Archived Messages from the Writer's Notebook

May 25, 2002 to July 10, 2002

Pipe down, Ben! Mark's right! I only used all those thees and thous 'cause the queen dug 'em! I'm into goth now, dude! Chill!

Will S. 7-10-2002 0:56


'Tis brash and bold indeed, my upstart friend,
to tweak the bard e'en knowing how his bile
so easy roused will lead to bitter end
incessant carping now you'll hear, and while
he makes his noisome protest o'er your cheek
he'll find excuse to ravage and purloin
the work of others as he's wont to seek
and like as not he'll pinch some work of mine
and name it his, impressing not a few
as done before, the cycle turns again,
and scholars, for diversion, join the brou
haha (now there's a charming turn of pen!)
But have a care my friend, in what you say,
Ne'er treat him lightly, he'll not run away!

ben jonson 7-10-2002 0:29

Sorry, CHERI -- notice how you had to put quotes around "painter" and "paint"? Those quotes indicate that you use the words sarcastically. You set them up for special reading. You wouldn't have the special emphasis on "painter" if you were dealing with a real artist.

Soooo, your argument actually states something like If a phony painter can use pureed turds, why can't I use moldy words?

you can.

p.s. if you really wanted to convince me that Shakespearean words carry weight in a current conversation, you'd point me to some examples. I can think of none. Emily Dickinson might be the most recent, and her stuff is only readable by dedicated students.

TINA made some good points on the nature of artistic expression. Ultimately you have to please yourself. If you want to be published and get royalty checks, then you must please editors and audiences (neither of whom is fond of being called 'thee').

I don't know that we ever established the ground rules here. I'm against using 'tis and thee as normal forms of expression in in a new piece. I believe that if all thy thought is expressed in Elizabethan prose, then thy guilt is established. Thou art an inauthentic poseur.

If, on the other hand, you simply want the occasional Thee or Thou to drop from a character's lip as a form of character revelation, then, by all means, do so.

One of the issues NOT getting talked about here is the audience. For whom do you write? As Walter Ong said, "The writer's audience is never a fiction." Personally, I've never written for a Hooterite. I've wanted to. There's a Hooterite place in the big mall in Syracuse. If I went in there and my wife found out, she'd knock the back of my head into the front of my head. A lot of people come out of there with T-shirts. I don't recall any of those shirts having 'thee' or 'thou' on them. Maybe I'm too
distracted looking at something else.

Mark 7-10-2002 0:25


Ogden Nash is a great favorite of mine as well. David Frost was okay, but George Burns got a bit old.

"Leave no tern unstoned," rated more highly with me than wearisome politcal interviews and unintelligible sound bites from Vaudeville. So I'm a low-life, sue me.

gariess 7-9-2002 23:55

Using feces to paint? Surely, that was an attempt to pre-empt such critical remarks as: "What is this crap?" "This guy's work is shit," or "Do you smell what I smell?" Maybe the painter had heard enough comments of this nature about his work from prior exhibitions. Still, it makes for an interesting entry on the program. Artist: Joseph Cowpatty. Medium: Shit. Oils and water colors can become so commonplace.

gariess 7-9-2002 23:38

ALL: If writing is an art form, since when are we limited to the tools we wish to use? If a “painter” can use feces to “paint”, then why should a writer not be able to use any word he or she sees fit to use?

GARIESS & HOWARD: I have no idea what battalion my grandfather was in. The only reason I think he may have been in combat is a story my mother told me when she was young. She was outside the house and made a whistling sound like a bomb coming down. Well, her father (my grandfather) came outside pretty fast and said “Did you do that?” She said yes and he told her not to do that ever again. It’s a mighty small piece of information and not from a very reliable source (my mother’s memory isn’t very good.).

Anyway, seems I’ll get a chance to talk with him sooner than I thought. My brother is driving down to North Carolina today and will be bringing my grandfather back with him on
Thursday or Friday.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Good night all.

Cheri 7-9-2002 22:31

All this talk about thee and thou, haven't any of you ever been to the Hooterite colony, or Mennonite? There's a whole bunch of them that can thee and thou you all day long and long into the night.

We who write, use the words that we need to express ourselves, if that includes thee and thou, then so be it.

Jerry 7-9-2002 21:01

Ummmm... WILL? One minor correction if I might be so bold?Your seventh line reads:
"the images set in this trembling hand,"

Nice, but it doesn't scan at the same level as the rest of your work. Might I suggest instead:

"the imagery penned by this trembling hand,"

After all, if you're going to expend the effort to come back to instruct us, I'd think you'd wish to do your best...

howard 7-9-2002 20:28

MARK -- Actually, Will was not all that much earlier than "lingo."
From Webster's:
Main Entry: lin·go
Pronunciation: 'li[ng]-(")gO
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural lingoes
Etymology: probably from Lingua Franca, language, tongue, from Provençal, from Latin lingua -- more at TONGUE
Date: 1660
: strange or incomprehensible language or speech: as a : a foreign language b : the special vocabulary of a particular field of interest c : language characteristic of an individual

Note the date - 1660 -- it's even earlier than I thought!

howard 7-9-2002 19:57

MARK -- Thanks! only - if I'm so dadgummed "talented" how come I have so much trouble swimming in the fast lane?

And was that the same dumass who wrote "The Three Musketeers?"


howard 7-9-2002 18:49

Well, hokey smoke. Ol' Will S. comes in and makes my point.

"but if I did what lingo would I use"
"But I ain't comin' back no way no how"

See there? If ya wanna talk to today's people, ya gotta talk today's talk.

nuff sed

Mark 7-9-2002 18:21


The spell-checker is fine. I fiddle with things every time I look at them. Obviously I fiddled between spell-ckecking and posting, probably fixing something that wasn't broken until after I fixed it.

Now, that is what I call constructive criticism. I see, now, that I should have learned about such things before seeking to make an essay. I feel I have built a house of suitable boards and with good tools, but there is a wall missing and where is the kitchen? No real digression, no real perforation. I'll be spending time with a good dictionary. All in good time; after taking the boat out for some bass, Thursday. Maybe after supper on Friday. Better make that Saturday.

Later, Dude

gariess 7-9-2002 15:18

"How do I dig you, let me check it out..."

HOWARD, you are a talented sunuvagun. Kewl, dude. Elisabeth Barrett couldn't possibly produce those words. But picture Elizabeth Taylor vamping Eddie Fisher in "BUtterfield 8." She stands at his left side and says, "How do I dig you?" She puts a finger on his chin, traces it down his throat, keeps it on his neck as she walks around behind him. "Let me check it out."

GARIESS -- well done. I don't know why your spell checker didn't catch unwiseand. Better check your checker. I also don't know why you'd want someone to point out weaknesses in such a well-done tale. If it's true, then perhaps you're still looking for the spanking you knew you deserved after such egregious incivility?

The classic essay starts with a statement of the subject matter. You have done that: "I have undertaken to investigate the influence of war on my own life." That's called exordium.

Next is Narration: that is the part of the essay that describes the path the exploration into the subject matter will take. You do that: "how my life has been shaped in large part by wars I prepared for, wars I recall, wars I experienced from a distance "

Then Digression: That is the part of an essay which digresses (funny how these things get their names). The point of Digression is to demonstrate that things similar to that which is under proof here, have happened elsewhere. Classical essayists always sought support for their arguments in this bandwagoning piece. Jonathon Swift said, "I'm not the only one to eat children, it's quite common in Polynesia." But I digress. You don't do that; you jump straight into your tale.

Next comes Proof. Here we present actual proof that our claim, thought, idea is correct (ordered as we said it would be ordered in Narration). The order here is not according Narration, but this is, after all, only the first incident in a list, a part of a larger enterprise.

Refutation follows Proof. Refutation is that part of the argument which allows other viewpoints, conflicting viewpoints. The aim here is to admit that there may be other ways to think about our project, then summarily show that those other ways have less merit than our own. You do that approximately: "I made my apology to Wayne who accepted it graciously and without any apparent rancor while his brother remained seemingly unimpressed."

Lastly, we should have Peroration, or, that part of the essay which restates our initial position and a summation of points made to prove it. In the Air Force I was given an NCO training on "How to Train." We were told that we'd have to repeat ourselves several times before our point would stick. The military way was, "Tell 'em what you're gonna tell 'em. Tell 'em. Tell 'em what you told 'em." Peroration is that last bit. Tell them what you told them. Again you do this approximately. We started out with issues of "how war affected me" but end with "how I regret what I did to Wayne."

Has your piece of writing any weaknesses? Well, dumass, of course it does.
Can you improve it? Yes. Write more.

Mark 7-9-2002 12:14

Should I return - nay, I'll not say I shall,
but if I did what lingo would I use;
To speak of love or lust, or hearts in thrall,
to ope' dark secrets hidden long by ruse?
What words to speak of nature's beauty grand?
What pictures could I write would faithful show,
the images set in this trembling hand,
revealing thoughts held captive until now?
Ideas and ideals that so inspire,
that stir to zealous action then to move;
To take a chance, to brave refining fire,
to purify a motive, prove a love.
But I ain't comin' back no way no how,
If there ain't no more room for thee or thou!


Will S. 7-9-2002 11:09

Getting back to the KJV, and words, and imagery -- there's an account (probably apocryphal) that tells about the 46th Psalm being translated on Shakespeare's 46th birthday. In the KJV, if you count 46 words in from the beginning of Psalm 46 you find "shake," and 46 words from the end you find "spear." Dunno who has enough free time to find all these novelties, but there it is.

howard 7-9-2002 10:13

MARK -- Cool! I dig it! I agree to a point, but the impression I got was that the critic was saying 'Lose those 'archaic' words entirely' and I'm not sure that's good advice. In fact, I think it's bad advice.
The poem in question was intended to be a classical sonnet, and those words seem to fit better. Picture Elisabeth Barrett Browning writing:
"How do I dig you, let me check it out..." hmmm.
Cynthia sent me one of her sonnets (she's new to them) and she had something to say, but the voice is just beginning to form.
Yes, everything changes/evolves, and I agree that the KJV was translated with an emphasis leaning more to form than function, but as you said, the main ideas are still there. Modern translations are much easier to study and understand, but many of them lack the sheer imagery -- the mystical beauty of those archaic words.
I admit that much of modern poetry turns me off. I don't mind free verse, but try as I might, I just can't seem to "feel" or "see" whatever it is that is turning on the poet. Give me Frost or Burns or Ogden Nash any day! But then I prefer Rockwell over Warhol as well. Must be the 50s-60s didn't get all of me :-)

CHERI -- My wife's uncle was a quiet man, unassuming, very humble. We'd chat at reunions about family, farming, and fishing, and I enjoyed his company, but never got to know all that much about him, until it was too late.

Three men showed up at his funeral, in full dress US Army uniforms, bearing a flag to cover his casket. It was from them I learned that Uncle Lynn had been a member of the division of engineers who had suffered so many casualties in the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. He was in the first or second wave, and was wounded, but continued to fight until they were relieved. He was awarded the Silver Star, I believe, but never said a word about it. Perhaps he wouldn't have wanted to talk about it even if I had asked, but then again, I'll never know.

But it's not just Grandfathers who have stories worth telling and listening to. Ask any old-timer about the worst rain storm, or the coldest winter, or what it was like to go hungry during the depression. Or ask what it was like during the war. Then listen, remember, and write.

There's a series of books called "Foxfire" that was done by a high school English class in Georgia. The teacher, Eliot Wiggenton, was looking for a way to generate interest in reading and writing. He finally got a student to give a report, and the student spoke about how his grandpa built a chimney (or something like that). Another student spoke up and said that was not the way his grandpa did it.
Wiggenton saw the opportunity, and got that student to report on how his grandpa did it, and got the rest of the students interested in reporting on other things that the old-timers used to do. They put the reports together in the first "Foxfire" book, thus recording a way of life that would probably have been lost.
This developed into a full-blown journalism project, eventually branching into publishing, editing, electronic media, etc, and it was copied in several other areas of the country. All because somebody asked his grandpa how he used to do something.

Like MARK said, everything changes, and moves in new directions, but without GARIESS, RANDALL, and JERRY, and your grandpa, and all those old words, how will we know how we got here?

howard 7-9-2002 8:49

Thinking, thinking...

Critics, thee and thine.

You see, here's the thing.
I have my diploma in Graphic and Fine Arts. In my first year (of three) I was told over and over that realism was dead, that real artists didn't do realism, that modernism/abstract art were the only way to be a 'real' artist. Avant Garde was all that mattered, and all others were only pretending. The thing is, my art is realistic.
By the end of first year, I was devastated. I signed up for second year, but didn't know if I'd return. I felt like a sham, a phony, faking my way through. All those instructors, whom I was paying to teach me about art, were telling me so! What was the point of going back to that, when I obviously didn't fit the bill?
So in August I took a five day expedition trip into the mountains with my fiance. And on day three, sitting on top of a mountain looking out in every direction with glacial valleys and lakes peering back, I realised something. The world is the greatest piece of art ever created, and I could do no better service to myself and mankind than to express my vision of the earth in any way I could. Damn the instructors with different visions than mine, they could do as they pleased and so could I. I went back, finished my diploma, and did realistic work until the last day.
Instructors are just critics we pay. They are no more 'right' than anyone else with some relevant education on the given subject. I agree with some, disagree with others, and learn from them all by carefully distilling what they have to say. Sometimes I find one who has valuable things to say; sometimes I find one who is all hot air; usually I have to sift what they say to find the treasures.
'Thee' and 'thine' are like impressionism; old, good, and valuable. If I paint an impressionistic painting, even a really good one, it probably won't sell. I don't give a damn. I will still paint an impressionistic painting if I want to, and will still enjoy the process, learn from it, and hang it on the wall if it's good enough. And I will continue to call myself an artist.

So Cynthia, using that kind of language might not help to get you published. If publishing is a big goal for you, you might have to bend to 'their' preferences. But in no way does it reduce what you do and write. Your creativity deserves to run free and use whatever words you want.

Blue skies!

Tina 7-9-2002 3:22


You are so kind. I was hoping to have someone say if any particular thing was thought provoking or moving in some way. I find that someone saying "it's all good" so to speak leaves me wondering where I will find the will to procrastinate as I usually do from continued effort. I do have ideas for continuation of the work, but I sometimes scare myself that I might disrupt my comfortably indolent life style. If only someone might say they found a particular passage needed fixing, I could happily add another failed effort to my body of work and go take the boat out for some striped bass fishing.

gariess 7-9-2002 0:46


I strongly suggest that if you have a genuine interest in any part of your grandfather's life that you let him know of it. He will decided what he wants to share, and I am sure you will be at no peril for asking. You may be surprised to find that he has much to say. You might consider that if your grandfather's service was in WWII, there is only about one chance in three that he served in a combat unit. I think that statistic is close to correct. As Andy Rooney pointed out, you are more likely to find that your grandfather was in the 26th Shoe Repair Battalion than that he was in the 101st Airborne Division which fought in France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany, and did occupation duty in Austria, or the 1st Infantry division that fought in all of the European theater but Holland. Be that as it may, by all means ask. Just remember that this advice comes from one who believes strongly in the lessons of war and that few things are better learned than of its realities. In my complete essays, I hope to achieve the goal of being able to impart to readers a sense from wars past that I expect will be of the greatest importance in the time to come. If you are young, it is so important to have a basis on which to view how present and future war needs to be approached. There is so much more than mere fervor for victory that is important to consider. I don't really believe one can know all there is to know, but an incredible lot depends on people knowing as much as they can. A determination to prevail is important, but a nation responding only to the influence of those who are hot to wage conflict regardless of consequences is a nation at grave risk.

I have exceed the boundaries of your question, but I do so, I hope, in your best interest.

gariess 7-9-2002 0:27

Hi All :)

Back from a weekend with family. Dad's side of the family managed a quickly put together reunion. A few cousins were in town for class reunions, which is what precipatated the event. I haven't seen many of these people in fifteen years and it was just great to see everyone. Now, to make plans in advance so even more out-of-towners can attend. The event was held at the old "farmstead". While the original house is no longer livable, it's still there, surrouned by the same lilac bushes I remember playing in, though the old apple tree we all climbed was split by lighting long ago.

Gariess -- your essay is a great read. You mention that you want to add to it -- please do! I wish I could pin-point for you what I like, but it all blends in together so well that each memory only strengthens the next. Very well done dear man.

Oops -- hubby dearest is yelling for ice cream bars -- in this heat, I believe I'll join him. I'll add to this post tomorrow. :)

Carol 7-8-2002 23:51

Let me preface all this by saying Welcome CYNTHIA. But then say I agree with that unnamed critic.

One of our honored texts says, "There is nothing new under the sun." Of course, what we find is that there are no new ideas, but every day someone finds a new way of expressing those old ideas. Those old truths.

Alexander Pope said, "If I see farther than others, it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants." But then Newton said that also, and so did someone else after that. All of them thought of as original thinkers, but really they were original expressers.

Even the bible changes words. When King James chartered the committee for the translation of the bible, he charged them first with making a book of beautiful expression in English and second with translating the bible. Go into a bible store today and pick up a new bible. Compare it with the old eight-inch-thick volume that sits on your grandmother's bookshelf. The words are different. Same ideas, new expression.

I would side with the critic who says "thee" makes a work flop. Grandmother said "'tis" but even she wasn't old enough to use "thee" in common speech. The old high school English teachers who told us that poetry was some kind of elevated speech really had it all wrong. The truly remarkable thing about poetry in any age is the way it manages to compress elevated ideas into such small spaces and in such normal language.


Robert Creeley came to Binghamton for a semester in '85 or '86. I sat in a poetry seminar with him and about eight grad students. At the end of it all he handed me a packet of my stuff with his notes all over it and told me, "Well, you certainly have a voice. Now you need something to say." I've been through a few changes on how to understand that, but it seems apropos in this conversation. If you use "Thee" and "Tis" in your writing, then it seems an indication that you do not really have your own voice. HOWARD wrote "So come on in -- we welcome thee!" Stick around and read some more of his stuff and you'll find that that's not his real voice. That's his real attitude, he really means welcome! And that's his real craft in those rhymed iambs. But HOWARD's real voice is in the lingo of the '50s and '60s. Do ya dig?

Back to Creeley. This is from an interview with him and on the topic of Americans and rules of writing.
"I remember British friends were saying, 'God! You Americans are endlessly talking theory and prosody and all this bullshit! Don't you have anything? Don't you have any tradition? I mean, don't you have any way of writing that at least locates you in the same way that you might, you know, locate ways of dressing or furniture for your house or something? But do you have to be so endlessly paranoid about what you're doing? I mean, who cares? If you like the poem isn't that the point? And there's theories and projects and I mean...'
'Well,' I said, 'It's probably we're defensive and we've got to have some means whereby to explain ourselves to some possible other who hasn't as yet come along but one day may show up.'
There weren't a great number of people asking about how do you write a poem but something like Williams's I Wanted to Write a Poem is poignant in that way... "

"I Wanted To Write A Poem" is William Carlos Williams' autobiographical look at his works.

Anyway, back to me and thee. Only use it if you purposefully intend it to sore thumb.

Mark 7-8-2002 23:20

I really am going to bed now.

Good night!

Cheri 7-8-2002 23:15

Hearing your stories reminds me about my grandfather.
He served in the armed forces and I really don't know that much about it. I guess I'm a little afraid to ask him, because I don't know if he would want to talk about it.
We are taking vacation in August and visiting my grandparents in North Carolina on the way to Disney World. Do you think I should try to broach the subject with him?

Cheri 7-8-2002 23:10

Well I'm glad that I've been welcomed back, I was getting worried that I wouldn't have been able to get on tonight, I have a vanguard practice tomorrow and then ... our last trip of the season, down to the cherry festival. ((SIGH)) I wish it wasn't coming down to the last of our parades, but we must move on, no matter how loathe we are to leave our present condition. (Wow, that sounded so serious that I wasn't sure that it was me that was talking!) I wonder if it was my muse....
How are all my NB colleagues, and are there any interesting stories spawned on paper yet? I have been able to read some of the posts that were made lately, and I twiddle to get some pen and paper to write, write, write, and write. I'm going to be getting the chance during my last trip if we have any alone time (apart from traveling). I sincerely doubt it though. My writing has been slightly successful and I'm heading into the tweaking stage in some of my projects, though I have been writing more poetry of late. I hope all of your projects have been doing exceedingly well. Well, I hate to say goodbye, but I have to go and take care of something, so until we talk again,
Till Niagara Falls (It's still there!)

Elaine 7-8-2002 23:10

TINA: The business I have is vending machines. It's small, just four machines. My sister and I took out loans to buy the initial three in 1999 and another loan in 2001 for the fourth. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of our spare time and now we wish we hadn’t started.

Know anyone who wants a vending route?

MEL: Good to know all is well. Hope you’re feeling 100% again soon!

I’ll be lurking!!

Good night all.

Cheri 7-8-2002 22:59


I just now reached the post wherein you commented on my material. Your thoughts alwys mean a lot to me. Thank you.

Gariess 7-8-2002 22:27


That's a story with a good deal of charm in it. It reads like looking into a captivating picture. A scene one doesn't want to walk away from.

gariess 7-8-2002 22:22


Funny you should ask, good buddy. Some fleshing out of the material I just posted could include the sessions of oleo mixing at the kitchen table. There weren't all that many, because, as you mention, the stuff was so utterly nasty tasting. People should never get the idea that the stuff was anything like the oleo of today. To this day, I can remember how bad it was and still wonder that anyone could have wanted to eat the stuff. I hope that was not the best thing that Napolean gave up to posterity.

You sound like you might have worn Knickers as a kid. For those of you who have no idea, knickers were short (material saving) pants that had a snug band below the knees. What puzzles me was how much material they could have saved, because we had to wear the long stockings with them, and men still wore long, more baggy, and high wasted pants in those days. Another example of how people felt better knowing that their children were sacrificing. Sacrifice by proxy must have been a subtle notion of the wartime mentality. One can always take comfort in knowing that the other guy, even if he is your kid, is taking up some slack.

An anecdote on oleo was that in the Boston suburbs my wife's uncle used to queue up for a couple of pounds of ready-made oleo at the store on Saturdays. There would always be a time when the "goodfellas" arrived and pushed thier way to the front and told the boy to "get their's." Their's being some prebagged pounds of grade AAA butter. Once when this happened, the uncle, fed up with working his butt off all week and standing in lines on weekends started a near riot by demanding from the kid at the counter that since he got "their's," he could damn well get "his." The crowd got behind the demand in force and scared the kid into bringing out butter for everyone. Herbie said no one could belive how much g..d.... real butter there was in that little store.

gariess 7-8-2002 22:11

Thanks for that, JERRY! It brought back memories. My dad and I went fishing on the St Lawrence just before I went over to Germany. I haven't thought of that in quite a while, but your story brought it all back.

Yes, welcome back, ELAINE! We were starting to think Niagara really did fall! :-)

GARIESS, RANDALL, (JERRY too) -- since we're near the same age, do you remember mixing the yellow dye into the Nucoa Margarine when you were a kid? Nasty stuff, that oleo! Did you know that it was actually developed for Napoleon's march into Russia? Seems his army wouldn't fight without butter, but butter wouldn't keep on that long march. So they invented oleo. 'Strue!

howard 7-8-2002 21:39

Welcome Cynthia, Welcome back Elaine.

Here's a bit I wrote about going off to war.

One Day at the Dam
By Jerry A. G. Ericsson

The bright summer sun filtered through the curtains and into the bedroom, as it crept slowly up, bringing the day to the City of Lemmon and woke me from my restless sleep. Fear of the unknown weighed heavily on my mind that morning as I rose my bed.

The comforting smell of breakfast drifted into the bedroom, bringing with it found memories of youthful days gone by. Days of youthful innocence. Days when the worst problem I faced was where to get the gas to drag main, and who would buy the beer for the night.

The morning doves calling each other in the trees of the back yard proved a gentle reminder of the peacefulness of the Dakota’s. I turned to my wife of less than a year, and gave her face, so peaceful in sleep, a quick gentle kiss then went into the kitchen for an early morning breakfast.

The table was carefully set by my mother. I could hear the click of her leg brace, as she moved about the kitchen, cooking a wonderful breakfast of scrambled eggs, fried bacon and potatoes, prepared the way only she could. Dad sat at the table, trying to look happy, but, I could see in his eyes, the worry of what was to come.

Mom smiled brightly as she sat before me the most delicious meal I had eaten in the months since I left home. Quickly I devoured every delicious morsel of the food on my plate, and then helped myself to generous second helping.

“Think the fish are biting at Baulkies?” dad said, as he drank the strong black coffee, and used a slice of toast to mop up the last of the juice that ran from the scrambled eggs.

“Think we should give it a try?” I responded.

“Times a wasting.”

“Want to wait till Judy wakes up,” I said.

“Let’s just go try it, let the poor girl sleep in, she had a long day yesterday.” Dad replied.

With this, we finished breakfast, and jumped, into dad’s old 64 Galaxy 500 for quick trip to the fishing hole.

As we drove, dad was quiet, deep in thought, and I had little to say, deep in my own thoughts of what was to come.

We arrived at Baulke’s dam, and carried our fishing gear down the rail road tracks, that formed the north shore of the dam. Stopping at a spot held the best promise of fish.

A gentle South Dakota breeze blowing in from the north, formed small waves on the crystal blue water.

We found a couple of large rocks along the right of way, we sat, baited our hooks and cast out into the dam, in silence.

As we sat back to watch our floats, we each lit up cigarettes, and leaned back on the rocks to relax and enjoy the beautiful summer day, the greenness of the grass, the deep blue of the cool restless water of the dam that lapped up on the rocks at our feet.

Like I had so many times in my youth, I looked up at the clear blue Dakota sky, and found all sort of shapes in the clouds as they passed in review before my father and me, I searched for and found a meaning in each one.

I could smell the freshness in the air, mixed with the smell of new mown hay that filtered in from a farm to the north; it brought back memories of the days when dad and I bailed that same hay for the farmers of the area at a nickel a bail. The quiet of the prairie was interrupted by the cricket’s chirp, the music of the song birds and the croaking of the frogs in the backwater of the damn.

We fished quietly for hours, each of us deep in our own thoughts. Finally over the lunch mom sent in a cooler, along with the six-pack of beer, that I was not yet legally old enough to drink dad broke the silence.

“You worried about the war?” dad asked.

“Ya, kind of, but I’m excited about going, just to see what it’s all about.”

“I just wanted to get you alone, and have a talk before you go. I’ve been watching what’s going on over there on the news, you best be careful over there.”

“Looks like you got a bite dad!”

“Just the waves.”

“Ya probably.” I replied, as for the first time, I noticed the wind had increased, and the waves were now bouncing our floats about, simulating a fish strike.

“Just wanted to tell you how proud I am of you son, for having the guts to join the Army, to go off to defend our country so many young men who join the National Guard, or go off to Canada to hide. I wanted you to know that I love you son, and that comes from the bottom of my heart.”

“Thanks dad, I love you too. Make sure to write me when I’m over there to let me know how you and mom are. They tell me I won’t have much time to write back, but I’ll try when I can, I’ll be thinking of you and mom all the time.”

We fished the rest of the day, and although I didn’t know it then, it would be our last fishing trip together, as dad was to pass away before I got out of the service.

I don’t know if we caught any fish that day, I guess that wasn’t the purpose of our trip, but I will never forget that last fishing trip, and the tears which ran down dad’s face as he told me how proud he was of me. Of how he told me to come home safely from Viet Nam.

As the day came to an end, the sun sank slowly below the South Dakota prairie, bringing the twilight of dusk; the meadow lark sang its merry song. We carried our gear back to the car, and slowly drove back to town, ending a day that neither of us wanted to end.

Jerry 7-8-2002 21:09

Thank you HOWARD and TINA!--(sorry I said Elaine because I had last looked at the top of your message, oops!)
Thanks you for your opinions and the sincerity in which they were given.
Your friend,

Cynthia 7-8-2002 14:53

Thank you Howard and Elaine!
Last night I actually wondered if all my work had come to naught. I questioned everything I'd ever written. Now I'm breathing a HUGE sigh of relief, and I thank you for that. I just thought, here is a true writer and he's telling me that my style is all wrong without even needing to see it. The thought that his opinion was just that, his opinion, didn't sink in until I heard from you guys. Thanks again, it means a lot.

Cynthia 7-8-2002 14:44

Elaine, of course its fine to jump back in! No one has ever been castigated because of a short absence.

Cynthia, ignore that critic! Cut out that article, pin it to the wall, and throw darts at it! #1 thing about any art, including all forms of writing, is that you do it for yourself, not the critics. Damn the critics who want to stifle creativity! Do you agree with all movie critics? All book critics? No? Then give yourself permission to ignore this one; he/she is not the authority on anything, just someone who has decided to give their opinion as if they have the right to do so. They don't! Use any word you feel like when writing, it is YOUR poetry not theirs!


Tina 7-8-2002 11:14


A critic's preference, his choice
Is mere opinion, 'tis your voice
That weaves your words in forms we see,
So come on in -- we welcome thee!

Seriously -- one book, one critic's opinion is not a thing to be taken as cast in concrete. There's nothing wrong with those words, or any words, as long as they fit within the framwork of ideas presented by the poet. They might not fit, for example, in "Green Eggs and Ham," but they're certainly at home in a classic sonnet, or other serious poetry. Go with the bard -- he did it well!
And do post an example of your work for us to enjoy!
Again -- welcome!

howard 7-8-2002 9:58

Hello again,
I can't believe I forgot to tell you which two words are in question! They are...'tis and thee.
I had accidentally deleted my first message and when I re-typed my message I left out the most important part!!!

Cynthia 7-8-2002 9:39

I haven't been here before, but I need advice desperately. I write a bit of poetry and love to do so, but now I'm greatly doubting myself. I was in Books-A-Million checking out information about how to attempt to have a book published, when I stumbled upon a book written by a critic. Oh my gosh. My world just crashed around me. Apparently, I should not use any words which are not commonly used in this time period. Since I grew up reading Shakespeare, much of his language in writing has bled into my psyche. My other great influence was Dr. Seuss, which seems to not be a problem. I was introduced to Shakespeare's work when I was thirteen. It was summertime and I would take an old literature book outside and read and read and read. It was sonnet #18 that captured my heart and changed the way I felt about poetry. His words held my heart captive while I lived inside the poetry he wrote with such vivid and deep emotion. It has always seemed just as alive to me when I read it as it was when he wrote it. So, now what am I to do with my varied sonnets which contain the two words in question? According to the critic who's book I was reading, these two words are only two of many contractions considered to be part of a language which is no longer commonly spoken and, therefore, off limits. I looked over my poetry and realized that if I changed these words I would be compromising the meaning and mindset in which they were written. I wasn't able to do it. But, I wonder, should I? Is there no way these words are acceptable in writing poetry? By not changing them, am I dooming myself to failure? Would it mean that I could never share my work with other writers without exposing myself to criticism on this subject? Two little words can cause quite a fuss, can't they? Any and all advice is appreciated and will be considered constructive. Thank you to all who will take time to respond. I am hoping to get many opinions on this. Thanks again,

Cynthia 7-8-2002 9:34

Also, check out
Dunno about Avon donating 10 cents, but it's cute!

howard 7-8-2002 7:28

For those who never saw one, there are a couple of pictures of the war stamp book that GARIESS and I were talking about, on
I guess I'd better start cleaning off this desk -- dunno what else I might find!

howard 7-8-2002 7:22

MARY -- Thanks! I wish I could get to see him more often. They live about 4 hours away, and only get to come back a few times a year.

GARIESS -- A wonderful, well written essay! I can relate to much of that, having been born a month before Pearl Harbor. We bought war stamps too, and I still have one on my desk in front of me, that my grandma bought for me in 1943, even before I started school. It has a dollar's worth of stamps in it. This one got put away and never got filled up, but I remember many that did. Dunno where they ever got to.
At any rate, that is a fascinating account, and I hope you take it outside this small place. It deserves to be seen! Thank you for it!

howard 7-8-2002 7:07

The following may be a rather quick entry on the theme of the week and may be entered a bit soon, but I fear I may be unavailable to post for the rest of the week. I did a spell check on this but it is otherwise unedited. The usual caveat having been thusly submitted...

A bitter reality is expressed in a quote that states only the dead shall know the end of war. For some there is too much hopelessness in this belief, but history supports it none the less. I have undertaken to investigate the influence of war on my own life, since I hold the belief that war has been a great part of my life in spite of the fact that I have never fought in one. I hope that this investigation can reveal to others as much as it does to me as I reflect on how my life has been shaped in large part by wars I prepared for, wars I recall, wars I experienced from a distance - a distance that at times seemed as close as the house next door - and in all cases, wars I did not fight in any physical, however tangible, sense.

I was four years old at time Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese. I have made no study of how young people can be before conscious memories can form in their minds, but I can clearly recall the circumstances of my hearing the news of Pearl Harbor being carried through the tenement neighborhood of my young life. People shouted of it from windows and others carried it on foot through the streets. Something there was in all of this that impressed me strongly even though I have no idea what my impression of the implications of war could have been at so young an age. From the age of five to the age of nine my acquaintance with current events was formed around a world conflict in which death by acts of war was as natural as the coming of the ice truck, the birth of a sibling, and the wearing of a new pair of knickers. My recollections of history’s greatest war are those absorbed by a child during what were perhaps his most formative years.

As the conflict progressed I came to learn of the many deaths of soldiers in the Pacific and in Europe. To hear of a brother or an uncle of a neighborhood kid who was killed in combat became such a common occurrence that it soon seemed simply a natural part of what goes on in the world - something that just happened. Only once did I attend the wake of a soldier of that war. I can recall mainly that we kids were tolerated by the family for some unknown reason as we milled about underfoot in the presence of the deceased. It was one of those curious occasions of youth that come about quite unexpectedly. One day you go outside to play and you wind up in the parlor of neighbors with a dead soldier in the house. You didn’t see him fall. You didn’t hear the bombs. What you heard were the sobs of his family, The sighs of the men and the weeping of the women. What you remember is that it all seemed very strange. What you knew was that you would always remember it.

Kids do not question much that occurs in a world driven by adults. I was curious about the war of course, but about the major issues, as kids - boys in particular - there was little we felt the need to ask about. I knew we were the good guys, the people who were right. I knew we were at war in just about the whole world. I knew the Germans were bad, and so were the Japs. We played out the war every day in mock battles. We chose sides every day and as little as we really new of warfare, we made and held forts and defensive positions, we planned and executed offensive actions, we fired our weapons, we fell dead or wounded, and there were never any rules save one: The Americans always won. There was little reckoning among us that we had allies. I suppose we knew there were the British and others in the struggle, but they received little recognition by us for their part in the war. One day I might have been among the winners, but winners had to defeat an enemy, so there were days I had to be the enemy. It was an ignoble task that one accepted in the spirit that, as unpleasant as it was, it was necessary.

Three years, or so, is a very big part of a childhood. The war was lasting too long for me to grow up and never ask myself the one important question. Were we going to win? The war had been going on for half my life, or so it seemed. I was beset with the idea that I would eventually be bombed into oblivion or become a slave of the Germans. On the east coast we had the sense that our great conflict was in the European theater. Daily, I imagined every scenario a young mind could conjure as the result of losing the war. It seemed that death was the major threat, but as that became less and less acceptable I formed images of occupation, slavery, incarceration, forced labor and any other unpleasant circumstance that might exist in a post war, defeated America. It all began to take a toll on my concentration, especially in school. It can become too much for a second grader to have to worry about surviving defeat at the hands of the Nazis and at the same time keep one’s mind on learning arithmetic.

Nightly I had bad dreams. The Frankenstein monster was gradually being displaced from my routine reveries by SS storm troopers and the Gestapo, whatever that was. I remember wishing the Frankenstein monster would come back; I could at least consciously tell myself that the monster was not real. So many dead soldiers coming back to the neighborhood was a concrete reality too impossible to argue away.

There came the day, eventually, when my anxieties - as best as I can describe them - precipitated an unpleasant incident. I took some black pepper from my mother’s pantry and went to the street corner where we kids gathered near the neighborhood grocery. There, I threw the pepper into the face of Wayne Schlummer. I am convinced to this day that the idea to do such a thing grew in my mind from a scene in a Three Stooges film. In any case, Wayne Schlummer, the recipient of this outrage was the unfortunate son of first generation German immigrants. Unfortunate because he was born with a condition that left him slightly crippled in one leg. He was the only kid of German ancestry that we knew in our neighborhood. When Wayne inhaled the pepper he immediately burst into tears and his brother, who was a big enough kid to have severely thrashed me in retribution, instead sadly took his crippled and tearful brother home.

It was understood that although Wayne was of German ancestry, common decency, as well as his physical impairment, decreed that he was beyond the reach of any anti-German sentiment or retributive action. Clearly, I had a problem. Something about life in a violent world had finally reached me in a way that set me beyond the norms of others. Why I did such a thing puzzled other kids at the scene and this violence earned me the considerable consternation of most. Incredibly, things being what they were, news of the pepper incident never reached my folks, nor did I regret that it didn’t. As in all times, I expect that the order of the day was to let kids sort out their own disagreements. My problem at that time was to deal with my apprehensions about the war.

There was no question of revealing my fears in the neighborhood or in the school yard. Slackers were not taken lightly in 1944, not even in the second grade. In fact there were probably no citizens that took a less complicated view of the war effort than those in the second year of their elementary education. Patriotism, jingoism, and as many isms as can be even loosely connected with our nation’s struggle ran rampant among the faculty of Jerome Dwelly. As incredible as it may seem, children of perceived slackers - those who did not send their kids to school with money to buy war stamps, among other delinquencies, were routinely brought to the head of the class and subjected to ridicule by the teacher. This fact betrays the extent of the national obsession as it existed in that time and place. The injustices suffered by children in a public school were not a matter of great concern. For all the months that this sort of thing went on, I know of no instance where these practices were ever brought into question by a parent or a school official. In my own case, I was fortunate enough that my parents were able to send me to school with money for war stamps, and I was at one time awarded the rank of honorary colonel in recognition of my father’s purchase of a substantial bond. Even as kids we wasted no sympathy on those whose parents couldn’t or wouldn’t cough up for the cause. It was not insensitivity on the part of the kids, but in all the years since, I knew of nothing that redeemed the adults who created and ignored these events.

The foregoing establishes the basis for my reluctance to let my doubts and fears be known in the neighborhood, but I did, at last, decide that I would put the question before my mother. After all, as much as I realized that she didn’t know much about anything, I knew there was no question that she would not expose me to the citizenry as a defeatist. After all, as finicky as I was at the dinner table, and as unruly as I was about my toys and about fighting with my sisters, I was sure that a Mother’s love would prevail over the impulse to impugn a slacker.

So one day in 1944 I confronted my mother with the biggest question of my life to that point. Were we going to lose the war, and if we did what would happen to us, most importantly what would happen to me? Remarkably, my mother rose to the occasion and not only did she score marks against my conviction that she was hopelessly unknowledgeable in most important matters, but she handled the question in a rather impressive fashion.

I learned not only that my mother knew some things after all, but that she had even managed, in her own time in school, to win an Atlas in a geography competition. She showed me a spread on a large page and pointed out the superior size of the lands of the allied forces - I am sure she added a few to the actual ones - in comparison to the puny size of the Axis countries. She explained that such small countries could have no real hope of defeating so many very large countries in a war. I considered this at some length and decided there was sound logic in her thesis. There was one point that left me puzzled, and that was why these puny nations believed they could win this war in the first place. Her answer was that they were in large part very unwiseand very misguided, and in many cases downright crazy. As a result of this discourse I was ultimately relieved of the greatest anxiety of my young life.

There was something I needed to do in the next few days and I did it entirely on my own volition. I had learned the practice of apologizing for egregious wrongs from the same woman who taught me my first geography lesson. I once was forced to apologize for some unremembered offense against a neighborhood girl by walking to her house, knocking on the door and making my apology in the presence of her family. It was the most miserable single experience I can recall of that time in my life. I decided that if I was to make things right in my own world that I must apologize to Wayne Schlummer in the same excruciating fashion as I had done on that prior occasion, and I must do it under no duress but from my own conscience. At eight years of age, on a cold rainy afternoon after school let out, I went to Wayne’s house. I explained the nature of my mission to Mrs. Schlummer who regarded me curiously and rather kindly as I recall. She summoned Wayne from upstairs who came to the parlor in the company of the same big brother who had declined to beat the stuffing out of me on the day I had thrown pepper in his crippled little brother’s face. I made my apology to Wayne who accepted it graciously and without any apparent rancor while his brother remained seemingly unimpressed. Mrs. Schlummer served us all some red Jello and after an appropriately short visit I walked home, congratulating myself that I had managed the entire occasion without shedding a tear, which is more than I can say for any occasion since, including this very moment, that I have recalled throwing pepper in Wayne Schlummer’s face.

I hope to have more to post on this subject in the future. For the present I will be glad to hear any observations that folks care to make, either about the writing or the material.

gariess 7-8-2002 4:42

HOWARD: I went and watched the little videos of your grandson and he is totally adorable. I wanted to reach in my monitor and tickle him!! Glad to hear that he didn't need any surgery. He looks plenty glad too!

Cool arrowhead!

Shortie Theme for this week: Forgiveness

Best to all.

Mary 7-8-2002 1:23

umm..mmm? hello? does anyone remember me? I feel sheepish. i don't remember the last time i was here, but i'm back, for a while anyway... my muse was lonely for the bright spotlights of the NB and i agree with her. i loved it here and can't imagine that i was stupid enough to go away (even if it was for a month) you guys are just to great (not to mention fun, or was it funny?) sorry that i wasn't here for to read everything for a while. (i'm going to have a hard time catching it up, but i'm really plan on doing it, tomorrow) this is just a little post from me saying that i'm still alive if you want me back...
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 7-8-2002 0:37

TINA -- "Wee" Joel is doing fine, Thanks! He didn't have to have the surgery (Praise God!) and he's doing much better. There's a couple of pix of him at
Click on the mvc... files.

Three men were arrested here yesterday, and charged with murder in the death of a county deputy sheriff. He had stopped to investigate suspicious activity in a local park at around 3AM the other morning. Turns out they were driving a stolen pickup truck, and had used it to break down the door of a gun dealer, and had stolen a number of guns. They shot him 15 times, then ran over him. I think we'll see the death penalty in this one, for at least two of them. He was a good man.

howard 7-7-2002 16:42

Hi all!

Rosemary, sounds like you've had all the excitement you need for awhile. Stay dry :c)

Rachel, don't lurk too much. Just say hi if that's all the time you have.

Howard, how's wee Joel doing? (she asks, hoping against hope that she has his name right...)

Hey, has anyone ever had their cards read? I did for the first time last night, and now I'm spooked. Yes, it was cool/scary/weird all in one, and she said some very specific things that hit the nail on the head perfectly. One of the simpler things she said was that I will continue to write, and it will come but the writing road will be slow. She said a lot of other things though, and I think I'll need many days to sort through it all.

Was out almost all night, and now I'm utterly pooped. My eyes don't like looking at this screen.
Blue skies!

(oh yeah, did a jump yesterday, and it was, as usual, awesome! Not enough brain-power to write about it, though. ;-)

Tina 7-7-2002 15:59

a steamy Morning to all,

Glad to see you are back home and in good humor. Happy healing.

Weather report,
It looks like the excitement is finally over for our area. Everyone near the rivers will still be copeing with flooding for a few more days. If it doesn't rain any more. Small storm threatening now at the coast.

Friday night a little after midnight, I was awakened by a fire truck sounding horns, sirens and anything else they had with them. Scared the beejeebers out of me. They were evacuating the area because of danger of the dam failing up stream from us. My sister was at work so I loaded up my dogs and headed for the red cross shelter. I spent a miserable four hours in the truck with my dogs, trying to nap the night away. I could have gone inside and used a cot but the dogs would have howled the place down around our heads and I can't sleep with a lot of strangers wandering around me.

There was no danger whatsoever for my area unless the dam broke and I know it is better to be safe than sorry but I suspect politics had something to do with the fuss about that dam. There was no danger of failure unless the water went over the top. OK, it got to within one and a half feet of the top, but what they were hollering about was cracks and leeks on the face of the dam. Now we hear all concrete dams have cracks and leaks. It is natural and happens right after the dam is constructed.

There are a lot of dam experts who are madder than hatters at the county judge that gave the alarm. We're not sure who told him to do it but if the dam had crashed, and we were already evacuated, he would have been a hero. You just never know how the world will turn out.

I was really worried about the horses but had no way to move them. Just had to hope nothing would happen. Not a good way to spend an uncomfortable night.

Enough whinning from me.
See ya,

Rosemary 7-7-2002 12:59

Welcome back.
Glad everything went well for you.

Eddie French 7-7-2002 6:54

Need someone to profread your work, why not let your computer, the link below is to a freeware program that reads your text back to you over your sound card and speakers, works with word or WP, and several other programs.

Jerry Sentence read back 7-6-2002 23:41

Hi all,

I think I am going to become a lurker :o) In the fall I will be taking four courses. I know that I won't be able to get to the NB much. Maybe I'll post a note the odd time. Maybe I'll just gaze in the widow. (Gezz, that makes me sound like a peeping Tom -- GRINS)! All is well with my kiddies and myself. Sebastian is growing up so quickly. He is talking more and more. He loves to ride on the pony. The pony that we have is great for halter leading. She isn't so great for the ride part. She hasn't sat a ride for three years or so and isn't so keen on being re-introduced to it. My son is not faint of heart and is getting our little lady used to things again. My home has turned into the sleep over capital of Maple Ridge (at least it feels that way). We seem to have somebody over every weekend. I shudder to think about what it will be like once my kids are on summer vacation. They only have a couple of weeks of school left. They are all excited about summer vacation.

Sasquatch - Sebastian would not mind your smell. He likes smelly stuff. I think it is you who would be put off by the stink of his little diapers (winks)!

Take care all.


Rachel 7-6-2002 21:38

Gariess, positively hilarious description of the Barry Manilow coat hanger! I'll bet the jacket should have been left to that closet!

Heather 7-6-2002 20:28

MEL, take care and enjoy the time that you don't have to clean the house! At least, I certainly HOPE you aren't having to do that for the next while!

Heather 7-6-2002 20:20

At last, a cooler day. No rain in sight yet, last night was filled with dry lightning, and the poor fire fighters are still at it with new fires all over north of us where the lightning was. The fire that burned out Shields is still burning, I had an opportunity to visit with a couple of native American fire fighters today when I took the front tire from my lawn tractor up to have it repaired. They say it's very hot, very smoky work, and I don't doubt them a bit. They were happy though with the excellent pay that the State of North Dakota is giving them for their efforts. At last a state that does something right with the taxes they rep from workers pay checks.

At any rate, I used the cool morning to mow the lawn, finished after the trip to Cennex for the tire repair. Also got a few chores done that I've been putting off because of the heat.

Back to research.

Write ON!

Jerry 7-6-2002 12:35

Mel! So good to see you here. Take it easy, rest up, and no shinanigan's ya hear? (((HUGS)))

Viv, that's so sad.
Don't get too frustrated. Arranging repairs sucks as it is, let alone from overseas.

Must go. Jumping today..... =cD

Tina 7-6-2002 11:25

Hope you are comfy and my best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Viv 7-6-2002 10:58

I'm sorry I'm stuck this weekend. I'm going to try on that textbook around next week. We had a problem with our house in the States. The renters are moving after 11 years of keeping our house in beautiful condition. I'm doing logistics here to try to hire painters, coordinate moving date and find a new renter, find an airplane ticket back so I can be in the area to supervise the repairs. It's taking a lot of time I'd spend on my writing. Thanks for your patience and understanding this time around. Will get to it as soon as the major amount of the coordination is finished.

See you all when things are back in running order around this place.

Everybody pray for my little renter. She has cancer and has had to stop chemo because she couldn't take it anymore. What a time for her to move. She wanted her own house though and it's about time she has one. No one really wants to rent. Hopefully the cancer will go into remission and she'll spend a long happy time in her new home.

Viv 7-6-2002 10:57


this is robo-mel, reporting in...
(My hubby's nickname for me now)

thanks for all the good wishes and thoughts and prayers sent my way, everyone...

returned home the big job of recuperating ahead of me...

sitting on a high stool and trying to type with two fingers so I don't bend too far isn't easy...

I'll be's great to hear you're all doing well... :-)

back to my walker...

thump (walker)...slip(foot of my operated leg)...clunk (the rest of me hopping to catch up)...


Mel 7-6-2002 10:12

Re Nanaimo, the diving community is aware of it as the location for several intentional wrecks that have been sunk there and have formed the focus for many a wreck diving certification in recent times. While the Cape Breton is too new to really sport that much life, it is still interesting.

Jack Beslanwitch Info about the wrecks 7-6-2002 2:38

Brain is fizzled. Make that the 'Strait' of Georgia!

Tina 7-6-2002 1:06

urg. Rain in the south, heat in the middle, wind in the north (here ;-) Can you say El Nino? Got winded out of jumping tonight. I'm hoping for calm skies tomorrow, and I'll jump then.

Nanaimo is not a BIG city, gariess, but big enough. Right on the Straight of Georgia, lots of ports, good seafood restaurants. More malls per capita than any other town in BC. Bit of a problem with asian gangs. Almost my whole family lives about 20 minutes south of Nanaimo in a sweet little town called Chemainus, so I've been there a lot. It's NOT a highlight of British Columbia. You have to come to the Okanagan, where I live, to find heaven on Earth! Except for the blasted wind.... :-p

Blue windless skies!

Tina 7-6-2002 1:05


Hey! TGIF!

After a major summer holiday my thoughts turn to Old Muckers, the yellow catfish who lives under the muddy waters of the Jim Ned creek. I wonder if he survived the pleasure boats cruising up the ‘Ned? July 4th is a water holiday around here. Everyone that can beg, borrow or steal a boat rushes to nearby Lake Brownwood to wade, swim, fish, float, ski ... and drink beer. Water craft range from flashy ski and fishing boats to a dozen truck inner tubes lashed together, covered with planks and beer soaked bodies. These homemade floating reminders to the surgeon general's warning are great fun. But about as easy to row as the Titanic one hour after Captain Smith tried to shave an iceberg.

As the Jim Ned empties into Lake Brownwood, a lot of boaters, who find their vision obscured by the bottom of a beer can often journey up the creek on a lark. Dangerous at best, dead tree snags that would make the Titanic ‘berg look like an ice cube are everywhere, openly visible and lurking unseen inches under the water. Not a summer goes by that someone does not lose a boat to stupidity and or beer. After a mile or so the ‘Ned gets real narrow and immense Pecan trees loom overhead and drape over the creek with branches the size of elephant legs. At this point nearly everyone turns around, except a few sun weathered, wrinkled old men in small "bayou" boats who have one thing on their mind .... Muckers and how to get him into a frying pan.

Muckers, a wily old yellow catfish calls the upper reaches of the muddy Jim Ned home. Older than Noah's father his size has been estimated to be a little more than a German Shepard but smaller than a Shetland pony. His length is basically unknown cause most people who have had an encounter with Muckers only comment on girth. "Big as a barrel!" State game and fish stats indicate his weight could go as high as 250 pounds. And that is mighty attractive to people who make a labor of love out of frying catfish.

"Why when that old Muckers rolled up on one side, I swear he was as big as a barrel. Durn near like to swamped the boat and broke that 200-pound trotline like grandmas sewing thread!"

Statements like this qualify any fisherman, if not a rookie, then at least an amateur. Catching Muckers on a string or twine or probably a logging chain is impossible. An old time fisherman named Harvey regaled me one time about an encounter with Muckers.

"Randy boy, ye knows I ain't no pond fisherman. Me and old Red Britches were up there on the Jim Ned one spring night many years ago. Way up on the watershed we was. There were snags as thick as weeds in a field and we had to duck and dodge pecan tree limbs that hung down to the water. Had us a brand new nylon trot line, nearly 50 triple hooks, wire leaders. Spent a week putting it together! We baited it with live shad, jumbo sized shrimp and the stinkiest blood bait the Almighty ever smelled! Anchored it real good and stretched it down alongside that section of the ‘Ned where the Pecan limbs nearly fall in the water."

"Red was with you Harvey?"

"Yeap. Begged to go in fact. Said he knew where Old Muckers was." Harvey chuckled and winked at me. "Durn fool, like to got his self drowned up there."

"What happened?"

"Well, was about midnight when them bells start a'clanging. You know the bells attached to our trot line. They shore did jangle that night. Sounded like that Hunchback fella ringing them church bells. We were camped on a sandbar, had our coal oil lamps burning, cooking a Mulligan stew on a fire. Red happened to find a bottle of wine in his overcoat so we was toasting the fine night airs."

"Bound for Red to have something to drink!"

"Ain't it the truth though! Never knew a man so in tune with fishing! Well, Red and I jumped in the boat quick like and paddled down to where the trot line was anchored on a tree root. Yes sir, in the light of that lantern I could see that new white line bouncing up and down in the water. We eased up to it. Just as I reached for it she stopped moving. I grabbed the line and pulled our boat around to it. Red was leaning over me, with the lamp in his hand as I started to run the trot line. Not a durn thing on the first dozen or so hooks. But I knew something was on it, been trot lining for 50 years on the ‘Ned and one knows when a big fish is hooked. Halfway through the trot line I seen something in the lamp light. Just under the water I seen what looked liked a log. A big old sunken yellow log. Looked like one of them old Pecan tree trunks washed down stream after a gully washer."

"Red, we got ourselves a log." I said pulling on the line. "Red held the lamp high and durn, you know if that log didn't have fins and a pair of beady eyes and a great big mouth! Well, Red hollered about the time old Muckers broached the surface. I swear a five-gallon bucket would have fit right in his mouth. Eyes like two eightballs. As big around as a whiskey keg, and madder'n a wet hen. You know when them old cats are mad Randy boy? That top fin on his back is stiff as a board and sticking straight up! You bet he were mad! Old Muckers had been going down the line sucking that bait off the hooks like it were a cafeteria line! One finally got him and he was one mad old yeller cat."

"What did you do Harvey?"

"Why hell son! That old yeller cat were longer than my boat! Weren't room for everyone in it! I reached for my knife to cut him loose when Red hollered, ‘No!' Then that darned old fool nearly capsized the boat as he reached down to stick his hand in Old Muckers mouth. Durndest fool stunt I ever seen! Told me later he was going to drag Muckers in the boat!"

"So what happened Harvey?"

Harvey grinned. "You mean before or after Muckers pulled Red into the water? Red managed to get one hand in his mouth. Along about then Old Muckers probably decided that Red needed a bath (as we all have) and took his 200 hundred pounds or so to the bottom. Course with a hand in Muckers mouth, 150 pound Red wasn't in a position to decline. Luckily I managed to cut the hook line as Red went overboard. Muckers splashed the boat real good with his tail, darn near sunk it, and that took care of the lantern. There was a full moon overhead, bright as noon, so I never lost sight of Red. Him and old Muckers were having a hellva a tussle in the water. Couldn't tell who was shaking who! I could tell right off by Red's hollering he wanted to let go real bad but Old Muckers were plenty mad. After several seconds Red finally managed to get to his feet and old Muckers took off for parts unknown. Red was in water up to his chest, spitting and sputtering. No sign of Muckers, probably figured Red wasn't as tasty as he looked!"

"What did Red say?"

Harvey laughed loudly and reached over to slap my leg. "Red asked me when we got back to camp why I didn't help? I said it looked like you were having a lot of fun splashing around in the water and all and why should I interfere! Red's arm looked like somebody had sandpapered it. Them old cats don't have teeth, just sandpaper like gums!"

"What did you'll do after that?"

"Well, we went back to camp and finished the stew. Red found another bottle of wine so we sipped on it as we floated back downstream. Not much else to do after that I reckon. Our trotline was hell and gone by then, no use hanging around. Got home just as the sun was coming up."

Old Muckers lays up there in the muddy Jim Ned creek and dreams fish dreams. He's backed into an underwater mud cave carved out with a powerful tail and broad head. Five feet under the surface Muckers lives an indolent life, eat, sleep, dream, eat, sleep, dream. Under a giant old Pecan tree, laid up between the roots, he naps and dreams, waiting for a tasty morsel to float by or another fool to stick a hand in his mouth. He's a solitary creature who pursues unknown desires in a time frame unfamiliar to us. I guess I don't really worry about Muckers. In his environment he is truly the big fish in those parts. Conversely, whether there are more than one old yellow cat up there dreaming catfish dreams, two or three, or four, all have given generations of men and boys around here something to talk and laugh about. Muckers is the toughest thing in the muddy waters of the Jim Ned creek. A legend.


Randall 7-6-2002 0:42

Jack mentioned Nanaimo in his recent post. Other than Vancouver, that's the only place in BC I ever heard of. That's the home town of Diana Krall, great jazz performer. Is it a significantly big place, I wonder? She studied in Boston at the Berklee school of music (where we used to sneak in and abuse the practice pianos when we were young, rowdy, and under the influence).

Speaking of Boston and things musical, last night was the annual performance of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. I love to see that every year on TV. I have a special attachment to the Stars and Stripes (my name being Sousa) which is always the concludung number of the Fourth Concert. I know this is a band march, but all the same when you add the woodwinds and the dozens of strings that a group like the Pops adds to the arrangement the texture becomes superior to any other treatment. The Pops draws it's musicians from the Boston Symphony Orchestra so there is no short changing at the talent level. The crowd loves it and they form a line on the grass in front of the Hatch Shell and for the final chorus of the Stars and Stripes. They then do a rousing but badly co-ordinated kick routine with legs going in all directions. I just love all those people who are so spirited as to endure heat wave weather and a long afternoon sitting in the sun (they let the crowd onto the Esplanade well in advance of the performance.) Of course the musicians performed heroically on the fourth day of a tropical heat wave. The Shell is not air conditioned and the air was as close as it can get to being warm water. If there were any fish in the Charles River they could have swum in among the people in the air, it was so humid.

Barry Manilow was among the performers. Somebody has got to feed this guy, he is positively cadaverous. His jacket doesn't know if he's wearing it or if it's still on the hanger. After perspiring a few grams I expected him to succumb to heat stroke.

Maureen McGovern was great.

I hope all of you had a great fourth.

gariess 7-5-2002 23:14

Thanks, I'll keep my eye out for them. Today is another scorcher with the temp now at 99F. I am sitting in my chair in front of the air conditioner, keeping cool. The wife who is a bit susceptible to infections when the air is too dry is in the kitchen, where the temp is a bit warmer as the dining room acts as a sort of buffer for the dry air.

Correction the weather bug says it is 100 degrees now.

I think I have found the trouble with my stupid computer. I went back to Ebay, and got another processor that the guy said is NEW. Put it in, nothing! Put the old one back in and all the computer would do is beep at me. Frustrated, I pulled all the cards and memory out and began replacing them one at a time, beginning with the memory. Put the first memory module in and it beeped, took it out and put the other in and all was well.

All this time fighting buying fans, compounds to cool the processor that I thought was sensitive to heat, when all the time it was one of the two new memory sdram's that was bad.

I guess the guy who sold me a NEW bad processor did me a favor. I haven't tried the new one back again since I found the bad ram, and I don't think I will as all is working now, and I don't want to give it another chance to go bad again. Oh I wondered when the guy who listed this new processor said he would not guarantee it, after all if it's new it should work right?

I think he lied, but I guess he isn't the first, and probably won't be the last. Think I will put together all these NEW items I have laying around that don't work and sell them as one lot of "NEW BROKEN computer parts" No sense in lying about it.

Jerry 7-5-2002 16:27

Hello all, sog, sog,

I was wrong. A soaking wet long-haired cat looks worse than a wet chicken. Smells pretty bad too. Grouchy too.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that some of these storms will head north and help you out. They would just have to go straight up. Not like they would get lost. It rained from about 4:00am until 10:00am today. So far.
I'm getting worried about the river that is about 1/2 mile from here. They are evacuating towns down river and some of the neighbors have left at night but came back this morning. There wouldn't be a problem if we just jumped in the truck and went away for a day or so, but the horses, and other animals are another story. Couldn't just go off and leave them. Probably just worrying for nothing--the river has never left its banks in this area. Gravel companies have dug so much of the riverbed out, it's a lot deeper than it use to be.

Hope everyone else had a good holiday.

Rosemary 7-5-2002 12:02

Send some of that rain up here! We are parched. The prairie is so dry that the fireworks display's across the area were all cancelled yesterday. The rangeland fire index has been in the extreme for over a week (That's the highest rating). In the extreme category, all off road travel is prohibited, smoking outside your home is prohibited (sure glad I stopped that destructive habit) fireworks are prohibited, all open burning are prohibited, you can't even have a grill lit, except in towns where water is available.

It got up to 99 yesterday, I was thankful that we went to mom's for the 4th celebration as she has central air, and we were able to be comfortable. When we got home, it was horrible in the house, but I knew that our little window air conditioner wouldn't cut through that heat, so we just turned on all the fans, and suffered through it. Sleep was difficult last night till way past midnight when it finally got cool enough to relax.

IT was over 80 this morning, we will turn on the air in about an hour, and it should keep it liveable in the living room.

This sort of heat is very unusual for our part of the country, and I can't recall a 4th where they banned fireworks. South Dakota is nearly famous for it's liberal fireworks policy, you can buy fireworks here that are banned in most other locations, including M80's and the old cherry bombs, you can get rockets large enough to compete with those used by cities, as well as the mortar type fireworks. To have it banned angered many, but even those who purchased fireworks before the ban kept the rather then shoot them off. It did do my heart good to see that level heads prevailed, what with all the fires in the area, nobody wanted to chance shooting them.

The fire that burned the town of Shields to the ground along with fifteen hundred acres of grass land was started by fireworks, and the Grizzly Gulch fire near Deadwood is still burning, but the pervading winds saved Deadwood from total destruction, only two or three homes were burned.

It rained within several miles of us over the past week three times, but all we got was the smell of rain, not a drop of it hit here. It's maddening to watch that weather radar showing thunderstorms approaching, the see them split and go around our town. Somebody must have angered the fellow upstairs or something.

Jerry 7-5-2002 10:58

If anyone wants to know more about Tanabata, here's a link.

Viv 7-5-2002 9:43

Carol: I realized I sent Pommes by attachment rather than cutting and pasting. Will resend again. Oh Brother, I'm forgetful. I'm going to send it again on Saturday because right now I'm too full to go any further. It's 10:28 after a nice relaxing day with family. I have ANOTHER bunch of celebrations to go to this weekend. It's Tanabata here, the night we celebrate the star-crossed lovers. Their path meets in the heavens once a year. During this time we write our wishes and hang them on the bamboo trees. Also parades of shrines, and just parades in general and street fests. My students are all in a band marching in the parade in Hiratsuka. I want to go wave at them. Also the walk will do me good. I need to wear off this big meal I ate. But first I'm going to sleep on it.

Viv 7-5-2002 9:37

Burp! Delicious.

Viv 7-5-2002 9:29

Jack, that still isn't northern BC. :-) You'd have to drive a lot farther than 100km to reach our northern parts. ;-)

Viv, how were the ribs?

Tina 7-5-2002 1:03

Tina: Actually, Hornby is just east of Vancouver Island about half way up the east side. To get there you get to Nanaimo from Vancouver and then drive north about a 100 kilometers, take a ferry to Denman Island and then from Denman go to Hornby. We just did a dive today at Three Tree Point and learned that six gills had been cited there as well. Hopefully, at some point I will get to encounter these magnificent creatures down in Puget Sound as well.

As for sky diving, have fun. Having sky dived once, I decided not to become a sky diver. Glad you decided otherwise.

Jack Beslanwitch 7-4-2002 23:32

Up and at 'em. Gotta start ribs!

Viv 7-4-2002 19:25

Blub, Blub,

We've had about 20 inches of rain since Saturday. I think they are thinking of cancelling the water restrictions.

My electricity went out twice the day before yesterday and again last night. Reprograming is getting to be a pain. Yesterday afternoon, the phone went out and didn't come back on until about an hour ago. The trains aren't even running. Tracks washed out between here and Uvalde. Talk about isolation.

I know you are in pain, but you need to rouse yourself for just a moment and let us know how you are. ;-) Obviously we are all thinking about you.

Gotta go again,

Rosemary 7-4-2002 17:37


Morning all....



By Suetopka Thayer, TC Media Team

"All through Indian Country on this Fourth of July, red, white and blue will be flying in various forms. As the original Landlords of America, natives have always had respect, pride and honor for the flag and what it symbolizes.

With the devastating New York event this past September and the mass destruction and senseless deaths of thousands of civilians in our own home country, this particular Fourth of July and its meaning of Independence is just that much more significant to native residents still living in their original homelands.

The bonding and support that came after the September 11th crisis for most Americans is what can be found on a daily basis in any native community.

Communal support, group events to assist others, families working together to achieve or accomplish a larger goal is still alive and thriving despite what is generated through the news about poor economic conditions, lack of opportunities and services and remote living situations.

What larger America doesn't realize is that natives do not count their wealth in terms that are monetary or material. We value culture, tradition, our languages, our children and our elders, our homelands and each other.

The respect for the flag comes from our family members who have served in America's armed forces to defend this country and our way of life on our reservations, and particularly for our family members who were lost in these wars defending other citizens of this country who would just as soon see us wiped out and silenced.

That we can and have survived our own war of oppression here in America is a tribute to native adaptability, which is one of our greatest strengths. And for this we salute the flag and the true meaning of this Independence Day."

Thought this definition of Independence Day to be worth notice.


Randall 7-4-2002 12:00


I am the only one who has problems with names?
Oh that can't be good

Taylor 7-4-2002 11:16

Here is a good little app. if you have ever been stuck for names of Fantasy/Historical character names.

Eddie EverChanging Book of Names 7-4-2002 10:23

Here are the results of the poll I put up on my Home Page

Interesting Results.

What is the most difficult aspect of writing for you?

Character Development? 1.......... (4%)
Plot Development? 5............... (20%)
Character Names? 1................ (4%)
Choosing a title? 0............... (0%)
Re-starting a stalled Work? 10.... (40%)
Getting Started? 5................ (20%)
Other? 3.......................... (12%)

Eddie Simply Writing 7-4-2002 10:17

Carol: I sent Pommes this morning before I went to work. Hope you got it. Just in case I'll send it again after I read your Earth tomorrow morning.

Someone send me some barbequed ribs! I've got a grill, I've got access to ribs...but I'm too busy to grill them. I'm hungry for them right now and it's 10:48 PM! Had to work all day and I just figured out it's the 4th of July. My stomach is saying...oooooh ribs! Oh well, tomorrow is your 4th of July. I'll cook them starting at about 8:00 tomorrow morning! Ooooooooh hungry NOW! Must EAT!!!!!

Viv 7-4-2002 9:56


This is a 'Get Well Soon' Card.


Best Wishes,

Eddie 7-4-2002 6:32


Happy 4th of July people... And hope you all have a great day and enjoy it to the max... Have fun for all us Aussies as well :-)

Taylor 7-4-2002 0:49



What weather we're having! Rained all day. One town west of us had 4" this morning in 2 hours!!! One guy told me it was like watching a million 5 gallon buckets emptied all at one time 10' off the ground! Daytime temps in the 70's lows in the 60's! Not Texas weather for July. I guess we should enjoy the moderation, while we have it.

This may not be as bad as where Rosemary is, San Antonio. Or is that Lake San Antonio, Rosemary? :-) It's a lot of water for a couple of hours! Supposed to be about over, but who knows.

Let's pray that we can get through tomorrow without an incident and our countrymen killed. Happy Birthday America!!


Randall 7-3-2002 23:20

hehehehehe... wet chickens... what an image, Rosemary!

It's funny, but I'm entirely ready to leave this place. I'm starting to wonder if I have a 'four year itch'. I always get tired of where I'm at after about four years. Yes, it's unique, and nice, and a great view, but it's also expensive (by our standards at least) Time for us to downsize to something more managable, both in terms of time and money. Can't wait for it to sell.

Cheri, do pop in more often! What is your business?

Mel, //////GOOD VIBES\\\\\\ and (((HUGS))) coming your way. Take it easy!

Jack, it sounds as if you are as obsessed by diving as I am by skydiving. Ain't it grand? It's like a whole new life to live, without the pains of puberty! Glad Hornby delivered all you hoped for. But... Uhm, Hornby is not in northern BC. Not even close to northern BC. It's in the south end of the Strait of Georgia. If you want north you need to go way farther. *For all non-Canadian notebookers, this means that he did not see polar bears, seals, or sled dogs! ;-D


Tina 7-3-2002 20:17

A Soggy (gurgle, gurgle)hello to all,

The above was a reference to the fact that we just got most of our years' allowance of rain. Low areas evacuated, eighteen wheelers washed off the freeway, the whole ten yards of suspense and terror.
My only problem was that my roof now leaks. Also the camper top on my truck leaks. Actually, I was wondering why it hadn't leaked before now. Probably because it didn't rain in the right amounts before.

San Antonio had just gone into stage one water restrictions on Friday. It started raining Saturday and didn't stop until early this morning. My sister's place flooded downstairs (as usual) It's almost a porch type area, but closed in. Hard to explain. We bought a steam cleaner a number of years ago, mostly for that purpose. It sucks the water out of the carpet. Luckly the pad is almost nonexistant and the temperature should be back into the ninety's by tomorrow. That should provide the steam.

Hope everything went smoothly and you are laying around recouperating.

Loved the piks of your house. Great views. Must be hard to give such a unique place up.

I didn't know the Dakota's got so hot. Both extremes, super cold now super hot. Sheesh. Of course, we go from really dry to completely soaked. I guess extremes are not overly unusual.

Got to go now.
At least we got clean ducks for a change. Wet chickens are really ugly.

Rosemary 7-3-2002 19:38

Hi all!!

MEL: Thanks for the sites for kids writing. My daughter has been bugging me about it since I told her, but we only have one PC and we use it for my business stuff and bill paying.

Hope you are feeling well after your surgery and hope to see you here again soon.

Now I'll go back to lurking. It's what I'm best at.

Cheri 7-3-2002 17:16

Hi Viv - No, I didn't get the last installment of Pommes in your email. Send it on again and I'll send you Earth again. I do wish I knew why we have so many problems with our two computers talking to each other.

I've got a big day of taking care of the household matters today. Pay bills, get the dogs their food, stop at the library, post office -- all that good stuff. I'll be disappearing this weekend. The paternal side of my family is having a get-together with many of the long-distance cousins showing up this time. One cousin was diagnosised with Lupus years ago, so I must talk to her. Another has been researching our famous ancestor and will be bringing his research with him. I can't wait to see all of those goodies either. It's been fifteen years since I've seen a number of these people. It will be a lot of fun.

Hello to everyone else. :)

Carol 7-3-2002 12:49

I have been receiving virus infected email from the following address: anyone recognize it? I don't, but just trying to trace down who's computer has my email address and has been infected.


Jerry 7-3-2002 10:19

Thanks Howard:
I have the prospectus, the detailed table of contents and two or three chapters about ready to go. I'll check it over again Friday. A quick look over and advice would be nice. I've talked to the guy at Oxford, he was the one to say give it a try. I'd really value your opinion and your editing this time around.

Carol: The same goes for you if I'm not being too overwhelming. Your input on Pommes is a real help. I hope you got my latest and I'm waiting on yours as well. Pommes is my stress breaker and I love it. That last suggestion was wonderful.

Viv 7-3-2002 9:14

Almost too tired to think straight. Got back from Hornby around two this morning. That after two one hundred plus foot dives morning and afternoon. The morning dive we got up close and personal with about a twelve foot six gill shark. Amazingly beautiful and awe inspiring. My only regret is that somewhere in the plunge down the wall that got us to eighty feet the video camera got turned off. Just got around fifteen seconds of the six gill finning slowly away off into the distance. Still, seeing it is going to be one of the high points in my experience as a diver. BTW, just realized in filling out the form for Hornby Island Divers that, yes, I have done over ninety dives. What was a surprise when the question was asked. over seventy of those were done since last September. And most of them were cold water. Well, off to bed. Take care and I will archive sometime in the next day or so. Too tired and too afraid I would somehow blow it. Take care everyone.

Jack Beslanwitch 7-3-2002 2:55

I am still working on the research for my long story. The more I read, the more I search the web, the more frightening these people become.

There is such hatred in their beliefs, there is a little bit of truth in their writings, but it is hidden so deep beneath the hate that it is nearly invisible.

There seems to be a political arm of their loose knit organization, their sites are much softer, the hate is hidden much deeper, the little truths become headlines, and buried beneath the little bits of truth are volumes of fiction well placed so as to be seen as more truths if that makes any sense.

I am beginning to believe that the gist of my story may not in fact intermesh with the true nature of the beasts, although I think I can hide the grinding gears amongst the noise of the story.

Some of the sites are so bad that I view them only when alone because I wouldn't want anyone to see what is on my screen for fear that they think me a part of it, or associate me with it.

Seeing what they are like only gives me more cause to write my little story, if only to call attention to what is going on behind closed doors here now, as our brave soldiers lay their lives on the line so we can continue to be free. So these hate mongers can go on with their speeches, their assault on the freedom of those who's only crime is the color of their skins.

Jerry 7-3-2002 0:41

VIV -- I'd suggest Mark as well, if he's not too busy. He's the teacher around here -- compared to him I'm "bush league."

howard 7-2-2002 23:27

VIV -- Dunno about "hair trigger," but English was my goodest subject in high schol. I'll be glad to take a look at you're book...


howard 7-2-2002 23:09

Hi Everyone! It's too busy time around here.

Howard: Thanks for the second Red Skeleton with the transcript. I'm going to start trying to memorize it too. Hana can do it from what she hears, but I can't. I need to see the words to learn them. I was going to sit down and write them myself, but uffff!

Anyway, now I can check if Hana got all the words! Whew! a time saver just when I needed it.

Howard, I'm scared to do something and I think you have the skills I need. You have a hair trigger sense of grammar and spelling. Would you look over a textbook proposal for me. I'm a little scared. First time I've done this all by myself. You have a hair trigger sense of grammar and spelling. I'll check it first so it should be minimal failure, but I want it really perfect. It will be ready on Sunday.

Carol: Did you get the bit of Pommes? I didn't get yours so could you send it again. I think it didn't attach. I had a tough time doing Pommes this time but I think that idea of yours really helps. I am not sure I carried it off long enough. Does it need more or should I keep the first glimpse of Sarah short?

Heather: I'll pull out Debts and take a second look on Friday.

Allein: Still looking...are you out there? PLEASE LET ME HEAR FROM YOU SOON! Want to get back those long overdue covers for your CD! Hana sent the translations, did you get them. Also she wants to work with her buddy James and get you more music in Japanese. She's not fond of it herself but James has quite a few CD's.

Viv 7-2-2002 22:36

Christi! Great to see you too. I've got the original of 'Stranger Than Fiction', just need the revised STF. (Just makin' sure).

Heather Hemlock Bags 7-2-2002 18:08

Carol - anything you add is not small in any way!
Great to see you here!

Howard, that is too cool. I'm pretty sure if I dug around deep down in my garden, all I'd find would be mud! ;o)

Heather 7-2-2002 18:06

Hi All :)

I can't believe I've missed so many days of poking my head in here. Heat and humidity really do a number on me. Today is still very warm, but the humidity level seems a little lower. Hopefully storms will arrive tonight to water the garden and cool us all off. I've actually managed to copy and save all the posts to work on off-line for the first time ever! Yipee! Now I can read and respond without worrying about getting bumped and losing all my hard work. hehehehe

Randall -- I just finished reading through and making comments on Flowers - check that email now. :)

Mel -- My best wishes regarding your surgery.

Litter -- I know the feeling of being behind on everything -- I only wish I had a consulation prize as you do in the form of writing accomplished. Congrats on getting so much writing done!

It's rather hard to respond individually to all the other posts in regards to categorizing fiction or to the posts regarding Native American living. In a nutshell, while categories have been standard for many, many years, there are numerous best-selling authors today who defy a pigeon hole defination. There are classics that defied the pigeon holes of their day. There will always (I hope) be controversy over this. On the one hand you have the purist who wishes to see the tradition of the art continued and refined. On the other hand, you have the excited teen-ager who has to defy convention and try something completely new. Both have a place in our world and a very real value. We have to know our past in order to understand our future and dream of what can be. I value reading the greats of yesterday and the newcomers of today. Each of us, as writers, tend to write what we know and what we admire, combining the two into a magic all its own. I say hurray for the diversity of this board and its writers.

Now, to see what I can add in my own small, small way. :)

Carol 7-2-2002 17:27

Jerry, I read that story you wrote for shortie night a few weeks back and wanted to let you know how fantastic your writing was in it. Great job all the way around!

Christi 7-2-2002 15:01


GOOD LUCK, MEL! Take it easy on yourself for a while, y'hear?

Randall, Thanks for askin'. The fires are becoming more and more contained as the days pass. The area burned so far is larger than the whole of Los Angeles. The Apache Indians took a big hit on this--at last count they'd lost half a billion in timber, though I haven't heard how many homes/businesses. Turns out that a reservation firefighter may be to blame for starting the main fire. He's been arrested and is said to have started the blaze because he needed the money and wanted to get paid for working the fire, never knowing how out of control it would get. He got his wish; he was one of the first called in to fight it. What a world.
400 + homes and businesses have burned, though the firefighters were able to save most. And now I'm sick of fire talk, oh yes I am. :)

Heather, Great! I'll whoosh STF straight over to ya. Glad to see you're back!

Tina, I love your house! It's just gorgeous.

Hi, Litter! I'm behind in being behind, so don't feel bad. Great news on the novel!

Don't have much to say; gotta run and put the child to bed for a nap and get to work on my novel. It's starting to get exciting.

Christi 7-2-2002 14:59

Hi all!

Howard, Salmon Arm is about 40 minutes north of here. Lovely little town, very artsy with a kick-butt folk and blues festival every year. Yes the whole area is spectacular, although it gets very dry to the south. We're already on water restrictions, and the flood alert just ended!

Painting is done, now for the carpets... Almost ready! Yay!

Blue skies!

Tina 7-2-2002 12:39

HEATHER -- I took it to a museum and compared it with several on display, then I saw a special on out PBS station that was done here, tracing the history of this area. THey showed some artifacts dated several thousand years (they said) BC, and some of the arrowheads looked exactly like the one from my garden.
There were lots of Indian settlements in this area, and we live near enough to the river that there were likely some living right here.
A friend of mine was plowing his cornfield a few years ago -- a field near the Chenango River. He looked back to see the furrow and noticed he'd run into something strange. He stopped and went back, and rooted around in the furrows until he unearthed several skulls and other bones, some pottery, flint tools, and other items. He very carefully covered everything back up and worked around it. He refuses to tell anyone where it is, and let the whole field go to pasture so that no one would disturb it. I know approximately where it is (within a hundred or so square acres), but promised him that I would not try to locate it.
Others have found (and exploited) several local burial sites over the years.

howard 7-2-2002 10:03

Mark - Didn't the Europeans just dub anyone a savage that happened to live on land the Europeans wanted to claim for themselves? Well, I suppose there were a few other requirements: The 'new land' must be seen as being improperly exploited. The 'savages' must be small enough in number, or 'backward' enough not to have weaponry that could outdo the European weaponry, and there must be somewhere to shove a European flag?

Thanks for the heads up on the editing!

Howard - VERY COOL - where have you taken the arrowhead to have it dated?


and goodbye for the moment,

Heather 7-2-2002 9:52

TINA -- Beautiful! Nice job on the page too! That certainly is beautiful country up there. My son-in-law was just up that way on a job -- in Salmon Arm. I guess that's a bit to the north of you. He sent a couple of pictures of the area, and really liked it.

howard 7-2-2002 7:06

Thanks Deb! I hope many other people (read: buyers) like it too! We aren't moving far. In fact, we don't have anything lined up yet. Don't know if we'll buy again (smaller) or rent, but if we sell fast we will likely spend the summer in our tent trailer =c) For now, we both have decent jobs here, and I'm jumping here, and Troy is doing metalwork here, so we won't move out of town. For now. ;-)

Blue skies!

Tina 7-2-2002 0:40

Randall - I do know what you mean, about the lifestyle, it does sound like the way to live, until you factor in the fact that their entire existence evolved around the presence of game, which was so very available till the white man came in and slaughtered them by the thousands. (Bison that is) The last great buffalo hunt took place about ten miles west of where I sit at this very minute. There is a large brown sign alongside the highway explaining the whole thing.

Deadwood has suffered a bit of a loss, only a few homes, but that's a few families who have lost it all. Not as bad as Shields which, by the way, is on the reservation. I grew up just a few miles from the reservation border, well for the first ten years or so.

Around here the Indians were looked down upon by most who knew them. My dad, however treated them as he would treat anyone, and I had a great uncle who was a squaw man (well they used to call him a squaw humper) but he dated Indian ladies who came to call because he always kept a couple of bottles of wine, (and rubbing alcohol for the ones he didn't care that much for).

Mom to this very day is terrified of Indians, the farm where she grew up was just a mile from the reservation and she had many frightening experiences with the Indians.

I think the reason they were considered so low when I was growing up was the fact that nearly all the Indians here in town were alcoholics, and could be found in the alleys passed out. I recall a fellow named Noah Has Horns, who froze to death in the doorway of the Trading Post, a small store a block off Main Street. As a peace officer, I found them easier to handle then most white drunks, the majority of them welcomed a night in the crow bar motel, it was warm, had clean sheets, and a free (mandatory) shower. We also furnished them with clean cloths when we let them go (donated by the Ladies Aides).

The last city I worked was just south of the Devils Lake Sioux reservation, these were a bit different Indians (they say each tribe has it's own ways, and I agree). We didn't have the drunk problem, or at least not on so grand a scale as here, but there were some horrendous crimes on the reservation, one that comes to mind happened when after a night of drinking, several young braves decided to get even with the whites. Unable to find a white man, the grabbed a retired tribal cop, beat him nearly to death, then ran over him so many times parts of his body were scattered over nearly a mile of the highway.

You may say that they have every right to be angry, and I would agree, right now the Indians in this area are suing the state trying to get ownership of the man made lake just south of town, where we camp because an old treaty promised them the land bordered by the Grand River, well the lake is fed by both the north and south Grand river. Only thing is that the treaty was superseded by another (this after the Custer Battle at Little Big Horn river in Montana), the new treaty set the boundaries much further east, where the reservation is now located.

There is a fine Indian casino about a hundred miles from here, but you won't find anyone from here using the facilities (well almost none there are the confirmed gamers who refuse to go along with the crowd) because of this suit.

What they fail to take into consideration, I think is the fact that they are a defeated people, and that because of that fact, treaties that were granted, then broken by both sides are no longer valid, much like common law, the last treaty stands as valid.

Jerry 7-2-2002 0:36


On Blackhawk Down: That was a powerful movie, but also very hard to watch it. I found myself almost in tears after a few scenes.

Sorry for my absence... How is everyone doing? Sorry to hear about the bushfires and especially to hear about a firefighter being arrested over the one in Arizona

Taylor 7-1-2002 23:53

I saw BLACKHAWK DOWN. Awesome movie. Before we were a half-hour into it, the whole audience was quiet. I remain amazed that no scene elicited a single, "Wow, look at that!" or a derisive, "Yeah, right." Just silence. At times I felt like I was witness to a bad accident, you know what I mean? A scene you want to turn away from, but can't help yourself, you keep looking? I usually take people from the house with me. Gordy, who always says, "It was a movie," simply said "mmm" when asked if he liked it. Jean, who sat with a friend she spotted there, said "we were crying, were you crying?"

On Native Americans: The Noble Savage is an idea with a long history (especially since some people still hold it). Europeans had some funny ideas about people who lived 'close to Nature' and adhered to 'natural' codes of conduct. That was the theory. In practice the Noble Savage was always the Savage over the next hill, across the next ocean. The native inhabitants who greeted European travelers somehow always turned out to be savage savages. Montaigne used South American natives he never met as examples of nobility in nature. Swift used Polynesian natives in "A Modest Proposal" where he elevated cannabalism to nobility and suggested the English should practice more of it (on the Irish, of course).

HEATHER -- work under way.

Mark 7-1-2002 23:26

BTW RANDALL -- and anyone else interested -- check on
and look at the pix of the arrowhead we found a while ago in my garden. We had thought it to be 1200-1500 years old, but now we have reason to believe that it's much older than that.

howard 7-1-2002 23:14

TEEKAY -- Where'dya go?

RANDALL -- I too was enamored of the Indian lifestyle when I was a kid. I guess I read "Last of the Mohicans" five or six times, and any other book of Indian lore and history as well. I even made a tomahawk, that I learned to throw well enough to kill a rabbit or two, and skinned, cooked, and ate them down in the old stone quarry on the back forty on the place where I grew up. I made several bows, none of them very respectable, and a spear or two.
If you want to get a pretty accurate idea of the eastern tribes, read Allan W. Eckert's "The Winning of America" series. "Wilderness Empire" is set in the area where I live, and has as its main character William Johnson, who was an adopted Mohawk, and who sat in many of their councils. "The Frontiersmen" is the parallel story of Tecumseh and Simon Kenton, and is my favorite. The account of the New Madrid earthquake is enough to make your hair stand on end! The whole series is extensively researched and foot-noted, with sources clearly cited.
I'd recommend any of Eckert's work, but especially this series.
After I read "The Frontiersman" I happened to pass through Xenia, Ohio, on our way out to take our daughter to college. I took a wrong turn, and had to back into a small parking lot to turn around. As I did, I noticed one of those "historical site" markers and stopped to read it. Turns out that the cabin behind the marker was the actual Galloway cabin, that belonged to a family befriended by Tecumseh, and who were under his explicit protection. Talk about goosebumps!
As I said, I'd highly recommend any of Eckert's books.

howard 7-1-2002 22:48



I was the first one in. What a tour. You have a beautiful home!

Where are you hoping to go?

Debra 7-1-2002 22:47

Hi all!

To everyone dealing with fires, (((HUGS))) We had our bout of forest fires 4 summers ago, and it got very ugly. At one point we had three bad fires nearby, and visibility was about 50 meters. People lost homes, livelihoods... nasty.

Randall, that kind of simplicity is so very tantalising. My hubby and I used to talk about disappearing into the bush for a couple years, just to experience it. Nowadays I wouldn't mind being a skydiving bum, living at the dropzone in my tent trailer with my rig and computer. (sigh) Then reality kicks in. I like my toys and books and internet too much. ;-)

Hey, I finished the website for selling our house. I put the link below... hope it works. Anyone who wants to check it out and give me input, please go for it! And if anyone wants a nice home in the Sunny Okanagan... I know of a great place for sale... ;-)

Back to painting...

Tina my house page 7-1-2002 22:20


Hi Jerry!

Gee! You must have been sitting on the machine to post that quickly. :-) Yes a missing squad car would be a great loss.

Jerry, I guess I miss the freedom that NA's had. I read once that Native Americans practiced the only true form of democracy on this continent. As you know our government is a republic, not a democracy. However, that is why the NA's fared so badly in the Indian wars. After the Little Big Horn, instead of advancing against the white soldiers, most simply went home. Or fled to Canada. There were enough different tribes together at that time with thousands of and well armed warriors, they could have punished the soldiers for invading the Black Hills, part of their territory. Where would we be if the NA's had a George Patton? Still, Red Cloud, a true tactician devastated the white calvary of George Fetterman with a classical sucker ‘em in and ambush everybody. But I digress. :-)

I realize that they had intertribal conflicts and bloody battles over turf and horses. But there were tribes who lived together and traded peacefully. I am basically a lazy person, who hates to live within the guidelines of Anglo-Saxon work ethic. The idea of hunting and fishing and camping out without having to commute to work and worry over money problems and taxes and all that concern us today ... is awful appealing to me.


Randall 7-1-2002 21:33


One more thing....

I have written of reading song lyrics. This is arguably the best, though ELUSIVE BUTTERFLY is excellent.


Performed by Glen Campbell

Written by John Hartford

It's knowing that your door is always open,
and your path is free to walk,
that makes me tend to leave my sleeping bag
rolled up and stashed behind your couch.

And it's knowing I'm not shackled
by forgotten words and bonds
and the ink stains that have dried if on some line,
that keeps you in the backroads by the rivers of my mem'ry
that keeps you ever gentle on my mind.

It's not clinging to the rocks and ivy
planted on the columns now that binds me,
or something that somebody said
because they thought we fit together walking.

It's just knowing that the world will not be cursing
or forgiving when I walk along some railroad track
and find that you are moving on the backroads
by the rivers of my mem'ry
and for hours you're just gentle on my mind.


And yes, I'm just like a kid who wants to share. :-)

Randall 7-1-2002 21:06

Randall - I can understand that, but your truck doesn't have a 12 gauge shotgun on the dash, red lights and a siren, and an interceptor engine; and if your truck goes missing, some mechanics will have to wait for parts, when the squad is missing, someone could die waiting for help. It does make a difference.

Also the American Indian may have lived in this fine land before we got here, but they weren't living in peace and tranquility, they went to war between the tribes and nations, much as the European's went to war in their time. It is easy to think of them as a wonderful peaceful society, but you do have to open your eyes to the fact that they, like ourselves have tempers, and the desire for the property of others.

Jerry 7-1-2002 20:53



Mary, and Viv you understand I was exploring the politically correct mentality. Didn't you? (Grin) My tongue was firmly in cheek!

Jerry, I nearly always leave our delivery pickup unlocked and running as I deliver parts. My boss told me one time. "If anyone is dumb enough to steal that piece of junk, with NAPA painted all over it...let ‘em have it. Its insured!"

Howard, yes and I love BC. A great cartoon. (Long pause) And I don't know why the brave are on reservations. When I think of the billions and billions of dollars we send countries that basically hate us and steal the makes me sick. A lot of my friends are telling me I should watch BLACKHAWK DOWN. I can't cause I know that our boys were killed for a so-called rescue mission, a humanitarian mission to Somalia. BS. Those boys were killed over a bunch of people not much more than animals. And I'll leave that alone.

There are Native Americans desperate for so many things I/we take for granted. When I was just a boy I read THE LIGHT IN THE FOREST (later a movie.) I wanted to be an Indian so bad I ate my meals sitting on the floor, and slept on the floor "Indian style". Mom and dad humored me and left me alone and I soon returned to the table and bed. When we consider all things, it is possible that the North American continent WAS a Garden of Eden, before the settlers arrived from Europe. It didn't take the materialistic Anglo-Saxons long to screw that up!!!

At one time I possessed a short story that an Indian reportedly wrote. It said that white men were crazy because they killed buffalo that would furnish them meat, plowed under natural grass, to plant foreign crops that were hard to grow, worked for a living when nature would provide, ... so many other sayings I can't remember them all. Pretty sad.

Good luck Mel!!!!


Randall 7-1-2002 20:45

Mr. Croll??? I'm confused... But I've just been watching 'Fight Club' and I don't know who I am anymore.

Litter, Maybe? 7-1-2002 19:06

Hi All!

Where does the time go? I’m behind with my magazines. I’m behind with my reading, both fiction and non-fiction. I’m behind with my email, this forum, life, the universe, and everything… But I did get a shit-load of writing done yesterday.

My murder-mystery novel, which had been playing hard to get, just lost its virtue and gave it all up in one glorious burst of inspiration. All I have to do now is join up the dots. Wheeeeeeeee!

But I see that this place is just as active. Now for a rummage to see what’s happening.

All good things,

Litter 7-1-2002 18:42

Where are my manners, Mel, good luck with the new hip, it's a piece of cake, mom had a knee replaced a couple of years ago, and she is so very happy with the results, the pain that had been bothering her for nearly fifty years was gone, and she now walks on her tredmill for forty minutes a day, not bad for 75 years old.

Jerry 7-1-2002 17:01

For those interested in the fire in the Black Hills, here's a link.

There was another fire yesterday, it was a prairie fire, and took out 7500 acres of grassland, as well as the town of Shields North Dakota. None of the 18 residents were injured, as they had been evacuated, it also came within yards of the town of Porcupine ND, but thanks to the valiant effort of the firemen, that town was saved.

The Governor's of both states have called for a ban on fireworks (which started the Shields Prairie Fire), and to tell the truth, I think I've only heard one short blast of firecrackers last night, none today, so it appears level heads prevail in this drought.

Jerry Deadwood Fire Report 7-1-2002 16:59

Best of luck MEL
See you in a few days.
I bagsie the PC

Eddie 7-1-2002 11:01


Mel, you'll come through like a trouper. IMHO, recovery is as much a matter of determination as it is of medical intervention. You have the drive to get through it, thus, you will!

Randall, I speak the truth =c) Believe in it!

Blue skies!

Tina 7-1-2002 10:47

VIV -- And all else interested - that Red Skelton "Pledge of Allegiance" piece is available in a very nice presentation at

You can hear the actual sound clip as well as read the text of the piece.
It's very nice!

howard 7-1-2002 10:18


Good morning to each and everyone of you! :-]

LITTER: Never mind. HOWARD explained Mr. Croll. I don't dare ask about the "bouncy bits!"

HOWARD: "Chri-Fi' -- yup. Sounds inevitable. Don't forget Chri-Sci-Fi. How about romantic Chri-Sci-Fi (Ro-Chri-Sci-Fi? or Chri-Ro-Sci-Fi?) And I get to purchase/shelve them. (New shelf labels. New budget lines. Re-write the catalogers' how-to-catalog books book.) A librarians' work is never finished. ;-]

RANDALL: And a special shelving area for great novels with lots of Native American lore in them, SO much in them that some readers will wonder: is this fiction or nonfiction? Oh, who cares?? It's a GREAT story!!! :-] (Keep 'em coming, RANDALL!)

JERRY: I've been to Deadwood! 1966 or 1973, can't remember for sure - I was just a kid. I thought Deadwood was a very interesting-looking town! Hope the fires don't take it.

TINA: Thanks for thinking of me. :-)

VIV: New York City might shadow Tokyo a bit but the REST of New York State is TOTALLY different...rolling hills, many rural towns, some large or medium-sized cities scattered across the state... lots of libraries and cultural stuff everywhere. :-) Come visit, by all means!!

GS: I LOVE Billy Joel's music! :-]

Well, my writing friends, I want to thank you again for sharing so frequently your vast resources of inspiration, humor, compassion, and downright friendly selves here on JACK's Notebook. You have filled me with new energy so many times I've lost count!!! :-)

Tomorrow morning is my hip joint surgery, so I have oodles of things to do at home today, errands to run, while I still can, laundry and ironing, books to stack for summer reading, move my bed downstairs for my six-weeks-on-a-walker recuperation period... Still have my mental blinders on, regarding certain aspects of surgery and recuperation, i.e. all the things that could go wrong...I'm keeping myself distracted as best as possible, and I thank you for having helped me to do so.

A solitary fleeting thought nags me, so I'll speak it before I re-secure my mental blinder: should something happen to take me early from this world, I want you all to know I have a TON of writers' resources at home (mostly from the Writers' Digest Book Club) and all my writing notes and mss. also... I would want all of you to have them, share them, use whatever bits of creative inspiration you could find in my writings or my books, as my thanks to you for sharing your writing thoughts and aspirations with me. HOWARD and TINA and BEN have my home address; all of you have my heart.

I am replacing that mental blinder now, as it's too painful and scary to leave off. I have many things planned for my future, things that start with a new hip joint and being able to move again more freely. Freedom, right now to me, means the precious breath of life, the ability to walk any short distance, the chance to talk with friends. And most of all, freedom means the on-going opportunity to lay my cares in the hands of my Lord and Savior God; I'm trusting Him to get me through this operation and recuperative time, so I can do whatever He asks of me in future.

I may get the chance to pop back here tonight or early tomorrow. Meanwhile, a blessed, writing-filled day to all of you!!! :-)

Mel 7-1-2002 9:35

VIV -- Suburban? No, but it is beginning to feel a bit crowded. Lisle, NY, the town I live in, (I'm talking town in the larger sense, with several villages within it) has about 2500 residents, in an area of 27,100 acres. Within that are the assorted villages of Lisle, Center Lisle, and Upper Lisle, with some other hamlets thrown in for good measure. In 1962, when my parents bought the place we now live in, we couldn't see another house from ours.
It's predominately a farming community, with a scattering of light industry and other commercial enterprises.
I regularly have deer, wild turkeys, rabbits, even the occasional coyote in my back yard.
Nearby is Whitney Point, a somewhat larger village in the towns of Barker and Triangle. It sits at the junction of the Tioughnioga and Otselic rivers. They're small streams, but they do move a lot of water. The Tioughnioga continues southeast to join the Chenango River, which in turn joins the Susquehanna in Binghamton.
About a half hour south of Lisle, Binghamton is a city of about 50,000, with some nice libraries and three good colleges. It also boasts of minor league baseball and hockey, Hidy Ochiai's Karate school, Roberson Center, The Anderson Center, the Forum, etc etc.
Nearby Endicott is the home of IBM and the spiedie (if you haven't had a spiedie you haven't lived).
Yesterday afternoon/evening we made a round trip from home to the 1000 Islands region of the St Lawrence -- about 2 hrs and 15 minutes each way. About the same distance in roughly the opposite direction brings us to the Mid Hudson Valley, (home of the village of Sleepy Hollow) then a short distance further is NYC. A couple of hours northeast are the Adirondacks, with more museums, etc etc.
Bottom line, I can walk for hours without stepping on concrete (or toes), or I can get lost in a crowd in a short time.
I like it.

RANDALL -- Jonny Hart, who is also a local resident of this area, and who still lives nearby, published one of his "BC" cartoons that had BC sending one of his floating letters off. If you're not familiar with the strip, he regularly sends thes across the big water and waits for answers.
Anyway, on this one he says "This is the land of the free and the home of the brave!"
The reply comes back: "If it's the land of the free, how come the Braves are on reservations?"

howard 7-1-2002 8:49

Hi Mel and Howard: WATCH OUT I may come camp on your doorstep. That many colleges and libraries all within a drive from a small town??? type environment. Is it small town type environment or completely suburban? Somehow I always pictured New York as a Tokyo like city. How far away are you from the city? When I look at a map New York seems so small compared to the Western states. Wow, going East suddenly doesn't seem at all bad.

We have exactly one year, one month, and one day to go...if we don't get moved. After that we are completely free (lost???) retired souls with the world at our doorstep. First stop...America.

Randall, we were in Annaberg East Germany before the wall fell in 1989. That was an interesting study in how much freedom we have as Americans. You aren't afraid to speak, you are able to buy things to make a home repair. Our police at least have cars that go faster than 30 miles an hour. *Police cars and all cars were Traubes and didn't go very well because no matter how you worked you got the same no one really worked. It's funny what we see as a lack of freedom. Not that I don't agree with you....

What I consider the most important things to watch:

We need to keep the freedom to say what we like without fear.

We need to keep an eye on the amount of power we give police and the courts.

I'm glad you are out there talking because our American freedom is the right to say what we like...and without fear of being arrested. (And to be listened to respectfully!)
America, the country with the many opinions! I love hearing Americans express ideas. My Chinese friends always write what they think on tiny pieces of paper using itty bitty letters then tear up the paper into a million pieces and deposit it in several trash cans. Look at us, splashing our opinions all over the internet! Yah! Way to go! America has it's screw ups, but at least we can talk about them and try to change them. (Uh, and very least we can repair our toilets when they bust, and buy a car that will go over 30 miles an hour, and we have streets with concrete...not potholes because someone stole the concrete to repair the side of their house)

Viv 7-1-2002 5:07

Already had this done before the topic came out, so I'll post it, not on topic, but I'll try to do something on topic by the due day.

At any rate, this is a true tale that happened here a bunch of years ago. I wasn't working here, but came to work just weeks after the incident, and heard the tale after asking the facts behind a large cartoon of Big Al with his pants around his feet as his unit drives off in the distance.

Here it is as told by the Chief, and by Big Al both of whom are retired now.

Al and The Car.
by Jerry Ericsson

The winter on the great northern desert in North Dakota is one of the most severe in the world; isolated as it is from the warming effects of the oceans, and the nature of the artic air to flow south cause temperatures to drop well below zero, often with accompanying winds in excess of fifty miles per hour. There are nights when the mercury falls so far that it no longer registers, when it is so cold that the people must rely on the weather bureau to tell them exactly how cold it is.

That night, the weather bureau told them that it was sixty degrees below zero, and with the wind the wind chill was over one hundred degrees below zero. Temperatures like that will freeze exposed human skin in under a minute.

Alvin Anders pulled the patrol car up in front of his home; it was eleven thirty pm, his dinner break time. Being the only officer on duty in the city, that meant leaving the streets uncovered, but hell a guy has to eat doesn’t he?

He reached for his spare keys, and found that he forgot them on the dresser when he left for work. That’s ok, he figured ain’t a soul on the streets tonight anyhow. He got out of the car, and hurried to his front door, leaving his unit running, the doors unlocked, just in case the keys weren’t on the dresser like he figured, he could have left them on the desk at the PD, and if he had, he would be without a car without the keys for the PD even, as they were both on the same key ring.

He opened the door to his home; it was warm, as he knew it would be. His wife and kids were sleeping, so he walked with care so as not to disturb them to the kitchen, where he heated up a TV dinner, then turned on the little TV that sat on the kitchen table for just such occasions, and watched Johnny Carson. When he was done with dinner, he shut off the TV, then to the bathroom for his daily duty, and reading the newspaper.

Done with the necessities of life, Alvin went back out to his car. Well to where his car had been, when he got there, it was gone. It hadn’t rolled down the street, nope, it was plum gone, and he had no idea what to do next. He stood there, ice crystals began to form on his face, a tear ran down his cheek and froze there as he had visions of the chief ripping the badge from his shirt and throwing him out of the office.

It wasn’t like this was the first time anything had happened before, just a few months before; he had fallen asleep behind the wheel of the patrol car, and slammed it into the cement welcome sign that sat in the center of Main Street where it intersected the main highway. He had been able to talk his way out of that one by concocting a story about a pursuit that never happened, but this time there was no possible excuse he could come up with to recover the loss of his car.

He went back into the house, and made the call he dreaded, to the Chief.

“Ah Chief, I sort of lost the patrol car.” The officer stammered into the phone, then held the receiver a ways away from his ear, in anticipation of the Chief’s reaction.

To his surprise, the Chief didn’t yell, in fact he sort of took it well. Well not well, but he didn’t come unglued like Alvin had anticipated.

“Meet me in front of your house in about four minutes, and Al, be there OK.”

“I’ll be there.” The officer assured his boss.

To make sure he was there when the Chief arrived, he went back out in the cold to wait.

True to his word, the chief arrived exactly four minutes from the time he hung up the phone. Alvin’s face was white with fear, and frost bite, as he climbed into the Chief’s patrol car.

“Got any idea who was out tonight, who might have taken the car?” he asked.

“Shit Chief, there wasn’t anyone out, not a soul, to damn cold for the kids to be out, and the drunks stayed home must have figured their cars wouldn’t start if they left them parked in front of the bar.

“Well let’s just start looking then!” The chief said, as he threw the car into gear, then waited the three seconds it took for the fluid now nearly solid to circulate in the automatic transmission and allow the car to move.

The two officers, now joined by the State Highway Patrolman who live in town, and the Game Warden who was stationed there, combed the whole city, the alleys, the streets, the parking lots but no squad car. They looked for three hours to no avail. The Sheriff who was out in the country reported nothing found on his part.

Just when the Chief was ready to call off the search, Tom Anderson, who was on his way to the Café for early morning coffee flagged the officers down.

“Looking for the city car?” he asked.

“Ya, why?” the Chief Replied.

“Well looks to me like Burlington Northern found it, there’s a city squad car out on the West crossing on the Farm to Market road, saw it when I came to town.” Tom reported with a chuckle.

The officers hit the reds and headed out of town, with in a minute or so, they were at the rail crossing, sure as hell, there was the patrol car, now in a thousand pieces scattered down the railroad tracks.

Alvin didn’t get fired, many said it was because he had something on the Chief, others said he had something on the Mayor, but if the truth were to be told, he had nothing on anyone. Officers are just way to hard to find and train, that and the fact nearly everyone in the little town liked big Alvin, he was just one of those guys that’s hard to dislike

They never discovered who it was that took that car that bitterly cold night, but the local cartoonist had great fun with the incident, and late at night, when the town is dead, when the temperature is so very cold that the thermometers can’t register it, when the cops must depend on the weather bureau to tell them how very cold it is, on nights like that, when the officer must take his dinner break, he always thinks of Big Alvin, and the BN train, then locks his car with the engine running, using one of the four spare keys he is issued, to insure that the car will be there when he needs it.

Jerry 7-1-2002 0:10


All this time I didn't know you were Ithaca guy. I was in Syracuse last August. At least I would have known I was somewhere near you. "Some folks like to get away, take a holiday from the neighborhood." I was in a New York State of Mind. Me and Billy Joel. Even though I haven't seen all the movie stars in their fancy cars and their limousines I still get that way sometime.

gariess 7-1-2002 0:04

I hope you all know that I was just trying to stir up emotion for the shortie topic. LOL Randall? Right? LOL

Mary 6-30-2002 23:24

"You know it takes a really brave man to not work and hang out on street corners."

That is one of the biggest crocks I have read around here in a while and that's saying something.

Mary 6-30-2002 22:10


Good afternoon...

Mark, I too quit drinking in 1981, well closer to the spring of 1982 actually. However, after nearly 20 years of putting 'em back...I stopped. The reason was a baby girl named Sara Janeen. I simply could not afford beer and milk and that was a no brainier. Now this little girl is a sophomore in college, and wants to be an international banker. I have no doubt that she will make it.

Interesting conversations we have had. Thanks for the insights my friend.

Tina...thanks. And yes I will continue to plug on. :-)

Howard...until the morons who practice political correctness are gone...we will always have problems. I was tempted to go through the stanza line by line and point out the things that PC types find offensive, But, not today.

Well, perhaps just one.

"O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave."

PC mentality...

Land of the free, my ass! Its certainly not all it's cracked up to be Hombre. After all many founding fathers were slave owners, not much freedom there. Glory be! One even had a Negro mistress! And everyone knows that American prisons are full of poor minorities who did not have the money for a proper defense. Nothing free about that either. Rich white criminals are free cause they had money for white rich fat cat lawyers. America is not the home of the free at all. It is being plundered by corporations who take poor peoples money and run. So don't give me that land of the free crap.

And just what is home of the brave supposed to mean? Do you mean the soldier boy, gung ho types who attack innocent villagers and bomb little brown people? That God, Bill and Hillary put them right where they belong! Out the back door! Everyone knows that large corporations and the military are in bed together. The so called military-industrial complex. And sure it's easy to be brave when you have a job. How about the poor people frozen out of the market so rich people can loot and plunder. Home of the brave indeed! If you want to see a true home of the brave make everyone equal. Open up the southern borders, let everyone in! Welfare, drivers license and free medical care for everybody! Power to the people! Down with stupid rules and regulations regarding time limits on welfare. More taxes for the wealthy. You know it takes a really brave man to not work and hang out on street corners. Why crime against poor street people is terrible!



Randall 6-30-2002 21:35

Shortie Night Theme: Self-Righteousness

Mary 6-30-2002 21:22

The weather has gone back to Dakota, nice, comfortable, even, yet no rain.

Randall - Huh?

Been one of those days, great meal, good cards (won three games of 5 handed!) now it's back home and channel 9, Simpson and friends night, a true escape from reality, no Muslims, no bin laudin, no war just stupid cartoons. I love it.

Write on

Jerry 6-30-2002 20:22

Anybody recognise this?

Oh thus be it e'er when free men shall stand
Between their lov'd homes and war's desolation!
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that has made and presrv'd us a nation
And conquer we must when our cause is just
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

It's the last stanza of our national anthem. I wonder how long it will be legal to sing it?

Interesting discussion on the novel. There is a difference, but the lines are constantly blurring, as is everything we hold to be a standard. History is changing to please the PC crowd, words are being redefined, even my grits are advertised as having "fewer calories!"

The distance is growing less between "Literary" and "Sci-fi," and now it's "Fantasy/Sci-Fi." With the rise in the Christian fiction genre I'm surprised that they've not shortened that to "Chri-Fi."

howard 6-30-2002 15:16

RANDALL -- Listen . . .

Hear it?

That's the sound of me not drinking. I put it down in January of Nineteen and Eighty-One. Have been much happier ever since.

Nope. Not a trick question. I think a piece of writing has to serve a purpose. In one of his speeches at Cornell, Nabokov said that the writer must be the most moral person in the room. Confused the p--s out of me when he said that. This is the guy who wrote "Lolita." Turns out that if you're sober and highly literate (I was neither at the time) then you can see that the book is about a man's obsession. Most of his other stuff is just as obscure. For years I thought his books were all about human sexuality. Imagine that!

Writer/Editor. I can't edit my own stuff as well as some other people can. I also think that people understand my references, that, like Athena, you all come fully formed and fully armed from the first day. When someone else reads my stuff, s/he can point out those things. "Mark? What did you mean by 'like the minks on Main Street'?"

I rely on editors for many things, but the core jobs of making shape and keeping focus only happen if I rake my rambling scatter of pearls.

"Terminology and POV and ego." Yup. I got all that equipment. : )

TINA -- too true.

Mark 6-30-2002 14:06


Hi all!

It's a lousy windy day today. Translate that as 'no jumping' Dang. Guess I'll just have to do the chores I should be doing. But like Randall said, priorities =c) I'd rather be jumping out of an airplane!

Mark, a question for you. How much of Randalls novel have you read? If all you have read is what he's posted here, IMHO you haven't read enough to make this call. It may not be whipped into final shape, but the portion I've read (the first 80 pages or so) has all the workings of a novel.

You said, "A novel involves people in human conflict and shows some who survive and some who don't (extreme case scenario). All the people involved use their own human wits, their own native skills. When the gods come walking and talking, when the gods contribute to the outcomes, then we are no longer in the land of the novel"

If I may be so bold as to speak about Randall's novel, the god's are not the central characters. Not at all. It is about human conflict, about human wits and 'their own native skills.' You just need to read a tad further ;-) Yes, the beginning gives a different impression, and time will tell what Randall does with it (Randall! Rewriting may not be fun, but it's so worth it in the end! You have what it takes to form this story into what you want!) BUT! Once the story really gets started, the novel emerges.

Mel, you take care of yourself!

Hallee, how go the plans?

Heather, can you send me some of those energy pills you must be taking?

Had a weird thing happen on Friday. A bird landed on my kitchen window sill. Nothing odd there, except it was a blue parakeet. It sat there for about 2 hours, preening and chirping. It had to be an escaped pet. It was beautiful!

Time to go and paint. Can't wait to have this work done, and the house sold. Maybe then I can squeeze in a bit of writing. :-]

Blue skies!

Tina 6-30-2002 12:32



"Although considered a legend by many historians, and a myth by others, there is considerable evidence that in AD 1170, the Welsh prince Madog (commonly spelled Madoc) ab Owain Gwynedd set out from North Wales with ten ships of emigrants fleeing anarchy and civil unrest. While crossing the Atlantic, his fleet was drawn by currents around the southern tip of Florida and driven aground in Mobile Bay.
These ancient "pilgrims" trekked up the Alabama River into Tennessee, where the remains of masonry fortifications have been discovered. A helmet and breastplate was found in southern Indiana, along the Ohio River.

Lewis and Clark wintered with the Mandon tribe along the Missouri River. They found the Mandon village laid out with a center square. In the square the Indians had erected effigies resembling crucifixes, and told a story very much like Noah and the flood. President Jefferson had correspondence with them concerning "Welsh Indians."

George Catlin, a nineteenth-century painter who spent eight years living among various Indian tribes, was among those who were impressed by the Mandan's remarkable traits. Catlin wrote: "A stranger in the Mandan village is first struck with the different shades of complexion, and various colors of hair which he sees in a crowd about him, and is almost disposed to exclaim that these are not Indians." The artist also noted "a most pleasing symmetry and proportion of features, with hazel, gray and blue eyes."

Some later investigators supported the theory, noting that the Welsh and Mandan languages were so similar that the Mandans easily responded to the Welsh tongue. Further, it was observed that unlike members of other tribes, the Mandans grew white-haired with age and practiced a method of fishing unique to Wales. A smallpox epidemic devastated the Mandan tribe, severing their living link to their mariner forebearers."

Steven D. Oberlin / / revised Jan 01


Randall 6-30-2002 7:42



Cooling off up there Jerry? Now you're having Texas weather! An hour or so before bedtime my grandmother would turn her bedspread down and with the ironing bottle of wster sprinkle the sheets lightly. When living without AC, the little tricks get you through hot times. But then you're married and may not have any "hot times." Eh? :-)

Well darn, just when I'm beginning to get a handle on this thing ... Heather tells me to get an older dictionary for crying out loud, then reverts the discussion of term from novel to story. :-) That's kinda like trying to hold a big old yellow catfish named Muckers. Just when you think you've got Muck close to frying times, he slips away.

"When the gods come walking and talking, when the gods contribute to the outcomes, then we are no longer in the land of the novel."

Why not? Does that mean we are treading on biblical turf? If we're talking about writing then a novelist should be able to mix any amount of information, godly or otherwise in a novel (story) The novel THE ROBE keeps slipping in and out of my mind. Fiction dealing with real events. Gods mixed with humanity on an earthly plane. Would this be apropos here?

"In those letters, don't call it a novel. FedEx drops a package at my door with a contract that says ". . . the enclosed novel . . ." and I start to read something which is not a novel, I wonder if I have the wrong package."

Mark, persons who have been in the military will spot the connection with this statement right off. This sounds a lot like standing by for barracks inspection in the military. When an inspecting officer comes into the barracks, white gloves on, one declares. "Barracks standing by for inspection sir!"

But Mark, if you state "Barracks ready for inspection sir!" You just messed up big time. You have defined that the barracks is ready for inspection. That is the officer's responsibility, not yours, annnnnnnnnnnd you just crossed the line and impugned his ego. He or she will decide if the barracks is ready for inspection. Merely a matter of terminology and POV and ego.

I have removed my "manuscript" from public and professional consideration a couple of times because I did not like the way it was being perceived. Honest. Submitting is not something I take lightly or has a high degree of importance right now. I would never mass mail "Flowers" willy-nilly. Or submit to someone I didn't trust, or know. Why? Well, I don't trust most folks in general and view editors as not writers, simply because their title is editor and not writer. If you are editor, then in my mind our relationship is adversarial at the get go. If you are writer then we'll do fine. If you're writer/editor ... ah, my advice is to start drinking heavy ... and soon.

"Why are you telling this tale?"

Is this a trick question Mark? You might as well ask who are the Welsh Indians? Back in the late 1700's, explorers were prowling the headwaters of the Missouri looking for ... Welsh Indians. Probably poked around Jerry's area as well. There was a story/legend at the time that some Welsh people had crossed the Atlantic hundreds of years before and were living happily in America. No kidding. Of course there were not Welshmen in the area. If there were, Americans might behave more like Richard Burton than proper Englishmen. (Perhaps we do? Or should!) And after a period of time Welsh immigrants would have been assimilated into Native American culture and only detectable by DNA analysis, which was in the formative years back then.

The point is, a writer tells tales because tantalizing tidbits of improbable information are out there, floating around and begging to be brought forward. Wild, implausible stories that some intelligent readers might like to know if brought forward in a novel. The term "writer" should probably be expanded to writer-gatherer. Cause that is what writing is about, a gathering of information, formatted, structured, then restructured, then discarded, arranged, from within the writers own, however weird, mind. To his, or her value system, with a specific goal in mind, then altered halfway through, rewrote, discarded, reacquired till finally after years of effort, divorce and poverty an editor takes one look at the cover letter and snorts. "I'll decide if this is a novel or not, thank you!"

Did I include the legend of Welsh Indians in my novel/story/tale?

You bet your big blue bippy Bud!

Great conversations Mark! The thought of your reply to my post last night bounced me right out of bed at 4 bells this morning. :-) Raining now. Think I'll go outside and run naked through the lawn. Uh, a writer must have priorities.


Randall 6-30-2002 7:27

Gotta love South Dakota- Wind just came up about an hour ago, temp outdoors is now 77. Turned off the air, opened up the house and it's all cooled down again.

But the fires burn on, another is burning north of here, they have evacuated two towns on the Reservation, this one a prairie fire way out of control, the cool winds will not help the fire situation one bit, but it makes the rest of us much easier to get along with.

Jerry 6-29-2002 23:42

Gotta love South Dakota- Wind just came up about an hour ago, temp outdoors is now 77. Turned off the air, opened up the house and it's all cooled down again.

But the fires burn on, another is burning north of here, they have evacuated two towns on the Reservation, this one a prairie fire way out of control, the cool winds will not help the fire situation one bit, but it makes the rest of us much easier to get along with.

Jerry 6-29-2002 23:42

Uh, RANDALL?? Your dictionary says ". . . and deals esp. with human experience . . ." That's the part.

We can get into lengthy conversation about religions, gods, visions and revelations as part of the human experience, but we're here to talk about writing. A novel involves people in human conflict and shows some who survive and some who don't (extreme case scenario). All the people involved use their own human wits, their own native skills. When the gods come walking and talking, when the gods contribute to the outcomes, then we are no longer in the land of the novel.

You ask "Fit in where?" and " what label?" Let's retreat a moment. I just looked back at the post from you that has the first chapter. You said, "and later on the novel becomes repetive.(sic)" You called it a novel. In that post you also said, "I believe with the proper 'tweaking' it would be publishable. " Very likely so, you are a good storyteller. My point is that when you get that far, you'll send letters of inquiry, cover letters, letters of proposal, summaries and abstracts. In those letters, don't call it a novel. FedEx drops a package at my door with a contract that says ". . . the enclosed novel . . ." and I start to read something which is not a novel, I wonder if I have the wrong package.

Lots of good stories have been told that are not novels and lots of novels have been crushing bores.

Next important question. Why are you telling this tale?

Mark 6-29-2002 22:42

Deadwood South Dakota, the city who's claim to fame were Wild Bill Hickcock, who was murdered there, and Calamity Jane who is buried next to Bill has just been evacuated due to a major forest fire that is just outside the city. Deadwood is the gaming capitol of South Dakota, with wild west casino's lining the main street, and millions of dollars changing hands each day. It may soon be a cinder.

Sad, but the heat takes it's toll all over.

Jerry 6-29-2002 22:20

Another scorcher today, the merc hit 108 on the F scale, damn that's hot. I turned on the Air at 10:00 when the temp was but 90. Now at 8PM it is still 99. Debating on weather or not to pull out the sleeper from the sofa and spend the night in the living room where the air conditioner is. If it doesn't cool down by bed time, I think we may.

I feel sorry for our poor volunteer fire department, the fire whistle has blown five times today, those poor guys are running all over the countryside putting out prairie fires brought on by the heat and dry conditions. That storm last night stopped before it got here, we are in another storm warning now, till after midnight, but it appears all the rain is going north and south of here.

I am going to quit bidding on Ebay I think. Got a package today of hard drives, the guy said three of the four "should work", none of them did. I sent him a rather sarcastic email, but left good feedback anyhow as he put the as is in the add and I guess I got them as they are.

I was a bit surprised a few minutes ago the fellow emailed me back saying that he thought at least three of them should have worked, he is sending me a couple more at his expense. I guess their not all out to screw me after all.

Don't know why I wanted the dang things anyhow, these older computers aren't very desirable, I just thought if I could get some cheap hard drives of a gig or so they might go for fifty bucks each, a hundred with a fairly good monitor. Just as well I guess, I would have to give well over half back to the bureau if I sold them anyhow. Maybe I'll just find some kids that can't afford computers and give them away.

Jerry 6-29-2002 22:03

VIV -- I think you should definitely consider upstate New York, especially the northern Broome county area. We're uniquely situated between Ithaca (Cornell and Ithaca College), Binghamton (Broome Community College and Bunghamton University) and we're an hour south of Syracuse (SU). Lots of liberrys, Roberson (a cultural center with a planetarium), and a pro hockey team, even!

howard 6-29-2002 21:06

MEL --- No, I didn't mean refer to Litter about Mr Croll, I meant refer to Litter about the reference to "bouncy bits."
Mr Croll was the librarian when I was in junior and senior high school. He was a very nice man, and he's in my composite picture of "librarian."

howard 6-29-2002 20:40


Well, I found a couple more minutes to sit and chat, amid the humid walls of the house where two sons (18 and 12) are switching rooms (2nd floor and basement) with much ado. Beam me up, Scotty! heh heh Oh well...what's life without a little chaos a lot of the time?? :-]

LITTER: Um, Mr. Croll the librarian? I can't place the name, if he was in a movie or something...?

EDDIE: I voted in your poll - I'm with Heather. Starting a stall is the WORST!!! It's been my middle name for too long now... 8-/

VIV: There are so many nice places to live--and with libraries too! :-) When you get to the time when you're finally planning that move back here, check a "Places Rated" Almanac or a similar resource - you can discover the very best places to live that agree with all the things that are most important to you, cultural events, low crime, weather, educational opportunities, etc. :-)

RANDALL: I should've added that a LOT of readers enjoy historical fiction and that there seems to be more demand for them than supply - write all the historical fiction you like!!! :-) It's good stuff. I guess I just meant that you should decide whether your "novel" is a novel - that is, a work of mostly fiction - or whether it is a narrative-style nonfiction, having more fact in it than fiction. This small decision will add organization and flow automatically to your work, and your readers will recognise it more easily as the wonderful work/tale it is. I read the beginning of FLOWERS as meant to be fiction as in a novel; I guess I just didn't understand your use of the phrase "biography-style" (perhaps I need to read more of FLOWERS?). Whatever way we all define it, I think FLOWERWS has great potential to be a fascinating story. :-)

Back to home-chaotic-home for me. The 12-yr-old needs help re-organizing his stuff in his new space...

Restful evening to you all!!

Mel 6-29-2002 20:35

Thanks for the info Mel! I think that opens my mind up a lot more. I keep wanting to return to the place we left in the States because we have a house there. I need to remember that ANYWHERE is going to be interesting. Uhhhhh, I need to qualify that statement...anywhere with a library or two and a place to take a few classes. I guess even if I get placed in a country setting...or desert it'll be interesting. I really hope there are about 15 libraries filled with books written only in English nearby. I have a lot of reading to catch up on.

Viv 6-29-2002 19:35

Thank you Howard! I've got it. It does some strange things on my computer but the whole thing comes in loud and clear now. I'm going to take it next door to Hana and get her thinking. She's trying to understand why I'm so crazy I want her to memorize the pledge and really READ the constitution. Seems a pretty strange thing to her to do for July 4th. She'd rather blow off her hand with a firecracker. Not that I don't understand. There's a part of me that agrees with her. There's nothing as stirring as lighting the fuse of a cherry bomb then dropping it in a trash can filled with water.

Viv 6-29-2002 19:26

Oh, or Randall, find an older dictionary! Mine has a plethora of information under 'novel', and is very specific.

Heather 6-29-2002 18:42

Randall - go in the opposite direction, and look up 'story'.

Heather 6-29-2002 18:41

Okay, Mark! I sent you five stories to edit for the Phantasium project.

Eddie - you betcher britches it's getting back on the horse after stalling out.... I found out that 60+ percent of the people who have answered your poll think so too!

Christi...... where are you sweet stuff? I have a latest version of one of your stories, but not 'Stranger Than Fiction'. Send it on!

I am grabbing this bull by the horns once again. I don't need to be reminded to hang on tight!


Heather 6-29-2002 18:39



Thanks Mark for the input. I expected no less from you. However, is there something I am missing here? Isn't novel another name for book? I scurried to my Webster and darn if I can figure out what a novel is. You wrote the following.

RANDALL -- when you write (and I hope it's often), bring in whatever elements you think are necessary. Just don't call it a novel. That pigeonhole is reserved. Call it "Flowers . . . A Tale of the West," or "Flowers . . . Story of a Drunken Son," or don't call it anything. But if it lands on an editor's desk under the label of "Novel" then that pigeonhole will be opened in her mind and she will wonder why you send this thing along for her to fit in there".

Mark, my Big Red Webster defines novel this way.

Novel... 1. An invented prose narrative that is usu. long and complex and deals esp. with human experience through a usu. connected sequence of events 2 the litery genre consisting of novels.

I thought prose might be a key word in defining why I should not call my work a novel. Still no light there either.

Prose... 1 the ordinary language people use in speaking or writing b a literary medium...and its closer correspondence to the patterns of everyday speech

No help here. Prose is the opposite of poetry, apparently.

" in there" Fit in where Mark?

"...under the label of "novel" More mystery. What label?

Mark, gosh darn it, the only thing I can figure out is that any "manuscript" submitted to an editor dealing with a Coyote God and a Native American "witch" might be classified as a science fiction novel? Would that be the correct pigeonhole for our imaginary editor? S/F? Webster defines novel as "long and complex." Got that covered, 175,000 words and awful complex. "Human experience through a usually connected sequence of events" Ditto on that one. I'm at a complete loss.

Mel... thanks for the comments. We had like conversations about "Flowers" last year. It was pointed out by my friends on site that mixing fiction with nonfiction was not good. A no no. Confuses the readers and who wants that? God forbid that high intelligence might be a factor in reading, nay, understanding a novel, ah, book that is. Well, Bram Stoker pretty much invalidated that line of reasoning many years ago. (Grin) One might say he put a stake in that one. Mr. Stoker used a real life historical figure, considered a hero by fellow countrymen, not a monster. He detailed the (if I may) novel with "natives" of an actual Balkan locale, mixed in for good measure local legend and superstition. Adding to all that a vivid imagination on his part...presto, we have a classic horror tail. Err, tale that is.

Okay, I like your arrangement of the first para. :-) Thanks.


On a lighter note. We went to see Minority Report last night. I give it a BB rating. Basically Boring. Someone should have seen that the camera lenses were cleaned and a better grade of film procured. Most of the scenes were fuzzy and the colors faded.

Out of here. Thanks for the comments Mel and Mark.


Randall 6-29-2002 18:35

My mirror image in Va sent me to this site it has some interesting explanation as to the future, as compared to that which the doom sayers claimed would happen. It makes sense, and moves us away from the deep religious discussion that we almost fell into (well I almost fell into!)

Turned on the Air today for the first time this summer, supposed to get hotter today then yesterdays 105, and I was getting a bit uncomfortable yesterday. The wife has retreated to the kitchen (hottest room in the house) as she doesn't like air conditioning, that's the main reason we don't have central air (that and the cost) this way I can be comfortable and so can she, we just can't do things together as we usually do. I guess it's a fair trade though, I can still play with my computer, she can mess with hers in the dining room if she desires, she even has her own TV in the kitchen if she wants to get bored with that. For some reason though the dog and cat think my lap is the most comfortable place in the house, sure glad they get along so well.

Jerry Explanation of the future 6-29-2002 13:57

I have just set up a poll on the main page of my site.
I would appreciate it if you could take part. It is purely for my own use (It might make me feel better if some of the answers match my feelings on the subject matter.)
Use the link below.

Eddie Simply Writing 6-29-2002 12:40

MARK -- I listened again to Red Skelton's remarks at the end of his last show, and he talks about his "God Bless." He says that it's not "God Bless" that he says, because that would be a benediction that he doesn't have the authority to make. Instead, he says "May God Bless," because he wants everyone to share in the same blessings that he's received.
He then goes on to say that the gentlemen responsible for the decision to cancel his show are still his friends, etc, etc. Dunno if that was before or after his vow to not let them make another dime from his work.

MEL -- In your librarian types you left out Mr. Croll! He had neither bun nor bouncy bits (see early Litter for explanation, if necessary) yet he was one of my favorite librarians!

Also -- slight correction -- I live north of Binghamton, nearly halfway between there and Ithaca. It's pretty country, except for the working gravel pit that threatens to eat us all, and drive us crazy with the constant beepbeepbeepbeep when the loaders shift into reverse.

howard 6-29-2002 10:15


Good morning, everyone! PLEASE NOTE: I am now officially off work for July and August, so don't send any email my way or I won't receive it until I return to work in September! I might create a home email address for myself, but I haven't had time to do that yet.

CAROL: Hiya! Thanks for your kind words re: my last shorty.
I hope Sedi's not sitting on you too hard these days...

HOWARD: I hope looking like a librarian is a GOOD thing, since I AM one! :-) We librarians have two images - the old-fashioned, hair-in-a-bun "shh!-ushing" spinster stereotype... and the more realistic, contemporary, upbeat and professional can-I-help-you style. I'll trust my smile to say which image I prefer. :-)

JERRY: I'm glad I'm younger than you thought, I think! :-)

HEATHER: What a performance, that wave of yours! :-) *The crowd cheers, returning a wave of its own as, section by section, from left to right, they stand and wave back* ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

VIV: Thanks for your kind words, too. :-) Ithaca, New York, is in the south central region of our state, a good bit north of Binghamton area where Howard lives. There are many great libraries in Ithaca, NY - Cornell University has many great libraries itself, and downtown Ithaca has its recently-new county public library, and in the back of their same lovely building is where my employer's library system (Finger Lakes) resides. There are other cities named Ithaca, however, with other great libraries in them, but these are the ones I know. ;-)

RANDALL: A couple related thoughts re: FLOWERS. In the library world, where we classify and organize books all the time to make them more easily accessible to readers, "novels" are always fiction (fabricated tales, with any amount--or not--of fact woven into the tale). Nonfiction is entirely fact, although sometimes told in a narrative style. The amount of dialogue in a narrative nonfiction could force it to become classified as fiction, if the dialogue parts are extensive, to the point of causing the reader to disbelieve that the author could have remembered so much dialogue word-for-word...and that will brand the piece of work as a fictional tale.

I'm a bit confused, Randall, dear friend, if you mean "FLOWERS" to be a tale of fiction, with welcome bits of Native American lore running through it, or whether you mean it to be a narrative-style nonfiction (biography-style, you say), telling a true tale but in story-form. Is "FLOWERS" a story of someone's life, possibly your own, or is it an imaginary story, supported by Native American history and beliefs and life experiences?

Use whatever genre-combinations you like, but please make it clear to your readers what they're reading: nonfiction readers may not want to read factual fiction, and fiction readers may be drawn by your narrative tale but dismayed to find it's not the adventure they were seeking (but you might keep their interest anyway!).

If I may be so bold, my personal reading of the beginning of "FLOWERS" tells me it's meant to be fiction, a made-up tale, bursting with the richness of Native American lore. My inner child wants to re-arrange the first paragraph for you, if such a tale of fiction is intended. So here it is:

--Burrowing Coyote sat on a rock outcropping of the red mesa within the vast Navajo Reservation. Gigantic in stature, over six feet tall, Burrowing Coyote was an imposing spectacle, a Native American god in animal form. His bushy tail covered four great paws, his ears erect, nose in the wind. The ancient, all-knowing god noted in detail a solitary figure several miles distant, a man moving slowly through the night. Experience of hundreds of thousands of years told the old, Coyote God that, in the immense desert prairie below the ancient mesa, great turmoil swirled through the man.--

This version is far from perfect but the idea was to cut a bit of repetitive adjectives regarding Coyote to simplify some sentences. Too many descriptive words in any sentence slow the flow and bore the reader. The above suggestions still need further revision to shorten some sentences so the reader doesn't get lost on his/her way into the story. I'm a visual person/reader - I like clear pictures in my head, and I expect many readers do. If you can tell this tale clearly as if to a child so as not to lose the child's interest, you will keep your readers reading. You can still use adult-level plots and adult-level language, but weave your sentences so that they flow, some long, some short, touches of description a bit at a time so that they don't overbalance the movement of the story.

Hope that helps you, in any small way. :-)

Y'all have a great day, with writing sessions that breathe powerful energy in your wake. :-]

Mel 6-29-2002 8:48

In order for literature to work, it is necessarily organized. The more we read, the more that organization influences the way we think.

I've read the novelists, the modern novelists and the postmodern novelists, along with the studies of modern, postmodern and symbolist critics. If anything, you could call me a structuralist. In all the other genre, I find one common facet among the successful books that is lacking in the unsuccessful ones. Organization. From "Moby Dick" to "100 Years of Solitude" you can find chasms of difference in political and life-view opinions, yet both share a weaving-in-and-out structure that always returns the the core story.

RANDALL -- when you write (and I hope it's often), bring in whatever elements you think are necessary. Just don't call it a novel. That pigeonhole is reserved. Call it "Flowers . . . A Tale of the West," or "Flowers . . . Story of a Drunken Son," or don't call it anything. But if it lands on an editor's desk under the label of "Novel" then that pigeonhole will be opened in her mind and she will wonder why you send this thing along for her to fit in there.

HEATHER -- Ready when you are.

Mark 6-29-2002 0:47

Hi MARK! -- Yes, Skelton was so incensed by the network's decision to fire him that he stipulated in his will that every record of his work was to be destroyed upon his death. He didn't want anyone to profit from any of the tapes, etc. I don't know how much was actually done away with, but much of his work was considered to be in the public domain, and survived. I'm glad it was.
I also have a copy of his closing statement on his last show.
He was a complex man indeed -- as you say, very clean cut on stage, but backstage was different. He could be bawdy and ribald when it fit the occasion, but never in public.

Thanks for the "well done" on the enthymeme thing -- I've been looking at rhetorical and logical devices, nothing serious, just for my own edification. It gets interesting as you get deeper into the Latin and Greek underneath. And it's easier to pick up on the faults in one's arguments. Not that I'd ever be argumentative. :-)

howard 6-29-2002 0:34

Mark - now don't get me wrong, God knows I am not an expert on government or much of anything to tell the truth. However, when I was in college, they made us read the constitution, part of the parlegal training course. Now the way I read it, the founding fathers didn't say they wanted religion out of government, oh no not by a long shot. All they said is that the State can't form a religion, based on their experiences with the Church of England, and probably on their past experiences going back to the other bad things churches did like the Spanish inquisition. Had they really wanted religion out of the government, they would never have let it sneak in the back door on our monies, on the oaths of office that government people take and all that.

The vast majority of the founding fathers were in fact Christian, and wanted a Christian nation, but one that was free of a state mandated religion like much of Europe had and some in fact still have, such as Sweden.

What they wanted was a nation where every citizen had the right to choose his own religion, but you can bet your bottom dollar they wanted that religion to be some form of Christianity.

Now I am not saying that it's right or wrong, just a matter of fact, as I learned it. You, of course would know it better then I, having attended colleges for many more years then I.

Big storm comming, hope it cools things down, it's still over 90 degrees at 10:30 PM

Jerry 6-29-2002 0:32

VIV -- I put the Red Skelton "Pledge" out on my page. Go to and you'll see an index. Right click on the file and save to your disk.

RANDALL -- did you check out "Hoppy's Gone?" It's on the same page.

ALL -- They've taken PC one step further in a London theatre group. They're staging Victor Hugo's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," but because they don't want to offend anyone, they've changed the title to "The Bell-ringer of Notre Dame." Quasimodo will still be hearing impaired, and will have a spinal malformation, but they can't bring themselves to call him "hunchbacked."
What's next?

howard 6-29-2002 0:10

Lots of stuff coming out now about "under God" in the pledge of allegiance. I was in school when the words were added. Then I chafed at the idea of more stuff to remember and recite. Today I wonder why all the fuss. The original pledge was written in the 1890s and the God part added 60 years later.

It's not like the founding fathers wanted God in government business. Hey! They wanted God in church business and out of government. They'd seen enough of what religious governance could degrade to. Benjamin Franklin proposed to the constitutional convention that they pray for guidance at the opening of each day. He was voted down.

Red Skelton? A man with his own agenda. Ended every show with "God Bless." Nice guy on stage. Altruistic to the point of being narrow minded. Zippered his pants in the front. HOWARD?? I'm having another proleptic moment. Didn't Skelton carry an enormous grudge to his deathbed against the network that cancelled his show? There was a clause in his will that revoked the rights to show his reruns in perpetuity. {I wonder how PBS is getting them now.} By the way, Howard, "an unacceptable enthymeme"? Well Done.

Mark 6-28-2002 23:54



Mark...thanks for the input my friend. You would be surprised at what I have in "Flowers." (Big Grin)
I have mixed much together, science fiction, science fact, organized cult religion, Native American legend, Native American fact, American politicians, military conflicts, a troubled hero (the guy stumbling through the desert) his mother, a genetically superior woman who is classified as a witch, ....

If the novel is ever published ...? It would be a toss up as to which group sends a hit man after me first. The bad guys in my novel are The Followers of Jesus... a religious sect, the good guys are Navajos, led by a (?) witch who has a Native American God ... Burrowing Coyote as companion and mentor. This one aspect alone, a God cloaked as a coyote, albeit, who is subservient to Jehovah, but nevertheless a powerful Deity would send most ministers into fits of fist shaking, foot stomping, bible thumping, psalm singing spasms of condemnation. "There is only one God!" Whether there is or not ... is not relevant in writing fiction.

But isn't this what writing is all about? My writing as Heather and Tina pointed out some time ago, is all over the place, literally speaking. Because I am not formally trained in the "correct form" of tenses, sentence structure and story organization. I set down at the keys and pound out what the voices in my head tell me (grin) So whether it adheres to a conceived fashion of literary style, should not be important ... to us. Right? I would take it as a compliment if an editor had trouble fitting my round novel in a square hole. I struggle with correctness in writing as a farmer battles weeds.

Just what Heather says in her post. I don't want my work to be categorized as anything other than adventure and fun to read. That is why I have used so many, so very many aspects of different genre writing.

So Mark, (grin) I don't wish to fit the mold. Coyote is benevolent in this scene, but there are other aspects which come forward in the novel. The main difficulty put forth in Flowers ... is not conquered. But the people who live through it are stronger.

Carol ... I'll check my e-mail now.

Viv ... you are right on. The initial writing is magic. When rewriting is necessary, it becomes labor.


Randall 6-28-2002 23:37

Howard: I was talking with my daughter yesterday. Turns out she needs to learn the pledge of Allegiance. She didn't know we had one. They used to make her sing the Japanese national anthem in school on Monday but nothing else. Because she felt negative about learning the Japanese anthem, she feels negative about learning our pledge. She thinks any form of nationalism is inappropriate behavior and feels a United Nations is a great thing. I STRONGLY DISAGREE with her, but I want to show her not tell her.

The Red Skeleton version of the pledge would be a good jumping off place. I'd like her to memorize bits and pieces of that. I want her to know the exact meaning of the pledge and having heard him, I'd love a copy. I think his version is right on the button. I have Win Amp and I have a sound card. Is it possible for you to send it over the computer or set up something so I could access it.

Viv 6-28-2002 22:22

Nearly 8:00 PM and it's still 99!

Jerry 6-28-2002 21:46

So hot even the birds are panting!

Jerry 6-28-2002 21:09

It's not the humidity, it's the heat.

Jerry 6-28-2002 20:07

105 degrees and getting hotter by the hour. Need water! Need air conditioner! Never mind, it'll start cooling down any time now, won't it?

Please let it cool down soon.

Laura - Been there done that far to many times. Luck finding the funds, I always used to believe that everything would turn out in the end. That was before the U.S. Government decided I was worth screwing with.

A bankruptcy later, with zilch for a credit rating, I have come to realize that I was wrong.

Must find water.


Jerry 6-28-2002 18:43

Hi! Did you scratch up enough to pay those bills? That wait to payday panic is always something isn't it. Hang in there and if you can't bail yourself out, tell the creditors you'll pay some and they'll have to wait until the next paycheck for a little more.

This is the kind of motivation that made Steven King famous.

Viv 6-28-2002 17:14

MARK -- >Sci-fi allows otherworldly and supernatural influence. (oops, did I just call the Bible Science-fiction? Well . .we'll hear from Howard.)<

No, you just used an example of an unacceptable enthymeme, or a

"Fallacy of the Undistributed Middle / 'A is based on B' fallacies / ' a type of...' fallacies
These fallacies occur if you attempt to argue that things are in some way similar, but you don't actually specify in what way they are similar. Examples:

'Isn't history based upon faith? If so, then isn't the Bible also a form of history?'

'Islam is based on faith, Christianity is based on faith, so isn't Islam a form of Christianity?'

'Cats are a form of animal based on carbon chemistry, dogs are a form of animal based on carbon chemistry, so aren't dogs a form of cat?' "

-- actually taken from "The Atheism Web" -- (been brushing up on logic and rhetoric)

followed by an example of prolepsis.


howard 6-28-2002 13:24

Shortie Theme for this week:

Write a brief book review on the most recent book you read that will inspire your readers to run out and snag a copy for themselves.

Mary 6-28-2002 13:13

Well, off to Canada, so be able to read everyones comments sometime on Tuesday. Hope to have a very elaborate account of the events up there, including text, video and my thoughts and reflections. Included in all of that will be the whole experience of going through customs with three scuba tanks :-) and all of the rest.

Jerry: re the appellate courts decision. It is unlikely to stand, although my wife, who learned the pledge of legion before Joseph McCarthy tacked on under god in the mid fifties during the communist red hysteria, rather likes the flow of the one that was sitting around since the mid 19th century. I am ambivalent. I can really see both sides. However, my sense it will be struck down and about the only thing to come out of it will be photo ops for politicians on both sides of the aisle as they posture to look more patriotic. Integrity about a milimeter thick and pure hype about a meter thick underneath. My 2 c.

Things are started out a little iffy since we went diving yesterday and somehow left our weight pockets for my bc. So, we are jurry rigging things. I know the notebook is up to a half meg, but it will have to wait until I get back, so sprinkle your always wonderful wisdom lightly :-) Only kidding. Write away and write often. Take care everyone.

Jack 6-28-2002 12:19

Carol: It's coming! I can feel it. The hot season is just around the corner. I'm excited. 100% humidity, 100 degree heat is the best! Hot rain carries interesting smells. Curry, miso, yakisoba, and my all time favorite squid on a stick! Hot rain is dance time for the Tanabata and O'Bon Festival. It's walking up the road and finding giant toads and huge kabuto moshi beetles. It's listening to the klick-klack of geta when folks get dressed up in their traditional clothing for the summer holidays. It's beer and barley tea time. No, I can feel it coming. The rain is getting warmer and today I actually got a little warm for a moment about noon. Yay! Summer's on its way. (Unfortunately, my brain is still pretty mushy. I think it mildewed back about three weeks ago.)

Randall: I agree with you, the rewriting is the really hard part. Often my stories loose a lot in the rewriting. It's like I'm trying too hard and the magic slips out.

Jerry: The bit about the wrench in your story rang so true. The measure of a man's character is how he returns a borrowed tool.

Viv 6-28-2002 7:36

Mark - add one more in there... Only an 'inquiry'?
Hee hee.
Knew I missed something important.

Heather 6-28-2002 4:47

I'm having trouble believing that I didn't make any typos in that last post.

Five bucks to anyone able to find one!


Heather 6-28-2002 4:44


Mark - 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' is a book I find hard to categorize by any traditional sense of the word. It fits too many divisions, blurs the boundaries, and still comes out interesting.

What might seem like a simple story about a man taking a road trip with his son morphs into a dodgy trip; the main character does indeed have to swat at adversity's snarly hands en route. (I beg pardon if I am not able to recall details sharply ~ it has been some time since I've read it.)
Not only that, he [main character] encounters strange ghosts of himself along the way; we don't find out he went mad as a hatter until much later, and is in fact trying to recall who he once was. He is not only taking his son on a road trip, he's trying to figure out who his son is, who he is, and what it is all supposed to mean. He's attempting to recreate the quality of a past relationship with his son, and at the same time, to define the very essence of quality in and for his own mind. This plunges him into the midst of his former thinking, yet he can only glimpse the whole of the picture - he must use deductive reasoning to round out his perceptions.

We readers do not at first realize the path he takes is a retraced journey, a really interesting metaphor for the neural retracing he must do. Mix in some actual motorcycle maintenance, some hints into the categorization of things and the logic that is its base, and you have an all-round mishmash of grand proportion - a tale, yes. A book? Most certainly. But only these?

Are there any actual rules for the categorization in this sense?

In the bucket of genre:

I do agree that Randall's 'Flowers' lands more in the category of science fiction than anything else. If the gods in his novel were taken from actual spiritual text, then it would likely be categorized...... as something other than sci fi. That's about as close as I will come to touching that at the moment!

There was something along these (blurry) lines (let's call it a controversy, shall we?) about whether or not a biography with some fiction sprinkled in could really be considered a biography, and classed under non-fiction.
Personally, I say any pinch of fiction in a generally non-fiction work should be categorized as such specifically, so as not to confuse the shit out of everybody. I can't, at this point anyway, recall every single thing I have read; things that impact the reader on an emotional or philosophical level tend to be remembered best - but if the work has no clear distinction between what is fact or fiction, would I be incorrect to say that they will blur in the reader's mind as well, over time? tally fiction bits in a bio as being non-fiction to me feels deceitful. Just as naming a novel literary fiction when it should be science fiction would.

But, the real question is, was that even part of the original question? HA!
Shame on me for going off the road.
I must really dig into my snap-on collection and root around under my own hood. There must be a knob for 'sleep induction' and there is undoubtedly some corrosion in the workings.
(Ha ha, my braincells are just waiting to jeer 'Na na na na na'; and do I detect a few microscopic thumbs to equivalent-sized noses?)

Gibberish. That's all it is, folks. I hereby classify this post!

*winks all 'round*

Heather 6-28-2002 4:40

Neat site with some good stuff to think about from University of Virginia."> The Novel

I got there by doing a Google search on "What is a novel?"

I got there because of my own reactions to RANDALL's post.

RANDALL -- Knowing that you intend that section as part of a novel, I came to it with some subliminal pre-dispositions. I asked myself why your pieces didn't seem to fit the mold and then asked other sources on the web.

My own sense is that the coyotegod seems too benevolent. A novel is a place to explore some human dilemma and the wretchedness of making life's choices (talk to LAURA this week). Your guy comes in from left field and is suddenly the prototypical father-figure. And he's a god, to boot. What you have here would be called Sci-fi and sets up different expectations. In the plain novel, the dilemma is solved by human diligence and intelligence; Sci-fi allows otherworldly and supernatural influence. (oops, did I just call the Bible Science-fiction? Well . .we'll hear from Howard.)

In books set out as biographies, we expect the main character to overcome some difficulties; in fact, we expect them. All good stories (novel, scifi, bio) keep reader interest through conflict. It seems a fact of life to us, probably because of the influence of novels, that great people have overcome great difficulties. We hero-worship adversity-bashers. (Do ya like the hyphenated constructs in that sentence?) Unfortunately, in a novel that means that a man can't be a hero until he has conquered some adversity. I'm willing to bet you don't get that kind of quid-pro-quo in non-literate societies.

Your guy comes on with one problem: How to talk to his drunken son. He already has the answer: With Love and Patience. {Jeez, are we done already?}

Novels will delve into the worst that can happen and watch some people overcome the trouble and some people succumb to it. If your central theme is going to be patience and love, then you really have something called only 'story,' 'tale' or 'parable.' I recently finished U.S. Anderson's "Three Magic Words" and it is called 'book.' "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" is called 'book' or 'inquiry.' I can think of no example of a story that explores that-which-is-good-in-life and is called 'a novel.'

Seems like I had something more to say, but bedtime was an hour and a half ago. Goodnight.

Mark 6-28-2002 0:51

Howard - Now that brings back memories, pulling a well. Way back when Christ was a corporal, we got our water from the pump, on top of the pump was the windmill. When trouble with the well came up, dad and his brother's would manually pull the well using a chain block and tackle hooked way up in the windmill, and a sort of well brake that went around the pipe and held it suspended when the end of the block and tackle was reached, so they could take another bite of it, they would also remove an eighteen foot section of pipe.

I remember one time when mom's sister's husband (Slew Foot) had well trouble, and dad went to help bringing his tools, during the pull, Slew Foot brought out his big pipe wrench (that bore a strange resemblance to one dad had lost several years before). Dad mentioned the familiar look and turned the tool over in his hands, till he found his initials right where he stamped them many years before. He confronted Slew Foot (Clarence) with the evidence, to which Slew Foot replied "Hell, GE that stands for General Electric!" When the job was over Dad brought his tools home, along with the kit was his large pipe wrench.

Slew Foot was the same fellow who lived over the hill from our second farm, about three miles away. One day, my dog Skipper wandered over to his yard, this shortly after we moved, Skipper became enamored with, and entangled with Slew Foot's bitch. Old Slew Foot would have no part of it, and didn't need any puppies, so he shot my dog, then faced with the body, tied a rope around his neck and threw him in Orange Dam, a few miles south of his house. I was nine at the time, and when I finally missed my little black Cocker Spaniel (who had many times saved me from dad's drunken buddies by tearing into them when they tried to touch me) I became very worried, Mom and Dad drove all over the country looking for him, even stopped at Slew Foot's farm, old Slew Foot said he hadn't seen him. I had that old dog for as long as I could remember.

At any rate that was in the late fall, and when the ice formed on Orange Dam, there was a black spot in the middle. Dad walked out on the ice, and dug down till he found Skipper. He knew right away what had gone on, by the bullet and the rope.

He held is temper though, and a few weeks later, mom's little brother came home from the Army, and we had a welcome home party for him, Slew Foot showed up, of course, he was always around with an empty half pint whiskey bottle in his back pocket, and when the men passed the bottle as they always did he would take the time to fill his half pint, then keep drinking from the main bottle, the half pint was for when he got home. Anyhow after a few hours of passing that bottle around, dad got drunk enough, that he forgot to hold his temper, it took all the other men there to pull dad off old Slew Foot, and it was several months before Slew Foot dared to drop by our farm again.

We buried Slew Foot last year, and you know what? I don't miss that old fart a bit.

Didn't write a skelton story, but this memory might qualify I guess. I was completly shocked today to discover it was Thursday this morning, somehow I had it figured to be Tuesday. Guess I'm getting a bit old.

Jerry 6-28-2002 0:14

Hi All :)

Another day of a non-working brain in regards to my own writing. Pooh! I ran out of Kit-Kat bars and Sedi just disappeared on me. We have several days of hot, humid weather coming up starting tomorrow which means I will be unable to do much of anything except lay in my chair with the fan directed at me.

Viv - I may complain about my weather, but I believe I prefer it to yours anyday. Maybe we can just plan on adding whatever few words our limited brains will allow at the moment and count ourselves lucky for that. Better days arrive for both of us.

Laura - I can offer prayers that everything will work out. Will that help?

Randall -- Thanks for posting part of Chap. 1 -- I copied it onto my computer. I spotted one thing I'd like to comment on that may help you. If you don't mind the comments, I'll send them by email to you. I do know the story intrigues me and shows a lot of promise. I agree though about rewriting. It can be quite a headache, but it can also be a thrilling challenge. Think of it as a crossword puzzle you're trying to solve. I did that and it gave me a little more objectivety (sp?????!!) Or you could try critiquing for someone else. Often that opens one's eyes to their own errors as well. Whatever you do -- keep working on it! :D

Carol 6-27-2002 21:30


Evening all :-)

I appreciate the kind comments on my stories. As usual there is a lot of truth in my tales. We DO have a neighbor named Kenneth annnnnnnnnnnd, though basically a good man, he can be a great big pain in the kester. His puttering around only feet from our bedroom is sometimes a real annoyance. I read my story to Debbie and she said I wasn't hard enough on him. But the story is comedy. I have enough real life troubles thank you! Give me humor!

Carol...Thank you for remembering my novel. :-) "Flowers" is semi-stalled. Many of my friends here have proofread parts of it and offered very helpful suggestions. Bottom line ... "Flowers" probably needs restructuring and whole sections rewritten. It is a daunting, mentally overwhelming task. Rewriting is a lot harder than writing. Last winter when I posted the first section, 7,000 words, on the Del Rey site (now gone to a cash basis only) it was "looked at" by 54 persons. They were attracted by the title I know. But of the 54 lookers only three offered comment. I believe the hook was the title, WHERE THE ROCKS COVER THE FLOWERS. But most lost interest when reading my biography, discovery, fact sheet style of writing, and this turned them away. The title is unusual and a whole lot of people shop book stores where only the title is visible. I hooked ‘em but the writing couldn't hold them.

So I am adding more dialogue and another scene at the start. Maybe a browser would be captured and want to read more. Then I could ambush ‘em with my biography style of writing! :-) Sounds simple enough but I have to watch out that I don't give away too much and later on the novel becomes repetive. (Sigh) I need a partner and that's as honest as I can be. I am inside the forest and can't see where "Flowers" is going. I believe with the proper "tweaking" it would be publishable.

This is the first few paras Chapter I ... FYI ....

Native American God and loyal servant of Jehovah, Burrowing Coyote in his chosen shape ... was an imposing spectacle of godlike superiority within animal form. Gigantic in stature, over six feet tall, Burrowing Coyote sat on the rock outcropping of a tabletop, red rock mesa within the great Navajo Reservation. With four paws covered by a bushy tail, ears erect, nose in the wind, an ancient, all knowing god noted in detail a solitary figure several miles away. In an immense desert prairie below the ancient mesa, a man moved slowly through the night. An elemental Deity, hundreds of thousands of years old, Coyote God sensed great turmoil swirling through the person.

"Human, thou are so frail." Burrowing Coyote thought. "Thy mother, so powerful within our manner, but thee so weak. We are indeed troubled."

Burrowing Coyote's thick coat of brown and gray hair shifted as a stray night breeze moved across the mesa. Brought by the errant draft a variety of scent swirled through his nostrils. He lifted his head, inhaling the sweetness of sage brush, a smoldering campfire many miles away, the aroma of a man. His quick brown eyes shifted constantly, searching, finding, identifying. But they always returned to the man staggering through the night. He moved slightly, now laying in the sand, His great head rested on immense forepaws. Burrowing Coyote examined the man who weaved through the dark night with no small amount of distress. Coyote God needed this person, but did the man need him? Truly a god's lament, humans willful creatures, not understanding their position in the relationship of mortal and immortal following emotional passion more animalistic than human.

Coyote God sighed, then converted resolution into physical action.

Robert Ney shivered in the coolness of the desert night. He stumbled in the terribly rutted dirt road, fell, regained his footing, stood swaying. Robert drank from the whiskey bottle, then threw it away. Lit by a billion stars, in a cloud free sky the empty bottle glittered as it tumbled across the sky.

Driven by an urge he didn't wish to dwell on, Robert continued his trek west.

"I should have kept the jacket." Robert muttered, slapping his arms to generate a little warmth. But then he remembered how soiled it had been. Part of his three business suit, new, he had paid nearly half a thousand dollars for it. But that was a long time ago and the jacket was in the backseat of the rental car he had wrecked an hour before. It belonged to another Robert Ney, in another place, the man ordered away by the President of the United States. His best friend.

"Mother!" he shouted suddenly into the immense sky. "Where is your power now? Where are your coyotes to guide me?" The intensity of his shout caused him to fall again.

"Another drunk Indian." Robert laughed, rolling on his back in the red sand. He stared at the stars. "Just another drunk Indian Marine. Get up drunk, you only have a short distance now."

He staggered to his feet and stumbled westward.

"Where are you going?"

"Going?" Robert halted, swaying. He replied to the voice that came out of the dark night. "I'm going to climb down in that canyon and piss on them words. That's what I'm gonna do. Piss on ‘em."

"That is not the way a father wants his son to behave."

Robert saw no one in the darkness. He sank to his knees. "Father? Well, I'm sorry. I guess I forgot. You left me father. Remember? You left me and my mother alone. They said you died, but now you're here talking to me now?"

"I've always been with you, I am a part of you. How could I not be here?"

Robert turned, nearly fell. He peered into the darkness. "Where are you dad? I can't see you."

"So close Robert. So close that I can smell the aroma of your fear."

"Leave me alone Dad. I'm a man now, not a boy."

The voice hesitated as a strong breeze rustled the waist high sage. Dust swirled, rustled through the desert plain, slithering as a snake through dead stalks of corn. "Yes. But what kind of a man?"

Robert laughed softly, placing both hands in his arm pits, searching for warmth. His laugh was more of a whimper. "Don't know. I thought I was a strong man Dad. Things kinda got away from me these last few months."

"You are a good man, but on the wrong path," the voice whispered, coming from everywhere yet nowhere.

Robert laughed loudly. "Hey! Unless it's escaped your notice there ain't too many paths opened these days!" He jerked a thumb over his shoulder. "That thing up there will soon come over the eastern horizon like a cannonball and there is only path for it!"

Again the night wind swirled around, raising small sand grains, hurling them westward. Small, broken stalks of sage and dry blades of grass rode the wind into the western darkness.

"Oh son, that I could teach you." the voice was mournful now, grieving. "That I could touch you just once more. I would say your name ten thousand times to touch your face only briefly. To walk and talk with you as father and son. To stand on the mesa behind the hogan I built for you and my darling Tiki. I would give all I ever was, all I could have been just to touch your shoulder, look into your eyes, feel your warmth."

Robert closed his eyes, the sadness overwhelming. "My father, I love you. I thank you for watching over me."

"A fathers gift, to watch over his son. But now I must go. Heed the words of the one who follows."

Robert stood on the edge of the rock abyss known as Marble Canyon. Far below he imagined he heard the mighty Colorado River thundering between rock walls a thousand feet tall. One cliff just like the one only inches from his feet. He had been here many times before, knew the area well actually. Kaol his grandfather had first brought him here, months after Joseph, his father had been murdered.............

Well it needs work, but I need to hold the interest of a browsing reader. I think this will work.

Gotta go, very tired. Temps in the high 90's today.


Randall 6-27-2002 20:39

Hi Mel: Finally I got to read your success story! I loved it, and the picture of you. Where is Ithica? I know one thing for sure and for certain...there is a great library in Ithica.

Carol: My attitude is still burned out. Somehow all I can think is rain/ rain go away. I'm going to get it on paper. Never know when I'm going to have to write stories about Noah's Ark. Next week rainy season stops....leaving me white as a dead fish and with my love handles intact. A month of cold rain is not good for anyone. Now we get the hot rain and flea season. Next comes the typhoon season.

Howard: This is definitely the time to get every member of the family a nice pair of rubber soled shoes. Stay low!

Allein if you are out there!!! Translations there on line for you. Did you get them. Hana uploaded them so let me know. Also have the hard copies to send back and I'm terrified Hana or I will loose them. Please send me your P.O. address by hotmail. So sorry about our recklessness, we kind of lost track of things because we're a bit off balance from the constant state of "you are moving tomorrow...and we'll tell you when so don't do anything..."
Two years of this is kind of a crazy maker. Luckily most the crazy makers are leaving. We have only one more set to go and we've outlasted the whole kit and kaboodle. Uh, provided we don't move first!

Viv 6-27-2002 19:59

HI MEL! *Wave*


Exhausted. Almost......out......of......

Heather 6-27-2002 19:26

Howard - Scary stuff that lightning. Right now I'd welcome some of it if it would cool down the air and drop a few drops of water on our partched lawn.

It's 94 degrees now, and the WM says tomorow look for 101 here. Not a cloud in sight, but it isn't all that humid so I guess we can get by. Haven't turned on the air yet, and don't really want to. Air conditioning makes the wife have pnomonia, and we don't need that. Have the fans on and they seem to be doing the job also wearing shorts and a tee shirt to keep cool. Poor dog wants to be outdoors but in this heat we're keeping him in, he does love the sun, and we do have umberlla's on the lawn furnature so he can escape from the heat if he wants. He's just to stuborn to get out of the sun. A sun worshiping dog.

I don't know what makes me angrier, the stupid judge who ruled that the pledge is unconstitutional, or a wishy washy judge who reverses himself when the going gets tough. Guess I expect too much from judges, when they put on the robe they shouldn't change their rulings, let the next court do it for you. After all when you write that something is unconstitutional, and the facts don't change, then your not much of a man when the going gets tough and you change your ruling. (that's about clear as mud!)

Mel - nice pic, somehow I pictured you older, don't know why, I just did. Gotta go eat, catch you all later.

Jerry 6-27-2002 19:24

MEL -- Nice pix! You look like, well, like... a Librarian!

I just got this beast back online. Was checking a few things this morening, and my UPC blew up! That's a power supply if you didn't know. It's supposed to keep on running after the power goes out, to give you time to shut down. I got mine used, and it's been great so far. I ran on it for about 15 minutes last night before the lightning strike, with no problems. Then this morning it blew! Took out the outlet and everything. Now I have to tear out some wall to rewire. Not sure where the break is, but the outlet six feet from this one is okay.
It's starting again -- severe t-storms coming our way. Starting to rain now, so I gotta go close the roof windows.

howrad 6-27-2002 15:03

AHHHHH! Keep me in your thoughts and prayers, I got downsized and now I don't have enough to pay my bills. I have just over a week to get two hundred dollars or I'm out on my ear. AHHHHHHHHHHH! Please someone help me, tell me to calm down, tell me to keep my head. AHHHHHH!


Laura 6-27-2002 14:29

Hi All :)

Mel -- that's cute! I like how you took the theme from this week into a different direction (a happy one) than we might expect.

Randall -- I do love running into your stories. You have never failed to make me laugh. I am amazed at the different voices you have command of in your writing. The one's posted here are story-telling humor at it finest. Then there is your Rock/Flowers story which is very literary in nature. Btw - how is Rock coming along?

Joke of the day from hubby dearest -- How do you make your hanky dance? Put a little boogie in it.

Carol 6-27-2002 14:00

Oh my gosh! That link must've made 'em all faint dead away!!! 8-/


Mel 6-27-2002 13:13


HOWARD: YIKES! So glad you and yours weren't hurt by the lightning strike!!! We only had heat lightning in Elmira, no thunder at all, barely a breeze, just a few drops of rain. But the lightning flickered brightly for quite awhile - I knew that somewhere someone was getting more than that! I had no idea it was you!!! 8-}

RANDALL: Another GREAT story! :-) What a character-builder you are! I liked the way you gave bits and pieces of Kenneth's character behavior intertwined with the current plot. Nice job.

Re: THE PLEDGE - I'll just say, I think it's unconstitutional to say that saying it, or to say that what it says, is unconstitutional. Freedom of SPEECH, you know. And atheists, of course, have a right to believe whatever they want, but their not-believing doesn't make what-others-believe unbelievable. :-] And HOWARD, I've heard Red's version of the PLEDGE. It's AWESOME! :-)

And now, much clearer, I hope, than the aforesaid mumble-jumble of wordiness, my shorty:


She told me to look in the closet. I had barely reached my hand toward the doorknob when I felt it: the rush of childhood nightmares cramming all the crevices behind that door. I swallowed thickly and turned the knob. Flashes of remorse mixed with shyness, a tentative self-worth. Armed with flashlight, flares, torches, every match I could find, and a map, I entered the dark recesses.

A shelf of boxes - boardgames, handcraft kits, jigsaw flashlight batteries fizzled before I finished.

I lit the flares, one by one, as I searched through a rod of clothes of various sizes, none overly fashionable, forgotten in the dark.

As the flares reached the end of their lifespan, I burrowed by torchlight into the shadows beneath the clothes... Barbie items, tattered from fond usage--the memories of hours of play! A torch sputtered. I lit another--my 'cello! Oh, the concert memories that warmed my soul. And my crush on that viola player... a kindly-remembered secret.

The last torch guttered, and I began to search by matchlight. In tiny patches, I glimpsed dolls, travel souvenirs lovingly placed in a bag, a stack of photo albums.

I froze. The match flame hit my finger and I shook it to its death. Did I dare open those musty pages, where younger parents and dear friends smiled and laughed and played, awakening memories--and then heartaches--as, one by one, like matchflames, they burnt and fell silent?


I ran from the closet, slamming the door behind me. Huffing and puffing, I leaned wearily against the closet door, shaking my head. "It's not here. It's not here," I reassured myself.

I returned to my married life in Elmira, to my job in Ithaca. I logged onto my work pc and, having a few minutes before I had to start work, went straight to the internet. The library homepage greeted me as usual--and then I blinked in sudden amazement.

I'd been looking for self-esteem in the wrong places. It wasn't in my childhood closet, although those memories, the good with the bad, helped me become who I am today. I achieved a dream: I became a librarian to help link others to those resources they need, to enrich their lives beyond any childhood memories they might search to find themselves, like I did. The skeleton in the closet was my own hidden smile, which I proudly wear today.

Five steps deep into my employer's website, a four(?)-year-old smile resides, not in my childhood closet, not in my photo albums, but on my face. It's for all of you, my writing friends, if you want to take a peek.

Mel Read My Shorty First! 6-27-2002 8:58

RANDALL -- Great story! I hope your wife is the understanding type...

JERRY -- Yeah it was scarey all right. I think it might have gotten our well too. The pump is still working, but the water is rusty brown this morning. Happened once before, when it blew one leg of the 220 volt line to the pump. I'll have to check it this morning, maybe pull it. That's no fun -- 180 feet of pipe with a pump on the bottom end of it gets heavy! I've pulled it out by hand before, but I don't think I could do it now -- way outta shape!
It's strange, but our regular phone line is okay, just the second (unused) line got blown. We found pieces of the box 20 feet from the porch. It got one breaker inside the house too, but no other damage as far as I know yet.
My mother walked down this morning to say that her phone was out. I just checked it and found that her modem got fried, and that was causing an open in the phone line. I unplugged the line from the modem and now her phone works okay. I'll have to dig out an old modem and replace the fried one. She's got one of those Emachines -- hope I've got the right modem.

Mother was telling us about the time when she was a young girl, and they had a terrible lightening storm. She was sitting in the living room with her grandma and the rest of the kids when the house got hit. It was what they call ball lightening -- a ball of fire came in through the window, charred a path across the living room rug (right between the kids) and burst in the fireplace. Scared the bejabers out of everyone!

Looks like we're going to get hit again -- I wish some of this could get shifted to AZ and CO -- but not the lightening!

Refreshing news this morning re the Pledge decision. The Senate unanimously voted to condemn the action, and President Bush is furious over it. They're talking about a constitutional amendment to make sure it's protected.

howard 6-27-2002 8:33

Howard - sounds like someone is upset with you three times that's a bunch. I've had that experience, the flash bang time being immediate, once it struck a rock below my window, melted the blasted thing nearly flat. Another time when I was stationed in Ft. Leonardwood Mo. in AIT, the old WW II barracks were in a sort of circle and the last week we were there, the lightning was bad, it took off the chimney of three barracks in three nights. The night it was due to hit ours, we were out doing our RVN (Ready Vietnam) training (seems everyone in my class was on orders to Vietnam except one fellow who was still 17, he was on orders to Germany, and was the only one in our barracks when the lightning hit.)

Randall haven't read your story yet, but I will shortly if that dang cat would get off my keyboard!

Oh speaking of jokes, in prisons jokes are spread from inmate to inmate till every inmate knows every joke. It seems there was a new inmate, and he didn't know of the habits. One night as they were all laying on their bunks someone in another cell hollered 43. The rest of the inmates busted out laughing. The new inmate looked around puzzled, so his cell mate explained that since everyone knew all the jokes, they just numbered them to save on the telling. Another inmate shouted 24 and the cell block nearly fell over with laughter. Willing to give it a try, the new guy hollered 12. Nothing, not a snicker, not a thing. He looked at his cell mate, who replied "some folks just don't know how to tell a joke!"

About the pledge thing, it was the Ninth Circuit that ruled that way, so it effects just their circuit right now. South Dakota is in the Eight, so we aren't effected, and according to the nightly news, try as they might, the news service couldn't find one person in their non-scientific poll who would agree with that ruling. I think the Supremes will soon turn that one around when it gets to them, and that's the next step. One news program was reporting that the fellow who filed this law suit said the reason he filed was to get IN GOD WE TRUST off the money, being an atheist, but found that no attorney would take his case because of his lack of legal standing. To get standing he said he was suing to get UNDER GOD out of the pledge, as he had a daughter who was in the second grade. Since he had a child in school, he gained legal standing even though in her school she is not forced to say the pledge. Talk about using your kids. He sure picked a fine time to get his dander up about that with our nation in the midst of a war, that makes patriotism a good thing.

Oh well I've probably said too much again, I know I promised to keep politics out of the notebook. Sorry if I have offended anyone with my rant.

Jerry 6-27-2002 1:03


Evening all!

My wife was arrested Saturday morning. Now I can assure you, this is not something that happens often! I rushed to the county lockup from work after receiving a call from the local hoosegow. Chief Deputy Dewright and Ed Smith, county jailer were standing wide-eyed in the lobby eyeing a black mass that turned out to be Debbie. I was somewhat taken aback at her appearance. Normally she is not covered head to toe in ashes and black soot.

"What in the world happened to you? Why are you in jail?"

She moved to sit on a nearby couch. Flakes of black soot drifted to a tile floor as she attempted to wipe her face clean. A blonde with white skin Debbie is normally the picture of correctness in attire. I looked at Chief Deputy Dewright. "What is she doing here? Has she been arrested?"

"We're not sure if Kenneth will press charges or not," he responded, wiping soot from his tan shirt. "But we felt it was necessary to get her off the street."

"Kenneth! Kenneth, our neighbor? Why would he press charges and what for?"

Debbie sighed loudly. "I just couldn't take it any more."

"Was he making noise again?" I asked.

"Yes," she whispered, wiping tears from her cheek. This created an even bigger mess. The jailer handed her a box of wet wipes.

Our next door neighbor, Kenneth, is a retired school teacher. He is a small, wiry man of endless energy and not prone to sit around sipping coffee after the sun comes up. His work area is, oh, about, 10 feet from our bedroom wall and 10.5 feet from the bed. Homes are constructed very close hereabouts and our wall is mighty thin. You can hear him breathing at times.

"Was it the sunrise boat test?" I asked Debbie, glancing at Deputy Dewright.

Kenneth loves to see if his 75 horse power outboard boat motor will start and he checks it every day or so, need it or not. When it starts, he races it for a few seconds then shuts it off. As this usually occurs about 6:30 in the morning, often on Saturdays, it is a real treat and a guarantee eye-opener. The roar will immediately, if not sooner, levitate us right up to the ceiling. It is a sure fire method to make all our dogs bark loud and long. The roar of a mufferless motor drives the cat positively insane and into feline hysterics. That is after racing around the rooms, slapping at the dogs, yowling like a banshee in heat. A horny banshee at that!

"No, wasn't the boat." Debbie wiped a towelette across a black forehead.

"Was it the leaf blower?" I again quizzed her.

Kenneth's leaf blower is a gasoline model. It always requires gas, which means, he has to dig through every tool box he has for a pair of pliers to open the gas can. But first he taps on the can to see if any gas is in it. He usually taps the can against our chainlink fence post which transmits sound like a badly tuned fiddle on Saturday night. Then he has to find the funnel, steel of course, bash it against the table saw to clear assorted debris, wipe it clean with a rag used for that purpose for 40 years. After the "bash bash, clang clang, gurgle gurgle," ceases he then attempts to crank the infernal thing with a pull rope. On a good day the blower will start after only 50 pulls. Judging by his breathing the effort could be comparable to heaving the space shuttle into orbit by hand.

"Was it the mower?"

Kenneth's lawn mower at full throttle could be compared to a fleet of bulldozers trying to level Mount Everest. But first, the darn thing has to be filled with gas and see above for details on that. Fortunately it is an electric start, so we don't have to listen to him tempt a heart attack by cranking it manually. Unfortunately the battery is always down, every single Saturday morning, and he has to sort through every tool box he has for a pair of pliers to remove the battery case so he can hook up the electric wire leads for the battery charger which sounds like, as best I can describe, a jet attempting to leave the flight deck of the John C. Stennis aircraft carrier. (Gasp! Long sentence, huh?) As the battery is being charged, he, without fail, takes a power file and sharpens the blade of every single cutting instrument he owns. The man is a human dynamo.

Debbie looked at me and shook her head. "No, not the mower."

"Was he hammering on something?"

Kenneth has hammered and sawed and planed enough lumber to build a dozen three level homes with mother-in-law apartment, multiple sun decks, green house, and a lush ground keeper apartment. I firmly believe that a third of every nail ever made has passed through his nail apron, sometimes twice. Kenneth straightens bent nails. No toss on the ground for him! He goes through hammers on a monthly basis. If the head wears at an angle he will, long before sunup, plug in the power grinder and bring it back to specs. He has more saw horses than the biggest building contractor in LA. More handsaws than all the lumber jacks in the northwest. His nail aprons are custom made and outfitted with suspenders that could support an anvil. Red suspenders of course. He could level the world, and if it was out of kilter, with a power planer shim it up.

"No. No hammering." she said.

"The table saw maybe?"

Kenneth has a table saw with a 36-inch carbon steel blade in the middle of a table you could dance on. Freddie Kruger would salivate at the possibilities. It is rumored that the first time he initialized the thing a rookie technician at the Glen Rose Nuclear Power Plant 100 miles north of here screamed, ‘Main bearing in unit three primary cooling pump locked down! For Gods sake, shut it down or we're all gonna die cooked alive like lobsters in a nuclear steam pot!!!' Despite the technicians initial scramble for emergency exits, cooler heads prevailed and a major shutdown and restart was averted.

Landscape decorators are always showing up with wood for Kenneth to cut. Oak trees are a favorite, that is the whole thing! Redwood trees 120 feet long and 16 feet thick have been processed only feet from my ear. Telephone and power poles by the truckload for fences on local ranches, no problem. Railroad cross ties by the hundreds for garden and flower bed. Friday afternoon is drop off day, that is if you're interested in dropping off your mother-in-law. (Ahem.)

Debbie smiled at me. "No" and began to sob.

Deputy Dewright walked forward and patted her on the back. He turned to me. "I happened to be driving by your home and saw Debbie chasing Kenneth down the middle of the street. She was barefooted, wearing only a gown and housecoat. She had a small shovel and was swinging wildly at him. Poor Kenneth was only hitting the ground every six feet or so but your wife was right behind screaming curses. She was completely covered in ashes and soot and I don't see how she was able to see where she was going."

It all fell into place. Chimney cleaning day. Though Texas has mild winters, Kenneth feels he has to clean his monthly. He has the cleanest chimney in all of America. And wouldn't you know ... it was on the bedroom side of our house.

Debbie shook her head and looked at me. "I went over there to tell Kenneth I didn't feel well and wanted him to be quiet for an hour or so. But though I could hear something, some scraping noise he wasn't visible. His ladder was up against the chimney. There was an extension cord dangling alongside. I believed he was on the roof. The clean out door at the base of the chimney was open, so I figured the best way to get his attention was to yell up through the chimney at him. I leaned down, there was a loud roar, a whoosh of air and everything went black."

Deputy Dewright glanced at me. "Kenneth was using his leaf blower to help clear a birds nest out of the chimney. Unfortunately your wife had the bad timing to be there when he turned it on. Just bad luck on her part."

Well I got her home and into the shower. She cleaned up quite nicely and slept the rest of the day after I gave her a sedative. I haven't heard anything from Kenneth. It's as quite as a tomb over there this week. His son came by this afternoon to collect the afternoon papers and told me he was vacationing in Wyoming. I hope he is a long way from a neighbor cause he won't be able to sleep past sunrise and has to have something to do with his hands.

Goodnight all


Randall 6-26-2002 23:48

Hi All :)

Just a quick stop in. I've been reading the posts, but haven't had much to say the past couple of days. No writing either. Blah, unable to think, type of days. At least I've gotten a couple of smiles to cross my face from reading the recent jokes. Thanks :)

Carol 6-26-2002 23:36

Q: What does it mean when you hear the boom and see the lightning flash simultaneously?
A: It must have hit pretty close!

My wife was standing in the living room when it happened. It sounded like a shotgun going off! Then we smelled smoke and burned plastic. We used to have a second phone line coming into a box near the front door. The box isn't there any more, just some charred wires and plastic, with pieces blown all over the front of the house.
This is the third time this house has been hit while we were in it. The first two times were 30+ years ago -- we lost a phone box then too, and then part of a chimney. I like thunderstorms, but this one was a bit scarey!

It was only a matter of time before this Pledge of Allegiance decision happened. They can say it's unconstitutional, but they can't make us quit saying it.

I have an MP3 copy of Red Skelton explaining the Pledge of Allegiance that always brings a tear to my eye. If anyone is interested I can send a copy, or put it on my web page.

Thunder still rumbling - radar shows another bunch of storms headed our way.

howard 6-26-2002 22:39


I'm not American, but do think that changing the pledge of allegience will be kind of hypocritical I think.
Its like when they tried to remove the words God Bless because it may offend atheists... No offence meant by this... But it seems that there has been a few stupid occurences have been happening a bit lately.
I will not even get into the Education things.

Taylor 6-26-2002 20:44

Another brick in the wall, the Federal courts just announced that the pledge to the flag is unconstitutional because it contains the words "Under God" and can no longer be said in schools.

I shan't comment further.

Jerry 6-26-2002 19:50

Jerry: Glad you enjoyed Point Defiance. As for the B&I, I am forgetting all the details but there was finally enough uproar over the treatment of the gorilla that it was moved to a zoo and eventually other attempts were made to acclimate it back to its species. I do not remember much more than that, but you are right that it was a fixture of that facility for a long time.

Will try to also keep a journal from our time at Hornby and in addition to creating the video out of it that will complete my videography class, I will endeavor to have a written account that I can share with those here as well.

Jack 6-26-2002 19:33

Whoohoo! Score one for Canada and Tim Horton's!

Now we will prove just who makes the best donuts in the Western World... ;-) Dutchies are the best, IMHO, although my hubby likes cream crullers the best.

Taylor, the beauty of internet jokes is that you don't have to be good at 'telling' them, just good at hitting the 'forward' button!

Lori and Cheri, are you still lurking? Hi if you are!

I think I asked this once before, but does anyone have Oyster's e-mail?


Tina 6-26-2002 19:18




Well, it may not be as bad as the headlines, but I almost crashed my car. I got all the way through Elmira, approached Buffalo, turned North on Route 78 (the Transit) and headed for the ancestral home. A few miles before Niagara County I spotted a "Tim Horton's" doughnut shop.

wha... ??? Tim's should be in Canada, eh? Turns out Mr. Horton has established a U.S. beachhead of four shops in Erie and Niagara counties. Over the next three days I had a glazed doughnut, a cherry doughnut and a walnut crunch. The shops are all newer and cleaner than Krispy Kreme or Dunkin' Doughnut and the flavors are above average.

In one shop I resisted the urge to remove the sign that said "Tim's Tarts" and place it on the Ladies' Room door. Damn, Canadian place must have a civilizing influence.

Mark 6-26-2002 18:09

SASQUATCH -- touche! very nice riposte!!!!!!! Reminds me of the one about the "New Fruity Rice Krispies" Instead of "Snap, Crackle, and Pop!" they say "Swish, Rustle, and Hey Thailor!"

MEL -- Just looked at the radar, and it looks like you're getting wet wet wet there! Any hail with it?

RANDALL and TINA -- did you get a chance to listen to the two Roger Miller songs I posted for you? Just link to my page and double click on the song.

RANDALL also -- you asked about the reservations - my son-in-law says the Rodeo fire was started on the Apache Reservation. Don't have further details.

I just got a great CD -- "Maria Muldaur Presents Animal Crackers In My Soup," featuring Maria, and 8 yr old Carrie Lyn. It's delightful!

howard 6-26-2002 14:33


I am really jealous of people who can jokes... I'm one of these people who dont do humour really well. I know whats funny and sometimes whats not, but I cant tell a joke

Taylor 6-26-2002 10:49

Mythter Sasquatch! I like it!

Jack, enjoy Hornby. It's beautiful above and below the water.

Not much time right now, just a quick stop here.

Blue skies!

Tina 6-26-2002 10:47

jerry person i sasquatch am happy to know this is a law to not kill sasquatch but not many know this also. this is why other Yeti make nickname for sasquatch. they call me duck.

howard person you say sasquatch is myth? not so. I sasquatch am not myth, i am mythter! ha ha ha Yeti joke. i must go.

sasquatch 6-26-2002 9:04

Bizarre Canadian Laws

You may not pay for a fifty-cent item with only pennies.

In British Columbia, it is illegal to kill a sasquatch.

Citizens may not publicly remove bandages.

In Montreal, you may not swear in French.

Also in Montreal, citizens may not relieve themselves or spit on the street. Punishable by a fine of over 100 Canadian dollars.

In Beaconsfield, it is considered an offense to have more than two colors of paint on your house.

In Toronto, you can't drag a dead horse down Yonge St. on a Sunday.

The city of Guelph is classified as a no-pee zone.

In New Brunswick, driving on the roads is not allowed.

Jerry 6-26-2002 8:53

RHODA: Keep your smile attached as you move - the day will flow; the boxes will one day be empty again, and everything in its new place. Enjoy! :-)

Mel 6-26-2002 8:51


Silvery sunbeams +/or moonglow to you all! :-) And to help you answer HEATHER's question, check the link here for a quick review of Who did What.

HEATHER: I always liked Apollo, god of light, music and truth. I think he was supposed to be quite handsome too. ;-] I also was impressed by Athena, born fully grown and in armor, no less, right from the forehead of Zeus! What a woman! Smart too, of course. :-)

HOWARD: Your Kresge story is priceless! :-]

LABLU: Howard knows a LOT about poetry and writes it very well, too - listen to his wise words!

JERRY: Highlights of childhood, traveling to those fun places - yup. :-) Hard to remember except for the ones caught on film by my parents, moments frozen in time and memory. I hope to yet give my own kids a bunch more of those memories. We took the first two to the "North Pole" (New York State) and some other places when they were little; the next three kids haven't traveled as much - need to remedy that as they don't stay kids forever (even though we still feel like kids some days!).

JACK: Happy -- and safe!-- travels! :-) No way would you get me anywhere near any kind of shark!

RANDALL: Yeah, the great talents of the past... They seemed so vast in number, so prolific in entertaining... Just a few, nowadays, it seems, reach that level of greatness. The great cartoons of yesterday, the variety act television shows with so many great stars, class-act musicians, even the classic writers... They still inspire us, challenge us to be all we can, yet the goal posts seem farther removed. Has this generation lost its gifts of imagination and talent? I don't think so. Have we lost our drive to entertain with quality? I don't think that's so either, but it sure seems harder to rise level with the greats of yesterday, doesn't it?

VIV: Further teen-gripping inspiration: my 18-year-old, most often a typical teen, is really into Tim Burton's "dark" sense of humor, along with other sources of off-the-wall ticklers. The wierder the better. Catch the eyes--and funnybones--of your students with weird humor, and you've got it made. 8->

HI to EVERYONE ELSE!!! May your day be filled with a writing frenzy that will make your favorite "Great" author of yesteryear rise from the grave at midnight and tapdance across the tombstones in the moonglow! (8-D

Mel Greek Mythology 6-26-2002 8:48

The packers, Rhoda? You got a football team to help you move? :-)

howrad 6-26-2002 8:44

RHODA -- We'll be watching for ya! Prayers for the move, too...

howard 6-26-2002 8:40

HEATER -- Besides you and Teekay (and Sasquatch) my favorite mythical/mystical characters are:
Heracles (Hercules)
Pecos Bill
But if I had to narrow it down I'd say Hercules and Kokopeli.

howard 6-26-2002 8:39

The packers will be here within the next hour, and it is time to pack up the ole' computer. Hope to check in again soon when I find a new Internet Service Provider. There is no DSL yet where I am going, but I have lived with 28,800 baud so long, I am beginning to believe it is my lot in life.

I did work on one contest entry yesterday, and I am sending it off today.

Take care and God Bless you all.

Rhoda 6-26-2002 8:36

Hey everyone!
I'm wondering what your favourite (if any) Greek Gods/Goddesses are, or other mythical/historical figures.
Name one and all!

Have a wond'rous, writerly day, all!

Heather Hemlock Bags 6-26-2002 6:21

LABLU.... -- Welcome! Dunno much about poetry, but it seems that if you write poems you're a poet. Then if you write enough poems someone will probably nag at you until you submit them to an editor somewhere. Hang around here long enough and I'll almost guarantee it! :-)
Save them in a folder or notebook (be sure to have a back-up) and shop the collection around to different publishers. Or you can go the self-publishing route. For that you need to do your homework.
Just remember that writing poetry, making a living at it, and publishing a book of it are not necessarily even remotely related.

howrad 6-26-2002 1:03

I know it's not on topic, but ya gotta start back somewhere! Based on a real incident at Sid's Mobil, back when I used to pump gas for 29 cents a gallon...

Wally was shaking his head -- "But Mr. Kresge, it's been over a month since we changed that tire for you, and I know the left rear hubcap was missing then. I even asked you about it…"

"Don't try to make excuses, boy, I know shoddy work when I see it! I want my hubcap back where it belongs!" The old man stood glowering at Wally, waving his cane at the rear of the black DeSoto, pointing at the offending capless wheel. "I want that cap replaced now! And no argument about it, or I'll call my attorney!"

"What seems to be the problem here, Mr Kresge?" Sid came out of the store room, wiping his hands on a grease rag. "Wally's pretty dependable, one of my best employees, and if he says the cap was missing, well, I'm inclined to take his word for it."

"He may be dependable, but this time he's been negligent!" wheezed the red-faced old man. "He's lost my hub cap and I want it back! Car looks terrible without it!"

Sid looked over the DeSoto, noting all the rust and dings, including the one Mr Kresge had tried to blame on him. "You're right, it does, and I think we might be able to help you out, just this once." He hollered into the storeroom, just on the other side of the bay where the DeSoto was sitting. "Charlie -- remember that cap that customer brought in the other day? I think it might be the one for this car. Is it still on the shelf in there?"

A minute later Charlie popped up out of nowhere, it seemed, right beside the old man's car. "Yep, here 'tis, and it does look like the right cap!"

Sid took the cap, thumped it into place with the heel of his hand, and said "There! A perfect match with the one on the front. Guess this is our lucky day!"

Mr Kresge blinked and scowled, and looked a bit confused, now that today's irritation was fading. "Well, I guess, but you'd better watch these kids a little closer! Poor way to do business!" He got in the car, started it, and backed out of the bay, almost running into Mrs. Jones' Caddy in the process.

Wally looked from Sid to Charlie and back again. "What was that? When did anybody leave a hubcap? And how did it turn out to be the right one for his car?"

Charlie grinned, and Sid chuckled "Didn't! That was the cap Charlie just popped off'n the right rear! I figure we've got about a month or so before he notices it."

howard 6-26-2002 0:50

i want to be a poet, and I want to publish a book of peotry. How do I do that?

LaBlu3GyrL 6-26-2002 0:12

Sorry bout that dang cat hit the send, boy is he a pain once in awhile.

Jerry 6-26-2002 0:12

Jack - Glad to hear you have things well in hand, I do envy you and all that you will exerience.

Looked at some of those dive videos, great stuff. Brought to mind our trips up to point Defiance, the zoo, the storybook island, the old fort, oh how we enjoyed those places when we were so very young, our first child was but a year old when we took him, he doesn't recall those days at all, and we moved away to Texas before he came of age to recall, but we have the pictures, and we remember. Those were good times, Tacoma was a nice military town with open hands to the soldiers, and their families, and of course thier money. We lived just down the street from the B & I Shopping center, the one with the zoo inside, the gorilla and monkies behind glass cages. We used to spend hours just walking through the store, I don't recall every buying anything, but when mom and dad came to visit, dad bought a silver dollar for each of his grand kids at the coin shop in B&I, or was it B&R, no I think it was B & I Circus

Jerry 6-26-2002 0:10

p.s. the other thing that has had me busy is that I have started a divemaster program and hope to finish it sometime this coming year. Not sure that I want to go the whole way and become an instructor, but we will see.

6-25-2002 23:40

Hello everyone: Been a bit busy lately trying and finally succeeding at refinancing. Hopefully, this will clear up some of our outstanding debt and get everything under one roof with much lower interest rates. Ah, the trials and tribulations of everyday life.

Well, we will soon be off for Hornby Island in Northern Canada for some scuba diving and close encounters with, hopefully, 10 to 12 foot six gill sharks. Let us hope I do not wet my dry suit the first time I see one of these beasties :-) and hope to get some great video to add to the video page - -

Also, before we leave on Friday I will try to make sure that the Notebook has not grow so big that it does not need to be archived. Hope everyone is well.

Jack Beslanwitch 6-25-2002 23:38



WOW! The energy level on this site is through the roof!!!! Can everyone feel it? Wish I had more time to follow the postings through the day!!!! Great writing gang!!! Some of these jokes are priceless!!!

I remember Spike Jones and his band of misfits and comedians. Why can't we have that kind of humor these days?

Working on a story for tomorrow night about my wife being arrested for assualting our neighbor. :-)

Gotta go.

Randall Dandle Doo :0)

Randall 6-25-2002 22:48

Mel: Thanks for the suggestion. It's been a help!

Viv 6-25-2002 22:21

Eddie - I never even looked around the site, now that you told me, I went back and took the ride across the Mercy, the helo trip over, the rode in the Grand National. I do love this high speed internet connection and all that it offers.

Jerry 6-25-2002 21:26

ROSEMARY: Oh, and uh, thanks for the thought of keeping me busy but--uh, well, as far as needing editing work for others, um (*stretching collar to allow more air down windpipe*) I think (?!?) I'll have enough...lessee, TINA's gazillion-page ms. that I'm thoroughly enjoying but have a loonngg way to go, a short story by BEN that I'm supposed to be reading on the bus and keep falling asleep from the motion of the bus, HOP's partial ms. that I've had for, um, a long time, and SUSAN's partial ms. --oh! I finished that one! Gotta email her... Great stuff! :-)

Yup, Rosemary, I'm set for the summer! :-)

yeah, Mel again 6-25-2002 15:04

*Mel again*

HOWARD: Um, I'm NOT doing Lamaze again - five times is enough!!! 8-/ I always enjoyed Victor Borge doing an onstage "reading" - his pronouncing all the punctuation really cracked me up! I'll look for some PDQ Bach...very entertaining!

TINA: Hee hee hee hee hee!!! I'm with the lion. I wouldn't want finch and chimps either! ;-]

ROSEMARY: unhh! unnhhh! (*slips to the ground, exhausted*) Sorry, Rosemary, that pedestal is too high! I'll just nose about the grass here a bit till I get my breath back... 8-} Just remember, I can type typos as fast as any of you here!!! (Thank goodness my backspace key doesn't record its history! uh, it does? Oh for goodness' sake! Now I'm in deep chocolate!) Thanks for the crossed fingers, but don't mess up your crochet work, puhleeze!
:-) The world needs crafty people like you. All I can offer in that arena are knots in my thread! Back to words and music for me... ANd don't be sad over the loss of the greats; remember the rich legacies they've left us, wonderful music for the heart.

GS: paralegals... hyuck! hyuck! :-) I love wordplay.

And for everyone who ever wondered just exactly WHAT one receives for those coveted literary awards, check out this link. :-)

See ya's!

Mel Literature Awards 6-25-2002 14:52

You send a link from the USA and I get to look at the place where I was born.
Ain't the net amazin'

Eddie River Mersey/Irish Sea 6-25-2002 13:30


Sky diving lawyers are called paralegals. (got you back.)

gariess 6-25-2002 12:46

Morning all,

Good grief, I've been in such a fog lately, I didn't realize you had decided on hip surgery much were rushing up on it. I remember you mentioned possible surgery quite a while back, but it wasn't about me so I moved on. Sorry about that. I'm going to go around with crossed fingers for you, and that makes crocheting difficult. Maybe the crossed eyes will help. :-D

I'm sure all the NB Members realize it is a real boon for us to have a librarian for a member. I think you have to know grammar and spelling to do that job. We'll have to start sending you work for editing while you recover. Just to keep you occupied, of course. Just for you, of course. ;->

Loved the Zoo joke. I'll be telling that one around for a while.

It hurts to admit that I remember not only Roger Miller but also Spike Jones. I always thought it was odd that such talented people (Roger Miller) had(have) such a hard time with life. Think of the loss to them, their families and the world. Think of Elvis Presley.

Now I'm all sad.

Loved the site. Great combination of artistic talent and electronics.

I'm still reading posts, but I'm going to post now because this is the second time I've written it. Lost the first one.

Bye for now.

Rosemary 6-25-2002 12:16

Anyone else remember the "Roger Miller Show"?

We watched every show, all six of them when I was but a boy at my papa's knee. I sure did love his music.

Went to download some of his songs from that site that Eddie gave me, but alas, it is gone the way of most music sites, sued into non-existence by the music moguls.

Damn music moguls.

Write ON!

Jerry 6-25-2002 11:11

Found this little news tid-bit today, it tells of the plight of a fellow who was charged with criminal action after installing a screen-saver on the computers at a college where he worked as a computer tech.


Jerry Don't try this at work 6-25-2002 11:04

Hi all!

Hope you're all writing more than I am. No time!

Thanks for the chuckles. Conviently enough, my mom just sent this one through this morning...

Cleaning out the aviary at a run-down zoo, the keeper finds two finches that have died of old age. He picks them up and places them in a sack. After cleaning the cage he puts the sack in his wheelbarrow and moves on to the next

When he reaches the primate cage he finds two chimps who have also died of natural causes. "Waste not, want not," he says as puts them in the sack with the finches.

Later at feeding time, he flips the dead animals from the sack into the lion's cage.

"Bloody hell!" roars the lion. "Not finch and chimps again!"

Blue skies!

Tina 6-25-2002 10:54

MEL -- You should know by now that it's a real hip crowd that hangs around this joint! It ain't some two bit operation, ya know. Just remember -- breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, then PUUUUSSHHH! What? Wrong procedure? oooops! Hmmmm.... back to med school.

Yeah, Roger Miller makes ya laugh, but he could also make ya think (and cry) with some of his lyrics. Like "Husbands and Wives" --

Two broken hearts,
lookin' like houses where nobody lives.
Two people, each havin' so much pride inside
And neither side forgives.
The angry words spoken in haste
Such a waste
of two lives.
It's my belief pride is the chief cause
in the decline
of the number
of husbands and wives.

You mentioned Spike Jones -- not too many remember him any more. Alan Sherman was certainly good, Victor Borge too. And see if you can pick up a CD by PDQ Bach to listen to while recuperating. It sneaks up on you. Sounds like good classical music at first, then you realise that last passage was the wrong tempo, or they used an oboe instead of a trumpet, or a bicycle pump instead of a flute. I had to stop listening to it while driving, cause it made me laugh so hard. Musical cliche at its finest!

howard 6-25-2002 9:09


You guys are keeping me laughing! That's an especially wonderful thing this week, keeping me distracted from my approaching hip surgery next Tues. Keep those jokes a-coming! :-)

HOWARD: I'd wok a mile to hear your jokes, maybe even drive to Binghamton! :-) Roger Miller always made me laugh, along with Allen Sherman ("She wheels her wheelbarrow...through streets that are narrow...Her girdle keeps scraping the homes on each side...Wherever she wheels it, the neighborhood feels it, she's Cockeyed and Muscle-bound, Molly Malone.") :-) Also Spike Jones, occasionally, and now and then, just a touch of Portsmouth Symphonia would make me smile. Re: squirrels - you could try my husband's grandfather's trick: catch the squirrels, one at a time, in a trap. Put the trap in the back of your car. Take the squirrel for a looooooong ride into the country (or as far as you want to drive from your house). Set the squirrel free. I think, perhaps, the squirrels enjoyed the relocation efforts, but every time Grandpa returned, there always seemed to be... at least one more squirrel STILL in the yard... :-)

HEATHER, MARY: Nice site! :-)

RANDALL: Now you've got me wondering how far back those quoted titles go! :-) I can't believe PBS censored a Charlie Daniels song--and one about heroes, too! PBS has just fallen another rung on the popularity ladder, as far as I'm concerned!

JERRY: ha ha ha ha ha -- "send out a knight on a dog like this"...hee hee hee hee hee! That was a good 'un! :-) Reminds me of the time Roy Rogers, an old American cowboy/singer, went lion-hunting with some friends. They hunted all day with no luck, then made camp. Weary from the day's efforts, Roy pulled off his boots (a handsome pair he had recently purchased), set the boots outside his tent, and crawled into his tent for some shuteye. The sound of a gun firing awoke him. He rushed from the tent, grabbed his boots and found them mutilated with toothmarks. Just then, his lookout buddy fired yet again at the tail-end of a lion disappearing into the high brush. His other buddy knocked his arm and sang, "Pardon me, Roy, is that the cat that chewed your new shoes?" (Well, it's only funny if you've heard the song, "Pardon me, boys, is that the Chattenooga Choo-Choo?") Or...maybe not!

TEEKAY: hahahahhahahaha! "rescue crew digging in the cemetary..." heh heh heh! :-)

GS: Poor dog...hee hee hee! Just for that, do you know what they call skydiving lawyers? --- Skeet. (Apologies to any lurking lawyers!)

Oh boy, I'm outta here! Gotta make my reading/writing schedule, soon, for this Summer's "vacation" - some vacation, recuperating at home! Y'all have a great day, preferably with some good jokes and some wonderful writing moments in it! :-)

Mel 6-25-2002 8:25

Not many people know this, but while studying through Anne Sullivan's papers, researchers discovered a hand-written manuscript for a Chinese cookbook. Its working title?
--- "The Miracle Wokker..." ---

howard 6-25-2002 7:23

We used to call stories like that "Herman" jokes. This based on the fact that a fellow named Donald Herman, who was in fact the nephew of that Senator who's name slips my aging mind but he was the "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party" guy.

He served with me in the Old Guard which was a sort of collection point for relatives of those who were high in the government. (No, I don't have any high ranking relatives, guess they ran out of them and had to start finding real folks). We had guys like General Abrahams nephew, lots of Senator and Representative trash serving with us. It's a wonder we ever got folks planted out at Arlington with all the politics that flowed through that Battalion.

Anyhow, Don was famous for his groaner jokes, in fact one time he told one so bad that this black guy who was in the same company with us pulled his buck knife and cut Don's pinky finger nearly clean off. The joke wasn't even racial, but it was just that bad.

(We spent the next two weeks being "interviewed" by the CID about Herman's little finger!)

I was reading my sister's copy of Soldier of Fortune the other day (Always wanted to say that too!) and found an article on the Bin Laudin Navy. Yep, old Biny has his own navy they patrol around the island nations committing acts of piracy against civilian shipping. They have been guilty of boarding ships, killing the entire crew, hijacking the ship to another port, selling the cargo, then renaming the ship, registering it under the flag of a Muslim nation and reselling the ship! They make millions of illicit dollars that way, to fund their terror.

Oh it wasn't really my sister's copy, she works at a store and brought home some of the 'tear' mag's, this was one of those, you know the kind where the store tears off the front cover and returns it to the supplier and is supposed to destroy them. Well her store let's us read them BEFORE we destroy them.

Jerry 6-25-2002 0:55

And, of course, there was that Western jokester, Benny Hill.
"I shot the Sheriff.
I shot him in the back.
He was bent over.
They never found the bullet hole."

6-24-2002 22:34

RANDALL and TINA - and anyone else interested - those MP3 files are way too big to mail. I put them out on
You can play them (or download them) from there.
Ain't computer machines wonderful things!
Anyhow they're there for a while.

howard 6-24-2002 22:19

Way to go Charlie Daniels!!! Give that two-faced PBS management something to think about! They're always crying "censorship," and yet they pull crap like that. Charlie's a class act all the way.

RANDALL -- Yes, it was Roger Miller (a genius in my opinion) who used that "son of a gun" line in a song -- "Dang Me" to be exact, but he didn't coin the phrase. He also wrote a song called "Hoppy's Gone" after the death of Bill Boyd. I think you'd like it, and I'll send you a copy as soon as I finish this post. He wrote one that Tina would like too, I think, called "The Day I Jumped out of Uncle Harvey's Plane." Then there's "The Last Word in Lonesome is Me." He had a way with words and music.

HEATHER and MARY -- Nice site! Someone's been practicing HTML and stuff!

I'm open to suggestions on the humiliation (even torture) of squirrels! Well, maybe not torture, but I would certainly welcome a surefire way to make the critters feel unappreciated around our bird feeders! I put up a brand new sunflower seed feeder on Saturday, and this afternoon I found it with several holes chewed in it, and even the perches were chewed completely off! This makes half a dozen feeders they've destroyed in the past few months. We've painted the feeders with Red Hot Sauce (I bought a gallon jug of the stuff -- good thing I like it too), even loaded the feeders with crushed red pepper. It doesn't bother the birds, but is supposed to give the squirrels major heartburn. They loved it. Not sure where to go from here. I've got an idea for a little remote controlled shocker, that would give them a charge, but not sure if that would bother them either. They'd probably think it was some sort of electro-massage, and invite their friends!

Still no rain in AZ or CO -- the pictures I've been seeing are really scarey. Are you near them, Christi?

howard 6-24-2002 21:48


Scares the hell out of the dog? I like that one. Jokes with dogs in them are usually good jokes. I like the one about Dumb and Dumber coming back from the hunting trip. "Dumb, how come we didn't get any ducks?" "I don't know, Dumber, maybe we didn't throw the dog high enough."

gariess 6-24-2002 21:09


Hi All,
terrible, terrible tragedy in Ireland. A 2 seated Cesna managed to smash into the cemetary just outside Dublin. 267 bodies have so far been recovered, but many more are expected when the rescue crew stop digging.

EDDIE: Oh, I believe you - I think it's wonderful!
Thanks for the advice. Lucky (or unlucky) for me I give an honest review anyway.
I gave one to this girl, who then reviewed mine and from what she said, I'm pretty sure it was a case of sour grapes. Which was okay with me because I have gotten to the stage where I can separate from my writing. And then I gave another to this guy whose story was a total shocker, and I felt so bad for doing it because he said nice things about my story (:-D, I feel like I'm back in lower primary school saying this) but I simply can't bring myself to lie about it.
Dropped into this chat room there yesterday and it was full of screenplay writers, and ma-a-a-an, you could feel the pretension oozing from the walls.
Won't be going there again. Phonies.

HEATHER: Boy, you've been busier than a....., than a..., than a caterpillar with 2 legs in a 3 legged race (forgive me).
I have been to your site and I can vouch that it's FANTASTIC.
EVERYBODY: Give yourselves a visual treat and pop on over.

HOWARD: Yes, but this is different. It's like she's deliberately using the word wonder in every chapter, just to see if anybody's paying attention.

Okay, going, be well all.

Teekay 6-24-2002 20:33

Big thunder storm just missed us by a mile last night. Dang thing took out my internet service, just got it back about an hour ago. Took several calls to the blond gal at the phone company, the first one I had to explain that it wasn't email that I had a problem with (seems there was an area wide email outage) but the entire internet. Ok so she said she'd tell someone.

Couple of hours watching the little light on my ADSL modem flash and I called back. Got the same blond, again I explained that it wasn't email, then asked if there was anyone else in the office. Good move, got the brunette, she made out a work order and faxed it up here to the local guy, who was out on a call, and didn't make it back to his office till a couple of hours ago. He did the magic that he's paid to do and the flashing stopped, I was hooked up again.

I did have lots of free time to care for our daughters computer that was refusing to compute anymore. Did a format and install, it's behaving nicely now, and has most of the software she ordered installed installed.

There once was a knight who was on his ways to the crusade, when a horrible storm came up. The lightning was so bad that it struck his horse, killing the animal, and leaving him rusty and walking.

He came upon a pub, and took shelter from the storm, however he was very anxious to get on his way, he began asking everyone in the pub if they had a horse so he could be on his way to the crusades. At long last, he found that there were no horses in the entire village.

He was sobbing in his beer when he saw a huge dog laying in the corner. He quizzed the owner of the pub about the animal, offering him huge rewards for the use of his dog.

The pub owner replied:

"I wouldn't send a knight out on a dog like that!"

Ok, so I tried.

Then there was the lady and her daughter named shelly who were visiting the museum, they were done with the tour, and standing in line to sign the guest book, as the sister who was in front of them began to write in the book when the little girl rushed forward and began to write in the book.

The lady grabbed the little girl, and pulled her back saying "Wait till the nun signs Shelly!"

And with that I bid you ado.

Jerry 6-24-2002 20:29



Thanks Mel for the very nice kudos. Mel as a fan of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, I recgonized the Bob Wills quote you listed. Bob, when not playing the fiddle, made many humerous, verbal asides as Tommy Duncan sang. It was a trade mark of Bobs to talk while the band performed. One remark was, "Shoot low sheriff, he's riding a shetland!" Another singer, the name escapes me, (Roger Miller?) also included "My papa was a pistol I'm a son of a gun." This clearly indicates that Western Swing as created by Bob Wills and C & W music in general are truly the only music worthy of the name, American made.

Howard and Mel ... great jokes. Howard, you really sucked me in with the Chinese warlord tale. Even as I read the last part I thought, "Howard mispelled working!" Then it hit me that you had sent me right up the river!!!!!

Wokking wounded!!!! Beautifully done Howard.

Christi... keep us posted on the fire. BTW are there any Native American reservations in the path of that fire?

Heather, nice to hear your still plugging away on "P" Hang in there, one day it will all be behind you and the fun over. :-)

BTW... you guys heard that country singer Charlie Daniels walked away from a July 4th concert on PBS? It seems PBS frowned on Charlie singing a song he recently wrote about the heroes of 9/11? Indeed PBS management said he could NOT sing it! Charlie said okay, grabbed hat and fiddle and bye, bye boys!

(Sigh) Is this where we are at today? Good grief Charlie Brown!!!


Randall 6-24-2002 20:10

Be sure to leave Mary and I a message in the guestbook at, too!


Heather Link 6-24-2002 18:53

Hey everybody! I've got another small batch of Phantasium stores edited - but I have to insert the edits into the text before I send them all off.
Mark - I know I've said this on other occasions, but I am really going to send you some of the P* stories! You seem to point out the same things that I find need to be changed in a story, so I think we'll work well together.
I have been taking forever with the Phantasium project, and for that I apologize, everyone.
If I say I'm on a roll, I'll end up shoving my writer's foot right into the space that says, 'Insert blockage here'.
So I'm not on a roll, no... haven't even seen any rolls...
Rolls? Oh, yes, one day. For now it's a Ford. ;oD

And now, for my special announcement:
You have probably noticed that Mary and I have been absent from the NB quite often of late. We have joined forces to create a business.
If anyone's interested to see what we've been up to, the link is below! Now that we've established ourselves, our site has enough on it to be worthy showing it to all interested, though in about two weeks the site will be packed full!

Write 'til all you've got are bloody stumps!

Heather Hemlock Bags 6-24-2002 18:16

Okay, against (but not that much against) my better judgement, here's another original -- must have had a lot of Chinese food that day...

Historians researching oriental cultures have found that during the second dynasty in China certain warlords were somewhat less than civil in their treatment of their foot soldiers.

They were used, misused, and abused at the whim of their leaders.

Stories of their shoddy treatment have been passed down through legend and folk tales, and one event stands out to this day as typical of the treatment these
ancient Chinese warlords afforded their troops.

It seems that one army had been decimated by the enemy. Scarcely one in ten had escaped unharmed. There were not enough to guard the camp, let alone fight. Nevertheless, in a fit of egotism, the warlord ordered a great feast to be
prepared in his honor.

His captains, to their credit, protested on the grounds that there would not be enough able bodied men to ensure the safety of the camp and to prepare the meal. After thinking this over, the warlord ordered that the least injured among his fallen troops would assume the duties of the cooks. After all, he reasoned, they could still stir-fry his favorite dishes.

His word was law, and to this day that faithful contingent of injured cooks is remembered as the original wokking wounded.

howard 6-24-2002 18:07

Groaners you want? Groaners you get! Here's one I wrote 'way back when...

Did you know that Hank Williams loved to cook? One of his favorite recipes
called for finely ground wheat, stir-fried over a fire fueled by a certain
evergreen wood. As he prepared it he would often sing an old C & W song:
"I'm Wokking the Flour Over Yew..."

howrad 6-24-2002 15:32

What do you call a boomerang that doesn't work?
--A stick.

What do you call cheese that isn't yours?
--Nacho cheese

What do you call Santa's helpers?
--Subordinate Clauses

What do you call four bullfighters in quicksand?
--Quatro sinko

heh heh heh You guys better start posting or you're in for more dumb jokes! ;-)

Mel 6-24-2002 13:21

Thanks everyone for the feedback! It was much less painful than I thought and full of excellent suggestions for improvement. I am a lover of adverbs and guilty of POV shift quite often. Thanks for reminding me, that's the kind of comments I was looking for. Thank God for rewrites. I think I'll peruse the other writing posts left this weekend.

Lori 6-24-2002 9:23

Oh, you guys are in for it now...but I'll be good. If anyone needs a GREAT joke (albeit corny) today, let me know. Just came into possession of a great little list of jokes that made my tears run (the list was one of those MONDAY MORNING DISTRACTIONS, you know). :-)

TINA: This one made me think of you: Why don't blind people like to sky dive? ... Because it scares the hell out of the dog.

:-] I got a sackful...

Mel again 6-24-2002 9:09

HOWARD, RANDALL: Oh yes, our library also has Lewis Grizzard books, more fun titles: "Chili Dawgs Always Bark At Night" ... "Shoot Low, Boys! They're Ridin' Shetland Ponies!" ... "My Daddy Was A Pistol, And I'm A Son of A Gun" ... :-]

Mel 6-24-2002 8:31


Hey there, everybody!! Thought I'd dash off a few lines before MONDAY MORNING AT THE OFFICE crashes through dawn, hefts itself onto my desk and pours uncountable distractions into my lap before I can swill my morning orange juice...

CHERI: Tell your daughter there are a bunch of great kids' sites for writing and related stuff! The American Library Association website lists a lot of links for great kids' sites - check the weblink at the end of this post.

CHRISTI: BTW, as EEYore would say, "Thanks for noticin' me." :-) And I, too, hope those fires are nowhere near you!

RANDALL: WRITING--especially comedy--is DEFINITELY your "forte!" :-) Pat yourself on the back and keep your great little stories coming! They make our day. BTW, we have several Pat McManus books here at the Finger Lakes Library System - I try to pop one or two into book collections that go to our member public libraries (we service a five-county area). Just reading the titles are a hoot! :-] "The Night The Bear Ate Goombaw" ... "Real Ponies Don't Go Oink!" ... "Never Sniff A Gift Fish" ... "The Good Samaritan Strikes Again" ... ;-)

VIV: For another inspiration for picking titles or phrases that amuse kids, try browsing the titles of kids' books or young adult (teen) books at a library or bookstore, especially paperbacks - the ratty-looking ones in a library are probably not only good stories but may have fascinating titles too that drew the readers to them in the first place. :-)

MARK: Gosh, they must have taken down my billboards due to all the construction around the Elmira exits... "Welcome to Elmira, Home of MEL" - So I'm not too surprised you didn't see any mention of me. ;-) In future, give me some advance notice of your travels in my proximity and I'll move my lemonade stand closer to the highway, heh heh. (I also serve "tea and crumpets" or some other fine delicacies (um, ice cream?!) procurred for guests, if you can find my house!)

Prolific, quality writing, you-all! :-) Or if that's too challenging today, just sit back and enjoy someone else's corny jokes (like the reason golfers wear two pairs of case they get a hole in one.) 8-} Going...

Mel Kids' Writing Sites 6-24-2002 8:22

RANDALL -- I had the nagging suspicion that I was mixing up two different authors -- Roy Blount Jr is a very funny writer, and his "Book of Southern Humour" is on my want list.
The other one I was thinking of was Lewis Grizzard, author of "Don't Bend Over In The Garden, Granny, You Know Them Taters Got Eyes." It's hilarious!
Then there's Dave Barry, and a few others with whom I think you could definitely hold your own.

howard 6-24-2002 8:19

Allein: Are you out there???? I hope you have the same address because I just fired off those translations. The lyrics are headed your way as soon as you send me your address. You still have my e-mail number?

Sorry for the delay. I also need your physical address as in home or office. I'd like to send off a box of New Years Items for next New Years season. Yup, red-faced, I sort of got behind again. Amazing how fast the year travels and if you tell me that this all was the year before last, I'm going to go find a cave and live with Sasquatch. I'm sick and tired of time passing faster than I can run.

Carol: Got the table of contents. You wanna' see? It's pretty cool because it's acting as an organizer. I'm going to try that with my novel to see if it works.

I'm about ready to bust if I don't get to that story. I wrote a chapter today on the text so I'm going to take some time to play with Frits. Time off for good behavior. Will send you the result soon. Looking forward to seeing what you're coming up with soon. I'm hooked.

Viv 6-24-2002 8:15

Thanks for the prayers on behalf of my daughter, son-in-law, and grandson in AZ. The current fires are still quite a distance from them, but they've been told to prepare for evacuation "just in case." They live in Williams, right on the edge of the Kaibab National Forest. Now my son-in-law has gone to somewhere in northern BC to install another system for a resort opening up there. Kris and Stephen are home praying for rain. They sent me a link with news and pictures of the fire -- -- and it's scarey.

TEEKAY -- Zenna did use "wonder" a lot. She was a grade school teacher -- 4th-6th grade, I think, and she started writing to get her students interested in stories, and in using their imaginations. The picture I have of her is one of those standard "school" pictures. If I can find it I'll post it for you.
I've tried to write a series of short stories like she did, with a sub-plot going on between the stories to tie them together, but it's not easy to do effectively. The first section of "Ingathering" is like that, and it gets to you on several levels.

RANDALL - Roy Blount is worth looking up. He's been on PHC several times, and I think he did the "We'll leave the light on for ya" commercials for Motel 6.

howard 6-24-2002 8:03

It's true.
I remember reading some blurb about editors reading through the submissions for possible publication, I didn't think much of it at the time.
When I got the email from the Lit Pot editor I was amazed. I didn't even have to do anything else, they alresdy had the work. The next thing I got was a proof copy of my work and a publication date. (MAY).
Zoetrope is hard work. If you are serious about improving your work and your output then it is a good workshop. You can expect some truthful reviews on your work (It can hurt).
Don't be dragged into the Ratings Race. One or two workshoppers are interested only in getting high ratings for their stories. Don't get into a 'CLIQUE' of reciprocal reviewing, some will just use you for the above agenda. Be fair and give honest reviews, that way you will get the best out of Zoetrope. Otherwise, there are no ties, no catches.
Have fun,

Eddie Simply Writing 6-24-2002 5:13

Shortie Night Theme: Skeletons in the Closet

Mary 6-24-2002 1:02


I think I meant kismet, not karma.

Teekay 6-24-2002 0:46


Hi All,

well I have discovered Zoetrope. It seemed like Karma really, there I was, looking for a place where there might be a chance of selling something and Zoetrope cropped up by way of 3 different people, but not in answer to my question - so, that's pretty cool.

EDDIE: Did you really get approached to have your story printed? That's totally brilliant. I can't believe you were able to keep 'mum' about it for so long.

I can't believe the reading you have to do though, bloody hell, it's tough. 5 reviews to every story you post and they have to be 100 words long, so I guess, when you do finally post a story, it's going to be one you worked hard on.

HOWARD: LOVE ingathering! And, do you know, I'm up to chapter 3 and she has used the word 'wonder' in every one. Remember, she did that with the other book you sent me too. It must be a sort of trademark thing she does.
BTW: How is your son going with the evacuation?

CHRISTI: I hope those fires are nowhere near you.

Gotta go and eat my McDonalds.

Teekay 6-24-2002 0:45


Wow, the posts as of late have blown me away. I haven't got time to read all the stories, but here's what I wrote out the other day of the ones I had read.

6/21/02 Halleluiah, this IS a writer's page after all! :) After a long hiatus, the writing spirit has again infused the Notebook, with or without aid of the Workbook. Blessed be you all.

Eddie, Here's my gut reaction: Damn, that was beautiful. Then my second self comes in and says 'beautiful? What are you, a sicko or somethin? That girl was killed, sacrificed out of ignorance!' And then my first and truest self answers, 'Yes, she was, and for a reason you never understood before. And now you do.' Thanks, Eddie.

Hi, LORI. I read your novel beginning, and I thought it had potential. There are some words that I heartily dislike (ew, add 'heartily' to that list), such as "beseech, tear-ful, and vengeful" among them. I'd boot those out and cut down on some of the adverbs, and reach down inside and try pulling out stronger verbs. Now I'm not up on the Romance genre, so ignore that comment if that's how Romance is written. Your story idea was interesting, and like I said, has potential; looks like a fun read. And hey, you'll never know until you write it!

Still catching up. So many wonderful stories, so little time. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! (Here's where I imagine that I'm swinging on a vine-laden swing, pumping my legs until my toes brush through the leaves on the lower hanging branches.)

Okay, here I am again on 6/23/02 and boy I wish I could recapture that mood! Our wildfires in the White Mountains have blown way out of proportion, shocking everyone into a stunned awe at how quickly something like this could happen. So far 18,000 people have been evacuated from their homes during the night, including many friends of ours. More will be sure to follow. Seems everyone in Tucson has links to the White Mountains in one way or another. The fire will reach the town limits of Show Low by noon today. All we can do is hope that Mother Nature gives us a break for the next few days and that the firefighters are able to gain control of the great wall of fire that threatens to be the biggest in US history. Send positive thoughts toward Arizona!

Have a great writey day, all. Your writing is inspiring.

Christi 6-23-2002 12:42


Again :-)

On Pat McManus...This is a trailer from Pat's web page and a letter from an admirer.


By Patrick F. McManus

Here is another serving of Pat McManus's wonderfully witty tales and discourses on a sportsman's life, in the same hilarious vein that won him recognition as "the Robert Benchley of the outdoors" for his first collection, A FINE AND PLEASANT MISERY. With wry tongue-in-cheek, McManus celebrates the hidden pleasures, unappreciated lore, and opportunities for disaster in the recreations of camping, hunting, and fishing. Here we have: the true if rather obscure history of fishing with live bait ("All You Ever Wanted to Know about Live Bait but Were Afraid to Ask"); the precarious expertise of ice fishing ("Cold Fish"); the trauma for the adolescent would-be hunter of having to wear glasses ("The Heartbreak of Astigmatism"); the secret life of the fly fisherman (The Sensuous Angler"); supernatural phenomena in the woods ("Psychic Powers for Outdoorsmen"); and much more. And again we meet those incorrigible McManus regulars: the old woodsman Rancid Crabtree; McManus's ill-remembered sidekick from childhood, Retch Sweeney; and the McManuses' loquacious dog, Strange.

An Unsolicited Letter to the Publisher from a Reader of Pat McManus's First Book....

"I have just had the hilarious experience of reading A Fine and Pleasant Misery by Patrick F. McManus. I do not recommend it, however, for reading in bed in the small hours of the night due to the impossibility of maintaining quiet so as not to disturb the rest of the family. Until 2 a.m. I managed to bury my face in the pillow to stifle the yowls, but the paragraph regarding the slab of bacon "so big if the butcher had left on the feet, it could have walked behind you on a leash" pitched me right out of bed onto the floor... In over 40 years of continuous reading, I have never written a publisher. You are the first. For God's sake, keep up the good work. The world needs it."

Chech out Pat McManus some time my friends.


Randall 6-23-2002 11:08

Hi, all. I sit at my sister's computer right now (maybe I should say my niece's computer) in Pendleton, NY. I had to travel through Elmira to get here. Not a sign of MEL.

HOWARD -- so you got a double-bacon cheeseburger instead of a double bacon-cheeseburger?

RANDALL -- add mine to the kudos.

Mark 6-23-2002 10:36


Good morning!

Viv...As usual in my stories, events and persons are real and fictional. Combined memories, events and encounters from 40 years of on the planet, deep in the heart of Texas come to life in my tales.

I do, in fact have a loan officer named John, who is a real life rodeo cowboy. Getting ant money out of him is worse than having a tooth pulled. He is a great big guy and I sure would not like to get on the down side of him. Though he always comes through I have to go through an intergeration that would make a Gestapo agent bow in respect.

Red Britches and George are a mixture of people I know and have known. The real life George comes into our store on a daily basis and hangs around telling bald faced lies and the current "street gossip." Red is also a combination of men I know. He is based on a real life wino who did, in fact, live under a bridge in town. Though long deceased this man left a legacy of wild tales and hilarious events that always seem to befall him on a regular basis. And yes I would help anyone with their work.

Howard... I have not read of Roy Blount, but Pat McManus who writes for Outdoor Life is a big influence. A genuine national treasure of outdoor related humor! Pat is the only writer who can leave me breathless from laughter. I could recommend no better series of books than the collection Pat offers. If you can read Pat's stories without laughing, there, truly, is no hope for you! Conversely, if you're down in the dumps seek out one of Pats stories. His writings are my prefered reading when fall arrives and my neck begins to thicken.

Eddie...I enjoy writing tales for you guys. I spend a good part of my day thinking of something funny to write. officers are a breed apart. When I was a lot younger they were my mortal enemy. But now I understand that without us borrowing they would be out of a job. It is the little loans that they count on cause they can sock it to us on interest. I believe part of their training involves seeing how much information they can squeeze out as we sit sweating in their office.

Gotta go


Randall 6-23-2002 9:52

Thanks for yet another magic moment

Eddie 6-23-2002 7:29


Trash 6-23-2002 7:13

TEEKAY -- I found some more info on "Death of a Wombat." It's a short narrative written several years ago, and it won several awards in Australia. It was narrated for radio, which also won an award, and that is the version I'm looking for. I've got it on tape somewhere around here in one of these boxes, but I just can't put my hands on it. It's probably in the same box with my old boat registration, my picture of Zenna Henderson, and my 1957 Hunter Safety Training card, which I'll need in order to renew my big game license.
I'm glad you're enjoying "Ingathering." It's yours to do with as you will -- I have two more copies.

Another couple of titles from my favorites list:
"The Witches of Karres" by James Schmitz, and "The Great Time Machine Hoax" by Keith Laumer. I highly recommend both.
They're both out of print, but definitely worth rummaging for in the used book store.

RANDALL -- You definitely bring a chuckle! You remind me of Roy Blount at times. I've always enjoyed cowboy humor (and poetry), and yours is topnotch!

JERRY -- Chilling!

We stopped for supper at a Waffle House restaurant in Atlanta last week, and I was again reminded that they talk/think differently down there. I saw they had cheeseburgers on the menu, and you can get bacon added for 30 cents more. They offered singles and doubles, so I ordered a double bacon cheeseburger, same as I would right here in beautiful downtown Whitney Point. I heard the cook ask the waitress "Are you sure that's what he wants?"
She said that it was, and sure enough, that's what I got -- a single cheeseburger with four strips of bacon instead of two, instead of a double cheeseburger with bacon on it.
I didn't even bother to argue.

howard 6-22-2002 21:36

CAROL & MEL; Thanks for your comments, I really appreciate it.
My daughter, Erin, wants to know if there is a writer's notebook for kids! She is 7 years old and really enjoys making her own stories. Anyone know of a safe place on the www for kids to write stories? Let me know. Thanks.

Cheri 6-22-2002 20:37

Randall - Don't feel bad, the bank officers have laughed at me for years, I don't take it personally, just part of the game.

Mel - Thanks.

Jerry 6-22-2002 20:33

Hi Carol: Frits is going to be put off until Friday. Until then feel free to send what you're doing. It'd be a treat to read something fun.

Have you seen my sense of humor? I seem to have left it somewhere. Amazing how dull something funny can seem when you write it down.

Randal, I may need some help. You do pretty well with comedy. I need a feeling kind of like your bum who lived under the bridge who owned the trumpet type of story. I want my titles to make the kids chuckle. It's serious stuff but I want something silly on every page because writing should be FUN. I don't think too hard when I write or it spoils the entire effort. Maybe that's what's going on here. I'm working too hard. Need to PLAY with this. Still, if I need to borrow some of your imagination, could I send an idea and get a little tweek at a title?

Viv 6-22-2002 20:20



It is possible that writing is NOT my forte. (Did I hear a chorus of, "Here, Here!?") Comedy seems to be what I excel at. For some reason, totally due to any effort on my part, I seem to make people laugh! Take for instance my loan officer at the bank. I have been doing business with John for more than 10 years now. He is a terrific guy, a cowboy type prone to big belt buckles, jeans, boots and white shirts. John once quizzed me on Utah cause he was headed up there for a rodeo. More important, I crack him up.

Take for instance one day last week. I needed a little operating money and eased my battered, but beloved 4 x 4 into the bank lot. John has a corner office on the second floor. I noted he was standing looking down as I entered to park. After parking I looked up to wave hello, but by then John had disappeared and the curtains were closed. Indeed the velocity of closure had them still a'swinging.

What a comedian! Trying to hide like that! Aware of his gags I moved to the side entrance and sure enough, there was John sprinting for his pickup.

"John, glad I caught you." I shout.

"Yeah, me too Randall." he grumbles closing the pickup door and turning to face me. "Can I help you?"

In the background there is a loud BANG. A group of tellers coming from the drive-in bank scream and look wildly around.

I chuckle. "My pickup likes to run even when I shut her off. Durn thing will explode some day."

"I should be so lucky." John mutters, waving the ladies on.

I laugh. "That's funny! Well John I need a little extra money."

"We're out," he sadly admits, shaking is head. "You know, it's the economy Randall. Things are tough all over. Just drying up. Brinks armored failed to deliver the weekly load and, well, we're flat empty. Don't even lock the vault these days. Gathering dust on the shelves."

About this time Anston Means, a bank VP strolls out, golf shoes in hand. Headed for a 11:00 AM golf date no doubt. Ever alert John notes my attention shift and reads me like a book.

"Say Anston, you got any..." I managed to get out before John clamps his hand over my mouth.

"Okay! Okay!" John hisses in my ear. "Lets go upstairs and I'll take another look. Maybe I could let you have a little out of the bank coffee and flower fund."

John settles behind his desk and glares at me. I note a three-inch thick file folder on his desk. It is decorated in red scribbles, covered with yellow sticky notes, red ribbons at selected intervals. Someone had drawn stick figures on the cover. One figure is chasing the other with what looked like a twirling rope.

John sees me looking. "Yes, it's yours. Okay Randall lay it out. What do you need?"

"Well John, I need about 3,000 to cover some up and coming problems."

John is grinning now. "3,000 dollars?"


"Pesos work for you?"

"No John, you got me on that one last time. I need greenbacks."

He seems to be relaxing, casually turned a pencil in his hand. The chair squeaks slightly as it swivels. "Payment plan in mind?"

"Well, yes John. How about a hundred bucks a month?"

He snickers. "Why of course. Why not 25?"

"That's the spirit! And I need an option to extend. Say five years?"

John laughs out loud. "Five years!" He pounds his desk in glee.

Whatta a guy!

"Anything else you need Randall?" he wipes his eyes, wet from mirth.

"Well, that 16% interest rate was a little high last time. Maybe you could knock it down lower. Say 4%?"

By now he is convulsed in mirth. "4% with your credit record!" he howls slapping the desk with both hands. Papers and little bottles and desk dollies jump.

I wait for John to gain control. It IS unusual for loan officers to be merry. Most have the outlook of an aging New York loan shark with a toothache and don't wish to be Mary. He dabs his eyes with a red bandana.

"I don't know why I ask this, but the collateral you have to offer Randall?"

"My old pickup is worth..." I begin.

He sighs loudly and reaches for his phone. "About a hundred bucks, on a good day, freshly washed. Jenny, let Randall sign an extension on his current note and add... he pauses and winks at me. "Give him an additional 1500 dollars at 12% interest."

I leap to my feet. "Thanks John. I won't let you down."

He stands and we shake hands. "You always have Randall. But laughter is important too. By the way, seen Red lately?"

"Yesterday. I helped him haul a load of cardboard down under the bridge. He was rebuilding his shanty after the wind storm. Why?"

"If you see him, tell him to get in here. He has several Certificates of Deposit's at maturity and needs to sign to renew."

I leave the bank lobby just in time to see a wrecker race away with my pickup in tow. Red Britches is sitting on the back grinning like a madman. He waves gaily at me and shouts. "Public nuisance Randall. Pick it up at George's impound!"

Well hell fire! Castor and Pollux, blow me to Bermuda! There goes some of my new money! Wait a minute...maybe Red and George would release it for a case of wine? Cheap wine.

See ya guys!


Randall 6-22-2002 17:43


Wow! Just finished the recent story-posts. LORI, ED, JERRY, CHERI - front and center for some friendly feedback:

LORI: What a great mix of emotional turmoil starting your story! :-) Each character raises many questions in the reader's mind - what will Halva do? How did Rose come to be in her situation? Will evil Richard get his just rewards or will he undergo a massive character transformation??? Many more questions still forming - this means a good start, concept-wise. Nitty-gritty: flesh each character more, especially Rose before she dies. Point-of-view is also confusing at the beginning - who asks the question, Halva or Rose? And with Halve leaving the room and Rose dying soon, the POV probably should stay with Richard, unless, maybe Halva is watching from behind a curtain or somewhere; or if you want the POV to be Rose for this first scene, make sure you keep all the observations from her perspective, including watching Richard place his hand over the baby's face just as she feels her last breath leaving her body... Good start! Keep working on it! :-)

ED: SOLSTICE grabbed me somewhere in the deep recesses of my consciousness. I feel there should be much more to this little flash fiction - what a great little teaser!!! :-)Now cough up the rest - your readers want to know more about this tribe, why they willingly do this strange ritualistic sacrifice, and WHAT HAPPENS NEXT???!!! Also, be careful with unusual character names to establish clear identities as early as you can - I thought perhaps Aerrius was also female until you use "he" several lines later. You could easily establish his gender much earlier, in the very sentence in which you introduce him. Great beginning -More, more, more! Shout your fans!!! :-]

JERRY: Your Vietnam story lays Truth on a platter, garnished with all its gory glory. That is a good thing, even though part of my mind screams "I don't want to see the grief, I don't want to hear the gut-ripping language" -the other part of me nods, "Well done." The sights and sounds barely touch on the horrors endured by all our vets in all our wars. A voice needing to be heard back home by those who never went to war, never saw it, never felt it, never heard it, never smelled nor tasted death so close at hand, so ON their hands. Well written, Jerry. And thanks for doing your part as a soldier, too. That means more than stories, and writing about it reminds us all of the courage of our vets. WRITE ON!!! :-)

CHERI: WHITE STONES has caught me in its web. I sense extraordinary characters here and a tale that's worth telling well. :-) I work with a vast cast of characters too, and it's a difficult challenge to breathe life into them all; you have to be aware of where everyone is and who is in the current scene and keep them active so the reader won't foreget them or be confused by their roles in the story. Take enough time with each one to bring out their best talents and features, even a few scenes or a complete chapter based around one character at a time to develop each one in the reader's mind. Also watch your tense; you switch between past tense and present tense, sometimes in the same sentence - this makes the reading choppy and confuses the reader. Where you use past tense the story seems to read better; perhaps you should rework the scene completely in past tense. It's a wonderful beginning on which to build - keep working on it! :-)

EVERYONE ELSE: A Wonderful day with happy writing moments I wish to each of you today!!! 8-]

Mel 6-22-2002 9:00

Viv -- send it on. Writing a textbook that is entertaining is a huge task. I'm proud that you're tackling it. If the Frit story comes in shorter dribbles for now, so be it. I'll take whatever of that that I can too. :)

Cheri - since you say this is a beginning only, I'll comment just on the basic idea. My own fragile beginnings can only tolerate that much input too. :) Mainly, you've got me curious. Curious as to why these people are hiding. Who the Dahlia people are and why they are feared/shunned/persectuted against. I'd say keep going till you have the basic story as you are doing, then go back and rewrite till you have everything as it belongs. Our writing talents have to have practice to continue growing. So, keep practicing!

I did get my characters into the forest today. So I'm mildly happy with today's work. Now, did I leave another Kit-Kat for Sedi for tomorrow or did hubby dearest eat them all?

Carol 6-22-2002 0:48

Mark - Thanks, I appreciate it.

Jerry 6-22-2002 0:44

MARK; Thanks for your comments. However, I did mention this is the BEGINNING of a novel. The importance of the fourth sentence is to establish that magic was used to hide the movements of the woman, Chenlar. I guess maybe I didn't make that clear enough, but it was just to 'imply' that something other than gracefulness was the cause of 'No one saw'. I hope to flesh this out more as this is simply the start of the first chapter.

I'd be grateful if you'd let me know if this makes sense to you or if I'm possibly headed in the wrong direction. Thanks.

Cheri 6-22-2002 0:16

JERRY -- Every once in a while you strike gold. Too bad I didn't get that job at the community college; I'd use today's piece as an example of a well-told story. It has several weaknesses that lots of people share (your spelling is as bad as a dung beetle's breath), yet the piece flows from point to point in a natural timeline that beginners tend to forget about. You also have a knack for knowing how to include the important detail. In your second paragraph (the first long paragraph), every piece of detail contributes to an image of a man who has been outdoors. Some readers will know right away, some will know by the end of the paragraph, this is a man outdoors in a warzone. Compare that with CHERI's first paragraph, fourth sentence.

CHERI -- in that sentence you use 27 words to tell us "No one saw." And that's only part of the problem. You seem to be trying to get too much done in one big whoosh. Yes, somehow we have to be told that the people are hiding; but, the point of the paragraph is the woman. You lose focus by telling us about the woman then moving out to "should someone have been watching . . .."

Interesting uses of authority in both stories. JERRY has the FNG going weewee on a tree who shouts back at the established expert, and CHERI has the green-eyed paranoid who shuts up when the woman looks at him, thus establishing her as having some authority. JERRY's FOG maintains his authority, right down to the short-timer's calendar (I'd lose the last line though, Jerry). CHERI's central figure clearly has some authority, yet she can be questioned and she may at times be wrong. That is hugely ambitious. She lets us glimpse at several links in a chain of events that clearly came from somewhere and clearly go to somewhere. We have neither the big picture nor the small one. JERRY gives us one finished link.

Mark 6-21-2002 23:31

Stressed out and sporadic? Viv, you've just described every known artist that has ever lived, is living, or ever will!

Heather 6-21-2002 23:18



HOWARD: From your last post I have deduced that you have mislaid your copy of 'death of a wombat' of which I have never heard.
But, if you at any time start looking for your copy of 'Ingathering', I have it and it's wonderful! I started it last night. Only got to the middle of Ararat and had to put it down because i couldn't keep my eyes open - no fault of the author, but it was midnight, so, agains't my will, I had to go to sleep.
I love the way that woman writes. She makes it soooooo easy to read. Thankyou so much again for the book.
Am sending a prayer out for your son and his family.

CHRISTI: She said she'd send a thingy (?) for me to look at before it was published, so I'm thinking maybe the 2098 issue.

Haven't read any of the stories yet, and by golly isn't there a few of them, but will get to it later.

Be well all.

Teekay 6-21-2002 21:15

Poking a frazzled head back into the door. Jerry, waiting to read your story. Saving it for tonight.

Will read all other posts tonight and catch up. Two more weeks until vacation.

Viv yet again 6-21-2002 20:19

Hi Cheri! Welcome and enjoyed your story. We have the same problems...too much life too little time. Glad you came in and shared your story. We all don't have time to write. Heather, one of the best writers on the site has the least time of us all and does the most. Just hang in there but as you can see I'm stressed out and sporadic.

Viv 6-21-2002 20:16

Carol: I'm stuck doing this textbook deal. Hope to have it in. Could use some input. You mind reading something boring....very very very boring? I hate to bug you but this has to be perfect. Carol, do I really want to do this. It's a lot of time and energy but I'll have a book when I'm finished. I have a fourteen year old NOW. She's about to become fifteen. She's not here forever and this is summertime. It means I'm going to have to work every day for five hours, plus my writing on the "Frits". Still, if everyone keeps acting mad and frustrated to their's not good either. If I could show them how to have some fun with this stupid class.... If they'd even read it. They're a bunch of negative nee-bobs.

Viv 6-21-2002 20:14

I've been lurking here for about a year. I love reading about everyone and I finally have gotten the nerve to post something I've been working on for almost two years. My writing is very sporatic since I have two young children, a full time job and a part time business I run with my sister.

I would love some feed back on this piece. It's the beginning of a fiction novel(I hope!)

Please let me know what you think.

The White Stones

A horse came galloping up the rough driveway, barely visible in the fading moonlight and tall overgrowth. It stopped just short of the dilapidated gate, which was closed, as though it could stop any who wished to enter. The rider dismounted, slapped the horse lightly to move it on its way, then jumped the short fence and ran the few dozen feet to the ramshackle house. All of this was done with such fluid movement that should someone have been watching, they would not have been sure they had seen it at all. The figure stopped briefly at the base of the porch to glance around before dashing up the steps and slipping quickly inside.

In the dark a small spark suddenly shone, and a candle is brought to life. The figure walks slowly and quietly to a door on the left. Upon entering, the door is shut quietly, but still it creaks ever so slightly. Instantly, three knives are at the throat of the intruder, gleaming almost cheerfully in the pale candlelight.

“It’s only me.”

“Chenlar’s back,” is whispered around the room.

The room is large and almost full of people from small babies to elderly men and women. Everyone is on their feet and whispering excitedly. More candles are lit as Chenlar drops her cape over a small boy’s shoulders to warm him. Chenlar, as she is called, takes great care of the children here and everywhere.

Once the hugs and smiles have been offered and returned, everyone settles back into their places. Chenlar sits with four others and removes from her pockets, every bit of money she has earned. A small pile sits sadly looking back at the five.

“It’s not much but, tomorrow there will be more,” she says quietly.

“Good,” says Moran, a large woman with long black hair, pulled back tight away from her face. The lines on her face make her appear older than she is. Evidence of a hard life.

“What about the others?” asks Crow. His name was of his on making, for no others dared to give him another. A large brutish man with think arms and legs covered with dark hair. Only Chenlar knows most of the truth about him.

“They wouldn’t come here, but said they would meet me again tomorrow by the well.”

“It’s a trap!” Grodin hissed. A tall man with red hair and green eyes, he was always the first to suspect a trap or any other misfortunes that might befall them.

“They could have turned me in the moment they found out I was a Dahlia, Grodin, why would they wait until tomorrow?”

“To make sure they had enough guard with them and follow you back here to the rest of us, that’s why! They’re probably outside now about to set fire to the house!”

Some of the children having heard this rushed to Chenlar’s side for protection.

“Grodin! How dare you frighten them like that. You know d--...” Chenlar stops and lowers her voice. “You know very well that I am never followed.” Chenlar said this with such authority that every child visibly relaxed, but still clung by her side.

Grodin glared at her angrily, but kept quiet, as she slowly settled the children back in their makeshift beds of blankets and straw.

Once done, Chenlar came back to the group and faced Diaz, a petite woman with honey colored hair and light gray eyes, who only speaks when invoking their magic.

“Make sure a light sleeping spell is put over the little ones and a forget spell on the older ones.” Throwing a dark look at Grodin she added “We don’t need them waking in screams and bringing the guard on us.” Chenlar whispered this into Diaz’s ear so softly that most would swear that nothing was said.

Diaz slipped away to another corner of the room. Soon a light humming noise was heard for a few moments and then all was silent, except for the soft breathing of the children.

When Diaz returned to the group, Chenlar continued, “If Onola is as powerful and trustworthy as I think he is, we’ll be in good shape for the trek. However, Rookard knows there are more Dahlia in this area, so we may have to postpone the trek or move up the time for leaving.”

Grodin started to growl, but one sharp look from Chenlar shut him up. Moran just sighed heavily and Crow only shook his head.

“What if Onola’s not as trustworthy as you think?” Grodin asked with a sneer.

“I’ll find out tomorrow. I’ve set up a little test for him. If he passes we both live. If he fails ...” she didn’t finish the sentence.

“You don’t mean the Pakdor again do you?!” asked Moran.

“Yes, I’m afraid I do.”

“Just don’t try to swim the river again. I don’t know if we have any more herbs for the thawing spell.” Moran had saved Chenlar’s life the last time she had used the Pakdor as a test.

Cheri 6-21-2002 19:58

Did this the other day, it's not really vanity, simply self preservation, or is it?

Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for I am the evilist son of a bitch in the valley.

That was written on the back of my booney hat, and I meant every stinking word, this was my eleventh month in-country, I was considered an FOG (Fucking Old Guy) and many of the FNG's (Fucking New Guy's) looked at me with some sense of awe, maybe it was by bright blond hair that stuck out from under the brim of my hat bleached from the hot sun, maybe it was the fact that my jungle boots were stained red instead of the bright shiny black of the FNG's. It could have been the simple fact that my jungle fatigues were nearly white from constant exposure to the sun, not olive drab like theirs, it could have been the color of my skin, once white and pale now a bit darker then that of a Mexican, a bit lighter then that of the blacks in our unit. It is more probable that it was what has been described as the thousand meter stare, a condition common amongst FOG's. It's cause, seeing to much death and destruction, being required to assault that damn hill, then after seeing your buddies die taking it, leaving it the next morning, giving it back to the enemy.

We were deep in the jungle, somewhere in the lowlands, somewhere near the Delta, but to tell the whole truth, I quit carrying where we were several months ago, when I found out that we were simply going through the motions of a war, not trying to win, just going through the fucking motions.

One of the FNG's was on point, another carrying the Lt.'s radio, another following the LT, I followed him. This was the first patrol for the three of them, and it was my job to see how they did, to try and keep them from getting us all killed, and most of all, my personal mission to keep myself alive for another month so I could go back to the world, back to my wife and son, everything else was second to that.

About an hour into the patrol I we came across a trail, now a trail through the jungle looks like a great place to walk, no vines to tangle you feet, no twigs to break and give away your position, no branches to slap your face, and most of all, no snakes, and while they look great, the worst thing you can do is to take one of the damn things, not only are they booby trapped, they are also well used by the VC. Better to back off several yards from the trail and parallel it, this way you lessen the danger of being shot, and most of all there are usually less booby traps to kill or maim you. The LT motioned to the FNG on point to back away from the trail, and being a good little FNG he did. I joined the LT and the FNG near the trail to see find out the LT's plan.

It was simple, the same plan most of the LT's who don't have their head planted square up their asses would use, simply parallel the trail for a short time, see if we can find a place where the trail forms a y, or maybe a clearing where the VC would take a break, then sit up an ambush.

The going was tough, but we managed to follow beside the trail for nearly a mile, then we came to the wide spot, the break area for the VC, and sat up a simple ambush. We lined our side of the break area, one man every nine meters. The LT wisely put the three FNG's near the middle, with an FOG between each, just in case. We lay-dogged for nearly an hour when I heard them, a squad of VC were using the trail. The LT signaled for us to make ready, I looked to my right, Connors a fellow FOG was taking up a prone stance his rifle trained on the mouth of the trail.

I looked to my left, the FNG was standing behind his position, he had his dick out and was pissing against a tree. I waved my hand to indicate he should get down, but he wasn't watching, I picked up a small twig and threw it at him, hitting him square in the ass, and the stupid shit shouted, "KNOCK IT OFF CAN'T YOU SEE I'M PISSING!"

That shout was followed by the unmistakable sound of an AK-47, bits and pieces of that tree the FNG was pissing on flew back, hitting him in the face, then several rounds impacted in his back, and he was down, we returned fire, but the VC wern't all that stupid, they fell back into the jungle, and for a short time they returned fire, two rounds hit the LT, one in his arm, another grazed his head, leaving him unconcious. Then as quickly as it started, the firing stopped. Slowly I raised up off the ground, half expecting a burst of AK fire at any second but none came. The VC were gone. I ran to the LT, he was breathing, just knocked out from the impact, but his arm wound was bleeding, they must have severed an artery, as the blood was spouting from the wound, both entrance, and exit. I took the bandage from the LT's pistol belt and covered the large exit wound with it, then using mine on the entrance wound, tied them both around each other, as tightly as I could, the bleeding slowed down nicely, the head wound was just a scratch, but like head wounds do, it bleed perfusly, using the LT's handkerchief I tied a makeshift bandana around his head to cover that wound, then I moved to the FNG by the tree. A quick check confirmed what I feared, he was dead, the exit wounds on his stomach were so large that his intestines protruded like big snakes withering from inside his body.

The Sgt, who was on the other end of ambush made his way over to us.

"What the fuck happened?" he demanded, I told him what the FNG had done.

"Where the fuck were you, you should have been watching out for him!"

"Don't get on your fuckin high horse, not my job to tell that stupid shit where or when he should piss, I was watching the other FNG, the LT said he would take care of that one!" I told him, indicating the corps under the tree, already being covered by those fucking black flies that are all over the fucking jungle.

"Well get the LT ready for transport, there's a clearing down the trail a bit, I was just down there, they can bring a medivac in there."

"You going to pull us out too?" I asked

"Shit yes, no sense staying out here not, every fucking dink in Viet Nam must know where we are by now. Think you got any of those little yellow bastards?"

"I doubt it, but I'll go check for blood trails."

"Fuck it, don't bother, just get the fucking LT ready for transport!"

I walked over to the LT, he was coming around, a few seconds later, his eyes came open.

"What the fuck happened?"

I told him about the incident and that the Sgt. Had ordered in a medi-vac chopper for him."

"I don't need no fucking medi-vac!" he said, then he noticed the bandages on his arm.

"What about the arm?" he asked.

"Looks bad LT. Hit an artery to, you lost a bunch of blood already, you best take that medi-vac!"

"Just who the fuck is in charge here, I wear the bar, not you!"

"Yes Sir!" I replied, and whipped off my best ceremonial salute.

"Knock that shit off!" The LT screamed, it is a well known fact that the VC watch to see who gets saluted, then shoots the officer to try and knock out the whole unit.

"Yes sir!" I replied, chuckling under my breath,

"And knock that SIR shit off, too, you know better then that!"


I went over to the FNG, and took the poncho out of his backpack, then lay it out, and rolled his body, protruding guts and all onto it, then called the other FNG over to help me carry the stiff out.

The FNG came over, when he saw his buddy, guts laying out and all, he lost his breakfast, then his supper from the night before, hell he must have lost everything he ever ate considering the pile of vomit on the ground in front of him. When he was done, he looked at me, seeking some comfort, or some such shit.

"Quit looking at me and grab the front part of that poncho, we have to carry this idiot to the LZ!"

"I don't know if I can!" he whined.

"Jesus Christ man, just take hold and DO IT!" I shouted at him. Shouting was OK now, shit half of Viet Nam knew we were there by now.

He reached down, and took hold of the poncho flap, there was some blood on the flap, and when he saw it on his hand he dropped the poncho, body and all, and resumed emptying his guts through his mouth. When he was finished, he took hold of the poncho, and together we hauled the FNG to the LZ, where we were met by the Choppers, Medi-vac first, to pick up the LT, and this FNG's body, then a slick came in and picked the rest of us up. Within fifteen minutes, we were back at the firebase.

After a short debriefing from S-2, we were released. I headed for my hooch, took a quick shower, then headed for the NCO Club to drink myself into a stupor. As I drank down my fifth whisky-coke (Well really whisky Royal Cola, no coke was available) I took out my short-timers calendar and marked one more day off, I was down to 30 days and a wake up. I was so short I had to part my hair to shit.

Jerry 6-21-2002 17:56

HORRIFIC not honorific dang spell checkers anyhow!

6-21-2002 17:38

I began a new project today. It's going to be a long story, as apposed to a short story. Well maybe a long short story, or a short long story?

At any rate it involves a fellow caught up in the survivalist fringe, and his awakening on Sept. 11th.

Did a bunch of research this morning, and found some very interesting things written by a fellow most everyone has heard of named David Duke.

Now I don't hold with a thing the fellow has to say but he is a very good writer, and I can see where someone who is looking for a cause could very well be romanced into his honorific organization.

It appears that it is very easy to hate, one simply needs to find someone or something or some race to blame, and listen to others who feel that way.

At any rate, I have the title and first sentence done. They say a long journey begins with one step. Today I took that step.

Thought I was seeing things or something just a second ago, the screen seemed to grow larger, shrink, then grow larger again. I was amazed until I saw Smoky was laying on my leg and pressing the F11 key with his paw. Kittens are so cute, it's to bad they have to grow into cats.

Jerry 6-21-2002 17:37

I tried to do VANITY (I realy did). But no matter how hard I tried it just didn't happen for me.
Probably because I was too preocupied with June 21st. Anyway, I sat down before the keyboard an hour ago and this is what came out.


As the sun set, dropping slowly into the ragged outline of the far forest, Anuinel prepared herself for the long wait. Tonight she would not sleep, she would prepare herself for the coming sunrise in the way that her mother had done before her and her grandmother had done in her time.
The night slipped by, the occasional wolf cry echoing through the valley.
Aerrius would be awake as she was, awaiting the rising sun with the same anticipation as she.
It was a great honor to take the wishes of the tribe on the long journey to the Gods Anuinel and Aerrius had been chosen for this great honor many seasons ago. They had known they were the chosen since that time, and had grown close with the shared knowledge.
Soon it would be time to drink the potion. She would drink it knowing that it would be the last thing that would pass her lips in this life. The potion would dim her senses so that she would not fear the high priest when he come to take her to the red alter set amidst the blue stones. The moon rose above the mound that dominated the view through the small opening in the wall of her dark sleeping area. Last night she had slept, tonight she stood before the window embracing her last night in this world. She wondered what Aerrius was thinking as he watched the moon rise above the Sacred mound, did he fear the dawn as she did? Did her mother fear the dawn as she stood in this room all those years ago, waiting for the high priest to come, to lead her to the red stone? Would she recognize Aerrius after taking the potion? She longed to look upon his face just once more before they began their journey.
All through the spring and into summer they had prepared together for this one day. The tribe had been generous to them both and they had wanted for nothing since the return of the sun after the dark time. It was the way of things. They were honored by the tribe in the time between the dark and the long days. Now it was time to pay back the people for their generosity.
They would go to the Gods together in the hope that their willingness to make the journey would grant the tribe a full harvest, a harvest to last once again through the dark times until the sun returned once more.
Over the Sacred mound a slight graying in the darkness seemed to magnify the sighting stone so that it appeared to hover above the crown, the dawn mist began to spread magical tendrils through the low bushes, along the bare trackways, down the hill, always downward, down to the village, coming down from the mound for them.
A solitary cock crowed in the village. Dogs began to bark in reply.
The first voice of the dawn came drifting down on the mist, the voice of the high priest, chanting, praying. The sound of iron on stone, Anuinel prayed that his blade would be sharp and true. He would be coming soon with the potion.
She turned and faced the doorway, closed over with thick furs against the night.
She stood high and proud, eyes wild with a mixture of fear and pride.
The furs in the doorway swung roughly aside. A tall figure stood in the entranceway.
Anuinel took the offered bowl and lifting it to her lips, drank deeply.


Eddie Simply Writing 6-21-2002 17:02

Thanks everyone for the warm welcome. I'm always a little afraid to join things like this because you sometimes leave a post or join a chat and get nada. I need some honest feedback from those of you who write romance, or even those who are mildly interested in reading romance. Now that I think of it, one doesn't even have to like the genre they're reading to know when something is crap. I read a book the other day I never would have bought, something called "Last of the Civil War Heroes" or something, and I'm not hugely interested in American History or re-enactments, but it was awesome, caught me right in the grocery store aisle. ANYWAY - here's the first chapter of one of my yet unnamed novels. Can anyone give me some constructive feedback?

“Please, let me see it! Is it boy or girl?”

Red-tinged hands reached beseechingly in vain. The man stepped forth from the shadows to pluck the bundle from the nurse’s arms and growled, “You will leave us now, Halva. Seek your bed and keep you there.”

Halva had always been his servant. Everyone in this cursed house is his servant, she thought. Halva left without a backward glance.

He held the infant far from his body as if to avoid being infected by its mere presence, and lifted a corner of cloth from its wrinkled face. The man sighed, perhaps finally being struck by the glory of fatherhood, she prayed. Carefully he replaced the cloth so that she might see none of the child’s features and leaned closer to the bed where she lay copiously bleeding.

She felt his presence by the warm breath on her cheek, “So unfortunate to have a babe with black hair, isn’t it Rose? Not my child at all, is it? Did I not warn you that I would never suffer a bast**d to live in my home?”

Rose shut her tear-filled eyes, willing her body to turn to stone, her mind to escape to its familiar haven deep within her, so that the blows that were sure to be inflicted upon her could be dulled. This time the transformation was almost effortless, her life’s blood seeping unchecked. But there were no fists beating at her and from somewhere far away she heard his voice. It sounded just as soft and soothing as it had the night of her engagement to him, “Rose, sweeting, wouldn’t you like to hold the child, comfort it? Can you not hear its cries?”

She felt her pulse quicken at his words and clawed her way back to reality. Her drowsy lids opened. Her arms rose shakily, hesitantly at first for surely he would yank the child from her reach at the last moment.

Please, Richard, if you have one speck of humanity in you, her mind cried. And just when her fingertips touched the gray swaddling, he laughed. Like a demon from Hell. And ripped her only child from her. Richard wiped the tears from her face almost tenderly then, his own eyes gleaming with hatred, “Rot in hell, dear Rose. This helpless creature is soon to join you.”

He enjoyed waiting out her last breaths. She was too weak even to speak but in death her watery blue eyes seemed to pierce him, accusing and vengeful. He pulled the coverlet over her face to shield himself. The child whimpered, its first sounds since birth. Richard took one long suspicious look at the now motherless babe in his arms and wondered suddenly if she had the knowing as her dear, departed mother had. He felt a chill run the length of his spine.

"How sad to be bereft of all of my loved ones. Wife dead in childbed and a stillborn daughter," he said as he held his hands over the child's tiny mouth.

Lori 6-21-2002 16:28

Hi there, all,
I've only had a problem once with anyone on eBay. I saw an item I had been considering in the stores here. The bid was up to about 75cents. There were only about three minutes left so I made sure the item was really the one I had been looking at, then jumped down and bid a whole dollar. Surprise, surprise, I won the bid. What I didn't notice(didn't take the time) was the $15.95 shipping cost. When I received the package, it had cost him $2.45 to send it. I left a note on his feedback saying I realized this time was my fault, but everyone should look out for unethical sellers that get their asking price out of the shipping charge. I figured the item cost me about $2 less than the one on the official webb site. In a month or so, they'll be begging people to take them.

I have three bids out on yarn now. The problem with yarn is, it weighs a lot and the shipping really is an amount to consider. I have made myself promise that I would bid only on yarn I can't get at home. Heavy rug yarn makes great purses and I haven't been able to find it around here. Rationalization is my life. :-P

sending my hopes along with the others that your relatives escape the fires.

Bye now.

Rosemary 6-21-2002 15:13

Hi All :)

Mel - now that you pointed out Eddie's post, it makes more sense. :) Oh, and thanks for sending Sedi back. I do have some nice cold Kit-Kat bars in the fridge just waiting for him. That must be why he left, Chaw-Clit was missing in the house for far too long. And I do believe his return has been fruitful - I think I know now what my characters will meet in the forest! Yippee!

Viv -- that means you should get an installment today or tomorrow at the latest. Speaking of which, I'm guessing you're busy grading papers and that's why I haven't seen anything recently. :)

Lori - A big welcome to you. Looks to me like you're going fit in very nicely. Woes and doubt and stubborn determination. That pretty much sums it all up.

Howard - I will indeed add your daughter and son-in-law to my list of prayers. So many fires this year. It makes me very cautious in my own yard and surroundings. Though it does smell like rain today. Hopefully it will, otherwise I'll have to turn on the water in the garden.

Mary, Mary quite contrary
How does your garden grow?

Now, it's into the forest for me. Nathan has a surprise for Elise. hehehehe

Have a great day everyone!

BTW - Where's Oyster?? I haven't heard any progress notes on B'Witch lately.

Carol 6-21-2002 14:25


Christi: Hi hows it going?

Howard: If you like I could put a prayer in for him as well

Taylor 6-21-2002 11:48

Hey, TAYLOR, nice to see you.

HOWARD, I'm sorry to hear your son live close to where the wildfires are raging. I'm crossing my fingers for him.

Christi 6-21-2002 11:23

Hi Ya'll!

LORI, Don't worry, we all understand that work sucks. (Of course NOT working has its own woes.) And you ain't the only one using Visa at McDonald's. Hey, at least it's coming out of our CHECKING accounts and not actually racking up the credit, right? Right???
I almost forgot: WELCOME!

MEL, Your shortie was so fun! Great writing! Upon my first read I read it '10 pairs of ears'. Then I read it again and got yet a different slant. Either way it's good.

EDDIE AND TEEKAY, You must tell the rest of us which anthology your stories will be in when you find out. I've gone to the site but there's no way to tell. And like I said before, I WANT IT!!!

TINA, I'm glad you like your new job!

Velcome back, Jerrrry. (This is supposed to be read like dracula. And yes, I have too much time on my hands this morning.)


Christi 6-21-2002 11:15

LORI -- Welcome! Congratulations to your dad, and may you soon join him in the ranks of the published!

Just taking a break from putting a fence around part of my garden. Thanks to the mild winter we have several very large rabbits grazing the back yard, and there were three deer in the garden yesterday morning. I'll plant my beans and other rabbit delicacies in the fenced area, and the rest outside. I hope the deer hang around until hunting season -- I do like a nice venison steak!

Got a note from my son-in-law a few minutes ago, asking for prayer on their behalf. They live in Williams AZ, right on the edge of the Kaibab National Forest, and they've been told to prepare for evacuation, as there are some fires in the area, and not enough water or firefighters to handle a major outbreak. It's getting to be a scary world! I'm just thankful this life is only a temporary assignment!

TEEKAY -- I've been trying to find my copy of "Death of a Wombat." It's an award-winning Australian radio narration, documenting a wildfire in the Outback. They play it about once a year on Weekend Radio on our PBS. It's riveting! Have you ever heard of it?

It's supposed to hit 90+ degrees this afternoon, and I've got some outside work to finish, so I'd better git.

howard 6-21-2002 10:34


Life's interesting isn't it.
Remember that thing I was telling you that I was losing my job in December. Well here's the kicker, I'm still happily working there.

Don't know if any of you remember me telling any of you about the run of bad luck when my boss takes a holiday... But he's taking another one soon.

Hope things are well with everyone... And people are writing heaps.

Sasquatch: Glad to hear you are not near the Colarado bushfires. Would hate it if someone from here was

Things are pretty day in day out routine in my little corner of the world. Thinking of taking a trip somewhere and just escape for a bit. But not yet.
But things are going along smoothly

Taylor 6-21-2002 10:17

Boy am I depressing this morning, sorry everyone - truck breaking down before work is last straw - I promise I will be more upbeat. After all, this is not

Lori 6-21-2002 9:38

Thanks everyone. I'm starting to get the idea that it's a wonderful thing to have happened to anyone. It's a hard business and anyone who thinks otherwise is fooling him/herself.

Good things come to those who wait...those who scrimp and pinch every penny and worry about the next paycheck before they get it and beg their credit card companies to pleeeez give them one more advance and every day brings more paranoia. Will this be the day I return to my desk to find I've "Lost Connection with the Network", that dreaded dialog box that means you're free to roam about the country. Your boss is no longer.

But, I scream (very quietly so as not to disturb the next cubicle) I depend only on myself as a writer. I can lay myself off. I can vacation (with very little money, I could walk the length of England, leave all my cares behind, eat in hostels).

I envy those who can truly take James Frey's advice, "Quit your job, write full-time". I'm using Visa in the drive-thru at McDonalds.

Lori 6-21-2002 9:33


Mel's right! Don't let it bother you one bit.

But can I say something!


Way to go!

Debra 6-21-2002 8:31

LORI: Sigh. Always a typo. I, of course, meant "to one day see my books on the SHELF next to his books..." :-)

Mel 6-21-2002 8:30


Made it to Friday---check.
Sun shining---check.
Read Notebook posts---check.
Returned Sedi the Giant to CAROL--- uh, oh no! Um, oh dear! How does one make a giant go home? Or make him do anything, for that matter??!! "Oh, SEDI!!!!! (short for "Self-Discipline") Where are you???"

thump......thUmp.....thUMp....thUMP...boOM! bOOM!! BOOOMMM!!! BOOOMMMM!!!!

"Oh, there you are, SEDI! Go home now to CAROL. She needs you. I, um, think she has some chocolate--"


BOOM!!! BOOM!!! BOOM!! BOOM!! BOOm! BOOm! boOm! boOm! thump thump thump thump thum thum thum thum th th th th thhhhhhhhhh........

Hope you've got a KIT KAT bar, CAROL! ;-] Thanks for the loan of your giant. He's a regular sport of a guy!

TEEKAY, CAROL: I had fun writing my little shorty - glad you enjoyed it.

CAROL: I think EDDIE's post of 6/20 at 16:10 was meant as a reply to you, not me. :-) Hope you caught it!

HOWARD: Welcome back from your trip! :-)

TINA: Glad you're employed again and enjoying it. Do you get to wax the wax beans? ;-] I'm still reading...slow but sure!

Where's RANDALL??

HEATHER, did you finish your son's bedroom mural yet? It sounded so intriguing! :-)

LORI: Welcome! Don't let your dad's writing success intimidate you, just let it inspire you!!! My last name is Hemingway... okay, so I married into the family - but somewhere there is a link to a famous writer, not intimidating but very inspiring!!! :-) To one day see MY books on the self next to HIS books... well! That's a worthy goal. Write your own stuff, your own style. And then one day, your books will be on the library shelves next to your dad's. :-)

Hi to everyone else! And to all, clattering, chattering keyboards and powerful, playful pennings today! :-D

Mel 6-21-2002 8:23


Thanks everybody for the congrats. :-D
Whose turn is it next???????

Well, maybe getting bent isn't such a great idea after all, not if it means me getting a black eye, I just don't like the idea of being off balance. Now, if you could find your way to making it 2 black eyes CHRISTI.....?
Sorry :-D you know I'm basically harmless, only causing grief through acts of sheer stupidity rather than malice.

Guess I was TOTALLY wrong about what 'get bent' meant anyway, even if I didn't think it was a pleasantry.
We have expressions like 'get knotted', or 'get knicked', but I couldn't really tell anybody what they meant.

EDDIE: We have fags and cigarettes here too. And there I was thinking we lived in the backwaters, not having 'get bent' and all.

JERRY: Our slang varies from state to state as well. When I came to N.S.W. I asked the chemist if he could secure my bag with durex. You should have seen the look on his face. Like I was mad - imagine!
Durex means condoms in N.S.W, butis what we call sticky tape in south Australia, , which I assume you American's call paper tape, because I just read a Walt Disney book and Minnie Mouse stuck a knife to the bottom of the cake pan with paper tape. I tell ya, there's no putting anything by me.

I can feel myself raving - sorry.

MEL: Well done. That's a good slant.

LORI: Welcome to you :-D

There was no way she was going to write a shorty for shorty night. Not unless they paid her.

Teekay 6-20-2002 20:35

Rosemary - Yep, my wife would agree with you on the 12 step program. The other day I bid on a box of misc. computer parts - the auction said the retail value was $39.90. Now I don't usually go by such things but other then a photo which showed all modern cards and a bunch of CD's I bid on it. When I got it, the mailman said it rattled, and was he right. What the guy did was to toss in two 286 motherboards, two 386 motherboards, and a bunch of cards from the 80's early computing stuff that might be of interest to the Smithsonian, but not to anyone who wanted to use such things. Then he charged $25 bucks shipping. Oh and did I mention he just tossed all those things in a box, no packing, no bubble wrap, no popcorn nothing. Anything that might have been of slightest use was so damaged from shipping that it was useless.

I was pissed! I sent him an email explaining that he must have shipped the wrong box, telling him that I was bidding on the box in the picture, the one with the CD's and PCI cards.

He replied that he sent the right box, and that since he said it was sold "AS IS" I had no recourse but to accept the deal.

After three or four more emails back and forth, I put in a complaint with Paypal, the payment service I use, and within minutes of filing the complaint, I got an email saying that he would refund the bid price, but not the shipping.

NOT GOOD ENOUGH said I, I want the unused shipping refunded, he charged 25 bucks, it cost him 18 to ship.

Nope, he said, and tossed in a few remarks about my lineage.

My next email explained that since I am retired, and have absolutely nothing better to do then file complaints, that if the funds were not deposited in my Paypal account by ten AM the following day, I would file complaints with both Ebay, and the U.S. Department of Justice, adding links to both websites.

That evening he responded that I would have the funds in my paypal account within three days. Latter that evening I got a note from Paypal that they had received my refund.

The next morning Paypal sent us both notes that the only thing they do is to insure that the proper amount went to the proper party. Not a problem I figured since I already had my refund.

But now I wonder, should I have at the very least sent the info to Ebay to keep this idiot from doing the same thing to someone else?

I guess you buy enough junk you get the short end of the deal once in awhile. I did notice that my good feedback is over 140 now, that might be an indication that I do indeed need the 12 step program.

Jerry 6-20-2002 20:30

Had the daughter pick up the dead before I mowed, I can't imagine the smell had I not.

Eddie - Yep, saying you need a fag in Florida may well have gotten you in the deep stuff what with all those rednecks around. (Ok I'm generalizing about Floridians, I know most of them are post 65!(

Jerry 6-20-2002 20:15

Hi Lori! Welcome to our little corner of the www. =O) No need to wince when you say 'romance writer'. There are/have been several notebookers who write romance, and very well!

Speaking of romance writers... Hallee! If you are lurking, could you e-mail me your snail mail address? I only have your old one. Thanks.

Blue skies!

Tina 6-20-2002 19:11

Hello, everyone.
I am a closet fiction-writer, closet because I keep a notebook under my arm at lunch and very carefully guard my back whilst I'm typing away a few vague lines at work (so hard to concentrate here). I am (GASP!) a romance writer. But hey, we gotta write what makes us happy as the last post confirmed.
My father was recently published with a multiple book deal, major publisher blah blah- which all sounds great and I am soooo happy for him, BUT, the big but - what a precedent he has set. I can no longer just putter around with 5 ongoing plots rustling in my head while I do everything but sit and put my fingers on that long silent keyboard. I do carry that notepad to work, but its only use is as a cover-up for my read of the week (romance novels have suggestive little covers quite often). I pluck new inspirations each day and end up starting a new novel. No staying power, no will to finish. But now along comes my dad who was no different at my age, and he's successful. There is hope for a recovering slacker afterall.

Lori 6-20-2002 18:01

Sure we do!
I think it is something to do with the realisation that it's going to take such a lot of hard work to make a living as a writer if it took this much work just to get this 'little thing' published in this 'little publication'.
Don't worry, just write for the love of writing. Anything else is a bonus.

Eddie 6-20-2002 16:10

Hi All :)

Not too much progress on current story the past couple of days. Mel, did you steal my giant?? I need another whack up-side the head. I must confess, my rejection pile isn't all that large. Might help if I would send a few pieces out there. I don't mind saying, I'm just a wee bit chicken about it. Even when I do get something published, I get a let-down feeling. Anybody else run into that? I thought I was supposed to be thrilled to death to see my name in print, instead I went into a downer for weeks.

But, on an up side - I did jot a few words for this weeks shorty.

Bedtime Thoughts

"Oh no!" I ran my hands over my ankles. The tiny, red spots were back. Pulling my pajama bottoms higher, I saw they went easily above my knees.

Dang it. I wouldn’t be able to wear my new skirt to church this morning. My very "first" would be in church. After 30 years, my legs looked, well used to look, better than ever. They had slimmed down and shaped up. With short skirts, nice hose, strappy heels and an ankle bracelet, there was no way he wouldn’t have looked – and remembered.

Now, though, I’d be stuck wearing Mom’s old long black skirt, the one that hung down to my ankles. I sure couldn’t let anyone see all those spots. They’d think I was contagious or something.

"Don’t worry about it. Go home. Live a normal life. Lots of young women get those spots. They don’t mean anything."

"Yeah right, Doc. Let’s see you in a pair of nylons then." I felt the grooves between my eyes deepen and forced myself to relax. No sense adding to my problems.


Mel -- btw -- I really like your shorty! I wonder how many scars some of those kids will have when they "age" a bit. I cringe when I look at my yearbook -- are they even going to dare to look?? hehehehe

Carol 6-20-2002 16:00

Have I the honour to have been the recipient of the very first outing of the BigFoot sense of humour?
And me from the other side of the great water too! Awesome!!

Eddie 6-20-2002 15:47

One thing I would never say when I was in Florida was:
I feel like a fag.
I'm sure that most of you know that a 'Fag' over here is a ciggarette.

Eddie 6-20-2002 15:42

Talking of words with meanings.....
My bedtime reading right now is Bill Bryson (Mother Tongue)
For those who have yet to read it GET IT
It deals with the English Language Accents and dielects from Celtic/Roman/Shakespear to Boston/New York/Mid West/Canada, and all of the 'borrowed' words from other languages. It covers spelling, pronunciation, silent letters and how they became silent etc. etc. etc.
It is fascinating stuff. So much that we take for granted has such a remarkable history.
It is a must have for any writer.

Eddie Simply Writing 6-20-2002 15:38

Oh, and it seems my writing is a bit too dark for Lit-Pot. Got a rejection on my story "Peporoni and Mince Meat Pie" the story of the cop and the cats.

I would send another, but I fear most of mine are a bit on the dark side, maybe I should be seeking a different type magazine.

Jerry 6-20-2002 15:37

JERRY -- it must be a real treat to run over dead robins with a lawn mower!
Here we're finding dead crows, but they're telling us that the West Nile Virus isn't a problem this year.

Found a couple of very nice fawn mushrooms in the yard yesterday. They're "good eats!" I'm hoping I can find a hen-of-the-woods later on. Haven't had one of those lately. A few years ago I found one that weighed a bit over 11 pounds, and was in perfect shape (no bugs). It was delicious! I sauted it in butter, with a bit of garlic, and my granddaughter and I ate near the whole thing!

howard 6-20-2002 15:00

Oh, the dialect thing not only effects folks from other nations, even local dialect can pose some confusion. For example when I was but a young cop attending the North Dakota Police Academy (refresher for cops from other states) this fine looking young lady who was also attending approached myself and my partner, and asked us if we would like to go out for a few bumps.

Now my hearing isn't all that it once was, neither was my partners, what we heard was a few "humps".

Both being married, we retreated to the day room with some mumbled excuses. It wasn't until a couple of days latter that she explained that a few "bumps" where she was living meant a few beers. I guess had we heard her right we might have retreated at any rate, as we had no idea what "bumps" meant either. At any rate we all became great friends, and still stop to visit when we are in the other's jurisdiction, which is now extremely rare. I think it's been several years since I saw her, my partner went on to law school and represented me in my case against Workers Comp many moons ago, we still keep in touch via Email.

Jerry 6-20-2002 14:21

Never spotted Sasquach, but there was a strange knocking at our door during the worst of the thunderstorm. There was a point in there somewhere where the thunder turned into a solid roar for well over two minutes, the sky was as bright as day, extinguishing all the light sensitive street lights that populate the park at strategic locations such as intersections and rest areas. During that roar there seemed to be a strange knock at the camper door, but I shrugged it off to a tree branch, and nothing more. Could it have been a susquach named Lenore?

Teekay - there are positions other then the missionary where bend over would be an operative word.

We are having a rash of sudden deaths of robins of late. When we returned home there were five of them in the front yard, several more in the back. The radio announcer says that this is happening all over the state, they are speculating that it may be west Nile virus, but since it's just effecting robins, there is some doubt.

It is sad when bad things happen to beautiful animals, why can't it be effecting grackle if it has to effect some bird?

That in mind, I must mow the lawn this afternoon, the rain seems to have brought it back to life. Only good thing about a drought is that lawn's rarely need mowing. I do like green much better then brown however when it comes to lawns.

Jerry 6-20-2002 14:15


Phew! Made it to lunchtime. This morning at work was MUCH too busy!!! Barely time to breathe between deadline tasks and meetings!

TEEKAY: Congrats on the publication acceptance-YEA, YOU!!! :-) As for book burnings, I would've found a way to "get even" with Amy! Also burned: in the movie EVER AFTER, "Cinderella's" favorite book, burned by her cruel stepsister (got even with her, yep! Yea!).

TEEKAY, CAROL: Thanks for kind words. Now if I just listened more closely to my own words of learned wisdom, I might have my own pile of rejection slips to burn...heh heh!

ROSEMARY, TINA: re: Combining obsessions: I once wrote a poem-story about writing a song I'd never compose; then I turned around and composed a song about a novel I'd never write - hee hee! It was a crazy kind of day... :-)

MARY: As soon as you posted the week's shorty theme on vanity, my muse went crazy and whipped off a few paragraphs!!! Don't know as they're worth much, but thanks for the inspiration! :-)

My shorty here follows.

The Renegade

Riff glared out his window. Seven stories below him, the street writhed with color, a breathing carpet of blue, green, and magenta heads. People were hailing taxi's, boarding buses, jostling others to get to work.

Riff shook his head in disgust, ten pairs of earrings jangling, as he lifted his gaze to the gray sky. Same old ugly clouds hovering above him, same fruity hairdo's below him.

He turned from the view and ogled himself in the mirror. Bobbing his head up and down, he watched his own blue-green-magenta curls droop across his forehead.

Even his tatoos oozed boredom today: the black woman on his left cheek slouched across his nose in weary salute to the black woman on his right cheek, who reclined her long black legs down around his neck, one on either side, toes touching in dreary abandon at the opposite side of his neck, just below his ear.

Beneath his tee-shirt, a mass of blackened figures entwined on his torso, each one the latest rage, until they all massed together, ruling his front and back, spilling down his legs to his toes. In fact, only last month, when the last tatoo had been added, he'd been so very proud to know he had no natural skin area left.

He twitched a nose-ring and scanned his browline of rings and bars. A handsome chain they made, or did...before everyone else procured the same. Now, he was just another bejeweled face in the crowd.

Everyone had massive tatoos. Everyone had multiple, uncountable body piercings. Everyone had clown hair. He was no longer unique, not like his first earring had made him feel, nor the first tatoo, nor the first dye job on his hair. Who was he, really? He looked like--nobody special.

This wouldn't do, not at all.

After moonrise, he entered the body modification emporium, stripped off all his body jewelry and pawned them to pay for a new job.

"Make the hair ancient blonde, all the tatoos natural skin color, and patch all the jewelry holes-smooth."

The body modifier froze, mid-motion, his jawline approaching the floor. "Dude! You're gonna look... subversive!!!"

For the first time in weeks, Riff smiled.


A good writing day, y'all!! :-)

Mel 6-20-2002 13:08

eddie person i sasquatch much prefer all one color. no need to spot sasquatch. hee hee i think that is Yeti joke. i must go

sasquatch 6-20-2002 12:39

Hi all!

hehehe, mistaken salutations make for a good morning chuckle. Reminds me of an exchange student back in high school. She was from Australia, and the first day in class she asked the guy sitting in the next desk for a rubber. Was she ever embarrassed when she realised that what she wanted was an 'eraser' and that a 'rubber' is not something you ask to borrow while in math class ;-)

The new job is looking good. Not hard, good hours, decent people. Yay!

Day off and much to do. TTFN!

Tina 6-20-2002 11:37

Hey, EDDIE, I'm trying like hell to get published in Zoetrope. It's one of the best paying markets and you'll be in great company there. Also, they just won a very prestigious award for best magazine (for 2001 I think), beating out the New Yorker and many others, who were surprised to see a newcomer take over like that. Congrats!!!!!!

The only downside (and I don't see it as a downside) is that they want the rights to published stories for 2 years, to adapt them to film if they so choose. At this point in my career that could only be good. :D

Christi 6-20-2002 10:30

Hee hee! Typed 'get bent' in at Google and found a website for serious bicyclists with the name ... yeah, you guessed it! So guess it can't be all THAT bad.

Christi 6-20-2002 10:10

Certainly it was NOT intended as in Howard's source! Stop it, Howard!

Christi 6-20-2002 10:07

YEEP! Either TEEKAY is having a little fun at all our expense or I'm in BIG trouble! HEE HEE HEE! Why is it that there'se where I always end up.

Yah, get bent is not at all a nice thing to say and I'm now being taken to task for it. Sorry again, VIV! You know, heat of the moment and all that sort of rot. :)

Here 'get bent' has been watered down through the years. Jerry's right about what it boils down to; it's kind of like a nicer 'up yours'. I thought it was nicer than actually cursing, but never gave a thought to my poor international pals. Now stop saying that, TEEK, unless you want a black eye. HAHAHAHA!

Christi 6-20-2002 10:06

MARK -- I saw parts of that too, had seen it when it first came out in video, but never made the "Oz" connection until you pointed it out. Great! Now we have metaphors for metaphors! Maybe there really isn't anything new under the sun!

EDDIEJERRYTEEKAY -- Barron's "A Dictionary of American Idioms" doesn't list "get bent," but Spears' "Slang and Euphemism" shows several possibilities. While it doesn't specifically list "get bent" it has under "bent" the following:
1.intoxicated with alcohol -- also Bent out of shape Cf. Curved (US early 1800s-1900s
2.Drug or marijuana intoxicated. From sense 1. US drug culture mid 1900s to present.
3. homosexual; pertaining to a homosexual male. The opposite of straight. Reinfirced by the positioning for pederasty CfBend down for (US slang mid 1900s to present.

howard 6-20-2002 8:45

Welcome back. Did you spot Sasquatch?
X-Files, good episode, but all the money in the world wouldn't be worth losing a leg for.

Eddie 6-20-2002 6:53

Hi all,
Get Bent;
There is no regular English expression, but literally it would mean:
Become Corrupt
Turn Homosexual

Dragon slaying Outfit - I love it!
It cannot be a bad thing though, when someone makes you work hard for your reward. If Beverly Jackson just accepted anything that was sent to her then Lit Pot wouldn't be worth submitting to. At least you know that you have created something worthwhile if you get accepted. The standards that the mag holds itself to make it a worthy publication to aspire to. Your tale was original and worth publishing but the editor thought it needed a bit more work. It was the idea that got her hooked.
I have also had rejections from the Mag. 3 in all. That's 2 hits out of 5 submissions.
My first published work there, The Grave Digger (MAY) was easy, it is a contemporary work which I was workshopping on Zoetrope, the Editor emailed me and asked if I would like to see it published in the Mag. Because of this, I had my doubts at first about letting it go to this publication (I had never heard of them) Only after giving the Mag a good looking at did I decide to allow it. My second, (Shooting Star) is, like yours, an original piece of flash fiction. I was made to work hard on it to get it published. For that reason it seems to mean a lot more to me.
When you see your work in print, on paper, in your hand, then it will all be worthwhile.
Oh, and I'm sure I have said this but,
Congratulations and Well Done.
Were you given an approx. date for publication? If not then you will receive a draft copy by email for your inspection and approval in the month before the issue that your work is in.

Eddie Simply Writing 6-20-2002 6:49


RHODA: I would think that woman would have a terrible time looking her boss in the face again after that :-D

JERRY: Thanks :-). Okay, now that you've pointed it out I can see the anology get bent = bent over.
But get screwed ?????? screw over?

BTW: the story is with Lit Pot and not Wilmington blues. I have submitted with Wilmington, but haven't heard from them yet.
A word of advice if you try for Lit Pot: Wear your dragon slaying outfit.

Teekay 6-20-2002 2:21

OhTEEKAY - around here "get bent" means the same thing as get screwed. Can you see the analogy, bent over...

Jerry 6-20-2002 0:33

You know I'm going to have to start charging the farmers around here. It seems every dang time I go camping it rains, even in a drought like this one. We got dumped on around 2;30 AM with one hell of a storm, very high winds, heavy rain, mixed with hail. In my rush to put down the canopy, I neglected to close one window on the camper, it shattered when the brace of the canopy hit it. That was the only damage however.

Besides that, it was a wonderful camping trip we had a great time.

Caught particular hell from our little kitten when we got home, seems he got lonely, kept mewing till I finally picked him up, then it was purr, followed by a leap to the wife's arms, back and forth for nearly two hours. Punishment for leaving him alone I guess.

Haven't had time to do a story for vanity, but may come up with something soon

CONGRATS TEEKAY! Great to see your being published, maybe I should send that one something too. Might when I can come up with something that may fit.

Jerry 6-20-2002 0:32

Just finished watching "The Wizard of Oz" starring Arnold Swarznegger on WTBS. They made a few changes. The wicked witch became a corporate boss. The tornado comes at the end and the wizard comes at the beginning. Still, the central character gets sucked into a colorful melange of exciting adventures with friends he meets along the way. In the end he gets to go home and wonder how much of his colorful adventure really happened and how much was dreamed after a good knock on the head. They changed the title, too; it was called "Total Recall." Nonetheless . . .

Mark 6-19-2002 23:45

TEEKAY -- I missed the part about getting published -- Congratulations! Way to go!

And "Get bent" is far from a pleasant salutation. Similar greetings include "Stuff it!" and "Perch and Rotate!"

Re Yiddish epithets -- Harlan Ellison included a guide to them in one of his books. According to him, a schmuck is a c*cks*ck*r. It's sometimes amusing to listen to people use words when they haven't the f*ggiest idea what they mean.

howard 6-19-2002 23:13

I am relieved that it doesn't mean "get laid." Then again that would make a good day for some.

Rhoda 6-19-2002 22:38

Teekay Rhoda:

Get Bent is not jus like have good day.

It means just the opposite.

Hey Teekay:

When you come to see me over here don't spend the whole time saying that when we leave.

Debra 6-19-2002 22:28


That isn't an expression we use in my neck of the woods either. I hope you are right that it means "good day." It could mean a whole host of different things. Just be careful.

That reminds me of one of my co-workers who went around calling everyone a "smuck." She assumed it was OK because she had heard it so much on television, but our boss just happened to be Jewish and from Brooklyn, and she knew the Yiddish meaning. My poor co-worker was informed it was a word for the male sexual organ, and felt embarrassed about having used it so often. That was news to me as well. Most of us non-Jews had no idea.

Rhoda 6-19-2002 21:24


MEG: My sincere apologies. It was Amy who did that dirty deed. Wash my mouth out with soap!
Okay, so, did anybody want to slap Amy down when she threw Jo's manuscript into the fire?

HEATHER: Yes, maybe slap is a little mild :-D

CHRISTI: Champagne huh, that's all my drunken muse needs - send it on :-D
Liked your shorty - how true!

HOWARD: This is true, and how can anybody suggest they possesed the right to remove children of half 'white' parentage from their mother's because they were being looked down upon and humiliated by the rest of the tribe.
Not I.
I could think of few things more horendous than to have my children taken from me -for whatever reason.

MARK: It's damn good to know that even that far back there were some kind of scruples. :-D
But even through the ages things have progressed very slowly for girls. Even today in China it is not uncommon to see new born infant girls left to die in the gutter.

EDDIE: I never, ever, ever, never want to see that story again except in print in my hot little hand.
It's fleshed out a lot more that when I sent it to you (I didn't know what she liked and what she hated, so I wasn't taking any chances) But now she's accepted it and I am happy to wash my hands of it.
But thanks for the offer.

RHODA: Thanks, but I wasn't feeling quite so confident :-)

Get bent everybody.
(We don't have that expression in Australia, but I'm assuming it's something like our 'have a good day.')

Teekay 6-19-2002 20:26

That is a very concise observation. The environment has that many threads attached to it, being pulled in so many directions, it is difficult to see how it can be managed at all.

Eddie Simply Writing 6-19-2002 19:39


Very nice cover art on your magazine.


Congratulations. I knew you wouldn't have much trouble getting your stories published. They are fabulous.

I am going to be out of town a few days. I am going to Louisiana tomorrow to close on my house.


Durango? Seriously, I hope not. I used to live in Farmington, NM, fifty miles to the south of there, and Durango was one of my favorite places to go. I thought the fires were south of Denver. That is far from Durango, but then Durango might be having its own problems.

The people running our natural resouces have made a mess of everything. They did used to clear out the underbrush and the older, partially dead trees, but thanks to the poor spotted owl and such, no one can do anything. Then the deer and elk population has exploded because the guardians of the environment don't believe in hunting, and civilization has run off the natural predators. I am sure there is a way we can manage our forests and wildlife by scientific and tried and true methods that have worked in the past.

Everything is so political and so many people in government have their own private agendas. The same could be said about education, immigration, law enforcement and every other social ill that government is supposed to address. If only cooler heads could prevail and those knowledgable could be left alone to do their jobs, this would be a far better country.

Rhoda 6-19-2002 19:31

There is a growing realisation that the reason that the fires are so bad now is because of the prohibition of those very fires in the past. Fire is a natural part of forest life and we have just let the forests become clogged with old trees and dry brush. What is needed is a good clear out. Perhaps this is it?

Eddie 6-19-2002 17:36

It's amazing. We're not going to have a state left when it's done. Beautiful Colorado, and all because of careless underbrush control. This never happened when I was a child...we had fires but not like that. Now Durango!

Allein, it's still chugging slowly along. Hana insists on typing it.

Viv 6-19-2002 17:28

Satallite image of the fire.

Eddie Colorado fire 6-19-2002 15:44

The bound anthology looks fabulous, take a look.

Eddie 6-19-2002 14:21

Or even:
Yes, I know, I should wear my specs! :¬)

Lit Pot 6-19-2002 14:18

Try this

Eddie 6-19-2002 14:16

The print edition come out in three month anthologies so there is a good chance that we will be in the same issue.
See the link below for ordering info.

Eddie 6-19-2002 14:11

TEEKAY, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! I wonder if your story will be in the same issue as EDDIE's. I want it!!!!! Buck up, chum. I'm hoping that the hardest part is breaking in, and from there not so much an uphill battle. So there's hope for the future! XOXOXOXOXOXO, and a gallon of champagne coming your way!!!!!!!!

MARK, Ah yes, how I pine to have lived in the good old days. Love to see you posting. :)

HOWWEIRD, Welcome back! Thanks for the synopsis of your trip, it sounds nice. I love car trips. BTW, did the mooshed squirrel hamper the enjoyment of your breakfast?

Welcome back to MARY and HEATHER!

Vanity? Frank Zappa has an awesome song on vanity; wish I could remember it, it's brilliant. Okay, here it is, a little early.

A Day Off from Vanity

Selma sat in front of her bedroom vanity gazing at her reflection. Lately she'd been wondering why females went through the strange ritual of slathering paint all over their faces and torturing their hair into the accepted two or three hairstyles; for what? Did it mean you weren't beautiful if you went out into the world with your face naked, your hair natural? What WAS beauty, anyway?

Her jaw squared; decision made. A social experiment would be conducted today. She put on a pair of plain jeans and a white T-shirt, ran a brush through her thick hair and headed for the door feeling like a million bucks.

The phone rang, and she heard her mother answer. Then a yell from the kitchen.

"Selma! It's Dale Sorenson. He says he'll meet you in front of the administration building at school today."

Dale! He hadn't asked her to the prom yet, though she knew the question would be popped soon. She tore back to the mirror, did a five-minute makeup job, put her hair up in a twist and changed into a short skirt that showed off her legs; Dale loved her legs.

Christi 6-19-2002 11:55

MARK -- Do you suppose that Agamemnon's death was the inspiration for Hitchcock's shower scene?

howard 6-19-2002 10:35

Your impulsiveness paid off - This Time!
Well done.
Now...Back on your head.
That original little tale could still do with some tidying up.
Do you still want my suggestions?

Eddie 6-19-2002 10:07

Ah, the good old days. When men were men and women were chattel.

The Trojan wars were fought because Paris visited Agamemnon, coveted Helen, and took her away. Agamemnon gathered the Greek army to punish Paris for his breach of etiquette. Paris dishonored Agamemnon's hospitality. Getting Helen back was a minor consideration.

The other famous old story we often refer to is Oedipus. We all know that when the boy was born he was prophesied to kill his father and claim the crown. Dad figured that if the boy were dead, he could live and rule forever. He ordered the boy taken to the cliffs and thrown off. The servant entrusted with the job couldn't do it. Only girl babies were thrown from the cliffs.

Mark 6-19-2002 9:46

You mean, slap that little woman?
I would have bludgeoned her, Teek! Not to death. But close.

I have tried to catch up, but people keep adding posts when I'm not looking!
So, I'm just jumping in again ---

Look out above

Heather 6-19-2002 8:19

I'm Baaaaack! Had a great trip -- drove 2095 miles, saw lots of tail lights, watched a rat get run over by a Peterbilt (while eating breakfast), took pictures of some beautiful orchids, and had a very nice chat with my grandson. He gave me a big hug around the neck and said "I love you, grampa!" What better Father's Day gift could there be?!?!

TEEKAY -- It's been long since I read "Little Women," but I do remember something about the ms being thrown into the fire. Guess I'll have to dig it out again for a refresher.

SASQUATCH -- You do get around! Did you know that those Aborigines are reputed to be able to communicate over long distances merely by staring into still pools of water? But Teekay is right -- they did practice infanticide and other horrors when they thought it was right, (just as our own Native Americans did) and we "civilised" folk -- inventors of 'situational ethics' -- conveniently used that to justify taking taking from them the things that we wanted. Go figure.

BTW -- while at the Atlanta Zoo I got some pix (with sound) of a guy playing a didgerie-doo. Awesome! Gotta get me one of them!

howard 6-19-2002 8:01


So, did anybody else just want to slap Meg down when she threw Jo's manuscript in the fire, or was it only me?

Teekay 6-19-2002 2:48

Evening All :)

Well, not as much writing done today, but a few words. Better than nothing. Most of it just back to the beginning, seeing loose ends that hadn't been tied up yet. Now, what's going to happen in that dang forest????? Maybe some sleet will get those two going. hehehehe If you haven't guessed, I'm finding out what's happening as I go. Kinda fun, but kinda frustrating at times too. I do have a general path in mind and I have worked with outlines before. Just decided I didn't want to with this one. I didn't want to spoil all the fun.

Rhoda - I'd love to read Twilight Laird! Please send it on. I've got 24 loose pages worth of my novel at this point. Chapter one appears somewhat complete. Then it skips to chapter 3's beginning. Chap 2 and the forest is .... dark, I can't see it yet!

Mel - I'm going copy those wise words of your's on editing! Nicely put! I don't know where it came from either, but keep it up. Or did my giant bonk you too?? I told him to stay put. Gotta watch out for him though, when he hits too hard you get a mighty nasty headache. hehehehe

Teekay -- Congratulations!!! You can now wipe the sweat off your brow and relax for one day -- one day only! Then it's nose to the keyboard again. Let's see some more! I suppose if I'm pushing you on that front, I'd better make sure I add to this week's shortie ... oh, oh. Open mouth, insert foot again! :)

Vanity hmmm, oh .... maybe ..... see ya later ..... :D

Carol 6-19-2002 0:22

Hi all!

Teekay, congratulations!

For everyone on antibiotics, there's also a great stuff called Acidopholus. You get it in capsules, take it with food, and it helps to maintain the healthy bacteria you're supposed to have. It'll work like yogurt, only moreso 'cause there's more stuff in it.

;-) Sasquatch, it's good to hear that you're okay.
By the way, I think I know who's under that smelly fur coat...;-)

Rosemary and Teekay, glad you liked the visual. I sure enjoyed the research! And I am thinking about taking the skydive writing to the next level. There aren't many magazines specialising in it, but there are a few... But not until this house is sold and I'm settled into the new job.


Tina 6-18-2002 23:45


Easier, but not more exciting! Congrats honey bun!

Debra 6-18-2002 23:12


Well, good news, for me anyway, I can continue to show my face around here.
I had to guts it out some more, but the editor has accepted the story.
I think it might be easier to dig ditches for a living.

Teekay 6-18-2002 22:52


Calm down! Don't go off the regiment. It's for our health.

The hair won't grow out of those places. I'm only kidding.

You silly goose!

Debra 6-18-2002 22:41

Good grief, I never considered the hair might grow in the wrong places. All those threats about growing hair on my chest might come true. YUCK!!!!!

Got to go,

Rosemary 6-18-2002 22:37


Dearest SASQY: It is indeed sad, but even in the idyllic paradise of these ancient people of my land there were horrors.
Tiny infants whose heads would be smashed in by a rock if their mother died, so as not to burden the tribe. Rape of women, murder of men. There is no place on earth SASQY that can be called paradise.
civilisation is born of good and evil.

Teekay 6-18-2002 22:34

Teekay person i sasquatch am not in danger from the fires but i thank you too for concerning for me. do not worry for i have learned much of surviving in the cleansing, as even the old ones in your land have learned and taught. they are a wise people, these old humans who were before the tall ships came into the bay. they have suffered much but they have survived. it is sad that these have been called ignorant and treated badly by those who should know better. this i think is a bad thing and is not pleasing to the One who made all. we Yeti have seen this. i must go.

sasquatch 6-18-2002 21:55

Rachel person i sasquatch thank you for to think of me with concern but i am all right. i have fear for the humans persons who live in their houses in the path of the fire. they do not know of this the earth cleansing itself. i also thank you for offering me to stay near you but i think you forget that we Yeti have not the pleasing smell as you might like. we sometimes can not even stand to be near our self! ha ha i think your little one would not like it much. i must go.

sasquatch 6-18-2002 21:35


Hi All.

VIV: HAHHAHAHAHHAA, nearly, but not quite. I think HOWARD beat you with his shorty on 'silence.'

TAYLOR: Thanks you :-D

MEL: That was beeeoooodiful. You say it exactly right!

ROSEMARY: HAHAHHAHHHAHHA, your sister sounds dreadful :-D.
Write a book about crotcheting. Well, I think you should. I love all sorts of handiwork, patchwork, embroidery, and so I've incorporated it all in my novel. Okay, sounds boring I know, but it's fun to write, when I'm in the mood.

RACHEL: Where your living sounds lovely. I love gardens, especially already established ones.
I don't really anything my rejections. I was sort of joking. They are simply there, a necessary evil I guess :-)
Now I must have missed a few posts because I didn't know you were studying anything, and what you are studying sounds absolutely fascinating.

RHODA: You have moved to the sea haven't you? You must post some pictures once you've settled in.
I long to live near the sea - I wonder if I ever shall.
Please don't think I didn't like 'The Twilight Laird' as a title, because I did. I was just commenting on how the title of a book usually hits you at the end, well, me anyway, at least I think it would considering I haven't written one yet, but I know with shorties, the title usually comes after the story.
On the other hand, I wish I could write novels ( a whole one)
BTW: When is the competition?

TINA: I'm so glad you like your job. It's important to enjoy what you do.
And thanks for the visual.

SASQY: Was thinking you might be HOWARD, then decided you weren't, but if you are, could you please let me know.
Are you really amidst the fires? I hope not.

What else, what else, nothing to tell on the publishing front, but if you never hear from me again, you'll know why :-D


Teekay 6-18-2002 21:23


Thanks! I'm so very glad your stomach is feeling better. I think it's the yogurt.

I'm taking all that same stuff too. Let's hope when the hair starts growing, it's coming from the right spot.

Debra 6-18-2002 20:15

"I can write it," she said. In the back of her mind she wondered if it was vanity speaking, or if she really could. She shrugged and went to work on it. "May as well find out."

There. Bet that's the shortest shorty on record!

Viv 6-18-2002 19:40

Mary has been reappointed Minister for the shorties. This week's theme is vanity. Hope to see lots of good shorties.

Now I must run to watch another soccer match. England is doing well. And so is Spain and Brazil. These are my favorite teams, now that France is out. A* still hopes that Portugal returns to Korea... (LOL)

Kisses to everyone.

Jon 6-18-2002 14:38

Hi all,
Great writing talk.

My Muse has been dumping guilt all over me lately, so I taught her to crochet. Now we sit together and the items I'm making seem to diverge farther and farther from the patterns. :-L

Besides being another obsession, I'm doing this needlework so I can try out some of the craft shows that go on in the area. A little income couldn't hurt.

About writing, My sister said yesterday, (I noticed a bit of sarcasum(sp)] that she wanted me to finish my novel so she could have it published after I died. I had good and bad thoughts about that statement.

pile up those rejects. They prove you have been working.

I got the yogurt and ate some twice the day before yesterday and for breakfast yesterday. All the stomach problems I had been having, went away. I don't care if it was a coincidence or not. I also found out that plain yogurt mixed with crunchy raisin bran cereal is really GREAT. (this raisin bran is lightly sweetened and the flakes are thicker and crunchier than the regular kind.)
I also picked up the vitimins you recommended. B-100 complex and flaxseed caps. I expect thick luxerious hair in no time. (The fact that I have never had thick luxerious hair has nothing to do with my reality.)

We need to form a 12 step program for EBay addicts. I just bid on two more batches of yarn this morning. The chenille yarn I won(purchased) earlier came yesterday and I LOVE it. It's different from anything you can get around here and is working up beautifully. When this obsession leaves me, I'm going to have a ton of yarn to put on EBay.

Just to mention, my obsessions usually last about five years, then about 20 years later, they come back. That means that I will be about seventy-eight years old when I finish that novel. Hope that doesn't run true.

Speaking of obsessions, TINA: That visual was magnificent. At least you're combining your obsessions. Maybe I should start writing stories about crocheting??

CONGRATS. to all of you who are sending your work out and getting more than a form letter back. The fact that the editor even sent you a personalized letter, no matter what it said, should be highly encouraging.

Enough blabber from me.

Rosemary 6-18-2002 14:14


Mary 6-18-2002 11:56

Allein: It's found. It's finished and Hana says she wants to type it up. I told her send it NOW, don't type it...but I'll keep on top of it. Also found a box I intended to mail. Life is a case of always being about three months behind. I'll stick all together in the morning.

Viv 6-18-2002 11:26

Hi, RACHEL! :-) Welcome to your new home...the gardens and watery retreats sound LOVELY!!! :-) I meant to tell you that your post on your kids' planning their summer adventures took me back in time to carefree summer days of my own, adventuring in several acres of back fields, enjoying the trees, the breeze, the sky, the birds, the lush greenery of childhood in the summertime. :-)

SASQUATCH: Rachel's post today reminded me of yours. I meant to tell you that my heart is with you as ancient trees burn. When the forests flame, it is a heartwrenching thing. I hope you can find safe territory, and may the forests savv their wounds soon with rain and new treegrowth.

Mel again 6-18-2002 11:02


WOW!!! You guys are all talking about WRITING!!!!! YESSSS!!!!! It's WONDERFULLY inspiring!! :-)

The author's closed perspective...yes, that's where I've been, Indian-leg-wrestling my muse, for the past few years. The initial burn-and-frenzy to get the story on paper initially leaves so much room for improvement, but you think about MINOR edits, from commas to describing the clothes your protagonist is wearing in the opening scene.

The REAL edit comes when your muse thinks she's done her part and scampers off to Tahiti to congratulate herself while you're left at home, re-reading the skeletal first draft, realizing the opening scene, the middle scenes, the ending, won't do at all, and thinking, "what was I thinking??!!" Your fist grabs the ms., prepared to crush and feed to a match...but something stays your hand. Ohh, no. You still have...hope.

Hope makes you put the ms. back in its chapter folders or box, neatly smoothing the pages flat again. It goes into the closet and you shut the door. But your mind keeps editing anyway, the REAL edit.

And, finally, you evolve from "I've-got-a-fantastic-story-to-write" into "this-story-lives-deeply-in-my-soul-and-I-need-to-find-the-hidden-stairwell-that-will-release-it-into-BEING."

You have to change your perspective. You have to jump inside your characters and see their life through their eyes. You have to feel their moods and needs and thoughts and desires until they burn within you as strongly as your own. You have to warp yourself into a little child sitting on a storytime mat at the library and open your ears to perceive WONDER. And then you twist inside-out and become the storyteller once again, and to the listening child you tell the tale, from your heart.

My muse is sitting on the ms. in the closet, curling her finger at me, beckoning me to begin, yet again. I'm fighting it, worried I'll just write another false beginning. But with each try, I'm slipping deeper into the story; I believe I WILL find the right words, the right opening scene from which will flow the rest of the story, like it was always meant to be written that way, if only I keep the listening child on the story mat in front of me as I write and tell my tale of wonder.

Hoo boy! Where did all that come from???!! 8-/

Hi, PAT! WELCOME! Bring your muse on over here to the hearthfire and share some warmth.

TEEKAY: Glad to hear your muse is back home; whether they're drunk or sober, you can't live with 'em or without 'em. ;-] But how come you've ALSO got a little side-sprite of Inspiration? My muse and inspiring sprite are one-and-the-same. I feel I've missed something...?!!

And, CAROL, you've got a self-discipline giant??!! I'm jealous!!! :-(

RHODA, I love making titles - guess it comes with the territory of being a librarian and seeing books all around me every day and having some interesting titles return to the library in unusual condition (e.g. Stephen King's DEAD ZONE was once found in a library parking lot - it had been run over by a car, heh heh!). I think your title, TWILIGHT LAIRD, is a FINE and original title. :-)

EDDIE: Keep wishing on the stars and you'll be zooming up there in no time. :-)

TAYLOR: So glad your break invigorated your writing! :-)

Hi, CHRISTI!!! :-) Hi, TINA!!! :-) Hi, EVERYONE ELSE!!! :-]

Good writing sessions to all of you!!! I'm outta here--

Mel 6-18-2002 10:55


Hello (smiles), Nice to meet you. My yard and gardens are yours to explore. You can walk though them in your imagination any time. Right now I have a garden in the front that is an explosion of yellow, it takes my breath away. It is punctuated with bursts of deep red flowers (very eye catching, wish I could say I had something to do with it being there -grins). I love the veggies that I've planted. I like the work I've done on the shrubs around the yard. There is a large portion of the property that I don't think should be touched. It is intended to be as it is. My children are still tired from their weekend warrier efforts. I'm still a little tired too (grins). Welcome to you.


Hi back at yah. Do not let the rejection slips get you down. I also suggest that you don't celebrate them. You can look at them, stomp on them, chew on them, burn them if you like. Do not allow them to defeat or define you.


Hello you. I often worry for you. I think that you should come to my area. I live near a wonderful Provincial Park. It is protected land. Nobody would bother you there. At least not much... We have some camp grounds in the area. They however are only really busy for a few weeks out of the year. That should be no bother as there is much of the park that I doubt ever feels the impression of a human foot print. There are rivers, lakes and much forested area. You of course are welcome to come and stay with me. I've got lots of room, though I think that my general proximity to people might leave you a little uncomfortable (hugs).


I am into my last week of school. I'm trying to study for my final and write the paper on witches. I am dizzy with all the information that I'm reading. My class focus for this section is Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism. I look forward to being able to take some time to ponder the information I've been drinking up over the past few weeks. I honestly think that spring semester is a horror! So much info shoved into such a short space of time (EEEEEEEEEEK)!

Take care all.


Rachel 6-18-2002 10:11

Hi all!

Koyne is right in front of me, about 30 feet away. He's wearing white, and is easy to spot against the blue sky. An avalanche of wind is streaming past us at 120 miles an hour as we stay level with one another. The horizon stretches beyond Koyne, hills and mountains disappearing into blue sky, while the valley and lake spread out below. We are two alien birds, flying through the sky on wings of wind.

Guess what I did this weekend ;-)

Started my new job today, and so far it looks great. I'm quite certain it's something I can do and enjoy.

Pat! Hello and welcome and pull up a virtual chair! Do you write, and what do you write?

Heather! You're working too hard! Relax, surf the net, say hi!

Mary, are you busy beading? I'll have to go visit your site, see what's new.

Allein, how you feeling?

Gariess, where are you?

Does anyone have Oyster's e-mail? She hasn't been around in quite a while, and I'm wondering what's up, but don't have her e-mail. I could go check the archive, and I will if no one answers me here.

It's late, I'm tired. I never sleep well the night after I jump. I dream too much, and keep waking up thinking about skydiving. :-) A weird thing. I usually jump on Sunday, and then on Monday I feel like I'm in withdrawl, all moody and sad and emotional. Can a person have withdrawl symptoms from adrenaline highs?

Blue Skies!

Tina 6-18-2002 1:26


I am willing to trade chapters with you. I would love to see what you are working on. I could e-mail you the synopsis and the first chapter. That is what most contests require. You can read the synopsis and see for yourself if TWILIGHT LAIRD fits this story. I must go bed now, but tomorrow I will e-mail it to you.

Rhoda 6-18-2002 0:37


Pat: Welcome, enjoy the fruits of our chat and friendship and dance in our praises.
Sounds like I'm selling something.

Well guess I had my little break. Feeling better though. Writing is seems now like a steady flowing stream. Guess I busted the dam. Just call me the Dambuster:-)

Teekay: This seems funny... But congrats to you for your Rejection Slip

Taylor 6-18-2002 0:16

Hi All :)

Well, that whack from the self-discipline giant must have been a good one. I've had a good, productive day. Three pages on current story. Then some more painting time. Fed the hummingbirds, watered the plants. Put the tomatoes in the ground (finally!). Finished mowing the .... acre or so ... of lawn. Now the front half of the lawn is ready for another mowing. Then ... let's see ... supper and a spree of baking - one batch sugar cookies and one batch peanut butter cookies. Now I'm ready for a shower and some sleepy time. :)

Rhoda -- ok, you got me -- I like your title very much. Now, when do I get to see a chapter??? Come on, I'll lend you my giant if you wish. :)

Eddie - I owe you a congratulations yet! {{{Big Hug}}} It takes a lot of guts to rewrite to please an editor when you don't want to. I'm proud of you not only for getting this piece published but also for being willing to take another look at it with an editor's eye.

Teekay - I'm crossing my fingers (and my eyes) that you'll have the same luck and get your rewritten piece published too. {{Big hug}} for you too!!

Now, that shower is really calling me. Not only so I can get clean, but also to soothe some aching muscles. A big hello and warm hug to all those I missed.

Carol 6-17-2002 23:49


It has been hard naming this novel, but I had no choice but to come up with something since I wish to enter it in a contest. I do not like chosing titles, but once it is done it is a great relief.

Rhoda 6-17-2002 23:18


CHRISTI: I have approx. 7 rejections in 10 days. Average that out.

I HAVE THE MOST REJECTIONS YAAAAAaaaaaaaa.............hey, wait a minute :-(

Teekay 6-17-2002 22:55


Eddie, Cheers!

Hey, Pat! Nice to see you. We're just your average weirdo writers, don't mind us. Now to turn your question around; Who the heck are you? :D

Teek, Some days I can embrace rejection. Today I thumb my nose and it and say NYAH! I checked my submission log today and it turns out that I have sent some stories and queries off 22 times, just since the beginning of the year. Now 7 of these aren't back yet, but that makes 15 rejections in under 6 months!!!!!! I think I may start burning them. It may sooth my aching rejected soul.
Okay, got that out of my system and I feel so much better! Thanks, Dr. Teek!

Rhoda, I loved reading your post. Do you usually name your novels as you write them or after? Oh wait, I remember you named your last one right away, so I think I've just answered my own question. :)

Teekay, My muse beat up your muse! Sorry. I think she's jealous. She's not nearly as interesting as yours.

Have fun camping, Jerry.


Christi 6-17-2002 22:40


RHODA: You are right. Everybody has an ego and it is true, ego's don't leave.

I confess however, that my ego is a hobo. A meek degenerate pityful thing.

He and my muse, whom as you have probably guessed from previous posts, is an obnoxious drunk. Really, you ought to see them together. Muse tries his hardest to get ego roused up and red in the face, but ego won't have a bar of it, just gazes solemnly out the window, nodding knowingly and boy! does muse gets upset.

Last time it happened muse stormed off for so long I'd forgotten he'd even existed, so when MEL enquired about my muse, is it any wonder I was puzzled?

Anyway, he's back for the time being, chatting all about the tropical island he's been to and ego is still gazing benignly out the window at the teeming rain. I'm sure I saw a flicker of something in his eye, wanderlust perhaps.

Sorry, got carried away.

I like your title, but I think one would have to read the book first to see if it's the perfect one.
Good luck with the inspiration too.

Now, have I ever told you about my inspiration? A flightly wee thing she is. Spent some time in aslyums over the centuries, but, for the most part she's an agreeable little mite.

Sorry again. I probably should be putting this flight of fancy to better use.

Teekay 6-17-2002 22:08

Actually that was a year ago last spring I went to Northern Ireland, though it does seem just a few months ago.

Rhoda 6-17-2002 21:54

It is quiet around here. Nature abhors a vacuum and so do I so I will post even though I have nothing profound to add to the discussion.

Everyone has an ego. Everyone just expresses it differently. Maybe the ego gets bruised and beat up at times, but it never goes away.

I gave my dad Bushmills Irish whiskey last spring, and he has run out. He never ceases to tell me how much he loved the stuff. I long to be a good, thoughtful daughter and brave the dangers of an overseas flight and return to the bottlers in Northern Ireland and get him some more. Of course I would not be returning there for myself and my own selfish pursuits, though while in the neighborhood I would have to check out Edinburgh again and the Scottish highlands.

We close on our new house this Friday. I will be driving to Luling this Wedensday or Thursday to be there for closing. Then I will have to return to get ready for packing. We will finally move in July 1st or 2nd. I am looking forward to settling in, but I dread the coming week. The only thing worse than packing is going into labor.

I an ashamed to admit that I haven't written anything for about two weeks. This book I was planning to write in six months is now in its nine month, and I have only one hundred pages to show for it. I do have some contests I wish to enter before the first of July, but I refuse to send my entries in before I close on my house in Luling. I am really posting because I am hoping that some of that enthusiasm, talent, luck, and hard work exhibited by TEEKAY and EDDIE and others here will rub off on me. I have named my project THE TWILIGHT LAIRD. Does that sound too corny? I could think of nothing better.

I envy people who can write short stories.

Tomorrow I plan to take my youngest son to see STAR WARS again. He keeps buying this cereal with the free tickets, and the theather does honor them. I wouldn't mind seeing it again. You always find things you missed the first time around.


Glad to have you here. Join right in. It is good to hear from someone new.

Rhoda 6-17-2002 21:48


EDDIE: I've found that everytime I get a big head about something, something else will come along and suck it back down to size.
I don't think that's a bad thing. Just means that when I've published all those books, I'll still be cleaning my own toilet.

I think I might go look for my ego.


Teekay 6-17-2002 21:14

A great ego is a healthy thing.
I have a wonderful ego.....I think!
I know I am going to make it. I have to, I owe it to my family, I owe it to myself. Watch my trail...blazing across the night sky.... I wish!
One day

Eddie 6-17-2002 20:51


Quiet here folks.

PAT: Hi there, pull up a nice comfy overstuffed armchair and join in.

JERRY: Enjoy, enjoy and beware the bears.

EDDIE: Hoo boy. Well, about ego's, I don't think I have one. It got mooshed up somewhere along the line and decided to go live on a tropical island. I know now which.
That is why I have no pride and still insist on sending things to that editor :-D
I rewrote the story last night and am sending you the finished effort for you to add to or subtract from, any input at all is welcome.

I found the hardest thing was that to begin with, I couldn't see the stroy in any other light. It was like, that was the way it was supossed to go in my head and I found it difficult to veer off the beaten track and look at it in a new light.
Anyway, after thinking about it ALL day, I sat down and rewrote.
It's really short, but I think she might be glad of that :-D

CHRISTI: Blessed be you sweetest thing.
I have sent this woman 7 shorties and two poems in the space of 10 days, I'm sure she's doing it to get me off her back :-D

Ah rejection, if you bask in it long enough, you can really start to enjoy it in a perverse sort of way.
Sort of like peeling scabs, or squeezing pimples.

Teekay 6-17-2002 20:35

Absolutely brilliant!!
Can hardly hear myself think!

Eddie 6-17-2002 19:24

I'm sure my children think I have a drink problem.(actually I do, I never have enough to drink)
For Fathers day I got some lovely gifts:
Daughter number one brought me a bottle of V. Champagne
Daughter number two brought me a bottle of Southern Comfort.
Son number one has yet to turn up!!!
Daughter number three is due tomorrow.
I wonder what she will have in the trunk?
Happy Fathers day to you all

Eddie Simply Writing 6-17-2002 19:01

No need to shout, turn off your caps lock :¬)

Eddie 6-17-2002 18:49

Hello Pat,
Welcome to the NB.
I think the normality of this out of the way corner of the net has you puzzled. Don't worry, it's just as it looks.
Pull up a chair and get involved.

Eddie 6-17-2002 18:47


PAT 6-17-2002 18:43


PAT 6-17-2002 18:40


Eddie 6-17-2002 18:31

I can really relate to that sentiment (the one about sending your work in for a second time after working hard on a re-write)
I had to make that leap of faith too; Remember?
I too had that horrible fear of a second rejection, even after putting the extra work in. But even more important to me at the time was my egotistical bent regarding the untouchability of a piece of work which I had created. In the end the Editor was RIGHT.
It took a bit of getting used to but I had to accept that some people have the ability to see more than just the creative result of our labours and also, and this is the crux of it all. have THE BOTTLE to tell us what they need from us.
The bottom line Teekay is this;
The Editor would not say that she would use your work if she did not mean it.
Shw wants your work for the mag.
I have had four rejections from that lady and believe me, she does not mince words!
Go for it.

Eddie Simply Writing 6-17-2002 18:30

Hope you didn't stay up all night trying to muddle through that stuff. If so, you may be the one who needs the garlic! Ha ha hah hahahaha. I crack myself up.
*SMACK!* There's a smack on your hands for saying that that editor would publish your work just to get you off her back. I don't think this would ever happen in a million years. Editors aren't that nice. HAHAHA! Er, just kidding, all you loveable snuggly editors out there.

What the heck happened to my and Viv's posts of the day before yesterday? Not that it matters much. Mine just went on and on and on and on and on. But I'm very curious how it happened. Who's the hacker?!?!?!?!

Christi 6-17-2002 10:56

___________________GONE CAMPING_____________________________
_________________BACK IN THREE DAYS_________________________

Jerry 6-17-2002 9:53

If you want to you can email your submission to me and I will see if there are any suggestions which I can make.
I'm not sure if I can bring myself to dissect and re-do someone elses hard work but I am willing to give it a try.
In this particular case I may be the best person to do this as I have had two successful submissions in this particular publication.
I can't promise anything but I will give it my best shot.

Eddie Simply Writing 6-17-2002 6:08


He-e-e-e-ey, something really wierd is going on with the notebook.

HEATHER? HOWARD? you HTML honkies, you at it agin'? :-D

Teekay 6-16-2002 21:07


Hi Everybody.

TINA: Congratulations on the job. Looks like the sky-diving is a secure thing :-)

JERRY: Thanks for that site. I took a look, but it seems that no one has been there for ages.
Liked your poem BTW.
Am sending you something by email you might be interested in.

EDDIE: :-D Why you are the sweetest.....:-D
But I suspect at the time of that post you were feeling pretty magnanimous.
BUT GUESS WHAT (and I don't know if this is good or bad), but I do know I need.....


The same thing happened to me. The editor said she would publish a story as flash fiction IFI fixed it up, and I don't know how to fix it up and I need input.

I don't know if I'd rather have just been rejected outright. Imagine flogging your guts out on it a second time and then having it rejected, that's gotta be more painful.
And I'm not feeling at all confident, especially considering she didn't really like it to begin with. I'm thinking she just feels sorry for me. Or maybe that if she publishes something of mine, I'll go away and leave her alone.

Anyway, let me know, I'd appreciate any help.

Wierd, it's not Father's day here, but we do share the same Mother's day.
At least, I really, really hope it's not Father's day.
Anyway, to all you Father's have a GREAT day.


Teekay 6-16-2002 21:05



here 'tis.

Link 6-16-2002 21:04


RACHEL: Hi You! :-)

Look what I found, if anybody's interested. It's a listing of online mags.
And to think I couldn't find any.

Teekay 6-16-2002 21:03

The computer war goes on, I think I won the battle, well I hope so. Got some of that super heat conductor stuff called Arctic Silver III and put between my heat sink and processor, the put the cover on, only lasted three minutes and it crashed.

Made me mad as hell so I took my dremel (from my old gunsmithing days) and cut a four inch hole in the case right over the processor, drilled four holes and mounted a case fan, put the cover on and it's running like a champ and with only a bit more sound then without the extra fan, much quieter then with the side plate off.

Even found an old grill that fits over the fan to make it look like it was built that way and now Smoky (the kitten) will stay out of my computer case, he thought it was great fun fighting with all those cables inside the dang thing, lucky he didn't bite the wrong one and make a shocking discovery.

Jerry 6-15-2002 19:39

in air
on water
over the land
trees burning
dark smoke

i must go

sasquatch 6-15-2002 16:26

ARGH! I got to sit down yesterday and write a post. It was a pretty long post. I got to the end, I was ready to send and then Sebastian hit escape! What a little mook. I decided to give up and try again another day. Now here I am trying again :o)

Eddie - Congrats (big smiles).

Rhoda - We are all doing well. I hope that you and yours are doing well also (hugs).

Allein - Seb is growing up so quickly. Nobody can believe how big he is. Even I am a little surprised. He is larger than either of my other two children were at his age. He is so smart and funny. He is also a little cheek. He knows that he rules the house (laughter). Daniel and Jordan are both doing well. They both had friends over last night. The child from next door also stayed over. They all set up tents and spent the night talking. I kid you not! They did not sleep at all. As a result, I also did not sleep at all. I'm feeling a little brain dead right about now (grins). It isn't alway easy to be coherent with little to no sleep. Anyway, we are all well (smiles and hugs to yah).

Tina - I know how it can be on vacations. You can tend to get pretty busy. If you can fit us in that would be very cool. I however wouldn't want you to feel like you had to re-order your whole trip just to do so (smiles and hugs). Science World is awsome. I don't know what it is about the Abbotsford Air Show that makes the sun shine. All I know is that I can not think of an Air Show day that hasn't been killer hot. If you want to try to connect we can make plan through e-mail.

Heather - Hey girl!

Teekay - Hi you :o)

Howard - You big ole sweetie pie! I love that you missed me (big hug)! You are a such a nice guy (wide smiles for you).

Okay, I'll tell you a little more about my wild children. Last night was nuts. They were all out by the fire. Dan and I sat in the house with the widows open to keep and ear and an eye on them. It all went very well. It was so fun to watch them laughing and shouting, whispering and screaming. They hunted the giant frogs that live on our property. They took turns seeing who could stomach going the highest on the tree swing, they pleaded to be allowed to go down to the river unattended (we said no). They mourned the fire when we put it out, the went to bed and told stories about scarey things. They all ended up so afraid that they huddled into one tent where they talked and whispered all night. It seems that at times they were convinced that there were masses of monsters and killers round about their tent, or at the very least drunken teens! Now it is almost 6am. The children seem a little tired. I know that I am very tired. The girls have come into the house and are playing in my daughters room. They boys have begun a new day of adventures. I saw them looking for the frogs, now they have gone around the side yard where they will climb up into the play house to hatch their plans for another day of adventure. I think that I will make a strong pot of coffee and see if I can manange to keep my eyes open. I don't imagine that will be very hard. My children are always doing one thing or another that leaves me wide eyed (grins and laughter).

Happy weekend to all.

Rachel 6-15-2002 8:49

I remember that story well. It actually wasn't that long ago. I remember too that I enjoyed it immensely.

Eddie 6-15-2002 6:07

Just typing that part about not finding my old unit back made the little bell in the back of my head right, HISTORY, a button on the browser right? Ever use it? It tells you where you've been today - went there and there it was, anyhow it's below now too.

Jerry The Old Guard 6-15-2002 0:17

Eddie, I should have guessed, I have this one friend, who used to be one of our cop groupies. He's now a minister, just graduated seminary. Anyhow he keeps sending me all those bogus warnings, each and every time I look them up and send him a link to the site, each time he sends out a sorry about that to everyone in his address book, yet he never checks the next time he gets one of them, just sends them out to everyone, being our savior as it were from the evil of viruses.

He is an interesting fellow, in fact I wrote once about his being dumped from our squad car as he was entering, and I took off too fast. Anyhow, he was then a teacher of music at our local grade school, and was our kids music teacher. After we left Bowman, he quit and returned to college, that was back in 1985, and he already had like seven years college then. We always figured he would just be a professional student, and he was up till this year when he, at long last became a minister. Time will tell weather he does get a position, or returns to school, he's got to be in his 50's by now, and as far as I know he's been in schools of one kind or another since he got out of high school. I'd hate to see his college loans, well I'd hate to pay them anyhow, maybe he paid some down between schools, you never know. He is a wonderful friend none-the-less, in fact last time he went to visit his old home town some four hundred miles from here, he made a special loop and came to visit us here. He used to baby sit with my kids when we both lived in Bowman, and both my kids think of him as a special Uncle.

I found a link to my old Unit in Arlington Va tonight, went through the whole site, then had supper, when I went to go back to the site, I couldn't find it again. Maddening, it's the Old Guard out in the DC area, but now all the search engines point me to their old page, what's maddening is I used Google to find it the first time, it was the first page that it found, now using the same search terms it finds the old pages.

Such is life I guess. Just as well, I think I saw everything on that site anyhow, but it was like a trip home for a while. It was a part of my life that shall hold a special place in my heart as long as it beats.

Jerry 6-15-2002 0:11

P.E.A P.O.D.'s.... LMAO!

Different job entirely, actually. :-)

Tina 6-14-2002 23:57

TINA -- A vegetable marketer, eh? So the mysterious P.O.D. turns out to be a wrapper for the P.E.A.

Mark 6-14-2002 22:46

I updated my .DAT files today too.

Eddie 6-14-2002 21:39

I too check the authenticity of virus alerts before I post.
After all, who wants to be the boy who cries WOLF?

Eddie Simply Writing 6-14-2002 21:29

Eddie - As I do with every warning about a virus, I check the local virus hoax line, then the virus warnings. Yours was the very FIRST true virus warning that I've ever seen. Yep, says it is a virus and that it is at large, and that anti-virus software will protect you from it, only if you have the latest update. In other words TODAY would be a super day to connect with the auto update of your anti-virus software and get the latest version of the virus data. I know I have.

I guess I just noticed that I used to misspell your name, there is a logical explanation for that, you see the last police force I worked for, and the judge that I interned with were in Eddy County of North Dakota. Thus when I think Eddie, I type Eddy.

Finally a nice warm day, hit 87 today, just a bit warm but it felt wonderful after the cold spell.

We did manage to get a walk in today, that too felt great, stretched the old sore muscles out and got some of the everyday ache out of them.

Just filled my bird feeders, full feeders bring lots of traffic and the wife complains lots of bird songs. I rarely hear the songs, unless I'm out doors, but we do have the windows open today and once in awhile a song or two filters through. Just had one of those huge woodpeckers out at my suet block, he was bigger then the block, but seemed to enjoy the snack. Also had some unusual birds earlier today, rare for this area, one was a Verio, then there's our resident grackle with a white splash under his neck, I know it isn't normal, but must have been an injury, or maybe someone splashed him with bleach or something, but he's here several times a week.

Enough of the back to nature, there is a smell in the air tonight that is rather frightening in this area, the smell of a prairie fire. Hope it's a little one, haven't heard any sirens yet, but expect them any time. Funny about prairie fires, they can be miles away and still smell close, maybe it's in a different fire zone, hope so.

Jerry 6-14-2002 21:21

Which is a bummer cos it looked like a really nice site. >

What a load of rubbish!!
I have read some of your contemporary work and it is excellent.
Lit pot are fussy, and they already have a worldwide stable of writers. (They actually claim to have the best in the world)
Do you really want to be included among the best in the world?
Then keep trying.
I have been rejected by lit pot on three occasions; Stuff which I thought was great!!
I know... it's a fault we have!!

I have read your stuff and I try to live up to it!
It's good
Just keep putting it out.

Eddie Simply Writing 6-14-2002 20:47

Perking along???
I'm not perking.....I'm soaring!!
I love to write.
It seems like I can't miss!
I love it
Hope it never ends.
I know it will, but boy it feels good while it lasts.

Eddie Simply Writing 6-14-2002 20:02

Thanks Rosemary, and Eddie!
Nothing gets in the way of writing and jumping, at least not for long! Being unemployed was getting in the way of jumping, though. No dollars, no jumps!

Tina 6-14-2002 19:49

I'll be working for a vegetable marketing agency. Basically they are the middle people between our local commercial growers and the supermarkets, across BC.

I've been unemployed since March, when the store I was working for closed down, so this is much needed! I start on Monday. So now I get to worry about the job all weekend ;-) Yay! I'm very excited to be moving on to something new, different, and decent.

Tina 6-14-2002 19:47

Congrats, Just hope the job doesn't get in the way of your writing and jumping.

way to go. You're really perking along.

Gotta go now.

Rosemary 6-14-2002 19:46

I have updated Simply Writing by adding some old articles the I wrote for an English paper way back when.
You might enjoy the mistakes I made when looked at with hindsight.

Eddie Simply Writing: Articles 6-14-2002 19:18

Just what job did you get?
I'm interested.
Did I miss something?
Do tell

Eddie 6-14-2002 19:12

I Got The Job!

I'm doing the dance of joy. I start training on Monday, and go full time in two weeks.

Viv, (((HUGS))) to Hana. She'll hang tough. Just from what you say about her, she's clearly a fighter.

Now to get on with selling the house...
Blue skies!

Tina 6-14-2002 18:33

Viv - Never got the translations. I'm sorry about Hana's TB - I know that's gotta be tough especially at her age, but it'll be over with before she knows it.

Allein Peachick's Gallery 6-14-2002 14:48

Howard - you nailed that one on the head. About the only news that has any bit of actual news seems to be on FOX. Maybe I think that because they tell the news with a more neutral or slanting a bit to the conservative view, I don't know. Some of the night time programming on MSNBC seems to be a bit more straightforward too.

It's really too bad, it would be nice to tune in and find a real news story, sort of like Huntley and Brinkley used to give, but I seem to recall they were the ones who started this turn weren't they? I could be wrong, maybe it was one of the latter news Barons.

Jerry 6-14-2002 14:46

Here is a warning I got today in my email (From a reliable party)
It seems that it has yet to reach the US as yet but just be careful, it takes only seconds to get there.

[The Frethem worm, which reportedly started in Africa, has been spotted in the wild in Europe today. Antivirus firms were aware of the worm a number of days ago, so users with updated virus protection should be safe.

The worm attempts to use social engineering to catch its victims out, arriving as an email attachment.

A typical email will have the subject "your password" and body text along the lines of: "Attention. You can access very important information by this password. Do not save password to disk, use your mind. Now press cancel." ]


Eddie 6-14-2002 14:32

Greetings All :)

A gray day means a day where I don't have to feel guilty sitting in the house at the computer adding more words to my story. It also means I don't have to water the garden today. Hmmmm, these gray days ain't so bad.

I was up until 2 a.m. last night painting Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. The will grace the ends of Dad's sign for his stall in the garage. Mom's sign will have Porky and Petunia Pig flanking her name. Then in Dad's work corner, there will be one more sign that reads "Preacher's Corner" with a lion and a lamb flanking the words. Hehehehe Hubby and I are working on this project for the folks anniversary present. I do enjoy working on these wood projects. Bugs and Elmer were a pain to do. Tiny lines that required me to freehand the painting. Oh, where is a steady hand when I need it??

Such is a small part of my life. Making projects for the folks just as I did when I was young. Best part is, they love it just as much now as they did then.

Viv - I looked over the Earth story and you're quite right -- I didn't need to do the rewriting I mentioned. Hmmm, imagine that.

Three years ago I took an online writing course in short story writing. I have continued to keep in touch with the instructor to the point where he has in many ways become my mentor. A letter from him today has me revved up. Not only did I gain another idea for a character in the novel I'm working on, but he also reminded me of certain events in my life that would make salable stories. Now I just need some self-discipline to write before I check email each day. I find self-discipline to be my biggest obstacle in writing every day. I don't need a muse, I need a self-discipline giant to hit me over the head and glue my butt to the seat! Whack! Plop! Stay!


Carol 6-14-2002 14:05

I'm sitting in a hotel room in Atlanta, waiting to go out and see the sights. The traffic is wild here -- coming down I-85 into the Buckhorn area was amazing! Six lanes of 75mph bumper-to-bumper mayhem! Back off more than a car-length, and a car would dive right into the gap. These people drive like they expect to collect their own life insurance!

Watching the news last night made me wonder again when we changed from real news to "infotainment." THey don't spend nearly as much time on news as they do on conjecture and sensationalism. That, to me is not reporting news, it's shaping it.
Yet people watch - things like the Pearl tape - and they pay, and the bottom line is fattened, and the investors are happy, and the world keeps going to hell in a hand basket.
I guess the only escape (like someone said earlier) is to write things you want to read, and create your own place to run to. Been doing that more and more lately.
Or we can ridicule it, and write satire and irony, like the things about hate spoiling one's aim. I didn't like writing (or reading) that. But it was there.
Gotta run -- going to the Braves-Red Sox game on Sunday, and plan to spend some time with our grandson between now and then.

howard 6-14-2002 11:29

Tina: Does that mean you aren't going to stick around to see me eat the stick of butter and mumble to myself either?
Oh well, I'm bent anyway....a case of carrying too many books and a computer around on my back.

Allein: Hana's doing great on the translator's test. She's running at it great guns. She's also translating my textbook into the kids can read my directions more easily. She just finished helping me in my classes and now every student is caught up and can do the work. Whew! What I'd do without that funny little Jar-Jar-Binks like daughter of mine. She's all knees and elbows. Only one thing worries me, she has TB. She's going to have to have 9 months of antibiotics and that isn't going to be easy for her. I know her weight will get high and in this thin conscious society that will be hurtful. She will gain water weight so her figure may become much more mature looking than it is. Over here everyone has small tops so if a woman has more, she can be harrassed on the train. She understands Japanese so that will be hard. Too much worrying. Maybe it'll be ok. She's average weight now and we'll just start running together or biking more.
BIG QUESTION and something I just remembered: Did she get you back your songs???? She is messy and I'm forgetful. Did we do the job or not???? I said do it but did she really do it????? Oh no! Oh Allein, it just suddenly occured to me.

Well, time for bed. I'm into worrying and dithering. Reply quick Allein because I'm thinking ????Did we??????? Oh brother! I hope we didn't. She forgot a library book today and I had to drive her back to the place she left it. Yup, that's life with Jar Jar Binks, and I can't yell at her because I'm forgetful. Two Jar Jars! It's part of the gene pool!

Good news! My husband got a lateral promotion. It means he gets a lot more responsibility but not more pay. That's ok. It's more challenge and a little more control over the maddness. Maybe it will lead them to change their minds and remove him from the list.

Viv 6-14-2002 10:41

No shorty from me tonight, I fear. There are those days when I forget that I can't do everything I used to. Today is one of those days. My stupid computer, yes the same on I've been screwing around with now all this time failed, and with me announcing to all that cared that I had it fixed, well sort of, it works fine if I leave the side cover off so it can cool the processor.

At any rate, today the extra fan I ordered came in, and I dived right into it, it came this morning, and before long, I had the fan installed, and the side cover on. All was quiet with all the fan noise contained in the case where it should be. It worked! For five minutes or so, then locked up just like it always has, so I dove back in and took that cover back off, rebooted and it failed the boot.

Oh I worked on this SOB four hours, forgetting everything, totally emursed in the computer. I guess I should mention that one of the changes I've made to it included a new case that fits the stand that I have beside my chair.

At any rate, nothing I did would make it finish the boot-up.

I kept working till at last I was about to give up, the computer was attempting another boot, however as I got up out of my chair, I saw the light on the DVD drive blinking. I had inadvertently left one of my home brewed CD's in the drive, it was one I burned as my old 2X burner was failing, and had errors. What was happening was during the boot, the computer had tried to access the DVD drive, and failing to do so refused to boot. Removing the CD fixed everything.

This took most of the day, and after supper, I remembered that I was so involved, I had forgotten to take my stupid meds. Now I'm working my way through withdrawal again, I have taken my usual nightly dose, but it will take another day of misery before I get things back where they should be with my old dilapidated system.

I don't look forward to a night of chills and sweats alternating, but at least the weather is cooperating, the highs for this night are supposed to be around 45 degrees, much better then the normal 80's.

Must be old age creeping up on me, I usually don't miss two doses of these damn pills, and one doesn't have that bad an effect. Oh well, tomorrow is another day.

Write on!

(If I do get any sleep, the dreams in this state are in techno color! Great story fodder!)

Jerry 6-13-2002 23:53

I thought I'd post a shorty, it being Thursday and all.
Some of you may think that you have read this before; You might have but this has been completely re-written and aims now at a more international readership. The original would have been appreciated only by military people who had experienced the long hours of statis sentry duty.
I hope I have improved this somewhat.

Happy Christmas Pete

Three shots rang out in the still night air. I gripped my rifle a little tighter and looked through the slit in the corrugated steel wall in front of me.
It looked almost beautiful out there. The frost had settled heavily on everything around. White light from the outdated street lamps added to the Christmas card image out in front. I looked for signs of trouble within my arc of observation then quickly radioed in a 'shots heard' report.
Low velocity, probably large calibre hand gun.
Not on my patch.
Sighing resignedly, I settled back into the shadows to wait out the rest of my watch. I checked the time, reading the illuminated fingers of my watch easily in the semi darkness of the tiny observation post.
Ten O’clock. Two hours left, then it was sausage baps and a cup of strong hot tea.
I might even manage to write a quick letter home before I fall onto my bunk for a couple of hours sleep.

The cold really started to bite during the second hour. Thin steel and sand bags do little to insulate a body from cold night air, and two by three yards of enclosed space leaves little room for warming exercise. I stamped my feet and blew warm air into my gloved palms.
Keeping well back from the weak light coming through the observation slit, I lifted my rifle and used the optics of the night sight to sweep the area in front one more time. There was little else to do.
Pretty soon I would start talking to 'Pete'. Pete was a bundle of rags stuffed into a combat jacket, wearing a black visored helmet on his 'head'.
He was placed right up against the slit. All of the sangars had a Pete. All of the Pete’s' had bullet damage around the head and shoulders.

Sounds of a scuffle drifted in from the street below. I moved across the floor to better the angle for seeing out in the direction of the disturbance.
Drunks; a petty squabble. The sound faded slowly as they moved on down the street. Deathly silence soon enveloped my little world once more. The minutes ticked away ever more slowly, my mind drifted away once more; seeking comfort in the past.

I'm a kid again, I've sneaked downstairs to give the presents under the tree their customary prodding, feeling and shaking. I've opened a few chocolates hanging so temptingly from the lower branches and ever so carefully reshaped the sliver and gold wrappings, placing the now empty shapes back exactly as they were before, mum and dad will never know.

The shocking concussion ripped apart my thoughts with sudden, merciless violence. Seconds later the tin sheets of the sangar rang with the staccato sounds of shrapnel peppering the outer walls. I had jumped so hard I was back against the rear wall. Pete slid down the wall beside me, his head shredded by the flying bits of red hot metal.

Bomb blast; within fifty meters. I gathered my wits enough to send the contact report then picked up Pete’s head, dusted him down, re-shaped him a little and forced him back onto the bare spike shining somehow obscenely in the light of the observation slit. After an hour things have quietened down again.

I'm a very grown up sixteen year old. We have been chased from the pub by the red nosed manager but we've got an adult to get us a couple of bottles of cider and we're having a ball. We are all wearing tinsel and Santa hats. We're kissing all the girls.

I looked at my watch again. Midnight. December twenty fifth

'Happy Christmas Pete.'

Eddie Simply Writing 6-13-2002 17:48


YO! A great big :-] for everybody! And a bowl of chicken soup for ALLEIN!

ED: Can I get your autograph now, before the lines are too long to withstand? :-) (Uh, oh dear, maybe those lines have formed already...hmm, well, still standing here with my piece of parchment and quill pen...What? They have ball point pens now?? Umm, excuse me, Ed - I've got to rush to the pen store and get updated...I'll be back!!!) ;-)

CHRISTI: Regarding that gold nugget...actually, I just stopped to dump it FROM my shoe, but after your TRULY BRILLIANT inspiration, I gave the inside of my shoe another look...who'da thunk there'd be a door to a whole 'nother universe in my SHOE???!!! 8-) It could be the start of something tremendously exciting--or, it could be I've watched MEN IN BLACK one too many times, heh heh (a whole universe inside a bauble on a cat's collar)...

And CHRISTI, since you're wondering out loud, in the last few months I have written (either physically or mentally) an array of alternate beginnings for my novel -can't seem to find the best spot to start. And then these new clips keep spawning new characters and/or new perspectives, and I finally blink, sit back and sigh, wondering where it will all end...and yes, where it should all begin!!! It's a vicious circle and I can't seem to find the right horsie on the carousel...argggghhhhh!!!! I'll keep ridin' 'though.

TEEKAY: I haven't forgotten your not-too-far-back-and-certainly-somewhat-recent question regarding what is a muse. I made the mistake of asking my muse to answer your question and she's currently still flipping through rhyming dictionaries, thesauruses (thesauri?), and dictionaries, not to mention a few encyclopedias and Farmer's Almanacs to find what you need. (Um, Ms. Muse, forget the Farmer's Almanac, already, would you? The weather next month doesn't define what a muse is today...) She's disagreeing with me. She's usually disagreeable, in fact. I should just call her Ms. Disagreeabuse, don't you think? Um, I think I better look for a place to hide - she's looking for things to throw at me, and INSPIRATION ain't one of them!...

(hiding under my desk - shhhhhh!)

Mel 6-13-2002 15:37

It's supposed to be around 80-90 degrees here today, nice and I'm sick! >:( Of course...well, I get the day off of work, but I'd rather have a different reason. Ok, small rant over.

Viv - LOL!! That site is funny!! Algebra II - I remember pulling off a D in that class. Math is not my thing. How are the translations coming?

Allein Peachick's Gallery 6-13-2002 10:50


Wow. Congrats on the publication. I hope you get bit by the let's get published some more bug.

I"m so very happy for you!

Debra 6-13-2002 7:51

Thank you everybody for your good wishes.
I'm really looking forward to receiving the print version of Lit Pot. I can't wait to see my work in print. It's just a small success I know, but it is so encouraging. Thanks again to Rhoda, Howard, Teek, Tina and anyone else who encouraged me to re-write it as per my editors wishes.
Yes, you are right, it is again.

Eddie Simply Writing 6-13-2002 4:08


Congratulations on publishing your story. It was a good one, and I am encouraged when talent is rewarded. Your news made my day.

Rhoda 6-13-2002 0:45

Teekay - This isn't a magazine, well I guess it sort of is, but it isn't, you know, well you'll know when you go there.

Anyhow last year about this time, I wanted my stuff out there, and couldn't find a spot to put it, when I ran into this place. I offered them up about the only poem I ever tried to write, and they put it up on their site. Amazingly it's still there, anyhow that link leads to it, well to my poem, but I guess you can figure out how to get to the whole site from there.

Eddie GREAT NEWS, so happy your published again. (Seems to me it's again isn't it?)

Jerry Writers Abode 6-13-2002 0:02


I usually know where to stick my nose. I've had a few nicks here and there. All and all it's still in tack.

Debra 6-12-2002 23:03

And Teek, your story didn't suck, not by a long shot. It WAS graphic, but it didn't suck. Who says graphic is bad?

Christi 6-12-2002 22:31

**SNIFF** SNORT. (That was my nose blowing) You're the best friend, Teekay. Are you still there? Heather and I are on messenger!

Christi 6-12-2002 22:30


CAT! That's it.

Teekay 6-12-2002 22:23


DEBRA: Don't you know curiosity killed the....
killed the......
oh blow, what was it curiosity killed again? JERRY? Do you know?


I've really gotta get out more.

Teekay 6-12-2002 22:23


Ummm, that's feel, not fell. Damn that chico roll!

Teekay 6-12-2002 22:21



Now I want to read it too!

Debra 6-12-2002 22:17

Does any one exercise where they have daycare for kids.

I do.

Well the other day my four year old went to the ladies room. I saw her run by. I usually give her a second before I run after her. Before I could stop and run, she came running back with a yellow "out of order" sign in her hands and a confused look on her face.

It was funny. It was funnier if you were there, but I wanted to share. Don't ask me why!

Debra 6-12-2002 22:15


Well, I went back and read the 'heavy stuff' and I've gotta tell ya,


Get bent HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA boy, you sure know how to lighten the moment.

Ummm, BTW, I didn't read that private post, I just like to say 'get bent' :-D

I must say, there certainly is medicinal value in a good old belly laugh.

Of course, I didn't look at the footage either. Never crossed my mind to. Especially knowing that everything you see, touch, read, fell, becomes a part of you.
I'm pretty sure if I'd viewed footage like that I would have come away a lesser person.
Nothing from nothing is.......?
Darn, I'll let you figure it out.

CHRISTI: BT other W, that story I sent you, stinks. It may have some creative pieces in it, but it's dark and heavy and leaves a really ugly stain. It's somehting I feel ashamed to have written and I don't want to write that way.
I regret ever writing it and have deleted all files. Thanks for being there.

Teekay 6-12-2002 22:13


EDDIE: CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! I missed your post in my last batch of ramblings.

Teekay 6-12-2002 21:50

I finally returned your questionaire. Hope it wasn't too late and hope you have the same e-address.

Going for sure this time.

Rosemary 6-12-2002 21:44


Hey all...

Eddie: Congrats on the news.

Tina: Congrats for you to

I think I am going to leave here for awhile. I have to get my book finished. So I probably won't even lurk for awhile.
Once again I just would like to say thanks for this site and forum. It has been helpful.

Taylor 6-12-2002 20:39


Sorry about the errors, I'm blaming it on food in the keyboard.

Teekay 6-12-2002 20:23


Hi all

Kisses to all you who have boo -boo's.

Never thought I'd be doing this, bu-u-ut, I'm looking for an ezine that publishes mainstream fiction and there are sooooo many of them on the net that I'm going mental and trying to take the easy way out first by seeing if you guys kow of any.
I'm sick to death of sendiong out my submissions and having to wait up to 6 months to get them back.

EDDIE: I tried lit pot, but can't write contemporarily :-)
Which is a bummer cos it looked like a really nice site.

TINA: CONGRATULATIONS!!! I know how I felt when I got my Australian writer's market :-D

Gotta go,
be well all y'all.

Teekay 6-12-2002 20:22

Yipee! Got my copy of 'Canadian Writer's Market'! Agents beware, I'm on the hunt...

The interview went well, now I get to wait for 'the Call'.

Blue Skies!

Tina 6-12-2002 20:01

Temps here have been anything but warm, in fact it's darn right cold at night, dropping down in the 30's, the past week have seen the highs only in the 60's. We only had that week of warm weather, and the "drought buster" rain was only a drizzle, all that moisture is gone, everything is turning brown again, despite the cool weather. The winds have been steady at 20+ MPH for over a week, some gusts to over fifty. North of here they are getting rain, some are getting too much, with damage to farm buildings. The local news has been showing demolished barns and out buildings, some homes have suffered damage. Up north has also suffered from large hail and tornadic storms, guess being dry does have some benefits. Seems the only thing growing are my hedges, going to have to go out and trim them again, should have done that today, but have been shirking that chore. Whenever either we or my good neighbor Jon water, the hedges get it, so they have been growing it seems over an inch a day, maybe two the way they are going. We both have wells so we can water at will, not like most of the town conserving water. Our city still has it's own water supply but that will end soon, as the rural waterfacation project will be furnishing us with water from the Garrison Diversion project. Many communities around us are already on it, and that water is much better then the stuff we pump ourselves, ours has a high sodium content, which explains the large portion of folks around here suffering from high blood pressure (myself included). Don't get me wrong, I do love our water, it tastes wonderful (to me anyhow) and when you bathe, your hair feels so very soft because of the water, unlike many communities where we have lived, where your hair feels like straw and hair conditioner is needed simply to get a comb through it. Not so with our local water, but I know it isn't good for us.

The Garrison diversion plan is sort of a dinosaur. The Fed made this deal with the Dakota's where it would dam up the Missouri River to protect those down stream from floods, making two huge dams one in each Dakota. As part of the deal, the Fed said they would divert some of that water for agriculture purposes, and for water supply to the residents.

Well since that time, (back in the 30's) farming has changed so much that the irrigation isn't really needed, but you know the Fed, a deal is a deal so they have recently completed irrigation canal's all across ND, and are piping good water to all the small towns and farms across both states. The pipeline water is being paid for by the Fed, and the cities, and states, as it is an offshoot of the original deal, and probably all that the water will be used for.

They finished the canal's back when I lived in New Rockford, the only ones using them are fishermen, as there seems to be an unlimited supply of perch in those canals, as farm as farm use, I doubt anyone will ever take that water and use it as it was intended back when the deal was made in the 30's.

Your government at work. Now my Brother-in-law who still runs the family farm needs that water desperately, the water they drink is so salty it doesn't quench the thirst at all, in fact you can drink it all day and just get thirstier. They seem to have become use to it though and live on it. Their bath tub is brown from the minerals in the water, as are all their fixtures even the kitchen sink. All were once white when installed. Yet despite the need, since the surrounding towns voted against getting the pipeline water, they can't get it.

The farmers up there finally raised enough hell that the Fed has relented, they will begin laying a special pipeline for that area in the next five years, or so the plans say. It is yet to be seen, in fact our pipeline water is still in the yet to come area. My uncle who lives just a mile and a half from here has it, and loves it. He lives on a farm just across the state line in North Dakota, and they got the pipeline water a couple of years ago.

Confused yet? So are we, but that's life in a political world.

Jerry 6-12-2002 18:41

Thanks. I will definitely try your suggestions. I have lost a lot of hair, but it was because of the diet I was on. Even though it was a well balanced diet, each time I lose a lot of weight, (this was the third time in 40 years)I lose a lot of hair. The yogurt sounds like a reasonable thing to do after antibiotics also.

Your jaw too?? Wonder if the notebook is contageous??

I've been hunting for free crochet patterns and now have a headache.


Rosemary 6-12-2002 18:32

Viv - no you done it, the wife keeps giving me these dirty looks, seems I am laughing to hard, drowning out the news on TV (she only watches the local, well kind of local news from Bismarck, some 120 miles north of here) then goes back to her computer to read her email, the world news is just to depressing fo rher to watch, maybe I should join her.

I do love that site though, been reading it now for over an hour, then started on the links...

Jerry 6-12-2002 18:17


I just got off a long bout with antibiotics too. It was also my jaw.

Anyway, look out for falling hair. If you start to lose your hair then take extra b vitimins and flaxseed and it will all come back. Also eat yogurt to replace the cultured antibodies that you lost.

Debra 6-12-2002 13:16

I absolutelllly loved the link you posted. I marked it in my favorites to keep up with comming attractions. Later, I'm going to check out the rest of the website.

Finally I'm finished with the antibiotics. Now, how long before I quit jumping when I realize it is 6:00, 12:00, and wakeing up at midnight and 6am. That every six hours was a real pain. At least the pain in the jaw is gone except when I yawn real wide. Being able to sleep through the night should end all those yawns.

Happiness all around.

Rosemary 6-12-2002 13:07

Hi all!

Eddie, congratulations!

Christi, it's great to hear that you're immersed in writing. I'm jealous! I don't think it's unusual to be emotional during heavy writing periods. I mean, you have all sorts of characters wanting onto the page, and all of their emotions to sort through in addition to your own. I've thought a couple of times over the years that writing fiction might be like a controlled split personality. Just because those characters never walked and breathed doesn't mean they aren't real, and that's a lot of emotion to rein in.

As for me, the only writing I'm doing these days is resumes and HTML. Oh, and skydiving shorties of course ;-D My sister has been reading 'Shadow' and just sent it back to me, with notes and typo corrections, so I need to go through that. I'm also wrestling with query letters to agents. I've been waiting for the new edition of 'Canadian Writer's Market' to start looking for an agent.
Hopefully, once I'm working again and the house is sold, I can settle into some proper writing.

On the job front, I have an interview for a decent job this afternoon. Cross your fingers and send good vibes towards my corner of the continent, Please!


Tina 6-12-2002 13:05

Excited things!!! HA HA HA HA HA! Sheesh.

6-12-2002 11:06

Sorry all. Emotions a bit high this morning still. HI, emotions! :D Always regret it when I post mad; feel like a naughty child. Nice extra word I threw in there too.

Mel, I love your inspiring post and would have no idea how to follow a gold nugget in the shoe. Brilliant!

Eddie, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!! YOU DID IT!!!!!!! That is wonderful news.

I'd love to know what everyone's writing and how it's going. I think Eddie is writing a novel, as well as Mel. Hearing about the process is what gets me through sometimes.

I've been writing on my novel quite a lot. Had to go back a bit and redirect it out of a troublesome spot and rework my plotline, but it's going full steam now. This is one of the most excited things I've ever done.

I've discovered that I'm much more serious and emotional all around when I'm writing a novel. (Gee, have you noticed?) It seems that for me, I've got to open up that emotional vein or the writing comes out stilted and stale, clanking onto the page rather than pouring onto it. The downside is that those emotions come out wherever and whenever they feel like it; ain't no shuttin them down.

Love you all! (Tear in my eye. Damn emotions.) Even you, Viv. (Grumble grumble)

Christi 6-12-2002 11:04

Uh-oh. Looks like I didn't lead you all far enough into the forest... Well, catch up if you can. I'm headed for the deep-purple shadows now...

Mel 6-12-2002 11:04

Please do not read the following post if your name is not Viv.

Gee Viv, I guess it's just me then. I'd rather eat a steaming heap of dog shit for breakfast rather than watch a young man with a family back home man get his neck sawed off by terrorists on live coverage.
Get bent! It's an open forum, right?
Going now.

Christi 6-12-2002 10:48

Oh Shit, Jerry I didn't mean to get you into trouble. I put the first two words in so the rest of the notebook can say...."Why Vivian!"

Nope, I like your ranting because 3/4ths of the time you are expressing opinions that Americans you'd find on a bus station, in an office building, and standing in line at the post office would express. One thing about it, it brings me home. You sound like home when you write.

Nope, I think all expression here in this notebook is the stuff of writing if not now...later. When all this dies down and it's just history, we can come back and access it and we have the voice for our characters. David Pearl shouldn't be forgotten and such strong footage can bring out stories we didn't know we had inside us.

Most of all Jerry and everyone, don't worry about being politically correct. I'm allowed my opinion too. I just stick it in for the joy of writing. Consider it another voice for another character. I'm just discussing the idea with you all. What I was suprised is no one yelled HEY, shut up! That was a soccer game. We had a bombing with people KILLED.

I think it goes two ways. We have a real problem here. It is the stuff we can write about but we need to let it rattle around on these pages.

Nothing said on these pages is wrong or incorrect. They are the things that create characters, plots and stories that everyone will want to read.

As far as David Pearl, well, I was going to look at it, but I was too tired to upload it. All I could think was...whoa, looky there, Jerry is up late tonight. Must be hot out there in the Midwest. I could feel the gritty heat of a too hot summer evening spent with minimal air conditioning. I was sitting in my cold room, 10:00 AM looking out at the rain but it tickled me to read a post written at that early hour of the morning. It's obvious that the heat was keeping you up. You found an interesting site and shared it.

Hey, have I ever shared this one?

My husband was gone and I couldn't sleep when I found it. I went to my office because I figured, what the heck, at least I won't be bored to death and bothering everyone around me.

Allein: Check out the site above. This site will tickle you. Hana is doing great. She just finished all her homeschooling for the year... and that Algebra class she took from the school. She did a weird thing, went and signed up for Algebra II. I think she is nuts or has a boyfriend in the class. I already checked to make sure they are taking roll. It seems somewhat possible because it's rainy season here. All amusements must be indoors if you are going to stay dry and warm. May as well learn algebra and hang out with your buddies. She's not perfect though so I'm keeping an eye on it. I found her in a candy store once when she was supposed to be in Juku. I used to crawl out the window during choir practice and eat donuts at the laundry up the street. They had a vending machine with little donuts in a plastic package. The icing was like wax and they didn't taste so nice but the way they came out of the machine was kind of neat. They were held by this coil that would rotate and push them forward. They fell into a trough and you pulled the package out of the bottom of the machine. I used to rock the machine and get two packages to drop. Safe...real safe for a kid. Plus I hate to mention the neighborhood that the choir practice was held in was rather raunchy.

To everyone: Lay off Jerry. It's not wrong to voice an opinion here. I don't post my stories here because the site isn't secure right now. It will be. When I write just a section, I want to keep it because I might use it later in another story. I will share again when I feel secure about security. Until now I like the people and I use those opinions to create characters. I share my ideas, opinions and the things that happen to us because I feel like maybe someone could use them. Why not. I may be the raving idiot or the next good guy in someone's novel. Maybe I'll just be that woman you pass at the grocery store mumbling to herself and eating a stick of butter!

Viv 6-12-2002 9:23

YEA, EDDIE!!! :-) GO, MAN, GO!!!!

Mel 6-12-2002 8:55


(((GOOD MORNING HUGS))) to each of you!!! :-)

ROSEMARY, JERRY, TAYLOR, and all the Dog Owners who posted recently: Thanks for the animal stories - I too love to hear 'em! Currently, my family hasn't got a single pet as my husband is allergic to animal dander. :-( So thanks for sharing your pets with me!

It's time. Many have spoken the desire, many more cheer those who have said so. We all need to break away--albeit briefly--from the woes of the world and go questing.

Questing for what? Each will have his/her own quarry, a wish, a dream, a goal... Dare you come with me? You must drop the fetters of today's worries and put on your adventuring shoes for this virtual trip.

My shoes are lightweight slip-ons, super-cushioned for hours of comfort as they mold to my feet like rolling sand, and the soles glow in the dark. :-)

My muse is lighting the way with her luminous wings (when did she acquire those??!!) - a tunnel ahead - here we go, into the dark.

Looking right and left, there are names on the dark stone. Pick up a piece of slate and add your names..."Mel was Here." heh heh (and a little smiley face by that)

The air smells dank and mossy. A fine mist, cool and refreshing, beads across our skin. A rumbling noise ahead soons drowns any remaining thoughts of the world we've left. We feel our way through the blackness as our hands grip tunnel walls, wet, hard, envigorating. We work our way toward a pinpoint of light as it slowly grows in diameter until it becomes a circle of lush greenery.

We suddenly emerge in a forest by a waterfall. Green boughs part for us and we gaze upward at the majestic tower of white foam spilling ledge after ledge... Is that a circular rainbow above us??!! We excitedly trace it with our gaze--and find an ivory stairway winding into the treetops...

Okay, someone take over narration. I've got a pebble in my shoe and it looks like gold...


Happy writing adventures to you all!

Mel 6-12-2002 8:54

How about some writing news to brighten things up a little?
First of all, thanks for all of you who helped me make up my mind about this. You were all extremely helpful and I value your opinions.
I bit the bullet and re-wrote 'Shooting Star'
The result is that it's being published in the autumn at LPP. (PAYING MAG!)
I did get it down to around 600 words and although it has lost some of the character conflict resolution, it stands entirely on it's own merits as it is.
Thank you all again.

Eddie French Simply Writing 6-12-2002 8:46


I would like to share some interesting stories, unfortunately I don't have any to share. Pretty boring life here.

I guess that's why I immerse myself into reading and writing. That's why I don't share too many interesting stories.

Taylor 6-12-2002 3:50

Very true, we can all choose not to read something that rings wrong. It's a function of this style of forum, where the conversation is one continuous thread instead of many seperate threads. All the different discussions get mixed together, so this is bound to happen now and then.

But we can also all choose to find the most appropriate forums for what we need to say. I've pestered you all with skydiving shorties, but the nitty-gritty talk happens on another forum. Jerry, no one wants you to feel cut off, and your ongoing shorties are often a highlight in my day.
By the way, sounds like you've been adopted. ;-D

I found that pesky .DLL file! It was hiding in the desk drawer, on a CD, exactly where I put it last!

Be well, and blue skies!

Tina 6-12-2002 2:34


Oh great...I've been spotted.

Hey all! Everything's good here. Anyone catch the eclipse yesterday? I didn't - I forgot all about it.

Got a DVD player last week, all I have on DVD is Harry Potter and Evangelion, but I'm sure my collection will grow soon enough.

*steps over all the hatred talk, not touching that with 100 foot pole*

How's everyone doing?

Viv - How's Hana doing? How's Japan?

Rachel - Congrats on your move. How's Sebastian and the rest of the family?

Hi to everyone else!! Also (((HUGS))) for everyone!!

That's all. :D

Allein Peachick's Gallery 6-12-2002 1:57


Jerry: Thanks for the cat story.
Reminds me of the time I was housesitting for this friend, and one of her cats kept on following me everywhere. And always had to be close to me. I mean sitting there watching TV... The cat would lie up against my chest... The other cat would be meowing while lying beside my legs, the dog would be on the floor wanting a pat.
It must have looked funny. 3 pets 2 hands.

I love pet stories

Taylor 6-12-2002 1:53

talaban and Muslims aside.

This little kitten that the wife and daughter rescued last Saturday has now attached himself to me. Every where I go in the house, he is right beside me, he chases my cane, and plays with it when I set it beside my chair. Now don't think it's just the cane, oh no. His SPOT to fall asleep when he tires, and he tires so quickly being so very young, is my left shoulder, in fact he is there now, and I have to look around him to see my computer monitor.

Another of is favorite things now is walking over my "natural" keyboard, he must like the keys sinking as he walks or something, his walks have done strange things to my machine, once it rebooted it, another time he killed a short story I was working on, but one simply can't stay mad at such a young loving little kitten. It's driving Dana, our granddaughter nuts that he would rather sit on my shoulder then play with her. Oh he does go round and round with her when he feels like it, but then enough is enough and he runs to my shoulder for refuge.

He goes a bit nuts when the wife gives him his daily kitten chow, runs all around the house, up on the coffee table, then to the end tables across the top of the couch, over my chair, over the wife's, jumps over the dog, and almost everywhere. After his run, he is just plain tuckered out, and it's back on my shoulder again.

And it was me saying I figured he'd be better off at the daughter's house with her two cats. Well I may have to eat those words, as my little buddy simply loves me too much to let him go there. Or maybe it's the other way around.

Jerry 6-12-2002 0:55


With all that going on here, I am still very blessed to have my wonderful family and to live in a great country. I really don't have any problems. I suppose it is frustrating to not have a lot of control over my time.


It is easy to vent frustrations here, and I too have to be careful because I can be so intense and emotional at times. There are many interesting books to read that would help feed your intelligence and natural curiousity. If you are interested in the Middle East and seeing current events there and here in some historical perspective, I would recommend books by Benard Lewis. I have read two of them, but he has written several. I do not know what I would do without books. Reading is also a great way to get your creative juices flowing for your own writing.

Current events are good to know, but so many times they are like a gigantic energy well. They just sap it (at least for me they do). Another thing is that with the intense competition of cable news networks, newspapers and the like, there is a tendency to try to engender more emotional response from readers.


So glad to see you back. I am glad you and your family have come through your move so well.

Rhoda 6-12-2002 0:11


The political talk is too intense for me too.

It has been 90 degrees here for two days, but with the humity it feels like 100. I have so many ideas for my novel cooking in my mind, but I cannot do anything because I have felt terrible with sinus headaches. Then on top of that I have a garage sale coming up this Saturday and I have to get ready for it. My house is for sale and my agent can call up at anytime telling me someone wants to see it, and with the garage sale stuff going on, the house is a wreck! With everything topsy tervy I have gained seven pounds in one month and I don't have time to get to the gym. And to add to that, Williams Company has announced some lay offs and the intention of selling three billion dollars worth of assets.

Tabliban, bad guys who want to blow us up, frankly, I don't care right now. I have enough to worry about keeping my sanity and the sanity of my children and my husband. I personally have enough to concern myself with without turning on CNN or FOXNEWS. And thank the good Lord I do not have cable and the ability to see news every minute of the day.


I cannot imagine watching that tape. Why do it? Doesn't that man deserve the dignity to be remembered as he was in his regular life and not the way he was set up and humiliated at the end of his life?

Rhoda 6-11-2002 23:59

Jerry, I'd hoped not to insult you. You are by no means the only person who has said things I didn't feel I wanted to be privy to. We live in turbulent times, more turbulant than most, and I suppose it would be impossible for that turbulance not to show up in nearly every aspect of our lives.

True too, that as Debra says, I could not look, not read the posts which bother me, or simply not come at all.

Maybe I'm wishing for a place where I can get away from it all. Here is where I used to come to laugh and fill my imagination gas tank full of positive thoughts and energy. (*Groan* Yes, I actually said that.) And sometimes I came and cried and thought of dark and strange things, but that was fulfilling too.
I don't know, it just doesn't seem the same anymore--probably because it's become a different world.

I very much understand your need to reach out. Especially when it's hard to even want to get out, knowing it will cause you pain. There isn't much worse than chronic pain; that I know well.

But is this helping, this diet of constant coverage on these horrible catastrophes? I know that for me, one of the biggest reasons I write is to take myself AWAY from the very real things that are of the world, as I try to discover truths within myself through the catalyst of my imagination. That I cannot do when I am drowning in a sea of despair. So I choose to watch what comes into my head. I choose to guard my psyche, because it is precious to me, and maybe I'm more fragile than most.

I am sorry for singling you out. I'd just like to see some positive vibes and writerly type talk every once in a while. And I sure could use a hug. Thanks, Tina.

Love to all,

Christi 6-11-2002 23:42

Evening all,

I don't see any reason to edit our posts. Surely everyone can tell by the first few lines wheather we want to read a post or not. I saw the warning about the link and did not click on it. We use this method with the TV. Same thing.

Agree with the content or not, there has been some excellent writing posted here in the last couple of days by a number of our members. I include myself in saying that lately not many others have been producing much worth the eyestrain.

Your post about missing the past hit a few tender spots with me. I was raised (mostly) in south Georgia and North Florida with the wall to wall pine trees and green all the time. I've lived in S.A. since 1962 and once or twice a year, I have to have a pine tree fix. The East side of Houston will do in a pinch, but now and then, I need more. I've even planted a pine tree in my front yard, despite the fact that everyone knows they won't grow in this area. You never know, maybe this one will make it. Or at least take a few years to die.

I thought with the heat and fire ants, we were through with baby chicks this summer. But, Noooooo, two hens popped up, one with seven and the other with nine. One lone small white hen finally came out with one white chick. She had been trying for months and something always happened up till now. We're letting her keep it. Maybe it'll make it.

We put the two large families in cages until the chicks are older, hoping the cages are high enough to prevent preditors damage. That includes snakes, ants, rats, and sometimes possums or raccoons. The dogs usually keep the last two away, but I've been keeping mine in lately. He's been barking too much at night.

It's getting late and I'm getting tired. Hope things are a little happier tomorrow.

Personally, I really miss your posts when you are gone. Hope you don't do it now.


Rosemary 6-11-2002 23:14

I've heard this before, well many times. I've never had to say it though.

There are no rules here. I chose not to look.


We all feel a little helpless about these terrorists. I heard people say this too. "may you live in interesting times" I think terrifing and interesting are not the same.

Debra 6-11-2002 22:45

It's a fashion literary form!

As Creative As A Dog In Platforms.

Read the stories at

Nathan Williams Nathan Williams' Portfolio 6-11-2002 22:42

Christi - You are right of course. I have tried to keep my politics under wraps, the only reason I even looked for that stupid film was that I happened on a talk show last night about it, and got curious, when I saw it, I thought that maybe, just maybe others might want to see what it was all about.

I guess it's my problem that I have no others to speak with about these things. The only ones I see from day to day are my wife and kids, and of course mom and my sister. As far as people to talk to, there aren't any. Oh once a month I go down to the drug store and visit with the druggist while he fills my bottles of pain killers and muscle relaxants, the anti-inflamatories, and the wife's bottles once in awhile.

You people here on this notebook are my link to sanity, my life outside my house, and when I find things that I think are important things to our history as a nation, things that Americans of all sorts should at least have the opportunity to see, I want to share those things with my friends.

Of course I never consider your feelings, not all of you that is, and that's my fault.

For that I apologize, and I guess I should try to get a life, but I don't know exactly where to go to get that. I have my good neighbor Jon who would probably listen if I ranted at him, but we simply aren't that close, not friends who speak regularly, we talk to each other when were both outside, and that's about it. I could try and go to church with the wife and see folks there, but sitting on those pews is something that makes my old injured back ache, just considering it.

I do get up to my uncle's mechanic's shop once in awhile when one of the outfits isn't running just right, or needs it's oil changed, but I know he doesn't need me looking over his shoulder, or keeping him from work by visiting about world affairs, besides all he's interested in are local politics, and I guess I'm not all that involved locally.

When I lived up north, there I had friends, buddies that I went fishing with, buddies who I shared a beer with over a movie at their house and such, but there aren't any of those folks here, there are my old childhood friends, but most of them crawled into a bottle and pulled the cork in after them, the ones who haven't have moved away from town and have lives elsewhere, so here I sit, and when I need to vent my anger, I do it here.

I guess that's wrong, and I shall try to find other places where such venting is welcome.

Jerry 6-11-2002 22:38


Good evening ...

When I watch "Path to War" an HBO movie on President Johnson, as I did tonight, an emotion of deep regret, a feeling of something lost overwhelms me. It's comparable to the sadness one feels when a family member dies. At the end LBJ announces to the nation that he will not serve another term of office. The movie ends as he embraces his wife and family, fades away and the credits roll. I'm okay up until then. But the closing music brings forward this rush of regret and longing and sadness. It's the music that always gets me. It opens up old cherished memories and out they come.

It's not for LBJ that I weep. He did his best to initiate the "Great Society" because he genuinely cared for people. Sadly a war he didn't want was dropped in his lap. A war he couldn't win ... but more than that ... a war against an enemy he could not understand. But, no tears for Lyndon. There is sadness for all the men and women on both sides who died. Now veterans take tours to battle areas where they fought, many times guided by men they fought. Who would have thought it? Four days, five nights touring the area where you nearly got your ass shot off?

So, it's not for the dead I weep. Soldiers are under orders 24 hours a day. It is their duty to serve and fight and die and as we were often told in the Navy... "Sailors, you are the instrument of the diplomatic policies of your country." A soldier serves, often dies, or worse maimed, or emotionally crippled for life. When a person stands before the American flag and takes that oath you are GI "Government Issue." Charlie VC in South Vietnam and Mr. Charles in North Vietnam may not have spoken the same words, but they were the same nevertheless.

No, I weep because I was part of the times, it was my time of youth... and now it is so far away. So long ago. I lived with my parents and my brother and my friends and my town and my possessions and my pets and my room and all that was Randall as a teenage boy. It probably does not help that we live in the same house where I first heard of Vietnam, first saw a presidential news conference, charmed by that Irish rogue John Kennedy. There are many ghosts around me, furniture that used to be there that isn't anymore, pets that are buried in the backyard and gone to dust. This old home was where I announced one fine spring day in 1966, to a greatly surprised Mom and Dad that I was joining the Navy and, oh, by the way, for four years.

My actions seem so casual now. I didn't consider my parents feelings, was only intent on mine and how the hell to get out of town ASAP. Now I remember how green the yard was, how tall the cottonwoods and pecan trees were. How you could drive down the street and know most whom you met. How simple life was then. I never had to worry over taxes or utility bills or mortgage payments or vehicle repairs or groceries or the price of gas. I remember get togethers with Dads family, weekend trips to my mother's folks down on the ranch, boating on a nearby lake where Dad built a cabin. How clean the air, how clean the rain, how clean the living. How simple. How simple it was when I was young. Yesterday, but decades ago.

I miss all of that. How complicated it has gotten, how dismal. I bet a lot of people would rather have Vietnam to worry over rather than what we face now as a nation. Even global problems seem to increase in complexity, compared to the Good War of WW II. India and Pakistan facing off with nukes? A poll of Americans that believe a nuclear weapon will explode on this continent? And soon?

Madness! I want out! I want to go back! Stop the trolley and let me off! Scotty beam me up! Jules! Where is the time machine? I need it!

I heard in a movie years ago this statement. "The dreams of old men are the regrets of yesterday." I understand. My wife and I spent several nights recently alone in this old house. The kids were "house sitting" for our older daughter as she went on vacation. It was quite in the night, but for the voices of my parents, my brother tuning his hotrod out front, the barking dog in the backyard, the slamming of screen doors, the smell of mom cooking chicken in the kitchen ... dad walking outside to check on his boat for tomorrow's fishing trip......were too loud. Much too loud the silence in me. I reel with the assualt. Now my wife and I have to learn to live with the silence of the home as our children leave. And I have to live within the regrets of youth and the regrets as an adult and the memories of what was.



Randall 6-11-2002 22:20

Sorry -- that last post was mine. It looks as if things are just coming back around over there in Afganistan. As has been mentioned here before, perhaps that whole corner of the world needs to be plowed under, covered in stable sweepings, and sown with a cover crop of poison ivy.
Then round up all those idiots and drop them naked in the middle. With no calamine lotion!
Then nuke 'em.

I'm outta here for a few days. Going to a ballgame.

Might even get lucky.

If the balloon goes up while I'm gone it's been swell...

howard 6-11-2002 22:15

(((HUGS))) for you Christi. You're entirely right. There are forums out there for this kind of discussion and this isn't it. (holding out hand to be slapped... ouch!)

(((HUGS))) for your daughter, Viv. Life can suck, and it's too sad when kids have to learn it that way.

Here's a thought. How about we talk about writing and family and ideas and all the good stuff? Lately, every time I come here, there are hardly any posts. Don't just check in and lurk! Say something! Speak up and be heard! The creative side of this site has been dry lately.

It seems I've lost a .DLL file. Don't know where I put it, those darn things vanish if you don't keep your eye on them all the time. But my scanner won't scan without it, and my webpage is awfully boring without pictures. Must look for that .DLL file! Maybe it got lost in the .bill pile, or the .writing pile. No! I see it now! It's in the .dirtyclothes pile!

Off to catch that darned .DLL file...

Tina 6-11-2002 22:09

From the Mattingly Weekly column:
-- There are rumblings from western Afghanistan that the
office for the "Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice" is back.

That may not sound bad. But this is the network that enforced the
Taliban's codes for clothing, grooming, family life, prayers and myriad
other details of daily life. It used beatings, torture, imprisonment,
discrimination and other forms of terror.

On the evening news, the Taliban is defeated and on the run. But the
reality on the ground may be different. If the office for the "Promotion
of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice" is alive, the Taliban's heart is
still beating.

"Significant numbers of former Taliban officials or supporters appear to
be in the process of attaching themselves to the new power structures,"
according to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
"Many elements of the victorious anti-Taliban forces also have past
records of human rights abuse, including religious intolerance and
restrictions of the rights of women."

Far from the diplomats and satellite dishes in Kabul, the Taliban's
version of Sunni Islamic law may rule -- with summary public executions
for murder, amputations for theft and stoning and lashing for adultery.

6-11-2002 22:07

Ok guess I said too much.

Jerry 6-11-2002 21:33

Viv - To tell the truth, I try not to hate all Arab's, and all Muslims, but the news shows are beginning to change my opinion of Muslims, by their investigative reporters going to mosques here in the states and hearing anti-American rhetoric much the same as the mosques in the middle east.

Now that doesn't make me hate all Arabs, or all Muslims, but it does open my eyes to the fact that it isn't just a few zealots over there who don't like us and want us dead, it's the majority. Now that still doesn't make me hate them, but I don't like them very much, in fact I don't like them at all, but I can't say that I hate them.

I can understand your concern though, and I don't think we should go out and kill all the Arabs here, in fact I don't think we should look at them differently then we did before 911. Well that's not exactly true, I think we should maybe watch them a bit closer, after all they could be the enemy.

You know the day before this happened, 9/10/2001 was my day in bankruptcy court. If you've ever been in any sort of government building, you know how these things go.

The first thing we were greeted by were the recently added (Since Oklahoma City) blast diversion shields that protect the outer part of the building, nicely painted to try and blend with the building. My first reaction to that was, come on, this is South Dakota, but then I remembered, come on that was Oklahoma. Next we were stopped just inside the door by a guard, who looked at our things as we passed through the metal detector, he kindly then pointed us in the right direction for the elevator to the basement where our courtroom was. When we got there, we were fifteen minutes early, and there was a hearing in progress. We first waited outside the door, and were joined by an Arab couple. I was amazed at that, I had no idea there were any Arab's in South Dakota, but I didn't give it much thought. We decided to go outdoors to wait, where we could sit on the benches that were near the building for just that purpose. We sat out there watching the lawyers and their clients come and go for a short time, then went back down. This time the guard recognized us and waived us around the detector. We went in and did our business, then went home.

The next morning while I was in the tub listening to the radio, I first heard of the horror in New York. Then the fact that there were Arabs in the Federal Building took on a new meaning, or at least made me wonder.

I guess things changed that day, and I think it's time we stopped trying to be politically correct and call a terrorist a terrorist.

Now I find I'm wandering, so I'll shut up before I get in trouble again.

Jerry 6-11-2002 21:29

You know what? My stomach can't take this talk. The Notebook has affected me this way several times, and the cause was always political talk. First the Texas mom, and since then it's gone downhill. I don't want to get nasty about it, but Jerry, if people want to see something that awful and disturbing, they will seek it out themselves. There's no need to post a link like that here, on a writer's page. I don't think I'm going to be able to come here anymore. It keeps me up at night.
Sorry for the dramatics. I'm just disturbed.

Christi 6-11-2002 21:20


Have I got some good news for you.

I have never, in my life, and will never, in my life treat anyone rudely.

Even if I met Osuma himself, I'd still treat him the way I would wish to be treated.

That you can count on!

Debra 6-11-2002 21:16


In a way I feel as if I hate them. But I think I just cant bring myself to fully admit that I do.
I'm usually a nice guy, but when it came to this it turned my personal views upside down. But most of the time my feelings just ended up turning to sadness.
For India and Pakistan
For Mideast
For the citizens of Afghanistan
For NY
For Pennsylvania

I don't recall who said it or if it was said here, but compassion fatigue. I was almost ready to say, "To hell with it all. Why should I care?" As many people often asked me, "Why should you care? Why do you care? It happened over in America not here."

I felt myself beginning to think about that but this one photograph and the Ground Hero closing ceremony reminded me of why I should.

Anyway enough of that, I will start depressing people. Thats why I won't describe the photograph.
I've also decided to reload my camera and start taking a few townshots with it.
Speaking of photographs... LOL

Taylor 6-11-2002 20:47

Jerry: I agree with you on our loss of freedoms.

I worry though about the hate I see against Muslims and Arabic people on the site.

Here's the reason for it. I sent my daughter upstairs to the bookstore to xerox some personal copies for me. She went up, but didn't come back. After a bit I went up to check on her. She was walking around trying to change the 500 yen coin I gave her. I asked her why she couldn't change the coin at the counter of the bookstore. She said, "I can't because the old man swore at me." I asked why he swore at her and what he said. She told me that he'd called her a Russian Hooligan. She said no one would change her coin either.

She is blond, tall, has a rather prominant nose and a strong bones. She looks Euopean to me, because I'm a short scrawny, American. I figure all American's are shorter and scrawnier than Europeans...which is generally true in my generation. Anyway, everyone had mistaken her for a Russian because she was in there speaking in Japanese, not English. I walked up to the counter and said to the old man in English, uh, can you change this? I held up the coin and got a "Sure Sensei! No problem." I thought it was just my age and told her see, you have to be old and ugly to get some respect around here.

Well I found out later that the Russians rioted after their soccer game and beat up a couple of Japanese. It happened in Tokyo and in Russia. So the Russians are the latest persona non grata. The American's were smart and tied in Korea...good thing...They could have died if they'd won that game after the skating decision in the Olympics.

So what is hate for a group. I don't want to see our nation become Xenophobic. Yes, the Arabic nations are making asses of themselves but it's the politicians, not the guy out there asking for change. Be sure to differentiate that in your mind or you'll be as much a bunch of narrow minded idiots as those folks in the bookstore who were rude to my daughter because she "looked Russian".

Viv 6-11-2002 20:45

That's good point!

Debra 6-11-2002 19:25

Goiod poimt Jerry:

And I hate what they did to our freedoms too.

Those rotton bastards!

Debra 6-11-2002 19:25

Another thing that has suffered from the attack on 911 are our freedoms.

For an in depth look at the Patriot act, which Congress passed in a record short time, click the link below. Some of the new powers that Law Enforcement now have are frightening. I know you may think that cops won't take advantage, but you would be wrong. It's like giving a kid a Hershey bar and telling them to keep it in case of an emergency, the bar would be gone within an hour.

I can see law enforcement now, rubbing their hands together at the new powers that Congress have given them. No more liberal judges looking over their shoulders making sure they obey the laws, no more reports back on search warrants.

The happenings within a Grand Jury, which have, since Grand Juries have been formed been secret are now open to ANY GOVERNEMENT official that wishes to view them, to see if there are any terrorist themes in the crime investigated.

I fear we have started down a path that, if not stopped will leave us no longer free, no longer the leader of the FREE world.

Your emails are now open to inspection by any law enforcement official who wishes to insure that you aren't communicating with someone who may also be communicating with someone who may know someone who has communicated with a terrorists, or foreign national.

Would a message here for Americo be classed a communication with a foreign national? How about Eddie, or Litter?

Ok I might be getting carried away, but maybe not, read the page closely and look for the real powers given the government and law enforcement, in the name of the war on terrorism. I guess if it helps get the terrorists, then it is a good thing, but read also with an question in your mind "How does this help stop terrorism?"

I think the Congress has gone overboard, I can only hope that the courts will reign them in with a bit of their usual interpretation of the Constitution.

Debra, hate is a bad thing, hate is what they do, now anger can be a good thing, and to be angry at those who would kill you is not a bad thing. Really I don't think deep down in my soul that hating those who would kill you is such a bad thing after all, is it?

Jerry Patriot Act 6-11-2002 19:03

Howard Tina:

Blind hatred I don't think I'm there.

But when something like 911 happens, and then continues we all have three choices, we can love it, hate it or feel indifference towards it. To feel indifference means it doesn't matter one way or the other. It's acutally the opposite of love, not hate, like some people think. How can I feel like it doesn't matter one way or the other when someone is trying to kill me, my family and my whole country.

These people are not acting on the act of God. Do they really think that no Islamic people are in Washington DC where they wanted to set off the dirty bomb. Of course there would be. They don't care. They don't care about any God either.

What's happening is as close as we can come to having a nut house train, arm and push open the doors and set these folks free.

I feel I feel. I don't think indifference or love covers what I feel. It's hate all right!

When I'm at that few seconds holding the trigger I'll let my thoughts push the hatred towards the back for that time being.

Then's it's right back to hate!

Debra 6-11-2002 18:42

Then too -- blind hatred can detract from the aiming process. Rage tends to tighten the muscles needed for accurate aim, and jerking the trigger can cause the round to go wide and miss the target. Gently squeeze the trigger, and keep your eye on the face of your target, so that you don't miss that look of bliss on his face as he gains entrance to that blessed land where virgins await to minister to his every whim. Then watch for that instant, just as the lights go out, that he realizes that it's hell's searing flames that he's dropping into. And just hope that he's got time for one final scream.

howard 6-11-2002 18:22


I know that there are a lot of good people under Islam. That's why I think a civil war is just what the doctor ordered. See they are always saying that every one is out to get them and stop Islam. We know that's not true.

If the good people of Islam stopped the extremeists of Islam, then and only then would it stop. They couldn't scream that they were right, because it would be other people under Islam stopping them. They should all be thrown out of the religion. Then they wouldn't have a leg to stand on. Divide and conquer. If the good people of Islam want their good name back they have to divide and conquer.

Debra 6-11-2002 17:27

Hi all!

Hey Litter! Full highlander dress? We need pics! You know what they say; if there are no pics, it didn't happen!

Debra, branding all Islamics under the same torch is like condemning all Christians because of the KKK. There are always extremists, and society is just very good at selecting which extremists to tolerate, and which not to tolerate.
Most Islamic people are no more good or bad than you or I. I have Islamic friends and Islamic neighbours, some of whom are great people and some who are not. The same description fits pretty much every ethnic/religious grouping.

If you want to Hate something/one, place it where it belongs, don't generalize. Generalized hate and fear self-perpetuates.

Tina 6-11-2002 17:21


I know that you're right. The thing is they do hate, but they do this to others so we will hate too and be just like them. It works.

I can't help it, I HATE THEM!

I'm never going to be JUST like them, but they have succeeded on some level.

They are miserable bastards!

The only hope hope we have is if Islam has its own civl war. Other than that, it's going to be a virus that never ends.

Debra 6-11-2002 16:59

DEBRA -- They hate. Hate and ignorance are their chief stock in trade. Call them evil, loathesome, filth, but don't hate. We need to maintain at least that difference.

howard 6-11-2002 16:07

Hello, hello, hello,

Seems that I never have time to visit – too many crises…

However, with a bit of luck, most of the crises are over for a while, and all the crap was mitigated with the wedding of my niece on Saturday. First time for a while I have gone out anywhere in full highland dress – I just love it. The breeze around the nethers… the gaggle of women an girls trying to guess who is wearing the kilt according to tradition… the sight of a couple of dozen others likewise attired basking in the warm glow of tradition and fleeing from the aforementioned gaggle… :o) It was a quite wonderful wedding and I felt somewhat alive again. (until the following day.)

For those whose birthdays and other special days I have managed to miss – my apologies.

Pretty scary news about the ‘dirty bomb’. I’m glad they stopped it before there was yet another atrocity.

Well, now it’s back to apologising for my tardiness to all my other correspondents.

All good things and ciao for now,

Litter 6-11-2002 15:49


I've decided not to click on that video. I just can't bring myself to look.



Debra 6-11-2002 11:51

Taylor: I think they have the technology now to really do the superheroes/comic books characters, and do it well, which is why they're doing it now rather than a lack of ideas. Even ten, twenty years ago, they couldn't have been done well.

Hallee 6-11-2002 10:42


The weather is quiet opposite over this part of the world. Pretty cold at night.

Just came back from seeing Spiderman. Don't you hate it when you have to sit in front of some kids that like to narrate what's going on or have to ask all the questions there? I felt like turning around and telling the kid to "Shut up" I almost did a couple of times... But I held myself back.
Good movie... But still spewing that the movie left out that scene.
All in all, I thought it was a good movie.

Now they're doing "Hulk"... Is it just me or is there a pattern forming with these movies or are they just running out of original ideas.

Daniel Pearl video... Don't know if I'm numb or what, but it didn't really do anything. What I found did kinda knocked me back a bit was a photograph, that seemed to affect me more than the Pearl video.
I won't say what the photograph was.

Novel is coming along slowly, but it is coming along.

It seems for someone whos not talking much I rambled on a bit... Oh well I wont take up anymore space on here till next time when I do have something to discuss.

Till next time Take care all

Taylor 6-11-2002 9:41

Hello Jerry: I wasn't willing to watch the tape but saw that your post said 0:45. Good grief, did you stay up that late? Hope you slept late today! Must be one of those stuffy hot summer nights!

We had a partial eclipse of the sun today...which was completely covered by clouds. Disgusting!

Got to get going. Just a hello to you all. Like Taylor, I'm feeling kind of quiet. Still too much to do.

Viv 6-11-2002 8:40


Jerry: Already seen that videotape... I honestly don't know why I watch this kind of stuff?

Sorry I have not been very chatty lately people.

Taylor 6-11-2002 1:24

If you have a VERY strong stomach, the below link is to the tape released of the death of Daniel Pearl. It is very much in the news right now. I watched it, most of it is Mr. Pearl saying those things that his capturers forced him to say before they cut off his head. The last few seconds are made up of the act, and the aftermath.

It is sick, but I guess there is always something new on the internet. If you simply look at it as a piece of history, I guess it's OK, I know his family tried to stop the photos from the tape, and the tape itself from being shown, a newspaper in Boston showed the severed head on their front page.

From what I understand, the tape may not be available for long. I hope that it is true, it will probably show up in the relm of the porn sites that keep popping up when you are seeking information, like erroring and typing instead of

Jerry Tape 6-11-2002 0:48


Jerry 6-11-2002 0:29


howard 6-10-2002 23:21

Hi All :)

Just a quick hello ------ hello :)

Carol 6-10-2002 14:04

Hi all!

Rachel, Maple Ridge is so much nicer than Surrey! Don't know why I thought you lived in Surrey; just got it in my head.
Yup, I'm the Abbotsford Airshow sun worshipper. The Show is in August: we got tickets in February. ;-) Can't miss it! We go at least every other year, camping right on sight. Depending on what work I'm doing by then, we want to make it a 4 or 5 day trip to the coast. Hit Science World in Vancouver (a favourite stop of ours), and I want to jump at the Pitt Meadows dropzone (if I'm licensed by then, and have my own gear) A visit out to Maple Ridge could be just the thing!

Working on the wep page for my house again today. I'm going HTML crazy. :-}

Blue Skies!

Tina 6-10-2002 12:02

RACHEL -- I'm glad you're back too! I remember you said something about moving, so All I did was miss you - not get alarmed. :-)

SASQUATCH! -- Where have you been?

howard 6-9-2002 22:40

OK, am back and will attempt to concentrate on working through the Flash and PHP book, the upshot being a login and password and guestbook. Just the ticket for the Workbook. Hopefully this week.

Jack Beslanwitch Diving Videos 6-9-2002 22:31

Rhoda - the very best, and probably the only way to be sure that you've got them all is to reformat the hard drive and reinstall Windows 95. That way your sure that whoever buys it will not have access to your files. If you want to be absolutely sure, then I would recommend putting Norton System Works on the machine too and then use their wipe disk function to remove the data from the hard drive.

When you simply un-install, or drop data into the recycle bin, the computer just removes reference to that data from the hard drive. The data is still there if someone wants to work at retrieving it. I doubt that anyone would want to work that hard just to snoop, but you never know.

If you remove the data and then just defrag the hard drive, you can be almost sure that the data is mixed and harder to retrieve, and would probably be the quickest way, but you would still have to search out all the data files and remove them, then maybe un-install software that you don't wish to sell.

Hope that clears the muddy waters a bit.

If your lucky and the computer came with a restore disk, as many do, then you could reformat it, pop in the recover or restore disk, reboot and the restore disk will take care of the hard work of installing windows 95.

Jerry 6-9-2002 20:55


Rachel: Silly me forgot... I thought I returned it, Oh well here it goes

Back to lurking in the shadows. Take care all

Taylor 6-9-2002 20:19

I am considering selling two of my old computers at a garage sale. Is there any simple way of purging all added files off the hard drive? I once tried to reload Windows 95 and ended up crashing my whole computer.

Rhoda 6-9-2002 19:47


Hey you :o) Thanks for the words (smiles and a hug). All is well with me. Seb still wants his ball back mister ;o)


I have never lived in Surrey. I worked in Surrey for a few years. My work there let me know that I did not want to live in Surrey proper. I live in a sleepy little place called Maple Ridge. At least the areas that I live in are sleepy. I tend to keep to the East side of Ridge. It is a lot quieter. If you have ever been to the Provincial Park of "Golden Ears" then you would have to drive past my front drive. It is quiet, aside from the lake traffic. We will only really have lake traffic during the summer. We are getting closer to settled. My children are so happy here. They love the yard, the creek, the river, the parks. You name it, they are happy. Maybe when you come down for the Air Show you could drop over. I go into Abbotsford all the time. The University/College that I'm attending has its main center in Abbotsford. The drive is about 30 minutes (Rachel time) from my home. It might take you a little longer. I don't know how you drive. I'm pretty sure that you are the person who likes to get burnt to a crisp attending the Abbotsford Air show. That is you, isn't it? Hum, did I ever tell you that I saw a couple of jets crash at an air show? That was something and a half. Yikes, I should get moving. I need to make some salad or another (grins).

Take care all.

rachel 6-9-2002 18:56

The Girl Next Door (A Memory)

Paul was one of those men that everyone liked. He would give you the shirt off his back, and his last dollar if you asked and many did. Those of us who knew him well, and knew his family knew also of his suffering at the hands of his wife who was plagued with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). He was my next door neighbor when I was growing up, at least those years of discovery, of transitioning from boyhood to manhood, and he had two daughters, one of which was my “girl next door.”

I recall so vividly sitting on their couch (after I moved what ever it was that Helen was saving that week off) and necking with my girl next door. Her mother would come in and scold us for smoking (which we both did) giving us particular hell about those horrible cancer sticks, coffin nails, cigarettes.

“Another nail in your coffin!” She would exclaim, looking much like an evil dwarf witch from fairy tails. Her hair was always a mess best resembling a rat’s nest, and nearly white if it were ever washed, which it wasn’t. Then she would go on quoting the bible and any other script she could recall from her days when her mind was right.

Her poor tortured husband was always in one of the other rooms, beyond “THE DOOR” that none but family was ever allowed to enter.

Things got bad then worse, as my girl next door became more and more forward with what she was willing to do in her living room, until I found myself nearly naked, and she completely naked when her mother entered the room, took one look and fled quoting bible verses upon our sinful souls.

That was the last time I ever ventured across that old gravel road to the house next door, somehow I couldn’t understand how a family like that could produce such a wonderful man as Paul yet have within it’s walls both the evil daughter and the obsessive compulsive collector of nails from the road, newspapers from the ages and beer cans for the aluminum but never sold or disposed of any.

Were it not that youthful need to explore ones sexuality I think I should have never entered that house of horrors, and thankfully I have never entered it since.

Jerry 6-9-2002 17:06

Hi all!

Well, alergies have conspired to keep me out of the sky today. :-( So more house cleaning.

Sasquatch, hi! As always, it's good to see you here!

Jerry, welcome to your new addition. There is something about a crying kitten that eats into your heart, isn't there?

Rachel, sounds like you're well settled in. Are you still in Surrey, or did you end up in a different outskirt?
And Sebastian sounds too adorable. :-D

Howard, LMAO! Cute one.

Blue skies!

Tina 6-9-2002 14:10

Is writing in the blood?

My son just returned to college, as an OTA student. He was worried about the English requirements, much as I had been on my entrance to college as an OTA. After the shock wore off, he found that he too enjoys writing, and is in fact very good at it. He is assisting other students with their essays, much as I did, his professors are encouraging him to continue writing using his natural talent, much as mine did.

He and his wife were just down for a visit, and they left our grand daughter to stay for a couple of weeks while they settle in at their new quarters in the college dorm (married housing).

They have both returned to college, she to study elementary education, as she has for the past three years, he to get is degree in computer science and a minor in Mathematics.

We are very proud of them.

We had the drought buster rain last night, it was wonderful, despite the forty mile per hour winds that pushed the rain through our area. Looked at the garden this morning, and what had been powder and dust was now mud, with lots of little green plants pushing their way up. The lawn that was brown, and nearly barren is now beginning to green up again, even the parts where we haven't watered.

The wife and daughter and granddaughter are off on a girls day out shopping in Dickinson, some 97 miles north west of here. I was invited along, but as usual, I declined. Travel is not among my favorite pastimes, and I hate shopping (except auctions on EBAY).

During the great garage sale, well actually after, as we were moving the left over back to the house, we heard the cry of a kitten. Right away, I figured the two nut cases that the neighbor hired to mow his lawn must have locked a cat in the old garage in that back yard, but a search showed the mewing was coming from elsewhere. My daughter who is a cat person, continued the search after I went to the house, and about a half hour latter came in with a little gray stripped kitten. Smoky is now a part of our happy family, and is laying by my side as I type. Cute little bundle of fur.

The dog, who I figured would be jealous, has become the kitten's greatest fan, although the kitten hasn't figured it out yet, that a dog could be a friend. Oh he is a bit jealous I guess but wouldn't ever take it out on the little cat. He is sleeping above me on the back of my recliner.

Jerry 6-9-2002 12:13


Rachel: Nice seeing you again, glad things are good

Taylor 6-9-2002 10:54


Hi you (hugs). Sounds like things have been and will continue to be for you. That is sort of how it goes. Life just keeps right on unfolding and we keep on walking though it. I hope that your life will bring you joy.


Thank you for taking notice (smiles and hugs). I like my new home. That makes the move worth the effort. We are now situated across the street from the Alouette River. It is beautiful. I like that when I go to bed at night I can hear the water rushing. I love that the wind in the trees and the soft sounds of the creek and voices of nature around my house help to sing me to sleep. I'm not so sure that I like this new early am wake up that seems to have come with the place. All the birds wake me up. There seem to be so many of them and they apparently have much to say to one another in the early dawn hours (grins and laughter).


Sebastian has been enjoying the World Cup Soccer that has been on television. He bounces around the room exclaiming "kick it, kick it!" and "GOAL" It is so funny! He kicks his little soccer ball and when he can't get it in the net he will pick it up, run to the net and throw it in. It is so adorable. I continue to be surprised by how fair Sebastian is. His eyes are so blue and his hair seems to have turned lighter blond. I suppose it must be all the sun he gets. Sebastian and I spend a good deal of time outside. Pretty much from 11am through to about 4pm he and I are out walking and enjoying the outside. Seb loves the yard where we are now. In particular he likes the garden boxes. The other day he tried his first mouthfull of dirt. I was quite relieved when he didn't enjoy it. He hasn't tried any more dirt balls. I hope that he continues with his non dirt eating approach.

Well, I think I've put enough down for now. I believe I will take a wander down the drive and see if my morning paper has been delivered.

Ciao for now :o)

Rachel 6-9-2002 7:59

Guy breaks into a house and is sneaking through the dining room. All is dark, and real quiet, until he hears a voice saying "Jesus is watching you."
He freezes, and whispers "What?"
"Jesus is watching you!" says the strange voice in the corner.
"Who are you?" the burglar mutters, switching on his flashlight.
"I'm Aristotle, and Jesus is watching you!" says the voice in the corner.
"A parrot! You're a parrot!"
"Sure I'm a parrot, and Jesus is still watching you!"
"Who the heck would be stupid enough to name a parrot 'Aristotle'?" says the crook.
"Same folks who named their Doberman 'Jesus'!"

howard 6-8-2002 23:01

Oh yeah, as far as going places with them, again yes. They all have different ways in the car. My yorkie will put his little head out of the crack in the window and let his hair blow straight back. He reveals his seldom seen face. If I go any faster than 45mph, he knows instantly and puts in back in. As soon as I slow down out it goes again. Now the other one, Max, he sits in the seat like a gentleman and looks around like he's the passenger and I'm the hired help. Imagine!

Debra 6-8-2002 21:33

Yes yes yes a thousand times yes. You all did such a good reason on describing the security feeling of having a dog and I agree with all of you. I might tell you I now after all these years I equate the smell of dog with security and love.

My sister, not a dog lover, thinks they stink. I find their scent amazing. Now mind you I have them groomed every two weeks so I'm not talking true stink. They don't do that, except when their wet. Of course my two could hold their legs closed from morning till night if it's raining. I'm talking about the unmistakeable scent of plain dog, security and love. I just love it!

Debra 6-8-2002 21:30

Randall, I hope I'm never without a dog. Having one improves my sense of security 100fold.
I'd have loved to see those guy's expressions! :-O

It is fortunate for us law-abiding folks, that most thieves seem to be laughabley (sp?) dumb. I had a B&E here about three years ago. My hubby was at work, so no vehicle in the driveway. 7am, I'm woken by a weird noise. I go out of my bedroom, and I just know what's happening. I look downstairs and there are two men prying open a locked window and locked patio door. I shouted, they ran. I let my dog out and she chased them down the street. Unfortunately, she came back without cloth/skin/blood on her muzzle. The dumbass part? The window that the theives chose to break into was right above the dog food/water bowls I leave outside. BIG bowls for my husky/cross. Her dog house is in the corner.

What were they thinking? Big dog house and big food bowls = big dog. No dog outside. Where's the dog? Hmm, inside, ya think? Maybe it's a nice dog that won't try to eat us? Dumb!

Should be cleaning and making a web page.

Tina 6-8-2002 18:31

Hi All :)

Nice post Randall! And I couldn't agree with you more. Our home is equipped with German Shepherds -- inside and outside. The outside dog sleeps on the front porch. We live way out in the boonies so any unusual traffic is quickly noticed. A car in the driveway is sufficient as a doorbell. We don't need one. The dogs barking like mad? Someone's here. Plain and simple. The only night time alarm revealed a nice big bear cowering in the nearby white pine. Hubby later estimated him to be a nice 300#. Dang thing wouldn't climb out of the tree until I went outside and dragged the dog in. The tree was outside of the dogs physical range, guess the bear didn't know that though. Its neat how you can identify the reason for a dogs particular bark after long term exposure. I know their - red squirrel alert - their - the neighbor's home alert - deer feeding - mailman - WPS - UPS, etc., etc., etc. Every bark has a specific reason. They are also very good as deer spotters when I travel. Haven't hit a deer yet, though I jumped a few times hearing that yip so close to my ear! I never leave home without a dog. That may mean I avoid a few places, but at least I'm as safe as this world allows.

Now that the garden is planted, I'm going to go spend some time writing. What fun!! I wonder what those characters want to do next ... ? What are they going to do with all those dead bodies?? That's a good question to solve. hmmmm.....

Carol 6-8-2002 14:27


Good Morning!

If you follow my writings here, it has no doubt NOT escaped your notice that I am interested in all things related to Utah. So it goes without saying that I am following the missing Salt Lake City girl, Elizabeth Smart, with great concern. That she is gone is a dismal fact, a parents worst nightmare. One I have lived with for 19 years. Now my children are grown and about to leave the nest ... my dread now covers a much wider area. But now my children are away from the home, out and about, and there is not a lot I can do to protect them.

However, when our three children were at home, under my loving care, within my sphere of influence, totally my responsibility ... I took great care to guard them. Most of the time we had a dog in the backyard. Usually two or three or four or more in the house. Small dogs, the kind that bark at the commotion a falling leave (leave, Randall? Okay try leaf!) make. Lahasos (SP?) are great at this. Their heritage is Tibetan Palace, inside guard dogs and they always bark at strangers and noise. We have had two for the last 15 years. Along with these ever alert miniature "Lion Dog" guardians we have owned several other kind. All barkers. Our Silky, Bubba, aging, but alert will pick up his ears when a car enters the driveway, wait for the others to bark then add a little base to the "Yip Yip Yip!" Many years ago I posted a note on the front porch. RING DOORBELL ONLY ONCE! DOGS WILL HEAR IT AND BARK! ALL FIVE!

Our home doors, front and back, especially when I am gone are locked. Always. Well, usually always. Sometimes the lower ranks ... wife, children, visitors, are prone to disregard this rule, but when Dad is home, they are locked. At night ... everything is locked down. Windows are down and locked. There are so many coats of paint on them the regular window lock is rendered superfluous. It would be easier to solve the Middle East problem than open my windows where the frame has been painted continuously since 1955! Porch lights front and back ... on. A small kitchen light on, as small bathroom lights. Up until the kids found out about privacy all bedroom doors were open at night.

So dogs are alert for unusual sound at night. Dad is alert and armed with a short barrel, 12-gauge pump/ flashlight equipped shotgun under the bed. The home is secure at night. There have been times when I had to make an inside patrol checking out a mysterious noise... usually the cat exploring a kitchen trash can. On occasion I have had to make a search outside. A one way alley runs behind our home and any vehicle down it at night is usually up to no good. (Jerry knows about the spot and steal crowd!) One night the dogs went absolutely ape as a car crept down it long after midnight. I slipped on a housecoat, grabbed my shotgun, stepped outside and walked to the back fence. In about a minute the car was backing up(Heh! Heh!)and approached my position. A guy had his head out the window, intent on reverse. Only feet apart he noted me cradling the shotgun with the flashlight on, startled and his eyes widened.

"What are you gonna do with that Pal?" he sneered after a second.

"Are you talking to him or me?" another voice asked in the darkness.

Both of us looked to the right and saw my neighbor holding HIS shotgun and a flashlight!

"There's another one!" someone in the darkened car shouted. A third neighbor had just entered the alley with a baseball bat in hand and stood in the headlights.

"Excuse me friends. I guess took a wrong turn." the guy meekly explained and began to back away. As he did my neighbor in the alley jotted down his license plate number.

Nothing takes the heat out of a situation ... like a pencil and paper and the noting of a license plate number. Works every time cause mobile society, who have mobile criminals, need (and everyone does) mobility.

I wonder if the father in Utah had a dog in the house? Doors locked and/or bolted? Windows down and locked or painted shut? Did his daughters sleep inside a bedroom where the door was closed? If you do this to your children? Stop. How could you hear them cry in fear or pain if their bedroom door is shut and YOUR bedroom door is shut and you are asleep? Kids sleep upstairs and you sleep downstairs? Big, big mistake! Were there porch lights on Mr Smart's home? Guard lights outside? Lights on inside the home? A dog in the backyard?

It is and always has been a man's responsibility to protect the family. The simplest equation is a dog. Dogs were domesticated to aid humanity. A dog barking in a cave 10,000 years ago when a tiger prowls nearby perform the same function as one today when something goes bump in the night. Don't have one? Look around, they are everywhere, wanting a family to join and help protect. If you are a single mom? Or single girl? Not a problem, home security is not gender specific. Don't do guns? There are chemical aerosols and electrical self-defense products on the market so powerful they will stop a charging grizzly. Use common sense when home security is in question. Think! The alternative is too horrific to contemplate. Ask Elizabeth Smart's father.


Randall 6-8-2002 11:52

It's been a long day! The changer is a Pioneer, and that's what he said... dunno why I wrote Panasonic. Sheesh!


For those interested in such things, there's a very interesting article on how badly they can screw up the grading on those standardized tests they inflict on our kids in the name of education. It's at

howard 6-7-2002 23:09

Hoo boy!
When we bought our Villager minivan I never checked the CD player/changer. Dunno why, but I never discovered until afterwards that it didn't work, and that was too late to take it back to the dealer. So, we've been thinking about getting a new one. I started pricing them, and found that in-dash AM-FM-CD-MP3-Cassette receivers are horrendously expensive!
So this morning I stopped at a couple of specialty shops, to see what was available. At the first place a very impressive young guy bustled out to take a look at the broken player, to see what was required. He fiddled and farted around, and said it was DOA, and he could install a new system for around $389. I must have looked dyspeptic, because he refigured things right away, and said I could get a little less for a little less. It was still way too much for our bank account, so I thanked him and said I'd think about it.
Then I happened to pass a little hole-in-the-wall rocker/biker/boombox shop that specializes in car systems with enough bass boost to crush kidney stones while tooling down Main Street. I says to myself "Self! What the hey!" and pulled in to check it out.
This skinny, punk-looking, I'd-get-alarmed-if-he-glanced-at-my-granddaughter type came out and asked "Can I help you, sir?" I figured this must be the "What" in "What the hey," so I explained my predicament, all the while hoping that if he actually did stick his head under my dash he wouldn't short out anything with all those earrings, and electrocute himself or blow up my van.
Well, he went out to the car, took a quick look, and said "Oh good! A Panasonic! They don't break." With this, he slid his hand under the seat where the changer is mounted, felt around a bit, and I heard a click, and the fool thing started working like a champ! I looked at him like a stupid person, and he just smiled and said "Loose cable! Happens once in a while. Have a great day, sir!"
I asked how much I owed him, and he just laughed and said "For what? You owe me if you need to buy something!" Then he turned to the next old fart and said "Hi! Can I help you, sir?"
I've been thinking about a cheap CD player for my truck. I think I know where I'll be getting it!

howrad 6-7-2002 22:53

Hi all!

Rosemary, yup it's expensive. The up side is that once I get through my student progression and get my solo certificate, it gets $25-$30/jump. With any luck, I'll get my solo certification in 5 - 7 more jumps.
About courses to better my employment profile, yeah I'd like to do several. For right now, though, I just need a job.

We've decided to sell our house and downsize. The place we have is just too big and costly to keep. We're selling privately, so I'm up to my eyeballs in research about doing it right. Oh joy. But it will be such a relief to get a smaller place, lower expenses, and a bit more property (hopefully). I'm making a website to promote the house, so I may be bugging some of you web-techie sorts with HTML questions. ;-}

Hallee, those 21 days will fly by!

Blue skies!

Tina 6-7-2002 22:03


You're so much more generous than I would have been.

Debra 6-7-2002 15:16

I have no idea what happened with the post below.

Sorry about the "spread-out-aboutedness" of it.

Hallee 6-7-2002 14:40

ROSEMARY:  I am so much happier.  I have honestly never been
happier in my life.  Well - that's not true.  I miss him terribly, and
it will be the end of the month before I see him again, but for now I still get
to talk to him every day, and we're both writers so our letters are a joy to
write and read.  It was one of those you never know you were unhappy until
suddenly you are happy.  I didn't care what Conan did.  I
didn't care at the time.  The biggest emotion I felt through the entire
thing was relief - and that surprised me.


And to tell you how odd it all was - she moved in the week before I moved
out.  He told me on a Saturday.  The next Saturday they moved into the
guest room of our house, and the following Saturday I moved out completely.


She's pregnant now.  She was on bed rest the early stages of her
pregnancy, and while she was there, she worked on filling out the paperwork for
the divorce for him.  She had to call me once to get Kaylee's social
security number and told me she felt weird doing it. 


I said, "Doing what?"


"Well, filling out this paperwork."




"Because it's the paperwork for you two to get a divorce."


I said, "Don't you want him divorced?"


She said, "Well, yes."


I said, "Listen, Dawn.  Did you feel weird sleeping with him?"


"No.  I fell in love with him."


"Then shut up and fill out the stupid paperwork."


Nothing in my life is normal - haha.  I don't think any situation in my
entire life has ever fallen under the umbrella of "normal".


21 days and counting!!!

Hallee 6-7-2002 14:39

rachel person i sasquatch the Yeti did notice and did miss you very lot. i must go.

sasquatch 6-7-2002 13:45

Hello all,

I have really got to stay away from eBay. I found a book I needed for my crocheting and got it at a reasonable price. But---then I looked at yarn. I wound up with a little over $20 after shipping. The yarn was only $9.45. The shipping was $11. Who knew?? Actually, I suspected it would be a bit because these yarn rolls came in between 2 and almost 5 pounds each.(not British money) When I buy yarn in the stores, it comes in ounces. And this is suposed to be chenille yarn which is very silky, light weight and krinkly. (the ones in the stores) and very expensive. I just hope I have not been stupid, not understanding the terminology, and it turns out to be that hard to work with thread that they make tablecloths out of.

Oh well, I can always blame it on the antibiotics I am sitll taking. The Dr. said the infection was a type of strep infection. Not the same as strep throat but a near relative.

I love seeing your posts. You seem sooooo much happier than you use to be. I'm sure you deserve it and if HE messes up, we will all come down there and discuss it with him!!! I bet JERRY would come with me.

Go girl, that jumping is expensive. Maybe some computer classes or something would prepare you for a better paying job? It did for me. Good luck however it goes.

It's too hot for the Animals to do anything except stand around and look miserable. We're still up to our knees in baby chickens, but that should stop pretty soon. This afternoon, I'll be taking a bunch of them and the baby ducks to the pet shop guy.

I'm sorry I haven't returned the questionaire about the writing conference. I took it with me on a trip with the lady that went to the conference with me and we discussed it a little, but I guess I got sick a little after that and haven't gotten it finished. Just undependeble, that's me.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Rosemary 6-7-2002 13:42

I know where you can get a free book on how to use 'Layers' in DW3.
Never mind.

Eddie French 6-7-2002 12:43

RACHEL!!!! Hi, hon. (grins)

((((VIV)))) get some rest.

((((Carol)))) - Good luck finding your information.

Happy Friday everyone else!

Hallee 6-7-2002 12:23

Hi all,

Wow! What a move... I am still tired (grins). I've just found my way onto the internet. I thought that I would drop a note to say hello. You know, just in case any of you noticed that I had been gone. I doubt you did (sad faces). I'll look later to see, but like I said, I doubt any of you even noticed (pouts).

I am now off to see if I can get my e-mail to work. I'm just about tired of waiting on hold for tech support. I wish I were not so hopeless with getting my computer back on line.

Hope you are all well.

Rachel 6-7-2002 11:53

Hi all,

Wow! What a move... I am still tired (grins). I've just found my way onto the internet. I thought that I would drop a note to say hello. You know, just in case any of you noticed that I had been gone. I doubt you did (sad faces). I'll look later to see, but like I said, I doubt any of you even noticed (pouts).

I am now off to see if I can get my e-mail to work. I'm just about tired of waiting on hold for tech support. I wish I were not so hopeless with getting my computer back on line.

Hope you are all well.

Rachel 6-7-2002 11:51

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Caterina Christakos is an accomplished actress and model. In addition to starring in the feature film Alone and Restless and acting as a promotional model for companies like Physique and Sephora, Caterina is also a published author and radio announcer for KMAX 550 AM, a local Los Angeles and internet station.

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Caterina Christakos How to Write a Childrens Book in 30 Days or Less 6-7-2002 11:39

Viv and Carol... (((((HUGS))))) and good vibes ////\\\\////\\\\

Tina 6-7-2002 11:39

Carol: It's mutual. You gave me the idea that I'm now working with as well. Thank goodness you put the word Kiosk into my e-mail.

I'm sorry about the Lupus. If you can learn to determine what sets it off most, maybe you can get in to the doctor when your blood levels indicate a high level of reaction. I also agree with Jerry. Time to save up your money and find a new doctor. It's frustrating because every visit costs so much but you need to find someone more interested in treating the disease proactively. You met a passive, get by with the minimal and get the money kind of doctor.

Hi everyone. I'm trying awfully hard to keep up as life is ripping along with a few too many responsiblities. Today the weight of the world is sitting on my shoulders. I'm really going to be glad to take that old world off and fall asleep. (Nothing serious, just a case of the too much to do, too little time, knowledge,and talent!)

Viv 6-7-2002 9:44

Eddie - Knew about the wave thing, but the software I am using now simply converts MP3's to native CD format on the fly. My new burner came with NERO burning ROM, and having used it before, I find the new version much nicer then the old.

I was erked a bit that my favorite CD software doesn't support 34 speed burners yet.


Carol - know that feeling, I used to work with a lady who managed one of our Pretzelmaker stores who had Lopus, she worked with it, but eventually had to quit as the pain got on her nerves and she took it out on her workers.

We almost had a mass walkout of our St. Paul store, it was just after that, and a long phone conference that she gave up the managers job. I didn't want to see her go, as she did a wonderful job of keeping the store going and it was our most profitable store.

Back when I was in college, one of the gals that was in the same program discovered she had it, she had to drop out of college while they got her pain under control, then came back the following year and finished the program a year after I graduated. It seems that different people react differently to different pain meds, and it does take time to come up with a treatment plan. If your Dr. can't get it right, maybe it's time for a new doc.

Jerry 6-6-2002 19:25


I must revise the last post. I don't believe that state of mind alone determines such things. No one really knows what causes Lupus or a host of other autoimmune diseases, and no one ever got one because they were not thinking the right things. I suppose that what I really meant to say was that if you have it, worrying about it won't make it better and will probably even make you feel the symptoms more. But it is hard, even impossible not to worry at times.

You are dealing admirably with a very difficult issue, and I have no doubt you have had to use much personal strength to overcome your fears and to do the things you must do to provide for those you love.

Glad to know your writing is going along well.

Rhoda 6-6-2002 14:18


Great to see you back. I think your news is good news, and I agree with your doctor. I also understand what it is like to have pain and have no one be able to give you a good reason for it. Perhaps you do not have Lupus. Perhaps you do, but I think that if you try to live like you don't have it then you will have less chance of ever developing it. The mind is a powerful thing. As powerful and beneficial as modern medicine is today, there is still so much that medicine does not understand. I am glad to know that you are feeling better. Anyway, I am praying that you will continue to improve.

Rhoda 6-6-2002 13:49

Hi All :)

Well, its way past time since I've posted in here. Seems I get a nice long, catch-up post completed and I get bumped offline. Then I feel so frustrated, I just don't come back online to retype my post. Guess I'll have to start writing up my post offline and paste it in.

I finally got to see the rhematologist regarding the Lupus test results. His answer: "I cannot commit to a diagnosis at this time. Go live a normal life." Huh? Yeah, right. Then what's causing all these aches and pains, etc.? Why do I have so many of the symptoms of Lupus? Well, luckily I enjoy research. It appears Lupus is one of those lovely little diseases that can take decades to diagnose. It all depends on how active the illness is when they take the blood samples. I'll just educate myself a bit more and make my own decisions on what I can and cannot do. Hey, it's my body, right?!

Actually, I have been feeling much better later and have been getting some work done. Managed to get the corn, beans, beets and carrots in the ground yesterday. Two more days should have all the vegies in the ground. Then I can start on the flower beds. Due to the weather this year, I've gotten a very late start on the growing season. I got as many seeds as possible with the shortest germination time I could find. Hopefully that will help.

Then I've also managed a couple of quick days of writing and have been adding to my fantasy story. Viv is responsible for this one. She gave me the initial idea to run with. And, I'm having fun with this story! That's the part that I like the most.

I believe I saw a question of current reading interests -- for the most part, I've been reading Marion Zimmer-Bradley's Darkover series. Well, at least all the copies I can find. I may have to resort to online ordering to get all the copies available.

Gotta run now -- have a great day with all your interests and of course, your writing!!

Carol 6-6-2002 12:57


My reading lately has to do with Military and Government heres a list of the latest
Kennedy Tapes: (The Cuban Missile Crisis Days)
Invasion: (China's invasion of America... Interesting book)
Guns Of August: (beginning of WW1)

Though I have read other books lately:
Bailey Game: (short novel about dealing with Bullying)
Area 7: (Great Book)

Reading Prodigy at the moment (about this guys dead mentor coming back to see his student)

Interesting books for sure... Hope everything is writing good, and having fun.
Wanted to try tandem skydiving but havent yet.
Enjoy the underwater diving as well Jack was it? Cant remember the name.

Keep well everyone

Taylor 6-6-2002 8:54


HEATHER: Thank you. :)

TINA: [you post-whore, you] ((((HUG)))) Glad to see you're back on your horsie. It's terrible and I've been worried about it since you knew that it was coming. I had no idea that it already happened. You're in my thoughts, sister. Oh - DON'T LOOK DOWN - hahahahaa. Ceramics would be awesome - people are always looking for those at craft fairs and such. And P.O. D.? I'm checking.

VIV: I've taught myself to read in snippets in the last few years. I have very little free time - and for a while that time was spent writing. If I wanted to read anything at all it had to be in snippets. Now, I'm still not writing, but I have a dozen different things going on and still find myself with very little time to read. Once the whole "long distance" part of this relationship is over, then I'm certain I'll be able to snag some extra hours during the week.

ROSEMARY: Valdosta is growing by leaps and bounds. There's a Wild Adventures there that is just fantastic, which draws crowds, which creates business, etc. (((Hug))) on your mouth thing.

MEL: A "wuick wave". I'm certain there are some who might consider a little kinky. (wg)

JON: I heard the news and immediately thought of *A* - I grinned.

JACK: Fingers crossed! =)

Okay - time to get Kaylee up and get ready for work. Then back home to clean some more. My parents will be here Saturday, and I've been home two weekends in 3 months. Some things have been slacked up on - including those annoying little things like mopping and windows. Unfortunately, my floors are Spanish tile, so I'm able to avoid mopping as long as possible.

Have a great Thursday all!

Hallee 6-6-2002 6:24

Oh, and I corrected the unclosed italicized tag. :-)

6-6-2002 0:19

Eddie: Nice looking page. Hope to have time to come and look and read in the near future.
Am honestly working on the Workbook to be somewhat along the lines of what is now available on and hoping to have the time to get somethings going either by the end of this week or sometime next. It is looking like part of the tutorial includes exactly what I am after. So cross fingers everyone.

Tomorrow, however, I am off to do some scouting for a dive site that I can map as part of my Divemaster coursework. One of the elements aside from some rather rigorous physical challenges such as an 800 yard swim (or sometime like that) I have to map a dive site. Take care everyone. And, oh, one of the side effects of all this loss of weight and exercise (which, mind you, I have been slacking off this past week - shame on me) is my last blood pressure check was 100 over 60 . Not bad for this 50 yeard old body. Ciao. And good writing.

Jack Beslanwitch Northwest Diving Videos - Whole New Look and lots new videos 6-6-2002 0:18

All MP3 music fans,
You know who you are!
Here is a little snippet that you may already know (I didn't until tonight)
Your home CD player will quite happily play PCM.WAV files.
There are plenty of little apps. out there which will convert MP3 files to .WAV files.

Eddie French Simply Writing 6-5-2002 21:12

TEEKAY -- Yeah -- I guess, a poet.
but HTML? I blow it!
Oohhhh it

howard 6-5-2002 20:34


HOWARD: You are forever the poet.

Teekay 6-5-2002 19:45


TINA: Maybe it's something like 'proof of documentation' or maybe, 'photocopies of diplomas', there now, that sounds like a likely one.

I really don't have a clue, but that's never been enough to stop me from putting my 2 cents in. :-D

MEL: What's a Muse?

Teekay 6-5-2002 19:44

Mark, Howard,
I suppose I must take some of the responsibility for that.
I shouldn't have posted that little ditty about fixing the nb.
I have a deep grounding in Programming and html, I forget that some folks just don't have that much experience. Sorry.
to whoever,
Stop it!!
I was wrong!
Let Jack do it!

Eddie French Simply Writing 6-5-2002 18:53

It wasn't me at 17:23!

howard 6-5-2002 18:35

Somebody posted a blank message with a timestamp of 17:23
The first message has nothing in it but a 'begin italics' html tag. The second message (also stamped 17:23) is on top and has the 'end italics' html tag.

DUH. The first message affects everything under it.

Mark 6-5-2002 18:20

6-5-2002 17:23


Thanks for telling us what whiteant meant. After reading my posts, I realize I should try to get a thicker skin if I'm going to be putting my self out there like that.

I guess I didn't expect a sweet self help book to have anything bad to say about it.

How foolish of me.

Working on a thick skin as we speak.

Debra 6-5-2002 16:13


(in singsong teasing voice)Howard did it agai-ain! Howard did it agai-ain!(end teasing voice)

Mark, the position is for an office clerk.

It's not 'Print on Demand'
or 'Point of Delivery'

Tina 6-5-2002 12:08

I decided to replace A* as Minister of Sports and Games. The USA beat Portugal (3-2) and the poor guy, who was expecting Portugal to beat the USA easily, has gonna fishing.

It was a rather disappointing soccer match between a bunch of disorganized, tired players (the Portuguese) and a group of gallant kids from the land of the free and the brave (the USA).

I cannot say much about the event, as I fell asleep after the USA scored three goals in the first 36 minutes of the match, leaving a nation in shock and the football world astonished at the frailty of the Portuguese team.

First prize for the USA coach who, instead of spitting in the eyes of the Portuguese ball kickers, as I would have done if I were in Korea, praised the wretched defeated team for their reaction in the second half, kindly forgetting that the two goals the "tugas" managed to score were just luck and no talent or merit. For you to have an idea of the importance of the event, Portugal is number 4 in the FIFA ranking, while USA just 13. It's the first time in 52 years that the USA beat a European team in a World Cup (the last had been against England, in 1950).

My favorite team (France) also lost their first match of the World Cup (against Senegal). I am hurt in my deepest soccer feelings, but happy because I like the Third World to win from time to time (the USA and Senegal are "third world" in soccer terms).

Here's a story for the shorties night (Mary's topic). A bit late but written with my usual grace.

This little bird was flying happily over a speedy road when she bumped against a motorcycle driver's helmet and dropped on the floor, unconscious. The compassionate motorcyclist took the little bird to his home, kissed her feathers and put her in a pretty cage with plenty bread and water. When the bird woke up from her faint, she looked around, saw the cage bars, saw the bread and water and thought, "I am in jail. But why?"

Then she reminded the accident and yelled in terror: "My God! I probably killed the driver!"

This ends my contribution for today, hoping A* comes back from his fishing spree whole and breathing, and wishing you all a happy day.

Jon 6-5-2002 12:05

I give up!

It was supposed to end with

"She let out a whoop and a snort, then started laughing so hard she couldn't get back up, and I think she almost lost something outta her tank top, but we couldn't be sure 'cause she was facing the wrong way. "

but I'm getting dyslexic again, and the blasted keys keep jumping!


howard 6-5-2002 11:12

Confession time --

Back when we first got printers that would print scaleable fonts, we had a little thing called "tinyprint" that would print very small characters -- for labels and such -- and I thought it would be fun to print up a label in tiny print, with one of those "pointing hands" on one end, and when nobody was looking I put it on the baseboard, right down next to the floor, so the little hand pointed at a cover plate on the wall. It was also right at the end of a well-travelled hallway. The print was so tiny that anyone wanting to read it had to get right down there and look closely at it.

Well, we had this secretary who was known for sticking her nose into everything. I mean everything>/i>! She was also rather well known for her well-rounded "personality," which was quite obvious due to the short skirts and tight shirts she always wore. And she wasn't the sharpest arrow in the quiver.

Anyway, it wasn't long before she noticed this label (I had used one of those flourescent yellow ones) and tried to see what it said. Couldn't. So she leaned over. Still couldn't. Curiosity overcame common sense (as we knew it would), and she got right down on her hands and knees, facing in the only direction possible. Now she was too close because of her bifocals, so she took them off and got her nose right up to the label and read:

You should see the view from down the hall right now!!!!

howard 6-5-2002 11:03

TINA -- What's the job field? P.O.D. will mean one thing to a veterinary assistant and something else to a librarian.

Mark 6-5-2002 10:02

Uh, that should be "should be a quick wave..."

I think I've got the dreaded twisted-finger syndrome... Can't type worth a hill of beans this morning...! (And they trust me with the new books, heh heh heh!!!)

Mel 6-5-2002 8:32

Um, regarding BEN, that should a "QUICK" wave. Hmm, wonder what a "wuick" wave would be like...

Mel 6-5-2002 8:30


Good morning, Ever-Writers! :-)

Thunderstorms last night were enough to shake the gems from Jerry's dragon's cave walls!!!

JERRY: LOVED your fairytale! :-) Except for the ending - maybe the brothers could do some yardwork for the dragon and worm their way into the happy little family...??? :-) Or else tell the tale from the dragon's point of view and leave the brothers as the unhappy antagonists. ;-]

TINA: Searching "P.O.D." definitions provided much entertainment but no solid answer for you: the job might promise to "provide Payment on delivery" or, needing you to "provide piece of data" seem to be common uses; my own suggestion, if it's something they want from you, might be "provide photo on demand"-??? Who knows? It might be easier to research candle-making!!! :-)

Awhile back, BEN said he had to cut back on Internet and Notebook time as they are so engrossing and thereby cut short his writing time. My hat's off to his courage to continue the writing journey solo. I do hope he stops back in here sometime though for a wuick wave or something. And that goes for other lurkers too!!! :-) I enjoy hearing what everyone is doing, writing, thinking... even if I can't keep up with posts sometimes!!!

HI, HEATHER!!! :-) Take that enthusiasm, cork it in a bottle, and when you're ready, spill it over the Phantasium edits. The job will be a breeze because you're so talented. ;-]

HI, ROSEMARY!!! :-) What are your animules doing, these days?

HI, TEEKAY!!! :-) Did your muse come back to the hearth fire you had burning? Or is he still diddling around with painted rocks in the forest that say "Turn Me Over" (the other side says "Ahhh!!") - ???

HI, ELAINE!!! :-) Good luck with finals and your driver's test, if I didn't miss it! If the traffic light looks green because the sun is shining on it, look carefully: it might really be red, hint hint! From one who knows! :-{

HI, HOWARD, EDDIE, DEBRA, VIV, and everybodeez!!

Keep writing, folks! Time for me to attack those pesky desk papers that seem to multiply overnight...Oh and a couple boxes of new books to check in...And those darned discards to re-sort and send to other agencies...and a stack of new book donations to process...and a couple meetings to plan and prepare...and on and on...All in the day of a Library System librarian. ;-]

Mentally, I'm visiting Jerry's dragon and queens on my way back to the deep-purple forest of the faerie-folk...



Mel 6-5-2002 8:27

TINA -- shucks, that's nothin' -- you oughtta see me chiffonade!

howard 6-5-2002 7:06

Tina - You got me, I have no idea what that might mean.

Ever tried to writer a fairy tale? Give it a shot, it's a blast, I tried my first one today, it didn't come out very good but it was a fun exercise.

I call it the Dragon and his queens.

Once upon a time, there were two brothers. They lived way back in the woods, so far back that nobody even knew they were there. Nobody walked that far back in the woods because they feared the wolves and dragons that lived there.

The two brothers did not fear the wolves, and loved their pet dragons so all was well with them until one day two sisters who were on a picnic with their parents wandered away, and became lost deep in the woods.

First the wolves found them but the dragon saw what was happening, and killed the wolves by breathing fire on them, as dragons do.

The two girls were so happy at being rescued that they ran to the dragon and kissed him on his face. This made the dragon blush, and as every one knows when dragons blush, they glow so brightly that it is like the sun shining in the sky.

The two brothers saw the bright light from where the dragon and the sisters were, and ran to investigate. When they arrived and saw the two beautiful young maidens, the instantly fell in love.

The girls, however were deeply in love with the dragon, and rebuked the brother’s advances, telling them to stay away, or they would send the dragon to breathe fire on them, as he did the wolves.

The brothers were very sad, they talked of the maidens every night when they returned from the fields where they raised the food they needed to eat during the winter when the snow kept them indoors.

One night as they talked over their plight, the came upon the idea to slay the dragon, thus taking away the only thing that stood between them and happiness.

The next morning, they took up swords instead of their hoes and went off in pursuit of their former friend the dragon. When they neared the cave where the dragon lived, they saw the bright glow from the blushing dragon, and knew that he was being entertained by the two girls. They walked on tip toes through the caverns until they came to the large chamber where the dragon and his two lovely maidens were. When they turned the corner, they saw that the poor dragon was not blushing from embarrassment, he was glowing from all the work he was doing, sweeping the dirt floor down to solid rock, dusting the walls until they glowed from the gold and silver that streaked them, and serving the two sisters who sat upon thrones that the dragon formed for them from the silver and gold in the walls.

The brothers were shocked, and retreated out of the cave, then made their way home, happy indeed that the dragon won the hearts of the maidens.

Paper Over Done?

Powder Oven Dope?

Post Out Delivery?

Paper Over Dark?

Port Of Delivery?

Poland Over Deutchland?

Pork Over Done?

Pesky Outer doorstep?

Jerry 6-5-2002 0:01

Okay, this is post #7 today. Does this make me a post whore? Or just someone trying to avoid doing other work? ;-)

Question for you knowledgeable folks. I'm looking at a job profile and among it's various vague points, it says, 'Provide P.O.D.'s' Maybe I'm just on glue, but what the heck does that acronym mean? I'm gonna kick myself, I just know it. It's probably something super simple. (Though I doubt it's Proof Of Delivery) :-D

Tina yet again 6-4-2002 23:32

Howard, you are a treasure! A man who knows how to decoupage! Heck, a man who knows what decoupage IS!

Checked out your friend's site. Nice work! Way beyond me, though. Although I like the idea of an all wood counter top.

Tina 6-4-2002 23:23

TINA -- also, if you're into craft thingies, take a look at
This is a good friend of mine, who is a real artisan with wood. Take a look in particular at the oval Shaker boxes, and the how-to video and patterns. He's doing quite well at these, and there's no reason you couldn't get into something like this as well. The rest of his site is really interesting too.

howard 6-4-2002 23:03

TINA -- Here's a neat idea I've been gonna try (forever!):
You say your mom has a ceramics shop? Have her bisque-fire some 2 or 2.5 inch disks. The ones I used long ago were intended to be used as coasters. Punch a small hole near the edge before firing.
Then paint with a non-fire glaze (like the old Pearl-tones).
Then set up in a mall or craft fair, with a polaroid (or other) camera, and take pictures of customers' kids. Decoupage the pix to the disks, tie a ribbon through the hole, and voila! Personalized Christmas tree ornaments! it's up to you to figure out how to do the shipping and billing.
I made some with our four daughters' pix for us, and for our folks, and they loved them. Was always gonna make a bundle at it, but never figured out the rest of the details.
Could always use wooden disks, if you think the ceramic ones would be too heavy. Ours are, on some trees.

howard 6-4-2002 22:53


TINA: There are sooo many things you could do. Those ceramic dishes sound good.
And how about those lanterns you and hubby made for presents?

Teekay 6-4-2002 22:36

Just thinking that Rachel probably has a good excuse. Moving = no computer for awhile.

Tina again 6-4-2002 22:28

Same problem though; I don't know how to make candles!

We have a huge craft fair here this weekend. Maybe I'll keep an eye out for ideas.

The MIA list is kinda long. Rachel, Ben, Oyster, Gariess... and it's been ages since Sasquatch stopped by!

Tina 6-4-2002 22:26

Tina - wait a minute. Hand made candles would go for more like $15 bucks a pair, girlie!
Not so many to sell per jump, now, eh?

Heather 6-4-2002 22:11

OK - Rosemary has returned -- Yay! Now where's Rachel?

howard 6-4-2002 22:10

How many candles per dive...
I don't know how much the wax costs, but if total cost was say $1.50, sell them for $3, I'd have to sell 68 candles. Right now, because I have a coach/jumpmaster for each jump and I'm still renting gear, each jump is $101.
One I get my solo certificate and my own gear, it's only $25-$30/jump.

Anyone want to teach me how to make candles?

Actually, I'm thinking about ceramics. Deep dish pie plate, mushroom keepers, funky flower pots. My mom is a ceramicist and owns a greenware/ceramic shop = cheap supplies!

Dinner's ready! Chicken cacciatorie, yum yum.

Tina 6-4-2002 21:42

Just a quickie,
It's ok for any one of us to 'fix' the notebook after a glitch by someon else.
After all, if you can break it you can fix it. Jack doesn't have to do it every time.
In fact, I have fixed it a few times.

Eddie French 6-4-2002 21:18


DEBRA: Whoopsy, I meant, destroy the relationship between his friend and his friends girlfriend.

I really ought to re-read before pressing enter *sigh*

Teekay 6-4-2002 20:30


HOWARD: When I said 'creepy eye', I meant in the nicest way. I have never seen such a nice creepy eye ever before.

Teekay 6-4-2002 20:29


HALLEE: You'd probably find a larger market in England than the U.S.A. for W.W.11 stories. From their magazines they seem to love anything to do with it.
You might have to Englandise your characters more though, so they can relate.
Personally I love reading about that time frame too. Just look how successful Beryl Kingston's books are.

TINA: Go for it! Maybe this isn't a rough patch, maybe this is where you find what you really want to do with yourself.
How many homemade candles would you need for one sky dive? :-D

HOWARD: You know I would never say anything if I thought it would hurt you :-)
BTW: Creepy eye.

DEBRA: A whiteant is a termite. So, from what that guy wrote he probably wants to destroy the relationship between his friend and his friends boyfriend.
Don't worry too much about his review, he doesn't sound like too nice a guy to begin with :-)

ROSEMARY: Aah, there you are :-) Have missed you.

Going now, B well all.

HOWARD & HEATHER: Leave the HTML alone so that JACK has time to prepare the notebook.

Teekay 6-4-2002 20:27

Hey Rosemary!
You take it easy! Doctors are so frustrating, aren't they?

I actually know a gal in the states who joined the military and got into the Golden Knights. Paid to jump. What a life (sigh) The Canadian Skyhawks are a much smaller team than the Golden Knights, thus much harder to get into. But I like the idea! hmmm if only I were a military sort.

Okay, I should be typing yet another version of my resume.

Tina 6-4-2002 18:35

A hot muggy afternoon to all,

I'm sitting here wishing I was asleep. The Dr. has me on mega antibiotics and I remember people telling me they made them tired but I (in my healthy youth) assumed it was always an excuse. Well, It AINT an excuse. I came down with this strange painful lump in my jaw, back behind where the wisdom teeth hid many eons ago. This lump swelled up, screamed at me and refused to let me open my mouth more than an inch or so. (this was NOT viewed as a bad thing by some) Also it was really painful to swallow. I wound up Saturday afternoon in the E.R. at my local military hospital. They hooked me up, scanned me, and pumped me full of unpronouncable stuff. Also gave me an appointment with the Ear, Nose, and throat people for Monday. I had previously made an appointment with a new dentist for Tuesday.
So far, no one will admit to this problem being in their department. --Not my table-- It's not a tooth thing and not a throat, nose or ear thing. With all the poking, stabbing, and peering, the antibotics seem to be working and it's getting better, but, I still wish I was asleep.

I love cheap book stores!!! and, I was raised (from 10yrs to 18yrs old) in Valdosta. It was about 35,000 people back then. Way more than that now, I bet.

Whiteant sounds like a racial insect slur to me.

Maybe some of you noticed the bridge in Oklahoma that was knocked down by the barge. Two of the women killed were from here and they were pulling a trailer with four horses in it. They were well known in the rodeo and barrel racing circles here as trainers and riders. Worked a lot with children. Will be missed by a lot of people.
No one mentioned the horses.

I'm getting ready to do the farmer's market thing myself, (if I can stand the heat). I have been chrocheting hats, purses and scrunches. Also bookmarks and a couple of bookcovers for the book fairs that I go to with Mary Lou.
Haven't gone to one (craft show-farmers market) yet, but this weekend (If my jaw leaves me alone)I plan to scope out a market nearby. It meets on the second Saturday of each month. Let you know about it next week.

OK!! I just hit that blinking eye. Shhsh--I thought you guys were talking about a ; or something. Why is everyone hunting for me??? I posted about a week (or so) ago and nobody talked to me.:-Q

Jeepers, that eye was for me. Really neat HOWARD. Thanks.

Well, now you can all tell that I read from top down.

Maybe you could join the Air Force and do something with all that skydiving experience.??? And get paid for it. I don't think they charge you for the jumps either. Best of all worlds. Except you'll be in the military.

Enough guff from me for now and excuse the spelling. My brain is not perking on all cylinders.

Rosemary 6-4-2002 18:16

Uhm, Heather... Veranda and Gretchen? What did you take, and where can I get some?

Currently sending out yet another resume. (sigh) This one is to a job I'd actually like to have. Fingers crossed... again.

Tina 6-4-2002 17:56

Mel, your enthusiasm always rubs off well!
Only problem is, now what do I do with it?

Hallee - go girl! Write what you really love reading. It will show. That may be the difference between a saleable novel and a novel that sells like gangbusters.
Don't ask me what gangbusters is, it must be from the heap of words that includes 'whiteant'.

Debra - that 'whiteant' word may be a colloquialism. You mentioned the reviewer was Australian. Teek or Taylor may know what it means. Of course, wouldn't that just be hilarious if whiteant was a typo in his review?

Mark - Thumbs down, you beast! *wink wink*

Mary, I thought your topic for last shortie night ROCKED the world, and then come the appropriate Thursday, forgot to show up. :o0 Can you do that again?

Teek! Tina! Jack! Allein! Jon, Pussy and Americo!
Rachel! Bill! T.O.M.! Veranda! Gretchen! Just seeing if you were paying attention!

Oh, all right, I'll stop being silly.

Heather 6-4-2002 14:24

Hi to Everybody!!! :-)

HALLEE: Historical Romances are VERY popular through the libraries - get your stories down!!!! They'll sell!!!!! :-)
We librarians will buy!!!!! ;-)

A good writing day/eve to each of you: WRITE because you want to write. WRITE because you can. WRITE because your characters and muses are whispering in your ears and messing with your thoughts. WRITE because nothing is more satisfying. WRITE because, well, just BECAUSE! ;-]

As you guessed, I haven't much to say just now; the brain (?!) is still asleep... the body wishes it were recumbent, dreaming of fantastic adventures, heart-thudding romances, and deep-purple forests where only faerie-folk dwell...

Sigh. Back to my office...

Mel 6-4-2002 12:52

Oh Viv:

Just hearing you say that, gave me chill up and down my arms and legs. That's the review I am waiting for.

Thank you!

Debra 6-4-2002 12:13

Howard: Here's looking at you! What a neat eye you have.
Hey Rosemary, come take a look, we miss you.

Carol: No time today. Rats. I'll get up early tomorrow. Today I got mired in hafta' items. Sorry to be a day late and a dollar short. I'll get back to you about 8:00 AM my time with my thoughts on yours. Also will try to get in a little of my own so you can see where I want to get next with those characters. I'm not sure I can control the flashback technique well enough to do it quite as much as I want.

Debra: That white ant sounds a bit like a term someone unfamiliar with English grammar and vocabulary would create. In short, you got some intellectually impeded individual who has trouble finding his own girlfriend. I don't think your title drew him; I think he couldn't read well enough to determine the book idea inherent in the title. Don't take the time to feel bad about it. It wasn't a review from anyone qualified to comment. Just wait, someday a girl will hear your name, turn around and say, "I read your book about x years ago. It really helped me." That's the review you need to hear. Keep your ears tuned for it because it's out there.

Hallee that book sounds like fun. You amaze me being able to read in snippets like that. When I have to do that I always end up late for everything because I have to finish one more page. I only allow myself to read when I'm on vacation. Only 42 more days until vacation! Whew! What was that title again......I'd better write it down. I'll check our library first, then I may ask you to send. It takes a long time to get here but it's worth the gamble that I'll be here to get it. I'll need some reading material badly in 42 days.

Viv 6-4-2002 10:49

My all time favorite time period in history is WWII and post-WWII America. I love everything about it. I pour over pictures, I inhale information about lifestyles and such, I love newspapers from the time period - adverstisements, everything. If the romance market accepted WWII, I would write only in that time period.

Gregg and I went to a bookstore in Valdosta, GA, a couple of months ago. Every book in the store is $3 or under. We came out with about $200 worth of books. One of them is called "The Spy Wore Red" by Aline, Countess of Romanones. I have so little time to read anymore that I've been reading this in bits and pieces since we got back from the store. I finished it last week.

This is a true story, written in first person, by Aline who was a young model from upstate New York who was recruited to be a spy for America during WWII. They've often said that truth is stranger than fiction - I'm telling you that no one could have come up with a story like what this woman went through in Spain. I was absolutely enthralled to the very end, and have actually sacrificed sleep to keep reading it as the climax developed.

I am now totally psyched about a book idea. Gregg bought me a book that I'm expecting in the mail any day called "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About WWII". The second I have my hands on this book, I'm going to pour through it and write one - to heck with the market. haha. Maybe I'll create my own market.

Anyway, if anyone wants to read this book - it's definitely worth the read. If you cannot find it, let me know and I'll mail it to you. It was absolutely fantastic.

Hallee 6-4-2002 9:16

Tina - Just watched a program on Discovery about the fellow who jumped from the highest parachute jump in history. He rode a special balloon up to the stratosphere, over one hundred thousand feet, then jumped. He free fell 20 miles in 4 minutes before pulling the rip cord. He accelerated to over the speed of sound simply by falling. He made the jump and landed fully intact. This was a military test jump in the 50's to learn about space exploration.

I for the heebeejeebies just watching the re-enactment.

Jerry 6-4-2002 0:27

Heather and Tina Thanks for your kind words:

I know what you mean.

The thing is I still wish I knew what "whiteant" means.

I'm thinking it might mean something like pull the rug out from under someone.

Ya know!

Debra 6-3-2002 23:29

TINA -- I have to give your jumping stories a thumbs-up.

Jumping on my thumb is another story (and a pleasure I reserve for someone else).

Mark 6-3-2002 23:08

Hi all!

Okay, I'm back on the horse. But that damned horse bucked hard this time! Bad horsey!

Teekay, I'm thinking about it. We have a great Farmer's Market here, and if I can think of the right thing to make and sell, I might go for it. Thanks for the boost. ;-)

Heather and Howard, get control of your closing tags! You two ought to be ashamed, running around in here with naked HTML tags. The scandal! What next?!

Anyone else reading anything interesting? Fess up!

So I'm gonna go ahead and post the next 'Skydiving Update'. Thanks to Mark for sending my his comments on the last one.

Things Not To Do When Jumping Out of Airplanes

For my 19th jump, I advanced to diving head first out of the airplane. Though far more nerve racking than, say, diving off the dock into the lake, and though I had to order my hands to let go of the door and just do it, I decided almost instantly that door diving is the best way to get out of an airplane. So on my 20th jump, the highest and longest I’ve made yet, I happily stepped up to the door of the Cessna and launched myself out.

Getting out the door is only a part of the action. Among the many things to remember there are two simple rules that I’ve read dozens of times now, in manuals and other information sources, and thought I’d learned.

Don’t look down.
This applies to cliffs and ladders as well, but for far different reasons. The view from 7500 feet is awesome. But stable belly-to-earth freefall is maintained by holding your body in an arched position, thrusting your hips forward and looking up. Looking down to enjoy the view pretty much cancels the arch, and you begin to tumble.

Don’t kick.
Swimming yes, skydiving no. Once in an arch, your legs do a lot of the work, by not moving except in very specific ways. Kicking is not a specific way. In fact, kicking is a very unspecific thing, and causes unspecific twirling and spinning.

The interesting thing is that even though my brain knew I was jumping into mid-air, it went and told my legs to kick as if I were diving into the lake. In confusion, I looked down to enjoy the spinning view. And then my brain must’ve decided I needed rest, so I flipped on my back for awhile to look at the sky.

The sky is very peaceful on a summer day, full of white puffy clouds and birds, but it is best enjoyed from the ground, preferably in a hammock or comfy chair. Not from 6500 feet. So I flipped myself back over and relaxed into a nice, stable, arched position. Evidently, though, my brain thought the kicking part was fun and proceeded to do it again. Oddly enough, I once again found myself peering at the sky from 6000 feet.

After a careful breath, a little voice reminded me that this wasn’t the time to look for shapes in the clouds. So I flipped back over and arched again, keeping my head up this time and not kicking. Low and behold! There’s my jumpmaster Koyne in front of me, just where he’s supposed to be at 5000 feet. I drifted around to my right a bit, corrected for it, and checked my height again. 4000 feet.

Time to end this joyride. I waved off at Koyne, a movement not unlike the way someone waves to catch the attention of a plane flying overhead, when trapped on a deserted island and desperate for help. I did that, then reached for my pull. Hey, didn’t they teach me something else? Oh yeah, I’m supposed to wave off, get stable again, and then go for my pull. Gee, that would be why I’m barrel rolling on my side as my canopy begins to open.

I now know what a rolled up sleeping bag feels like when it is shaken open. Kinda like having one’s canopy unfurl while in a barrel roll. And just like a sleeping bag, it opens. Sorta. The lines connecting me to the canopy aren’t actually supposed to be twisted like that. So I kick them out as if I were on a swing at the playground. Of course, what’s fun at the playground isn’t so nice at 3500 feet.

Okay, now the slider will come down and all will be good. Uhm, yeah, that little hunk of white fabric is supposed to come all the way down the lines and hang above my head. All the way, not almost all the way. Just passed 3000 feet kinda quickly, hmmm, let’s get that baby down here. I unstowed my brakes and flared the canopy lightly. The slider inched down. I flared strongly. It inched down again. I wonder what it will feel like, if I have to cut this away? Preferring to not find out, I looked up at the slider and ordered it to come down. Another flare, and it dropped into place.

Well! 2500 feet! What timing. I decided to breath again in a nice regular motion, in and out. I am, unexpectedly, hanging right over the airport, and my canopy responds nicely. Suddenly, I’m not in the mood to play, so I make several turns, to bleed off altitude and get ready to land.

The nice white tarp on the ground is my target, and it seems I might actually land on it this time. Errr… no, seems I’m going past it, again. Yup, those be weeds I’m landing in. Again. But hey, I flared just right!

I bundled up my canopy for the hike back, taking an extra minute to catch my breath and my bearings. Koyne is not going to pass me on this jump. But hey, the door dive was sweet!

Blue skies!

Tina 6-3-2002 22:33

Ooops! I'll bet it was a <.br> tag, without the r. I've been dropping characters like crazy again lately. Lost a J the other evening, and later stepped on it barefoot. That was not a lot of fun, I'll tell ya! Only things worse are the # or the *. Except one time I backed into a <. Try that at your own risk, but slowly, if at all!

Yeah -- someone sent me a pair of those eyes, blinking out from a note. Saved one (the left one, I think) in case I ever needed to keep an eye out for anything.

Thanks for fixing it, Jack -- we do appreciate you! And how many filets from a fish that size?

You should have heard my mother tonight! I mowed her back lawn (about 1/4 acre) and did it a little bit differently. Just for kicks, I drove the mower into the center, then started the blade, and mowed in a perfect (almost) spiral out to the edges. From her kitchen window it looks like one of those crop circles, and she's still laughing over it! And I'm still dizzy.

howard 6-3-2002 22:22

Thanks, Hallee, and CONGRATULATIONS too!
Sounds like a terrific DAY to me! :o>

Heather 6-3-2002 22:04

Heather: Actually - both you and Howard were at fault :-) . You put in a bold tag but then a closing bold tag that was mistyped. Howard had one in there was without a closing tag. Fixed both. Be happy. Good writing.

Jack 6-3-2002 21:46

OK, so the BOLD was Howard, and the italics were me!

*slinking away all sheepish-like*

Baaaaaa ram U!

Heather 6-3-2002 21:37


Teek - it can't have been that long! But it is completely possible that I am underestimating, and you are exaggerating!


Tina - There is always the option of moving to Ontario...*hint hint* I know of some hang-gliding places nearby, and I know of a drop zone or three. Not that I'd go anywhere near them, mind you.

Yeah, Rosemary, where are you?

I probably did the html tags incorrectly, but I DIDN'T do the bold all the way through the notebook. That was Howard! *pthbbbbbbbb!* (Childish tongue sounds, I know)

Heather 6-3-2002 21:36


Are you out there?

howard 6-3-2002 21:23

TEEKAY == Mean things??? snif -- I'm crushed!

howard 6-3-2002 21:03


man things/mean things - same things.

Nah, only jokin' lovies.

Teekay 6-3-2002 19:44


HOWARD: AHHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAHA, I know it's not that funny, but it sort of is when you think about it. I guess all the man things you're doing now is just Karma, right?

HEATHER: Really? Only 8 months? I had it pegged somewhere around a year and 8 months.

TINA: ((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))) 2 U. Why don't you try a bit of cottage industry work? You're creative at making things.
Also, I have no idea where the saying came from, I'm thinking I read it in a novel.
*bloody caps lock - too lazy to go back.

Haven't seen ROSEMARY for a while, hope she's okay.

Teekay 6-3-2002 19:43

That "spunkball" warning reminded me of the afternoon I was sitting in my '57 Porsche Speedster, waiting for a spot in the lot so I could park and go in to work. Francis, a guy I worked with (full-blooded Souix, Randall) -- a real maniac -- came walking up the street. He was walking because they wouldn't let him drive any more.
Anyway, he stopped to chat, reached in his pocket and pulled out a cherry bomb. He said "Watch me scare the hell outta Saul! Gotta light?" Saul's '59 Ford was just coming around the corner.
I said "Sure! Here!" and lit the fuse for him.
He had timed it so that Saul's car was right alongside mine, and then dropped the bomb -- right on the floor behind >i>MY seat -- in MY Porsche! And the top was up!
Saul screeched to a stop and hollered "What the hell was that!?"
Francis was laughing like a real loonytunes, and yelled back "Scared ya, didn't we!?" and laughed so hard I thought he was gonna fall down!
'Course I couldn't hear him, or anything else for a couple hours over the ringing in my ears.
He sure scared Saul, all right.

howard 6-3-2002 16:25

Hi all.

Got the unemployment blues. Big Time. Every single lead I get is a dead end, or else there's 500 other people applying, or someone who knows someone gets it. This place is so hurting, what with all the small sawmills closed and the big ones cutting way way back. Thank goodness that Troy's job is secure, more or less.

[begin rant]Damn the US lumber barons! And I don't give a damn if I offend anyone; the US lumber industry is a damn vulture circling our spineless politicians who bend over backward to appease US interests and won't fight for our interests.[end rant]

So backup on the horse. The only way I'm jumping again is if I get work, cause I'm out of cash. Will work for jump tickets...

Off to tailor another version of my resume...

Tina 6-3-2002 16:21

Hi everyone. Happy Monday. =)

CHRISTI: Congrats on the progress with your novel.

MARK: ((((hug)))) You should make your wife a "honey-do" list - haha - next time she's looking for a project, suggest buying some brick or something and bordering some of her other projects. (just kidding - I'm a woman - I know how well that would probably go over.) Good luck on the job hunting. I can't imagine 55 being considered "too old" to hunt for a teaching job - especially teaching adults, but I have no practical experience with that.

HEATHER: Let me know if you need help editing any of the Phantasium stories.

JACK: I wondered - even out loud, though I got no answer - what happened to the workbook.

TEEKAY: Spiders are the enemy.

Kaylee was a flower girl in a wedding this weekend. What a doll. I'm moving slow today, though, because the wedding was yesterday at 4:30, four hours away. I left at 8:30 and the party was barely into the beginning stages of full swing. I should have taken today off and stayed one more night, but I'm taking my vacation in 3-weeks and I didn't want to have anything interfere with the extra time my boss has granted me because we set a date - June 28th. (yayayayay)

Have a great Monday everyone!

Hallee 6-3-2002 12:32

That's Site!

howrad 6-3-2002 12:28

Just go to the dite and search for spunkball

howard 6-3-2002 12:27

I surrender!
I just checked
to verify a hoax sighting (spunkball) and I found that it is indeed a hoax.
Then I read a little bit further down on the same page and found the "Universal Legend Spoof," and I don't think I'll ever try to be cute with a long sentence again! Check it out!!

howard 6-3-2002 12:26

Jack - I'm sure we're all interested in having the Workbook back up again. It has been almost 8 months! We really miss it.

Heather 6-3-2002 12:18

Hey friends! I am back into editing Phantasium!
Finally! Sorry about that ridiculous delay - I was completely burnt out there for a while.
When I return your stories to you, please make the changes and permanently save them on disk so that we both have backups of the original posting AND the edited version.
If the story requires more editing, I may do that myself and send you back your story for a proofing, so that I know you accept the changes I've made. If your story needs more reworking that is more than I have in mind to do, I will mention that at the top of the mss, and once each story is in final condition to send to publishers, I will make sure you have a copy. I am going to go a little slower this time - last time I didn't pace myself well.

Cheerios and corn flakes

with milk!

Heather 6-3-2002 12:17

For all those interested in the Workbook, I will try to get to it by the end of the week. I am trying to get time to plow through a book on PHP and Flash and hopefully get things squared away. We will see. Right now I am close to exhausted after doing a Videography class from 9:30 to 4:30 and then CPR/First Aid from 6:00 to 10:30. Will try to see if I can rub enough neurons together to finally get something working.

BTW, take a look at this three and a half foot guy. He head butted me at Edmonds a day or two ago and then preceded dive bomb both Fran and I saying in no uncertain terms that he did not like us getting into his territory.

Jack Beslanwitch 6-3-2002 3:41

Eddie - I had forgotten about that site, I went there a couple of times last year. Seems those programs are sort of going under with the proliferation of crakz sites and . There was another site I ran into a couple of weeks ago that worked great, I even book marked it, but lost it in a crash/re-format/cuss incident.

I used to use Oscar quite regularly, in fact I still have last spring's (2001) version on my machine, have that backed up on a CD.

Jerry 6-2-2002 23:30

EDDIE -- "Thumping footfalls?" "Bad Boy?" -- moi? :-)

howrad 6-2-2002 22:23


Good afternoon...

I always have my nose in the wind so to say, with key words ... Federal ... Restricted access ... National Forest in mind. I witnessed restricted access when we lived in Utah. "Hell no! This is my land and ye ain't crossing it to git to that gol durn National Forest. So scoot Bub!" A trail or road that once lead into a National Forest, through private land and with an owners permission ... is suddenly closed. This occurs as a rule when the privately owned land changes hands and the new owner shuts access down or charges "access fees."

The LDS church is trying to buy Martins Cove, Wyoming. It is inside a National Forest where a Mormon hand cart company met disaster over a century ago when winter closed in and many died in a blizzard. As one would expect the impending land deal is viewed as greatly upsetting to some and a God sent ... to the Mormons who wish to erect a shrine. Take your pick...

Wyoming is an area of 96,000 square miles, populated by 486,000 hardy souls, err, people, ah, with souls. The Feds own 52% of the state already and the sale appears to be a done deal. The LDS church through Rep. Jim Hansen, the Utah Republican who sponsored HR 4103 has played the B and B cards ... (Mormon) bashing and bigotry.

According to the SLC Tribune article ... "Last month, Hansen accused critics of "Mormon-bashing" and "religious bigotry" in response to an eight-page leaflet, inserted into the Casper Star-Tribune, that scrutinized the sale."

So what? Sell the Mormons the 950 acres and move on.

Well, the Mormons want the area as part of their religious cultural heritage. Most have no problem with that, hell the Mormons are already maintaining the site anyway, even bought a nearby ranch for better access. Where's the problem? Standing off to one side, but viewing the proposed transfer of federal land ... Native Americans and other private interest groups are eagerly rubbing their hands together and trembling with glee. If the federal land deal goes through for the Mormons ... what about all the areas the NA's and other groups hold as sacred ... to their religious cultural heritage.

From the article in Sunday's SLC Tribune

"....In fact, many of the land disputes in Wyoming -- from snowmobile use in Yellowstone National Park to the closing of roadless areas in national forests -- have set residents against the federal government. That those same people would rather the BLM manage Martin's Cove than a private landowner speaks volumes about their level of concern, Simpson said.

"Martin's Cove is a lightning rod," he said. "The people of Wyoming don't believe the lands belong only to them. We're not that provincial. But they do damn well believe they should have access to them."

And the federal government is not their only foe. Multi-national corporations have snapped up Wyoming's land and mineral rights at such an alarming rate, the romantic notion of the Cowboy State is somewhat of a misnomer.

Japanese interests dominate the trona fields of southwest Wyoming. The Powder River Basin coalfields of northeast Wyoming are controlled by British interests. And in Pinedale and nearby Cora, rich industrialists have purchased huge ranches, in some cases cutting off access to adjacent public lands. And it's not just the interlopers.

"Private landowners used to allow access without even thinking about it," said state Sen. Keith Goodenough of Casper. "But as the agricultural economy has worsened, many operators are leasing access and charging trespass fees. They now have an economic incentive not to allow people on their land."

The controversy over Martin's Cove is yet another signal that the old way of life is changing, said Abernathy. "And this may be our last great act of defiance."

Folks ... it jest don't git any easier do it? "...the old way of life is changing... is a bloody understatement!!!!!


Randall 6-2-2002 14:44

TINA -- Thanks! I get into it once in a while. Outdid myself, I think, with that first sentence. Sometimes I do that on purpose -- everyone says sentences should be kept short, but I think it's great exercise, once in a while, to see just how long a sentence I can write -- much like the ones done for the Bulwer-Lytton contest, which was named in honour of the guy who started that horrendous novel with "It was a dark and stormy night...," thereby ensconcing himself in the annals of literature, to be remembered forever as the author of the longest, dullest, yet most-alluded-to opening sentence in all of English Literature, quoted even by an errant Beagle in one of the most popular comic strips of all time: Peanuts, by the late Charles Schultz, who, though he achieved fame and fortune with his cartoon characters, never lost touch with the reality that produced such impossible absurdities as Bulwer-Lytton's (regrettably) unforgettable work. It's fun!
What am I reading? Well, besides avidly devouring everything on Eddie's site, and your skydiving tales, Randall's reminiscences, Teekay's poetry, and everything else here, my active reading stack includes:
"eBook Farming" -- an eBook by Dennis Gaskill of fame;
"Practical Christian Theology" by Floyd Barackman;
"Weedless Gardening" by Lee Reich;
"Travelling Light" by Max Lucado;
and several periodicals, including the latest issue of "GreenPrints"
I just finished Jean Auel's "Shelters of Stone," but was not overly impressed. It was good, but not what I expected.
I guess I'm getting tired of Ayla.

howard 6-2-2002 14:04

Hi all!

Howard, LMAO! I love that!

Debra, chin up. That is obviously a sad excuse for a book critic. Talk about pre-judging a book by the title (excuse me while I go gag on his stupidity!)

Hey, here's an oldie but goodie question... Whatcha all reading? I've discovered Barbara Kingsolver. Wow! I devoured 'Prodigal Summer' and now I'm almost done 'Poisonwood Bible'. What talent! She is my new hero. I'm waiting anxiously for the library copies of Jean Auel's new book, as well as Diana Gabaldon's latest. I'm way down the request list on those, though, so it'll be awhile.


Tina 6-2-2002 12:49

Debra - one review does not a portfolio make.

Heather 6-2-2002 11:36

by the way Teekay:

Someone from Sydney gave my first sweetie book a bad review, all because he didn't read the discription here it is.

Miss-informed, May 23, 2002
Reviewer: Andrew Frost (see more about me) from Sydney
I was totally misled by the title of the book. I thought this was going to be some red hot advice on how to "whiteant" your female friend's current relationship with some other guy and, you know, make her "your own". Instead, this is a whole bunch of advice apparently from mother to daughter about how to avoid having sex. Like, what's the deal there?

What is the heck does (whiteant) mean?

He gave me one star. That's not fair since the description of the book is right there.

Debra 6-2-2002 10:26


I know you didn't just say that about spiders!

Debra 6-2-2002 10:22


You dickens you! I can picture you bouncing up and down in laughter while you're pressing post my message.

Debra 6-2-2002 10:19

Bad boy. I can hear the thumping footfalls of the arachnaphobics as they fade into the distance.
Bad Boy.

Eddie French 6-2-2002 8:51

JERRY -- Some spiders do indeed have faces -- on their backs -- that glow in the dark, and leer at their intended victims as they crawl on hairy legs tipped with sharp, poisonous stingers, then jump the distance from the dresser to the bed in one vicious bound, and if you see them as they jump you're doomed to lie writhing in agonizing pain, as their poison courses through your veins, first paralyzing, then blinding as the evil creature encases you (still living, because they don't eat dead things) in a cocoon -- made of threat as soft as silk, and strong as steel -- from which there can be no escape, except when the slavering fangs rip into it to rend and destroy -- and feed. The only protection I found effective was the blue patchwork quilt that my gramma made, with the pattern of blocks that sort of spiraled in to the center, to a darker square that was really the mouth of a hole that opened (for spiders) into spider hell. If I could only lie quietly enough, I could hear -- even over my heartbeat -- the thump as the creature sprang from the top of the closet to the top of the dresser, then the soft plop as it landed on the bed. I could feel its weight as it started up the quilt, searching for warm, juicy flesh. I would freeze then, praying that the quilt would resist those evil claws -- and then that pause, as the creature saw the first block in the spiral, and was inexorably drawn to fall to its doom, its legs shriveling into black ash in the unquenchable fires of spider hell. And the face on its back would scream in frustration -- once -- and then it would be quiet again.

howard 6-2-2002 8:06

The link is for the latest updates on S2K 7.5
It is in German but it's easy to navigate.
This link is for Jerry only. If you are not good at flushing out your machine if it goes wrong then don't bother with it.

Eddie French Link 6-2-2002 6:58

"I don't like spiders and snakes"

Well I don't like spiders, and I am not terribly found of snakes either. Spiders in this house (There are plenty) are doomed when they show their faces (do spiders have faces?).

Mary - an idea for shorty night, how about the terrorist meets his demise at the hands of the every day housewife.

Ok housewife is an ancient term from my youth, and I doubt that there are a lot of "housewives" any more.

Luck on the application, what the heck, much like automobiles now are considered nicely broken in when they hit the hundred thousand mile mark, unlike those of my youth that rarely ever ran that long, and were considered junkers if they rolled over, man is still in his prime at 55.

Well if I keep telling myself that, maybe I'll hit 76 like my dear old mom, who is still going strong, unlike dad who passed on at 62 from the DT's.

Jerry 6-2-2002 0:46

MARK -- Lessee -- white...middle age...male...high IQ...not much chance of getting by the guardians of the gates there. But good luck! Mayhap I'll come by for a refresher, now that I can audit any course for free. Maybe fill in the considerable gaps!

Spiders? Don't go there!

Saw a guy on Ripley's Believe it or Not today, eating live scorpions! He eats at least three a day -- vowed to do that after he was severely stung as a child. Just picks 'em up by the tail and bites them off at the stinger. He's in his 50's now, and looks to be in pretty good health.

howard 6-2-2002 0:31

Hi all!

Debra and Teekay, what's wrong with an teansy little spider? I always cultivate a few wolf spiders under my porch, to keep the mosquito population down. And crab spiders are the best, with their camoflauge (sp?) in my flowers. The only ones I kill are female black widows (same as a red-back, but not as poisonous). The rest just get put outside.

Teekay, I think that's it! Where did you find it/who said it?

Mark, I'll watch for your e-mail. And good luck with the job. ///\\\GOOD VIBES FOR YOU\\\///

Allein, congrats! Did the tooth fairy leave it for you or something? ;-)

About ground zero; ... I erased what I was going to say. I'm thinking that this is a debate of the patriotic 'US nationalistic pride is good' world view versus my rather jaundiced view of US nationalistic pride. We just don't see this the same way. I believe in friendship over politics, so I'm not going there.

Must go find dinner. Way overdue, serious stomach rumbles happening.

Blue skies!

Tina 6-2-2002 0:16


DEBRA: A back like an Italian henchman and legs like Elle McPherson.
Oh, you said NOT to describe it
Sorry :-D

Teekay 6-1-2002 23:50


Whatever you do, don't describe the spider to me.


Debra 6-1-2002 23:09


Actually I think I was there.


Debra 6-1-2002 23:07


EDDIE: Lucky! I was secretly bemoaning the fact that I never got called Petal. :-D
Fionbharr is perfect methinks!
Did I spell that right?

DEBRA: Reminds me of the time I went to Coles wearing a wolf spider in my hair. I was wondering why I was getting curious looks, though nobody said anything, well, it was late at night and fairly deserted and they probably thought it was jsut a funky hairclip anyway.
It wasn't until I got into the car and it brushed the roof, clunked down my shoulder, down my arm and galloped into the back seat to my terrified scream of "GET OUT OF THE CAR!!!!!!" to the kiddies. We then walked 3 blocks to get hubby to come and remove the beast.
BUT we didn't kill him, though hubby was feeling a bit murderous toward me.
Guess ya had to be there.

Back from the soccer run. Daughter number 2 is learning to drive now.
Daughter number 1 has her license now.
I'm a nervous wreck with good reason now.

Teekay 6-1-2002 22:58

A bit of a mess but it works!

Eddie French Simply Writing 6-1-2002 22:55

Jack Dooley is all grown up and starting out on the journey to manhood
[url=]In the green[/url]

Eddie French In the Green 6-1-2002 22:54


Nice to hear from you again, you silly goose!

Debra 6-1-2002 22:45


They have the right to live, but not hanging in my face inside my car or crawling up the lags of my twins strapped in their seats. Don't make me come down there. Well! I might enjoy that!

I found some names

Bernard Brave as a bear
Campbell crooked mouth
Crispin Curley haired
Declan ..
Duff Dark hair
Finley Fair warrior
Giovanni ....
Porter Door keeper
Rory Red haird King
Tobias Lord is good
One of those might match this giant.


I couldn't agree more, except on the taller part. I think 110 stories was enough.

Debra 6-1-2002 22:43

'A design for life'
Now THAT is music to write to.

Eddie French 6-1-2002 22:32



Celtic name meaning Golden Hair
I've got it.
You are a genius petal

Eddie French Simply Writing 6-1-2002 22:30


DEBRA: Never heard the old ditty:
'if you wish to live and thrive
let the spider walk alive'
My Nana used to say it and that's the reason our neighbours yard is simply crawling with little beasties. :-D

You said: We need to be defiant. We have the right to be on this earth.
But you forgot to say, 'but spiders DON'T!!!!!!!'
Which I find to be very remiss of you PETAL :-) and just a tad hypocritical, (PETAL.) :-)

MARK: Good luck, not that you'll need it. Que sera, sera and all that.

TINA: How about:
When once the fruit of the tree of knowledge has been supped,
it can never thereafter be unknown.

I've thought about this so long I'm going mentaler.

EDDIE: Bierverhen might be a little long. Would be an absolute bugger to have to type it too many times.

Would love to stay and expound the theory of relativity and wether or not spiders should be mooshed on sight, but have to do a soccer run.

Teekay 6-1-2002 22:26

Excellent idea. I will do that.

Eddie French Simply Writing 6-1-2002 22:21


EDDIE: How about Biervehren Cornst?
Don't ask :-D
OR, how about looking up the celtic meaning for golden halo or golden head and see if that suits him?

Teekay 6-1-2002 22:15

YAY!!! I GOT A DVD PLAYER!!! This is so awesome!! :D

*bounces around happily* It's got much better sound and picture than video and cool special extra features!!

Now if you'll excuse me...I have 13 hours of Neon Genesis Evangelion to watch (since these are the only DVDs I have)!! :D


Allein Peachick's Gallery 6-1-2002 22:13

That is my feelings too, build it back higher and better.
But then, I never lost anyone there. I don't know how I would feel if I had lost family on the site.

Eddie French 6-1-2002 21:51


>I applied for a job with the English Department of the local Community College. They have two advertised openings. Chances are that they advertised only after already making the decision on whom to hire. And I have sinking feelings about applying for jobs like this at 55 years of age. >

Boy do I know that feeling

Eddie French 6-1-2002 21:48

TINA -- Thanks for posting the skydiving stuff. As always, you write well. The "paradigm" piece you posted looks like something we'd have seen in WorkBook. I'll send a crit in email. Small stuff, mainly the repeated "is __ing" that occurs in clusters there.

Me? Not writing. Wiring another swimming pool, mowing the lawn around all my wife's obstructions. She insists on planting things in the yard and she makes no allowance for the fact that I have to come by sometime with a mower. We have a pond with no border, for instance, so when I mow there I have to use a bagging attachment because we can't have grass blow into the pond (looks ugly, gets caught in the pump, yada yada). I'm really sick of coming home to find things done that I had no say in and that I'm expected to support.

I applied for a job with the English Department of the local Community College. They have two advertised openings. Chances are that they advertised only after already making the decision on whom to hire. And I have sinking feelings about applying for jobs like this at 55 years of age.

But maybe I'm just in a funk. Yeah. That's me, baby. Funk-y.

Mark 6-1-2002 21:44

I don't know what I did to make your day better. Whatever it was, I am grateful. Chin up girl!
Life is wonderful...The first day of Summer hit here today. My sungod earthware temp gauge which is pinned to the back wall read 85 deg. today (though it is in full sun)
Whatever you feel - write about it - get it down on paper. Such good therapy. While you are writing listen to your very best fav. music thru you headphones. (Manic Street Preachers are blasting thru my headphones right now! It's 02:40 and I'm still on-line)
The USA is far too powerful to allow a few third world terrorists to disrupt the fabric of their world forever. Without you lot over there the world would be a much more savage place to live in. You have survived the first attack. You will endure!
The whole world is on a right of passage right now...we are suffering puberty. USA is the long suffering parent. Just don't lose your temper with the adolescents.
With extreme power comes extreme responsibility. You must grow in wisdom and sufference. It's going to be painful, I hope we are up to it.

Eddie French Simply Writing 6-1-2002 21:41

I've been giving this idea about the towers a lot of thought since 9/11. Personally I think the best monument that could ever be is to rebuild them. Make them bigger, make them taller, make them glorious. By doing that, you not only build a monument to those who died on that horriable day, but also showing those who would kill us, those who hate us for our freedom that no matter what you do to us, we'll come back in spades, well keep on going, rebuild and make it better. That would show them.

Jerry 6-1-2002 21:04

Bad link again.
This one is good
I must clear my auto fill cache

Eddie French Wincustomize 6-1-2002 20:44

Flaven is a distinct possibility. The more I think about it the better it sounds.
I like Flaven.
Any more offers?

Eddie French Simply Writing 6-1-2002 20:39


What a brilliant idea. I might just do that. I might just!

Debra 6-1-2002 20:19

Eddie this is it:

I had a few minutes. I didn't mind finding it for you. I smiled all day, because you called me petal. I needed that too. We were off on a trip to my mother'in'laws today and I found a spider crawling in the car. I tried to hit it and it crawled into a spot were the seat is clamped into the floor. I'm so scared of spiders and this one was so big it had hoofs that we stopped the car and took everyone out including the whole seat. We stood in someones front yard for twenty minutes while my husband stuck a plactic fork in the opening. It didn't come out. Would you? I told my husband to put it all back together and we were off again. Well wouldn't you know it he came crawling out agian. Of course I was watching and I got him with my high heel. Squashed! Everyone in the car cheered and we drove the three mile trip in happiness, especially me. If it hadn't been for your kind words I might have exploded, well more than I did.


I know what you're saying. I really do.

But just for a minute think if they hit us again and again. Wouldn't that leave empty marks in each spot. We need to be defiant. We have the right to be on this earth. We have the right to make friends with whomever we want. They do. They don't hate France just the French that live hear. They don't hate Italy, jut the Italians that live here. That goes for every country on this planet. So who do they hate? They hate freedom. We are not their only target, we're just first. HOw we respond either gives them gas to keep going or gas for our allies to keep going. They need a right hook but good. I think the perfect smack in the face is to mark our spot the way we wanted it, similiar, close or better then the way we had it in the first place.

I'm so pissed. If they hate freedom why don't they just leave us alone and trash their own country. Oh they did trash their own country! I guess if they had their way, America would look exactly like Afganistan did, DOES!

Debra 5-31-2002 12:07

Debra 6-1-2002 20:18

Eddie! This is the kind of thing we LOVE! How about Flaven? I'll think on it and put in more suggestions tonight.

Christi 6-1-2002 20:12

It's not often I ask for hard work from you all......
My novel; Havens End, is stuck. Inspiration is what's needed.
I need a name for a giant. He is a nordic type person.
Read a bit about him by following the link below. You will see that his name is covered by the the string [name1]
Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Please try to find time to get the Workbook up and running. Then we won't need to do this on the Notebook.
Sorry, I must have missed a post in the archiving. Don't bother explaining it, I can guess.

Eddie French Havens End part 8 6-1-2002 19:59

Debra, I think we all feel that way in one shade or other, but if you really feel like you need to let off some steam you might try a chat area dedicated to the tragedy. It might help you to feel better if you are able to unload somewhere. Or maybe you could write a short story wherein the terrorists get theirs in an all-American kind of way. Just an idea. :)

Well all, it's my hubbies and my 11th anniversary today, and boy, it just feels great. We're not doing anything as gorgeous as going on a cruise or vacationing in the Cayman Islands; no money, honey. But all the same I'm having a fabulous easy-going day, enjoying my family, and tonight we're going out for an authentic mexican feast, my favorite. (It's a lucky thing we live so close to Mexico.)Ain't marriage great! When it's good, it's really good. :D

Oh yeah, and I've been writing on my novel and know pretty much exactly where it's going, and I can't believe how much fun I'm having. YeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeHAW!!!!!!!


Christi 6-1-2002 19:32



Debra 6-1-2002 10:27

Of course it's not you petal,
It's this!!!



Eddie French Simply Writing 6-1-2002 9:36


I sure as hope another 911 does not happen... I still can remember how I felt the day after. And I remember some of something that someone said in here that day.

I commented before that about Pearl Harbour, I'm sure I was resented for that, since then I have changed my view of that... It is strange to have something like that happen in your life but be so far away from it.

I am glad that I have gotten to the point again where I feel I can write the way I want to without worrying about it being taken wrongly or being taken the wrong way, and probably failing as a writer... Sounds dumb looking back at it now

Taylor 6-1-2002 1:49

Debra - I totally understand how you feel, feel that way myself.

We weren't the first to be hit however, this goes way back to the 60's, I don't recall the year, but the first terror attack that I recall was the attack on the Olympic village in Germany, when terrorists took hostage then killed Israel's Olympian's. This was followed by terror attacks all over Europe, that have yet to end. Besides that, Israel is suffering, and has been suffering such attacks since they came into being shortly after WWII.

This is nothing new, just new to us here in North America. Granted no terror attack has ever had such a huge death toll, and I pray every day that there is never another such as September 11th.

I'm sure there is no end in sight, but judging by the happenings since the attack, our government must be doing something right since there have been no other major attacks. You know that if they had the money and people in place they would be attacking more regularly.

I do worry about India and Pakistan, theirs is such an old war and now with both being armed with the bomb, anything could and probably will happen, any time now. What this will do to our attack on terror has yet to be seen, I can only hope that the good people W is sending to try and keep the bombs from flying will do a good job and get them back on speaking instead of shooting terms.

It is so dry here that all open burning has been banned, and our lawns look brown where they were green just days ago. Ours is still a bit on the green side, as we have a well and can water when we need to. Things are getting hectic now with the great yard sale just a week away. Our grand daughter will be down to help, she always brings such cheer to our lives when she comes to visit. She will be with us for two weeks as her folks get moved up to Minot where they will be attending summer school. We will be taking her camping with us the weekend after the yard sale, maybe even earlier during the week if the weather holds.

Weather man says we may get measurable moisture over the next couple of days, the storm prediction path is right over our town. I do so love summer with all the excitement brought on by the storms, and all that one can do outdoors.

Teekay, keep warm. It's strange to think that while we bask in the summer sun, your freezing your behinds off down there.

Eddie - I'm absolutely mad about Audiogalaxy. With our new broad band service I am building quite a library of music, to the tune of nearly a hundred songs a day, that while browsing the web at a decent speed. I have un-installed Kazaa since my last several attempts to download from them have brought viruses, several an hour. Norton is doing a nice job of intercepting them, but some boot sector virus found a home on my system. Norton discovered it on it's weekly walk through the sectors and neutralized it for me.

Jerry 6-1-2002 0:36


Are you saying Debra who?? like you don't know who I am or is it a comment to my post?

Debra 6-1-2002 0:13

Haven't brosed the comments as of yet, but I did finish my shorty just seconds ago, and wanted to post it. Ok, I'm a day late and a dollar short, but in my defense, I'm usually a day early, so I have credit built up right?

At any rate, here's the bump into shorty:

The Meeting
by Jerry Ericsson

It was one of those kind of days; you know the kind, where spring is making a full frontal attack on winter, where you need your parka in the morning, and are running for the air conditioner by evening.

The wife was uptown somewhere shopping for groceries, I made my usual rounds, first to the Drug Store, then the Hardware, ending at the computer shop.

It was on the sidewalk, between the Hardware Store and the computer shop that it happened, and it took me totally by surprise. I had just left the Hardware store, I walked carefully so as to avoid those last puddles that were snow just hours before, I had to sort of hop over one, using my cane as I do to support my weight as I leapt over the puddle, just as I was coming back to earth, so to speak, I ran into her.

Well not actually ran into, it was more like bumping into her. This was the first time I had seen her in over thirty years, and the shock nearly left me speechless, but I did manage a quick “excuse me,” and a “sorry about that.” Before she burst out laughing.

The shock was nearly total, and had she not laughed, I doubt that I would have recognized her. Time had not been good to her, no she looked ever so much older then I see myself to be.

My heart went out to her, visions of what could have been flashed through my mind, what would have been had it not been for that day oh so many years ago when I caught her in an embrace with Dennis. If only I had gone to Ron’s instead of the old shack, the shack where we first learned to love, where we spent hours exploring each others bodies.

I asked her if she’d like a cup of coffee, she said she would. We spent the next three hours in the Kokomo Inn, a little bar that sits at the half way mark between the Hardware store and the computer guy’s place. We talked of the past, of our lives, and how they went in such different directions. We talked of our families, our loves, our losses. We talked of our children, their lives, and our grand kids.

Then we left, she back to Wisconsin, I back to the house. I thanked my lucky stars that I caught them that day so long ago.

JERRY 6-1-2002 0:12


EDDIE: What HOWARD said.
But if it's too painful for you to make the chops I will do it for you, but you must promise not to hate me.

Teekay 5-31-2002 23:56


EDDIE: Send me a copy too, please, I would love to take a look at it and see if I can offer anything.

You don't really have to compromise though, you can keep the story the way you want it, and just for this mag that wants it, abbreviate a bit.
When you're famous and compiling your book of shorties, well, then you can use the one you want.

RHODA: Haven't read that book, but it sounds like a goodun'. Shall look for it when next at the library.

TINA: You frustrating little minx you. I know that quote you're speaking of, that is, I know of it, and now I keep thinking about it and thinking about it, so if you do find it, be sure to let me know because this is soooo frustrating :-D

RANDALL: You have such an attractive brain.

WALKER JACKSON: Well done! I stopped by your site and took a look at some of the reviews and the basic plot and it sounds fascinating. Just the type of book I would like to read. I must see if I can order a copy through the bookshop here.

JERRY: Well, it may be Spring where you are, but winter is well and truly here. Nipping at the noses and toeses and pressing at the window panes.
Mind you, my fire is roaring away and I'm perfectly tempted to heft my computer and all paraphernalia regarding it into the loungeroom, but there is simply no space and too many distractions.

Reading through the posts I thought I noted a flicker of the old writing urge somewhere withing the dark reaches of my soul, but it has since been quenched by the cold out here in the office, I must hurry now, back to the hearth and see if the little flicker that was has any hope of being coaxed to a mighty flame.

I know I missed mentioning some posts I wanted to comment on, but it's too cold to go back and look it all up, but I hope you all have a wonderful day.


Teekay 5-31-2002 23:53

TINA -- Please reconsider the use of that p* word -- especially that many times in such close proximity. That much exposure has been known to cause warts, chillblains, and dyspepsia. I have so far successfully shielded my family from it, and will commit mayhem if I ever consider them to be seriously threatened by it. I believe someone at one of my former employer's claimed -- claimed -- to have invented it, and it was such a novelty at the time that within three days' time it became so overused that it actually developed a toxic side effect. I'm sure that I developed an allergy to it.

EDDIE -- I like the changes on your site! But then again, I liked it the way it was, too. Guess I'm too easy.
I also think (personal opinion, mind you) that "Shooting Star" is fine the way it is. Perhaps you could sell them limited or one-time rights to the shorter version (if it's worth your while) then when those rights expire, shop the complete story around again. It's worth the try -- and a great story!

howard 5-31-2002 23:04


Oops. Sorry about that.

Don't post it, EDDIE! I would be happy if you e-mailed it to me.

I miss the Workbook, for it was for things like this, but I don't want to say too much lest JACK think I am ungrateful for all he has done. And I don't want to be a pest. Love ya, JACK and Thank you for the Notebook.

Rhoda 5-31-2002 18:27

Hi all!

Eddie, I agree with Rhoda. Experiment with cutting it down; if you don't like it at all, don't resubmit it and send it out again in the original form. But DONT post it here! This is a public forum and some editors may consider it 'published'. E-mail it to anyone of us who want to see it - me included!
On the up side, the editor's note seemed fairly positive.

Howard, I still haven't found the quote. So I've re-written the piece using just the gist of the idea, not the quote. If I ever find the real quote, I can put it back into the piece.

And that piece is the next skydiving installement. Shorter this time... ;-)

Paradigm. Though I did not always know the word, my paradigms have long been a trap, set in waiting to keep me confined to my history. No one ever set and baited the trap, but it has been there all my life, invisible and hungry for my happiness. Sure, there were events that pushed my vision beyond my paradigms, and moved my life in new directions. There was kayaking in Earthquest, the holiday in the Pinnacle mountains, marriage, and the death of my father. Each one changed my foundations, shifted my paradigms, and then set me down in a new place. Each time, having tasted the new knowledge of my paradigm shift, retreat becomes impossible and I step beyond my past into new circles of experience.

Here I go again.

I wake up early, wrapped in my comforter, resisting the need to get up. But through the parted curtains sunlight peers in at me where I lay. It is Sunday, the sky is blue with puffy white clouds high above, and I am jumping today. That is enough to make me spring from my bed.

Excitement is echoed by anticipation, and my stomach knots up. Not from nerves or fear, not really, but my anticipation has the flavour of panic, enough to give my gut a seizure. My stomach doesn’t like jumping. Each time a plane flies overhead, I race to a window see it go by and my heart speeds up. It is a magnificent tease.

Now, I live only a few minutes away from the airport, and the morning is still young when I pull into the parking lot at the dropzone. It is busy today, and I’m excited. There will be new people here today, new things to learn, new boundaries to push.

A huge crowd mills around the clubhouse, and people are looking up. I hear the word, “jumprun” murmured and I look up as well, blocking the sun with my hand. A speck of airplane is right above us, it’s hull glinting occasionally in the sun. Then a tiny mote falls away from the plane; the excitement ignites with the words, “They’re out!”

It is a tandem jump, with a cameraman alongside. They freefall for about 5000 feet, and then a rainbow canopy opens above them and they drift down. The day has begun at the dropzone.

When the excitement breaks up, I find Kiwi and tell him I’m here to jump. I manifest on a load; Kiwi talks me through what I’ll be doing today, and then I kick back to wait, visualise my jump, and visit with the wonderful assortment of new friends at the dropzone. An hour passes before Kiwi tells me to gear up.

I find my gear and check over the rig I’ll be using today. With that done, Kiwi brings me goggles and an altimeter. This is the first time I’ve needed them, so he shows me how to secure them, then goes over my gear again. My stomach has stopped gurgling, and instead is now a lump of lead. As I said, my stomach hates jumping.

And then in a rush we are in the plane, taxiing to the runway. While we wait for clearance, I tell Kiwi, “You know, it feels like it’s a different me out here. It’s like a dream.”

“It’s surreal,” he nods, and I think he does understand. And then the pilot moves us forward and the prop roars and the plane bounces and we are racing into the sky, with the valley and lake falling away below us.

We reach 4500 feet and turn towards the airport; as we close in on our spot, the pilot yells, “DOOR!” He opens it and the wind rushes in, always a friend. I touch my three grips, the pilot chute and two emergency handles, and then touch the wind outside. Kiwi has me look down, and talks about ‘spotting’, which is the art of choosing the right place to get out of the airplane. And then he says the words I look forward to all week. “Get Ready!”

My hands no longer need direction, they know where to go, and my feet follow. Before I step off the step and dangle from the strut, I repeat my mantra. Hips out, look up, arch, you have lots of time, don’t rush! And then I step off.

I use to hate that part, dangling from the strut beneath the wing of an airplane thousands of feet in the air. This time, some part of my busy brain observes that I like this feeling. My grin is not forced at all, and the lead weight in my gut has lifted. My stomach may not like jumping, but it is hard pressed to argue with the rest of me as I bask in what I’m doing.

Kiwi nods. I let go.

I think about my arch, and hold it steady. I look up at the plane, although I do not really see it. My focus is on other things. Arch thousand! Two thousand! Three thousand!

There is nothing pulling above me, or supporting below me! Only my body on a cushion of air, the living wind, and I’m gaining speed as I descend. Four thousand! Five thousand! I feel myself levelling out, and focus hard on my arch. And yet I see the clouds in front of me, and Kiwi diving after me, and feel the wind around me, cool on my face. Six thousand! Seven thousand!

I feel unstable, tipping back and forward. It’s called, ‘potato chipping’, I’m later told. On the count of eight I am interrupted as I flip backwards, a casual toss from the wind that sets off an alarm in my mind. That isn’t supposed to happen! I reach for my pull, find it easily, and then the marvellous nylon wing opens above me, white and green and black.

It opens with a line twist, just a minor problem, and I kick out of it like I used to kick out spins on the swing as a child. Once again, I am high in the air, meeting the birds in their own space and sharing their joy. I play in the air, a child in my glee, and when I land I can only take a deep breath and then jump and shout for the raw joy. I fell through the sky! I saved my own life! It will take me hours to fully grasp the euphoria of the moment.

And yet it is later, as I step out on that step again, that the impossible happens. A calmness spreads through me, and even my stomach does not complain. This time Koyne is my jumpmaster and tells me to, “GO!” and I nod once before opening my hands. My arms reach for the arch as my hips push out and my head looks up. Wind! Here I am!

I watch Koyne follow me out, I see the sky, I feel the wind. It weaves a cocoon around me, and I relax enough to let it shape me to its ways. As my count reaches six, I’m still stable and relaxed. And right then, the impossible happens again.

In the voice of the rushing wind, I am told a secret. That this is life, this is why we are here. To do things that exhilarate the soul, to speak with the world and learn its language. The wind takes away everything but the moment, removes the dust of the past and the weight of the future. I am here to stretch my wings, to find out who I am by removing that which I am not. It is a baptism of air.

On the count of ten, I pull my pilot chute. Nylon blossoms, I slow down, and after I confirm my canopy is good, I want to cry. Because I’ve left someone behind, and she was me. She was the person who clung to the past for definition, who crawled cautiously through life so that no one would be disturbed by her presence. She was the person who tried to do what others expected of her and failed to do what she expected of herself. She was me, and I am no longer her.

Tina 5-31-2002 17:32


Please do post your story. I will take a look at it.

That is a tough question you asked. On one hand, editor's suggestions can be very helpful, even though they are painful. Also the tighter a story is, the better. On the other hand, if the cuts will change the heart and soul of your work and make it something you would be ashamed to present, then you definitely want to give this deal a pass. Not all editors are good and worthy of trust.

I would suggest that you try writing it just the way the editor say he wants it and see what happens. You might be surprised. Since you are only working with 1000 words culled down to 600, it should not take you too much time. If the cuts do not work with you then try your original draft of the story elsewhere.

Do not let yourself believe that this publication is your only chance. There are some deals that should never go through. Ask some people who placed their books too fast with a publishing house that did not properly market them and present them. You must believe that you have the time to write, perfect your skills and then find the right place for your work. Don't ever get desperate, for that is where you can make mistakes.

Hope that helps.

Rhoda 5-31-2002 17:13

Patience friend, patience. All good things.... No, it's the government, see what you mean!
I will send those books after the holiday. (We are shut down until next Wednesday over here)
I have just completely re-designed my web site. I put it up just five minutes ago. Please go over there and try to break it. Of course, you must let me know where it broke.

I am in that funk right now. What shall I do with my work, the work I have spent so much time and effort producing. Iwould like to ask you a question...I'm throwing this out to everyone else too.
What do you do if you disagree with your editor?
I submitted 'Shooting Star' to a US print mag and they want it. The editor also wants me to crop it down by almost 50%. It is only a Flash Fiction piece of 1000 words.
I think it is already as short as I can get it without losing a major chunk of the heart of the story. Wait, I've just thought....Here is a snip of the editors letter:

Thanks for the submission and your well wishes.

You know, I can't take this as is, but It's a good little idea, and it really needs some serious work on it.
If I were you, I would turn this into a true Flash Fiction submission, get it down to 500 -600 words. There's soooo
much repetitive stuff in the first 3 or 4 paragraphs..all that crying and repeated stuff. Take a look at how many
time you use the word "just" in your writing. Get rid of it. It's just in the way!!
If you see any value in what I've said, I'd like to see it again, all revised. Otherwise, good luck with it elsewhere.
Another editor may take as is. You know how that goes.>

Yes, I did notice the missing 's' in times
The emotional stuff (in my opinion,) is central to the arc experienced by the narrator. I did a find on the word 'JUST' and it revealed 4 instances, evenly spread in 1000 words.
I am not in love with my words, I honestly think that this work stands as it is. I can't see how I can pare it down so much and still retain a good description of the conflict and resolution of the emotions of the main character.
I know some will say 'This is Flash' so it has to be sharp, but I thoought it was very sharp. I could have stretched this out to a couple of thousand words if I had a mind to.
My dilema then is:
Should I rape my work just for the sake of having it published, or should I keep it as a good, (in my opinion) unpublished work?
I have posted this work here once for a Thursday theme but that was a raw unedited version. I will post again for opinions if I have your approval to do so.
If I do, please do not be afraid to write honest appraisals of the work, You will be genuinely helping me through a personal dilema.
Let me know

Eddie French Simply Writing 5-31-2002 16:35


I was hooked on that book for the entire week-end and read it in two days. It is so helpful in laying out the importance of conflict, tension, good characterization, etc. It more than covered the basics. What I like about the book is that it encouraged a writer to write a book from his or her own heart and then attempted to teach the tools needed to do that.

I found the first part of the book more helpful than the last few chapters where I think a few of his prejudices slipped in (and don't we all have them?).

After reading the book I came away challenged to dig deeper into my writing. I also felt a bit intimidated because there is so much work and thought involved in accomplishing such a novel. I don't think I am quite ready for the breakout novel, because right now I a just trying to work out the basics.

One thing I appreciated about Donald Maass is his admission that writing the novel is not easy. It is difficult, sometimes so difficult that there are days I just want to delete it all into my PC trashcan and nuke it from the face of the planet. But I know that after getting over my funk I would just start it all over again. No sane person would do all this work and endure this heart-ache if she didn't have an overwhelming personal need to write novels.

Rhoda 5-31-2002 13:22

RHODA -- I echo that prayer. But I'm afraid that it will only get worse before it gets better. We'll live through it, and come out the other side all the stronger for it, but we'll do it at a price.
I'm just thankful that this life, and this world is only a temporary assignment!

TINA -- When you said that quotation might even be biblical I thought we had it! Please let us know when you find it!

Still waiting to hear more on my job offer. The government can be horrendously slow!

howard 5-31-2002 13:16

I am praying that Pakistan and India do not come to nuclear blows. I think this is one of the most terrifying prospects that can happen. Where is Green Peace now? Are they over there in that part of the world being as disruptive as they were when the United States entered into the aggressive arms race with the Soviet Union years ago under Ronald Reagan?

What interesting times we live in. The genie is indeed slipping from the bottle.

Rhoda 5-31-2002 13:04


Its Unbelievable, 9 months ago two towers stood proudly shadowing things around it. 8 months ago it was a Gigantic pile of rubble. And now its virtually empty.

Taylor 5-31-2002 12:41

thanks again for the encouragment (and the stories!) I enjoyed them, I think I have my confidence back enough to take my test again sometime next week already. Welcome back MEL! haven't seen you in while. Well, I don't mean to cut this off so short, but I have some homework to do! See ya all later!
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 5-31-2002 12:36



Debra 5-31-2002 12:32

MEL: If you come to Disney World, let me know. I'm just a couple of hours from there.

TINA: I'll keep digging.

No matter what they do at the spot of the Twin Towers, there will be people who won't feel it's appropriate and there will be people who feel it's extremely appropriate. Emotions run too high for it to be otherwise.

I'm watching the clock at the Pentagon. Knowing the scope of work that the restoration entailed, and knowing the contracting business the way I do, I am thrilled and astounded that they will actually complete the work on September 11. To me that is a victory in and of itself.

Hallee 5-31-2002 12:30


I know what you're saying. I really do.

But just for a minute think if they hit us again and again. Wouldn't that leave empty marks in each spot. We need to be defiant. We have the right to be on this earth. We have the right to make friends with whomever we want. They do. They don't hate France just the French that live hear. They don't hate Italy, jut the Italians that live here. That goes for every country on this planet. So who do they hate? They hate freedom. We are not their only target, we're just first. HOw we respond either gives them gas to keep going or gas for our allies to keep going. They need a right hook but good. I think the perfect smack in the face is to mark our spot the way we wanted it, similiar, close or better then the way we had it in the first place.

I'm so pissed. If they hate freedom why don't they just leave us alone and trash their own country. Oh they did trash their own country! I guess if they had their way, America would look exactly like Afganistan did, DOES!

Debra 5-31-2002 12:07

Hi all!

Howard, Mel, nope no luck on the quote. Hallee thanks for the link but it didn't have it. I'm still searching.

Seems to me that they shouldn't build anything there. It isn't just a piece of real estate, and I think it's short sighted of them to even think of rebuilding.

Summer is here! Warm dry days, warm clear nights! Yay!

Blue skies!

Tina 5-31-2002 11:51


Mel: great post
I watched the ceremony... and thought I would feel better because of the closing of Ground Zero... Or shall we say Ground Hero... But I it still is heartwrenching

Back to lurking
God Bless All

Taylor 5-31-2002 9:25

*Mel again*

I knew I'd forget something...

This forum seems to reflect images of the world as our thoughts encompass today's events becoming history.

From our popcorn entries on September 11, 2001, when so many of us here engraved the shock of that day's tragedies, we continue onward, with hope for our individual lives and goals and with prayers for world peace...

And this moves us forward, in yesterday's shadow of the very last piece of debris having been removed, eight months later, from the site of the World Trade Center in New York City where over 2,800 people lost their lives in the space of a few moments.

The reports say 1,102 bodies were found and identified. My heart is still with their surviving families...and especially with those 1,698+ families who haven't any tangible scrap of their beloved departed's last breath or thought.

To carry those "unfound" from the site on a memorial stretcher was truly proper and fitting. To rebuild on such a site is, to me, unthinkable. Yet, thinking of it, someone is.

No building, no business reborn there will compensate for the lives sacrificed on that spot on that fateful day. For 1700 families, it will be the only gravesite of lost family members. Wouldn't it be more fitting to just grass over the entire block and add a memorial marker with names, a public memorial park to commemorate human souls?

Yeah, yeah, I know, we're talking New York City, home of towering buildings and so much city commerce, who would ever let a substantial piece of real estate fall to the pigeons when money could be made???

Sorry for the mini-rant. My heart is still broken for 2800+ humans...

Uh, what? Oh. Ms. Muse says to tell you I have to go now. There are other humans, albeit imaginary, needing me to advocate for them. Um... write your hearts into your work today! :-) And thanks for the space here. Going now.

Mel 5-31-2002 9:16


Hi, everyone! Been trying to keep up with posts even while not having time to respond. There are so many conversations going here!!! How's a lurker supposed to rejoin??!! Oh well, here goes (*pinch nose, jump into deep waters, hoping not to sink*)...

EDDIE, HOWARD, JERRY & RANDALL: You guys tell the greatest stories!!! :-) I do hope you use your life experiences frequently in your writing endeavors--so cool to read about 'em! :-]

RHODA: I'm currently reading Donald Maass' WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL. It's very inspirational. The more I read it, the more I realize how much deeper I can and need to go with my characters and their story that seeps from my pen. I would start highlighting his best advice but then the entire book would be glowing neon yellow! :-)

I, also, recently acquired the POCKET MUSE - looks very inspiring, especially for those dry times when they come.

TINA: As a dutiful librarian-writing friend, I've been searching for some semblance of the quote you need--with little success. Searching for a quote without its author or any defined words within the quote is worse than looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. It's like going skydiving over the ocean and trying to land without getting wet!!! But I'm still looking... There might be a rescue rowboat just beyond that next wave... Talk about surfing the net!!! (All puns inclusive) Many many oh so many library websites with great reference links for quotations... I've tried and and on and on... If you could remember ANY of the exact words in the quote it would help the search. Azure heavens to you while you're waiting and searching!

RANDALL: My 14-yr-old showed me the $20 folding trick but only the part with the WTC. Now we'll have to do the thing again to see the rest of it! And I thought he was just trying to suck a $20 off his parents...! ;-]

DEEPLY HEART-FELT WISHES LINGERING for BELATED BIRTHDAYS to ALL I missed on their special days: EDDIE, JACK, CHRISTI, JERRY...and anyone else..??!! May today be more wonderful for each of you than your birthdays were...and many more!!! :-)

ALLEIN: Thanks for the "ears" - I hope to take my family to Disneyworld next February, if we can accumulate the funds needed in time! :-]

I expect there were tons of other remarks I meant to add to recent conversations here; all remaining thoughts on them have currently fled. I am home today with my 5-yr-old and Ms. Muse is nibbling my pens, trying to catch my attention - she knows how I hate nibbled pen caps!!! She's in for a mighty battle with Suzy Homemaker (OYSTER, are you lurking???) as I am now on a one-month countdown to my hip replacement surgery in early July. On the onehand, that means eight weeks off work in the Summer to recuperate at home (and time to WRITE and READ-YEA!!!!!!!!!). On the other hand, it could mean... well, I'm not going there. Suffice it to say, I have some "nest cleaning urges" to satiate, "just in case..."

Y'all have a great day - I'm going to do the same! :-)

Mel 5-31-2002 8:42

Easy when your instructor takes your ciggarette pack off you, walks around to the back of the rig and places them just behind the rear wheel

Eddie French 5-31-2002 8:02

TINA -- did you find your quotation?

howard 5-31-2002 7:05

Yeah Christi that was an excellent movie. I was blown away by Russel Crowe. I was worried beforehand that he'd not be able to discard the 'Gladiator/special agent' role, but right from the first word he captured that role perfectly. I was impressed.

Is it just me, or are movies getting better these days as a whole? It seems that a few years ago, we were going months between half-decent movies, and now there are genuinely good films coming out all the time. Or maybe Hollywood has finally figured out that the paying public likes quality.

Tina 5-31-2002 2:06

Good evening, mates.

My mom and I went to see A Beautiful Mind tonight, and for the first time the hype was not only well deserved, but in my opinion, not exaggerated enough. I don't remember ever crying that much in one movie, or feeling as truly touched after the experience. It wasn't drama based on cheesy sentimentality, but real and true. It was the kind of drama I wish I'd written. Ron Howard? Genius. Russell Crowe? Genius for sure.
Now I've gotta go and locate that box of Kleenex before I use up the last roll of toilet paper in the house. I'm still bawling!

Christi 5-31-2002 1:11

Rhoda: re the Clones. It is all relative. Spiderman, as an example, I felt was in desperate need of a rewrite. Some of it was so bad and badly acted that I was actually embarassed. By comparison, Clones was a much better movie than the last go around. At the very least, having Jar Jar only there for a couple of a scenes worked for me. And seeing Yoda as a Jedi master was worth all the rest of the movie, especially since I was watching at the Seattle Cinerama in all its digital glory. The character development for Anakin, yes, could have been handled a bit better, but I was so blown away by the look and feel that I hardly even noticed.

At any rate, came through my fiftieth birthday without too many hitches. Even got down to the elusive Seacrest I-Beams at 92 feet on the second lowest tide of the year. And filmed them :-) That and passed my Rescue Diver course, or, at least, the dives, and have signed up for my Divemaster course. Talk with everyone soon. Contract is mostly over, but still have some prior comittments for this weekend, including a convention in Ellensburg, an underwater Videography class and a CPR class. After that, hopefully, I can get to trying to put together the Workbook.

Jack Beslanwitch NOrthwest Dive Videos 5-31-2002 0:09

RANDALL -- Yes, that $20 bill trick is amazing. There's pictures of it around the web -- Teekay sent me one -- but I didn't know about the osama thing.

ELAINE -- just relax and you'll pass that test okay.

EDDIE -- After downsizing from IBM I went to trucker's school, and learned to drive the big rigs. Would you believe I had to parallel park an 18-wheeler! And you ought to try starting one from a dead stop on a steep hill, without rolling backwards. Took my test in downtown Syracuse, NY in a Mack tractor, hauling a 53 foot trailer, at 2:00 on a Monday afternoon! Passed it. Haven't driven one since then, but I may go that way if I can't find another job.

howard 5-30-2002 23:27


JERRY 5-30-2002 20:41

Elaine - I can top that too, when I was in the Army we didn't have to renew our licenses even when they expired, just show the military ID and expired lic and we were OK, but when I got out of the Army in Minnesota, I had to take their test. Now I figured, I was an x cop, I had driven thousands of miles all over the good old US of A, and lots of places in exotic places like Viet Nam. Should be a breeze right. Well I studied for the written test, but nearly failed the driving test. You see I drove like I knew what I was doing, not the way the instructor thought I should have driven. I was like one point over the min score to get my Minnesota License. Then about six months later we moved home to South Dakota - got a job on the PD again, and had to retest. This one I practiced for, read the manual backwards and forwards, and passed it. About two years later we moved to North Dakota where I worked as the Assistant Chief of Police, had to take the damn test again, passed that one though. Now when we moved home about four years ago, I figured another driving test, so we got the books studied, quizzed each other till we knew the book backward and forward. Then on the appointed day we went down to the police station to take the tests, we were shocked when none was required. South Dakota finally decided that if you already have a license in another state you must know how to drive. It was just a matter of an eye test, photo and wait three weeks for the new license to arrive in the mail.

On that twenty dollar thing, never saw that, but I did know a fellow who was absolutely convinced that that little magnetic strip on all the new money was put there so the government could track you when you spent the money. I haven't figured out how they would know WHO had that money but there was no convincing him that it wasn't some sort of government conspiracy. And this guy was a business man, owned a fairly famous rifle barrel factory, college trained, but somehow he just fell for the propaganda that the fringe right wing folks in the survivalist crowed are spouting.

Well enough of all that. The wife has issued the one week warning - the yard sale will be the weekend after next. Now I have to keep an eye on my stuff, you know like that old sweater that I got from my uncle back in 67 with the holes in both arms and the back. Then theres that old jacket that I got in Arlington when we were stationed at Fort Meyer during the bi-centenial in '76.

I am putting together two computers to put out on the lawn maybe I can get enough to replace all the parts in my new old computer so I can use it again.

5-30-2002 20:40


Hey Guys! Seen this yet? A man was in the store today and had a $20 bill folded as stated below. For brevity I'm going to copy a description of how to as printed in the SLC Tribune today.


Twenty bucks won't buy much these days. But if you have a new $20 bill in your pocket, you at least have the makings of a conspiracy theory intriguing enough to make movie director Oliver Stone drool.

All you need do is fold the bill three times -- bringing the two sides of the White House's roof together on the reverse side of the bank note -- and you reveal an eerily accurate image of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, with presidential shrubbery masquerading as billowing smoke.

Flip the folded bill over and you can see what looks like one-fifth of the Pentagon, similarly billowing with destruction. And, with an accordian-style fold of the script on the bill's backside, you see spelled out the first name of the world's most wanted man -- Osama.

Conspiracy or coincidence?"

Now honestly my friends, who has the time to play with a $20 bill and figure these things out?


Randall 5-30-2002 20:04

I failed my test in Hong Kong. I had to drive thru throngs of people on bicycles, carts and rickshaws. That was a Nightmare.
I passed my test in Northern Ireland in a huge truck. We had to get out of the vehicle to take cover at lights and junctions (Handbrake, ignition, make secure and all that. Then back in as the lights changed and go thru the whole proceedure again. (Mirror signal maneouver etc.)
After all that sniper drill as well as the actual test..I passed!
Strange times.

Eddie French 5-30-2002 19:30

Thanks everybody. I guess I don't feel as bad anymore now that I've heard that others have failed the big one and not just me. oh well, now that I know how the test goes, i'm sure that I'll do much better next time. I was always a quick learner.... Well got to go to work tonight so I can't stay long to chit-chat.
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 5-30-2002 16:27

VIV -- Ja! Spargel! I didn't think anyone would recognise it by that name. Shoulda known better.
We make spaetzle once in a while, and I've got a recipe around here somewhere for the best sauerbratten this side of Garmisch! Haven't found THE one for the gulaschsuppe yet, although I've found some good ones. Nothing quite the same as what I had in Baden Baden.

howard 5-30-2002 12:44

Tina: Try that website.

Hallee quotes 5-30-2002 12:37

Wow Howard,
What a great description of a German meal. You have me absolutely drooling If it weren't 11:07 I'd be in there talking Lebberknodel und spargle. Oooooh Spargle the ultimate spring vegetable. More later. I'm too tired, got up at 5:00AM and just sat down. Think maybe I need to lie down and just let sleep take over. Night all.

Mary: Interesting idea. I know where I'm taking that one!

Viv again 5-30-2002 10:17

Jerry: Don't worry about your memory. It's perfectly acceptable practice for a parent to forget a child's name. This sort of senility strikes the first night you stay up all night with your infant. I started forgetting my children's names soon after they were born. They became "Hey You #1" and "Hey you #2". If you are a mother this sounds absolutely fine. The entire line goes like this, "Hey you #1, get over here... Hey, #2 stop hitting #1"

This was a great system until we got a cat. As you well know, a cat is always #1.

Viv 5-30-2002 10:04

A neat quote:

"What hundred books are best think you?" I said, addressing one devoted to the pen.

He thought a moment then raised his head: "I hardly know - I've only written ten."

John Kendrick Bangs

Hallee 5-30-2002 9:58


Mary: Oh well it was worth a try asking, not going to tell you if you were right or wrong with your spelling

Taylor 5-30-2002 8:53

MARK -- Why didn't I think of Paree?? :-) BTW - I still have your "Pirx the Pilot" book -- guess nobody else wants it, so I'll drop it in the mail back to you.

HEATHER -- Those Mork suspenders must be pretty well stret wor errr, no, won't go there.
All I can remember is a girl I once saw wearing a pair. She could take a deep breath and play the "Rawhide" theme on them. Tried "Dueling Banjoes" one evening at the Shangri-la after work, and got herselves arrested for indecent exposure -- or assault, depending on where anyone was sitting. Fortunately enough for her, the judge was a music fan named Orson. He sentenced her to play a benefit concert at his lodge, with time off for any Ventures tune she'd care to attempt. She wiped out on pipeline!

howard 5-30-2002 7:55

Hi all!

MARK: Thank you. Yes - Frontpage 2000.

TINA: That skydiving story was just awesome! And the movies you were talking about - AI was incredibly depressing - I finished watching that Tuesday. I didn't like the one with Ethan Hawke - but then I didn't like the book Great Expectations, either, so I don't even know why I attempted the movie. BUT - O Brother Where Art Thou was just brilliant.

I've given up trying to get caught up. BUT - hahaha - Jack archived. So now I only have to go back through the last few days. Yay! I'm caught up.

Now I can discuss things as if I actually knew what was going on. (grin)

Hallee 5-30-2002 6:53

Nanoo, nanoo!
Wish I still had my Mork from Ork (tm) suspenders...
Wonder what those babies would fetch me on ebay?!

----ahhhh, excuse me-------

Temporary lapse of insanity


Oy, that was frightening...

Heather 5-30-2002 4:44

JERRY: Hope your memory improves.

The force has sure been with me today! The Star Wars auctions are starting to close and have already hit over $1,160.00! I still wish I owned something that anyone else thought was worth this kind of frenzy. Kinda funny actually.

I don't have any Bobba Fett helmets...sorry! AND, I am almost positive I spelled that wrong.

Mary 5-30-2002 0:45

It's a wonderful day, the weather has finally relented and let not spring, but summer through. Been in the mid 80's all day, but I can't complain as it feels absolutely wonderful to be warm again.

Having a bit of trouble with my meds, at least I hope it's the meds. Been having some memory loss, just short term stuff, but it got a bit embarrassing when we were camping when I couldn't come up with my daughter's name. I was going to tell her something, don't recall what but I began to try and say her name, but simply drew a blank.

I have cut back on the meds to see if that helps. I hope it does. It is a bit frustrating. Yesterday the wife was cat sitting the daughter's cats, as one had just received it's annual shots and usually gets sick, anyhow I was on my own for supper, and decided that an A&W Burger was just what the Dora. ordered. I got in my truck drove to the A&W, but when I got there, I had no cane. Not supposed to walk without it, as I fall if I'm not real careful. Had to drive home and find the blasted thing, by the time I located it, I had decided that fried eggs were much tastier then burgers.

Must be too many pills or not enough sleep, I will try to correct both.

Back with my old 400 MHZ machine again, gave up on the gig machine that I put together, it keeps crashing, now won't even boot. Has to be the processor, but at the price of those little puppies it may be a week or two before I find one I can afford. I should just toss the whole deal and get one of those on sale at Radio Shack or something.

My wife offered to give me hers and she could buy a new one, I turned down that offer simply because her machine is almost exactly the same as the one I am using now, I Built it for her a couple of years ago from all new parts. The one I am using now is one I put together from left over parts of many machines, but seems to work fine using the memory I I figured was bad in the other machine, as well as a few other parts threw in for testing.

Well must get to bed and rest my worried head.

Write on, and may the force be with you.

Jerry 5-30-2002 0:16



Eerie! Should writers of S/F be surprised to hear of current events, defining, aiding credence to the highly speculative formation, thus TOTALLY off the wall, the inconceivable nature which ... formed the basis of their manuscript? Happened to me today my friends ... and it was an awesome moment.

According to a brief, all too short mention by Rush (yes, that Rush) on his radio program today ... there is some question as to the formation of the vast pockets of crude oil found around the world. It seems some geologists are now questioning the theories that maintain crude oil was formed by ancient swamps of reeds and dead plants and dead trees and dead dinosaurs. Oh really?

Apparently Rush came across a recent newspaper article that maintains the creation of crude oil may NOT be as simple as we have been taught. Then where did oil come from?

Perhaps we should ask Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky ... or seek definition from Randall's WHERE THE ROCKS COVER THE FLOWERS?

In the novel a scientist lectures the President on an approaching comet that will make close passage to Earth...

"If we enter the tail of a comet, gasses such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, ammonia and formaldehyde will enter Earth's atmosphere. The comet itself possibly contains carbon and hydrogen, and even more of a concern these may also exist in the tail. A combination of the two, possibly as a vapor could ignite when oxygen is added to this mix. Areas of the globe will burn like an oil field fire, because crude oil is composed of carbon and hydrogen. If the gasses do not ignite, there is a possibility they will turn to liquid and large areas of our world will be inundated with a substance resembling crude oil. A cosmic oil spill. Dr. Velikovsky, in his work, ‘Worlds in Collision' lists many ancient sources who refer to a rain of fire, and ‘Naphtha' which are petroleum in Aramaic and Hebrew. In fact he makes a good case that the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt occurred during just such an encounter as this.


"I'm sorry Mr. President, any object this size, whether it be comet, asteroid, meteor is bad news. It will interfere with the orbit of the Earth. The mechanics are unavoidable, everything else is just minutia."

"Shit fire! You said some guy wrote of this?"

"Yes sir, Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky in the 1950's. He wrote a series of books, and was reviled by the world scientific community for years."

"And he said a comet could do this? Well, comet's return don't they? Is this the same one?"

For a long moment silence filled the room. Dr. Lee cleared his throat. "Mr. President, Dr. Velikovsky has been soundly trounced by the scientific community for years. Few academics give his ideas much..."

"God damn it Dr. Lee!" Emelio interrupted. "Will you give me a straight answer? Is this the same f&$%@#* object?"

"Probably not Mr. President. Dr. Velikovsky believed the comet which intruded into our solar system and so disrupted the world eventually became the planet Venus."

"Venus! Venus! Son of a bitch," Emelio swore softly. "If it is our size or the size of Venus, then it's a big bastard. Look, I understand meteors and asteroids and comets move through space but something as big as Venus? What would cause this thing to break loose, run amok?"..............

Dr. Velikovsky believed the earth may have been drenched in crude oil at some time in the past from a celestial object and this fluid soaked into cavities within the earth, which now form vast deposits of oil. Perhaps the truth is far stranger than we may allow? Perhaps that is why some oil is so close to the surface it seeps, forming pools of oil. In my town there was at one time an "oil seep" where wagon wheels were "greased." This pool was covered by "fill" and a building constructed over it. In the 1950's the building caught fire, and local firemen had to work twice as hard because the "seep" also caught fire and was the dickens to put out. There are large oil seeps under the oceans which seep millions of gallons of oil a day, INTO THE OCEAN!

Conversely billions of gallons of oil might soak quite rapidly through sandy areas of the world and leak into cavities of subsurface rock. Huh? It might be interesting to plot the areas of Earth where oil is found. Maybe there would be a pattern?

Anyway (grin) it makes darn good reading and even more fun writing.


Randall 5-29-2002 23:51

TINA -- or maybe "How ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm after they've seen Paree?"

Mark 5-29-2002 23:36

TINA -- Perhaps you're thinking of 2nd Peter Chapter 2, verses 20 and 21:
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome * , the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

howard 5-29-2002 22:39

HOWARD: Hahaha...just realized that is two weeks in a row with a shortie topic containing the word 'bump'. Go figure. Yes, by all means combine away. Hehehehehe.

Mary 5-29-2002 22:09

Rhoda, the thing I heard is that Lucas writes it himself, or at least controls the writing. He really should let go of it; he's a brilliant editor with brilliant vision, but not a brilliant writer.

Eddie, uhm, I'll send them on payday, but they still have to cross the Atlantic... ;-)

Thanks, Howard, but those aren't the quotes I'm thinking of. HELP! The concept of the quote is that once you have learned and integrated an idea/lesson/paradigm shift, you can never return to the ignorance you had before. Any one know any good search engines for quotes? Help!

Tina 5-29-2002 21:19

I've been hearing the same things about "clones" -- but haven't seen it yet. Soon, I hope. Saving up for the Harry Potter dvd now. Haven't seen that either.

Just got back from the funeral parlor. One of my professors from school passed away, at age 54. He was a brilliant man, with a PHD and several Masters degrees. A rare combination of humility, genius, academe, and a conservative to boot. Also won the Lotto, and taught because he enjoyed it. We used to have some interesting conversations. I'll miss him.

howard 5-29-2002 20:52

But RHODA -- it all takes place in the future! That means we still have time to stop it! (I know it says "along time ago, in a galaxy far far away," but it's written even farther into the future, so "a long time ago" is still a couple of millennia from now...

howard 5-29-2002 20:30

I just saw Star Wars, Episode II. I must agree with some of the reviews I have read that it could have been done better. Especially disappointing was the bad judgment of the Jedi. From the beginning of the movie, Anakin acted like an adolescent brat whom I wouldn't have trusted with the keys to the family car let alone the protection of Senator Amadalia and the interests of the federation. He is obviously a loose cannon and rarely does what he is told and has a tendency to feel sorry for himself, and this guy is to be made a Jedi? I think if they had rethought this story and had improved the writing and the acting, the whole thing would have been more believable. I would have thought with George Lucas's budget he could have acquired better scriptwriters. Nonetheless, for all of its faults, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can't wait to see Episode III.

Has anyone here read Donald Maass's THE BREAKOUT NOVEL?

Rhoda 5-29-2002 18:24

Well, after eleven years I've finally have a book of mine that can be held in my hand. PublishAmerica published it and they did a splendid job. I have chapters and reviews posted at my homepage. Drop by. The coffee's brewing. I think it's an entertaining homepage.

Walker Jackson PI Harry Warker Publications 5-29-2002 17:01

He would probably kick your head in just for the fun of it.

Eddie French 5-29-2002 16:08

I've got the package ready to go but I can't find number 2 in the series. I have probably lent it out to somebody and forgotten who.
Eternity is the missing volume so just see if you can get that one.
But don't start it until you have read Eon.
Looking forward to getting yours on payday from Tina.

Eddie French Simply Writing 5-29-2002 16:07

TINA -- That's what books are for! Thanks!

Oh, and try:

"He who has drunk from the cup of Life, is worthy of all else from me.” -- Kahlil Gibran

There's also a reference to the phrase in the Bah'ai writings.

and Arthur Miller also quoted it:
"Again They Drink From the Cup of Suspicion"
an essay by ARTHUR MILLER

howard 5-29-2002 14:55

Okay, Okay, I get the message. I'm psycho. Nutso. Off the deep end. And lovin' it!

Howard, I liked AI well enough, but wasn't blown away by it. Another recent example of the re-written classic is 'Oh Brother Where Art Thou'. I loved that one! They also did a modern 'Great Expectations' a few years ago, with Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke (I think). It was allright, but not sterling.

Anyone know that quote I refered to yesterday? I want to use it in a piece of writing, but can't find the proper quote. I'm thinking it might even be biblical. Help!

Eddie, I'll send Howard's books off to you on payday. Howard, your books are about to become well travelled!

Blue Skies!

Tina 5-29-2002 14:28

HEATER -- That's wobbly bits...

MARY -- Can I combine topics and come up with "Old Flames That I Bump Into At Night?"

Okay... I won't.

howard 5-29-2002 13:15

Has anyone here seen AI (Artificial Intelligence) -- the Speilberg movie with Haley Joel Osment? We watched it this past weekend, and I thought it was pretty good. It's a retelling of the Pinocchio story, set in a distant future. I've seen this kid in several movies now -- The Sixth Sense, etc, -- and he is good!
AI demonstrates what can be done with rewrites of old classic stories. There are other examples too -- anyone got one or two?

howard 5-29-2002 11:29

Oh, just Russell Crowe naked'll do!

Nah, I'm not the least bit obsessed. :oP

Heather 5-29-2002 5:51

People can say 'Just do it' to me 'til they've purple-tinged lips, but there is nothing in this world that would get me to jump out of an airplane without it parking on the asphalt first!

Well, maybe......on second and third thoughts:

There may be a FEW reasons for me to jump into the air (mind if I grip my bouncy bits?):

1) Russell Crowe says, "I'll produce and act in your exceedingly well-written movie if you skydive with me first."
(And that's only if he'll do that naked and I can wear sky-vision goggles)

2) Some vile oppressor kidnapped me, took me away in an airplane and the only way to escape was to jump - wearing a parachute I stitched out of the gag cloth

3) Some putrid cur of a person triple-dog-dared me to do it, and happened to bet a medium-sized fortune on my lack of guts

4) There were ginger snaps and warm milk on the landing pad, and Russell Crowe, naked

I'm sure I'll think of a few more!

MARY! Great topic!!!!!!
I'm pining to have the time for a shortie now, and to have the time in my studio as well!

Heather 5-29-2002 5:49

Hey Mary! Anything you think you can do, you can do! If you want to do it, go find a dropzone and do it. You won't regret it. They train you up so that when the moment comes, you just go. Or do a tandem, and choose a hunky young tandem master to be strapped up to. Nummy ;-)

Blue skies!

Tina 5-29-2002 1:56

Hellooo there yous!

With it being 1AM and all, I just quickly super-skimmed the posts, but came up with several threads of conversation to comment on. I fear I have absolutely nothing important to add, but I will butt in anyway.

As far as moving goes: I am all for calling Mayflower and having three strapping young men come into my house and pack up my stuff while I drink Coronas and hug all my friends. When I moved home to Ohio from North Carolina, I remember that one of the men picked up my dryer all by himself and carried it to the truck on his back! Holy shnikies! We aren't talking my hair dryer actual honest to goodness electric clothes dryer!

They had these cool boxes that flipped open like cigarette hardpacks and had a closet rod so that they took the clothes out of the closet, hung them in the box and all you had to do was hang them back up in the closet. The only thing they didn't pack was my lingerie drawer. I did that one myself.

All the other times I have moved, we moved with either a U-haul truck or 85 trips in our car. Carried all that crap thanks.

I caught a couple German food mentions too. Makes me think of braunsweiger sandwiches...thin slice of vidalia and some hot mustard on a sweet onion roll. Side that with a nice dark lager and you've got a meal. Germans would probably say ale, right? I have no idea.

Regarding jumping out of planes: I have always felt I could do that. In my head I can take myself all the way through it, but somewhere in my heart, I know I would chicken out.

HOWARD: Still working on that bump in the night shortie?

OK, this weeks shortie topic is...
You unexpectedly bump into an old flame while running errands,

Mary 5-29-2002 1:38

That would be fantastic.
If you send your snail mail add. to me I will send you some Greg Bear. (starting at the very beginning)

eddie 5-29-2002 1:21

Hi again!

I'm trying to remember a quote, but can't quite get it. The gist is that once a person has acquired knowledge (drunk from the cup?) they can never return to ignorance. Anyone know the real quote and who said it?

Eddie, do you want me to send you Howard's 'Heiro' books? I will if you'd like, just e-mail me your snail mail address.

Rhoda, I'll put your address on my MSN. I'm

Blue skies!

Tina 5-29-2002 0:52


I still do it when I get time. My address for it is

Rhoda 5-29-2002 0:39

TINA -- No hurry, if you haven't read the Heiro books go ahead and keep them for a while -- I've got other copies. When you're done with them perhaps Eddie would like to read them. They're excellent reading!

EDDIE -- Thanks for the pointer to Greg Bear! "Eon" and "Legacy" look interesting. I'll look for them at the Paperback Shack. It's about time I stopped there with a box of trades anyway.

VIV -- I spent two years (Aug 64 - Sep 66) stationed just outside Karlsruhe. I did a couple of temporary assignments in Maison Forte, France, and did some training in a small town south of Munich, at a Special Forces mountain training post. No, I wasn't a Green Beret, just went to school there. Had 16 feet of snow while I was there.
I had a car during my last year there, and spent most weekends traveling, mostly in the Black Forest region, and on down into Austria and Switzerland. And in June of 1966 I drove down to Barcelona, and really enjoyed myself.
The holidays were certainly enjoyable, but I came away with a distinct dislike for the song "I'll Be Home For Christmas." Armed Forces Radio played that song almost constantly both Christmases I was there, and to this day I can remember what it felt like to hear it while sitting alone in a barracks, staring at Christmas cards from home.
New Year's Eve was different -- lots of fireworks and dancing, and food and BIER! Then Fasching and Oktoberfest in the Schwartzwaldhalle in Karlsruhe. (more bier)
But the best part was just driving through the countryside, stopping at gasthauses here and there, sampling the local food and bier.
And the castles! Hohenzollern and Heidelberg Castles were impressive, but my favorite was a 3rd century Roman fortress in Baden Baden. It was open to anyone who wanted to explore it, and I did -- several times. There was a very nice gasthaus built into one of the few sections left intact, and there I had one of the best meals I ever tasted. Gulaschsuppe with black bread and butter for starters, then a salad of fresh wild greens. Then Jaeger Schnitzel (a venison cutlet) smothered in pilz (mushrooms) and onions in a red wine sauce, potato puffs (a sort of light potato dumpling), and white aparagus with a perfect (very light) hollandaise, and several other family-style side dishes. Then a piece of seven-layer chocolate cake (the best on the planet), with very old cognac dripping from every forkfull.
Then they brought out huge platters of fruit and cheese for all the guests in the dining room, and we all sang and drank whatever, until it was time for bed.
In the morning there was a knock on my door, and a server entered with my breakfast tray -- fresh fruit and pastries, slabs of butter and cheese, and a choice of great coffee, or even better hot chocolate (I had both).
I wanna go back!

howard 5-29-2002 0:33

Hi all!

Hey, does anyone ever do MSN chat anymore?

Tina 5-28-2002 22:32


Where are ya, TEEKAY, SCHMEEKAY? That bit about me turning 62 was definitely NOT funny. Well, I did get a chuckle out of it, but what if someone believed you, you brat! Come out and put up your dukes! I know it was youuuuu!

TINA! I am so excited at your excitement! I still ain't jumpin out o' no airplanes, but it sure is fun reading about it. Beautiful. There's a small piece of me that says, "What are ya, crazy, girl? You crazy!" Maybe that piece of me isn't all that small either. :)


No kidding about the ocean front property. I'll be sittin pretty then, won't I? ;o) We're far enough from California to have never felt an earthquake. Guess living in a dust bowl has some compensations. No hurricanes, hardly any flooding, and never a tornado (unless a dust devil counts)! But it's haaaawt! Today was 98 degrees, and we've got a nasty fire on top of Mount Lemmon and Mount Bigelow that's sending huge waves of smoke over the city (tough for us athsmatics). Hope that fire goes out soon; there's lots of houses up there.

A very merry UNvacation :) to ROSEMARY and ALLEIN. Both sound nice! I miss Disneyland.

Hey, RACHE! Have a wonderful time in your new digs! Do give us the Sebastion update soon.

RHODA, I didn't know you were moving too? Wow, I'm beginning to be jealous, like Jerry. I wanna move toooooooo!

VIV, Congratulations! Lucky you. Hey, CAROL, you wanna toss me a word that'll get me on a writing frenzy? Nope, there's nothing more pathetic than a sorrowful writer who's not writing. Nothing.

Kiosk makes me thing of New York, where I've never been and have only experienced on TV. NEXT!

Hey, ELAINE, don't feel bad. Have I got a story for you! When I was eighteen I hit a wall in the building where I worked when I was parking, and set off every alarm in the building, where several thouand people worked. The two security guards who were on top of the building checking on the video cameras had to clean out their shorts that day, let me tell you. I never heard the end of it until I quit that damned job.

Remember those two people named MARY and HEATHER? Wonder what ever happened to them? Hmm.

AMERICO, Where'd you go?

Guess that's all I've got to say. G'night!

Christi 5-28-2002 21:53


5-28-2002 21:52



Don't feel much like writing. Thought this was funny ... so FYI........................


Last night, I saw one of my neighbors staggering for his front door with what looked like a lawn dart sticking out of his back. Turned out to be a mosquito. I chased it off with a shovel.

The skeeter, although big, was obviously a rookie. In mindless haste, its proboscis had gone in between Gary's shoulder blades and straight out under his sternum, leaving the clumsy bug sucking air instead of Gary's insides. There's going to be a heck of a welt.

This amazing but true experience is a sure sign that the mosquito situation is going to be bad this year. Heavy ground moisture and a high teen pregnancy rate among skeeters mean a miserable summer for humans, especially bald-headed guys and nudists.

Before you panic, it's important to remember that mosquitoes are one of God's most delicate creations, which makes them easy to squish. And unlike whales and the great Wasatch sewage leech, they are not protected by federal law.

Timing is everything. Before mosquitoes become the darling victim of an easily provoked group of eco-ninnies, we should take steps to control their numbers.

As a favor to mankind, I've given this a lot of thought. Planned Parenthood isn't going to work in this case because, well, have you ever seen a mosquito condom? Christian Coalition meddling aside, they are very hard to hand out.

Furthermore, mosquitoes tend to be quite unreasonable, especially after gorging at frat parties and sporting events. And even when it's sober, you're dealing with a simple mind. So I say we kill them.

Past efforts to liquidate mosquitoes have not been successful, largely because there has never really been a common eradication strategy among humans. We have been doing it one mosquito at a time.

Some humans think the best way to kill skeeters is to wait for one to land and then swat it. The mosquito countermeasure for this is to land on people's heads, where the blows end in dead mosquitoes but also mild human concussions. Humans can't afford to keep trading brain cells for mosquitoes, or pretty soon "Barney" is going to be the only thing on TV.

The least efficient way of killing a mosquito is to hit it with a car. And, unless you are getting 650 trillion mosquitoes to the gallon, it is a waste of time.

Bug zappers are probably the most popular way of killing skeeters. Unfortunately it is not a very discriminating method. Bug zappers also electrocute moths, bats and hang gliders.

The most inhumane way of killing mosquitoes is something called the Furious Harold method. What you do is tie the fattest person you know (around here, a guy named Harold) to a tree stark naked. Paint him with honey, then, when he is completely covered with busy skeeters, hit him with a cattle prod. Mosquitoes hate this.

Chemical warfare is a waste of time. In my neighborhood, the county's mosquito abatement truck comes through about 3 a.m., blasting noxious fumes. The truck is so loud you can hear it on Mars. All it really does is wake you up and remind you that there are bugs hunting your blood.

If not actually killing mosquitoes, there's the process of simply getting them to leave you alone. It usually involves smearing yourself with something that costs a lot of money and smells like it once belonged in the bladder of a goat.

When we stand before the Judgment Bar, humans should demand from God an accounting for mosquitoes. The logic behind skeeters is so bizarre it must have some kind of import beyond our comprehension.

I wouldn't complain too loud, though. It'll be just our luck that hell is full of skeeters.

Salt Lake Tribune columnist Robert Kirby lives in Springville. He welcomes mail at P.O. Box 867, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110 or e-mail at

"Proboscis," Robert???????????? And I thought things in Texas were big!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Aren't "Probos" the same thing as a birds pecker?



Randall 5-28-2002 21:13

Elaine: It's pretty normal to fail your driver's test the first time around. I've done it a couple of times. I failed the driving test once because I didn't look over my shoulder while changing lanes. (I used the mirror because there wasn't any traffic on the road...but common sense wasn't an issue there) I also flunked the Japanese road test once. It had a lot of complex signs and I had jet lag. Come to think of it, I failed the German test as well for the same reason. Like I said, it's pretty normal to fail those driver's tests.
You always get it on the next try so jump in again tomorrow or today.

Viv 5-28-2002 20:22

Eddie: I forgot the pigeons. You are absolutely right,Kiosks always have a couple of pigeons strutting around the base. Thanks!

Howard: You were in Germany too? Neat. Where? Did you get to go to a Christkringle Markt? Christmas in Germany is really something, as is Easter. I miss the matter of fact way they celebrated religion in our town. The religious holidays were the important events, and the whole town got out and celebrated. We were up in a tiny farming town for most of our stay after a year of living near Frankfurt. The difference between our farming town and the city was like the difference between New York and (I think) Wisconsin. I've never been to either place so it's simply a guess.

Viv 5-28-2002 20:15

Jack Dooley would be very familiar with the Kiost.
It means Newspapers, Sweets, Cigarettes, smoke, old peeling paintwork, pigeons, an old woman chainsmoking behind a grimy counter serving a small window with steel shutters held open with rusty hooks. A hand reaching up to place the
pennies on the splintered counter and snatching the sweets, ducking out between baggy trousers of waiting Dockers smelling of peanuts and soap.

eddie 5-28-2002 19:15

Ok relax, I've got it now. Your last post just put it into perspective for me.
Nobady is doing it (As far as I know)
It's just that Hiero is a place name in LEGACY and Lanier is a character in EON (Greg Bear)
Sorry for getting you going there boyo!

eddie 5-28-2002 19:08

VIV -- you bring back memories of Germany! Shashlik or Bratwurst, on hard rolls, with a Moniger Bier to wash it down! Mmmmm!

howard 5-28-2002 17:33

JERRY: Yeah, I marched with my highschool band yesterday. I play an euphonium, (just in case no one knows what that is, it's sort of like a small tuba) which is pretty big, but a marching euph is 26-28 pounds or so. Then of course, I have to march, while playing, and holding a 26 pound instrument for half an hour or so. Your arms get pretty tired after snapping up that horn to play and snapping it down to march. I'm proud to say that I've improved over last year. I could hardly hold my instrument for 15 minutes in regular marching position, and now I can hold it regularly whenever the percussionists play cadence. It's just when I'm holding it and playing it while marching that I have to rest it on my shoulder, (which is bad horn angle) but I'm kind of weaning away from my shoulder a lot more now, which is great improvement for me. Did you have to roll step when you marched? What about your posture? Or lines? I had a little bit of trouble guiding right to the marching baritone next to me, but that was because we had a space in between us, and the distance was kind of wide. OH My! That was a long spurt! I think I'm babbling. I can't wait until vanguard season starts up. In fact band camp is coming up next week. I'm going be worked then! A whole bunch of people come from 8 different schools and we get together to practice a week before the flag day parade. We spend about 12 hours practicing with our music, insturment, drill, and marching. Occassionally we get a small half hour break, but otherwise it's work, work, work! That doesn't matter much because it's so much fun being with other people doing the same thing. Just to let y'all know, I failed my driver's test, but not by much. If I had done just a few more things right.... Oh well, I'm sure I'll past next time. (I hope.) Well I need to go, my parents are bugging me to get off and I have wrote a lot here.
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 5-28-2002 16:17

Kiosk? Guess my introduction to the word in general was not more then a few years ago when I went to work for a lady who owned several Pretzelmaker stores. One of them was in a Kiosk in Manhattan Kansas. I may have heard the word before, but I can't recall, in fact when she said it was in a Kiosk I had to ask what the heck that was.

As far as jumping from perfectly good aircraft, just not something I would do. First off, I somehow acquired a fear of heights. Not just the "I don't think I'll do that" fear but the clinched teeth, sweating palms, increased pucker factor fear. Don't know when I got that as when I was a child there wasn't a tree tall enough to keep me from the top, in the Army I trained first as a telephone pole climber, and loved to climb, I even enjoyed the games of telephone pole volley ball that we played to increase our confidence.

Then one day several years after I last climbed a pole, me and another Sergeant went out to the boonies where there was an old pole orchid to do some practice climbing and I got half way up the pole and nearly froze. After that, I threw away the old Gaffs that I had at home and never climbed again. I still get a bit nervous climbing a step ladder, so jumping out of a plane is simply out of the question. In fact now with my bad back, my Doctor told me to stay off ladders completely, as a simple fall from a step ladder could be enough to put me down for a long long time. I can understand the excitement though, the challenge, and the wonder at flying through the air like a bird. Oh how I envied birds when I was a child, they were so free, could go anywhere, escape any danger then tell their stories in such beautiful songs.

Jack - way back when, when I was still on the PD, I went hunting with my brother-in-law in his pickup. We saw some running deer, and he drove rather fast to catch up and head them off so we could get a shot. There was a stop sign at the y-junction of two country roads that he blew through at like fifty miles an hour.

I looked at him with that question on my face, and he explained that during deer season, all stop signs with a white border are optional. Much in the same manner, on your birthday, there are no calories in birthday cake, steak and baked potatoes. (That's what I got for my birthday dinner in the camper last Sunday.)

Jerry 5-28-2002 14:02

Hi all!

Jack, Debra, Howard, Mel, Teekay, Rosemary, Elaine; I'm so glad you all enjoyed the skydiving post. I sure enjoyed the research ;-D You know, some writers spend years researching things for their writing. I kinda like that idea... :oD I did two more jumps on Sunday, both of them were 10 second freefalls. Wow! It just keeps getting better and better.

Happy Birthday Jack! Sounds like a perfect way to celebrate. And ditto what Viv said; don't bother with the scale, not yet.
Yeah, the equipment is way different these days. I'm under this big tame canopy, and at first I wore a 1-way radio so that an instructor could guide me down. Injuries are definately possible, but students rarely get hurt.

Rhoda and Rachel, congrats on the new homes! Moving has got to be one of the biggest emotional mixes out there, but it feels so good to be in a new place that you like. Wishes for many good memories in your new spaces!

Howard, I'd love to do a sailplane ride! Oh yeah! Down at the dropzone, we watch the planes go in and out all day, including the sailplanes. They are so peaceful to watch. There's a stunt pilot by the name of Manfred who does this aerial ballet in a sailplane, that would absolutely knock your socks off, he's so magical. I've watched him at the Abbotsford airshow a half dozen times, and enjoy him more than a lot of the big flashy jets.
And egad! I still have your Heiro books sitting on my shelf. I WILL get them sent back! (she says while shaking a naughty finger at herself)

Rosemary, hi! It's so great that your knee has healed that much.

Allein, sounds like you had a great time. (begin whiney voice)I've never been to Disney!(end whiney voice) I'm jealous.

Viv, kiosk does something entirely different for me. When I was little, my mom would take me shopping on Saturdays. At the mall, their was a kiosk that sold newspapers and lottery tickets and trinkets and cut keys. The man who owned it would give me a candy if I said hi. But I was shy, and at first I wouldn't say it. He was kind of a big smiley human, and that helped me get over being afraid of people working in stores. Funny thing, I always thought that the name of his spot was 'the Kiosk'. It was years before I learned that kiosk is a general description, not just the name of his stand.

Blue skies!

Tina 5-28-2002 12:42

Hi Jerry: Nope, I haven't gone back to Germany or Belgium. Still in Japan. As for fighting old enemies, well....they seem to be all fighting themselves. There's something to be said for just stepping aside and watching while mean people tear away at each other. Generally they can't resist the urge and end up by biting off their own noses!

Meanwhile, I'm writing a story based on a word Carol tossed to me when I was in a writing slump. She said, Kiosk. It was like being blasted with an intense SMELL memory. Some memories live in your feelings, others live in your tastes and yet others, your sense of smell. Kiosk for me is the smell of heavy grease and french fries.

How about all of you? What does Kiosk trigger for you?
For me it's Jaggermeister, French fries, Roasted Chicken and Wurst. It's newspapers, magazines and cigarettes as well. It's old Turkish men leaning up against the corner arguing and leering as you walked up to the counter. It's chilly dirty streets; watching dust and newspapers fly by on frozen wind while you wait for a street car. There's more to Kiosks than meet the eye. I'm enjoying writing that story, and the ending is going...not as planned but blasting off so strongly that my fingers twitch.

Carol, I've got the twinkle back in my eye and my fingers are flying over this keyboard. Thank you!

Jerry, thanks for the concern as well. Husband finally goes in for that long awaited doctor's appointment on Friday. Whew! Only one problem...I treated his blood pressure problem and it's non-existant now. He was subnormal when he took his blood pressure today. I've figured some slick tricks. I made him take an asprin every night before bed, gave him a glass of wine with a sprig of borrage every day when he got home from work, and we walked five miles every evening. That seems to have done the trick.

Jack: Congratulations on that rescue dive. Not a bad accomplishment to usher in a new year of life. Don't worry about the diet. Don't weigh yourself or even consider it. Normal eating behavior allows for treats. Just step back on the diet without ever stepping back on the scale. This makes for a smoother transition. After three days of successful dieting, step on that scale. It's guaranteed not to shock you. At worst you will be up a pound. At best you will have lost three pounds. Many times those pounds are only the weight of guilt anyway. Weight gain often goes away when you just feel good about life.
So, keep feeling good about your birthday and that wonderful celebration. The whole day sounds like it worked out perfectly.

Viv 5-28-2002 10:50

TAYLOR -- No, not inappropriate. Memorial Day is a holiday to enjoy, and to be thankful for those who have gone on before -- and those whose sacrifices have made it possible to be free to enjoy.

howard 5-28-2002 9:54

EDDIE -- Yes, Sterling Lanier is apparently not going to finish the Heiro series, and I want to read the next one or two, even if I have to write them myself!
Are you saying that someone else already has done them?

howard 5-28-2002 9:47

Heiro... Lanier?
Are these references to a work of yours?
If so, you should check out Greg Bears' Eon and Legacy series of novels. I hate it when that happens but we all should know if character, place names which we think up are already in use.

eddie 5-28-2002 9:24


Welcome back Allein: Hope you had a good time

Sorry for the "Happy Memorial Day" thing... thinking back to it it just seems inappropriate to say it that way

Taylor 5-28-2002 9:15

RACHEL and RHODA -- yes, prayers and blessings on your move to your new homes! And strong backs for the unpacking!
A family in our church - to whom we've grown very close - is moving this fall to Jacksonville, Florida, and I know we'll miss them very much. Strange way to move, though, they'll pick up their personal items, papers, etc, and then get out of the way so the movers can do the rest. Dunno if I could stand that. I'm a throw-it-in-a-box-and-toss-it-in-a-U-haul kinda guy.

It's a "partly cloudy" day here. Translation: It's been raining (sometimes a heavy downpour) since about 2AM. There were "chances of thunder showers" scheduled for tonight, but the thunder woke me up several times during the night.

Still no job, and it's driving me nuts! I checked the "high-tech" jobs board for this area, and there were only eight jobs posted since March 1, within a decent driving distance. Guess I'll have to expand my area!

MARY -- I've started on that "bump in the night" shorty, but it's slow going.
MEL -- ditto the Heiro book (actually I ended up with partial outlines for two!. Worked on both last night, but didn't get far.

howard 5-28-2002 7:30

Thanks for the various happy birthdays. Long couple of days, actually. As I think I mentioned, yesterday was a six hour stint of rescue diver certification. Today we had a limited number of people over and I had steak and chocolate cake, despite the diet. Oh, and since I was actually up to 47 pounds off since my diet began, I broke the diet and had eggs benedicts for breakfast. We will see how much damage I did when I visit the scales tomorrow. However, between the diving yesterday and, oh, yes, doing a dive today down to 95 feet and then coming up with about 90 psi left in my tank, I might just get away with holding stable. At any rate, good writing to everyone and since tomorrow will be the finish for this part of the contract with wesmar, I will finally have a little time to maybe look at getting the workbook running. Take care everyone.

Jack 5-28-2002 0:33

Rachel - I do so envy you, I used to love the adventure of a move, the new city, new people, new job, new everything. I don't think I ever mourned the leaving, well maybe once, but it was long ago.

Elaine - Parade? When I was in the Army, I marched in a few of those, the most famous I guess was the Sun Bowl parade in El Paso Texas. Never really liked parades much. I spent many an hour holding flags, and such when I was stationed at Ft Meyer Va. That was with the Old Guard, and about all we did was ceremony, as well as a few theatre productions on the history of the Army, we did one major each year, and weekly shows at the Jefferson Memorial during June, called Tourchlight Tattoo. Those were wonderful times when the only fear in DC was getting mugged, not having someone drop a 727 on top of you while your working.

Happy Birthday Jack, welcome to the over the hill club. Well it's not really over the hill, it's the TOP of the Hill club. I'd send you a piece of my German Chocolate cake, but I doubt it would withstand the new postal regulations.

Viv - You still fighting "the enemy" in Japan?

Jerry 5-28-2002 0:16

Rhoda: I'm sending you a blessing for the first night you sleep in your new home! Heads up! Catch it as it flys to you....good. Now, put it somewhere nice and safe so you can release it as you settle down into clean sheets that all important first night. Maybe you should keep a notebook handy and record your first dream. I hope it's about being published and it comes true.

Carol: Thanks for your letter. Can you see the street? I'm trying to paint a scene in a small German town. I'm not at all sure where the story is taking me or if I am taking it. It may end up being another unfinished one, but I'm hoping the ending comes to me.

Wow, it's good to feel the strong sunshine. Yesterday it was so cold, and I forgot my umbrella. Today I'm finally getting dry and warm again. There's nothing worse than wet feet while waiting in a windy train station. I'm getting out on my bike right now...while it's hot.

Viv 5-28-2002 0:00

Hi all,

I am packing, packing, packing (grin/drip/brush back damp hair) There is so much to do ;o) My new house is pretty. I am looking forward to it. I am looking forward to not having to pack and organize. I find that getting into a new house is a lot easier than getting out of an old one. I don't know why it is that way, it just is for me.

Sebastian is growing up so quickly. He is up to everything! I will write a better Sebatian update soon :o)

I have another exam next week. I've got a big paper that I have to get done and another exam lurking up sooner than I would like to think. Spring semester is so rushed.

Americo, Thank you for the compliment. I don't know how worthy I am of it. I can be perfeclty evil from time to time (smiles and laughter). Hugs to you my friend.

Take care all.


Rachel 5-27-2002 22:57

TINA -- you asked >Do you know why birds sing? <

Actually, they don't. That musical sound they make is merely an accompaniment for their real specialty -- tap dancing!

howrad 5-27-2002 22:56

Hello all!
Tina: Wow! I don't think I could ever jump out of an airplane. I'm a widdle scwared of heights. But I congratulate you on your flight.
Happy Birthday to anyone I've missed, like JERRY and JACK.
I've just finished my first parade of the season. It was short! That's alright, I don't mind when I'm carrying a 26-pounder for hours. I'm taking my driver's test tomorrow so wish me luck. (I might just need it) ((Not that I'm a bad driver or anything))
Well, I hope y'all have a good writing times!
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 5-27-2002 22:47

WOOT!!! I AM BACK!! Presents for all!! *hands out Mickey ears*

I had a wonderful time at Disneyland - California is the most beautiful state I have ever been to (NY comes very close though).

Jack - Happy 50th Birthday!! :D

Allein Peachick's Gallery 5-27-2002 22:20

Greetings Writers all,

I think the distance from the coast might be more important than the distance above sea level, but seven feet is scary. South side of San Antonio is only about 300 feet above S/L but we're 150 miles from the coast. Also 150 miles from Mexico. More likely to be swamped by them than sea water.

Thanks much for the UnBirthday greetings. I was beginning to think everyone except me was having a BD.

That was a vivid piece of writing about your skydiving. I thouroughly enjoyed it. Gave me shivers.

The camping sounds wonderful. We only camp from about October through May. After that, it's too hot for me to sleep at night without airconditioning. We found that camping with me after a hot, uncomfortable night of no sleep was no fun for anyone.

My sister got season passes to Sea World for us for my Birthday. (My BD's in November but we have to use them now.) Spent five hours in a pushing crowd yesterday seeing the sights and shows and riding one very wet ride called the 'Rio Loco' It's the one with the big innertube with six seats in it. Goes swirling down the artificial stream, through rapids, getting splashed and sprayed lightly until the end when we go through a waterfall and get completely soaked. At least it kept the heat from bothering us. We were still wet when we left about three hours later.

Shamu seems to be doing fine and sends "Best Wishes to all and Happy Birthday" to the lucky writers here.

One thing I am realizing is that about a year ago, I couldn't have made it in to Sea World from the parking lot without a crutch, much less cover those acres and acres without more help than ocasional bench sitting.

Doesn't seem right that they call all those whales by the same name.

Enough blather from me, I'm usually around but not posting much lately. Maybe when Jack gets the Workbook up, I'll start working on my Si/Fi book if I can get anyone to be interested.

Rosemary 5-27-2002 21:39


TINA: and that's as close as I ever hope to get to sky diving.

Teekay 5-27-2002 20:29


Hope it's a goodun'.

JERRY: and a HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU for yesterday, I was thinking of you.

Teekay 5-27-2002 20:27


I thought I said Happy Birthday, But now I can't find it.



Debra 5-27-2002 15:19

Oh, and many thanks for the birthday greetings. I did do a bit of writing on the trip but just a little, just wasn't time with all the card games, walks and such. Funny how things seem so different only thirteen miles from home. Had a nice birthday celebration yesterday at the campgrounds, just family but that's as it should be as far as I'm concerned, and after fifty birthdays, the fifty-first seems just another day.

Read a bunch of short stories from a large volume of short stories I picked up on one of those free tables outside the bookstore. It was a sample sent to the English Department, and in new condition, had short stories from all the greats and a few from those not so great. Very relaxing, just what the Doctor ordered.

Jerry 5-27-2002 14:46

Had a super time camping, weather even cooperated, a bit cool but it was nice, had a fire both nights, the campgroud was filled with happy campers.

As far as MP3's, I tried eddies, looks fairly good, I use Xnews now and get them from newsgroups, you can get the full album with cover art and everything from there.

Jerry 5-27-2002 14:35


Happy Memorial day all

Taylor 5-27-2002 10:15

HOWARD: You're gonna make Lanier wish he'd written the sequel himself, heh heh heh! I hope I get to read it! :-]


Back to lurking, the mundane daily rituals, and a few bright moments of reading, critiquing, WRITING during the few cracks of time I find, and some biking in the wind (as close as I'll ever get to TINA's freedive!!!).

A GREAT DAY to everyone! :-)

Mel 5-27-2002 8:14

TINA: I just read your skydiving post. I have only one word to describe your experience and your writing of it: AWESOME.

Mel 5-27-2002 8:09

TINA -- That sky diving account was wonderful! You've got me cranked up more than ever for my sailplane ride! I've been up in a hot air balloon, now (soon) a sailplane, and who knows -- maybe one day I'll take the big step!

howard 5-27-2002 0:45



You HAD me at "Do you know why birds sing"

You really did.

Now I'm with you that night fully and completely.

I'm never going to do it, but I know why you liked it.

Proud to know you!

Debra 5-26-2002 23:29

RHODA -- the 7 ft part isn't that bothersome. The real question is "What was it last year -- 6 ft or 8 ft?

howard 5-26-2002 18:24

Incidently, my new home is only to be 7ft above sea-level. This discussion is a bit beyond my comfort level right now.

Rhoda 5-26-2002 12:16


When you had first brought that Arizona subject up, my mind went back to the first SUPERMAN movie where the bad guy had bought all this cheap desert property in Nevada. His plan was to explode a nuclear bomb on the San Andreas fault and then to sell Nevada ocean-side property at a very large profit. With China, Iran, Iraq and all the other countries in the world working on long-range missile capabilities, who knows?

Rhoda 5-26-2002 12:14


Good morning all ...

Relating to the ocean kissed beaches of Arizona ... Debbie and I were watching a show one night on the Discovery channel, relating to possible future events. It was hosted by the guy who used to star on The Man From UNCLE. You old timers (grin) should know him. Anyway ... one prophet foresaw a vision of America, coastlines east and west greatly altered by a rising ocean. California, as I remember was gone, parts of Nevada, Washington, Oregon and a substantial portion of the Inter-Mountain West, including Utah. According to the lady "prophet" she viewed a map in a dream one night, offered up by a group of hooded, cloaked figures in a dark room. (Probably real estate salespersons from the Midwest.)

Debbie and I have spoken repeatedly of moving back to Utah.

"Well that's it, no Utah!" my wife exclaimed at that point.

"Why not?"

Debbie can be extreme in her beliefs. "It'll all be underwater one day!"

"Honey, that is just a show."

She headed to the kitchen and I followed. "When we were in Utah last year you showed me the water lines from that old lake bed."

"Yeah, ancient beach lines from old Lake Bonneville. Easy to see on some of the mountain slopes below Provo."

"Well it happened once didn't it? It'll happen again."

Can't argue with that reasoning! Well it did happen once upon a time 12,000 years ago and it might happen again 12,000 years in the future. In Texas where I sit now was once part of an inland ocean. I know a spot where one can pick up fossilized sea creatures by the bucket full. One afternoon Sean picked up a gallon bucket of "poprocks" ... tiny fossilized sea reed segments. I couldn't bar-b-que for years afterward that he would not race to throw in a handful in the fire when I wasn't looking. (They explode when heated. It's great fun to toss in several when the gang is around a roaring campfire at night! Sure relieves the doldrums and a gurantee cure for an alcohol fogged brain!!!) In a geological sequence over millions of years oceans have advanced and retreated countless times. And will do so again.

To close this out ... Several weeks later I was watching a program on how the continents were formed then separated over millions of years. And I'll be dog-gone if part of North America didn't look just like that "prophets" dream! Coincidently, a news report recently related an iceberg the size of Rhode Island broke off the continental ice shelf in Antarctica! That should make a west coast beach front land owner sweat a little! And Midwest realtors rub their hands in glee! So Howard, Rhoda one day we just might need a beach chair to sit on the sunny beaches of Arizona.


Randall 5-26-2002 11:25

RANDALL -- And don't forget - the London Bridge is now in Arizona!
And who knows - with the San Andreas Fault, and all...

howard 5-26-2002 8:12


Arizona has the world's best beaches. I would be interested in that property.

Geography was one of my best subjects in school.

Rhoda 5-25-2002 22:21

Tina: Congratulations on the skydive. I tried jumping out of a perfectly good air plane only once :-) . When I was 21 and in college I decided to give it a try. Mind you this was 1973 and equipment was a lot more primitive than what you were exposed to. We stood on the plane's strut and got a leg patted and let go and the static line pulled our shoots open and we were supposed to settle to the ground for a nice safe planned landing fall. Hmmmmmmm. Well, being somewhat nervous (can we say scared spitless of heights) (I though this might cure me, you see), I just stood frozen on the strut until I basically got pushed off. Instead of the belly down arms up figure, I did a crucifix with my arms extended and my legs together. chut opened OK, but it was sort of wrapped up a bit and I went around and around a bit and then I started concentrating on the ground that was coming up slowly towards me. I was supposed to have flexed knees and fall to the side. Instead, I locked my knees, landed and sat down. Then I did not sit down comfortably for the next week as I had bruised my tale bone. All of that said, I had fun and was thinking about going back when one of my fellow students came in on a stretcher with a rather badly broken leg the very next week. I was working as an orderly at the time. That put the nails in the coffin of any desire to try it again.

Glad you had a great time. I can say that my one exposure to sky diving did cure me of any irrational fear of hights or flying. I still get a little nervous when I am standing on a cliff edge looking down a long distance. Much better to being floating forty feet under water looking down into the deeps of a cobalt blue sea along side a beautiful coral wall with flowering coral thrashing in the current. Take care everyone. Back to my contract.

Jack 5-25-2002 21:55

Thank you Jack!
Isn't it great/amazing how a new activity can engulf you so thoroughly? I betcha that, before you began diving, you didn't think it would become such a huge part of your life, every day, always in your thoughts? That it would change the emphasis you place on all the different things in your life? I can completely imagine how you yearn to be in the water; every day I yearn to be in the air.

And happy 50th birthday! Whoohoo! Time for a virtual party, people! I'll bring the virtual cake!

So, I was unable to get the financing for my business. Phooey. This means that I'm back to needing to find a job, and that's not an easy thing in this town. The softwood lumber disputes are knocking over a lot of people and businesses, and unemployment is scary high. The worst thing is that our politicians don't have enough backbone to stand up for our rights. But I won't get into that here...

Hey Debra! Thanks for challenging me to write down my skydiving adventures. At the risk of annoying people with a long post, here's my best attempt at catching the feeling.

Do you know why birds sing?

Really, they could just make the usual kinds of sounds like the rest of us animals. Barks and mewls and howls and the like. But no, they sing. They sing because they know something we don’t. They know about flying.

Humans have always dreamed about flight. When Icarus found flight he was enraptured and flew too high, to his death. Da Vinci designed elaborate flight machines. The Montgolfier brothers succeeded with their hot air balloon. And of course, the Wright brothers made the impossible possible.

But birds don’t sing because they have a device that helps them fly. They sing because they are in the air, unrestrained. The wind keeps them company, and they fly and sing for the magic and wonder and delight of it all.

May 18, 2002

I’m sitting in an airplane. A Cessna 182. There are five of us aboard; Tyler the pilot, Andrew, Don, Brian and myself.

I look out the window. The sun is nearly down, and the clouds are turning to gold. The same gold touches the ground below me, but it is the presence of balsam root flowers that gilds the hillsides. We are nearly 3000 feet in the air, and the game-board world below me is far less real than the noisy metal bird in whose gullet I sit, and wait.

Perhaps nothing would seem unusual about this trip over the lovely Okanagan Valley, were it not for what we each wear. Harnesses and rigs, with carefully packed canopies inside. Helmets and goggles and brightly coloured flight suits. And there are no seats for the passengers; we are kneeling on the padded floor, a bit cramped, but not badly. The air is warm, a touch stale, with hints of sweat, anticipation, excitement and fear. The drone of the plane makes speech difficult, but we talk anyway to calm our nerves. Thank you, Don; his friendly talk keeps my mind away from what I’ll be doing in just a few minutes.

Now we are at 3500 feet, approaching the airport on our first jump run. Brian is going first; we all give him a thumbs up for encouragement. Andrew, our jumpmaster, yells, “DOOR!”

The blast of wind from the open door is less than you’d expect, but definitely not comfortable. It is loud, whistling through the plane and sweeping away extraneous thoughts. Andrew nods at Brian and tells him, “Climb Out!”

Brian doesn’t hesitate. Right hand on the right doorframe, left on the other. His right leg is out on the step, now his left. He’s out, no coming back now. Andrew is holding him; when Brian lets go of the plane, it is Andrew who will throw the pilot chute to open his canopy. But not for me. I tune out that thought and peer out the door to watch Brian. He is edging out along the step, holding onto the strut over his head. He steps off the strut and is hanging there at an angle, arching his body.

Andrew yells, “Look up!” Brian looks up. “GO!”
Brian lets go of the strut, still looking up, and falls away from us while Andrew tosses the pilot chute. Immediately it catches air and begins to open the canopy. Brian loses his arch, but it’s okay because the parachute is already open. Mine won’t be.

With Brian away, we pull back into the plane, Tyler banks just a bit and the door swings shut, cutting off the noise of wind and prop. Andrew looks at me, nodding and grinning, and I shuffle up until I am kneeling beside the door.

I’m no longer noticing the smells, or the noise, or the pretty view. Instead, I close my eyes to visualise exactly what I’m about to do. Exactly. No mistakes, no oops, this is it. This is the first time that I will save my own life and toss my own pilot chute. My brain begins to consider what will happen if I mess up; Get lost, brain! I tell myself. You will go out there, you will look up and arch, you will let go, you will hold the arch, you WILL pull that pilot chute! There is plenty of time, you will not rush or have a brain malfunction. Slow is smooth and smooth is fast. My arch will be a thing of beauty. Okay, I’ve told myself what will happen, and I actually believe myself.

Tyler has come all the way around; again we approach the airport for jump run, my jump run. My heart speeds up, as it always does. I tell the butterflies in my stomach to fly in formation, and they do. Until Andrew yells, “DOOR!”

The door opens upward, to let us out easily. Wind welcomes itself in again, an old friend eager to greet us with its howl. While Andrew checks the spot, I put my hand out to say ‘hi’ in return, the wind curls around my hand in happy recognition.

I’m kneeling on the padded floor, with the door wide open to see the world 3500 feet below. Andrew does not have my pilot chute, his hand is not gripping my rig. I reach for the handle for the pilot chute, and then my two emergency handles. It is comforting and reassuring to touch them. They are solid, the wind is not. I want Andrew to hold my shoulder as he always has before, but he won’t. I’m being weaned off of his supportive touch, all at once, and like an unhappy kitten I want that security back.

“Climb Out!”
Damn it’s too soon, I don’t want to do this, just get out there and do it! My brain sends me a dozen mixed messages all at once. But the training overrides all the voices, and I put my right hand on the door frame, then my left on the other side. My right foot pushes out into the wind and feels the step. Hey, Andrew isn’t leaning out with me! Please lean out! But he doesn’t and won’t. My hands are on the strut now, and I shuffle to the end of the step.

Here we go, will I step off will I will I yes I will and my arch will be a thing of beauty and I have so much time to make this work and GO Tina Go! It seems that I’m going to do it, because now I’m dangling beneath the strut. My hips push forward to greet the wind. It is whistling around me, a greeting not a threat.

Now Andrew has leaned out, and I look at him. “Look up!” he yells, and I do. There is a happy blue smiley face sticker grinning from the wing above me, and I grin back at it. “GO!”

No way in hell I’ll let go! But then it’s too late, because I have. I’m looking straight at Andrew, his blue eyes sparkling above a huge grin and both thumbs up in encouragement.

My arms spread wide, my hips thrust forward, I look up, and my arch is stable. Arch Thousand!
Keeping my back motionless and my head up, my arms move. The left one extends above my head, the right one reaches for the handle of the pilot chute. Reach thousand!
I pop it out, tossing it hard, and spread my arms again. Toss thousand!

Right then, I realise that I am flying, and I want to sing.

Arch thousand! Two thousand! I feel the canopy springing to life above me. But it still isn’t open, and I’m flying.

Three thousand! Four thousand! And now the canopy begins to catch air, slowing me down and swinging me around so my feet are below me. Five thousand!

My canopy is open, a beautiful blue and black wing above my head, whistling it’s own tune as it works. But as quickly as I notice that, I’m distracted. Andrew has followed me out, and is freefalling in front of me. He is flying head first, a streak of red reaching for the earth and leaving me behind. Recalling myself to the moment, I reach for my controls, yellow handles stowed on the risers above me. A few small pulls confirm that the canopy is responding and functioning, so I turn around to find the airport. Then I look around.

Yes, I’ve been here before, hovering 3000 feet up. I’ve seen this view a dozen times now, and it is always spectacular. Only, I can’t stop to enjoy it right now. A voice pipes up, via the radio attached to my rig.

“Looking good Tina, but the wind has picked up a lot. Turn towards town and stay on that heading. No playing.”

I do as I’m told; with little else to do now I look around again. And then I realise I did it I did it I arched and pulled and I flew and I did it and I’m alive and this is what it means to be alive! I want to sing. My song will be about the snow-capped mountains that stretch away in almost every direction, about the undulating landscape of green hills and valleys, about the ponderosa pine trees standing rigidly along the slopes beside tiny lakes nestled into the earth’s curves. I will sing about the human presence on the land below, how it spreads through the twists of the valleys and declares itself in clear cuts and roads and power lines, and how ludicrous we are in our own self importance. And I can sing about the wind, how it laughs at the world. It is the only truly free thing, having never known the bondage of gravity.

Looking straight down, I see that I’m no longer moving forward into the wind. I’m going backward. This is not good; it’s very windy and my canopy is bumping its way through the turbulence. On my radio I can hear ground control helping Brian land; he has missed the dropzone, missed the airport, and is landing in the nearby golf course. It’s very very windy!

I’m almost down. Now I’m not moving backward, but neither am I going forward. I’m slowly coming straight down, completely vertical. Only at the last moment do I drift forward a bit, and then I’m pulling down on the toggles and flaring, and I step from the air onto the ground.

At the clubhouse, there is cheering and clapping and hugs all around, for they all knew what this jump was. It was the defining moment, when I met the sky as more than a silly human jumping from a metal bird. This time, and from now on, when I reach the sky I am home.

Blue skies!

Tina 5-25-2002 20:35

In case anyone missed it due to the archive, here is the newest file sharing site. Download the FS software here or just search for your music on the main site (Free)

eddie Audio Galaxy 5-25-2002 20:01

Well, given that things had gotten to three quarters of a meg and I wanted to take a break from trying to finish a web design contract, I have made the occasion to archive the Notebook. Just to let everyone know, I am alive, albeit somewhat swamped. Just got through taking the didactic for my Rescue Diver Course. Tomorrow I do the actual diving portion of what is involved and next week get around to renewing my CPR/First Aid coursework.

In addition to that, this Monday, I turn 50. About the only thing good about that little bit of news is that when I mention it to others, people show surprise that I am that old. Something to be said for dyeing the grey hairs, shaving the beard and losing 45 pounds. I basically plan to celebrate by having something I have not had in a long time, some eggs benedict at Thirteen Coins, a rather extraordinary restaurant many are aware of here in Seattle.

I am most of the way through the contract that I have with been working on, maybe another three to four hours and then maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, I can sit down and try to get the Workbook up, functioning, running and ready to go. That and I have a massive backlog of link requests for that I should try to get to. At least the time critical content, like contests and conferences and so forth. At some point I suppose I should see if anybody is interested in helping keep up the maintenance or help in making sure things get done, but not sure I have complete energies for even that. The one thing that gets my blood pumping these days seems to be the thought of jumping into Puget Sound. Did a dive down to the I-Beams here in Seattle at 95 feet. Would have gone deeper yet in hopes of seeing some Octopus, but got low on air. Hope to dive on Monday on low tide to the same spot and maybe even get some video. We will see. I will be on Nitrox for that site. At any rate, the Archive will be up as soon as I get done writing here.

Jack Beslanwitch Fen With Fins 5-25-2002 19:49

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