he passed sentence on me for skipping nearly a week of classes.

The sentence - Detention study hall for the remainder of the school year, or drop out of high school. Well I took the detention, and that was so very early in the school year. Gave up an extra hour of my freedom to pay the high price for not following the rules.

But they are walkers then? Had to use one of those blasted things when I was in hospital before my first back surgery. Didn't go very fast, or very far. The room across the hall from mine was occupied by a gal who worked at the court house in the clerk of courts office, an old friend of mine. She was in to have a couple of toes amputated due to gangrene the result of diabetes. We walked the halls together a few times, all the way to the back door so we could have our smokes.

When my Doctor heard of our excursion, he gave me particular hell, seems he ordered the walker only for trips to the restroom.

That day, my room became a smoking room, and the gal across the hall came over to smoke. It only lasted a day then the results of my MRI were back, and I was sent to a larger facility to undergo the necessary surgery. Didn't need the walker after that, and for that I was thankful. Now if I could just get rid of this damn old cane.

Jerry 1-15-2002 0:24



As a confidant of President Bush I have the low down on the fainting episode. George told me Laura came in the room, noted the leader of the most powerful nation on the earth, two secret service agents, several beers on the coffee table, a platter of nachos, chips and hot sauce...

"And just what do you think your doing Mr. Football?"

"Why Laura, me and the boys were settling in to watch a little football..."

"Uh huh. I thought you just watched a game of football?"

"Well dear, we did. And what a game it was, huh guys? This second game will be even better."

"No more football today Georgeie Boy. You need to spend some quailty time with your family. Not sitting around swilling beer with the boys!"

"Now Laura, I am the president. I will do..."

At this point Laura Bush grabbed the president by an ear and began to lift him out of the seat. Trying to save a Lone Star beer from falling to the carpet he slipped and bruised his cheek.

If you want the low down on George Bush ... just trust old Randall to have the straight scoop.

Of course I am a fiction writer, but that should have little to do with anything.


Randall 1-14-2002 20:48

Zimmer frams, eh? Around here we just refer to them as "walkers."
A few years ago my wife and I were stopped at a traffic light, waiting for traffic. It was wintertime, and there was an inch or so of snow on the street. A little old lady with a walker (zimmer) was waiting to cross the street, and did so just as we stopped. She made it slowly across the near lanes, just in time for the light to change. The truck driver coming the other way was a bit impatient, and a lot obnoxious, and hit his air horn. The poor old lady did an excellent imitation of a sewing machine for the rest of the way across!

howard 1-14-2002 19:02


HOWARD: Good! It's validation of your writerhood :-) Now I want you to hammer a great big whopping nail into the wall, the likes of which CHRISTI, and I, oh yes, and someone else, who is that now? Oh yes, Stephen King have, and slip your rejection slip onto it, and then if you will, take a few minutes to gaze proudly at it. If it came via email, print it out and hang it up.
Mine is sitting proudly on the wall in front of me with a big wad of blue tack on the end so they all don't fly off when the fan's on.
Another of my favourite sayings I'd like to share with you at this moment is : The longest journey begins with the smallest step.
AND: What doesn't kill you will make you stronger.

MEL: I think maybe manic depressives are simply writers who have found something to do :-D

CHRISTINE: Thanks for the info. Actually my novel is based on all those things you said you loved (I decided in order to have the staying power for a novel I needed to write about things I loved, so that I would never get bored with it.) Mine is set in Australia, but has lots of English undertones and of course it's set in a small coastal town.

EDDIE: Thwacking forehead with butt of palm. Of course! A zimmer frame! Now where were you 8 months ago when I couldn't think of the word?

BEN: As writers I'm not sure we have any sensibilites, like I said once before, I think writers are able to see both sides of all things - I think we'd be pretty limited if we were unable to.
Personally, I don't want my kids to drink at all - but if they did, I would want them to do it where they were safe.
Hubby doesn't drink, and neither do I, so they don't really see it.
Not that there wasn't a time when I didn't drink - but that's a whole different story and one I'm not going to share with anybody :-D
Looking back on that last sentence I come off sounding all dark and mysterious, like I have a secret hidden in my past.
COOL! Ain't nuthin' like a bit of mystery :-D

Sorry about the spelling errors all (if there are any, I think maybe I caught them all), but my keys are sticking. I think it's because we all eat over the keyboard and now it's got particles of rotting food jamming it up - tres

Well, I'm orf.

Teekay 1-14-2002 18:16

A 'Zimmer' or 'Zimmer Frame' is one of those nice four legged walking aids which you can realy lean on as you hold on to it while walking. They are usually a wonderful aluminium colour with lovely black rubber stoppers at the feet. Sighhhh.....
Sorry..... got really carried away there.

Eddie 1-14-2002 16:46

Ooh, and Mel - I think I'd have lunch with some of my characters in the Deli that's in my novel. Or maybe tea at Piper's apartment, or a pint of ale in the pub with a bunch of them...

I can't exactly have lunch with the major antagonist - it's a toss-up between Piper's visions (seen by some as crazy delusions), a woman at her workplace that's a nasty jerk, and Trent, the infamous pleader that won't give up his infatuation. I could, perhaps, have a vision of those two at lunch; belching loudly, insulting each other and throwing salad greens!

Heather 1-14-2002 16:44

But, Mel, you wouldn't want to start out your Restaurant Reviews with a less-than-vital character, would you? An extra, so to speak?
If I were to have lunch with one of my characters, I certainly wouldn't choose one of the minor characters first.
Maybe they'll get an invite, maybe they won't...

I like the idea of having lunch with your characters - don't balk on us, now!

Well, so far the cops haven't caught the asshole pervert. They're actually setting up a task force specifically for the purpose of better protecting school kids. I think it's great - but I'd feel much better about it if they'd already caught the particular pervert that struck our neighbourhood.
Keep your fingers crossed for us, and pray for the capture of this creep.

The hamsters are running about the house inside their exercise balls. The kids are having a great time watching them, and following them in their adventure. I only hope one of the hamsters doesn't decide that inside the plastic ball is a good place to have a pee. *blech!*

Haven't written anything today. I must be feeling dried up inspirationally, due to the worries about the safety of my daughter and our neighbourhood in general. Not that worrying ever solved a single problem... but action resulting from worry has.
That's how 'block parents' came into being.
When I called the school to inform them of the incident Friday after school was out, I was very glad to hear that my daughter and her friend had already told the principal!

What was that about hoping everything you've taught your children has finally sunken in? Right on, Ben. What better way to test if it has then to host a party?
If kids are going to drink, I think it's much better to have it supervised than to sit up nights praying they're not getting into a car with a drunk driver.
When my kids are teens, and they want to start partying, I'll seriously consider the same, Ben. Oh, and you live in BC. Lucky you. The pot up there's actually worth smoking. Hee hee :o)

Heather 1-14-2002 16:38


I, um, heh heh!, er, just reporting in, while there's still time--uh, how long does a "computer, freeze program!" command last?

I began a luncheon journal today, entitled "The Midday Interviews, Or Conversations Over Lunch" and set the scene to begin interviewing my characters, one at a time, as I said this morning I would.

Um...the mountain view in a glass-walled restaurant is spectacular, but when HE came through the door, I lost my nerve...

Maybe I should've started with someone less, um, invigorating (can he hear me when he's in frozen-mode???). I, uh--whew! Why did I start the interview-lunches with my most horrific antagonist??!! I may not survive to do the rest! :-( That will mean no dessert...

No chocolate? (Ms. Muse is pouting!) Oh, um, I'll go back to that mental-restaurant, uh maybe later. Yeah, later, later - tomorrow later maybe- heh heh oh dear oh dear. Where'd I put that list of questions? I didn't have one?? I was going to wing it??? With ZOLAK???!!!!!!

Pray for me, my writing friends...

Mel 1-14-2002 15:05

Ben - It's your life, your kids, and you deserve the right to raise them as you choose.

Well the two cats have gone again, as has our daughter. They finished putting down her new floor covering, and the plumbing work she wanted done, so all have moved home. Our dog looks very pleased with the change, but I think he will miss the youngest cat, as they played together like a couple of puppies all the time.

Sure is quiet around here now. I like quiet. The wind is still blowing around yesterdays snow, gusts over fifty miles per hour. If the snow were of the sticky kind we would have lots of drifts, luckily it is the powder type and just makes lots of fog when it blows.

The cold weather has taken a toll on my supply of bird food, and my friends the sparrows are giving me particular hell for not getting more out there, so I must go for now and feed them.

Write ON!

Jerry 1-14-2002 14:40

Underage and drinking, not at my house, never. There are too many variables here. I don't want to be the next clown to end up on the six o'clock news trying to explain why it seemed harmless at the time.

Not that I think anyone who lets it happen is a clown. I'm talking about decisions made and then something goes wrong.

Those kind of clowns.

None of those here!

Debra 1-14-2002 13:35


Jerry: That's exactly the kind of party I don't want. I asked him last night how many kids he was hoping to have over, and then jokingly said something along the line of, Sure hope it ain't no forty kids. He looked at me and said, Maybe I should recount again? I guess I'm more popular than I thought, he saiys with a smile. (I was thinking a dozen kids are too many.) But he says he wants a mixed party too. I said, downstairs in the basement is as far as it goes. Any playfighting, wrestling, etc., and I'll toss 'em out on their ears.

My wife has her own idea of how they should be behaved. He invited a few friends over for New Year's eve, and one of them told my wife she should be upstairs with her guests. She asked him what he was drinking, and he said pop. (He was carrying a 2 liter bottle of Coke.) She took a drink and looked at him, asking him how he could be such a smart mouth, and not be drunk. He said he was too cool to drink, and then reminded her, rudely, that she should leave. She kindly said that it was her house, and if she wanted to come down and check up on things, that was her right, and if he didn't shut his little mouth, she'd slap it shut for him. The other boys, the ones who know her, told him to toe the line. She told him that if she made him uncomfortable, he was free to leave. He decided maybe it was better to go outside, considering. My wife looked at my son and asked if he was for real. My son, being the good friend that he is, tried to defend him, but failed. My wife said she had to go back upstairs and see to her guests, and then told my son, that this kid is not allowed back in her house until he learns some sort of respect.

Kids smokin' dope, and drinking, and sexin' it up in my house? Uh-uh. A few drinks, and with their parents' knowledge, and permission, or else don't bother coming over. Parents can pick them up at the end of the night, or else don't bother comin' over. Any pukin', God forbid, and they clean it up right away. That's my son's responsibility. If he wants to host a part, or get together, fine, but he's gonna know just what it means to be in control.

As for seeing us drunk? Lots of times. But we're both happy, carefree, drunks who laugh and giggle--the life of the party you could say--and if my kid's gonna drink, I want him to learn how to present himself. I don't want him to be an asshole. I've seen too many of those types. So, a party? Yes. But with reluctance. He'd asked us a long time ago if he could have a 16th birthday, and we said fine. But he wasn't drinking, or trying to sneak off and smoke a joint once in a while back then. He was still somewhat "normal". But you can't control the lives of his friends, and if his friends' parents smoke pot, and see nothing wrong with letting their children smoke it, what chance do you have except to hope that everything you taught them in their early childhood has sort of sunk in. I may drink, and smoke pot, but I don't smoke pot in front of my kids, and I won't for a long time to come--although if I ever find him hiding it in his room I'll have to take it, and, as hard as it may be for me to do it, I'll flush it in front of him. Hypocrisy is the first rule of parenting I've discovered.

And now I've said too much and probably hurt the sensitivity of a great many people here...sorry. That's just the way I am. I've gotta go and do some work on a story I'm trying to develop, something about a guy who dies and has come back. Interesting...

Ben 1-14-2002 13:03

Hi all!

Oh yeah, if you have the time and patience, I'd be thrilled for you to read 'Freeborn'. Drop me an e-mail, and we'll work it out. :oD

Randall, your cat sounds wonderful. Mine is far too *royal* to do something as energetic as catfishing. If she wasn't so nasty, I'd get another, more active puss.

Christine, your ideas sound great! I just love historical writing. I'm not big on mysteries, but I enjoy a good one now and again. Glad to see you here!
BTW shortie themes are announced Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday, or thereabouts, usually by Mary, and then shortie night is Thursday although it's fine to post it before or after.

Blue Tear, hi again! Don't sell yourself short over a test. Tests are only indicators, not proof of anything. There's a quote by Les Brown that says something like, 'Don't let someone else's opinion of you become your reality.' Write for your own enjoyment, and the rest will follow.

Mel's muse, you're darn lucky to have such a talented human to work with, so don't you go playing games on her! You're here to work, not flirt with the men. Next report, I want to hear only good things, y'hear?

Blue Skies!

Tina 1-14-2002 11:52


You ray of sunshine you! (((Big Squeeze around neck)))

Debra 1-14-2002 10:24


Hi, you-all! I found my smile again. :-)

DEBRA: Cure for Writer's Block, Variety #2,534,681:
--Clean a 5-year-old's room (puts Suzy Homemaker off her guard)
--Then sort all the desk papers you've been hoarding and meaning to sort/file for eons...
--Then begin to clean the bedroom closet, and discover wonderful little bits of inspiration in saved poems and old calendar photographs. :-)

TEEKAY: My muse came home yesterday morning! I actually saw her, in a trenchcoat on a bridge! She was kissing that seedy-looking fella (really!) and then they parted... When I returned home, I realized my muse had jumped back inside me: I discovered some dandelions frozen brown by Winter! And then, last night, while supervising my 5-yr-old who was having a bath, she suddenly started laughing like a maniac, saying "Mom, you crack me up! AH HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAA!" She made ME laugh. I needed that! :-)

So for you (and for anyone needing an inspirational lift from someone who just received one), three bits of musely meanderings gleaned from a muse's overnight world travels:

Tearful parting on the bridge--
Love's whispers, bittersweet embrace--
He stares, watching her go...
Why? Only they know.

Old gold dandelion
Frozen into bronze;
Brown and round,
Like mushroon found,
A bit of Spring
kills Winter's sting.

Glum, she was a bum
So I squished her with my thumb
Winter doldrums, RUN!

:-) (yeah, I know - Haiku inventor rolls over painfully in grave!)

Lesson learned:
That which makes a writer a writer,
or at least makes this writer (me) a writer,
can bloom in Winter's night
like Summer firefly's light
if only I remember
the O-I-D-R:

Observe 8-}
Inquire :-0
Discover! <:-)
Relate :-D

Whenever I stop watching, questioning, learning, or laughing, I suffer needlessly. My writing suffers. Now I'm rejuvenated (may it last forever!) - I think I'm gonna interview some of my characters this week, y'know, take them to lunch one or two at a time (oh boy, that's a lot of lunches!) and get to know them better. Then I'll hope to find the missing link to finishing my novel (beyond editing, that is)... and sending it to a publisher before another year ends!

HOWARD: I feel like an opsimath. :-)

RANDALL: Cruisin' and catfishin' - hee hee hee - oh, I needed that! Um, those!! And somewhere, some greedy little scamp is collecting "lost lines" to compile the next great novel of the century...

ALLEIN: Welcome back! :-)

HEATHER: Heart Lake memories sound like great story fodder! :-) And kids in hamster exercise balls sounds really intriguing too, heh heh!

VIV: Light at end of every tunnel, even exams' time tunnels! I enjoyed hearing the coming-of-age holiday stories, especially you rushing to get to work on a no-work day! Oh, I hope you rained sweet revenge on your hubby for that one! :-]

TINA: Need a reader? :-)

AMERICO: Did you say to read a book a week? Oh boy, I'm in trouble! I fall asleep after one or two paragraphs! Do children's picture books count? heh heh! I could read several of those each week and have quality time with my five-year-old at the same time! :-)

ED: What's a zimmer? I assume it's an "Old-Farty" something-or-other?? I'm too young to know (or too un-British!). ;-)

CHRISTINE: Hi! Small towns "stopped in time" sound like intriguing stories to read or write! Glad to hear you're writing about them. :-)

FARAH BLUE TEAR: Blue tears of happiness - sounds like a poem to me! :-) Jack's re-working access to the Notebook, which is unavailable to everyone, right now. Patience! :-]

JERRY, BEN, TAYLOR, EVERYONE ELSE - Hi and happy writing to you all!

Mel 1-14-2002 9:38

CHRISTINE -- Welcome!

BLUE TEAR -- Welcome back!

It's good to see you both here. ALLEIN too! And anyone else that I missed.

TEEKAY -- I got a rejection last night for one of my poems. At least it's some sort of activity! :-)

The word for the day is:
opsimath (OP-si-math) noun

One who begins learning late in life.

Sounds familiar!

I subscribe to AWAD (A Word A Day) at:

It's an interesting site.

howard 1-14-2002 8:24

Hey Every1 !
I've been busy for weeks, I had exams : 14 subject to study in only 2 weeks!! My head was going to blow! I didn't go to school today because I am so tired: My whole body is aching. I haven't written anything for such a long time so I feel guilty. I went through some bad times, and tried to feel strong by ignoring the unbearable feelings inside. This is why I actually avoided writing, I knew that once I try to write I won't really be able to control those feelings. Also is that I didn't do well in my English Test, or at least not as good as I was supposed to ,it made me feel I am such a loser, I kept saying: "I am not good at this stuff!! why am I even trying to improve myself?!" But I guess it's not feeling I am good that pushes me to write as much as the pleasure of writing itself.
The only source of relieve I had for those passing weeks was watching my first little niece who was born only 5 days ago. SHE IS SOOOO CUTE
By the way, My real name is " Farah" which means happiness (In arabic) It may seam weird to call som1 happiness lol but most of the arabian names have meanings.
I want to force myslef to write something today,I will post it if it's worthy.
Btw, I've been trying to sign up for the notebook, but I kept receiving a page where it was written :
The requested page does not exist on Please check the spelling of the URL. If you followed a link here, please contact Jack Beslanwitch to alert him to the problem.
Does any1 know what I should do ?

Blue Tear 1-14-2002 6:36

I'm gonna try putting the link in the text part of the message

that should work

I'd like to introduce myself a bit more, so you know who you're chatting at.......

I'm 35, and my inteerests in writing lie in the history and mystery of Great Britian
and small coastal towns that have sort of been stopped in time. historical mysteries, and right now I am concentrating on short stories. Although...I have had an idea that has been floating around in heeaaad for so long, and it has seemed to gather mass as it rolls around, that I am seriously considering a novel. Officially, I am disabled. I prefer to think of my self as eeeearly retired.
Please forgive typos, sometimes my fingers resist doing what my brain bids them to do. I made a gift to myself this year that I would make a serious effort to wrtie fiction and non-fiction in subjects that interest me. I love research, and am hoping to be found to be a suitable candidate for a certain assignment I ran across. I have had my work published, but so far I believe it is all non-fiction.........

Although my love is for historical mysteries set in britian (or those little coastal towns I spoke of), my last two stories were nnot historical. They did take place in small coastal towns, but really not much historical about them. Not very British either. The one I just finished and now must spend hours upon hours polishing is actually a little out of my comfort zone as it required a PI. Not a character or a time I'm most comfortable in.

I homeschool 3 children, enjoy reading, writing, watching old movies of and listiening to Old Time Radio plays of my favourite genre. I also enjoy painting on rocks, crocheting, and some other needlecrafts. I am learning to to live with my chronic illnesses, and am considering writing a proposal about my expereineces and little tidbits of info that have made my lifestyle transition easier

I may not post often, but when I do, chances are tehy will be wordy. I save it all up I guess. Most of the time I am rather quiet, but that is my personality in the real world as well.

I would like to tak epart in a few of the assignments, are the story ideas emailed to us, or posted here on the board, and if so, how often?

feel free to email me, or even beep me on YM


Christine Murder Most British 1-14-2002 5:30

Well winter has again come to South Dakota. Today began as all those nice days have, temps above freezing, which is so very unusual up here. It had been raining all yesterday afternoon and last night so the streets were icy this morning. We made the trip to mom's for dinner and pinochle.

When we started our third game it began snowing. The weatherman warned us that this was coming along with winds up to 70 MPH.

We begged off on more cards and headed home early. It has been snowing since then, but the winds have only been around thirty miles per hour, so we missed the big ones, for which we are thankful.

Jerry 1-14-2002 0:53

Drinking - having grown up in an alcoholic family, I understand all the attitudes involving drinking. As far as I'm concerned, it's a toss-up. I occasionally drank when my kids were young, but we tried not to allow them to see us drunk, the wife never indulged enough to show it since the kids were born. I stopped drinking completely several years ago, mostly because of all the stupid pill I take now to live a semi-normal life. So did the wife.

We now have one drink (sometimes two) on Christmas Eve because it is tradition.

Now I never let my kids drink in my house, nor did I allow them to have any sort of parties. I think that was mostly because I was a cop, and it would look very bad for a cop in a small town to allow such things in his house. You know the drill, something like that would be all over town before the first kid threw up. I don't think I would have allowed it had I been say an accountant, or a carry out boy either. That's just me.

Now when our boys (mine and my sister's) graduated from school, they held an open house at my sister's house for both boys and the beer flowed like water. The Sheriff was there as a guest, and drank right along with the boys and everyone else for that matter, as were the local judge, and several members of the town board and city Commissioners.

I did drive down and bail my son and his buddies out of jail when they were arrested for minor in possession. I did go to court with my boy and testify that I didn't feel he was in need of alcohol treatment, and the judge bought it. Now as far as I know neither of my kids drink much, but they are both near 30 my daughter just on this side, my son on the other, so they can do as they please.

At any rate, I won't stand judgement on anyone as far as letting their kids drink at home, we all know that most will find a time and place to do it. My folks let me drink at home, we had big house parties where my buddies and girl friends would come and join in, there was all the booze anyone would want, and folks having sex in cars parked out in the front yard. That was when we lived north of the tracks and the nearest law enforcement with any authority was over twenty six miles north west of there so we could pretty much do as we pleased, and we did.

I just didn't want my kids to see such things.

I could argue that I turned out OK having been raised in such an invironment, so maybe my kids would have too, but there are issues from my youth that haunt me from time to time, and I am thankfull that my kids don't have those, that they don't have the nightmares, the night terrors that I had when I was younger.

My Internet Explorer stopped working. Well it sort of works part of the time, but fails more then it works. I could reformat again, but I don't really want to do that so soon after the last. Instead I installed Opera, and it works great except some of my support programs arn't working right such as my spell checker, and pop-up stopper. I miss the spell checker, but I was amazed to find that Opera has a built in pop-up stopper that works great.

Jerry 1-13-2002 23:30

More on today's holiday.
My husband startled me awake this morning by saying, "aren't you supposed to be at work?"

Wondering when I'd hit senility I raced for the door dressing all the way. I made it out on time with a big cup of coffee. Got down to the train station, piled on a train, did class preparations wondering why I'd put it off so long and "bunting" all my classes.

Got there and the guard at the school gate said, "Uh, excuse me, didn't anyone tell you that today is a holiday?"

I snapped into focus and remembered, "Oh yah! Today is coming of age."

Today Allein would be part of the mob scene down at the hairdressers. She'd have her face made up with white pancake, little red heart shaped lips, and a black mole drawn on as a beauty mark. Looking like a gesha wearing blue jeans, she'd go with her friends over to the kimono shop. There she'd be dressed in layers upon layers of silk. After her feet were jammed into little zori's she'd hobble off through the store.

What did I see besides this? Three kimono clad beauties in a photo booth getting snapshots of their made up faces. A boy proudly escorting his girlfriend who looked like a traditional Japanese doll. She was hanging on his arm looking like she might faint at the pain in her feet. It took them about a half an hour to get halfway down the street to a coffee shop. He took her inside, bought her a good big cup of coffee then took off and hailed a cab. Smart boy! The way she was crippling along, they wouldn't have made the afternoon ceremony.

What is cute is all over Japan there are a bunch of new little fledglings learning that if you are wearing a kimono it's impossible to drive, or walk. The only way to drive (I learned this from experience and from doing it with my friends on the way to those miserable tea ceremonies) is to hike your kimono skirt up almost to your thighs before you get in the car. It looks so funny like you are doing a strip tease!

Welcome to the madcap world of tradition. As these little girls will discover a little bit goes a long long way. It's fun to be dressed up like a little doll. I think that's why the tradition continues. Every mother loves to do it just one last time to her beautiful daughter, and occasionally do it herself. Unfortunately, it's a real loss of freedom. How women in the past survived is a real question. I remember saying to my grandmother that I envied her long skirts of the Gibson Girl era. She replied crisply, "Why, they were dust catchers. My ankles were always dirty."

viv 1-13-2002 23:27


Allein: Nice to see you again, was wandering where you went off to.

I am glad to hear President Bush is fine, just found out about 45 mins ago that he choked on a pretzel... I tell you what it almost seems funny in its way. I'm not saying it wasn't serious.

Anyhow back to writing, just dropped in virtually to say hi to everyone.
And the title of my book is now, "A Breath of Fresh Air" since that about suits everything.

Taylor 1-13-2002 22:57

Eddie - I feel old too. I started coming here when I was 16, so almost 4 years ago! :O Wow!

Heather - Don't worry, I can still get up to Canada, so hopefully someday, I'll get up that way to meet you. :D That would be cool.

Allein Peachick's Gallery 1-13-2002 22:07

Hmmmmmmm...Wondered where that line went.


Randall 1-13-2002 20:22



Tina, animals can fink you out. Now Mommy Cat is different.

I enjoy catfishing. No not catfish fishing, but catfishing. It can be done in the privacy of ones own living room, perhaps a bedroom, in the yard...anywhere. Requires no fancy rod and reel, no messy bait, no sharp hooks or $30,000 fishing boats.

Any rod and reel will work, actually a bamboo pole will suffice, a fly rod should be a blast! Remove the hook, (very important in PETA's eye) tie on a suitable object for bait. In keeping with the theme of catfishing I use plastic worms, perhaps a small lead weight on the line as well. Line strength does not matter unless your playing with a really big cat.

Dangle the worm in front of your favorite house cat. Once he or she is in a playful mood toss the worm a few feet with the rod. This is where the small lead weight comes in handy, as plastic worms achieve little distance without something else tied on. If kitty is with the program fun starts immediately. This really works best outside.

For instance. Last summer Sean and I were sitting in our driveway playing with our cat, adroitly named Mommy Cat. Mommy Cat really gets into the game. She relishes stalking the worm as it slithers through grass and leaves. Using stalking techniques developed on the plains of Africa she creeps through the grass, great black eyes never leaving the worm. Patience is its own reward as Mommy Cat appreciates a slow-moving worm. This gives her time to creep from cover behind a stick to concealment behind a blade of grass. (Well, she thinks she's hidden!) With pupils large and black, tail swishing side to side Mommy Cat creeps upon the unsuspecting worm.

Mommy Cat's head is on the ground, eyes wide, ears erect, front feet poised. With hind legs quivering for release...she leaps! Claws out, front legs capture the worm! Grasping the plastic worm in her mouth she flees across the yard.

"Play her dad! Play her!" Sean shouts from beside me.

Mommy Cat, not about to release something she worked hard for runs left. The rod bends in my hand! She retreats viciously shaking the worm, then heads for the flower bed! Well practiced Mommy Cat is wise to the game of catfishing.

"Don't let her get into the flowers!" Sean shrieks, leaping to his feet. "You lost her there last time!"

Now she heads back to the driveway, the rod bent double in my hands! The lawn chair slowly tips forward.

"Dad," Sean shouts, "You forgot the safety belt!"

"No time now." I reply, grimly aware that I had a veteran mouser on the line. (Grin) Mice tremble at the mention of her name.

The drag on the reel is screaming! Mommy Cat is not about to loose the worm now! She leaps in the air, shaking the worm firmly clenched in her mouth. Desperate to hold on Mommy Cat breaks for sanctuary under my pickup!

"Sean!" I sob, "Can't hold her!"

Mommy Cat with a desperate lunge streaks under the pickup and the line parts.

In the silence, Sean shakes his head. "And you call yourself a writer! Hemingway would have never lost a Marlin like that! He would have turned her. A shameful display."

My only son leaves me alone with only a memory of a hellva afternoon fight. Just another frustrated writer/fisherman, a failure. I discard the rod, slip a small can of cat food on the porch. Made from genuine fish. The label seems to laugh at me, it protrays a cat eating a fish. Mommy Cat, now aware that the worm is not edible runs to devour the food. Soon she finishes, brushes my leg with a tail as she retreats to the garage for a nap.

Alone, forlorn, abandoned even by my son I sit sadly and watch the sun set in the west.

Cats, huh?



"Do you need the safety belt?" my son asks.

Randall 1-13-2002 20:19

Allein is 20 in two months or so????
Boy....You really know how to make me feel........ OLD

I remember when you were just a nipper!!
Excuse me while I polish my zimmer.

Eddie 1-13-2002 19:32

Okay, so that got a little longer than intended.
I'd meant to include a really revealing glimpse into teenage drinking gone awry (a personal story!) but then went into a rave about Heart Lake.

I also wanted to say Congratulations to Allein! Good going, Allein - I knew you could find a dental assistant job! Disneyland sounds fun - I'd love to meet you there with my family, but I don't think we'll be able to afford that trip by this May.
Also, because of being arrested way back when, I don't think I'm allowed into the US unless I pay $200 (US funds)
per year to have that priveledge. I was refused access to the US at the border last year when driving my friend Tanya back to the Buffalo airport. Man, was that embarrassing!
Little did customs know I'd been going in and out of the States for years, visiting my parents. I'd just never been stopped for a background check until last year. You'd think that after all these years, they wouldn't care - or that there wouldn't be anything on me any more.

I have to go to the pet store and buy my kids those hamster exercise balls (gee, doesn't that sound awful?) so I'll explain this a little further when I get back - as if anyone really wants to know.

My hideous past... you'd never know by looking at me!
*bwah ha ha hahahahah!*

Heather 1-13-2002 16:06

Oh, I've been drunk in parks before. Long ago, when I was such a young innocent (laugh hard, 'cause I am if you're not...) my friends and I would buy a case of beer or Durangos and sit down at this little play table in the park. We'd squeeze into the toddler sized chairs and play cards, or just talk and joke around. There was a little playhouse too, and sometimes we'd slide down the slides and climb the monkey bars and chase each other around. There was also a small lake nearby, and we would sometimes make the trek over to the rolling hills that banked one side of the lake. We'd lie down and roll down the hills, screaming all the while with laughter. It was great, up until we got a little too drunk once and somebody vomited on the roll down. That was mortally disgusting, so after that, we found other places to 'play'. It was nice sitting up on the lifeguard stand by the lake at night, under the moon, having a beer with friends. Five of us at least could fit up on that lifeguard thing. We didn't go swimming much; being dark and the water wasn't just murky, it was darned near swampish. The lake (Heart Lake) was so overcome with algae and green plantlife, that there were several aerators placed into it to keep the fish alive. If you took a canoe out onto the lake in the day, you couldn't see the end of your paddle in the green haze. Your bathing suit would be lined in it if you dared get into the water.
All the ducks and geese had to do to get a meal in that lake was to skim their beaks along the top of the water and paddle along. Man, there were some fat fowl in the area!
I lived on the other side of the lake, just across the street, but we had to access the lake from the complete opposite side - from the park. There were other houses on one side, big, sprawling homes with security features we didn't feel like testing. The house directly across from us was owned by the man who owned Canadian Tire. I babysat his two sons on occasion. It was my first encounter with a house full of leather furniture, and the first cigars I ever smoked! The father enjoyed talking to me after he and his wife got home, and we'd all sometimes sit out in the back garden talking, and he'd have a cigar. He gave me one to smoke once, and I felt like such a grown up! His wife asked me to paint a custom wall in her kitchen, and paid me very well. That was my first art contract.
Back to the lake....the other way in was fenced with that twelve foot high kind of fence, and after that conservation land for miles. Basically, the lake was really shaped like a heart. The top part, where the two curves were was the swimming area and boat access. Back behind the house where I babysat was a giant fountain. If you didn't know the lake was really vile, at night it looked so beautiful you'd have paid more than top dollar to live on it.
There are more than seven wonders of the world.

Heather 1-13-2002 15:57

Hi everyone!!

Viv - The dentist I work for is really nice and says I've been doing a good job, so I'm happy about that. :) And she's so really nice that she's let me take time off to go to Disneyland in May!! :D I'm really excited about the trip (not so much about flying there, but the trip itself yeah). Don't rush yourself on the editing, take all the time you need. :D

I've heard of the "Coming of Age" ceremony. Sounds really cool - actually, I'll be 20 in less than two months. :) Sake is nasty. Most anything with alcohol in it is nasty.

Saw Harry Potter yesterday - good movie for those who haven't seen it.

That's all for now. :)
Bye bye!

Allein Peachick's Gallery 1-13-2002 14:49

Well, now that the computer's up and running--not that it wasn't running before--this is the first chance I've had to get on it for more than five minutes.

I got four hours sleep between Friday's afternoon shift and Saturday's day shift, and the minute I walked in the door, my daughter starts harping on me that the printer wasn't working. I was cranky, tired and miserable, and my son knew it. I get that way when I don't get enough sleep. (I think I need at least six hours.) He says, Let me get you a cup of coffee dad, you look like you could use a sugar rush. Funny kid. Just turned sixteen last week. He wants to have a party here, wanted it this weekend, but we had to go to a friend's 40th, and there was no way I was gonna let him have a party with us not being there. They want to drink.

Now I don't have a problem with that, and niether does the wife. I guess we remember being young and knowing the only way to get anything booze was through a bootlegger, or else stealing it from some parent's liquor cabinet. So if they want to drink, I'd rather I was able to see them, monitor it, and regulate what happens. I've told him if he wants to have friends over here drinking, he has to be responsible. If anyone gets sick, he's cleaning it up. He agrees. I may rue the day I said okay to this, but if I don't give them a safe place to drink, they'll be sitting in a park somewhere, or worse, driving in someone's car. If he's going to drink, I'm gonna teach him to drink sensibly--if there is such a thing...because one wouldn't think that after last night's drinking binge for daddy. And for once having the designated driver plan actually worked out the way it's supposed to, as opposed to the most sober person drives home...and now I gotta run. Have to drive the wife to work and start on the chores...back on your heads!

ben 1-13-2002 13:37

Hi all!

Allein, congrats!!!!!!! I'm so happy for you. It's a great feeling when things swing your way.

Randall... BUSTED by a dog. I love it! hehehe

I'm desperately seeking HTML help... anyone here able to lend me a tag? I'm trying to improve my webpage, but one thing continues to elude me and I'm getting very frustrated. If you have the know, let me know, so I can get in the know... ya know? Heeeellllp!

Viv, so THAT's what it means. What is the traditional ceremony?
And hang tough, February is coming.

We now return you to our normally scheduled programming....

Tina 1-13-2002 12:34


Hi! you know, when a person is drunk, all rules, usually, are out the window. No pun intended with the policeman thing. Thank the Lord my children do not drink, and, as one who started drinking when 18...putting it on the back burner when 32...I would know. It's hard to fool a person who weaved through the wild side of life viewing the world through the bottom of a beer bottle.

I stopped drinking when Sara, now 19, was born. Our income was limited, as it always has been, and a six-pac and a gallon of milk were the same price. For me that was a no-brainer. Oh, I have had a beer every now and then, but haven't been drunk in 19 years.

Looking back on life when I was under the influence, all the dumb things, all the immoral acts, all the criminal undertakings, all the dangerous actions occurred when I was drunk. Alcohol, in moderation will relieve stress, and "lighten your load" but will make some folks crazy and personal responsibility goes, again, out the window...


Randall 1-13-2002 11:07

Allien - Welcome home, we've missed you.

Jerry Better ghost story page 1-13-2002 10:33

Need to recharge your batteries? How about a good true ghost story?

The link below will take you to a page where folks who have seen or been visited by ghosts can tell their stories. Lots of fun stuff to read and it may lead to a more fertile mind.

Jerry Ghost Stories 1-13-2002 10:11

HEEYYYYYY! Allein High Five Girl!
You did it. You are now doing what you studied to do. Wonderful! Tell us all about it. What's the dentist like? Is he scary? I'll try to get at my edits of your writing. I'm still in the swamped mode until January 25th.
I have finals to give on the 24th....uh could you make that on the 27th. I have finals to grade. Oh boy. I'm at the point where the end of the tunnel looks a long way away. It's only a couple more steps though and we'll get there.
See you on the 27th or 28th in your e-mailbox. After that I have a long month and a half to write and read.
(Unfortuantely, my favorite book went off the approved list so I have to find and write up a new class for speaking, and a new class in writing...the real grammar freshman gut "boring" stuff. Maybe we can find a way to make that fun together. Right now, I'm just thinking of how I can get through finals.

Viv again 1-13-2002 8:38

Well Happy Coming of Age Day to anyone young enough to be 20 out there.

Actually, I think the real age is 21. Since it's celebrated here at 20, but really the legal age is 21 for drinking and smoking. Still after coming of age day this means Japanese young people can drink and smoke. They are also legally past their nonage. They can be convicted of crimes as adults. I suppose that is why the crowd of 18 year olds rioted outside the ceremony in Tokyo today. They brought kegs of sake and had a wonderful drunken bash which turned into a near riot. An 18 year old drove into the crowd and grabbed a policeman and pulled him into the car.
I guess it waas a real mess. Now why did that kid pull the policeman into the car with him? Randall, answer that one for me. Sometimes the kids here do the dumbest things!
Then again, maybe it was kind of funny. Can you picture a very short policeman leaning into a car window and getting pulled in? I can see that kid driving around in circles with this policeman's legs waving around outside the window.

I shouldn't laugh! It's shocking really and a defiant act against the customary serious ritual. Still, after all Koizumi's raving about getting back to tradition, I see the rebels still having the creativity to turn custom into a free for all!

The privilages of drinking and smoking are over-rated anyway! I think the 18 year olds were really protesting the coming of age. It's better to stay a kid and they know it.

Heather: I'm so sorry about that happening to your daughters. It happened to my friend and I when we were pretending we were horses and galloping around in a park. When the police asked for a description, all I could remember was the offending member! They were nice about it and tried to find the man. They never did, and we never saw him again. We never went back to the park though. It was a coming of age of a different sort. Not fun or fair.
I hope they catch the cowardly bully.

Viv 1-13-2002 8:32

So far no news from the police. I'll call again tomorrow. I hope they don't think I'm disturbing the peace at the station, with all these superfluous calls.

I thought that was you, Ben! Welcome back.

Mary - That's a long time to wait for your tooth extractions. Try to stay away from your jewelery pliers in the meantime, and drink lots of chicken noodle soup through a straw; the red and white stripey kind. :)
I'll make this short, so you don't have to sit still any longer than necessary. (((((((HUGS)))))) and no mallots...
You'll be so glad you got the anaesthesia!

I'm really tired at the moment, so have forgotten much of what I wanted to say.

Night, all

Heather 1-13-2002 3:10

Hi Everyone!!
Sorry I haven't been around! I should really make these visits more fequent.
Lots has happened - namely, I got a job, I work for a dentist. So at least I'm doing what I want to do (aside from writing).
Hope everyone here had a merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
What's Thursday's shortie theme? Um...guess I'll find out Monday like everyone else. I'll try to write something. :D
I have actually been doing quite a bit of writing.
I'll be popping in more frequently from now on!
WELCOME to all the newcomers!

Allein Peachick's Gallery 1-13-2002 2:00



TGIF, at last!

Say what?



Coasting was big in 1965. Cruising the streets was big as well, (ask Steven Spielberg) but car coasting was big in our clique. It was a little bit of life, establish a goal, define a game plan, prepare properly, and follow through.

It was the ‘follow through' that got my brother Darrel, our German Shepard ‘Butch' and your author in hot water one night. Well, perhaps not Butch, the informant! Events in a town of 10,000 in 1965 were few and far between. The circus came to town once a year, stock shows, ditto. Both about as much entertainment to a teenage boy as a sock inna jaw, so we created our own life threating adventure.

Just west of town was a small hill with a terrific drop in elevation. Down this hill, a four lane, major highway funneled traffic directly into downtown. The road dropped several hundred feet or so in a quarter mile, leveled out to a small rise a half-mile ahead, then dropped again till it came to an overpass.

The object of the game/contest was to coast down the hill in whatever vehicle you had and attempt to set a distance record for gearless...coasting. Truckers call this ‘Georgia overdrive.' Downhill momentum counted and most 'coasters' enhanced momentum by trying to insert their right foot right through the cooling fan and in the radiator. In other words, floor the gas pedal just before moving the transmission into neutral. Speeds attained as the car launched down the hill were legendary. A speed of 65 mph was considered...well, effete. 75 mph, not bad... Most contestants strived for the big 80. Variables were little traffic, no police, good tail wind, and a lot of guts.

Achieving the correct velocity for a downhill launch guaranteed a super velocity when the hill bottomed out. Speed counted, for objects that are in motion tend to remain in motion. Say, that might be a profound, natural law!

One night about 10PM, Darrel reved up his Plymouth, dumped the clutch and away we went. He shifted through four forward gears and achieved a terrific down slope launch. When he shifted the transmission into neutral we were blasting downhill right at 90MPH.

"Oh crap!" I shouted.

He looked over at me and whooped in glee. "We gotta good one a'going!"

Butch, our German Shepard was along for the ride. Normally in the backseat with his head out the window, for some reason he moved to sit on the console, between the front bucket seats. Butch was a great canine pal and a terrific open door to meet girls. His eyes, bright with intelligence in the night, were glued to the onrushing road. Center stripes looked like a solid line, guardrail nothing but a blur in the headlights.

At the foot of the hill the speedometer was buried, beyond 120. Wind roaring through the open windows swirled discarded paper cups and empty hamburger bags through the car and into the warm night. We flew by the city limit sign like a bat out of fast paint blistered and curled.

"Way ahead of anyone else so far!" Darrel yelled at me.

By now the speed was slowing, we were down to 90, then 85. Still 60 miles over the posted limit we had leveled out and approached a low rise in the highway. At the highpoint we were down to 65, then a gentle down slope. Ahead several small businesses came into view. A half-mile down the road a popular Mexican restaurant was visible. We sped on, speed slowly climbing on the down slope...67...69...

"We're going over the overpass!" I shouted. "A new record, no one's gone over it, ever!"

A quarter-mile ahead the overpass was visible. Now the road began a gentle rise, down to 65...then 60, we were shedding forward momentum like the space shuttle coming in. Several cars were ahead, Darrel whipped by them. Startled occupants gaped at two guys and a big dog sitting between them. One car to go, the overpass was ours!

"Nothing now, but get by old pokey driving that white Mercury." I shouted.

Ahead a 1961 Mercury was plodding along. Inside a man and a woman sat, sight seekers out to sample the sights of late night action. What kind of old fogey would be out this time of night?


Darrel, slouched in the seat gasped and sat quickly upright, "Mom and Dad!"

We flew by them, 30 MPH over the speed limit. The overpass only a hundred yards ahead. We had enough speed to make it over. We should have made it. We could have made it. It might have worked. Our folks might not have recognized us. There might have been many two-door, red and white Plymouths in town. Surely several had a big dog sitting on the center console, between two teenage boys. But Butch recognized Dad. He leaped into the back seat, stuck his big furry head, canine mouth out the window and barked loudly. Not once, you understand, but several times.

Darrel groaned, engaged the clutch and shifted into 4th gear. A record breaker was aborted. Actually, Mom and Dad were rather nice about the incident. We only lost our internal combusted motorized transport for a week. Kinda like a home incarnation where food was prepared and cooked by one heck of a cook. I caught Dad patting Butch on the head the day after as he fed him a whole package of wieners. Done in by a dog!?

For some reason lost to memory we never attempted another coast. This might be attributed to common sense and maturity....but I doubt it.



Randall 1-12-2002 21:55

Teekay - Now there's a plan, removing that part of the brain. I have an old .45 ACP Pistol that would do that job nicely.

Howard - Can't imagine what would happen if the poor fellow had a cold, sure wouldn't want to be in range when he sneezed.

Ben - Welcome home, sure glad you could make it. Computer ills are a horrible thing to put up with.

Litter - what I said ^ . Just did a MB transplant on a couple of old 486's that this friend of the wife's dropped off. Made a Cyrix M2 300 out of one, and a Pentium 133 out of the other. Did another last week, took out the old 486 SX 20 and replaced it with a pentium 200MMX. Been finding the old Motherboards on EBAY for around 20 bucks each. They usually come with some memory and a processor already installed, so all I have to do is take out a couple of screws, pull all the ISA and PCI cards pull the old MB put in the new, then hook up the power supply, replace the cards and hit the switch. I have it down to a fine art, the last one took me seventeen minutes. (Funny how you start timing stupid things when you're bored.) Enjoy the new lightning fast power of the new machine.

Jerry 1-12-2002 21:31


HOWARD: Puts a whole new light on the term 'nosejob'.

Teekay 1-12-2002 20:03


Finished! And now I can spend the rest of the day basking in the comforting glow of accomplishment.


I just love that feeling.

Teekay 1-12-2002 19:59

You said > They should also have offending organs surgically altered.

One way might be to have the offending organ interchanged with their nose, so that when it becomes excited everyone will see it and throw things at them...

howard 1-12-2002 19:55


HOWARD: HYUK, didn't see that end coming :-D

Teekay 1-12-2002 18:58


BEN: YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY it's BEN. Funny, didn't sound a bit like you.
I was the same way when I received my writer's digest - it was like this whole universe that I didn't even know existed opened up.

ALL:This is my most treasured book, and strangely enough this is the one I've written in with led pencil - to keep track of what I've sent where, and when.
And I said I would never, ever write in a book.
What a liar I am.
But I guess you guys already know that :-D

OYSTER: Thanks :-D. And the beauty of it is, they're all virtual awards - NO DUSTING!!!!!!!

LITTER: I believe I've already claimed the award for most 'humble.' But thanks :-)

MEL: (((((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))))))))))) you sound so glum. I think I saw your muse at the spiky dog, she was deep in conversation with a rather seedy looking fellow and didn't see me. He handed over a few bills before he left.
I do hope she's not selling off her inspiration to that fellow.

HEATHER & JERRY: My opinion on paedophiles is to remove that part of the brain concerned with sex (as this is a delicate matter and there are some sensitive men aboard, I won't be crass enough to joke around with that being about 95% of their brain - I have more class than that- somewhere around here.)
They should also have offending organs surgically altered.

MARY: (((((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))))))))) and panadeine. Don't worry the 25th isn't all that far away.

My shorties almost finished, just have to make sure it's around 900 words and then polish it up. Wanted to send it out Monday, but it's probably best and wait to look it over with a distant eye jsut to make sure it's the best I can get it to be.

Have a great day here.

Sunday, so it's lunch at MIL's.

Teekay 1-12-2002 18:56

To me, writersblock is a story coming that you don't want to do right now. You might have had your heart set on doing a different one. So as long as the struggle continues nothing comes.

Debra 1-12-2002 13:28

\ /
===============life happens----------------------
===============creativity running dry------------
/ \

Feeling kinda TIRED an' RUN DOWN,if you know what I mean...


Welcome back, BEN. You WERE missed!

Hi to everybodeez!

Hi to SUZ and anyone else new or still in lurk-mode...

Um, anyone seen my muse? I'm at the mercy of Suzy HM today who, as we all know, has no mercy...


Mel 1-12-2002 11:25

Hello Everyone!

My shortie is still coming, I promise...but I am in too much of a mess to write it right yet. I haven't read anyone else's yet either. Mine is going to be from my son's perspective.

Went to the dentist yesterday for a consult on my teeth. They are taking them both out on Jan. 25th. I opted for the total knock-out this time. That drilling, cracking, snapping, popping is not something I am interested in hearing. I only wish the day would come faster.

Taking the kids to see Toy Story on Ice this afternoon. They are so excited they are having fits. They have never been to anything like this before. Then on Feb. 14th, we are taking them to see Beauty and the Beast. That ought to be interesting.

HEATHER: I am still with ya girlie, I just can't concentrate to write anything because as soon as I sit still for more than a minute, my tooth starts yelling at me. Sorry that incident happened with your daughter and her friend. Glad she is strong and the policeman was kind. Toe any better?

LITTER: It is good to know that you would like to hear from me. I will send you out a humdinger shortly. Probably tomorrow. Sorry to hear that nothing is going right for you. Did you try that Kava Kava yet? Big hugs!

Welcome home Ben!

Mary 1-12-2002 10:57

Hi all!

Just when you think it is safe to go back into the water another shit-storm hits. I started writing this on Thursday evening but my PC died. It wasn’t a glorious death but a pointless waste. My motherboard just curled up it toes and fell of its perch. It was pointless, it was needless – I suppose it gave up the struggle to keep up with me and just threw in the towel…

Such a short life but full of energy, hope, and promise. Now it lies lifeless, another casualty of civilised living. It was one of a kind. (almost literally it seems…) I’m sure I will never see its like again. But it is gone and I have to live with the consequences – which means doubling the RAM and tripling the processor speed – YEE HA! It’s going to be bigger and badder than ever!!!

Dearest motherboard, I hope you are now at peace in Silicon Heaven.

For those who care, the funeral is on Monday. No flowers please, but gifts of money are welcomed. The money will be used to ease the pain, suffering, and wallet of the family left behind – ME!

(This is being written on my laptop.)

JON – I thank you for the almost accolade.

HOWARD – I thank you for your kind words. BTW does your friend write the rites he writes, right? If not I sure he could find a word-wright to write his rites right. Only a suggestion.

MARY – Ta for your kind comments also. I appreciate e-mail even when I am down and worried and I need some love and care, and nothing, nothing is going right. I keep my head together, and call your name out loud, soon you’ll be knocking upon my door. (email box at any rate) With profound apologies to Carole King.

TEEKAY – Yes, you are all those things but I also commend your reserve and humility. :o)

OYSTER – Novel wise, I have one in the slush-piles of a couple of publishers and I’m still waiting to hear back from them. Also, I am currently writing four: one murder mystery, one satire, and two sci-fi, relating to prophecy and ‘end-days’ scenarios. I cannot seem to make up my mind what one to focus on as I like all four of them. Sooner or later I’ll have to decide…

Everyone else – Howdy. Apologies if I’ve missed a question or comment – time is short and the demise of my motherboard has been somewhat of a distraction.

Welcome back Ben.

All good things,

Litter 1-12-2002 8:46

Heather, Tina, you win.

It's great to be back. I'm not gonna be reading the archives for a while. Just got this thing back today after taking it in yesterday. I thought it wasn't a bad thing it crappin out just before the summer holidays. Everything else on it worked; there was just no internet access.

I'd love to stay and chat for a while, but I just got home from the afternoon shift (it's 1:15 am here), and I stupidly said yes to O.T. tomorrow on the day shift, so that means up at 6:00. After a week on afternoons, getting to sleep before two will be hard.

I've been writing a lot of short stories. They're still too long, novella length for the most part, and I'm still sending them out. But I went out and bought the "Novel and Short Story Writer's Market" for 2002, and the markets have opened up like might flood waters. I've got all the pages marked where they accept stories of ten thousand words and more. I'll bet there are more than two dozen sights, closer to thirty. I'm gonna go through tham all once more, one at a time, and then start making my selections. I'm looking for publishers that accept short story collections as well.

The one thing I've learned, the one thing people stress, is to know your market, and then start bombing them with manuscripts. Instead of carpet bombing an industry I don't know anything about, now I can pick them off one at a time.

If anybody needs an address, feel free to drop me a line.

Ben 1-12-2002 4:23

Methinks it's Ben.

Just saw 'Kate and Leopold'. Great chick flick, and Hugh Jackman is a HOTTIE. Teekay, you Aussies sure know how to export 'em! First Mel, then Russell, now Hugh. Keep 'em coming! :oD

Tina 1-12-2002 2:16

Damn right, Jerry. Perverts start out doing stuff like the guy today did. The girls said they thought he looked about 18 years old. I pray that the cops find him. He'd better pray that I don't.

Heather 1-12-2002 2:11

Heather - Nothing worse then a pervert. I recall a time many years ago when I was working in a nearby town. We got a call from a lady who had her daughter at the hospital, along with her daughter's playmate. Both girls were eight years old. When we got there, the lady told us that her boyfriend caught their neighbor molesting the girls. The boyfriend started after the neighbor, who jumped out a window in his trailer house got in his car and ran for Montana. The boyfriend in hot pursuit.

We called the Sheriff of that county, as we had no jurisdiction there, he asked us to meet him there, then he called the State Crime Bureau.

We all met at the guy's trailer house, and conducted a search, based on the warrant that the Sheriff had obtained en route. (He called us as he was the lone peace officer in his county)

It was a sort of strange search, as we began like a normal search, being relatively careful so as not to harm the trailer house, or his property. As we began finding evidence in the form of hundreds of Polaroid photo's of the local young girls in various poses nude, and engaged in sex acts, the search became sort of violent. Things seemed to get knocked over, when we were carrying a foot locker filled with porn out of the place, we slipped and knocked a hole in his wall, things like that.

The whole thing took a toll on all of us, just seeing the horror he put these little girls through made us all mad as hell. While we were in the midst of the search, the Sheriff got a call from his wife, who manned the emergency phone for their county. Seems the boyfriend caught the perp in a neighboring state, and beat him nearly to death. The local police there arrested both of them and was holding the pervert for the Sheriff.

The Sheriff left to pick up his prisoner, while we cleaned out the fellows trailer house. We took his camera, his photo's his books on pedophilia, even his clock, as one of the girls told us that she watched the clock, as he molested her so she knew exactly what time everything took place.

When we got back to town, the Sheriff called us on the radio, and we met him at our local Sheriff's office. He had the perp, and the fellow looked like he had been run over by a Mac truck.

The States Attorney called the Judge, and a hearing was held then and there. The perp plead guilty (After a chance to talk to a local lawyer) and was sentenced to twenty five years in the State Pen.

Fastest trial I have ever seen in my life, within ten hours of the act, the fellow was behind bars.

I always wonder what effect the whole thing had on the girls in that little town, in addition to the two who were hospitalized, there was evidence that he had molested at least seven other little ones over the five years he lived there.

Jerry 1-12-2002 0:34

Did I mention my guess is Ben?

Sorry sorry 'bout 'bout the the double double post post,, friends,, friends..

Heather 1-11-2002 22:50

My guess is Ben.

Well, shitty things do come in threes.
My daughter and her friend were walking home from school when they noticed a car idling nearby. They were waiting at the corner to be able to cross the street. They suddenly realized that the man in the idling car had his penis in hand, masturbating. These are nine year old girls!
How horrifying!
THey rushed to our house, and I called the police immediately. They remembered the make and colour of the car, and what the perp looked like - even hair colour. Thank God. To the police's credit, they had 6 patrol cars out looking for the creep within 3 or 4 minutes, and a seventh car pulled up to our house within 5 minutes.
The cop who took the girls' statements and descriptions was very genteel. He made a point of telling them that this incident wasn't their fault at least twice, which is important. My saying it might not be memorable, but a cop saying it - definitely.
I don't know if they'll call us if/when they find this guy. I suppose I will have to call the station tomorrow morning and see what news there is. The car was an unusual turquoise-green colour, and a hatchback. I asked the cop if it was an unusual enough car to help in the search, and he said it was.
I'm going to be waiting for the girls every day at school and walking home with them, like I did last year. I had hoped that they'd be okay this year, walking together.
So much for a safe neighbourhood. It has always been touted as one of the safest. Great.

At the very least, this makes my toe injury damned insignificant.

My daughter's friend is sleeping over tonight, so that they can keep each other company, and I just thought it would be nice, since they asked. Usually I ask for twenty-four hours notice before agreeing to a sleepover. Need time to prep for the party, after all!

Guess I'm a little blown away by all the events of today.
My husband wasn't home when the girls arrived (he's usually home before they are, on weeks when he works day shifts). He was out at the wreckers, picking up two used rims for the Taurus, and then to the auto shop, to have them installed and new tires as well. Turned out all the damage I did in that little slide event last Sunday was a bent rim and a bulging tire. Whew.
I thought it would cost us a mint if I'd damaged the universal, or worse. Not that I know much about cars, but as this one falls apart by the by, I'm learning. :o/

Take care, everyone.
My husband said I'll be walking my kids to University by the looks of things. Leave it to him to add that dash of needed humour.
Gotta love him.

Heather 1-11-2002 22:49

My guess is Ben.

Well, shitty things do come in threes.
My daughter and her friend were walking home from school when they noticed a car idling nearby. They were waiting at the corner to be able to cross the street. They suddenly realized that the man in the idling car had his penis in hand, masturbating. These are nine year old girls!
How horrifying!
THey rushed to our house, and I called the police immediately. They remembered the make and colour of the car, and what the perp looked like - even hair colour. Thank God. To the police's credit, they had 6 patrol cars out looking for the creep within 3 or 4 minutes, and a seventh car pulled up to our house within 5 minutes.
The cop who took the girls' statements and descriptions was very genteel. He made a point of telling them that this incident wasn't their fault at least twice, which is important. My saying it might not be memorable, but a cop saying it - definitely.
I don't know if they'll call us if/when they find this guy. I suppose I will have to call the station tomorrow morning and see what news there is. The car was an unusual turquoise-green colour, and a hatchback. I asked the cop if it was an unusual enough car to help in the search, and he said it was.
I'm going to be waiting for the girls every day at school and walking home with them, like I did last year. I had hoped that they'd be okay this year, walking together.
So much for a safe neighbourhood. It has always been touted as one of the safest. Great.

At the very least, this makes my toe injury damned insignificant.

My daughter's friend is sleeping over tonight, so that they can keep each other company, and I just thought it would be nice, since they asked. Usually I ask for twenty-four hours notice before agreeing to a sleepover. Need time to prep for the party, after all!

Guess I'm a little blown away by all the events of today.
My husband wasn't home when the girls arrived (he's usually home before they are, on weeks when he works day shifts). He was out at the wreckers, picking up two used rims for the Taurus, and then to the auto shop, to have them installed and new tires as well. Turned out all the damage I did in that little slide event last Sunday was a bent rim and a bulging tire. Whew.
I thought it would cost us a mint if I'd damaged the universal, or worse. Not that I know much about cars, but as this one falls apart by the by, I'm learning. :o/

Take care, everyone.
My husband said I'll be walking my kids to University by the looks of things. Leave it to him to add that dash of needed humour.
Gotta love him.

Heather 1-11-2002 22:48

TEEKAY and Jerry - Re Nursing Homes:
We took an old guy for a visit to a nursing home to see if he's like staying there. The nurses all introduced themselves, made coffee, etc, and made him comfy on one of the couches in the common room. He was having a good time, looking around at all the activity, when he started sagging sideways -- a sort of slow motion list to the left. One of the nurses spotted him, and immediately straightened him up, and propped a pillow under that side so he wouldn't fall over. A few minutes later he started the same thing, only this time to the right. Another nurse noticed him, and quickly arranged pillows on that side too. After a few more minutes went by, he started tipping forward, and the first nurse ran over and straightened him up again. Someone then asked him what he thought of the place, and all the personal attention. He looked around and said "I guess it's nice, but they won't let a body fart..."

JERRY - The only relief for a blood blister under a toe or finger nail is to heat a needle red hot, then touch the nail right over the blister until it burns a small hole. The blood spurts out, and brings instant relief, and there's no pain with the treatment! It really works -- I've used it several times on myself, my wife, and daughters.

howard 1-11-2002 21:31

Could it be, my old nemises who post under the A name?

Gariessss is that you?

Jerry 1-11-2002 20:47

Could the poor annony. poster be Eddie or Mark? Mark is the only one I remember mentioning a multilevel house. Of course Mel has been missing lately, but I think she's just very busy. >>>????>>>

Rosemary 1-11-2002 19:50


HOWARD: Heeeeeee, saw the casket ending coming. Good one.
BTW: I wouldn't recommend poetry competitions, for a start look at the competition (number of, not quality of), then you usually have to pay an entry fee, then you get people who are so sick and tired of reading this stuff that if the first line or two doesn't grab them by the neck it's bye bye birdie.
When you get your digest I suggest you check out the poetry magazines, and the ones publishing both stories and poetry and send them there.

JERRY: Happy Valley rest Home. I really like it :-D Conjures imagies of plump cushioned sofas, multi coloured crochet rugs and honeysuckle.

HEATHER: I particularly liked your shorty.

TAYLOR: :-D, that's okay. I was getting a bit paranoid.

ANONYMOUS: My guesses are as follows: JAI, in which case it was a HUGE computer stuff up.
I was going to guss RICHARD as well, but I don't think he would say hell in common speech.

Thought of an idea for a short story last night, so that's what I'm doing today.

Teekay 1-11-2002 18:37


I'd be happy to send it to her. In fact, you were the one who mentioned how it made you feel. I think I remember you worrying about all animals everywhere. I know the feeling well.


If you put up your address, I'll send it to you.

Debra 1-11-2002 15:32

I just got back. I need time to figure what the hell is going on and who's still here...not that it matters. No one even noticed I was gone. The computer was screwed up by a nephew who did something he shouldn't have--he wasn't even supposed to be on it at the time, but we were upstairs having breakfast and he sneaked off when we weren't looking.
Anybody figure out who I am yet?

anonymous 1-11-2002 15:25

Just a nip in and out.

Jon, re: reading; I'm on my way to the Library to exchange some books. All the librarians know my face. I read voraciously, but there was a time when I didn't read books at all, but wrote for corporate publication.

One of the great things about reading other authors' work is twofold:

1. It proves there is no style, genre or character that cannot be learned from, especially if you try your hand at something you've never done that's given success to another author.

2. It provides and escape from the every-busy world of visual, auditory and kinesthetic stimulation and over stimulation. And you don't even have to write it yourself to feel a sense of 'good job'! Vicarious pride is a good thing when reading, I find.

Teekay: LOL, love your self-awards. Way to go, Girl! Hehehehe, I toyed with the same idea me-self, then remembered when I did a 'Christmas Gift' list for my co-workers, filled with imaginary gifts that suited their personalities. I may still do one for The Notebook, but first I have to remember who said what, when and get as familiar with everyone as Jon is.

I'm still sloggin' through Bwitch's story, but at least it looks like she's getting out of Salmon Arm! Going to Vancouver for the summer with Gran. And hah, a bit of a mystery surfaced too! One I never realized I was writing.

Mary: I missed Shortie Night, but can I still quickly do one? Warning, this is a Lord of the Flies type description. Carol, whatever you said before applies to this. The Oyster has dark pearls too. (ps. Mary, what makes a black pearl?)

Real Life Survivor.

Panting he ran through the trees, dodging and weaving, his already aching flat feet throbbing. Must hide. Where?

His feverish eyes, pumped with blood but feverishly dry with terror spotted a tree up ahead. He stopped for second and listened. No running footsteps behind him. With all his might, he lept upward and grabbed at the lower branch. He was not a small person, the branch creaked under his weight but held to the trunk.

He hauled himself up clumsily, and with an energy fueled by mortal fear climbed as high as he dared.

The voices rose as the others entered the clearing.

His glasses fogged up as the condensation from his sweat and tears of pure fear and the agony of exclusion filled his eyes.

"We can't vote him off if we can't find him." a young male voice exhorted, a bit of a whine to the tone.

"He's a fat, know-it-all creep. He talks like he knows it all, but does nothing. Nothing. We don't need him and it's time." another voice spat vehemently, coloured with bitter jealousy and a tinge of superiority.

"What will they do to him after?" a lighter voice asked nervously.

"Who knows. I don't particularly care. But if we don't vote someone off, one of us will starve. They'll decrease our rations anyway. We all knew that right at the beginning. This is not a test, it's life or death." it was the first voice again, practical, strong and confident. Truly a leader, that one.

He sat as still as possible, hoping that they would not look up. A curious blue jay betrayed him. It flapped around his perch as though challenging his right to be in the tree. He didn't dare move to shoo it away. Despite the swoops and dives of the bird, he held fast, every muscle taut with dread.

In the agonizing seconds that followed, with three faces upturned, tracking the screeching jay, he sat frozen, legs and arms wrapped around the trunk of the tree, back to the searchers. Hugging hard to the tree, his face pressed tight against the rough bark, and eyes squinched shut, he permitted himself one small thought.

We started off as friends. I never thought they'd vote me off.

"Let's go, he's too fat to climb a tree anyway. Probably give him a heart attack."

He waited until they had left the clearing. The Jay still tormented him, swooping in and out of the branches, closer now. At one point the Jay's wing brushed the back of his head. He slowly let go of the trunk of the tree and let his legs dangle as he looked around. He didn't dare look down, he was terrified of falling.

In a swift movement, fueled by a primal instinct he didn't understand, his hand reached out and caught the Jay mid-swoop ... in one swift movement he closed both hands around the bird's neck and twisted. Later, if he dared, he'd build a fire and roast it. There would be no food for him unless he found it himself. He was voted off.

Laying the Jay in his lap, he stroked it's soft blue feathers, caressed the stiff crest on the head, lovingly, saying a silent prayer to it and apologizing. His tears plopped on it's chest, darkening the blue breast. Now a thing of beauty had become his sustenance.

From then on, he was a survivor.


I'm not a big survivor fan, I only ever watched the three first episodes.

Someone was discussing the last episode being ruined by a news report last night. I wondered about the theme. What books could one read of a similar theme, thought my Jon-inspired mind. "Lord of the Flies" comes to mind, "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson. Both have themes of the group 'voting out' a member to 'survive'.

And then I wrote.

Must go get food to feed the masses, must see what the library has to read!

Bye all!

Oyster 1-11-2002 14:23

Hi All :)

Howard -- Trim some more huh? Well, let's see ... I do love a challenge. You "could" leave out "again" in the 2nd to last sentence. Between Earl and Decisions, you seem to have funerals on the mind. Nice work on both of them!

Teekay - ok, sniff, I'll dry them for now. I've got enough wrinkles without adding more. Your shortie -- hehehe -- does indeed speak volumes.

Viv - with all you've got going on right now, you did a great job with your shortie! What I really like is the humor you put into the situation. It makes a nice contrast to the frustration of job interviews.

Christine -- Welcome!

I called a shopping radio station this morning. One of my doggies has to find a more suitable home. She's so lovable and pretty, but she gets sooo jealous of the attention given to the other dogs and cats. It won't be easy finding a home for her since she is a year old and 90#, but I'll keep trying. She deserves to be happy. I'd like to find her a single home where her owner likes to jog. B.J. loves her exercise. This is one of the reasons I quit breeding dogs. I'm picky about the homes they go to live in.

I had one guy come out to look that tempted me beyond belief to kick him in the butt. He was an older man who wanted to best and brought his daughter with him since she had experience with German Shepherds and he didn't. Well, that's a good sign. He stood in the driveway, watching my Momma and Papa dogs bark from their playpen. We talked with me explaining that they were in their "territory" which is why they were barking so badly but if he came in the house and I let them in, he'd see how friendly they actually were.

He then told me his dog history. He recently lost his dog. Someone shot him. (Ohh, my smypathy level raises) Yep, he counted on that dog to chase the deer away from his garden and somebody shot him for it. What?! You want one of my $400 dogs to chase deer and get shot by one of the thousands of deer hunters in the area? I don't think so. Did you know you could buy fencing for under $200??

I left him in the driveway listening to the dogs bark.

Carol 1-11-2002 12:35

Me again,
I absolutely love British Mysteries and was really disappointed when your URL didn't work. Please type the web page address in the message area so I can try again.

Thanks everybody for the good wishes for Chickie. I was really worried at first.

There are some reallly, reallly good shorties this week.

you should send (new) Christy your story about the dog in the front yard. That was a memorable piece and excellent writing.

It doesn't sound like anyone else watches (or admits it) the Survivor series. Anyway, last night was the last episode and the person I wanted to win did!!! I really never thought he would. He was too nice. No one in their right mind should have kept him in the game.

Okay, I've embarrassed myself enough and taken up too much space.
Bye for ssure. (I've developed a sstutter.)

Rosemary 1-11-2002 12:30

Sorry in advance---I still have to type my stories in to the box and I forgot to go back and check for typos.
I think my allergies are causing a lack of oxygen to the brain. Might explain the story too......

Rosemary 1-11-2002 12:09


---------------Rosemary----From her Truck's point of view

"That lousy cat has muddy feet again." Rodger, a white Dodge Dakota, shuddered as a large white tom cat with the offending paws jumped nimbly from the ground to the truck's hood. From there, he scrambled up the windshield to the roof. It was Whitie's favorite place to keep watch over his territory.

Fwap. The house's screen door closed and 'Rodger's Human' came carefully down the stairs. She no longer comes with long bounds, always in a rush, he thought. She used to zoom up, climb in and slam the truck door. Now, every movement is studies, measured ahead of time. His door no longer ached for the first few miles. He had noticed that the slower approiach and entry had not affected the speed she insisted on when they hit the highways.

The Human called Rosemary stopped for a moment to talk to the cat before opening my door and climbing in. "Okay, Rodger Dodger, let's get this show on the road." She always said that at the beginning of a trip to town.

Maybe today would be when they went for a load of feed for all those silly animals that hung around, sponging off the tow humans that lived here. He hoped not, that thousand pounds of stuff in his cargo space was a real pain. After the last trip, he slid the truck manual out so she might read about how to arrange a heavy load. But, she just shoved it back under the seat.

She had been going to the big hospital a lot in the last year, and since September he had noticed the guards at the entrance sstared real hard at the sticker on his windshield. Sometimes they made her stop. It made him worry that she didn't wash it often enough. Maybe that's where they would go this time.

She started his engine and he perked up. Even with all his grumpyness, he still liked to go on the dily trips to town for errands. Rodger rolled out the driveway and off they went.

The main highway was not busy today and Rodger enjoyed cruising along. He didn't have to weave in and out, dodging other automobiles that were trying to get somewhere in a hurry. He could muse to himself about those giant SUVs. How in the world did they fit themselves into those little parking spots? Was it really good for them to be washed so often? Rodger was usually washed about three times a year. His person always said he was really getting cleaner. The dirt was falling off.

They turned off the freeway exit and joined the line of autos moving along the access road. This was an area he was very familiar with. Rosemary went to a lot of the stores along here.

Suddenly, he got a sinking feeling. She wasn't going to get feed or go to the gospital. She was taking him to the auto repair place. Rodger started dreading every turn of his wheels. He hadn't done anything wrong lately. His engine hadn't stopped, his battery hadn't refused to work, and all his tires had air in them. Then he realized it was January. All his stickers had to be renewed and she would probably get him fresh oil and fluids while they were there.

Rodger felt much better. Those things didn't hurt and maybe she would let him have new windshield wipers. Those old ones weren't really doing a good job any more. His person may not keep him shining and neat, but she wasn't all that bad after all.

Going to read posts now.
Chickie (poodle) seems to feel fine, but now he is under the impression that everything is about him. Right now he is sitting by my chair, staring indignantly at me.

Rosemary 1-11-2002 12:07

Hi all!

Great shorties! I couldn't get on the computer last night, as my sister-in-law was using it to computer date. Maybe today at work I'll concoct a shortie.

Carol and Heather, thanks for the pep talk! Yes I will get on with it; I think half my hesitancy is in wanting to make the ending awesome - I hate books with poor endings - and I'm feeling inadequate to the task. I know, I know, it will all come together in the edit :-)

Hi Suz, glad to see you're still popping in.

Hey Howard, I agree that it's a good excercise to really trim a passage, but there is a limit. Take out too many words, and suddenly it doesn't say enough.

Rosemary, glad your puppy is okay. I'm absolutely sure that he's worth that 125$ and ten times that. Give him a scratch behind the ears from me.

Uhm, Christi, I hope you had Heather wash that toe first.....

Hi Christine, and welcome! What do you like to write?

Oh woe to notebook toes and teeth! Here's to anitbiotics, painkillers, and the blessing of an ice pack...
Blue Skies!

Tina 1-11-2002 11:35


Teekay: Sorry... I must have overlooked it, I do read your posts

Taylor 1-11-2002 9:02

Yay! I loved your dog viewpoint. Now why didn't I think of that. Viewpoints are neat because they can be completely far from correct as well. I want to do both sides next.

Hope your foot is not throbbing as much tomorrow. I hope you had a good cuddle on the couch with your son. Let the housework pile. Suzy Homemaker is over here sitting behind my ear and nagging me about the lettuce that is going bad in my refrigerator. "You need to make Wilted lettuce soup!"

"Screw that. Tomorrow you should make that soup you know. You shouldn't waste f....oh!"

Good shot! Gee, Heather, don't worry about Suzy Homemaker, I just got a direct hit in with that head of lettuce. While she was out cold, I tossed her in the blender (my antique food processor). It seems to have done the trick.

viv 1-11-2002 7:38

All I said to her was, "You don't even know where you came from, your own background?"
Fifteen minutes later, tops, she passes by me and I can tell by the shine of her eyes she's been crying.
When I ask why, she looks up at me. "I got something in my eye, actually," she says, with very wide-open green eyes. They look a hell of a lot more green than usual.
I want to say, "Yeah, you've got tears in them," but I don't. Sometimes the jokes get obvious as a coverup. A coverup for pain. But I didn't do it on purpose - make her cry. How was I supposed to know it was a touchy subject?
I think about telling her that I know she's upset. I think about hugging her, but we're work friends. The other guys, if they saw, would never let up bugging about it. I wonder, too, what she might think of it if I did. She's not the clingy type.


Mary! I still haven't finished the scene from this morning! I ended up flopping out on the couch, elevating my toe and cuddling with Christian for a while. Then, the rest of the day happened. :oD I'll send it as soon as I've finished it up, tomorrow mornin'.

Rosemary - glad to hear the good news on Mr. Poodle.

Viv - good shortie! Go, girl!

Howard - nice shorties, both of 'em. Very vivid.

Christi - Heyyyy! Parallel between dogs and men, drooling over cars? I knew that - :oD Nice one. Had me going there for a while!

Christy with a 'y' - welcome!

Um, I was going to say something else, but can I complain now? There is a throb, somewhere in the vicinity of my middle toe. WHINGE! Okay, that's enough. :o}

Suz - don't worry. Sometimes the rest of us have no idea, either. *shrug!*

Tina - Glad to hear 'Dirk Gently' arrived!
You go, sweets. Get that ending over and done with. Then you can write another epic!

Hey, hey, hey, as Fat Albert might have said once,
I'm up to 47,000 words! How'd that happen?
Oh, yeah. I haven't moved my rear out of this chair in ages. Mouldy bread in the kitchen? Dishes in the sink? Bah, humbug! I'm writing! Maybe the dishes will rot at the same rate as the bread and I can just flush it all. ;o)

Heather 1-11-2002 3:26

Teekay my wife worked at nursing homes for nearly eighteen years, and so I am very familiar with the pains of aging. Now, it seems that has come home to roost, as they say. Both of us now make those very same moves, I with my cane, the wife using the arms of her chair. Guess it is sort of premature aging or something like that.

When you set up a computer, it always wants your business name, one day, just for a joke, I typed in "Happy Valley Rest Home." After all, this is my home, and I rest here, and we are sort of in a valley, well not really but there are hills all around us anyhow.

Now, it has become habit, all the computers in the house say they belong to the Happy Valley Rest home. Those that leave, leave with that business name somewhere on their hard drives.

I use this software called robo form, to fill in all those idiotic forms that sites require you to fill out should you wish to download, or get to the good parts of their site. In that program, I listed myself as the "chief resident" of the "Happy Valley Rest Home."

This has sort of taken on a life of it's own. Now I get junk mail addressed to "Jerry Ericsson, Chief Resident, Happy Valley Rest Home.

I have even received phone calls for the Happy Valley Rest Home, although I have no idea how the hell they got my phone number, as I never list that. Too many data bases I guess.

Heather - Sorry to hear of the detached digit nail. Had one of those myself once, I know how painful they can be.

It happened one day shortly after we moved to our first house in town, I was so thrilled, it had running water, and electricity and everything. One day, as I was leaving the bathroom following one of those hour long showers, I pulled the bathroom door open, and had my foot in the way. Crushed the hell out of my big toe, the nail never split like yours, but it formed a huge blood blister underneath, turned black and ugly.

Dad looked at it, then took out his pocket knife and drilled a hole near the back of the nail then took a sewing needle and punctured the blood blister to let the blood out, it relieved the pain somewhat. Several days later in sixth grade music, the teacher had us dance with the girls, well that gal that I was dancing with couldn't dance a lick, and about midway through our little dance, she stepped right on that big toe. What pain, thought I was going to faint, but I didn't. The teacher let me sit out the rest of class, and a few days latter, that toe nail came right off. It felt so much better without that nail there but it was very tender for a month or so until the new nail made it's way out.`

Jerry 1-11-2002 1:16


HOWARD: I used to work in a nursing home. Watching the older folk struggle to get out of their chairs, let alone into their beds put me in mind to take up yoga one of these days. Your story reminded me of it.

TAYLOR: Do you have to make it so dreadfully obvious that you skip at least half my posts :-D
The title I'm mourning is 'Portrait in Sepia.'
You are gonna love Ice Station!!!!
No you're not.
I don't want to over rate it.

ALL: Re: my short story, I have to tell you I write fiction, and as with all fiction the essence of my story is buried deeply in fact. If it were a true story it would actually be my husband saying; "She breaks my balls you know."

Teekay 1-11-2002 0:33

Hello (she peeks around the door jam into the room)
first time here.....fancy myself a writer, thought I'd better start hangin' out with writers.....I remember dear ol' mom telling me if you hang out with losers, you become a loser. Hoping it goes in other directions too! :0)

as one dog lover to anohter, glad to hear your poodle is better. We had a problem poodle for a few years, eventually he had to be rehomed (we adopted two boys, and it was too much for Monty to cope with) I have a 5 pound chinese crested dog.....little cutie follows me all over the house!

nice to meet you all!


Christine Murder Most British 1-11-2002 0:01

Hey, Rosemary, I'm so relieved to hear that your dog is doing well.

Taylor, Hey, that's not a stupid name, is it? I have a story titled, "Just a Breath of Air," and I rather like it.

Christi 1-10-2002 23:50


Teekay, I don't know what to say! I mean, it's such an honor just to be nominated ... I-I think I'm gonna cry. :D

Heather, Your poor toe! And you're not even complaining! Poor thing, I send a virtual bunch of kisses for you. XXXXXXXX (Very gentle, barely there kisses.)

Ah shortie night. I can't wait to catch up with the posts. Here's mine. It's not exactly Walden's Pond, not Dickenson. More like ... Pee Wee Herman?

Every Dude has his Day

Rocky didn't know if he could stand it anymore. Every car that passed by the front window knocked his drool factor up a notch. A red Pontiac went by. Sweet. Not your upper end car, but it was an okay ride.
Oh man, was that a Chevy Nova? It sure was, and the owner had souped that baby up, way up.
Why did they taunt him so? They had to know, somehow, that he'd never have them. They'd sashay on by, 'look at me, big boy,' they seemed to say. 'Bet you wish you could get your paws on my tailpipe.' Rocky groaned and rolled over on the sofa. It was better not to look.

Just then he heard the scrape of a key in the lock. Momma was home; how could he have missed her coming up the drive? He was getting lax, there was no other explanation. He went to the door and waited with impatience.

"Hi boy! Momma's home and she's got some yumcious biscuits for you!"

Biscuits. Fantastic. He sighed and gave her hand a perfunctory lick ... and then out of the corner of his vision he spotted a Red Camaro ... and it had a girl in it.

"No thanks, Momma, there's a hot Camaro out front, with a sweet lady in it!" Rocky shouted, although to the untrained ear it may have sounded more like, "woof!" He bounded in between Momma's nyloned legs and made for the disappearing car that harbored the stunning border collie. His tongue hung over his teeth, and he grinned wide and long as he ran. It was his lucky day after all.

:D Well it's kinda from the male perspective. No offense guys, I just couldn't get my mind off of dogs, what with all the talk in here lately. Viva la canine!

Christi 1-10-2002 23:47

Evening all,

Well, the Poodle is home. He is now worth $125 more than before. His experience must have worn him out because he has been napping off and on since I got him home. He keeps coming over to check that I am still there. He ate a little and had a drink of water and didn't throw any of it up. So far, no sign of the other problem either. I have to give him 1/2 a pill for the next seven days.

My main complaint is that they couldn't tell me how he got this bug or how to keep him from getting it again. I wonder if I had given him Imodium at the first signs of the problem-------? Have to look into that.

I wrote a shorty for tonight but it's too long and I need to work on it. Just to give a teaser, it's from my truck's point of view. Comming tomorrow.

Bye for now.

Rosemary 1-10-2002 23:42


Teekay: What was your title, It wasn't "Attack Of the Clones" was it?
If it was how about "Double Assault"?
Just a thought
And Teekay, I have "Ice Station" on order

Am thinking about the title, "A Breath of Fresh Air", but thats sounds silly

Taylor 1-10-2002 23:18

TEEKAY -- Yoga?

howard 1-10-2002 20:39

Okay, shortie. Mary's topic. Right:

Decisions, Decisions...

“Oh yes, I think he’d like this one. I know he’d like this one! It’s just the right shade of gray to match his eyes. Too dark? No, it’s not too dark, and it’ll look so good with the red carnation in the lapel. Except, do you have the same color in a single-breasted jacket? He won’t like the double. He never was comfortable in a double-breasted suit. The vest is nice, yes, we’ll take that, too. Yes, that’s very nice. Goes with his eyes…
and the casket lining…”

howard 1-10-2002 20:37

BTW - Correction to an earlier post -
It's not a reed that my cleric friend reads, it's a rede. There's a difference...

howard 1-10-2002 19:22

Jerry: I know how it is. Sneeze twice and everyone says,
"catching a cold? You ought to..."

Mary: Great theme! Thank you. You saved me today. I thought I couldn't write anything because I was completely blank all week. I thought about a possible theme. Juggling time for a family. Sounds like Jerry learned something about learning to sacrifice time for career to listening to family. I'm juggling with my love....writing. It's hard. Could we do one on juggling time to listen? It doesn't have to be just with family. Or just Juggling?

Carol: I'm racing to keep up with job/husband at home/daughter's home school. I'm posting this here but will get back to you when I get back.

Jack: Sorry this is long.
Everyone: Sorry to slow down the notebook upload.

The Interview
Jan 11, 2002

“EE- Say, No- Say”, the panel of English professors flipped their hands quickly in the traditional game of Rock, Scissors, Hammer. Dr. Kito groaned. He’d have to conduct the next job interview. Interviewing the foreign teachers was such a pain. He took a deep breath.

She looks the part, Dr. Kito thought as the woman came in the room. Business suit, chunkily built like all American women, but she looked fit and competent. They had interviewed six people already and there were eight more waiting. As she leaned forward and opened her briefcase her suit jacket opened a bit. He studied the curve of her breasts. That’s one of the nicer parts of these American women, he thought, surprising himself. big breasts.. The thought surprised him. He felt his face flush as she handed him her resume.

“Ahhhh,” for a terrifying second he couldn’t remember a word of English. He took a quick sip of water and wished desperately for a cigarette. “Let’s get started. I see you taught for Sony before, then Xerox.” He waited and watched her as she answered carefully. He didn’t want to get a whiner. He had enough of those already in the English department.

“I taught for Sony until my husband was transferred to Germany. After that I got a job at Xerox. They were both great jobs. I wanted to get back on with Sony but they don’t have their school set up for part-time work.”

“What did you teach?”

“I n Sony I had classes of ten to fifteen students. They were executives being sent to America. They had to be able to converse by the time they got there.” She looked cool and poised for such a hot day. Dr. Kito wondered briefly how she managed that. The last man they’d interviewed had been rumpled and smelled terrible. “We had everything from real beginners to quite competent speakers. At Xerox I worked with twenty repairmen who had to service the American companies. They were a little more difficult because they had less need to learn.

Hummm, she quit the job in January, and didn’t move until September. Our students aren’t easy. He checked her transcripts. Yes, there they were, just as he expected. He leaned forward. What do all these Withdraw Passing marks in the summer of your sophomore year mean?

She giggled nervously. “I met my husband.” He watched her as she flushed. Suddenly her posture gave way. He looked at her hunched shoulders. “I know that doesn’t sound liberated or correct for a college environment, there are things in college beyond learning and grades.”

Suddenly she frowned. No, I don’t have to defend quitting those classes. I did it before it cost me a penny. I knew what I wanted. It was the best investment in time and money I ever made. I’ve been married 25 years. I’m glad I married.”

Her chin rose defensively. Dr. Kito couldn’t hold it back. She sounded just like his wife giving him a scolding. He threw back his head with a laugh. “ Wouldn’t you know it, wives and mothers, they’re always right,” he said to the rest of the panel in Japanese. They all grinned.

“Wives and mothers continue learning beyond college,” she threw back at him and stood up. “It gives us the wisdom to make good decisions. Are we finished with this interview?” she asked standing up and reaching for her briefcase.

“No!” Dr. Kito laughed. “Sit down. Let’s talk salary.”

viv 1-10-2002 18:57

Heather - obviously you haven't lived in a real small town. Everything that happens in a town this size is known by everyone in the town about ten seconds after it happens. To try and keep something so juicy as what happened between that young gal and I quiet was totaly impossiable. I assure you the wife let me know how she felt about it. She did find out from me though, I just don't have the liers instenct I guess. I had to tell her why I lost my job and all.

Just glad the kids weren't old enough to remember it all.

Strange side note, my daughter works for that gal's older sister, has ever since we moved back.

Jerry 1-10-2002 18:04


HOWARD: Your story gave me a sudden hankerin' to take up yoga.

Teekay 1-10-2002 17:42


TAYLOR: I refuse, simply refuse to use a 'used' title! It's just not good enough.

CAROL: Bless you, only my woes are never 'little' woes, they are always huge, important woes.
Now do dry those tears for I believe I see your chin wrinkling up from spending to long in the water.

HOWARD: Yes, you are, very bloody trying.
Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, now you know I didn't mean that, it's only in keeping with my newly acquired state as super dooper award winning writer and most beautiful person with nice hair etc, etc.
From dags to bitches - if you will.
Will check those sites out.......NOW. Well, when I've finished this lot.

HEATHER: Bet you uttered a few choice purple and green pointy edged words.
Kisses to your toe. (Virtual ones , mind :-D)
TINA: Yes, Gilbert and Anne and Diana and Frank (I think) and Diana's mother and Josie Pye were all played by the original characters.
My daughter said that she thought it was an okay film and I said to her, through hitching breath, with tragic air; 'Yes, yes, you thought it was alright, you never read the book.' after which I ran sobbing into the bedoir to lock myself in with my misery.
BTW: I do hope there was a suitable look of humbility upon your brow as you deemed to ask me that question.

Shorty Story:

'She broke my heart you know.'

The End.

Speaks volumes -Dontcha think? :-D

Teekay 1-10-2002 17:31

CAROL - thanks! So few words? I practice that. Here's a vignette I wrote several years ago, and just tightened a bit. It's my father-in-law, the winter before he died. I just took it from 267 words down to 217. It's good exercise. Thoughts, anyone?

wc 217

He stands tall and straight. In place of bib overalls and flannel shirt a threadbare blue suit hangs on his gaunt frame. Gray-white hair hangs stubbornly down over one ear, matching the stubble covering his face. His gnarled and stained hands testify of years of manual labor.
Lifting each foot deliberately, stepping over wrinkles in the carpet of time, he walks with the motion common to those who have long sailed the ocean of years. After so long a time keeping balance his hips refuse to bend, and he rocks in an economical rhythm, using the inertia of his whole body to stay just one step ahead of the overwhelming tides of age.
He slows to let his eyes catch up with him, and stops to listen to some sound that younger ears would not hear.
This place is too familiar. He's come too often lately, bidding farewell to family and friends. Now it is Glover -- another old friend -- to whom he nods a quiet good-bye. "Glover looks kinda poorly -- but better now, than the last time I saw him."
He becomes quiet again, thoughtful, as if going over a list, adding a name. Telling the names of those waiting to receive him keeps them from fading. And to him it is a duty.

© 1/2002 howard tuckey

I could probably trim it a bit more.

howard 1-10-2002 16:57

Hi Carol: I can't believe it. After I wrote the e-mail I came into the site to check Mary's idea to get some ideas for writing. I'm completely brain dead right now and my hour is ticking away.

I think you do the male viewpoint extremely well. How often that's happened! Wonderful. Boy this is a hard one. I have no idea how to do this but maybe if I start extremely small. Ahhhhh! I have it.

Mary: Thank you! These shorties are a great help.

viv 1-10-2002 16:43

Hello All!

Teekay -- My heart is filled with your title woes. There is no room for any other feeling. Hubby and dogs are looking at me with big, sad eyes wondering why I'm walking with head down as drops of salt water fall from my chin. They know not the sorrow of the writer....

Howard -- Pretty Things -- how do you manage, in so few words, to create such a complete visual and emotional picture? Well done, Good Sir.

Rosemary -- My hugs to you and puppy. May you be cursing him soon as he once again irrates you in the fashion you have come to expect. hehehe Seriously -- I'm so glad it wasn't the Distemper and the doctor could make him all better again.

Tina -- I was trying to think of something to say to help you get through to the end of your novel. But -- I haven't gotten to that point with any of the "novels" I've started (and I use started loosely, I think my highest word count has been 13,000). I will say this though -- seeing "Freeborn" on a jacket would make me pick up the book and investigate further. Can't do that though till you finish it. :)

Chrisi -- Hi! I wore my blue pj's to the awards. The color is just too nice to my eyes.

Jerry -- I'm so glad your tooth problem was fixed so easily. Ain't ya glad you left those pliers in the tool box? Our weather has also been screwy, not that I'm complaining, but our businesses sure are. We're a tourist town. No snow means no snowmobilers which means empty hotels, restaurants, shops, and pockets. Even the ice fishermen daren't stray from the bays. And -- nice shortie. :)

Taylor -- go right ahead and welcome to it. :)

Heather -- Ouch! From one toe breaker to another, you have my sympathy. In fact, I got sympathy pains just reading about your "smash."

I've spent days trying to find the approach to this week's theme. I know the value of this type of exercise and don't do it often enough. But writing about myself??? I ended up going into my past as did Jerry.

Ralph entered the small supper club. The lights hadn’t been dimmed yet and it took a moment for his eyes to adjust to the sun shining through the west facing windows. It was too early yet for the usual crowd, but he was hungry as hell and couldn’t wait for the next town to get something in his stomach. One of the prices he had to pay in his line of work.

When his eyes adjusted, he located the bar separated from the dining room with a louvered partition. The bartender was walking around from behind to greet him, a smile on her face.

Shit. This was worth stopping here. For a moment, he imagined what it would be like to see this gal greet him at home with that smile. Seeing it welcome him into bed would be even better. It wasn’t one of those slutty come on smiles a lot of tavern broads used. This one was warm and welcoming, accepting of a man just as he was.

For a moment, he missed her words. Too busy watching those smiling lips move.

"Hi." She chirped. Strange he had never thought a chirp could be appealing. "How are you tonight?"

"Um. Fine."

"Would you like a drink at the bar or a table right away?"

Ralph had planned on eating, but a drink and the opportunities that might be available were too tempting to pass up. "I think I’ll have a drink first."

She nodded, "I’ll meet you there."

Ralph found an old-fashioned sitting before him before he realized he had ordered one. He had been too busy watching her. Long nailed graceful hands had upturned the booze bottle, exposing the soft underside of her arm and the round shape of her breast. Her long, dark hair had him fantasizing wicked things he wanted to do with it.

Her voice cut into his dreams with ice-cold water. "That’s my husband’s favorite drink too." She leaned a thin, bony hip on a cooler. "Are you married?"

"Yeah. Think I’ll take that table now."

The end...

Carol 1-10-2002 15:46

Here's an interesting poetry site:
It's a selection on
and it looks to be pretty good!
(You see, Teekay, I am trying!

howard 1-10-2002 12:04

Good morning. I drop by faithfully every morning to read a bit, but I must admit, I don't always know what the heck is going on! All these postings are very enjoyable anyway. You seem to be a tightly knit group, very supportive of each other. That's so important, I think, particularly if you fancy yourself a writer of any level. It can be such a lonely thing. I'm what you could call an executive widow, as my husband travels a great deal. He's off again this morning and to be honest, I can't remember if he's in Idaho or California this week. This means that I'll either get loads of writing done late at night when the house is quiet, or I'll be too exhausted at the end of the day to form a sentence. There is some terrific poetry posted here, and I really enjoyed the story about Times Square. It made me feel better to read it, as my imagination runs wild in the current climate and my husband thinks I've lost my mind, running out all the possible scenarios of future attacks, etc.
Mary, I looked at your website with the amulet pouches and jewelry. What beautiful things! Do you craft them all yourself? What a talent...I love jewelry and all things that *sparkle*, but I have no such talent for design. Good for you, I hope you do well with it.
To the folks with toothaches, I sympathize one hundred percent. Just had four wisdom teeth removed in November. Three impacted and two were abscessed. What an awful experience. It's amazing how sick you can become with your teeth. I ended up in the emergency room late one night, and had all four removed the next day. What a relief.
A happy day to you all. Be well and creative.

Suz 1-10-2002 8:57

Jerry - I'm wondering how much more we know about you than your non-virtual family does! :-O Nice shortie; it didn't seem too long to me. Glad your tooth is feeling better! Always nice to know the cause, and the cure.

Rosemary - Now you've gone and done it - I have actually felt sympathy for a poodle. First time ever. :o) Hope he's well before sunrise.

Mary - ouuuch! You might want to consider general anaesthesia for the removal of those two teeth. Believe me, it's better than a local, even if they don't take a mallot and smash out the offending wisdom tooth. *dead faint*

Speaking of dead faints, I nearly did that tonight. I think I even detected a bit of pallor in my husband's face - Mr. Brave himself. See, about 11 pm, just on my way to work, I walked a little too closely to the couch, and smashed my toe on the castor just under the left front end. (It's a pull-out, making for a heavy stumbling block)
In the process of causing myself great pain, I also broke the toenail of my middle, poor sweet unsuspecting toe right up. At first I didn't notice, as I lay groaning at the base of the stairs. But, walking out the pain, I realized why there were blackish spots all over the carpet: my toe was gushing blood.
I didn't have the guts to rip off the remaining bits of toenail (yet) but since I so carefully bandaged it up with part of the sticky section of bandaid stuck right on it, I'm going to have to by tomorrow. I think I'll soak it first in 'Goo gone'. 8-O
You'll know why, if I happen to be here more often than usual tomnorrow. I'm not moving from this chair for a while after the deed's done!

Dearest Jon,
May your sweet claws never undergo such pain! Kisses.

Heather 1-10-2002 3:54

Hey Teekay (oh humble one), did Megan Fellows (sp?) play Anne again? I hope not, since it was so bad. I hate to see a good actor/actress in lousy roles, especially sequels.

So one toothache begets another, hmm? One of the few bits of genetic tinkering I think we could use is no more wisdom teeth! It rates right up there with abolishing zits, ingrown toenails, and grey hair. ;-) Hang in there Mary and Jerry!

Tina 1-10-2002 2:13


Carol: That's an interesting title, if I do decide to use it you would not mind will you?

Teekay: Sorry... Some titles used more than once:
Fortress: Sci Fi flick and an action/thriller flick
Toy Soldiers: The one with the school rejects, and cant remember the other.

Those are two titles that I know of that have been used twice, makes it harder to find a specific movie... lol

Howard was it? Does it make a difference on how thick the book is, I just finished a 1300 odd pager, and into a 800 pager at the moment

Taylor 1-10-2002 1:41


ROSEMARY: I was in a bit of a dilemma. I didn't know wether to send my commiserations or my congratulations. As an optimist I am sending my congratulations on your little doggy. he may be unwell, but at least it's curable and he'll be comming home to you - although it is miserable that he's ill in the first place.

TINA: DO NOT WATCH IT!!!!!! I wish I hadn't. I'm going to have to go back and reread the books to reestablish the reality of the real fiction in my head again.
It didn't follow the books AT ALL. And the scenery was terrible, all washed out and dreary looking. basically it was a war movie with Anne and Gilbert in it.

Teekay 1-10-2002 0:16

JERRY-------You just keep getting better and better. Keep it up.

Excellent job.

Gone now for sure.

Rosemary 1-10-2002 0:10

Back again,

I called those little bits of life 'visuals.' I'm glad you reminded me of them. Winter is a different world to write about.

You always make sense to me.

Bye for tonight.

Rosemary 1-10-2002 0:04

There was once a time when work became my life, when family was something I just "put up with" rather then loved.

During that time, I met a lovely young lady who nearly became my new partner, had it not been for the shock of loosing my job, I would most probably be a different person, in a different world, with different children and an x-wife.

I often wonder exactly how those things would have developed had that little incident never occurred, but to tell the truth, I am happy that they did, for I surely would have missed some of the best times in my life.

This Shorty will explain a bit of what happened, and keeps with Mary's topic for Shorty night, although it may be a bit on the longy side.

At any rate, here it is, for better or worse.

By Jerry A.G. Ericsson

He was “my cop.” It all started when I was twenty two, and working at my first job out of college. My job required me to work very late, and when I got off, I drove the twenty six miles home. After the drive, I was usually to tense to just go to bed, so I drove the streets of our little town.

One night, I saw a couple of my friends in the parking lot of the Super Value store. They were visiting with the new cop, so I pulled in and joined them. As I neared the door of the patrol car, he said “Hi Theresa, nice of you to join us tonight.”

I was flabergasted, how could this cop who just came to town and started working on the police department know my name. I have never been arrested, never even had a speeding ticket, yet when I walked up to his car, he knew me by name.

He never did tell me how he came to know my name that night, even though I must have asked him a thousand times.

As time passed, our haphazard meetings became regular, we would park our cars window to window and visit, just talk about life, music, almost any subject.

One night, our conversation turned to us, to how we were becoming so very close, how we missed each other when one of us had a night off, or worked a different shift.

One night, when my car heater wasn’t working well, and it was so very cold outside, he invited me to have a seat in his patrol car. I was thrilled. That became our regular meeting then, I would park my car by mom and dad's house and he would park his patrol car on top the hill where we lived, on the south end of Main Street, and we would talk.

Our talk turned to plans, plans to be together, plans that we would never see take root.

You see, one night, the light switch on my little station wagon fell out. It just popped right out of the dash board, and fell to the floor. Well I couldn’t keep going with that dang switch swinging back and forth, so I pulled over at the City Pump station. My cop saw I was having trouble, so he pulled in, and helped me fix it. Then He got back in his car, and I walked over to the his window, and we talked, we joked we laughed and had a wonderful time.

What we didn’t know though was that one of the City Councilmen lived on that street, and that night he was having trouble sleeping so walked out on his front porch. When he saw that patrol car sitting there, he began to wonder what was going on, so he sat down on his front steps and watched, as we talked long into the night.

When the clock made it’s way past one hour, then two, he became angry and called the Chief of Police, who drove over to the councilman’s house and together, they walked to the pump house, and stood there listening, as we spoke of his leaving his wife, his family, and running away with me. Oh how wonderful our plans were, then they were so rudely interrupted forever when the Chief and Councilman walked around the corner. I jumped in my car and drove away, they stood there shouting at my cop, the next morning I heard he was fired, gone from the police force, gone from my life.

A week later, as I drove my little station wagon up and down Main Street, I saw him, he was driving a U-Haul truck, his wife and kids were in their little car behind him, as he headed South to live his life with his family. That was the end of us.

Jerry 1-10-2002 0:00


Forgot to mentionI was blushing all the way through that speech.
I just hate being the centre of attention - I really do.

Teekay 1-9-2002 23:35


Right, I'm not having any arguments over who's the best poet, when it's obvious as the nose on someone's face that it's ME and always has been.

I can't believe you lot, some little upstart pops in out of the blue and hands around awards left right and centre and you all BELIEVE him!!!!

The award for best writer is ME.
The award for best poet is ME with ME as very close runner up.
The award for best notebook attendee is ME
And the award for best short story reader is ME.

The award for best dressed at the awards is CHRISTI, even in that daggy old trackie she still looks stunning.

Other awards are as follows:
Best person, ME
Best second time around title award ME.
Best thinkerupper for a title for another's work in progress ME
Best hair colour ME
Nicest voice ME
Most humble award ME!
Any other boring old awards floating around you guys can divide up amongst yourselves.


Jeepers, thanks you lot. I'd like to thank each and every one of you. If you guys hadn't been so bad at writing and poetry and speaking and titles and all that other stuff, I would never have been able to win this prize.


Teekay 1-9-2002 23:33

And thanks all, for the nice words about those poems. Teekay, I promise I'll try to get them published. Really! It's just that they never seem quite finished to me -- there's always some improvement to be made.
RANDALL, on the other hand, writes stories that really work, and ought to be set down for prosperity. Posterity, too! :-)
So does Teek! and the Heater! And some others I've seen here. Lets get busy this year and get the presses rolling!

howard 1-9-2002 23:09

Well the tooth thing is done with. Went to the dentist, she checked me out, took one x-ray and sent me home with another script for anti-biotic. Seems I have a sinus infection that has set in. It is effecting the lower sinus that lays just above the upper jaw, and caused all the inflammation and pain.

I will give that lady dentist credit though, she only charged me $13.00 and sent me on my way home. My old dentist would have filled two teeth, charged me a couple hundred bucks then gave me the antibiotics saying they were to prevent infection or some such thing. Think I like this new gal. Maybe next time I need a cleaning I will go there even though it is a sixty-five mile drive.

Our son came down yesterday for his first computer service call. Cleaned and serviced a computer for a local motel and walked away with $75.00 for his trouble. That included some upgrading and parts replacement, but he went home happy this afternoon. He was good enough to install a new toilet stool for our daughter in her fixer upper thousand dollar home. It is becoming a very nice house now with all new floor covering and lots of nice improvements.

Sad news that aircraft crash in Pakistan, and that soldier who lost his life in action. He was stationed at Fort Lewis Washington, the same post where I took my Basic Training in 1970, and returned to in '71 when I got home from Nam. They showed pictures from the fort when giving his life history, kind of got me a bit nostalgic.

It makes me wonder though, with all the brave men who died in Vietnam, only to be reported as a number, how their parents, spouses and children feel to see the big to do over that poor fellow who died by enemy fire. The same is true for those who gave the ultimate price for freedom in Korea and the WW's. I guess times are different, and the involvement of the public in our new war calls for details.

This weather is strange this year. Yesterday it got up to 60, today just 54 but normal for this time of the year is in the teens for the highs, below zero for the lows. We have no snow left, yet Texas and other southern states have feet of it. We are enjoying the change, getting out and about more then usual, getting yard work done and such where we would normally be shoveling snow, or blowing it in some cases.

Jerry 1-9-2002 23:06

Hello JON! and thank you for the honor, but you're right -- it is Litter who truly deserves the title, with our hirsuite yeti friend a close second. I tend to get stuck in a rut now and again, and don't very often write right. That reminds me - I have a friend in the clergy who reads reeds and writes rites!
It's late.

howard 1-9-2002 23:01


Hullo, Dearies (I can't wait 'til I'm old and get to use that one for real),

Teekay, my dear, you have beaten me in the 'guts' game. I rather liked your 'stumps.'

Mary, Wish I'd known your bags were on ebay for such a bargain! :D

Hey Jerry, I haven't heard from any 'Aliens' lately, have you? :)

Heather, I'd have no idea how to drive in the snow. Snow? I hear it's wet, cold white stuff that covers the ground in most places during the winter. Teehee. Your adventure sounds terrifying to me. Be safe!

Howard, What a lovely poem that was. Leave the song in their hearts. {{{HUGS}}}

Hi, Howard's MOM! You made a good 'un there, you did! Welcome to the world of the Notebook.

Jon, You are so naughty! I shall have to whip you if you continue telling tales on Howard like that.

Oh dear, oh dear, is it that time of year again? The awards for best Notebookers, here, already, and I haven't even thought of what I'd be wearing. Ahem.
SHRRRRRIEK! I never know whether to be humble or outraged when I receive my prize from Jon. This year is no exception. I will choose to be humble, I think, and kiss Jonny on his right paw, kitty style.

Teekay, HAHAHAHAHA! Thanks, mate, I needed that.

Howard, That last poem brought a tear to my eye. Several, in fact. It reminded me a little of my MIL right before she died.

Rosemary, I'm sending nice thoughts to you and your puppy. <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> Those are my psychic vibrations.

Mary, The same thing happened to me with my wisdom teeth! And they call them wisdom teeth ... why?

Hey, Carol, Oyster, and all you other loonies!

Reader extraordinaire,

Christi 1-9-2002 22:59

JON: Ok, thank you! Now I am very happy!!

JERRY: I am in tooth misery with you. This time it is my very last wisdom tooth that is in an uproar. It is trying to push its way through, and consequently cracked the tooth in front of it in half with the pressure. Holy shnikies! That smarts! I go Friday morning for the x-rays. I could save them some time and tell them which one it is, but I will just let them figure it out. I hope that the appointment to have it taken care of isn't far off. I could probably whip up some tears if they try to schedule me too far in the future. Sometimes I really hate teeth. Then I have a craving for peanut brittle and start to be marginally glad I have them.

HEATHER: I will be sure to be online in the morning at 7am sharp, but I might not be able to stay long. I have to run my elderly neighbor's wife to the doctor. Her appointment is at 10:30 and I have to get the kids ready since they are going with us. I will be good for about an hour in any case and I am looking forward to it greatly.

I am off to get some beading done. OH, by the way, I have updated my stone circles page, changing the picture links. For some reason, my old links quit working. The site addresses must have changed, and I figured if I have to change them all anyway, might as well change them to something different. Here's the link:

Mary Stone Circles 1-9-2002 22:34

Prizes (cont'd).

How could I forget poetry? The poetry I admire most is Litter's. Considering, however, that Litter did not publish much last year, and that Sasquatch is (probably) an incarnation of Howard's (or vice-versa), the item Poetry may be submitted to an election. Here is my vote:

Poet of the Year: Sasquatch and Howard (ex-aequo).

Best idea for improving our writing: those little glimpses of beauty one sometimes finds in nature or mere daily day life introduced by Rosemary and marvelously followed by Tina. Cannot remember how they were called. Not to be confounded with Joyce's "epiphanies" though they belong to the family.

P. S. Mary is (obviously) included in the group of the "not-mentioned but also very much admired talented writers." It may happen that a future Pulitzer Prize is hidden in that group.

Now I beg to retire again to my caves in Afghanistan for deep meditation on the mysteries of the being's folly. I am trying to convince myself that as Man is not so good as I thought perhaps cats are not so perfect as Man thinks. I must be wrong on the latter hypothesis.

Jon 1-9-2002 21:09


Thank you Howard, for that poem. I agree with Heather: you deserve the Poet of the Year title.

Teekay, don't ya hate it when they thrash a good book? I haven't seen that 'Anne of Green Gables' instalment. What a shame, after they did a superb job of enacting the original book!
Oh yeah, 'Contact' made it back to safely.

Eddie, hope you're satisfied with 'Enterprise'. Compared to the first season of the other ST series, they've done a great job. The fun is when WE know things but THEY don't, like about the Klingons. So far my favourite character is the doctor.

Heather, you had me holding my breath right up until your car settled. Icy roads are one of my arguments for moving someplace tropical :-) And FYI, 'Dirk Gently' showed up the day after 'Contact'.

Jerry, I'm so surprised that Webshots pulled that nonsense. It's never happened to me, and I surf there regularly. (For skydiving pictures, what else :oD ) But I know what you mean; those tricks make me furious.
And thanks a lot: every time I see an airport security person I'll have that image in my brain, and it doesn't do to laugh at those people!

Hey Viv! I saw on my calender that yesterday was 'Coming of Age' day in Japan. Whazzat?

On writing... just getting back into 'Freeborn' after a long break over the holiday. It's so, so close to the end. After all this time, I'm almost scared to do the final act. It'll be like... like an era of my life wrapping up. No, it'll be a new one beginning... yeah, I'll say that over and over until I believe it. :-}

Okay I better go save dinner from burning. Three pepper pasta... so tastey!
Blue Skies!

Tina 1-9-2002 21:08


I have the worst publisher if you ask me. They let my book run out of stock and then out of the wharehouse too before Christmas. They still haven't got any finished yet. BUT if I buy books from Amazon I get rolalties from them. Oh by the way apparently they call them earnings checks now.

I like royalties better but it's best not to date ourselves.

Debra 1-9-2002 21:02

Hi all,

Looks like you're in a mood that I could use right now.

My Poodle is spending the night with the Vet. He has "gas-tro-inter-itus" I'm sure that isn't spelled right but that's what it sounded like. I was afraid it was Distemper (fatal) even though he will be two-years old in March. He had the runs and his back end was collapsing when he tried to move around. The Vet said he was just weak all over and it wasn't distemper. He just has a bug and they had him on a fluid IV and antibotics. This is going to cost so much, I'm going to have to breed him to something just to make some of the money back. Big hardship for him. :->

Thanks for the award, I can use all the awards I can get.

My friend Mary Lou and I stoped at an 'Office Max' to get a copy of the front of her book, have it enlarged then laminated. The girl behind the counter hemmed and hawed around for a minute, then said they were not allowed to make copies of copyrighted material.

This was a new on on us, especially since this was not the first time she had done this procedure. She showed her a picture ID with the same name and said it was her own copyright and anyway, you can't copyright the title, but she wouldn't do it. We huffed out of there and I think it was just going to be too much work for not much money. Who knows.

Actually, sales on her book "TARNISHED HONOR" have been pretty good. She has ordered stock twice. It turns out, sells it for the same amount that the publisher sells it to her. I told her to order further stock from, then she would get royalties on it. She said the publisher does not consider books sold to the author as sales when looking at how many copies a book has sold. Wierd.

Okay, I'm going to watch "West Wing" and worry about my puppy.


Rosemary 1-9-2002 20:47


Good evening...

Thank you for the short story writer pick Americo. Er, Jon. Well, thank you both. :-) Even Pussy........though I am dissapointed she has never appeared at my door.

I really don't know what to say. Honest.

I have no ego and am just as common as dirt. Rosemary will understand my language, shes from Texas. Writing these stories gives me pleasure, and if you guys like 'em that's just gravy on the potatoes.



Randall 1-9-2002 20:38


WHAT: I think if you check closely you'll find you forgot to put the 'h' in writhing when you were doing your search.

I just can't seem to help myself.

Teekay 1-9-2002 19:00


HOWARD: You wascally wabbit, you got in the way of my saga, but I'll forgive you because of the beautiful poem, and because you have a nice bum er, I mean Mum :-D

Teekay 1-9-2002 18:56


Whoopsy day.

Teekay 1-9-2002 18:53

HEATHER -- Thanks! I agree with Americo - you deserve it!

Here's another (you're really pushing me now..)

pretty things

shoulders humped
straining against time
listening for the sound
of running feet
a creaking porch swing
a church bell

gone, they say,

but in her eyes,
pretty things.
she doesn't remember,
can’t quite recall
just where she is.
but her heart knows.

hjt 5/2001, 1/2002

hwoard 1-9-2002 18:53


Look you lot, I really don't think I'm getting enough sympathy on the book title thing. That was just any old book title you know, there was a lot, and I mean a lot, of thought behind it.

TAYLOR: Although you're getting much more attention for your title that I am for the demise of mine I am not in the least upset, in fact I have a very helpful suggestion. How about 'Who Farted On The Bus?'
Oh man, I am so sorry, I just thought it was pretty funny and I didn't want it to go to waste.

Press enter or not to press enter, press enter, or not to press enter press enter or not.........

Teekay 1-9-2002 18:53


'Allo, 'allo

hidey ho there neighbouroonie
hi there



Teekay 1-9-2002 18:49

Aw, shucks, Mary, thank you. *more blushing*

I think we've all had some pretty intense life experience.
But this shortie - well, it'll be Freaky Thursday, everyone!
Great topic, Mary.

Participation in this Thursday's short shortie night is a must!

Heather 1-9-2002 16:19

And where are all those words when I need them? I'm beyond blushing right now. Thank you, Americo, for an honour I pray every day I deserve.

Congrats, Mary, on Notebooker of the year!

I believe Howard should be poet of the year. You've got my vote, Howard!

All for now, 'til the shock dies down a bit. :o)

Heather 1-9-2002 15:39

Hi All :)

Mary -- where do you come up with these themes? They're good -- very challenging. Now, am I up to it???? Of course I am. Repeat ten times.

Taylor -- would "Breathing Space" work for a title? Terrorists wanting the breathing space for their beliefs, everyone wanting breathing space and then the use of the air conditioner would tie it all in but not necessarily give away the story.

Carol 1-9-2002 12:39
looks like another pretty good soource of information on words.

howard Link 1-9-2002 10:27


I meant... leave the bus out of the title... I guess you could say the story has evolved around the bus.
The characters are still going, just working them out fully... so they dont come across as fake sounding

Taylor 1-9-2002 1:30


Have to leave out the Bus I think, its not really playing a big role, but the people on the bus are.
The main storyline is there was a 'toxin' released into the bus's air con system, so when Driver turned air con on, it is released.
The point is these people are trying to overthrow the government, which during the course of the book has changed hands to a headstrong young leader... And then they got to try and stop these people

Taylor 1-9-2002 0:57

HEATHER: I love what you are doing with Symphony! (Just a quick note here until I get a chance to construct an email!)

JON: Best Notebooker of the year huh? Thank you very much for thinking so. I must admit, I was a little disappointed at not seeing my name on your talented writers list, but we can't all be good at everything, now can we? I can't agree with you more about Heather's talent and life resources. She is one good writer and strong soul!

Speaking of shortie night, this week's topic is:

A story about yourself, written in the voice of someone of the opposite sex.

How's that for competence? Hehe.

We all need to read more.

Mary 1-8-2002 22:54

Hooboy! Now I gotta behave myself!

howard 1-8-2002 22:44

Here are the prizes for the best Notebookers of the year 2001.

Best Notebooker of the year: Mary, for leading the "shorties nights" with competence. ( I wonder if we could also have a bit more criticism on the shorties. And shouldn't the shorties be shorter?).

Best newcomers: all of them (ex-aequo).

Best single post: Jerry on his mother showing the family a record of his father's snoring.

Best short-story teller: Randall.

Best promising writers: Heather (as usual). But please do not start writing too well, darling. And Teekay, who only needs to start writing a bit better. And Christi, who needs to read a lot before starting writing seriously. These, together with some newbies and other people, not mentioned but also very much admired, will certainly be famous one day. Heather is, in my opinion, ahead of all, because of her intense life experience and her natural gift for words, but who knows if the last will be the first? A strong personality, persistence, honesty to one's self and hard work will dictate the final winners.

Best human being on the Notebook: Rachel. She also gets the prize for her first publication "in tandem".

Most missing Notebooker: Allein.

Best achievement of the year: the publication of S*

Special prizes: to Howard, Rhoda, Rosemary, Gary and Eddie for still being writing on the Notebook, after several years of a lovely presence. And to Jack, for not having given up on us all, despite the troubles of a very hard year.

Special recommendation: Every Notebooker must read at least a book every week. You cannot be or become writers if you don't read very, very much. Of course, more important than reading is living, but life has become too expensive, difficult and rare these days. Books are easier to get, and sometimes more pleasant to live than life.

Jon 1-8-2002 22:21

Here's the police.

Are you people speaking about the same Howard we have in mind?

Anon. 1-8-2002 22:19

Taylor - that would be 'you need unique characters to ride THE BUS... not whatever you think I meant! ;-D

Heather 1-8-2002 22:08

Hi, Helen! Hope you have fewer computer woes than the members of the NB have had! That should be easy. :oD

Heather 1-8-2002 22:07

Taylor - I think by calling your story 'Hope' anything, you're going to give away too much of the ending, or at least the purpose of telling it.
How about something like "The Tour" - use the purpose of getting on the bus as your title. Is it a tour bus, a city bus, a bus full of strangers on their way to a retreat? All I know is that you have mentioned the bus story, but no story line, and you have mentioned that you need unique characters to ride it. That's all I know.

Anyhow, try coming up with a title that reflects the original reason for getting onto the bus, taking the ride. Don't give away the transformation that takes place to the people after or during the journey.
Or, at least make the title a little more obscure so that people can't guess the entire reason for reading it by the title alone.

There you have it. My thoughts on the bus!

Heather 1-8-2002 22:05



Checking in


Sounds like "What" is a little frustrated. Writing does that to you. Could be an editor however. I to "What" was once normal. But that was before WP 6.1. Cheer up "What" writing is a voluntary thing, you can always go back to, to, well, lurking, or whatever "What" knows best.

Howard...your mom sounds like a sweet lady. Ah, have you told her about the rash?


Randall 1-8-2002 21:45


Or Bus Load Of Hope

Debra 1-8-2002 21:16


How about Hope Tram or Caravan of Hope.

Or Crossed Fingers Caravan

Debra 1-8-2002 20:35

Howard has not paid me yet the drinks he offered yesterday to his girls. 20 thousand dollars! (He only drank half of it).
"Adults Only" - the best pub of its kind.

Bartender 1-8-2002 20:00


Teekay: If this helps, there a couple of movies or books that have the same name.
I wish that titles come easily.

Oyster: Your 11 yr old actually kinda sounds a bit like I was for about a month or two after Sept 11... Though no offence people, is I have actually toned down alot, and become more patriotic to my own country.

But I do still feel for America, I really do, I am behind your President, but I honestly I dont think I can support the war. I thought I could.
Now if that offends people Im sorry.

Hi Howards mom: Howard has been rude and obnoxious to us... lol, just kidding

Sorry I havent been posting much, I have been really busy, writing, reseaarch, more writing, and still trying to think of a better title than "Hope Bus" It sounds so weak like

Taylor 1-8-2002 19:54

Teekay - I have always been found of the title "Send in the Clowns".

Jerry 1-8-2002 19:48


What kind of stuff has Howard shown you in your computer?

Hope not the stuff he takes to the "Adults Only" pub "to show the boys"...

(I'm dying of curiosity).

Pussy 1-8-2002 19:48


Last time Howard came here was in 1976. He's been seen with some gorgeous blonds in a pub called "Adults Only". If he tells you that he spends his evenings in our good company, he is not telling you the truth. Er... what's truth?

Americo 1-8-2002 19:43


HOWARD'S MUM: Hi, I don't want to be one to tell tales, but the other day HOWARD was swearing and he was saying really rude things and he puller HEATHER'S plait.

HOWARD: You are such a boy! :-D

Teekay 1-8-2002 18:33

Hi I'm Howard's mom, and he's showing me some stuff on my new computer.

helen 1-8-2002 18:28


RHODA: HAHAHAHAHAHHAH I do believe your sense of humour is showing :-D.
Actually the title I'd picked was much much better than 'Attack of the clones'. It was.....wait for it.....'Portrait in Sepia' and it suited the story perfectly, because that is just what it is.

OYSTER: Both teenagers are in Sydney today, which leaves me a frettin' till they're boith home safe and sound and arguing again. :-D

Watched the first part of Anne of Green Gables - the continuing story last night and it is just awful! It's dank and dismal and boring as all get out. Lucy Maud would be turning in her grave to see what they've done to her beautiful book.
I absolutely hate it.


Teekay 1-8-2002 17:45

Wrote - no, bled - 500 words today.

Half-way to my usual quota. Ouch. That's a half pint of the ol' red gush for newbies.


Heather 1-8-2002 14:21

JERRY -- We remember David and Chet well. Chet Huntley, in fact, was my mother-in-law's cousin! We never met him, as he was from the 'other' side of the tracks, but she knew him, and had some pictures of him in the family album.

I'm doing some overhaul work on that ancestor poem. I think it could use some tightening. It's one I did a while back, and take it out to work on it every now and again. Got another oldie too, in two different versions that I can't decide between. Maybe someday I'll have enough for a chapbook -- whatever that is.

howard 1-8-2002 14:16

Hi All!

Tina: Suzy has her steely grip upon my shoulder. 5 loads of laundry, a dirty fridge, sticky kitchen floor and ... even the thought-images of becoming a cool, crystaline Biconate via Mary hasn't scared her away! Argh!

Jerry: David and Chet? I remember them, but the voice I loved was on the Kraft commercials in between the movies with that narrator's warm, fireside voice. I always felt safe hearing that voice. We only got two channels for the longest time (both Canadian) so it was a while before we got to see David and Chet.

Funny you should mention bikers. I wrote a shortie about a guy who loved his bike and computer more than he loved his kid. Young guy, not really committed the fatherhood he managed to get himself into, and it came out of a sad tale of a single Mom who bent my ear for nearly 2 hours.

If I decide to 'facet' that pearl some, I'll be asking you questions about the best 'vintage' bike a guy could own, okay, Jerry?

As for me and bikes ... no self-respecting bike owner will let me near their bike since I dumped a buddy of mine in a mud puddle when learning to 'ride'. It was pretty scary, since it was a big ole Harley with the clutch in the back and ... it ended that rather than having the bike mangled by me, the owner's friend (I was only in first gear during my lesson) caught up and pulled the keys out of the ignition to stop the bike. I was having enough trouble trying to coordinate steering and trying to figure out how to brake the bike!

That story has been told so many times amongst the cops who were trying to teach me to 'sit astride' and 'feel the power' I think it's become a legend. I actually heard an embellishment of the story from a young man who didn't know the old geezerette he was talking to was the central character in the tale. Laughed my butt off afterward. In the young guy's story I tried to run over a staff sargeant. Tweren't no staff sargeants there!

Howard: I loved that poem. I could almost feel the Chinook wind we're having carrying The Ancestor's words. Wow! As for Kasim, Kazim, Kazoo, we get him too! And a few others. I think he, and others have linked to one of our fun-news-pages. We also get some Bahamian Bank and one from some other less than credible source. This is when I get great satisfaction out of the delete key. It gives me delicious pleasure to delete emails without reading them! Take that you nasty fraudulent fool! Hah, I delete you!

Mary: I've seen faceted fresh water pearls and my initial reaction was the same of yours. Then ... I had an 'edit job' done on a piece I thought was practically perfect just the way it was. I came to appreciate faceted pearls. Oysters can only do so much loving-polishing and sometimes, rescuing a pearl from the crush bin takes a skilled artisan, yes? And thanks for teaching me a new word. Nacre. Hmmm. I have to admit I thought immediately of Knacker, in all the connotation of the word.

Oh, and Mary? Yee-Hah is one of my favorite expressions. A good Yee-Hah ... nothing like it. Here in Cowtown around Stampede it is everywhere! Even stencilled on Bank windows and on placards for the full 10 days. And shouted out when everyone is having fun.

Teekay: Teenagers? (Oyster screeching here) Oh no! It gets worse in the whingeing and whining department? And the insults and the tirades? My pre-hormonal/cusp hormonal bunch and their friends already drive me to distraction. And to think I chose this life deliberately!

I'm still doing research on Wiccan *sigh* and have this book by Patricia Telesco called "How to Be a Wicked Witch" . Telesco uses the term 'wicked' as in the pronounciation "WIckED, man" the new vernacular. I was going to post a symbolic ritual called "Family Feud" Telesco describes that I was almost desperate enough to try just before the kids went back to school. But I still have my prejudices, and just couldn't bring myself to do it.

However, Bwitch called this morning to 'see how it's going' and I read her a bit of the story. I thought she'd be a bit perturbed that her character is still in Salmon Arm in 1965 at chapter five, but she surprised me.

Aside from spooking her out (for a change, LOL!) with a few bits she's never told me but I wrote anyway, I told her about this Telesco book. "Oh, yeah, that's a good read, but it's not going to give you much on my religion. It's another 'modern' application. Kind of like a microwave recipe for Shepherd's Pie." Bwitch says. "Neither are the Pagan sites that so-and-so keeps giving you to look at. Just keep telling the story about that young (Bwtich's real name) in Salmon Arm, and either the mystical story will come or it won't. If it doesn't you still have a story, right?"

Of course, Bwitch, having watched me work for years and knowing my predeliciton for writing on and on and on, also adds with a chuckle, (probably getting me back for spooking her out!) "You know you could make it into a series, one book, one stage of my-her life."

What a Bwitch! She knows my weaknesses, that one!

Just for Litter: My son is so pro-American, we have to remind him from time to time he lives in Canada. He loves New Yuk, and at one point he wanted us all to 'move to the States" so he could chase Tornadoes. In fact, his knowledge of American geography and city maps of his favourite cities rivals a lot of adults'. And after 911, he became even more 'patriotic'.

When 911 happened, Sonny took it so seriously he was practically obssessive. It took a while before he would let go of personally finding and taking out Bin Laden. We kept reminding him that 'the adults are handling it'. Even his teacher at school was concerned.

So yesterday, he comes home from school and gets on the computer. I was running around paying partial attention to Suzy who was nagging me to 'get a handle on this housework lazybones' when I walked by this office and heard:

"Take that Bin Laden." as Sonny is bombing the crap out of a landscape on one of the fighter games he rarely plays now that he has Flight-Sim 2001, The Professional Edition.

I popped my head in and asked who he was bombing.

He hemmed and hawed, then said "Bin Laden."


"Uh, I don't know, but he deserves this." And Sonny dips the fighter with skill I can only marvel at and continues to bomb the barren landscape below.

A few minutes later, I hear this shout: "Take that you scum, that's for making all Americans suffer. How dare you kill unsuspecting people!"

Needless to say, Litter, some people might find my son's 'love of America' a bit excessive. I, personally think he's still working through the fact that someone took his two favourite things out, the WTC's and a commercial airliner. Not to mention the other destructions like the Pentagon (his favourite building because of it's unique shape). And he's only 11.

Still, discretion is the better part of valour. Sonny knows that it's okay to work out his fury and fear at home, but his same age peers don't necessarily share his pro-Americanism.

So, Litter, you can imagine any anti-American jokes meeting with Sonny's sarcasm. His favourite words to anyone who disagrees with him on anything are: "Go do some research. There's a whole internet full of facts."

Oh dear. Suzy is really on an Oyster ripping tangent today. She just asked me whether I was planning to get anything done today, and whether I liked sticky floors and smelly fridges. Plus, to make matters worse, she's reminding me of all the snail mail letters I need to return.

See you later, all!

Oyster 1-8-2002 12:31

Good arvo, friends.

That's all I wanted to say! *giggle*

Back to writing.

Oh, and the car damage may just be the tire - there's a bit of a bulge in the side where it hit the curb. So, last night on my way home from work, I gritted my teeth, wondering what I'd do if it blew! That was a fun ride. Sure.

Heather 1-8-2002 12:22

who is doing that swearing?

It's small!

1-8-2002 11:30

"Choose" a better title, I mean.

Rhoda 1-8-2002 9:59


I have long thought that both you and George Lucas could chose a better title than Attack of the Clones.

Rhoda 1-8-2002 9:55

Howard - got some of those too, I just deposit them in my garbage. I used to forward them to the Attorney General of South Dakota until he got tired of them too and let me know that there is absolutly nothing they can do about it.

Jerry 1-8-2002 0:02

Eddie - got it, have had it for a long time, and I use it quite regularly. The trouble was that the damn site changed my homepage. I despise anyone who would modify my machine without my permission. I wonder how they would feel if I did the same to their server? I would probably be accused of electro-terrorism, as many a young virus developer have been. I would never do that, but they are the type of folk who give these ideas to those who would do harm to others.

Seems a juvenile has found our page and displayed his ignorance for all to see. He should be quite ashamed of him or herself. See I can be politically correct too.

Jerry 1-7-2002 23:54

Mary -- Thank you! Those are gorgeous indeed. They remind me of young pinecones just waiting to open.

Randall - Can I pull my old wooden milkcrate up to that spool? I'll tell ya all about the time hubby and I went fishing for our 20th anniversary.

There we was drifting cross the lake, fishing in the manner we prefer. All so nice and quiet. No one else on water or land. A few quiet clouds drifted over the tops of gold, red and yellow leaves.

We were catching fish. Our favorite kind, simple perch, blue gills and sunfish. John caught one, I caught one. And again, and again. After several hours we noticed we had ten apiece. Hmmm, a sum equal to our years together. But we couldn't end the day on a tie. No way!

So we stayed some more. We dropped more bait. Worms for him, wax worms for me. A nibble here and a nibble there raised our competitive edge. But the nibbles didn't pan out. The hooks refused to be set. Two hours later we still sat -- tied.

Finally we had to give in to fate. We were meant to be together, we were meant to share equally. Neither one superior to the other. Nough said.

Carol 1-7-2002 22:54

CAROL: The pictures of these pearls don't do them justice. I hated faceted pearls the first time I saw them, then I couldn't stop thinking about them, mostly because it felt totally wrong to me to facet a pearl. Now I love them.

Mary 1-7-2002 22:33

Here ya go, Carol.

Mary faceted pearls 1-7-2002 22:31

HEATHER: Thanks for the latest installment today! Will be sending mine shortly.

CAROL: Yes, I will post a link to a picture of some freshwater pearls. They come in loads of colors. I like the bronzy-browns and champagne colors best. The blues and peaches are very popular.

HOWARD: I have received that same email message. It came today, about 8 times to the same email address. Several months ago it came to my email once, but worded slightly differently. What a crock.

EDDIE: It really stinks to underprice something that you know isn't crap and still not be able to sell it. Sighs. I swear my neighbor could put the same ad in the paper as me and get calls while I get nothing. It's pathetic.

Back soon.

Mary 1-7-2002 22:27

what the hell are you fucking talking adout make your fucking page smaller

thank ass holes and bitch ass hoes

what 1-7-2002 22:10

what the hell are you fucking adout make your fucking smaller thank ass holes

what 1-7-2002 22:08


RANDALL: I know that magic table. Your words conjured it again in my minds eye, and I remembered a time, some time, when I must have been there.

Teekay 1-7-2002 20:33


Good evening!

What does Harry Potter, Merlin the magician and Randall have in common? Aside from male, wear trousers, brazen liars, full of BS, not to be trusted, adolescent behavior, etc., etc.

Give up?

Well, I'm glad you asked! All three have sat at magic tables. Harry sat at one, as did Merlin. Of course, Merlin's seat was at King Arthur's great Round Table. Well, perhaps Merlin was the power behind the throne, might not have had a seat with his name on the back, and perhaps Harry wasn't actually at a specific magic table...but why let facts spoil a good story?

Randall's magic table was under a grove of one-hundred year old oak trees, next to a lake marina only a few miles from town. It was an old wire spool plopped down on its side. It was immense, nearly ten feet across, three feet high, weathered and stained. Weathered from the elements, stained from innumerable bottles of beer spilled in the heat of discussion on a hot summer night. More stained around the edges where countless forearms rested after a day of fishing in vain, drinking aplenty, dodging local game wardens and scaling white bass by the tubful.

Surrounding the reel were a dozen chairs or so, most handmade, rustic Red Britches called them. Quite a few having the look that they were cut with dull saws, finished with axes, and nailed together by blind carpenters recently escaped from Bedlam and drunk on wood alcohol. Off to one side was a roadside mailbox sitting in a 20-pound block of cement. Inside were several decks of playing cards (more or less 52 cards per deck), several boxes of dominos (some so weathered the spots only faintly visible), a bottle opener, ah several bottle openers, a corkscrew, so Red could open champagne when he had a disability check. Next to the table a 55-gallon drum was in the process of being filled up with empty bottles and cans.

"Randy boy, won't you and old Red go on and empty that garbage can."

Only a few feet away a small cafe offered hamburgers, cheeseburgers, french fries, beer, (my favorite!) boat rental, fishing information. Fishing advice that bordered on the fantastic that is.

"Why shore this lakes gots fish in it. Now for only six bits this map will show you all the hotshots." No fisherman, that is, NO fisherman would give away such sacred information as a fishing hot spot. That was taboo! Such information only extracted after the ninth fingernail was jerked out.

"Okay! Okay!" the fisherman moans. "Could I only give you one location?"

Frequently, out of town visitors to the lake gave pause to take in the sights, a lovely rural lake, gentle waves lapping at the shore. A full table of men and some women staring up at Red as he stood on the table shouting down at someone who dared to question the catfish he caught.

"It durn sure was, why the distance ‘tween his eyes alone were a good 10 inches. Mustta weighted a couple hundred pounds. Had me a terrible tussle getting that old yeller cat in the boat..."

"Red you don't own a boat." someone offered, grinning up at Red.

"Probably made outta them refer boxes you sleep in." another chimed in, opening a fresh beer.

Red stomped one bare foot and swore. He raised one hand over his heart. "I swear by the Lord above...."

"Better watch that Red. Last time you swore to God, we had a terrible storm and the lightening liked to have burned down the whole countryside."

You see the magic table was where good times were created. Stories were grander, fish bigger, life smoother. With only a dram of internal lubrication, stress evaporated, smiles broadened, life became good again. All stories were magnified, for the better, in the pursuit of laughter. No morality lessons, no doldrums, life sparkled again...even at midnight. Had a bad day at work? No problem. Someone would sense it and start the ball rolling.

"Well hell, sit down Randy boy, open a cold one. Heard what happened to Red last night? Well, the judge caught Red a fishing from his cabin cruiser as it was tied in the dock..."

Then would follow a tangled weave of wild escapades, convoluted conversations, outright falsehoods from Red, sputtering accusations from Judge Jailemall. Comments from on lookers would flow as smooth as the beer that night. Laughter evaporated the lack of money for bills, a pickup in need of expensive repairs, a tooth giving one hell.

The magic table was magic for us. With cool evening breezes and lingering summer twilights time halted, cares eased, woes evaporated. As the sun set, stars came out, and night breezes began to cool the torrid daytime heat. Coolers were carried, sloshing, to the table, chairs scraped on the ground, young and old faces grinned, someone pulled out a cigar. The cafe screen door slammed shut as a cigar chomping cook brought out a platter full of fried catfish, a bowl of spicy tartar sauce and a tub full of cornbread hush puppies and hot sauce.

"Hey Randy boy, light up that lantern and lets play a little forty-two. Somebody break out the white dominoes. Red get down off the table and go wash them feet. Smell like a billy goat in lust."

"Durn sure was a good two-hundred," Red muttered as he left to wash his feet in the lake.



RANDALL 1-7-2002 20:23


RHODA: But it was such a nice title. I was sooo attached to it and I don't want to share it with anybody else.

HOWARD: I really do hope you submit your poetry somewhere, please tell me you do. Unless you don't, because I wouldn't want you to lie just to please me.

Did a perfectly horrendous stuff up at Glimmertrain. someday this is starting out ot be.

Teekay 1-7-2002 19:28

The dreams are back again...


My great-grandfathers sent wisdom
on the smoke of a thousand council fires.
An evil wind has scattered it.

My grandparents spoke to me
with the voice of running waters.
Now the waters stink, and run no more.

My mothers and fathers trusted their songs
to the rocks, and to the trees.
A destroying rain has eaten them up.

They sang pride, and strength, and comfort
in the history of a people.
But now their music is faint, and far away.

And now I, who can no longer hear their voices,
must begin a new song.
And leave it for my children.

But where?

howard 1-7-2002 19:02


Do not stress about the title of your novel. If it is sold, it will be likely be changed by the publisher anyway. Besides I don't think there is any law that prohibits the overuse of titles. I certain titles used all the time. I must have three regencies titled "First Season," written by three different authors.

Rhoda 1-7-2002 18:58


Morning all,
Strangely enough I have nothing of any import to share with you all - still :-D

Found out last night that the title I'd thought long and hard over for my novel is actually already in use, which is pretty amazing once you know the title.

I can only assume that I heard it somewhere at some stage and my subconscious mind spat it out as I sat down and wrote out a list of titles that suited the book.
It's really quiet bizarre, you can see how one title led to another to finally come up with the title that I thought was perfect.

Ah well, back to the drawing board.

Teekay 1-7-2002 18:25


Hello everybody.
I finally got to see LOTR the other day. I was impressed, but I really missed Tom Bombadil and his lovely Lady. Also, the part about the Barrow Wight was not played out. I can't understand why it was not included. Frodo also waited 50 years from the time of Gandalfs' visit to the leaving of the Shire yet the film had him leave almost immediately.
All in all though, I really enjoyed the film and yes, there was a real effort made to follow the story as much as they could.

Enterprise premiered on British Tv tonight! I think it has the makings of a good show as the characters develope. We shall see.

If you go to there is a good (Freeware) Spyware detector and removal tool there called 'Adware 5.2' It will scan your computer and reveal all of those nasty intrusive little apps and registry plants that send your details back to their nasty little owners. It will then give you the option to clean the little buggers out. You can use it as often as you like for free. The first time I scanned my machine I got rid of around 18 of the damn things. It also gives you an idea about which sites are invading your privacy (By deduction) so that you can avoid them in the future.

I am just like you...I am one of those people who can never sell anything. Any money I spend on advertising is wasted money. I can't understand how easy some people seem to find selling. It annoys me so much when somebody says....'Oh yes, we got 10 calls on the first day'. Me....I wait beside the phone for's like being in the Ghobi Desert....There must be a plan in there somewhere!


Eddie 1-7-2002 17:44

Help! Suzy has me... in her nefarious grip... can't.. get... free... must clean spare room... the office... no! not the canning room!
I'll escape to the computer, yeah, that'll slow Suzy down... is that dust on my keyboard?

Tina 1-7-2002 17:22

Internet fraud alert!
I've received several emails over the past two weeks (5 today) announcing that my Edress had been given to this joker by the US Government as a possible "trusted assistant" to help transfer US$31,000,000 from Nigeria to the US. I get to keep 30% of the $31 million just for helping. All I need to do is provide my bank account numbers and other pertinent data to allow them to do the transfer. Right! The messages came from a Yahoo! account under the name of KAZEEM (sometimes KASIM) BALA, who identifies himself as a PHD, etc etc.
I reported this to the Internet Fraud Reporting page, to Yahoo!, and to my credit union. It kind of makes one wonder if people are still gullible enough to get sucked in to this kind of scam. This one is obvious enough - and there's plenty more where it came from. Beware!

howard 1-7-2002 17:00

Hi All :)

An old biker? Me? Nope. I've ridden on them a couple of times but that's about it. I can see the appeal. A former town I lived in has a Harley run every year. Hundreds of Harley's gather and tour the area raising money for MDA. I used to love working during that week. I was still bartending during that time and the Harley rider's were the best customers I ever had. They were considerate of the fact that I was the lone bartender and waited patiently as I worked my way from one end of the bar to the other. They were also the best tippers of any group bar none. The worst were the snowmobilers.

Heather - I ran into a scare today too. Not from driving and ice, but rather dear Zeus. Zeus is the puppy we are holding onto for our son. He is the perfection in breeding that I strove for for 15 years. He's a perfect looking German Shepherd with a clown personality. When hubby parked and let me out at the post office today, Zeus decided he wanted to go with me. He jumped out without my having any clue. I could just picture him running into traffic and getting hit. Luckily I got ahold of him and hauled him back into the truck, but man! My heart still hasn't stopped pounding.

Mary - is there a picture of the faceted freshwater pearls you mention? I've never seen something like that and it sounds beautiful.

I received info about a writer's retreat at our university today. One full week, sessions of only 15 people per topic. I want to go!! The instructor I like the most is doing his session on POV -- one of my worst areas.

Carol 1-7-2002 15:11

Good morning, everyone!

Jerry - though I'm not an 'old' biker, we sold our Honda Shadow American Classic Edition a few years ago. I miss it, and the rides my husband and I used to take to all of those quaint little Southern Ontario attractions, such as the oldest covered bridge. From the look and sound of the bike, with all its extra chrome and louder pipes, many thought it was a Harley.
In the family album that Mary set up for me, the bike is in the background of the pic of my husband, wearing his 'shortie' helmet. My birth mother (also pictured in the album Mary so thoughtfully created for me) was a biker for a number of years of her life, and still pops into the clubhouse when she's near Toronto. My birth mother and I have some rather inexplicable parallels - all of which happened before we re-connected.
I have no clue how to paste an image file onto the notebook, but I do have a beautiful close-up of the bike. *sigh*

I'm about to email out my daily writing achievement, small as it may be - about 400 words. Better than nuttin' is all I have to say!
I'm mailing it to both of you, Mary and Mark!

Viv - almost ready to get back to you on your revised story!

Yesterday the roads were terribly slushy and slippery. On my way to get a coffee during my break on my weekend clean, I was driving to Tim Horton's. I didn't want to take the back route since I figured it would be plowed much later than would the main roads.
I came through an intersection, up and around a tight bend doing no more than 30km and hour. The car started to slide. I know not to slam on the brakes - I grew up in snowville after all. I did a little test steering, but there came a moment when I knew I'd hit that curb, and quite probably I'd be over it and into a deep ravine. A deep, heavily treed ravine. I pulled my wheel over gently, trying to get the car to go sidelong, rather than headlong into that curb. All I said aloud was, "Dear God..."
I hit the curb hard with my right front wheel. To my amazement, the car simply banged against the curb and my car and I were still on the road - skimming along in fact. It felt like I was in a huge game of bumper pool. When the car finally came to a stop, I was afraid that the damage would be severe enough I'd be stuck at the bottom of a hill; a deadly place to be in these circumstances. There hadn't been any other cars around me when I hit, but there were surely more coming - it was not long after 6 pm and the roads were busy.
I made it safely to the Tim Horton's parking lot. I hopped out, a little shakily, only to find that there was not a scratch. Not a dent. Nothing seemed amiss at all.

After finishing up at work, on the way home I did notice a slight wobble in the steering. I think I've knocked out a little more than just the alignment, but not enough to detain my husband from taking it for a 'test drive' to work this morning. I only hope it's safe to drive it to work tonight, and until we get it into the shop for an inspection.

If this is the only incident this winter, I'll be very relieved. Last year I hit a patch of ice and did a 360 on the highway, coming up to an intersection, but miraculously, the cars that were beside me on the way up saw me start to slide and were able to stay far enough back and out of the way. I landed somewhere near a third of the way into the intersection, unharmed but with an awful tremor!

Anyhow, stay safe everyone. What I'd do without all of you is a thought I refuse to entertain.


Heather 1-7-2002 9:20


Teekay: If you think that joke was bad, should here a joke or two my boss and I say, we get beyond tasteless
And no I will not say it, if I do might get hated... I hate myself sometimes for even thinking they're funny

Taylor 1-7-2002 9:13

Any old bikers here?

I don't think I ever mentioned that me and the wife used to love riding motorcycles. I guess I only owned four of them in my life, as we found the pleasure late in life. I sold my last, a vintage '75 Honda 750, fully decked with faring, bags and lowers. Sure do miss those days, we used to enjoy the poker runs, or just riding up to Devils Lake and cruise around the lakeside.

Know how to tell when you meet a happy biker? Look for the bugs in his teeth.

Speaking of teeth, my tooth ache has subsided a bunch thanks to the anti-biotics. Must have been some infection in there or something. I will see the new Dentist on Tuesday.

Anyone heard from Alien? Haven't seen her here for a long time.

Jerry 1-7-2002 0:22

New pet peeve - any site on the web that, without your permission places themselves as your home page.

I went to Webshots today to put that program back on my machine since I reformatted. Everything went well, and later when I restarted and went back to the web, instead of up pops

I have un-installed the offending program, although I enjoy their product, any site that try's to change ANY setting on my system does not deserve my support. I then went to their site and left them a note saying the same.

When we left for mom's today for pinochle, as we do every Sunday, I set my machine to download some software using Kazaa. When we got home, I found a virus warning on my screen, when I clicked OK, another popped up, then another and another and another and another. All were located in my kazaa download folder and had the .dat extension.

I immediately went to DOS and deleted all .dat files from that folder and ran a virus scan. It looks like I caught them all. I hope I did at any rate. Seems the web, like everything else is becoming a much more dangerous place in so many ways.

It is things like this that leave me longing for the days before Vietnam when the US was still the strongest nation on earth, when we could trust our politicians, when there was no CNN no Time Warner, only NBC CBS and ABC. When The news ended with "Good night Chet." "Good night David"

I guess those days are gone forever. The day when we could feel safe in our homes, in our trains plains and automobiles. When we trusted the cop on the beat over anyone else, when a cop told you to do something you did. I long for the days when if you got in trouble in school, you were worried because you would be in bigger trouble when you got home, not the teacher would be in bigger trouble when your parents found out about it.

Oh well, I guess it is part of getting old.

Good night Chet and David.

Good night all.

Write on.

Jerry 1-6-2002 23:52

Oh my goodness, you guys are too sweet. I for one wholeheartedly support the "publish something, order from Mary" plan. Sounds great to me! Hahahha.

Oyster again: You would be surprised how the price of freshwater pearls goes up when they are faceted. But they just look so darn cool. When they are faceted you can see inside at all the layers of nacre the oyster has painted onto the irritant to cover it. Kinda like pearlescent tree rings.

I have always loved pearls. The oyster takes something unpleasant and piles the love onto it until they make it beautiful. Kinda like God, huh? I never thought of that metaphor til just now. Yeehaw, learn something every day. Oops, there is that cowgirl in me coming out again.

TEEKAY: You are so considerate. Thank you thank you again!!!

I don't remember if I updated you guys or not on the ebay suggestion that I put some jewelry on there. Well, I went out on a limb and put two of my amulet bags on there. My two favorites as a matter of fact. I listed them with the lowest acceptable bid being $5.00. $4.00 for shipping. I did not get a single bid. Now, I am sorry, but even if they sucked they would have been worth five stinking dollars. I retail them for over $90. I think that ebay is just not the place for such things. I would just consider it bad timing, but I even relisted them both a second time, same prices and still not a single bid. My husband put a Max Lucado book up for auction, it sold the very first day for twice what he was asking. Go figure.

I am off to bed. Yeah right...I am off to find new beadshops online. Hehehehe.

Mary 1-6-2002 23:11

Ok, so the kid who flew the private plane into the bank was a bin laudin sympathizer! (No caps on bin laudin because he doesn't deserve caps)

Guess it takes all kinds, sure am glad that nobody else was hurt.

Jerry 1-6-2002 23:00

OYSTER: Bicones. Bi as in 2; cones as in, well...cones. They are any bead that is shaped like two cones put together. Like so: <>

I just picked the clear crystal ones because they look like ice.

Mary 1-6-2002 22:55

Oberservation from a cop friend of mine:

Almost 150 yrs ago, President Lincoln found it necessary to hire a private
investigator - Mr. Alan Pinkerton. The function that Pinkerton established
actually was the beginning of the Secret Service. Since that time federal
police authority has grown to a large number of three-letter agencies -
Now comes a proposal for another agency:
The "Airport Security Service."
Can't you see it now, the new service in their black outfits with their
initials in large white letters across their backs?

Jerry 1-6-2002 20:17


TAYLOR: I saw that on the news too. It was like; "WHO CLOSED THE WINDOW?!?!?!?!"
Well, I thought it was funny.


RANDALL: I do say that sounds jolly good old chap, a spot of lager on the darker, brighter side of the city. you're on :-D

OYSTER: Recipe for DIY knock yourself out juice is a spot of sleep deprivation mixd with 2 argumentative teenagers, throw in a dash of number one son and mix well. Leave to sit 4 hours, then toss in a couple of arguments a bit of a whinge and a whine. Now, here's the really important bit: Shriek madly at intervals for at least 30 minutes (the longer the better, but 30 mins is the minimum) At the same time run around the room waving fists and picking up toys and discarded coffee cups in the process.
You will know when the potion is beginning to take effect because you'll find yourself thinking, 'this is it, I'm having an emotional breakdown, I'm cracking up, it's the looney bin for me', and you know it's definitely working when you find yourself bellowing this out loud. Shortly after this period the brain does a short circuit type of thing (I can't quite recall the medical teerm for it) and you find that really, nothing is important any more. Basically it's a stage of reaching rock bottom and having no where else to go.
OR you could take a pill.

ATTENTION: Please note I do not condone the use of drugs, I only find it acceptable as knock out juice for when teenagers and angst and dirty houses are unavailable and there is no other alternative.

Okay, really though, just in case I'm giving out dreadful impressions all over the place I want to make it perfectly clear that I do NOT take drugs,
I only sell them.

Yaaaarghhhhh I am trying to be serious Burns.

To keep it perfectly simple,
Drugs bad, angst ridden teenagers and dirty houses good.


Ah, where's that bloody novel, I may as well go and do something productive.

In the spirit of CHRISTI,
may you write till the skin peels off your fingers and the pen rubs on bone.
Or, for the keyboard friendly;
May you type till the pads at the end of your fingers are nothing but boney, bloody stumps.

BTW: It's raining. Next in the news you'll be hearing about how NSW is flooding.

Teekay 1-6-2002 19:06

Hi All :)

Oyster -- I love your idea! Get some money for a publication and buy a special Mary Creation. I'm in on that one. What do you say Mary? Sounds like perfect motivation to me.

I recently received an email with a quote that I really like. I only wish I knew who the author of it is.

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

I think that's what I keep trying to achieve in my writing -- a moment that takes a person's breath away. I got a long way to go.... But it will be a fun journey! :)

Here's hoping every word you through onto the page sticks.

Carol 1-6-2002 16:40

VIV -- I found these on
1. Orality and Literacy: the Technologizing of the Word
Ong, Walter J. 33.95 Alibris Alibris Routledge Trade paperback Like new New
2. Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the World
Ong, Walter J. 22.95 Abebooks UNIVERSITY PRESS BOOKS Routledge 1982 ISBN:0415027969. Soft Cover As New
Ong, Walter 11.00 Abebooks Hyannisport Books 1982 (1995) Routledge $3.00 SHIPPING FOR THIS TITLE: softcover with in good condition with no marks (ling.)

there's a link to the ADDALL site from the BIBLIOMANIA site cited before... ;-)

howard 1-6-2002 16:28

And Viv! (I forgot to say hi to Viv ... chagrined blushing). Hi Viv! (toeing carpet here)

One of the things I've been struggling with, due to the computer transfer thing is my thesaurus on Worperfect 5.1 is so excellent that when I'm in other word processing programs, (that are compatible with email) I don't even bother to use them because they're so lame. So is the spellcheck! So Suzy is right, my writing these days is a bit slobbery. Messy, not perfect, but honest and it tells a story. Different styles and narratives are coming out and I like this. Spontaneous is good! Sometimes it's even (ah, such a joy) funny!

And my writing has lately become way longer than it needs to be. That's the part of editing I hate, taking out extraneous words, phrases and sentences. I've become so attached to them all ... whimper! It's like weeding the garden ... is that a weed or a herb?

Yet I was becoming Thesaurus dependent there for a while, and because a lot of my writing was tech-writing and editing and copy editing and ... well you, know the 'make it perfect for publication' stuff, I found myself straight-jacketed. All my writing life I'd 'fixee here, re-write there' with my original thoughts committed to paper (or disk *grin*) and hidden away from prying eyes.

When people did manage to get a glimpse of the 'fiction' or the 'essay' it was a question of "where's the ending?" "Are you going to publish this? You should!"

Mmm. Maybe. I would quickly hide the work-always-in-progress and turn 'professional' again. Now, you wanted to do something with this article? Let's take a look. Oh, let's check the spelling on this. And ... that sentence, I'm confused. Did I miss the last part? No? I see, there is a bit of a block there in the flow, re-write or take it out? Okay, then maybe we'll add to it, (scribble scribble) how does this sound? And this word, is it particular to your profession? Ah, I see, you spelled it incorrectly? Let's just fix that then ...

While it did and still does give me great satisfaction to help someone else 'polish their pearls', I suddenly got the urge to polish my own!

*eyes rolling here* I just realized the image that 'pearl polishing' business would conjure up in a lavicious mind. No matter, it's ... well (blush) it's my best analogy!

And because I've rambled on long enough, here comes Julia Cameron again to say it much better! :>}

"Most of us try to write too carefuly. We try to do it "right". We try to sound smart. We try, period. Writing goes much better when we don't work at it so much. When we give ourselves permission to just hang out on the page. For me, writing is like a good pair of pajamas -- comfortable In our culture, writing is more often costumed up in a military outfit. We want our sentences to march in neat little rows. liek the well-behaved boarding school children. Burn down the schol. Save the books, perhaps, but get the teacher to tell you the real secretes: What does he write and read as a guilty pleasure? Guilty pleasure is what writing is all about. It is about attractions, words you can't resist using to describe things too interesting to pass up. And forget lofty motives."

Julia Cameron - A Writer's Life.

With school age children and having a daughter who insists on writing in her own language, I've learned the hard way to read for content and ignore spelling, syntax, grammar, punctutation, switches from third to first person narrative, the first time around. And just enjoy the story.

My children's writing journies, and the permission they give themselves to create first, edit second (and they hate that more than I do) has liberated me from 'the prison of perfect prose'.

Writing in forums where people spell words in ways that are phonetically accurate but ... well, seem to come from my daughter's language dictionary, helped me to take off my "How do you spell anal retentive, with or without the hyphen?" t-shirt, fold it neatly and put it away.

Mary you are cool. And now I have a goal to aspire to. When I make some money writing, I'm ordering me a Celtic Creation for The Oyster! Fresh water pearls on a silken cord.

New Year's resolution time: Publish some short stories so I can treat myself a Celtic Creation by Cool Mary!

(And as for Suzy ... what's biconite? It sounds gruesome to biconate Suzy, but *wicked smile here*, I like it ... she didn't like it ... she left me alone for today!)

Randall: We have a huge framed print of Robbie Burns being inaugurated as Poet Laureate at "Lodge Canongate" that dominates our living room. Spousie likes it for it's size and frame, I like it because it shows pictures of the Scots in the time of the Bard, and with a wee dram of Scots ancestry (very wee, mind), I feel a kinship with Robbie. (and yes, I like haggis!)

The family is happily eating and I need to plan a celebration of some sort for the end of Christmas Vacation.

Later all!

Oyster 1-6-2002 14:40



I have written of the wonder of the human brain. My novel in progress came to me in a dream, 1997. Last night I awoke, lay there for a minute, captured the name Robert Burns from a dream rapidly receeding. Robert Burns I thought....Robert Burns? ROBERT BURNS!!!! Serious Burns Center!!!! That's it!!!!

Zingo! The Scottish bard! that's what the joke was about!!!!

Ah, the simple pleasures of life.

Poor Queen, she, as I, never realized she was being sent up the river with no paddle and a leaky canoe!



RANDALL 1-6-2002 12:13

Christi: Bungled that spelling. Labocea (single celled bottom dwelling organisms.) It was a kick to tell them that I considered them such.

Heather: Thanks for the vocabulary tip. I've been having a great time with the old word bank! So many big words can be constructively applied when you are completely disgusted!

Viv again 1-6-2002 8:45

Mary thank you! I've got to have that book. It sounds like a treasure that I need. I too have a steam kettle that I put on in the morning. I never thought but I write away merrily until another family member comes and turns it off. Later I rise and I find it cold so I turn it on again. Same thing happens again. I spend all day turning that kettle on. I get a lot of annoyed looks in the morning I think...although I don't notice them!

Howard: Great verse. Sounds exactly like me after my glasses fall off my nose. I should show it to the next student who has to find them and pick them up for me. I drive and look like Mr. Magoo.

Litter: Mary is decapitated, I'm dismembered. What's going to happen to Heather???? Hummm, Heather got any ideas of how you'd like to die in Litter's novel?

Got to hit the hay. First day back at school tomorrow. Groan! Winter vacation comes after finals in three more weeks. Yay, lots of time for those books to come.

Mark: I think I can get a copy of the Orality and Literacy in the Tokai Library. If not I'm going to get them to order it. Somehow it sounds very expensive! I want a close look at that theory. In one way I buy it, and in another way it seems such a large statement which is meant to represent an entire population. I also question whether the Japanese can be included or any nation that begins English as a Foreign Language as young as age 6. The alphabet is taught by the mothers at almost the same time as we teach our children the alphabet. I wonder if the duel contact with the language produces mixed results. I'm also watching my own child who has been learning pictographs since the age of 6. (Before that she learned the syllabic hiraganda along with the other children.) I think it might apply better in Korea but I need to check with a bunch of Koreans to see if they learn a syllabic alphabet before they learn their kanjii. It's an interesting topic. Thanks for bringing it up.

Christi: Yes, I definitely heard that kick. Thank you for applying it. Her lazy little backside jiggled all the way up the street. I'm still mad. How can people get a kick out of killing someone's plants? That makes no sense. They also hate animals. That's a very bad sign in my book. I guess they love to bicker so as my husband jokes, they decided to include me in their arguments. Still, I feel cheapened because they managed to make me angry and pull me down to their level. One thing though, they haven't been bothering my house or my plants since. I think maybe I communicated my message their level. It's just difficult to communicate directly with Labosa.

Viv 1-6-2002 8:37

Suzy would be a single strand choker of clear crystal bicones. Ice on a string. Clean.

Oyster is braided strands of faceted freshwater pearls, no safety clasp, walking a tightrope of hand-knotted silk.

No one has ever thought I was cool before. I am blushing. :-)

Mary 1-6-2002 1:22

Litter: I drool. I found someone to go to LOTR with (a gal-pal who surprised me by reading LOTR, she doesn't do fantasy)but alas, she yaps more than me, so it's either go with her or wait until the video comes out for some peace and quiet. And do tell, is everyone (Teekay & Heather) serious, are you writing a novel? Write On!

Teekay: What on earth did your plastic surgeon give you for ana, anae, um, put-you-out-juice? I want some! Despite my predeliction to 'play it straight'

Ddearest with the B-from-H today and now Son is mourning the loss of Christmas vacation and back to school. Since Sonny is in the dungeon and is sulking, I ain't braving that territory until he's well in bed. So, pass on some of that stuff you been doing, there, Teekay, I could use a vicarious smirk or two!

Christi: Thanks for wondering if I was coming back! This place is rather addictive as good places to be go, so yes, I'll be here as regularly as I can.

Howard: ROTFLFBO (Rolling on the Floor Laughin' My Fat Butt Off). Southern American Terrorists? Way too many Bubba bins for me to remember. Too busy wiping tears out of my eyes to care!

Randall: No ba-ba Bubba? I tried. See, when I need a professional working title for something, I'm coming here. You have good sense. I have non-sense. But sometimes, like Teekay, I make myself laugh. Okay, so what if that's the first sign of insanity ... aren't most writers a little nuts?

Except Mary: Argh. Mary, you brought back the dreaded Suzy.


Suzy: See, Mary is organized. Mary has a plan. Mary has a business making beatuiful things besides. You could take notes you know. Why don't you try her writing exercises.

Oyster: Because I already am writing! Mary is Mary. Mary is cool. I am an Oyster, and I have no organization. It is endemic to who I am to write the way I do. You should know that.

Suzy: (hands on hips and eyes rolling) That is "I am a Rock, and a Rock feels no pain."

Oyster: That too. Ouch, stop trying to grab my grit!

Suzy: It's dirty, let me wash it for you.

Oyster: NO! It's stuck, I'm ... ow, let go! I'm putting abalone on it, leave it ... and me ... alone!

Suzy: Slobbering on it, you mean. And speaking of slobber, why is there a pool of drool on the computer keyboard?

Oyster: I was reading Carol's story. It reminded of Squish.

Suzy: Well (sniff). You might say something nice to Jerry and Taylor, you know!

Oyster: Taylor? Taylor didn't post lately, you're just trying to make me feel guilty about not cleaning my office.

Suzy: About that office ...

Oyster: Okay, I'll say hi to Taylor and Jerry.

Suzy: Ask them for help.

Oyster: Help with what?

Suzy: You know darn well what! More drool, wipe that up!

Oyster: I can't it's stuck on my shell and you pulled my grit so ...

Suzy: You are a disgusting, sloppy, self-absorbed, lazy, writing-fanatic with a serious organization problem. Do you know that??! I give up on you!

Oyster: (grinning as Suzy walks away) and I have understanding writer friends who don't like you either. I bet Mary would make a necklace out of you!

Suzy: I heard that! Clean your office before it gets condemned!


And we wonder why Oysters like to write in the dark? *Wicked Grin* Mary, what would a necklace of Suzy look like?

Bye all!

Oyster 1-5-2002 22:46


Teekay: I will look for Ice Station then.

Woke up to some news this morning about a small twin engine aircraft hitting the 28th floor of the Bank of America... I know its serious, but it seemed funny to me to have that plane still sticking out of the building... Only the 15 yr old pilot was killed, and not much damage to the building

Taylor 1-5-2002 22:25



Okay... congrats, you finally got one over on me. Will someone explain the "Serious Burns Joke?" The whole thing went yards over my head. Is a Scottish/English thing?

Teekay....there is a devious side to you I'm just now beginning to understand. :-) We should get together sometime in Kings Cross, Sydney and have a spot of ale. Say, what.


Randall 1-5-2002 20:44

The Queen was visiting a new Hospital, somewhere in Scotland. The wards were clean and bright, the patients were well cared for, and the staff seemed happy in their work.

She is shown into Ward 5, one of the trauma wards. The patients were sitting up in bed prepared. She approaches the first bed and asks: “And where do you come from my man?”

To which the patient responds: “By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes…”

She smiles benignly and moves to the next bed and asks “And what is your name?”

“John Anderson my jo, John.”

“Yes, lovely.” She replies and walks to the next bed. “Were your family awfully upset when you were brought in here?”

“Ae fond kiss and then we severed…” The man replies.

“Jolly good!” Said the Queen as she turned to the next patient. “Tell me, my man, will you be in here for long?”

“If auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?”

The Queen smiled serenely, a little perplexed by the poetic responses to her questions. She turned to the Consultant responsible for showing her round the ward: “And what kind of ward is this?”

“Why, Maam, this is the Serious Burns Ward…”

1-5-2002 20:22

I am not long back from seeing ‘The Lord of the Rings’. I cannot find a superlative praiseworthy enough to describe how I feel.

“WOW!” seems totally inappropriate.

Litter 1-5-2002 20:20

Oh, Litter, how flattered am I to hear you will enjoy dismembering me on paper? I'm flattered tonnes. Do I get to be like Marie Antoinette?
Here, let me help you visualize: "Let them eat Pizza!"


Back to being a vegetable.

Heather 1-5-2002 20:12


Of course I don't HAVE to come back and tell you that 'my' cheque was actually s'posed to be 'by' cheque, but I do so have such a problem with stating the obvious.

Teekay 1-5-2002 19:21


Something went horribly wrong with my new smile. I'm glad I paid that plastic surgeon my cheque.
Am off to cancel it now.

Teekay 1-5-2002 19:19


Looks at HOP, looks at EDDIE, looks back at HOP; "Whaddya mean 'finally'??????? We're not that bloody old." :=}D Like my nose job?
Thanks, but.

CHRISTI: Dat you Christi girl? Dat really you? Thankyou for the kind words re the story, I'm glad you liked it. And here's one of my special new smiles 4 U 2 d:=})
BTW: It's good to see you giving up the genius hat without a fight.
'Write till you puke' - I love it. A sentiment from the gut if ever there was one.

LITTER: Hmmmmm pills/pain pills/pain pills/pain, ah bugger it, pills.
I never claimed to be a good influence.
d:=}D These smiles are too time consuming - lucky you, you got the last one.
Or you could try meditation, though not very many westerners have the patience for this practise.

So our prize is a mention in your novel. At the rate you have just revealed you are writing it most of us will be dead before we see our name in print.
KWIIIIISHAAAAAAAAAA (sound of whip, whipped) GEDDA MOVE ON!!!

HOWARD: About the freedom thing from a conversation about 473289428 posts ago, I think those who best display freedom while bodily oppressed are Buddhists.
Did you know Buddha wasn't a deity, but a teacher? Found that out last night.
Loved the poem.
Am handing genius cap back to rightful owner.
I didn't want the responsibility of it anyway, and it kept falling down over my ears.
I don't wear genius well.

TAYLOR: I bet you would really LOVE the book 'Ice Station' by Matthew J. Reilly.
I wish someone would read it, I've raved about it often enough.
It's on my very short list of best books I've ever read.

CAROL: You know when you've done a good job when your writing leaves a mark on the reader and they find their thoughts coming back to it.

RANDALL: A leak under the sink eh? No wonder the wife and kiddies are upset, don't you have a toilet?

Uh oh, I believe I'm having one of those days where I'm the only one who thinks I'm funny. Ah well, at least I'll be having a good day.

I love you all.
Each and every one of you are in my thoughts at least once a day.

Teekay 1-5-2002 19:17

Carol, Nicely done. I didn't find it grusome at all. The image of the skinless man will be with me for a while though.

Christi 1-5-2002 14:18


Teekay, That story was bloody brilliant! I agree with Debra, send it out! Thank you so much for posting it. It was so clever and funny and insightful all at the same time. You've earned that genius hat.

Viv, Give your crappy neighbors a swift kick in the pants for me. I want to FEEL the contact, want to hear the thwack! see the jiggle. I do believe I hate these nosy people.
Good luck with the job interview.
Your poems were great! It's funny to see how much we effect each other; Teekay wrote a story that was inspired here and you wrote a poem. That says volumes about this place and the people in it.

Heather, I think you need a restraining order! That woman is a nut job and there's not a damn thing you can do for her because she doesn't want your help. She just wants to poo all over you and then leave, happy that her work is done. Where'd all these hateful people come from? Let's send them to the planet of poo. They should be quite happy there.

Sorry guys, but I'm a bit miffed!

Jerry, I really enjoyed your story.

Mark, I never had the guts to drive Dad's car but I did frequently sneak out my bedroom window at night.
I really enjoyed your story and was thinking about taking you up on your offer, but I can't. I could exchange on a more stretched out basis though. I think I have a problem. Once I begin to feel obligated I want to run the other way screaming. Maybe we have more in common than at first glance. :D

Hey Suz! I have Writing Down the Bones and I just found a new NG book called Wild Mind. It's fab.
Welcome aboard.

Litter, It's so hard to write while you're not feeling well. I find it almost impossible. Don't beat yourself up about it; you'll be back to vibrant form soon!
Now that you've named your prizes I'm regretting very much that I didn't give it a whack. I wouldn't have mattered though, because I'm awful with guessing games.

Hey, Hop!

Hey, Oyster! Glad you made it back. I was wondering.


Heya, Mare!

I saw flashes of brilliance as I attempted to catch up on this here notebook. I believe I must be doing something right because the company I'm keeping is great. Now here's my fond and crass farewell (I'm blaming it on too much coffee).

Write 'til you puke,

Christi 1-5-2002 14:10



Call me Ali Bin Plumber! Had a minor leak under the sink, supply side, wife and kids all upset.

"Dad the buckets running over! Fix the leak!!"

Jeeze! Do I have to solve all the problems around here? Any plumber will tell you the short term solution is...a BIGGER BUCKET!!! Don't know why I have to come up with all the answers. I mean it's just been (El Line Bin Leaker?) dripping for the last year...or so...perhaps a little longer. :-)

Oh well, the jobs done. Should last longer than I'll be around.

Oyster!? Ba-Ba Bubba? (GRINS) No Bubba is a real Silky Terrier and the Bubba/BJ tail (Big Grin) is real. As a matter of fact he's sitting beside me now begging for another bite of breakfast cereal. Uh, frosted shredded wheat. Oyster I have found that I can have more fun, and perform better if I write what I know, experiences, and such...with just a little fiction thrown in.

Example; Red Britches is a blend of a couple of guys I know, see them around town on a daily basis in fact. One of these self-imposed winos was the first man to fully explain to me the "Trickle Down" affect as related to "Supply Side" drinking. It was many years ago during Ronald Reagan's presidency. A bunch of us were sitting outside the PTA office/shop/brewery/hang out and hang loose headquarters when a local wino wandered up. Oyster, ah, PTA is Part Time Alcoholics. Never have I wished, with more fervor, for a tape recorder to record the hilarious, if rambling story of how the "trickle down" effect really works. Annnnnnnnnd that's where the fiction comes in. Memory fails, draw upon past knowledge. Which brings me back to the beginning...write what you know.

Jerry...One gun person never has to explain to another why guns are a part of their life. Gun ownership (legal) is hard for non- gun persons to understand. And most folks fear what they do not understand. A man I work with tells me his son's girlfriend's family is consumed with fear because someone they know, a felon, is "after" them. Asked for police protection, installed motion sensors on top of motion sensors, leave the lights on at night. My co-worker asked the man did he have a gun to protect his family? The man replied, "Why no, guns are dangerous! I wouldn't have one in my house!" A gun is lethal, no argument there and a lot of persons won't have anything to do with them. But it is a tool and if stored and used properly could save your family from a deranged person intent on "getting even".

Yes, guns are dangerous. And a lot of people that should not, do have them. As you are aware a Supreme Court case years ago ruled that police departments were under " special obligation..." to protect individual citizens. That leveled the bad guy/good guy playing field and left the average ordinary American citizen on his or her own.

BTW, a local Justice of the Peace and gun shop owner told me just before Christmas his gun suppliers were running out of guns. There was an explosion of gun purchases on the east and west coast of America. He also commented his busisness was slow, because "Folks around here have plenty of guns."


See ya


RANDALL 1-5-2002 13:31

Aargh! I was a touch nervous about posting that story. As a result, I neglected to do it properly. The working title should be: Black Sheep -- not sheet and there should be proper paragraphs. My apologies.

Carol 1-5-2002 13:26

Hi All :)

Warning -- my resulting story from this week's theme may be a bit too gruesome for some. Nevertheless, here it is.

Working title
Black Sheet
Carol F. Geniesse

He was only a foot from the water’s edge. With no moon to light the way, his eyes fully adjusted, he could pick out the reason for the quiet lapping of water. A bamboo cage rested on the pond floor. A man’s head could be seen above the water’s surface.
A simple recon mission had just changed.
Creeping through the jungle, the black-clad man scoped out the inhabitants of the camp. They were scattered in various locations, resting, eating, talking quietly. There was no sign they knew he was there. No sign that they cared about the man in the water. Their weapons were laying around.
First priority: get the prisoner to safety.
He slithered back through brush and elephant grass. The Master had trained him well. Not one blade touched him.
The man in the cage barely moved when he saw him. His eyes widened, but not much more. Silence was broken only by an occasional murmur drifting from the camp.
He lifted the naked man out of the water, placed a finger to his lips. No sound. When he discovered the man couldn’t walk, he slung him over his shoulder and began a quiet run away from the camp. The only sound he could hear was the man’s skin ripping off his body as it stuck to his clothing. He was so light. No flesh remained on the man’s frame. He made no noise, no sound of pain escaped his lips.
Safely away from the camp, he set the man down to lean against a tree. He placed his lips next to the water logged ears. "They will pay for this." He disappeared into the jungle.
The camp was as he had left it. Quiet. With his knife in hand, he slit a throat. He moved in closer. Laughter rang in his ears. They were telling jokes. How could they tell jokes? They were degraders of Americans. They didn’t deserve to live, didn’t deserve to laugh.
Anger pulsed through his body. His blood thrummed, drowning out all the Master’s teachings.
When next he drew a deep breath, he saw the result of his boiling blood.
Bodies lay everywhere. Not a one alive or whole. Arms, legs, heads lay scattered. He looked at his hands. How had he done this? Such strength was not known to exist.
Then he remembered the man he had left in the jungle. The courage he had shown in the face of extreme pain. No prisoner deserved to be treated in that fashion. There were laws about that. The enemy had broken the law. They deserved what they had gotten. A message needed to be sent. No one would do this thing again.
He gathered all the bloody heads and threw them in a wheelbarrow. With his finger dipped in red he wrote, "this is what happens when you torture Americans." He pushed the barrow down the trail where it would be found and left it there.
The American was where he had left him. He gave a soft grunt to let the man know he was back. He wouldn’t touch him and cause needless pain. Their eyes met in silent communication.
The naked man wet his lips and whispered. "Who are you? By what name can I thank you?"
"I am Black Sheep."
"What’s your real name?"
He shook his head and lifted the man back over his shoulder. It was a long hike back to the LZ.

The End

Carol 1-5-2002 13:19

Hi All :)

Litter - do what you can as you can. Maybe put a "can" by your writing space for those bouts of nausea. hehehe I gotta lose life or limb huh? Well, I can't think of a better way to go than in the service of great literature. I applaud your using names you know. I've done that a couple of times and it really made the writing more fun for me. Especially if I use an old boyfriend's name for a character to kill off.

Viv -- I'll pray real hard Wednesday. Oh yes I will!

Oyster -- I had to laugh at your story about the "legal niece." During my first week as a bartender, a man hit on me. I asked his name during the course of the one-sided fliration (he was much too old for me). "Now I know why you look so familar to me -- you're my mother's favorite cousin!" The look on his face was priceless! But I sure had a great protector after that.

Carol 1-5-2002 12:23

LITTER: Sorry that you are in such a physical predicament. I miss your emails, but I actually stopped writing as frequently because I felt I was causing you to sit and type for longer than you really needed to. I hope that if you are able and up to it, you will write to me soon.

VIV: When I first started getting serious about writing I received a book for my birthday called "Discovering the Writer Within --40 Days to More Imaginative Writing". This book was a great spring board. Each day there is a new exercise for you to do. I always got up first thing in the morning, put on the kettle and sat down at the dining room table with this book and my notebook. I was still writing long-hand then. Wow, that seems like forever ago. Sometimes, I would get started on the exercise before the kettle started boiling, I would finish the little story and notice the kettle was whistling. It had been whistling for several minutes and I was so absorbed I hadn't even heard it!

This book was invaluable to me because I knew that I wanted to write, needed to write, but I had a hard time deciding WHAT. This gave me something to shoot at, and embedded in each exercise is a lesson. You don't even know you are learning a lesson, but each 'assignment' would target an area of composition or grammar, or just plain old brainstorming.

The book is by Bruce Ballenger and Barry Lane if you are interested in checking it out. Good luck!

Begin writing, starting with the four words below. Write quickly, without thinking too much about what you want to say before you write it. Write for ten minutes. Time yourself.

When I write, I...

Those are the very first words in the book. They are followed by what you should see when you read the words you just wrote and how to analyze your feelings about them. That gives you the base you need to cusomize your writing time and experience around your capabilities and attitude.

Knowing how much you like shortie night themes, and exercises, this is right up your alley.

Mary CeltiCreations 1-5-2002 10:51

OYSTER -- "Ba-ba Bubba?" Would you believe I just got this in the mail!? (author unknown)

NEWS UPDATE: Terrorists Multiplying in the Southeast U.S.

The governors of Alabama, Georgia & Mississippi have announced today that a disturbing trend has emmerged in their states.
Apparently, some number of the Al-Qida terrorists have made their way to the south and while seeking hideouts, have become romantically involved with some locals.
The governors have reported a new class of southerners: ISLAMABUBBAS.
So far, only a smattering of actual births has been reported, and authorities are hard at work trying to isolate and seal them off.
To date, we have identified the following:
Mohammed Billy Bob Abba Bubba
Mohammed Jethro Bin Thinkin Bout It
Mohammed Forrest Gumpa Bubba
Mohammed Rubba Dub Dubba Bubba
Bobbie Joe Bubba Charlene Atit
Betty Jean Hasbeena Badgurl
Cleavie Daba Hava Tampa
Linda Sue Bin There Dunthat
To date, most seem to have sprung from one couple:
Mohammed Whoozyadaddy and Yomamma Bin Lovin.

Howard 1-5-2002 9:01

It was Litter! Sorry Litter, Happy New Year!

Oyster 1-5-2002 5:05

Hello everyone!

And welcome Suz.

Mary! How are you? Hello to Barnabas and Mark. Hi, Heather, and Carol, and Teekay and Viv. Debra and Christi, Howard. Americo? Did I forget some one? I have this nagging feeling, my mind is reeling.

Belated Happy New Years to all. No New Year's resolutions yet. Except to get the basement organized. Oh, Lordy, it took us ten years to disorganize it, how long will it take? Another 10?

Jerry: I read your future piece twice on New Years Eve (I think?). It reminded me a bit of a movie I've seen but I can't think which one! All I remembered was a Richard Basehart type of narrating voice reading (in the movie).

Randall: At the risk of being flippant (and I still can't tell if you're doing a first person narrartive 'real story' or making a really good fiction) I vote you name your story Ba-ba Bubba in Honour of Mary's Black Sheep Shortie theme.

Those two I read before New Years.

Aside from continuing to quote Julia Cameron all over the place, I went deep, deep into the dungeon and wrote and wrote and ...

Oh my. This story is not turning out as I thought it would! I'm five chapters into the thing and haven't gotten Bwitch out of town yet! And she's only 16! At the rate I'm going this thing will be the Bwitch Version of War and Peace! Yet there is something compelling about this story of a large girl in a small town. *head shaking here*

I did, however, manage to see the Harry Potter Movie! Wow!

A couple of nights ago we started reading the second of J.K's series. Son and I are taking turns reading "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" while Daughter turns carthwheels and interrupts occasionally.

I managed to get through Anne Rice's "Blood and Gold" over Christmas, which I rather enjoyed because I like Botticelli's paintings and he was a character in it. I like the way Rice overlays a sense of history and timelessness in her novels. I'd like to be able to write as sensually as she does some day as well.

But living with two other writers? Um, I don't think so. Christopher Rice, Anne and Stan's son just recently published a novel, too. Can anyone imagine living with another writer?

I'm looking forward to the kids going back to school, only to find out the Teachers are going out on strike soon! oh yay ... NOT!

And tonight I heard a brilliant but rather crass line that makes me want to write a story about it. We were chaperoning the Jelly Bean (13 and under) Dance and one of the other chaperones was talking about his neice being old enough to be in the bar with him.

He was talking about a friend of his 'hitting' on his now legal neice and remarked with umbrage: "I know those guys and they're not going near my neice again!" Then as if the thought struck him he said "They're all pigs!" Everyone laughed. Even me. I didn't realize until I wrote it here that the kind of story that would come out of such a comment would have to be brilliantly funny (uh oh, this could be a real challenge) or it could turn very ugly.

Anyone else struggle with the fine line between grotesque and gross?

Now I've rambled long enough and I'm up way past my bed time.

All the best in 2002 ... may your writing muses be kind to you. And could someone tell me how to get to Jack's new workbook? Is it up and running yet?

Oyster 1-5-2002 5:01

After that short break (brother had to play computer games and then dinner then my brother continuing with the computer games) I'm back.

Well, for Christmas we got the Muppets from Space DVD. The optional audio commentary by Rizzo and Gonzo makes it worth the extra price I think. (DVD's are about 40 NZ dollars by the way while videotapes are 20-30 dollars)

It's summer here so there have been tons of summer warning ads on TV plus the usual Christmas Drink driving ads.

Teekay and Eddie
Glad you two are finally published.

I have friend whose nosebleeds every now and then for no particular reason. It just does. Of course, he doesn't usually try to squirt the blood out of his eye but then he's not quite that erm...cheeky?

Speaking of accidental bleedings I have a cousin and friend who have both run through those glass sliding doors. You know, the type, metal frame glass mostly and it might be cooler but it's completely invisible in the night. They both ran through them when they were young and weren't paying attention to the door. Both have them had leg injuries and had to wear casts. Apparently those glass doors are maimers in both Singapore and New Zealand.

Absolutely right. How a language is created and structured affects the way people think.


Barnabas "Hop" 1-5-2002 2:31

Just read a chilling e-mail from the N.D. Supreme Court. Seems they are advertising to their lawyer subscribers that there are three openings in the U.S. Attorney's office. Two for dealing with crimes on the Indian Reservations and one for prosecuting Firearm Violations.

I just watched the Ruby Ridge affair a couple of days ago, and the revelation that the U.S. Attorney in North Dakota needs a special prosecutor JUST to deal with Firearm Violations doesn't set well with my gun owner bones.

I don't know why it concerns me so much. I haven't pulled a trigger now since '94 when I shot my last deer, and that from the window of my brother-in-law's pickup (oh it was legal, I had a shoot from the vehicle permit), and my son just asked me why I still have all those guns, honestly I didn't have an answer, except I just haven't got around to selling them off I guess.

I know - a gun YARD SALE!

It has been warm enough these past few days, up in the 50's today, and more of the same are expected for the next 7 days. Looks like the cold weather has gone south with the geese.

Jerry 1-5-2002 0:34

Litter - You have my sympathy. I have problems, not stomach related, but writing related with my meds too. The balance between clear-headedness and freedom from the worst pain has to be met. There has been no such thing as a pain free day for me since sometime in '92, I forget the actual date, but there is the normal pain, that I can live with, and that that comes forth if I drop the meds back a bit to far.

I think I have it fairly regulated with a balance of pain - anti inflam and muscle relaxants. I can keep at that balance and drive, think, write and sleep most of the night, well part of the night anyhow.

At any rate, hang in there.

Pain is a strange thing, it can make a man do things that he would never have considered before the pain took over his life.

Viv - If I remember right, and I think I do, it is about 999 miles from here to El Paso, so Carlsbad would be around 900 miles I would guess. Just a short afternoon drive you know. I recall when my dad was dieing, I drove the trip straight through, after spending the previous night on guard duty. With a brand new car, and not paying much attention to the then new 55 mile per hour speed limit I made the trip in twenty four hours, and got to visit one last time with my dad. He got to hold our new daughter who he had never seen one time, then passed on. It was worth the drive, but when it was over, and dad was gone, I crashed on mom's couch and slept for nearly twenty hours.

Well I am off to play with the box the kids came in. Good night to all.

Write ON!

Jerry 1-5-2002 0:14


That's a whole crap load of asses.

Heeheeeee () () () ()
^ ^ ^ ^

Debra 1-4-2002 23:43

Hello everyone. Just dropping in to say hello.

I've been working on my novel so I haven't really had time to post or read posts. That and the fact that my siblings are using the computer to play games all day and night.

So I'm probably going to be missing a few weeks. Again.

Well, hope the New Year goes well.

Barnabas "Hop" 1-4-2002 23:38

Teekay: The book is on certain politics, but first saw this guy on foxtel when he was interviewing Tom Clancy about the border patrol in New Mexico, I left the tape running on the news channel when I was taping something else
He was strong headed and that, but the way he interviewed was very direct and kept things on target. At first I really didnt like him, but watched him a couple of more times.
The show is called, "The Oreilly Factor"

In the book it has things like his interview and stuff about the ACLU defending NAMBLAs right to express their opinions, and a few others such as I wont say on here

taylor 1-4-2002 23:32

What the heck? VIV - you triggered this with your post:

In a small place
I turn searching,
looking for solidity.
Reaching out
with both hands,
I find it.

I think I'm headed downstream...

howard 1-4-2002 23:08

Forgot some things
Suz: Thanks! I think I've heard of writing down to the bones. THAT's a definite. Anything with kleenex involved is a definite as well! Wonderful way to spend a grey day, in a chair reading a book. Ooooh, hurry winter vacation. Two more classes, finals to give, and here I am playing on the notebook instead of writing the classes and finals! (That'd make my students happy...sorry no final, I didn't feel like writing it! My ratings would go sky high...then I'd do a sky dive toward unemployment!)

Litter: Hang in there! I hope the exhaustion gives way to a bright pain free day and a whole heap of writing. Sometimes it takes a little time to adjust to medications. At least I hope so. I'd love being dismembered. Please, have the eyeglasses fall off first. That's what always happens. I have these HUGE thick lensed glasses. I peer through them like a mole. They are always sporting a smudge or a couple of spots. I hate them and they are NOT a fashion statement. So have the darned things take the usual bounce off my nose so I don't see the dismemberment coming. (It's much less painful that way).

By the way, my hair will pick up the color of blood nicely. It's blond.

Viv 1-4-2002 22:46

Thank you! I'm saving the last bunch of books recommended. I have my winter vacation looming up ahead of me and this will give me the reading list I want. Oooooh! There goes the Master Card charge up again. It's worth it.
Mark: The idea of pictograph vs phonetics is somewhat limited when you find out that three fourths of the population is somewhat dependent upon hiraganda (the phonetic equivalent of kanjii which was invented to aid the women (read that last word as mentally challenged which was the idea at that time)

Basically, the entire population will tell you that they CAN read kanjii. Whip out the school newsletter, as I have done on many occasions and you'll find out that 3/4ths of the people you've asked haven't the foggiest idea of what it says. They can read it when the hiraganda pronunciations are printed above the kanjii. A pictograph system is terribly difficult to keep in the memory and requires about an hour or two of study a day to maintain.

I can't wait to read the book though, because although I have some questions, I'll bet they are answered in the book.

Is there anything in the book about spacial ability? I've noticed that as my daughter studied kanjii she developed a finely tuned sense for how to fit things into small spaces. I've noticed this ability in my Japanese friends as well. Interesting idea.

Howard: Nope! You're the best when it comes to writing! Suggesting books too. Hope you're still going strong on the poetry because yours are the kind that get published.

Teekay: Thanks! I was talking about my grandfather! Now there was a black sheep if EVER there was a black sheep. Hey Heather, guess what, my grandfather got arrested too. He rode his horse into a bar and shot up the ceiling. He had read too many dime novels and got a wild itch to do it himself. He said it was worth it, but everyone said it was a good thing there wasn't a second floor in that building.

Rosemary: OK here's the deal. On Tuesday morning my time and on Wednesday afternoon about 2:00 PM your time, everyone drop to your knees and send up a prayer for me. Or if you happen to be in the local supermarket, driving on a highway, or visiting your child's school...better just cross your fingers. That's when my husband gets his telephone interview. I really hope this works because we want it soooooooooo much it hurts. We try to not get excited about stuff like this but with New Mexico, that's like being promised a trip to on the space shuttle.

I'd get a kick out of being close enough to hear you all shout! (Well, maybe take a days drive and go out for a big Ice Cream Sunday!) Yep! I still spell it Sunday! I'm not going out for anything like a Sundae. That word looks like something they'd come up with in a fancy restaurant that is measured out in minuscule proportions by a pernickety waiter.

Viv 1-4-2002 22:34

HEATHER -- U of G has two copies of "Orality and Literacy."

VIV -- Walter Ong is a Chinese-American Jesuit priest who taught psychology at Washington University of St. Louis. For about ten years his main research area was The Influence of Literacy on Cognition. "Orality and Literacy" is a 200 page jaunt through his researches on the way people perceive the world and how that perception is shaped by living in an oral culture or living in a literate culture.

As a sidebar to that you can add interesting dashes of flavor with information on notions of literacy in a culture of ideograms(Asia) -vs- a culture of phonograms(The West). In either case, of course, literacy affects the way we think. Just how that's happened is eye-opening; as are what we've lost and what we've gained.

Mark 1-4-2002 20:46

What to do?

My medication is causing fatigue and nausea, stopping the meds will cause extreme pain and fatigue… What to do???

My work in progress will be about 80,000 words of which I have 10,000. At my present daily progress of about 10 words per day, it should only take me another 19years 2months. Hmmm! Looks like I need lots more words… Okay, if each of you sends me a few of your discarded and unused words, I’ll catch up in no time. I’d prefer words to be of three syllables or more, but I’ll settle for whatever I can get. C’mon, blow the dust of all those old words that are just lying about.

Prizes, prizes, prizes… On the Burn’s translation question prizes are given to Teekay, Mary, oh, all of the lovely ladies on this notebook, as I’m in a good mood. (normally restricted to about 10 minutes per day)

All of you good ladies will have your name (the one you use here) immortalised in my work in progress. It is a murder mystery so be prepared for your namesakes to lose life or limbs… Is that a prize, or is that a prize?

You got it mostly right, but Rabbie Burns was a bit of a lad and sometime lines of poetry were sanitised for all but the most special of publications. The line “And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught,” (the dynamics of the words here are wrong) now has the affectation of a hyphen, which, when taken out, changes the meaning back to what was originally meant, and that has more to do with the effect that a copious amount (weight/waught) of alcohol has on the bladder and the consequent feelings experience in the mail member and urinary tract. There! Clear as a bell. I have a monk e-friend in New Zealand who has stopped singing verse 5 now that he knows what it means :o)

Can’t wait to write Heather/Slugger into the storyline :o}

To everyone else – joy beyond measure.

Litter 1-4-2002 20:28

A shivery, crisp evening to all,

I have visited Carlsbad, NM many times. It is a beautiful place, full of wildlife, quaint architecture, and of course a very large cave full of cute little bats. There is a wonderful camp grounds where deer and racoons come around at night to see if you have been messy with anything they might like.
You will have (hopefully---fingers crossed for you) the enjoyment of desert and mountains and whoopee---Texas (that includes Randall and I) is right next door. San Antonio is only about 600 miles away, that's half way across Texas. Our chamber of commerce tells us it is a very desirable tourist location.

You will have Christi in the other direction, probably not as far, Jerry will be northeast about six or seven hundred miles. I think everyone else is way further than that in scattered directions, mostly north.

It would be great for all of us.

By the way, I loved your poem. It is one of the few examples of poetry that I have seen that makes sense. It even tells a story. I don't go in much just for the sound of the words. No musical nature here.

Take care all,

Rosemary 1-4-2002 19:52

Hi All :)

Viv - I failed on our buddy system today. I promise, not only you but myself as well, that the writing takes top priority tomorrow. Today has been one of those everything goes wrong days. I didn't get enough sleep last night so had to take a nap which lasted too long. I didn't get any of my "to do's" done for today. Then I found myself going back to the store five minutes after returning from the store. If I hadn't told hubby my plans for supper, I would have been able to change the menu, but his mouth waters when I mention Chicken Paprikish.

Heather - what an experience you had! At least it should come in handy for a character or two or three.

Suz - I love your quote! Thanks for sharing it.

I got the rest of my Christmas present today. I joined the Writers Digest Book Club. Not only did I get the Writers Market for this year free, but soooo many other handy books.

Off to get a few things done yet tonight so I can actually do some writing tomorrow!!! Gotta do it. Gotta do it.....

Carol 1-4-2002 19:33


Yeah, right, okay, yeah, well mornin'

HEVVER: At some uni's the public can pay a fee and are then able to borrow books.
I know what you mean about libraries, they are one of my favouritest places on earth. Bliss would be unlimited, uninterupted time browsing in a library *sigh*.
I go to the library to borrow one or two books and you can bet your bottom dollar every single time you'll see me staggering home with an armful of them. Not that they all get read, but I do like to have options.

VIV: Your black sheep poem was fantastic!
And I really hope you get to move back to the states. I have my fingers crossed for you.

TAYLOR: Did you see on the 7:30 report last night, those 6 Aussie authors sitting around discussing the past year?
What's the book you got about? I betting it's about political subterfuge.

DEBRA: In my jeans 1 ass makes 4 asses. I'm told it's hereditary.

Orright, unnuf a that.

Teekay 1-4-2002 18:57

viv, you might want to try 'bird by bird' by anne lamott. bring the kleenex. i also love natalie goldberg. when i need a shot in the arm, either of those girls do it for me. natalie has two terrific books, 'writing down the bones' which is great for exercises and stuff, and 'thunder and lightning' which is geared toward the novelist.

suz 1-4-2002 18:23

VIV -- I'm the one with the link, and Mark's the one who was looking for the book. It's really easy to tell us apart -- he's the smart one, and I'm

howard 1-4-2002 18:23

Hi Suz- Comment away! We all do and it strengthens work in most cases if it's done in a constructive way. From what you wrote I can tell your comments will be appreciated.
I love what you wrote on black sheep.

Lynda-I think if a place is generally well known you can use the name by simply putting it in caps and don't have to get permission. If it isn't it should be relatively simple to get permission if you contact the owner. Most business' want their name out for publicity value anyway so it's a win-win situation.

Mark and Howard: Mark, thanks for the booksite link. That will be a help! I order strange and obscure books. Howard, what is this book Orality and Literacy about? Sounds neat. I really am interested because I was struggling to find Oral Communications projects and lucked into a chat with someone familiar with the African culture of oral literacy. Seems the African culture is one of oral storytelling. I tried it out on my class and although the general mood of the group was pessimistic, they did accomplish some pretty fair stories. We ended up having a nice time using various themes, rather like our Thursday shortie sessions.

Can anyone suggest great books for getting you going on writing. I have Julie Cameron but would like to branch out a bit.

Carol: I'm looking forward to seeing your latest. I hope you are not discouraged by my lack of communication earlier this week. These darned funks you land in after a holiday are crippling. It's enough to make me go completely Science Christian (or whatever religion it is) that doesn't celebrate holidays at all. Thanks for the dog tips because they really came in handy while I was getting that attack on paper.

Viv 1-4-2002 17:33

I have a question maybe someone can answer? Is there a law or a "rule" regarding using actual names of places, businesses, restaurants, etc in a fiction book? Do you have to ask for permission from each place?

lynda 1-4-2002 17:03

Hey Suz...I love that quotation. One of my friends uses that as the signature on the bottom of her emails. If I wouldn't feel like a big ol'copycat, I would do that as well.

Mary 1-4-2002 11:03

good morning! i stopped in for just a sec and spent half an hour reading all this stuff! i can't stay and comment on anything at length (does anyone mind if i comment? heh) but i have something to say about black sheep. ;)

my friend Al said....

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."

i've always thought that many black sheep were simply great spirits ;0

suz 1-4-2002 10:54

BTW -- I've found to be an excellent source of book info! It's very well laid out, and has links to a lrge number of new and used book sites.

howard 1-4-2002 9:57

MARK -- There are several copies of "Orality and Literacy," along with many other Walter Ong books at
Their search engine is very quick!

howard 1-4-2002 9:55

Hi MARK! No, I don't have your copy of "Orality and Literacy" -- but I do still have the Lem book "Pirx the Pilot" that you sent me.
I just checked Ebay, and they don't have the Ong book.

howard 1-4-2002 9:10


Hey all... I finally received my autographed copy of the 'No Spin Zone' written by Bill Oreilly.
He has a heck of a way with words thats for sure

taylor 1-4-2002 8:17

Black sheep are generally creative and productive Heather. Everyone goes through periods of being black sheep because there are types of people that enjoy making a person feel like a black sheep. It's common group behavior to get everyone to conform to a standardized norm. Unless you want to belong to the standardized norm and can force the type of behavior that will keep you group associated, you'll find yourself among the "black sheep" occasionally.

I hope when you got into the street fight that you managed to blacken an eye or at least get a good jab to land on a nose. It's also easy to be arrested for misbehavior at one time or another. Sometimes I think that the police think it's easier to arrest a woman than a man because it appears on the surface to be less of a danger.

Sounds strange but I got carted off by the police as well. What was my huge crime? I carried a porta-pack (what was known as a video camera now days) into a non-public meeting. Too bad it was so big! Back then they had reel to reel tape in them. What non-public meeting? The Water Board! They were sleezing through a dam that was going to be built smack dab on a geological fault. The purpose of the dam? To provide water to the real estate development which was going to be built below the dam. What kind of real estate? Low Cost Housing.

viv 1-4-2002 6:04

Okay, I'm sorry. That's unnecessary torture. I shall give a hint, and then tell tomorrow. I don't want to leave anyone hanging in suspense this morning.

I got into a street fight. There. Whew.
Now I'm going to go and faint.

Heather 1-4-2002 3:50

Ok. I know, there are going to be a bunch of people wondering, 'what did you get arrested for?' I don't think I've ever said much about it here.
Hold those thoughts, jump not into speculation.

I will write the whole shitwhack down for you tomorrow and post it. That can be my writing goal of the day. Well, one of them.

Oh, heh heh, this post is anonymous by the way... ;-D

Heather 1-4-2002 3:47

Jerry - you are sweet to say that. I forgot to thank you in my earlier post. Thanks :o)
Hope you're feeling better. It's a wait and a half until Tuesday, so hang in there.

Is there a connection between being a black sheep and the writing life?

Uh, oh, thinking caps are ruffling.

heather 1-4-2002 3:40

Oh, one more thing, Mark - If it's still in print, I will be able to order it at 'the Bookshelf'.
I hope you find your copy! :o)
Oh, and I will probably be slumbering until my kids get up Friday morning (well, it's technically Friday now) and won't exchange any writing until later in the day. But I will gladly start tomorrow(today).
Mary, you up for writing exchange tomorrow? Don't mind me if I'm a little late checking in, okay? I sent chapter 3 a while ago. I am definitely getting back into my writing today. Friday. YES.
And I will prove it later that same day!

Black Sheep. Hmmm. Well, I'm the only family member to be arrested, evicted, and fired. All in a row. Ex-boyfriend at fault for the latter two. Me for the first.
Well, technically it was all my fault - I should have known better than to date an asshole like him!
Sorry, I'm not going to bother bleeping that out.

Heather 1-4-2002 3:38

Hi, Mark! Since I've changed my schedule from writing late at night to rising early, I find I have time for the writing buddy system, where I didn't before. I'll try my best to keep up! What I can do is send along what I write to both you and Mary, and then in return, I get twice as much to read! I would rather like that. And the more people expecting output from me, the better. I work best under a few psi. We could form the first writing relay.

Viv - you are a dear heart. I manage. And I manage because I love writing so much, I think. I've loved it the moment I started reading, at age 4. By the time I was in grade 3 I'd read what I could of my parent's books (the ones they'd let me read). I have a multitude of wonderful memories from childhood (read: before becoming a complete black sheep) but some of the most awe-inspiring took place in the public library. I remember the smell of it, when you walked in the front doors - the skyrocket shelves that touched heaven. The biggest treat of all was to be allowed into the adult wing, when all the books in the children's wing I'd read. Mind you, the children's wing was large, but not THAT large. When one day I finally go back to Sault Ste. Marie, one place I want to spend a lot of time in is that library.
That's the thing about Guelph. The library here is absolutely insufficient for the size of the city - and the needs of the people. The University library is awe- inspiring in its collection; however, you must be a current student or employee at U of G in order to gain entry. (This is more of a wound to me, since my next-door neighbour is a librarian at U of G! But she can't get me a card to it)

The Guelph public library, in comparison, is barely able to hold all of its daily mail. The latter half of the dewey decimal system resides in the basement. Creeeeeepy.
That's the main branch. There are two other branches in the city, both of which resemble a tiny den covered in 'library book wallpaper'. Some rows of books seldom moved, and no people.
The most confounding of all is this: Should you use the computers to search for a book, it is the library search program's pleasure to inform you that that book is indeed in, but it's reserved, and on the shelves of another branch. If perhaps you would visit that other branch (to pick up that elusive book you reserved a few years back), you might find that it's in fact been finally returned - to the main branch. Just what you need. More driving in January. When you travel back to the main branch, someone is standing in line with it tucked under their arm. It's a wonder the police don't just sit outside the library, instead of the bar strip.
If that scenario happened to the woman I ranted about earlier tonight (if she actually read books, that is) I'd have to get off my lazy duff and buy a video camera. That would be a winner at Cannes.

Viv - thank you for saying what you did. I did have that talk with my kids, on the way home from the bus stop. We walked, because my husband had our car at work. That's why 'she' didn't demand me to give her a ride, thank GOD.
I supplied the bus fare, of course, but it was a very small price to pay for her absence. I have never been near her when she was drunk before, so it was a rude surprise for all of us.
She isn't, or at least wasn't a regular drinker over the past 10 years - her husband is a strict Baptist. It is also in the last few months only that her kids have been handed over during the day to her inlaws, so this is the wildest I've ever seen her. Well, it's also the last time I'll be seeing her.
She was never actually a friend to me, but she seemed determined to tout that I was her best buddy. At those times, I'd just grimace, and keep my silence.
I didn't have the heart to tell her that I didn't see it that way at all. She's also the type of person that closely resembles a vulture. She'd wait until she saw me arrive home, and swoop down on me on my way in.
You are right, though, I sure have one doozie of a character, should I find myself short in that arena.

I'm so glad we moved across town, too.


Sorry, Mary - what I meant by my post about the chat session - I thought I saw you go online (must have been an MSN glitch) and figured we might have a few minutes to chat!
Glad we did finally get to chat too. Thanks Teek, and Christi, too!
Awesome time.
I'm losing brain cells just staying awake here.
Time for some down time. I won't make sense even with an interpreter I'm sure.

Heather 1-4-2002 3:29

The work got done! Happy Friday! Hope I left you time enough to write and didn't get you down as well. Thanks for waiting for me to catch up! Two rewrites, no new story.

viv 1-4-2002 3:26

Whoops! The wierdest things happen when I post. The dialog in italics didn't come out in Italics. Sorry

Viv 1-4-2002 1:07

Jerry: Thanks for the input! I know even without seeing it that New Mexico would be great. I have a sense of complete excitement about living there. In fact, I'm trying to keep that bubble of excitement down and really work on enjoying it here. That way I won't get too disappointed if my husband doesn't get the job. There are so many applicants for one job. The last one he applied for had 265 applicants. He joked that there were enough people to work every day of the year for one day.

Mark: Hey, if you have a lot of output and want a bunch of input why don't you look into this list of sites.

Heather does her part and more. How anyone with two small children and a husband who comes home for a hug PLUS a part-time employment can manage her time better I don't know! In fact she is my inspiration on days when I'm too tired to get up to write.

Here's another bad poem for the site. Seems today I'm writing poor poetry! Sorry to take up so much space but I'm trying like all heck to get my muse to hurry on back. I think he's stuck in a traffic jam somewhere between Yokohama and Narita.

The Black Sheep

The black sheep he was
Alone in a flock of brawny blond children,
and short
Wakened with a kick and told
Milk the cows and don’t spill a drop you
lazy thing.
Thin arms and hands,
Puny body, nose leaking snot.
No match indeed.

Each day
The last cow
The biggest
Dipped his tail
Flicked it across his face
And when he flinched
Kicked over the bucket.
Every morning
Morning after morning
He was beaten for being so small
And the cow so large.

When Christmas came
The fire truck drove up
With presents of clothing and toys.
He stood with the rest
And got a bag of candy and a pair of shoes.
Once inside,
The shoes came off his feet
Share you selfish thing
He didn’t mind giving his shoes to the smaller one.
But he hid the bag of candy
The big ones ate theirs fast.
They spotted him
And watched greedy giggling
Share you selfish thing.
And he earned a slap for saving his.

World War I took him far
To a muddy trench
Wakened with the shake
and the sound of guns
but he had new shoes and
all the milk and even candy to eat.
But best
When it ended.
He was grown and
there was peace and freedom.

West he went.
And worked homeless
Sleeping in the barber’s shop.
Cutting hair, draining boils
For the barber until he
Entered Medical school.
Dark nights, early days,
A baker, a butcher and sometimes a thief
He scrounged and studied until
He walked

Over the mountains and found a town
Where the trees grew thick and the
Distances were large as his feelings

On dining room tables he
Birthed the children,
Took out tonsils
And when they came to find him
He didn’t want to share.

So quiet he stayed.
Deep in his mountain town
And when they said,
Share you selfish thing!
Then we won’t have to take it!
He laughed.
Big as the mountain.
Too big for the cows to kick over the bucket.
And once
Walking beside him small
I watched as

He fished two dimes
From his battered leather coin purse.
Go quietly
And buy a bag of candy
He whispered.
But keep it our secret

His old eyes twinkled as
We hid it together

Viv 1-4-2002 1:05

Next item on the agenda. I've seen several posts about being able to sit at the keyboard and write. I find that I can't keep up with my thoughts. On a trip to the Grand Canyon, I took a tape recorder and a camera. The tapes were for my own use a record of my reflections on the trip and a record of the pictures so I could identify them and place them in trip-order. The tape recorder has proven a good tool more than once.

Today I ordered a digital voice recorder from Amazon. Could have gotten it from many places on the net, but I had a $20 coupon that was enough to make the difference (the cheapest price on the net comes at a place that has bad reviews for delivery and service). While I was there I ordered a book for my niece.

The recorder is an Olympus DS-320. Several companies have recorders, tape and digital. Olympus is the only company I found with a unit that records in DSS format, which is used in Speech Recognition programs. This model comes with the recorder, a USB cable, and IBM Via Voice text software. Well. Well. Well.

Olympus also makes a model DS-2000 with some interesting features, but it does not have the voice-to-text software. That made my decision. I have Via Voice version 4 and 5, this comes with version 8. I liked using voice software before, but I was always bound to the computer. At this time of night I can't jabber at a microphone without waking my wife, and at other times I simply didn't want to speak stories or ideas out loud for uninstructed ears to wonder about. The DS-320 means I can go anywhere, record what I want, when I want, then come back to the desk and turn it into text. Of course, right while this is going on I am reading Marshall McLuhan's "Understanding Media." The man's a friggin genius. I am about to produce and record my stories in one medium and distribute them in another. "The medium is the message."

HEATHER -- I went to the Guelph Public Library to see if they had Walter Ong's "Orality and Literacy." They do not. I do not have my copy either. Don't know who I gave it to. HOWARD? Does that title ring a bell? Somebody with an interest in this field got that book from me. Officially it's "Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word." Amazing. I'm about to try running my words through a little piece of technology and Ong and McLuhan won't leave my mind. Ong has 13 titles available in Toronto Library (though not that specific one), does Guelph borrow from there?

FINALLY -- I could use a writing partner. Somebody who just needs to see that I produce something every day. I'll do the same for you. About a year ago I proposed this to HEATHER. She agreed to marry me, but said she couldn't do a daily writing thing, she had bigger projects to attend to. The whole writing partner idea seems to have gotten a few fitful starts in the last couple of months with a few positive remarks on it here and a lot of "Gee, that was good, but sorry I didn't keep the schedule." Hey. It's a New Year.

Mark 1-4-2002 0:27

Mark, boy does that bring back memories.

When I was 15 dad bought me my first car. I remember it so very well, it was a 1950 Ford Custom. The only catch, the guy that dad bought it from had wrecked it. The front end was smashed, both front fenders, the grill and the hood needed replacement.

Back then the dump ground was just south of town, and there were piled there hundreds of wrecked cars dating back some twenty or so years. Anything in the dump was free for the taking, so parts were easy to get. Me and my pal Ron took his dad's pickup out to the dump, and drove around the piles until we found a '50 Ford. Well we didn't exactly find a 50, but there was a 49 out there and the parts would fit, just the grill was a bit different.

We worked several days taking that front end off, then another two or three days doing the same to my new car. Then another couple putting the new old parts on. We had it nearly done, all but the bumper were on, and for some stupid reason I figured I should take it for a "test drive."

Now we lived in North Lemmon, a small community north of the rail road tracks that separated North Dakota from South Dakota. There were cops in Lemmon, but they had no authority in North Lemmon. The nearest officer was twenty six miles north west of town. Me without a drivers license, or insurance, none of that important stuff, but what the heck I was just going to drive it around the blocks. There were two really long blocks in North Lemmon, about a half mile each way.

Ron ran next door and told Donna, the girl I was chasing at the time that I was going to take it for a spin. Now she didn't want to go along, so Ron and I piled in the old Ford, and started the engine. The old flathead v 8 purred like a kitten. I put it in first (it had a three on the tree too) and we took off. I made the first half mile ok, after all I had been driving tractors on the uncle's farm for years, and learned to drive on another uncle's 48 Sutabaker pickup.

At the end of the street in North Lemmon, the road curves and heads north. I made that curve just fine, then I saw her coming. Donna had jumped in her dad's 59 Ford Galaxy 500 (Jet Black hardtop) and was making the corner on the opposing street. She didn't have the slightest idea how to drive, never turned the steering wheel till that very day. She made the corner, sliding sideways, I pulled off the road into a driveway to a bunch of grain bins that sat there at the end of town, but she headed straight for my car. Crashed right into us.

Our folks were all gone to work, but when Paul, her dad got home, he came stomping across the street, and caught me by the shirt collar. Boy did he chew my ass, as Donna told him I smashed into his car.

I calmed him down and walked with him to the scene of the accident. (I had pushed my car home, Donna drove hers) He looked over the scene. It was plain as day what happened, as my car was locatable by the pool of anti-freeze where the radiator smashed open before it bent around the two water pumps on the engine.

"Got a '50 behind the house, you can have those parts." He said, then went home and pattled the shit out of Donna.

It was a couple of weeks before Donna would talk to me again, but as these things have a way they came around. I did rebuild my front end one more time, and drove that old '50 until one day when I tried to "burn rubber" and tore first and reverse out of the transmission.

Dad was not impressed, he sold my car to another Uncle who took the engine and put it in his old Ford farm truck, where it resides today, still purring like a kitten. They sure knew how to build engines those days.

Jerry 1-3-2002 23:35

Hi, Kids. Uncle Mark here. Yes, THAT Uncle Mark. oooooooh, look at those smiles!

OK. Let me tell you about one of my adventures and the girl who topped it.

When I was 15 years old, I spent a good deal of time watching my dad drive the family car. We had a stick-shift Plymouth that he handled with ease. I used to compare that car with the Chevrolet we had prior (it got lots of complaints). I was very interested in how to drive that thing because I knew that on my next birthday I'd be old enough for a junior license. I could drive in daylight hours.

One nice Friday evening, my parents walked over to the McGreeveys' for their weekly get-together. The car key lay sparkling under the dining room lamp. I couldn't ever remember the key laying out on the table like that before. It was a sign. I was meant to try it.

I safely backed that car out into Church Street and headed for the North end of the street, about eight blocks away. Most of my friends lived in the North End of town. I hung out at that end of the street, so I knew all the streets there. Driving was different than riding a bike. I stopped for the stop sign at Washington Street, used the clutch, didn't stall out, and drove toward the end. I knew I wanted to turn left at the end and left again on Transit Street to come home. I didn't know about slowing down for the turn.

I took the turn in second gear (on a three-speed car that's full city speed). It felt like the car lifted its left wheels off the road going around the corner. I knew that I made the turn only by luck, that anything in my way on that maneuver would have thrown me. Suddenly I was afraid. I made the next left onto Transit Street more slowly, drove the eight blocks back toward home, another left onto Church Street and a quick zig-zag into our driveway. I don't believe anyone ever knew. I was very lucky.

OK. That was me being adventurous, doing things other kids didn't do, being The Black Sheep again. Today I heard about a 14-year-old girl who made a copy of her father's car key so that she could joy-ride in his car when he was gone. Holy Cow! 14 and planning the job already. This kid may be our hero. May. She got caught, left tracks everywhere.

Sylvia took her copied key and started the car around the curved drive. She had to get from behind the garage out to the straight driveway and then to the street. Her mom's van sat at the end of the curve. Sylvia couldn't quite figure out how to get around the van and stay on the paved drive. Rather than dent the car and the van (a dead giveaway), she simply turned off the driveway and went across the neighbor's lawn. She crushed the end of her neighbor's downspout and left tire tracks all the way across his lawn. She nearly got away with it. Nobody ever talked to me about my early driving. Several people are talking to Sylvia right now.

Mark 1-3-2002 22:53

HEATHER: Did I forget something????? We talked this morning and I don't remember anything about meeting up again. I thought I was just supposed to send you what I am writing today. I am really sorry if I screwed up, but I don't remember anything about chatting again today. When I hit post, I will have to see what time it was that you were here and make sure I am not being a total idiot. See ya and sorry I missed ya.

Mary 1-3-2002 22:49

Viv - I have been to Carlsbad New Mexico. Fantastic place to live. We lived down in El Paso Texas many years ago, and trekked to Carlsbad to see the caverns. I was very impressed with the city, and the caverns were spectacular. Even old foggies like me could enjoy those caverns, as they had an Elevator to take you down, not those long narrow stairs in the caves around here. The rock formations beneath the earth around there are absolutely wonderful. Talk about ideas for stories, there must be a million ideas floating in those huge caverns.

The desert, what can I say. If you have ever lived in the southwest desert of these wonderful United States, you would know what I am talking about. There is just something about the desert that is different from any other place on earth. At first glance it looks barren, foreboding, lifeless, but when you get out of the car and begin to walk, you notice all the life. The little lizards, snakes, field mice insects birds and hundreds of other living things that crawl slither and hop around those wonderful shifting sands.

I was stationed with an armored cavalry unit down there in the 70's and we spent weeks at a time out in those shifting sands. At times we needed our gas masks, just to filter the sand from the air, so we could breath, that when the wind was blowing. Other times we nearly froze to death at night when the desert became a freezer, but overall I never met a GI anywhere who ever spent time in that desert who didn't speak of it with a certain lust to return in his voice. Still after all these years, I feel the pull of that desert, calling me home. I must resist, simply because the cost of living there is a lot more then here, and being on a fixed income, I need to stay where my money goes the farthest. Our daughter who was born there in '71 still wants to visit, as she was so young when we moved that she has no memories of it. Oh we have tons of photo's of the kids and the desert, the mountains that stand behind El Paso, but photo's don't give you that feel.

I go occasionally to the Fort Bliss web site to read the comments from those who served there. They all say the same thing "we miss you".

Jerry 1-3-2002 22:27


Good evening all

In a lengthy discourse on counterculture, west coast living, the Escape Club, an ultra hip 1980's rock group reflects the changes rolling through my life. Their song. WILD, WILD WEST, inadvertently reveals modifications in mature thinking as related to aspects of human behavior. Ahem...mine at least. :-) Annnnnnnnnnd is right on in the fears most of us share today.

To wit:

"...screaming in the back room
Waiting for the big boom
Gimme, gimme wild west
Gimme safe sex
Gimme love, gimme love
Gimme time to live it up."

Verse #1...I do my screaming inside, generates more stress that way. Screaming!
#2...After 9/11 I believe we are all waiting for the big boom.
#3...My heart is in the west, on the western slope of the Wasatch Mountains to be exact.
#4...After one passes fifty, ALL sex should be safe, or else a valuable lesson in life was bungled.
#5...See #4...#3...possibly #2 and #1 for sure
#6...My favorite...Lord give me time to live. Let death pass me over, just one more day.

Time is not my friend. Time is plodding ever forward. Taking my children, leaving me panting in the dust of unfulfilled desires and stumbling amid the sharp pointed rocks of regret. But it is the road we must travel. And as that great Texas poet Willie Nelson said once "Everyone has to believe in something, and I believe I'll have another Lone Star!"

Some bowl game, huh guys. Miami is or was four touchdowns ahead when I walked away.



Randall 1-3-2002 22:19


Uh.! um.! Did you expect me to be amused? I hope so. I was.

I'm sorry. I think. Nope. I'm pretty sure I was amused.

If she comes back, please tell us all the details.

I do hope she finally wakes up at some point. You should tell her that every one is responsible for their own actions. I always tell my kids that they will spend a lot of time being next to an ass. If they know they are responsible for their own actions one ass won't turn into two asses.

What? You want an example? Okay. Say you're in your car and some one cuts you off. I tell them that they should keep driving and pay no attention. If they chose to do something else like show them how angry they are then one ass turns into two asses.

See your aggh um friend doesn't know that yet. She thinks she has been wronged and she is in wronged mourning. Some people never get out of that. That's just one ass turning into two asses. See?

I hope your friend gets it some day. I really do!

Debra 1-3-2002 21:57

Viv, sounds like you need to come home to the good old USA.

Heather, a nice hot bubble bath, followed by a gentle massage is what you need, relax and be kind to yourself, you deserve it.

Ok, here is my bit about a black sheep. Baaaaa !

The Black Sheep
by Jerry Ericsson

The black sheep. He had always been the black sheep. When he was growing up, it seemed he never did anything right, his two brothers never did anything wrong.

Well not exactly, he always got caught, they never did, or if they did they shifted the blame to him. Not that he complained, in fact he rather enjoyed it. Even now in college, when there was a problem in the dorm, the RA always called his name, and he was usually correct, even if he wasn’t nobody corrected his error.

Today would be a bit different though, today he would not be called the black sheep. Today, things would happen that would change his life.

It began, as all days do, with the sunrise. He was up already, preparing for his excursion down town to the Museum of Natural History. Not that it was a long journey, for it wasn’t but he wanted to look just right, to smell just right, to feel just right because he was meeting her on the way, and would walk with her those last several blocks through the downtown area to the Museum.

He showered, shaved, and combed his hair with that muse that he liked, that muse that she liked. He used that “special” bottle of aftershave that his father gave him. JADE EAST the ancient bottle proclaimed in bold Asian letters. His father assured him the one scent of this magical elixir would have the woman of his choice falling in his arms within minutes of inhaling the musky scent. He splashed on an extra dose of the sweet smelling lotion, and then rubbed his hands under his armpits and on his thighs near his crouch.

He looked in the mirror, and saw looking back at him a stranger. Well almost a stranger at least, without his beard, the thing that allowed him to write special stories, the growth that made him an intellectual among intellectuals he looked so much younger. Younger was not what he aspired, but it did make him look much more hansom then with the beard, or so he had been told by his old girlfriend.

Then it was to the closet, where he selected his best pair of white Dockers, then his dark blue long sleeve shirt, to this he added a tan vest, a fanny pack finished the outfit, in it he kept his micro 35mm camera his cell phone, and his PDO. He laced up his hush-puppies and out the door he went, trotting to insure that he arrived at her door at exactly seven o’clock, their agreed upon time.

She had just put the finishing touches on her hair, as she looked in the mirror, she smiled. Black sheep she thought, why did mom and dad always call her the black sheep? Maybe it was dropping out of High School (She went back that next year). Maybe it was the pregnancy the child she gave up when she was sixteen (but she was in love with Mac!).
It could have been that time when she wrecked dad’s car, but she only had three beers!”

Patting down a wild hair, she turned picked up her sweater then looked out the window, yes, there he was jogging down the street. He looked so handsome with his casual dress, his dapper hair style, her folks would be proud if she could take him home to meet them. Maybe after the next date, she would mention the possibility. She didn’t want to push things; this relationship had to work out.

She met him at the door, and gave him a little peck on the kisser, just a brush of her lips, but it sent electricity through her body. His too.

Arm in arm the walked down the street; they were passing through the downtown area, when they first smelled the smoke.

“Smells like burning rubber!” she exclaimed.

“Burning rubbish more likely.”

They walked on; the smell grew stronger and stronger.

“Must be a fire somewhere.” She commented.

“Must be.” He hoped it was far away, he didn’t want their study date interrupted by any distractions.

As they walked on, the smell grew stronger, and then they could see the smoke. First just a hint of smoke, then it grew thicker and thicker. It wasn’t long before they saw where it was coming from. A small brownstone tucked between two huge commercial buildings was on fire. The smoke rolled through two ground floor windows that had been broken by the heat. On the second floor, an aged lady stood at the window screaming for help. He looked around but there was nobody but them on the street.

She looked at him, he at her. He had to do something, but what. He hesitated.

“Bob – do something, help that lady!”

“Ah, ok.” He walked over till he was below the window. “Lady - jump!” he shouted.

He turned to see if she thought it was enough, but she wasn’t there. He looked left then right, but no Sally.

“Sally!” He called.

No answer.

The lady on the second floor was screaming now, the fire was breaking through the door to the room where she stood trapped, terrified.

He started for the door, but stopped. He was afraid. He just couldn’t do it; there was too much smoke, too much fire. But the door stood open.
Across the street, he saw movement in a store front. He ran across the street, banged on the window, begging the store keeper to call 911. At last the store keeper understood, made the call. He sighed in relief.

He looked around, still no Sally. He returned to the fire, then looked up to the window, the lady was gone. She must have collapsed. He thought

Poor old lady, but what could he do, it was too dangerous; he just couldn’t go into that burning house.

He could hear the fire engines coming down the street, their sirens blaring, demanding the right of way so they could save that old lady. But would they be too late. He was shaking, frightened at what he might see, he almost walked away, then he remembered, Sally.

“SALLY!” he called at the top of his lungs.

No answer.

The fire trucks were nearly there now; maybe they could still fight their way into that burning inferno and save that old lady.

The smoke grew thicker, as the fire truck pulled up in front of the brown stone. As the fireman began to unroll the hose, others worked around the truck adjusting meters, turning valves, putting out cones to protect their hoses from passing traffic.

He turned and looked at the brown stone again, there was a break in the smoke, through the door came his beloved Sally the old lady in her arms.

He ran to her, and took the old lady from her, then carried her to the fire truck where the EMT’s stood.

“She’s had a lot of smoke!” he told them, a concerned look on his face.

“Put her down here, one EMT told him, another helped lay her on the cot, and began assement, while the other began examining him.

“No, check out my Sally!” he asked, but the EMT continued to check him out. He looked around, no Sally.

A fireman came over and asked the old lady if there was anyone else in the house, but she was so shook she couldn’t speak. He came to Bob, “Did you see any more in the house?”

“Ah, no, ah but my girlfriend, where is she?”

“Ain’t seen no girls.” The fireman told him, then busied himself with the hose, putting water on the flames that now burst from all the windows and doors.

As the EMT loaded the old lady in the ambulance, he told the cop who had just arrived, “Got yourself a real hero over there, dragged this old lady out from that flaming building all by himself.” I wouldn’t bother him right now though, seems a bit mixed up, keeps asking about a girl.”

Bob looked around; did he drag that old lady out? He didn’t think so. Maybe he did. What about Sally? Where was she? What happened to her? Didn’t he see her pull that old lady from the building, or was he just imagining it?

The cop’s partner came over and shook his hand. “Good to meet a real hero, not a lot of you fellows around now a days.” He said, and slapped Bob on the back.

A crowd was gathering, and word went out about Bob’s heroism. They people came to him, slapping him on the back shaking his hands. The ladies all wanted to give him a kiss.

He was confused. Where was Sally? What happened to her? He began asking everyone who came up to him if they had seen her, but they all shook their heads and moved on.

A TV crew showed up to cover the fire, but when they heard of Bob’s heroism they focused their camera’s on him. The whole city could see Bob was a hero. The networks picked up the direct feed, the whole nation saw Bob, heard the words of praise from the cops, from the EMT’s from the crowd.

As the moderator from the TV station was beginning to interview Bob, the firemen began to shout, the crowd turned, the camera’s turned, everyone’s focus was on the doorway, as Sally emerged, a cat in one hand, a small dog in the other. Firemen rushed up to help her, to take the rescued animals. The newsmen rushed up to interview her.

Then the world knew. Bob was a fraud. Sure it wasn’t his fault, but nobody would listen to Bob, after all Bob was the black sheep.

Jerry 1-3-2002 21:55

Heather I'm not a good one for rhymed poetry but I had this little jig jag going in my brain while I'm trying to write for my hours writing time. Best to throw it out on paper and give it to you so I can concentrate on editing.

Spinning Down

Got a dervish in my living room
Spinning round and round,
Stole vodka from the liquor cabinet
Drank it straight down.
Five minutes flat and I
Grabbed the rest away
She’s got the stereo up and
She’s going to be here all day.

I’m turning down the stereo
And gathering up my kids,
While she’s ranting and she’s chanting
About what she will not give.
“I’ve thrown off his fucking collar
and I don’t need any brats!”
My little children goggle at her
Safely tucked behind my back.

That’s when I hit my flashpoint
And I absolutely see.
This selfish woman in my house
Is only using me.
I kindly coax her in the car
And drive her to the bus.
I leave her there then tell the kids,
"She won’t come back
She’s nuts!"

Not a nice ending. Not even a nice poem. It reminds me of bad country-western music. Knowing your poetry,you can shape a much better poem about the whole thing.

Viv 1-3-2002 21:34

Heather: Thanks! Just when I thought I have all the nuts living next door, you pop up with the best nut of them all and to top it off, she's inside your house. I feel better about my obnoxious scoundrels next door, at least I don't have to worry about my liquor cabinet. You are absolutely right to draw the line and not let her in again. She is dangerous because she is so completely selfish. That's a good and sensible decision on your part. You have kids. One thing you can do, talk to your children about the things they observed. It's good that they saw the difference between adults having an enjoyable drink together and the selfish, wasteful, piggish- guzzling of alcohol. It's a good lesson for them on the difference between selfish behavior and sharing. (Ie: You share your cake you don't get a tummy ache!) I like the way you wrote about her because I could actually see her and the entire thing makes me want to write a poem.

Teekay: Believe me we are working and working on that! We had a job interview by telephone last month and there's another one coming up this week. Both jobs are in America in very nice living places. One of these places is New Mexico near Carlsbad. It's supposed to be a desert there and have lots of space so you can just look up and see a big bowl of stars overhead. That is the interview this week. I'm dancing on dreams thinking about it. Maybe that's why I'm feeling angry and irritable this week. I found my plants in the neighbor's garden and the heads were pinched off my plants. Spiteful! The worst thing is they don't really care if the plants live and they don't water or care. I tried being giving but they just took and then went on their spiteful little way. They kick the cat or squirt him with water. What is funny is when he sees them he sticks his tail straight up in the air and shakes his hind feet! I think this is the cat equivalent of giving someone the finger.

If we have to stay here, at least I have a few bad characters. Definitely, Heather has a great bad character.

Viv 1-3-2002 20:40

Teekay - great story, send it somewhere, it deserves to be read by everyone involved or not.

Been one of those days for me, yes the antibiotic has helped, and as I said, I reformatted my machine last night, and have spent most of the day reinstalling software again, getting it set up the way I want. I do miss XP, as I have already seen the BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH a couple of times. In fact I became so angry that I went in and changed it to a chartreuse screen with amber letters. Much better.

Then, when I was at the most frustrating part of the set up, I decided to take a break, to find somewhere else to be. So I went up-town and got a haircut. Don't ask which one, I have heard that a billion times in the Army.

At any rate, the lady barber filled my head with tales of viruses and new computers turning old at their hands, she complained of slow internet service, poor tech support, and the inferior quality of today's computers. Not that I disagree, but it did my heart good to see someone else angry at these infernal machines.

Now I don't know if I mentioned earlier but my sister and her daughters machines were all messed up. The result of my niece deciding to speed things up by "tweaking" windows.

Ok, now she does know where to get to these areas, but she has no idea what to do when she gets there, but ignoring good sense, she went ahead and tweaked.

We have formatted both of their machines, and I flat gave up a couple of days ago, but they keep calling, begging that I return and fix them. Well her daughter was the one who formatted them, not I and I was in fear of what I would find when I got there, but when I got home from my hair cut, feeling just a bit more relaxed, the wife informed me that my niece had called begging that I come over, they could only get one machine online, and just couldn't stand taking turns.

I went over, and mirical of miricals, the first thing I tried to fix it WORKED! I was in and out in under fifteen minutes.

I got home to find the wife frustrated because our main machine had locked up and she couldn't get on the internet.

A reboot informed me that one of my hard drives might have developed bad sectors, and I needed to run the through version of scandisk.

I did. It didn't.

Now for a nice relaxing night of writing. Boy do I need the break from reality.

Jerry 1-3-2002 20:31

Forgot to mention that these events transpired over the course of not more than an hour and a half. Whirlwind indeed.


Heather 1-3-2002 19:32

Brain is fried after a really overly-eventful day yesterday. *disclaimer* I'm going to start ranting now, so anyone who does not wish to read it, skip this post!!!!!
Does anyone remember the woman I was discussing a few months ago (last year) - the one who calls me out of nowhere and drains me of all energy? She lives a rotten life but won't change it. Her children are being cared for by inlaws, so now she's 'free' to run amok, run wild. She's pissed at her husband for 'taking the kids' elsewhere for daily looking-after, because he makes her feel like a bad mother. Really, what she wants is the freedom without the guilt. And what, she gets to act like an imbicilic child and have all the cake in the bakery? Sorry, man. That's not the way it goes.
She arrived at my doorstep yesterday, half-drunk and high on something. When I was in another room, explaining to my kids that we would take 'her' for a walk to the bus stop to get her out of our house, she raided my booze cabinet. Not that it's a big cabinet... but we had stocked up for Christmas and New Year's, with all the relatives and friends we had over. Unfortunately, no one had touched the full bottle of vodka. She drank two thirds of it before I managed to grab it, distract her, and run downstairs to hide it. This is after she's cranked the stereo to full blast (every time I turned it down, she'd turn it back up) and had decided to make my livingroom her dance hall. Normally, dancing in my livingroom is no problem - in fact we do that often. But a drunk, angry, frustrated, selfish, childish woman who has been in a suffocating relationship four 11 years dancing in my livingroom, banging into furniture, and yelling at walls is not my idea of a good time. On the other hand, she does need help. If she ever accepts the help - well, that's another story. I could not, in good conscience, just throw her out on the stoop. She's the classic embodiment of a 'cry for help'. So I talked to her (after hiding the stereo remote and unplugging the damn system) and put on some coffee in the hopes that she'd calm down before we took her to the bus. I didn't want her getting lost en route, too drunk to think.
And she told me that she'd just walked out of the house, without leaving a note. The moment I asked if she'd like to call, just so that no one worries about her, she lost control. She ranted about her husband not having his leash around her neck any more, etc. and that she didn't have to answer to anyone for where she went...

I asked her if she felt she'd get to take care of her kids if this was the way she was going to act - running out all the time, staying out all night, being totally irresponsible...
(it's not that I felt she was required to call home - but it was a courtesy at least. She nearly hit me on that one.) But it was the kind of question I felt she should at least think about. If she really did want to care for her children herself, since she seemed to 'cut up' about it, wouldn't the logical thing be to act responsibly? Oh, right. I forget - there's no such thing as logic when you're the victim that won't give up her position. The world is her pincushion, upon which she proudly displays her pricked fingers.

Thank GOD my husband came home during his lunch (on evening shift)to bring a coffee from Tim's for both of us, and to give me a big bearhug. (He called from work when she was probably scarfing back the vodka - it takes more than a minute to guzzle that much of a 26 ounce bottle, wouldn't you think???)

Oh, the kids were sure happy, as was I, when we dropped her off at the bus stop. I felt most certainly used and abused afterward, since she demands for her problems to be solved, but doesn't want to do the work. SHe's more than a handful. She's banned from my house.

I think I'll actually get some sleep tonight. Wayne came home early last night, after all of these events, and we played a relaxing (and challenging) game of scrabble with candlelight. The kids haven't been scarred for life, thank GOD! They've never seen anyone drunk before. Not even the bunch of us at Christmas. That was what I call 'pleasantly giddy'.

Enough crud dumped here. Sorry folks.
I think I'm still in one piece. I forgot to mention that this woman is 6 feet tall, and incredibly strong. I don't know if that's her background, her lifestyle, or the fact that she's got schizo affective disorder... sigh. But I'm lucky I didn't have to do more than dodge.

Heather 1-3-2002 19:26

whoops, maybe not! Mary, are you on MSN?

Heather 1-3-2002 18:41

Smashing good job on that story, Teek!
Oops - gotta go! Have a chat session starting!

Heather 1-3-2002 18:40


VIV: Why do you live there? It sounds awful. Why don't you just come home?

Teekay 1-3-2002 18:02

Hi Teekay, Great story! Way to go!
Carol: I went into my computer files and edited some old work yesterday. Slept late today but will work for an hour on editing to see if it helps. No ideas at all on the black sheep I'm going to get out a journal, take off today and see if I can get one. Have to catch up on grading as well. I think that's another thing that has me worried. I'll get the grades up and the classes written and then I'll have a little sense that I can take some time out for myself to write.

I feel incredibly selfish when I write stories. It's silly to feel that way but I always feel guilty for "WASTING" time. Why? I have some neighbors that snigger at me for being at home so much and sitting behind a computer. They call me "crazy", tear up my plants in my garden, and if I say anything about the plants or the treatment I'm given the "crazy" stuff again. It's making me want to really get crazy and do some damage to them or their property. I hate staying home. It bothers my creativity. At least on the job I can sit behind the computer and no one thinks anything about it.

Viv 1-3-2002 17:57


Mornin' y'all :-)

VIV: I know! Some people! What do they think the 'L' stands for (Look out!). Don't they know that if they see an 'L' sign on a car they should stay at least 100 meters from it? Actually I haven't done anything like that - yet, although there are times when I'd have liked too.
I'm one of those paranoid people who put on the imaginary brakes and tense up at the sight of a truck and gasp and groan and moan and nag. Come to think of it, my teaching the girls how to drive is probably far more harrowing for them.

JERRY: Do you sometimes fantasise about getting the drill bit and drilling a small hole in the side of your gum to let out all the pus and pressure?

DEBRA: :-D thanks goily, but it was just an offering for the Nb*. I couldn't think of a magazine who'd go near it for fear of racial discrimination or some such bahooey.

CAROL: Isn't it always the way? Of course once you've commited it to the Nb* or some other permanent fixture, the mistakes become glaringly obvious, and now some time has past since I wrote it I can see quite a few changes I'd make to it.
I had a lot of fun writing it though. And have become rather attached to Al or Ali :-D
It's a bit like the droughts broken now, it's been weeks since I've written anything and it doesn't feel good when that happens.

Quiet today you lot, can I assume you'e al busy scribbling away with pen and paper or have heads diligently bowed above the keyboard, exception JERRY who is storming about the house terrorising humans and animals alike, but with a jolly good reason for doing so :-D

Have a great day all and JERRY I want you to have the best day you can. The antibiotics should work wonders.

Teekay 1-3-2002 17:51

Teekay -- I agree with Debra. I'm sure there's some polishing to do (seems there always is), but I didn't find any glaring mistakes as I read through it. What I like the most -- the fact that you didn't have a cliche ending of going to hell. You held out hope. Find a literary market and submit this!

Carol 1-3-2002 17:15


If you don't try to get that published, I will have a fit the likes you have never seen.

It is so fitting, touching and so damn good.

Please get right on it and keep me posted. Also I want to know where I can lead all my family to see your work.

You're so talented, so talented. I'm proud to know you.

Debra 1-3-2002 9:23


Okay, here's the JERRY and DEBRA inspired story. I haven't left it long enough to be able to judge it properly so if it sucks I'm sorry.

Fall From Grace.

Alimar Mohammid Omar Mohammid Amid, or Al, as he was known to family and friends, was completely oblivious to the fact that his every move was being watched.
He stood atop the Winfield hotel surveying the crowd below and panting heavily. He was out of condition. Three years of living the ‘American Dream’ had taken it’s toll, wreaking havoc on the once firm, lithe body, a legacy from his days in the training camp. From the intense preparation of readying himself for the time he was born for.
And that time was now.
He’d been watching a re-run of ‘Roseanne’, good figure, lots of places to hold onto, but what a mouth! He’d been thinking how the woman needed a damn good whipping and fancying he was just the man for the job when the phone rang shrilly in the hall. With a muttered oath and a lot of grunting Al clenched the piece of the colonel’s best, that he was in the process of bringing to his thick greasy lips between his teeth and hefted himself to his feet.
‘Yeah,’ he said through a mouthful of chicken.
‘Alimar Mohammid Omar Mohammid Amid?’
Al immediately stood to attention, gulping down the half masticated chunk of food. He felt it lodge in his throat and swallowed again, the food moved down a fraction more and lodged again. Cold beads of perspiration began to dot his upper lip and brow and he began to consider throwing himself bodily against the wall. Another desperate gulp as a wall of panic began to build within him, but, thanks be to Allah, the chunk finally dislodged and slid down his throat.
‘Alimar Mohammid Omar Mohammid Amid?’ repeated the guttural voice.
‘Yes,’ breathed Al into the mouthpiece, he wiped a shaking hand over his face.
‘Allah awaits you.’
‘You know what to do.’
‘Praise Allah.’
‘Praise Allah.’
There was a click as the call disconnected at the other end. Al stood frozen, staring blankly at the television screen, the receiver clasped in his sweaty hand still held to his ear. It was time to meet Allah. Time to put into practise what had taken so many years to prepare for. Almost he had been prevented from his holy task by a chunk of 11 secret herbs and spices chicken.
‘Stinking, putrid, disgusting infidel Westerners,’ snarled Al replacing the receiver, a maniacal look glazing his eyes.
‘Dirty, filthy, foul, rotting bird of the America’s.’
There was no glory in death by chicken.

And now Al stood perched on the ledge of the building. He had almost given himself a coronary strapping himself sweating and swearing into the hang gliding contraption Yasser Mali Oshar Muhatma, Al’s brother in ‘holy terror’ and part time cleaner at the Winfield had left hidden on the rooftop the previous day. Al adjusted the leather strap pinching uncomfortably at his groin. He didn’t know much about the finer workings of it all, but he did know that soon approximately seventy virgins would be awaiting his gentle ministrations, and he wanted everything to be in working order.

He looked at the Jag watch strapped to his wrist. Five minutes. Soon they would begin the countdown, their eyes raised hopeful and expectant to the display of fireworks designed to stun and amaze and make them suck the air into their lungs in amazement. Al readjusted the strap again and lit up a Marlboro, pulling the thick acrid smoke deep into his chest and calculated the direction of the wind and which point was the most populated and therefore the most appropriate place to detonate the nuclear device strapped around his waist. Quietly he gave up thanks that he had been one of the chosen to take hang gliding lessons rather than learning how to fly a plane. The thought of being cooped up in the confines of the cockpit made the bile rise in his stomach and his bladder muscles weaken. He’d been claustrophobic all his life. Back in the training camps when they’d been practising the ‘run and hide’ drill, much to the chagrin of his fellow terrorist brothers he always had to be the last to enter so that he got to sit nearest the opening of the cave.

20, 19, 18
Al ground the stub of his cigarette underfoot,
17, 16, 15,
and gave the leather strap another tug.
14, 13, 12,
He did a quick check on the bomb
11, 10, 9
and sent up a prayer, then stood poised and waiting, looking down at the upturned, expectant faces.
8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2,
‘HAPPY NEW YEAR!’ The shout rang out amongst the crowd as explosions rent the air and the sky lit up in a glory of multi coloured bursts of stars and fizzles and flashes.
‘Happy new year stinking, filthy sons of whores and donkeys,’ muttered Al through clenched teeth and launched himself from the ledge. He felt the pit of his stomach shoot upwards to meet his spine and his intestines spasm threateningly as a fleeting sense of fear gripped him at the sudden drop and he wondered if maybe he was too heavy to be doing this anyway, but then the wind caught beneath the wings of the glider and bore him on invisible currents. He saw some faces in the crowd turn in his direction, saw fingers begin to point, and then more and more faces and fingers turned his way like a living tide.
And Al soared above them, filled with an unspeakable glee that energised his entire body. His skin felt as though it was turned inside out and he was grinning like an idiot displaying brilliantly white, perfectly straight teeth to all those close enough to see them. He whooped with uncontained delight and yanked at the cord strapped to the bomb, and then everything began to happen very, very slowly. He saw the curious looks on the sea of faces turn to disbelief and then fear. There was no sound, only a deathly hush though fireworks still burst upward to spew fountains of fire into the night sky and people were screaming and crying, and those who could were trying to run.
Al was still flying. He frowned. What had happened? Had the device not detonated? But it must have done for could he not see the result of his plans all about and below him?
He caught a glimpse of red and yellow striped fabric below and found himself focusing on it, immediately he was next to it. It was part of his hang glider. On closer inspection he could see the remains of a dismembered body still partly attached and it suddenly came to him that it was his own body he was looking at.
‘Welcome home, Al.’
Al tore his gaze from his disfigured body and turned to the voice.
‘Who are you? Where am I? What’s going on?’ Ali demanded.
‘I, dear chap, am your guardian angel, and you just happen to be dead.’
‘Dead?’ said Ali, turning back to his mortal remains.
‘Yes, dead,’ confirmed the angel. ‘I believe you were considering such an outcome.’
‘Well, what do you want? What happens now?’
‘Actually, I don’t want anything. This just happens to be a parting of the ways. This is where you and I say arrividerci, goodbye, ciao, sianara.’
‘Goodbye? But I’ve only just met you.’
‘Oh contraire my dear fellow, I have been with you your entire earthly life. From the day you came forth from your mother’s womb I was there, looking over you, looking out for you.’
‘Bah!’ spat Al, ‘You think I would not know this if it were true.’
‘Yes,’ the voice was thoughtful,’ but you did know it Al, when you were very young, you felt me there in your heart guiding you, keeping you safe, that was when your heart was pure. Alas you allowed bitterness and anger, thoughts of revenge and vengeance enter within. You began believing the word of man above the word of your creator.’
‘My creator?’
‘Of course, God, Allah, Buddah.’
‘They are the same?’ asked Al, a sinking feeling washing over him.
The angel gave a deep laugh. ‘Oh Al, of course they are the same.’
‘Will there be virgins?’
‘Where you’re going?’
Al nodded.
‘Perhaps a few, though not very many I should imagine.’
‘No virgins,’ muttered Al.
‘Never mind Al, soon that will not seem so very important to you.’
‘It won’t? Why not?’
‘Because,’ said the angel, ‘soon you will understand just what is important. Soon you will know that it is not virgins, nor land, nor wealth, that matters.
‘Virgins, land and wealth not matter?’ blustered Al. ‘Then tell me what does.’
‘Love,’ said the angel.
‘Love?’ said Al.
‘That’s right, Love. Goodbye Al. maybe next time eh?’ And Al felt himself being pulled upward into a deep dark tunnel. He knew he wasn’t alone, he could sense others there drifting with him in the darkness and he had never felt more content, peaceful and loved at any other time that he could remember.

Al could have stayed there, floating endlessly in the amniotic bliss of this spiritual heavenly womb, but he was an impatient man in life and still the last dregs of his mortal behaviour clung tenaciously to his soul. He could see the light in the distance, a beacon calling to him, he hurried toward it, anxious and impatient to meet his maker. There was still a faint hope of virgins lingering in his heart.

When the time came for Al to look back and judge his life and his actions in his newly enlightened state, the anguish was almost too much to bear, but bear it he did, writhing in an agony of despair and regret at the pain he had caused, both deliberately and through his very ignorance, to other souls. To know what became of Al next is not for you to know, but let us hope that next time Al’s spirit returns to earth in mortal coil that he will remember to learn life’s lessons with love in his heart and take notice of the guardian messenger of the Lord that tries to guide him.

Teekay 1-3-2002 6:05

Seems that there just arn't enough dentists at the VA here. They can't see me because I am not 100% Service Connected disabled.

Soooo anyhow, I had to make an appointment with a dentist in Bowman, some sixty five miles away, not as far as the VA. Of course she can't see me till Tuesday, but was nice enough to offer some anti-biotics to keep the infection that has attached itself to the root down. The offer of pain killers was nice, but I think I have enough of those to supply some of her patients.

I am just a bit aprehensive though. I doubt that she remembers me, at least I hope she doesn't. Her husband was once the City Attorney, and what an attorney he was. We nick-named him Monte Hall (Lets make a deal!). I once physically picked that little piece of ____ up and threw him out the back door of the PD, after he made a deal with a fellow who punched out one of my officers. The fellow had to do ten days communtity service.

He has now been elevated to a judgship, that nearly ten years ago now. Maybe he has forgotten, after all it was way back in 1981 over twenty years ago now. I doubt it though, I remember it and my memory isn't all that great.

I can take heart though, having been married to him all these years, she has to know he is an asshole.

The cloves and meds have taken the pain down a few peggs from the throb it was earlier today, I think I can make it till Tuesday without taking it out myself with pliers. (I do have a set of angle needle nose pliers with my old gunsmith tools).

I finally tired of Windows XP, and removed it with a quick FORMAT C: /U. My computer is now happily running Windows 98 once more, and while it has shown me the blue screen of death once allready today, it is comfortable to be running it again, and my old dos games run again, as does my DVD player (well I haven't tried it since the reformat, after all I only have one DVD movie, and I have already seen it.)

I feel like an ass hole myself again tonight though. You see last year for Christmas, my daughter bought me a cheep electric drill/screwdriver. Now I already had one, and the one I had was a two speed with the largest assortment of attachements I have ever seen. I was happy with my old screwdriver/drill combination, but the new one has it place too, for the harder drilling jobs, as it has a bigger battery. Anyhow, thinking that I now had a NEW screwdriver she decided that the old one should reside at her house, where she could use it for the little jobs around her home.

Nobody asked me, and I never said take it, just one of those things, one day I was over there helping her fix something, and she produced it for me to use.

Things went on, and I tried (really I did) to get by with the new one, but it was to fast for some jobs, to powerful for others, and ruined screw heads, twisted off screws, and that little kit had driver bits that I simply didn't have in any of my other kits.

Well a couple of days ago, I was working on some thing for the wife (I forget off hand what it was) but I was having a hell of a time with my NEW screwdriver/drill, and after ruining several screws, I simply lost my temper and began to rant and rave about never giving that screwdriver away, and by God I best have it back home and damn soon!

Once I cooled down a bit, I explained to the wife that it would be like my buying her a new electric skillit, one smaller then the old one she uses, and loves, then giving that skillit to our daughter to use at her home, as I am sure it was my wife's idea to borrow it to my daughter.

At any rate, today the kit was laying back on the kitchen table. Nobody said anything about it, in fact nobody said much of anything to me today, even my dog is ignoring me, and for once has asked the wife to let him outdoors, something he hasn't done for years. The daughters cats run when I come in the room, and like I say, I feel a bit like an asshole myself.

Jerry 1-3-2002 1:04

Hi All :)

Viv -- problems getting started again? You bet. I've been working myself back into it slowly by writing in my journal again. I ignored it from the 17th until the last day of the year when I figured I'd better end the year on a good note at least. I also took a trip to the bookstore today, grabbed two new books and a writing magazine. I like starting the day with one of these magazines. I read one or two articles and it gets me motivated again.

Jerry -- good luck with the tooth and the VA. Hubby did get desperate enough earlier this year and took the needle nose pliers to one tooth. He's got another tooth bothering him now but needs an angle needle nose pliers for that one -- one of the few tools he doesn't have. The VA appointment is only three more weeks away.... I'm getting tired of making soup.

Mary -- thank you for sharing the business woes. I'm half contemplating the idea of selling my creative woodworking. But I'm determined to keep the writing in the top priority position. When, and only when, that routine is firmly entrenched will I branch out. I may be 100 years old by then.

Suz -- What a great way to start the new year! Congrats!!

I'll think I'll go think of Black Sheep for a while ...

Carol 1-2-2002 21:26

Ugh Teekay, you have to teach your daughter to drive? My sympathy goes out to you. What was the worst thing you did while teaching your last child to drive???

I actually screamed out of the car window at a bicyclist. It was something like, "Hey you IDIOT, MOVE OVER IF YOU VALUE YOUR LIFE!!!" He was doing this road hog thing and my daughter couldn't pass him. She'd get past but then he'd catch up at the stop signs while she got the damned gear shit (uh that's my favorite word too Heather) to work. I'm sorry, it's not a gear shift on my car, it's been shifted too often by inexperienced drivers.

I'm lucky. The kid I taught to drive had two good accidents. My husband while watching his insurance rates rise vowed he'd teach the next one to drive. I smiled and thought, "There's a sucker born every minute!" I'm going to really enjoy waving at them as they go out! Nice to know my hair won't have ten new white strands everytime we pull back into the house. I'm never going to ride in a car with my children .... ever. Even when I get old and senile, I'm going to drive along very slowly, stopping where there aren't stoplights...all by myself.

Heather: I envy your not gaining any weight. I'm looking at some pant tightening bulges this morning and thinking of finding time for a quick jog between chores. I'm not looking forward to this because I have a very sore shoulder with a blister on it. The sore shoulder comes from hauling my portable vacuume cleaner upstairs and downstairs and a few times inbetween stairs. I got the blister from the chemical heat pad I stuck on it. My husband made it and boy it heated up well! Next time I'll stick it on top of a shirt, not on the skin.

I hope our post holiday exhaustion and catch up work ends soon. I'm having trouble getting back into the groove with my writing. I seem drained. Anyone else having a few problems. I just wish everyone would GO AWAY and LEAVE ME AN HOUR OR TWO. I need to get up early.
Will do that or die! Wish me luck!

Viv 1-2-2002 19:15


And thanks for daughters birthday wishes. Now she's talking about going for her drivers license ~shudder~
I don't quite know how I got roped with teaching them how to drive - it's not as though I know the rules or anything.
Actually I'm terrible at it, I really need to take about 6 10mg valium before a lesson. I don't though, which is why I'm really afraid. :-D

JERRY: Ah, you POOR thing. My compassion goes out to you. Toothache is a bit like back ache or having cold feet, when it happens, absolutely nothing feels good, the whole body breaks down in sympathy.


HOWARD: No matter how mean you attempt to be, I know what you're really like deep down :-D

I'm still working on that story JERRY inspired yesterday. It's mulling around in my head. I hang out the clothes and think about it, I wash the dishes and think about it, I clean the bath and think about, maybe I ought to just pick up a pen and get it bloody well done with, maybe then I can get some peace.

Warm and happy thoughts to you all, and now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go and kill my mouse.

Teekay 1-2-2002 18:17

Hi all,
It's cold here this week. Not used to it and it hurts my fingers.

I was talking about JERRY's story on the 30th. Ring of Freedom. It seemed to me to be a scary glimpse of how the future could be in America. I didn't think you needed (may happen) things to worry about.

Hi there. I never could remember if you were in Tucson or Phoenix. The way we do those trips, our route was just Arizona. No definite plans ahead. Follow the routes of interest. I can see that that area could be a nice place to live.

Hope your foot gets better soon. Those high-heels will feel neglected.

Stay warm everyone.

Rosemary 1-2-2002 17:51

WOW! What a friendly (and prolific) bunch you are! Thanks so much for the welcomes. 2001 was not a good writing year for me. I made too many excuses and wasn't feral enough in guarding my writing life. So, I've renewed my vows. January 1st brought my first acceptance from a small review. I regard this as an omen. It was all sunshine and rainbows when the acceptance came. Now I keep re-reading it, thinking: did I misunderstand? is this an error? and I'm waiting for the follow up letter stating the editor made a mistake and sent me the wrong letter. haha. God, I love the nuerosis of it all!
Happy Day, folks.

Suz 1-2-2002 12:51


A big 2002 squeeze right back at ya girly (((smiles!))))


Is it the story of Jerry's that is about the future prison?

I did read that one.

Let me know. I now must read it. Just call me Pandora.

Debra 1-2-2002 11:08

...but not my favourite THING.


oh, where oh where has that mallot gone?

Heather 1-2-2002 2:52

Here's something that's NOT strange. It seems my favourite word is 'shit'. :oD

Heather 1-2-2002 2:51

Anyone else feel strange this holiday? I mean, stranger than usual? I don't know if I can set it to words in quite the way I'd like - but here's an estimation:

* My relatives seem to have multiplied, but there aren't any new babies
* Everyone we know within a 5-hour radius has stopped by, at the exact moment every dish dirtied itself and the carpet vomited pine needles and dust gorillas (no, wait, that's not unusual)
* The weather not only dodges predictability, it seems to enjoy it
* There's a definite hush outside where there hasn't been a hush before (Did the neighbours all make an oath of silence? Did the dogs in our area all take leave?)
* My husband has learned how to sleep sitting up on the couch, and I figured out what the intermittent banging noises are - it's his head hitting the wall (Does this mean he's going to be a grandfather? Ha ha ha)
* I learned how to wrap presents in mid-air, while folding laundry and scrubbing the sink (I know why I feel strange - it's that extra pair of hands I grew)
* I've been harbouring 'fantasies' about my kids being grown up - this is highly unusual, as I normally 'fantasize' that they're still babies
* I didn't gain as much weight this holiday as my husband did, and he's the type of person (insert 'that we all hate') that never gains an ounce, even after ingesting the entire refridgerator, the freezer and the microwave oven.
* In fact, there's such a hush outside, I can hear my car's tires hissing ..................oh shit!

Heather 1-2-2002 2:50

Well, shit! Where was I at 1:23 am! Sorry I missed you, Christi and Mary!

Mary, I just want to say thank you. And now, the terrible confession: I forgot all about your foot being broken.
Ak! A few days before Christmas all conscious thought was nabbed from my head as I went into overdrive. All previous known facts were stored away in lieu of the Christmas prep list - and I'm just realizing now that I should be looking for those 'lost files'! (Shhh, don't tell me it's known as temporary insanity)

I sure hope you're feeling as well as you sound! :oD

Christi! I'm so glad it arrived safely! Isn't it so wild to see where your book's been? Ah, but now you have to send it to the corner. It's been seeing other women! What a naughty Ender.

Heather 1-2-2002 2:35

It's a date!

Mary 1-2-2002 2:01

Mary, I know! :D It's great to 'see' you! Too bad it's so late or we could chat. Next time, eh?

Christi 1-2-2002 1:59

CHRISTI! If you really are leaving this time--Goodnight! It is strange to think of us both so far apart doing exactly the same thing at the same time. Well, not exactly, you wrote different words than me! ;-)

Mary 1-2-2002 1:57

CHRISTI: Hi!! Big hugs for ya and Happy New Year! You can be as sappy as you like. I get that way too this time of year.

Week...did I say week? DOH! I pulled a Homer.

And it wasn't my toe it was a bone in the side of my foot. It is ok, but I can't wear my stilettos yet. Not that I did much walking in them anyway. Hardy har har.

I'm off...

Mary 1-2-2002 1:55

Did I say goodnight? T'weren't me!

Viv, Thank you for the well wishes. I'm all better now, and I hope my quota of sickness has been filled for the year. Whew!

Debra, I have no better advice than anyone else here, but just wanted to give you a {{{{HUG!}}}}

Rosemary, I wish I'd have known you were going to be in Tucson! You could have dropped by the old palace! Next time drop me a note, you.

Litter, What's the prize, man! I'm dying to know.

Teekay, Happy birthday to your dear daughter! Hope it was wonderful.

Randall, Hilarious as always.

Ta ta, I'm all caught up!

Christi 1-2-2002 1:54

1:23am here. What am I thinking? I got up out of bed to write this! Well, not just this, but heck...while I am up I might as well.

HEATHER: One of the reasons I got up was because I was watching old reruns of "The Rockford Files" and "Barney Miller" and thinking about emeeting up with you in the morning and how I wish I had gotten your stories back to you before then. Sooo...I got up to get them in the email so they would be there when you woke up. Now that I see that Thursday is better for you (and me too now that I have had such trouble getting to sleep), I will probably go back to bed and drift off knowing that I can send them later in the morning. Works out for both of us.

JERRY: Sales were really great right before Christmas, but honestly a miniscule percentage came from my site. Most of it was word of mouth, or people who stopped me on the street because of a piece of jewelry I was wearing and took my business card to contact me. One woman bought the bracelet right off my wrist. I know the reasons why my site isn't generating much at this point, but I am not in a position to do what I need to do to remedy them right now. Now that the buying season is over, it remains to be seen whether my business will keep up. I am expecting a substantial(aka huge) drop.

Yes, with all the custom orders and trips to the post office and hand deliveries I have had absolutely no time to write anything. My writing buddy and I had the wisdom(and her the consideration) to lift our writing schedules and meeting times until after the holidays were over. Thursday we are back on schedule and I am exceedingly glad about that.

Just a note about business in general, anyone who has ever been in business for themselves, I think that the hardest part about keeping your head above water is accountability. I could very easily bankrupt myself without good self-discipline. Say I put $100 in supplies and make two items. If I sell those two items for a total of $300 and don't take half of that to replace the supplies and add to my inventory, my business would never grow. At Christmas I fell into the trap where I would take that whole $300 and spend it.

Now, here it is after Christmas. I have put a serious dent in my supplies, have spent the money to buy more supplies, and spent the money for overhead. Now, all the other jobs I do are having to support my jewelry business until I get it turned around again. This not only puts dings in your time constraints but pressure like that dampers your creativity. I can't even say that I didn't know I was doing that to myself. I just got excited about my kids being such a fun age for all the Santa related stuff this year, volunteered to make all the Christmas program costumes then refused reimbursment for the cost of those...all kinds of little generosities that an accountant would have told me I couldn't afford but my checking account said I could. Accountability is priceless. I could say lesson learned, but I know myself. I will do the same thing next year.

HOWARD: Something to add about a discussion of freedom that I believe you drummed up. I don't remember exactly what you were trying to arrive at, but I think freedom is when you have nothing to lose.

Mary 1-2-2002 1:50

Welcome to all the new faces!!!

Howard, Shoot, you were right about Boromir. Now where did I get the idea he was a huge guy? Was he a big Vikingesque dude in the animated version?
No matter, I got to see LOTR over the weekend and I have nothing but absolute praise for it. I never thought they could do it justice, but my mouth hung open as scene after scene took my breathe away. I felt like I'd been on a quest afterwards. Sigh. Whatta story.

Mary! Shortie WEEK? That would be cool!
I'm so glad to see you. How's your poor toe?

Heather, I owe you about a hundred emails and a thousand thanks. I just got Ender's Game back in the mail! It was so wonderful to see everyone's signatures and comments! Thank you so much, everyone! It's just awesome to think about all the countries my book has visited, and all the hands that have paged through it ... My friends! Why do I get sentimental when the year flips a digit? Oh who cares ... YIPPEE!

Jerry, I truly feel for you. I've had a lot of tooth pain in my life and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Hang in there! (Have you ever seen the Seinfeld with the dentist? Just think anti-dentite!)

I wrote this whole bit on black sheep and then decided it was sentimental crap. And now this is me saying goodbye.

Christi 1-2-2002 1:45

Heather: Thank you for your non-jump start into the New Year. I don't feel excessively motivated today.

Mary: Good to see you back from your holidays. That's funny about your little cousin or nephew and his hives. I have allergies and always have! They do the weirdest things. Thank goodness most folks grow out of them. How old is he?

I like the theme, Black Sheep! Thank you for a theme. I'm having trouble getting back into the writing//work mode.

Jerry: Hope you can hang in there with that tooth. That sounds terribly painful!

Suz: Welcome!

viv 1-2-2002 1:30

Ok ok, I know I am monopolizing the notebook tonight, this is my last, I promise.

I was moving some books around a few days ago, so as to make more room for my computer work station in the dining room, when I came across my first attempt to write anything. This was long before I went to college, in fact I was still on the PD. I wrote it on my old Commodore 128 computer and printed it off on an old Epson FX 80 Dot matrix printer that I bought off my insurance lady many years ago. It was intended to be sort of a letter to my kids after I departed this good old earth. I wrote of my youth, of growing up in an alcoholic family, but more I wrote of the games we played in country school.

I wrote of the fun of growing up on a farm, of milking cows, and drinking the milk straight from the teat. (No we didn't suck the teat, we squirted it into our mouths, and the mouths of the cats that kept the barn rodent free.) I wrote of the chores, of separating cream from the milk in the cream separator. Of the fight amongst we children for a glass of "separated" milk. (Skim milk) We thought it great, now, however my sisters would never drink Skim Milk, but I still do. I wrote of the fear of moving from the farm, from the one room classroom to town, where there were more kids in my class alone then there ever was in my schools. I wrote of my wild times growing up, of hard drinking and fast cars. Of the Army, of training and war, of peace and ceremony. I wrote of meeting and courting my wife, and of the other girls that I knew back then.

It was interesting to read, as I have forgotten much of those times recently. I blame it on the drugs that the doctors pump into my old body to keep the pain down so I can live some semblance of a normal life but it makes me sad to realize what I have lost.

Oh well, it is all part of growing old, all part of the passage of time.

To the new folks, I bid you welcome, you will find that simply visiting this site from time to time has a wonderful effect on your writing. I know it surely has on mine.

Jerry 1-1-2002 23:20

Speaking of tooth aches, the baker of those wonderful thanksgiving pumpkin pies has an absess that has drivin us both crazy for two days. Unfortunately dentists don't do holidays

Ken 1-1-2002 23:13

O.K. first off, some random rantings. It's been a while since I've had the time to vent on this site, or any for that matter so everyone just bear with me. Random new years resolutions:
1) Finnish "Faerie's Dream"
2) Finnish everything else I started this year
3) Write more
4) Be nicer to Cathy
5) Eat more pie
(hey gotta throw one in for everyone)
6) Write more
7) Find time to write
8) Sell a story
9) learn to write during normal hours
10) Keep in touch with all those at for writers .com

I'll send in a new scene soon untill then keep writing

Ken 1-1-2002 23:08

There are good things and bad things about a tooth ache. The pain, of course is bad, but because of that tooth, I doubt that I will gain the usual 5 to 10 pounds over the holidays. I know I won't because anything sweet even looks bad now, knowing what it will do once it hits that tooth. Maybe we should all have a tooth ache over the holidays, think about it. The good ladies would not have to cook all those Christmas Cookies that we all love. The nut bins in the grocers isles could remain empty of nuts, and filled with, oh, maybe cabbage. Those kiddies who get their toys and candy in their socks wouldn't be bouncing off the walls with that excess energy they receive in the form of chocolate.

Oh but imagine the fights if we all suffered from a tooth ache over Christmas. I can see it now. "Honey while you're up hows about a cup of coffee?" "COFFEE? You blasted idiot, do you know what coffee does to these aching teeth, why it will drive both of us up the wall."

Well maybe not, but I do look forward to seeing the dentist and getting some form of relief, hell I would even urge him to pull the blasted thing so the pain is gone in a few days for good. These days it seems dentists refuse to pull teeth. I have gone with a tooth broken off clear down to the gum from the fist of some damned drunk who didn't want to loose his drivers license again, and all they do is begin to build it back up, or cap it. Now they could just pull it and insert one of those single false teeth, you know the kind that slips right into the socket where your tooth was, then pin it through the jaw bone. But noooo, they have to do a (gasp) root canal, then come back seven times to get the cap fitted and in place at a cost that would have furnished three people with a set of uppers and lowers in years gone by. And me with no dental insurance, ah dental insurance those were the days, but alas, they are gone forever. I can only hope that the good folks at the VA can get me in before I have to move to the poor house so I can pay those super expensive dentists.

So Mary, hows the sales going, great I bet. Have you had time to write with your new business taking much of your time?

Jerry 1-1-2002 23:06

Mary! Great to see you here! Actually, I've been awfully bad in the email department, and haven't sent so much as an * to anyone!

But I am anxious to get back to writing, and my early morning routine (yes, I've been hit in the head with some sharp holly branches, a doorframe, and my son's foot, so that may explain the desire to rise at 5 am). Wednesday morning... hmmm!
Since it's Tuesday night right now, I think Thursday morning might be better for me - I still have to run out to work and do a few quick sprucings; the guys have been popping into work to check on things every day or so, and of course, they like to make sure the floors have a fair sprinkling of dirt on them before leaving! My boss was keeping an eye on the place last week, and she said she might have been better off to haul a cot in with her and sleep there. Every time she came in there was a new disaster, after all her work to polish things for the new year. If that's a peek at the year ahead, we're in for a blizzard of grime. :o/ I wonder if we could re-negotiate our contract to include paying us by the pound. We clean up a pound of dirt, they pay us a flat rate. Might be a good deal for us!
I swear we remove so much dirt there are a few employees missing.

I think you got your translation, Litter! Congrats to Teek and Mary!

Welcome, Amanda and Suz :o)

Have to go and figure out what my husband did to the drivers on this confounded machine! *eyes rolling North*

Happy First Day of 2002!

Teek - Happy Birthday to your daughter!

Heather 1-1-2002 22:58

hey all haven't left. Just the end of the last one was so bad I hope everyone had a good new year. I'll rant and write later. MAybe even a shortie..... hmmmm... Black sheep

Ken 1-1-2002 22:22

Happy New Year Everyone!

I actually took the time today to jot down some of the past year's notable events. I made note of three deaths and three publications. Now that's strange.

I made my list of hoped for accomplishments for the upcoming year. Actually I ended up with three lists. One a general list for writing. One a list for the house and property. And the third a detailed list of stories to write and their intended markets.

Viv -- I've enjoyed my family time too. But I'm so ready to get back to writing! Tomorrow I have to take two of the dogs and one cat in for their annual vaccinations. Then stop for a few groceries, then pay the blasted bills for the month. After that I hope to review my notes on the current story so that it will start rolling around in my brain again. Since we've begun working for one hour and it has been working so well for me, I've decided to try to increase my time to two hours per day. I am determined to make progress. I am determined to one day be self-sufficient with my writing income. $10 per year isn't going to cut it. :)

Randall -- I so enjoyed your story of Bubba. I too would love to have a conversation with any one of my dogs, or cats. There are times their intelligence quite astounds me.

Amanda and Suz -- welcome. Pull up a chair. Ask any question you wish. Join in the fun.

Carol 1-1-2002 22:12

Shortie goodness how could I forget shortie week. Ok, theme, theme, theme....


Mary 1-1-2002 21:06

Mary - yep, I have even let that idea pass through my mind, but I know better. I have a whole clove between the offending teeth, and took a couple of those stupid pills that I have been trying to get off of, both helped some. Now all I have to do is tell those who I call in the morning how bad it hurts, hopefully they well take pity on me and give me quick relief.

By the way, what's the topic for this weeks shorty? I miss those topics, they always gave me something to pass the time.

Jerry Ericsson 1-1-2002 20:42

JERRY: I bet you are close to the point that you are wondering if you can just pull it out yourself. I have been there...believe me...don't try it.

Mary 1-1-2002 20:28

The Celts called the whiskey they made uisge beatha--water of life. With as damp and chilling as the climate is over there, I bet they did feel like they were drinking some new warm life into themselves when that fiery whiskey hit their bellies. Warmed 'em right up and eased their aches. Gotta like that.

Mary again 1-1-2002 20:26

LITTER: Hi there! I have missed ya somethin' awful.

It's goes something like

We will take a goodwill draught (of ale)

Is that right? Like a toast to years past and future...yes?

Mary 1-1-2002 20:21

Well another day of pinochle. I won three games. Unusual, but a nice beginning to the new year. Back before Christmas, well just before Christmas, I broke a chunk out of a molar. Since we went through bankruptcy, the dentist that I used to use no longer welcomes me to his door, even though he only lost $25.00 but now that he said that, I shall never pay him that, would have if he accepted my appointment to fix that tooth.

At any rate, a couple of days ago, it began to ache. Today it is so bad that should my tongue touch it by accident, it sends waves of pain though my whole head.

The nearest Dentist now since the semi-local fellow no longer wants my business, is sixty miles away, but I will first check with the VA to see if they take emergency dental work, I know that dentists down there usually take six months to a year to get an opening. Should they not be able to see me then my next choice is the one 60 miles away, hope they can get me in right away, this is hell.

Jerry Ericsson 1-1-2002 19:34

Well another day of pinochle. I won three games. Unusual, but a nice beginning to the new year. Back before Christmas, well just before Christmas, I broke a chunk out of a molar. Since we went through bankruptcy, the dentist that I used to use no longer welcomes me to his door, even though he only lost $25.00 but now that he said that, I shall never pay him that, would have if he accepted my appointment to fix that tooth.

At any rate, a couple of days ago, it began to ache. Today it is so bad that should my tongue touch it by accident, it sends waves of pain though my whole head.

The nearest Dentist now since the semi-local fellow no longer wants my business, is sixty miles away, but I will first check with the VA to see if they take emergency dental work, I know that dentists down there usually take six months to a year to get an opening. Should they not be able to see me then my next choice i

Jerry Ericsson 1-1-2002 19:34

Ahh -- those stuffed mushrooms were excellent! I wish I could remember what I put in them...

lessee --
Chop a medium onion, stalk of celery, 1 clove garlic, 1 cup chopped mushroom stems, and saute them until just soft. Then put them with 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs, 2 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp mayonnaise, (I made this up, really) all into the food processor. Not too long - don't want paste! Transfer to a bowl and mix in oregano, ground thyme, rosemary, chervyl, and parsley - to taste - (1/4 tsp each) salt, pepper, then add 8 oz of finely chopped crab meat. Pre-cook large mushroom caps in butter and white wine until they just start to soften, then stuff them with the mixture and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes, then top with grated cheese and more breadcrumbs and put under broiler until tops are golden.
TEEKAY - I'd mail some to you, but they probably wouldn't make it through customs! :-)

howard 1-1-2002 18:50



LITTER: By gob an' begorrah so be it that I can ne'er refuse a guid challenge so here goeth:

Uisge Beatha be it Whisky my good man, also known and recognised the world around, or perhaps just some wee corners in dark cosy pubs as the water of life.
And in regards to verse 5 loin 3, that'll be bein' a guid will drinkees 'hic'.

JERRY: Your story lit a spark of inspiration in me. I've decided to put a bit of effort into it so if I actually get around to doing it I'll post it later.

RANDALL: You should see the picture in my head of you and Bubba flying through the dark starlit sky, it was great :-D

HOWARD: AH SHADDAP! ~dribble~ ~slobber~ :-D

VIV & ROSEMARY: Thanks guys :-)

AMANDA & SUZ: Welcome :-)

MARY: WELCOME BACK!!! Have missed you.

Have to get my daughters birthday party organised for this afternoon so I best make a start on it.


Teekay 1-1-2002 18:16

Greetings felicitations and ‘A Guid New Year tae ane and a’

The old year is dead and gone and with it the Hogmany celebrations. Ne’erday is fading fast and it has been a good one. This is the first year for 20 years that my younger sister and my older brother have both been in the same country as me for the bells that ring out the old year and herald in the new. Hogmany was good and there are promising signs for 2002.

But New Year would not be complete without a bit of Burns so, for all my notebook friends and newbies alike here is the Bard’s most famous New Year work. There is a special prize for the first person that gives me an accurate translation of verse 5, line 3

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp,
And surely I'll be mine,
And we'll tak a cup o kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!


We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou'd the gowans fine,
But we've wander'd monie a weary fit,
Sin auld lang syne.


We twa hae paidl'd in the burn
Frae morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin auld lang syne.


And there's a hand my trusty fiere,
And gie's a hand o thine,
And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught,
For auld lang syne.

Chorus, dancing and lots of the Uisge-Beatha.

Another special prize for the first person to give me the translation for Uisge-Beatha, both normative and literal.

Lang may yer lums reik,

Litter 1-1-2002 17:23

Suz- This is a members only forum. Lucky for you, you are a new member! Yeehaw and welcome. :-)

Good thing the member requirements aren't too high or I would have my priveleges revoked!!

Mary 1-1-2002 13:36

Merry Belated Christmas and a Happy Happy New Year to you all!

I have missed you so much and I feel so out of touch. I hope that you have all had great holidays and that your families are well. We are all happy as clams, but have been very busy. My little nephew got so excited last night that he broke out in hives. (Scared us all...we thought it was an allergic reaction to something we didn't see him eat!)

HEATHER: I have yet to catch up on the posts here and I haven't been home long enough to read any emails, but I am sure some of them are from you! :-) I don't know about you, partner, but I am ready to pick up where we left off. My husband goes back to work on Wednesday, after what seems like 4 months of vacation time, so if you don't mind starting in the middle of the week, I am all geared up for Wednesday. If you would rather wait and start a new week fresh, then that's great too! We will recuperate from the holidays, pack up the decorations and start on Monday. Just let me know. I have read all of the things you sent me, and wrote notes in the margins of the printed copies, so as soon as I get those notes put onto my computer versions of your stories, I will send them out.

Take care you all and enjoy the rest of your day!

Big hugs all around!

Mary 1-1-2002 13:34

A Happy New Year to All! I stumbled into this lovely space on accident. May I visit from time to time, or is this a members only list? Regardless, best wishes to all!

Suz 1-1-2002 13:29

My brother in law gave me a $40 cigar from Cuba
...I'm going to smoke it with glee
the very moment I finish typing 'The End' at the bottom of my 'Symphony' manuscript. :oD

Heather 1-1-2002 13:02

Day 1, 2002
-pajamas 'til noon
-glasses from last night's 'banana boat drinks' still in the sink
-new software packages still laying about the floor by the computer desk
-cartoons on
-snow in the driveway, and on the lawn
-balsalm needles on the rug
-ribbons in my pocket
-Christmas cracker goodies on the coffee table
-smile on my face
(vacuum in the closet)

Well, I never claimed to have the new year jump started.

Heather 1-1-2002 13:00

HAPPY NEW YEAR v * * * * * * * * * v

Thank God my story is only fantasy.

Jerry Ericsson 1-1-2002 2:02

Happy New Year everyone!

Let Love Reign :oD

Heather 1-1-2002 1:49



My wife comments on occasion that our dog, Bubba, is a lot like me. We're both hairy, on my face and all over his Silky Terrier body. We're both getting grouchy in our old age. He snarls when stepped on and I snarl at everybody. We go to bed about the same time every night, although, here lately I note he's going to bed a little earlier than before. Like an old man he slowly plods to our bedroom, head down almost asleep. I'm like that. When the sandman tosses sand in my face, it's all over. Bed beckons and I'm away. I usually see Bubba in his chair already asleep, though often he sleeps in the floor, just below the chair. As I arise in the morning, he'll open one eye, as if inquiring, "Where the dickens are you going?"

Bubba and I are both dreamers. Bubba sleeps in a chair next to the bed, my side. Occasionally I have to reach over and pet him in the night as his dreams are sometimes vocal. When I touch him, he calms down. The other night my wife heard him whine, then growl, then woof quietly several times. There's no telling what he's chasing, or, who's chasing him. Bubba often makes a horrible moaning sound. It will bring you out of a dead sleep, believe me.

If ever an animal could talk, I would like to converse with Bubba. He has led an interesting life. My mom got him when he was just a year old. A friend of hers found him wandering the streets of Kerrville, a south Texas town. As my dad had recently died, mom needed a friend, a companion. Mom named him BJ. Sound confusing, the Bubba/BJ Silky Terrier? Well therein lies the story.

Mom kept BJ as a friend till she died. I moved into Mom's home and naturally, BJ was included with the deal. He stayed with us for a couple of years then one day was gone, disappeared. We searched but no BJ. Dog pound, no BJ. Humane society, no BJ. Gone. Three years passed, it was the winter of El Nino in Texas and rained nearly every day. As you would expect, the street in front was under construction. It was a mess, mud everywhere, cars mired, construction crew in the cafe, drinking coffee, flirting with the waitresses.... I came home, and the WHOLE family, sans Sean, met me at the front door.

"Well guess what?" my wife asked with a smirk on her face.

This line of inquiry often heralds stunningly good news or startling bad news. I have learned to always expect the worst, as, then, one is always prepared. If a 747 had gone down in the backyard, she would begin the same way. "Well, guess what Mr. Smarty Pants..."

"Go look in the bathroom," she motioned with her hand, still that weird smile.

I did, expecting to see a major plumbing disaster. However, my son Sean was sitting on a stool and washing mud off an animal that was totally unrecognizable. As the mud washed away two large brown eyes appeared, then long brown hair, short stubby tail. The dog was skinny, obviously lost and a Silky Terrier to boot.

"Its BJ!" I exclaimed loudly. "He's come home!"

"No," my wife said. "Not BJ! This dog is totally different. Not BJ."

Sean had seen him standing in the muddy street, cold rain pouring down. When he called, the forlorn animal came to the front door. And this explains why BJ is now called Bubba. In my mind there are too many similarities, both dogs were shy about the head, both neutered, and about the same age. Bubba is BJ.

Which might lead me to ask..."Bubba/BJ, where the hell have you been the last few years?"

Bubba is a private dog, possibly he has fled from a life of crime and now seeks sanctuary. He will not converse with me, and keeps his thoughts to his self. Bubba always wants to go with me. My wife says she knows when I'm coming out of the bedroom after a Sunday nap, cause Bubba trots out ahead. I had a dream one night that I was with Bubba as we flew to Houston. No... Flew to Houston!! Hundreds of feet over the earth we sailed along, side by side, my beard and his whiskers streaming in the warm night wind. Partners in some mystery trek under a full moon. Perhaps Bubba was showing me what he dreams. Floating along above the earth, no cares, at ease, free at heart. Perhaps he accidentally stepped into a time warp and was on the trail with a bunch of little weird creatures called Hobbits? Gone on a quest for three years?

Bubba is aging rapidly and one day may never awaken in his chair. But then, what's wrong with that? We humans have shown that we are capable of a whole lot worse. If the Good Lord calls me home, I would hope it would be as I slept. Not shot by a jealous husband on my 95'th birthday. (Grin)

Goodnight and a happy new year.

Randall & Bubba

RANDALL 12-31-2001 21:54

BTW - I took my grandkids to see it -- Brittany yesterday, and Isaac this morning! I really like this movie!

howard 12-31-2001 21:38

I'm stuffed!
Steamed clams, crab-stuffed mushrooms, boiled shrimp, pizza roll, and all manner of other goodies!

And the night's still young!

Happy New Year!

and for you LOTR Fanatics out there, the LOTR Fanatics site:


howard 12-31-2001 21:36

Greetings all and Happy New Year,

The Trip to Arizona was great. We left early Tuesday Morning. (Christmas day has NO!! traffic.) Beginning on a Tues. must have left us both confused because we returned home Fri. evening, convinced it was Sat. evening. We could have done a little more sight-seeing and not have driven so hard that last day. "Oh Well."

We left Tucson heading north and went through a lot of area covered in snow but with clear roads. Also, there must be a hundred miles of those cacti that look like a man with his arms held up. (I can't spell them.) Swureo is definitely wrong and I'm too lazy to switch over to my dictionary.

On the second day, we stopped at a plant nursery and bought a 10foot tall pine tree for $8.95. It was a good deal, but hauling that tree in and out of the van for the rest of the trip was a pain. Now, we will try again to see if this lousy Texas soil without a drop of acid in it will support a pine tree. Growing up in South Georgia, I get cravings for the sight of Pine trees.

Congrats girly. The world will be beating a path to your door. (Hopefully)

I loved your post about Christmas and your daughter wanting to stay with you. I really hope you get your wish and are able to come home (America) next year. Be Happy.

Your futuristic story gave me the hebeejeebees. Please don't be a prophet. I will admit, the writing kept me reading on. DEBRA definitely should NOT read it.

Hope everyone has a great holliday,

Rosemary 12-31-2001 20:53

Hi Debra!
Yup! Kids make for some nail biting moments, but that one is a winner. I knew she'd make a good choice...if not right away, sooner or later.

We're on line at the same time. It's now 4:01 AM here! I missed this notebook so much I couldn't stand it! If I need to sleep I know everyone will be sleeping late tomorrow and I can sneak in a nap in the afternoon as well!

Viv yet again 12-31-2001 14:15

Just caught up on the posts I missed up to Christmas. What a lot of wonderful writing. I missed you guys.

Howard: That is a wonderful poem! I love the beginning because it's exactly the way I felt as we headed into the Christmas day. There's a moment, just a short moment, where the clear understanding of the holiday is missed after the children grow away. Even if they are right there in the room, the simplicity is missing.

Hi Christi: Hope you're feeling much better. How typical, I always get sick when I get time off too. It's like I wait to get time to get sick or something. Isn't it disgusting!

Debra: Hope all dreams from this year forward are gentle. the planes fly over

Teekay: Wonderful! You are now a published author. What a way to start in a New Year.

Jerry: I liked your dream page. I don't remember my dreams usually, but I liked the directions on how to remember one. Did I mention it, your writing is really improved since the beginning of last year. I think you showed me clearly the necessity of writing every day and then going back and editing. I made a quiet New Years promise to myself to be more like you.

Heather: What a wonderful way to describe Christmas!

Randall: Hi! I saw the cat and your wife! Yup, we've had our Christmas tree toppled and it looked about the same! I was roaring at that description of the cat and the way you chased down your wife. Someone HAS TO publish your stories this year so I can buy a book and keep it on the shelf for when I need a smile and a little lift back up into the sanity of humor. From the friend with the trumpet to this newest story about the Cat, they are better than Mark Twain for a giggle and a glimpse at humanity. Write on!

Amanda: Welcome! I came here around Christmas a year ago. If you want to learn about writing you're in the right place! I've learned a great deal and it's fun.
You have a pretty name, where are you from?

Viv again 12-31-2001 14:12


I bit my nails all the way to the end. Phew!

Debra 12-31-2001 13:38

Akimashite Omedito Gozaimasu! We've rung in the New Years, eaten our ozoni and omochi, danced and hugged as he fireworks exploded in the sky over the North Pier in Yokohama, listened to the lonely sound of ships horns blowing then walked slowly home in the cold. We debated swiping a couple of the beautiful posters that are posted on the outside of shops closed for the New Year. The posters are beautiful and make wonderful pictures for the house, but as we walked past temples with the bonfires blazing we didn't have the heart for something so mischeivious. The cold nipped our noses, the streets were full, and the signs were fewer this year. The recession was there this year. The fireworks display was a little shorter, the posters were fewer and many were hand lettered and drawn, many people in line to pray for the New Year at the temples. It's a new Japan, certainly more serious than last year. Maybe it's not just the recession. I hope they were praying for an end to terrorism and hate.

Carol, I missed your message on Friday and I'm sorry. My daughter had a mini-crisis. As we were putting her back on the plane she suddenly announced she was tired of being adult and wanted to just stay home. I guess our Christmas was gentle and happy. She's done two years of tough courses and watched many of her friends fail out of college. The last four years she's lived alone in the States. She sat down in the airport after we'd checked her bags and she was supposed to walk down the stairs into the international boarding area. She just sat down right before the stairs and said, "I'm not leaving. I'm just not getting on that plane. I'm staying here."

We said that was fine but didn't she want to go back and get all her clothing, close out her apartment, get back her tuition for the next semester. That got her back on the plane. We bit our nails for the next day.

Today after a long sad phone call about how she was definitely going in on Monday, quitting her job, quitting college, and telling the real estate agent that her apartment would not be rented after then next month, keep the damage deposit etc....we got an e-mail.

Seems her friends are back, they called her and she's going for a nice long run up to the best restaurant in the world for a New Years Hamburger. After that they will go to a big mountain park, build a nice bonfire, and roast marshmallows and some Mochi that she brought back with her.

She's back in the adult world again. Whew! For a second there she just got tired of doing life adult style.

I'm sooooo relieved. I'm also extremely happy that we did have our five days together. It was wonderful to be needed, and to see that we have created a gentle little corner in the world. I'm glad she appreciates it and maybe 2002 will bring a job in America so we can live closer and she can visit more often.

Happy 2002! I'll get a little time to write tomorrow I hope. If not, it's because I do have to do the traditional greet the guests, serve food, and go on my required round of visits. If you don't do this you don't have friends or jobs. It's expected and required, much like our Christmas season has it's own special rules and reqirements. Those rules add up to a beauty of their own if you follow them. I'll be right in there following the expectations of the holiday, and it will bring luck for our year.

Secretly though, I'm longing to sneak away and write. I'll be able to shut down the house when my husband goes back to work the next day. So WHEW! The wonderful whirlwind of the season is finally going to end.

I'm tired out but I'm glad we have this time to concentrate on our families, friends and the ups and downs of the season. Thanks for being an understanding friend and on Friday I'll be back in full swing for another year. (Unfortunately it's only going to be revisions. I'm not satisfied with those two stories I wrote and I want them perfected before I move on.)

Viv 12-31-2001 13:25


Happy New Year to one and all :O)

12-31-2001 12:42

Happy new year to all and everyone.

Americo 12-31-2001 8:53

This latest dream has left me on the verge of tears ever since. I feel like prying my eyes open with clothes pins forever.

Debra 12-30-2001 23:52


You know what's weird? I don't get eight hours of sleep every night. I try but somtimes I'm too tired to sleep or the kids are coughing or something. This is the time of the year like summer where I don't have to get up early. The kids are home from school. So I have been getting eight hours. When I get enough sleep I have a full life there in my dreams. Sometimes the people in my dreams complain about my sleep habits because they can't spend enough time with me. Imagine? Some of my dreams are about friends I only see there.

When I sleep enough I do have these kinds of dreams all the time.

Here's an oldie but goodie. I told my father to stay away from ladders and electricity at his work. He's an account, which he quickly pointed out to me. I told him to promise me. He did. Two weeks later next door to his office an electrician was killed on a ladder. It was one of his good friends.

I told my sister to stay out of my cousin's car and made sure she was too afraid to let me catch her. A month later he was dead in an accident.

I dreamt about a murder in the capitol of my state. They had no witnesses. Months before the murder I dreamt about that murder and saw two men standing on a porch who saw the whole thing. I called the police and they found them. They wouldn't say what they knew. I know why. I told the police what they knew. I saw it in the paper a week later that these witnesses were found. I think that by the police knowing what they knew that they might have talked and it was put in the paper that they didn't.

We were going to summer camp as kids and really scared. I dreamt about the whole camp and told my sister. When we got there every thing was right where I said it was.

I dreamt about my husband before we met. We were on a train he was with his friend and I was strangly the only one who forgot their clothes. I recognized him when I saw him for the first time many years later. I didn't mention the dream. I still haven't.

I can go on and on. I won't.

Debra 12-30-2001 23:48

Debra - Just a simple google search, then following lots of links till one hits the spot.

Jerry Ericsson google 12-30-2001 22:55

Thank you Jerry:

I left them my dream. How do you find this stuff? You're amazing.

Debra 12-30-2001 22:41

Debra Check out the site below.

Jerry Ericsson Precognitive Dream Page 12-30-2001 21:55

ooops I mean Oyster

Jerry Ericsson 12-30-2001 21:11

Carol, funny you should ask, I was working on a bit of a tale for New Years Eve, but it is not for the faint of heart. Here it is:

Let Freedom Ring
by Jerry A.G. Ericsson

I recall the day so very well. Although it took place nearly twenty year ago, I could never forget, never fail to cast leaves on the water, never fail to say a silent prayer for those who perished that terrible day.

It was the last day of the year two thousand one. The nation was still in mourning for those who died on September eleventh that year, those who were murdered by that crazed Arab in his first attack on the United States of America.

Yet many rejoiced in the many quick victories won on the battle field in the first invasion of Afghanistan, remember now this was before the second invasion of Afghanistan, and a few months before the whole thing became moot because of the India/Pakistan nuclear war that lead to the total destruction of the middle east, and the loss of the middle eastern oil reserves.

No, this was New Years Eve, and the nation waited, prayed for a peaceful new year, for peace in our time, for an end to war, an end to terrorism, and an end of killing. Little did they know that as they prayed, the evil ones were setting about to place the entire world in shock.

Millions of Americans watched that horrible night, as the merry makers rushed to Times Square, the listened to great bands, singers of all genre, speeches by the famous and the not so famous, in fact President Giuliani gave his greatest tribute to those who died in the first attack on New York.

Millions watched in horror, as Able Mohammad Islam hang glided down onto the crowd, and when he was but one hundred feet above the joyous crowd pushed the button that detonated that back pack containing the “brief case nuclear device.”

Over two million Americans died that night. At the same time, one hundred and fifty thousand Pakistanis died when India launched the first strike on their nation, within hours over seven million Indians died in the retaliatory strike, but this is beyond that point.

Millions of Americans cried, millions of Americans prayed for peace, millions of Americans took up arms and did what millions of angry citizens do when brought to the brink of insanity, killed every person in their midst that even resembled an Arab.

Hundreds of thousands of American Citizens died that night in what has come to be known as the great insanity, Hispanics, American Indians, some light skinned blacks, even some European descent Americans were murdered in the great insanity simply because they had spent too long on a tanning bed.

I, my self could not, would not participate in the great insanity, although to tell the truth, had I been physically able, I do believe I would have let that dark part of me that lies dormant deep beneath my heart go, and would have joined the slaughter. I thank God every day that I was not able, that I did not have to live with the guilt that led to the death of so many on New Years Day, forever known as the day when America bled.

I write this so those in the future can read, and remember and possibly stop it from ever happening again, because that is the wish of those who survive. We pray for peace, we pray for freedom, yet we cannot find peace, we are not free.

Some day, when my grand children’s children live, when the hundred years of control are over and the U.N. Peace keepers are withdrawn from our land, they can again breath the fresh air of freedom, they can again know the contentment of a free life, of the freedoms that we once had before the great insanity, and the day when America bled.

The freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom from oppressive governments will again be the law of the land. We pray every day for the return of our government, for the return of freedom, knowing that it cannot be it can never be so long as there is a man, or woman alive that remembers, that yet hates those who murdered our nation.

Jerry 12-30-2001 21:10

I am currently beginning a serious writing career. I am collecting historical research and planning out my story ideas. If any of you have any advice for a beginner I would appreciate it. Thanks

Amanda 12-30-2001 18:51

Debra: I read your dream description twice and had an eerie sense of deja vu. I agree with Randall, keep searching the net for strange occurances. More dreams than I care to count (and some hunches, too) have turned out to be prophetic for various people I know and love. Maybe it's time to keep a dream journal?

Teekay: Congrats again on the published story! Glad you liked the book. It truly is a 'pocket book' in the sense that it's so small.

Carol: LOL, I was thinking of Bird By Bird the other day ... I have a copy of it upstairs, given by friend!

Heather: Your Shortie summed a great deal about Christmas in our home and I so was glad to see it!

Jerry: With all that you do and all that you write, you wouldn't happen to have a story in there about The Night Before New Years, would you?

My New Year's Resolutions: To Encourage My Family to write down a few! Yes, even the kids.

In case I don't get back here before 2002 and Happy New Year to all!

Oyster 12-30-2001 12:15


In case I don't see you tomorrow night or whenever, have a happy new year and all that jazz.

Well still writing on my book... the middle seems endless at the momen, decided to write down any idea I get for it, doesn't matter if it seems silly later on.
After all only rough draughting... The rate its going though it won't take long to finish it

taylor 12-30-2001 7:19

Teekay - just read your story, it was wonderful, the reason it was published is obvious, it deserved to be.

Eddie, read all the congrats, but somehow missed what was going on, until I dropped way down again and read all about it. Great news, I am sure it will be a hit.

Jack - I don't know that I got to know Phillip much, the name sounds familiar, but it must have been awhile ago.

Sounds like your busier then a one armed paper hanger with the crabs. Must be nice, I try to keep busy with my computers and all, but somehow it just isn't the same. I do envy you with all that you can and do do. Hope you have fun with your dives.

Jerry Ericsson 12-29-2001 22:17

Greetings All :)

Oyster - Julia Cameron is one of my favorites. I have "The Right To Write" and "The Artist's Way." Both are re-read whenever I start feeling down and need the inspiration. "Bird By Bird" by Anne Lamont is also a good read for inspiration and reminding one to keep things simple. It all starts with the first word.

That's one of my goals for the New Year -- keeping it simple. Yet the past couple of days, I've been reading gardening magazines again. I have dreams of quiet flower gardens scattered throughout my property where I can sit, read and write.

Another goal -- to send out all the anniversary cards and birthday cards I keep forgetting.

And the most important one -- to write every day. To finish the stories, to polish them and to submit them!

Eddie -- congrats on the radio deal. It sounds like a lot of fun and I think your work will "read" very well.

I've got one more day of "entertaining," then I'm done with it all and can get back into the groove. Viv -- you ready for Friday? I know my cranky level has gotten too high from not writing lately.

Till later ...

Carol 12-29-2001 21:30


Merit might have been a wrong word for me to use. :-) However, it would have positive implications 'worthy of merit' if your dream foiled a terrorist attempt at mass murder.

At one time there was a site on the net where persons could recount their dreams. For instance; if persons in authority received an alert that many people had a similar dream...what if they received notification that thousands of people had a dream like yours?

Act now, and keep us posted.


RANDALL 12-29-2001 21:17

Thanks Guys.

I'm going to call one of those FBI lines and describe the place I saw as best as possible.


How scary is that, my dream has merit?

I'm praying it never happens and by telling it the way of the world won't let it. That's my hope.

You're right I'd rather feel stupid than like a person who cared more about herself than half the country or more.

Debra 12-29-2001 21:08


DEBRA: I agree with what RANDALL said. Tell all. Go to sites like Oprah Winfreys or News sites and tell it there.
Are there sites where you can give information re: terrorist attacks? Do that and to hell with feeling stupid about it. This may seem a bit bizarre and extreme, but I think one of the worst things to have to live with would be to have been given this information and then not acted upon it, at least if speak out your conscience will be clear.

OYSTER: That sounds like a fantastic book. I'm going to keep an eye out for it.

Going now,
be well all.

Teekay 12-29-2001 19:31


Debra: Do not feel stupid about sharing dreams like that... Alot of dreams can be a premonition.

Me... I have had a terrible dream that its New Years in the dream.
Where theres a street party going on, everyones there celebrating like crazy... Then like there is flak things in the sky... Then in the dream everything freezes, all the people partying stop as they were.
And what is followed is just an unearthly silence, as the still faces shed tears.

That might seem a stupid dream

Taylor 12-29-2001 18:46

Me again:


FYI....The best location to detonate a nuclear device is above ground level. Tests conducted in the Pacific, much to the dismay of Native Islanders, sharks and fishes have shown that air bursts are more destructive. Much more, for they generate more heat, establish a wider area of lethality. Adding to the fun, the force of the explosion is proceeded by an unsually powerful blast of superheated air traveling hundreds of miles an hour. More economical than a ground burst. More bang for the buck. Pardon my levity guys. It's how I handle stress.

True we are dealing with mucho variables here. But, say a one megaton nuclear device (1,000 tons of TNT) detonated over Podunk, USA at 5,000 feet will effect a wider area of destruction than a ground level detonation. I once read that two 100 megaton bombs (the Russians developed several air delivered devices for fun and games) detonated 10,000 feet over Kansas...would kill everyone in the state with a one-two blast of heat and radiation millions down wind. The great Siberian comet blast, small in comparsion, in 1908 detonated at 10 or 12,000 feet in the air and knocked people down 40 miles away. A radius of 40 miles that is.

A "suitcase bomb" detonated several hundred feet off the ground would be real bad news. To a degree I don't wish to think of.

I believe, in the only nuclear war America was in, a device was detonated as it floated down by parachute. Pretty chilling thoughts to gaze upward and see a pretty parachute floating gracefully down in the clear blue sky.

A "suitcase bomb" in an old smokestack or tower, sadly would be more destructive than one in the trunk of a car. So there is some merit in your dream. You can bet your last sheckel the terrorists are well aware of this aspect of nuclear devices.


RANDALL 12-29-2001 18:05

Since I missed shortie night, as I think most of us did,
here's a very short shortie:

I put all of my heart into creating Christmas, and now that it's been unwrapped, and enjoyed, and engulfed; those merry hours spent, I find myself
Dreaming of next Christmas,
when I'll have all the love I can manage to cram
Into the next batch of wrapper-happy sendings.

Heather 12-29-2001 17:58

Debra - I wouldn't discount your dream, either. Tell anyone who will listen.

Mary - How are you, girl? Will you be ready to start back with the writing buddy system soon?
I think I can handle getting up in the early hours again... starting next week. :oD

Anyone have a comprehensive list of their New Year's Resolutions?

Let's hear 'em - wacky and wild, weird and woeful, please post.

Heather 12-29-2001 17:50



Never feel stupid over insights that come in the night. There are, at the risk of sounding like a SF writer, powerful forces and unknown powers that we know nothing of. Nothing. Never disregard a dream as stupid or trivial. The human being is a complex sensor, capable of amazing predictions and receptive to a degree we'll never fully understand.

I would suggest you enter Air Show + January 2002 on a search program and see what comes up. Air shows are usually well advertised and you might get a line. A call to the FAA (or whatever agency regulates flight in ones country) might work. Just tell them what you wrote us, be honest and forthright. Do not be afraid of ridicule!

There are documented, recorded instances when dreams came true. One I remember hearing about dealt with a man who dreamed an airliner turned sideways in flight and crashed. He drew a picture of the dream, the plane on fire. A video camera recorded a stunning scene several days or weeks later when an airliner lost an engine, turned sideways from the loss of torque and crashed close to an airport.

I hope your dream does not come true, but we all are holding our breath these days.....anyway.


Randall 12-29-2001 17:27

Okay Guys and Gals:

Prepare yourselves for the stupidest post you have ever read. I feel compelled to put it here anyway.

I have dreams lots of the time and they come as preminitions. I might have told you. I don't know. I did have one weeks before Sept 11. It was the Statute of Liberty on fire and it was snowing all around the firemen. I thought it was going to catch on fire in the winter. I didn't say anything because it seemed dumb at the time. I have had these dreams all my life.

Well I had another one and this one was the most frightening one of all. I don't know what to do and who to tell. It was about an Air Show near a big city. I don't know which city. All I know is the place where it was held was to the right of the city. The city had at least four stacks, maybe smoke stacks or something else. I don't know. The planes were flying in the sky there were four of them. The one plane all the way to the right with the stacks to the left started to stall. It made a spark and the auidence gasped. Then it headed downward toward the city and the stacks. It couldn't have been very close to them at all. I'm guessing many miles but when it exploded it took everything with it including the stacks and the whole auidence and eveything else for many miles. It looked nucular.

What a slap in the face to hit us with our own plane again and an air show no less. What do I do, who do I tell. It has left me breathless ever since and that was several days ago.

I'm scared.

Debra 12-29-2001 15:05

While grabbing my post-holiday reserach and reading material at the library, I happened upon a small table at the front where, from time to time, our librarians put out bits of writing on writing.

Partially covered by a "New and Notable" sticker, complete with Blue Worded warning "2 week loan no holds or renewals" a title caught my eye.

"The Writer's Life". It was a compact yellow covered soft-cover book, written by ...lia Cameron and the blue sticker covered part of the words Insigh Right ... so of course my curiosity got the better of me. I grabbed the tiny tome and hustled on up to the check out desk. If it was a dud, so what?

I re-discovered a truth when I opened the book, "Good Things Come In Small Packages".

The very first page, says:

"Why should we write? We should write bcause it is human nature to write. Writing claims our world. It makes it directly and specifically our own. We should write because humans are spiritual beings and writing is a powerful form of prayer and mediation, connecting us to our own insights and to a higher and deeper level of inner guidance as well. We should write, above all, because we are writers whether we call ourselves writers or not. The Right to Write is a birthright, a spiritual dowry that gives us the keys to the kingdom. Higher forces speak to us through writing. Call them Inspiration, Muses, Angels, God, Hunches, Intutition, Guidance, or simply a good story -- whatever you call them, they connect us to something larger than ourselves that allows us to live with greater vigor and optimism."

The Writers Life, Insights from The Right to Write; Julia Cameron, Jeremy E. Tarcher/Putnam, New York, 2001.

I read that passage and thought:

a) She's been reading my mind;
b) I wish I'd written that ... maybe I have, in my journal;
c) This book is a keeper, I'm getting my own copy;
d) Muses? Hunches? Hmmm. I seem to recall some of the other writers on the Notebook have mentioned similar connections;
e) Right to Write, yup, I got that!

I found another one that speaks to our journey, as well, and this I'll leave you with:

"Drama in our lives keeps us from putting drama on the page." (Cameron, p. 24)

DDearest is in the room, attempting to put reality into that statement!

Hope you all are looking forward, as I am, to putting down a New Year's Resolution that has something to do with writing!

Oyster 12-29-2001 14:14

Hi all!

Well, so much happening! Congrats Teekay and Eddie. What a great way to end 2001/begin 2002.

Christmas has been good. My mom is here for the holidays, and we are keeping each other occupied and busy. Every day has its moments, but we've been each other's strength. At times I miss my daddy so much it's a physical pain, not just emotional.
It's snowing right now, just a few cm. this time. Everything is nice and white again, just as I like it. I love snow.

I don't have much time, so I'll just say 'hi' to everyone for now. Have a great holiday!

Tina 12-29-2001 11:30

EDDIE -- Congratulations indeed on your radio spots! That's how Phyllis Diller got her start! :-)

And TEEKAY -- same thing again! I just reread your story and it's still excellent!

RANDALL -- Yes, I'd heard that same thing - that JRRT sent the story piecemeal to someone in the service (his son, I think) before it got published. Possible.

CHRISTI -- Boromir is described in the first book as a tall man with a fair and noble face, dark-haired and grey-eyed, proud and stern of glance. He was cloaked and booted as if for a journey on horseback; and indeed though his garments were rich, and his cloak lined with fur, they were stained with long travel.
I don't remember his as ever being described as "hulking." Perhaps you're referring to Beorn ? He was the one from "The Hobbit," who turned into a bear at night.

I had no real problem with the actual characters in the film, but I wish they could have been able to develop them better. You don't really get to know them in the short time you're with them. And a few (like Arwen) were emphasized (at Glorfindel's expense) beyond their place in the book.

I'll still go back to see it once or twice more, but I'll definitely read it again, several times, before I embark for the Gray Havens, if you take my meaning...

howard 12-29-2001 10:31

Just to let everyone know. I have some side responsibilities, including a small contract and a meeting of the Westercon ConCom committee tomorrow that will precede Fran and I slipping off for three days of diving at Hood Canal. This will preclude me from doing more testing of the Workbook script. When I get back and I get done with the commercial contract I will attempt to get back to getting the Workbook up and running off of since it is an ASP script. The main issue is since it relies on an Access database is how to get it running off of forwriters. I will have to see what the bugs are first.

BTW, I shot an email off to Phillip McClaren and heard back from him that although some of the fires came close to some of his family members, they were all relatively unscathed so far. Keep your prayers and thoughts out for He and his. Also, he apparently has a book out since August and has another one coming up this year. Also, one of his books is up for production as a movie and is going to be released in the US. This is wishing him luck and hoping others have similar stories to tell about their own writing careers.

Oh, also, I culled out a picture of Fran checking out a fork from the bottom of Seacrest and attached a logo of I've Got Nitrogen Narcosis - What's your excuse? She loved it.

Jack Beslanwitch 12-29-2001 6:41

Teekay - I would love to read your story, send it on if you have it handy, and again congrats!

Well Christmas is finally over. The weather gave us our Christmas present a bit late, cold artic air has moved down and pushed all that wonderful warm air that had been melting our snow away. Today's high was 17F, and we were the warm spot of the area. We have been getting high winds that drive the wind chill to well below zero.

Our son and his family left this morning for their trip home, and made it safely, they contacted us online when they arrived home. We did have a wonderful time with them on their visit, but last night I got a bit ill, and called the night early, went to bed the earliest I have in years and slept like a log all night, I feel much better now, must have been a 24 hour bug or something I guess.

Our daughter brought her two cats over for a visit, while the workers install new floor covering on her kitchen and bathroom. The oldest lived with us for a couple of years, and made him self right at home, spending half his time on my wife's lap, the other half between mine, and playing with the dog. The youngest spent only a few days here, she is in hiding in the bathroom, keeping herself invisible in the bathtub behind the shower curtain. She has ventured forth a few times to patrol the house, but when one of us moves, she heads back to her hiding space.

Jerry Ericsson 12-28-2001 23:37



Shortie post toastie tonight. U of Texas is playing U of Washington in the something or other bowl.... I confess I love the football bowl games. Much to my wife's internal, external and eternal chagrin! :-)

Thanks for the nice comments on my Scorch and Debbie tale. I, as usual, intertwine fact and fiction. Scorch is so named cause she is a gray kitty. (The kind most people name Smoky( She is white on the lower hind legs, and white socks on the front feet. Scorch is condemned to live indoors as we live on a REAL busy street. Not many cats live long on this street if allowed to run around outside. On ocassion Scorch slips outside, but will not run if we approach her. She returns willingily to our home.

Congrats to our fellow PUBLISHED authors!!! :-) Something we all strive for. Recgonition is important. (Sorry for the spelling errors)

Howard; checked out the JRR site. Very good. But I read somewhere that JRR wrote LOTR and sent it chapter by chapter to a relative who was in the military overseas? Don't know, could be an implant focused to me by the Dark Lord!!!

Well the TV announcers voice is rising and the crowd is yelling so I'll go.



12-28-2001 20:56


TAYLOR: About the copyright question, I really haven't got a clue. I looked it up in a magazine and it all seems rather hazy. I wrote a short story and through it used a verse from a song, then I realised that I was actually plagiarising by using that verse without permission. Rather than go through the bother I made up a song and just hope readers will think it's a legit one only they've never heard of it.
I recommend that you either visit the Australian copyright website - I'm assuming there's one, or perhaps you can email an author and see if they have any advice.

Definitely outa here now.

May your quills never blunt, nor your inkwells run dry.

Teekay 12-28-2001 19:00

My granddaughter Jaquelinn has discovered a new talent (she shares it with her aunt - our #3 daughter - who is the only other person I've ever seen do this) that is a real treat! She has nosebleeds - real heavy ones that are difficult to stop (yes, we've had her to the doctor, and he's not too alarmed yet). Anyway, last evening she discovered that if she pinches her nose just right to stop the bleeding, it backs up through that interconnection with the tear duct, allowing her to squirt blood out of her eye! She's nine, and, after the initial scare, thinks it quite comical when people pass out after seeing her new trick! I'm thinking of contacting one of those TV shows...

howard 12-28-2001 18:37


Shucks, thanks youse guys :-)
I only hope I have more to speak of in the near future.

HOWARD: Re: the poem. Just send it out. Now is a good time, it leaves heaps of time for feedback. If you leave it too close to Christmas it doesn't leave much leeway. Try your local paper, or maybe some women's magazines. Do you have a copy of the writer's marketplace? Go through that.
You have so much talent it would be a shame for your work to go unnoticed.

And the same with the rest of you guys. Don't let your work drift into the back ground. If you have something, polish it up all pretty and send it out. And then send it out again, and again.
Forget about rejectionslips, I read somewhere that they were validation that you actually are a writer.
It helps to look at them this way :-D

Okay, now I smell smoke and see murky grey haze on the horizon. I feel so sorry for all those poor helpless animals and those who have lost their homes and irreplacable treasures in the fires and pray that it may rain here soon and that the worst is over.

Be well all,
once again I am being harried off the computer.

Teekay 12-28-2001 18:23

Sittin in a tree

Along came a book,
Along came a station,
Along came limos, notoriety, glamour, endorsements, personal entourages,

But not, of course, before receiving congratulations all around.

Thanks for the Happy Notes, you guys.

Mark 12-28-2001 17:16

RANDALL - and any other Tolkien afficionadoes out there - check out
for some excellent articles and interviews (some of these are actual interviews with JRRT himself, dating back to the 60s.

howard 12-28-2001 17:04

Congratulations to both Eddie and Teekay on the successes so well deserved!

Randall, was that at true story??? If it was my condolences to your wife and cat ... if it wasn't (I can never tell with your stories) Good Job!

Hi Christi and Debra and Rhoda, nice to see you posting here.

Me, I have a few books to share, but later. I'm going to watch a friend's son play hockey. With my son.

Christmas was it's usual interesting barrage of expected, unexpected and yes ... a few high moments and low moments too!

The Bwtich Story is progressing quite nicely, so Carol (was that you?) if you can figure out how to get into the Notebook, and I can figure out how to transfer data without permanently reformatting it, I'll be there in a few weeks!

I think I found my answer to Chicken Soup for the writer's soul, I'll put a few bits of the book I found later.

Again, Eddie and Teekay, congrats and keep writing. This is only the beginning, yes? No matter how much you get paid for writing, you still got published and noticed! YAYAYAYAYAY!

Oyster 12-28-2001 16:40


You're a pro now!

Debra 12-28-2001 10:15

Here's old Christi again, slinking in from the cold, outside world. Brrrrr. I think I'll stay here for a while. It's nice here. I'm pretty sure I see a warm fire blazing in the corner hearth and a comfy armchair begging for a sit down. :D
I sure missed you all these last few weeks. I took an unexpected road trip with my mom to fetch my youngest sister from Boise, Idaho down to Tucson for Christmas. It was so fun and exciting, but I did get sick from the lack of stress. Think it's not possible? I didn't have to make anyone's dinner, didn't have to wipe a snotty nose, didn't have to worry about anyone but little old me. But I missed my little boy and husband sooooo much! Maybe the guilt made me sick, hahaha.

Anyhow, I'm having a wonderful time getting caught up. I'm not nearly finished though and I don't know at this point if I ever will! I hope everyone's holidays were fraught with meaning and living and good things! Thank God they're over with though, eh? :)

Howard, Your story is awful and awesome. If you added other life experiences I think you'd have a damn good book there. Just my opinion, but I was really impressed. :D

Mark, I didn't get the same thing out of Howard's story, although I can see how you might think he was saying 'Prayer will make you a better person.' Funny how one person reads a story one way and another ... well, you get my drift. I thought it simply a human tragedy in which the parents' ignorance, cruelty and poverty (which came first, the chicken or the egg?) destroyed an entire family. It almost made me cry, and Howard, if you filled it in a bit I would guarantee a meltdown. Don't know if you want to go for that or not, but there you have it.

Dear dear, Randall, I believe that the Hobbits have found their spokesperson! Go forth and give them hell, man!!!!!! :D I can't WAIT to see LOTR! My mom will have to babysit the munchkin for us. I think it'll be soon ... it had better be soon. One thing I heard that bothered me was that the character of Boromir was NOT played by a huge hulking man, but by a skinny guy. That chaps my hide.

CONGRATULATIONS, TEEKAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU ARE BRILLIANT AND IT'S ABOUT TIME THOSE SNOTNOSES REALIZED IT! But seriously girlie, congratulations. It couldn't have happened to a nicer gal. ((((((((HUGS!)))))))))) And stop that awful mumbling, you shout it to the hills!

EDDIE, YOU TOO!!!!!! Wow, what an awesome thing, to have a live reading of your stories. You know I've often thought they might come off very well being read out loud. I'll bet you'll be a celeb! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!! Oh dear, my keyboard seems to have run out of exclaimation points.

Randall, Hee hee! Now I'm afraid to ask why said cat is named Scorch.

Hugs to you all, especially those who I didn't get to say hi to. :) Aaaaaand G'NIGHT!

Christi 12-28-2001 0:13

Congratulations, EDDIE and TEEKAY!!!--two wonderful writers I am proud to know.

Rhoda 12-27-2001 21:00

Thanks for the comments on the poem -- dunno where I could send it, probably not too many soft-hearted editors out there... ;-)

It's COLD around here! Or maybe I'm just getting old! I don't remember feeling the cold in the past like I have this winter. Time to move south or southwest, I guess. At least there's only a little snow here, unlike Buffalo (150 miles nw), which has had 55" of snow this week!

time for supper!

howard 12-27-2001 18:58


Hi All,

RANDALL: Gee, I hope it's okay if I laugh - coz I did. You described it fantastically, I could see it all in my head.

TAYLOR: The bushfires are closer to Sydney, the closest one got to us was Oberon and I think that's about 40 -50 k away. Didn't see or smell any smoke though and I think that one's either out or under control.
They're saying most of them are lit by arsonists.
Thanks for the congrats :-D ratio thus far 17 rejections 1 acceptance.
If I ever make money from this caper I think I might be negative gearing my tax. :-D

EDDIE: THAT'S FANTASTIC!!!!! Oh wow, imagine hearing your story over the air and knowing there are heaps of peope listening to something YOU created. And of course they'll love it, for who could fail to love Jack Dooley???

MEL, JERRY & CAROL: I'm afraid the details aren't all that exciting :-D. The publication is quite an obscure one that comes out quarterly. If you really wanted to buy a book I can send you the details, but quite honestly I wouldn't bother. If I could just nick over to he newsagents and pick you up a copy I would, but unfortunately it's a little more complicated than that, but I'm really happy that you would have liked to have a copy.
If you like I'll email you the story. It's one for L13, but you guys didn't get to read it coz the workbook was out of action.
Let me know and I'll send it on.

HEATHER: It came! Today! I'm playing it right now and I LOVE it. This is just my type of music. You should have seen us all standing around the kitchen table while I wrestled the paper off only to find layers more beneath. They got here in one piece and I thankyou soooooooo much.

Ah well, must get off the computer, school holidays dontcha know, so I have to share this with the girls.

Teekay 12-27-2001 18:21


Hi Mel

Teekay: Further on political correctness, they were thinking of remaking the movie dambusters, but only if they changed the dog's name in it... The dog's name was nigga.

Can someone answer me a question about writing... For this back of a book, I want to use a quote
"Out of great evil, can come a greater good"
Does anyone know the rules about using quotes?

Taylor 12-27-2001 18:03


Merry Christmas Everybody!

I've had a great Christmas (As Usual) The only difference this year being the total lack of travel. Two of the girls have bought houses within one mile of where I live and the other one (Sharon) is still only forty miles away. So, no more long drives to Germany or Belgium to see the Grand Children. The whole Family is now in the Uk!!!
Like Teekay I have some news. A local Radio station has offered to turn the JD stories into 7 - 5 minute readings on the 3pm slot. The money is not that great, but I would like to get Jack out there to the people.
I will, of course, let you know what happens.
We've had a lot of Christmas's together since the Notebook was formed. I consider you all dear friends.
Enjoy this Special time with your family and friends, Merry Christmas to you all.

Eddie 12-27-2001 17:32

Greetings One and All!

And a belated Merry Christmas!

Randall - you had me laughing and remembering with the story of Debbie and Scorch. Our cats have climbed the tree in the past too. I gave up on "pretty" ornaments years ago. Most people "kid" proof their houses, I "dog" and "cat" proof ours.

Howard - what a lovely poem. Another vote for submitting it. I know many other people will want to read it and enjoy it.

Teekay -- Yippee!! Congratulations!! Please, give us the details.

My own Christmas was real nice. The weather cooperated giving us a white Christmas but not so much that a person couldn't travel. I had snow covered roads for half the trip then it cleared up nicely and I could zoom along. Saw a ruffed grouse perched high in a tree during the trip. It was the first time I had seen one that close and it seemed to bode well for the day. Gotta run for now.

Carol 12-27-2001 16:57

Congrats, Teekay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*pant, pant*

Hey, Jack, is the workbook up? I just went to give it a whirl, and the password window came up. 'Course, I didn't get in, since I don't know what to write in the first field.
I remember the old password, but I suspect it would be changed...

Ok, I'm still recovering from Christmas.
Anyone else feel like a flaccid balloon?

Heather 12-27-2001 16:29

Well - last night was our third Christmas, the son and his family made it down, we had our cheese and meat feed again, followed by the official opening of gifts, everyone seemed happy with what they got.

Today is another pinochle day, we are to start right after dinner and play the day away once more. I am almost pinochle out, as we had to play a few games last night too, I actually one two out of the three games.

Teekay - Congratulations! Super to be published, do tell us, what story and where can we get the book?

Happy New Year

Write on!

Jerry Ericsson 12-27-2001 12:02

G'Mornin' Writin' Friends! :-]

HOWARD, that was an exquisite poem! :-] Brought throat lumps and eye-rain. :-) Teekay's right - get that baby published!

TEEKAY, YEA YOU!!! :-) What story did you get published and what book is it in??? We all want to read it, of course!!

RANDALL, oh poor Christmas tree...Um, there wasn't, by any chance, a bit of catnip or doggie treats hidden on the tree? Sounds like a repeat of our cat's tree-jump a few years back! Your wife might like to epoxy the cat's paws together, you know, just use the feline as a door draft stopper, heh heh!

Hi, TAYLOR! :-)

Time to do a few other things. Y'all have an enjoyable day, filled, I hope with writing pleasures! :-]

Mel 12-27-2001 10:39


Congratulations on the publication Teekay!
Teekay, you're not anywhere near the bushfires are you? Can't remember where you said you were from.

Kind of been comparing the devastation of this Christmas to the Christmas in Darwin of 1974. Tragic really.
In a horrible way, its been giving me some inspiration though

Taylor 12-26-2001 23:33



Everybody survive Christmas? Time to get that exercise regime started. I know I didn't gain any extra pounds! :-)

Christmas Eve was relatively calm hereabouts, with the exception of my wife, Debbie, chasing our cat through the house...clutching an angel, with a broken wing.

We had the tree done up very nice. Debbie had labored for just the right combination of decorations, some ours, some from her mother and some from my mother. As her mother died not quite two years ago, Debbie wanted a beautiful tree filled with her mothers decorations and ornaments. She had planned it all year. Debbie's mom had a dozen or so cherished glass figurines, some very old. About half were angels about, oh, 3 inches tall or so.

Well, about 10:00 that fateful night Debbie was adding the finishing touches on the tree. Move this angel here, reset this angel a little lower, no, a little higher. She was sitting on the floor in her housecoat as Sean and I watched TV. Debbie was humming a Christmas tune, lost in the lights and their reflection in the glass angels. Our small Mexican dog, Scooter, (the breed I can never spell) was asleep under the tree, curled among the gaily decorated presents.

Zelda (I call her) Scorch (Debbie calls her) the young female cat was sitting on the arm of a chair about two feet from the tree. Entranced by the flashing lights, Scorch was sitting on the chair arm, staring at the tree. It was a postcard, a Kodak moment, a woman decorating her tree with her beloved mother's ornaments, her small dog asleep among the presents, the cat sitting on the arm of a chair staring at the flashing lights. A man and his son watching TV, all was well with the world. (Sara was working.)

Right up to the time that Scorch, for reasons known only to felines, leaped squarely, right smack dab into the middle of the delicately, lovingly decorated Christmas tree. Tinsel fell as silver autumn leaves in a hard winter wind, ornaments came down like glass hail scaring the devil out of poor Scooter. He leaped upward, crashing into the tree, thereby causing more ornaments to fall. Debbie screamed, trying to catch the falling angels. I've never seen my wife move so fast. Michael Jordan would stand agape at her hand movements. In the meantime Scorch was headed upward as a lumberjack scrambling up a pine tree. The tree tottered left, than right as a wild-eyed Scorch attained the summit, gazed around and leaped back to the chair and scurried away. Scurried rapidly away, as if aware that Debbie had missed one glass angel and it lost a wing after crashing to the floor. (Might have been the Lucifer angel! Huh?)

Debbie leaped to her feet as Sean and I came to help. She stared at the trembling tree, so lovingly decorated, now trashed, at the broken angel in her hand, then at me...then the tail of the destructor cat as it disappeared around the bedroom door.

"I'll kill that cat!" Debbie screamed and raced through the house after the fleeing Christmas tree marauder. Normally a compassionate, level headed woman she took on the appearance of an Irish Banshee howling in fury. She leaped the ottoman, housecoat flowing with the movement, holding the broken angel as a dagger.

"Sean," I shouted as she raced after Scorch, "get the epoxy out of my tool box! Ill get your mother. "

I sped away in pursuit of a female chasing a feline. They were in the bedroom. Debbie was halfway under the bed, where Scorch had retreated. Scooter had recovered and was barking furiously, also halfway under the bed, cheering my wife on. One less competitor in the house for food and attention he no doubt thought.

I finally talked Debbie from under the bed. No luck with the cat, Scorch spent the night there. Sean repaired the angel as I tried to placate my wife. Thank the stars for two part epoxy. Debbie hasn't made up with Scorch yet. I'll have to keep an eye on her. I caught Debbie on a search engine where she had entered key + murder + legal aspect. Scorch is slithering about the house, eyes dark and mysterious, slinking from behind the chair, to behind the sofa...but never close to the re-decorated Christmas tree...or Debbie.

Good evening


Randall 12-26-2001 21:50


Hello All,

HOWARD: What a beautiful poem. Why don't you send it out? You really really ought to. I hope you do.

TAYLOR: I agree, you've gotta roll your eyes at these people and think 'get a life willya!'
It's the same with those people who want to re write Enid Blytons books to make them 'acceptable' and 'politically correct', boy, these people get up my nose no end.

There is no right or wrong religion, each has something to offer depending on where you are spiritualy. They all lead to the same place.

Okay guys, here's my news.
Today I received a copy of the book with my story in it. I'm officially a published writer, and I got mumble mumble for it :-D
Okay, I got a free book, but hey, if I sold it I would have some cash, about $10 I think :-D

May this be a prelude for the year to come - only may I make some money from it in the new year.

Be well all.

Teekay 12-26-2001 19:45

for some reason I always get to feeling a bit melancholy on Christmas night...

When the kids were small
it used to be,
we’d gather ‘round the Christmas tree,
and read the manger story through,
then close our eyes
and we’d review;
the wonders,
and the blessings free,
gifts from God
to them and me.
It used to be.

When the gifts were done
it used to be,
we’d hear the squeals of childish glee,
we’d feel no shame to laugh or cry,
then stop to think
of times gone by;
the faces
only hearts still see,
coming back
in memory.
It used to be.

On Christmas night
it used to be,
we’d hold each other quietly,
and chuckle at the things we’d shared,
the loving looks
that said we cared
and knowing
that one day they’ll see,
looking back,
We used to be.

howard 12-26-2001 17:08


And a HAPPY DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS to Everyone!!! :-]

I'm home on vacation until January 2nd (e.g. no email) - hope to get a bit of writing done amid sundry other home projects, as the kids (also home) allow...

LOTR was definitely fascinating! :-] Just a bit disappointed with a couple parts that veered from the story as J.R.R wrote it, but overall, well done! Wish we could see parts Two and Three NOW...

ED: Enjoyed Jack Dooley, as always. :-)

JERRY: Enjoyed Santa visiting the burning vein...heh heh! :-)
MARK: Lovely Christmas haiku! :-)

RANDALL: Enjoyed Red Britches, as always...and Omar's store, heh heh! :-]

EVERYBODY ELSE: Hiya and keep a-writin'!

Here's to an inspirational and healthy NEW YEAR!!!


Mel 12-26-2001 10:37


Debra 12-26-2001 8:50

Just popping in to say

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone had an excellent day, played with their toys, and took a moment to think about the real reasons for the day. Hope you enjoyed your loved ones, appreciated the wealth of friends and family, and were thankful for each of our blessings.

Be well.

Tina 12-26-2001 3:13

Ah, it is so wonderful to bath in the radiance of heroism once again.

It all began quite innocently this morning, when we went to mom's for another holiday celebration, which consists of, you guessed it PINOCHLE.

My sister and her daughter were both there, as usual, and showing off the new daughter's rings they each bought with the money my niece got when her disability came through.

We ate, then turned to pinochle, after the first game, my sis went out to the garage to smoke. (Momma don't allow no smokin round here) then she returned and the cards began flying again. One more game, then we broke for dinner of left over turkey and ham from Sunday's early Christmas. Then my sister went home to do something or another (she lives right next door), she returned smelling of cigarette smoke, and when she got there, the dishes were done, and cards began to fly once again.

Then from right there at the table, just to my immediate left, a scream. Then another. We all looked at my sister who was near hysteria. One of the stones of her new daughter's ring was gone. Fell out somewhere, nobody knew where. That expensive ring, now missing the stone that represented our father.

She was quite beside herself and the search was on for that little stone. Her daughter was down on hands and knees, the rest of us combing the floor, but no stone.

My sister went home, thinking maybe it fell out there, her daughter checked my sisters gloves and coat pocket, no stone there. When she returned, they searched the garage, the refrigerator, under just about everything, but no stone.

In tears my sister went home, her daughter behind her. We discussed weather they might come back and play cards, mom was getting upset, there were cards to play, and two of our players were now gone. As they talked it over, I got this feeling of fullness, pressure was building, it was either outside, or the bathroom, as farting, like smoking is not permitted in the house.

I began walking slowly, as if searching for that stone, I headed for the garage, hell if it is good enough for smoking, it should be OK for farting too.

Out the door, and down the carpeted steps I went, and as I walked down the steps, I let it go, a good old long fart, it probably echoed through the house, but nobody commented when I returned, because as I walked down those steps, my cane hit this little bit of dirt and it glittered, shined, sparkled if you will. I pushed it around a bit, and sure as hell, it was that stupid stone that fell out of my sisters ring. I knelt down and retrieved the little stone, and returned to the house. When I lay it on the table mom didn't know what it was, but my wife did, she grabbed the phone and called over to my sisters to tell her the good news.

It was seconds later when they returned, super glue in hand, and soon the stone was back in the ring, and the cards flew once again, and in the eyes of my sister, I was once again, the hero.

Jerry 12-26-2001 1:11


Hello all
Well I thought it would be a peaceful christmas this year. I have been hearing things on this show I've been watching religiously for awhile now, about certain people in authority positions (such as teachers) wanted some christmassy things banned.
Including the phrase "Merry Christmas" and a christmas tree somewhere, because they thought it would be offensive.
Here's what I think, if you ask the average nonchristian or whatever about their feelings on this, I honestly think they would not care about if people want the christmas trees or not.
But then again, thats in my opinion

God Bless

Taylor 12-26-2001 0:17

How's this for peace on earth - just caught the ten o'clock news from Rapid City SD.

HEADLINE: Sheriff's office reports only one call since Midnight Christmas day - ONE CALL - FALSE ALARM

Good news all around, I am sure the rest of the State is in about the same situation, peace - love - family - celebrating the true meaning of Christmas.

Jerry 12-26-2001 0:03

No snakes :-) Just a conga line and sort of an after thought at the very end of the mass. The rest was really cool as well. Also, we had a friend over and had Christmas Eve dinner, ham, green beans, potatoes au grauten and for the first time I made a stab at doing Kokoda (pronounced Kokonda), which is a cold Fijiian soup with white fish that has been marinated in lemon or lime juice and then coconut cream is combined with that and chopped up onion, tomatoe, a seranno chili and a bell pepper (I used orange), which came out absolutely like a remembered it from when I was in Fiji - - all in all a very good time was had by all. Fran works today, but we have plans to possibly go diving tomorrow. The weather, although a bit cool, is absolutely stunningly sunny with some great views of the Cascades and the Olympics as well as Mount Ranier, due to the air being so clear. Rather nice actually. Anyway, as I said before, Merry Christmas and Happy and productive New Year.

Jack Beslanwitch Kokoda (Kokonda) recipe 12-25-2001 18:56

JACK - Wow, for just a second there, the term snake dancing brought visions of those Christian Fundamentalists who handle poisonous snakes as part of their religious worship. The vision of you and your wife jumping up and down to a rock-a-billy hymn while each of you had a rattle snake in both hands flashed through my mind until the interpretive portion of my brain kicked in and corrected the vision.

Jerry 12-25-2001 11:48

Just got back from midnight mass (Anglican/Episcopal) variety. Just wanted to wish everybody Merry Christmas/Feliz Natividad. Actually, we were snake dancing around the church to Feliz Natividad which was kind of cool. Anyway, many wishes for everyone here of great writing, peace and good cheer and a happy new year that is filled with many publications, lots of financial success and all of those other things I have left unsaid. Take care all.

Jack Beslanwitch 12-25-2001 4:13

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Christmas tree with lights
I can unplug. Clear, cold sky
with lights I can not.

Mark 12-25-2001 0:25

Got this little pen thing from my sister. Now the folks at the airport may let me through the gate with it, but they sure shouldn't. It has like fifteen functions, several of which are saws and knives. Neat little item, of little real use, but you know the old saying about men and boys. Both I and my nieces husband got one of these things, it kept us both busy for hours, putting different blades in the exacto-knife type recepticals in the ends of this thing. It has both a standard and phillips screw driver built in, tweezers, a pen that actually writes, three different x-acto type knife blades, a file, three different saw blades, all contained in a pen of normal size that is all machined aluminum except for the blades, which are of course, steel. Oh, and it has one little item we had to look up in the directions that came with it, it looks like a mini spoon. According to the directions it is a "ear" spoon. Also has a nail puller, but they would have to be like mini-nails.

Overall, I think we will have more fun with these things then almost anything we have received for Christmas since we were kids. You should have seen his boys, 12 and 14, they both wanted to play with them, but we were firm, no, wait till you get your own! We told them. My sister did have to give the boys copies of the catalog where she found them.

Merry Christmas and may the new year find you with brains full of wonderful charcters, and publishers knocking down your doors in search of manuscripts.

Write on<->

Jerry My Old Web Page 12-25-2001 0:10

It's 11:20 on Christmas Eve, the presents are all wrapped, the stockings all stuffed, and we're heading to sugar-plum land.
But first, I want to wish each and every one of you the very best Christmas ever! I honestly feel richer for having been here. And for some reason (a very good one, I think) this fellowship we share here reminds me of a couple of lines from a poem I've enjoyed over the past several years. Perhaps you'll recognise it...

"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost..."

Merry Christmas!


howard 12-24-2001 23:29

Merry Christmas

Jerry Instant Hiku 12-24-2001 22:25



Teekay 12-24-2001 20:16

This was written too late for last Christmas --

The Night is Quiet in Expectation

The night is quiet in expectation
Waiting for the time foretold,
When sings the Host in exultation -
Angel voices fill the world:

"Your God this night has blessed the nations,
Let your hearts be filled with joy,
Goodwill beyond anticipation,
His gift to you - a baby boy."

In Bethlehem is born your Saviour,
Word made flesh to save mankind
Embodiment of grace and favour,
Love, compassion - all entwined.

Shepherds from the fields attending
'Neath the star that lights the way,
The new Messiah soundly sleeping
In a manger dressed with hay.

"Your God this night has blessed the nations,
Let your hearts be filled with joy,
Good will beyond anticipation,
His gift to you - a baby boy."

Sing high Angels in the heavens,
Sing low shepherds in the fields,
Nature, join the celebrations -
God, incarnate, is revealed.

Litter 12-24-2001 19:56

I hope you all have a great Christmas and a spiffingly good New Year.

Rudolph and Olive

Ignoring, for a while, the real meaning of Christmas, here is a modern day Christmas story:

A quiz show contestant is through to the final round. He has one question to answer before walking away with the jackpot. He is nervous. The audience is hushed and waiting with expectation to see if he will win or lose all.

The quiz show host takes the question out of a sealed envelope and says:

“This is the final question, if you get the answer to this one correct you will leave tonight with £100,000 and all the other prizes you have won on the way to this finale tonight. The answer to this question is in 2 parts – I am looking for two names and I need them both if you are to walk away from tonight as a wealthy man.

Take as long as you like. The question is: Give me two of the names of Santa’s Reindeer.”

The contestant smiled widely. He knew the answers and had already started spending his prize money. He chucked to himself, amazed at how easy the final question was. Then he spoke:

“The names of two of Santa’s reindeer are, Rudolph and Olive.”

The audience sighed in amazement at the contestant’s answer. Some of them laughed aloud. The quiz show host fidgeted nervously, hoping he had misheard the answers. He wanted to give the money away – it would have been good television and his ratings would have rocketed, but it seemed that it wasn’t to be. He cleared his throat and spoke again.

“Well now, I can take Rudolph as one answer but I don’t think I can take Olive – it was Olive that you gave for the second answer, wasn’t it?” He fidgeted with the ear piece that relayed directions from the production team.

The contestant nodded in affirmation, so the host asked: “Where did you get the name ‘Olive’? I have never heard of a reindeer named Olive and, unfortunately, neither have any of the production team.”

The contestant was perplexed, he thought that everyone knew about Olive. Hesitantly, he started to sing:

“Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, had a very shiny nose,
And if you ever saw it you would even say it glows,
Olive, the other reindeer …”


Ciao for now

Litter 12-24-2001 19:52

RANDALL -- A foot in both worlds? I, too, feel the pull of Middle Earth, and would love to know what is beyond -- over the sea in the Grey Havens. Where do Elves, Wizards, and Hobbits go when they pass from Middle Earth, and what new adventures do they share? But alas, I'm bound here, and can only imagine. They've gone, and left only bits and pieces of their being here. But could there be Hobbits still lingering at the edge of the shadows? Perhaps we've seen them and not known it -- after all, they were sometimes mistaken for human children, until one got close enough to see the slight physical differences. but it was difficult to get that close; they had a distrust for humans, and tried to stay away from them for the most part. Too sudden, those humans, as Treebeard would say, and old Gaffer Gamgee certainly wouldn't have any truck with them, either.
But the Elves themselves looked rather human, until one got close enough.Elrond and Isildur, fighting side by side were almost indistinguishable in their blood-spattered armor. Then Isildur, in his weakness, betrayed his humanity, while Elrond was strong, able to resist the call of the ring. That demonstrated the difference - not all physical - between the Elf and the human. In the same way Frodo demonstrates the quiet, unassuming inner strength (underestimated by the enemy) that is the chief difference between the Hobbit and the human. It's no wonder they are mistaken for humans - one doesn't realise until after the fact that there was a difference. And by that time they're gone.
And after all, it's the humans who ultimately needed a redeemer -- Merry Christmas!

howard 12-24-2001 19:42


Merry Christmas!!!!

This is just a short post! Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd as Yosemite Sam said, "I'm agonna beat a dead horse." Er, or camel, or something. For some reason I'm hung up on LOTR Hobbit versus human thing. Frodo and associates are Hobbits! Not humans! Humans were to be avoided by Hobbits. Humans were in LOTR of the rings but Hobbits were the centeral figures.

Nothing new here. Randall getting uptight over something ho hum. I was running a last minute errand this morning and caught the 11:00 AM ABC news on the radio.

"Apparently the top box office draw this Christmas is The Lord of the Rings," the news reader said. "It's about a young man on a quest against evil."

Bubba, our Silky Terrier was along for the ride. He stared as I shout at the radio. "Not a man ding dong! A Hobbit!!! Hobbit!!!


Oh well. I suppose the reader/writers who know Hobbit from human are the ones who count. Still it gripes my *%@#$(& ass to no end.

Why Randall?

Because it distorts something pure. If JRR had wanted humans to be the central figures against the Dark Lord.....

We have too much distortion in the world now, too many spin zones, too much outright self-serving lies. JRR wrote his trilogy during WW II when his country and ours were fighting a great evil, who was distorting and lying about....nearly everything!

Too much ignorance and contempt in our world. Darn...where is the ring when I need it.

"Coming Frodo, coming."

Again, Merry Christmas


Randall 12-24-2001 14:22



12-24-2001 11:54

I will gladly launch those christmas carol cds for you, if I can launch Enimen and Puff Daddy for you as well
Its about time for a clean out of "Crap Talent"

Merry Christmas people

taylor 12-24-2001 10:14

I knew something was happening when two days ago, my bird feeders were host to some new and exciting birds. A flock of Bohemian Waxwings were visiting. I have never seen one before, but a quick check on the internet told me what they were. Oh I have seen their cousins the Ceader Waxwings in the summer, but never after the cold comes to stay.

But here they were, must have been fifty of the beautiful birds all over the feeders and my hedges. Some were even on the evergreen hedge that is just outside the huge picture window that graces our little eleven thousand dollar mansion. Middle of December, and the thermometer had yet to fall below zero, in fact that day it was over fifty degrees, all hint of snow was long gone, and everyone I talked to up town mourned the passing of a brown Christmas.

Oh but the birds knew better, they were en route south for warmer climates, having spend an extended visit to our little neck of the prairie. Quietly I called my wife from her favorite perch at the kitchen table, she came and we watched as the little wonders of the bird world interacted, showed their pecking order as they assaulted all my bird feeders in a feed that would make any mother proud, as she watched her family devour her finely prepared Thanksgiving meal.

The very next day, the bottom dropped out of the thermometers, temps dropped first to seven above F. then ten below. The wind came up, first ten miles per hour, then twenty, then forty, then sixty. Then the snow came, nothing serious just light snow, but with the push of the winds, it formed hard drifts.

We will have a white Christmas. Not white enough yet for the adventurous to get their snowmobiles out, no they are still waiting, but snow none-the-less.

Today we had our first of three Christmas, as my sisters family all came home, and we gathered at mom's house to celebrate with them. We exchanged gifts, and played the required games of Pinochle. Well I "sat out" as my nieces husband came along, as did her two teenage boys, so we men sat out in the living room and talked computers, and guns, all those manly things, along with different ways to fix this and that, and talked of the happenings in law enforcement in the old town where I served my first term as Chief of Police. Overall it was a good time, and I enjoyed myself very much, but by the end of the day, I was exhausted and we came home. I have been resting since four pm, so feel much better now. Funny, I used to be able to do all that, then go out and party till 2 AM. Must be old age creeping up on me.

We still have Christmas with our kids, our daughter joined in today's festivities, and our son offered to drive down, just for the day, but we asked him not to take chances on the roads, as he drives a little Chevy Geo, one of those shoe boxes on wheels, and they aren't very good in snow.

He has the 27-29th off, so they will come down then to celebrate, but we have Christmas Eve. It is tradition in our house to celebrate on Christmas Eve, first the wife lights candles, hundreds of them all over the house, then we put on the Christmas music, very softly, and serve cheeses and sausages, along with smoked oysters (no offence Oyster), smoked squid and those little pickled onions, along with several of our home canned pickled beets, watermelon and cucumbers, all from our garden out back, also pickled baby carrots and baby ears of corn, (those we have to buy).

When that is finished, it used to be my job to act as Santa and distribute the gifts, but since my back injury, that job has fallen to our daughter. She passes out the gifts,, and we open them in an orderly manner, around the room after they are all distributed. (I take the Christmas photo's during the un-rapping and after (but that too has fallen to our daughter simply as I am not steady enough for such things any more))

Then, after all the gifts are open, all the thank-you's are done, comes the cleaning, all the paper is packed in one box (that which isn't salvageable) all boxes are picked up, and once that is done, playing was permitted. Now that everyone is grown, there isn't a lot of playing, except when the grand daughter makes it home, then we can watch as she enjoys her gifts.

Oh well such is the Christmas season. My wife absolutely loves Christmas carols, so this year, since it is her first year where she is home all the time, I made her five CD's of Christmas Carols. (Our CD player only takes 5 at a time, and she didn't want to over do it). Now, every day since Thanksgiving, she has played those damn CD's all day long, and all night if I don't turn them off and watch tv.

Now I don't mind the occasional Christmas Carol, in fact I enjoy them a lot, but thirty days of the same damn songs over and over and over again is just about got me climbing the walls, but I don't say anything, because she seems to be enjoying them so much. I have found that if I go back to the little bedroom where I store all my old computer stuff, and close the door, I can almost not hear them, and I have this old ten band short wave radio back there, I can tune in to the BBC or some such short wave station and drown them out completely. The other day, I ran some Cat 5 cable under the house and up to that room so I can get on the network with an old 486, and surf the web. It is nice to have a sort of den sort of place.

I am, however considering a little skeet shooting after Christmas, I still have an old 12 gauge pump, and those 5 CD's would make wonderful targets, now if I can just talk someone into throwing them up in the air for me....

Jerry 12-24-2001 0:47

Ho-ho - uh oh!

Okay Jerry and Mark, thanks for really confusing me! I loved all the computer-speak and I do know some of it, but Spouse went to Radio Shack and found a new 'toy' for $79.99 (Canadian) that promises to work with our ADSL (ASDL??)fibre-optic over the telephone line service that we got instead of cable internet service.

I suspect, despite the fact I said 'no' the antenna may show up under the tree. The Spouse doesn't like it when I spend hours researching in HIS office. Unless he's not here using it!

So I thought I'd ask about it. Nice thing is, Boxing Day ) used to be the day for 'returns' of stupid Christmas presents and wrong sizes. Anyone else old enough to remember those days? If I get an antennae and some wires in a box, I can always brave the crowds on Boxing Day.

I don't want Internet Downstairs in the Dungeon. As you all know (and Mark this may be a holdover from my um, bad-little-youth daze) I get a little paranoid. Keeping the Oyster Bed on disk and hard drive on a stand-alone computer gives me the illusion of safety. From everyone except my kids! LOL, if I haven't found my Son has been on the computer when he's supposed to be watching a movie. How do I know? The Bwitch files are recently accessed!

Taylor, I'm still trying to figure out a few things about Bin Laden, and in my case a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

A mutual friend of Squish's (his new anony-moniker, he'll be so proud!)and mine reminded me a couple of weeks ago: "He survived Bosnia, he survived Rwanda, he survived Ottawa, he'll be fine."

Oh, I'm sure he'll come home when he's done his job, but Squish won't be fine. He's the kind of guy who looks into the faces of hungry kids and gives up his dinner.

On the other hand, well, let me tell you a story!


December 15 ... long ago.

The rain had been coming down steadily for several days. The West Coast of British Columbia was a soaking, sodding mess. Highways were washed out and people on the Island were fearing basement floods.

Last night's raindrops glistened on pine needles and six inches of mud threatened to suck the hiking boots right off my feet.

Into this sloppy scenario we marched. Squish, his broad back covered with a bright yellow slicker, which flared as cold, humid Decemeber winds picked up the corners like Marilyn Munroe's skirt, stomped on ahead, following a path no human feet had trod before. Deer maybe, a bear, probably, but not people. Squish didn't have to explain this, he just knew. And so did I.

I, wiping mud-puddle muck from my face trudged behind him. I was wearing a too large slicker, meant for a man twice my size and tripped on the hem of the slippery garment, falling headlong into the biggest, dirtiest mud puddle in the area.

Squish turned at the sound and his big, round face broke into an Elvis Presley grin.

"Gotta watch out for those puddles, might drown yerself." He chuckled.

Into a large copse of trees we went, looking for a Christmas Tree. The area was a 'thinning zone' that Mac-Blo had designated for Christmas Tree cutting. Before we entered the area we paid a dollar, got a chit and took the big double bladed axe and out of the bed of Squish's truck bed to chop down a tree.

"Where are we?" I asked once.

"In the bush." Squish replied.

Taciturn, laconic and very good at finding his way in and out of places that weren't on any map anywhere, Squish was known to hunters, trappers, and wildlife photographers as a the best tracker and guide in BC. Maybe even all of Canada.

He'd worked for BC Forestry, too. And been in the Army. That was his first job, being a grunt.

Finally in a dense sheltering of towering pine, we came across a small pocket of short trees. By short I mean about as tall as me, 5 feet or so off the ground.

"Here." Squish said, resting the head of the axe on the ground and leaning on the heavy wood handle.

I wandered around, looking over the trees. Most of them were scraggly things, having been deprived of sun by the large trees overhead. I circled the patch several times.

Squish just watched. An immobile rock of a man, I almost forgot he was there.

"No good?" He asked finally, sipping on the flask of water he'd brought with him, sharing it with me. Water, water everywhere and Squish still brought a canteen with him.

We trudged onward. Distracted by the possible sighting of a silver fox running low to the ground, I lost Squish. It wasn't until I realized Squish was nowhere nearby I started to panic. Remembering his warnings from many other times, and knowing my hopeless sense of direction would get me even more lost, I found a relatively dry patch of pine needles and sat down to have a cigarette. I knew that Squish would find me by scent if he had to.

I checked my watch frequently. Ten minutes seemed like ten hours and my knees and elbows were starting to ache. Humidity and cold stiffened my fingers and made me shiver.

Ignoring the Jays calling in the trees above, I concentrated on what I knew. We were about a mile in, and the highway was west. Still, I sat, smoking another cigarette after 30 minutes of waiting in the wet for Squish to appear.

I heard rustling in the underbrush nearby, and knew it wasn't Squish. Squish, out of long habit didn't make noise in the bush. It was a small brown doe, her dark liquid eyes meeting mine, her fine ears twitching a bit, nostrils flaring at the scent of smoke hanging in the air. She was close enough to touch, but I didn't. It would do her no good to become friendly with humans. There was a hunting area close by. And some poachers had been caught in the area, too.

Jays and crows flapped through the higher branches of huge pines above me. I watched them for a bit, trying to figure out their relationship. The jays were scolding and the crows were swooping, making their arial display seem like a battle of some sort. Waiting for Squish to find me, I pondered what would happen if he couldn't. I dismissed that thought, because Squish always found me, not matter how lost I got myself.

My behind was getting cold and sore so I got up and stretched.

"I found some you might like." Squish said from behind me.

I jumped, wheeled and glared at him.

"I've been waiting here for almost an hour." I snarled.

"Yeah, but nothing ate you. And you didn't get shot." Squish beckoned and I followed.

This time I gathered the fluttering skirts of the rain poncho around me with cold numbed fingers.

We entered another area, this one packed with small trees, each looking full and lush.

"Planted." was all Squish said.

I eyed the formation of the trees. He was right, someone planted seedlings in this clearing. The old trees above and old logs nearby told us both this was a place where humans had been re-seeding.

Looking over the small trees, I imagined them growing tall and strong, vying with each other for space and wanted them to live.

"Let's go home." I sighed.

"No tree?" Squish raised an eyebrow.

"No." I replied, turning around and heading the way I thought we came.

Squish's big hand gripped my shoulder in an affectionate squeeze and turned me in another direction.

Back at the barn Squish renovated into a home of sorts, we sat and sipped scalding hot coffee.

There, in a bucket were branches of various evergreens with a few decorations hanging from the more stable branches.

"Looks like a tree." I nodded at the bucket of branches.

"Like Hell it does." Squish leaned back and laid his arm across the back of the old counch, holding his coffee mug with his fingers laced through the chipped handle.

"Okay, it looks like a ... a ..." I started to laugh. "Bunch of branches with decorations."

"Yup." Squish grinned that Elvis grin again and hugged me. "And it's just like you ... a little strange and kinda cute."

"Aw, thanks." I said, blushing a bit.

"Now tell me about this new boyfriend of yours." Squish was eyeing me. "I hear it's been a couple months."

Outside the rain beat down and my jeans, drying on a chair by the big wood burning stove, began to steam.

"My jeans are cooking ..." I said, avoiding the probing question.

Squish, good friend he was, let the subject of the boyfriend drop. I knew he was concerned, since he'd heard rumours about my new beau, but he didn't bother to interefere. If the guy turned out to be a dud, I'd dump him. Squish knew that.

Over the next day, various friends came to 'see the tree', they all laughed at the pathetic little collection Squish and I had gathered. Everyone knew it was my idea and they teased me intermittently. Squish didn't stop them, but he didn't encourage them either.

Sunday morning when I left to go back to the mainland, Squish rewarded me with another rare smile.

"Gonna put up a tree at home?" He asked.

I shook my head.

"My folks will, they have a fake one now."

Squish reached into the deep pocket of his oilskin coat and pulled out something. It was a pine cone.

I stared at the pine cone for a few minutes. I'd meant to gather a pine cone for the non-seeing kids I worked with at CNIB to touch and feel. Squish remembered.

I grabbed the pine cone, gave Squish a hug and a kiss on his high boned cheek and ran off to get on the ferry.

The kids loved the pine cone. They ran their fingers over it and one kid asked if it was a like a tree.

I thought of the branches in a bucket in Squish's living room and replied.

"No, trees have branches."


Merry Christmas everyone!


Oyster 12-23-2001 13:59

The anti-gun crowd was hard at work, their latest target - the "assault rifle" Now those of us who know guns, know that an assault rifle, a true assault rifle is a weapon designed for nothing but war, to meet the meaning of the word, they MUST have a selector switch on them to allow both semi-automatic, and full-automatic firing.

What the anti-gun crowd did was to rename semi-auto assault rifle "look-alikes" assault rifles. At any rate, I owned one of the new "weapons of mass destruction," and the price on it sky-rocketed. Now I loved my little car-15, it looked like, it felt like, it almost was the little carbine that I played with all while I was in service. Holding it brought back those days, both happy and sad, it took me back to the days of my youth, when I drank hard, partied hard, and loved hard. When I had no fear of the future, when I was invincible, when I knew I would live forever.

But they were about to outlaw them, or at least that was the plan of the gun grabbers, and with my little carbine now worth over five times what I paid for it some seven years before, I took it along to a gun show in Minot ND.

It drew tons of lookers, many who offered three, or four times what I paid, but I had my price set at five times, and I would take no less.

This fellow approached my table, he was dressed in camo cloths, combat boots, and a patch on his shoulder said "LIVE FREE OR DIE."

"Can you make go rock and roll?" The fellow asked.

No understand, any kid with an electric drill and the right parts can turn that into a full auto, but it is way illegal, it is one of those "go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars" things.

"Well I could," I replied, "But I won't."

"Give you three grand if you do."

"No way, I value my freedom way too much to do something like that."

"Well shit, guess I'll go look elsewhere!" he said, with a huff and walked away from my table.

The little gun didn't sell, and I was just as happy to keep it anyhow, I loved that little piece of aluminum and plastic.

Several months latter, I pulled this old Lincoln over, and behind the wheel was an old coffee buddy, he was about three sheets in the wind, so I arrested him for DUI and put him in the back of the car. Now normally, we just park the car and secure it till the next day, and that was the plan for this car. I got behind the wheel, and put the old car in drive, pulled it into the parking lot of the Super Value store, and started to secure it, when I saw this little gun barrel protruding from under the seat. I reached down and pulled out an old Fox double barrelled shotgun, the barrels had been chopped to twelve inches, and a rough pistol grip had been carved from the stock, a strap completed the little alley sweeper.

Sawed off shotguns are illegal if the barrel is shorter then 16 inches, and these were deffentely shorter then that.

I took the shotgun back to the car, and told the fellow he was now under arrest for possession of a short barrel shotgun too.

The next morning, I called the BATF (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms) (aka Burry All Thy Firearms)and an agent said he would be out in the afternoon to collect the illegal firearm and press Federal gun charges against the fellow. When he arrived in town, he called my home, and I met him down at the PD. When I got to the office, I was a bit surprised to see that fellow who tried so hard to get me to say I would convert that little carbine to a machine gun. He had a good laugh about the whole deal, and I lost a whole bunch of respect I used to have for the BATF.

Jerry 12-23-2001 12:04

I was thinking about this the other day...

The video tape and all, this is NOT from the tape.

OBL: Alluh bless them who killed themselves for our cause... Bless their souls

Omar: Now they are with Alluh what a great honour

OBL: Praise be to Alluh
(sounds of bombs)
OBL: Oh they're killing us, sending us to Alluh, we better run!

Thats about the gist of it isn't it? If it came out right, does anybody find that hypocritical

taylor 12-23-2001 3:12

Oyster - Antenna things? The thing we are going to get is a wireless system that connects us with the internet, I have all my computers connected by a wire system, called an ethernet system. There are now wireless ethernet systems that do the same with a small antenna, and that is probably what you are talking about. If it is, yes, you can connect them all to the internet so long as one of those connected to the network is connected via whatever system you access the internet, be it cable modem, phone modem, or wireless.

We have four connected right now in our house, the one I use all the time sits beside my recliner in the living room, and draws all sorts of dirty looks from the wife when I begin to type during one of "her shows", so I try not to do that. Another in the dining room is connected to the internet, and sort of acts as a server to the others. My wife's computer is also in the dining room, then I have a little workshop set up in one of the back bedrooms, and have a ethernet cable run under the house and back up in that bedroom, so I can hook the computers I am working on to my network, and transfer software, and access the internet for drivers and that sort of thing. Right now, the computer I am building for our eight year old Grand daughter Dana is hooked up in there, and has just been declared "Dana ready" meaning it has all her favorite games on it, and is totally BLOCKED from internet access. I will show her dad, how to unblock it when he thinks it is safe for her to access the internet, and then only after net nanny is installed to keep those stupid porn sites from popping up as they have a habit of doing on most computers now days.

(Side note - A judge in Montana has just been disbared and removed from his judgeship for accessing porn on the county computer in the courthouse!)

I recall when I was working at my last job, as an office manager for a firm that runs a bunch of Pretzelmaker stores up in this area, one day I was showing the boss lady how to check to see if her kids had been accessing porn sites on her computer (the office was in her huge home), when I accessed the internet cache, up popped this photo of a naked lady. She explained that she pulled that one up, she was searching for cat sites, and found one labeled "Persian kitty" and thought it was about cats, come to find out it was a porn site. Her face was about three shades of red when she was explaining this.

Randall - loved your story, well all your stories, those about Osama are super, keep them coming. Or can you now that you have them resting on the French Riviera? Sure you can, what the heck, let's hear about their first visit to gay Paris.

Jerry Ericsson 12-23-2001 0:48


OYSTER -- it's a tautology
  1. if you can network two PCs together and
  2. if you can connect one of them to the internet, then
  3. you can have two PCs share an internet connection
The specific details depend on whether you use Windoze, Mac, or Linux, but all are capable of sharing a connection whether wired or wireless.

"Selective amnesia." I like it ... hell, I resemble it ... just ask my wife. She often faults my selective hearing and vision. Sometimes, though, there really are things I can't remember. Went to the wedding of my best friend's daughter this summer. Quite a few of the old gang were there. Larry Roberts kindly pointed out that the difference between him and me was that he could remember things I did.

HOWARD -- another fine short story. You really know how to pack it into a small space.

BLUE TEAR -- Yes, dialogue would humanize the story a bit and get it away from looking like a stiff tract. I think it would help to have a purpose as well. Right now it seems like the story tries to get into the motivation of a young man who throws rocks at an armed soldier, it also tries to be a disengaged report just giving the objective facts of a confrontation. You can't be both engaged and disengaged. Good journalism is a marvel of human skill. Good stories have a purpose.

Howard's shortie, "Supper at the Winslow's," has impact because of the aim it takes at one purpose -- prayer will make you a better person. You can agree or disagree, but you can't deny the impact of the story. One of my favorite examples in that line is Tolstoy's "War and Peace." Tolstoy never makes it clear, never brings faith to the surface and slaps you with it so as to say, "Regard this person, she has faith." Nonetheless, all the successful characters have faith in something eternal (God, Nature, Forces of History) and the unsuccessful characters have no faith or only faith in money. It's really quite amazing. It looks like a book about war and peace. It looks at times like a lovestory, almost Dr. Zhivago set against a different wartime backdrop. But in every chapter there is a character who uses the guidance of a Higher Authority. A really awesome book.

TINA -- "Bad Day" is brilliant. Made me remember my own most memorable. Gawd, do I have to be gettin' old. I have a "Most Memorable Bad Day" story to tell. Gaaahh. I better get some books out before I wrinkle up and 'they' close the lid over me.

Nice, hot day in Houston and everything I put in the lathe that day came out wrong. Supervisor and I looked over my latest piece. I cut an angle off the corner of it. He said, "There's no chamfer on the end of these." I pointed to the print I was given and said, "What's that if it ain't a chamfer?"
"It's just a line, it goes from this upper angle to that description block. If that was supposed to be a chamfer, you'd have it all described. The thing would tell what angle to cut it at, how wide it could be, . . . everything."
"Shit." I bounced my hard hat off the workbench, caught the rebound, and flung it across the shop floor. One skip and it slammed into the far pipe rack.
"Mark, look down there to the right. See that dumpster? The one labeled 'SCRAP.' Go over there and see how many pieces are in it. Johnnie's got a couple pieces in there, Darryl, Phillip , . . . " His voice trailed off. I got the point.

Before I could get the next blank set up and try it again, a Corvette caught our attention. Crazy bastard doing 70 in our parking lot. He pulled up to the double doors in front of my machine, hustled to the trunk, pulled a large hunk of metal out, walked quickly through the doors, dropped the metal hunk on my workbench and said, "I need this right away."
I'd never seen one before. John picked it up and told Crazy Corvette, "Yup. Got yuh covered, fella." Then he carried it to Darryl's workbench, pointed to it, and said a few words.

When I got the chance, I asked about that thing. It looked like a short, thick pipe made of stainless steel. It had an extra ring around the middle, a flange, three inches thick and three inches wide. Turns out that the stainles steel pipe is a well-driller's fish hook. Somebody out in the Gulf of Mexico had dropped a string of pipe down a well hole and now had to fish for it. One end of the pipe would get threaded with standard pipe thread, the other end got threaded with our patented pipe thread (they were using our pipe in the Gulf). The flange in the middle served as a good handhold for guys who mounted the thing, and gave a surface to butt against when they tightened it up.

Man! A well-driller's fish hook! Some guy out on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico just dropped a string of pipe down a hole in the sea floor and now has to go fishing for it. HAH! And I think I'm having a bad day.

Mark 12-23-2001 0:39



Thank you for the comments. As you have no doubt noted I am not writing about Bin Laden. I choose to write humor about Oslama, who is perhaps a minor part of a bigger mess over there. Bin Laden is not worthy of humor and, perhaps, that is the worst thing one human could say to another. Bin Laden, your just not worth it.

I hope your friend gets out okay. I'm sure he or she will. I have a lot of faith in our military. I know they train our soldiers as well as any nation could. only son, Sean has passed all his Air Force tests and will enlist when he graduates Hi School in 2002.

The circle is complete. I enlisted in the Navy in 1966 and I don't believe my mother slept a full nights sleep till I was discharged in 1970. I expect to spend the next 4 years of my life wondering where he is and what he is doing.

But the world spins on.


randall 12-22-2001 22:58


I bought a "bootleg" set of LOTR when our ship pulled into Taiwan. Kaioshung I believe. At that time, 1968 or so Taiwan did not honor copyright laws. There were many, many stores full of phonograph records and books beyond belief. And I mean law and medical books, complete sets composed of dozens of volumes. It was a bookworms paradise and they only charged pennies on the dollar.

For some reason I purchased LOTR, knowing nothing of their merit or content. It was a 4 volume set, book four is long lost but I believe it was an overview of old JRR's triology. The pages of the "bootleg" books are not as thick as "legal" books, but everything else is, as is a normal copy. I only paid a couple of bucks or so for the set.

It was illegal of course to buy the books and transport them back to the states, however....

I bought a 2 record set of the Beatles "White" album. Whoever did the translation misspelled the Beatles and it is printed on the cover The Beales! Whatta gas!!!!!

Out of here!


randall 12-22-2001 22:44

ps. Jerry? Do those antenna things you stick on a second computer actually work for networking on computer to another one so you can use The Net on both? The Spouse said to ask someone who knows. I figure you might!

Oyster 12-22-2001 22:41

Waaaa, now I have to go to a movie theatre and hurt my hips some more! Thanks, Howard~!:P Your post got me going and now OO has changed her almost-but-not-quite Geriatric mind! I'm going to LOTR even if I have to go all by my own self!

LOL, Teekay, YO did a lot of things OO would never, ever again do ... and Mark ain't the only one who is recovering from something! I can and do have a sip of The Creature, as Barry Fitzgerald and Bing Crosby called it last night on "Going My Way" but that Creature is a dangerous one.

So, since OO doesn't do some stuff anymore, she pleads selective amnesia to certain 'past indiscretions' unless confronted by a real-live-person! Then *blush* she has to tell the truth!

So I only pay attention to YO at certain stages! For the record, I ignored her suggestion of diet drinks and substances in order to lose weight. I like being 'matronly' looking. Like those women with the face full of wrinkles on TV, and the one with laugh lines, too! I want more. I earned every love handle I have. And Zaftig is good. Ruebens (or was the other R painter?) had something in his paintings that made big look good. I want that guy back running the advertising world!

Randall, after a recent news-blurb report of a plane nasty today during "A Christmas Carol" (the Alastairs Sim one) freaked out Son, who is beyond traumataized on this use the planes as weapons thing, I am so tired of North American News, I wanted to complain to someone about Those D*mn Sensational Blurbs again! But to whom and to what purpose??

Then I read your story and had to laugh! Randall, your humour and irony are so great! Thanks for helping me over a rough patch.

I'm a bit sensitive to The Whole War Issue because a friend of mine is still over in Afghanistan. He's been 'overseas' for over 80 days. I want him home for Christmas. That ain't gonna happen. I suspect he's now on the team 'looking for Bin Laden'.

I grind my teeth every time I hear another Bin Laden story for various reasons, but the main one being that I hate all the new horror stories coming out of this war. Some of the stuff I'm seeing and hearing stretches credibility or exploits people's pain and the media just keeps going and going, like an evil energizer bunny!

Ooo, but on a positive side, the Christmas shopping be all done and we're wrapping tonight. Plus, I am starting to to relax a bit.

And Bwitch is now in Chapter 3!

I'll probably include a snatch or two in the next couple of days. If the disk-copy-cut n' pastey thing I have in mind actually works! I have to be careful though, the machine down stairs doesn't read 'converted' docs from this machine, but the other way 'round is okay.

Crunch, crunch says the Oyster as she chews on a piece of grit.

Oyster 12-22-2001 22:32

RANDALL - I know exactly what you mean about the book vs movie thing. My wife gave me the LOTR trilogy for Christmas in 1970 or '71. I had enjoyed "The Hobbit" very much, and she thought I might like the trilogy. I read it through twice by the end of February! I totally lost myself in that tale -- didn't know much that was going on in real time. I still read it from time to time, and as you say, probably the best time of year to read it is in the late fall or early winter when the days grow shorter and the dark presses in around you. I think there's less distraction then, and a nice hot cup of tea seems just the thing to accompany the book. Although I've gotten so absorbed in the story that the tea's got too cold to drink by the time I remember it!
But at the showing I attended, the audience was well behaved, and seemed to be as caught up in the magic on the screen as I was.
Oyster's allusion to Bilbo looking like a vampire was accurate -- in the scene where he sees the ring again in Rivendell. Remember he is drawn back to it again, and is overcome for a second or two by the evil in it, then that passes, and he's tired old Bilbo again. I thought it was done well, with just a flash of special effect magic to distort his face into that mask of lust for the ring. It passes quickly, though, and he's back to being Bilbo again.

It's strange - when I first read the books I pictured Gollum as Grover, from Sesame Street. I've never been able to get that picture out of my mind. Nothing against Grover, mind you, I like the Muppets very much. But that, I guess, goes to illustrate the quality of fantasy well done -- by Tolkien and by Jim Henson, another master of the craft.


howard 12-22-2001 20:43


Hello all... LOTR does not open where I live until boxing day, and when it does I'm there to see it, nothing like a little adventure story I reckon.

Not much else to share, things have been pretty slow in everything these days.

Oh finally got "The No Spin Zone" Political book from that American news show "The Oreilly Factor"
Very interesting to say the least

taylor 12-22-2001 19:51


Good afternoon

Don't mind me Howard. Just grousing, you see I'm a confirmed, dyed in the wool book guy. For many years I read JRR's books in the fall. I would begin in September and usually finish sometime before Christmas. I can lose myself in a book, the world around me just fades away as I merge with the printed word. I have never had that compatibility with movies. Number one, the darn things are usually too loud, some dork across the aisle is laughing and cutting up, distractions, distractions. Sitting alone with Frodo and Bilbo and Gandalf as a winter wind howled around my small trailer was bliss for me. I'm sure I'll enjoy the book, oops, :-) screwed up, what a slip...I mean enjoy the movie. :-)

Ring, ring.

"Omar's specialty and war surplus. No bomb too big, no fee too big. Praise Allah."

"Praise Allah. Omar, its Oslama."

"Oslama, my friend. I knew the American infidels could never kill you. How may your humble servant assist you today?"

"I need," (aside) "no over here. Yes, next to the cliff wall, yes, there in the sun. Omar, in our struggle against the infidel invaders we are desperate for many supplies. Do you have a pencil handy?"

"Yes my friend, praise Allah that I might assist you in the struggle against the godless Americans."

"Okay," a moment of silence. "No, face the chair to the ocean. Sorry Omar, ah, we need medications to heal our wounded soldiers of Allah. Number one will be sun screen, SF 16, as our burns are terrible."

"Omar? Sun screen...?"

"Omar do not waver in your faith to the cause of Allah. Sun screen, then large towels for bandages. Large ones, the kind some people call beach towels."

"Beach towels?"

"Yes, we must use all manner of techniques to defeat our enemies. Third, we need chairs for our injured to heal in. Since the Allah cursed Americans have frozen many of our assets, we would suggest the economical, large wooden frame and canvas covered ones. The style that reclines, so our soldiers can gather their strength for the struggle."

"Oslama, would that be the so-called beach chair style?"

"Exactly my friend. As our holy war against the devil possessed west moves forward we must improvise to defeat them."

"I am sorry Oslama, for a minute my faith wavered."

"Praise Allah that you have returned to us. Now the next item will greatly assist our soldiers. We need small cooking pots over which to prepare our humble meals. They must be covered, a removable lid perhaps. A small wire grill on which to prepare our food."

"Would that be the American style bar-b-que pit's Oslama?"

"Yes, that might work. I can see that Allah's influence upon you is great. Finally, in order to gather information about the American soldiers psyche we need several small CD players. An assortment of CD's as well. Our holy leader has learned that many American soldiers listen to something called country and western music. We feel that this insight will aid us in the Holy war."

"Omar, your tactical brilliance in the war against the infidels could only be inspired by Allah. If that is all you need, I will acquire your needs and have then shipped UPS pre-paid, ASAP."

"Overnight Omar, please. Our needs are great. Our wounds deep."

"Of course Oslama. And the shipping address?"

"Oh yes. Our new training camp is Lejors, France."


"Yes it is in the South of France, east of St. Tropiz. Third chateau after the McDonalds sign."

"As you wish Oslama."

Ain't war hell!!!!


Randall 12-22-2001 19:35


Hi y'all,

HOWARD: What a tragic story - very well written.

OYSTER: You forget, if the young Oyster did something, then it stands that the old Oyster did it also :-)

HEATHER: Lucky you. Our Christmas shopping day is today, so we're about to head off to the shops ~shudder~. I dread to think of the heaving masses of bodies pushing and joggling each other there.

Don't know what happened.
Actually got motivated and printed out 3 short stories to send of to addresses from the writer's marketplace book I bought.

Fingers crossed, let's see what the new year brings.

Be well all,
can't stop and natter on, I've got money that's demanding to be spent :-)

MARY: Where are you?

Teekay 12-22-2001 19:14

Having more (interesting) computer trouble... I haven't been able to access my emails today, but that should be cleared up later tonight!

I will go back and read the posts, but first, to make a CD for my Dad!


(I'm done my Christmas shopping jig)


Heather 12-22-2001 17:36

Did someone say dialogue?

LOL, here's an imaginary one based on the Lord of the Rings I was having with myself a few days ago. Young Oyster (YO) and Old Oyster (OO) frequently have debatable discussions regarding what they 'want' to do.

YO: You're allowed to go to a movie without taking the kids you know. LOTR might scare them.

OO: So I've been told. Something about Bilbo's face going vampirish, I heard. I'll wait for the video.

YO: You're so cheap, you'd wait a year, maybe two to see the movie? Just so you don't have to buy overpriced popcorn and pay double for an evenings entertainment? Where's your sense of adventure?

OO: My sense of adventure is just fine, thanks I write adventures. As for cheap, I am raising kids, you aren't and besides, those movie seats make my hips ache. And my legs fall asleep.

YO: I Got IT! You're afraid the movie won't do the book justice. Everyone's raving about it, go see the movie.

OO: And that is exactly why I won't go see the movie right now.

YO: oh. i see. you have this thing about holing up in your shell when a 'fad' comes along, don't you?

OO: My, my, for such a young thing you certainly are perceptive. And yes, to both observations. And for the record, you're the same way.

YO: What about taking the book out of the Library again?

OO: I think I have a copy downstairs.

YO: (eyes rolling) Oh, and as IF you'll find that anytime soon!

OO: Suzy and I are going to clean out the ...

YO: Uh huh. You usually get distracted by all that crap you keep in the name of memorbalia and can't bear to throw it out. Besides, there are 10 boxes of books down there, you'll just leave them shut like last time.

OO: (sighing) Maybe you're right. I saw a whole bunch of paperback editions of The Hobbit ... you know Tolkien didn't split up the two books, the publisher did ... he ...

YO: Hello? Hello? Are you in there? I remember all those facts, since I was the one who did reserach on Tolkien, not you. What about this movie? Did we finish with that? Are you going or not!

OO: I finished with it and I'm not going. I have to take the kids to the Harry Potter Movie and that Genius kid movie with P. Twice in a movie theatre is more than enough for me this month, thanks. I'll read the book and when the video comes out, I'll rent it ... and if it's good ... buy it.

YO: You know what it is? All your friends who would appreicate the movie are hundreds of miles away. You have snoring boring friends now and none of them have any imagination.

OO: That's not entirely true ... I ...

YO: Admit, it you're just making up excuses not to go.

OO: Okay, I'll admit it, if you admit one thing ... you don't want to go, either.

YO: (ducking head and blushing slightly) I've never liked it that movie-muckers sensationalize all the good books, the classics. It's really good for people who don't read, but I love to read so I don't like the movies as much. No quiet to absorb the good bits. I didn't like Dr. Zhivago on the screen either ... although Omar Sharif ...

OO: HAH! We actually agree on something! We'll wait a bit to see LOTR, okay?

YO: Okay, did you put it in the Bwitch book?

OO: Nosey little thing aren't you? Of course I fit it into the book. That book saved both Bwitch and I from going crazy.

YO: Okay, I guess that's good enough.

OO: It had better be, because I've got things to do, places to go and family to discuss plans with. See you, you cute young thing.

YO: Yeah, you old crone. Do I really look like my mother now?

OO: Yes, and worse, your husband remembers what she looked like.

YO: But at least I'm writing, right?

OO: Yup, but you'll never be a Tolkien.

YO: Maybe a Hobbit? hehehehe

Oyster 12-22-2001 15:10

RANDALL -- Hobbits are indeed similar to people, but with several enhancements -- more than differences. True, they are small, but the only physical difference I can remember from the books is their large, hairy feet. The ears on the hobbits in the movie version are not overdone, just there. The main difference, besides their size, is their temperament, and their outlook on life.
I was wondering about the issue of size also, and I was pleasantly surprised (and impressed) by the quality of the cinematography, and of the obvious care taken in planning every shot. Although Elijah Wood (Frodo) is 5'7", he appears much smaller in every shot -- not because of any technological "magic," but because of the use of good camera work. The angles of the shots were chosen (without being obvious) to make Frodo and the rest of the Hobbits appear smaller than the humans they interacted with.
I had mentioned this to my wife on the day after I saw the film, and the next day she showed me an article in the paper that expanded on what I had seen, and explained the director's philosophy in the matter. I'll try to find an Ecopy and send it to you.
There were a couple of things that I would have liked to see done differently, but all in all it is a remarkable work.
I don't think you'll be disappointed, although I too would love to visit (and lose myself in) the Shire.

howard 12-22-2001 13:18


I am going back to see Lord of the Rings again also. I went with my husband last night, and now I think my daughter needs to see it with a responsible adult (me, of course).

It was wonderful. I had forgotten much from the time I read the book back in '84, but my husband remembered much more so I kept asking him questions all the way home.

Rhoda 12-22-2001 13:00



A question. What are Hobbits? Seems like when I read the Lord of the Rings many years ago Hobbits were small, hairy, big-footed "little folk" who lived in burrows in the Shire. Not humans, at least not yet, or perhaps human evolution carried a little bit further. True, they dressed in trousers and vests, smoked pipes, developed friendships, communicated, married, used weapons, but were solitary figures of small stature content to live simplistically ... away from humans. In fact humans were unique and shunned, large "creatures" who were best avoided. This clearly reveals Hobbits to be of great intelligence. Encroachments by humankind were regarded by Hobbits the way Americans view big government. Not trustworthy, single minded, itching to intrude into everyone's life and muck things up.

But the trailers seen on TV, show darling little humans and not Hobbits? Humans were in JRR's novels but Hobbits were different. I haven't seen JRR's work as interpreted by movie magic, and will go soon, but I hope the difference between Hobbits and humans is clearly defined. Aside from Spock like ears and large furry bathroom slippers. If not, it will just be another SF movie of computer generated special effects and the end result of cinematic technology run amok, thereby butchering a classic SF tale of good over evil.

Enough to make any self-respecting Hobbit retreat deeper into the Shire.

"What ship could carry me ever back, over so wide an ocean?"


Randall 12-22-2001 11:12

Jerry: I loved your Christmas story! Can't wait to read it to my husband in the morning. It was definitely something he'd get a giggle over.

Howard: Nice character sketch. Very oppressive.

Carol: Thanks for being so understanding. This place is a mad house. No time off at all. Why is it that I hear, "Hey, what do you want to do today?" over and over. It means (translated) I'm bored. Think of something nice to do.

Viv 12-22-2001 10:01

No, I haven't read the posts but I have to say

I Love Lord of the Rings!

The only question is... when can I go again?

Thank you Tolkien for your genius and vision and pure creation of such a wonderful cast of characters and such a wonderful world.

Tina 12-22-2001 3:52

This has been turning over in my mind since the topic was Oppression. It's something I remember from when I was a kid. I changed the names, but it happened just about like this.

Supper at the Winslow's

Supper was rough at the Winslow’s, what with their old man screaming at Ma, and all the kids trying to get enough to eat. I only ate there a couple of times, but that was enough for me. Everything was boiled or burned anyway, and you could only eat it if you put enough salt and pepper on it. No butter for the boiled potatoes, no gravy either. The grease from the hamburger got dumped over them, and if you didn’t get any, too bad.
The kids used to sneak out on Friday nights to go to Bible study up at Duane’s house. At least they tried to break out of the mould, and act like decent human beings. Until one day at supper when Carl and Mattie bowed their heads to say grace.
“What the hell you doin’?” The old man was livid. “Ain’t no gawdammed prayin over the table in MY house!”
Ma echoed his bellering, and added a few choice epithets of her own. “My food ain’t good enough so you got to PRAY for it?” In a fit of rage she picked up a fork and threw it at the two kids, and as bad luck would have it, it hit Mattie square in her left eye, blinding her for life.
Of course when the doctor asked what happened, they said Mattie fell on the fork when she was clearing the table, and they all stuck to the story. Nobody dared to tell the truth, because they were all afraid of Ma and their old man. Even after they grew up, and Ma had her stroke, Mattie stayed to take care of her. After the funeral she just stayed on, and wasted away, still afraid, still not daring to let on the truth.
We didn’t find out until after she hung herself a couple of years ago, and Carl came back from wherever he’d been. He was the only one who ever cared about his sister, and he only stayed long enough for her funeral, and the meal afterwards.
They had boiled potatoes and greasy hamburg meat, and nobody said grace.

howard 12-22-2001 0:30

Had this nice long post typed up about an hour ago, went to click on my spell checker, and missed! Hit the stupid Windows Update button, it took me to Microsoft, and the post was gone.

Not all bad though, while I was there, I picked up the latest patches for IE 6 and Windows XP.

Yes, I still have XP in stalled on this machine. I find it very stable, yet it refuses to play many of my games. No real problem though, many of the emulators work fine, so I can play those.

That post that never appeared, it covered a tense time in my life when I ran for Sheriff of Eddy County ND. Well I sort of ran, had my hat in the ring, and the incumbent was supposed to drop his bid in my favor.

I guess spending a week alone at home with his wife changed his mind, and he refused to withdraw. In the end, I did, as there was no chance of my winning without his support.

In the long run he didn't win anyhow, but a good friend of mine did, he was a local farmer who was well loved by the community, and I was happy to throw my support his way.

The reason I brought that up in the first place was that Teekay misspelled Eddie's name Eddy. Just thought I would let her know that there is in fact an Eddy, although it is a county, not a person.

Jerry Ericsson 12-21-2001 23:51




Blue Tear . . . interesting, and painful. If you want my humble suggestions . . .

1. Dialogue

2. Some dialogue

3. A little dialogue at least

Tell the story with an interaction between at least two persons. Or an observer or observers who witnessed the event, and are relating it to someone who knew the boy, or girl, parties involved. Fiction is great for this, make up someone. As usual there are qualifiers to everything and colloquies from a single point of view can work.

I began writing some time ago with no dialogue in any tale . . . why? Well, because I was unsure of, that is, scared to try it. However dialogue is simply someone talking, making a statement, an idea or opinion, explaining, or answering. In other words, nothing more than persons talking. Your job as a writer/observer is to write what people are saying. Nothing to it really. And some day I hope it will be as natural to me as some authors I have read. I have to work on it constantly, and MAKE myself reconsider a long-winded paragraph that has none.

Annnnnnnnnnd sometimes, to some persons, pain and suffering are difficult to read. I won't read or write such. Nothing personal Blue Tear. For example . . . I read extensively on the Jewish Holocaust years ago and now won't even consider anything on the subject. The movie, SCHINDLERS LIST, for an example. I knew what happened back then, no need to sit captive for three hours and relive visually what I had previously. Way too painful for this guy. I have a need to alleviate the stress, and pain, and loss I see on a daily basis. (In a degree relative to my existence) If there are distressing situations I need to address, I seek a literary backdoor and write with comedic irony . . . read . . . silly nonsense. Stress relief through writing.

Agendas are different, but may be handled with skill and experience and dialogue.



Randall 12-21-2001 20:41


RHODA: I forgot to mention it, but when I read you post yesterday I thought what a sweet and loving person you are. I'd suspected it all along anyway :-)

Ah well, times up, must lift my lardy butt from this seat and do something.....else.

Be well y'all
and may you write as though there were only 2 minutes left till the end of exam.
(sorry, but I'm really running out of pithy sayings.)

Teekay 12-21-2001 19:02


ROSEMARY: A road camping trip sounds absolutely fantastic! Have a great time won't you.

LITTER: So what do you have when you're a fat person and you look in the mirror and see a thin person? aixerona?
I might have a touch of that :-D

Teekay 12-21-2001 18:44


ROSEMARY: You're very welcome :-)

JERRY: Loved it! 'he must have bounced.' HAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHA

BLUE TEAR: Profound. Got my hackles up a bit actually.

RANDALL: Wonderful.

What a rollercoaster of emotions I've just been on.

Teekay 12-21-2001 18:36

TEEKAY – Eddy? That’s what comes of living in a backwater….

Actually I think I have agoraphobia, no, anorexia, that’s it. Apparently anorexics look in the mirror and think they see a fat person. Well, I look in the mirror and see a fat person -- ergo I must have anorexia?

He flitters this way,
he flitters that way,
Litter flitters
and flies away.

Litter 12-21-2001 18:32

I can't believe I spelt EDDIE, EDDY, forgive me EDDIE :-}(sheepish grin)

Teekay 12-21-2001 18:05

Morning All :-D

LITTER: Well I'm glad to hear that you will 'evermore' be able to visit the notebook :-D
Geez I shudder to imagine the picture you have of me in your head. Some sort of anonymous blob with buttocks overlapping the chair as she sits in front of the computer while short fat arms protrude from amongst the vast rolls of fat to type at the keys.
Ah well, if you didn't have quite that picture,you probably do now :-D
I tried bullimia, only managed to get it half right though, that was the gorging part, couldn't bring myself to the purging.
Nah, really, with a little bit of starvation and flagellation I manage to keep to a 'reasonable' size. Oh, and add a little bit of exaggeration to that too.
If you send me your email addy I'll send you a recent picture.
It's only a head shot though - seems the camera wasn't quite big enough :-D

OYSTER: CHRISTI's gone on a bit of a holiday. She should be back soon.

JACK: YAAAAAAAAAAAY WE LOVE YA JACK!!!!!!!!!!! Can't wait to get the new workbook.

BLUE TEAR: The midnight poet wrote the Autumn Breezes poem. To be honest, I didn't much like it. I give it 5/10.

EDDY: FANTASTIC! Any chance we might get to spend a Christmas day at Jack Dooley's house?

Okay, am going back now to read all the stories.

Teekay 12-21-2001 18:03

Afternoon all,

Thanks for the feedback on my Christmas Story. Excellent suggestions and I appreciate that you liked it.

My sister and I are trying to get ready to go on a camping road trip to Arizona. Business keeps getting in the way. We were planning to leave Sunday, but now it looks like Monday afternoon at the earliest.

The internet weather report and the TV reports do not agree about rain posibilities. We'll just have to wait and see.

Have a happy holliday, Everyone.

Rosemary 12-21-2001 17:47

Jerry You crack me up! Shooting Santa? LOL! Thanks for the story, and the word on the 'workbook'.

Blue Tear From my perspective, Arabic is hard to learn once you speak, read and write english. So, I'm 'super-proud' (as some of my younger friends say) of you for writing exclusively in english. Although I would get a giggle seeing your work in Arabic. It's such a graceful language, very beautiful in script.

As for my opinion of your last piece ... it hurt my heart but it was incredibly well written. A journalist friend of mine wrote of Palestine for international publication lately. She put her observations in the form of a child seeing war going on in Israel ... Palestine, really. That same feeling of senseless destruction, homelessness, broken buildings, and trepidation is in your work, evoking a few painful memories for me.

Yet the anger is there, too, in your story. Cloaked in numb grief, fatigue and shock. I appreciated that aspect of the story. So, Blue Tear, what happens next to 'him'?
I await episode number two.

I now have three children in my house waiting to make muffins and we're waiting for a friend to come over for her annual Christmas visit. And I need MORE coffee. Like Litter, I forewent writing last night to read. Dick Francis' 'Shattered' with it's information on glass blowing.

It never fails, my favourite authors always give me a little more knowledge. I never knew glass had all that poisonous stuff in it! Lead, arsnic, a whole whack of other chemicals. *shudder*

Carol, a belated thanks for the note (Jack archived it) on the journey of writing. I've been down this road so many times before, but always alone, in my shell. Now I have 'real' writers to share with and help me remember that 'it takes a community to write a book' because without the steady support of people who are 'going there, doing that', I'd be choking on my own pearls!

Oh, and where is that Christi?

Oyster 12-21-2001 15:27

Christmas is just around the corner, I felt a bit obligated to write a little Christmas tale, here it is, with my best wishes for a happy Christmas and a Merry New Year.

A Shot in Vein
By Jerry A.G. Ericsson

“Do you think he’s dead?” Bob asked, I could see the sweat forming on his forehead, despite the sub-zero temperature.

“Don’t know.” I replied, poking his huge belly with my cane. He didn’t move, a sure sign he wasn’t very alive, if he was alive at all.

“Don’t see a lot of blood, that’s a good sign isn’t it?”

“Hard to tell what with his cloths all being red and all.”

“Look, that white trim is getting red, I guess he is bleeding.” Bob said, his head hanging low.

“How the hell did you mistake this big fellow for a deer, my God, his cloths are all red, even his hat is red? Shit even being dead as he is, his cheeks still have that healthy red glow,”

“Must be buck fever, I don’t know, I could swear he was a deer, hell it even had a huge rack, biggest I ever saw.”

“Just a second.” I walked back into the woods where Bob said the man came from. There were indeed huge deer tracks, they looked more like elk tracks but I knew there weren’t any elk in this area.

“Looks like there was a deer Bob, I don’t even see any human tracks. I wonder; could this fellow been riding on a deer?”

“That’s it!” Bob shouted, “That’s why I didn’t see him, he was on a huge deer’s back, now I remember. When I shot the deer dropped, or did he drop before I shot? I think he dropped as I shot, must have seen my gun and tried to avoid the bullet. No, he did avoid the bullet at the expense of this fellow in the red suit.”

“Well we have to get rid of the body, if anyone finds out we shot Santa Claus, not only will we be tossed in the hoosegow, but all the little kids in the world will hate us.”

“I know a place.” Began Bob, “Where we can toss the body and nobody, I mean absolutely nobody will be able to find him.”

“You thinking what I’m thinking? The burning coal vein?”

“Yep, the vein, hell I heard a cow once fell in there and the only way anyone ever knew was because of the tracks and that wonderful smell of bar-b-que in the area for a couple of weeks. This time of the year, nobody will even get a chance to smell roasting Santa.”

We drug his heavy body to the back of my pickup, and covered it with an old tarp that I kept in the tool box, then drove the twelve miles of back road to the burning coal vein. It had been a few years since I visited the vein; I was surprised to see all the improvements. The Federal Government must have spent all of a couple thousand bucks on the fence that protected visitors from falling in like that little girl who was killed there ten years ago. They didn’t even recover her body; just put a marble monument near where she fell in.

We went around to the back of my truck and dropped the tail gate lifted the tarp and drug the heavy body off the end. It fell to the ground, and his huge belly bounced and shook like a bowl full of jelly. His cheeks and his nose were still as red as a rose. This didn’t figure, I had seen dead people before, they are always white as the snow. I poked him with my cane again, but he didn’t respond. I knelt down beside the body and felt for a pulse, there was none. I put my ear in front of his mouth, there were no breath sounds, he was dead of that I was sure.

We slid his body over to the edge of the burning vein, the smoke and steam rose out of that trench causing a fog that hid us from anyone who could have happened by, but of course nobody happened by, nobody ever came to the vein in the winter, never.

Bob took his feet, I took his hands and we began swinging his body back and forth, back and forth like we used to swing our kids in play. Then after five or six swings, Bob shouted NEXT, and we swung him one more time as hard as we could then at the apex of the swing, we let go.

His body sailed through the air, and then dropped straight into the vein. I sighed in relief, we had dodged the bullet. Nobody would ever know that we killed a man, a man dressed in a Santa suit.

We turned and walked back to my old pickup. When we got there, the body was lying behind it, were we dropped it before we threw it into the vein.

I couldn’t believe my eyes, but there he was, Santa, dead as a doornail. Just to make sure, I poked him again with my cane, still nothing.

“How the hell…?” Bob said.

”Shit, I don’t know Bob, we just tossed his ugly ass in the vein, he must have bounced!”

We picked him up again, and carried his body back to the vein. This time there was no playing around, no swinging; we just heaved the red covered body into the pit. I heard the sizzle as skin met fire, the smoke and steam poured out of that pit of pure hell, the smell of brimstone penetrated my nose, and threw my senses into an uproar.

I whipped the sweat off my brow, and again made my way back to the pickup. We walked around back, no body. It stayed put this time.

“Well guess we are rid of that hunk of blubber at last!” Bob said, with a nervous giggle.
“Yep.” I replied.

We walked around to the front and opened our doors to get in the pickup, then we saw it.

Santa was seated behind the steering wheel. He looked quite dead, despite his rosy cheeks and nose.

I poked his body with my cane.

“Ouch! Now cut that out. Ho ho ho.”

“Santa?” I asked. I looked at Bob on the other side of the pickup, his eyes were as big as saucers, the look on his face was one of awe.

“Boys, how about you get me back to those woods, Dancer has to be around somewhere, you sure threw me for a loop what with shooting at me and all, I’m sure Dancer must have come back, he just ran when your friend shot at me.”

Santa slid over to the middle, and Bob got in on the other side, I spun the pickup around and made my way back to the woods where Bob shot Santa. Sure enough when we got there, the biggest damn deer that ever set foot on Western North Dakota stood, pawing the ground.

I stopped the truck, and got out. Dancer backed off just a bit, but when Santa got out of the truck, he trotted right over to us. Santa patted him on the nose, telling him it was all right, he wasn’t mad at the deer, he didn’t blame him for running away, after all, Dancer was surely Bob’s target, not Santa.

Within minutes, Santa was on Dancer’s back, and they were off, flying north towards the North Pole.

I only discovered how Santa felt about the whole incident that Christmas when I went to check my stocking for gifts. Instead of the apple and the orange I usually found, instead of the candy and sweets that had been there very Christmas of my life, there was one chunk of coal.

Bob called that afternoon; nothing but coal, just a lump of dirty black coal.

Jerry 12-21-2001 13:02

* Blue Tear *
Hello Every1!!!
You can never imagine how glad I was when I realised a lot of you know about Lebanon, I felt so proud:)
Jerry: It seams the workbook was really great, I am looking forwad to see it in action again:)
About “ Suicide is painless”, I liked its end, it was special, though I am totaly against suicide.
The first time I wrote a story I kept e mailing each chapter to friends. They liked it, told me there were moments when they cried while reading, other moments they laughed out loud. However, when I sent the LAST CHAPTER! Everyone criticized it and most of them hated the END! Since then I’ve learned how important the end is in a story. (Honestly I never regreted ending my story that way in spite of what my friends thought!)

Carol: About wrting on a journal. I’ve started doing that about five years ago, and this is how I discovered the pleasure of writing, expressing my thoughts, emotions with words. I still write on my journal, but not as often as I used to before. Sometimes I feel that this journal is my only friend, the only one to understand me though it is nothing but papers I’ve written on.

Mel: You said “ English must be difficult to learn”. As I said before I’ve learned Arabic, French and English. Believe me, English was the easiest. Arabic is one of the hardest, simply because the difference between the informal language and the “ real Arabic”, is huge! Its grammar is also so hard. However, it’s a very beautifull language, and a very rich one. Hope you will someday think about learning it:) Sometimes I feel guilty for not writing in Arabic, it’s as if I am helping my language (which I really value) vanish.

Who wrote the poem that starts “As playful breezes dance and glide,
and waltz with rose sweet scent, “??????? I like it!

This is what I wrote yesterday:
It was 6:00 am; he had been up all night long. Something had kept his eyelids from closing down since his father had been killed. A flame of anger, hate and pain was rising in his inside, tearing his heart…No, it wasn’t a flame, it was fire, a fire that nothing could put out but revenge. Revenge from those who broke to his country, to his house and killed his father. Those pitiless monsters who had stole the smile from innocent angels, brought tears to mothers, wives, reapped his liberty, not only his liberty, but his country’s liberty. And what did he do? Nothing! He had been shot in his leg, so couldn’t do anything! He couldn’t stand and fight for his country, his homeland, where he had spent his childhood, the land that hugged him the first time he fell, that gave him water the first time he felt thirsty! He hated himself for being so helpess: he wanted to join the army, make his family proud of him, but he was only disgrace to everyone. His father had been killed; his sister raped and killed, while he couldn’t do anything to protect them. He and his mother were the only one to survive. However, he wished he had died, it was much better than living in the ruins of the past For a moment he thought about suicide, nothing was left for him to live for. But no, there was something left, there was the task for his country, his family, and his religion.
He stood up, and searched for his mom in what was left from their house, that house which walls had seen him blooming. The old lady was there, sitting next to the broken window, staring at the farm that had been put in fire the night before. He approched silently, bent and kissed her hand. Watching his mother sinkig in grief was too much for him to handle, a tear dropped to burn his cheaks. She put her warm hand and wiped his tear off, just the way she used to long time ago when he was still a child running to her arms, her tender chest, where all his fears and sorrows would vanish. He looked straight in her eyes; she looked like an angel, he thought, with those blue eyes in which he always drawns, those wrinkles that life had drawn on her forhead.
Things should not go on like this, hewanted to revolt, he was only waiting for the moment any of enemie’s army would appear.
Then he heard some bullet shots. It must be one of them, he thought. Without even thinking, he left, while his mother called him asked him where he wanted to go, his leg was still aching and he should go nowhere, but he just didn’t answer. “ I am going to make you proud mom, I am going to make you proud of your son.”
His mother kept calling him, begging him not to do something foolish. However, nothing would stop him now, he wouldn’t stay helpless while blood was being spread everywhere, while hundreds of innocents were dying daily.
The soldiers were at about two or three miles away, he estimated. He run, not feeling anything, not the wind he was struggling against, nor the ground he was walking on, not even the atrocious pain in his leg.
Finally, he saw some silhouettes lurcking not so far. However, he had no weapn, nothing he would use to kill any of them. All he found was gravels on the ground. He grabbed one, and before any of them could notice his presence, threw it as strong as he could.
He never had the tendency to kill, but this time it was different. Pictures saved with reflections in his mind of his sister and father’s cadaver grew pain and strengh in his inside. He was throwing gravels with power he never had before.
Few minutes and a soldier’s body was on the ground next to a blood pool. Then, there had been a shot, and there he was reposing on the ground, going into eternal sleep, with a smile of pride on his face.

I am waiting for your opnion.

Blue Tear 12-21-2001 4:54

Oyster and all the newer folks -

There used to be more to this wonderful notebook, called the WORKBOOK. It was a password protected area, divided up into sections, such as Short Story, Novel, and more. You get the idea. Along with a place to post work that you don't wish to be exposed to the public, and in the eyes of some "published on the internet" there was also a place where critiques could be posed on those works.

We had many folks who only posted in the Workbook, others who never visited it regularly. It was, however a super place to work on our writing skills.

When the old server was lost, so too was the Workbook. Many of us have been waiting in great anticipation of the reactivation of the workbook.

It was the Workbook that led to the publishing of the book that was written by many of the members here, and published last year, called Shadows in a Dream.

I too wrote some for the book, but pulled out after falling into a sort of deep purple funk, and have been sorry for the pull out ever since.

We have seen other projects written through the workbook, including our ghost stories project just nearing completion, thanks to Heather, A food related short story collection supervised by Americo, Called Strawberries and a Moon, and others.

It will be wonderful to see it back in action again, as it produced some wonderful work that we can all be very proud of.

Much of what I have posted here of late truly belonged in the workbook and would have been posted there, had it been active.

Jerry 12-21-2001 0:52

Sorry Mark, Sorry Howard. Now 'The Girls' as Americo pithily calls 'us' shouldn't feel so bad, I mix up the Guys, too! I can hardly wait until I mix myself up with some other oyster. It be mighty dark down here in the deep briny folks.

Did Jack just tell us there is a possibility of a 'new' notebook in the New Year? Goody.

Litter, I think I may have seasonal, hom-drone-al whatever. I got so grouchy this afternoon I growled at the dogs. Isn't that a Grinchy kinda thing to do? Think Santa will put coal in my stocking? Maybe pre-revelation Scrooge and I can become partners. Think the Three Spirits will visit me and make me mend my erring ways?

Problem is I like humbugs, they're those little brown candies with the stripes and now I have to buy them at the speciality store!

Randall, I'm starting to like that Red Guy a lot. What's he doing for New Years??? hehehe.

Oyster 12-21-2001 0:28

Carol, it has been some time since I have posted this site, it is my old one, the one I built just after I graduated from college. There you will find the tale of my very first call as a police officer, as well as the tale of my visit to the Vietnam Memorial.

I wrote both of these while attending the University of North Dakota.

Yes the lag is getting even worse now, my last comment has yet to appear, and the Next Generation is nearly over now, it was just beginning when I posted it.

Jerry Ericsson My Old Web Page 12-20-2001 23:59

Somehow, I feel I have entered a time lag. The last two times I posted it took minutes before my post appeared, in fact I gave up both times and went to play a few games, then came back only to see my post had finally made it.

Were this happening to me in life I would be calling 911, but it appears that it is only this strange but wonderful thing we call the internet.

Jerry 12-20-2001 23:49


Good evening gang!

Randall Dandle's almost a Christmas story. ":-))))))

Striding across the highway with a bag of aluminum cans across his back, Red Britches was easily the center of attention. Red is very tall, more than 6 feet and with long legs, when he is putting ‘em up and down can cover a lot of ground. His lanky walk is very deliberate, not hesitant, as confident as a southern plantation owner surveying the fields. And he nearly halted all four lanes of traffic that morning.

I honked and waved. Red nodded and swept on by, oblivious of Saturday morning traffic. I knew he had made the trash dumpster rounds early on. Now he was headed for a quick sale at the recycle center, owned and operated by George Grayson Matthews.

"So what's the matter with it?" George asked me minutes later as we stood next to my pickup.

"Spring hanger broke on the rear axle. Would you weld it for me?"

George looked pained, which was normal for him. "Hell, I guess. Ain't got nothing better to do, cept crawl around underneath your pickup, freezing to death, while scorching my eyes and burning my clothes . . . "

I left him muttering as he laid out the welding leads. George's garage boasts " . . . 125 years of technology in vehicle maintenance . . . " Which sounds pretty spiffy but, it only means in 1870 it was a blacksmith shop, then an early Ford garage, and now a general mechanics garage. There are enough used horseshoes scattered around to make a battleship, maybe two. The shop walls are dingy and the whole inside needed a good cleaning, 75 years ago. A large wood heater/stove in the back provides heat in the winter, and I mean a LARGE stove. George and some cronies "borrowed" it from an abandoned rural school house years ago.

Contrary to local belief, I know NOTHING about the heist, the great weight, and pounds of grimy, black soot. And nothing whatsoever about what happened when the stove pipe broke loose. Thereby causing several boys to flee in panic as an immense owl, who was greatly upset at the trashing of his abode, swooped through the dark room with . . . EYES FLASHING FIRE AND WINGS 12 FEET WIDE!!! NOTHING I TELL YA!!! NOTHING AT ALL!!!

The stove is 19th century ornate, somewhat seasoned with dings and missing parts. A veteran, it no doubt kept hundreds of rural school kids warm through numerous generations. And now warm the front parts, then back parts of local bodies who enter George's shop to wait while he attempts to repair ones vehicle.

Sitting next to the stove was, who else, but Red. He waved me over with a glass bottle of what appeared to be red soda pop. But I knew better.

"Randy Boy! Git on over here and let me look at ya."

"Hi Red. Up and at it early today?"

"Ye betche!" he waved the glass bottle around. "Early bird gits the al-u-min-um can."

Red speaks with a lot of style. Told me once it came from "Yars and yars of schooling." Several years at a local picnic he staggered onto a small stage and butchered an old Elvis tune "Be bop a lu la, shes, uh, my baby, uh, wow . . . " Though his rendition no doubt caused the "King" to spin in his grave. It did cause the sourest person there to collapse in laughter and the rest of us to howl at his lyrical articulations and liquid, (liquid, I say!) gyrations.

"How much ya get Red? From the cans?"

He grinned and tapped a gloved finger on the bottle. "Just enough Randy Boy, just enough. Got a little extra for some white this afternoon and a pot of beans and cornbread."

Red is an aficionado of wine, having dedicated years of research to the undertaking. He drinks "Red wine" in the morning and "White wine" in the afternoon. I pointed this out to him one afternoon, as to why shift gears at noon and he promptly told me to mind my own business. Yes sir! Red goes his own way, thank you very much, and expects folks to accept him . . . as is. If his view of the world is veiled by the bottom of a wine bottle, so be it. He has, no doubt, eaten more red beans than any other human on the planet. And with the usual intentional modifications to red beans . . . may be a difficult person to get close too. In an, oh, well, olfactory sense.

He leaned back in the metal chair. "I..." he began, then scowled over my shoulder. "Oh hell! What's he doing here?"

I turned to see Red's least favored person talking to George at the front. Judge Jailemall was a head shorter than George, though most people are taller than the judge. Years ago the judge had a small stool made, to place under the bench where he sat in court. This which enabled him to rest his feet as otherwise he could not touch the floor! Hilarious, as Judge Jailemall went to great lengths to conceal the stool. However, someone "borrowed" the stool and it was a week before the judge could have another made. This time he had it chained to the floor!

George nodded toward the back and to our great consternation the judge walked to where we sat.

As Judge Jailemall approached, he slowed as he noted Red sitting beside the red-hot stove. He glanced down at the bottle in Red's hand, and frowned.

"At it a little early Red?" he asked, his tone caustic.

"Deliberately Judge." Red retorted.

"If I catch you walking around town drinking wine in public, I'll arrest you!"

Red jumped to his feet, his face red. "You and who else?"

Not willing to be part of an obvious personality clash I started to leave.

"Sit down Randy Boy. The judge is leaving not you!"

Judge Jailemall stared angrily at me, then Red. "Red," he said. "I have never seen a life so wasted, with your education and naval officers background you could teach at any collage in the state. But you waste your life living at the bottom of society, a common wino."

Red stared down at the judge. "I'm not common, far from it. What I do with my life is my business, not yours. I know what I am Judge. Do you know what you are?"

"Red," the judge replied, not quite as angry now. "You told me last year if my head was cut open a law book would fall out. I'll now ask you the same question. What's inside your head?"

Red returned to his chair. He drank long from the bottle. He wiped his mouth with a dirty coat sleeve, then grinned up at the judge. "Bubble gum music?"

By now George had walked to the back, drawn by the loud voices. He had his welding "leathers" on and the welding hood pushed back on his head. He glanced at me and silently mouthed the question, "Bubble gum music?"

Judge Jailemall smiled, chuckled, then laughed out loud. Again George and I swapped glances. Judge Hardass was laughing! He leaned against a grimy soot-covered wall, convulsed. "Don," he finally managed to gasp, "only you would remember that."

Red snickered. "Was a long time ago Raymond, when you told dad you wanted to play in a band and sing bubble gum music. A long time ago little brother. Dad had no idea what you were talking about."

As one George and I leaned over to pick up our bottom jaw off the floor. The town wino and the county judge were brothers? Why, I thought, the implications were astounding. What was going on here?

They shook hands, wishing each other merry Christmas and parted after promising to eat together on Christmas day. George and I stared at Red, aghast.

"Shut up boys!" Red ordered, staring at the floor.

George shook his head. "Jesus, Red we had no ideal." He looked at me but I had nothing to say. What could I say?

Red handed George the bottle. George took a big swig, coughed and gasped. "Gosh darn Red. There's soda pop in this bottle!"

Red looked up at me. He grinned. "All part of researching the positive aspects of self-destruction Randy Boy. And 7-UP is white in the afternoon sun, even on Christmas day . . .


Randall 12-20-2001 23:49

JACK - I can think of no better Christmas present then a working workbook, even it it is a bit after Christmas, it's the thought that counts. No, it's the book that counts. No, it's the work that counts.

Ah heck, thanks.

Jerry 12-20-2001 23:10

p.s. And, just to add, it has a registration and login and password component :-)

12-20-2001 22:13

Hello everyone. I finally think I have a message board that will work for the Workbook. I am presently experimenting with it on my local copy of IIS on Windows XP. There are some problems with the ODBC compliance and other issues, but if I can get it to work locally I will begin to start looking at establishing it on . It is an asp message board with an access backend. This looks to be the most promising approach I have found yet. If I can get it to work, I will register it, sign up and will be able to remove the ads. Cross your fingers and we shall see. Otherwise, again, hope everybody will have great holidays. I also just got a short contract that I will have to attend to when I get the material for the web site. So, that may sidetrack me for a few hours. That and the possibility that tomorrow is perhaps the first day with decent enough weather that Fran and I can go diving in about three weeks. Wish us very very very big luck on finally being able to do that. Oh, and we went to Lord of the Rings this afternoon. LOVED IT.

Jack Beslanwitch 12-20-2001 22:09

I had some ‘time’ a couple of days ago, so what did I do? Did I write? Did I read? No, I worked out what size Teekay would have to be if she ate as many of those ‘Honey Kisses’ as she claimed…

BIG THANKS to everyone else who spared me some of their precious time and/or caring sentiments.

TEEKAY -- Worry not, it must’ve sounded darker than I had intended. It is mere frustration and petulance at an almost total lack of time after doing what needs to be done, before my limited stamina runs out. Your concern might just be the spark I needed to kick-start Christmas this year. Tree and decorations are up, presents are bought (they’ll get wrapped at 3.00am on Christmas morning) and plans are made (and what happens to the best laid plans… ?) but it has only just started feeling like Christmas. :o)

Welcome newbies and oldbies, talented peers, and toe-dippers, I hope some of my borrowed time will allow me to catch up on the ebbs and flow of these pages.

Seems that people are at all different points of the seasonal/hormonal/psychological roller coaster that is the festive season – it never ceases to amaze me how much more it takes to make me happy than it used too. Too bad.

Again I must go.

But first, for those who wondered – If Teekay ate as much as she claimed she would be pretty large. If she were an asteroid she would be somewhat in excess of a lump of rock 5 miles in diameter. Yes I did sit and work it out.

Going to listen to some grossly over-commercialised Christmas music.

All good things

Litter 12-20-2001 21:16

Carol - Yes, I too have been to way too many attempts, and successes, and your right, however it is much easier to get the dialog going without that danged barrel in the mouth.

Jerry 12-20-2001 21:11

oops that was me. I was trying to send something. It didn't work. Sorry!

Debra 12-20-2001 18:57



12-20-2001 18:56

OYSTER -- That was Mark who wrote about running away.

howard 12-20-2001 18:32

As playful breezes dance and glide,
and waltz with rose sweet scent,
as it whispers through the branches,
and plays with leaves all spent,

as Summer closes sleepy eyes,
and Autumn dances in,
I'll look for you my darling,
for I know you're here again.

In gentle morning's fiery dawn,
in russet leaves first giddy flight,
in perfumed jasmine, clenching hearts,
in duskiness of Autumn night,

I'll look for you and find you here,
in all that you once loved so well,
and on a moonlit Autumn night,
I'll stop and sit with you a spell.

And I'll cry not for you my love,
for it would grieve you so,
that thoughts of you should carry pain,
and weigh down spirits low.

I'll remember you how once you were,
in all you've said and done,
I'll remember you with happiness,
and tell our little one,

of how his Mummy rocked him,
when he was very small,
and how she really wanted to stay,
to watch him grow up tall,

I'll let him know it wasn't you,
who chose to go away,
but that God needed an angel,
and so you couldn't stay.

I'll tell him Mummy loves him,
and is never far away,
but never is she closer,
than on a clear, crisp Autumn day.

12-20-2001 18:10

Oh me, oh my! Jack archives the last thread and I have to read a bunch to catch up!

Short post, as I've even put The Bwitch on Hold! Both the one in person and the one I'm writing about!

Blue Tear, glad to see you're back and suffering from a common ailment ... too tired to write.

I've been writing since I was seven. My first 'reading' was in front of the microphone of the school P.A. system (back when we had mimeographs, not photocopiers)the day before Remembrance Day. I was absolutely terrified. I don't even remember what I wrote! It must've been good, though, I didn't have to 'do it over'.

I know where Beirut is. I also know where Lebanon is. Did you know there is actually a city in the U.S.A. called Lebanon? My son, the geography nut pointed this out. I can't remember what state it's in (LOL, the State of the Union, not the state of ... whatever else).

See, everyone, I'm losing it. I can (Teekay was that you about the embarrass thing?) embarrass myself in public without even trying when I'm in Christmas Crunch mode.

And Howard, if you want company running far, far away, I'll meet you somewhere okay? I've had that fantasy at least twice a week for the past 9 years. Need I say why?

I'll write more when I can squeeze a minute out of the day to use for my very own self.

Oyster 12-20-2001 17:21


National Aeronautics and
Space Administration
John F. Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center, Florida 32899
AC 321 867-2468

KSC Contact: Bill Johnson

For Release: Dec. 20, 2001

KSC RELEASE NO. 139 - 01


KSC officials have learned that Santa Claus is planning a late-night landing at the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) to install a new robotic toy distribution aid on his sleigh. Although KSC employees will be at home enjoying the holidays, the SLF will be left in full operational mode to accommodate the world-renowned sleigh commander, who has been granted special security clearance.

In response to a touch of arthritis in his joints, Santa spent months creating an EXtra-Manual Aid System (X-MAS). While the reindeer propulsion team is grazing in the lush grass adjacent to the runway, Santa will install X-MAS on the sleigh's midsection, directly between the cockpit and the cargo area. X-MAS will allow Santa to select the most appropriate toy at each child's home without having to reach backward, preventing arthritis flare-ups brought on by overextending his elbows in the chill night air.

X-MAS was inspired by the Canadian-built Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS), installed on the International Space Station in April 2001 during Mission STS-100. A longer, stronger and more flexible version of the Shuttle's robotic arm, the SSRMS is 56 feet long when fully extended and has seven motorized joints. It is self-relocatable with a special latching end effector that can be attached to complementary ports located throughout the Station's exterior surfaces.

"If all goes according to plan, Santa will perform the Ground Integrated Functional Test (GIFT) immediately after installation of the X-MAS just to ensure that it works," said Tip Talone, director of the ISS/Payload Processing Directorate. "Our folks here gave Santa some pointers on testing methods. This means the families in the local area could be the first to receive their Christmas gifts with the new system."

Cloaked in darkness and miles away from the prying eyes of children, the SLF is an ideal North American rest stop for Santa and his team of reindeer. First opened for flights in 1976, it was specially designed for returning Space Shuttle orbiters. With its 15,000-foot-long and 300-foot-wide paved runway, the SLF is longer and wider than runways found in most commercial airports. Typically, 16 powerful xenon lights, each producing up to 1 billion candlepower, light the SLF during nighttime landing operations. However, so that Santa can retain his anonymity, the lights are always left off on Christmas Eve.

"It doesn't cost the government or taxpayers a penny," said a security supervisor who wished to remain anonymous. "We don't know for sure that he stops here every year. But there's too much ice in the North Pole for him to properly install the X-MAS. And since he did contact our security office to request clearance to land this Christmas Eve, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he stops here."

-- end --

NASA News 12-20-2001 17:02


Here are the special two line elements (TLE's) we have been waiting for.

Santas' Sleigh 2001
1 26995U 01054A 01351.15786664 .00004086 00000-0 36022-4 0 473
2 26995 51.6371 247.9715 0017074 350.8076 9.2606 15.67821197 1774

Launch time for Santa 2001: 24 DEC 01 @ 22:19:28.068 UTC

Earth-Fixed Greenwich State Vector:

Vector format = 117
Satellite Name: STS-108
Catalog Number: 26995 01054A
Epoch Date/Time: 01351.15786664213
12/17/2001 03:47:19.677 UTC
EFG E: -13901275.000000 ft
F: 7858323.00000000 ft
G: 15265722.0000000 ft
Edot: -2333.4400000000 ft/s
Fdot: -22259.119999999 ft/s
Gdot: 9368.31999999999 ft/s
ndot/2 (drag): 0.00004085823 rev/day^2
nddt/6: 0.00000E+00 rev/day^3
Bstar: 3.60217E-05 1/Earth Radii
Elset #: 47
Rev @ Epoch: 177.00018975930

Keplerian Elements (Amsat format):

Satellite: Santa Claus 2001 Catalog number: 26995
Epoch time: 01351.15786664
Element set: 47
Inclination: 51.6371 deg
RA of node: 247.9715 deg
Eccentricity: 0.0017074
Arg of perigee: 350.8076 deg
Mean anomaly: 9.2606 deg
Mean motion: 15.67821197 rev/day
Decay rate: 4.08582e-05 rev/day^2
Epoch rev: 177
Checksum: 331

Santa's sleigh orbital data:

These 2-line elements have been generated using Ken Ernandes' program VEC2TLE using real time state vector data supplied by DOD C-Band Radar Network courtesy Dave Simonson. Note that the epoch of the 2-line elements is the same as the state vector time.

Drag and B-Star parameters are internally calculated by VEC2TLE using a drag factor of 0.5. Rev numbers use NASA orbit numbering convention.

Use these TLE's to track santa on 24/25 December 2001

S . Claus 12-20-2001 16:51

Okay, now I'm not getting socket errors! I think my computer has got a good case of Griswaldese. It better not be catching!

Thanks, Mel, for the suggestion of chocolate. I know, I was feeling a little pissed at the world last night. I had a few other problems with frames before coming back to write the checklist thing. But, I admit, there's nothing like venting those pessimistic, super-peeved, jugular sarcasms.
You feel SO calm afterward.

Mark, you've come a long way, baby. ((((HUGS)))))
I too find I'm a slow learner when it comes to my emotional self, even though my IQ is above average. I do not take care of myself the way I take care of others - in fact I'm likely to ignore my own needs completely, until I can't overlook them any longer. Too busy thinking, and doing.
Too busy bent over the keyboard to notice the intense pain in my back and neck! *groan*

Well, hopefully my computer will stay brain-fart-less. I was beginning to fear there might be another trip to Markham, Ontario, to take the harddrive in for 'inspection and chicken soup'. Yeah, and a big fat bill at the end of the meal.

Oh, dear. Sarcasm is making another round! Duck for cover!

Heather 12-20-2001 16:06

Sorry, I must try to remember that not everybody here has met Jack.
A silver shilling is a British pre-decimalisation coin. When I was a nipper most houses, unless you were really posh, had a coin fed meter for the supply of electricity. The meters only accepted one coin 'The Shilling'. Its equivalent contemporary coin is the 5p coin. (£0.05) There used to be 20 shillings to the £ stirling. Average earnings at the time were £18.00 per week.

Eddie 12-20-2001 16:02

Greetings All :)

The day has improved a great deal. The sun even decided to come out and say hi.

Eddie -- that is a great little story. But I'm curious, what's a "silver shilling for a lecky meter?" I have no clue.

Carol 12-20-2001 15:51

Well, You can't keep a cheeky kid down for long......

Oooo eck, I heard me mum say that Father Clancy is comin’ to our ‘ouse tonight. What ‘ve I done now?
Bet he knows I skipped benediction last Wednesday, or took holy communion without confession last Sunday. Bet I’m for it now. Right on top of Christmas too.

‘Jack, don’t get out of your uniform just yet son. Father Clancy is coming to see your dad tonight.’
‘Me dad?’
‘Yes, who else would he want, …Jack?
‘Errr…I dunno, I was just thinkin' that's all.... What’s me dad done now?. He bin down the docks again?’
‘Hey...I heard that you cheeky young scamp.’
‘Sorry dad....What does he want you for?’
‘Never you mind, you just sit quiet and mind your p’s and q’s when he gets here.’
‘Ok dad.’
‘Go sit on the step and give us a shout when e’s at the top of the street.’
‘Ok dad.

It’s goin’ dark already, the lecky lights are on too. Funny colour for lights, orange, looks sort of weird in this fog. Wonder wot me mum and dad got me for Christmas? Wonder if it’s that big wagon with all the cars on the back. Double decker? Bet the big tree is all lit up now in town, wonder when me mum’s takin’ me to town to see the lights?
Not as good as Blackpool those ones, I still want to see them though. Wonder where Mick is, bet he’s at alter boy practice. ‘Ang on, he can’t be if Father Clancy is.....

‘Evening young Jack’
‘Ooo eck.’
‘You’ll be getting piles sitting on that cold step lad, get y’self inside and let your dad know I’m about.’
‘Yes father.....Daaaad!....’es here.’

‘Put that tot of whiskey under the couch right now and fold that paper, he’s here.’
‘Bloody hell, a man can’t ‘ave a warming tot in ‘is own bloody house nowadays.’
‘Stop mumbling, Sit up and no more of that blaspheming!’

‘Come in Father Clancy, take off your gown and sit by the fire.’
‘I’ll be thankin’ you Mrs Dooley, Good evening Mr Dooley.’
‘Evening Father.’
‘I must be getting old, my eyes are not what they used to be, I missed you at mass last Sunday, you must‘ve been right at the back.’
‘Errr, yes that’s right Father, I was right at the back.’
‘The two of ye had not been quarrelling had you, seeing as Mrs Dooley was right at the front then?’
‘Father Clancy... would you care for a nice cup of tea to chase the chill from your bones?’
‘Thank you Mrs Dooley, but a wee glass of what’s in that bottle I can just see under the couch would warm them even more.’
‘I’ll just get a clean glass.’
‘Well then Mr Dooley, I’ve come to see you about your covenant. I’ve noticed that you’ve been a behind of late. No problems with money I hope? And your work…Your job is going well? It’s just that the church roof is in dire need of.......

They’ll be at it for ages in there, and I’m not going in ‘til me dad has forgot that I forgot to warn ‘im that He was marchin' down the street.
I’d better get up, don’t want to get piles. I wonder what piles are? Me dad’s got piles, I heard ‘im tellin’ me mum that ‘is piles were killin’ ‘im, and that worky down at the docks said that it was murder driving piles in...Anyway, they must really hurt so I don’t want them.

‘, get your coat on and run down to Jollys’ for a silver shilling before the lights go out, and while Father Clancy is here too, that would be all wouldn’t it. Here, take this, hurry now.’
‘Can I get a penny bag for goin’?’
‘Here then, go on, get your coat and hurry back.’
‘Thanks mum.’

Mr Jolly has got loads of coloured lights around his shop window for Chrismas. And he’s painted white snow in the corners of each bit of glass. Last year he gave me a whole bag of sweets for nothing, just because it was Christmas. The fog is lifting now, but it’s not ‘alf cold. I wonder if it will snow tonight, I hope it snows tonight, then it will really be Christmas.

Wow...That’s even more than he had up last year. Merry Xmas? What’s that about?

‘Jack Dooley!....You’re annoying the customers, stop that right now.’
‘Sorry Mr Jolly, me foot.....’
‘Got stuck, I know....just stand still and wait your turn.’
‘Hee hee.’

Wow.. Mr jolly has got toys in ‘is shop for Christmas. There’s a Johnny Seven! I wish me dad was rich like the Johnstones, I bet I would get one of those if he was. I bet I would get everything if me dad was rich. I bet me mum would get a new cooker and our Billy would get all those books he wanted last year but only got one because that was all me mum could get ‘im.

‘Move up Jack, Come on.’
‘Sorry Mr Jolly, I was just thinking.’
‘What can I do for you Mr Dooley?’
‘Have you got a silver shilling for the lecky meter?’
‘I think I can manage that for you, let me see….Here, here’s one. Is it just the one you want then?’
‘And a penny bag of sweets.’
‘You just wait there, I’ve got a little something in the back for you, just a minute now.’
‘Ok Mr Jolly.’
‘Here you are Jack, Merry Christmas. And don’t you go eating them all at once and making yourself sick now.
And don’t be tellin’ everybody or they’ll all want one.’
‘Wow..Thanks Mr Jolly, I wont, Thanks, Happy XMASS to you too.’
‘Away you go now, and straight home now.’
‘Bye Mr. Jolly.’
‘And don’t slam the……..never mind.’

I love Christmas. Everybody is so different at Christmas. Everybody smiles and says ‘Hello...Happy Christmas.’ Me dad has got a whole week off work too, and I’m going to his works XMASS party on Saturday. Me mums goin’ to cook a whole chicken for XMASS dinner and me nan is comin’ round too. Christmas...XMASS....Naahhh
Christmas is better.. I love Christmas. Bet me nan makes me a new jumper too. The fog’s gone now an’ I think it’s startin’ t’ snow. It’s snowin’


Eddie 12-20-2001 15:39

I'm getting socket errors
in windows

have to reformat later on, hopefully things will be ok.
I can't type for long, stupid 'X' windows keep popping up as soon as I get two words written!


Heather 12-20-2001 15:22

MARK -- I've read some of your "snippets" -- I wish I could snip like that! I've read autobiographies that appeared too planned -- life's not like that, so why should an autobiography be?
Have you ever read "This Boy's Life?" by Tobias Wolff? It's chronological, but doesn't have that "planned" feeling.
True, your "perfect house" and "Streetsville" were a score of years apart. But they complement one another, work together to effect growth in one personality, and make the "auto" in autobiography more reachable. So, literary gimmick or not, they belong together.

Or maybe I'm just getting flaky in my old age. :-)

Why is my screen so slow? I type a sentence, then wait for the second half of it to make it to the creen. (Rhetorical question) Nothing much running, either. Sounds like a restart to me!

LOTR was excellent! But I would definitely preview it before taking younger kids. Some of the scenes are quite intense, and could cause nightmares.

Speaking of LOTR (and The Hobbitt), it might be fun to start a discussion thread for those who've actually read the books, to state their favorite character from the books, and explain (in a few lines) why.
Mine, after reading them eight times in the past 30 years, is still Samwise Gamgee. He fits almost every description of everything I ever wanted to be remembered for - faithful and true, no matter what.

howard 12-20-2001 14:47


This week has been so frantic with being head homeroom mother for my son's class. I have had to oversee getting the Christmas party together and Wedensday I had the opportunity to substitute teach his class for two hours. How I love and appreciate teachers for what they do. I was with those 5th graders only 2 hours. Everything went along fine, but I got home and was exhausted.

I have read some of the posts here and have been a bit alarmed because I haven't had a chance to look in for awhile. I realize that the holidays are difficult, but I just wished to say that I have time for any and all of you, every single person on this Notebook. Yes, I am a housewife and I live a sheltered life, and sometimes I am as dense as a load of bricks, but I do know what it is to have problems and I have had times of despair when I wondered if I could get through to the next day. I just open the invitation up to anyone who wants to e-mail me or just needs a human connection. I love getting e-mail, and I will take the time to answer it.

Rhoda 12-20-2001 13:14

Hello All

I'm struggling here. Struggling between revealing my emotions from last night and reading recent posts and between wanting to lighten the mood. Hubby had a rough time last night. We survived once again till morning. Jerry - your story is well written. I've ... (do I want to voice this?) ... sat beside the suicide many times. From the experience viewpoint, if you want to show these men about being serious about their intentions, put the barrel in their mouth. I've been told that that way is more effective and less chancey.

Okay, gotta get off that subject. My hands are shaking too much.

Randall - you mentioned "the" problem. Yep. Have that one often. Actually I noticed I have a problem deciding when to use "the" and when to use "a." They can be interchangable (now, is that one a word?) at times and I never know which one to use.

I think its time to spill my guts into my journal. {{Hugs}} to everyone.

Carol 12-20-2001 12:43


Literature is "Emotion recollected in tranquility." (Wordsworth, I believe)

By the time I get to sit down and write, I have some distance from the emotion and can express it. The closer I am to an experience, the harder it is write clearly about. My IQ may qualify me for Mensa, but I am a slow learner, and I know myself not well at all.

I have passed around a few autobiographical snippets from "My Book." I think they are quite good. They all have the advantage of being placed in the distant past. Whoever said, "The winners write the History," also covered personal history. The story of my life, book form, will always be a work of fiction. In order to be readable, (much less gripping, page-turning stuff) the book has to follow a plan. Clearly, my life did not. I can make all the events fit certain "true" themes, and can make the action follow a "true" pattern which also happens to a good, readable plot outline. I can proclaim that "Everything here is absolutely true, everything actually happened." But the underlying truth of the matter is that I work to produce a readable book, so all the scenes in it are selected for literary purposes.

My post last night, while perfectly true, expressed more about something that happened in 1980 (Streetsville) than it did about my present condition (the house where everything must be perfect). It's a rhetorical gimmick, express something you can't grip in terms of something you can.

I write fiction. The best fiction, I believe, contains real human truths. We can't help but explore the turmoil of our lives. We also can't express it well without some distance.

More later,

Mark 12-20-2001 11:21

Mark - I can recall when my cousin and I were around fifteen or sixteen, we were out cruising in his old '58 Merc, and talking about what it takes to become "a man."

Both of us grew up in alcoholic homes, so it should be no surprise that among the first things on our list were:

Drinking whisky straight from the bottle.
Killing a deer with a high powered rifle

The list went on and on, but the very top was drinking that damn booze. That was the top of the list, and I bet it wasn't a week later that we stole our first bottle of Calverts from his dad's supply. (His dad never noticed, as like mine, he kept a case of it on hand under his bed at their farm)

We both continued drinking up till we went our own ways when we were eighteen. I went in the Army, he to work on construction, both of us were married by that time.

I continued to drink until about two months after my second child came into this world. I will remember the day I quit as long as I live.

I was still in the Army, stationed at Fort Bliss Texas. I had worked all day, then got stuck with arms room guard that night. I got maybe two hours of sleep all night, when the other fellow pulled one of his shifts. As I was getting ready to go home to bed, the First Sergeant, who had just come in to work called to me as I walked past the Orderly room. I turned and walked into the room.

"Just got a call from the Red Cross, your dad is in bad shape, they want you home today. Here's your emergency leave orders, now get going."

I rushed home, and packed a quick suite case, then we jumped in my brand spanking new '73 Pinto, and headed north. It was a twenty four hour drive from El Paso to Hettinger, where my dad lay in hospital, but I made it in under twenty, pushing that little Pinto as hard as I could.

When I got to the hospital, mom waited in the waiting room. She was surprised to see me, as Dad had made the request without even asking her about it. She told me that Dad wasn't in that bad of shape, he just hurt his back that was all.

Minutes later, dad came out to the waiting room, and sat down with us. He was so happy to hold my new daughter, who he had yet to meet. He held her close for a few minutes, then became very tired and made his way back to his hospital bed.

Mom was exhausted, and went home. My sister and I took shifts sitting with dad, as he quickly deteriorated from alert to a restless sleep. Once he awoke and called me Raymond. Raymond was one of his brothers who passed away several years before. I asked the nurse, she said it was the DT's.

Before the night was over Dad was dead from the DT's. I often wondered if I had brought him a pint maybe he would have lived but the Doctor's would not allow alcohol in the hospital back then, they tried to control the DT's with drugs, but it didn't work. I am sure they knew it wouldn't.

After that day, I take only one drink a year, that on Christmas Eve. It is an eggnog with a bit of rum for flavor.

I can understand that wish to flee though, I have had it many times. My dream was to buy a Harley and head out on the open road.

Hope your feeling better, running away has never cured anything, just makes them worse.

Jerry 12-20-2001 10:04

Teekay, thanks, like I said, I was a bit on the tired side, must have been the spell checker. By the time I got around to spell checking it I was blurrryy eyed, and probably hit the correct without reading what it was going to correct it with.

Jerry 12-20-2001 9:39


Hi there, writing friends! :-) May your pens never run dry; may your pc's never crash.

CAROL: re: not writing during holidays -- With a family, what else CAN one do? I'm only writing mental snippets myself these busy days... but I have my own countdown to the day AFTER Christmas when I give myself a much-needed present: arise before the family and write for a couple hours uninterrupted. :-] May I set a new habit for myself, if only once a week!

RANDALL: When I was a much younger writer, I used to keep a list of my own typos - some were even recurring! I thought surely they must be the proper spellings in some other dimension, you know, a whole other language that just LOOKS like typos in our reality. And some of the best words are made-up words, I believe, like "Absoflogginlutely!" (from Smee in the movie HOOK). :-]

TEEKAY: Ever read the Family Circus comic strips? One of the little kids is called for supper--and he goes straight at it, via the backyard sandbox, the swingset, the hole in the neighbor's fence, petting the kitty across the street, barking at the dog back on the other side of the street, and into the house finally, managing to wander and play, of course, in every room, on the way to the supper table in the diningroom. :-) Methinks my inner child thus dragging words will never reach Reality, heh heh!

JERRY: Your muse is female? Interesting! I thought maybe all guys' muses were male. :-)

HEATHER: Hee hee hee ha ha ho heh heh! Girl, you need some chocolate in your stocking! Tell your hubby I said so. :-)

HOWARD: Man oh man oh man, I have to wait still one more day (plus today) before I can see LOTR. My hubby and I plan to spend the weekend at the theater so we can see it several times...lessee, sleeping bags--check! Popcorn money--check! LOTR action figures to fill the time between screenings----oh no! I've got to go shopping first!! 8-{

MARK: Breathe deeply and slowly. Don't let the whirlpool of despair suck you into it! Believe me, I've been on the brink of it too often myself. Life is precious. Life is short. Each of us has a unique gift to share with the world. That gift is our soul that shines when we smile, when we laugh, when we sing. The universal beauty of those things buoys our spirits when they want to sag. Dream of Streetsville and that forest ranger job. Then grab pen and paper or a pc and write about a man who went to Streetsville to find his smile, his laugh, and his song. And then bring them home to your family. Peace be with you, Mark.

Peace to you all, today and always! :-] Now go write something special for your muses! To write, TODAY, keeps insanity at bay. I has spokened. ;-]

Mel 12-20-2001 9:37


JERRY: Terrific! I was thinking you should have ended it that way.
BTW: It's celibate, not much to celebrate there :-)

Teekay 12-20-2001 1:47

Ok, now I finished my first draft, but I told you I was going to write something, so here it is. I know it needs a bit of work, but I can't see straight anymore tonight, so here take a look, see what you think.

Suicide is Painless (Theme Song from M*A*S*H)
BY Jerry A.G. Ericsson

On the high plains of the Dakota’s in the small towns that support the farmers, those little villages where the biggest thing in town is the grain elevator, where there is one movie house in every fourth town, where there are more bars then stores, the prime recreation of the good folks who serve those farmers consist of two things. Drinking in the bars, and the sex they have when they get home, or to someone’s home, or in the back seat of their fifteen year old cars.

When the good folks are no longer to do one or the other, pressure builds, it causes the domestic disputes that officers hate, and it causes one thing they hate even worse, suicide.

I know this, because I am one of those officers. On the late nights, when the town is asleep, when it is time for the two officers covering that shift to change from enforcement to security, the conversation in that squad car often turns to suicide calls. There is a great debate, is it better to arrive before the person has taken his or her life; or after.

Sure it is a great feeling to have talked the depressed person out of taking their own life, but many a cop has been shot and many have died when they simply got to close to that person, and the person turned that gun on the officer, then themselves.

Arriving after the act is simply a matter of clean-up, and if the person, like most is good enough to leave a note explaining their reasons, then the case is simply closed, another tragic end to the life of a good church going member of the community.

It was one such call that my Jim Henderson, a good friend of mine on the force responded to. Jim was having trouble at home, a recent injury had placed him on the celebrate list, the meds he was taking to recuperate from the injury caused him to stop drinking his usual six pack when he got home after his shift. He was a two cause danger to himself, and he just didn’t realize it. Neither did I. Neither did Burton Jennings, but Burton would soon know. I would soon know, the whole town would be in shock at what was about to happen.

Jim was on patrol, it was past the “witching” hour when all the bars must close, and the drunks rule the road for a matter of four or five minutes, as they try to either speed home, or sneak through the alleys to their homes. Jim was unlucky that night, and never snagged his DUI arrest. Jim was like that though, for him it wasn’t a contest as it was with many of his brother officers, no Jim felt that the bar owners needed to make a living too, and if the drunk wasn’t dangerous in his driving, and it appeared he would make the drive home in a safe manner, then he never bothered them. The town liked Jim very much because of his level headed ideals.

The call came in on his police phone, the old portable type those heavy ones with a push to talk switch on the side, it operated much like a two way radio and because of that much of the meaning of calls were lost in the airwaves. It was a one-way system, where only one person could speak at once, so he couldn’t listen to the background as he replied. At any rate, this was not part of the problem that began to evolve that night, no, the meaning of the call was very plain, a three year old child could understand that, if that three year old child happens to be a cop.

The phone beeped on his belt, he tossed his cigarette out the window, put his coffee cup in the portable cup holder that hugged his drivers side window, and unhooked the phone from his duty belt. He pulled the car to the curb (safety first was Jim’s motto) and pressed the pound key to activate the phone.

“Police Department.” He said into the speaker/microphone that formed the face of the device.

“Ah, this is Bur – Burton - Burt Jennings, I need to talk to you. Can you stop by my place?”

Now Jim knew Burt, in fact at one time, Burt and Jim were friends, of a sort. They swapped stories many a day over coffee at the Ed and Lois Café.

“Sure Burt, what’s the problem?”

“I’ll tell you when you get here; I don’t want those gals at the café talking about what they heard on the police scanner in the morning.”

“Ok Burt, I’ll be right there, I am just a block away from your place right now.”

The phone responded with a dial tone, as Burt hung up. Jim pushed the star button to hang up, and pulled away from the curb on his merry way to Burt’s house. He sort of looked forward to seeing Burt, it would break the monotony of driving the alleys shinning his spot light on to the back doors of the businesses, checking for vandals in the grave yard, and rattling the doors of the businesses latter on.

He pulled the squad up to the curb in front of Burt’s house, and got out of the car. He stopped and put both hands in the small of his back and pushed forward with his hands, backward with his upper body to relieve the ache from sitting behind that blessed wheel for so long. It reminded him that his back still hurt, it reminded him that those pills he took to relieve the pain were making him impotent; he felt he was somehow less a man, his wife looked at him with hurt in her eyes, yet neither spoke about it.

He walked up the walk, noticing the flowers that grew on either side of the walk; Burt’s x-wife was a super gardener. He was sure this would have something to do with Burt’s divorce; they had talked about this before, when Burt called on his home phone, just for someone to talk to.

When he got to the front door, he rang the bell, as he did on so many houses for so many reasons over the years.

There was no answer. He rang it again. He heard a muffled voice call “I’m back here come around back!”

He walked around the house, and found Burt sitting on the back porch. He was sort of hunched over, and there was something in his hand, Jim couldn’t make it out at first, and when he did, his heart skipped a couple of beats. In Burt’s hand was a shinny chrome plated .357 Magnum pistol. As Jim walked a bit closer, Burt told him to stop.

“That’s close enough Jim!” he said.

Jim continued to walk; Burt placed the barrel of the revolver against his temple, and pulled back the hammer. Jim stopped.

“Pull up a lawn chair.” Burt said, motioning to a lawn chair that sat beneath the apple tree in his back yard. Jim complied, and pulled the chair just a bit closer, but stopped as he saw Burt grit his teeth.

“Burt, what’s going on here?”

“I gotta stop the pain Jim, just gotta. I called you over so I could say goodbye, that’s all.”

“Burt, no, you can’t hell man you got all kinds of things to live for.”

“No. No, there isn’t one God Damn thing I have to live for anymore.”

”What about your kids Burt, for God’s sake don’t you want to see them grow up, get married, what about grand kids Burt you gotta stick around to meet your grandkids.”

“Their not mine Jim, found out today. Mary was having an affair even back then with Albert Anderson. I found out when Jenny, my youngest went in to have surgery on her club foot. They needed blood, you know just in case. So I went in to give a pint. Jenny has type A blood, Mary and I are both type O, there’s just no way she could be mine, so I asked Mary about it and she said both kids were Albert’s not mine.”

“Wow Burt, that’s gotta hurt, but God man there is more in life then kids, shit man you got a long life in front of you, with Mary gone the field is open man you have a chance with lots of women, hell your still a good looking man.”

“Nope, I can’t get it up anymore when that quack that calls himself a Doctor worked on my back he slipped. Cut the nerves that control that, you know that make me a man.”

Jim got to thinking; he was going through almost the same thing himself. No, it was different for him, his wife was still with him, but there was no sex, in fact after fifteen years, there wasn’t much love either.

Daunted as he was, Jim kept up his attempt to save his old friend.
“Burt, there is more to life then sex, hell look at old Pistol, he ain’t had a boner now for nearly twenty years but he married Sherry from the café, and they seem happy.”

“Nope, Sherry left him last week, where you been, sleeping or what?”

“Oh, I didn’t know that. That’s too bad they made a nice couple.”

“She ran off with that Indian buck from up at the Fort.”

“Noah Has Horns, no shit, she ran off with old Noah?”

“Guess so, that’s the word around the café, apparently he has big horns.”

“But suicide, my god Burt, think of what the town will say!”

“What do I care what the town will say, hell their mouths are flapping all the damn time anyhow after a week they will have someone else to talk about anyhow.”

“You know Burt, your starting to make sense.”

“You think so?”

Jim reached down and unsnapped the snap that secured his .45 in its holster; he pulled the massive automatic from its sheath.

“Move over.” He said, as he sat beside his buddy and put the barrel against his temple.

“On the count of three. One. Two.

Jerry 12-20-2001 1:21


MARK: Actually, that was a really big porky pie, I really found my escape in books, but only when running stopped being an option, and that eventually led to writing.

I think the reasons for finding solace in writing is you can truly escape the day to day world, and also, you can create the world as you wish it to be.
Not to mention the feeling of calm and peace the writing process brings.

The thing is to make time for writing. I don't know about you, but the best days I ever have is usually one in which I've spent time writing.

One of the hardest things to do is to actually get it together to write. To put other things out of the way and just get down to it.

Teekay 12-20-2001 1:20


MARK: WOW, that was great. Sums up a lot of things that we all probably feel at one time or another.
I had that running away thing too. self destructive for a long time. Thinking things would be different some other place. I guess I hurt a lot of people, and I found no other place was better than the one before, because no matter where you go - there you are.

Even being a ranger probably wouldn't have made you happy, because the demon you're running from is in you. I found my escape in writing, it makes all the other stuff more bearable - it hurts no one, it helps me and who knows, something may even come of it.

Hang in there.

Teekay 12-20-2001 0:57

I want to run away. I've felt like leaving for months now. These days it's worse. The holidays are a time of particular stress in this house and it does not help to live where everything must be perfect.

I remember wanting to run away once. I wanted to get to someplace where there were no liquor stores. I was at a point where my alcoholism was undeniable, even to me, who could "quit whenever I wanted." I saw an ad in the Buffalo Evening News for a forest ranger in Streetsville, Ontario. That, I thought, would be perfect. A forest ranger, far from city lights, city traffic, city conveniences, city liquor stores. I didn't know where Streetsville was, so for a good several days I stumbled through my jobs in Buffalo with a fairy tale image of me in a ranger uniform, deep in Canadian woods, happily sober because all liquor was too far away for me to get. THAT was what it was going to take. I went into the Buffalo Public Library, looked at an atlas, found Streetsville, and saw that it bordered Toronto.

Crap. That place is right next to Canada's biggest city. No matter what direction you go in from Streetsville, you find population. Shoot! I could probably walk from the deepest point in the woods there and step into the parking lot of a little store that sold whiskey. Boom. There goes another dream.

That all taught me something. After a few years of clear-headed reflection, I could tell from that (and similar episodes) that I had a habit of running when things got bad. I have since heard all the babble about "No matter where you go, there you are." Yes. Yes. Yes. I still want to get the hell out of here. It's now a matter of whether I'm running from myself and the problems my own decisions have brought on, or running from a situation that is beyond my control.

The peculiar thing about Streetsville is that even in some of the worst of my alcoholic deleria, I was running TO something, not just FROM something. Today it's all about running from. And dreaming of Streetsville.

Mark 12-20-2001 0:46

I just got home from seeing LOTR.
It's going to be a long year.
A very long year.

Thanks for the kind words about Robert! He is really a sweetheart, and I think I'm beginning to understand him better now. He's very strong-willed, but he's starting to listen to me. I think we're going to be okay!

howard 12-20-2001 0:14

Here is a holiday checklist to get everyone in the spirit

--for Clark W. Griswald!

1) Check fuel, tire pressure, and seat distance from the dash. If your tires are a little flat, you're almost out of gas, and the seat's mashed into the glove compartment, leave it that way. Your mother-in-law won't ask for a ride.

2) Make sure your turkey is plucked. There's nothing quite like a last-minute surprise, or a new down comforter from Jimmy that smells a little 'off'.

3) Toilet paper in short supply? Good. There's nothing like running out of Charmin to let your guests know you want a little 'down time'. Pass the napkins, please.

4) Baked on grease in your oven, around your burners? Chip it off, and dump it into a spare box. You never know when extra guests might turn up, and you've run out of gravy.

5) Las Vegas style Christmas lights? Crank 'em up! Nothing says, "Don't expect an expensive gift from me" like the blinking lights on the strip. Add a few lawn signs such as 'Real Chapel Wedding, $5.00' and you've got yourself a memory to go.

6) Chloroform - just never know when those'll come in handy, especially on Christmas eve and boxing day.

7) Inflation devices - the kind you hook up to the lighter in your car - buy two. One for you, and one for your husband. Any time a guest complains, fill them to capacity. A pin is usually included with the kit.

8) Do not buy saran wrap gift wrap. It might end up on your lawn, tangled in dog shit.

9) This year, no matter how hard you have tried, you know there just is no way to prevent your children from getting out of bed Christmas morning before 6 am. You can, however, prevent them from getting out the door: get some 'Police line - Do Not Cross' tape, and lash it liberally across their bedroom doorways. Hook up that flashing light you bought during the Disco years, and have it doing it's thing in the livingroom. Also, leave at least one gift in their bedrooms, so that while they are artificially detained, they'll also be quiet.
Warning: Do not water your children after 7 pm the night before.

8) Do not forget to water your tree, unless it's artificial. An empty tree holder is the perfect place to store rotten eggnog, so be sure the reservoir is full of water, and there won't be any ugly deposits.

9) Never buy batteries until all the 'batteryless' toys have been played with. Your sanity will last a whole day longer.

10) Flyswatter. (check!) A Christmas essential. It is awfully hard to get up from the couch after dinner to swat your in-laws without one.

11) Save a little of that oil from last time you changed it, or use olive oil to grease the rockingchair. Grandmothers have quotas to fill, so if you can help Granny get there a little faster, you won't have to feed her as often.
:o) HAPPY holidays, everyone!

Heather 12-19-2001 23:56

Frustration is setting in! Only 5 days to go until the big wrapping paper shred.

Here's the problem: My brother in law liked one of my black and white photographs that I have framed and up in my kitchen. I thought, 'Gee, wouldn't that be nice if I could use a similar - or even the same - print, and frame it for him for Christmas, since he liked it so much?'.
I added another frame to my list of things to purchase when at Ikea. I bought the frame, I brought it home, I set it nice and safely on my studio work table. Now I'm sifting through my prints, looking for that indelible print. Oh, I've got one almost like it, but wouldn't you know? It's just a touch too small for the $*&%(#*)$! mat!
So, I'm searching through my negatives. The negatives for the black and white roll of stone angels has mysteriously flown off. ARGHHHHH~!

Tomorrow I will have to take the two prints down to the photo shop to copy them without the negatives... (and re-framing mine in the kitchen will be a task - I pressed a feather just perfectly on top of the mat, and it overlaps just so...) I really hope I can pull it off. I'll have to enlarge them to 4x6, so I might be kicking and screaming at the Kodak machine tomorrow. I'm not terribly handy with photocopiers, let alone a Kodak reprint machine.
Good thing there are real, live people in the store.
Well, on second thought, maybe not!

Feeling the crunch...

...and nothing I can do about it until the morrow.

Oh, and another New Year's resolution: Never whine again. Unless it's... uh, never you mind!

Heather 12-19-2001 23:24

It is unwise to complain about the paper boy not delivering your paper, especially when you live in this neck of the woods, where the unemployment hovers around 1 percent or less. Seems the newspaper just doesn't think that the paper boy NEEDS to deliver every week, in fact since we complained, we haven't seen a stupid paper at all, except when the daughter brings hers over.

The complaint stemmed from finding the paper in the street one day, under the car the next week, and not being able to find it at all the following two weeks.

The paper told us that the boy said he did throw the paper at our house. Maybe in the spring we will be able to find them however I think the news may no longer be new by then.

Hit the 40's today, after an over night low of 7 (F for those of you of the C persuasion) the weatherman is now PROMISING a white Christmas though with a winter storm expected on Christmas Eve.

My muse is beating on my head again, I have no idea what she wants me to write, but write I shall, weather it is readable when I am finished will be determined once it has been electronically entered into the computer.

Jerry 12-19-2001 22:34


Ahh, have had my ACP fix and am back in relaxed and at peace with the world state of mind. (which is bound to last only until I start cooking the roast which I have planned for dinner tonight.)

LITTER: Looking back at your post and after reading the reactions of people, I fear I have read you post with a rather morose mind frame. It sounded to me as if you were,...., well, you know,......ummmm, out of time, so to speak.
I hope you are only a bit short on it.

TINA: Lovely. I really like the idea of homemade presents. I intend to do that every year, and every year, what happens? I run out of time.

MEL: (*Child at peak of play drags words on ground behind her, heading toward Reality.)
That was brilliant. I loved it to bits.

HEATHER: Nope, can't claim that poem as mine. You may hear me snickering and giggling inanely, but it's only coz I'm mad.
Oh, and I don't think Suzie's job is to do the dishes, I think she's s'posed to make you feel guilty so you do them. :-D
Which is why she should never, ever, NEVER have been let out of the laundry cupboard.

OYSTER: Don't dare feel embarassed(sp).(doesn't quite look right.) I'd hate to think I said anything to make you feel faced.

BLUE TEAR: By gob and begorra an' sure we've all heard of Lebanon before. The land where the cedar tree is the emblem.
I do crossword puzzles :-D

Right, I think that's about it for now, Suzie is gently persuading me that it's high time I ventured into the deep dark recesses of the kitchen and got started on roasting the pork.
"CHONK" and there goes Suzie's other hand.
Nagging bitch!

Teekay 12-19-2001 20:49



Welcome Blue Tear! Great name!!! Let her rip pal, wade on in, the waters not deep atall!!!

Say guys, and girls, heard the Sears radio add, the one about a BIG Christmas sale? It's on a local radio station and as near as possible here it is.

Ring, ring!

"Copy room."

"This is Jim Bob in sales. We have a problem with your add related to the sale."


"Well you mention sweaters are on sale. Studies have proven that people do not buy sweaters to sweat in. Change it!"

"There are no other words that work. We cannot invent a new word for sweater. It stands as is!"

(A voice dripping with sarcasm.) "AND YOU CALL YOURSELF A WRITER!!"


(Big Grin!)

Ever have that problem, my friends? Lordy knows I have. I have severe problems with the word "the" Sometimes I have to enter "the" edit program on WP 6.1, begin a search and destroy for "the" and either eliminate it or rewrite "the" whole blanking sentence. Which is a major kester pain! As you know. Only some words will do, (Do dah!! Do da!! Camp town track is five miles long, oh do da day... oops, sorry, lost control for a minute!) and no matter how hard one works...there are words available. Unless you were one time New York baseball manager Casey Stengel, who invented a dialect known as Stengelese!!!


FYI...Working on a Red Britches tale, which should post tomorrow night.

Randall 12-19-2001 19:34

Greetings All :)

I had a nice long post typed in here, and got bumped, losing everything. Pooh! That's the problem I have with living in the boonies. My phone line has a hum in it, my modem doesn't like it and the phone company feels there are too few people out here to fix it.

Anyhow -- I'm taking a break from writing during the holidays. This way if I do write something, I'll feel great instead of beating myself up for not doing it.

Blue Tear - we all have days where we're overtired and life just gets to us. My solution on those days is to make sure I write in my journal. That way at least I'm still writing something plus I can get things off my chest. I've been known to fill pages with nothing but swear words on one or two occasions. Just make sure everyone knows not to touch your journal.

Howard - your relationship with Robert is beyond words. How wonderful for both of you! Keep us posted on his progress. I love hearing about it.

I better quit now before I get bumped again and lose everything. I'll be out of town all day tomorrow visiting my mother-in-law. The dear is going to be 95 next month.

Carol 12-19-2001 18:53


My time is your time.

Take whatever you need, whenever you need it.

Debra 12-19-2001 18:43

LITTER: I certainly hope your post doesn't mean what it sounds like.
Email me if you need to talk or anything okay.

Teekay 12-19-2001 18:35

For those who haven't seen it already, check out
for a neat summary of new and exciting web pages! They've got sections on education, books, science, etc etc.

howard 12-19-2001 16:08


Oh, you guys have to check this link! I was searching for the origin of the "12 Days of Christmas" lyrics, the Biblical meanings, and following that info., I discovered Miss Sara Truelove's replies to the sender of the twelve days of gifts. HA!!! What a screech! If you need a good chuckle, go to the link and scroll down to Miss Sara's letters... :-]

Mel 12 Days of Christmas gift reply letters 12-19-2001 14:07


Hi Mel! I did not write the Ho Ho Ho poem... I wonder who did? Here we go with another mystery! Teek, I can hear you giggling!

Blue Tear - I've been writing stories or poetry since age 9, binding my first book myself in grade 3, illustrating it as well. It was a class project, but I was the only one who wrote such a long story (it had several chapters!) so the school secretary typed it up for me. My teacher told me that she just knew I'd be a writer/illustrator someday. I still wonder at her premonition. (((Thank you, Ms. McIntyre, wherever you are!))))

Feeling the holiday crunch - was up way too late last night dusting and cleaning floors. *slap upside the head* What was I thinking! That's what I've got Suzy chained to sink for. (tee hee)

Heather 12-19-2001 13:10

Litter - I have nothing but time on my hands, please feel free to take an hour here, and an hour there. Take all you want, but use what you take.

Heather - alas, continued calls and emails to my cable company have all had the same results: "we are sorry but we only offer cable internet services to communities large enough to make it profitable, and your community is simply too small to justify the cost of setting up such service.

Oh well, I can get by with what I have, just have to be patient, and as I said to Litter - I have nothing but time.

Blue Tear - thank you for the kind words about my recent story. Someone famous, I forget who once said "writers write" this is a simple but very accurate definition of a writer. We need not be published, in fact we need not even be read, so long as we write, we are writers.

I am familiar with Lebanon, in fact when I was but twelve years old, we moved to a house over on Third Avenue East that belonged to a man who was from Lebanon. He was a very pleasant man, and I liked him a lot. That was in 1963, and I understand he has since returned to his homeland, I know he missed it greatly and am happy that he made it home. I am sure he has passed on by now, as he was quite old in '63. We all became very familiar with your country during that period of unrest ten years ago, the television showed us pictures of the streets of Beirut nightly.

Your writing is very good, you should be proud to have mastered English. I feel you have me at a disadvantage as I only speak, and write in one language.

My excuse for never learning another language? Simply put, I can travel for a thousand miles in any direction from my home and never find the need to speak any other language. Oh sure, I took French in high school, but I can only remember a few words, High School was so very long ago.

I have been writing since 1993 when I returned to college following a disabling back injury. I was required to take English Composition, and found that I had the nack for putting words on a page. In fact my professor caught me in the student union one day, she sat at my table and told me that she saw a future for me as a writer. I was excited about that, and have been practicing ever since.

Carol and all who commented on my lust or love, many thanks.

On a totally different topic. I see in the news that a Federal Judge has set aside the death penalty verdict on a cop killer in Penn.

I am a bit familiar with the case, and have read the trial transcript from start to finish. I can't agree with the Judge, it appeared that the only thing that was at all amiss in the trial was the defendant's attitude of disrespect for the entire judicial system. He continually interrupted the attorneys, and the judge. He was found in contempt of court several times.

The facts of the case were open and shut, beyond a reasonable doubt, he killed a cop. He was found at the scene, a bullet in his leg, a gun with five empty shell casings in the cylinder, and the body of the cop, with five bullets in him.

The bullets in the cop matched the gun, but the bullet in his leg could not be matched to the police officers gun, simply because it impacted on the leg bone and was so distorted to be unidentifiable.

Ed Asner and much of Hollywood have adopted Mr. Jamal, (a former black panther) as their poster child for anti-death penalty.

It simply makes me sick to see this case dragged through the courts again and again. The murder of the police officer took place over twenty years ago, yet Jamal still lives, and now has been moved off death row and put in the general prison population. He has been a guest on radio programs, and has written many articles attacking the death penalty, and the courts.

He is nothing but a cold blooded murder, yet he is urged on by those who think their beliefs are more important then the Constitution, more important then our freedom.

Enough rant for today.

Write ON!

Jerry 12-19-2001 11:38

Hey all. How r you? I’ve been trying to write but there is no result. I am so tired: I didn’t sleep well last night, and had been half-asleep in all classes today at school especially in the Geography class . Anyway, I am from “ Lebanon “ maybe you’ve never heard about it. Beirut (it’s capital) might sound more familiar to you.
Thanks all for answering, I was really pleased with what you wrote. How long have you guys been writing?

Blue Tear 12-19-2001 10:51


Yo, and a ho ho ho from me too! :-) Now where'd I put that "hee hee hee?" OH! There it is! :-D

Silly stuff. It's Wednesday, which should be spelled Wenzday, if we spelled like we talk! Silly language.

BLUE TEAR: How do we define "good enough for being a writer?" Writers come in all varieties of styles, all levels of talent and abilities. We've been given so much variety in "color and flavor" so that all readers can find, somewhere, a writer's work they like. I studied French for a few years in school; I too enjoyed writing poems in a language foreign to me but also felt my limitations with the language as I had so narrowly learned it. The more you practice a thing, the better you will become. With practice, we learn to write more creatively, more precisely, more meaningfully. I've been writing since I was ten years old or so, some thirty-six years ago, and I'm still learning the writing craft and art. Good luck with learning more English! With all our slang and words with multiple meanings, English must be difficult to learn.

HEATHER: I think it IS normal to miss our characters when we're away from them for any period of time. Mine feel like a soap opera; I haven't tuned into them daily, and I feel that their lives keep unfolding anyway. I hope I can "catch up" and write the important events down next time I'm "in town," heh heh! BTW, I think homemade gifts are the best - you GO, girl! :-) (Enjoyed your ho-ho-ho poem, heh heh heh!)

ED: I'm getting drooly for Dooley! :-P Yea!! Can't wait for a new installment of Jack D. I know it will be good, not to pressure you, no, no; just a compliment! :-) Well, maybe a little pressure, heh heh!

VIV & OYSTER: I learned yesterday that at a Finnish wedding reception, the bride and groom cut the cake together and stomp their feet as they cut. The first to stomp becomes "the boss" in the marriage. It's interesting to learn/compare traditions of different countries! :-)

VIV: I too am going to make a valiant effort in 2002 to get published or start that rejection-letter spike. :-)

Hi, JACK! The same good wishes to you, fella, especially the musey parts!!! :-D

LITTER: What is time?
Time is a child
playing on the floor
and wanting nothing more...

I share with you the first stanza of a poem I wrote in high school that won a school literary prize. And now, a few words from my dear dad, who wrote in the same year:

Time flits by
in teeny little patches
as if it were lit
by a pack of burning matches. (--Robert H. Case, 1972?)

My message, Litter: Life is SHORT> Take the time you need NOW to play on the floor. I give it thee in virtual mental waves - go for it. :-)

TINA: Your wreaths and candle lantern gifts sound lovely! (Um, the b'day is April one-st, if you have leftovers, heh heh! :-) Just kidding) The RING, THE RING, my precioussssss...must see the RING SSSSOOOON!!! :-] Oh--ohh--Aragorn-withdrawal... 8-]

CAROL: I liked what you said to Blue Tear about telling people we're writers and them asking what we've published and we say "WHO CARES!" :-D Good attitude, methinks. The WRITING is the most important part of being a writer. :-)

HOWARD: May God continue to bless your relationship with Robert! :-) Enjoy LOTR. The RING...

Am going, my preciousssss writing friends! It'a a "Lord of the Rings" kind-of day. I feel adventure simmering around a near corner, maybe near boiling! Watch out, Muses, something electrifying this way comes! Could it be...a great movie? (YES! The masses shout!) Could it festivities? (YES! YES! The crowd is going wild!!) Could it be...a new year filled with strange and wonderful story ideas for all writers everywhere? (YES! YES!! YES!!! The muses are tearing paper and throwing it high into the air!!! Oh writers beware - guard your story notes! Rein your muses into some semblance of a readable paragraph, before they jump into a sequel series of ideas!!!)

Oh, okay, I'm going now. (*Child at peak of play drags words on ground behind her, heading toward Reality.)

Mel 12-19-2001 9:09

Ho, ho, ho here we go
shopping in the mall.
Overpirced merchandize
and Sale! signs 10 feet tall.

Merry, Merry quite contrary
to the Yuletide plight.
Tried to find some Christmas Cheer
but they're all sold out tonight.

Turkey's frozen, cranberries canned
so's the music here ...
Is that Montovani?
Or simply my tin ear?

Dashing through the stores
avoiding crushing throngs,
Is she really that small size?
No, my estimates were wrong!

A year or two ago,
thought I'd found some joy,
then I realized they're just
bigger, better toys!

Now I'm safely home,
so tired I could swoon,
that shopping made me dizzy,
Next year I'll start in June!

anon and on 12-19-2001 0:19

Hi, Carol! Hi Howard!
Seems we're all posting at the same time.

Carol, I think I know that sense you're talking about. We all have it, some just don't listen to it well enough. Once you know about it, and listen to it, keep on following it. It will keep you out of a lot of difficulties!

Howard, you are just the sweetest, kindest, wonderfullest man. I know wonderfullest isn't a word, but I'm making it official. In the new dictionary, under 'wonderfullest', you will now find a picture of Howard.
Helping a child to laugh... oh, sigh, and sigh some more. I'm fighting off tears just thinking about how many children go through a whole week, a whole month, even a whole year without the gift of laughter.

I thought I was going, but now I'm really gone.

Heather 12-18-2001 23:25

Hi, Tina! You posted whilst I was composing my last one.
Yes, cable is grand!
I make the same type of wreaths! I made my quota last year, and usually every year I paint a few watercolours and frame them as gifts. My parents have a whole collection going, and my younger brother's started collecting them too! *blush*
This year I'm pencil sketching something for my grandfather (and framing it), plus I have one watercolour to paint and frame. I'm also framing a black and white print for one brother in law, who saw my photographs when he was visiting, and told me how much he liked one especially. I just happen to have a few prints of that shot on file, too.
Crap! That reminds me. I have to frame our family portrait for my mother in law. One more thing to complete!

On my way...

Heather 12-18-2001 23:19

I'm here, just busier than a one-legged man in an arse-kicking contest! Or a one-armed paper-hanger with the hives.

My wife has no interest in going to see LOTR, so I'll be taking my grand-daughter. Maybe both grand-daughters. My the younger (Jackie, 9) just asked me if she could read The Hobbit. I gave her an old copy and she started right in. Likes it, too!

Robert actually wrote a story this afternoon with me in it, for his arithmetic homework! He was to put a number problem (8+6=14) into words, so he wrote about me. It seems I have 8 cats, and someone gives me another 6 cats, so now I'm stuck with 14 cats! He wrote it right there, every word spelled correctly, and started laughing so hard I thought he was going to fall off the chair. His aunt (she babysits in the afternoons) said she hadn't heard him laugh like that in a long time. And she thanked me for helping him to laugh again. What kind of a life is it where a kid has to be helped to laugh?! All these kids need is a dad to care about them. Tall order, huh? Guess I'd better stock up on the fishing tackle! :-) Good thing I know a few good spots!

howard 12-18-2001 23:16

Greetings All :)

Yippee!! I got my Mac working again. I've been kicking myself though. Dumb me didn't unplug and replug first.

Litter - I got five spare minutes -- they're all yours. :)

Oyster - ohh, you be having fun now. Here's another book I found enjoyable - "Me 'n God in the Coffee Shop" by Rene' Donovan. If you can't find it easily and wish to, let me know and I'll give you the ISBN number.

I remember a day traveling in the truck. I often sit on my legs, or legs to the side when riding. On this day, I was sitting with them to the side, resting them against the door. I kept looking at that door. Something was making me uneasy. I placed my feet on the floor where they belonged. Many miles later we stopped at a rest stop. When I got back into the truck, my door wouldn't close. The latch was stuck in place. How easily it could have popped open on me. Strange powers? Dunno, but I'll listen to it when it happens.

All the presents have been purchased. The mailing of presents has been done. The tree is up and lights are on. I'll wait for daylight to put on the bulbs. Except for the wrapping and lack of snow -- I'm ready for Christmas. Now perhaps I can get back to my latest story.

Blue Tear - Welcome. The biggest step any of us have taken has been to say, "I am a writer." You tell people that and they want to know what you have published. Who cares! It's putting the words and ideas done on paper that get you started in being a writer. Then you rewrite, you learn and you rewrite some more. Judging by the level of emotion in your sample, you've got a good start.

I can't remember what other posts I read before Jack archived. So -- hello everyone I missed!

Oh -- Jerry - I loved "Love and Lust" (or was it "Love or Lust"?).

Take care all and happy writing

Carol 12-18-2001 23:15

Thanks for archiving, Jack. Take it easy over the holidays!

Just wanted to post my email one more time, since soon after Christmas I will be continuing to pare down the stories from LT*, and will be sending them back and forth with all who have stories that are going to be included. I have selected most of the stories already, with a few that are undecided.
Thanks everyone, for contributing to the Phatasium/Legendary Thirteen collection, and thanks in advance for future efforts to work with me on polishing them up. Never know what publishers will be hungry for a few ghouls and ghosts. I plan to submit the collection to Canadian publishering houses first. Any objections?

Happy preparations, friends! :oD Cheers!

Heather 12-18-2001 23:12

Hi all!

Blue Tear, hello and welcome! I think your English is great for a third language. Do be too rough on yourself. Just keep writing, and do it for your own pleasure and satisfaction. If you speak Arabic and French, where do you live?

Laura, long time no see! Hope all is well.

Heather, ain't cable grand? Almost never bumped off the net, everything loads so quick, you can take as long as you want to browse through whatever you like. (happy sigh) Enjoy!

Rosemary, if you've sent your story to me, it never arrived.

For Teekay and Oyster... This year my hubby and I are making candle lanterns for some people. He welds and paints the metal frames, puts a mirror in the background, and I paint celtic designs on a glass that hangs in front of the candle. I'm also making a few wreaths (grapevine and dried grasses/statice/eucalyptus/etc). I also collected seeds from my flower garden this year and have packaged those for some gardener-type friends. AND I made some ceramic gifts, while I was visiting my mom. (She owns a ceramic workshop). It's no wonder I have no time to write! :0D

Litter, if I knew where to find 'spare' time, I'd carry it around like the spare tire on my truck. It seems wonderous to me that I was ever 'bored' as a kid. I'd give anything to be bored again!

Speaking of crafts... I have wreaths to make!


Tina 12-18-2001 23:06

Jerry, what about cable internet access, instead of wireless? You have cable in your home? Maybe you mentioned this before - and it's just not offered in your area.
:o( Hey, I was happy most of the time with my 56K, but my husband wanted to play games with his buddy over the internet, and his friend has cable internet, so being different speeds it wouldn't work. Now they can game together in virtual land. yay. I also wanted to get rid of the server we had - driving an hour to pay the bill and turn around and come home... a big pain in the rear. I always kept forgetting when we had to go and pay it (once every six months it always seemed to pop up at the most inconvenient time, such as CHRISTMAS)! Now we pay it monthly on the same bill as cable. :o)

Now that we've got the cable hooked up and running, it is noticeably, definitely, my God look how fast---------!

Oops. I shouldn't be rude and rub things in. Sorry.

Where is everyone? Crapped out from wrapping presents?
Or have your houses been invaded by (love how you put 'outlaws' Oyster!) family from out of town?

Live happily, our everyday dreams granted.

Heather 12-18-2001 23:04


With what’s left of what I laughingly refer to ‘my time’ I seemed doomed nevermore to read these hallowed pages.

Therefore, it is with due humility I ask, nay beg, on bended knees and in the name of all that is Holy, (or otherwise altruistic,) please endow me some time.

Any amount of time, no matter how large or small, would be gratefully received – the cause is good, donate, donate, I beg you…

Litter 12-18-2001 22:11

That's who else was missing - JACK!

Teekay 12-18-2001 21:21

Jerry: Wanted to make sure I archived in fact before posting the word that I had archived. So, you got the first word in. Made several stabs at clearing up the bolded text after finally getting internet connection back without success, so decided since things were already up to 500k I would go ahead and archive. Take care everyone. Happy holidays. Happy Chanukah. Merry Christmas. And, most importantly, a very happy, very successful and musingly writingly and financially prosperous new year. Very very busy now that I have internet again, but will be back soon.

Jack Beslanwitch 12-18-2001 21:16


12-18-2001 20:47

Wow, what a trip! Posted my post, refreshed, and everything was GONE!

Anyhow, let me be the first to put print on our new page.

Heather - yes, I am jealous - here I am stuck at 56K, even tweaked to the max, you can't make it go any faster.

Our ISP says he is planning on get the wireless installed, just awaiting the local blacksmith who is supposed to bring his big post hole digger over to drill the holes for the tower legs. Seems he has the digger a bit over a hundred miles south of here working on some project or another, and getting wireless internet service just isn't a priority for him.

Oh well, some day. Until then, I will be happy with my slow connection speed, after all it is much faster then when all I could get was 28.8, so to me it is fast sort of.

Jerry 12-18-2001 20:43

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