Archived Messages from December 6, 2002 to Februrary 13, 2003


Cheri, do I ever know what you're talking about. Four years ago when I finally decided to get serious about writing (something I'd wanted to do since I learned to read), I wrestled with the same feelings of inadequacy regarding grammar (and vocabulary to be honest, but all writers wish for more, more, more!). I started to read voraciouly like I used to when time was freer, studying the classics as well as modern writers, and I couldn't get enough books on writing. And I tried to keep writing.
I don't think there's anything like reading to enlarge a vocabulary even if you already have an expansive vocabulary. And on grammer, try to notice when you're unsure grammatically, and pay attention to the next book you read (or even the posts of people you trust) and I'll bet you'll spot the answer there! That said, I don't think a class could be anything but a good thing. Heck, I'd like to go back to school for a few classes once my son starts going to school! Good luck, I know you'll figure it out.

Randall, Judging from your passionate description I'd say you HAVE created a real person. I can see her mighty well from that description. BTW, I adore Winston Churchill. Now that's a man.

Welcome back, Ramon! Have you aged so much in such a short period of time? Drop the house chores and pick up a pen; it'll take years off! The chores will always be there when you're done.
P.S. Still into wrestling?

Debra, I think your presentation is great. I don't know about guaranteeing success for every person who reads Sweetie, but I know nothing about presentations of this nature; maybe exaggeration is crucial to getting what you want. Anyway there is no doubt about the passion you have for this subject. I don't see why this should not happen for you. Good luck!

Mel, I'm so glad! Your excitement has rubbed off once again. Made my writing all the easier today--I did 650 words! I think you'd be an excellent shortie mistress if you ever had the time for it. You COULD give us one for Friday ... ? ! If no one wants to take that position maybe each one of us could take a turn and give an assignment for a given Friday (or Mondays, whatever people like best). I'm sure someone would volunteer each week--would have a spur of the moment inspiration for an assignment/shortie. Anyone? Anyone? Beuller?

Teekay, You know Mel's right on the money on that don't you? I feel lucky that I get to read your stuff for free, because one day it's going to cost pullllllenty! Bird by Bird will inspire you fiercely, go girl! I think the way Anne Lamott puts it is you only have to write enough to fill a one-inch picture frame.

Pamela, For that matter there are a ton of closet writers who never are discovered, who lock their manuscripts away in a trunk until the day they die. I wonder if those writers just don't care to be published and do it for the love, or if they are terrified of the thought of someone else reading their writing. Showing people my writing used to rank right up there with public speaking, but thanks to the folks here I'm pretty much over it.
P.S. Interview with Darkness. Cool!

Jerry, Pamela reminded me of how you had to arrest your friend for being a serial rapist. I think there's a novel in that story. You could change things enough to avoid a lawsuit, you could! But listen, you had me riveted. Couldn't have ripped me away from my screen for love or money during that tale.

Howard, You must be a hobbit. Second breakfast, I love it! And holy crap, that's thirty six years since you've seen the guy! How did you recognize him?

Randall, I gotta find out what happens in this installment later; hubby just walked in and has that 'will she ever get off that damn thing' look on his face. I don't blame him either; I wrote (and internetted) from 7:00 till 10:30 last night. Better go make up. :D

Bye guys,

Christi 2-12-2003 21:44

Synchronicity from Pamela:
(Not for assignment, this just happened)

My book is calling me and I was just reading through the rough draft, written too many years ago with some changes between then and now, and I found a single page I didn't remember writing. We have just been talking about the villian's point of view and that is what was on this page. I have mentioned the dialogues and now I remember that I wrote this with the idea that the Darkness would speak directly to the reader from time to time. This was written years ago but I won't do any editing, tell me what you think (It's kind of creepy but remember that it's not really me and that the views of the Darkness are not my own):

"Darkness Speaks"

Well, we don't see anything so wrong with being dark, I mean, everyone has a right to their own existence, don't they, bad as well as good? What would all the good people do without us, tell me that, or the whole world, for that matter? If things were good all the time, then it wouldn't be good, it would just be mediocre, it would be the norm, you would have nothing to compare anything to. So we're doing the world a favor, really, silly humans always seem to need something to struggle against anyway, don't know why they can't just be ignorant and happy like the animals are. Besides, hee, hee, hee, it's just so damn fun to be bad. There's lots of us around, you know, making people do all kinds of crazy things, you've heard us spoken of many times. People say stuff like "I don't know what got into me" or "I wasn't myself" or, one of our favorites, "the devil made me do it." Not that there's really a devil, of course, not with the pitchfork and tail and all that, we're more of an intangible force. It's human nature that personifies us, like they do with their God image, this nice old man sitting on a throne in the sky watching every sparrow that falls, please! Animals know about the forces, both good and bad, but humans, in their incredible vanity, must create fantasies in images of themselves. Oh, we like the myth of the devil and the fires of hell and all, it's so quaint. Silly people don't even realize that we create hells for them right here on earth. Hitler was a great favorite of ours, oh, the wonderful cruelty perpetrated back then, it was glorious to behold! We're around on a smaller scale too, of course, like when people commit suicide, when they screw their best friend's wife, when they abuse their children, when society glorifies guns and violence, when people drink or drug themselves to death, stuff like that. You disapprove, I suppose, but that just shows how stupid you are. You don't even know how much fun you are missing, you just don't see at all how grand it can be to be Darkness.

Pamela 2-12-2003 21:02


Well, what the hell. The site is kinda slow tonight.

LaMorte de Tiki


"Matt and Tiki eventually left Burrowing Coyote and returned to Tiki and Joseph's old homesite. They built a small rock hogan on the ruins of Tiki's home. It was now fronted by an immense, fresh water lake. Robert had topsoil hauled to the site and transplanted aspen, pine and spruce trees along the shoreline. They enjoyed a happy existence there for many years, fishing and gardening.

Eighteen years after emergence, an aging Tiki stepped outside one summer morning with her fishing nets to discover Matt dead. He had died from a heart attack and was in his favorite chair facing the lake. She knelt painfully by his side, kissed his hand and wept for she knew her life was to be one of loneliness.

However, a gentle hand touched her shoulder. The sun blinded her weak eyes as she looked up. Her vision cleared and she observed a tall robed figure standing before her.

"Tiki my child, have you forgotten my teachings so quickly?" Hassam asked gently.

Tiki stood painfully, torn between joy at seeing her old master and knowing Matt was dead.

"Hassam, it has been a long time my friend."

Hassam chided her. "Only yesterday sweet child of man. But you have forgotten my instructions."

Tiki wiped her eyes on her shawl and nodded sadly. "Yes, I suppose so. I have forgotten many things with age wise one."

Hassam laughed. "That's okay daughter, because *Weay Linn awaits. New lessons and adventures will be mastered." Hassam said happily. "We will have companionship this time Star Tiki."

"Companions, Hassam?"

"Oh yes Tiki, you're time is now. Come with me through the doorway of transmigration. In a month or so we will meet our companions high in the snow capped Andes Mountains above the wide, green Pacific Ocean."

Tiki managed a brief smile. "Who will journey with us Hassam and where will we go?"

Hassam indicated Matt's lifeless body. "Matt is now fulfilling certain responsibilities to Jehovah, but he will be there when we arrive. Joseph and a dog with the impossible name Run Run will be at our rendezvous as well. I thought perhaps a stroll under the Pacific to the Isle of Stone Men might be in order. After that who knows, perhaps Cathay?"

Tiki walked away with Hassam. When she turned for one more look at Matt she gasped. Her own lifeless body lay next to him. She sank to her knees sobbing and covered her face with her hands.

Hassam shook his head, then cleared his throat. "Really my child. This is no time for tears. Your youth is restored, you are with me. Why are you sad Star Tiki Wou?"

"For Matt, for Robert, for me. I don't know," Tiki wailed.

He kneeled in the sand beside her resting a lean arm across her shoulder. "You're sad because of uncertainty. The future isn't clear, for the first time in your life the next moment will be a surprise."

She wiped her tears and angrily looked at him. "What should I be happy about old windbag guide of mine?"

Hassam looked offended. "Why, you should rejoice. We are not leaving Matt. We are going to him and Joseph and that dog with the funny name. Robert and Andrea will join us one day. You have shed that old husk of flesh and are now glorified for His purpose. We will educate you and send you back one day as a bright shining new baby." He grinned at her. "Boy or girl, your choice."

He helped Tiki stand. As they walked along the shore he gestured grandly with his right hand. "I too have known turmoil and the shock of death. Did I ever tell you about the time I was thrown from the wall of Jerusalem during the First Crusade?"

Through her tears Tiki smiled up at him. "No, I don't believe so."

Hassam shifted his walking staff, resting it on a robed shoulder. "Took three armored French knights with me as I fell. There was a resounding crash as we bounced off the rocks below and into eternity. I remember how blue the sky and managed to turn my head before entering death. A young blonde headed knight was lying alongside. He glared at me and gasped 'Infidel' as he died. Can you imagine anyone, calling Hassam, infidel?"

A youthful Tiki laughed at the image.

Two months later they were deep in Weay Linn and headed west with Run Run and Hassam happily leading the way. Tiki walked contentedly with Matt and Joseph on either side.

Tiki smiled. All was."

Since Tiki has BOTH her husbands with her after death and the DOG Run Run as well...I guess you can take it with you.



*Weay Linn are immense tunnels that stretch from South America to Asia. They are a part of numerous South American Indian legends.

Randall 2-12-2003 20:45



We have discussed words per day. For some reason when I was writing "Flowers." I kept track of the day and word count. I kicked the novel off in the September of 1997

5,862 words--------------------11-30-98

So you can see I haven't done a lot lately. However, I have rewritten, deleted and the word count may not reflect recent labors. As you note...some of the three day totals are awesome. That is when I would plant my buns in a chair early in the morning...arise only for food and bathroom and pound the keys till bedtime. (Sure Debbie and I had a lot of problems about then, but it couldn't have been the writing. Right?) You see my friends, and I'm sure you are the same way, I never had to plan the story. It just came out.

Stress test okay, meet with the Sawbones Monday.


Randall 2-12-2003 20:22

Howard, I'm a big believer in synchronicities (meaningful coincidences). If your gut tells you to do something, do it! There are so many places we're meant to be at a certain time, it's a shame not to honor those urges and miss out on something special.

I've got an interesting writing assignment for you. Write a short piece about the time(s) that a synchronicity marked a turning point for you. It's fun and revealing and may remind you of something siginificant you should pay more attention to!

Sunny 2-12-2003 17:21

CHERIE -- Your local bookstore, (especially Borders) should definitely be aware of writer groups in your area. They're for the most part helpful, though you do occasionally run into one started by a wannabe who's just looking to gain attention. They can be unpleasant.

I had a pleasant surprise this morning! I stopped at a local restaurant for second breakfast, sat for a minute in the parking lot, debating on whether I really had time for this, then went on in.
Once inside, I spotted a guy I'd been in the service with over in Germany, whom I hadn't seen since September 1966! It was great talking with him and his wife. Gotta do that again!
Especially the second breakfast part...

howard 2-12-2003 16:26

Wow, so much inspiration, Carol, 1550 words in one day, that's FABULOUS, Christi, your assignment has inspired me to finish the promised houseplan so I can get back to my writing. Today I got two elevations done in pencil on graph paper (which is how the whole plan is done), yesterday I did a somewhat rough but recognizeable perspective drawing, now I just have to make ink copies OF everything and send them off, then it's back to my characters who are, thankfully, starting to make a lot of noise in my head.

I'd like to say something about published vs. unpublished, which is mentioned from time to time. In my opinion, whether a writer is published or not has absolutely NOTHING to do with how good he or she is. Besides talent, there is always an element of luck involved too and goodness knows, there are tons of talented, creative people out there who never get the recognition they deserve. Look at past artists and writers who labored in obscurity and died in poverty who are now recognized as masters. A man won a Pulitzer several years ago for a book that had been rejected 13 times (how could he stand to keep sending it out?). So if you are unpublished, you are in very good company and it IN NO WAY reflects on your talents, I have read some really good stuff in here from those who haven't been lucky enough to trip over the publishing pot like I did (a matter of being in the right place, meeting the right person, etc.).

Hi to Ramon and also to Cheri, sorry I haven't greeted you yet. I agree your vocabulary sounds good but if you want to improve it, you might start jotting down words you encounter in your own reading and looking them up later. Sometimes you can infer what they mean, but with writing them down and defining them, you can add them to your own repertoire. I think there are few people of any age who really know what they want to be when they grow up. Debra, your presentation sounds good, you might want to throw a few statistics in there for good measure. Jerry, how awful for a friend of yours to end up being the rapist, how could your other friends look askance at you for arresting his ass, would they expect you to look the other way just because you knew him? Richard, checked out your site, I love your photo of yourself, it looks so film noir. Congratulations on your new baby girl, what a wonderful distraction, watching a new person growing and discovering the world.

It is just galling to think about what Jack and now Randall are going through (sorry!), hope recoveries are swift, sure and relatively pain-free. I got stapled once too and it looks so wierd, like a zipper across your tummy.

Pamela 2-12-2003 16:09

Hi All :-)

CHRISTI: YAAAAAARGHHHHHHHHH, oh no! What a horrible feeling. (This is in regard to the terse letter - in case you're wondering)

HOWARD: You sent off a manuscript? I must have missed a post somewhere along the line. Good on you!

Well well well, if it isn't RRRRRRRRRRRRRROGER, er, I mean RAMON. Welcome back :-)

And BEN, I forgot to mention BEN, and GARIESS. There are big dark holes in the places they used to occupy here.

MEL:Oh....*sniff* Thankyou. :-S (weak and tremorous smile)

JERRY: It's ghosts he's looking at.
I challenge you to write a flash fiction about that one. 1000 words or less. (if you're in the mood)

DEBRA: Same advice to you - don't imagine the Governor naked.
I wish you all the very best with it.

CHRISTI: I think it's almost time to immerse myself in Bird by Bird. I'm pretty sure that'll do it. I keep remembering the part about writing only as far as you can see, or something along those lines.
Maybe remembering isn't the most appropriate words.

Pencil sharpeners to the ready..........................


Teekay 2-12-2003 16:02


Thank you. I found a few more typos and took out some (its).


It's okay. Thank you!

Debra 2-12-2003 15:08


Hi, you-all! What a great bunch of inspiring and inspired writers! :-}

DEBRA: Excellent content! A few typos or missing words, I expect you'll catch. (Is this an oral prsentation?) Be careful of your usage of the word "it." In adjacent sentences, "it" refers to different things and can get confusing - better to put in the word "it" stands for, in most cases. Sounds like a final sentence might be missing to wrap it all together... Good luck with this! Your Sweetie is such an important book!!! :-]

TINA: Any chance of inventing a Chocolate-flavored wine? :-P

CAROL: 1555! 1555!!!!! My muse just fainted. She's been partying way too much and can't remember what REAL work is like. You go, girl! :-)

CHERI: Chicken soup for you, too. And tea. And OJ. At least, if you're not up to writing, you can listen to soothing or inspirational music and maybe write mentally until the music puts you to sleep. Sleep's the best medicine - feel better soon! re: writing/school. Consider a double major. You can do accounting while you're polishing your writing techniques. There are also some great grammar/punctuation sites on the 'net. Start with JACK's links off the page. For vocabulary, read, read, read, and use my trick: consult your thesaurus regularly or whenever the words you write seem dull to you - find replacement words!

RICHARD: I would love to submit the first 3-4 chapters soon... The problem is, I keep changing the nature of the first 3-4 chapters! New beginning scenes, new characters, new POVs. For I am attempting to write one of those highly discouraged forms for a new writer (not that I'm new, just unpublished) - a layered story, like a person looking at a picture of a person looking at a picture of a person looking at a picture... And my polishing techniques are rather slow (I hear TINA, HALLEE and BEN murmering "THAT's an understatement!" as my editing for myself is even slower than for others - oh boy, am I in trouble!). I've only been working on this--my first--novel, ah, MANY years! It's had plenty of timeouts in the closet to convince me it all needs major re-working! Thanks for your helpful thoughts on the matter! :-)

SUNNY: Punctuation is fun. It's also so easy to over-use. I do it myself all the time! :-{ Take a period to lunch. Leave the rest home for occasional treats. BTW, I need every one of your organizing books!!!

TEEKAY: Dinner with the Mad Hatter?!!! Oh ho - stop it! I'm at work and laughing--no, bellowing--out loud is NOT polite to my adjacent cubicle dwellers! You are too funny! Keep at it. :-] BTW, there SHOULD be a bidding war over your novel - get it out there, for real, you crazy/crazed, talented writer! (I'm going to laugh all day at your clever wit - what a way with words! heee haaaaaaaaa hooooooo!!! You, like RANDALL, should be writing humor pieces for magazines, at least, and giving everyone such great lifts in their day! :-)

JACK: Keep healing!!!

RHODA: A (((HUG))) to you too, just because. Are you still working on that Highland historical novel? :-) I love those settings.

CHRISTI: Um, I think we're identical. I write skimpy first drafts, just to get the basic plot down, then every time I re-read, I add in needed character details, setting descriptors, etc., etc. And if I don't escape this "try a new beginning-again" trend, I'm going to have enough characters and story concepts to write a Library of Congress-full of books! Although your 500-word assignment took me through, I hope, the last new beginning I need to begin re-telling my story! :-) And I spent last eve., while not official writing, sorting outline plotnotes and realized I need a comprehensive timeline for my 6-book series where events intertwine so I can keep the first book on track! I'm getting closer to continuing the next draft! :-) re: a steady something for writing inspiration here... hmm, your "give me 500" challenge spurred many of us into action. If we get shorty night up and running again and maybe some other inspirations sprinkled through the weeks (variety is best!), we may all turn into regular writers yet! :-]

How about it, folks? What shall we do for shorty night tomorrow??? A poem/paragraph using words that start with the letters in your first name? Maybe too intense... A character sketch using only actions, no other descriptors? I don't know...any other ideas??? MARY, where are you???!!!

RANDALL: Forgive my memory skipping a groove. I STILL adore your story elements. :-] And that Churchill quote is priceless! I think I'm somewhere between the writing being a mistress and a master... If it ever becomes the tyrant, my family will not appreciate Mom turning into the HULK so she can get her daily writing DONE!

RAMON: Welcome back! Stay! Pull up a pen and write about the longest writer's winter you ever had (that is, the longest dry spell without writing). :-] I commiserate but I'm looking for my writer's Spring now!

Okay! Okay! I'm going...! Y'all, write well today, and report back here tomorrow! I need your inspirations!

Mel 2-12-2003 14:04

Hi All :)

I knew I’d get burned naming names based off my memory! My apologies TINA – you are the author of the Arizona piece. So it is to TINA, I say, good job!

CHERI – your question is one I’d say we’ve all had to struggle with at one point or another. As someone else said, only you can make the right decision for you. I’ll just tell you my decision with the matter. When I decided to pursue my writing seriously, I took a variety of online classes. Some free, some for a small charge. I did avoid the ones I couldn’t afford. I ran into good teachers and some not so good. The same ratio you’d find in any school. I’ve also attend a couple of writing conferences hosted by our state university that were very helpful. All of these gave me a basis of the basic rules of writing and the inspiration to keep going. While I can understand and fully appreciate a desire to have a back-up profession, that just isn’t practical in my life. So I’ve got no choice but to make the writing work – somehow! Follow your heart and your instincts, that’s the best advice I can give. {{hug}} Just ran across your post on vocabulary – I’m not sure what you mean by it being a problem. Your posts here don’t show any weakness that I can discern. Perhaps your vocabulary is simply your unique "voice".

SUNNY – I can’t agree with you that your contribution to this world is "small". Your spirit comes through your postings and you do indeed bring "Sunshine" to the site. (btw- my favorite "Sunny/Sunshine" was my very first german shepherd. She lived up to her name very well too!)

JACK – you take care and be well too!

CHRISTI – I’m not worried about all the changes I keep making. I just keep reminding myself that I’m still an apprentice in this great journey and I’m learning with every change I make. I think I did spot a cherub dancing out of the corner of my eye. I’m like you too in first drafts, and second, and well, I’m up to 6 at the moment. I’ve tried working with an actual outline, but that just isn’t the route for me. I do know each version gets just that much stronger, so I’m not going to worry about it – yet. Yesterday’s word count all got put into a letter to the Senators. Two pages, single spaced on the VA problems. I’m getting good at getting their attention though!

RANDALL – awww! Well, let’s see, what can I suggest to help you get that story finished?? Umm, ever think of the series angle? Flowers is fantasy if I remember right and serial fantasy books sell nicely. Or should I just accuse you of being a perfectionist and leave it at that? Hehehe {hug} Good luck with the future surgery. Strange, Jack and you with gall bladders, then my Mom mentioned hers this past weekend – is it gall bladder season??

RAMON – hello, its nice to meet you! Good luck with getting back into the groove of writing. Write whatever you can, whenever. Each word brings you that much closer to your goal, and your dreams.

DEBRA – I honestly don’t feel qualified to comment on your speech to the Governor. But I wish you the greatest of luck in getting this pushed through and into the school rooms.

Time to see how many words I can add to the story today ------ have a good one everybody!

Carol 2-12-2003 13:53

This is what I'm going to say to our Govenor when I meet him this month. Let me know what it might need.

One of our now infamous ex-presidents stated that domestic violence is the largest killer of adult women in the United States and should be fought as aggressively as any other life-threatening disease. Although, I don’t know off hand the narrow definition of a disease, I do know the broad one, getting it will it will adversely change your life or end it and everyone is susceptible. That describes domestic violence perfectly. Domestic violence then can be described as a chronic and often fatal disease. If there were a safe vaccine we would all be getting it. There is one and it is education. There is a problem only a few people are receiving the education or vaccine only after they get the disease? Even more numbers are getting the disease and still getting no education at all.

The best time to get this vaccine is when you are in high school. There are three huge reasons for that. One, high school is where this disease first starts. The second one is high school students are like ripened tomatoes. They are at their peak to receive information. After high school it goes down. The third is with this disease whether you get it personally or a loved one gets it you’re affected. Plus it occurs in same sex relationships and though it is seldom reported women are capable of abusing their husbands too. That’s everybody.

Simply put Vaccines are only useful when they are received. They are only useful when they penetrate the patient and become part of them. What good is a vaccine if the needle is the size of a table leg and it can’t penetrate the patient? Sweetie is directed at the patient. Once any person reads sweetie they understand everything they read. It’s an absolute impossibility not to. After reading sweetie the person will understand the most important facts about this disease like a professional would. They will be protected for life. Most educational books on domestic violence aren’t given to people until after they become victims. It has been proven it is far too late at that point. Most books on domestic violence are clinical, technical or testimonial. That information while being accurate most times doesn’t penetrate the reader at all. Most books can be compared to that vaccine with the needle the size of chair leg. It can’t penetrate the patient or make it far too painful to receive at all.

Sweetie has taken all the most important facts about domestic violence and turned them into digestible and pleasant vaccine. The only thing left to do it make this vaccine mandatory. By doing that we can make Rhode Island not only the first state but the leader in eradicating the leading cause of death in adult women in the United States. If we leave it voluntary, people only get it after they get the disease or not get it all. In short nothing will change even though the cure has come. The reason why it’s the leading cause of death in so many reflects this little known fact. Even if this year a person is strong, vibrant and resistant to this atrocity it is no guarantee that they will stay that way. There are so many highs and lows in one person’s lifetime. It’s just one of those facts we can’t escape. Making it mandatory will protect everyone for every year they are alive.

There’s more. When we see a person who has been hurt in an accident of some kind we see a victim. Many people will be called upon to help a family member or loved one who is trapped in domestic violence. More often then not, they do nothing to help. That’s because they don’t see a victim. For every person who becomes protected they will also become a person who will finally see a victim. When people see a victim, they will help. Domestic violence is so prevalent because not enough people realize these people are trapped by their own humanity and really need help. So if we can call sweetie the vaccine, we can also call it the vaccine that cures in two ways. It prevents the person from becoming infected at the same time creates a person who can help those who become infected.

Debra 2-12-2003 12:53

HOWARD: I’ve looked at the library and unless it just isn’t advertised very well, they don’t have a local writer’s group. Believe me, I looked when I was AT the library and I looked on their web site as well. I do need to check at the local bookstore and perhaps at the nearby Borders. The community college offers courses however I’m a little strapped for cash and time at the moment. I could probably get unemployment to pay for the Accounting courses, but I’m a little doubtful about the writing courses.

CHRISTI: Yes, I know what they say about opinions! I guess the reason I feel I need to take a course is that I feel I lack the knowledge for grammar, vocabulary, and possibly punctuation as well. Of course, in this day and age, with the use of MS Word and spell check, the grammar and punctuation aren’t much of a problem. The vocabulary however could be a major weakness. Let me know what you think about that would you?

JERRY: It’s been at least ten years since I took those courses. I probably know more about operating computers now than I did then but you are right about the accounting software. I work for a bank and they don’t use any of the latest software (which most employers ask that you be familiar with). Also, I’m not sure that the credits I earned would still be accepted!

I guess I'm just not sure of what I want to be "when I grow up"!

Cheri 2-12-2003 10:42


Could you email me. I don't seem to have your address any more. I need to speak to you today.

Debra 2-12-2003 10:12

RAMON: I know where you're coming from. I did the same thing. It is hard to get going again. I started small, first writing a little in a journal. I promised to write everyday. That hasn't happened yet but I have been writing at least every other day. I also picked up to books that have helped me to become more inspired. Also, visiting here is the BIGGEST incentive to keep going!

The people here are great! I've tried a number of times to find something similar elsewhere on the net and have failed miserably.

The books I mentioned are "If You Can Talk, You Can Write" by Joel Saltzman and "A Writer's Workbook" by Caroline Sharp. Some of their ideas are very similar and both are inspiring. If I need a boost to start writing, all I need to do is read a chapter or two of either book and I can feel the juices being to flow!

One thing I do daily is stop in here and read all the posts. I may not post myself, but I lurk every single day!

Good luck and keep going!

Cheri 2-12-2003 9:13

Hello one and all. Back when I was a little bit younger and considerably less stressed I used to visit here quite often. It even got me back into writing again and I made some friends along the way. Of course so much time has passed since I last posted a message so no doubt most of you still here would have forgotten me which is good since we can reaquaint from scratch. On the off the chance that I am lodged somewhere in the cerbellum I have this quote from the sensational rock bank "Creed":-

"Hello my friends we meet again,
Its been a while, where should we begin?
Feels like forever."

I have to admit I have done the worse thing a writer can do - stop. Now I am finding it hard to get back on track and the stress at work and the non stop attention my house needs, I find I just do not have the energy. But I'll give it ago.

I've been flicking through some of the chats people have been having and I see nothing has changed; interesting people engaged in stimulating and controversial conversation topics, whilst finding the time to encourage and inspire fellow writers.

God I have missed this place. Will make more of an effort to visit more.

Take care whatever you do, wherever you go, and whoever you're with.


Ramon 2-12-2003 8:21

Jon - Cat Question for you. As you may or may not be aware, a cat now owns me. His name is Smoky and since acquiring me and the wife, he has grown for a little speck that fit in the palm of my hand to a large grey house cat and shows some distant relations to a Siamese cat.

What I want to know is this. Watching my new owner, I find that, from time to time, he looks around the room and focuses on something in the room, but when I look, there is nothing there. What the hell is he seeing? What can cats see that we poor people cannot?

Just wondering, maybe you can take it up with Pussy, who's been noticeably absent on this recent return, and let me know.


Jerry (filling the notebook) 2-12-2003 0:06

Just noticed that the television that I leave running when I'm doing things like posting on the Notebook has some real Godfother like men testifying before Congress. I stopped for a bit to see who these thugs were and was amazed to find that it was the director's of the FBI and the CIA.

That's frightening, and the way they are testifying, they sound much like Marlon Brando did in the Godfather too.

Both are tough looking. That's good I guess I'd much rather have a couple of tough looking charcters in those offices then some pansy assed civil servant wh has never worked a day in intelligence or law enforcement.

Jerry (Yet AGAIN) 2-11-2003 23:58

Someone I forget who now, was struggling with their villain. I thought of this and knew I had read somewhere about an author doing this very same thing. This author invented one of the worst buggy men who ever haunted millions of dreams in recent years, Hannibal Lector.

If you have access to his latest book, The Red Dragon, the forward delves into this very problem, and I think he did a nice job of explaining how he wrestled his villains into line.

Jerry 2-11-2003 23:53


Evening friends...

Thank you Jon for the award. And yes I know Portugal is the most powerful nation on the earth. 1. because they are not waging war with anyone, this indicates how smart you guys are ... 2. I understand their women are gorgeous, (AND INTELLIGENT!) high on my list ...3. Americo resides there and 4. it is well known in academic circles that the citizens of Portugal are descendants of the Atlantis survivors! Way to go Jon!!! any hidden power crystals left over? You know, from the old days, before the earthquake and flood?

Christi :-) ... let me tell you about Ms. Star Tiki Ney! :-) She is a bitch in the purest form! She entered my dream many years ago and has sent me down the path of incessant literary pursuit. :-) A hard-hearted, browbeater! She haunts me ... daily. I see women I imagine as Tiki...have spent hours thinking of her and what she might do... and wondered if I created a real person? Tiki is a people user, willful to a fault, bull-headed, obstinate, arrorgant, way too powerful and of course ... beautiful. Naturally!

Thank you Pamela for the kudos. I slave over the book and wonder for what purpose? Reference the above paragraph about Tiki and her slave driver ways!!!

Mel we have discussed this before. It is possible that we were and/or influenced on levels of thought unknown to us. I tried to make Tiki as human as possible yet the center of a great deal of supernatural power. Stunning power that is available when she needs it. Otherwise Tiki is as human as the rest of us ... except ... DNA tests indicat she is a descendant down through her grandfather and father versus the usual female genetic links. (As is Robert, her only son.)


I'm debating whether to get into this DNA thingee now and where I got the idea. There are a lot of things in "Flowers" that might offend some folks. Heather pointed this out to me last year and I deleted the possible inflammatory material. This could fall into that area...

Carol...I am incapable of finishing "Flowers." Every time I sit down and dial it up, I think of something else to add and add and add. Heather has or had problems with my ss submission to P. Simply, I cram everything I can into the story.

Great advise Richard! Really. I agree. There comes a time to let it go, I just wish someone would tell me when!!! :-) I like this quote... "Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public."

Winston Churchill

Jack...any advice? My gall bladder will soon be only a memory! Maybe Friday or early next week.

A last word... GOL DURN IT!!! Well, three words. My Tiki post last night was all screwed up. I messed up the format and it looked like a glob of words. For those of you who read it, many thanks for working your way through the mess. I'll add an additional segment later on ... (a thought) ... might I serialize it here? Hmmmmmmmmmmm...

Good night


Randall 2-11-2003 23:11

Cheri - If you go back to college and take accounting back up, things may have changed so much that you wouldn't recognize the accounting you took in the past. I guess I don't know when you took accounting but the computer age has changed so rapidly and along with it I'm sure that accounting software has gone the same way.

I went back to college, and while not on my own decision but that of Workers Comp, when I was in my mid 40's and had a wonderful time, I absolutely loved every second of it, and managed a 4.0 GPA on during the entire two year period, including my two month internship with a District Court Judge acting as his paralegal. Education is so very rewarding and something you should surely consider.

In addition to full time, there is, of course part time college, as well as online courses, some free some that cost, others that are actually through an accredited college. A bit of online research will show you what's available out there.

Jerry 2-11-2003 22:32

Hey ya'll! Just going to jump right in.

But ... Heather!!! Some of us are tinkerers with a purpose! My first drafts are skimpy on detail and other crucial things. I'm one of those weirdos who goes back over and edits again and again and again until I have a story worth sending out. Sometimes I have the barest outline of a story--it's not even close to jumping off the page yet. Each time I go over it I'm breathing a little more life into that outline. And then there are those times I restart a story fresh with a brand new concept, maybe even a different protagonist, and I'll do this three or four times before I hit gold. Hard way to write. It just seems to be what works for me. And there's not one of us here who's methods are identical--it's as individual as your fingerprints.

YAY MEL!!!!!!! You are inspiring me more with every word! I'd like to come up with a steady something, something that everyone could feel good about. Any ideas?

Howard, Forgot to say ATTA BOY for sending off that manuscript! I'm crossing every ligament possible for you.
Speaking of submitting, does anyone here have any stories they'd like to share? Man it's tough. I quit keeping track after number 30. I've been waiting for three manuscripts that have been "out there" for coming on four months. One of the markets was an anthology collecting stories about fathers and daughters, and when I checked their website I saw that they had chosen the book cover and had a publishing date (next month). It pissed me off so badly that they had never even sent me a rejection so that I would know I hadn't made the cut, so I whipped off a terse note saying I was wondering when they were planning to get back to me on my story (knowing full well it was all over), and guess what? I got an equally terse note in my email box stating that they were still considering my manuscript for the collection. AGH! Foot in mouth, when will I ever get rid of the taste of musty tennis shoe?

Carol, Don't worry about changing your openings! As I said above I do the exact same thing. Nice to see I'm not the only one. One of these will stick and you'll be happy with it and cherubs will dance and angels will sing. It ain't over till it's over. :) I haven't had a 1500 word day in some time; nice one! Oh, and that was Tina's Arizona piece. See what namin' names does for ya? Heh heh.

Get well soon, Cheri! NO one can answer the question you're asking but you. And I don't believe you need college classes to become a great writer, or I'd be signing up for them yesterday. I think classes can be very helpful but there's nothing like writing to make you a better writer. This is only my opinion and you know what they say about those.

Awesome, Richard! I've never felt so inspired to write as I do now after reading all these wonderful posts.

Sunny's back! It's so nice to have you here again. I just knew it would be that way, once published. We can't ever as human beings give ourselves credit for what we've done, only for what we're going to do, eh? Maybe that's the way our brains work to cause us to continue to strive for more.
I loved what you said about the pleasure of the journey. I've heard it said from just about every author I admire that that is where the true joy is found. It's hard to remember when you're a stuggling writer with goals and dreams, but publishing really is the tedious part. But the creation ... Wow.

Rachel and Sunny, I guess I'm not alone in my fear of public speaking. I've heard that it's the number one fear period. But the thought makes me want to pass out or barf or something. You've got guts of steel, Rachel! I could learn much from you two about accepting speaking as a necessary part of writing.

Teekay, Me too! That's exactly what it's like! You're thinking to yourself, Wow these people have no idea I've gone stark raving mad right in front of their eyes. But the jig'll be up when they notice the unfocused eyes and the facial spasms and the drooooooool.

Welcome back, Jack!

Rhoda, I'm afraid I left you out in the naming of names. Now I'm kneeling before you and blubbering for forgiveness. You were on my mind but apparently I hit fast forward. Glad the gang's all here.

Orf to write! May all of you have a writerly and/or wonderful day. Thanks for posting. Inspiration is flashing into (and hopefully out of, later) my fingertips!

Christi 2-11-2003 22:28

Richard - Finally made it to your web site. I downloaded your book, it looks interesting.

Strange as it may seem, the last major case I had was a serial rapists, when I finally caught the bugger, it turned out to be one of my best friends, a friend who I shared many a cup of coffee with, a friend who's guns I had maintained for him for several years, a friend who gave my son his first job pumping gas at his gas station.

The whole town was so amazed that I busted his ass and sent him off to the pen without batting an eye. Sort of made my friends think again of our relationship, but then they all knew me well enough to know our friendship would never be a problem between us if they did something so stupid.

What amazed me though is the number of times we sat there across from each other drinking our coffee and talked of what we'd do if we caught that SOB that was rapping women in our little town, I'm sure he must have swallowed a time or two when I expressed my desire that one of our good ladies in our town would pull a 12 gauge from under her bed and blow the bastards head off.

Jerry 2-11-2003 22:20

CHERI -- Our community college offers several "community ed" courses each spring and fall, and there are always a few writing courses included. They've offered a wide range of mini-courses in different genres -- from childrens' fiction to short story, to nature and travel, to op-ed pieces -- even poetry, and a couple of related things like "copyright" and "how to get published." It's a very good way to learn, and to connect with local writers and writer groups.
Check with your local library or bookstore also, for lists of online courses offered by these small colleges. Many of them (ours included) offer both credit and non-credit writing courses occasionally. They can be very helpful.

howard 2-11-2003 20:05


I do entirely agree with RACHEL'S last post. I think RACHEL and DEBRA are the best of people. But I do agree with you also. There are better places to discuss politics, but I never go them, because I never get on the Internet and say to myself, "I am going to the Notebook or where ever else and express my political opinions today." It is never like that. Sometimes I just read something on the Notebook and I feel compelled to respond. Oftentimes, not to long after I post it, I ask myself, "Now why did I do that? I really should have kept that to myself."

I suppose I just feel comfortable here, but I never want to abuse that feeling and take it too much for granted.

I also add (((Hugs))) to you, EDDIE.

And (((Hugs))) to JACK. JACK, thank you for being so kind and generous, and wise. I wish I could be restrained as you are. I know that however you believe or what ever you think of things that you have good, well-thought out reasons. I also know that you are just as passionate about your beliefs as any of the rest of us. I hope you feel better soon and that you heal up well.

Rhoda 2-11-2003 18:45

Rhoda: Do not worry. It is my intention now that I am able to sit up and have gone through most of the day without narcotic pain pills to try and archive things. Once I do I will edit out the inappropriate HTML and otherwise make sure everything gets posted correctly. If there are political comments coming out, I am not surprised. I will stay mumb and not fire it up any further. I am assuming given previous comments I have made on a broad range of issues you will have my take on things already without asking :-) . Take care everyone and be well.

Jack 2-11-2003 16:53

Hi All,
EDDIE: 72 Font((((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))))))) from the antipodes.

DEBRA: Yes, it's true. Ironic huh? Wish I could remember their names, but my brain doesn't have the capacity for remembering German names - lucky for me my ancestors migrated.

RACHEL: That sounds absolutely fascinating! I would love to study that type of thing, maybe I will one day - here's hoping.
I'm glad your oration went well. Whenever I've had to deal with high stress situations my body goes into a type of shock. I look normal, and automatic pilot goes on, but inside I'm having dinner with the mad hatter.

Now you've got me well and truly curious about the 'issue'. But I shan't push.

MEL: I don't fancy wine much either. My in-laws have this homemade rich red wine and a dollop in the, casserole gives it a lovely depth.Ymmmmmmm.

CHRISTI: Pfft, dread your emails, as if!
Well, your challenge worked wonders, I finished my novel, edited it, sent it to a couple of publisher who LOVED it and now there's a bidding war over it.


Oh, you've heard this one before?
:->'s the weather?

Taz (ugh, sorry Nana) aka Teekay 2-11-2003 16:47

Ok -- deep breath. I guess it's my turn to show some vulnerability. I've just spent the last 45 minutes reading everything that's been posted in the Notebook since this past Sunday morning. I was away, and left just as the political fire here was raging.

Now that I've caught up with all that's happened, once again I'm speechless. There's just no other place like the Notebook.

I met my current husband (we were married last May) in a Beach Boys chatroom, so I know how deeply and quickly bonds can develop on-line. I credit him with giving me the support and encouragement I needed at the time to attempt my first book on my own. I went through 3 agents and God knows how many proposal re-writes before I found the agent, and then the editor, who truly understand what the heck it is that I'm trying to do.

I know that I've achieved alot in my career, with a well-received book and good PR, but everytime I begin something I've never done before, in a sense it's like starting all over again. And when people say, "Wow, you've published a successful book!", it makes me laugh because I'm impressed by everyone else's book but my own!

The problem is that I'm always looking ahead to my upcoming projects, and in that respect I don't give myself credit for what I've accomplished thus far. But as I read about everyone else's efforts in here, I recognized that there's as much victory in every 500 words as there is completing, and then maybe publishing an entire work, and that I should get more pleasure out of the journey.

So I'm doing Christi's assignment (thank you, Christi!) and picking up whatever bits of wisdom and knowledge I can about the writing process. (I know that I have an editor who will edit my sentence structure for me if I need it, but can anyone tell me why I automatically use so many commas, dashes and semi-colons?? ;-)

I used to have several pen pals when I was a kid, because I love to learn about different ways of thinking. I, too, don't like to watch conflict in here, but that's more of my perosnality than anything else. I actually admire those of you who have the guts to say exactly what you think, which applies to just about everyone in here. And that's why I feel a little of my own risk-taking is in order. Please don't think that because someone is comfortable standing up and speaking in front of hundreds of people that it is easy to be open in a forum such as this. I'm Exhibit A on that one.

The reason I'm writing my book, Organizing for the Spirit, is because I love to encourage people to become who they really are, and all they are capable of being. I believe that that's my small contribution to the world and I feel very strongly about it. If one person I positively influence turns around and influences someone else, and so forth and so on, that eventually leads to alot of people being helped. And if I have to go on TV and do interviews and other things that are not comfortable for me, so be it. This is, in part, why I believe I'm here on earth this time around, and what I can do to help heal.

So, that's part of my story. I also want to say that I feel so badly for those of you in emotional and physical pain, and I wish you nachas (good luck) and peace. I'd name names but I have an atrocious memory for them, and I don't want to go through the anguish of those who've tried to do complete lists!

I love hearing the tales of others, fictional and real, because they remind me of what makes us unique, and what binds us together.

Love you all,

Sunny 2-11-2003 16:33


How do you know when to stop editing and when your book is ready for submission.

Great question. I think you can go on editing for ever. There has never been a "perfect" book, ie error free.

I would suggest you submit the 1st 3 to 4 chapters with a synopsis whislt you are still polishing the whole manuscript.

At some point you have to have the confidence to sit back and be happy. Only you can decide when that is. Be honest with yourself, if you still think it can be tweaked or improved, then do so.

I find that leaving it for a couple of weeks helps. Your mind get get very fuddled and muddled and time out gives all your thoughts time to settle.

Hope this helps.


Richard My site 2-11-2003 16:10

Hi Christi,

Thanks for the motivation.

567 words rattled off (slowly) yesterday. Your idea worked wonders. :-)


Richard My site 2-11-2003 16:04

I've got a question that really needs an answer!

I feel I'm not qualified to continue writing the story I've started. I think I really need to take a course either an English or Writing class. What do all of you suggest?

Since my job will be ending later this year, I need to decide if I should simply go back into the work force or go back to school and get a degree. AND if I do go to school, should I continue on with the Accounting degree I started years ago or go more towards some kind of writing field. Understand this, I already have about a years worth of credits toward an Accounting Assoc. degree and I do enjoy the field. But do all of you think I should do BOTH or one or the other(as far as college courses go).

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

Cheri 2-11-2003 15:56

MEL: Nope, I didn't make it to the funny farm, I made it to the sick bed. Dang sinus blockages. I didn't even make it to Tae Kwon Do! AND only got two sentences written in my journal yesterday. UGH!
Oh well, guess I'll have to try for 500 today.

I don't dream as much as I used to and it's quite depressing really. Many a time I've dreamed of flying. Not flying in an airplane, but flying by my own powers. I did a short essay on it but I can't locate it right now.
If I find it I'll post it.

Good writing to all!

Cheri 2-11-2003 15:34

Hi All :D

I’m having so much trouble staying connected to the internet today. So, I’m trying to write up my post offline and hope for the best doing a quick copy and paste. Ha! More than one way to skin a cat.

First off – another thanks to CHRISTI – I’m afraid I exceeded your 500 though and made it up to 1555! Only trouble was, I wanted to simply add to my novel, but I had this line running through my head. So, giving in to the muse, I ran with it and found myself finally having an opening that I like. Poor Viv has seen, I think, about 6 different beginnings so far. So ---

Thank you VIV for beginning so understanding and patient with my wacky way of writing. We write such different genres, yet we’re able to bounce off each other, give each other ideas, and open new doorways and windows to our work. Thanks for being my buddy, buddy.

Randall – This is the first time I’ve read this portion of FLOWERS and I must say – I like it a lot! You managed to raise a lot of questions in this piece that the reader will want to keep reading and discover the answers for. Now finish it dear man! {{HUG}}

I’m so tempted to say hi to everybody by name, but I’ve seen how others with better memories than my own try only to find a name missing so --- Hello everybody!

To everyone suffering in body and spirit, I send my love and prayers for a return to health.

Rachel (I hope I’m remembering the right name here, but if I’m right --) – I’m so jealous of the house you describe! I love my own, but some of the features you mention, would make this place absolutely perfect. And I agree about the tire swing, there’s nothing like it. I’m still after my hubby to put up my swing. We’ve got the poles, the rope and the board. Just not the labor (and the thawed ground at the moment) to get the job done.

I’m not posting my writing of yesterday since the board is currently quite full. Anyone wanting to take a peek and give me some rough thoughts is welcome to give it a read. Just let me know.

(Just did a quick read through of this post – so, so, so – well, sew buttons on your pants, zippers are out of style! Hehehehe )

Oh, yeah – and DEBRA -- nice job on the Arizona piece! You did a great job of bringing it to life for all of us with your use of all the senses!

(ok, Carol Floy, shut up and let someone else talk for bit ---)

Carol 2-11-2003 15:19

Rachel, I know exactly what you mean about things always being with you, long after you've identified them. I'm like that with very close friendships. After being burned by my very best friends when I was a teenager, I have a tendency to let new friendships develop only to a certain level, and then not let them go further. It's pain avoidance, I know it, and I have to work very hard to overcome that tendancy. But I don't want to miss out on the joys of having close friends, so I force myself to get past my old habits. It will always haunt me.

Mel, Mel, Mel... some dishes simply must have wine in them. Not just any wine, it must be matched to the dish, but so tastey! ;-)

Someone asked about nicknames... my dad called my 'Kid', my mom calls me 'TJ' my hubby calls my 'Luv'. Many friends have simply called my 'Tee'. The only one I've hated was 'Tina the ballerina'.

Tina 2-11-2003 14:54

Well said, HEATHER! :-) Now if tinkering was just not in my bloodstream... I'd still not be published! BWAAHAA HAAA HAA! 8-]

Mel again 2-11-2003 14:33


CHRISTI: WARNING: Potentially wet substance being posted in your direction... It's a BIG, sLoPpY Kiss 8-P and a GREAT BIG (((((((HUG))))))) to go with it for your wonderfully inspiring 500-word writing assignment yesterday. It was just what I needed to break a long stint of no-writing AND to finish a new opening scene I'd been considering but hadn't written in its entirety until your challenge. :-] Now I feel like a writer again! Well, at least on the road to where I should be headed, anyway! I dedicated 556 words to you last evening. Without your challenge, I would've never started or even kept at it so long, as it was late (for me) and I wasn't sure where to look for the words. The ones I wrote are nothing special but the fact that I wrote them - got started again! - is most significant for me. So, my writing friend, THANK YOU for the inspiration. :-] (Uh, do it again today, did you say? Uh, um, er, whew! *pulls collar to relieve constriction in throat* - er, ah, okay, I'll try!) (My muse wants to know who said that??)

CHERI: Um, sorry I jumped off the wagon to the Funny Farm. Maybe you escaped too? :-) I hope so!

CHRISTI, RANDALL: "crystalline dreams turning to printed mind-numbing drivel" ... yup, that's the way my dream-stories end.

RANDALL: !!!!! I think our muses have, at one time or another in the past, gone drinking together or something! Your FLOWERS is very different from my SHARDS, but still some similar elements have touched our creative levels. Crystals, rainbows, mind-blowing natural/supernatural phenomena...I even have a heroine who is very much like a Native American...

TEEKAY: Curry? Blyuck! >-{ Make it oregano or thyme, and forget the wine (or have the wine separately if you must - wine adds nothing to the taste of anything, in my opinion!) - SORRY if I offended any wine lovers! It's the only 'whine' I know.

RACHEL: Me three! I'd love to see a pic of your intriguing home. SOunds like a wonderful setting for a gothic romance or something! :-) Glad your speech went well. Worse than public speaking, I hate "The FLY" movie and that poor deranged science experiment! (But "help meee" must be one of the most popularly quoted lines of all movies!)

HOWARD: Groooaaaaannnnn! I was afraid someone would say the edits are never done! It must be a matter of courage then, when you make the momentous decision to let your literary baby fly the coop. Good luck with your latest story on its rounds! :-]

EDDIE: More (((((HUGS)))))... Got lots. Keep coming back whenever you need 'em.

JON: Wise words perch between your ears! Your human must be spoiling you properly. An extra catnip treat for you!!

JERRY: Welcome, fellow Lutheran! :-] I was a "Methodist" for so many years I never realized how close to "home" I was until I started attending a Lutheran church a few years ago. I love the beautiful choral liturgies and the holiness of the sanctuary. Not all churches have that anymore. I am glad to find some peace for my soul Sunday mornings amid the rest of the week in the harsh world.

PAMELA: I see the scenes in my head too and let the visual drip into my writing arm...I run into trouble whenever I rush the words, whenever I don't sit and steep in the mental visuals before I try to recreate them in text. BTW, your memory is good!! I just checked Saroyan's HUMAN COMEDY and there is mention of an Ithaca, although it's off a Sante Fe/San Francisco train, so I don't think it's my Ithaca. Salinger's Glass family was in NYC, I think. And I liked your villain advice, to "find his distorted reasoning and make it your own while in his skin." :-] I, like TAYLOR, I think, just don't like to BE in his skin! 8-o

I am so enjoying the spurt of writing talk going on here! :-] Keep the ink flowing, you-all!

Mel 2-11-2003 14:30

Hmmmmm. Here's something I heard on the radio last night. It was an interview with a musician, of course, but I don't know who, since I turned on the radio after that was announced. :o>
"...It's either a good song or it's not. If it's not, you won't make it into a good song by tinkering with it."
The musician was talking about how years ago, the artists went into the recording studio well-rehearsed, and songs were recorded in only one or two takes. These days, songs are recorded and then tinkered with for ages, so that a song can be engineered into something 'most likely to be a hit'. But, as it was said, a crappy song won't become a good one by tinkering around with it endlessly.

Oh, yes.
I know I heard this snippet of interview for a reason!

All ye tinkerers - hear ye, hear ye! Arrest your hands and pens from thy tinkering! If it's good it's good. If it's not, don't spend a year messing with it. You could have learned why it did't end up as a good piece of writing, and gotten on to better work.

That's right. I will take my own advice if I have to swallow it with five gallons of orange juice and a dose of gravol!


Heather 2-11-2003 13:58


I am so sorry for your loss. I was away from the NB when this happened. Please accept my heart felt condolences to you and your family.


I’ve been taking religious studies classes. We did the west last semester and are not onto the east. I’m taking philosophy, psychology, anthropology, religious studies, you know the ology stuff ;o) My religious studies prof is also pretty heavy into the political sciences so we have some pretty wicked discussions in class. I love the the classes I’m taking all compliment one another. When I am organizing my class selections I do think of that. I try to get courses that will work as a team. I love hot pots! You and I cook the same way (yummy)!! My presentation went well. It went very well. By the time the question period began I was comfortable and at ease. I don’t have a problem with speaking clearly or at a good pace. I’m awesome at that. I just have a problem with people looking at me. I hate when people look at me. That is what I like about the internet, nobody is freaking looking at me. Last night I told myself reasonably that the class was looking at me because I was sitting at the front of the class addressing them. That seemed to calm me. I have other issues around public speaking, but the biggest is just that I don’t like being the center of attention. I’m the great deflector. If anyone puts something on me, I try to push it off to another, unless it is a private sort of thing, then I just love it and roll around in the attention. Kind of strange eh? I know what is at the root of my discomfort with public speaking and with being looked at, that doesn’t mean I can just make it be gone, though yesterday evening was a large step in the right direction of moving away from this issue. It will always be there, always be a part of me, but it doesn’t have to define who I am and how I act. Know what I mean?



Sure i’ll send you a picture. I guess I better get on this.


My brave heart send you a warm hug. I think that Rhoda, Debra and I are fine. We all have strong feelings and positions. It doesn’t mean we don’t like each other, it just means we don’t like every little bitty thing about each other ;o) Who does? There are things my family and friends do that drive me nuts, it doesn’t mean I don’t love them.

Rachel 2-11-2003 11:41

Fran Pam-am (one childhood nickname)
Finally caught up on everyone's postings and excerpts, wow, I'm impressed! Jerry, you have really got me curious about what is going on with Richard and how such a simple situation is going to change his life. Randall, poor Tiki really is having a day from heck but it appears inevitable. Your descriptive writing of freaky events was great, that stuff is so hard to do.
Mel, as far as editing tips, what I do is read my stuff like I haven't written it myself, as a reader rather than a writer, it helps in ruthlessly chopping out my precious words (writing is not for the anal-retentive!). I think this works for me, Bantam hardly changed anything in my manuscript, just added some periods here and there to my long sentences. Richard, my new book definitely has film potential, sometimes I just watch a scene in my head and write down what I see.
Eddie, my heart weeps for you, I know how hard is was to hear Michael's favorite song and the anger you feel at your helplessness over his leaving. Jon beat me to what I was going to say about the song but I think it bears repeating: I think Michael CAN hear his favorite song, as well as music that you can't hear. Nikki should also know that he loves her and doesn't care anything about their little spat, it is so insignificant and he especially, from his vantage point, can see this clearly. I think maybe if you closed your eyes sometime and took deep breaths and tried to stop the noises of the world (meditation), you could feel him near you. I feel certain that he IS near you and wishes he could tell you all that he is all right. I followed your advice and went and gave my daughter a big kiss, know that I have cherished her more than ever after hearing of Michael's leaving. On the political front, I'm with you, gonna stay out of it, it's too depressing anyway. When I said we couldn't do anything, I didn't mean that we can't try to change things for the future, just that we can't alter the events of the past which have led up to the crisis going on now, I don't think we can change radical extremists whose hatred has been boiling for years or previous foreign policies which may have contributed to it. I don't think we can alter the fact that they hate us, or that they will try to hurt us, but we can alter the fact of our own fear so that they do not win even if they kill us. It's true that words without expressions are limiting, I mean for this to be apolital and uplifting but don't know if it is coming across that way. We all leave here sometime and I don't think that is a bad thing. When your number's up, your number's up and I think it's a waste of time to worry about it when you could be smelling the roses.
Debra, thanks for the update on the Sweetie books, I don't give a hoot if you're self-published (or never published, for that matter), I'm just glad you haven't had to set yourself on fire to get attention for your work. I think boys could use some education about abuse too.
Mel, was it "The Human Comedy" by William Saroyan that was set in Ithaca, or am I thinking of the Glass family of Salinger's?
About getting into the villian's mind, that can be hard and also a little scary to do. We have to use our imagination (which is what makes us writers) to try to understand the impossible, or what would be impossible for us ourselves to do. Many books offer the standard bad childhood for the villian or sociopathology, being unable to feel anything unless it is extreme, like the act of killing someone. I don't want to go into too much detail about my book (don't want to spoil it for you when it comes out!) but I have kind of a dialogue with the devil type of thing going on, which I'm actually having a little fun with ("Oh, if we only had cheeks, tears would be streaming down them from laughter..." after doing something nasty to someone). On the other hand, I DID go crazy in prison and had demons of my own, which I am drawing on for this, I just have to be sure that they don't come back again. Personally, I think the ugly creatures bothering me were real, since 1800 mgs. of Thorazine a day did nothing to dispell them and they didn't leave until I had a big showdown and told them to f**k off. I've been off medication for years now and they haven't been back. Anyhow, I think some people (and spirits) are just plain mean and, as a reader, I prefer these types of bad guys since I get too sympathetic over the ones with horrible childhoods (I even have sympathy for terorists who have been brainwashed since they were children and know not what they do). The villian acts upon logic, it is just unlike that which most of us follow, find his distorted reasoning and make it your own while you are in his skin.
Randall, I meant to mention that I love the fruitcake recipe, though it does dispell the rumor that there is just one fruitcake in the whole world making the rounds. Hope your stones are doing well and that your wife has recovered (nothing too serious, I hope?).
Howard, congrats on sending out a story, good luck!
As a hippie who still believes in the power of love, and a peace-loving Libra, I'm glad to see that cyber hugs and kisses have been exchanged and animosity has departed our pages.

Pamela 2-11-2003 1:35

Jon! Welcome home! You look even more dapper than usual.

Tina, What a way to start! I think your twenty paged edit ROCKS! Keep it up! I meant to tell everyone that if they didn't feeling like writing they could edit a couple of pages. Editing is writing of a meticulous nature.

Heather, Thank you for all your work on P**. My gosh what you've done with that! Hey, I meant to include compiling and submitting as well. Glad to see you back here, and in glorious form as well. I adore your posts!

Okay, (breathing hard) I managed 560 words. It was tough but man am I glad I did it. I acheived a turning point in my story that I didn't know was going to be there. Where does this stuff come from?

Anyone want to do it again tomorrow?

Christi 2-11-2003 0:24


Everything you say helps me. Keep it coming.


You are so nice. I miss you. Where have you been? I have never heard sweet and Debra together before; I like it.


I'll say a prayer for you. Grief is so lonely. I find with grief it's that split second or two when you are blocking it out and it's kicking the door to get back in. It's that brief moment whre you are holding back the knowledge with both feet braced on the ground and both hands on the door. It doesn't matter how long it's been either, you find yourself there over and over. It's more painful than letting it in. Like when you were listening to the music, for a second you felt........good. Then it wanted back in.

I'm so sorry for your loss. I know that doesn't help. We need better words.


Is that a true story?


Thank you for thinking of me. I've been kind of moody lately huh? Sorry! When they elevated the level to orange I went off the deep end.

Debra 2-10-2003 23:57

Ok, ok I can't do HTML code anymore, but the links work any how, click on them their neat, well I thought they were neat.

Last Sunday mom was saying how happy she was that my wife and I have changed back to the Lutheran faith and now attend the same church as the rest of the family.

I explained to her that had I been introduced to the Church when I was a kid, I would probably have been a Lutheran all the time.

Her explanation, we didn't have enough gas money to drive to town for church back then. I let it slide, but geeze back when I began driving, gas sold for .29 9/10 per gallon. We lived 25 miles from town so if our car only got 10 miles per gallon and I think it probably did a bit better then that, it would have cost 65 cents to drive to town, another 65 cents to drive home, so that's a bit over a buck and a quarter. Even back then I think we could have afforded a buck and a quarter every week, hell once a month maybe, we went to town once a month for groceries and booze, if they just got one six pack less of beer it would have covered the cost.

Oh well I was too young to remember back then anyhow I guess but she never explained why we never started going when we moved to town. We could have walked if there wasn't enough gas, we only lived, at the most six blocks from Church.

I guess I can't blame them though, I never started going when I got married and moved away either till I was introduced to the fact that none of us will live for ever, and a guy should be at least on a last name basis with God when that time comes.

Enough bitching.

Jerry 2-10-2003 23:45">">

Jerry Testing 2-10-2003 23:06

Why, Jon, I am honored that you would think my words helpful toi Debra, and thank you for the prize!
Debra? Hope they actually did help...:o)

Heather 2-10-2003 22:32

Eddie - Your daughter is definitely in need of a hug! Pass it on....:o) A similar thing happened between my husband's brothers right before the youngest brother killed himself before Christmas. Although Lee did call Danny to say that they would get together and work things out and sort through the misunderstandings and hurt feelings, he never did. He was dead the next night.
In time your daughter will remember more of the good times and the little things, and she will not hurt so over the fights. I'm sure there was more than one, but with not being able to resolve the last one, it isn't an easy thing to live with. I don't have much advice on the matter - heck, I still feel guilty on and off about some things that happened between myself and good friends that have died. There's no repairing it afterward because they're not here. But I do take comfort in the fact that my love for them far surpassed anything I did or failed to do at any particular time. Maybe that's my advice right there.

TEEK - I am thinking...purple....charoite, or amethyst...

Heather 2-10-2003 22:29

So much for that attempt at privacy. I didn't realise the programme would set that up as a link. Doh.

Thanks for the prize Jon. I'm honoured to the point of misty tears... ;-)

Tina 2-10-2003 22:22

Hey Christi! I edited 20 pages of 'Shadow'. Now I have to pack, and my realtor is coming over with some papers. Thanks for the boost to get at least some writing done.
And about needing fresh eyes to re-experience your surroundings... I do that here at home on purpose. I just stare at the hills and try to imagine seeing them for the first time. This valley is magically beautiful, but it's easy to forget how beautiful. Children and guests are wonderful at reminding us of that.

Eddie, music plays so deeply to our emotions. When my dad died 2 years ago, we drove down to the coast that night. We had to sit at the ferry for 2 1/2 hours waiting for the first run. At the dock, they have a huge screen that shows ferry times, advertising, movie previews, and music. They must have played JLo's 'Love don't Cost a Thing' video 20 times. Even yet, I simply cannot listen to it. If I hear it anywhere, a sharp pain lances through my gut. Same thing for the love song 'My Heart Will Go On'. My mom chose that as her dedication to my dad at his memorial. I almost bawl every time I hear it.

As for my e-mail, I won't put it in the regular tag 'add e-address for instant spam' spot. I'm trying to keep my new address clean for as long as possible. It is

Tina 2-10-2003 22:18

JON -- Thanks for reminding me! I meant to comment on TINA'S "You can TASTE Arizona..." when I first saw it -- Brilliant, gal! I love it!

howard 2-10-2003 22:15

T Kaye -- No, the poke in the eye was not mine. It is a very old one that I just received again from my sister. Dunno who wrote it, but it seems to somehow fit in today's insanity madness political arena... We keep on running up to peek through the hole in the fence, and the bozo on the other side just sits there waiting to poke us in the eye all over again. We never learn. :-(

howard 2-10-2003 22:10

Yo, all.

Here are some prizes.

To all the Canadians in this forum. To Rachel because she's a brave heart, to Tina because she wrote a very inspiring post about one of the American states seen from above, and to Heather because she gave the best answer on the fears of our sweet Debra.

A prize for Randall. The fact that he proclaimed Texas the most powerful nation on earth is not only a great statement but also the second best joke of the year after Rumsfeld's trip to Germany. He is wrong of course, the most powerful nation on earth is Portugal. But humor is always a prize-winner.

Note: these are not the prizes of the year. The prizes of the year 2002 will only be given if there will be no war and if Jerry stops nuking people.

Now will Rachel, Debra and Rhoda join their hands, please, and send me a kiss.

Eddie: how can you be sure that Michael cannot hear his favorite song any more?

Jon 2-10-2003 22:07


Hiya, Cheri! I sure like you.

Teekay, I'm mailing you toot sweet, so watch out! :) Just kidding; I'd never want you to dread my emails. Mwah HAHAHA!

Mel, YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!! I know just what you mean. I made up a saying that fit my particular writing fault (the worst of many) and pasted it all around my house to remind me. "Procrastination never did a thing for anyone." (I left out the 'damn' but it's insinuated) Did it cure me? Nope. Do I look right past those made-up signs? Sure do! Maybe I should make a subliminal tape.
PS *whispered* hey, psst! I'd be happy with 250 (100?).

Honestly I'll be happy if everyone just cracks open something they were writing on, or begins something they wanted to start, or catches up on their journal. Even two sentences written is two sentences closer to THE END. Doesn't that sound fantastic? I'm gettin' the goosebumps thinking of those two little words.

Jerry, Great tip on the commas. Man, I try, and try, and try, but, they always, seem, to, sneak up, on me! Nice job on the assignment! Can you drop and give me 500 more by the end of tomorrow? Maybe someone else will take over shortie night for Mary for the time being (nudge nudge). The reason I'm doing word amounts is because so many here are working on novels or short stories or articles.

Can't believe I forgot to sympathize with you Randall! I loathe the ER. Nothing like a good old emergency to happen so's you can wait ... and wait ... and wait ....................... *clunk*. Hope the wife is feeling good, and I hope you will be very soon.
And Randall? Why you so mean to Tiki? :) I myself have a hard time weaving my dreams into stories. This is not for lack of trying, but each time I find that what seemed so crystalline to my dreaming mind comes out on paper as mind-numbing drivel. Yeesh.

Rachel, Me too, me too! I'm dying to see your house. I just drooled all over myself whilst reading your description of it. It's the perfect backdrop for a story. I've never even SEEN such a house, let alone lived in one. Pretty please???

Eddie, I think of you so often. I can't explain why really, except that I empathize like hell with you. It's just about the worst imaginable thing. I think people are afraid to even speak of losing a child for fear of it happening to them. I have lost only one close relative and the pain from that experiences still hasn't left me. It has mellowed a lot and most of the anger is gone, but it still hurts. I hope you have access to a lot of hugs and a really good punching bag. {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} from Arizona.

I'll check in later because I still haven't written my 500. Orf.

Christi 2-10-2003 21:59


Good evening everybody...

Screw least for now! :-) I sometimes call my novel "Flowers." This is to simplify a six word title. And this is basically the dream that started it all in 1997.

Randall Henderson

Joe Dan led them to a thick grove of juniper, which lay to the right of his tent. "Be careful I haven't cut any of this so it's pretty rough going."
The men helped the ladies through, but it was a struggle. They reached a wide area where immense, lichen covered flat rocks covered a large meadow like area.
"It was the biggest, prettiest ram I've ever seen." Joe Dan explained. "I chased him for an hour before he came through here. You can see where my horse came through those trees over there. The ram was standing here and I rode up to rope him. But my horse broke through one of these flat rocks. It's right here. Look how beautiful they are."
Robert walked to look at the broken rock. Joe Dan's horse had cracked the rock to expose a cavity only an inch below. Matt and Robert squatted next to the broken rock and began to enlarge the hole. The rock broke easily as if rotten. In the afternoon sun a brilliant gleam reflected back into their faces.
To Star Tiki, it was the suns reflection in a mirror.
Robert heard his mother gasp and quickly looked at her. She was staring at the rock crystals, obviously horrified and backing slowly away shaking her head. Tiki kept retreating till the thick wall of juniper stopped her.
"What is it?" Robert went to his mother.
"I didn't see it, I didn't know! This is it, the last sign Robert! We are inside the legend! I always hoped we could escape this, but it's going to happen! Andrea is the one. She will speak the words." Tiki moaned and held onto her son to keep from collapsing.
Andrea was in front of Tiki and Robert and saw nothing but the shimmering jeweled crystals glistening in a stone container.
Joe Dan knelt beside Matt and they cleared away the surface rock until a large area was cleared. Contained inside the large rock were hundreds of gleaming crystals. A rainbow would be pale compared to the multitude of colored crystals that gleamed and winked in the setting sun.
Andrea was drawn to the glittering crystals. She knelt and gently touched one. It was solid and beautifully shaped. Some were very small, slender as a straw, others three to four inches tall, an inch wide. She lay on the ground with Angel Kay sitting next to her. Red, blue, green, purple, orange, seemingly no two crystals were alike in color.
"So beautiful. What caused this formation?" Angel Kay questioned.
"I don't know," Joe Dan admitted. "Someone does, but not me. Matt, any ideas?"
Matt, still in his sheriff's office uniform shook his head. He was watching Tiki and Robert standing away from the others. He sensed something was wrong.
"I haven't got the slightest idea. But I'll tell you one thing. Look at the many rocks around us. They're all the same. If each one contains these crystals, it will be a hell of an attraction for tourists."
Andrea lay on the ground, lost in the beauty inches away. She looked up at Angel Kay. "This is so beautiful, why they're just like little flowers. Beautiful delicate flowers, frozen in stone. A diamond is such a small thing, nothing too compared with this. Beautiful little flowers, captive inside a rock."
Yards away, Tiki was shivering violently. "Last sign, oh no, my authority! It's collapsing, coming for me!" She whispered hoarsely, "Robert hold me, it's approaching!"
Robert felt his mother stiffen. Tiki groaned as the Web of Authority slipped from her command. Previously in tune with earth's own resonance within a specific vibrational frequency, Tiki's powerful magnetic link of dominion evaporated. The energy of the planet channeled to her without control. She leaned backward, and began to shudder. Tiki's hair bristled outward, her teeth chattering, her eyes rolling back into her head. She was struggling for control, but losing. Robert knew what was about to happen. Her power was surging, in, then out in wider and wider oscillations. At the end it would collapse, shorting her out. He saw the crackle of fire on the ends of Tiki's hair. Oh no he thought, it's been so long, we thought it was over. He looked at Matt for help.
Matt and Joe Dan were only a few feet behind Andrea and moving quickly to help. Tiki collapsed and began to convulse, flailing at the men holding her. Her control ceased and the splendid Web of Authority shattered like a delicate crystal spider web. Tiki's was defenseless as the effect of a collapsing system concentrated upon her.
Angel Kay turned and gasped at the sight of Tiki thrashing on the ground.
Andrea, oblivious of what was occurring behind lifted her head and spoke to no one in particular, her voice full of wonder. A prophecy thousands of years old was upon her. Behind her in spirit a hundred Ancient and Holy Ones stood in reverence of the moment.
"Oh Tiki! What a beautiful place this is. Where the rocks cover the flowers."


Tiki screamed and screamed and screamed. She saw the Whisper of Jehovah, poised above the earth, the moon spinning out of control. She watched the earth's oceans lifting, attracted by a massive object, miles above their seabeds following the immense body as it swept by. She saw great ice sheets buckle, exploding, shreds of ice flying upward drawn by the gravity of a celestial object moving parallel to the orbit of the earth. She heard the great thunderclap of electrical discharge as magnetic fields of two great spheres collided, fought, then broke free. She saw gigantic spires of water collapsing and surging outward, tidal waves a mile high racing over the earth obliterating every vestige of life. She saw the great rainbow circle, overcome, shattered, dissolved. She felt Mother Earth groaning inside, tearing apart, she saw a red-hot magma torrent forth. She watched mountain ranges collapsing inward, others breaking free and jutting into the air, rock and dust smashed by a billion tons of sea water. She saw gigantic atmospheric storms form and died in minutes. She saw hurricane winds scour the earth ripping burning forests from collapsing, dying mountains.
Tiki felt the intense pain as animals and humans died. She heard their screams of fear. Tiki saw tunnels collapsing where many had fled for protection, buried by tons of falling rock. She saw Burrowing Coyote and other faint figures, trying vainly to reform the great rainbow circle of protection, smashed down, crushed by the Whisper of Jehovah.
Tiki screamed until she couldn't scream again.
Her authority collapsed inward overloading her mind with horrifying images of the death of humanity. The crystalline matrix so carefully nurtured and maintained over a lifetime lay in ruins, leaving her open to powerful Earth vortices of tremendous potency. An energy surge, a veritable avalanche of the cumulative memory of humanity slammed into Tiki. It blew her mind like a ten-cent fuse. Three strong men couldn't hold Tiki as the convulsions threatened to tear her apart.

Yeah...Tiki's having a bad day. But things get a lot worse...


Randall 2-10-2003 20:55

Debra - I downladed a PDF document on Homeland Security. I was going to Email it to you until I realized I don't have your email, so I posted it on my new homepage, click the link. It's in Adobe Acrobat format so you have to have Adobe Acrobat reader installed to read it. Acrobat is a free download at if you need it. Once you have it loaded I think (?) you can save it to your hard drive and browse it at your leasure. It does have some good stuff.

Oh anyone else who's intrested feel free to click the link.

Jerry Homeland Defense 2-10-2003 20:39

Here's a little something which happened to me today.
I got into the car and switched on the radio. My son's favourite song was playing. This obviously upset me greatly and I cried like a baby. Then I got so angry that I almost smashed the front of the radio switching it off.
It is just so wrong that he can't hear it any more. His ears aren't hearing anything anymore. I can't listen to it again.
That's what happens to you, Anger - sorrow You get the emotions mixed up.

Eddie French 2-10-2003 19:21

RACHEL: What are you studying?
Hot pots never fail. Throw in some meat and vegies and beef stock and worchestershire sauce and some curry powder and a dash of red wine, salt and pepper to taste. make up lots of extra to freeze for more days such as this :-D

You know when you see someone you don't know fall over in the street. You feel embarrassed for them for a little bit and be thankful it isn't you. Well, public speaking is sort of the same thing.
You'll be just fine, take deep breaths and know that nobody is going to be judging you - much, and if they do it won't be for long. Speak calmly and what ever you do DON'T imagine anybody naked. It's terribly off putting. :-D

EDDIE: I agree.

Teekay 2-10-2003 18:41

Christi - sorry about that, I couldn't find your challenge, and forgot who did it, thanks for the assignment, it was good to get back to writing again. I read what I had posted and discovered I forgot to go over it with a comma magnet. My old English 101 instructor in college told me to REMOVE the comma key before I began writing, I should have listened. I usually go over my work and remove 60% of the comma's then I still have a couple of dozen extra's in the work. Somehow they insert themselves every time I take a breath no matter where my work is at the time. Guess I'll have to go on a comma diet.

What I posted was very rough but it was fun anyhow. Now if we could just get shorty night going again, I feel all the new folks could show us a thing or two...

Jerry 2-10-2003 18:39

Hi Teekay,

I'll send you a pic some time soon. Likely next week. I will be so happy when today is over. I had a unit test, I've got another, did the pre-lim for an exam and have just produced a twenty page paper that is the basis for an oral presentation that I need to do this evening. I hate public speaking. People say I'm good at it, but I hate it with all my heart. I need to go make dinner. Help meeeeeeee. Heeeelllp meeeeeeeee (grin/wink).

Rachel 2-10-2003 18:20

Did I really make those spelling mistakes?
Shame on me.

Eddie French 2-10-2003 17:43

I do enjoy reading some of the lively politics on the notebook. The decision to keep my politics and or beliefs to myself is mine alone. As JERRY says 'somebody has to stay outside to remind you all of the sweeter things in life'
I truly believe in the old adage:
'I detest what you say, but I will defend your right to say it with my life'
Of course, you must take that literally....WHAT YOU SAY... this precludes any actions which might physically or emotionally harm another human being.
I was not always like this.
I have killed in time of war, for my country (This was what I believed at the time but hey, I was in the nether region of 18 - 21 years of age) I have had many people try to kill me, close up and fairly personal. (One day I will write about it all) In fact, I have around 80 pages already, but I've only just entered the active service zone.
Over the years my wiewpoint has changed somewhat. I cherish life so much more, and that did not just start after Christmas Day, as some of you will already know.
No....if I want politics I can get that anywhere, I choose not to join in here. (Now somebody is going to post something which goes right down to my soul aren't they!!) I know how it goes, it's called 'SODS LAW'. :¬)
Let me revise my position just a little:
But you can debate all you like for me. Most times I enjoy reading the debates. As an observer I learn so much about you all.
The problem with the current debate is that it is too close to real for comfort and it is upsetting lots of people, and not surprisingly so. Just try to debate - not fight. There will be enough of that in the comming month.
Take care all.

Eddie French 2-10-2003 17:40

MEL: I'm not going to the funny farm, just to the shops for some more pens and stuff.
Don't feel like poking out eyes today.

RACHEL: Ooooh yes! Take some photos and email me some. I can picture it anyway :-D

TAYLOR: It was only that last bit about 'teaching you something', and only because during my epic story writing adventure which lasted such a very brief time I really did find myself on a journey of discovery. It was really quite thrilling.

RANDALL: Now that you've told me a secret, I shall share. My middle name is.................Kaye.
Did you guess? :-D

Cracked up about you wondering if you should call 911 for the ambulance. They deliberatley make you wait you know, just so's you won't come there for the hell of it - as if!

Teekay 2-10-2003 17:26

Hi All,
EDDIE: My heart goes out to your daughter, it must be tearing her up.

I know you're in a very different place from me right now, but I do disagree with what you said about not viewing political viewpoints and such on the notebook. I guess if no one wants to hear what the other person is saying, then they won't read it, or won't respond. To drag a really old and shaggy looking saying into it - it takes two to tango.
Personally, I think it makes the notebook richer and gives us something more to contemplate. I know myself, that reading all the differing viewpoints has added facets to my view of things.
We don't have to allow the opinions of others to hurt or offend us.

HOWARD: That's really good! Is it yours? Did the notebook inspire you :-D

DEBRA: Once upon a time there were 2 friends who lived in Germany, one was Jewish, the other was not. Despite their differing religions they had a great deal in common and spent a lot of time together. Both were incredibly intelligent men, both were scientists. Both were working on a project regarding nuclear physics.
One day the Government of Germany decided to implement his plan to make a perfect nation, and Jews for one weren’t included in the equation. Thus it was that the Jewish man went to America as a refugee.

Hitler then set the German man to work making an atomic bomb. The German man had a great deal of trouble with his conscience regarding this, and somehow managed to meet his counterpart and told him in a rather obscure message, what it was he was asked to do, wanting his friend’s opinion. The friend, misunderstanding the question and advice his friend was after took umbrage that he should be working on such a weapon which was intended for the annihilation of his people and made the bomb for the U.S.A. while the other guy went back and told Hitler that what he was asking was impossible to achieve in the time frame given.

America got the bomb first, but for his conscience and love and respect for his friend, how very different the story could have been.

I love this story.


MEL:: Right with you, I'll just grab my bag. The muses fault! I should've known.

Going all y'all.

Teekay 2-10-2003 17:07

MEL -- As one of the others who has been "officially published," I can say that the edits are never done! Even as I was reading my (only published)essay in Stories Worth Telling for the first time in a real live book (at the book signing in Barnes&Noble, no less)I pencilled in some changes! Even now there are things...

Seriously, as we continue to learn and develop as writers we keep finding new ways to flog words into doing their work more effectively -- into saying what we wanted to say, rather than what we said.

I submitted a short story last night, and even as it went out I saw a change that I should have made. Oh well, I'll make corrections on the back of the next reject letter...


howard 2-10-2003 16:43

MEL: Between making and eating dinner, going to Tae Kwon Do and getting things ready for tomorrow, I'll be lucky if I have time to write my name!

I am trying to write a little something in my journal, since I've neglected it too long already(SIX DAYS!). It won't be 500 words(I can't count that high in one day!) but it will be something.

Hello to RICHARD! I only post now and then, but I'm always lurking.

Good writing to all.

Cheri 2-10-2003 16:03


Don't worry about me leaving. I always hated people who quit playing monopoly when they were losing. Yes, I'm wrong a lot. I can take it as good as I can dish it.

I don't like to see people fight either. A couple of the giants here have done that and threatened to leave and it always broke my heart. They didn't thankfully.

Pamela and Mel:

Thank you for your kind works. I am working like an idiot over here. I have a call blinking right now on my phone that is from the tv station. They want to do a story this week. Also, about the govenor's office,I did get in first, but it's because I got in line first. I didn't cut anyone. I know no one said I did. I just want to make sure that was clear.


Everyone here knows this, but you, I think. Sweetie is self published. I am doing everything but setting myself on fire and dancing on the highway. It is one way of getting a commercial publisher to notice me.

For the meantime I am not quite a published author in the tradional sense. This world has changed so much since that term came out. But sweetie is every bit as good as I say. Soon it will be required reading. It will. No girl should ever leave high school again without being prepared for what might to come, domestic violence.

2-10-2003 15:43

Good for you, JERRY, for jumping right on CHRISTI's 500-word challenge!

I'm - uh - gulp! - going to attack said assignment tonight at home (I'll get the hubby on his computer game, the youngest child to bed, the next two up maybe watching a movie, and I'll sneak off to the bedroom and CLOSE THE DOOR, if that act doesn't bring them automatically to see what Mom's doing!!!)

If I don't --erghhh! -- complete this assignment, CHERI and I are headed straight to the Funny Farm by midnight (unless, of course, CHERI completes the assignment without me and leaves me chewing her dust!!!).

Happy writing, all! ;-]

mEL 2-10-2003 15:31

Was it Carol who said we should write 500 today? I think so but my heads a bit fuzzy today from the stupid pills that the Doc has me on, at any rate, I always love an assignement, and I'm attempting to get back my long short story (or was it a short long story?) from memory since I lost the damn thing when I had to reformat (but that's another story!).

Oh Eddie, great to see you posting again, stick around we need your level head to keep us straight when our emotions overcome our good sense. I've been guilty of that so many times in the Notebook myself but there's always someone there to give me a good smack.

At any rate, here's the first 700 or so words...

Richard Atkinson loved to shoot.

Not that he was a great hunter, the opposite was true, he loved animals and would never harm the hair on any of his wild friends, but he loved to shoot.

He spent much of his off time at the local police range. The range wasn’t much, just a berm that the City Crew had pushed up with their front-end loader and a gravel walk way from the shooting line, so marked by five fence posts designating the five shooting positions, and twenty five yards away was a half inch steel cable pocked with plenty of holes the result of shots missing the targets that hung from the cable. There was a shack of sorts, he thought it looked a lot like the entry from an old trailer house long abandoned with a slab of press board, now falling apart from the lack of paint or any other maintance. There was a padlock on the door but it was left open many years ago when the police decided to allow local citizens to use the range when they weren’t using, and they only used it a couple of times a year to qualify to carry their sidearms as required by the State.

Richard opened the door and retrieved a hanging target frame. There was already a target attached but it only had six or seven holes in it. He leaned it up against the building and drew circles around the holes so he could see which holes were going to be his, then walked the twenty five yards down to the cable and hooked the frame up against the cable and hung the man silhouette target, then turned and walked back to his pickup where he retrieved his old army .45 pistol. He walked to the line and took aim at the target, but never squeezed the trigger as he heard a car approaching through the muffs that covered his ears.

He turned and watched as his old friend Sam Anderson drove the patrol car down the dirt trail that led to the range. The car stopped beside Richard’s old Dodge pickup truck, Sam got out and began walking to the ready line. Richard shoved the old beat up pistol in his belt and went to meet his old buddy, the smile on his face told Sam that Richard was glad to see him. The frown on Sam’s face told Richard that he may not like what was to come.

“Sorry pal, the police range is off limits to all but Department Personal, orders of the new Mayor.”


“Hey, not my fault.”

“I know it just pisses me off when some idiot who hasn’t got the brains to pour piss out of a boot takes office and begins ruling like some mini-Hitler.”

“It’s not like that Rich, the Mayor’s right, we should have put this place off limits years ago, do you realize the position we would be in if you shot yourself in the foot, hell we’d be liable and you could sue the City for millions, and in today’s world you’d probably win!”

“Just a minute, I’ve got something to do,” Richard said as he drew the old army pistol from his belt and aimed it at his left big toe. Then began to laugh and put the old gun back in his belt.

“Sorry about this but I have orders to lock up the targets and lock the gate too, so your going to have to leave, now, I’ve got other chores that the new Mayor has put on my new list of things to do. What a pain in the ass, but I’m sure you and the rest of the guys who use the range can find someplace else to shoot, heck if you find the land I’ll even try to get the City to push up another berm as a backdrop.”

“Ok,” Richard said, as he walked over to the old pickup and tossed the pistol on the seat, after dropping the magazine and jacking out the round from the chamber, then drove the old truck back to town.

Little did Richard know that this incident would change his life forever.

Jerry 2-10-2003 14:58

MEL; I'm coming right behind you to the funny farm!

ON POLITICS AND WAR: I'm scared just like everyone else, but feel helpless. I'm praying that the right course is taken and as few lives will be lost as possible. What else can I do? Mostly, I stick my head in the sand and hope when I come back up for air all will be clear and peaceful.

Please don't fight. That's one thing that hasn't changed since I was a child. I never could stand it when people I cared about fought and yelled at each other. Don't leave either, I'll miss anyone who leaves.

PEACE to all who wish it and love in my thoughts and prayers to all.

Cheri 2-10-2003 14:44


Hi, everyone! A snowy, blowy Monday here in Ithaca, NY...

CAROL: The NB is a great big room (or many little adjacent rooms?), thank heavens, with many conversations going at once. I'm veering onto the veranda where I think I heard you struggling with character passion. That is the meat of fiction writing, I believe, and so vital to the success of any story. And it's the very same thing I'm wrestling - I will THINK I have a scene written the way it echoes in my head, then I re-read it and realize the characters are still flat; their true passion hasn't been captured by the words at all. I can FEEL their passion but to put it into the proper words... So, here I am, still back at the beginning... sigh.

DEBRA: I'm so glad your SWEETIE book may be considered as required reading for your state's schools!!! What a trip! :-) One of the best rewards I can imagine for any writer is to have your work not only noticed but adored enough to be useful to many lives. One life, one writer CAN make a difference in our world!!! You go, girl! :-]

TEEKAY: re: procrastination? Nah! It's ALWAYS the muse's fault! :-) Now let's head to the stationery store and buy some shiny new pens to oggle, and maybe some nice clean writing pads (do you prefer spiral, legal, journal books, or ... ???) ;-]

RANDALL: You and your wife get all better now, y'hear? We can't have any more people falling apart at the seams. The quota's been overfilled this year as it is! (((HUGS, GOOD VIBES, Chicken Soup, and prayers coming your way)))

TAYLOR: re: The villain's mind (see remarks to CAROL on character passion) - this is part two of my troubles, I think. It IS difficult to portray the nasty guy(s) when all you want to do as a writer is get to the happy ending and give that baddy what he/she's due! It did help me immensely, however, the day I mentally took my villain to lunch in a secluded restaurant and, boy, did I learn some incredible stuff about him!!! I'm still trying to mold and shape that new slab of clay he slapped on my writing desk - trouble is, I was never much good at the potter's wheel... but I'm not giving up! You hang in there too and try a few different versions - we can play "Will the real villain please stand up?" If you stumble on the best villain scene before I do, let me know! :-)

RICHARD, SUNNY, JACK, RACHEL, AMERICO, ALLEIN, EDDIE, LITTER, and all others who have officially been published at least once, HOW do you KNOW when all the writer's edits are complete and the story is ready for submission? I keep telling myself, I'll just know, but at every re-read, I find more stuff that needs a face-lift...aarrgghhhh!!!!

CHRISTI: Your 500-word assignment is just what I need. Already I hear my muse (or is it my conscience?) making excuses: I already blew my lunch-hour doing other things, I have to finish work, the bus home will be bumpy and too dark for writing, I'll get home and be so distracted by husband and children that the idea of writing anything will completely disintegrate in the hustle-bustle and noise of the household...and then it's tomorrow when the syndrome will repeat itself... aarrgghhhh!!!! 8-/

One of these days I'm gonna pop if I don't do some serious writing soon -- and I mean more than the mental stuff! (I'm so glad you're all writers and you know what I mean by mental stuff, heh heh, so I know you won't send for the guys in the little white coats yet... at least, I hope you won't... um, is anybody coming with me to the funny farm this trip or am I on my own? ergggggghhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Mel 2-10-2003 13:54

Hey friends!

Eddie, I'm with you. Thank you for the reminder.

Teekay, Yippee! Woo hoo! So excited! Never thought of myself as a taskmaster. *sound of whip cracking* Get going, girlie. Drop and give me five hundred!

You too, Richard!

Anyone else? C'mon, it'll feel sooooooooo good. I'll check in at the end of the day. Written words, they're addictive.

Howard, That got a real, live outloud laugh! HAH!

Here's one of my favorites:

There is this gang of lifers in prison. All know each other; they've been together for years. They all know one another's stories, each man's claim to innocence, their kids' birthdays.

What they especially know is the jokes they've been telling for the past thirty years. These jokes have been told so many times that the convicts begin to shorten them to one sentence, and then to a single word. Finally they have shortened each joke to an allocated number.

Every time Moe says, "32!", the bunch melts into hysterics. When Hal yells "14!" they all laugh and pound each other's backs with tears in their eyes.

One day a new guy is admitted. He sees the group of lifers and is attracted to their obvious comeraderie. He watches them for weeks, and one day he walks up with a gleam in his eye and shouts, "25!"

There is not a sound. Every man in the cafeteria is staring dumbly at the new guy. Hal is actually shaking his head in disgust.

"What'd I do? Why didn't anybody laugh?" new guy asks.

Hal walks off with Moe and says, "Some people just don't know how to tell a joke."

Christi 2-10-2003 12:38

Haven't read all of the lively weekend conversation yet, just wanted to post something I forgot to include in my last one: !!!DEBRA!!! HOORAY FOR YOU, GOOD WORK, CONGRATULATIONS, YOU'RE THE BEST, YOU GO, GIRL !!!!!! Getting to meet the governor without having to wait like everyone else, yes, why just meeting him at all is GREAT! More congratulations heaped upon you for the success of your "Sweetie" stories (books?) being introduced into the schools. Could you tell me a little more about them, I gather they are about abuse which is great, kids definitely need to be educated about that. Such naughty writers we are that we got so imbroiled in politics that we did not take the time to recognize your wonderful success, at least not right away. So I propose a toast to Debra and her wonderful accomplishment: HEAR, HEAR, CHEERS, SKAOL, WELL DONE, HOORAY FOR YOU!

Pamela 2-10-2003 12:38


I really liked your comment!! I totally agree with your thoughts.

I came to this forum to find fellow writers and I was amazed at the [olitical debate going on and some of the anger flying about the place.

But as I've been told, that is what a forum is for, to exchange views, make new friends and have heated debates!!

But I loved the sentiment of your message.


Richard Amazon 2-10-2003 12:18

Who was it asking us to post our email???

I knew there was a reason I stopped doing that a couple of years ago, the reminder is now all over my email box!

Since I put my emial on this page, I've had: Enlarge your Penis!! Get your Email List HERE!!! You've WON a free ticket to ten PORN sites! Collect your prize HERE! and about fifty other STUPID SPAM!!!!

This on my email address I reserve for my kids and close friends (those here included)

I stopped posting my email address when we switched to the new ISP, and have been STUPID SPAM free, or very nearly so, with only one or two sneeking aboard since then, but NO MORE, now my clean email address is SPAM CENTRAL!!!

I don't blame anyone here, as I'm aware that there are SPIDERS that harvest email address from sites like this but I surely do regret posting my new email here last week.

The bad thing about all this is that I have TWO spam email address that I use EVERYWHERE but here, guess I'll have to move this site to one of them too if I ever put my email address down again. Trouble with that is that I only clean them once every week or two so will miss emails from my friends here.

Jerry 2-10-2003 11:08

America may export actors, movies raunchy music, but we also gave birth to electricity, cars, the phone, planes you know the list.

I know someone will post yes and the a-bomb. Yes, and the a-bomb.

The man that invented it, discovered it or whatever you want to call it regretted it for the rest of his life.

We are the land of the free for pete's sake. We're going to have a few klunkers blowing up in our faces.

The point is, freedom gave birth. Without freedom no birth.

Freedom is evil's greastest enemy. That's why evil hates us.

Debra 2-10-2003 10:56

Even this inspires me!
Here is a new Jack Dooley episode.........
I remember when I was a wee nipper. The protestant school was a few streets away (Imagine Victorian terraced streets)
One day a rumour went around our school that the 'Proddy Dogs' were going to wait outside the school at 4 0'clock and beat us all up.
Partnerships and friendships were tested sorely for a few days prior to the big day!
Please don't think that I am trivialising the real trials that await you in the future. It's just the scale and the heartbreak that differs.

I feel for all of you.
For the first 35 years of my life I listened to the sceptics informing me that I lived on an American Aircraft Carrier parked off the coast of the USSR. It was called The USS Great Britain.
Go find one of your kids right now and plant a huge wet kiss on his/her cheek. When they look at you like you've gone nuts....just smile and walk away.

Eddie French 2-10-2003 10:54


The pornography issue was only an example. I mentioned it because it is often brought up by people in the Middle East.

The fact is on a gut level, many in the Islamic world connect American freedoms and American civilization with our vices. They have a distorted impression of our world brought partly about by our own media. They don't see the balance of that because the media does not promote it. If all I knew of the United States was what I saw on network television, most major fashion magazines, and what I heard through pop music, I would reject this culture also and think it a blot on humanity. Fortunately I know that these images are aberrations. Well many in the Middle East don't know that.

I am not disputing anything you have said, DEBRA. But I do not fear them overpowering us and coming over here and forcably enforcing their will on us. That will never happen.

When the United States falls, and most great societies do, it will be of our own doing. The thing that will destroy us in the end will be when we believe that we are entitled to greatness and wealth. It will be when we lose our humility and our ability to examine our actions as a nation. It will be when we lose the ability to have free political and social debate. It will be when we are so drunk with our own wealth an power on individual levels that we no longer care about the corporate good. Selfishness, greed, and personal evil are the bane of any society. These are the real enemies, and the scary thing is that you can't blast them away with rifles or bombs. They reside within the human heart. I believe only a right relationship with God can cure these evils, but when the majority of people forget God and do not seek his truth, and they look at their own selves as God, then the society they inhabit is in trouble.

Rhoda 2-10-2003 10:50


One more thing. America has citizens from absolutely country on earth. We have immagrants from every country. Word of mouth is more powerful than any form of communication there is, still today.

People don't just think we are only about our actors and movies and songs. They know we are much more than that. Go to our airports and borders some day. Talk to these folks.

They all know America is the land of the free and the home of the brave and yes, and uncle or two peeing in the flower garden.

Debra 2-10-2003 10:38


That's a knee slapper or is it an eye poker.

Debra 2-10-2003 10:21


I don't really care who created cruelty. I know it's been around a long time. I respect the Iraqis. I don't respect Osumma. He thought the goings on in Afghanistan were right. It seems like evil always wants the same thing. I can see all the religions and evil sitting around a round table for centuries. All the religions will want faith, hope and love and evil will wants rape and pillage.

Next century religion will want faith, hope and love, evil RAPE AND PILLAGE.

I respect other religions not evil.

Those fundamentalists are not religious people. You can't have both, rape, pillage and faith. It's an impossibility. I have heard arguments to that one. I can't hear another one. They are liars and hippocrates and I don't have once of respect for them. I watched a documentary shortly after, THE DAY. They were saying true Islam was cut out of every minute of the day during Taliban and Osmma rule in Afghanistan. They were just going through the motions five times a day. The rest of the day, RAPE AND PILLAGE.

I saw a famous Iraqi American person speak the other day. I couldn't take my eyes off her. She was amazing. I knew she wasn't Catholic like me. I respected her hugely. What she said about life under Saddam made my nails curl. She wasn't lying. She wants to go back and make a life there,right now she can't. I don't think this is about oil.

I cannot say war or no war. I'm not qualified. I am qualified though to say...... rape,........ pillage...... BAD. It would make a great t-shirt. Wouldn't it?

You mean export pornography? Right? I don't know about pornography. I don't have any research on that. I have one question though. Are we forcing people in other countries to view it? I'm not crazy about porn. If we take man power and times it by problems to solve and divide it by new problems coming every day, where do we put most of our energy. I'm sure it isn't in sex as revolting as porn is. I would love to have time to stamp that out too. Imagine the other side of that argument. I mean let's face it.

Look at the problems I'm having trying to get everyone to agree we don't want our families shredded by rape, murder and kidnappings.

Can you imagine the problems I'd have then. My head would be on a stick by noon.

Palardy's trying to stamp out revolting sex, GET HER.

Rhoda I do respect you immensly.

Debra 2-10-2003 10:16

This somehow makes sense...

There is this guy that was walking by an Insane Asylum one day and
he hears people chanting "thirteen, thirteen, thirteen" and his
curiosity gets the best of him.

So he decides to look through a hole in the fence and as soon as he
puts his face up to the fence someone jabs him in the eye and as he
pulls away in pain he hears the crowd chant "fourteen, fourteen, fourteen"

howard 2-10-2003 10:12


I never got the feeling that you don't care about anything. In fact, since you mention the planes flying over head, I want to mention something that has stuck with me ever since THE DAY.

They halted all flights. THEY SHUT THE SKY DOWN. I still remember how quiet it was.

I had never ever noticed in my life how much brackground noise there was from planes flying over head. I live in the middle of the Northeast. So it's busy here.

The quiet wasn't a comfort at all. My girls noticed and they were only two then. The birds noticed. The squirrels noticed. My dogs noticed. I'd be sitting on the step of my deck and Max would lift his head, and I just knew he was thinking, it's quiet too quiet, and it was. I never realized there was a constant low hum about life.

It created the kind of feeling one would get if they were standing quietly alone in the dark listening to the crickets and a slight rustling noise could be heard making every cricket stop immediately. Imagine the dread in that blanket of quiet. That's how I felt. That's how quiet it was. It's didn't last a second either.

The skys were absolutely still for days and I realized I had never experienced that before. At night it was extra quiet. It seemed like something one would like. It wasn't.

Debra 2-10-2003 9:43


We must have posted at the same time, for your post was not on the board when I posted mine. Had I read yours first, I would not have posted. You are absolutely right! I hope no one responds to what I wrote, because in the sceme of things it really doesn't matter.

Rhoda 2-10-2003 8:54


You make a good point. Fire power has never been a problem in a war for the United States for a long time. I agree with you and hope that we can avoid this war, because they often do become painful, drug out affairs, and they hurt from within. Plus I do not want to send men and women abroad who will not come home.


I understand your frustration. The Islamists are determined people. I try not to fear them, but I do respect them and their determination to prevail. But they are mere mortals, human beings just like you and me. Yes, their beliefs make them brutal, but they have not invented cruety or injustice. These things have been with the human planet since the beginning of time.

I really believe that the most powerful weapon people have in this war is prayer. I believe that the people of the United States do have much to atone for. We kill thousands of innocent, unborn children every year. Another thing is we import pornography around the world. We also present a really ugly image of ourselves in our television shows and in our magazines and other media. How does this look to the rest of the world--in particular the Islamic world? They can rightly make the case that this influence is corrupting, and they are right. They have every reason to be outraged. I am at the influences my children have to deal with every day in a society that constantly undermines much of the teaching my husband and I try to instill in them.

I am not saying that any of this justifies the actions taken by Osamma bin Ladin and his friends. I also do not believe at heart that the American people are a perverse and immoral people. But if all they know of us is what they see through our advertising and media, I can understand why they might think we are a great Saten.

The forces of Islamists have been present a long time. It is a movement within the Islamist world that perverts Islam. It is a movement as ferocious as Communisiam or Hitlerism ever was, but for years the United States and the countries of Western Europe refused to take it seriously. In the early days, it might have been countered with dialogue and communication. The lies of these cleric could have been exposed. I think it is too late for that.

The people whom these radical Islamists control are dupped, used, and treated more cruelly than the enemies they blow up. I wish to see these people free. I wish to see them open to new ideas and wish to see them with the ability to make up their own minds with the help of real information.

The only reason I support a war is only for self-defence, because I believe totally that the United States, Israel, and Western Europe are their ultimate targets, but I also believe that if the God of the Universe is not with us in this effort, we will fail.

To me it means that in order for the United States to fight a just war, it must be a just country. Are we? I hope so.

Rhoda 2-10-2003 8:32

I just can't lurk anymore. I am watching the notebook being torn apart by words. Words without the added information of gestures, facial expressions and physical contact!
Words blind us to the meaning of true communication. Communication is so much more than words, and printed black words on a white background are just so much ink on paper.
All of you, take a breath and look inside, You will see that your fears are the same, you just express them differently.
I'm not about to get into an east/west Christian/Muslem debate. That one has been raging since well before Richard's Crusade when he went face to face with Saladan.
Most of you who know me know that my politics stay firmly in my heart and off the notebook. I am not apolitical, I just choose (wisely, so it seems) to keep my politics where they belong. It really hurts to see the way that the ever increasingly precarious situation that this world is rushing into is effecting the good people of this forum. Don't ever say that there is nothing that you can do about it. Write to your MP/Congressman etc. If everybody puts their feelings on paper and sends it in then the politicians will be too busy to fight wars. (Of course, all of the good people of Iraq would also have to do the same. Maybe they could sign theirs 'ANNON')

Think about this for one moment. Not so long ago my daughter (Nikki) had a bit of a row with her brother. She never saw him again to kiss and make up! Now she suffers more than most. Don't fall out over words without smiles.
Take care all.

Eddie French 2-10-2003 8:17



Debra 2-10-2003 7:29

Jerry - you are so right on that level - how different each of us are, as individuals. There are many riveting aspects of heredity vs. habitat, etc...
But what makes us individuals also makes us alike. (As I read it once, "You are unique; just like everyone else" --Author Unknown)
I try to see it on a level where we are all learning beings, here to experience a lifetime of fascinating things! So in that respect, we really are all here for one of two possible reasons: for learning, or for fun.
(Some people consider horror films entertaining, to use film genre choice as a method of allegory. Or is that analogy? Anyway, no matter a person's main reason for being here, it all comes back to those two things.)

I love to hear about your life, your creative works, the choices you have made, the things you have seen, people you love, the hardships, the poignant moments, the wisdom, everything. That goes for everyone here - this is the stuff of life! I like to know how your mind works, what your heart thinks, and what you, as a soul incarnate, find compelling. I love to be blown away by what wonderful people there are in the world, and what amazing thoughts they possess.

That's where I find a great amount of bouyancy, in the currents of everyday. Or, as some movie I've never seen is titled, 'Hope Floats'.

To bring that interest and caring into perspective, I think most people on this planet (and elsewhere, I'm sure) are absolutely worth getting to know.
That's why, when it all comes down to the wire, I'd rather just figure out the best way to gain calm. People get along better.

If I had to, I would fight a good fight to protect the good things about existing here, with all of you for incredible friends on this strange trip through a lifetime. But not all fights are physical, and the flesh is a temporary arrangement. There is a big picture so grand, we can not begin to grasp the meanings, let alone view the whole vista.
(Perhaps this is what draws Tina to the infinite space of sky)

I know, I tend to get uprooted in my thinking and float off into daydream, but this Utopia has a leg in solidity somehwere, or there would be no light to see by. No beacon for those at sea.

*****Please excuse my lucid thinking, but it is so wonderful to stretch out once more since the Notebook is feeling comfortable again********

I am leaving off, with incomplete thoughts and whatnots... but I must go to sleep.

HUGS all around, and may the peace that passeth all understanding be with you.

Heather 2-10-2003 4:57


Debra: Living in Australia, I guess 911 didn't have the same impact on me. A strong impact nonetheless.
At times I find myself almost holding my breath when I hear a low flying aeroplane overhead. Seems strange since I live on a flight path where planes pass right over my house while descending.

After the Bali Bombing on Oct 12th... Being so close to home, I didn't exactly feel fear about it or even a little anxious. I just feel really, really peeved (putting it nicely) off about how there are people out there who would carry out these DEVASTATING COWARDLY deliberate acts against civillians.

However I'm just a little bit frightened of what will happen next and of more lives being lost and more people losing loved ones.

Well that's enough of my ranting.

Taylor 2-10-2003 4:53


Teekay: I don't think your comments were deragotory... Or however you spell it.

Suddam Hussein's nickname for the U.N. How about "The Gullible Lot"?


"Sylvester" or "Tom" in reference to the cats always chasing after the mice or the Tweetie Birds. But never successful.

Taylor 2-10-2003 4:42


Randall - I am so sorry to hear about the nightmare wait you had in ER. I know you didn't want to go into it, but I wish your wife a speedy recovery and trust she is much better now. You too - good luck with the "stones".

Christi - Thanks for the motivation. 500 words it is today. I'm on the case.

Pamlea - Thanks for your warm welcome. Sex and an axe murderer. I can see the Movie Premiere already!! Good luck with it.

Maybe we could all share nicknames that our parents called us. Randall - I loved yours. My Mum called me "Tiddle". Whatever that means???!!!!#

Perhaps the UN Weapons inspectors should do the same with Iraq. Wouldn't it be nice if they all swapped nicknames today! ;-) Any ideas what Saddam's might be??????!!!!

Have a great day.


Richard Amazon 2-10-2003 3:43

Heather - I understand where your coming from, about all folks being the same, but on that matter I disagree.

Now don't get me wrong, you can worship who, or whatever you want, as far as I'm concerned you can believe in the gods of the Norsman, you can believe that god is an extratrestreial, or whatever, but we are not the same.

No, we are different, sure deep down we all have one heart and so forth but the way we were raised, what we've been taught, how we interact with others all depends on who raised us, and to a great extent where we were raised that way.

If you were raised in the highlands of Vietnam, you would not only be different from someone who was raised in North Dakota, or Canada, but you would be different from someone who was raised in the lowlands of Vietnam, in fact you would speak a different language, believe in a different God, and have a totally different outlook on life then others.

Much the same those raised in Iraq have a totally different outlook on life then someone raised in Lemmon South Dakota, or London UK.

Even say, Eddie would have a bit different outlook on life then I, so would Americo, and to possibly a lesser extent, you.

It all goes back to the nature/nurture fight. By nature, we are much the same but nurture makes us different. Heck back when I was a kid, it was a total shock to my system when we moved to town. Before that time, all the people I knew had the same last name as mine. They all had parents who drank way too much, and fought like cats and dogs. When we went to town, my sisters and I stayed in the back seat of the car, and if we needed to use the facilities we went into the bar where Mom and Dad were drinking, so all I knew of town life was what happened behind and sometimes in a bar.

When we moved to town, I met people who had a different last name, people who's parents didn't get drunk and fight, parents who sent their kids to church, and who offered to take me along ( ya right! )

When I enrolled in school, it was a total shock because I was no longer the ONLY person in my grade as I had been in country schools, and this school had such wondrous things as movie projectors, reading machines, film strips and slide shows. They had real music rooms, and we SANG, not just at Christmas but every day!

I was so happy when we moved north of the tracks and I could go back to a country school again, even though it meant a bus ride to and from school, I was back at home and while this country school had a few more kids, it was what I had grown up with, and my year in town school fell away into the past.

So if you give it a bit more thought, I think you can understand that we are very different from those in the rest of the world.

Now I would agree, that we have the same hopes and desires as most of the rest of the world, but like most folks we love our homeland (recall Germany's Fatherland and Russia's Mother Russia)

Anyhow I think you know what I'm saying.

Oh and another thing, just for the record, I agree with the President sort of but I really don't want to see another war, because I know what they can and many times do become, despite our superior firepower, look what the communists did to us in Vietnam, and many of them had no training and inadequate weapons, yet the US with all her modern firepower couldn't or didn't defeat those primitive people who were lead by an old man with very old ideals.

Jerry 2-10-2003 0:36


If ranting makes you feel any better, I guess it is a good thing. I imagine that from time to time I will bolt up and reply to one thing or another. Of course you can go on to whoever you want about whatever you want. I've said it myself, this is a free zone. Honestly, if I don't like what you have to say I don't have to read it.

Quite honestly I'm worried about you. I'm not saying that to be unkind or mean or imply anything. If I didn't care about you, I wouldn't bother with you, so, given that I've bothered with you so much these past few days, that should tell you something...

I'll try to resist jumping on your back at every turn on this.


Rachel 2-10-2003 0:01


I do want to say this one more thing responding to my going on since 911 with the peoms and all. Am I safe to assume I can still speak to others on the notebook about his topic after this last post to you. I don't mean this is my last post to you, just on this topic.

Anyway, am I scared? Yes! Was I scared before 911? Not really. So yes, they won that battle they made me sacred.

What I am really scard of isn't so much them marching into America and taking over. I still think I'm reasonably safe there.

What I'm scared of is our young boys and young women of the military going to war and some not coming back, some coming back broken on the outside and worse, some broken on the inside. You better believe I'm scard of that. That's real. We are an inch away from that. I have heard stories as far back as the Russian war in Afganistan right up until now and even from the Chehs. This particular enemy breaks every rule in the Geneva Convention and some that haven't even been written yet, from disembowling people to things our minds refuse to think up.

I'm scared for those young boys and girls as if they were my own family. You know why? They are. The human family. I'm as worried as for our so called enemy too. I have listened to stories of people from Japan and America getting together after that war and crying for what happened there, grown men. You better believe I'm scared

And for that he has won.


That rotten bastard!

Debra 2-9-2003 23:35


We're friends. WE were friends before and we stil are.

We both have a boat load of kids and spend from sun up to sun down taking care of them. We live the same lives practically.

You don't want to talk about we won't.

I won't apoligize for responding to my world. I'm not a cardboard cut out you know.

Debra 2-9-2003 23:09


You ever read the saying "don't believe everything you read?" You need to turn off the news and take a walk or something.

Also, if you are so into the news take a look at what happens in the streets of North American every day. We have rape, murder you name it. It isn't even done my crack pots, it is done by regular every day folks.

It is a big bad world. I know that. I also know that it can be a wide beautiful world.

I don't want to do this again Debra. Your next post on this matter will not be likely to get any attention from me. If all you can do is fixate upon this, then go to. You've been at it pretty much nonstop since 9.11. Poems and dreams and who knows what else. In your case terror has won the war. You aren't really living any more, you are dying, paralized with fear. You've let them have exactly what they wanted. Maybe that is why you hate them so much.

Nite Deb.

Try to take care of yourself.

Rachel 2-9-2003 23:05

Geeze I left for a few days and look what happened. That comment about taking sons and raping daughers came from reality. It happened in Afganistan daily. The people who knocked down the twin towers lived this way. They loved it. I don't create the news I just report it.

That's where I got that, from reality. If they get what they want they will create that same hell here. That's what I'm saying. Yes, Usoma has stated he and his followers will not rest until we are all practicing Islam. That's what he said.

I know many a woes have happened by all religions and mine too. I know. Of course I know.

I don't want to go back to those times. That's what I'm saying.

I don't hate the Iraqies. I think they are a people who show great strength. I look forward to the day when they are our friends.

I try very hard not to talk about things I don't know much about. I have been paying attention to plenty.

My question was he has put his cards on the table. He Osuma, I don't care if that's how his name is spelled, has stated they won't rest until the world is all Islam.


I am very proud to be an American. Of course some Americans have embarrassed the country. It's just like being proud of your family. There's always an uncle some where peeing in the flower garden.

America is a place that has every country recognized, every religion recognized, every value recognized. We pulled if off. We all live here together under one flag. We get along for the most part. We help every country that gets into trouble because we ARE every country. Well from what I see we try to help where ever possible. Do we still have problems, yes. Every country has their problems. But we are still a land that embraces freedom for all. I love that about us. I really do.

What I see is a dictator rising from dirt looking directly at us. He showed us in Afganistan what he sees for our citizens. I told you. You don't what to hear it again. He put his cards on the table and WHAT DO WE DO.

Just answer that. That's all I want.

What do we do?

Debra 2-9-2003 22:41



My middle name flashed all over the internet doesn't bother me. Now, Teekay, listen real close. Just between us ... (whisper) I don't wish the other notebookers to hear. My mom (look left, then right) called me Lynnie Ben. But for Gods sake don't let anyone know. I do have my reputation to uphold!!! My Lord, no telling what Richard might do!!! :-)Actually Mom called me a lot of things! But always with love.


Randall 2-9-2003 22:01


I hope we don’t go at it again either. I however can not promise. I wouldn’t do that. I try not to make a promise unless I am sure I can keep it. I don’t like the idea that I made you teary-eyed. You should get a picture of me and shoot some darts at it or something. That might be a good idea. It’s okay to be pissed with me. I’m okay with that. I send you a hug too. Here, have a bowl of my cheese and potato soup. It about soothes anything.


In my area, it isn’t so much that folks are high-minded, they are just high (merry laughter). I can’t count the grow ops that get busted around here. One was busted right next door to me shortly before I moved in. We got this house because the owner said that with all of our kids we wouldn’t have room to grow any pot (he also owns the place next door where the grow up was).

Hey there Teekay,

My heads on straight? You sure I’m not pulling a Linda Blair on you ;o) My house is pretty. I still wonder what I’m doing here when I drive up. It doesn’t seem like a house I would live in. It seems that a lady in fine cloths should reside in this place, not me in my mud smudged jeans and T-shirts. I’ll need to get a pic on disk so I can send it off to you. Just think Victorian, huge, green with white trim, wrap around verandah, set nice and deep, porch swing that overlooks the playground which has a little playhouse on the second level that is a replica of the big house. It’s cute. I think the thing I love most is the rope swing in the front field area. There isn’t much like a pull on that. Sometimes playing like a kid is better than anything.

Hi Heather,

I also happen to love a lot of Statesians. I have whaps of cousins, a grandmother (Southern Beauty that could take your breath away), aunties and uncles all over the states.

Rachel 2-9-2003 21:55



You know I like/use quotes, because in some instances I'm lazy or choose to keep my mind in neutral. :-) After all it is Sunday. I always practice conservation, mental and physical. On a lighter note I have just returned from a five hour stay in the local ER. No, not my "stones" but my wife was ill. When it rains it pours. We sat, well, she lay across two chairs very sick for two hours. After an eternity we made it into the ER, for another two hours waiting for treatment. During this interval I crossed swords with two nurses over my wife's treatment, informed the ER doctor (no, not George thank God) that a hydration should have been already started, and debated quite seriously whether I should pick up a nearby phone, dial 911 and ask for an ambulance!!!

(Sigh) Well, I'm to tired to get into it and here is the quote I promised as referenced to my thinking these days.

"My dear Watson, there we come into those realms of conjecture where the most logical mind may be at fault."

Sherlock Holmes.

I believe this is from ... The Adventure of the Empty House.

Night all. You too Richard. :-)


Randall 2-9-2003 21:49

HEATHER: Cool! What kind of jewel?
Anyone getting a strong sense of deje jar voo.
Yeesh, French!

Teekay 2-9-2003 19:12

TAYLOR: The end of my last post to you sounded a bit derogatory - it definitely wasn't meant to be.

Teekay 2-9-2003 19:10

Oh my gosh! What have I done! I used the wrong brackets. I just wanted to wish a {Big Hug} to RACHEL, and I changed the font of the Notebook.

Forgive me, JACK.

Rhoda 2-9-2003 18:46

Teek, you are a true jewel! HAHAHAHAHA~!! I just about spewed Cola out of my nose when I read your post. (Read that as a good thing) Just hilarious!

Heather 2-9-2003 18:44


I agree that we probably have more than common than not. I am all teary-eyed. <> Let's don't fight again.


Absolutely! War does not solve everything, and we must never do it hastily. I really hope it does not come to that, and think there is always hope. Something good might happen yet and many innocent men and women in all nations involved won't be called upon to lose their lives.

Trying to work out some problems with my novel. I signed up for a conference the end of April and I hope to have the novel finished so I can pitch it during an editor appointment.

Rhoda 2-9-2003 18:44

TAYLOR: Even though he's the bad guy, and you don't like what he does, he's something you've given life to, and as such should feel an understanding of. You should know this guys motivations, you should know how he came to think as he does, know what drives him, and unless you do your bad guy is going to be dull and one dimensional and won't convince anybody of anything.
He might be a bad guy, but he's human, and in every human there is something we can all relate to.
So once you know where your bad guy is coming from, you won't have any problem with some of the stuff he does between the pages, and he might even teach you something :-)

Teekay 2-9-2003 17:54

Hmmmm. If we Northerners are truly high-minded, isn't that a GOOD THING? I'm not talking about sticking noses up in the air and being snotty, as if we are better somehow than the US. Nah. There just aren't as many Canadians per square mile in Canada as there are Americans in the US. There's a lot to be said for more breathing space.
We would be much more like the US if we had as high a population, simply because so many of us have similar ways of life and similar beliefs. Oh, and we have a lot of the same restaurants. HA HA HAHAHAAAAA!!!

Heather 2-9-2003 17:46

Ah, good, you're all up :-D

RACHEL: I agree with you.

RANDALL: I agree with you.

RHODA: I agree with you.

There are too many shades of grey, at the end of the day I'm just gonna have to go with my gut feeling, after all God gave it to me to save me from the beasties and other such hazards.

RACHEL: I always knew there was something more to you than the kisses and hugs, and I'm so glad you finally shared. You have your head on straight, your heart in the right place, so I think it's safe to say that you could never show us more of yourself than we'd care to see, :-)
I do envy you your turrett. Your house sounds gorgeous - any pictures?

CHRSITI: I hear's coming.....closer.....closer. Do you think it'll find me if I hide under the bed?
Okay, I'm taking you up on your challenge.

PAMELA: Hee hee, bags not running the world. Can you imagine the stress!
And can you imagine a president with PMT. Not that I'm personally susceptible to it, but I'm not going to be running the world am I?
I think maybe men are good in the front line. Admittedly, they have a high level of testosterone, but it usually runs along a fairly smooth path (unless you mix in some mental disorders, or past childhood traumas)
And running the world would be terribly squelching to creativity.
I myself would prefer to run it indirectly when I was in the mood. I would say, "Darling, if you promise to pass legislation on the abolishment on tree lopping in the state forest, I promise not to spend too much on the credit card."

RICHARD: Lynn huh? Methinks that RANDALL is defintiely not going to want to be your best friend anymore.

RANDALL: Never fear, my Grandpa's name was Phillis,(it was meant to be Phillip) and he lived to a ripe old age.
HAHAHAHAHA, I'm only kidding, ain't nuthin' wrong with Lynn, it's better that &Debbie, and a sight prettier than Marion - that was John Wayne's middle name (I think)

And now for some absolutely stunning news that will have you all reeling.......

huh? What's that

Oh sorry, wrong board

Feelin' insane today. Wish I was runnin' the world today, but I gotta go take out the garbage.

Teekay 2-9-2003 17:40

Hey Rachel - I'll have to drink a lot of cups of tea to pee a line around my territory, but your thoughts on how truly 'civilized' people are on the whole, well, they're not wrong as far as I'm concerned. Anger and fear are still largely motivational. Fear especially. Heck, that's why we buy insurance, isn't it? Anyway, it isn't necessarily all about sides, but it does come down to that at some point - as the old saying goes, "If you're not for us, you're against us." And we are both for the US if it comes down to it. Whether all of us here agree or not, if push comes to shove I will stand by the US. I happen to love a good lot of them! LOL

Rhoda, Randall - I totally understand your points, and want you to know that. Maybe I'm really an eternal hippie - I'd much rather avoid war at all costs. I just don't find war solves everything - and maybe it's just that war has always been such a huge sacrifice for such little gain. That doesn't have much bearing over what war might be like if it happens in the very near future. Still, I'd rather avoid it, as I'm sure many of us would.
There has to be other ways of solving the entire mess. I just don't happen to hold any keys of brilliance at the moment.

And now....I should go back and re-read just to be sure I was even responding to what was said!

Heather 2-9-2003 17:40


I do not dislike you either. I wish you and your family the best. I wish you security in you homeland. I respect what you've said in your most recent post and think that you and I can agree to disagree, though, I doubt we really disagree all that much.

All the best to you.

Rachel 2-9-2003 17:29


It was not a threat. Only an example. I am sorry I took the bite. I really should have stayed out of the discussion. I have not made nearly as many posts on this subject as RANDALL or DEBRA has. Am I angry? For the moment, yes. Am I insulted. You bet. Do I have feelings? Yes, I do and I will not deny it.

I do not dislike you. I never did. I have no hard-feelings toward you at all. I wish you and your family every good thing.

I just despute some of your ideas, and all you can do is respond with your own little brand of hatred.

Yes this is a free board, and anyone can say what they please. I would have it no other way, but I find your posts rather unpleasant now, and as long as it goes on like this, I have no desire to post here again, because it is pointless.

I love you all.

Rhoda 2-9-2003 16:14


What a surprise, you stewing for a fight... Anyway, I will call it hate. Perhaps the reason you respond so heatedly to me is because you know in your heart that I have a point, one which you do not like. I find that any time a person responds with the sort of intensity that I’m seeing here it is because you’ve challenged something deep inside of them. For that I’m happy. I hope I have made you think. Feel free to respond to me Rhoda, in particular if you have an actual argument to present and not just repeating hate/fear declarations. I’ve read those enough. Why would you knock on my door and hit me in the mouth is a better question. I don’t live my life in such a way that would invite that sort of action. That is why I do not fear it. If you came to my door to hit me, I would block you, disable you and try to establish what the issue was. That is, if I knew it was you. Your post about people coming to my door is crazy talk. I think you are only sick of this topic because not everyone will agree with you. I’m tired of listening to the rants of a few on this NB. So, here it is. I won’t debate who has more compassion for who, that is also foolishness. I’m tired of it, do you hear me Rhoda? That doesn’t mean I’m going to duck out and wait for the smoke to clear (that solves lots doesn’t it?) What it means is that if anyone spouts off about something I don’t agree with I also will feel free to disagree. So just buck up and accept it. This is a free zone, Rhoda. Free for all, even high minded Northerns.

Good day to you.


Rachel 2-9-2003 16:01


Call it hate all you wish. I do not care what Canada does, I only detest the overwhelming self-righteousness on the Northern Border.

You said some pretty provocative and ugly things yourself, things I did not even respond to.

You make a point some of us do not agree with. Fine. I respect your opinion even though it doesn't line up with mine.

Hatred has nothing to do with it. If I knocked on your door and hit you in the mouth, how much love and mercy would you have for the moment. You would probably hit me right back. What if someone were to threaten your family? Would you feel so loving and so high-minded and ask yourself while wringing your hands. "Whatever did I do to piss this person off?" I don't think that would be your response.

No I do not hate Islamists. I have more compassion for these people than you know, and I think I have a lot more compassion for them than you. I hope they back off and try some sort of dialogue. I hope they renounce their violence against my country. I hope we can live in peace, but if that is not possible, then yes, we must fight. Self preservation demands it.

And that is all I wish to say on the subject. Anyone on this Notebook can call me any name you wish.

I am off this thing for the next week or two. I have a book to finish and I have a family to take care of, and I am really sick of this discussion.

Rhoda 2-9-2003 15:41


Hi you (smiles and hugs).

Rachel 2-9-2003 14:23

How could I have left Pamela out! Sorry! And you too, Debra! Like Teekay, I'm beginning to regret naming names. There are many more out there. Gariess, you've got one hell of a novel/short story collection in you. "The Bulb in my Shorts", by Gary Souza. And Americo, Jon, and Pussy, oh my! And Allein, the inspiration for my recent weight loss! And Mary! How I do miss you!

And to the exclaimation !!! purists I say, nyah!

Christi 2-9-2003 13:58

I think the way to solve all the problems of the world is to let women run it, the men have done a piss-poor job. They can't help it, I know, it's all that testosterone befuddling their brains (located below the waist) and they get into these international weenie-wagging contests. Okay, okay, if women ran things we might have some problems a few days of every month, but hopefully not all at the same time, which would no doubt result in global destruction. (What's the difference between a woman during PMS and a pitbull? Lipstick.)

A god by any other name, like a rose, would remain what it is. Whatever may happen (including nothingness) when we leave this place will not be altered by what we believe or what name we choose to call it while we are here.

Hi, Richard, welcome to this group, which I have recently joined myself. In answer to your inquiry about members, I was lucky enough to have a novel published ages ago and am now working on re-writing a rough draft of another, it is a supernatural, psychological thriller with an ax murderer and sex. Perhaps you can guess that this is pretty much a commercial endeavor although I do plan to get a little of my own spiritual/philosophical ideas in there, the supernatural aspects are not of the horror genre, but something that could very well be real (just not physical). I will check out your link later, today took quite a bit of time just to catch up on recent postings.

Randall, of course we're still friends, I consider everyone on this site to be a new friend even if I don't agree with what they say. If everyone agreed on everything, it would be a boring world indeed. I do think your responses to me and to Richard were a little extreme, do you think it is possible that you are transferring some anger (perhaps from 30-year-old nightmares you were made to endure) onto others?

Rachael, re: "the call of the wild", my two Canadian girlfriends and I had a lot of fun but I haven't been wild for three decades (but for occasional lapses). Actually, I misquoted her, it was "the call of the Yukon" and I still feel it, would love to take that train trip that goes across Canada.

Debra, about your prophecy dream, years ago I saw a show about an organization that recorded such things and tried to stop catastrophes from happening. I don't remember their name but maybe you could track them down on the net.

I am going to try to ignore what is going on in the world right now since there isn't a damn thing I can do about it anyway. I will try to practice love (have taken a little time off writing to make architectural drawings of a plan of mine to donate to a man building houses for indigent Indians), try to enjoy the blue of the sky and the hug of a friend and not let myself get contaminated by hatred.

Pamela 2-9-2003 13:45


Whew! *choke, gasp!* It's gettin' smokey in here. Put down your arms guys and take a breather. One, two, three, inhale .... exhale .... ahhhhh. My intention is not to demean or poke fun at the debate (debacle?) going on, but I think we all need to count to ten and shift into friendlier tones. Not to say that friends can't debate, but it does take time to heal after such weighty convos.

Richard, Welcome! Blessed be any who comes here to talk about writing. I agree with Mel that that is when I get most inspired here--that and posts like Tina's and Teekay's and Mel's last ones.

Teekay, It's coming ... can you hear it? A whirling whisper on the wind that sweeps ever closer until you can finally hear its cry. "Finish me, finish me, oh please won't you pick me up and give me life again!" THOTH calls!

Heather, Yep, there it is ... hell, I can hear it from hundreds of miles away! Symphony, begging for your artist's touch!

Tina, You've heard it for months now and it's right at your door. Shadows is coming for you! Oh the agony of these haunted manuscripts. They're waiting, and so are all of we, the world, to read each one of their pages.

And you, Mel! And Randall, Mark, and sunny Sunny! And Carol! And Rachel! And Eddie, dear Eddie! And Howard! And Jerry, yes, you too Jerry! And you, Richard! And, oh gosh, I know I'm forgetting tons ... and me! And all of you, you know who you are, whether you post or lurk. With the continuous support of our friends we can complete these and many other novels and stories, and grow from the experience, and begin to come into the wisdom that years of writing and living have to offer. Am I being cheesy? Who cares!

WOW, Tina! You've descibed Arizona better than I have ever been able to do. I guess it sometimes takes a fresh, new point of view to show it to you. Suddenly I begin to see the beauty in my home that was always there. :) Thanks, chum.

How I wish I lived closer to the amazing friends I've made here, but then I remember that I'm being greedy. I'm lucky to live in a time when it was possible to meet them in the first place.

Sorry, Sunny, about our lack of email addies. Most of us used to post them regularly, but I think we just plain forget now.

I'm giving everyone here an assignment today, to be accomplished by the end of Monday, the 10th (should you wish to accept it). It's small and manageable: Five hundred words on your novel manuscript or short story or essay or journal. It does take nerves of steel some days. But when you open up a rusty old document or pick up that tattered notebook you could get inspired by (strangely enough) yourself.

Ready ... set ... GO!

Christi 2-9-2003 13:39


Oh Jerry! You're too bad!!! :-)


Randall 2-9-2003 13:06


FYI everybody...

PLEASE NOTE DATE: Heather and other Canadians...I disagree with Rush's statement on Canada. This comment was posted before the fine Canadian men were killed by friendly fire.


Rush Limbaugh

September 11, 2002

In this country and the world today, there are many people who agree with the bizarre statements made by Nelson Mandela in Newsweek. Many people, including most students and many elected officials, agree that the United States is imperialist and that our military is the focus of evil in the modern world. The truth, of course, is that we're the most giving nation in the world.

We have no empire. We do not invade or annex. We liberate. Despite the talk of the resources we use, we use those resources to feed, clothe and protect the world. When Nelson Mandela or one of these terrorists sees America, they ask, "How did they do this in less than 230 years? We've been around here for centuries, and we still can barely muster working toilets." It is this that the terrorists see, folks – and it makes them envious.

Yes, envy. They look at the U.S. and see what they thought they were supposed to become. That's what they thought their religion promised them. I'm not speaking of all of Islam here or Muslims in general. I'm speaking of the militant extremists, particularly from the Wahabi sect, who looked at those towers and said, "How did they do that when we can't even pave a road?" If I were a citizen of a country that had been around thousands of years, and was still basically a sand pit, when I looked at America, I would want to come here, not to tear this country down.


If these people ever stop blaming America, they'd have to blame themselves. That's how somebody got hold of these hijackers when they were very young, and filled them with hate at Hate is an instinct. You don't even have to know anybody to hate them. But love, it's not an emotion you can turn on and off. You either do or you don't. You have to work at liking people. Disliking them - hating them, for some – is easy. It's the same thing with good and evil, and that's why it's hard work. But, it's worth it, because who would you rather see win out day-to-day, year-to-year, in eternity - good or evil? Question answered. They understand the desire to be free, but they don't understand how it relates to capitalism.

Consider the fascinating piece in Wednesday's Christian Science Monitor if you agree with this notion that this country is evil and imperialistic.

The theme is its opening line: "Compared with past great powers, say the Mongols or Romans, America wields a light touch." We rebuilt Europe and Japan. We let the Philippines and Puerto Rico opt for independence.

We didn't stay in any of the nations where we've sent troops to go to war. We even paid for the land we won from Mexico in our war with them, at a time when some (even Mexicans!) called for the United States to absorb all of that nation into our territory. Imagine if Canada's neighbors were Iraq or Nazi Germany or the USSR or imperial Japan or any powerful empire. Would they sleep so well at night? The Boy Scouts could crush Canada with zero casualties, yet we let them opt to keep welcoming in terrorists and to thumb their noses at us on Iraq.

"But Rush, if good is so good, why is it so hard to triumph over evil? Why is good content with what it is, even as evil metastasizes?" Look, we're trying to spread freedom, goodness and democracy in the Mideast. Yet evil seems to be able to take over these places in a snap, even in parts of this country. Goodness always is going to be the tougher battle, just like doing the right thing is always going to be much harder than doing the wrong thing, just like love is always going to be a little harder than hate.

Hate is an instinct. You don't even have to know anybody to hate them. But love, it's not an emotion you can turn on and off. You either do or you don't. You have to work at liking people. Disliking them - hating them, for some – is easy. It's the same thing with good and evil, and that's why it's hard work. But, it's worth it, because who would you rather see win out day-to-day, year-to-year, in eternity - good or evil? Question answered

Enough said...folks this is the why and why for.


Randall 2-9-2003 13:04

Ok, I understand Heather, but I still think Patriotism is a good thing, at least most of the time.

Anyhow how about a politically uncorrect joke to get things boiling a bit more, got this from the "Other" Jerry Ericsson today:

At a small air terminal in the Texas Panhandle, three strangers are awaiting
their shuttle flight. One is a Native American passing through from
Oklahoma. Another, a local ranch hand on his way to Ft. Worth for a stock
show. The third passenger is an Arab student, newly arrived at the Texas oil
patch from the Middle East.
The cowpoke leans back in his chair, crosses his boots on a magazine table,
tips his big sweat-stained hat forward over his face. The wind outside blows
tumbleweeds and the old windsock flaps, but no plane comes.
To pass the time they strike up a conversation on recent events and the
discussion drifts to their diverse cultures. Soon the Westerners learn that
the Arab is a devout Muslim. The conversation falls into an uneasy lull.
Finally, the Native American clears his throat and softly, he speaks: "Once
my people were many, now we are few."
The Muslim raises an eyebrow and leans forward, "Once my people were few,"he
sneers, "and now we are many. Why do you suppose that is?"
The Texan shifts the toothpick to one side of his mouth and from the
darkness beneath his Stetson says "Cause we ain't played Cowboys and

Randall you might like that one, got this one just this second from another of my old cop buddies (he still lives in North Dakota by the way)
North Dakota Found To Be Harboring Nuclear Missiles

BISMARCK, ND—The stage was set for another international showdown Monday, when chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix confirmed that the remote, isolationist state of North Dakota is in possession of a large stockpile of nuclear missiles.

"Satellite photos confirm that the North Dakotans have been quietly harboring an extensive nuclear-weapons program," said Blix, presenting his findings in a speech to the U.N. Security Council. "Alarmingly, this barely developed hinterland possesses the world's most technologically advanced weapons of mass destruction, capable of reaching targets all over the world."

After initially offering no comment on the report, North Dakota officials admitted to having a stockpile of 1,710 warheads at two military sites and confirmed that the state has been home to an active nuclear-weapons-development program for decades.

Blix called the revelation a "terrifying prospect for the world at large."

Within hours of the announcement, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged North Dakota to abandon its program.

"This is clearly an excessive number of weapons for a place like North Dakota to possess," Annan said. "In this post-Cold War environment, we should be moving away from nuclear proliferation among developing states."

European leaders also spoke out in opposition to North Dakota's weapons program.

"North Dakota, still in its cultural infancy, cannot be trusted to responsibly handle weapons of mass destruction," French President Jacques Chirac said. "We are talking about a place that doesn't even have a Thai restaurant or movie theater that shows foreign films, but still they have the resources to build thousands of warheads. Do not believe their claims of being 'The Peace Garden State.'"

According to Chirac, North Dakota's development of nuclear arms "represents a grave threat to peaceful states the world over, none more so than its longtime neighbor and rival across the 45th Parallel, South Dakota."

"The South Dakotans, while a simple people themselves, are friendly, hospitable, and far more in touch with the outside world," Chirac said. "Many people, myself included, have passed through and seen the Badlands and Mount Rushmore. North Dakota, on the other hand, is a bleak, racially homogeneous state that few people ever enter or exit."

After a joint meeting of the French and German cabinets, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said the two nations "agree that this situation must be rectified" and implored North Dakota to cease its uranium-enrichment program immediately.

"We have opened the door to talks," Schroeder said. "But, unfortunately, North Dakota seems unwilling to engage with the world community at this time."

According to Blix, North Dakota is home to 500 Minuteman III ICBMs and 50 Peacekeeper missiles, giving it one of the heaviest concentrations of the weapons on earth. The biggest discovery made by U.N. inspectors, Blix said, was a missile field at Minot Air Force Base, where they found an "almost unbelievable" stockpile of warheads.

The rogue state was also found to possess enormous stockpiles of fissile material.

"North Dakota could have as much as 75 metric tons of weapons-grade uranium and 8 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium," Blix said. "Just 55 pounds of uranium are needed to construct a simple nuclear weapon. Do the math-—the prospects are terrifying."

The man at the center of the controversy is North Dakota's leader, Gov. John Hoeven. Having risen to power in 2000 after amassing tremendous wealth in the private sector, Hoeven lives a life of comfort and excess inside the heavily patrolled North Dakota governor's mansion, a lavish dwelling paid for entirely by the state, while many of his people engage in subsistence farming.

Some suspect that Hoeven is using the nuclear program as a bargaining chip to gain badly needed economic benefits for his state. Hardly at the forefront of technology in other aspects, North Dakota has a largely rural population and a child-poverty rate of 14 percent—-a fact critics have been quick to point out.

"North Dakotans live a horrible life of isolation and deprivation, struggling to grow crops in a hostile, sub-zero climate while their indifferent government routinely prioritizes bolstering the state's military might," BBC World correspondent Caroline Eagan said. "There are people starving there, and yet high-tech weapons laboratories and military bases abound. It's deplorable."

Added Eagan: "And, no big surprise, the U.S. played a major role in arming this place. I hear most of the missiles are American-made."

Many U.S. citizens have expressed fear, some realizing for the first time that North Dakota has thousands of weapons capable of reaching any major American city within minutes.

"It is absolutely frightening that there are all these weapons of mass destruction practically in my backyard," said Karen Stiles of Moorhead, MN. "Do we really know enough about these people who have their finger on the button that could kill millions?"

Added Stiles: "How did our elected officials let this happen?"

Jerry Jerry's home page 2-9-2003 12:33


Is this really about sides? I think it is about lack of education all around. Everyone thinks they know what everyone else is about. If push came to shove I of course would stand by the Americans. Honestly, their way of life is a whole lot closer to my way of life than anything I've observed from the other side. At least our way of life in a capitalistic, surface sort of way. I would stand by the states because they are our neighbours, because I think they are well intended. That however brings back the old trite saying about things done with the best intentions. It all seems to pointless and stupid. We rush into things, guided by our guts, no better than men with clubs from out past. It all turns into grunts and killing. Crap! There just has to be a better way. If there isn't maybe we should stop pretending that we are all "civilized" societies and face up to the fact that we are really only savage animals fighting for territory and dominance.

Rachel 2-9-2003 12:32

Sunny - sorry, I forget to post my email sometimes!
Richard - thanks!! Stick around - it's not always this heated over politics in here.
Rachel - I agree with you. Lack of education fuels hatred indeed.

Heather 2-9-2003 12:03

Hi Teekay,

It was nice to have a post from you. You bust me up. I've been chewing a hole in my lip for years trying not to respond, or I respond with a poem, or something else. I'm worn out with being indirect and quiet. I'm afraid you could see more of my heart that you care to ;o)

Hope the day is good to you.


Rachel 2-9-2003 12:02


Richard...I stand on my post of 2/8/2003.


Randall 2-9-2003 12:01

Hi Deb,

You are repeating yourself. You are spouting the same hate over and over. You’ve got nothing to back it up. You have no philosophical stance. There is no rational argument that I can pick out of your words. All I read is the ranting of a fearful woman. I understand that. I’m okay with that. However, when you try to present it as an argument, it is going to fall on its face. You don’t have a clue and you don’t want one. You are happy to wrap your hate and fear around yourself, snuggle up in it and blame, blame, blame. Well, go to girl. Give a lovin to your ethnocentric heart. Don’t take a moment to think about cultural relativism (which, incidentally does have its flaws as well - I would be happy to debate them with you, if you investigated the matter). I want to tell you something else, then I am going to try my best to stop, as I am tired of answering in new ways to your repeating hate posts. What you are writing here is hate literature. It is full of spite, fear, anger and prejudice. It is revolting.

On the basis of my observations of you in the past I do hold a warm place for you in my heart. I however find that I am recoiling form you more and more, as one would recoil from a snake.


As your post reads quite like those of Debra, you can apply my recent replies to that as well.

My sons taken away, my baby girls raped, my husband killed, my God kidnapped. That's why our ancestors left Europe all those years ago. All I see is the beast has followed us.

I'm sorry if I'm getting radical.

The situation seems to call for it.

If they win, our original consitition can be used for toliet paper. If they win, I can see it happening in my minds eye. Just like the distruction of the Budda statutes. They were older than our consititution.
Debra 2-8-2003 12:58
In Afganistan women lost their sons, from ad little as two yrar old boys up. From all the information they had they were never going to see their sons again, ever. I remember my sons at two. They were attached to me like a sticky bun. We were together all the time. Mothers just like us, watched as these little guys were pulled off their hips and dragged away screaming.

Their daughters were regulary raped. If women were caught teaching their daughters how to read and write they were beaten or killed. Their husbands were routinely murdered in front of them. ONce their husbands were dead they were forbidden to work. They could only beg for money, covered from head to to in cloth. If they did leave the house they were beaten by laughing, cackling, bearded men. They just beat them and laugh and laugh. That was life in Afganistan under taliban. Usoma thought it was heaven on earth.

They are saying America join that club or fight. In fact either the last statement or the one before that Osuma stated he and his followers wouldn't rest until every one joined them.

Just tell me do you want to join that club? If you don't tell me, does it sound like heaven on earth? Does it sound like a loving God? Does it sound like anyone's God?

I would never preach death to other religions. I have never, would never. I'm saying no land pirates.

THEY DON'T BEIEVE IN GOD. That's my feeling and I'm sticking with it.

Still love you.

Rachel 2-9-2003 11:58

JERRY - I did not say that a patriotic person follows his leaders blindly (though that's a possibility) what I said was that patriotism blinds people in general to the fact that everyone on earth is basically the same. Patriotism divides people into 'Americans' and 'Englishmen' and 'Africans', or 'Cubans', and you get the idea. Patriotism means we only see our own as being 'right'. We see only our own as being on the 'right side'.
The truth is, dividing up the world into countries has made divisions in the minds of men.
We are all children of one God.
Some people think His name is Mohammad, some think it Jehovah, some think it is Buddha....

Heather 2-9-2003 11:50

JERRY - I know patriotism is not just an American thing. It is part of the reason the Iraqis don't want to back down, too. What is the reason people are so patriotic that they would chase the enemy through hectares of jungle and face unknown danger and hardship? Pride. Losing damages that pride. Can't be on the losing team - must put everything on the line in order to win, or die trying.
That thinking is fuelled by patriotism. No matter who you are or where you come from.

Heather 2-9-2003 11:44

Hey Deb,

This fighting is about history. If you want to understand it, you are going to have to read back futher than Sept 11th. What do I suggest? I suggest you learn what the cause of this is, instead of trying for some easy fix, some easy blame. I think that if you read your history you would find that it isn’t other religions who have issues with the Gods of others, it is our own. The Christ religion has beaten and abused the world for a very long time. People who don’t appreciate the history of that, can not appreciate the level of animosity that some can feel towards the Christ God folk. Who did what to whom first? You wouldn’t like the answer Deb, nope, you wouldn’t like it at all. You don’t know the war that is being fought here, that is half the problem. You think it is about the twin towers, it isn’t about that, only for the U.S. There have been other layers and textures that have been added to the religious aspect of animosity and it is those that have managed to blur the issue into a mess that on the surface seems to be impossible to solve. My answer, is education, understanding, compassion and level heads. That is my suggestion. That is my answer.

There's one question and only one.

If you don't want that life and the land pirates are not taking no for an answer THEN WHAT DO YOU DO?

They are forcing that question on the table NOW and they are forcing the answer. If they should be free to have their God then so should we all be.


What do you suggest?

Rachel 2-9-2003 11:44

(click to hear the word) (ptr-t, -t)
One who loves, supports, and defends one's country.

[French patriote, from Old French, compatriot, from Late Latin patrita, from Greek patrits, from patrios, of one's fathers, from patr, patr-, father; see pter- in Indo-European roots.]

Jerry 2-9-2003 11:25


For clarity, I have posted the words I am responding to below. I will respond to each of your comments. I can’t resist responding to this sort of foolishness.
I wonder what that says about me?

Your post suggests that as the U.S. was fighting for their lives on home soil, not just chasing shadows and seeking scape goats, but having a visible enemy, on their land (not chasing shadows in a land not their own). You are saying that if Americans were being killed by invaders, who were going door to door killing men, women and children, that we in Canada would sip tea and play chess, then in the evening tip a few beer. Then when it was all over for you and the invader came to our door we would say “Oh dear, oh my, whatever will we do. We never expected this.” Deb, you read like a fool in your post. I doubt you can see that though. The loyalty and courage of Canadians is above reproach. Read your history and you’ll know that. then again, maybe your history leaves out the parts where other people do good things. Seems that it must if you can have the intestinal fortitude to post such a blatantly offensive, rude post. What a simplistic, foolish post. And, for crying in a bucket, stop romanticizing the enemy. They are not Pirates. They are fundamentalists, just like countless crack pot religious/political groups all over the United States. The only difference between them and the American fundamentalists, is that they got organized!


Just for one minute imagine this scene. Imagine they came here to America and defeated us. Remember the USA we have never bothered you guys for one minute??? So any way, they defeated us. We women have had all our clothes burned and replaced with beige burcas and live in houses with our windows painted black. They raped all of us and the pretty ones they forced into prostituation. They steal our money and pull our sons right out of our arms, why? WEll because mothers and girls and sons are boys. Before you say no, they do do that, as early as two. They beat every one in the street and dump all make up and lotions in the ocean. They killed our husbands because they complained about their making their wives and daughters into sex toys.

Now they are scratching their chins and wondering who's next. That usually requires a slight tilt of the head. Yes they are looking up, north, Canada. You're next! ONce you see your children raped and your sons snatched and your husband killed and your windows painted black and you are forecd into prostititoin with all these smelly land pirates are you going to be saying well they are doing it for God?

If so, you're are a better human than I could ever be and I applaud you. Because I'm crumbling and turning into a dreadful host. I won't be the hostest with the mostest for those land pirates.

Rachel 2-9-2003 11:24

I have a request: If possible, would everyone please put in their email address with their next post? Sometimes I have a comment or question for someone personally, and I don't know how to reach you. Thanks!

Sunny 2-9-2003 10:38

Heather - I can't agree with you on one point - A patriot isn't a person who blindly follows his leaders orders, he is not someone who would say "My Country Right Or Wrong!"

No, at least in my figuring a patriot is one who deeply loves his nation and is willing to die for that love. A patriot is one who would assist his countrymen in any endeavor that would protect his motherland.

I've known a few men who I would call patriot, and believe me none of them was in any way stupid, or blindly following someone else's orders.

You may have seen patriot's from the U.S. back in the 60's/70's in Canada, those who left the nation they loved because of their belief that the Vietnam War was wrong. You could find patriots in Vietnam carrying an M-16 through the jungle.

There were patriots in the first golf war, they were in the "Police Action" in Korea, they served their nation in both World Wars, no that's not right, they served the FREE WORLD in both world wars. Patriots are not necessarily American's, other nations have their patriots too, including your great nation.

A Patriot is one who loves his nation, no matter what that nation may be, heck there's patriots in Iraq I'm sure too, and in every other land in the world. But the last thing a Patriot would be is blind or stupid.

We look back in our nation's history and find patriots from day one such as George Washington, all the way up to Oliver North and hundreds, no thousands more who love their nation enough to give the ultimate so that nation can live on.

There's nothing wrong with patriotism in fact it's something all nations, all peoples should stive for.

Jerry 2-9-2003 10:13

(Johnny Cash)
« © '65 Southwind Music »

The devil in hell we're told was chained a thousand years he there remained
He neither complain nor did he groan but was determined to start a hell of his own
Where he could torment the souls of men without being chained in a prison pen
So he asked the Lord if he had on hand anything left when he made this land
The Lord said yes there's a plenty of hand but if I left it down by the Rio Grande
The fact is ol' boy the stuff is so poor
I don't think you could use it as the hell anymore
But the devil went down to look at the truck
And said if he took it as a gift he was stuck
For after lookin' that over carefully and well he said this place is too dry for hell
But in order to get it off his hand the Lord promised the devil to water the land
So trade was closed and deed was given and the Lord went back to his home in heaven
And the devil said now I got all what's needed to make it good hell and he secceeded
He began by putting thorns all over the trees
He mixed up the sand with millions of fleas
He scattered tarantulas along the road put thorns on cactus and horns on toad
Lenghtened the horns of the Texas steer put an addition to the rabbits ear
Put a little devil in the bronco steed and poisoned the feet of the centipede
The rattlesnake bites you the scorpion stings
The mosquito delights you with his buzzing wings
The sunburst are there and so the ants
And if you sit down you'll need have soles on your pants
The wild boar rooms on a black chapparral it's a hell of a place that he has for hell
The heat in the summers are hundred and ten too hot for the devil too hot for men
The red pepper grows upon the banks of the brook
The Mexican use it in all that he cook
Just dine it with one of 'em and you're bound to shout
I've hell on the inside as well as it out
My hands are calloused July to July I use a Big Dipper to navigate by
Fight off the wolves to drink from my well so I have to be mean as hell
A sheep herder came and put up the fence
I saw him one day but I ain't seen him since
But if you need a mutton we got mutton to sell
We're cowpunchers and we're mean as hell
Neighter me nor my pony's got a pedigree but he takes me where I'm wantin' to be
I'll ride him to death and when he is fell I'll get me another one mean as hell
I shot me a calf and I cut off her head
Cause the boys in the bunkhouse are waitin' to be fed
They rise in chime with the five thirty bell
And the best one of any of 'em is mean as hell

howard 2-9-2003 9:58


That was awful what happened to the four Canadian people with frndly fire. I hate war. I love Canada too. You are missing me inside my point.

Debra 2-9-2003 9:30

Hi Taylor,

Just because you put bad thoughts and feelings down on paper about a villan in your book, does not mean deep down that is how you feel!

I think it's called imagination and every writer draws from it. Blame it on your Muse! ;-)


Richard 2-9-2003 8:34

Hi Heather,

I love your gangly postings!!!



Richard 2-9-2003 8:30


Sitting down and trying to write my novel, I realise that there's just one thing I really hate about it sometimes. Trying to get in the mind of the enemy, the main bad guy is something I really dislike trying to do sometimes.
I guess it's silly going through the what-ifs... If you can put it down to paper, do you, deep down actually feel that way about somethings.

Eddie: My deepest condolonces about your loss. Even though it's never a good time to lose a family member, I can't imagine a worse time than Christmas day. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult period of time.

Taylor 2-9-2003 6:45

Richard - (here I am, the endless post-aholic)
I'm sure you've noticed by now that posts are added with the most recent first - so my looooooong post was first, then the 'five buck' post, and then the welcome for you.... just didn't want you to think that I meant 'I wouldn't regret posting' a welcome to you. ERRRRRGLE, I'm sure my explanation is as gangly as I am feeling!

I'm sure you got the drift about half an hour ago...:o)

Heather 2-9-2003 5:08

Hi Richard! I'm sorry, I didn't catch your arrival right away - WELCOME!

Heather 2-9-2003 5:06

I'm not going to regret posting that, and here's my five bucks to prove it:


But it's Canadian money.... HA HA HAH A HAHHH AAAAAAAAAAA

Heather 2-9-2003 5:05

Rachel - I've heard jokes about 'If Canadians ruled the world'.... There may be a few thousand bar brawls per year, but no out and out war.
If I know one thing about patriotism, it's this: for the most part, patriotism is a form of blindness. We can't see that people everywhere are pretty much just like us - we have to find differences we don't like and let that stand between 'us and them'. Of course, no one wants anyone else to tell us what to believe, or that there's someone else out there with a different, and perhaps better version of the truth. We shouldn't need constitutions to tell us that we all have rights to be whomever we wish to be. That should be a given. with patriotism, there has to be 'sides'. And when you have sides, you have competition, you have winner and loser; and this engenders the need to protect what you've got in case at some point you lose and have to forfeit. Americans are naturally very patriotic, very competitive, and truth be told, protection is not too much to ask for. I just don't like any sort of fighting. Bar brawl or full out war. But I would stand by the US because I happen to think they are closer to truth than the Islamists, and I can't sit the fence on this one.
I would rather play a game of touch football with friends than pro ball against opposition ('the enemy') any day. And when conflict gets heated, I find the more patriotic a group is, the more difficulty in seeing that we are all just playing football. Well, you know what I'm attempting to express.
We're all just in bodies, on Earth, to experience what we came here to learn. If that lesson is, "Loosen your collar and don't press any red buttons when angry", then so it is.
I have my doubts that this is our collective lesson, but with all the hatred and stubbornness abounding, you never know. What Tina said - I'm going to enjoy every drop of happiness I've been blessed with, in each moment as it comes.
Getting riled up past breaking point is not going to help any of us ace any tests, or kick the goal through those two little posts. That's my way of looking at it.
Then again, I might just be 'too Canadian' LOL. I hear it said that we don't get too excited over much, we Northern folk.

DEBRA: I would like to please ask that you calm down a trifle. Who said anyone from Iraq actually WANTS to come and claim America as theirs? Sorry to say this, but I'm sure they'd rather just destroy it rather than take it. Besides, they've got a heap of oil over THERE, and plenty of land to boot. If they view all North Americans as infidels, then they wouldn't 'soil themselves' in taking your land if they didn't have to. I'm sure they find Americans ugly, as I'm sure Americans find Iraqi folks ugly at this point in time. Who wants an ugly people's land?
The fear you are magnifying is simply a projection of the mental image of 'bad guy', which you are placing onto Iraqis in order that hatred for them be instilled, therefore no one will feel badly for killing them off. Do you think the army is stupid? They train specifically so that patriotism is number one. Our side or death.
And NO, I don't think that putting the 'bad guy' label on specific terrorists that have done wrong is incorrect at all - they deserve true justice for their actions - but I also believe that man doesn't have the scales in hand on the matter. We may believe we are the judge of other men, but deep down, we know better.
One-up-manship is the mark of low evolution.

Heather 2-9-2003 4:58

Hi Rachel, Hi Mel,

Thank you both for your warm welcome. I think maybe I caught Randall on a bad day. I'm sure he quite pleasant really.

Mel, thank you for your wonderful bios on some of the forum family, you made me smile.


Richard Amazon 2-9-2003 4:23

Hi Teekay,

Randall's middle name is Lynn!!!

His wife is Debbie and he has 3 kids and has written 4 books, none published.

Thought I'd get to the bottom of it for you!!! ;-)

Randall, my Grandmother said, "In Life You have to toot your own horn because there are lots of people like Randall out there who won't toot it for you." ;-)


Richard 2-9-2003 4:17

Oh yeah! I've thought more than a few times that we get far too much incomplete, unverified quick information pounding on us. I think the 'information age' is highly over rated.

Tina 2-9-2003 1:30

Aw hell,

I can't go on with this. I wrote my last post to piss Rhoda and Debra right off. I wanted you to freak so I could write back and ask you how you liked reading an irrational post based upon generalizations and assuptions puked up from half digested interpretations of what you think you saw or read.

Whatever. I'm tired of this. The two of you are clearly blinded by your hate.

Take care.

Rachel 2-9-2003 1:22

Anyone else have this deep desire to turn back the clock to the day when the world depended on the weekly newspaper for the news of the day?

Jerry 2-9-2003 1:02

Hi all!

So, Teekay, can we row our boat together? Almost done, needs some editing, rework a few scenes... seems to describe where we're each at. Starting to submit, getting the momentum, some things published (for you, not me ;-) It will come!
And if you feel that your work is too English, then make it pure in-your-face Aussie! I think I know exactly what you mean; plenty of Canadian writers need to stop writing like Yankees.

Artists express, artists communicate, artists interpret. They take what is around them, and cast it from a new slant, give it new light, so that their audience might stop and say, 'oooOhhh!' Sometimes that audience is 10,000 readers, sometimes it's themselves. And so long as honesty prevails, it is valid. That which is around us now is already being translated by our artists. Already the music is reflecting events. As writers, it may take more time to distill through our thoughts onto paper, but it will happen.

Of course, the only way for that to happen, is to write it down...

The hungry war beast is chewing up each of our lives in a million different ways, and I see us all reliving the trials of our grandparents. In the meantime I'm choosing to scratch every happiness out of life I can.

Visual. (longer than I intended sorry)
Arizona is a foreign land to me. Perfectly flat, interupted by inspired cliffs that thrust up into the sky. Cactus and mesquite and sage share the land with a multitude of plants I don't recognise. The earth is hard; not just in texture but in spirit, very different from the soft moist forests and glacier carved valleys of my home. Dust and grit coats my teeth, my eyes, my shoes. I can taste Arizona.

The thing that is familiar, though, is the sky. Blue, perfectly endless, dizzying. I am here to visit the wind.

Acrid fumes from the engines. Climb the ladder in the storm of the prop blast . Squished onto the seats, belted in, helmet on, takeoff! The Twin Otter shakes the ground, the air, my blood. We pass a thousand feet, five thousand, now ten. At thirteen thousand feet, we level out and the orange light comes on above the door. The engines cut back, a green light winks on, the door slides open.

Now I am at the door, and the earth is far below. Quilted cotton fields peer upward while cotton clouds glare down. Count to eight... and I join them in the sky.

Mountains of cloud are herded through the sky, each one refracting the late afternoon sun into a thousand hues. A thin cloud spreads below me; I hold my breath involuntarily as I pass through, then let it out, laughing. The mountains that thrust so high into the sky are below me, I dwarf them now.

I fly.

At four thousand feet, I reach for my pull. The line of death is drawn around me... until the wind pulls my canopy open and I am suspended in the liquid Arizona sunset. The mountains are frosted with gold and copper, long shadows begin to blanket the ground, clouds glow as the last light surges over the horizon, guiding me back to the ground.

I am a stranger, and I have come home.

Okay I went on WAY longer than intended. Gotta go pack. :-p
Blue Skies!

Tina 2-9-2003 0:13

Debra - You got me thinking, what can I do to assist in the war effort?

Now mind you, if I were able and say thirty years younger, I'd probably be holding up my right hand right about now swearing to protect and defend, but that's out of the question, I don't think I could even stand long enough to take the oath anymore, at least not without my cane.

No there has to be something I can do, I laid awake most of the night thinking about things, thousands of things ran through my mind, the last sand box war, I assisted in the collection and shipment of reading materials for the troops. That wasn't much but then I was still working twelve hours a day, plus doing night supervision and taking a shift with the pager for our ambulance service (I was a nationally registered EMT back then too.) But it was something, and I felt involved. I worked with an old retired Sgt Major and a Lt. Col in the Reserves then, the Sgt Maj is dead now, planted at the Vet's cemetery at Fort Abe Lincoln just outside Bismarck. He was an interesting fellow, only guy I knew that sued the Catholic Church for not cleaning their sidewalks and won. He was a hell of a guy too, and me and the old priest up there had bets on which way his soul went, I bet it went up, Father Hughes bet the other way.

Now that's not a bad idea I guess, but I want to do more and with many of our very own guys and gals off to serve I though maybe I could offer our computer for Email for their relatives who don't have access. I don't know exactly how I'm going to get this going but I am beginning to put it together. I have a bunch of old Pentium I computers in the back closet doing absolutely nothing, their shy monitors but I do know a fellow south of town who said he had a shed full of monitors.

I think I'll contact the Legion, heck I've been a dues paying member of the American Legion since '85 even though I don't attend meetings any more. Maybe they can furnish the space, I can furnish a couple of machines that we can set up down there and put the word out. I even have a couple of extra egg web camera's that are gathering dust, maybe we can link up with them on AOL or Yahoo messenger.

We have to do something besides cutting down on fuel usage (if not for the war effort, for the pocket book, have you seen the prices on the pumps lately? Gone up over thirty cents a gallon the past week here!)

On a completely different subject, my mom told me the other day that the last three times they filled her propane tank it took exactly the same amount of gas.

I checked our bill the past two fills have exactly the same amount of gallons too, so I had our daughter check her's her's was exactly the same gallons too. Not the same as each other's mind you, but the same as last months.

Something fishy there, it's beyond belief that such a thing could happen on three separate tanks hooked to three different homes, built at three different times, using three different type materials, none even close to the same size, and I'm sure the days between fills would be different.

This is due a bit of investigating, I'm making a trip to the gas company Monday to see what's up. I know they hired a new guy to drive the truck but he'd have to be an idiot not to be able to read the pump on the truck, I've watched them fill, it's exactly the same as a gas pump at the gas station.

We are lucky there are two gas companies here, and if this one is going to screw with our bills, we have an option of firing them and hiring on with the other company, only problem is, I like these folks, heck I went to high school with the owner and his son is our plumber, hate to loose their friendship, but something's amiss.

Jerry 2-9-2003 0:13



Bound for a sharp eyed Teekay to spot an error. I miscued the cursor on that post dear lady. Pretty heavy posts today. Lets end the night with some Texas humor!!!

Poking ‘round the web looking for the lyrics to a Johnny Cash song. BTW ... anybody know the lyrics to MEAN AS HELL by Johnny Cash? Anyway, found this bit of nonsense. Kinda reminds me of Lucy's medicine routine or Robin Williams play on Julie Childs.

Fruit Cake Recipe

You'll need the following: a cup of water, a cup of sugar, four large brown eggs, two cups of dried fruit, a teaspoon of salt, a cup of brown sugar, lemon juice, nuts, and a bottle of whiskey.

Sample the whiskey to check for quality.

Take a large bowl. Check the whiskey again. To be sure it's the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink. Repeat.

Turn on the electric mixer, beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar and beat again.

Make sure the whiskey is still okay. Cry another tup. Turn off the mixer.

Beat two leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit. Mix on the tuner. If the fired druit gets stuck in the beaterers, pry it loose with a drewscriver.

Sample the whiskey to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something. Who cares? Check the whiskey.

Now sift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Spoon. Of sugar or something. Whatever you can find.

Grease the oven. Turn the cake tin to 350 degrees. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Throw the bowl out of the window. Check the whiskey again and go to bed.

Hoppy halidaze! Please share free to feel this recipe with others.


Randall 2-9-2003 0:10

Rhoda and Debra,

I will post more later. For now I think you should both calm the heck down. I know that Canada is not immune. I mentioned that in my post, if you bothered to actually read it, instead of inserting your own thinking over top of my words. The issue here is that Americans seem to think that for some reason unknown to me, that the U.S. should be immune to all evils.

I will read both of your posts with more attention later. For now I am watching a movie with my kiddies. I just checkede in to see what murder, kill them all statements had been made this evening.

I know what. Why don't the two of you get a party going and decide that Canada must be in on it! Oh yeah, we aren't nearly sympathetic enough. We aren't sending any of our boys out to play with you. I suppose we could be worried they might get blow up... That friendly fire is a bitch isn't it?

Rachel 2-9-2003 0:08



I guess you guys must be all abed.

RACHEL: I understand that you are simply removing yourself from a situation and making an observation :-)
Totally loved your recent posts, at last a deeper glimpse of RACHEL's heart - and, not that you care or should care, but I really like it!

TINA: Welcome back! I'm so glad you had a wonderful holiday.
At the moment I'm reading Treasures in the Trunk, by Mary Baywater Cross - it's a history of Women on the Oregon Trail and their quilts. Stop yawning! stop yawning I say, it's very interesting.
And also The Queen and I by Sue Townsend, which is a total crack -up. A republican government gets elected in and the Royal Family have to go live in a housing commission estate. The author has portrayed the characters so well, you can just imagine them acting the way they do in the situations she puts them in. Highly recommended reading.

RANDALL: Why are you signing your wife's name also? Just curious is all. I'm assuming Debbie is your wife and that '& Debbie' isn't your middle name. And why only in one post?

I shall get to the bottom of this.........

Teekay 2-9-2003 0:04

I'm sorry about all the drama. I'm just tird of those rotten B's. The only thing is I think they are gassed up by Saddam. If he goes, most of them will lose steam with him. I really think that.


I do fear the little germ too. The thing is, I do believe in God. He's decides when it's over, not terrorists. So maybe I'll calm down about that one.

Debra 2-8-2003 20:16

Awww man! AND RHODA AND RACHEL!!!! I had you guys the first time, but I deleted it and started again, and forgot to put your names back


I'm never naming everyone ever again! - I'm just not up to the challenge.

Teekay 2-8-2003 18:15


It is as simple as this: kill or be killed. I don't care how the Islamists live or worship or how they think. I only know that they have determined in their hearts to destroy my country and my way of life. Perhaps someday they will win, but over my dead body. I might also add that as DEBRA pointed out the struggle is not merely against the United States, but against the whole Western world, and that does include Canada.

I will also add that Islamists are only about 50% of the Islamic world, or perhaps less.

As far as I am concerned, the war has already started.

Regarding Iraq, why sit around and wait for them to complete their nuclear bombs and watch helplessly as they attack their neighbors? Someday they will be able to deliver those weapons to the United States. Should we just wait?

Oh, well, I am beating a dead horse. I really don't care what anyone else thinks. Judge us any way you like. The fact is we are going to war whether anyone likes it or not.

Rhoda 2-8-2003 17:59

Teekay - you are *passionately* Australian and I "got it" in just a few sentences. With power like that, you damn straight better finish that book! ;-)

Sunny 2-8-2003 17:54

And if you're wondering why it's posted twice, it's because I went for the accelerator instead of the brake.

2-8-2003 17:26

Sorry, for all of you who have also taken out your brains for one reason or another, that last post was mine.

Teekay 2-8-2003 17:20

SUNNY: Your questions boosts the idea of making it more Australian :-D

More Australian is about being earthy, and rugged and plenty humorous. It's about heat, and dust and flies. It's about an ill defined social structure, it's about saying bloody, and bugger and only having a minimal grip on the faux niceties of the english which have had years an years to establish a more refined way of life. Niceties which tried valiantly to thrive in a newly settled country, but wilted miserably in the hot antipodean sun. It's difficult to keep your pinky bent just so, when there a blowfly doing laps in your tea.

HEATHER: Oh dear, I wonder which would have been easier to conquer, fear of failure or laziness. I'm guessing fear of failure (or success) as I've been nurturing laziness my whole life and it's a fairly formidablle force at this stage. if you've ever watched Ghost busters, it looks like that great big green wobbly ghost thing.

You must be the captain, coz I'm pretty sure I'm not. Where does one find a good captain?

LOOK WITHIN YOUR HEART- boomed the voice from everywhere.

Bugger! (see SUNNY) if I keep doing this I'm going to end up organless, gerk, yargh eaeg squelshhhhhhhhhhhj'q98u........

2-8-2003 17:16

SUNNY: Your questions boosts the idea of making it more Australian :-D

More Australian is about being earthy, and rugged and plenty humorous. It's about heat, and dust and flies. It's about an ill defined social structure, it's about saying bloody, and bugger and only having a minimal grip on the faux niceties of the english which have had years an years to establish a more refined way of life. Niceties which tried valiantly to thrive in a newly settled country, but wilted miserably in the hot antipodean sun. It's difficult to keep your pinky bent just so, when there a blowfly doing laps in your tea.

HEATHER: Oh dear, I wonder which would have been easier to conquer, fear of failure or laziness. I'm guessing fear of failure (or success) as I've been nurturing laziness my whole life and it's a fairly formidablle force at this stage. if you've ever watched Ghost busters, it looks like that great big green wobbly ghost thing.

You must be the captain, coz I'm pretty sure I'm not. Where does one find a good captain?

LOOK WITHIN YOUR HEART- boomed the voice from everywhere.

Bugger! (see SUNNY) if I keep doing this I'm going to end up organless, gerk, yargh eaeg squelshhhhhhhhhhhj'q98u........

2-8-2003 17:16

MAN! I HATE THAT! As soon as I pressed send EDDIE popped into my head.

And I see EDDIE too.

Now, I'm removing my brain so it doesn't happen again, and then I'm pressing send, so if your names not their, don't blame me, right, here we go, I'll just mmph, erk, eegh squelchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh,.e,mrvy27b 9[8

Teekay 2-8-2003 17:00

Oh yeah, forgot.

Saw 'Signs' last night, and the only thing that saved that movie from being a complete and utter dud, was the amazing acting ability of Mel Gibson. YAY, you go Mel!! And don't forget, dinner at my place tomorrow.

DEBRA: Your posts made me extremely uneasy. That such evil is able to exist in this world and can mandate itself to rule a country is so very much scarier. I think about it a lot too. While I'm sitting in the comfort of my lounge room in front of my TV watching the news comfortable in my taken for granted freedom, I wonder how very tenously I am removed from such evils, and such fate as the victims I see on the screen.

I also wonder that maybe, on the other side of the coin, a democracy weakens a country. If you look at how this latest turn of world events have divided people, people who hold the same values, people who are convinced they have the best interests of freedom of speech and people's rights at heart, you get the feeling that there is no glue holding it all together, it keeps bringing the saying 'divided we fall' to mind.

I hate the idea of this looming war, I would love to curl up in a warm cosy ball stick my fingers in my ears and scream NO! NO! THERE SHOULD BE NO WAR!
I question wether my opinions are the right ones, and wonder if I'm in the boat bound for hell, is God looking down on me shaking his head and saying "tsk tsk, silly girl, it's all written in the bible", but deep down inside I feel that if we don't do something now eventually it will be too late.
Ironic that maybe with all the guns and might that have been invented over the years, mankind might be eradicated by a tiny little germ they could only see under a microscope.

And well done on the book (I hope)

CHRISTI: Hi Girly :-D Is there a photo somewhere we can see?

And I can see HOWARD, and HEATHER and JERRY, and RANDALL, and GARIESS, and MEL, and MARY, and AMERICO, and LITTER, and MARK, and ROSEMARY, and VIV, and CAROL, and TINA, and SUNNY, and JACK, and PAMELA too.

Now, be good children and drink all your milk.

Teekay 2-8-2003 16:58

Dear Teekay:
You are not lazy. You aren't even relaxed. You are afraid of your novel failing, or worse yet - what if it is successful? You mean, I have to do it again? What if I can't?

The answer to that is, if you can do it the first time, you can do it again. You have had success with your short stories, and there is NO reason you will not succeed with a novel. Unless of course, you never finish it. do I know? I believe you are riding in the same boat I am! I hope I'm not the captain. :oD

Heather 2-8-2003 16:34


What's an "Australian feel"?

Sunny 2-8-2003 16:33

Hi All,
read this REALLY cute saying the other day and want to share:
Thousands of years ago cats were worshipped as gods;
Cats have never forgotten this.

MEL: You're right! I'm shocked at how transparent I am :-O

The '&%^#$@()&*&*&^$$#@#$&%%*****NOVEL (that's a sort of drum rolly thing - it seems a bit muffled coz it's coming from the deep dark depths of somewhere long forgotten) has become a victim of my psyche. I have approximately 4 chapters to go. While waiting for my fat drunken muse to return from his cavortings I tried to analyse why it was that I was procrastinating finishing it. The 2 things I came up with was:
(1) I don't feel like it and
(2) The novel has too much of an English feel to it and I should really start all over and write the same again, but give it a more Australian feel.

I don't know if either of these two reasons have any validity or I'm just trying to justify my own laziness, but you seem to know how I work, so could you please let me know.

Could it be fear of failure? Hmmmm, guess that seems to be assuming quite a lot :-D

If you conclude I'm simply lazy (which I'm thinking you might do)could you please let me know gently, and try not to use the word lazy, use something like 'relaxed' maybe.

Avag'day all.

Teekay 2-8-2003 16:16

Hi All :)

Oh, so very active in here recently! I'm going to stay in the group that avoids the political views.

The writing has been going up and down the past few weeks. I'm going to keep patting myself on the back for continuing the same story, for moving it forward and not sticking it in the drawer like so many others. And with my pats on the back, I have to give Viv a big thanks! Without her encouragement all this time, I'm not sure I would have gotten this far.

I started on a scene yesterday that needs a lot of sensory details to -- is impassionate a word? -- well, if not, it should be cause that's what I need to get into the scene. The high intense passion that the character is feeling. This is one of my difficult areas since I am essentially a laid-back person and don't allow myself to exhibit strong emotion. Perhaps my trick of removing my glasses, closing my eyes and sending my memory deep will help ... . Best warn hubby first though. :)

(there- that info is for Richard who wanted to see writerly stuff!)

Have a great day everyone. Remember, in spite of the world's climate to take a moment to savor your life.

Carol 2-8-2003 15:53

My sons taken away, my baby girls raped, my husband killed, my God kidnapped. That's why our ancestors left Europe all those years ago. All I see is the beast has followed us.

I'm sorry if I'm getting radical.

The situation seems to call for it.

If they win, our original consitition can be used for toliet paper. If they win, I can see it happening in my minds eye. Just like the distruction of the Budda statutes. They were older than our consititution.

Debra 2-8-2003 12:58

In Afganistan women lost their sons, from ad little as two yrar old boys up. From all the information they had they were never going to see their sons again, ever. I remember my sons at two. They were attached to me like a sticky bun. We were together all the time. Mothers just like us, watched as these little guys were pulled off their hips and dragged away screaming.

Their daughters were regulary raped. If women were caught teaching their daughters how to read and write they were beaten or killed. Their husbands were routinely murdered in front of them. ONce their husbands were dead they were forbidden to work. They could only beg for money, covered from head to to in cloth. If they did leave the house they were beaten by laughing, cackling, bearded men. They just beat them and laugh and laugh. That was life in Afganistan under taliban. Usoma thought it was heaven on earth.

They are saying America join that club or fight. In fact either the last statement or the one before that Osuma stated he and his followers wouldn't rest until every one joined them.

Just tell me do you want to join that club? If you don't tell me, does it sound like heaven on earth? Does it sound like a loving God? Does it sound like anyone's God?

I would never preach death to other religions. I have never, would never. I'm saying no land pirates.

THEY DON'T BEIEVE IN GOD. That's my feeling and I'm sticking with it.

Still love you.

Debra 2-8-2003 12:44



While pursuing the world news I came across this tidbit of information.


ISTANBUL, Turkey -- Border police on Friday denied entry into Turkey to a former U.S. Marine who is leading an anti-war group of "human shields" headed for Iraq ahead of a possible U.S.-led attack, an official said.

Ken O'Keefe, the founder of the "Human Shield Mission" protest group that had flown into Istanbul from Italy, was not let into the country when he presented a passport issued by the World Service Authority.

A spokesman of Istanbul airport said that Turkey does not recognize this passport.

The spokesman said O'Keefe protested, shouting that he had traveled across the world with that passport and was a "citizen of the world."

Five other activists accompanying O'Keefe were allowed into the country, while O'Keefe flew back to Italy."

An airfield outside Baghdad.

Colonel Omar Flee Rapidlyian of the Iraqi Republican Guard is on the phone.

"Yes sir I understand General. These peace loving American human shields are here to help us. Yes Sir! I have received my quota, yes will feed them and furnish them lodging next to some of our most high value targets at this base. Sir speak a little louder, there is a loud roaring overhead. You wish me to ... I ... sir ... well sir I don't understand? I don't feel there is a reason for me to be present at all times. I have other duties ... and to defend our homeland must remain concealed to monitor communications. Well, I have stationed the brave Americans close to the missile bunkers and will observe them from the command bunker. Command bunker? The slit trench I dug yesterday sir. Uh, about 2 kilometers General. I didn't catch that General. Women? Sir from what I observe now I would not want any of these women in the trench with me! Yes sir! Oh yes sir! I have my long range binoculars and will closely monitor these brave American human shields. Yes sir! Oh yes sir I will not hesitate to defend our glorious leader with the lives of these brave American human shields. Ah, the roaring noise is so loud General. I must retreat to the trench, uh, communications trench."

You gotta wonder sometimes.


Randall & Debbie Henderson 2-8-2003 12:37

I still love you!

Debra 2-8-2003 12:30

There's one question and only one.

If you don't want that life and the land pirates are not taking no for an answer THEN WHAT DO YOU DO?

They are forcing that question on the table NOW and they are forcing the answer. If they should be free to have their God then so should we all be.


What do you suggest?

Debra 2-8-2003 12:29


Just for one minute imagine this scene. Imagine they came here to America and defeated us. Remember the USA we have never bothered you guys for one minute??? So any way, they defeated us. We women have had all our clothes burned and replaced with beige burcas and live in houses with our windows painted black. They raped all of us and the pretty ones they forced into prostituation. They steal our money and pull our sons right out of our arms, why? WEll because mothers and girls and sons are boys. Before you say no, they do do that, as early as two. They beat every one in the street and dump all make up and lotions in the ocean. They killed our husbands because they complained about their making their wives and daughters into sex toys.

Now they are scratching their chins and wondering who's next. That usually requires a slight tilt of the head. Yes they are looking up, north, Canada. You're next! ONce you see your children raped and your sons snatched and your husband killed and your windows painted black and you are forecd into prostititoin with all these smelly land pirates are you going to be saying well they are doing it for God?

If so, you're are a better human than I could ever be and I applaud you. Because I'm crumbling and turning into a dreadful host. I won't be the hostest with the mostest for those land pirates.

Debra 2-8-2003 12:21


Morning! Big News!

But first ... Richard "best selling author" Armorall. Welcome, and with all respect ... butt out or go with the flow. As a citizen of the most powerful nation on Earth (TEXAS!) I am a little leery of a self proclaimed "best selling author." My grandmother said, "If you choose to toot your own horn it's usually because no else will toot it for you." Really now Richard ..."best selling author?" 2000 copies! WOW! I have a friend who sold 2,000 copies of a book she paid to be published! Are you self-published? And no I will not be contacting you about what I can write on the NB or beat the bushes for your novel. And I would have spent a little more time on the title, kinda bland for my taste. Sorry pal, but self proclaimed "best selling author" John Grisham wanna be's give me a pain in the keester. (YAWN) When you sell 10,000 drop me a line..."Best selling author!" Until then...write on!

Now the bad news gang. Move over Jack! My gall bladders gotta come out too. Maybe next week or later but the "stones" are after me. Spent Thursday night in the hospital after a torturous 2 hours in the ER. (No George Clooney there either!) Kinda upsetting. I always thought I was immortal.

Randall "Never sold a darn thing" Henderson

RANDALL 2-8-2003 11:37

Here's my latest poem. I sent it to the Library of Congress last week. It was in a document of poems called,, guess what.

Rantings of an Idiot.

That's the document where I put my poems. Even after reading my poems you're still not sure who's the idiot.

Sending us a message they take lives including their own, then become a martyr
Wouldn’t just holding a sign up be much more effective, faster and smarter

Instead they killed my mother so I killed their son
Then they killed my sister so I had to take from them another one

A month a go a bomb went off and made a building fall
Everyone in it was lost they got them all

After the smoke cleared there was nothing but a shell
To have died that way, must have been living hell

They say they hate us because of our belief
So it must be our turn to cause them some grief

To satisfy our spirits with faith will be forever our fate
Our hearts rise up for our beliefs but for them only deflate

They call us infidels because we don’t look to the same one
They want to make us believe looking down the barrel of a gun

Infidel just means one who doesn’t share your same view
So of course we can say the same thing right back at you

That would mean every one of us is an infidel to some degree
To have faith for our chosen one is our right in which we should all be free

They refuse to be our neighbors yet they are not asking us to move
Instead they want us dead another option we must behoove

The longer our allegiance continues so does their resolve
This ongoing problem between us I fear we’ll never solve

Go travel the world to chronicle our differences you’ll find only similarities
You’ll meet people like you who love their heritage, their home and their families.

I’ve often found with life’s toughest problems they often have a simple solution
With the oldest one called hate I have come to the same conclusion

Through the years how many people will have to die during someone’s last stand
before we realize the problem can be solved just by sharing the land

© Debra J. Palardy 2002

Debra 2-8-2003 11:26


I do still love you.

Just remember if I'm right America isn't their only target, it's just first. Guess who'll be second?

Let me ask you, did you ever get the feeling that pirates were doing what they were doing for some higher purpose?

I didn't.

They are middle eastern land pirates. That's all.

It says in the Bible to love your life here is to hate God.

What that means if you're willing to forgo everything he holds important to make your life here better you have no God. That's what they are doing. I don't believe in killing, either. I do have a huge love of screaming like an idiot though.

I don't have the answer on war or no war. I'm not qualified to say.

So I don't.

Debra 2-8-2003 11:21

Hi Ricahrd,

You are not the first person to post a note like the one some posts below this. There are a lot of sites that will focus directly on writing and nothing else. I am sure you can find those easily enough. This site has a focus on humanity, on the heartbeat of many different nations and states, provinces and so forth within those nations. This place breaths whispers from around the globe. I believe that writing is life and life is writing. I don't really see how one can exist without the other. I think it is great that you have published a book. I also have been a part of publishing a book. It is an amazing feeling. I still like the completion of the first draft feeling better though. I have several other books close to completion and in need of edits. I am currently attending school so do not know when I will complete the novels. I, for the time being, am not worried about the date of completion. Each novel will be completed when it is and not one moment before.

Take care you.


PS - Look out, this place is addictive.

Rachel 2-8-2003 11:19


I'm so out of breath as I'm writing this. I can't bleieve you mentioned sweetie when you did. I just got off the phone with the govenor's office. We got a new one this year and he has decided to meet regular people on the last Thursday of the month. They started taking applications two weeks ago and now there's a one year waiting period. Well not for MEEEEEEE! I'm meeting him this month. This month! I got in! I got in! I got in! I'm not going to waste one microsecond wetting myself either. Well I hope not.

Not only that person I spoke to, has spent her whole life working in domestic violence and she is as excited about sweetie as I am now with a little bacrground of sweetie from me. She's positive if it's as good as it sounds he'll recommend sweeite be required reading for all high shcools in RHODE ISLAND. They are working on that as we speak here in my home town. I had to start here first.

You know abusers remind me of terrorists a little. They claim their horror is in the name of love just like the terrorists claim their horror is in the name of God.

They're both liars. I exposed those abusive bastards for everything they are in sweetie. They're going down.

Thank you Mel.

Debra 2-8-2003 11:14


I am relieved to see that you are not making sweeping generalizations. Your posts read as if you were. I still disagree with you about these groups and their belief in God. Just so you know, I believe that they see you in the very same way, as godless. I don’t think that they are trying to hide anything. I believe that they think they are right. The fact that they think they are right doesn’t make it so, but it gives them the passion and dedication to push forth and die for this.

It is closed mind thinking that has brought the world to the brink of war. If you are going to think the way your post suggests, then you are no better than those you declare you hate for. You want them dead too. Isn’t that what it comes down to? You want them dead because they threaten your way of life. Well, they want the very same thing. I am not defending them, don’t think that. I am only saying you need to open your eyes and take a look at the big picture. Have you thought about why it is that they feel the way they do? Do you imagine that they came awake one morning with an unquenchable hate for the U.S., or do you suppose that it has built up over time? It’s just a thought.

Just as an aside, did you know that the U.S. refused to yield to repeated British requests that it rein in the Irish-American involvement and support for the IRA, which the British government charged was a terrorist organization. I think that terrorism just looks different when it is in your own yard.

Don’t start jumping up and down and freaking that I would feel different if it were in Canada, because I would not. I don’t think Canada is immune, I never have and I don’t expect I ever will. I think it is that the U.S. felt immune to attack on their home soil that it is such a shocker. It is a sad state, a desperate state of affairs, that will not be solved with further narrowness of mind.

It is nice that you still love me (smiles and hugs). I however do not know how you will feel after reading this post.

Maybe we should agree to disagree. What do you think?

Rachel 2-8-2003 11:13

OK - Richard has brought me off my lurk status, too. ;-)

Richard, my first book sold almost 100,000 copies (How To Be Organized In Spite Of Yourself), and I'm 1/3 through my second, but I honestly don't know how well I'd be doing now without the existence of the Notebook and it's amazing community of talented, compassionate people.

My first book was written with an established co-author, but this is the first book I've ever done on my own, and it's a bit scary. When I'm nervous or frustrated or stuck, I come to the Notebook and never fail to feel connected again.

It's a privilege, to me, to read about the accomplishments, struggles, concerns and experiences of such a diverse group of people, and even though I don't post very much, I can say without hesitation that if you spend time here, you will come away enriched. :-)

Welcome, and felicitations to everyone else!


Sunny 2-8-2003 11:12


Hi, everyone! :-) RICHARD has brought me off the lurk!

RICHARD: Welcome and pull up a chair! You'll find this site very inspiring for writing, generally, and when we get specific about it, you'll be amazed at the energy that flows between our muses. :-] I too prefer to talk about writing - it's what brought me to this site in the first place. And then I discovered a lot of wonderful people--driven, like me, by the need to write-- and suddenly the writing world is not so lonely any more. It's true, life has a way of interjecting itself into our conversations here, but underneath it all, we're still writers, and we're still writing. It would be better than wonderful if everyone here chose to share their writing endeavors more frequently - THAT's what inspires ME best. I glean every ounce of inspiration I can get, as I have a most unruly muse, prone to share her energies with me only when she whims, darn her! >-

The neat thing is, RICHARD, the longer you hang at this site, the more you can read between the lines, heh heh. For instance, while JERRY's voicing his retired cop-oriented views, I know he's really struggling to put together that collection of chair-gripping police stories that he's destined to write. (Um, JERRY, you ARE still working on that idea, I hope?) :-)

And DEBRA hates the violence in the world as much as I do, but while she talks about it here, I know she's really working on her next SWEETIE book to encourage young women from making the wrong dating choices (aren't you, dear DEBRA?).

TEEKAY stays off the site when she' not writing much, like I sometimes do, then she returns with bright inspiring quips about the world, and I know she's writing again. (YEA, TEEKAY! Welcome back - now where did you put that novel??)

HOWARD may write short posts here but his original poetry collection, if poems were stretched end-to-end around the globe, would circle the Earth a few hundred times. (That is right, HOWARD, eh?)

HEATHER's pretty good about keeping us up-to-date with the PHANTASIUM anthology project she's editing for a bunch of writers from here. Meanwhile, she has a SYMPHONY playing for her through her own muse, and other projects, I'm certain, as you can't keep a busy writer not writing several things at a time.(You go, HEATHER!)

JACK, God speed his recovery from surgery, I believe started this site with the intention we post about our writing lives, and he's kindly put up with all our veerings from that most important subject of conversations, because he knows we'll get back to it - it's in our heartbeats to write and to talk about writing with other writers. And while HE talks about diving, he's really going for underwater inspiration for a great sci-fi novel he'll one day write about an ocean-world of the future (aren't you, JACK?). ;-]

You see, RICHARD, everyone here has projects on the foreburners and on the backburners. The trouble with my muse is, she likes to sit on the stove until she feels warm all over and then she wonders why dinner isn't ready. 8-\

Take some inspiration from RANDALL; he knows how to weave his opinions of the world into his marvelous short-short stories he often shares here with us. The world is not so serious that you can't laugh at it. At least, writing about it is good stress relief!

So many, many wonderful writers here, RICHARD; I haven't time to describe them all. All I can suggest is stay awhile, get to know us; post about writing as often as you like; lurk when the conversation strays from your interests or skim posts that don't inspire you, then post something here to inspire everyone else, preferably back to writing about writing! :-]

A good WRITING day to RICHARD and to every writer here (I know you're lurking!!!)

CHRISTI: Thanks for missing me. Any new developments in the area of time-twist romances or the like? :-)

I better go before JACK yells at me for taking up so much SPACE!!! (Now, where did I leave my muse? Oh yeah - sitting on the stove...)

Mel 2-8-2003 10:05


I'm not saying that people who worship Islam don't believe in God. Of course they do. Remember Mommaah Ali was taken to court in the seventies because he wouldn't go to war? He was a practicing Islam. He said it was against his religion to kill. They didn't make him go after learning about Islam.

I'm saying the people who are from al-quada and other groups like them don't. They don't. Period!

The taliban were the biggest hypocrites on earth. No one can tell me other wise. What's more fun than human targets. They sell drugs, rape women, seperate families, kill women who they already covered up in cloth and now they want to have more fun. So they called a international duck hunt. That's that.

They are using Islam to hide the truth. They are middle eastern pirates. Period end of sentence. I dont' want to be their play thing and end up dead for their enjoyment.

And the whole thing pisses me off to no end.

Rachael. I still love you.

Debra 2-8-2003 10:03

RICHARD -- First, welcome! I think that if you stay awhile and get to know us you'll appreciate our group as we do.
Second -- what would you expect a writers group to be talking about, given the current climate across the whole world? We're first human beings, and some of us have been here long enough to consider this a part of our extended 'family'. We care about each other, and seek one another's opinions on things that matter. Like the threat of war that affects all of us. If you expected to see any normal (I think we're normal) group of real people not discussing so important a topic, you've landed in the wrong galaxy -- not merely the wrong url.
We are happy you've sold a book -- congratulations! Sincerely! But we have as well, and, thanks to Heather and Mark, we're about to do so again.
We do write -- and continue to learn to write -- here, even through the chatter. The first two (especially the second) are rather necessary to the group, but the third is optional.
You're welcome to join us if you're so inclined!

howard 2-8-2003 9:14


I came upon this link at ebookpalace and hoped that it moght be lots of writers discussing their work, publishing etc.

Disappointed to see yet another discussion about war.

Maybe you should direct all your anger onto paper and write a book about it.

Have any of you had your books published? I'd love to read your stories, books or whatever you're writing right now.

I live in England, UK so we are pretty wrapped up the war issues too. I personally feel that whilst our Governments are democratic, I don't want to waste my time going on march's etc to try to alter our Government's plans. I don't think war is the answer, but George Bush and Tony Blair will ultimately do want they want with backing of the UN.

So instead I'm spending my time writing my next book. I have 3 more lined up and my first book, "The Habit" has sold over 2,000 copies so far and I'm so pleased.

So if any of you wanna discuss books and things and not war, let me know.

Best wishes,


Richard Armour
Author of The Habit
Order a signed Limited
First Edition Hardback.

Richard Armour Richard Armour - Best selling Author 2-8-2003 6:43

Hi Christi,

You are a sweet thing :o) I hope you are feeling much better. Having the blues bites. Welcome back (hugs). Hang in there.


Rachel 2-8-2003 1:16

Hey Debra,

Let me give you a hug. Maybe I'm trying to hold onto you so you can't hit me for what I'm going to say. They don't believe in your God. Those folks do believe in a God. They believe in thier own Divine Commands, just as you believe in yours. Maybe the issue isn't with God, but with Divine Command, which, if you examine it calls God into question. I've been doing an exam in which I have to work with the Divine Command Theory. Your post caught my eye. I imagine you are feeling a lot of passion at this time, and if you want to freak on me, you can, but, remember, they do have a God, most people do. We just aren't all worshiping the same thing. Please don't sit up and tell me that all Gods are the same, just a different name, cause that is a load of crap and we all know it. The Gods that I've looked at are as different as you can imagine. I'm sorry to bring this up, it just bothered me to see you write that. It isn't true. Just like not everyone is part of that club you mention. There are good people and bad people all around the world. There isn't any one place that has cornered the market of rapist, murder, power freak, godless monsters.

Take care you.


Rachel 2-8-2003 1:07


I don't know. I really don't. But one of the reasons I hate them so much is because they are the biggest hypocrate in history. They turned Afganistan into the biggest boys club on earth. They raped women and turned others into prostitutes. They don't believe in God at all. They are trying to kill people like they are in a duck hunt. That's it.

I don't want to see one more innocent person die to be their play thing.

Debra 2-8-2003 0:10

Something tells me that nuclear weapons are NOT the answer. Hmmmmmmmm. It couldn't be memories of Nagasaki, or Hiromshima, could it? What right does anyone have endanger the entire world with fallout and all that jazz? Not that jazz is terribly deadly...

never mind.

Heather 2-7-2003 23:36

Jack - be nimble, be quick, heal quickly, since I have lots of candlesticks.....

Wow. My sense of humour just went plop.

Christi, good to see you here, girl!
I'm tiring fast, but still plugging away on Phantasium tonight. Why doesn't that manilla envelope look any fatter????

Heather 2-7-2003 23:34

Debra - What do you suggest? On the news tonight there was a group of ladies from the New York area who are traveling to Iraq against State Department (orders?) warnings to protest for peace, but I don't agree with them, and I surely don't want to be in Baghdad when the missiles start to fly.

We could protest, but I don't think I am all that against going after Sadam of for that matter Kim Jon Eill or what ever that idiot who runs N. Korea's name is.

Nuking the middle east surely isn't the answer (or is it?).

We could go terrorist hunting, but what does the terrorist of today look like? Like my VA Dr. or the old fellow who rented that old cold house to dad forty years ago? Maybe like any other person of middle east extraction, and if your hunting them, where do we get the hunting license? Oh and what's the limit?

Ok this isn't anything to get funny about this is dead serious, but truthfully I don't have an idea what to do.

Jerry 2-7-2003 22:09


NO we have to do more. I hate those terrorists. I just hate them all!

Debra 2-7-2003 21:34

Jack - surgery is no fun at all. When I went in for my first back surgery, the Doc said he would make an incision the size of a thumbnail, but when I woke up I was split from ass crack to the middle of my back. When the Doc came to see me, he explained that I was a bit "thicker" then he thought. (After the third my regular doc looked at the incession and commented that it looked like a zipper with three sets of scars from the stitches, and to tell the truth, it does) (you know you're getting old when you can swap surgery stories!)

Luck on healing and I hope you're back up and about real soon.

Debra - I'm not exactly comfortable with what's to come either. Bout the only thing we can do is sit back and watch I guess.

Jerry 2-7-2003 21:27


Jack, Good to hear you're okay. Have a few good weeks off and heal speedily. You've got drugs, right? :)

Eddie, I checked out that link. Still not sure how I feel about it. I sure didn't like how he talked about creativity and talent, as if those are bad things, are even cumbersome if you use his method. Hmm. But I AM interested. He's very persuasive and makes some good points. My worry would be that it would be all about money, fame and status, and suck away the love and passion of writing. But the way he tells it, I've bought into that way of thinking and am a big sucker. What are your thoughts?

Rachel, I'm sorry you're leaving for a couple of weeks, though I know you are busy. Come back soon, I love to read your always-interesting posts.

Tina, Hey girl! Feel free to post any of the pictures. :) I'm afraid I look like Godzilla next to petite you, but hey, just remember everybody, I'm ten pounds thinner since this picture! Like anyone but me cares. Heh heh.

I'd join in the political debate if I knew exactly how I felt and why I felt that way, but I don't. All I know is that I have this awful feeling, as anyone does who feels that war is imminent, and I worry that our resources will be too thinly stretched--too many balls in the air. Personally I have just as much interest in the Korean situation as I do in Iraq, and wonder why all heads are focused solidly on Sadaam. So many 'badies' out there.

I can't help remembering an Iraqui woman's comment directed at America, saying that violence at this point will only breed more anger and hatred, and ultimately more violence. Ah, the neverending vicious circle of violence. Sad that we have evolved so little as humans.

I wrote this from my memory, and have missed so many people. Hi Mark, Howard (glad that idiot missed you!), Teekay(hey girlie!), Debra, Jerry, Randall, Carol, Litter, and hey, where's Mel? Hey Heather! How's it hanging? Great to see life goes on as always at the Notebook, no matter what else may be happening.


Christi 2-7-2003 20:44

Well hello all: Way out of the loop. Just got back from being discharged from my gall bladder surgery. As it happened, I was among the two per cent that they had to open up and lost a lot of blood. This called for longer recovery, two units of blood infused and am still way way woozy. So, I now have four smaller scars where the attempt was made to go in laproscopically and a six inch scar with lots and lots of staples. They even stapled my belly buttonn :-). At any rate, this means I will be down from diving probably six to seven weeks, instead of the three to four I had initially planned on. Will keep everyone posted when I am a little more compus mentis and off of the percocet. I suspect it is time to archive the Notebook, but will have to wait until I am a little more on top of things. Hope everyone is well. Take care.

Jack Beslanwitch 2-7-2003 14:49

What is this that I have a bad feeling about? The news and the color change in terror threats.

Debra 2-7-2003 13:53

Hi guys,

I'm about to vanish again for a few weeks. Hope you all keep well.


Rachel 2-7-2003 13:46

I have a bad feeling about this. REmember my dream about the air show. It hasn't left me. Not only that it gave me a timeline of progress of my book sweetie on domestic violence. I just heard this week that they are making it required reading at my high school and I have a meeting set to speak to the governor of this state to make it reguired for the whole state, THIS WEEK.

I dreamt about an air show where the people watching were on the right side of four huge stacks that looked like nucular stacks. The stacks were visible off to the left of the seats. The fourth plane it started to sputter and it crashed into that group of towers and the impact was so huge I spent a long time, maybe weeks shaking when I thought about it. What do I do? I did finally tell someone at the FBI but it took a long time before I even found someone who would even humor me.

If anyone knows of an airshow that has that set up please let me know where it is.

Debra 2-7-2003 12:58

I am very loosely paraphrasing the famous Mary Lockwood when I say, "Arm thyself with a can of super-hold hairspray, and immortalize the arachnid!"
A crowning achievement for hairspray science the world over, I say. But did they KNOW when they invented it what a chilling use it would find, one day, many years later?

Sorry, at least all I'm oozing is sarcasm. :oD

Heather 2-7-2003 12:58

RANDALL - Yep, even when I was in the Army in most of the 70's we drove many civilian type vehicles. Back then they just painted them OD and put vehicle numbers on them. They were for use of Officers who needed transportation, and many driving guard posts. I still have my old Military Drivers License. It was six pages long, and they could put like six vehicles on each license. Back then you needed an operators license for each type vehicle, including generators, so my generator license was two of the pages. I recall driving the Officer of the Day around when I had that duty in an old '69 Chevy 4 door sedan, driving up and down a stupid runway at the Army Air Field in an old GMC Pickup truck.

When one had CQ (Charge of Quarters) duty he was issued a Jeep and driver to make rounds of the Motor Pool every hour or so in addition to walking the halls of the Barracks to insure that all was peaceful. (Many a day walking those halls put one in such a stupor you wondered what you were doing there in the first place, as all the pot smoke coming from under the doors of the troopers was enough to make the whole company high, and not being a pot smoker I think it had a stronger effect on my brain.)

Jerry 2-7-2003 11:34


It's the spiders that's the problem. Just so you know. There's the chill again. Shit! On the ship!

Debra 2-7-2003 9:33

Damn it Heather:

That remark about the rats sent a chill up my spine. I may never recover. Happy!

Debra 2-7-2003 9:32

JERRY - very well said.
Howard - that is great news about your family moving closer, and awful news of the flu. I hear ya. Hopefully I won't be hearing you barf all the way up here! HA HA HAAAAA

Today's Jack Handy-ish thought:

Whenever I'm afraid, I always ask myself, "What's the lighter side of this situation?"... The lighter side of my garage is that the rats aren't as big as the spiders.

Heather 2-7-2003 8:11

As always, you're on the ball Mark. Though I didn't point it out, that is exactly the problem link. I'll make the change you suggest, and see what happens.

Okay, why is it that my muse kicks into overdrive when I have the least time to let her out? Now that I'm working two jobs, kinda a third, packing to move, looking for a place to move to, and jumping at least one day a week, I can't stop thinking about writing!

I finally got the latest Diana Gabaldon book. It took me 8 months to get it from the library! Talk about a highly sought book. And it's so worth it! I don't have much time to read, but I'm managing short bursts.
What is everyone else reading these days?

All you sick people, I hope you're feeling better soon, but keep your viruses to yourselves! ;-)

Blue Skies

Tina 2-7-2003 2:11

Well it looks like the shit is about to hit the fan, not that it will surprise anyone who has had a pulse for the last year or so.

I guess it's a good idea, somebody has to stop the madman in Baghdad, but I'm not exactly sure why it has to be us (U.S.).

In that little corner near the very back of my mind I keep seeing a son going after the man who his dad failed to get. The man who tried to kill his dad and I guess were I in the same boat I would probably have that in my mind too.

Not that there aren't plenty of very good reasons to get the ass hole, there are more then this page could hold were it blank and we had all day to type reasons into it.

The President is doing it right in one way I guess, by getting the Guard and Reserves into the fro, he's insuring that folks from all over the country keep an eye on what goes on, support their troops, and their leader. It's not that he has much choice though.

There was a change in forces since the fall of the Eastern Block, many of our full time units were disbanded and their missions given to guard and reserve units, as we down sized from the cold war. This makes the military completely different than the one I served in so many years ago.

Just got an Email from my old combat unit historian, we've been keeping in touch since he found me on and I sent him a bunch of photo's of the old 18th Engineer Brigade in Vietnam. At any rate, prior to the cold war down size, in fact as part of the end of the war in Vietnam down sizing, the old 18th was disbanded, it's colors retired to their museum at their last post in Fort Riley Ks. It has just been reactivated and is now assigned to duty in Germany. This as part of the war build up for the present sand box fight that is about to happen.

The rumblings from Iraq are ominous, with Sadam releasing the trigger on the Chemical Weapons, the ones he says he doesn't have to the whim of the field commanders, for use against the forces of the alliance (if there is in fact an alliance).

I hope he's just blowing smoke since I fear the our strong, and sturdy leader may indeed unleash the power of the Atom one more time, leaving Baghdad and surrounding area a cinder, unusable for the next, oh say, ten thousand months.

Na, he wouldn't do that would he?

Sorry for being political, or is it hawkish? Dovish? Whatever, just putting my concerns down on the web for consideration.

Jerry 2-6-2003 23:45

Miss a couple of days and this place really lights up! I'll stay out of the political arena -- got my own opinions (and hopes) about our prez's intentions and motivations. Let it suffice to say he is our president, and I believe we've been told to pray for him, though not necessarily agree completely and blindly with him.

Just got back from our daughter's house in PA. They're in the process of selling it and moving back up this way. They'll be an hour northwest (above Ithaca) instead of four hours southwest (State College,PA).

We weren't much help in getting ready for the move -- my wife started exhibiting the worst signs of this stomach flu the night we got there, and I took over last night. Grandson Joel has been alternating ends on us for the past two days, and we're all feeling pretty punk. I just hope Andi and Bryan (our daughter and son-in-law) don't get it now -- they're painting tomorrow, and packing the truck on Saturday. Not much fun to do either while running to the loo!

howard 2-6-2003 21:29



I ... aye, aye, aye, aye, aye .... Awoke at 4:00 this morning, put on my housecoat, turned on the computer, plugged into the my post, turned everything off, went back to bed, wondering what in the world possessed me to tie into poor Pamela.

Pamela...are we still friends?

I find as I get older intolerance is a little harder to keep at bay. I believe it's because, indeed, most of us that are past 50 have been hammered by a lifetime of political events beyond our control. It's the same kind of a force, kinda like gravity, that has forced my stomach down and out. This constant stress is a lot worse when one is politically aware and historically oriented. A great Democrat, John Kennedy made me aware of politics. A voracious appetite for history brought me into the literary word and historical novels of ... America's wars. Couple this with an active imagination, I see events we are experiencing today in Iraq and North Korea as comparable to Germany and Japan in the 1930's. In Germany there was a person, a dictator who could have been stopped by powerful nations at Munich. He wasn't. Estimates of the dead have run as high as 50 million from the lack of immediate reaction to his policies.

Could the tide of Bushido been halted in Japan, say 1935? Probably not...this was something that had stirred the Japanese military mind for decades. But powerful nations could halt North Korea now...China for one. Will they?

The daily pondering of situations beyond my immediate control, solution, outcome, result, aftermath cause outbursts like last night. My wife says I am like a volcano with snow on the roof, but fire in the belly. On occasion the snow begins to melt, the fire moves upward, and blows all over everybody! BOOM! Then its over and the volcano lies dormant, but the stress remains.

Tina ... storm over.

Pamela ... your turn to tie into me. :-)

Jerry ...I talked to Sean a couple of nights ago. He said he is accustomed to the cold and "loves" it up there! I asked him what he was doing? Sean said he has been in a driving school, class in the morning, driving in the afternoon. I commented how did the Hummers ride? He said, "HUMMERS! DAD! We have 4-wheel drive Chevrolet Tahoes and Ford Expeditions and Excursions!"

Well, I guess that's the Air Force for ya!

BTW (sigh) I understand Dustin "Tootsie" Hoffman offered some irrational comments today. I think I'll leave this one alone...


RANDALL 2-6-2003 20:23

Hi All,
RANDALL: You really ought to get a job publishing your opinions and thoughts in a newspaper somewhere - you would then be one of the very rare media men I could abide by. There's a few newspapers over here I imagine would benefit greatly from your outlook.

Re: governments, I have a lot of faith in the government that is in at the moment, but the oppostition scares the crap outta me. If any government but the one we have were to be elected, we'd be in deep cacka.

About Australia, yes, it's mostly one long beach, interupted occassionally by rugged cliffs. A few thousand miles of arable land all surrounding a great big wasteland of desert, and red dirt that, though rather useless in sustaining a wide number of human life is undeniably beautiful.
I'm all for convict labour (or anybody who's willing) digging trenches and laying water pipes in order to irrigate (of course normal working conditions and hours would apply, also sunscreen and hat issued- I'm not mean), but any greenies or peoples rights activists would probably have my guts for garters for saying so. I can envision all the placards now.
But really, what better way to pay one's societal debt, and leave something of yourself behind for generations to come. Also, think of all the angst and violence that would be shed along the way - And what a grand sense of achievement.
I also have no problem with it being left alone. It depends on which debate I'm partaking in.

About stars that use their celebrity to voice their opinions, it's not really they who annoy me so much as the media who give airtime and page space to those insipid opinions, and also those of the public who, because it came from the mouths of 'superstars' think it must be gospel.
Lor' save me from the deep thinkings and inconsequential ramblings of George Clooney.

Have a good day y'all :-D

Teekay 2-6-2003 16:20

TINA -- You didn't say which one is the problematic link. I looked at the code on each page and it all looked normal. Going back to see if I missed something, the 'skydiving' link took me to mainskydiving.htm where it had taken me to skydiving.htm the first time. 'Main' may be the issue. It's a keyword in some systems. Computers are not supposed to make mistakes like that, but I wonder if you sometimes get 'main'skydiving read as skydiving. I'd rename mainskydiving to skydiving1 and see if the problem clears up. If not then apply Preparation-H.

Mark 2-6-2003 11:36

Randall - Ok - Don't get me wrong, I do love this country, and I have a lot of respect for the Congress and the Administration. What I have a problem with is the bureaucrats who've been locked into their jobs for eighteen years, who run their offices like they are indeed the dictator that the law allows them to be.

I do think that we have the greatest nation that ever was on this insignafant planet stuck out in a little visited corner of the vast universe.

Oh sure there are those in congress that I dislike, even despise such as our pimple on the ass of the Democratic party Senate MINORITY leader Dashal who only remains in Washington DC because he KNOWS nobody wants him to return to South Dakota and add to the idiot population, and Senator Kennedy who is now so brain damaged from all the scotch he's soaked up, and that little incident on a bridge on Martha's Vineyard some thirty years ago.

Anyhow on a different note completely Randall - your son has been introduced to COLD, especially last night, if he had the duty, according to the news the temp in Minot last night was -42 (wind chill, I think the air temp was like -22). Sure hope he dressed warm, I was thinking of him last night as I watched the weather report. My son lives up there too, but he has an indoor job and, I hope, enough sense to stay indoors when it gets that cold.

It's one above right now and a bit breezy, I would guess the wind chill is around -10. The wife just left for the health club and her daily exercise chore. It's done wonders for her knee pain, and she's shedding pounds so fast now that I barley recognize her from day to day. She's down over thirty pounds now since she began her diet/exercise regime. I wish I could join her but my Doc says to wait till we get the damn pain under control, and the new meds haven't made much difference yet. I see him again tomorrow, and if it goes as planned he'll boost the dose on a couple of them for another two weeks then another re-eval.

Jerry 2-6-2003 11:28


I am very lucky to still have a husband. I do know that.

I love him very much!

Debra 2-6-2003 8:19


Me again, just a few more things I wanted to add.

Sorry to hear about the Shuttle Columbia and the loss of her crew. I heard about the tiles as well. It seems a tragic loss. But as I say, I'm sure they knew the risks involved.
However my mind wanders to John F. Kennedy. If he would've known there would be such a death toll from the Space Program would he have still pushed hard to get a man on the moon by the end of the 60's?

I was watching a documovie called "Robert Kennedy: And his times" just last week. Thought that a joke would be worth mentioning about how much flak the Kennedy's got when John was President.
"If Robert and John Kennedy were in a sinking boat, who would be saved?" The answer, "The country."
I found it kind of funny even though I have respect for what the Kennedys had done.

That kind of 'Disrespect' to the President from then to President Bush I reckon is kind of low. But it is a "Freedom of Speech" thing after all. All the things that has been said by Alec Baldwin, George Clooney and even Tom Cruise they seem to be lacking one thing, "Accountability" for what they say. Most of the networks and TV programs refuse to question major stars about what they say.
And when a program does, the stars do what the early 60's propaganda film said to do, "DUCK & COVER"
Here's something I want to see... An uncensored, unrehearsed hour program with George Clooney or Alec Baldwin appearing with Bill O'reilly on FNC's "O'reilly Factor"
That would be interesting. But they've turned down O'reilly's invitation to appear on the Factor.

I still reckon that stars and everyday people should have to explain their point of view... Though I've already given up on Bill Clinton for doing that.

Sorry about the long messages... Catch up with you all soon

Taylor 2-6-2003 2:56


Sorry I haven't been on to post 'Merry Christmas' to everyone... But at the moment, getting hooked back on the internet doesn't feel like it's near the top of my "To Do" list.

Well wishes to all who has had ailments and been sick. Just too much to catch up on at the moment.

The weather in West Aus is really hot at the moment, I'm looking forward to winter already.

All I can say is things have been really interesting this year already and now I'm looking forward to quiet time hopefully.

On the subject of one's death posted awhile back... This I have thought about a bit lately. I do not wish for immortality, I don't even want immortality. Not that I know it's impossible but also because life does have an end, that's the order of things. You live, you die. You can't change those things, but you can change how you choose going about it. It's funny, I'm 29 this month and it has only recently occurred to me that one day I am going to die and there's no avoiding it. However, when my life ends I want to be able to stand up to my 'final judgement' or whatever you want to call it. And be able to say, I didn't let that get in the way of my life.

On a writing note, it seems that my muse is in and out. My writing has been off and on at the moment. I guess I'm just trying to latch onto a novel idea. Though that has not stopped me from writing altogether.

I hope my absence isn't so long next time. Later all and goodluck in your life's endevours.

Taylor 2-6-2003 2:34

Hi, all. I'm interested in joining in but I'm disoriented and I must explore what this site has to offer.

I just came across a site that promises to be able to get you to write a book very quickly; of course I'm a bit skeptical, but I've read the site twice and even spoken to the owner, Steve Manning, and I admit I'm taken by his enthusiasm.

Anyway, have any of you heard or know of anyone who has purchased this course? Please check it out and email me with your thoughts before I blindly go into this.

I thank you. And by-the-way: I am NOT selling this product. I recieved this offer via email myself.

Eddie 2-5-2003 23:03

Hi, all. I'm interested in joining in but I'm disoriented and I must explore what this site has to offer.

I just came across a site that promises to be able to get you to write a book very quickly; of course I'm a bit skeptical, but I've read the site twice and even spoken to the owner, Steve Manning, and I admit I'm taken by his enthusiasm.

Anyway, have any of you heard or know of anyone who has purchased this course? Please check it out and email me with your thoughts before I blindly go into this.

I thank you. And by-the-way: I am NOT selling this product. I recieved this offer via email myself.

Eddie 2-5-2003 23:01


I hope your son keeps safe and your family keeps well.

Rachel 2-5-2003 21:48

(takes cautious step up, ducking the storm coming from Texas...)

Heather, thanks! If you want more shots of me, follow the link to 'Our House'.

For all you HTML people, why do A HREF links work sometimes and not others? I have one lazy link on my site, that occasionally works but not always. I don't know what to do with it!

Pamela, I met a whole swack of Alaskians while I was in Arizona. What a great batch of people! Makes me want to go north for awhile, not just to see the land but to know the people. Even though they are American, they have very Canadian attitudes about some things. Cool folks.

Jack, //////\\\\\\//////\\\\\\ good vibes heading south for you.

Mmmmm, just made a yummy batch of lemon poppy seed muffins. Mmmmmm. Think I'll go eat one, or two, or three...

Tina 2-5-2003 20:57


Afternoon...I come home to take care of my wife who has the flu and what do I read...

Pamela, Pamela, Pamela. What am I going to do with you?

"...our government is one of the most corrupt and dishonest in the world..."

Sooooo Pamela, when are you leaving the country? Dare I ask when, where? Boat, train, air, car, bus, foot? Obviously if you believe the government of America is that corrupt (your words, not mine) you will immediately take steps to remove yourself and all loved ones in your family from such a terrible place. :-) Why, life is too short to spend ones life in a disreputable nation like America, where the country is "corrupt and dishonest." The world is simply too grand a place to stay stuck in a hole of inequity like America. God! I can't believe I have managed to hang on as long as I have! And ... Holy Cow! I was even snookered into Vietnam service. What a sucker I was! Serving America for dishonesty and corruption! Why didn't someone tell me this years ago!?

Let's consider areas for your relocation on our side of the world. Canada! Hey, now there is a FINE place. Lots of open country, fresh air, friendly people, high tech. Ask Heather to help you settle in! Mexico and live in the sun! Not a bad idea. I have reasonable information that the government of Mexico is NOT corrupt and dishonest. But I would stay away from Mexico City. A recent estimate of smog and pollutants there, broken down, estimates a million tons of dried doggie do do enter the atmosphere every day. How About South America? Venezuela... They love Americans down there, especially the kidnappers. No? Well, perhaps not. All that rioting in the street, you know. Panama? Good choice. Honduras? Not bad.

How about Europe? Africa? Asia? Asia Minor? The Orient? No? Hummmm

Well, Pamela ... is this the fabled Alec "Big Mouth" Baldwin syndrome.

"In response, many have seized upon Baldwin's promise to get out of the states if Bush won the recent presidential election. One man wrote, "Well, George W. Bush will be the president and I was wondering when and from where Baldwin was leaving so that I could wave goodbye." Another critic wrote, "I want to take this opportunity to wish Alec Baldwin a safe trip to wherever he decides to set up his permanent residency...

"It's unclear why people have taken Baldwin so seriously, but some would suggest that many hard-working middle class people are irritated with wealthy celebrities using their ultra-visible status as spokes people for the Democratic Party while they get crushed financially by Democratic tax and spend policies. For Baldwin's critics, however, the current turn of events has become a no-lose situation. Either Baldwin leaves the country, thus ridding them of his irritating presence, or is duly exposed for what he truly is - an outspoken actor whose sense of self-importance is exceeded only by his ignorance in assuming that people care what he has to say."

Perhaps Tom "Shortie" Cruise who recently said his children would be better off raised away from America. Ah, had any conversations with Tom recently? Well Pamela, how do you feel about Tom Cruise? You know he wants to raise his children overseas. Australia is a fine place to live! Ask Teekay. One long beach... English speaking, friendly folks (I've been there BTW)


With Carl Limbacher and Staff For the story behind the story...

Monday, July 1, 2002 Tom Cruise: 'U.S. Is Terrifying'

America turned Tom Cruise from an obscure, undereducated yahoo into a multimillionaire star, but is he grateful? Just the opposite.

"I think the U.S. is terrifying, and it saddens me," he told the British newspaper Daily Express.

"You only have to look at the state of affairs in America." (I.E.Corrupt and dishonest?)

And his adopted children are too good for the U.S., the pampered Hollywood actor says. They'll be raised overseas, probably in Australia, the homeland of his ex-wife, Nicole Kidman.

"Cruise, whose character became similarly disillusioned with America in 'Born on the Fourth of July,' said raising children in the U.S. is a risky business. He said he could no longer keep his 'eyes wide shut' to America's terrorism threat, crime, faltering financial status and corporate corruption," Fox News Channel reported today.

"I do worry about my children. As a parent you are always concerned," Cruise told the British paper.

"I just want them to be in a place where they are going to be strong enough to make the right choices. Unfortunately, we're in a position where people are so irresponsible that human life holds such little value to them."

As a NewsMax reader wrote: "Can you please get a scoop on another sorry of sack of ---- out of Hollywood trying to make this country the villain and cause of all that is bad in the world. Tom Cruis (sic) is now an official left-wing ass! Fox is running the story now. Let's get it out there too."

So Pamela, you're not alone in your distaste of America. With stalwart citizens like Alec and Tom by your could you possibly lose by leaving such a corrupt and dishonest country like America? Any place is better than America!!! One can vote with their feet as well as with their ballot! Get out before it's too late!

WAIT!!! And how about good old George?



"""Needed a new category for this! Hollywood Dumbasses is an oxymoron, but what the hell.

Why is it that the left and especially the entertainment left is sounding, well, mean, in addition to stupid? Take this comment from George Clooney:

"'Are we going to try and talk [to Saddam Hussein] without jumping in and killing people first?' asks Clooney."

Cool, I nominate you to go talk to him. Collect all of his biological trash, any remaining warheads, bring them back so we can destroy them, 'kay? I'm sure he'll happily and with no fuss turn them over to you. Let us know how it turns out.

Then this:

"I don't believe we're going to wait until the last resort to do it. That's what bothers me."

Um, when is the last resort? After he gets nukes either on his own or buys them from our favorite whack-job Kim Jong Il? After he sprays us or Israel with ricin?

Then this: "Clooney says Bush has cut deals with France and Russia so the United Nations Security Council won't complain when 'we go into a war [with Iraq] and kill a lot of innocent people.'"

Do you have proof of this? Has France and Russia passed you zee secret paipers?

The most telling:

"The government itself is running exactly like the Sopranos,' he tells talk-show host Charlie Rose tonight."

(HOLY COW!!! There it is! the smoking gun! Corrupt and dishonest! Bound for an ER doctor to know!)

I think this says it all. You equate reallife with a television show. George, "The Sopranos" isn't real, 'kay? It's a show done with actors and a script and a producer and is shown on HBO."""

(SIGH) Three dandy left wing liberals...

But Pamela you might wish to consider a stalwart English leader of some note...

Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried." WINSTON CHURCHILL

And I hate to say this...I really don't get me wrong. It's just with a son in the Air Force and a bloody war looming in Iraq and Korea...



Randall "Wrap me in the stars and stripes" Henderson

RANDALL 2-5-2003 18:49


Heather 2-5-2003 18:45

OWWWWWWw, Debra, your husband's condition gives new meaning to the term 'blue balls'. I would say I feel for him, but that would be sending the wrong message entirely! Glad he's ok, and I hope everything gets sorted out.

I haven't had much chance to read all the posts since I was bagged out (no pun intended) with the flu for a week and a half... Today is the first day I feel like I'm somewhat normal. I know, don't laugh. Normal is a setting on the dryer, and that's about as close to normal as I get: standing there, waiting for a dry pair of undies!

Well, isn't this a revealing post? Guffaw...

Not much to say about the space shuttle. Horrible news.
Makes you look at the sky with apprehension all over again: What's going to come screaming down from it, or exploding in it?

Of course, then there's TINA! As long as it's just your parachute brightening up the skies, I'm happy! Loved your website and the pics, though the pictures of you were few and far between, girlie! You're a beautiful person. Give us a good head-shot, will ya?
I love the pic of you just leaving the plane with your jump partner. Leaves room for interesting captions, that's for sure! Actually, your jump suit reminds me of the Ibis, a bird native to the Amazon. (I researched it a bit for my children's book, Pajamazon) It has striking feathers in red and black.... just breathtaking!

Christi! Gotta see your pics, too, wondergrrrrrl!
(winky winks)

Which reminds me - Mary and I are soon to be launching our new and improved Hemlock website! We'll let you know when you'll be able to have a peek!

More on Phantasium soon... I am still getting one to two stories their last polishes per day, but were we ever prolific! The stories just keep a-comin'!

Pamela - yup, I agree.... but further than that I can't tell....government secret, ya know...LOL

Heather 2-5-2003 18:44


I also do not watch the news very often. I used to do the head in the sand trick, but I kept getting kicked in the butt when I wasn’t looking ;o) I know that I’m lucky and that I have a good life. I just wonder why me and not some other person? It ticks me right off that everyone can’t be comfortable. Hey, and don’t get me wrong. I don’t own this place, I rent. I can’t afford a place that would fit Dan, myself and all the kiddies (we have six). I went out this morning and spent some time with the horses. I need to take a breath now and then and put things back in perspective. Thanks for your cautious and kind words (smiles to you). I really am not a fire breathing devil woman. I’m just cranky because I’ve got a midterms looming up and I’ve given the past three days away to a friend. I couldn’t afford to have that time gone from my studies, but I also couldn’t let my friend down. I wouldn’t want to ever have her feel badly about my falling behind in things, so I have to keep myself available and paste a smile on my face. It leaves me a little less than my chipper self. Leaving that job was one of the best things I’ve ever done. It was a service to myself and my family. I’ve no regrets about leaving. At the time of my leaving my family did almost sink into financial hell. Actually, we did, before we had recovered we lost the only thing that we actually owned, our car. All that aside we did recover, life went on and we moved forward. When you friend says that you have “The call of the wild.” Is that to say that you like nature? Or is it saying that you are a wild woman who is a party animal? Either is good, I just wonder which it is, or perhaps both?


I am sorry that you lost your home. It sounds like a nightmare. I watched my mother and father have their house taken from them. I saw them suffer and eventually recover. I only hope that the recovery for you will be swift. It frustrates me when bad things happen to good people. If I remember correctly you sold off your gun collection to try to avert the loss of your home and to maintain the welfare of your family. To have given up something so loved and then have it not work out must be difficult. I wish you the best Jerry, I really do.

Rachel 2-5-2003 14:41

Healthy thoughts going out to Jack, hope all goes well.

It's true no governments are totally honest, though some are less harmful than others, just as some people are like those poor Rachael had to deal with (good for you for leaving a cushy but intolerable job) while others are as nice as we all are (aren't we?). There's good and bad and lots that is in between, just going along, living life, trying to get by. Jerry, that is so awful that you lost your house and had to declare bankruptcy due to your injury and the lack of prompt recompensation. I have been struggling with disability purchased through work and it's been hell but thank goodness I've managed to hang on to my house, I hope you've gotten another one now. Christi, welcome back from DepressionLand, I'm sure we've all been there and yes, I think all writers must be, if not neurotic, then some other kind of crazy. I recommend not watching the news when down, my own head-in-the-sand method. Rachael, when you feel puked-out by the world, think about how lucky you are to sleep in a turret, your house sounds wonderful! Are you in Canada? The pictures from Tina (?) were great, I have a brother who lives in Alaska and was lucky enough to spend a summer up there. I met some people from Canada, notably White Horse, where I am welcome to come and visit and would love to get back up there someday, I have what my Canadian friend calls the call of the wild. Speaking of Canadians, one of my favorite comedy troupes, Kids In The Hall, is going to have a special on pay-per-view this month, looking forward to that. I'm totally mad at myself for not taping all of their episodes when they were showing here and will definitely tape the special and the shows if they ever come back. Scott Thompson as the middle-aged housewife reminds me of my aunts up in South Dakota. That reminds me, Jerry, did you like "Fargo"? I thought they really nailed the midwestern stoicism. I recently saw an earlier Coen brothers film on IFC called "Blood Simple" that was sort of a Texas version of "Fargo", not exact same plot but serial confusion and criminal ineptitude, also starring Frances McDermond(?) though she's a blond floozy in this one. I love those guys, talk about wierd creative people!

Pamela 2-5-2003 13:41


You have described all governments--at their bests. There is not a government on the face of the planet that is open and honest with all of its citizens. That is simply the nature of the beast. Government is a necessary evil, for without it there would be anarchy.

Which is why I am a conservative. The belief behind that is not to support the government or make excuses for the government, but to limit the government and to hold it accountable. Big government, no matter how well intentioned, that interferes in the lives of law abiding people, telling them how to think, talk, believe, worship, raise their children, etc., always becomes oppressive.

The United States has done some bad things at times and has kept devestating secrets. The United States government and military has a tendency to abuse the environment and to experiment on people without their knowledge. Through the IRS it has harrassed individuals. Through the war on drugs, it has bypassed the rights of innocent citizens and has seized property, and then when the mistake is brought to light, the government does not own up to it and compensate the victems. The government has also taken away the use of private property without compensating owners. When under the Superfund legislation for cleaning up environmental waste sites, innocent owners who had did not make the mess and had no idea of its existence when they bought the property were made to clean it up out of their own pockets.
That is not justice, but that has been some of the actions of the United States government.

Would NASA hide and cover up information damaging to the department and the space program? Heck yes they would. The decision to do so might not come from on high from the White House or the Congress or even the head of the department. Many times these cover-ups are done by the "middle" management and even by the little guys.

I think the thing that still gives credance to the United States and still makes this country a good place to live is the people of the United States and their sense of fair play. We also have a system of government whereby the people have the tools to change things and get justice. We also have a free press and those other institutions that help keep government accountable. And the other essential in having a good country is that most citizens be honest. That is the key.

Government is a raging bull. Keep it penned up and tame and it can be beneficial to the farm. Let it loose and it can destroy and tear up everything in its path.

Rhoda 2-5-2003 8:50


You're as gorgeous as ever. Your pictures came out great! Everyone, I have been lax in giving Tina her proper greeting since she arrived back from 'Zona. She is truly one of the most down to earth (ironic, eh?), warm, gorgeous people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.
It's a damn shame that you live so far away, Tina, as Kelly and I loved you and your husband instantly (a fair feat). We're still knocking around the idea of a trip to Canada.

Mark, I never knew you cared! :D Blushing over here, and now I'm terrified that the pix will be horrendous. It was a bad hair/haven't had a shower yet day, but I'll probably give the okay anyway. But Tina, I must see them first! And here I thought there wasn't a vain bone in my body.

Jack, You take care of yourself and come back soon.

So how the hell are you all doing? I'm tickled to be back. I've been getting over the depression of the recent events and have been planning a comeback into the land of the living. I wish I didn't retreat inside myself so much; it's lovely to experience things as they happen. Are all writers this neurotic? Anyway, got a lot of reading done, and that's always good food.

Going before I put the heading "Dear Diary". Heh heh.

Good night.

Christi 2-5-2003 0:31


Smiles to you (okay, maybe I'm not all out of smiles to send around the globe ;o)

Rachel 2-5-2003 0:20


I will hold a good thought for you. Meaning, I will wish the very best for you.

Take care Jack, give my regards to Fran.


I’ve sat on the gun desk (meaning I’m a snipers target). I’ve gazed intently at would be bombs asking the person at the door to please hold the door and everyone leave the building as there is an emergency, while my co-workers run for the hills. I’ve been locked in rooms with knife wielding drug cases, while my co-workers double check the locks to keep him out and me in with him. I’ve been set in front of inquirery boards, cost people their jobs walked over the bodies of people who could be dead or alive with my laughing work mates while we sip on coffee or have a smoke. Would that I had been a cop where I would have been trained for this, ready for this, respected in some way instead of spit upon at every turn. Gold lines? How about gold pockets and watches? Don’t sing me this song, I’m not up for the purchase. I know that there are good people, but you know what? Those good people have their own agendas, prejudices, pre-conceptions and stereotyping ways. What makes good good Jerry? You ever think about that? What is happy? What is sad? All that said I feel I live a good life. It took me many years to claw my way out of the pit of sorrow that my years of Govt work earned me. My co-workers still talk about me and remember me with fondness. I didn’t look for silver or gold. All I looked for was a glimmer of freaking humanity. When I saw it, I loved it, encouraged it and assisted it in any way that I could I don’t equate humanity with wealth. Hum, good and bad? What is that? I think it really depends on what side of the fence you sit on. The side of the fence you sit on depends upon your culture, philosophy and religion in a lot of ways. Each of these things can change your position in the blink of the eye. Life isn’t so simple and neither are good and bad. I’m tired of sending kisses and hugs and sweetness around the globe. It gets nothing, but snide remarks and snorts, so here is a bit of what I really think. All that said I love what mankind can be. I love the moments, those little moments, those tiny things that mean so much and cost a person so little. That is what I love, that is where the happy and sad are, the good and bad can be found in the little, tiny everyday things that cost us nothing. No silver, no gold, just a tiny, little thing.

Rachel 2-5-2003 0:18

OH Jack, may the force be with you!

Jerry 2-4-2003 23:45

Rachel - Well police work is also government work, so to is the work of a soldier, and I too have seen the horror's of mankind, but I've also seen the gold that lines the hearts of many good people, those who would gladly give their lives so another's could live, and the silver in those good people who strive from day to day to make the lives of those who would throw their lives away in search of another drink or another hit, many of them fall into the same gutter that those they strived to save live in, but many carry on, from day to day helping those who will not be helped.

Sure there's lots of slime bags out there, but mixed in with them are those with hearts of gold, the trick is caring for the good, and ridding the world of the bad, the real trick is in determining which is which.

Jerry 2-4-2003 23:45

RACHEL -- yup. the system's a killer for anyone with an ounce of creativity.

TINA -- Well Done web pages. Though I will admit some curiosity about CHRISTI, I understand keeping her face off the web.

JACK -- Good Luck, guy. Let us know.

CAROL -- our cats have learned to walk in the house. The dogs only go after the cats when they run. The cats are declawed, so we can't let them out; they couldn't defend themselves out there. The cats know when the dogs are asleep, at those times the cats run and jump on each other with fervor. (Those cats jump on each other with a fur-what?)

Eddie, Rosemary, Randall, Howard, Heather, Americo, Debra, Jerry, Sasquatch, Litter, Pamela . . . who'm i missin? that guy from new england with the lightbulbs, that guy from israel, somebody else, somebody else . . . Well, HELLO ALL.

Mark 2-4-2003 23:02

Hi Jerry,

I worked for the Gov't for years. I worked in what I believe you in the States would call "social welfare office." yeah, I was that nice lady behind the desk who asked all those stupid question. I was so revolted by my work, the system and pretty much humanity, that I walked away from a position that most people call a "life term." You get in and there isn't any way out (the money is good, the benefits rock and you would need to be stupid beyond words to leave). I guess I'm stupid beyond words, but I'm also not on meds, don't need a stress leave ever six weeks, don't have to deal with shit, semen or spit, bombs, assaults and riots unless I want to. I also got to meet all those great folks who will beat the living crap out of the children, leave the for dead and then argue about how unfair life is, while the needles is still hanging out of their arm, or they are on the phone to their office or broker. Yeah, Gov't bites big time, but so to regular folks. I sometimes think that I'm a misanthrope. I guess if you just have it in for the Govt you are one up on me... I have days when I am puked out by the whole world.

Rachel 2-4-2003 22:17

Pammela - Yep, the worst thing ANYONE can hear is

"Hi, I'm from the Government and I'm here to help!"

Cause you just know things are going to go to hell in a handbasket real soon.

I don't have a lot of respect for the Gov. since they took away my house, sold it for 2 grand then sued me for 24 thousand while I was waiting for Social Security and Workers Comp to settle down and begin paying me, then when they attached my tax return, and attached 25 percent of my social security, I had to go through the humilation of bankruptcy, in fact my day in court was September 10'th, the day before the towers fell.

Jerry 2-4-2003 20:53


You are welcome to visit me any time. I live in Maple Ridge, quite close to Pitt Meadows, which is a jump zone if I am not mistaken. The view from the sky would be beautiful. I myself live only a few minutes from Golden Ears Provincial Park. It is a pretty area. You could come and check out the doll house that I live in (winks). Its this big old Victorian thing. You can see it from miles away, at least the peaks and turret. I sleep in the turret, it is really very nice. I love to look out all the windows on clear nights. Star gazing from bed rocks!


Let me know what you think of Shadows, and you are welcome. I think that our law system needs a kick in the ass. This week I watched on as two men got away with murder. The terms and conditions of their home jail plan are not enough to deter anyone from reckless endangerment and murder. Heck! I could go out and run down a family of five and get to do more than I do right now. Kinda makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Rachel 2-4-2003 20:47

I don't know why so many people seem to think that they are excempt from the rules others must live by (like speed limits), I just wish they would go live by themselves somewhere in AnarchyLand and not endanger the rest of us. I saw a commedian a few years ago talking about drunk drivers, he said 40% of all accidents are caused by people driving drunk and that brought up a real problem: 60% are caused by sober drivers and we should do something about getting them off the road!

Eddie, you said something about NASA being "open and honest with the general public" and I wondered what planet you were from, then I remembered you are from England, so your innocence is excused. Here in the USA, the words "government" (or any agency thereof) and "open and honest" do not go in the same sentence together (totally oxymoronic). Sorry all you right-wing conservatives, I love ya, but our government is one of the most corrupt and dishonest in the world, our high standard of living not- withstanding. Our anti-terrorism budget PRE 9-ll was 300 BILLION dollars a year and I'm sure that every cent can be somehow accounted for, probably a few $100 screwdrivers in there somewhere. Agencies routinely spend more than they need to just because it is in their budget, never mind that people are starving out there, our tax dollars are used to fund idiotic research, I read about one study investigating how cats landed on their feet, had statistics on how many times they turned over from different heights, 5 stories, 10 stories, etc. (so we're paying for researchers to throw cats out of windows?). Our income tax is unconstitutional, clearly forbidden in our constitution, our representatives are paid for by the highest bidder and the public subsidizes such enterprises as the nuclear power industry without being informed (previously mentioned Price-
Anderson act, which limits the liability of anyone responsible for an ENO, or Extraordinary Nuclear Occurance, to a small percentage of the damage that could be caused, even that caused by faulty construction or operation. If damages go over that, Congress will pass an act to reimburse public losses, in effect, we pay for them ourselves). Don't get me wrong, I love our country and appreciate all of the advantages we have but honesty is not one of the traits of our government (think of the boys like Jerry who were lied to when they were sent into hell in the 60's). Okay, that's it for me and politics, sometimes I'll spout off and now I'll try to go back to ignoring it all.

Best cat name I ever heard of was "Underfoot".

Rachael and Rhoda, thanks for info and loan offer on "Shadows", I'll buy it from Amazon when I get a job.

Pamela 2-4-2003 19:49

Okay the link didn't take. Trying again...

Tina My Arizona vacation 2-4-2003 19:35

Hi all!

What a start to 2003. An awesome holiday, followed by selling - yes SELLING! - our home. I'm all keyed up to write again, and then the news about the Shuttle.

Although it's a few days too late, some thoughts about suggestions made earlier on the page...
This shuttle mission did not include docking on the ISS. According the NASA, there was no way for Columbia to reach the ISS.
The Soyez vessel used as a 'life boat' for the ISS fits 3 people.
I don't believe they new in advance that the crew was doomed. Very worried, perhaps, but not doomed. That e-mail sent by Colonel Ramon is not exceptional; many astronauts have penned similar thoughts on many missions.

I so hope that this doesn't sour the public attitude about space exploration. It is an adventure based on acceptable risks, and the people involved know it. It is basic to our nature to explore, and we must not let the price paid by our astronauts and cosmonauts be wasted, by becoming cynical and cautious.

On another note entirely...
I've finished my website with the pictures from my holiday in Arizona. The link is below. Christi, I left you your privacy and didn't include your pics, although they turned out great. I'll e-mail them to you seperately.

And Hi! to Pamela! Good to meetcha!

Sasquatch, I've been worried about you! I agree, your cousin did a great job, I loved the yellow snow cone scene.

Jack, (((HUGS))) and best wishes through your surgery.

Rachel, I'm on a mission to meet Notebookers now, so next time I'm down that way, we have to meet up!

Time to run. It took me forever to catch up in here. First I'll go check my HTML so I don't turn everything to italic... ;-)

Blue skies!

Tina 2-4-2003 19:34

I was standing where I could make a run for it.

Debra 2-4-2003 13:35

Hi All :)

Debra - I'm not sure I want to picture exactly where you were standing! hehehe I'm glad your hubby's okay though.

Howard - I too, am glad you're still here. You brighten up this board a lot!

Viv -- worms huh? Well, these too shall pass. BTW - try to keep puppy from eating cat food. The cat food is too high in something (I always forget what!) for dogs to handle decently. I do have our cat food (and the litter box!) safetly tucked away from doggies. Cats and dogs do get along in the house most of the time. Its when they're both outside that you have to be careful, then everything's fair game! Now, since you gave me SUCH a good idea for my next scene -- I'm off to write!

Have a great day everyone!
(oops, did I go overboard on the !!! ??)

Carol 2-4-2003 13:24

Never give up - through all the rejections, countless was worth it all. Visit my author website & see!

R Lance Sheridan R. Lance Sheridan's Bits and Pieces to Ponder... 2-4-2003 13:20


Well it sure looked like it hurt from where I was standing.

Debra 2-4-2003 12:04

Speaking of speeders, one day many years ago when I was a young cop working here in my home town this gal driving a brand spanking new pickup truck (still had the dealers tags in the back window) blew through town at 75 MPH, well it just so happened that I was at a stop sign and shot her with my handy dandy radar pistol.

A brief chase led us just out of town where I gave her a massive (at that time) ticket for 75 in a 35 zone the fine was a bit over 100 bucks. She shouted and hollered, screamed and complained that this was the fourth god damn ticket she got today! What was everyone out to get her? Damn hick cops see a new truck and just have to give it a ticket!

Well I gave her the ticket and took her check to cover the bond, and as she drove away to the west, I called the Highway Patrolman on the radio, who was about five miles west of town and told him to look out for her.

She got her fifth ticket before she left our fine state, and the trooper called North Dakota to let them know to watch out for her.

Some days it's best to keep your mouth shut, especially when there's a cop with a ticket book and a radio standing by your drivers side window.

Sorry to hear of your husband's injury, that's gotta hurt Debra.

Howard - damn lucky your still with us, some maniac's think they can do anything they want and have enough bucks to pay the tickets. That's the wonderful thing about the point system on drivers license. I once got a young drivers license in three weeks from the day he got it. Not that I was watching out for him or anything, he was just an idiot and never looked before he did his thing.

Oh and today, he owns his own business and is doing well, guess he was just getting rid of excess energy or something. Before he learned, I had his license several times. His insurance bill has to be horribly high.

Jerry 2-4-2003 11:18


That sasme excat thing happened to my husband two weeks ago. The only difference is the speeder hit him and sent him into a cement bridge on the high way and then sliding into a silver lamp, which he sheered and it fell on his roof.

The auto body guy found a speeding ticket in his car for going 95 ,yes, 95mph the same day on the same stretch of road.

I'm lucky to still have a husband. He wasn't wearing his sealbelt, idiot, and his air bags didn't go off. He hit his groin on the steering wheel and as I like to say Mr. Man his brother Dryal and his other brother Dryal were black and blue for over a week. Not pretty.

NOt only that, the other driver's incurance company is trying to blame my husband and they say the ticket has nothing to do with that accident. Imagine!

If the guy died it would have had to do plenty. He would have died if my husband wasn't there to soften his blow. He was going to hit the wall at that speed, but he hit a 60mph, my husband's truck, coushin instead.

Debra 2-4-2003 10:34

Interesting experience time:
Last Tuesday I took the back way home, which involves a stop sign in Lisle. I stopped, checked the traffic, and noted a car just approaching the railroad crossing in town. Given the 30 mph speed limit, I had more than enough time to make the right turn and get up to speed before he got anywhere near me.
I should have taken a closer look!
I had just barely got straightened from my turn when he flew by me at probably 80 or 90, on the double line, at the bridge entrance! He just missed an oncoming car, and continued to accelerate across the bridge. I never got his license number, but saw that he was driving a BMW sedan.
I got across the bridge and saw him passing a truck further on down the road, again on the double line on a blind curve.
A couple of days later we saw in the paper where a guy from Brooklyn, driving a BMW had been stopped and ticketed for speeding about 30 miles north of us on I81 -- they clocked him at 113MPH. Then later the same guy was clocked at 117 on I81 just south of us, and this time he was arrested and was being held in the BC Jail pending bail.
The times matched up, as did the car, so it must have been the same maniac.
Some people are just plain nutz!

howard 2-4-2003 9:39

Hi Jerry,

I know how it can be to get hot headed. I've blow off steam a time or two, venting out thoughts and ideas. I just wanted to clarify and question. Thanks for answering.

Rachel 2-4-2003 9:16

Took the pup in to the vet today. Found out I lied. We do not have a 4 pound pup. We have a 3 pound pup complete with worms. Wonder what he's going to weigh after the worm medicine.
Good news, he's figured out he cannot chase the cat and I've seen that the cat is not going to harm the pup fatally. I can take him out of his cage now. The cat simply taps the pup on the backside with an unsheathed claw. One wack was enough for respect to kick in and stop the cat chasing. Now they are good buddies.

Also wondered how a three pound pup could go through a ten pound bag of dog food. Watched today. Cat eats pup food, dog eats pup food. Pup eats cat and dog food. Seems a fair trade.

Everything in life works out.

We're still waiting to hear if we got the Texas job. I think we're the kind of characters who might actually like it there. I think a couple more dogs and we'd have the crime rate well under control. That and a few target ranges around the house. Always wanted to blast at cans from my upstairs bathroom window.

Viv 2-4-2003 2:40

Hello all: Have not had a lot of time to check out the Notebook, but wanted to let everyone know that I am off to surgery on Wednesday to get rid of my gall bladder. Otherwise, I am trying to tie up the loose ends on some of the contracts that are outstanding. Hopefully, everyobody is doing well, despite the sad news about Columbia. Take care and be in touch with everyone hopefully this coming weekend. The word I hear is that I will be down for about three days including the surgery. We will see. Take care everyone.

Jack Beslanwitch 2-4-2003 1:30

Randall - Don't dispare, there are hundreds, on thousands, probably millions of such tales telling of such treasures that would make a man an instant billionaire. MOst I believe are pure fiction, but I'm sure there are a few that are true. Surely there are enough to keep the best arm chair treasure hunter's Mitty-like mind a'grindin for many a day.

In fact one day, way back when I was but a Spec 4 in the Army, I was doing an arial recon of an area where the Commo Section at the 3rd ACR at Ft. Bliss Tx were to lay an underground cable to service those units in the field with land line commo back to the base when I spotted a mine, only visuable from the air. Later that week, when we were out with the Post Engineers digging in that cable with a dozer and a plow, we took a break and climbed up to that hole in the tank and explore. Well all we found were some old miners tools, a license plate (TEXAS 1934) and an old cable that led down a shaft streatching down deep into the ground, so deep that when one of my fellow soldiers began his decent, he became so tired, he barly made it back up, and he was far from the bottom. Who knows what lay at the bottom of that pit? Maybe it's a lost silver mine? Maybe Al Capone had his vault there and Geraldo was mistaken? Maybe it's just a hole in the ground?

What lay below exists only in the mind of the writer who remembers a day in his distant past. Then again, maybe Jimmy Maze from Overdosa Texas went back there and found his fortune? Could be I haven't heard from Jimmy since I left Texas.

Jerry 2-4-2003 0:16


Jerry ... I'm not sure about the legalities of whom was born where. As Americans who travel freely within the country, it's not a problem. Thank the Lord for that, eh. Our daughter Sara was born in Utah. I was told one time that any crime commited on the GROUNDS of a Post Office was a federal rap.

BTW and from far left field ... any of you guys ever hear about the Tayopa mine in Mexico? The lost mine Tayopa? Worked by the Jesuits for the King of Spain way back when? Suppose to be the most fabulous hoard of gold and silver and jewels ... ever. As the historical record shows, the Jesuits worked a complex of 17 mines for many, many years in the 15th century. The Jesuits, although loyal to the King of Spain had a higher authority. Consquently they kept back a little more than the King of Spain might allow. Finally the Native slaves revolted, and killed every Spainard they could find. The Jesuits left a storeroom of treasure...

So what Randall?

Well, I'm swaping e-mails with a guy who lives in Mexico and claims that he has filed a claim on the area, some 3500 acres. He even sent me a topo with the mine complex location. He says he is awaiting permission from the Mexican government to remove the metal. WOW!

But the bad thing about this ... some of us guys need dreams and adventure and impossible tales of lost wealth. Even though the chances of Randall ever finding something like that is remote, to hear that, yes, it was found and now rests in a bank vault is depressing.

But ... he said he might need a ghostwriter to tell the whole story ... and I just happen to know a hack writer capable of such a feat. Of course this person would ask for a free tour of the legendary Jesuit storeroom where gold and silver bars are stacked like cordwood and bins overflow with precious and semi-precious jewels. Perhaps no one would notice if he slipped out with a 115 pound bar of gold stuffed in his pants and an emerald in his mouth? You think?



Randall 2-3-2003 22:36

Randall - Did I mention that I once lived in Texas, for oh, about five or six years, I forget how long, and our daughter is a born Texan, I think that gives her Texan status. Well she was born in an Army Hospital in Texas, maybe it's like the Embassy rule, any ground under an Army Hospital is considered US territory, and not Texas land. No I don't think that's right but with today's laws who the hell knows.

I passed that along to all my old cop friends and have received it back today no less then seven times. Most of those guys are just lazy and send it to all their cop buddies and forget to not send it back, but it's still fun to read every time, like I say in today's world.

On the Shuttle thing, I've turned off CNN because that's al they've been talking about since it happened at 7:00 AM our time yesterday, or was it the day before, I forget now.

Have RUSH playing on my computer right now since our radio reception is so poor the only way I can get him so I understand what he's saying is to link to a radio station that's broadcasting his show. Today it's WLS, yesterday I tried a station out of California but today all the California stations were overloaded so it looks like a BUNCH of conservatives (Cheap ones like me who don't subscribe to RUSH 24/7) are tuning in to see what Rush has to say about everything from the State of the Union Speech to the Challenger disaster.

I do agree with you Randall - there had to be someone on board who could have put on his EVA suite and do a quick space walk around, hell they had to be able to get out how else to they deploy all the crap they haul up in the cargo bay?

I do believe there's something rotten in Huston.

Jerry 2-3-2003 14:49



Jerry ... Conservative TEXAN's answer? Jeeze, you guys up north must think Texans are a bunch of gun toting, overbearing, big bellied wackos! Well ... okay, I'll give you that one ... but most of us don't have big bellies though! :-) Partner! :-) Which reminds me of a story I heard some time ago. An Israeli soldier was questioned why he shot a bomb carrying terrorists 12 times. He answered. "My magazine was empty."

I have watched enhanced stop frame photos of "insulation" breaking loose and striking the left wing of the shuttle. As the main booster insulation is orange...the loose section striking the wing looks clear. Could it be ice? And if it was ice then we have an object that could weigh hundreds of pounds...if not more.

Secondly...Ron Dittamore, space shuttle director said there were no provisions for EVA (stepping outside) and looking things over. Add to this remarkable declaration an additional statement that there was no provision for repairing broken or loose tiles and furthermore... ANY ATTEMPT MIGHT DAMAGE THE TILES! WHAT!

Well Ron, if there are no provisions for an astronaut to EVA? No means of repairing the outside of the shuttle? But the danger of a weightless person, floating through space, damaging the insulating tiles? This begs the question ... WHAT THE HELL? Holy cow! NASA has been flying the shuttle in excess of 20 years and this contingency has not been thought of? NASA couldn't put someone ... outside ... to do a walk around and look see? How about carrying a bucket of super glue and a tile repair kit? Repairing the insulating tiles couldn't be rocket science! (Uhhhhh, oh boy!) I mean the shuttle crew has load specialists, cargo specialists, pilot, co-pilot etc. Why not a guy in the very back seat with a handyman tool belt who could go outside, fix things up, at least report on damage? Jeeze!

"Ah, you there. Astronaut Randall. Yes, you! Get your helmet on. Take out the twinkies first!!!"


"Drop the twinkie, put down the fishing magazine and get dressed, you're going for a walk."


"Outside Astronaut Randall! It's about time you earned the six bits an hour we're paying you!"

Sorry for the levity, but good grief.

Did anyone see a brief news clip Saturday morning, supposedly shot from New Mexico? There is a flagpole, a red horizon as the sun breaks, the shuttle streaking overhead. Did anyone see that? There was an object in the short clip that made me sit straight up and shout. "What the hell was that?"

If there was any question about America being in possession of alien UFO's the shuttle disaster should quell that. If we have and have had for the last 30 years the technology to negate gravity and ease reentry, now would be the time to speak up. There has to be an easier way. Entering the Earth's atmosphere at 16,000 miles an hour with wing temps of 3,000 degrees (F) is a recipe for disaster ... and it finally caught up with the program and killed seven fine human explorers.


Randall 2-3-2003 14:34


Puppies are one of life's most fun. Did you ever hear people play the game say a word and the person says what's the first thing that comes to mind?

Well this is how it would go with me.

black white

Cat dog

What would you hate the most about going blind?
Never seeing a puppy again.

I have been able to answer that question the same way all my life, not that I get it much.

Debra 2-3-2003 7:56

Eddie don't worry:

Personnally, my view is simplistic too. I don't care about the loss of equipment at all. I'm only sorry for the loss of life. Not only that, but they were some of the best and brightest. All loss of life is tragic. I just especially hate it when someone scraps the cream off the top.

I don't think NASA knew they were doomed. They would have done something.

What's next stories that some of them made it and are being kept alive in a secret hospital. That is what's next.


Debra 2-3-2003 7:51

Randall: Yay! I'll be looking for your package this week. Also watching the mail for a new hard drive. Mine crashed. Thanks to Carol, I didn't loose much. She saved the day by sending me Chapter 12...all the writing I'd done for the last month. I'm really missing my own computer. I have to wait in line at the house or at the library. Frustration. Worst part is sitting in one place to write.

Thank you Carol! I would have been crying, instead I'm simply writing away and waiting for the hard drive to get in.

Been distracted this week by a tiny problem in the form of a pup. I went a bit nuts the last day of work and finally got that Papillion (Continental Toy Spaniel). He's a nutcase. I named him Gizmo. He looks like a Gremlin. Probably not the most imaginative or intellectual thing I've ever named an animal but this one's a Gizmo. Sometimes a name just suggests itself when you look at the animal. I don't especially like this name, but it fits.

Giz is 100% puppy. I've got poka-dots all over the rug to prove it. The cat is traumatized, the main dog is horrified into behaving, and the entire family is waiting on a 4 pound dog like he was the Prince of Wales.

Cheri: I hear you. What an awful way to loose friends. I hate changes such as these. Concentrate on the writing and we'll enjoy having you in the notebook a little more.

Viv 2-3-2003 0:55

Rosemary - I forgot to mention, wireless, that's the up and coming form of internet hook up. We have that here too, a fellow set it up and is offering free set up, but you have to buy the radio receiver for it. It offers speeds up to 512 KBPS (the fastest modem hook up is 56KBPS) I don't know anyone who has hooked up, I do know he has a quite a few subscribers, just none that I know personally. I drop by his shop once in awhile to see how he's doing, and he's all smiles. He has erected new antenna relays now and servers much of the local country folks who aren't close enough to the central office to get DSL (I think they only go out like 5 miles from the switching central, or maybe not even that far, maybe it was three, I forget now). The neat thing about the wireless is that you can use it at home, in the car, camping, whatever so long as you have a wireless modem in your computer.

Jerry 2-3-2003 0:03

Rosemary - No, you don't need cable for DSL, it's a totally different type set up. What it is is a digital subscriber line, or some call it a dedicated subscriber line, which is probably the right thing to call it. The internet comes into your home on your present telephone line but at a much higher signal ratio then normal telephone, then there is a filter that filters out the internet signal and allows the telephone to work at the same time as the internet.

Your probably right though if all you do is a bit of research, some email and the notebook then you probably couldn't justify the setup fee and additional cost for the DSL modem. I think setup around here is like a hundred bucks, we got in on the first go-around and got free setup, in fact since I had two incoming phone lines at the time, the phone company installed the first DSL in town at my home (just in case they had the second line to depend on but they didn't need it).

Rachel - your probably right, I was just sounding off, it was one of those days when the thoughts ran rampage and with the incident with Columbia, it just sort of built up to a high pitch and I let it fly.

I think many in this country must feel the same though from time to time, the political crap that goes on in congress is so idiotic it's amazing we have any freedom, or money for that matter left.

Americo - I too agree, had the Space Center known that the Shuttle would burn up on re-entry, they could have done many things, as Eddie said, the small space station is there, also I'm sure they could have left the shuttle in orbit long enough to send up one of the other shuttles for a rescue mission. I could be done, but may have taken some time. Again I'm sure there was enough O2, food and such for the crew to wait out the rescue.

We Americans are quite good at operating quickly in a pinch and I'm sure something would have been done had there been foreknowledge of the problems with the Shuttle. Tonights news said that the ground crew were aware of the beginnings of the problem while the shuttle was entering over California, but at the speed they were traveling, there was virtually no time to take remedial action.

Jerry 2-2-2003 23:56

I do realise that my last post may have seemed simplistic when viewed in the context of the shuttle mission, but remember, if the ground crew had known from the launch that the craft would not make it back, they would have had sixteen days to get a plan together.
Apollo 13 did not have the luxury of sixteen days. I also realise that they did not have a docking ring mechanism on board. Having said all that, they must have had a few eva suits between the two craft.

Eddie French 2-2-2003 17:51

I just cannot subscribe to that theory. Had officials at NASA known what was going to happen upon re-entry they had options which they could persue.

1 They could have left the shuttle docked at the ISS and brought the crew home on the Russian escape module (which I think can carry seven.

2 They could have left the crew at the ISS until another shuttle could have been launched with a minimal crew compliment in oerder to bring five of the 107 crew back. There are only three residents at the ISS right now so it is well below capacity.

I think that the officials at NASA simply made a bad call after convincing themselves that the initial damage at launch was minimal.
If they learned anything after 1886 it was that it pays to be honest and open with the general public. I believe that they will come clean and lay it all out on the table. That way they will enlist continued support.
To procrastinate over blame and cause is to lose public support forever.


Eddie French 2-2-2003 14:47

Hello all,

Don't you have to have cable to get DSL hookup? I don't have cable. I'm not even sure it's available here, and the phone has to be a Metro line to be able to call into San Antonio (10 miles East of us) without long distance charges. Since the phone by itself is $42 per month (without extra add-ons) I don't really want more charges than necessary.

I've had dial up for the last seven years and there is really very little inconvience. Copper's time limit is about six hours per day which is at least 4 hours more than I would usually need. I don't download things. I also (so far, knock on wood) haven't had any viruses. Copper charges $9.95 per month or less if you pay by the year, and there are no set-up charges. If I needed the hook-up for all the complicated things you do, I'd probably look into DSL service.
Thanks for the info. anyway.

Two of our geese are living in my back yard right now because they can't get along with the other three in the goose pen. My poor poodle is having a terrible time keeping the yard clear of chickens (that's one of his main jobs) when he's in mortal danger if he gets too close to these geese. What to do? What to do?

Life is one long question.

Rosemary 2-2-2003 13:48

Hi Jerry,

You said “We need leaders who aren't afraid of their party, who are true in-dependants, who will attack the status quo...the original purpose of Congress, protecting and serving the states not dictating policy not taking over all the duties and responsibilities of the state and local governments.” This is a nice thought, an exciting thought, but if somebody tried it I bet they would be shot dead inside a week. Such a leader would likely be viewed as a dictator wannabe. A man who would think he could step up and fly in the face of the rules of the most powerful country in the world without being answerable to anyone? Perhaps I misunderstood you. It seems to me that if there were people such as this, that they wouldn’t give a flying rats ass what anyone in Congress had to say. If Congress made one squeak against their intent, then congress would be disabled, disgraced, invalidated or ignored. The distribution of power and levels of accountability, along with the personal and political agendas of individuals can make for displays of stupidity and futility, but it is a part of how we ensure that each person is heard, no matter how stupid their cranberry notion might be.

Rachel 2-2-2003 13:01

You know I don't think I'd take off for a long trip, say off to the West Coast in a 1981 vehicle. What made NASA think they could take such an old vehicle up into space? I know they do lots of maintenance on them between flights and all that but you have to wonder at the tremendous stress and strain that the vehicle undergoes when it lands and take off into space.

We spend billions of dollars on such things as studies into why cranberries can't be grown in Minnesota, we pay farmers to plant those stupid plants in that state knowing the won't grow in that latitude, money that could be put into new space craft to protect our brave astronauts.

When will we ever learn? How many brave souls must be torn to bits in terrible accidents such as this?

We need a real Mr. Sterling, even if he is an in-dependant who votes with the liberal democrats.

We need leaders who aren't afraid of their party, who are true in-dependants, who will attack the status quo, who will rip apart the wasteful spending, kill pork barrel spending and get back to the original purpose of Congress, protecting and serving the states not dictating policy not taking over all the duties and responsibilities of the state and local governments. (Wow talk about a run on sentence!)

Such things as this disaster make my blood run hot over what our government has become, of where they place their priorities.

Then thinking back at the stupid comments made by some in Congress over the upcoming war, about reinstating the draft so "it's fair to the races when they begin to die in combat?" What a bunch of BS, our military is all volunteer, those who are now serving ASK to serve, they did it for many varied reasons and I'm sure most didn't think when they joined they would be facing death in some sand box in the middle east but you gotta wonder what they were thinking, the purpose of the military is to kill people and wreck things.

I can understand the thinking of many, and it's not all their fault. I was an Army Recruiter in the late 70's after the end of the draft and I know the way Recruiters ply their trade (well the way we did it in the 70's anyhow)

We sold things like training, the Montgomery GI Bill that would pay for your education, travel, excitement and job training. BUT we always let the recruit know what the purpose of an army was, and in Basic Combat Training, they learned how to break things and kill people.

Enough ranting, gotta get ready for church.

Oh a bit of levity:


Question: You're walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children. Suddenly, a dangerous looking man with a huge knife comes around the corner and is running at you while screaming obscenities. In your hand is a Glock .40 and you are an expert shot. You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family. What do you do? _________________________________________________

Liberal Answer:

Well, that's not enough information to answer the question! Does the man look poor or oppressed? Have I ever done anything to him that is inspiring him to attack?

Could we run away?

What does my wife think?

What about the kids?

Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand?

What does the law say about this situation?

Is it possible he'd be happy with killing just me?

Does he definitely want to kill me or would he just be content to wound me?

If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was stabbing me?

This is all so confusing! I need to debate this with some friends for a few days to try to come to a conclusion. __________________________________________________

Conservative Answer:



Conservative Texan's Answer:

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! Click! Click!... (sounds of clip being ejected and fresh clip installed.)

Wife: "Sweetheart, he looks like he's still moving, what do you kids think?"

Son: "Mom's right Dad, I saw it too..."


Daughter: "Nice grouping, Dad!"

Jerry 2-2-2003 11:34


In speaking with family and friends yesterday, I expressed much the same things as you have said here (thought not with such eloquence and fluidity). Had I know of the e-mail to the one astronauts father my conviction would only have been strengthened. These people were explorers, they were courageous, people and when I think of what they gave my heart is filled with patriotic passion (which is no easy thing to do). I can not think of any field of exploration be it land, ocean space, physiology or the mind that has not had its accidents and tragedies. The quest for knowledge must go on. The astronauts would have been the first to say so. I must say that I hesitated to write anything like this on this site. Americo, you have given me courage to speak up. When I talked to my family members they were shocked that I could suggest that they knew the shuttle would likely burn up on entry. They didn't like that I said such a thing. I feel for every person who played a part in this loss. I am sure that the ground support that survived this will suffer in their hearts for the decisions made and not made in reagards to this tragedy.

PS - This is my second post on this. Seb pounded the keyboard on my first effort, causing it to vanish, so, if there is another post here, very much the same as this one, then please excuse my double enter event.

Rachel 2-2-2003 11:02

The space shuttle Columbia was doomed when, on launching, some debris damaged tile(s) near the left wing of the aircraft. At least some members of the Nasa staff knew that the craft could not stand the intense heat of the entry on the Earth atmosfere. It would be useless to inform the aircraft crew, as there was nothing they could do to fix the damage. Tell the family, the world? It was not the first time that the "popcorn effect" caused by the rocket on launching caused damage on the tiles of the shuttle fuselage. Better remain silent and pray for a miracle. Ilian Ramon, the Israeli astronaut, knew that his and his companions fate was already written in heaven, otherwise he would not have emailed his father that he was "so happy that he did not want to return to Earth."

Is this fact or fiction? Only further research to the causes of the tragedy will let us know. For the moment, all we can do is to cry for the victims of the disaster and present our condolences to the family of the crew. Many thousands of the XIVth and XVth discoverers died "to give new worlds to the world", only to be called "colonists" later. But that's the price of human endeavour and courage. Space exploration must go on.

Americo 2-2-2003 8:24

That's intresting, Yahoo has now shut down my ability to link to a photo on my web page, what a bunch of crap! Guess I'll be seeking another free web site that isn't so shitty about their "rules"

Jerry 2-1-2003 23:32

Here's that link I was trying to display, just click the link and it should work

Jerry The Crew 2-1-2003 23:30

Rosemary - I'd look around a bit and see how much more it would cost for a DSL hook-up. Lot less hastle, you only need the one phone line and you can get speeds up to 8 times that of dial up. Plus you can be online and the phone still works, so it makes life so much easier online. As far as cost, our DSL hook up is costing us like ten bucks more then we paid for the extra line and internet service. Also it's a bunch more reliable, in fact when the whole town was without phone service a month ago due to some screwup with the central office, only those of us with DSL had both internet and phone service since we bi-passed the central office where the screw up was.

Had advantages too as you can be online 24/7 if you want, I leave my system online when I go to bed, just tell Kazaa what files I want to download while I sleep, and when I get up they are there waiting for me.

Jerry 2-1-2003 23:29


You're right about that one :o)

Rachel 2-1-2003 21:49


It is a hard day. Each place I have gone has been filled with talk of the loss. I am far from the place the event occured, I can only imagine the shock that the people of the state and country must be feeling.

I don't know anything about the server that you mention. I wish you the best with you connections. I know what a royal pain the butt it can be to change accounts over.

Rachel 2-1-2003 21:43

A sad afternoon to all,

I live in South Central Texas and we seem to be far from the debris path. We never hear the sonic boom as the shuttles go over.

The shuttles do land here on the way home when they have to land in California, and it is always an emotional sight to see the big bird sitting on top of the gigantic cargo carrier that is giving it a ride home to Florida.

I'm pretty sure we still have people in the space station up there, so short of depending on the Russians to bring them home, and that sounds dangerous to me, we'll have to go up at least once more fairly soon.

I'm in the process of getting rid of CompuServe and they definitely don't make it easy. I called last week and they said service will be discontinued the day I tell them to do it, so if I don't want to lose time I've already paid for, I have to call on exactly the billing day. This brilliant person said my billing day is Feb. 16, so I have to call before noon on that day. I said OKay. After I hung up, I noticed the 16th is a Sunday and on top of that, he didn't say where he was so who knows the time zone. Well, I'm going to give them two days and cancel on Fri. the 14th. But first I'm going to call again Monday and make sure that PERSON knew what he was talking about. I worked in Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable for years and that is not the way rational companies work. Sounds fishy to me.

I'm switching to Copper dile-up service. If anyone has heard anything about them,----I'm not sure I want to hear about it, but if it's really bad, please let me know.

It's been a beautiful weekend here and we're all dragging around and sad.

Oh well,

Rosemary 2-1-2003 18:58

My God, What a tragic event. My thoughts are with the families of the crew. All of you who live in Texas be careful......and report in asap.

Eddie French 2-1-2003 15:12

Yep, I should read my books before I do stuff like that.

Jerry 2-1-2003 13:32">">

It is indeed a very sad day for the United States, it's friends and allies.

Jerry 2-1-2003 13:31

I've just seen the tragic new of the loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia. Such a loss is always tragic and it is indeed ironic that Columbia carried the first ever Israeli Astronaut. Even more ironic was the report from Palestine, Texas, that debris fell to earth in the vicinity of the town. Reports coming in say that there is no evidence for any terrorist involvement – I hope that this is proved to be true and that was just another 'accident' that can be rectified in future Shuttle missions. That will be cold comfort to relatives, friends, and colleagues of those 7 souls lost, but the conspiracy theorists will probably already be theorising and upsetting those who are grieving.

My heart and my prayers go out to those left behind to grieve.

Litter 2-1-2003 12:49


Yes Debra there are notebookers here from Texas. And it is a sad day, for America, Israel and the world. My wife and I heard "something" early this morning, but there is so much noise in this neighborhood it could have been anything. Now the news stations are reporting debris in New Mexico, so the shuttle may have been coming apart for as long as a minute before it was over Texas. No, I don't believe the accident was an act of terror.


Randall 2-1-2003 12:08

Another sad day in the world today, as we sit glued to the television or radio waiting for NASA to tell us what happened, while the talking heads try to make the news by their guesses and their guests who claim to know what happened.

I just heard a guy who sounded exactly like Hank Hill (King of the Hill cartoon character on FOX) tell of his departure from the ranch in Texas via horseback to search for the source of "burning rubber" in the horse pasture.

Now reports of debris in Nacogosious Texas.

What was NASA thinking putting a 1981 shuttle up in space again, hell I wouldn't trust a 1981 Ford or Chevy to take me on a long trip, especially one into space! I guess age isn't the point in such things as space craft but geeze that's old.

One has to wonder in today's world if some terrorist got aboard the craft and sat a bomb to go off on re-entry, especially with an Col. in the Israel Army, one who piloted an aircraft on the strike against our foe Iraq that blew up their nuclear reactor several years ago.

BTW I couldn't post last night, seems Webwitch was down, or at least that's what I figured as I could get most anywhere else, even got into the notebook but when I selected the post I got a 404 error.

Jerry 2-1-2003 10:37

Do we have any folks here from the texas or Lousania area here in the notebook?

In case you didn't hear stay away from anything that even looks like space debrie. You could die in 48hours. We need all our beloved notebookers in tact.

Debra 2-1-2003 10:30

RACHEL -- That's what we dads are for! It's a lifetime thing. It's called love.


howard 1-31-2003 23:59

Hi all,

I can't believe that I just made a Daddy help! phone call (grins and laughter). I haven't called my Dad for help, in over thirteen years. I have been having a meltdown trying to sort out how to creat charts and graphs on my computer. My poor baby has been abused and mis-used by the children of the house. It has been exposed to malicious intent and accident. In any event, if I can't sort out how to do this, it will be Daddy to the rescue.

I also put out a call to an iMac Magi in hopes that he can help me figure out all that my Mac can do. I however do not know if he will be able to connect with me before I freak out.

It is kind of nice to know that no matter how old I get, or how many children that I have, my Dad will still be there to lend an assist. I've only to ask. Gezz, I'm glowin.

Rachel 1-31-2003 18:08

Hi Randall,

I hope you are better soon.

Rachel 1-31-2003 16:42

Poor, poor RANDALL. I hope you feel better soon. My husband has been down with the flu most of the week, and he hardly ever gets sick.


I am glad you like posting here. I certainly liked your post and hope you continue to participate. The nice thing about being on the Notebook is that you have friends who do not go away even when you move. Having moved 4 times since visiting here, I actually have more continuity with folks here than with many in the non-Internet world. Congratulations on your husband's promotion, and I hope you soon find another job as well.


I would loan you my copy of SHADOWS IN A DREAM if I could. I think I just followed the link Jack gave and bought it over the Internet.


You are so right in your post. I don't think I would have stuck around all these years if there were not so many points of views and so many different perspectives on all sorts of subjects.

I have so very few people to have a real discussion with. My husband is intelligent, but he and I agree very closely in our political and world views, so we very rarely argue about such things. Then there are other people I do not feel close enough to to discuss such issues. But where ever I live, I tend to find most of the people around me not disagreeing much. Perhaps I am so adament, no one dares says anything contrary to what I put forward. But the beauty is that folks like AMERICO and MARK and others here are not intimidated by me (isn't that a terribly passive sentence?). So that makes things very interesting.

I think that when people respect one another, many different things can be discussed and everyone gets the opportunity to learn from others. Another thing is that we are all writers here and all of us love the world of ideas, and we are not afraid of other perspectives. In order to create characters, a writer has to be empathetic and willing to enter the head of someone utterly different from himself or herself.

Rhoda 1-31-2003 16:02



Home sick ... again!

Good friends ... my mother had a series of cats in her lifetime named Trouble or Troubles. We had a rather prissy neighbor when I was a child, the kind who could not be bothered with living and life and gave new meaning to the term NOSY BUNS. Anyway, one night Mom was standing at the back fence, looking in the alley, calling for "Troubles." Ms Nosy Buns bounded out of her home and asked mom what was all the hollering about. Mom, in all innocence, (I'm sure) said "I'm looking for Trouble." Mom later related the woman turned white and reentered her home quickly!


I believe you can tell a lot about the names a person gives their pets. My first dog was named Kiser after my grandparents, a swell name for a Doberman. My second Dobie was named Tuco after the character in THE GOOD, THE BAD and THE UGLY played by Eli Wallach. Tuco's son was named Sepp after a WW II German Waffen SS tank commander, General Sepp Dietrich. (Don't ask, it's a long story.)

I worked with a man who called his small, black dog, Tar Baby. (I have no idea why.) He renamed the dog after a brief but terse conversation with a new neighbor, who was black. Oh their families were good friends for many years afterward and laughed over the changed name many times. That might be rare these days. I once had a dog named Ester, cause it nearly drowned in a bucket of water ... Ester Williams. I have a friend who named his corvette Mud Hole, cause he said it didn't have enough power to get out of a mudhole!

Moving along ... in the early 1960's we named our Mexican Burro, Bertha, my grandmothers name. My brother and I once had a pet Red Tail hawk named Hawk-a-Baby, a rabbit named Frank, a 1955 Chevrolet we called @$% *%^ piece of #$^@, a girl was known around town as Old ... well, better leave this one alone. But not to worry ladies, a local mechanic is known as "Greasy Hands" because of what his girlfriend looked like after a noon time interlude. A funeral home operator known as Plant ‘em Deep Smith. Assorted doctors ... Bones; dentists ... Yank ‘em All! My nickname from Hi School was RBD and only at the point of death will I reveal what that stands for! Another hi school his great chagrin is called Ladder. Was caught with a bunch of others spying on the football cheerleaders locker room.

Like I said, names ... Brownwood once had a police officer we named Back Seat ... because of what he and his girl friend were caught doing in the BACK SEAT of his patrol car! Jerry? Know any stories along this line? Every town has a police officer known affectionately as A** Hole or Ticket Master! A deputy sheriff known as "Wyatt" or "Quick Draw." A traffic judge known as, Hanging John! We once had a mayor known as Back Pockets ... a local attorney known as Jailhouse John. No, he resides there, or did as of recently. A vet was named Wide Body, because of his girth. My dad worked at the old Santa Fe railroad with a man named Derail Jones, cause of the many accidents he was in. A close friend is Crab, his brother Fox, their father Groner (the funniest Mortician in Texas!) My brother's nickname is Turtle or Cooler (once caught stealing, ah borrowing, a case of beer out of a walk in cooler.) A plumber friend is High Water because of a small mistake that flooded the court house basement. A man who runs a road side Bar-b-gue stand was once caught digging up a cow that had been killed on the highway the previous day ... Steaks or Daisy. The Daisy escapes me, but I know what it COULD mean. I know a guy named Drips, because he was once caught stealing "drip gas" from an oil field refinery one night. (Runs fairly well in OLD vehicles, but smells terrible!) Most cafe cooks are called Greasy or Easy Over or Smokes. The entire Highway Department road crew is known as the Dig it Up Boys!

Well ... I sense I'm boring you all sooooooo

Bye Bye

Randall "Over the Edge" Henderson

Randall 1-31-2003 13:51

Hi Cheri,

I hope that all will turn out well. Your post has such an optimistic tone to it. It was a pleasure to read on this rain soaked morning. Yup, you were a ray of sunshine. Thanks.


Hi Pamela,

The name that "Shadows in a Dream" can be found under is, John McIntyre. I do not believe that you will find it at your local library. I think that there is a link to the book at the portion of this site. I wish you all the best in and for your writing.


Rachel 1-31-2003 11:37

Under the animal names department. We have two birds, Birch and Cedar. I am thinking of calling the mice in our house, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Our cat Polly has turned out to be an excellent mouser. Oh the joys of the life in the country. The rain comes, the water is on the rise, the mice are looking for warm and dry, oh yes :o) I liked the Smith and Wesson, that was good.


I can relate to the famliy thinking writers are weird. I think that weird is good.

Rachel 1-31-2003 11:31

My brother has two dogs. A Bision and a Maltese named Happy and Gilmore.

Debra 1-31-2003 10:28

How about coronial and Sanders

Debra 1-31-2003 10:26

Jerry jerry jerry.......


Debra 1-31-2003 9:48

I love to visit this site every day!

Such amusing folk we have. It makes me smile and brightens my day.

Unfortunately, I have some bad news from my life. My department was informed on Tuesday that our jobs are being relocated to Utica, NY. I live in central New Jersey. We don’t have a set departure date; it’s tentatively scheduled for the third quarter. Don’t know if that’s the beginning or the end of the third quarter. The thing that really bugs most of us here is that WE have to TRAIN the people taking our jobs!!!! WHAT A CROCK OF S--- ! Needless to say, most of us are quite pissed off about it.

I’m not too worried about getting another job, heck I might even go back to college and get a degree! The thing that is really upsetting is that these people have become like family to me. I’ve been with the company for almost ten years, seven of which have been in this department. I’m really going to miss these people.

At least now I’ve become more determined to write!

On the good news front, my husband may be getting a sizable raise (cross fingers). We’ll find out today, I think.

Just wanted to let all of you know how much you make me smile and inspire me. Thank you.

Cheri 1-31-2003 8:37

Randall - I'd just name them Smith & Wesson after the tool that will be used if they fail to accomplish the cat's first duty, learning where the litter box is.

Just kidding but that would be a great set of names and think of what the neighbors would think when your wife hollers "SMITH and WESSON" "HERE SMITH & WESSON!"

Jerry 1-31-2003 0:33

TINA -- I just read that you don't really need a parachute in order to skydive! Go figure!
You do, however, need one to make that second jump...

howard 1-30-2003 23:54

Go ahead and laugh -- I was just trying to type this and got about this far () when I realized I was typing on my grandson's keyboard, and there was nothing appearing on the screen.
OK, I'll explain: I'm watching Joel (or is it the other way 'round?) today and tomorrow, and he loves the keyboard. So when I'm sitting at the computer, trying to type, it's a constant battle for the keys.
But then I had a brainstorm! I rummaged through the "whatever" pile, found a spare keyboard, and put it in front of my regular one. I can reach over it, but Joel can't.
But I just forgot it was there, and it took me a few secs to realize it wasn't putting up any words on the screen!

howard 1-30-2003 23:51

Randall - that story made perfect sense to me. Now, why is the naming of cats so much more fun than naming dogs? Miss Briggs is named after Briggs and Straton motors, Dickie is short for Dick H..., and Dash rode on the dash all the way home. Yet, Lyndi, Dixie and Moose simply "look" like a Lyndi, a Dixie and a Moose. Ah, well, I'm sure with all the "weird" thinking writers on this site, we'll come up with some reason!

Carol 1-30-2003 23:15


Good evening all...

I'm sad to say we are having a bit of a problem at the house. It began last weekend, weeeeeeeeell it really began when out cat Suzy, formerly known as Scorch had two kittens, three weeks ago. Suzy is concerned about overpopulation and wants to do her share. We have decided to keep these two, as we gave the last two away. Anyway, I am fed up with the giggles and chuckles emulating from my wife, Debbie and daughter Sara this week.

Friday night we were discussing names for the two kittens. In all innocence I suggested In and Out. From Debbie and Sara's blank looks I decided to explain.

"Well it makes perfect sense to me."

"You're a writer," my wife snickered. "Everything weird makes sense to a writer!"

"What does the Playboy Cyber Bunny site have to do with writing?" Sara added dryly.

"Never mind!" I answered quickly. "Ah, research, for my next story."

"Yeah, right." both my ladies exchanged glances wise beyond their years.

"No. No really, listen as I explain. You see we can put In and Out, outside, together. Then we can call In and Out inside. But, if In wanted to stay out, that would be okay too. I mean if Out wanted to come in, I have no problem with that. But if In was in and Out, out then we would know where they both were at all times."

"I'm mystified?" My daughter commented shaking her head.

"Well, by their names we could keep track of who was in and which one out. In would always be in when Out was out. To save confusion, Out could only come in when In was out. Out would be out, versus In, in. If In was in, we could put Out, out. Get it? Both In and Out could be out at one time but it will be confusing and we'll have to make adjustments. Same thing if In and Out were in at the same time."

I faintly heard Sara whisper to her mother. "Dad's finally gone bye-bye. Still got that shrinks nighttime phone number?"

"Right here." My wife patted her blouse pocket. "Been expecting this."

Disregarding their negative input I added. "So we name one In and the other Out."

Laughing they stood and walked into the kitchen. "Nope. In will be Fireball and Out will be Fluffy."

As I sat fuming on my somewhat tarnished throne of power, Sara brought me both kittens. "Here Dad, do something useful. This is more relaxing than the Playboy site."

Well, you know...naming kittens In and Out might be confusing for less receptive minds I suppose. And, after all, kittens should look like their names? So, Americo, how did your two cats come to be known as Jon and Pussy? Americo...thanks for the kind words...I vote for Jerry's stories, Rhoda's wisdom, Mark's flair and Howard's vintage eastern wit. Tina for first person sky diving, Viv's tales of Japan. (BTW, Viv, I mailed THE package last Monday) Heather's enormous labor of love. There are GREAT writers on this site and I urge ALL newcomers to contribute and learn. Learning from friends is a lot more fun that learning in a dry academic atmosphere. So Jon, how about a GROUP award? We might get together and send you a little catnip...seasoned with just a whiff of kitty-cat Viagra? Hum? For those long, enthusiastic nights in the alley ... dare I say ... surrounded by all that tail?



Randall 1-30-2003 21:34

Those metaphors were as funny as watching a spider try to run after pulling all its legs off! I laughed so hard I cried like a person having surgery without anesthesia! The people who claim we don't have a good education system are as wrong as someone who has been told over and over again not to do something but then goes ahead and does it anyway.

Can I get "Shadows In A Dream" at my friendly neighborhood library? What was used for the author's name? It's great that you guys did that, I've been seeing postings about the short story collection (didn't realize it was about ghosts, though) and am hoping along with all the contributors that it gets published too.

Does Jon have a problem with ghosts? That's funny because I thought at first that Americo might be one, or be a channel bringing insight from Jon on the other side. Thanks, Jerry, for clueing me in on that.

Pamela 1-30-2003 18:18

Great, enjoy.

Jerry 1-30-2003 17:55

JERRY: Perfick!

Teekay 1-30-2003 17:44

JERRY: Wow! That was quick :-D Thank you so much. I haven't listened to it yet, it's still incoming.

Teekay 1-30-2003 17:22

Teekay - just sent it off to you via Email, hopefully it's the full song, I didn't test it before I sent it, as my computer is furnishing the music right now, playing old country music.

Jerry 1-30-2003 16:59

Teekay- Downloading your request as I type.

Welcome to all the Newbe's stick around this place grows on you like fungus on the wall behind the leaky sewer pipe.

Carol - see, I liked that post in fact there is some great stuff there, just don't know where I'd use it.

Americo - What Eddie said. Stick around we need your liberal European thoughts to awaken our inner selves or something like that. I see your fearless leader is standing beside ours on the war topic. Smart guy you got there.

Jerry Me 1-30-2003 16:50

JERRY: If it's not too much trouble would you be able to send me the song 'once in a lifetime' by talking heads? Thanks in advance.

Teekay 1-30-2003 15:28

Hello Howard :)

See, someone's reading. I just haven't had much to say lately to do a post.

Welcome Angel and Noela. Noela, I especially like that last line you posted. Use the stars as a starting point. Yep, I like that.

Here's a funny I got in the mail and thought you all might enjoy.

<< Ever wonder what our kids are doing in high school? These are actual
analogies and metaphors that were found in high school essays.

1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently
compressed by a Thigh Master.

2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like
underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy
who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those
boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at
schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of
boxes with a pinhole in it.

4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli and he was
room-temperature Canadian beef.

5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just
before it throws up.

6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

7. He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree.

8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because
of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a
9. surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM.

10. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a
ball wouldn't.

11. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled
with vegetable soup.

12. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie,
surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy
comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.

13. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

14. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry
them in hot grease.

15. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the
grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left
Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19
p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

16. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that
resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.

17. John and Melinda had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had
also never met.

18. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant and she was the East

19. Even in his last years, Grandpappy had a mind like a steel trap, only
one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.

20. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

21. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this
plan just might work.

22. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating
for a while.

23. "Oh, Jason, take me!", she panted, her breasts heaving like a college
freshman on $1-a-beer night.

24. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a
real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a land mine or

25. The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg
behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

26. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with
power tools.

27. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if
she were a garbage truck backing up.

28. She was as easy as the TV Guide crossword.

29. Her eyes were like limpid pools, only they had forgotten to put in any
pH cleanser.

30. She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing legs.

31. It hurt the way your tongue hurts after you accidentally staple it to
the wall.

Now to see how that posted. Its the first time I copy and pasted from email.

Work is still progressing on my novel.

Later ....

Carol 1-30-2003 12:40


howard 1-30-2003 11:25

Hi Angel#911,

Welcome to the N.B.


Rachel 1-29-2003 16:01

As a child I was told to make the sky my limit, but now that i am grown i changed my mind and choose it as a starting point

Noela Ebubeze none 1-29-2003 13:57

Just dropping a note to say "Hi". I have been visiting the website a while, but this is my first post in here.

I might have more to add later :-)

Angel #911 1-29-2003 13:34

Of all my wish like a fis fighting freedom filled with wisdom. I know I miss the things I wish. To drop the cross and face the loss.

Noela Ebubeze none 1-29-2003 13:24

Good to see you posting. STAY!
Everybody else,
I haven't got the strength or the inclination to join in just yet but it's important for me to keep in touch. The NB is so much more than just a forum.

Eddie French 1-29-2003 13:21

i live evryday i stop to think that i should leave. even as i stop i live but noit the way that i think. i have the power a choice aright but everyday, i say that i should live the way that i live in a whorld only i know and belong, to take you there and leave you here. yet,i live

Noela Ebubeze none 1-29-2003 13:20

i live evryday i stop to think that i should leave. even as i stop i live but noit the way that i think. i have the power a choice aright but everyday, i say that i should live the way that i live in a whorld only i know and belong, to take you there and leave you here. yet,i live

Noela Ebubeze none 1-29-2003 13:20

I liked Mark's post. It's refreshing to hear the voice of democracy in the NB from time to time. America is not only Bush and Clinton but also Martin Luther King and Jimmy Carter. That's why anti-Americanism is a reductionist, irrational attitude as bad as any systematic anti-Something. Everything has its good and bad sides, its good and bad moments. It's up to the analysts (and writers like us should try to be informed and analyse things as best as we can) to state their opinions about what is going on in the world. The NB may distill a little drop of influence on world affairs, Rhoda. At least it reflects an international public opinion, without great analysts but with good -willing people, like you and me.

As Jerry, a bloody Republican but a good man, has said, Jon, a miserable cat, motivated people here to write and conclude a novel which you can buy through or ask Jack, Allein or Rachel to lend you a copy. It's called "Shadows in a Dream" and is simply the best work written in collaboration the world has ever seen. There is a new NB book in the offing: Heather's "Phantasium". It's a ghost stories collection edited by Heather and Mark, two of the good collaborators of this page. It may be worth reading. Let us hope it is published.

A hug to you. I think that you deserve the prize for the best short-story teller of 2002. But Jon, the prize giver, has been thinking if the good people that contributed to "Phantasium", against his imperial anti-ghosts campaign, are not worthy of his feline condescendence. That cat is a funny sort of dictator. In the end, he always votes for the best, the most justice, or the best-best. Jerry, a short-story writer of genius (though with ups and downs), is also a good bet. We'd better wait and see if there is not war. In case of war, NO PRIZES! (Hope Barbara is reading this and gives a good motherly call to her naughty son).

Americo 1-29-2003 12:19

Listened to the President last night. I was amazed at the quality and presentation of his speech. Although I hate war, and I hope we get through this without plane loads of coffins returning home, in stead of plane loads of triumphant soldiers. Any time we go to war we must expect casualties, but I hope it goes as well as the first gulf war.

I thought President Bush showed a tremendous amount of leadership in that speech. But I did notice that there was no mention of the Ag industry. All around me I see farmers and ranchers (many now without son's and daughter's that now prepare for war) who are on the edge of loosing everything because of the past few dry years. Many (my brother-in-law included) have taken jobs in town, leaving the farm/ranch work to their wives and children, just to have enough money to feed the family.

Can the terrible years of the mid 80's be far away? Those years that turned our peaceful little State to one of constant auctions of failed farms, of families loosing everything and not knowing where to turn. To the growth of the Posse Cometataus and like armed organizations protesting the actions of our government.

I hope not but the way the Ag world is going it surely could happen again.

I realize that the President has more to think about then the family farm, yet it's those hard working men, women and children who feed America and much of the world and without relief very soon the family farm will be a thing taught only in school and the large corporate farms will be buying up all the land, the price of food will rise and many of the poor will be hungrier then ever.

Jerry 1-29-2003 11:34

Here's my latest poem. I sent this one with who cut the tags off to Library of Congress. So if you like it, pass it around.

Sending us a message they take lives including their own, then become a martyr
Wouldn’t just holding a sign up be much more effective, faster and smarter

They killed my mother so I killed their son
Then they killed my sister so I had to take from them another one

A month a go a bomb went off and made a building fall
Everyone in it was lost they got them all

After the smoke cleared there was nothing but a shell
To have died that way, must have been living hell

So must be our turn to cause them some grief
They say they hate us because of our belief

To satisfy our spirits with faith will be forever our fate
Our hearts rise up for our beliefs but for them only deflate

They call us infidels because we don’t look to the same one
They want to make us believe looking down the barrel of a gun

Infidel just means one who doesn’t share your same view
So of course we can say the same thing right back at you

That would mean every one of us is an infidel to some degree
To have faith for our chosen one is our right in which we should all be free

They refuse to be our neighbors yet they are not asking us to move
Instead they want us dead another option we must behoove

The longer our allegiance continues so does their resolve
This ongoing problem between us I fear we’ll never solve

Go travel the world to chronicle our differences you’ll find only similarities
You’ll meet people like you who love their heritage, their life and their families.

I’ve often found with life’s toughest problems they often have a simple solution
With the oldest one called hate I have come to the same conclusion

Through the years how many people will have to die during someone’s last stand
before we realize the problem can be solved just by sharing the land

© Debra J. Palardy 2002

Debra 1-29-2003 11:26

Pamela, your entire post made me smile. :o)

Inhaler, steam, Vic's vaporub and my very own masseuse, and I am feeling on the rosy side of ....recovery.
Nastiest whatever-you-curse-it illness I've had in a while. With headcolds at least I could whine a little.

Beware the over-editor! Oh....all right. I'll giddyap.

Heather 1-29-2003 3:34

Pamela - Don't think you've ever been introduced to Americo - He and his two cats, Jon and Pussy are long time residents in the notebook he hails from Portugal, and is a great writer of novels there. He once had a round robin going here that produced a ton of creativity. Sadly we lost the workbook when the Notebook was moved to a different server, many miss it and look forward to the day when our gracious host is again able to get it up and running.

The round robins were great fun and actually produced a published novel, one that I dropped out of, something that I greatly regret.

Americo and his alter ego Jon the cat once ruled the notebook, handing out awards for best post, best short story best whatever, but of late he's been busy with other endeavors elsewhere.

Jerry 1-29-2003 0:18


Must go watch President Bush on TV, but, how about a quote.

"Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill."

W. C. Fields


Randall 1-28-2003 20:57

From I-Don't-Know-What-The-Temp-Is-I'm-Just-Cold Pamela:

Some of you guys are so politically aware, I get most of my news from Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. Ignorance is bliss. And sometimes ignoring is blissful. (I mean politics itself, not your lively and entertaining discussions.)

MEL, I empathize again with you on editing beginnings, after all, they are extremely important, bearing the responsibility for catching the readers' initial interest. I think I'm finally about done with my prologue (editing it, that is, I've gone on to write about 15 chapters lately, I think), maybe I'll post it and see what you guys think. RANDALL, sounds like you've been feeling a little frisky for such an old fart! I can say that because I'm just one year younger than you, but luckily we gals don't have to worry about Viagra ("I Enjoy Being A Girl" -- pretend I sang that). Regarding the too-big hat, I'm surprised that, as a Texan, you didn't arrive at the obvious solution immediately: make your hair bigger! We southerners are known for the biggest hair ever, perhaps in response to the very hat problem you have. Come on, pouff it up! JERRY, I really liked the "Bad Day" news, funny but also ironic, the terrorist opening his own bomb was something to think about. I'm glad you are getting back into your writing lately, this group sure is stimulating. I'd still check out acupuncture for your back, a friend of mine had a mangled lip from an accident which the surgeons couldn't do much with, whe was going to look about like an unfortunate harelip, then she went to an acupuncturist (??) and her lip healed up, you can barely see a scar. I'm sure WC won't cover it but maybe you could purchase a session with your next creative writing paycheck. AMERICO, where have you been besides France during the revolution? American Indian? Atlantean? You sound like one who can appreciate the truth in HOWARD's statement that this life is not a permanent assignment. LITTER, funny book-pushing scenario. I read recently that some schools are eliminating libraries now as being too space-consuming, ain't that a shame? Will the computer make books obsolete, I wonder? I hope not, the screen gets on my nerves and I like to hold printed paper in my hands. LAURA, I'm also juggling job-hunting with writing, not an easy thing to do. It hasn't been that long since you sent your story off, it may still be lying in a big pile of mail. Just waiting to be read, discovered, exulted over... Meanwhile, for your jitters, do you drink? If not, this would be a good time to start (ha ha). HOWARD, glad to hear your pasta turned out as well as your finger.

Pamela 1-28-2003 15:17


You are a sweetheart. I send you hugs.


Rachel 1-28-2003 12:53

With all this crap going on I'm just glad this life isn't a permanent assignment...

howard 1-28-2003 8:24

Wow, the mercury climbed 55 degrees in the last 24 hours, from below zero to 48 degrees today. It was like a touch of spring but it was just the chinook winds that visit us from time to time, the weatherman said it will be below freezing by midnight and probably below zero by tommorow night.

Look around at all that's happening and ask yourself who's to blame?

Is it Clinton? Bush? Reagan? Mark? Me?

Well Kris Kerstofferson knew who to blame:

Mister Marvin Middle Class is really in a stew
Wond'rin' what the younger generation's coming to
And the taste of his martini doesn't please his bitter tongue
Blame it on the Rolling Stones.
Blame it on the Stones; blame it on the Stones
You'll feel so much better, knowing you don't stand alone
Join the accusation; save the bleeding nation
Get it off your shoulders; blame it on the Stones

Mother tells the ladies at the bridge club every day
Of the rising price of tranquilizers she must pay
And she wonders why the children never seem to stay at home
Blame it on the Rolling Stones.

Blame it on the Stones; Blame it on the Stones
You'll feel so much better, knowing you don't stand alone
Join the accusation; save the bleeding nation
Get it off your shoulders; blame it on the Stones

Father's at the office, nightly working all the time
Trying to make the secretary change her little mind
And it bothers him to read about so many broken homes
Blame it on those Rolling Stones.

Blame it on the Stones; Blame it on the Stones
You'll feel so much better knowing you don't stand alone
Join the accusation; same the bleeding nation
Get it off your shoulders; blame it on the Stones

Blame it on the stones, blame it on the stones.

Jerry 1-27-2003 23:55

FYI Clinton lovers...

"Attempts were made by Communist China to funnel money to the Clinton campaign and influence elections in 1996. Charlie Trie, one of Bills trusted DNC fundraisers, attempted to funnel this money. When faced with indictment he fled to China for refuge. Another money funneler for the communists and Clinton campaign, Johnny Chung, is now in jail. The funds came from divisions of the Chinese army, one of which had been caught only months earlier while attempting to smuggle AK-47's to LA street gangs. (NORINCO) This is the government of RED CHINA - definitely a serious matter. If any scandals do catch up with him, which probably will happen, this is by far the worst. Amidst the sex scandals another DNC fundraiser scandal, Johnny Chung, openly admitted to knowingly taking funds from the Chinese government. Chung also testified that the DNC knew the source of this money was communist China. They accepted it anyway. The money is said to have been funneled through Chinese government official Liu Chao-ying then Chung and then to the DNC. Even more revealing was that Liu Chao-ying, daughter of Liu Hauqing (recent head of the Chinese military and top official of the Chinese communist party) and a Peoples Liberation Army and Chinese space agency official, attended a DNC fundraiser. Here she was photographed with Clinton. Chung also visited the White House over 45 times. Chung took several thousand dollars from commies and contributed them to a partisan candidate for President of the United States and leader of the free world. Chung was only a powerful campaign contributer/supporter with ties to the DNC and White House. Johnny Chung testified under oath to Congress on his admitted relations with the Chinese Commies and the ties to the President. Ironically Chung is one of a very small number of people who had greater White House access than Monica Lewinsky! Chung is said to have made over 50 visits compared to Monica's 39! Even better, only a week later Charlie Trie entered a guilty plea for his fundraising crimes and agreed to talk with investigators! Who next? Well it happened to be John Huang! Huang, another Clinton cronie, pled guilty to funneling Chinese funds less than a week after Trie!

1-27-2003 22:46


Bill Clinton is a what else is new?


T V Parasuram

Sunday May 17, 1998

WASHINGTON, May 16: The Republican Party in the United States has announced today it will hold hearings on the disclosure of a Chinese businessman that a large part of the donation he gave to the Democratic Party in 1996 when US President Bill Clinton was campaigning for presidency once again came from the Chinese army.

The money was routed to Johnny Chung, a southern California businessman and a Democratic fund raiser, through a Chinese woman lieutenant colonel Liu Chao-Ying, an aerospace executive, The New York Times reported quoting officials and lawyers.

Chung said Liu told him the source of the money was the Chinese People's Liberation Army. At one fund-raiser to which Chung gained admission for her, she was photographed along with US President Clinton.

A special adviser to the White House counsel, Jim Kennedy, said "we had no knowledge about the source of Chung's money or the background of his guest. In hindsight, it was clearly not appropriate for Chung to bring her to see the President. "Chung's disclosure comes at a very embarrassing time when Clinton is making preparations to go to China in June to establish a "strategic relationship" with the country and lift most or all of the Tiananmen Square sanctions and pave the way for high tech exports to China.

Under the American law, foreign governments are prohibited from contributing to political campaigns. The hunt for the Chinese connection by federal investigators began after US intelligence intercepted telephone conversations suggesting that Beijing considered covertly funding the campaign of President Clinton, who they felt would be more friendly to China than his opponent, Republican Bob Dole.

At the time the People's Liberation Army gave money to the Clinton campaign, President Clinton was making it easier for American civilian communication satellites to be launched by Chinese rockets, a key issue for the Chinese army and for Liu's company, which sells missiles to the military, The New York Times said. Meanwhile, the US senate has passed an amendment barring entry of goods made from forced child labour into the country.

The senate passed an amendment to the defence authorisation bill yesterday making permanent the current temporary provision authorising customs to ban any goods made with forced child labour from entering the country.

Copyright © 1998 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.

All things considered, I would accept that Ken Lay gave money to both political parties seeking favors. But for a politican, the very President of the United States to accept money from the army that "assisted" North Korea in killing American and soldiers from many nations during the Korean war is appalling to this old boy.

The paragraph regarding transfer of missile technology to the Red Army stands as a monument to Bill Clintons treason.


Randall 1-27-2003 20:49

Mark - What ever.

Had a dream last night, probably the result of new meds, but I was standing on a hill (I dream in technicolor now) overlooking a desert, hundreds of tanks were assulting what appeared to be a city in the midst of the desert when a massive explosion took place in the middle of the tanks. Then there was nothing, just sand. No tanks, no people, nothing.

I hope it was the pills.

Jerry 1-27-2003 20:37

The Yaqui Kid

"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."

S. I. Hayakawa

1-27-2003 20:10


The Ken Lay went no where because the Democrats took more from him and did more for him than the Republicans. Bill Clinton gave Mr. Lay all those concessions over in India. When the Democrats realized the things coming out about their own involvement and how bad it made them look, they backed off. By the way, Bill Clinton obstucted justice and lied to a grand jury. I realize that is only a small thing in the scheme of things.

Your vile is so strong. What is worse all your arguments are lifted right out of the media lexicon and are full of stereotypes, but then most people think and operate out of preconceived ideas. You don't hate George W. Bush nearly as much as you hate what you believe he stands for and no one will ever change your mind. So I won't even try.


I have heard nothing new and insightful from you on the international side of things. Think what you like. Believe what you like. No argument I set forth will ever change you or what you think. As wrong as you are, I adore you anyway.

The United States is going to war or not going to war, and whichever it will be, it will not be on the basis of the silly war protests or on what is said here.

Rhoda 1-27-2003 20:05



Well ... I have to laugh gang. It feels so good to laugh. Jerry, Mark, Americo and I are having heated, well, at least warm conversations over politics. In the meantime Debra, Laura and The Yaqui Kid are on another level. And then Evenlyn Haines weighs in with a difficult post to read regarding Rex Rabbits?

HA! Ha! HA!

What a great site, huh?


Randall 1-27-2003 20:02

Hi my name is miss Evelyn Haines I breeder Dwarf & Rex's Rabbits I get 7 body's rabbits to sell on 8/2/2003 $15 each please E-Mail and I'm looking for Rex's male if every one can help me please & all so looking for shows Rabbits and Giunea pigs Please help me. Yes I love Rabbits & all so Giunea pigs is will as one cat so this why I love my pets very much I take to them every day and I had them in my hands for 1/2 hour.

Thank you
Evelyn Haines

Evelyn Haines Rabbits 1-27-2003 19:53

Hi my name is Evelyn Haines I breeder Dwarf & rex's Rabbits I say get 7 body rabbits to sell on8/2/2003 $15 each so if every one out there please E-Mail me at and I'm looking for rex's male if every one can help me please.

Thank you
Evelyn Haines

Evelyn Haines Rabbits 1-27-2003 19:41


It's 9 outside at my house and 60 inside.

Debra 1-27-2003 16:35

It's probably worse with a short story because you are being more specific with subject matter. I'm still checking the mail two and three times a day, hoping for anything, even a rejection at this point would be a releif since at least it means the thing got there and was read, It is just nerve wracking.

I've been juggling trying to get a job and trying to write for the past two weeks and I'm in a holding pattern on both. ARRRRRRRGH, and the annoying thing is its 85 outside and 60 in my house.

Laura 1-27-2003 15:03

JERRY -- Imperialism takes many forms. Ultimately, it means to exert such pressure on a place that some social change takes hold.

We pat ourselves on the back for bringing democracy to countries (or regions) that only knew dictatorship. But let's face it, we do that selectively. Covert ops by the CIA helped bring democracy to Chile. The Chilean people elected a man we didn't back. Wow! Democracy is a mistake in that country! So when Pinochet decided to take over, we gave a little help and moved a dictator back in.

Hong Kong, Beijing, Tokyo and Moscow are not known for ground beef patties. They all have McDonalds now. The intrusion of fast-food restaurants into Asian and European cities is but one sign of how American business interests have gotten a foothold in other cultures. Along with the business ethic comes the social ethic. We think it odd that Cuban businessmen in Miami can sit over demi-tasse of expresso for two hours but think nothing of moving the ten-minute meal offshore.

About 15 years ago I needed a fresh example to use in English Composition classes. I picked up on some ideas from a water-use study done by LandSat satellites. Turns out there are underground rivers (not streams, rivers) beneath portions of the Sahara. Some of the water is close enough to the surface to be visible to satellites. Holy Cow! We can irrigate enough parts of the Sahara desert to grow food for the whole region! This was at a time when every night on TV we saw images of starving kids and reports of civil war. War, of course, for control of resources. Starvation because of a drought. We could end that.

I found that humanitarian and charitable groups had already made effort to extract the water from one region and met local resistance. The reason: I won't dig further than six feet because my father did not dig further than six feet and his father did not dig further than six feet and no-one back to Mohammed has dug further than six feet in the desert for water. To dig those wells in those places was considered an affront to the religious continuity of the community.

We have our own stereotypical guy who says, "I voted Democratic and my daddy voted Democratic and his daddy voted Democratic a'fore him." Sometimes you can reason with him, sometimes you can't. So it was in the desert. Some wouldn't change because the tradition was so strong as to have religious overtones, and some wouldn't change because they reasoned that drought and war were the forces of nature working on them and "we live with nature."

Whoever brings the ways of change is an Imperialist. Osama's war on change didn't start with us. He actually began revolting against his own people, against those who had lost the old way, the old values, the old rituals. After a while, he began looking for the causes of why people dropped away from the original path. The American influence is everywhere.

-- As an aside, I'll go further out and say that I *don't* trust George W. His tax breaks for the rich and his industry-over-environment policies have had an easy slide since 9-1-1. You were all excited about Bill Clinton getting blowjobs from Monica, why is there no fervor over the favors GWB got from Ken Lay? And Ken Lay is only the most famous of the Bush vasoline artists. Were it not for the convenient War on Terror, we'd see a lot more discussion on presidential economic folly.

Mark 1-27-2003 14:37


Good one. It's not an imitation. It's different. I do like Weird Al. I'll consider him stop number two. Thanks.

It's copyrighted. I can post it if you want to see it.

Debra 1-27-2003 13:30

DEBRA -- Shouldn't an imitation song go to Weird Al?

Mark 1-27-2003 13:26

I just sent out my letter to the Baha Men with the song who Cut The Tags Off enclosed.

Wish me luck!

Debra 1-27-2003 12:46

Americo - I sit here wondering why those in Europe call America an Imperialist nation?

TO answer that question I did a bit of research (a very little bit but a bit none-the-less) and found something that amazed me.

It seems the word Imperialism or rather the meaning of the word has changed.

When I went to school, imperialism meant invading a nation and sitting it up as a part of, or a slave of the invading nation.

Today from what I have read at several web pages (one is linked below) the world seems to define the word imperialism to mean, an industrialized nation (the U.S. for example) not invading, or overthrowing the rightful ruler, but allowing it's industries to expand into that country, giving jobs to it's workers and producing goods for sale to both it's people and for export.

Now to me this appears to be improving the lives of those people, and not taking over the nation.

It appears that such action is not by the so called imperialist nation, for no national action takes place, but the expansion of our industries into other markets.

I guess if one were a communist this could be considered a bad thing, since the ruler of the nation isn't controlling it's people, but to one who is, as are most American's a lover of freedom, this seems to be aiding the people of that nation.

As has been said, give a man a fish and he is no longer hungry for a day, teach a man to fish and he is no longer for ever.

Just look at some of the poor nations that have been "imperialized" by the U.S. There's South Korea who now produce not only their own vehicles, firearms, electronic devices, televisions, radios, computers and so forth, but export them at a great profit to other nations.

There is Taiwan, once an island nation made up of freedom loving Chinese who retreated the communist take over of their great nation, now a major producer of electronic gear for the world.

There is Japan, itself a major imperialist power in the first half of the twentieth century, now a major producer of electronic devices, vehicles and so forth to the world.

Now there's your great nation, that was once an imperialist nation with colonies in Africa and Asia, what of those nations that your country invaded, the people who they enslaved, what do they produce now? Babies?

Europe was the center of Imperialism with nearly every "civilized" nation in Western Europe ruling many colonies, look at France, who was once a major colonial power, what of their former colonies? Well part of the United States was once a colony of France, as was a part of our wonderful neighbor Canada.

Then there was Spain who once owned a large slash of North America, including much of the west and central U.S. as well as Mexico, and the central American nations.

Germany also had it's colonies, although not so many as the rest, and of course there was England where "the Sun Never Sets over the British Empire" one of the earliest colonizers who did, of course, first rule our east coast before the great Revolutionary War here in the 1770's.

Does any of this make any sense or am I just taking up a large blot on Jack's wonderful web site?

Jerry Imperialism101 1-27-2003 10:53


You know regarding your story about the books and all, if the terrorists win that will be a true story. Scary huh?

Debra 1-27-2003 9:25

Americo - I gotta be honest here - I had my doubt about GW, but since 911 they stand behind, no make that beside him.

I do fear what is to happen next, and the suffering here has already begun with so many men gone, so many women worried, there were plenty of tears yesterday as they left us. What worries me is this small fact. The President has activated nearly all the Guard and Reserve. What happens if we need them????

The purpose of the National Guard used to be to protect the home front but their gone now. For a year for sure, maybe longer.

What of their jobs, their families. What of those who joined to go to college, they had to give up that college now and ship over to stop a mad man who many in the world would rather shelter then confront.

I think those who say Iraq is just a little country who couldn't harm a flea are those who feel that if the particapate in our little stop proceedure will face the rath of Sadam, they fear a 911 in their country.

It's time for those in Europe to get a pair of balls, get up off their asses put out that camel and join the crusade for the freedom of the people of Iraq who suffer under the tyranical fist of a mad man who makes Hitler looke like a paper hanger.

Oh I forgot those in Europe today don't think Hitler was all bad either do they? I mean look at the arostical French sitting back on their buitiful country that was paid for by the lives of thousands of American and British soldiers, now telling us that we are wrong, stop picking on those little nations who have nothing but oil and would be some of the richest desert dwellers in the world if not for that little pimple on the ass of the Middle East sitting in Bagdad, sleeping every night in a different bed, not only hiding from the US but from those who would kill him to free their nation from the bondage of his will.

Looks like I'm getting a bit carried away so I'll shut up now before I piss anyone off.

Jerry 1-27-2003 0:02

The Yaqui Kid

"It is a pleasure to stand upon the shore, and to see ships tost upon the sea: a pleasure to stand in the window of a castle, and to see a battle and the adventures thereof below: but no pleasure is comparable to standing upon the vantage ground of truth... and to see the errors, and wanderings, and mists, and tempests, in the vale below."

Francis Bacon

1-26-2003 23:11



Very good! I loved it ... perhaps a writer insight into the publishing world?


1-26-2003 19:32



Once again ... Americo has raised the bar on this site. Humor to slip a point home. :-) I am the least qualified person to write the definitive novel of the French Revolution. Although, I WAS there. A bearded guy wearing a ten-gallon hat dung splattered boots, my most quotable remark that night? "Say there buckaroo them tharas pratty good cakes! I'm not from these parts. What's a Bastille?"

I read my post of last week and found glaring omissions. Yes, America received help from a remarkable French gentleman, Lafayette, during her revolution. And when America sent troops to Europe in 1917 (?) to battle the Huns, they stepped from the troopship saying "Lafayette, we are here." I also failed to mention Australia, many south Pacific and European nations in war against tyranny. Most regretful Teekay. Is England considered European? A question...

Americo, there is so much going on behind the scenes in this Iraqi confrontation. My stance is this. I trust President George Bush to do the right thing. He is a good man, our leader, coincidentally a fellow Texan. Besides that, his mother Barbara wouldn't let him!!! I believe George W has intelligence on Iraq that we don't. There are reasons for the coming war that will soon be known. America is not an imperialistic country. We have never invaded a country for conquest, nor sought to impose our way of living on conquered people. My God, the countries we fought in WW II, we rebuilt! The taxpayers of America! No country had or has ever done that!!! Though some Americans politicians have tried to IMPOSE their beliefs through underhanded actions ... we liberate oppressed lands not conquer.

It's funny that you mention chewing gum as an American import. Chewing gum ... was introduced to the "civilized world" by an old enemy of Texas. The conqueror of the Alamo, General Lopez de Santa Anna. Believe it or not.

Times change Americo. Preventive war as a defense may be the only way to prevent additional war. However offensive it seems, killing for peace is becoming more and more an option. Why? I don't know what is happening to the human race. Why do dictators feel the need to starve their own people and mass huge armies? North Korea. Why does Saddam need weapons of mass destruction when treaties and commerce with neighboring countries would work just as well? Is there some kind of a self-destruction epidemic developing in the world? Yes, I'm inclined to think so. I see self-destructive people ALL the time in my hometown of only 19,000 people. That one or two or a dozen dictators rise to power and create such havoc in the world. Human nature...basic.

And yes, America has many times over weapons like these. But we do not threaten our neighbors or use poison gas on our own people. America reacts, does not initiate war, we never have. Vietnam? We had a treaty with South Vietnam. Korea ... was a United Nations war, not initiated by America. Panama, reacting to a drug king pin. Cuba ... a communistic influence 90 miles from home. Who we have left alone for 30 years!

Oh, and Americo ... if you intend to clean up Texas, you had better bring a sack lunch, a BIG shovel and plan on staying awhile. :-) And Viagra? (BIG GRIN!) Hey, it works, though I really don't need to use the product either ... there are certain aspects that, ah, oh boy, well should not be defined here. Costs ... well we have a prescription card so it's not cost prohibitive...And yes I would recommend it to my friends... only as a backup, of course. (Grin)

Goodbye my friend


A joke ... Jay Leno said his wife bought him Viagra. He accidentally dropped a tablet in the toilet bowl and couldn't get the lid to stay down.

Randall 1-26-2003 19:28

Heard an unusual slip of the tongue during an interview on UK tv, a few nights back. The interviewer was an English comedian called Frank Skinner but I can't recall who the Interviewee was. They were talking about a book the woman had written, and Frank asked: "Have you already found a pusher for the book?" (Instead of publisher)

Picture the scene: It's nighttime in a shady part of town. Small huddles of shady looking characters wearing fur trimmed coats, and talking idly about literary minutia, can be found on street corners. A slow procession of cars drive around the streets and back around again. One of the characters steps towards a car that has come to a halt, just a few feet away from him.

Car man – "I'm looking for some stuff and I was told I could get it down here."

Shady man – "Wha choo wan' man, a little light reading, huh? Something soft and easy, huh? Noooo, I know wha choo you wan' – a nice sci-fi story to blow your mind. That's wha choo wan'!"

Car man – "Have you anything stronger?"

Shady man – "Shit, homes, you sure you can handle anythin' stronger?" He continues without waiting for an answer, "Okay, man, sure thing. I got some murder-mystery, but its powerful strong shit, man, you sure you can handle it?"

Car man – "No, no, I mean the really strong stuff…"

Shady man – "Wha choo talking 'bout man?"

Car man – "You know, the good stuff," looks around him and moves closer to 'Shady', "Horror, man, h o r r o r."

Shady man – turns to his fellows a few feet away and gesticulates. "Hey, homies, we got a real party animal here… Ay Chihuahua!" Looks back at Car man, "You mean Stephen King, huh homes? You sure you can handle it, man? I don't sell this shit to just anyone, you know what I'm saying?"

Car man – Looking crestfallen and embarrassed, "Yes, yes I'm sure I can handle it."

Shady man – "Choo got to bee more than sure, man. I can' have anybody O-D-ing on me man, bad for business.

Car man – Look, I'm sure I can. We going to do business or what?"

Shady man – "Hey, hey, man, slow down. We'll do business. Just needed to know tha choo appreeeeciate wha choo gettin' into…"

Car man – "Look I can handle anything you got."

Shady man – Pulling closer to Car man. "Hey homes, I'm goin' to do you a real favour, but if anyone asks you didn' get this shit from me. Okay?"

Car man -- "Okay, I understand!"

Shady man – "Coooool, man. Wha' I got for choo tonight is somethin' you won' find anywhere else on the streets, only in libraries man, only in libraries... But it's gonna cos choo – I got a genuiiiine Russian Classic, homes, a real Tolstoy – War and Peace, homes, in hardback. Strongest shit I ever had. Bu choo don' tell any bro where it came from, okay man?" Pulls package wrapped in brown paper from inside his coat. "50 bucks, homes, no returns…"

The deal is done and Car man speeds away. Shady swaggers back to his friends – "I say, chaps, just shifted a Tolstoy…"

Hi 5's all round.

This little whimsy is 'obviously' set in Wales.

Litter 1-26-2003 19:03


Yours is a nice Texan hat... How's our novel about the French Revolution going? Remember that I was then the 15-year old boy selling cakes at the Bastille. You were the ferocious revolutionaire...

On your two posts about the reasons for a war in Iraq: you said that the English helped Europe in the second world war?! But England is one of the most beautiful European countries... And one of the most civilized too. And you forgot to mention the Brazilians among our saviours. In my opinion, it were the Brazilians, with their Samba and their joy of living, that saved us. The Americans were also quite helpful. They brought here the chewing gum and the blue jeans. What would have become of old Europe without chiclets Adams? And we are also grateful for Gershwin, Hemingway, Marilyn Monroe and the Macintosh computer (let alone Sasquatch and the Notebook...) .

Sorry we don't like W. Bush, but that does not mean we are anti-American. On the contrary: in my opinion, Bush is doing a lot of harm to America. But, being an optimist, I believe that he will eventually understand that war is not the best way to solve the problem of terrorism. On that day, the Europeans will be the first to kiss America on her pretty mouth.

A second point is that you mentioned horrible things that ocurred BEFORE the Gulf War. For those crimes 100,000 Iraqi soldiers (and I don't know how many Iraqi women and children) were already killed and with the help of the bloody Europeans. We don't need any more victims, do we? The notion of preventive war is one of those Bushy things that the civilized International community cannot accept.

Please go on doing research on more horrible things done by the Iraqis AFTER the Gulf War. If you find evidence of weapons of mass destruction or any other things harmful to one's health, please report, and we promise to help America clean up the world of those nasty things. I already have a good list of countries to clean up: they are some twenty countries and... oh, our sweet France, the country that helped sweet America to become independent from the bad English boys, is among them, and, wait, your Texas too. Good Lord, we'd better start conversations about universal disarmament immediatelly!

Those were the points on which I cannot agree entirely with you. But I am entirely in agreement with you on one point: yes, the Europeans are rather incompetent! And you should pay a visit to Portugal (my country). That's the most incompetent country I have ever seen. Even sardines, our most traditional product, and the only reason of pride in our rotten History, cannot speak English properly!

A last issue, Randall. Hmm... it's about that Viagra thing. Are you sure it works? Can you recomend it to an old European? Not that I need it, oh, no, but, for a bad night (and in a preemptive way...). Is it too expensive?

Ok, boys and girls, if you behave yourselves, I may convince Jon to give the traditional prizes for the best notebookers of the year 2002. But for that most wonderful occasion to happen, we need peace on the planet.

Americo 1-26-2003 15:38


Howdy Buckaroos! You too Jackaroo!!!!

A great day to be alive and on the planet!!!

Rosemary, my wife threw a half-empty bottle of pills at me and ordered me out of the bedroom. (Ever done that to your spouse?)

"Act your age!" Debbie laughed, settling in for an extended Sunday morning nap.

Holding up the bottle of Viagra I asked, "Which one?"

"Try being fifty-five for a while. Leave the fifteen-year old behind."

(Sigh) Americo ... it is hard being Randall. (I know I couldn't be Jon or Pussy.) Even harder to be fifty-five with a fifteen-year old mentality. Mel, I guess it was the hat that got me in trouble this morning. No ... not the Viagra, Howard. I have a couple of felt cowboy hats. One is a Resistol 5X Beaver, a Jim Dandy of a hat, Viv. The problem is, the hat, purchased used from a guy needing money is way too large. About the size Hoss Cartwright would wear Tina ... suffering a terrific hangover ... with a dozen bee stings ‘round about his ample head. Heather, I stuffed newspaper behind the sweat band, a trick my granddad taught me. After installing most of the Dallas Morning News, Sunday edition, it still settles on my ears making me look like Papa Smurf goes west. Interesting mental image, huh, Rhoda?

Annnnnnd, Jerry, it absolutely drives our Chihuahua dog, Scooter, into a barking frenzy. Heather, I arose early, cleaned up the kitchen after a night of eating and snacking debauchery. My Saturday nights have evolved into this Mark, a far cry from drinking Lone Star beer, "Hey, another round here!" Dancing the Cotton Eye Joe, "Yee Haaaaa!" and dodging cowboy fights I so used to enjoy. "You son of a bitch, I catch you looking at my wife and touching my hat again...!"

"You call that a hat?"


Anyway, Carol, I made a pot of coffee this morning, put in a washing machine load of my clothes, and eyed the 5X Resistol hanging on the wall. Nope, still too large Pamela, but I decided to wear it around the house for a while. Casually and with no malicious intent, (You all know me!) I slowly strolled by the open bedroom door. Scooter, never missing an opportunity to indulge in a barking marathon leaped (leaped I say!) to his Mexican feet and sounded off. And as he happened to be curled up next to my wife, the effect was twofold. Rachel, I'll have you know that Scooter barks with a machine gun like staccato. My wife jumped straight up, looked wild-eyed around the bedroom, spotted me leering through the doorway. "Will you behave?"

"Okay! Okay!"

Laura, I was worried that something might be wrong in there I slowwwly peeked around the corner. Scooter was now on high alert Mary, and spotted the felt hat edging around the door and went ballistic. I retreated as threats arrowed my way. Unsure if there COULD be anything wrong in there, Sasquatch, I eased down to my knees and looked again into the room from a lower position. Scooter was ensconced under my wife's arm Teekay, but his beady black eyes were on the door. Again the frantic barking, thus ensued the bottle throwing incident, a round of curses and threats against my person. Women, huh?

Perhaps I should reflect upon my maturity Debra? Make an adjustment. But first ... another trip to see if everything is okay in the bedroom. One never knows, even Papa Smurf should check on his family. Ain't that right Sunny?



Randall 1-26-2003 13:29


Thanks for your post. It made me realize something. I do think of my dads new wife as a friend. I never acknowledged that before. You're post opened my eyes.


Your project sounds so wonderful. The beauty in the area that we live is hard to share with others who have never seen it. Better to show them. I am not doing much in a creative way. I try to give my papers for school a creative edge, but, you can only take that so far (grins). At the end of a school term I tend to dive into some writing and reading.


Rachel 1-26-2003 13:14

A quick hello to all (HELLO!!!) before I head to church...

JERRY: I greatly enjoyed the bad day jokes - and they worked! :-) I found a smile again after wrestling my muse all night, sleeping fitfully, choking a new beginning for my novel out of her before dawn arrived...! Now have to get it all on paper... hope this one does the trick. I'm so weary of editing beginnings... and so glad YOUR stories are getting dusted off and SENT IN! :-] Keep up the great work, Jerry!

And everyone, happy writing today!

I'm outta here...

Mel 1-26-2003 10:18

Carol - I have a TENS unit and use it regularly, guess we haven't talked an internal, but there has been mention of the pain pump, although I'm a ways from using that I think, but it's getting more popular, it's a pump that's implanted in the abdomen then a thin cathator is run to the area of the pain, and morphine or another pain killer is delivered directly to the site so much less is needed and there's a lot less side effects.

Problem is I don't tolerate morphine very well, it works great while I'm laying down but the second I raise my head I begin to loose lunch and keep at it till I am flat on my back again. This has been a problem since my first hospitalization and I've had to rely on demerol in hospital which didn't work half as well as morphine for me as far as pain killing that is. I just saw a documentry on pain seems they've discovered a super pain med that they can use in the pump that's derived from the venom of a poisones snail. Supposed to be like a hundred times more powerful then morphine with zero side effects, now if they can just get it out of testing, it's shown to work so well many who have been bedridden by pain are back to work.

If they could fix me up with something like that, I'd jump at it and going back to work would be wonderful, one can only sit at home so long before it starts getting to you, and I've been doing it for nearly ten years now (well scratch two years I spent in college). Actually it's helped a bunch to have the wife home with me most of the time, I had thought we would get on each other's nerves but that hasn't been the case. I guess we just love each other so much that it's been a treat to have this time together.

Jerry 1-26-2003 1:03

Sad day here in Lemmon, as eighty of our residents leave for Fort Carson Co. after being activated for the Iraq thing. Tonight as we drove to Church the lights were burning in City Hall as the City Fathers debate what to do with half our police force leaving, the lights were burning at the Fire Hall as the Firemen debated how to replace over half the Fire Department. In houses all over town wives and daughters, sons and fathers worry at what is to come.

War is not healthy for children and other living things.

I recall that from a poster that hung in the day room of our hooch in 1970 in Vietnam. It still rings true today.

I fear that Sadam won't be so easy to defeat this time, but I hope that isn't true.

I think one must wonder what would have happened in the 30's had George W. Bush been the Commander In Chief. Would the rest of the world stood aside as our troops entered Poland to protect it's borders from a German lightning attack? Would France have told us to wait? How many lives would have been saved had the US premptivly attacked Germany and forced Hitler from power?

Many now sound like Lloyd George, (it was Lloyd George wasn't it?) we will have piece in our time.

Yet I do have to wonder, if some, perhaps many of my neighbors are killed will it have been for peace?

Will it be, like the protesters said, for oil? If it is for oil, what's wrong with that, we need the oil don't we? I would surely be cold here without oil, it would be a long walk to church, to the grocery store, to mom's tomorrow for dinner and cards.

I guess we could go back to coal for heat, there's plenty of that in this country in fact in 73 when I first joined the PD, we lived in an old farm house about a mile out of town and we heated with coal. It was fine to heat with but that smell got into your cloths, you hair, your very skin and everyone you were near knew you heated with coal. That and the constant trips down to the basement to throw another lump on the fire. (We didn't have a stoker).

When I was a kid we lived in the house that my grand dad built in 1910. Back then they didn't have insulation so dad's sister tacked old newspapers to the walls before they put the wall board over it. We kids slept upstairs, and they had never finished the walls or ceiling up there, so at night we could look through the cracks and see the stars overhead. When it rained we put out pots and pans to catch the leaks and when it snowed at night while we slept, the snow landed on our quilts but we kept warm as we had plenty of blankets and old quilts that mom made at Lady's Aide meetings. We heated with coal, and it was cheap, dad would haul it from a coal mine north of our place. He also hauled for the neighbors to make enough money to pay for ours. It was hard work, I remember going with him on his coal runs, he had to shovel all the coal onto the truck and then shovel it back off when we delivered but it was very cheap and I guess that's why nobody seemed to mind not having insulation, and the frost on the windows fascinated my young mind. Tales of Jack Frost floated in my head as I saw the beauty of the frost, shapes of pine trees and diamonds abound in the heavy thick frost, so thick light barely penetrated when the sun shined. We didn't have any storm windows or plastic as we do now days so when you walked near the windows you could feel that cold air, the curtains moved day and night as the winds assaulted our home.

It was such a change when we finally abandoned the old farm house, dad sold the land and we moved to town where we had electricity, running water and gas heat. No more coal to carry in, or ashes to carry out to the ash pile. The houses we rented came with storm windows and Jack Frost was a thing of the past it. It was warm when we went to bed, warm when we got up, and no more quick (real quick in weather like this) to that little old shack out back, where be breeze tickled your rear while you did your business and looked at that Sears and Roebuck catalog that did double duty as entertainment and toilet paper (Don't use the shiny pages!)

Someone mentioned being three and not remembering much. Strangely a couple of weeks ago at mom's my sister brought over some copies of old letters that she and our other sister wrote to our cousin who was at that time in the TB sanatorium at Dunseth ND. The date on the letter show that I was but three at the time, but I do recall a trip we made up there to visit her. I remember the drive, the motel that we stayed in on the way, and sitting in the parking lot while the folks and her dad who rode along went up to visit. She was my favorite cousin and I understand, I was hers so when she learned I was out in the car, she opened her window on the third floor of the sanatorium and sat in the window so she could wave to me. I wasn't allowed up, of course being only three.

I guess since it was probably my first road trip and the nature of the mission is the reason I recall the trip, but I hadn't thought about it in years till those letters showed up. Our cousin saved all the letters she got while there and mailed copies back here (She lives out in Jack's neck of the woods).

Write ON!

Jerry 1-26-2003 0:47

Hi again!

Well, it looks like my end of the internet is finally working again. Emails went through tonight and I'm accessing this site again. Hope it stays that way.

Jerry - have any of your doctor's discussed an electronic inmplant to deaden the pain? The external ones are TENS units and there is an internal one called a PISCES unit. My husband had the PISCES installed back in '82 and had 13 years of being able to walk comfortably without his cane and only small doses of pain killers. I don't know for sure if they're still in use, or have been substituted with something else, but it could be an option. BTW - great jokes!!

Jack - I'm still working on my first fantasy novel. Actually this is the first novel I've been able to move along and stick with. I'm enjoying myself I know that much! I've also been painting some yards birds. Don't know how creative that actually is since I'm just following the patterns, but they do look nice sitting on posts all around the garden. I'll say a few prayers for you the day of your surgery that all goes well.

Rachel - I'm glad to hear about your friend Carol. That is indeed good news!

Hubby had his stitches removed from his skin grafting yesterday. Doctor reported everything looking very good and that the graft is taking nicely. Thank goodness! Now to just wait out the time till he gets his teeth. My arm is getting sore from making jello and pudding almost every day. hehehehe

Now, since the internet seems to be working for the time being, I'm going see what other mischief I can get into ..... Take care everyone!

Carol 1-25-2003 22:53

Viv - I'm having a bit of trouble with sending email. I'll keep trying to send Chap 12 to you though. Over, and over, and over .... hehhehe

Carol 1-25-2003 22:14

That was -22 Celcius!
I think that would be -378990 degrees Farenheit.... Chortle...

Anyone have any energy to spare? The flu ate all mine today. I'll see how I am in the morning. If I am beyond the scope of normal functioning, I will be back Monday.
Still, managed to get one last edit job done between throwing up from coughing too hard, and sleeping. The only cough syrup in the house is kids Buckley's. It is frightening how it knocks you on your bum! There should be a warning label on it!

Beware: Taking this medication and assuming it is not going to do anything but sooth your throat is an affliction known as 'stupidity'. Just because this is a kid's product does not mean it is incapable of inducing sleep in even the most hyper and/or stubborn individual. Do not drive Tonkas while taking this syrup, and for God's sake, don't lick the inside of the lid!

Heather 1-25-2003 21:55

Heather - Is that C or F? I guess when it gets down to -32 they are both the same, or I think that was what the old bank thermometer said, it used to flash both.

The Dr. said that he thought it a total waste of time and energy to put me through more testing etc. We've been working at pain control now for the past few months, trying different drugs and such, so he added another drug to my regime, it's an anti-depressive but works at blocking neurological pain too. Not that I'm depressed or anything but I take it to work on the pain receptors. Seems to be helping a bit.

He said the next step is the pain patch, sort of like the nicotine patch but it puts a narcotic pain killer straight into the blood stream through the skin. I go back in two weeks for another evaluation.

If the Dr. could give me a drug, or a new surgery, or anything for that matter and get me back to what I was in 1992, I'd be so happy but from what they tell me, I simply have to learn to live with it, and I guess that's what I've been doing for the last ten years.

The good thing is, though, I've begun to write in earnest again, it's like the new stuff has lifted a cloud that's been hanging over my creative side for the past year of so, I guess it was a side effect of the last stuff he had me on, so I'm glad of that.

I went over some of my old stuff, and the editor in me came to life. I ridded it of a couple of bucket full of comma's and sent it off to a magazine. Hope they like it.

Here's a bit that I got in my Email today and thought it was good for a chuckle:

Okay so maybe things aren't so bad. .

Subject: bad day's

There was a case in one hospital's Intensive Care ward where patients

always died in the same bed, on Sunday morning, at about 11 a.m, regardless of their medical condition.

This puzzled the doctors and some even thought that it had something to do with the supernatural. No one could solve the mystery... as to why the deaths occurred around 11 a.m. on Sundays.

So a World-Wide team of experts was assembled to investigate the cause of the incidents.

The next Sunday morning, a few minutes before 11 a.m., all
doctors and nurses nervously wait outside the ward to see for themselves what the terrible phenomenon was all about.

Some were holding wooden crosses, prayer books and other holy objects to ward off the evil spirits.

Just when the clock struck 11... Pookie Johnson, The part-time Sunday sweeper, entered the ward and unplugged the life support system so that he could use the vacuum cleaner.

Having a Bad Day?

The average cost of rehabilitating a seal after the Exxon
Valdez oil spill in Alaska was $80,000. At a special ceremony, two of the most expensively saved animals were being released back into the wild amid cheers and applause from onlookers. A minute later, in full view, a killer
whale ate them both.

Still think you are having a bad day?

A woman came home to find her husband in the kitchen shaking frantically, almost in a dancing frenzy, with some kind of wire running from his waist towards the electric kettle.

Intending to jolt him away from the deadly current, she whacked him with a handy plank of wood, breaking his arm in two places. Up to that moment, he had been happily listening to his Walkman.

STILL think you're having a bad day?

Two animal rights protesters were protesting at the cruelty of sending pigs to a slaughterhouse in Bonn, Germany. Suddenly, all two thousand pigs broke loose and escaped through a broken fence, stampeding madly. The two hopeless protesters were trampled to death.

What?! STILL having a bad day?

Iraqi terrorist Khay Rahnajet didn't pay enough postage on a letter bomb.

It came back with "return to sender" stamped on it. Forgetting it was the bomb; he opened it and was blown to bits.

There now, feeling better ?

Jerry 1-25-2003 18:58

p.s. I will likely think about archiving sometime soon so I can clean up the html snafus and the long semi out of place posting about the other forums. Oh, well. Talk with everyone soon. Off to hopefully doing the first dive in about two and a half weeks.

1-25-2003 16:36

Rachel: Thanks for the kind words. Heard on the radio that the entire internet got swamped by a usage attack that may explain what was going on. I will keep everyone posted as I am able to handle things here. Take care everyone.

Also, was wondering what everyone was working on creatively. I am currently working on a DVD that will include video from approximately 15 sites in the western Washington area, mainly Puget Sound. This includes doing the writing about each of the site, the pictures, the video and editing it all together and then learning the skills to burn a usable DVD copy, well, actually DVD-R. I also have hopes to actually get back to some fiction writing, but we will see. Hope others are having a creative new year as well.

Jack 1-25-2003 16:34

Hi Jack,

Hope that all goes well for you. You'll be back at everything in not time. Congrats on the Lbs. You mentioned server issues. That seems to be the name of the game. I am taking three courses on-line this semester. I haven't been able to get into the system since last night. It is tickin me off (grrrrr)! With on-line work you need to keep on top of it or you are lost. At least that is my experience.

Hugs to you and Fran.


Carol is doing well. She is an amazing woman. I hope that this will be her last bout of cancer.


Rachel 1-25-2003 11:46

Not sure what happened to Server seems to be down, so this explains why the drop down menus are creating error messages. Well, saw the surgeon yesterday. I go in February 5th for a one day surgery. In and out in probably four to five hours and then home for pain meds and waiting to heal. Crossed fingers that everything goes well and they do not have to do anything beyond the laproscopic (sp?) technique. As it happens, the surgeon is a diver and was sympathetic with my worrying about how long I would be down. He left it up to me, saying as little as two weeks or up to four weeks after surgery. Main thing being how well the abdominal muscles can handle the weight of the scuba gear. We will see. Actually, one item about all of this. Since the gall bladder attack I have lost seven pounds. Seem to be plateauing again. But that is somewhat on the positive side :-). Of course, my rapid weight loss is probably what caused the gall bladder problems in the first place. At any rate, hope all are well. I have been somewhat busy of late. Talk with you soon.

Jack 1-25-2003 2:13

RHODA -- I liked Texas as well. Houston for two years, mostly on the North Shore of the Ship Channel. Beaumont for two years, North, South and Center of town. Almost bought a house in Old Town.

Took a pickup and a sleeping bag on a trip from Beaumont to the Grand Canyon. Slept in quite a few parks along I-10 and I-20

Dumas. How do they pronounce it there? More than one Houstonian pronounced "dumb-ass." But then, they had an "-ass" word for Cajuns, too.

Born and mostly grew up in Lockport, NY. Spent my tenth year in Phoenix. Left for Malibu at 19. Was an itinerant hippy typewriter mechanic for four years in little towns outside of Cleveland, Atlanta, Buffalo, Albany, Detroit and New Orleans. The Air Force had me in Biloxi and Indianapolis. (I just missed 'opportunities' to serve in Guam, Minot, and Thule).

Thule (pronounced TOO-lee) is an ancient word that means "the end of the earth" in Greenland.

Seems like I've left out someplace. Hmm. Maybe the current abode in Binghamton, NY.

Travel is broadening, but not like french fries.

Mark 1-24-2003 23:09

PAMELA -- I didn't ruin it -- just postponed it until Thursday. The chunk of finger stuck to the side of the knife, so I was able to get rid of it. I had just started to chop the first green pepper, and nothing got messed up except for my finger and my pride. I finished the dish yesterday evening and we had it for supper. It was yummy, if I do say so!

I just spent an interesting couple of hours trying to reload WIN98 on this beast of a computer. I went through all the fun stuff -- fdisk, format, load WIN98, etc etc, and could not for the life of me load the drivers for my new LCD monitor or the SONY CD-RW drive I've been using for the last year+. Finally got tired of it, shut down, swapped the old drive back in and here I am. It's a pain right in the whatever! I hate computers!

SASQUATCH -- what do you use for a computer out there in the big woods? :-)

howard 1-24-2003 22:54

How can you tell when it's winter in southern California? The "Marlboro Man" on the billboards is wearing a heavy coat. Oops, guess that joke may be out of date, do they even allow ciggie ads there now? I still don't understand how they can ban a product that is legal, seems there's a violation of someone's rights in there somewhere (I know it was a huge blow to the restaurant industry). Don't mean to get political, I notice Rhoda has sworn off getting involved in politics, which IS easier on the mind and mental well-being. RHODA, I'm sure you know more about the Tulsa area than I do, having left when I was three. I was born at a hospital in Tulsa but we actually lived in Skaitook (am I spelling that right?), I guess it's a smaller town nearby. Thanks for liking my character's names, CAROL, I did know a boy named Nova, which I always thought was a cool name. My moving around, and lots of unusual experiences, certainly help with my writing, as I'm sure it does with all of you creative people. Even when we don't write directly about our lives, I guess everything has an influence on us. I mentioned being in jail in Brownsville, well, I did go on to prison (for less than an ounce of pot but hey, it was the 60's) and while there I went crazy, which was a really interesting thing. Now my hapless heroine Sunny will be having some experiences which she cannot tell whether they are real or if she is going nuts, so my own trip into psycho-land will be a big help. Maybe you guys can keep an eye on me and be sure I don't get too far into the craziness (ha ha, ho ho, hee hee hee.....!) LAURA, good luck on your story, we are all rooting for you! HEATHER, I meant to mention that I looked at your miniature paintings and really liked them a lot, sorry I can't afford to buy anything but I'm financially challenged at the moment. RANDALL, I've been back through some old postings and have enjoyed two more stories of yours, Red Britches and the supernatural Christmas and Catalina the longhorn steer, you are quite the storyteller (I especially liked your metaphor that your explanations to your wife went over like a screen door on a submarine -- good one!).

Pamela 1-24-2003 21:56

Hi All :)

Just a quick hello to all despite the shivering. My little office was originally a front porch before someone walled it in. Unfortunely, they neglected insulation and heaters and my feet are freezing! Oh, well, a heat wave of high 20's is forecasted for Tues.

Hubby had his bandage removed from his thumb today and the skin grafting seems to have taken. Howard - I'll make sure hubby don't order those knives. One round of ER and blood is enough!

Viv -- I'll send on what I have of Pommes. Oh, what a mess a computer crash can do to one! I don't have anything to send you this week of my own writing. I'm still trying to make the decisions on some of those questions we discussed. I got a partial scene written in long-hand the other night, but haven't added it to the computer yet.

Laura - yes, it is always that nerve-wracking and that's what you get for living in such warm, sunny weather and teasing all the rest of us! hehehehe If I remember right - the longer it takes, the more likely you are to receive an acceptance, if that helps ease the nerves a little. {{hug}}

Pamela - cool names! And I'm guessing all your moving around is helping that story of yours move along too!

Heather -- did you get Grandma Rose ok? I'll keep checking email for any notes you have on revisions.

Carol 1-24-2003 19:34

Laura, you can take your 70 degrees and do you know what with it. ;-) New Jersey is up to 9 now.
And yes, it's always that nerve-wracking. I think I had over 50 rejections for my first book, and it wound up being a Book-Of-The-Month Club alternate main selection. And I went through it again with my second (which I'm writing now). I used to tell myself that I had to go through *x* number of rejections before I would get an acceptance, and it helped. A little. But the process is what it is. Anyway, we're rooting for you, and it does help having support. Keep us posted!

Sunny 1-24-2003 19:30

Well, I can tell I have a story out, I keep checking the mail for a reply, even a rejection would tell me someone has seen it. Arrrrgh, is it always this nerve wracking? And just a little neener neener to those of you in snow states, I'm from CA, and it is seventy degrees and sunny.

Laura 1-24-2003 18:21


I just moved from the Tulsa area over six months ago. I lived in Owasso for two years. Before that I lived two years in Perryton, Texas. When I arrived on the Notebook back in 1996, I was living in Farmington, New Mexico (that was the 2nd time I lived there). I have lived several places in Texas. Lets see, there was Waco, then Houston, and then Dumas. I was born in Kentucky, grew up in Indiana and from ages 3 to 7 lived in Monroe, Louisiana. Now I am back in Louisiana. It seems you and I have been in some of the same places. Actually I liked Texas.

So where am I from? People down here ask me that all the time and it takes a long time to answer the question.

The weather here has been unseasonably cold. We have freeze warnings for the second night in a row. Actually it was nice today when the sun came out and the wind stopped blowing. It got up to a balmy 41 degrees. It supposed to be a bit warmer tomorrow.

Have a great week-end, everyone.

Rhoda 1-24-2003 17:42

Howdy from Pamela,
Apologies for the long double-posting, guess I didn't read far enough in the Dummies book, thanks for assurances others have done same. SUNNY, I am originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma but only lived there until I was 3, then on to Chicago up to age 8, then down to Texas (there was quite a language barrier moving from up there to down there, I talked so fast they could hardly understand me and they used words I'd never heard of). One of the characters in the book I'm working on now is named Sunny, short for Sunshine, her parents were hippies, siblings named Stone, Rainbow and Nova. JERRY, I wasn't offended by your not answering my notes right away or even at all, this site is so busy there's a lot going on. Thanks much for all your info on police dept. heirarchies, I can see that they are different for different size forces. I glean a lot from books, many of which are written by former cops (is that word offensive?) so I assume they're correct but they are different from each other; sometimes the lieutenants stay in the office and runs things, other times they are out doing the detecting, etc. My fictional town is imaginary but about the size of my own so I will probably call my local dept. and ask for help there. Sounds like you've had quite an interesting career. I had a feeling you would like the old country singers too. Good luck with the doc tomorrow, I hope he decides you are rehabilitable! Have you thought about acupuncture for your back? HOWARD, shame on you for ruining a good pasta primavera. No really, I hope your finger is okay, I only laugh because your wife and the people at the ER did too. Those things on TV really look handy, I want that pot with a colander top. It was minus 2 degrees here too and my sympathies lie with those of you dealing with 20 below but hey, this is the SOUTH already! I guess I can handle it, it's supposed to be back into our normal winter 40's in a few days. JACK, how is your gall bladder doing? RANDALL, you are so right that we need to stop these maniacs and JERRY you are right that we don't know everything the president knows but it is all just very sad and it's too bad the world couldn't listen to a bunch of kids chanting "make love not war" thirty years ago. I question whether we are really the most highly developed animals since no others have such a propensity for destruction. When the dolphins are talking, maybe they are laughing at us stupid humans and think they have taught us tricks like feeding them.

Pamela 1-24-2003 15:51

Negative 2? Whoa, it's -22 here! Yeah, I'm complaining!
At least there's some sunshine! (Perfect for shining into your eyes so you can't see with a frozen windshield....but it is nice our car's actually starting now.)
Oooops! So easy to be pessimistic.

How about, "It's so lovely out in the sunshine, with all the ice on the trees glittering....even though with the frigid weather my undies stay bunched much longer..."

Heather 1-24-2003 11:15

SASQUATCH! -- It's good to see you here again as well! It's cold here today, too, around -2. Too cold for me. How do you stand it?

JERRY -- Maybe the kids in your town should use Tony Blair's Pepsodent -- "You'll wonder where the yellow went..."

howard 1-24-2003 8:03

Thanks, Jerry!
Got another one in the manila envelope!

...and she's off!

Heather 1-24-2003 1:46

Jerry - don't have your email on hand, can you send me an email and I'll have it from there? I have 'Stubborn' in final copy status and will send it for your approval! It is now printed and in with the other final copies of stories for P*. It feels really good to have an envelope started, though it is still on the thin side tonight.
Will fatten it up tomorrow and Saturday, and want to have it ready for Monday morning. I think I've got a touch of the flu that my husband's had all week (though it's not a serious flu, it's annoying to have a scratchy throat and a dry cough and headache! But I will press onward with Phantasium because I've got Ron waiting for the manuscript. Nothing like a little expectation to get a fire lit under my butt!
Good thing I have lots of printer ink...knock on plastic.

T.O.M., I missed your post somehow as well - good to see you, Americo, and sasquatch all back posting again!

Pamela - there's no method for deleting the second of a double post once it's up (unless Jack erases it), but don't worry, we all double post on occasion! I'll probably do it with this one...:oP

Heather 1-24-2003 0:30

Debra - I have that one posted on my first web page, the link is below. It is a very old page and about 99 percent of the data is wrong the links to other pages are all dead but the story is still there, well both that were published in Shorelines are still there if you want to read them again.

Teekay - sorry to hear of the deaths, the fires look terrible on TV. At least when we have them here the population is so spares that it's usually just grass, fences and a few jack rabbits that get burned, the prairie fires anyhow.

Glad your safe anyway. Droughts are bad, we've been in one now for the past four years, my lawn looked nearly bare when the snow fell this winter and we haven't had enough snow yet to do much good next spring. I only hope we get enough to fill my well so I can water this spring, it was running out after only an hour or so last year. The city water here is of such poor quality that those who water with it usually get a sort of yellow lawn even in good years. Makes one wonder what our innards look like after a lifetime of drinking the stuff.

The new water lines will be in this summer (well they're supposed to be) bringing us wonderful clear water pumped from Lake Sakakawea. Many of the nearby towns have it already and that water tastes so much better, they say that it grows great lawns too if you can afford to use it, it is a bit more expensive then what we have now but much more pure.

You can tell the kids who grow up here as their teeth are all yellow, the result of too much fluoride in the water, no need to add any here in fact they could make some bucks just distilling this water and selling the crap.

But I ramble on about things that nobody needs to know about anyhow, is this part of aging??? Could be.

Tomorrow is the day I see my Dr for testing to see if I can be rehabed again, I'll be glad to get that over for another year (I hope).

Jerry My Old Page 1-23-2003 23:54

greetings from the cold places humans persons. i sasquatch have returned from Yeti gathering to honor cousin who worked in movie monsters inc and is now a very big pain but is still cousin. he asks if want his name written for keepsake. ha! has no pen. can not write as well. then wants 3 or 4 zanggar for! dumb! zanggar like all tibet moneys not even safe to have! was funny in movie although.

i sasquatch have very much sorrow for many things in humans persons world this day. too much beating of drum, and many heart hurtings. donkey man in babylon is no nebuchadnezzar! must go away or be made to go away before hurting many more humans persons. Yeti see evil in him. see others sleep. see others who do not care. see others point at ones who want to make better, but only hope they will do that for good and not selfish. i must go.

sasquatch 1-23-2003 21:59


I was an impressionable one-year old at the time. ;-)
But I loved the Fifties, and thanks so much for bringing them back again in that site!

Sunny 1-23-2003 19:59

All this political discussion! But I am not taking the bait! No way. My PMS is over and past for the month. I feel loving, gentle, magnanimous, blessed, and at peace with the whole world. I am not going to spoil my lovely mood by thinking about that mess overseas.

I heard the Louisiana Symphony practice today and had the pleasure of hearing a very special soloist--a fourteen year old boy by the name of Julian Bliss. He played his clarinet so beautifully, it almost made me cry. He is my daughter's age, and he plays perfectly. I had not been to the Symphony for seventeen or eighteen years. I forgot what I was missing. I must go back often and drag the children with me.


Nice to hear from you again. Enjoyed your post, especially the part about Tony Blair's Pepsodent smile. The description seems to fit him.

Rhoda 1-23-2003 19:40

That 50s site is back up -- neat one! The song is "Sleepwalk" by Santo and Johnny. I'll never forget the first time I heard that one. It was instant captivation. Okay, so I was an impressionable teen, driving a '52 Nash Ambassador down Valley street. Butch liked it too.
Oh well...

howard 1-23-2003 18:12

Oooops, sorry Tina! Missed your post there. So far I don't need anything, but did you get my last revision of 'Daniel', and did you approve of what I edited out?
Just need to know if you approve of the changes and that will take care of it; Sandra and Lily is fine as is I am pretty certain. If there are any changes once I get to it again, I'll email you!
Thanks, Tina - it's been a pleasure working with you, (and everyone who worked with me on Phantasium!)
Still have work to do......
but getting there slowly.


EDDIE: My heart still goes out to you. May you and Anita get closer so that you don't feel so alone. Although, I'm certain from how you have spoken of your wife that you two are already very close. That is what will be saving grace for the both of you - having each other.

Heather 1-23-2003 17:05

Oh, that is awful, Teek - no, not the order you mentioned things in! The burned houses and the four who died. Seems like droughts are hitting all over the world, wherever it's summer. Not good.

Progress is progress: I have the first three Phantasium stories printed with pagenumbering in the envelope to mail to Ronsdale Press! I will also put in our publishing credits, with the list of where we are all from, etc., after my very short 'query' letter - I won't need much of one considering Mr. Hatch has already requested the manuscript. Actually, more than a query letter it will be a bit of an intro to us, the collection and a thank you for reading. Then will follow either my intro from the project, or Mark's - haven't decided which to place first. They are both going to be in there. Then, of course, the title page and then, page one begins with Teek's 'One Red Shoe'.
The second mss is Howard's 'Aunt Aggie' and third is Jerry's 'Stubborn'. Next is my 'Waiting Room' and fifth is Christi's 'Stranger Than Fiction' or 'Death is a Redhead'.
The preliminary list I posted a while back is still what I'm working from, but on occasion I may switch which story I present first by a particular author. I'd like to move Tina's first story up a bit closer to the beginning of the collection, and Mary's as well.
Of course, can't have them all in the first ten slots!
Most of the stories simply need pagenumbering and then a quick check-printing to make sure there aren't any typos/etc., but this is slow going because I'm bloody picky!
Jerry, I will have to send you back 'Stubborn' to approve of the changes I made - not too many, but I filled in two characters a tad more for you. :oD
I'll get that to you tonight, but want to give it one more reading to make sure I don't need to do one more change.
So...that is where we stand as of today on Phantasium.
I'm nervous!!!!

Back later!

Heather 1-23-2003 16:56



Home sick ... again!

FYI ... least some of us forget


At Muhammadiyat - Mar 1988, BACILLUS SUBTILIS tested with a 250-gauge bomb (cap. 65 liters)
Al Muhammadiyat - Mar 1988, BOTULINUM TOXIN tested with a 250-gauge bomb (cap. 65 liters)
Al Muhammadiyat – Nov 1989, BACILLUS SUBTILIS tested with a 122mm rocket (cap. 8 liters)
Al Muhammadiyat – Nov 1989, BOTULINUM TOXIN tested with a 122mm rocket (cap. 8 liters)
Al Muhammadiyat – Nov 1989, AFLATOXIN TESTED with a122mm rocket (cap. 8 liters)
Khan Bani Saad – Aug 1988, BACILLUS SUBTILIS aerosol generator tested by a Mi-2 helicopter with modified agricultural spray equipment.
Al Muhammadiyat – Dec 1989, BACILLUS SUBTILIS tested with a R-400 bomb (cap. 85 liters)
Al Muhammadiyat – Nov 1989, BOTULINUM TOXIN tested with a R-400 bomb (cap. 85 liters)
Al Muhammadiyat – Nov 1989, AFLATOXIN tested with a R-400 bomb (cap. 85 liters)
Jurf al-Sakr Firing Range – Sep 1989, RICIN tested with a 155mm artillery shell (cap. 3 liters)
Abu Obeydi Airfield – Dec 1990, WATERMODIFIED (sic?) tested by a Mirage F1 drop-tank (cap. 2,200 liters)
Abu Obeydi Airfield – Dec 1990, WATER/POTASSIUM PERMANGANATE tested with a modified Mirage F1 drop-tank (cap. 2,200 liters)
Abu Obeydi Airfield – Jan 1991, WATER/GLYCERINE tested with a modified Mirage F1 drop-tank (cap. 2,200 liters)
Abu Obeydi Airfield – Jan 1991, BACILLUS SUBTILIS/GLYCERINE tested with a modified Mirage F1 drop-tank (cap. 2,200 liters)

"Iraq admitted producing thousands of liters of the BW agents anthrax, botulinum toxin, (which paralyzes respiratory muscles and can be fatal within 24 to 36 hours), and aflatoxin, (a potent carcinogen that can attack the liver, killing years after ingestion),and preparing BW-filled Scud-variant missile warheads, aerial bombs, and aircraft spray tanks before the Gulf war."


About Aug 1983 at Hajj Umran, Mustard gas killed "fewer than 100" Iranians/Kurds
About Oct/Nov1983 at Panjwin, Mustard gas killed 3,000 Iranian/Kurds
About Feb/Mar1984 at Majnoon Island, Mustard gas killed 2,500 Iranians
About Mar 1984 at al-Basrah, Tabun killed 50 to 100 Iranians
About Mar 1985 at Hawizah Marsh, Mustard/Tabun killed 3,000 Iranians
About Feb 1986 at al-Faw, Mustard/Tabun killed 8,000 to 10,000 Iranians
About Dec 1986 at Umm ar Rasas, Mustard gas killed "Thousands" Iranians
About Apr 1987 at al-Basrah, Mustard/Tabun killed 5,000 Iranians
About Oct 1987 at Sumar/Mehran, Mustard/nerve agents killed 3,000 Iranians
About Mar 1988 at Halabjah, Mustard/nerve agents killed "Hundreds" Iranians/Kurds

So ... do we really need more time to see if this guy is dangerous?


1-23-2003 16:49

Would you believe it, I corrected the spelling of also in my last post. It didn't look quite right the first time. :-D

Teekay - yes, again. 1-23-2003 16:04

JERRY: 4 people aslo died. I feel a bit horrible, mentioning the houses and not them.

Teekay 1-23-2003 16:03

JERRY: There are fires dotted all round N.S.W, but I'm thinking the ones you might be speaking of are the Canberra fires. Canberra is about 3, maybe 4 hours drive away (depends who's driving and if you take the highway or the dirt roads) from here.
They have lost a little over 400 houses!!! What a shocker.
The weather has been totally foul. I can't remember when we last had a hotter summer, and the drought hasn't helped any either.

HOWARD: ~shudder~ & (((((((((((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))
I also noticed how you minimised answering the question :-D

Teekay 1-23-2003 15:49


I'm as much for peace as the next guy, but I think, like anything precious, it's something which we may be called upon to to fight for.

Lucky the ones who can indulge the limited thinking of their hearts, but must they burden others who think also with their minds.

Teekay 1-23-2003 15:19

Shucks! THey ran out of bandwidth! O well, try it again in a few days.

howard 1-23-2003 14:11

Anyone doing research into the 50s might want to check this page:

Check out

(it's a tad slow, and there's music )

howard 1-23-2003 14:10


Didn't you post The Wall here once? I think I remember that one. Wasn't it about a soldier remembering what happened while looking at the wall?

I liked it if that was it. Please post it again sometime.

Debra 1-23-2003 13:36

Heather - Here's the dates:

Here is my brief published history:

Just a Bottle of Tiger Piss - Wilmington Blues (Short Story Fiction) Nov/Dec 2002

The Wall - Shorelines (Essay) 1995 (this magazine is published once a year)

The First Call - Shorelines (Short Story Non-Fiction) 1995 (this magazine is published once a year)

The Tree - Writers Coffee House (Poem) May 2000

Jerry 1-23-2003 13:18

Got this from my sister, thought it might lighten things up a bit.


Woman: Is there a problem, Officer?
Officer: Ma'am, you were speeding.
Woman: Oh, I see.
Officer: Can I see your license please?
Woman: I'd give it to you but I don't have one.
Officer: Don't have one?
Woman: Lost it 4 times for drunk driving.
Officer: I see...Can I see your vehicle registration papers please.
Woman: I can't do that.
Officer: Why not?
Woman: I stole this car.
Officer: Stole it?
Woman: Yes, and I killed and hacked up the owner.
Officer: You what?
Woman: His body parts are in plastic bags in the trunk if you want to see. The Officer looks at the woman and slowly backs away to his car and calls for back up. Within minutes 5 police cars circle the car. A senior officer slowly approaches the car, clasping his half drawn gun.
Officer 2: Ma'am, could you step out of your vehicle please! The woman steps out of her vehicle.
Woman: Is there a problem sir?
Officer 2: One of my officers told me that you have stolen this car and murdered the owner.
Woman: Murdered the owner?
Officer 2: Yes, could you please open the trunk of your car. The woman opens the trunk, revealing nothing but an empty trunk.
Officer 2: Is this your car, ma'am?
Woman: Yes, here are the registration papers. The officer is quite stunned.
Officer 2: One of my officers claims that you do not have a driving license. The woman digs into her handbag and pulls out a clutch purse and hands it to the officer. The officer snaps opens the clutch purse and examines the license. He looks quite puzzled.
Officer 2: Thank you ma'am, one of my officers told me you didn't have a license, that you stole this car, and that you murdered and hacked up the owner.
Woman: 'Betcha the lying bastard told you I was speeding, too.

Howard - I went to that comedy site too, got a good chuckle thanks.

Jerry 1-23-2003 13:06

HOWARD: I went to that computer humor site you linked to, and even someone who has never taken a single screw off the back of their hard drive could find humor in those shots. My favorite one is the duct-tape repair special, and the two Visa cards in the floppy drive. Very rich. Thanks for posting that! ;-)

Mary 1-23-2003 9:51

Does anyone know how I would get an address for the Baha Men. They sang Who Let the Dogs Out. I would like to send it to them. It doesn't have anything to do with dogs, but still is a sequel.

It's called "Who Cut The Tags Off"

I just sent all my poems including this one to the Library of Congress.

It's really liberating to be able to send them to anyone who might be able to do something with it without worring about crooks.

Debra 1-23-2003 9:11

Pamela - I'm not being unfriendly, just didn't get that far down reading till now.

Ya, driving on ice is an experience, I've done it so long while I was working that it comes second nature to me, but I still get a thrill once in awhile when I'm not paying good enough attention.

The trick to driving on ice is the judicious use of the shifting lever. When you need to stop on ice slip the shift lever into neutral, then light on the brake does the job, if you have an automatic. It's easier with a standard transmission, simply use the clutch first then light on the brake.

Oh and I do love the old classic country Hank Williams and that bunch, also Marty Robbins and his El Paso. My daughter was born in El Paso so she is crazy about that song even though she can't remember the city at all as we moved when she was three years old. Also Hank Thompson, Little Jimmy Dickens (Got to see him live at a 4th of July concert in Faith SD when I was young) Hank Snow, Tex Ritter and of course Johnny Cash. Kazaa has been so good at letting me find all my old favorites, and I've a ton of CD's that I've burned from the downloads.

My eldest sister married a truck driver when I was young so I got into Truck Driving songs too, the marriage didn't last as is the case with many truckers, but the music stayed with me anyhow.

When I went to Vietnam I picked up on Rock, (Country was rare indeed). When I got home my music taste moved to CCR, 3 Dog Night, Eric Burton and the Animals (WE GOTTA GET OUT OF THIS PLACE!), Crosby Stills Nash and Young, and of course the Beetles were always on the top of my list from the first time I heard "I wanna hold your hand" on my sister's Deca record player. I also listened to Barry Sadler even before I joined the army, and when in training, "The Wichita Lineman" was the top of all our lists as we trained as Field Wiremen and pole climbing was one part of our training.

Now when I want to relax, I still enjoy a bit of classical music and I have a few CD's (that I actually bought) filled with the wonderful music by the masters.

Jerry 1-23-2003 1:00

Oh got so wrapped up in conversation, I forgot to mention that it is COLD here tonight. The mercury is down to -20F with a wind, the TV says the wind chill is around -60 right now so it's a good time to remain indoors.

The gas man was here today and fill our tank. Funny how gas prices work, the fill we got this fall was .65 a gallon today's fill was 1.00 a gallon so the bill was a bit higher then I expected. I was glad he showed anyhow tonight would be a hell of a time to run out of propane.

Teekay - how close are you to the big fires we've been seeing reported on TV of late?

Jerry 1-23-2003 0:37

Americo - good to see you amongst us again, I knew you were lurking. As far as our President - what Randall said.

I trust the man, he knows a whole lot more then I do about what Sadam is doing, and to release that information to the world would put some very good very brave men's lives in danger. One has to understand that Mr. Bush had revived the CIA, he's reinvented covert action and to broadcast all he knows would simply be stupid, and dangerous.

I don't like to see a war, but it will come and very soon if the activation of all the Reserves and National Guard is any sign. Even here in the buffalo commons our men are marching off to war, our little Guard unit, one I was once a member of has been activated, many of my friends and relatives are on their way to a quick training on how to live in the "sand box" then off to the mid-east.

Police Departments are all a bit different and they each have their own hierarchy structure. One can be a Sergeant and never be a detective, and one can be a detective and never a sergeant, depending on where you are assigned in the Department. You see there is a hierarchy in the patrol division that begins with the inspector to the captain the lieutenant, then the sergeant, and the officer. It is the same in the detective division, there can be a detective second grade, first grade, Sgt. and so forth. It is much like the military in that aspect.

The small department's I worked on had a very small hierarchy, I served as an officer, then moved to a different town where I was hired as the Sgt. of the force, then when the Chief (my immediate supervisor) was fired, I got his job. The whole department consisted of A Chief of Police, A sergeant (assistant Chief in many departments) and two more full time officers as well as four part time officers.

Another Department I worked in consisted of the Sheriff (acting as the Chief of Police for the city, elected as the Sheriff of the County) and three full time officers of which I was one, and a couple of part time officers. When that Sheriff lost his office in an election, I was promoted to Chief of Police, and the police department and the Sheriffs office separated. When I left that Department, it again went under the Sheriffs department as the City didn't feel any of the officers left were qualified to be Chief and the new Sheriff had been in office long enough to get things going well for the County and felt comfortable supervising the Police Department again. A while later, the Sheriff's department completely absorbed the PD, and now the Sheriff and his six deputies patrol both the two cities in the county and the rest of the county as well. This is a much more efficient method of law enforcement in my opinion, but many feel that the city has lost much of it's control over what goes on in their community.

In my departments, (the ones I ran) all officers served as both patrol officers as well as investigators. I had a rule that when a major crime was committed, either I or my assistant were to be notified immediately and usually we came in to supervise the investigation. When a crime looked to be something we were not prepared to investigate we could call in the State Criminal Investigation Division and they would send one of their detective's to assist us with the investigation.

The first Department that I was the Chief of was in the South West corner of North Dakota in the middle of the Oil Fields of North Dakota during it's boom so we saw nearly every crime there is on the books on a regular basis. We were a small town but the largest for nearly a hundred miles around so I served as a Special Deputy for two counties, the one where our city was as well as a neighboring county since their Sheriff had to come twenty miles south then fifteen miles west to get to the largest small town in his county. I would get calls from him regularly requesting that I respond to that small town and assist their only police officer (who also served as the Street Department, Water Department and dog catcher) with major crimes that occurred there (it was a strange little town filled with strange people who did some very unusual things, a very interesting place where police radio's failed to work at all due to mineral deposits in the buttes that circled the small village.)

I have considered writing some police related stories, in fact I have several that I posted in our old workbook when it was up and running and had a good start on a terrorist/militia book but most of it is now history. Just as well it wasn't going where I wanted it to go anyhow.

Jerry 1-23-2003 0:27

You are my hero!!!! Wonderful speech. Americo usually tends to make me feel patriotic and I haven't even gotten down to his entry yet.

Rosemary 1-22-2003 22:46

RANDALL -- Hear! Hear! Well said!

I'm not in a good mood tonight. Embarassed, sore, a bit ticked at Chef Tony, even though it's not really his fault.
I posted this to Teekay a few minutes ago, but will share it here as well, because I really think it's funny, even if it does hurt...
She asked about the writing...

"...Well, the writing is going okay, albeit slow, but the typing just suffered a setback. This evening I was fixing supper, and trying out the new set of Miracle Knives that I ordered from Chef Tony on the TV. They are the sharpest, toughest, handiest knives on the planet, and as I was needing a new set anyway, and the "Rock'n'Chop" heavy duty chopping blade looked to be just what I needed for cutting up meat and veggies for the yummie dishes I make, I ordered a set. Only $39.95! Plus medical costs accrued when spoiling a perfectly good (vegetarian) Pasta PrimaVera by adding a sizeable chunk (removed by said Rock'n'Chop) of one's left index finger.
It just would not stop bleeding! So after my wife got home (and stopped laughing) she took me to the ER and (after more chuckles -- even outright guffaws) they fixed me up and sent me packing.
The PA gave me a tetanus booster and dressed the finger, and asked if it hurt. When I said yes, she snorted again, and said "Wait ''til morning!"
I think I'll write an essay on the care and compassion one finds in our houses of healing...

AMERICO -- Welcome back! It's good to see you here again.

howard 1-22-2003 22:18


Hello everyone...


Well ... BTW ... welcome back Americo, and Jon and Pussy ... the problem with being critical of America and Americans in general, their presidents in particular, administration, military officers, et al. It all comes down to trust and the learning curve. Whom should you trust? Are lessons learned? To what degree? Disregarded? A world leader who invaded other nations, tortured and kill their people? Who jailed and executed many innocent people, his own included, without due process ... a maniac by all accounts? A godless man who controlled his own people by torture, execution, propaganda, exploited technological advances in war and weaponry for conquest? Looted captured museums for art, banks for gold, rounded up citizens at random, forcing them into slave labor camps for gross medical experimentation by "respectable doctors?" This despot initiated war, invaded neighbors on two fronts? Fought one war for conquest, one war for oil, thumbed his nose at the world, indeed taunted world governments who pleaded for peace? Disregarded peace treaties signed in his name, in the name of his country, never intending to honor anything he ever agreed too?

Wow! Americo ... thank God the European nations had America, British and Canadian boys on their side. What a relief, eh? No telling what Adolph Hitler would have done to Europe had American and English boys not fought and died to save their inept ass. Good job boys, you say! As you lay in bed tonight ... listen for the sound of German SS soldiers marching through Europe rounding up Jews for local neighborhood crematoriums. (No waiting. Line forms here. Women and children first.) Hear any? It's not because of what the Europeans accomplished. You see, American and British and Canadian men and women, fighting, dying, were not on their own homeland, fighting terror ... oh, no. But within the land of Europe ... to pull their fat out of the fire because they couldn't.

God Bless President Bush ... I hope he captures that Iraqi fruitcake ... exiles him to Europe with a division of his Republican guards ... That way the learning curve on murderous dictators who sponsor world wide terror will surely be evident to everybody ... even incompetent Europeans who choose to spend their life with heads in the sand.


Randall 1-22-2003 21:42

Pamela, the double posting got me too, until i realized that sometimes what I write gets posted immediately, and sometimes it takes a little awhile. In other words, if you don't see it right away, it will still get there. Question for you: where are you from, originally? Just curious. :-)

Sunny 1-22-2003 20:36

Sorry I posted that twice, don't know how to undo it, someone knowledgeable please delete one or tell me how to do it from here.

Pamela 1-22-2003 17:28

Greetings from Pamela,
Boy, this sure is a busy site, I see the return of some folks I hadn't met yet, The Old Man and Americo. EDDIE, I'm so glad you felt like talking about Michael, what a wonderful relationship you had with him. I know it makes you miss him all the more but also remember how blessed you were to be so close, how many kids will kiss their folks in front of their friends? So many parents and kids find they don't really like each other or have much in common as the kids grow into adults and they often become estranged, not necessarily as in angry estranged, just lack of interest. There will always be a hole in your heart, I say I have a pile of bones where I toss all the bad things, and it never goes away but it does get easier eventually. Good for you for preventing future accidents with your quick action on the barrier. JERRY, no wonder you are sometimes short-tempered if you have been dealing with WC for 10 years! I have been on partial disability recently and dealing with the insurance company for just a year has about driven me batty. A computer crashing, and losing stories, would be enough to get anyone upset, hope your wife has a good place to run and hide when you feel like throwing things! VIV, are you moving to Texas? It isn't like the wild west, there are civilized people there (look at Randall!) and I don't think you need to be so fearful that you must drive 4-5 hours back and forth to work. There are good and bad people everywhere and as long as we take reasonable precautions (like T.O.M. said, use the deadbolt), most of us will escape the craziness of the few. Seventy-six percent of all serial killers come from the U.S. but most of us never see one. The scariest thing about Texas is the humongous cockroaches, bring heavy boots for stomping. MEL, I meant to reply to your comment a while ago about dusting off your manuscript and deciding it had to be re-written -- join the club, me too. I had been hoping I could edit and partially rewrite the rough draft of my novel but I have developed it so much more, have so many new characters and plot twists to add, that I actually think it will be easier to just start all over. Many writers DO rewrite their books, not just once but several times, so I have the attitude that nothing is wasted, even if it isn't used, we are honing our craft and perfecting our story. JERRY, with your background and paralegal training, you seem to be perfectly positioned to write a police procedural/legal thriller, how about it? That reminds me, may I ask you a quick police question? Does one become a sergeant before becoming a detective? Then detective, (3 grades, 1st being highest?) then lieutenant, the guy who runs the investigation? HEATHER, you do seem to have a lot of energy, good luck to you all on your joint book of stories. Speaking of energy, there is a lot of it on this site and it is sure helping me with my own creativity. We artistic types are probably aware of the energies around us, and how they can be contagious, and I'm glad to see that positive creative energy can be transmitted through the Netwaves. Thanks for the boost!

Pamela 1-22-2003 17:22

Greetings from Pamela,
Boy, this sure is a busy site, I see the return of some folks I hadn't met yet, The Old Man and Americo. EDDIE, I'm so glad you felt like talking about Michael, what a wonderful relationship you had with him. I know it makes you miss him all the more but also remember how blessed you were to be so close, how many kids will kiss their folks in front of their friends? So many parents and kids find they don't really like each other or have much in common as the kids grow into adults and they often become estranged, not necessarily as in angry estranged, just lack of interest. There will always be a hole in your heart, I say I have a pile of bones where I toss all the bad things, and it never goes away but it does get easier eventually. Good for you for preventing future accidents with your quick action on the barrier. JERRY, no wonder you are sometimes short-tempered if you have been dealing with WC for 10 years! I have been on partial disability recently and dealing with the insurance company for just a year has about driven me batty. A computer crashing, and losing stories, would be enough to get anyone upset, hope your wife has a good place to run and hide when you feel like throwing things! VIV, are you moving to Texas? It isn't like the wild west, there are civilized people there (look at Randall!) and I don't think you need to be so fearful that you must drive 4-5 hours back and forth to work. There are good and bad people everywhere and as long as we take reasonable precautions (like T.O.M. said, use the deadbolt), most of us will escape the craziness of the few. Seventy-six percent of all serial killers come from the U.S. but most of us never see one. The scariest thing about Texas is the humongous cockroaches, bring heavy boots for stomping. MEL, I meant to reply to your comment a while ago about dusting off your manuscript and deciding it had to be re-written -- join the club, me too. I had been hoping I could edit and partially rewrite the rough draft of my novel but I have developed it so much more, have so many new characters and plot twists to add, that I actually think it will be easier to just start all over. Many writers DO rewrite their books, not just once but several times, so I have the attitude that nothing is wasted, even if it isn't used, we are honing our craft and perfecting our story. JERRY, with your background and paralegal training, you seem to be perfectly positioned to write a police procedural/legal thriller, how about it? That reminds me, may I ask you a quick police question? Does one become a sergeant before becoming a detective? Then detective, (3 grades, 1st being highest?) then lieutenant, the guy who runs the investigation? HEATHER, you do seem to have a lot of energy, good luck to you all on your joint book of stories. Speaking of energy, there is a lot of it on this site and it is sure helping me with my own creativity. We artistic types are probably aware of the energies around us, and how they can be contagious, and I'm glad to see that positive creative energy can be transmitted through the Netwaves. Thanks for the boost!

Pamela 1-22-2003 17:17

Back later with some PRODUCTIVE news.... :oD

Heather 1-22-2003 15:58

Good news, Jon and Americo! The Phantasium project is very near ready to send off, and be out of my livingroom for a while! Jon is angry with me? Well no doubt I have procrastinationitis on occasion, plus I overload myself with too many creative projects and find myself burning out on one or more of them. If I do creative things in fits and starts, it is my fault alone if things do not get finished in good time. Jon will have to get used to my terrible curse of being an artist. Is it the curse of being terrible with self-discipline in disguise?
Well, should I use a word less bound up with superstition, perhaps? Cursed is such a thick word.
I do finish things, but I do know that many things are not completed by any deadlines I set personally.
I throw my hands up at myself and sigh heavily.
Handcuffs for this chair might work....

Heather 1-22-2003 15:57

I knew of Michael ever since you told us about the accident. I wanted to find words to reassure you, but I could not. So I remained silent. Allow me to hug you without words, my friend.

I was delighted to know that your lungs are clean. I confess that I was a bit worried about your health. Glad the nightmare is over. How about a big Havana to celebrate the great news?...

Time to put an end to the Phantasium thing and go back to your personal projects. You have till the summer to conclude one of your two quite promising novels. In the summer you'll write your second novel. And by Christmas you will give us a present: the news that a good Canadian traditional publisher is interested in publishing at least one of your books. Do not procrastinate your talent any longer. Jon is really furious with you. He is your guardian angel, i.e., the most severe of your ghosts.

What is making you nervous is not any medicine you are taking. It's your bloody Present and his crazy notions about how to fight terrorism. The way this campaign against Iraque has been led is really incredible. No good arguments, no proofs of anything, just threats and arrogance. Time to ask any old, good American to reestablish peace and good will among all nations.

Tony Blair is nuts or what? We used to call him here "Mr Pepsodent smile". But now the man is becoming a serious clinical case. Hope he changes his mind as to the Iraque affair and listens to what the good Europeans have been telling him: stay away from cheap oil!

Rhoda? Rhoda!

Americo 1-22-2003 14:23

After 27 phone calls to WC, after a conversation with the Governor's aide my case worker called me today!

Her explanation "I clicked when I should have double clicked releasing your check!" She even apologized. To sooth my anger she even added two weeks to my check, of course it is two weeks late so it's no bonus.

Now if she could just replace all the damn sleep I lost last night worrying about it all.

The cold has arrived. This morning when I sat down at my machine the weather bug said -20 but it's warmed up to -10 now, a virtual heat wave.

The basement repair guy came upstairs yesterday and told me that my house is now stable, he isn't done but the sinking has been stopped and the floors are almost level, some of the doors are now shutting, some of them aren't (the bathroom door won't lock now).

In another hour or two my nerves may settle down. My wife tells me that I've been a son-of-a-bitch these last few weeks and want's me to check with the Dr. to see which new drug he put me on has that side effect.

I guess I can agree with her, my temper has been razor edged the smallest thing sets me off of late. I've never been like that before so it must be something I'm taking. I know Demorol will do that to you but I'm not on that right now. Who knows maybe I'm just getting old. I wish I could control that a bit more like I used to.

Jerry 1-22-2003 12:38

Eddie, glad to hear you are making something positive out of your loss. I can imagine what your going through, I stood with my good neighbor Jon when he lost his son a couple of years ago. Parents aren't supposed to have to bury their young.

TOM glad to see you here abouts again, it's been quite some time.

Has anyone heard From Eric? With all that's happening in his neighborhood, I worry of his safety.

I would vote to hear from Americo again, and Pussy et al.

He's probably been lurking for some time just waiting to jump in.

And what of shortie night????

Had to call Workers Comp again today, seems for some reason they have put a hold on my damn check. The lady I spoke with had NO IDEA why and had me leave voice mail for my handler who was going to call me right back. Right, I've heard that before. When five o'clock came around I shot off another complaint to the Governor. Last time I e-mailed his office I got nearly instant satisfaction but then that was under a different administration, I just hope this guy kept the same staff as the old guy, they're both Republicans so he may have.

And life goes on...

Jerry 1-22-2003 0:36

Carol, warn me if I'm overloading you right now. I know your husband is going to need special care and cooking. I hope all went well during the operation and he's back with an uncomfortable but whole thumb.

I revised chapter 12-13. Now I have two different versions of chapter 13. Wouldn't you know! There's something bad about 13 no matter how you do it. I wonder if I should just skip that number! Also started chapter 14.

Now, back to grading. Will send the mess Friday if it's not too much for you right now. Can wait as well and just keep adding to 14. Thank you. Wow, I can't even get out of my pajamas it's going so well.

There's nothing like the stimulus of having a deadline that you are supposed to be meeting to make the writing flow.

Everyone: Who has a cat? I have a crazed animal who keeps tearing through all the papers I have carefully placed into piles on the ground. He comes bounding in like a kid jumping into a pile of leaves.

Eddie: Sounds like you turned a terrible thing into a creative way to make others safe. That's how you can really tell a super person, No matter what awful things happen they turn them to good. I'm so sorry you lost your son. I have a twenty-one year old daughter. I'm not sure I'd have your creativity or grace in a similar situation. Thank you for making the world a little safer.

Viv 1-21-2003 23:40

Anyone (JERRY and MARK, for example) who is familiar with the innards of a computer will enjoy this series of real computer repait shop photos:

It's to chunder!

howard 1-21-2003 22:25


I am truly sorry for your loss, in case you thought I was rambling.

You want to hear something weird? I as just looking at my son's picture today. It was the first time in three years, just today.

The problem I have with loss is I can't process GONE. I just can't get it. Where are they, how are they, who's with them? We were going to do this, we were going to do that. I don't let myself think gone. I still haven't. I'm trying to find a spot for this FACT and there isn't one. I have a spot for the fact my hair is brown and one and one is two, but GONE, nothing. That's truly painful. I think it's part of being human.

Debra 1-21-2003 21:19


I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine how many times you've heard that now. When you have to say it to people and then hear it, you realize it only helps the person who are saying it. I lost a son too. No two losses are the same. The one thing that people kept telling me is time heals all wounds.

That's crap.

I'm sorry but don't belive them when they tell you. The wound is forever, but you will learn to live again. You will learn to laugh again. Belive me that first real laugh you get, will feel so good. It will bring tears to your eyes. The good kind. It will happen. But grief is like a theif in the night. It comes and goes. You'll be doing something so ordinary and it will come crashing back. Sometimes it will come at the worst moment when you need your wits about you.

It's been fifteen years for me and it's still like yesterday. You know why? Love is forever. You loved him.

You will always love him.

Hang in there, you'll get back what you need.

Debra 1-21-2003 20:54


Your words are no downer for me. They are heartfelt, sad, but very sweet. Michael was a special man indeed as I had known by your previous descriptions of him. I read the article and applaud you and ANITA for going out and fighting to correct a problem area in your community, and I am so glad that you two encountered no opposition. I am very relieved to hear from you actually because you and your family have been very much in my prayers, and I wanted to know how you were doing.


Congratulations on selling your short stories.


Glad to know there is some political discussion left on the Notebook. This is going to surprise the socks off you, JERRY, and those of you all who know me, but I am not going to comment on any of it. In light of EDDIE'S and JACK's concerns, plus HOWARD's heath concerns and your own, JERRY, LITTER's and ROSEMARY's successes plus some of the issues going on in my own life right now, such things just don't seem very important right now.

It is so, so good to see THE OLD MAN again.

There is nothing more fun than meeting another NOTEBOOK member. I once had the pleasure of meeting GOODWEED OF THE NORTH, and we had a wonderful time. Boy, I miss him. I wish I could meet all of you. And if anyone is coming to New Orleans, let me know.

I got to see LOTR for the second time today. I understood it and liked it much better. It was also special because I am reading the books at the moment.

Rhoda 1-21-2003 19:53

Thank you for your kind words.
I would like to tell you a little bit about Michael and how much he meant to me, to Anita and me, but especially to me.
Michael and I had so much in common. We played guitar together, we drank beer together on Friday nights. We even had the same video collection, we would roll about laughing at Red Dwarf or HHGTTG. We shared the same sense of humour. Michael would hug and kiss me in front of his friends. He was not only my son but my best friend. That is the way that I always thought of him before. Now I realise that not only was he my best friend but he was my only friend. There just wasn't the room for any other male companion. Every day I wake to the whole thing over and over again. I don't know when I will be able to shed the nightmare and just get on with life. I am of course, in a small way now, but not as it was, not ever.
There is a huge hole in my heart that will never be filled.
Don't think that I'm trying to put everyone on a downer, I'm not. I love Mike and I always will. I sometimes have to let people know how he was. This is not sentiment through rose coloured specs or anything like that. I know how that goes, this is plain fact, the kind of fact I have had to come to terms with this last month. I know I will survive, I just wish he was here to see me do so.
Excuse me for this brief lapse into self indulgence, but I know that the people here on the notebook are understanding folk and the act of writing this down has been good for me.
Thanks for listening.

Eddie French 1-21-2003 19:23

Me again. I couldn't resist scanning down a ways, so..

Hi Rosemary! Congrats!
Jack, take care of yourself.
Heather, where do find all your energy? The last 2 months are a blur right now. Do you need anything from me still?

Okay, now I am going to go. My dog - who we deserted at Troy's parents while we were gone - is working on me for a walk and I can't say no.


Tina 1-21-2003 16:01

Hi all!

I'm not even gonna TRY to catch up in here. I just returned from my vacation in Arizona, so I'm dreadfully behind.

Eddie, my belated but sincere condolences. I heard about what happened from Christi last week, and this is the first I've been on the internet since then. I'm at a loss for words, except to send you the strongest (((HUGS))) I can. You are in my thoughts and prayers every day.

As for Christi, I have news that will be no surprise to anyone. SHE ROCKS! Last Wednesday Troy and I had the supreme pleasure of meeting her in person. We had dinner, went to LOTR, we met her family and THEY ROCK too. Her hubby and mine hit it off great - they even look alike! We spent the night, did the touristy thing the next day, and she drove us back to the skydiving resort that night. She is a gorgeous person in every possible way. Thank you Christi!

Our vacation was almost perfect, marred only by a cold virus that made the rounds through the ranks. (Sorry Christi if we gave it to you :o[ Didn't mean to it's all Reid from Alaska's fault) I made 39 skydives from big planes, in the gorgeously warm and sunny Arizona weather (they call that winter?) from 13,000 feet. What a view! We met Christi, ate great Mexican food, and got suntans. Now we are tired but very very satisfied.

I have to go and clean up everything and get ready to go back to work tomorrow, so I'm outta here now. I'll post pics soon as they get developed.
Blue skies.

Tina 1-21-2003 15:48

Greetings and Felicitations,

Randall (and anyone else who cares about their personal security)
As a security professional for many, many years, you can take me at my word that the best you can do to protect yourself is to entice the bad guys away from your property.
"What do you mean, Old Man?"
I mean to say that if they want your particular house, for whatever reason, they will have it. The best you can do is to make your house the one house on the block that a bad guy, randomly choosing a target, will re-think his choice.
It sounds stupid, but what I have and what I recommend is a non-locking door knob.
In addition to the non-locking passage knob or lever you need a DEADBOLT.
"But why not have a locking doorknob AND a deadbolt? Wouldn't that be more secure?"
No...I told you that it sounds stupid, when in reality, a passage knob is more secure. You see, most of us are pretty lazy when it comes to home security and if we have both a deadbolt and a locking knob, on our way out of the house, we just push the button on the knob and leave. Having a passage knob FORCES us to use the deadbolt.
Not only are we using the REAL security of the deadbolt as compared to a cheap hardware-store knob, we also have our keys in hand as we more lock-outs. Also, you can see from the inside that your bolt is thrown by the position of the thumbturn, you can't typically see if the button on the knob is pushed.
I care about you people, so please make your house just too much trouble for an opportunistic miscreant. When he sees how much time and effort will be needed to break into your house, he will just go next door.

Take care,

The Old Man 1-21-2003 13:28


I read the article and was deeply touched by what you and Anita did. That's all we can do at times like these -- reach back and help the people that follow. I admire your courage and your heart, and I'm glad to "know" you.

Sunny 1-21-2003 11:42

I meant to include this link earlier

Eddie French Barrier 1-21-2003 10:59

See what I mean!

Eddie French 1-21-2003 5:58

Excuse the speeling mistakes in my last post.
The head is not up to scratch just now

Eddie French 1-21-2003 5:57

Hello All,
We just won our fight to have o safety barrier errected at the place where Michael's car left the road on Christmas Day.
To be honest the fight was to easy, I thought it would take a lot longer. Anita and I are trying to get through this thing but it it so hard at times.
I read the notebook every few days and the grand children are a blessing. Cassius is watching intently as I type this message. He is saying I am reading my 'puter,.
I will drop in later.
I recieved a copy of 'Debuts' a few days ago. Good to see some more of my work in print.

Eddie French 1-21-2003 5:55

GENO -- I'll bet you're happy about the Super Bowl.

Mark 1-20-2003 23:07

Howdy-doodly-doo, assembled throng.

Well, it's official – I hate editing. Just finished the final edits (4) for 'The Watchers' – they wanted 1, but I couldn't stop… It's gone back to the publisher for the proofing stage. I sent off my suggestions for the cover as well. Hope they like it, coz I spent ages on it and I was really pleased with the result.

Whilst editing, I came across a few bits that I'd forgotten that I had written. Here is one of my most favourite bits:

'The Texas Militia chose this time of uncertainty to insert a 'Lone Star' suppository in the back passage of the US government…'

Thanks to all who 'booked' a flyer when the book comes out, and my apologies for not replying yet to your e-mails. I've been a tad preoccupied.

Back when I catch up.

Litter 1-20-2003 16:41

GENO -- From the Writers Digest site - (FAQ) :
A query letter or query is a one-page letter to an editor intended to raise interest in an article you propose to write.
Basically, with a query you are attempting to interest an editor in buying your manuscript. In the case of a larger work like a book or screenplay, a query interests an editor in asking for your full book proposal or manuscript. Most editors prefer to be queried instead of receiving the complete manuscript or proposal.

A query should always be one page, single-spaced. It should grab the editor's attention and give the editor some idea of the work's structure and content by quickly explaining your lead and how you intend to develop your article or book. Mention any expertise that qualifies you to write the article or book. End with a direct request to write the article or submit your full proposal or manuscript.

There are hundreds of books that describe query letters and provide examples. You might be interested in the sample queries available in Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript (Writer's Digest Books).
--Jerry Jackson Jr., assistant editor, Writer's Digest

howard 1-20-2003 16:26

A publisher has asked me to send a "query letter" along with my manuscript. Can someone tell me what that is and what it should contain?

Geno 1-20-2003 15:56

Jerry - honestly, your spelling is fine when you don't use the spell-check - at least it was in your most recent post (the one about the HP system restore)!
Practice makes perfect, I say. :oD

Viv, I'm going to be as excited as you, setting off fireworks and the whole bit, too!
Look to the West at the same time I'm looking East, and we just might see a little whooooomp! LOL

Randall - thank you! I needed that story so I can save it to disk. I now remember what happened - I ran out of disk space and was planning to save the remaining two or so stories that wouldn't fit as soon as I bought a new pack of diskettes.... and then kabllllooooey. Hard drive goes berzerk. I just may have The Patron on CDRom anyway, but this saves me looking through 50 of them for it. Thank you!

Carol - email me a copy of Grandma Rose if you can! Thanks!
(Same reason as above):oP

Well, back into the grind I go, friends; with all this grinding going on you'd think a decent cup of coffee would be in the works! Do I hear the gurgle and drip of my coffee maker, or is that someone's stomach?

The snow just keeps falling, and I just keep trudging out to shovel it. Now I am wondering if perhaps the reason my driveway-side garden isn't doing as well as it should might be because of the salt I scatter onto the drive, and then surruptitiously shovel right onto the garden. There's nowhere else to put the snow from the top portion of the driveway - our driveway is right next to the neighbour's on the left side of us, and in front is the deck, which also gets shovelled (ha ha ha...sometimes) so onto the garden next to the house it goes.
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. No wonder my irises and tulips and roses look so bedraggled come growing season!
Anyone know of anything I can use on the soil to treat it for salt invasion?
I'm not sure I've got the energy to drag the snow down to the bottom of the driveway every time I shovel. (Pant pant)
Ooooooh, a snowblower for Valentine's Day would be great! Hinty hint...LOL

Ooooops, yes, the grind. I remember.

P.S. Americo! Where art thou, Americo?

Heather 1-20-2003 9:50

Heather: I'm one of the new writers who is going to be jumping up and down at a first story published. I will be shooting off fireworks so please look toward the East at dawn your time the day you say this book is published. What fun! Thank you.

Viv again 1-20-2003 3:42

Randall: Whew! Well that's an eye opener. I can't see what you'd do in a raid on a house. Someone's bound to get hurt if a fire fight breaks out. I'll tell you, that makes me so mad...what a chicken way to break into a house. Bunch of bullies!

I think the whole mess might be resolved quite well by putting as much distance between us and the border as possible. I think about a four-five hour drive to work is acceptable. That's far enough someone wouldn't want to come that far across the border. Why drive four hours when you can commit mayham a good twenty minutes away. I am going to opt for the seat-flattening type ride to work that I do now. (If I get up at 5:00 AM) I can make it to work at 9:00 AM and be in the classroom at 9:20. That's because of the traffic conditions I go through at a crawl while reading the paper. (I'll find a town with a bus or start a car pool). Here we have the train and believe me, I'd rather take it if I'm not hauling a box full of books a computer and a load of final exams.

Does this ingenious bit of manuvering sound like it'll work?
Is there a way I can just pick up and move 4-5 hours inland and avoid the bad guys?

Carol: That was such a sweet post. Guys, when Carol's trilogy comes out we're all going to buy it. Talk about suspense writing. She did some today. Carol, I came home so grumpy and I enjoyed your story so much. This partnership is really working for me too. I have had more fun with this idea. I usually get kind of bummed out and stop writing in Feb/March. This time I'm looking forward to my vacation so I can spend as much time as possible on Pommes. Thanks so much for the encouragement.
This notebook has really kept me going. Jack, I really appreciate that!

Jack, Ummmmmm, If I stepped on it with my book title gag, it was a complete mistake. Experience in what bugs guys comes from watching fathers, brothers, and husbands. It's kind of a universal thing...and they all still sing just like they used to. I come from a medical family so once in awhile I get a little too graphic. Sorry.

Viv 1-20-2003 3:32

Oh Heather - I will check on the dates on that stuff, I used to know where my copies of the magazines were but the wife has since moved all the stuff from my nightstand and replaced it with a dresser, be damned if I can find the night stand, it's too big to have dissapeared but it's just not there anymore. I'll have to ask her when she comes out of hidding.

Jerry 1-20-2003 0:09

Pamela - I agree, pot should be legalized and taxed, we should be making money off the stuff instead of spending money fighting it.

I don't know about prostitution, I probably would have been in favor of legalization before AIDS came to the forefront but now I think it would be a bit dangerous, and think of all the lovely law suites that would come of it, the trial lawyers would be overjoyed.

Ya, I got hurt on the job, nothing special, just years of sitting in a car followed by a stupid slip on an icy parking lot at City Hall. That was in 1992, since then WC has been working with me (against me??) first they sent me to college, that was a good thing as I discovered I could write while taking English Comp 101, and I came out with an associate degree in legal assistant (paralegal). Not that it did me much good, as my back has never been good enough to work an eight hour shift after the third surgery, but that's another story...

Fantastic day here, began with a bit of light snow that covered everything with a wonderful coat of white, then the temps warmed up to 40 degrees and melted all the snow, well all the snow that fell today there's still a bunch left over from the last snow fall.

Went to see LOTRTT last night, wonderful movie although it was a bit long.

Today I crashed my main machine, a bad crash and when I ran the system restore the damn thing formated my second hard drive instead of the main killing all my data including my collection of Star Trek movies and over twenty episods that I've downloaded in the last few weeks. Also all the short stories I have written over the past few months. I'm a bit ticked off at HP for their system restore system. First it steals six GIG off the advertised 40 gig hard drive, then can't differentiate bewteen the main hard drive and slave. And I thought I was save with a second hard drive for my data. Would have been with any of the machines that I've built in the past but this damn HP, It's the very last time I EVER buy a computer made by those idiots. Their printers are nice and to tell the truth, the machines are OK except for their XP system Restore software, must have been written by some idiot geek who figured NOBODY would EVER need more then a 40 gig hard drive.

Haven't got my spell checker installed as of yet so excuse the spelling errors, and I'm not in the best of moods either after fighting with this stupid machine for most of this afternoon. The wife retreated to the bedroom a couple of hours ago when the books and CD's began flying across the room after I found out what happened to all my data, guess I can't blame her. I have to learn to burn CD's when I download all this crap and to back up my writing, seems the ultimate backup of a second hard drive isn't such a good idea after all.

Well back to the drawing board I guess.

Jerry 1-20-2003 0:06



Heather, I just sent you a copy of The Patron. I didn't know how to attatch it from WP6 ... my resident computer expert is living closer to Jerry than me. (Ha!) So I sent the darn thing as a reply to your e-mail.

Not feeling good. Went paintballing today. Now my throat is really trying to close up. Bummer! But no rest for the weary (or poor) On the job tomorrow.


Randall 1-19-2003 22:53

Pamela - I definitely agree about the marijuana legalization, but I'm not so certain that legalizing prostitution would be a good idea. Reasons? I don't think young men and women should feel that sex is something you can just pay for if you can't 'get it' elsewhere. I believe that love and sex should always go together, and that certainly won't be the case if prostitution is considered ok by the law, even advertized in the phone book and on television (as if it's not already, with all that phone sex crapola).
There are more reasons, but that opens up more worm-cans than I can count right now....

....or deal with intelligently!
More later.....

Heather 1-19-2003 18:14

An exceptionally nice afternoon to all,

Howard and Mel,
Thanks for the congrats. I didn't make a big deal of the sale because it was for a local anthology with local authors for a nominal amount of money. The man putting the book together is doing the whole thing himself. (except for the copying and binding. Any proceeds over the cost are going to a local shelter for poor people.

Got to go do stuff,

Rosemary 1-19-2003 17:52

Jerry, I just read your story "Tiger Piss" and was very moved. I'm sorry you had to go through such horrible times and that you now have to watch war protests that can only bring back memories of the nightmare our government put you young boys through. I have always felt bad for those kids who were only serving their country as they were told, went through unimaginable horrors and then returned home to a world that turned a cold shoulder on them. You are so right that we can hate war without hating the soldiers who fight them, they are just victims and pawns in the games of the politicians who play with peoples' lives like so many pieces on a game board. I met a Green Beret quite a few years ago who had a hit song called "Battle of the Green Berets", Barry Sadler, maybe you have heard of him? He ended up writing some books about his experiences and, while I don't especially enjoy reading about warfare, his writing style was very good. He was a very troubled but genuinely nice guy and it was his introducing me to his literary agent that got my former short story bought by Bantam and made into a book. He died some years ago on some mysterious mission, we heard conflicting reports on the details. You mentioned workman's comp in a previous posting, were you injured as a police officer? Sounds like your life has had its share of downs, I hope you've had some ups too.

Here's a thought to generate some discussion: after reading Randall's post about shenanigans at the border and also recently watching a documentary called "Grass" on one of the I-Dig movie channels, which outlines all the billions of dollars spent on trying to stop marijuana use since the 40's, it seems that it would be economically feasible just to legalize it. It would stimulate the economy on many levels: farmers could grow it, cigarette companies could package it, there would be advertising, retailing, etc. and it could be taxed all the way down the line. Instead of spending all of this money on trying to stop something that even the police don't seem to consider much of a crime (an ounce is just a misdemeanor here), we could use that money on public health care, education, foster and senior care, etc. Besides saving money spent on busting people and making money through taxes and a stimulated economy, legalizing pot would also put a segment of organized crime out of business; why shouldn't we make money instead of them? Actually, I think this argument could carry over into all of the "victimless" crimes which involve personal choice of what one may do with one's body. I certainly feel that if abortion (questionably a victimless crime) is legal, then prostitution should be as well, and that if people want to gamble with their money as a form of entertainment, why should the government say they can't? These laws on morality are hopelessly outdated and only serve to provide huge sources of income to organized crime organizations. Also, if legalized, these vices could be better controlled and safer, the same arguments used to legalize abortion and repeal prohibition. The countries with legalized drug use seem to have much less of a drug problem than we do here. If using marijuana leads to stronger drugs, I contend it is because the user has to go to a drug dealer to get it, which dealer might try to introduce him to something with a higher profit margin like cocaine. I used to smoke pot back in the 60's, and as far as recreational drugs go, it is the most harmless one I have ever seen or experienced, much less so than alcohol. I would propose that the sale of these vices could be limited to one section of each town, a "red light district" of sorts, and that violence (movies and video games) be included in this area. I think it is much more obscene to watch people get slashed and splattered in glorious slow motion technicolor than to watch two people making love. I think our country would be a lot better off if people were more concerned about the consumption of violence, especially by young people, than whether someone smokes a few joints or pays another person to have sex with them in a private arrangement.

Pamela 1-19-2003 17:36

Carol - I only have a copy of Grandma Rose in hard copy, and not on disk, so if you have the file, please email it to me! Sorry about that, I hadn't intended to lose a story.
I may be missing Randall's story The Patron on disk as well, since the reformat of my computer! I'll check on that. I know for a fact I've got every story printed on paper, but there may be two or three missing on disk.
I'll let everyone know what's going on with that when I have the final count of any missing.

This is what happens when a reformat comes riding in on the night. GRRRRRRRRR!!!!!

Heather 1-18-2003 23:11

Oops! Glad to hear your husband's feeling better, Carol!

Heather 1-18-2003 23:04

Hi Carol! Good to see you!
I do still have Grandma Rose, and will work on it this week and hopefully I can slot it into #12 or so.
It needed a bit of work at the beginning, and there were a few things that didn't line up along the way, but otherwise it was a cool story! I'd love to include it. If you have an updated copy, do send it to me.
I'll check to be sure it's on my disks!

Heather 1-18-2003 23:02

Hi All!

Well, life keeps happening and the I keep going with the flow. Hubby now has all his teeth out and looks like Gabby Hayes. Since the teeth removal has also removed the infection that has been flowing through his body for two years now, he's also feeling much better and living up to the nickname of Gabby. Monday he should get the skin grafting done on his thumb. I hope that will be the end of our bad luck for the year.

Viv -- if the results of your stuggling through your story are going to be this good -- then keep struggling! Wow! Viv has moved from the normal tone of any beginner in this novel to one that has every sense involved. Way to go Viv!

The buddy system Viv and I worked out over a year ago is really working well for us. We seem to know when the other needs a boost before its said. We're both moving forward and continuing with the story we started. I don't know about Viv, but for me, this is a great accomplishment. I've managed to complete several short stories, but a full-length novel? This one will be the first to make completion. Heck, its the first to make it past 16,000 words! A public thanks to Viv for keeping me going and keeping my enthusiasm up. And another thanks to this board for the oppurtunity to meet so many talented people.

Heather -- don't know if you still have "Grandma Rose" included in "P", but if you wish my credits, I'll dig then up (I haven't made a formal list of them yet) and post then anytime. All the news on "P" is great! You've doing a wonderful job.

Elaine - even if you can't get to the board as often, you'll stay in our thoughts. Keep writing those poems!

Laura - I've got my fingers crossed for you! (ok, so their not literally crossed at this moment, it would be rather hard to type that way! hehehe)

Now, the day is waning and I've got to pick up more jello and pudding to make for "Gabby". Have a great evening everyone and keep those words flowing!

Carol 1-18-2003 17:54

Wel, took the leap, sent a story to Century for publication, can't wait to hear yea or nay.

Laura 1-18-2003 14:17

Thanks, Jerry!
Do you happen to know the publication dates, by chance???
That is awesome, and I've jotted down the list for my growing file. :o)
I'll be emailing you the last few stories for your approval very shortly, so you'll have my addy then anyway, plus put in the link for it here.

Howard.......HAHAHAHAH!!!! You funny!

Heather 1-18-2003 12:59

Heather - Don't have your email address anymore, I am afraid it was lost in one of my many reformat experiences.

Here is my brief published history:

Just a Bottle of Tiger Piss - Wilmington Blues (Short Story Fiction)

The Wall - Shorelines (Essay)

The First Call - Shorelines (Short Story Non-Fiction)

The Tree - Writers Coffee House (Poem)

I see my latest is still up on the web I've left a link below.

This anti-war protest is still on now it's turned from an anti-war protest to an anti-Bush/Anti-America protest.

Isn't this a wonderful land where even our enemies are welcome in our nation's capitol and allowed to criticize our great land.

I'd like to see a protest like that in Iraq or North Korea.

Jerry Tiger Piss 1-18-2003 12:31

This is strange, the demonstration, some of the speakers are so anti-American that many of the crowd refuse to chant things like "DOWN WITH THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT!" It is strange, I think that many who are there are shocked at those who organized this are so down on America no matter the reason, it's more an anti-America protest then an anti war.

Ramsey Clark tried to get a chant of impeach Bush NOW and it nearly failed, then some Arab from Egypt tried a DOWN WITH AMERICA chant and it nearly failed.

Jerry 1-18-2003 12:21

Watching the big anti-war protest that is going on in DC right now. A link to their page is below.

I still recall those anti-Vietnam war protests that were going on when I was a soldier. I guess I sort of agree with the idea that war is a bad thing but I do recall how much it hurt to have half my country publicly stating that I was a criminal because I chose to serve my country.

I hope these demonstrates insure that folks are against the war, not the soldiers who chose to serve, because once the shit hits the fan those brave men and women need all the support we can give them. They need to know that we love them.

You CAN hate war and love the warrior who lays his life on the line for the nation he loves.

Jerry Anti-War page 1-18-2003 11:39


Good Morning, you-all! :-]

ROSEMARY: Yeehaw!!! Congratulations on your two story sale!!! You go, girl!!! :-]

RHODA, HOWARD: Hahahahahahahahahahaha!!! Loved the DUMMIES titles. I'm still giggling!!:-]

HEATHER: Good DUMMIES title! GREAT work you're doing for PHANTASIUM too.

ANYONE I MISSED: Thanks for the laughs over the DUMMIES series. I'll be looking forward to seeing some of them in print one day soon - HA!!! :-]

Heading for Syracuse today, if the road conditions are cooperative (a 2-hour drive) - CHRISTMAS with my relatives, at long last!!!

EVERYONE: Write a DUMMY book - today! (Or at least a great title - inspire yourself!!!)

Mel 1-18-2003 9:13

HEATHER -- I guess page numbering would not be an occasion to turn the other cheek...

howard 1-18-2003 7:48

PAMELA and PRUFROCK -- Welcome! Yes, this is a writers forum, and as we've said before: Writers write about real things, real people. We figure the best way to learn about real people and their real things is to get into a group of them and be one. I've seen too many writer's groups that are, in fact, critic's groups. The critics get more out of them than the writers, and some appear to use them only to sharpen their knives (and nails).
So if you're looking to learn what real people do in Texas, Oklahoma, British Columbia, Ontario, Australia, England, Scotland, Japan, upstate New York, or the frozen wastes of South Dakota, (I know I've left some out) and can see the possibility of using that information in the next Great Terran Novel, you've come to the right place!
We also sometimes do very long sentences...

JACK -- We'll be thinking of you! And not to worry -- I had mine out (the old-fashioned way) and I still sing bass in the choir...

howard Link 1-18-2003 7:46

One more time.....

Ok, so imagine that page number is in the right-hand corner.... you can do it! LOL

I was mulling the task over in numbering has always been a thorn in my behind, so I want to keep this simple. If a page gets lost from the collection once it's in the editor's hands, it will have the title of the collection on it, if not the name of the author on that particular story, so it won't be hard to find. That's all I'm worried about! Every author will have his/her name on his/her own stories, no worries about that.

10-4, over and out. :oD

Heather 1-18-2003 0:50

Me again....
If you check out ronsdale press, (as Mark and I have already!) make sure you go down the whole author list, and when you click on their work, you'll see what may be 'back cover copy' written, with an image of the cover. Fabulous!
It makes me want to buy almost every single book on that list!
Just wanted to let you know to make your way down the list. I can't remember the authors offhand, but there are several collections and novels, etc., that made me think that Ronsdale Press was our best match in the Canadian market. If it doesn't work out (have to keep one foot on the ground!) then I will check into US markets for Phantasium. There were a number of publishers on my list for Canadian markets to try, but Ronsdale was by far the best match so long as they didn't mind that we weren't ALL Canadian.
Cross fingers! This weekend, and this week coming up, I am doing one last read of each story that's in the final copy of Phantasium, and I will be formatting them so they all appear in the same font and so forth. I am simply going to insert page numbers after the collection is in one chunk...

Like this:

Ghost Mouse Pudding
by Tom A. Cat

If that doesn't look right on screen, the title and author name should be centered, with the 'Phantasium, pg.23' in the upper right corner. I will simply number the whole collection, not each separate story. That should do it!
Hugs for all, and all for ......uh, nevermind.

Musketeers bar, anyone?

Heather 1-18-2003 0:46

Oh, cracker crumbs! I mixed up web page with web page name when I did that link. Trying again......

Heather ronsdale press 1-18-2003 0:33

Randall - still have a copy of the story you submitted for Phantasium? Good. I want to edit the whole first two or three pages right outta there, and start the story when the two arrive at the property to find the spot where they will start digging. The rest of the story is fabulous, but I think all the beginning can be summed up by things that happen later, and the intro can be reduced to one or two lines. If you want to do that, that would help me greatly, as I really want your story included!!!!
I just might not have as much time to spend on your awesome contribution as I'd like!!!
I talked to Ron Hatch again, apologizing for not sending the MSS yet, and asked him whether or not he'd like a sample or the whole collection - he wants all of it!
*Ah, yes, recollection sinks into those dusty inner grey layers of Heather's brain*
I've already told everyone that!
Thanks Randall, for letting me know - no worries about the non-publishing thing - hopefully Phantasium will win the editor's heart and many of us will be published authors!
If anyone would like to check out ronsdalepress, you can see that our Phantasium should fit right in! Check out all the past publications pages! WOOOOO!!!

Heather 1-18-2003 0:31

Wow, man, it's really groovy, like, far out, a hippie and a policeman communicating, what a trip, it's outta sight! And this southern hippie certainly appreciates the yankee input on dealing with the cold which has indeed made its way to our normally mild winterland, it's going to be 9 degrees tonight, yikes! The dog and cat are in but don't have to worry about rubbing salt off feet (good advice though) since we have no salt trucks, at least not on my street. Foggy windows are definitely a problem, great tip on knocking snow off feet before getting in car. We do occasionally have ice and snow here and I drive on ice (when I must) the same way I learned how to drive on soft sand on the beach in Texas: don't stop! The day our "blizzard" hit, it had just started when I left to drive my daughter to work, about a 10 minute drive. Finally got home an hour and a half later. Our town is hilly and though it wasn't too icy yet, it got slushy quickly and I got a good runing start to get up a large hill to my house and would have made it fine (in my 20-year old Toyota) until some jerk in a fancy new yuppie-truck stopped up ahead, unable to make it. If he had stayed stopped I could have gotten around him but he started backing down the hill, fishtailing all over, so I had to stop too. The short hike through crunching snow was nice.


Rosemary, MANY HAPPY CONGRATULATIONS on publishing two stories, hooray for you! You too, Sunny, for your self-help books, I admire people who can be organized enough (well heck, you're a pro at that too) to break things down into understandable portions.

Eddie, how are things on the other side of the water, are your winters severe there? Do you live in a city or perhaps one of those cute English villages we see in books and movies? I've always wanted to putter around over there and stop in at little pubs to try some of their local brew.

Willie Nelson ROCKS for sure, Jerry, do you like the really really old ones like Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, or how about Jimmie Rodgers, has anyone heard of him? Called the Singing Brakeman, he had the first million-selling record in the 30's, had tuberculosis and sang until he dropped, had to rest on a cot between recordings at the end. He invented the "blue yodel", still frequently heard as a guitar lick at the end of a verse or chorus. He wrote a lot of his own songs too but it's hard to tell which ones since they bought them outright from writers back then and credited them to the performer. About ZZ Top, Frank Beard and Dusty Hill used to come around the bar I sang folk music at during the good old days, a nice funky place in Houston called the Old Quarter, Townes Van Zandt recorded one live album there. We were a rather wild bunch, I suppose, and when ZZ Top started getting big, their manager told them they couldn't come and play with us anymore! About Townes, you music lover/writers might want to check him out, he was unofficially known as the poet laureate of Texas. He was very popular in Europe but never got the recognition he deserved here, "Pancho and Lefty" by Merle Haggard was his big commercial hit but he has a large body of work that is truly poetry put to music. He left this world about four years ago but his music is a powerful legacy, a gift left to us all.

Pamela 1-17-2003 22:31



I might as well wade in Viv ... a listing on Texas city crime rates, consisting of 180 towns and cities, Edinburgh (Hidalgo County) ranks #8. My hometown # 38. This is according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Report for 1999. The top eight are ... Paris, Humble, Texas City, Dallas, Kilgore, Beaumont, Waco ...

Federal Stats Homepage...

Crimes reported in Hidalgo County, Texas by number

Total - 33,839
Murder - 21
Rape - 84
Robbery - 478
Aggravated Assault - 2,250
Burglary - 7,310
Larceny - theft - 20,983
Motor vehicle thefts - 2,431
Population - 569,463
Coverage indicator - 96%

"Statistics presented are based on data collected by the FBI as part of its Uniform Crime Reporting Program. These data represent offenses reported to and arrests made by State and local law enforcement agencies as reported to the FBI. These data do not include Federal law enforcement activity ... Illegal Drugs. Additionally, not all law enforcement agencies consistently report offense and arrest data to the FBI. Users should refer to the Coverage Indicator for the proportion of the population covered by the agencies reporting to the FBI."


Sunday, March 8, 1998

Starr County convictions add to South Texas corruption reputation

By MADELINE BARO / Associated Press Writer

RIO GRANDE CITY, Texas (AP) -- When Starr County Sheriff Eugenio "Gene" Falcon and five officials pleaded guilty in rapid succession to federal conspiracy charges, some citizens were surprised -- by the admissions of guilt, not the crimes.

"You know politics around this area," said Heraldo Garza, as he stood outside the Starr County courthouse Friday, campaigning for his father-in-law, a county commissioner candidate. "It's not something new to us. It happens very often."

Falcon, a justice of the peace and four Starr County jailers pleaded guilty last week in a bail bond kickback scheme. A fifth jailer is on trial in Brownsville, also charged with conspiracy and several counts of bribery.

The Starr County scandal follows a series of high-profile cases in the Rio Grande Valley, where indictments involving law enforcement officers, jailers and elected officials appear to be routine.

In late 1997 and early 1998, six former Rio Grande Valley police officers, including two former Donna police chiefs, pleaded guilty to taking payoffs from drug traffickers to allow marijuana to move through South Texas.

In 1994, Hidalgo County Sheriff Brig Marmolejo was convicted on money laundering, bribery and racketeering charges. He was accused of accepting $151,000 in bribes to allow a convicted drug trafficker to have conjugal visits in the jail. (WOW! What price love!) The former chief jailer was convicted on racketeering conspiracy and bribery charges.

Also that year, the Zapata County judge, county clerk and sheriff were convicted on charges of drug trafficking, official corruption and money laundering.

That doesn't mean people who live along the Texas-Mexico border, where drug trafficking traditionally has gone hand in hand with political corruption, approve of the distinction.

"We're sick of always getting the wrong reputation for drug dealing," said Garza, a lifelong Starr County resident. "We're fed up. We have honest citizens."

Some residents said they believe Falcon's fate was a long time coming.

"For so many years, the people of Starr County have trusted him," said Octavio Castaneda, a bail bondsman who sued Falcon in 1992 over the way bonds were distributed at the Starr County Jail. "But the badge was just a way for him to make money, and everybody saw it."

"Justice has taken place in Starr County, and it's about time," Starr County resident David Jones said. "This is an example of what should happen to corrupt politicians. It will be a rude awakening for a lot of people who had put their trust in Gene Falcon and found he'd betrayed them."

U.S. Attorney James DeAtley called this week's developments "a serious violation not only of law, but just the sheer public trust."

He has made cracking down on official corruption a priority for his office.

"We've clearly made a targeted effort to address corruption in the Southern District of Texas," he said. "The public has got to be able to trust their public officials or else what good is it?"

In Starr County, Falcon and the other officials admitted to taking part in a plot to identify prisoners and refer them to bondsman Homero Arturo Longoria. Once bonds were posted, Longoria paid the officials a "referral fee."

If the inmates couldn't afford the bond amount, Longoria, who also has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and was expected to be a star witness in the case, would ask Justice of the Peace Adan Garcia to reduce the amount and also pay him a kickback.

Falcon, Garcia, two jailers and two other county officials will be sentenced May 26.

The reasons for corruption in South Texas are hard to pin down, but certainly widespread poverty -- which makes people susceptible to the lure of easy money -- and little education are contributing factors, said Jerry Polinard, a political science professor at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburgh and a longtime South Texan.

Polinard also notes that there's corruption all over the state, but the Rio Grande Valley gets the notoriety. "When public officials are corrupt in South Texas, people say 'What's new?' " he said.

Federal officials cite Starr County as one of the country's most impoverished and Rio Grande City -- the county seat with about 14,000 residents -- does indeed have some rundown shacks. But the heart of town looks like any other city with the requisite Wal-Mart, McDonald's and Dairy Queen, along with beautiful historic buildings and churches.

Rio Grande City is also a place where large houses rumored to belong to drug traffickers sit atop hills along one side of U.S. Highway 83.

Falcon, who did not return a message left by The Associated Press, lives in a sprawling ranch-style house once owned by drug kingpin Ramon Garcia Rodriguez. Since buying the home in 1985, Falcon has put himself on other law enforcement officials' radar.

That year, Falcon was indicted on state charges of official oppression and assault after a Starr County district attorney's investigator alleged he struck him on the back and neck. The investigator later dropped the charges.

In 1986, Falcon was charged in Mexico with killing a man who allegedly witnessed a triple killing in Texas. A witness identified Falcon as one of the gunmen, but charges were eventually dismissed.

Despite the allegations against Falcon, and the plea, some residents believe he should get a second chance.

"We all make mistakes, said Laurentina Pina Luera, a candidate for Starr County commissioner who has known the sheriff since he was first elected in 1981. "No one is perfect in this world."


Pressure of doing business makes smugglers try runs past South Texas checkpoints

By Jeremy Schwartz

Drug smuggling in South Texas has returned to pre-Sept. 11 levels after an initial two-week lull, even as law enforcement groups like U.S. Customs and the Coast Guard shift their focus from trafficking to anti-terrorism.

In the 14 days following the attacks on New York City and Washington D.C., drug seizures in the area slowed to a trickle as enhanced security along the border caused smugglers to sit on their loads.

Immediately after the attacks, U.S. Customs went to its highest level of response, Alert Level 1, in which customs inspectors examine almost every person and vehicle crossing the border. The result was two-hour lines at some ports of entry and, at least at first, caution from smugglers.

"Drug traffickers are criminals, but like legitimate businessmen they have to make payroll," said Kevin Bell, spokesman for U.S. Customs. "After awhile, they couldn't continue to sit on these loads."

17 days, $39 million

Since Sept. 24, Customs cocaine seizures in South Texas have more than tripled compared to the same time last year. Customs agents have seized more than 2,000 pounds more of marijuana than they did last year over the same time period.

U.S. Border Patrol agents in South Texas have been equally busy.

From Oct. 1 to Oct. 17, Border Patrol agents in the McAllen sector, which includes U.S. Highways 77 and 281 and their checkpoints, seized more marijuana and cocaine than the other eight Border Patrol sectors on the Mexican border combined.

In those 17 days, the McAllen Sector seized more than $39 million worth of narcotics.

Eligio Peña, assistant agent in charge at the Falfurrias Border Patrol station, said the weeks following the attacks saw a sharp decrease in drug cases, which have since picked back up at the nation's busiest drug checkpoint.

"It's steady, but it's still not as high as we would like it," he said.

At the Falfurrias checkpoint, the amount of cocaine and marijuana seized between Sept. 11 and Oct. 31 dropped by 2,076 pounds, or about 20 percent.

The checkpoint seized almost 70 percent of the marijuana it caught in September before the attacks.

Viv ... the problem in South Texas, more so than any other area of Texas is ... it is a choke point for drug smuggling. Drugs coming up ... truck loads of cash going back. A 151,000 bribe for "a conjugal visit" is a prime example. Chump change in the drug trade. There is so much money in drugs a million dollar bribe for a law enforcement officer to look the other way for one night is not unheard of. Money talks...

The incident I hinted at last night was a home invasion in Edinburgh where six people were murdered in cold blood. Home invasion is a growing crime in Texas. A bunch of thugs burst into a home, terrorize the inhabitants, robbing, assaulting, and often killing them. Yes, crime is a common problem but it seems all to commonplace in South Texas.

Hope you get better Jack...

Heather ... I'm unpublished, so, best guess on that.


Randall 1-17-2003 21:46

Ok, here's winter dressing for dummies:

No, for real, I understand that some of our weather has escaped and is heading south over the U.S.

Dressing - dress in several layers of clothing rather then one bulky coat, this traps dead air between the layers and keeps you much warmer then say just a parka.

Cover your head, that's were the body looses most of it's heat, also insure that your ears are covered they can freeze in seconds if the temps drop below zero.

Wear two or three pair of socks, again in layers better then one thick bulky pair (well wool socks are sort of warm).

Pets - don't let the dog out too long they can freeze their ears and other external things that drag through the deep snow. Also when you let them in, wipe their paws with a warm damp cloth to get any salt that they may have stepped in off as it can damage their paws.

Cats have problems freezing their tails and ears too, so they should get the shelter they need, pets are as suceptable to wind chill as we are so when the wind is blowing they can be injured from cold even when the temps are above zero.

Cars - start them awhile before you use them and allow them to run to warm up both the engine and the inside so your windows don't fog up so quickly. Also keep an eye on the oil pressure gauge when the temps drop below zero, I've seen many cars ruined when the oil pumps freeze and they are driven with no oil. My little Dodge Pickup had a tennancy to freeze around the pump and I used to have to get it towed in and thawed out by my mechanic.

If your windshield gets foggy while your driving, it sometimes helps to open the drivers side window a crack and let the moist air out while running the defroster.
It also helps to kick the snow off your boots as you get in the car as when the heater warms up the inside it will melt the snow and cause your windows to fog over from the excess moisture.

Scrape the frost off your windshield and all the side windows as well as the back window before you drive off, on icy roads seeing what's sliding your way allows you to get out of the way while the getting is good.

If you happen to have a northern born car, plug it in the night before to have a easy start and warm ride to work.

Jerry 1-17-2003 21:21

Whoopie! Wonderful titles! I can see how this series got to be so popular. Some folks sitting around said, "Gee, can I think up something even dumber than the next guy?"

Jack: Take care. I'll send prayers winging your way that all your surgeon and anesthesiologist have special skills that day. While I'm at it, I'll send a special one for your wife. I know she's a nurse and since she knows more, she worries more. Hope you are soon back on your feet and jumping into some nice deep water. Don't worry too much about missing stuff. We'll be here waiting and the water's too cold for scuba. You probably picked a pretty good time to do this, stitches will heal before spring thaw!

Viv 1-17-2003 20:06

Brief Check In: Hope everyone is well. I am scheduled to see the surgeon next Thursday and schedule for having my gall bladder removed. So far so good. I am sticking to a 20 to 25 grams of fat and under per day diet and watching my P's and Q's. I am trying to finish up two contracts. So, I will attempt to get back here and start doing upkeep, finally get some movement on the Workbook and other issues. This may take a back seat to the surgery, but we will see. Take care and good writing thoughts and in all directions for everyone and hopes that you sell your stories and see your words in print.

Jack Beslanwitch 1-17-2003 19:38

Wait a minute -- what did that say? Did that say ROSEMARY SOLD two stories!?!?!?
Where? When?

howard 1-17-2003 19:28

Picking Wild Edible Mushrooms for Dummies
Liver Transplants for Dummies

Ventriloquism For Dummies ?

Bungee Jumping for Dummies
Accurate Measuring for Dummies

Feeding Alligators for Dummies
Post-Amputation Self-Care for Dummies

Sword Swallowing for Dummies
Dealing With Peritonitis for Dummies

Writing "For Dummies" Books For Dummies
Laughing All The Way To The Bank for Dummies


I just checked the temperature, and there wasn't any! It's supposed to get down to -15 tonight. I'm glad we've got 18-20 inches of snow covering the strawberries!

Just came in from walking the dogs -- Wolf is a purebred standard German Shepherd, and is very big, and Silver is a purebred white German Shepherd, and is even bigger! They belong to our daughter and son-in-law (or is it the other way 'round?) and they, the kids, our grandson Joel, and Jacob the cat are staying with us while they're having a house built up above Ithaca.
Walking "the boys" is an experience not to be forgotten, especially at zero degrees farenheit!

howard 1-17-2003 19:24

Miming for Dummies

Heather 1-17-2003 14:26

Rosemary - pulling your ghost stories from Phantasium? That's news to me. Your 'Shadows' was supposed to be #12 in the story order. If you want it pulled, let me know; otherwise I will continue and submit it as planned. The other two stories you submitted to the Phantasium project were undecided upon as of yet.

Still need to know what everyone has published, when and where - just email it to me!
I don't need any other credentials, just prior published works. Thanks everyone!

Heather 1-17-2003 14:23

In that case, such a couple can wait about five years for the CLONING FOR DUMMIES book.

Rhoda 1-17-2003 14:13


What children? If the book doesn't work, there will be no children.

Rhoda 1-17-2003 14:00

A crisp good morning to all,

I'm not sure if I qualify for a dummy book. I found the 'enter' key but the 'any key' seems to be missing. Also, although I am old enought to be a grand mother, I'm not one. (Step-gran. doesn't count) I can't even get my nephew to give me his e-address. (didn't exactly remember to ask him for it. But that's another problem)

I sold two of the ghost stories last week so don't feel bad about my pulling them out of Phantasium. (Still really like that title.)

It finally got cold down here last night. The weather said it was 30 degrees, but I don't think it went quite that low on this side of town. There wasn't ice in any of the water containers when I went to feed this morning. Of course it was 10:00 before I got over there.

Got to run,

Rosemary 1-17-2003 13:09

JERRY's right. I meant to say that the original set of FOR DUMMIES books were indeed for computer instruction - and these were decent. It's the spin-off trend that's driving us all crazy!


Mel 1-17-2003 11:47


Okay, gang. In preparation for VIV's CONTEST CHALLENGE (of which I HIGHLY approve - we need all the humor we can get these days!!!), I did a preparatory search of "DUMMIES" titles in our local public library's database...

Firstly, if you're searching for existing titles, don't use the word "dummies" as a keyword for a subject search - it doesn't exist!!! 8-[

Secondly, do a series search on "for dummies" ... Holy Moley! I found 243 titles (a few are repeats, but not many) - and I'm sure this one library doesn't have ALL the DUMMIES titles!

Meanwhile, keep in mind, a few titles ALREADY in print, believe it or not, are:

AQUARIUMS FOR DUMMIES (I can see their little beady eyes staring at me through the glass!)

BIRDWATCHING FOR DUMMIES (I should think this was an easy task already?!)


DATING FOR DUMMIES (moral support, I suppose)

SEX FOR DUMMIES (no comment. Okay, comment - if 2 dummies-you know, will their kids be dummies too? This is a rhetorical moron question, no social or disability slander intended!)

POTTY TRAINING FOR DUMMIES (the dumb part, you realize during training, was having the kid in the first place! --Just kidding, MARY!!! -- See SEX FOR DUMMIES remarks, then console yourself with CHOCOLATE-FOR DUMMIES, of course!)

And so many more DUMMIES books, from A to Z...

Good luck thinking up ORIGINAL titles, heh heh!

How about:





I think I better quit while I can... Someone else's turn!

Mel 1-17-2003 11:42

Gee, I've been recommending the Windows for Dummies to a lot of folks who are just beginning their interphase with computers. I do think that's what the series was written for. Like the 82 year old grandmother who got a computer from her great grandkids so they could email. They do a good job of introducing a person to an at first frightening machine.

Now if you do know what the "enter" key is for, and you can find the "any key" on the keyboard, the dummy series for computers are probably not for you.

When I was in college, I bought a couple of the first dummies books to catch up on some of the stuff I didn't know and they helped me a bunch.

Maybe the newer ones aren't what they should be, I wouldn't know as I haven't looked at one since Windows 95 was the latest and greatest from Microsoft.

My thoughts on new dummies books - C-Span for dummies - How to understand CNN News for Dummies - Winter for Dummies - How not to drown in the bathtub for Dummies.

The Weather tells us that the rest of the U.S. may well be trying to catch up with us as far as weather is concerned. Right now the sun is shining brightly, it's 10 above outside and the wind is calm, but the man on the radio says to expect near blizzard conditions by this evening. I got the snow cleared from the driveway yesterday but if the wind comes up it will probably blow back closed.

Jerry 1-17-2003 11:23

Carol: I just sent mine off. Revised a lot. I have ideas for start up tomorrow so hopefull that I'll get some free time for writing.

Mel: Don't give up on the For Dummies series yet. I think we can come up with some absolutely new titles you can pass over as you make your book orders.

Heather: I agree with you, Menopause for Dummies. Three guesses that it wasn't written by a woman, but by a male. Most likely a male gynocologist who is about four feet tall, has adult acne, and a bad stammer.

Next book in line, Prostate Cancer for Dummies written by a bucktoothed eight foot female.

NEW CONTEST: Who can think of the dumbest new title for the For Dummies series?

Please think of titles that Mel absolutely won't buy for the library. If you can, describe the perfect writer for this book.

Viv again 1-17-2003 9:57

Oops. Lost a smile in there somewhere...

:-] and an extra for good measure: :-)

Mel 1-17-2003 9:07


Hey there, you-all! I'm at work after all today; worked out the family needs so I wouldn't have to miss three days in a row (not that I couldn't have used another day home, but it's almost the weekend anyway). Flu is gone, thank goodness!

As a librarian, I must add to the "DUMMIES" book discussion. I haven't actually looked inside these books to evaluate them properly, but I must say the titles are simultaneously hope-filled AND insulting!!!

It seems you have to consider yourself stupid to pick one up in the first place, but only if you have such a dire hope to find things explained so easily to you that it may cost you your mature self-image!

I think the authors are making fast bucks from the "DUMMIES" title promise; too bad the books are not living up to their potential. I won't be buying any more of them for the library soon!

As a writer, I must say that Hemingway wrote a lot of fine things to be quoted so often. If only I could live up to the name, heh heh!

At the party, I am the writer NOT standing at the fireplace deep in political discussion. I am the writer NOT paring nails in the doorway. I am the writer sampling the chocolate hors d'oevres from the server's tray and then finding a quiet corner--preferably an uninhabited room or garden porch--to jot some stray phrases of memorable conversation or unusual characters at the party... I wish! Who goes to parties like that BEFORE you're published? :-

Happy writing, everyone!

Mel 1-17-2003 9:04

Hey Randall, do tell. How can this place be a combat zone? There are two colleges in the area. All I can get on the internet is news about the new stop light that needs to be installed because there was a deadly accident. You've got me curious...
Sarin gas in the cattle instead of the subways?

We have such different crime here and in the places I've lived. America has 7-11 robberies, rapes, burglery, and assult. Looks like Texas has a majority of the assult. I think maybe it's the kind of state where a jerk only shoots off his mouth once. (Remind me to bring duct tape for my own mouth!)

The jeans sound heavenly. I have about 8 pairs of jeans, all well worn and two pairs of overalls. Courtesy of two daughters who got taller and taller. I got all the jeans they outgrew over the years. I never could wear them out because here you wear the jeans only in the garden or the house. Occasionally I wear mine to ride my bike, but a good biking outfit is much more appropriate. Ever noticed that the Japanese are like Barbie dolls, they have an outfit, complete with matching hat and gloves for every occasion. That's just the Japanese men. The women...well, I won't go into that. You have to hand it to them, they always look wonderfully correct, and the women are downright beautiful.

Viv 1-17-2003 8:33

Randall - now, Hemingway has said many a thing that encourage deeper thought into the matter, but I hesitate to agree with his perceptions in a lot of cases. (Yeah, what does that say? He published many works, and I haven't published much at all)
Mark - love that image of the writer paring his nails in the hallway, separate from the celebrating mass.
Perhaps the writer feels he is undeserving of so much praise - after all, they are merely words on paper to him!
Revelations to others....

I can see how both sides of the coin may come into play...writer as egoist, writer as humble artist...
I believe we can be either, and yet both. How many times have we found the first works of an author the most edgy and honest? That doesn't mean later works are not brilliant, but I can almost taste the tinge of fame in them.

Sorry for to work!

Heather 1-16-2003 22:27

James Joyce said (I believe in "Portrait of the Artist") that while the crowd enjoys the party in the main room, the author stands in the doorway paring his nails.

Mark 1-16-2003 21:44


Evening ...

pruflock Link ...

"Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer's loneliness, but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day."


Viv ... Believe me! Texas has plenty of charactors! There is a daily stream into our store every day of folks who look like they just rode in from a wagon train! Pure inspiration for me! Jeans are possibily mandatory "Around these heah parts Mam." There was a story about Edinburg, Texas today on the news. Not good! I cannot eloberate cause I might be perceived as negative. Sorry...

Many thanks for the comments on "Seagulls." Elaine I live to see fellow writers, write, " made me laugh." Thank you.


Randall 1-16-2003 20:54

Pamela - I agree with you on the 'Dummies' books - I found the Windows for Dummies rather like a slap in the face, really. I needed information on something very particular, but the book gave me the run-around, if you can believe it! Go to page 2395095.... but that page didn't contain the answers I needed..... go to page 239536-0957, yet another bluff! In the end the book didn't have the information at all.
I figured it out on my own. Now I could surely write several Dummies books myself, but they'd be a sight more helpful, that's for sure.
We took the kids to Chapters the other day to find some new books, and what did I see on a table, with a pile of other 'odds n ends'? Menopause for Dummies!

Heather 1-16-2003 20:39

Elaine: Rats! I wish you had access to a computer because you've added a nice bit of life to the notebook. We understand though, study hard and hang in there. We're always here and waiting for you to come back...thanks to Jack.

Randall: Did I mention I loved the story. Thanks again for the input. It's making us slow down and think carefully. You do make Texas seem wonderful. We need a place with characters, we're not exactly used to living in polite society on a full time basis. What we want is a place where people wear blue jeans to work, church, and shopping. Black suits are for the birds. (Seagulls!)

Carol: I'm TRUDGING through sludge but it's coming around. Thanks for sticking with me. Lately I'm strange. Usually I'm organized and capable. I set deadlines and beat them out in an hour or two. I don't gain weight. Unbelievably I have gained five pounds, and I have this urge to just lie around and watch old movies. I think maybe I'm reacting to the idea of moving. We put in resumes at this time of year because people quit the government jobs during Jan-Feb to get their full retirement.
Anyway, whatever happens I have some changes I can send. Same old chapter.

Viv 1-16-2003 18:31

Sorry, I hit enter before I meant too. I'll try this again.

I am the hero
I am the villian
I am the old woman
I am the young boy
I live on a mountain
I live on the sand
I scream like a raven
I sing like an angel
My friends are true
My friends are none
I am the world maker
I am all as one

See Ya Later!

Cheri 1-16-2003 16:28


I've been trying very hard to stick to my New Year's resolutions and having a hard time.

I did, however, start a journal and I also finished reading one of the two books I purchased to help me with my writing.

One major set back to my losing weight resolution though. The instructor at my gym's Tae Kwon Do studio was fired and my husband and I are pretty ticked off about it. The director of the TKD is an egomaniac and mostly fired him because he knows some of the students refuse to go to the directors classes.

It's a longer story than that but I short on time right now.

A little poem I just wrote and thought I'd share with you.
See if you can guess who it's about!

I am the hero
I am the villian

Cheri 1-16-2003 16:25

Can anyone direct me to some good writers' forums? Is this considered to be a good site for motivated writers?

prufrock Link 1-16-2003 15:00

MARK - At last something we have in common - I love Willie Nelson! Can't say that I've ever listened to ZZTop, probably have but didn't know who they were.

When I was young, I loved the old Country Western Music, then when I went to Nam, I was overwhelmed by Rock and Roll, not only did it speak to the war but it somehow got into my head, when I returned home it was years before I returned to listening to old country. I still love the "classic" rock, and "classic" Country. Willie Nelson fits in the classic country, and some of his stuff could well fit into "classic Rock" I guess.

I've been gathering music from the web for the last year or so, and have amassed a collection of my favorites, then burned them to CD's as normal music CD's and backed up as MP3's. The other day I discovered that one can download classic Star Trek shows and I've started a collection of those. You can get nearly all versions of Star Trek, I have a few of the original series, lots of TNG and several of the movies, including Nemises although Nemises is one of those pirated from a theatre so it's a bit hard to view as it's dark and a bit out of focus. Guess I'll go to the movie if it ever gets here.

Strange how some of those things you get on these file sharing groups end up, I have several movies that purported to be one thing but were in fact another. One was a porn movie disguised as Harry Potter and the Chamber of secrets. It was very hard to get off my hard drive so may have had some sort of virus attached. In the end I had to use a special erase program to get it off my hard drive, it kept reporting that the file was being used by another program, even when I had shut down all the unnecessary software that was running. The erase software did a re-boot then came up in it's special mode and ripped the crap from my hard drive for me, writing 0's in it's place.

We're going to see LOTRTT this Saturday night, it's here all week. We watched our daughter's tape of LOTR last night so we are up to date for the next episode.

The cold has arrived in the Dakota's. While it's a bit on the warm side this morning sitting a 0 F. The front that moved in dropped a couple of inches of snow on us so I'll have to get busy with Noah, our ancient snow-blower in a few minutes and clear a path for our little dog. Right now it's deep enough that he's dragging things that aught not drag in such cold stuff, and he isn't a happy puppy.

Also have to feed my feathered friends as the cold is hard on these little creatures and they need all the food they can get.

Jerry 1-16-2003 11:15

Hello Everyone!
A belated welcome to Pamela! I haven't been on in a while, (been so swamped that my room had an inch of water on the floor and I'm on the second floor!(Not counting the basement)) Actually there was no flash flood that brought water in my room for me to slog through, it just feels like it.
Eddie: My most sincere apoligies. I will pray for you and Anita and your family. It's hard to lose someone you love, especially someone that close to you.
As for other news, Randall liked the seagull story. It made me laugh!
I have to say this, even though I hate to. I will not be able to go to the NB as much as I like anymore. Next semester (has it really been half a school year?) I won't have any study halls, and practically no access to the computers. I am warning you now so that when I come creeping back, you know who I am and that I'm not a ghost. I will try to get on as much as possible and I'm trying to be on the computer once every week. Beyond that I cannot say. There's my email, if any one would like to email me something, a shortie, poem, a chapter of two so I don't feel like I'm missing everything. If not, I will survive, so don't feel guilty about it if you don't. Drop me a line if I haven't been back for months. Well I have to go, the bells about to ring, good health and good life to all of you while I'm away.
Till Niagara Falls!

Oh, PS I'm Tigerlily Peatfingers of Brokenborings, (that's my Hobbit name.) I forgot my elvish name, it was something like Tori Elendil.

Elaine 1-16-2003 10:59


Hi, You-All!

PAMELA: Hi and welcome!

JACK: Prayers for you... Feel better soon!

EDDIE: Continued prayers for you and Anita... My muse started a poem for you but couldn't finish it... something about touching memories one by one, filling a scrapbook with years, washing it with your tears and then finding the warm glow of your son's smile still lingering to comfort you... Peace to you.

RANDALL: My highest (lowest?) commiserations to you - I had the flu last night too! What a thing to have in common! Still have the light-headedness and a minor headache. I think my eyes are deciding whether to completely cross or not, to check out the other eye socket's perspective... 8-\ At least the stomach's calm again.

This may have been a self-generated flu, if there is such a thing! I've been needing a day off from work, although I love my job. I planned yesterday for the day. Two evenings preceding, I was bouncing off the walls, not having had any writing time in a gazillion days/weeks/eons, and I dared retrieve my forsaken novel draft from the closet and read through a couple random chapters. I nearly wretched right then! The whole thing has to be rewritten. Maybe I should just keep the title and start from scratch. I still feel there IS a story to tell, but I haven't found the right way to tell it. SIGH.

Meanwhile, my "day off" yesterday was more like just a morning off; distractions arrived in the afternoon and so did the flu. The morning was just pleasant enough to make me realize that I need more than a day off... a week would be nice... and then the germs arrived, keeping me home a second day (although feeling better than last night) and tomorrow I'll be home again due to family needs. That brings me to the weekend and a holiday Monday off work - almost a week in sum total! Hmm, funny coincidence - just what I needed! Did I wish the flu here? Not on purpose but good things can come from even the flu, I guess!!!

Maybe I'll try that fresh start on my sci-fantasy novel today (as soon as the eyeballs are willing!).

Prolific writing moments to you all today!

Mel 1-16-2003 8:38

Thanks Randall: I guess middle Texas would be better but we'll take what we can get. If they'd just hire us we'd figure a job is a job. As long as they are giving us 20,000.00 to install perimeter wire and buy what it takes to fortify the home. We figured something had to be up for them to give locality pay. Thanks for the heads up, we can start stockpiling as soon as we hear to the affirmative. (The Army Depot has regular auctions over here. I'll get on over and see what they have in the way of interesting but nice touches for the home!) As soon as I arrive in America, a visit to the dog pound should provide a bit of immediate incentive. Yes, it's do-able for a family that lived in Mindano.

Thanks for the heads up though. At least we'll be a little more careful when we first arrive. IF and it's a big IF we get the job. Like I said, at this point, a job would be really nice. Texas is the closest to home base (Colorado), we love the West, and the web sites showed the most beautiful pictures of ocean, warm weather, and the wonderful Mexican culture right across the border. They didn't mention the Mexican culture that seems to have wandered over the border. I found a great website on the powerlines in the area????? Oh well... A nice site on a Pan American college, and a great deal about a rodeo that takes place in February.

Sometimes a word to the wise is better than everything you read. Muchas Gracias for the honest opinion! (Our other application is heading for Cape Cod, but I already know that answer...high cost of living, cold weather. Way off on the other side of the planet in a place where if you throw the chicken bones over your shoulder someone is bound to notice. Humm, this does not look do-able.)

Viv 1-16-2003 3:15

Oh, uh, myself?

Well. . . I'm over being young and single

Mark 1-15-2003 23:08

Boy, every time I check here I learn something new and interesting! Like about Jerry being a cowboy (one of my early fantasies ;-), and Pamela [welcome Pamela!] being a hippie. It's ironic that I was caught up in the war protest movement in the 60's and am now married to a guy who's gotten me involved in Rolling Thunder! Also, Mark, I too like Willie Nelson.

Pamela, in reference to your question, I'm writing my second non-fiction self-help book. I'm a professional organizer and personal coach. I find that the Notebook helps me stay centered with my writing schedule as well as draws me close to others in the same boat. And let's not forget the humor! ;-)

Also, this group is amazingly compassionate, as you can see, and that's not the easiest thing to find these days. So, welcome aboard! :-)

Sunny 1-15-2003 20:48

While we are on the subject of Texas music, let's not forget Willie Nelson and ZZ Top. Friend of mine in U.S. Air Farce liked to brag about both. Friend is from Corpus. Before we parted ways (as service guys do), I let him know was listening to both. Still listen to Willie. Gibbons, Hill and Beard (ZZ) haven't gotten over being young, single and horny.

Mark 1-15-2003 20:37

Pamela - I always wanted to meet a real hippie! Back in those days, I was first a cowboy, then a soldier and at the end of that era, I was beginning my career as a police officer.

There were a few hippie wanna-be's here in the middle of the continent, but they didn't qualify, or at least I don't think they did. I dated one of the wanna-be's for awhile and we had a wonderful time for awhile.

There was the famous ZIP to ZAP gathering when I was in high school but I missed that even though Zap was within driving distance, and when Woodstock I was happening, I walked my lovely lady up the isle in fact when Barefoot Joe was singing "Whoopie we're all going to die!" I was saying I do.

Now there was that day in 1971 when an Army Buddy in my section out at Fort Lewis asked me to give him a lift into Tacoma to get his car and we ended up being arrested for uniform violation that landed me in the Stockade for a few hours so I guess that would qualify me as an X-con too, but then there were no formal charges placed (there would have been if those Armed Forces Police Officers that transported us would have caught my buddy throwing that joint he had in his Marlboro package out the window of that van they had us shackled to.) I was fresh back from Viet Nam, and had no Idea that it was illegal to be up-town in Fatigue's.

At any rate your sure welcome here no matter your background as far as I'm concerned.

Jerry 1-15-2003 18:42

From The Pamela Formerly Known As Righter

Gee, I wonder what damn fine south Texas writer Randall could be talking about? I'll try to figure out how to find the archives to check out more Red Britches (I've tried the chat room, I guess I don't have Java).

About Texas, yet another writer hails from there who now lives somewhere in the middle of some country in America. I moved there when I was eight, first living in a one-room beachhouse on the gulf coast, then moving to Houston, then Texas City, then back to Houston, then up north here to the mid-south. About Brownsville, I spent a nice month in jail there over 30 years ago, doing that hippie thing, partying across the border (are ex-cons allowed in this group?) Texas has some great things that I miss: chicken-fried steak, barbeque beef (just pork here), and Townes Van Zandt.

Eddie, I'm glad you felt well enough to say hi, I'm sure no one is worried about you replying personally to everybody. (You and Anita keep trying to remember that Michael isn't dead, he's just living somewhere else.)

I think I mentioned that I'm getting back to writing (re-writing a rough draft actually) a second thriller. What are some of you others involved in? I will explore this site some more to try to see everything there is to see but I am a complete computer beginner. That reminds me, someone mentioned the "Dummies" books and I found them difficult and have a theory as to why: they keep interjecting these stupid comments and jokes which only produces more information for us to process besides that which we are actually trying to learn. I think it is a terrible distraction and have learned the VERY little I do know from more straightforward instructions.

Pamela 1-15-2003 18:28



Home sick with the flu ... bummer. Rather be working. I watched the movie on John Nash, A BEAUTIFUL MIND. One smart guy.

Not a problem Pamela and welcome. I have posted numerous Red Britches tales on this site. Annnnnnnnnnd used enough space to give Jack terminal heartburn! They may be found in the archives if you desire to look. My favorite is MUCKERS THE YELLOW CAT.

Viv, of course I live in Brownwood, not Brownsville. Brownwood is in central Texas as Brownsville is FAR south Texas. I must tread a fine line here. I might suggest you look on the net for info about this part of Texas. Problems in south Texas along the Rio Grande are many, and the rewards? Ah, let me tell you a story.

A good friend of mine went to south Texas along the Rio Grande to hunt doves last September. The landowner asked if he carried a side arm? My friend laughed and said no, "cause I didn't believe I would need one." The landowner, a Mexican man by the way, told my friend that he would "probably be okay," but to always hunt with a companion and avoid strange persons hiking through the countryside, ESPECIALLY THE ONES CARRYING BACKPACKS! Before my friend could ask why ... the Mexican man said ... and if you see any men carrying AK rifles ... they are Mexican Army mercs protecting drug couriers who carry drugs in backpacks! My friend and his half a dozen buddies huddled, talked it over and hunted as a group!

Are there fine people in south Texas. YOU BET! Could life there be rewarding? Sure. Am I spreading lies? No. Please look on the internet for information on south Texas. Any move, anywhere in the world should be throughly researched. Cost of living here is gallon of Milk 1.99 Gasoline 1.35 a gallon. Movies? My wife and I saw LOTR, The Two Towers, for under 20 bucks and this included extra-large buttered popcorn and a medium drink. (I have to watch my weight you know!) A couple may eat out for less than 20.00. My favorite spot is a place where my wife and I can eat for 12.00. Houses are relatively inexpensive ... 50,000 will get you a dandy. 100,000, a mansion. Home equity rates are 6% and less. F@#%$&* taxes are, well, within reason I suppose. Texas has a state sales tax of 5.something% or so ... and ... no state income tax!!!! Central Texas has hunting and fishing, and damn fine people. Notables include Tommy Lee Jones who owns a ranch in San Saba, just south of here and ... a darn fine writer who spins tales of his buddies who tread on the wild side of life ... but modesty forbids I mention his name. Ahemmmm. :-)))))

Viv ... on the way.


Randall 1-15-2003 15:03

Sorry I haven't the stregnth to reply to all of your emails personally, but thank you all for your messages of hope.
Somebody said it right, I can't remember who:
Get up, get washed, put one foot in front of the other, take it from there.
Take care all.

Eddie 1-15-2003 12:56

Oh, sorry Jack, I forgot that that site needs a password, they use just one password and it's just there to keep leechers from direct linking thier stuff, the sign-in is drivers the password is all

Jerry 1-15-2003 11:15

Jack - Jerry's link will get you the same info and downloads that I got, just from a different site. I expect there are quite a few others like it as well; all the better chance of finding the right drivers.
Hope you do!
Get well .....quick!

Heather 1-15-2003 7:10

Hi All,

Just a quickie. If anyone would like a promotional flyer when my book is ready for release, just email me your snail mail address to the email address below. I've left this a tad late, so speak now or forever hold your peace…

All good things

Litter 1-15-2003 6:20

Jack - Ouch. The site below has nearly every driver ever made for just about any hardware ever designed, I use it regularly to find drivers for the old computers I play with. It has new drivers too.

As far as USB drivers, Microsoft has drivers for nearly all USB devices, and has drivers for the new USB 2.0 hardware, had to downloaded it for the wife's machine when I put a web cam on her system after Christmas.

Hope you didn't toss that hard drive, many of them can be revived with a simple low-level format, sometimes the boot sector gets corrupted, (both of them) and looks like a bad drive, but a low-level format can bring it back to life. I've recovered several of them that way and saved my friends some bucks in the long run.

Gall bladder pain is the worst, or so I've been told by my wife, our daughter, my mother, and one of the cops that used to work for me. Usually they just do a little poke and snip with the new laprosocpic devices, then a quick hour or two in the recovery room and home again, home again, jigty jog. Hope it's that easy for you.

You can probably get the USB driver from that was where I began my search for the driver I needed and found it in a short time.

Hope that helps.

Jerry drivers for windows computers 1-14-2003 23:58

Howdy all,

about the combining of authors, I agree. Piers Anthony wrote a note at the back of one of his Xanath(sp?) series that he didn't have much time to write anymore because of having to edit manuscripts for authors that want his name on their books. That sounds like all he does is read them over and maybe make a suggestion or two. I guess it depends on how conciencious each major author is. I know a number of Anne McCaffery's co-authored books were great and some were awful. She's getting so old, I guess its good to get whatever we can from her.

Get well soon. Regis (on Regis and Kelly in the morning tv) is always saying that Gall stones are worse than child birth. Not sure how he knows this for sure.

Beautiful day here today after two wet and cold days.

Write long, Write hard, or, just Write.

Rosemary 1-14-2003 19:02

JACK: You got pizza AND narcotics?!?!?!?!?!?!
Boy, it's about time this board got some good news.

Teekay 1-14-2003 16:07

I haven't been Netting very long and the few groups I've seen mostly use screen names but since you folks seem to be using your real ones, I will too, so Righter is now Pamela, an unrepentant, unreconstituted hippie living somewhere in the middle of some country in america.

Randall, so sorry for calling you Jerry, I realized it when I was in bed almost asleep. I really did enjoy the adventure of Red Britches, are there others? Kind of reminds me of a group of incorrigibles who used to hang around some flats in southern california.

Heather, thanks for kind words and my thoughts are with your husband and his family now. My own experience seems far away now and those grieving may know that time does create distance which, if it doesn't completely heal, does ease all wounds. On a lighter note, how do you pronounce "keich" (rhyme with "reich"?), I'd like to add it to my list of cuss words. Jack, I hope your anti-social organ leaves the premises okay and they give you some good pain stuff.

I like to read thrillers (write also) and just got a James Patterson from the library written "with" someone else, which I guess means that he gives someone an outline and they write it out, yes? Well, the writing was plumb awful, I gave up reading after less than 100 pages when I didn't know, or care about, any of the main characters. What do you all think of this terrible phenomonon? I think, thank goodness the book was rented and I hadn't shelled out twenty bucks for it.

Righter/Pamela 1-14-2003 14:53

JACK! Oh my, that sounds HORRIBLE.
I do know that there are some places online you can download drivers that aren't on the market any more....I'll ask my husband what the site was called, because I can't recall. I had a load of trouble finding the NVidia driver I needed for my computer, and the company site only had the latest versions available - same problem.
I found it at this one site and made a few copies on disk, I can tell you!
As soon as I know I'll email you or leave a message here.
Hope you can find it!
AND, hope you're feeling better. I think you have just found out what it's like to give birth.

Heather 1-14-2003 14:40

Jack: That sounds terrible. Hope you are soon back on your feet. Don't worry too much about Yang and Hiro...Hana seems to have the key to controling this problem. She said it'd work. Seems to have.

Randall: I notice Brownsville is right near Edinburg or within spitting distance. What is the problem in Edinburg that they'd be offering 20.000 just for someone to go there? We're trying to figure this one out. Looks pleasant enough from here but hummm...what's the reason they need the incentive?
Also, what is cost of living like down where you are?
Please don't worry about visits should we actually get the job. *this is unlikely since we've been on priority placement for a year and although that means we get the first job open in the entire US...we haven't gotten one. We figure that even if it's a turkey job, maybe we're the right turkey's to manage the problems. Just nice to know what the problems are before you decide you can manage them...giant scorpians might be ok, but something that eats a person and the family cow might make me think twice.

Then again, sounds interesting. Bet we could have some fun fighting it. Put on cloak, pick up shotgun!

Viv 1-14-2003 6:46

Sorry I have been mostly missing in action, but actually have some paying contracts that I was starting to work on for once. When, all of a sudden, my computer came up with the error CANNOT LOAD OPERATING SYSTEM . You got it. One toasted 60 gig hard drive gone. Got it into the shop, went to a science fiction executive board meeting for a convention I am Vice Chair of and had a Pizza and about half way into the meeting I ended up with a gall bladder attack. Luckily the ER was two blocks away, but I have to say that is worst pain I have ever felt in my life. I described it as 11 on a scale of 1 to 10. Took until twelve thirty in the morning before the IV narcotics finally got it down to a dull roar of 4 and I was nodding off. To put this into perspective, I clung to my wife and cried it hurt so badly. At any rate, I am slated for an ultra sound on Thursday and I am on a strict low fat diet. And have had only one day when I did not ache a little. I will be very happy to have this organ out of body. It is especially a pain since it means I will not be diving for a while. Ugggh. At any rate, hope all are well. Have not had a chance to check through the Notebook and see if Yang or some other culprit has made an appearance. I will try to get to them in the next day or so. Just got computer back at three this afternoon and have been madly trying to install software and try to find drivers for all the hardware. Looks like one USB tower will have to go missing in action since the company web site does not even have the drivers for it. Take care everyone.

Jack Beslanwitch 1-14-2003 5:01

I stumbled across the page through a recommendation in something I had read recently. I have no clue why I picked this site first out of the twenty that I have listed to check. But, I did.

I want to express my sympathy to you and your family. For some reason, I feel, after reading your post that I've known you for years...I truly am sorry. Time, that four-letter word that we love to hate, will ease the pain from monstrous grief to a dull ache that feels like an old shoe you can't be without. That's all it ever does.

G-d grant you strength.

Cheryl DataPerfect 1-13-2003 17:02

Thanks, Litter! It must have been either a word he made up, or it was more from the Irish influence (his mother's side of the family).

Wow, finally have my livingroom back, after our gargantuan Christmas tree has been 'curbed'. We moved the computer desk over so that all four windows are without large pieces of furniture encroaching on the glorious view. My windows wrap across the front of the house and around the side as well, and are almost to the floor. Shame to hide them behind wires and books and papers and desk!
The wind is something fierce today - and wow, my face nearly froze with a nasty expression on it this morning on the way back from taking the kids to school. The Christmas tree blew right onto the neighbour's porch, too! It looked as if our tree felt rejected, and was knocking on others' doors to see if they'd let it in! LOL
I don't know why our tree collection is so late into January, but last year we missed it because it was so soon after New Year's!

Righter - I don't know why some opt for early dismissal from life. I always think it is the same as breaking a contract in everyday terms - you pay a penalty. Not saying that a person is damned or whatnot, but that there are reparations to make - things that you refused to learn by opting out early must be learned at some point.
I am sorry to hear about your mother; it is never easy to lose a parent - but all that much harder when it was by her choice.
My husband's younger brother committed suicide very recently - this past December 9th - and our family is just now coming back into some sort of 'normal groove'. My mother-in-law will understandably be off kilter for much longer.
Losing someone because of suicide is not a new experience, but in this case it served me well. I was one of the few able to function during the weeks following Lee's death.

Anyhow, this is not going to get any 'lighter' if I dwell on the subject.
Much to do today - reflection time is over!

Heather 1-13-2003 11:12


All I think to say is how sorry I am. I'm not normally a praying person and yet I find myself whispering prayers for you when I think of you and Anita. Like Teekay says, there are no words to express.

Christi 1-13-2003 11:09

HEATHER – I have never heard of the word ‘kelk’ before, neither has my Scot’s dialect dictionary. The closest I can come in vernacular Scots is –
Keelick – anger
Keich – turd. A term of derision and one that is still used a lot in West Scotland (And my own household :o)
Keiltch – hoist up
Kelties – children
Killick – seaman, sailor
These are the nearest to ‘kelk’ but I suspect none of them is what you are looking for?

RIGHTER – a belated welcome. You are of course right – you have indeed found the best writers’ group on the net. At least, we all thing so.

Busy busy busy formatting, spell-checking, continuity checking, etc., etc.. You wouldn’t believe how many errant formatting marks appeared when I switched on to view the formatting. To many cuts and pastes, edits, re-edits, re-re-edits…


Litter Again 1-13-2003 7:55

EDDIE – I don’t know what I can say that would make any sense to you at this time, but know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and yours at this time. I cannot imagine how you and your family must be feeling.

Litter 1-13-2003 7:23

Hi folks! Just contacted Ron Hatch once again about Phantasium, and he wants me to send the whole collection!
Uh......oh........ oh dear! More work for me!

Righter, fantastic to see you back again!
Jerry, Randall - thanks for the stories, I'll have to slow down a bit and read them once more tomorrow.

EDDIE: More prayers your way, for both you and Anita and your whole family.
And hugs too. (((((BIG HUGE ONES)))))

Ta ta, all!

Heather 1-13-2003 2:59

I don't know which of you got me laughing more -- Randall with his story, or Righter with his/her comments (sorry Righter, just can't guess the proper pronoun from your posts!)

Thanks for the laughs!

Carol 1-13-2003 0:35

Speaking of pheasants: Did I ever tell you about the time that I plucked pheasants for a living? (Terrible job.) It turns out that the mother pheasants are the most desirable and I was in charge of them and also, I think I am a pretty nice person, so when someone would ask me what I did for a living, I would tell them, "I'm a mother pheasant plucker. I pluck mother pheasants. I'm the most pleasant mother pheasant plucker that ever plucked a mother pheasant."

Nonsense is good. LOVED your story, Jerry.

Righter 1-12-2003 23:52

Viv - We sent the most wonderful five years of our lives in El Paso Texas. El Paso sits between the Franklin Mountains on the North, and Juarez Mexico on the South with a little stream then lined with cement separating the two.

We loved Mexico with all it's wonderful entertainment, the shopping, and all the fantastic people.

That was back in the 70's and I'm sure things have changed since then, but we do still keep contact with a couple of good friends who live down there and still think it's the most wonderful place on earth. Were it not for family up here, we'd be down there living too, well I guess it would probably take a lot more money then what we get now too.

Got another letter from Workers Comp, they want to Rehab me one more time. I don't know why they can't understand that my old body is simply too broken for their wonderful plans, they've tried it twice before, but I guess since they sign the checks, I undergo their testing and prodding and such. It's not like I have anything better to do anyhow I guess.

Jerry 1-12-2003 23:25

That Red Britches seems like a FOWL-weather friend!

Righter 1-12-2003 22:37


How about some nonsense gang?

Red and the Seagulls

It has always been in Red Britches's nature to be a spoiler, maybe just for the hell of it. Lord knows where American society would have been if Red had achieved high office. As President Lyndon Johnson had a desire to help folks ... Red felt leveling the playing field was important. As there are few windmills and Lord only knows where one might purchase a lance ... on one occasion, Red used seagulls to right a wrong.

Why Gulf coast seagulls come to this part of Texas at this time of the year is beyond me. Nevertheless, come January the flocks wheel in. Er, fly in might be more apropos. Surely there are no shortages of fish on the Texas coast, fast food dumpsters to raid, cattle feed lots to plunder. Whatever, they choose central Texas to visit, no doubt causing small bird unions to squawk in outrage. Maybe things are slow on the coast? No tourists in gaudy shirts and bony knees to gawk at. Maybe this locale is a seagull R & R? A place to regroup, renew old acquaintances, breathe fresh air before departing for the toxicity of Houston downwind. Whatever the reason, if a Coyote views the world as a feast ... seagulls view the same world as a banquet.

Speaking of toxic. Red Britches tossed an empty wine bottle into the dumpster behind George's shop one cold midnight. Headed for his bedroom, Red assured everyone he had all points of the compass covered. Any direction was home. Disdaining invitations from me for a bed at the house, Red prepared to leave George's shop late one winter night with a snoot full.

"Where ya going Red?" I asked.

Red buckled the Army overcoat up tight. "Found a hut behind Little Bob's Auto Sales. They use it to store used transmissions till repair. It's nice and warm and Little Bob left a small space heater to warm his mechanics."

Sometime the next afternoon George made the rounds seeking bail money for Red.

"What for?"

"Trespassing. Little Bob had Red arrested this morning. Found Red asleep in his storage hut and called the cops. Tossed Red right in jail. Little Bob said he wasn't running a motel for free loaders!"

I dug deep in my jeans, coming up with two dollars and seventy-five cents. No lunch tomorrow. Red was released, seemingly at ease with the latest downturn in his life. A noted wild life expert, Pudge Wilks, owner, operator and best customer of Pudge's Bar and Laundromat says if one looks close enough, the humor in a tiger's eyes is evident before it leaps. I suppose looking back on small events I noted in the following week, Red had tiger eyes. For instance, I saw Red parking a pickup behind the day old bread outlet. Unusual because Red disdains "infernally combusted locomotion" and a pickup load of bread has no place in a world where mobility is a priority lifestyle.

Red was plainly and highly visible in feeding gulls around town that he had previously cursed. But the odd thing was ... only early in the morning. Saturday morning, a half hour before sunrise ... Red is feeding hundreds of seagulls as they sweep through the air over his head. Flinging double handfuls of day old bread into the air, Red is the seagull's best friend, ah, provider anyway. Sunday morning in the mall parking lot, Monday morning down at the railroad yard, Red is everywhere in that old pickup, honking the hand held air horn, drawing the gulls in. If one only knew. Also, a seagull is no ones' friend, in a sanitary sense. They eat and poop, and poop and poop. Poop in their sleep, in flight, at rest, most likely born with bowels full of smelly, stringy ... poop. (Poop ... you know ...!)

Little Bob's 50th year of service, some might say shafting local citizens was to be a big celebration featuring car automotive bigwigs from all over the state. Little Bob spared no expense, no overcharge too big, no hidden fee too big, no finance charge too blatant. A lifetime of experience in automotive shenanigans was brought into play. He had every car, used and new on the lot waxed and detailed. Used car records were doctored, mileages altered, oil in engines worn plumb smooth out changed, corn flakes added to rear differentials. (Makes a worn ring and pinion gear less likely to be heard!) Chrome wheels polished to a high sheen, tires cleaned, bumpers polished till they reflected the greed in Little Bob's black eyes. He worked his men 14 hours a day, and then ... the big day rolled around.

It was four on a Saturday morning when Red made his way to Little Bob's car lot. Under the glaring vapor lights, upon gleaming hoods and bumpers and sparkling chrome wheels Red did his thing. A pickup load of day old, well, perhaps two or three day old bread was scattered over the lot ... liberally and then some. Red admired the work, squinted at the rising sun just over the horizon and drove away.

Parking the pickup just off the car lot he returned with an air horn and began calling in the breakfast crowd. Drawn by the horn they came and came and came ... seagulls on vacation from Padre Island, gulls seeking mates from downtown Galveston, anemic, featherless gulls from Houston's ship channel. Perhaps the largest gathering of voracious seagulls in the world. Millions (if not hundreds!) of gulls circled in amazement, gawked at the spread laid so lovingly over the vast car lot.

"Sweet dreams Mabel! Looke at alla that bread! No Taco Bell for this bird today!"

"Bless your little pecker Slobo! Last one down nests in Houston."

So much food, so little time. Delighted at the repast frantic seagulls swooped in like WW II, P-51 Mustangs after a German ammunition train headed for a mountain tunnel. Mid air collisions were many, but even the stunned landed upon a field of dreams, ah, crumbs.

Little Bob received a phone call just before eight as he sat at the breakfast table. "WHAT! WHAT!! GULLS!!! WHERE? OH SHIT! WELL SHOO ‘EM OFF!"

"What the hell is that?" George asked me as we stepped from Rosie's Industrial cafe. Nothing like a meal of greasy scrambled eggs, greasy bacon, greasy toast and the best extra caffeinated coffee ever made to get the old ticker really pumping!

"A tornado?" I replied eyeing the stationary, but swirling cloud across town. I fumbled for a packet of industrial sized Rolaids.

George shifted the toothpick in his mouth and squinted into the rising sun. "Say! That's about where Little Bob is having the big too do!"

"That looks like seagulls..." I began.

George grabbed my arm and jerked me toward his pickup. "Red," he shouted.

"The bread store," I whooped. "Red's feeding the gulls at Little Bobs car lot!"

Before we could pull out on the highway a convoy of ambulances, police and sheriff cars and fire trucks raced past sirens screaming, red lights flashing. George started out but slammed on the brakes as a city animal control van raced past, siren also screaming.

Little Bobs 50th anniversary was a shambles. There were so many gulls circling, awaiting their turn, they needed an air traffic controller. Little Bob's employees had brooms and were racing over the lot trying to frighten the ravenous seagulls away. They might have as well been trying to sweep back the tides. A bashed gull would engage dump bowel mode, rise shakily into the air and be replaced by three more careening in. Seagulls were sitting on new cars trying to swallow a single piece of bread. Gulls were hopping on the ground, fighting over bread, wings flapping, squaking wildly, trying to launch with a mouthful as car lot employees chased them. Balloons floating from hundreds of car antennas were popping as seagulls glided in for their fair share. Paper banners strung across the lot were shredded by gulls driven insane by the magnitude of the feast. Gull poop was accumulating on everything, dropping from the air ... chemical bombing! Police officers stood and stared aghast. Nothing in the police academy had prepared them for this.

George and I parked on a side street and watched the show. We saw Little Bob race up, slam on the brakes of his new Cadillac SUV.

"He's got a gun." I commented as Little Bob leaped from the vehicle.

"Shotgun," George snickered. "This is gonna be good."

BOOM! Little Bob was immediately surrounded and disarmed by a dozen policemen.

George squinted upward. I followed his gaze as a seagull trailing feathers dropped the landing gear, dumped the holding tanks, managed a shaky descent, banked left, then right, then glided in to collide with the president of the Texas Used Car Sales Association. The gull fluttered away, sprinted webfooted across the car lot. It was promptly netted by an animal control officer, who, up to this moment had been standing still, stunned at the magnitude of her opportunity.

"Score one for the gulls." I muttered as the red faced, cigar chomping man went down.

Red wandered up and leaned in the window. He grinned. "See anything interesting boys?"


"Well Red. Did you do this?" Danny asked.

"Could be. Is there a law against feeding migratory seagulls?"

"Well," Danny answered. "Not sure if there is Red. But littering is another thing."

The conversation was interrupted as one of Little Bob's sales persons ran screaming by as two seagulls pecked at his head.

"Thats gotta hurt," Sheriff Buntyn said. He turned back to Red. "Red, littering is a misdemeanor." he commented. The sheriff looked closely at George and I.

"Well Sheriff Buntyn," Red commented. "The evidence is nearly gone and what the gulls have deposited was done solely on their own responsibility."

Sheriff Buntyn nearly grinned, but caught himself. "Would this have anything to do with Little Bob having you arrested last week?" he sternly inquired.

Never one to tell a falsehood Red shook his head and looked Sheriff Buntyn right in the eye. "Nope. Not a thing. Just feeding the seagulls."

Everyone won this time. Red achieved satisfaction. The seagulls eventually headed south, bellies swollen with food. Even Little Bob came out ahead. He collected insurance on the fiasco and took his wife to the South of France for a vacation. One wonders if his lower lip trembled just a little as a French seagull sailed over the beach?


Randall 1-12-2003 22:09

To Eddie: I am so sorry that you and Anita are having to live through every parents' nightmare. In an earlier discussion about karma, someone mentioned that perhaps those starving children in third world countries are more spiritually advanced than the rest of us. Anyone who has lived a while on this earth knows how full of pain life can be at times, maybe those who leave young are blessed because they get to skip much of it. Do you think you could use the word "leave" rather than "die"? The latter has such a negative connotation placed on it by those of us who are here, and what do we know? Those who have almost left but come back report what a wonderful experience it was and how they hated to return. Your wonderful son has not died, he has just gone somewhere else to live for a while and you will see him when you go there too. Please do not be tempted to join him before your time, we go when our number is up and our time is right. You and Anita will get through this somehow, if you have other children, they will need you very much right now. Just go through the motions, put one foot in front of the other, put food in your mouth, go to work, look at the sky, put one foot in front of the other again. It seems impossible now, but one day you will smile about something. Another day you will laugh. And life will come back to overtake you. Let it be.

Thanks to all who took the time to welcome me to the group. Howard, I am very glad that your medical problems are correcting themselves. I am interested in the power of the mind over physical ills and think I would try hypnosis if I had a terrible condition (My lungs are pink and healthy, etc.). I think this could work much like prayer and visualization.

Someone asked what my novel was: Ravished (not my title), published by Bantam in l982 (I never said I was prolific!). It's the story of a young girl's love affair with a Victorian ghost, described on the jacket as "a very erotic ghost story." I had been reading about Henry Miller and Anis Nin selling erotica for $1 a page when they were starving writers and started out to write a good quality erotic short story, it got too long, became a book, etc. Bantam gave it a trashy title and cover and it sold around 40,000 copies, so that was fairly rewarding.

People in states like the Dakotas grow up with guns and know how to handle them safely. It is the idiots who leave guns accessible to kids and teens, as well as those who get drunk and shoot their best friend over a $2 pool game, whom it would be good to have some control over. Unfortunately, those people don't have "I'm An Idiot" tattooed on their foreheads to we can identify them. There are exceptions, though; my mother was from South Dakota, grew up shooting pheasants with a .22, knew gun safety and was an intelligent woman, yet all that didn't stop her from blowing her brains out with a shotgun a dozen years ago. Scrubbing her brains off the wall wasn't as terrible as what Eddie and Anita are going through now but enables me to identify with the shock of the unimaginable and to implore them not to take the route my mother took, which leaves much devastation in its wake. If you feel the need to talk privately, please email me,I am here for you.

This is a great group of people, I think I HAVE found the best writers group on the Net!

Righter 1-12-2003 21:43


I don't know what I could possibly say. I am praying for you and your family.

Rhoda 1-12-2003 21:27

Eddie, My family and I are praying for you and yours. I want to say more, but don't know what else there is to say. I second what Randall says though.

Cheri 1-12-2003 19:36

Randall: Uh, what are your views about living right next to Mexico...on the border? Edingborough, when I look at the map looks awfully close to Mexico. I sure wish I could see the place before we commit. Still, a job is a job. I just hope they have a decent high school...and someone who speaks/writes Japanese so my daughter can keep her language skills.

Viv 1-12-2003 17:27

Eddie: I think what you wrote is about the most terrible thing that has ever been written in this notebook. There cannot be a worse nightmare than what happened to you this Christmas. My prayers are with you. I am going to add this to them, "May the pain of what they are experiencing be allowed to pour out and add dimension and depth to his writing." Sometimes writing helps ease painful times.

Mel: I know how you feel. This week it's the same around here. I have not only a desk piled up with junk I need to get done by the 20th, I have a card table as well. What a mess!

Viv 1-12-2003 17:24

Oh, Eddie, I have no words. (((((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

Teekay 1-12-2003 15:26

Eddie - My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. ((hugs))

Allein Peachick's Galleries 1-12-2003 1:58

A Visit to the Tomb
By Jerry AG Ericsson

Watching the old man walk up the walk of honor reminded me of the old children’s story “There Was A Crooked Man.” He was indeed crooked, bent to a permanent bow at the waist, two short canes served to keep him semi-upright as he made the long walk.

I, along with some fifty five comrades were standing honor guard along the walk, each holding a flag of one of the state’s and territories of our great nation. We stood at rigid attention, not moving a muscle, except for our eyes; I think all eyes were on the old crooked man with a top hat, of all things making his first long walk (and his last) up the walk of honor to the Tomb of the Unknowns.

I saw the irony of it all, for this old crooked man was the very reason that many of the honored dead who occupied Arlington National Cemetery are there at all.

Slowly the Emperor of Japan made his way down the long walk, accompanied by some aid or underling who carried the large wreath of flowers that he was to present to the Unknowns.

As he made his way past me, I allowed my tired eyes to look upon the elderly leader, the heat of the day made my hands sweat, there was sweat coming from under my dress blue hat and running down into my eyes, already red and sore from the new contact lenses that the Army issued me some six days before. He turned and looked directly into my eyes, and for just a second I thought I saw a glint of sorrow. For that second or two, I felt sorry for the old man who led his nation through its bloodiest time in history, who was responsible for so very many deaths of soldiers of so very many nations and then he walked on, this man who was for a time believed to be a God by his people.

There was a sadness that seemed to strike us all that day, for the horror that the old man had been a part of, and for the shell of a man that he was that day, yet somehow I felt he was trying for the first time to say a simple “I’m sorry.”

I’d like to think he did.

Jerry 1-12-2003 0:16

Eddie and Anita -- my deepest sympathies. My prayers are also joined with the others in winging their way to you and your family.

Carol 1-11-2003 23:53

Eddie: You and your family have my utmost sympathy. Words seem so weak at times like these, but I hope that the joined outpouring of prayer from your friends and family brings you some comfort.

Mary 1-11-2003 23:01

EDDIE -- Sorrow here and a prayer for healing.

Mark 1-11-2003 22:12

Eddie - What can I say that hasn't already been said today. I'll keep you and your good wife in my thoughts and prayers. I can't imagine the pain of loosing a child.

Jerry 1-11-2003 21:28

Eddie ...

Oh God Eddie ... As a father of a 19 year son and two daughters, 20 and 29 I cannot imagine the heartache your famly must feel. But across the world, through the internet, on this site, many, many of your friends join hands, hearts, minds and through the power of God's love and prayer we express our love for you and your wife. I believe we all will see our deceased loved ones again. I believe that. One day in the future, at the instant of your transmigration into Gods mysteries your son will come forward, smiling, and once again you will be together.


Randall 1-11-2003 20:27

ED: My heart weeps with you... Feel the hugs of your friends, knowing we mourn with you and for you...When aftershocks come, we'll still be here for you. My prayers for you and your family I send winging across the ocean; God be with you in your great sorrow.

Mel 1-11-2003 20:14

Eddie -- there are no words. I'm just glad you had the strength to reach out. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

Sunny 1-11-2003 19:42

Eddie - my heart goes out to you and Anita. Prayers are making their way to you from us as well.

Heather 1-11-2003 19:15

EDDIE -- Please know that we are praying for you and Anita. I cannot imagine the heartache, but if it's any comfort, we're praying.

howard 1-11-2003 17:37

New email

Eddie 1-11-2003 17:00

New email

Eddie 1-11-2003 17:00

Hello everybody,
I Have begun this post three times today. I might finish it this time.
One day I might be able to tell you more about what happened on Christmas Morning.
We lost our precious son at around eight o'clock on 25th December. Michael would have been 24 in March. It was a freak auto accident. He drowned in his car.
The police knocked at around nine o'clock. I was preparing the dinner table.I had to go wake anita up and tell her the news.Please pray for us.
See you soon,

Eddie French 1-11-2003 16:56

The first hint of war was the activation of the National Guard and Reserves, then the Marines are shipped abroad.

The sure fire indication of war is when AMC begins showing lots of John Wyane and other war movies, last night the Duke was on several channels, this morning I flipped to AMC and Tora Tora Tora was on. Can war be far away?

Jerry 1-11-2003 11:04


Some lettuce, a water faucet, and a tomato were having a race. Halfway through it showed the lettuce to be a head, the water faucet was still running, and the tomato was trying to ketchup...

I'm a tomato today, trying to catch up...Catch up, catch up, catch up, catchup (pant, pant, huff puff!)...

HOWARD: GREAT news from your doc!!! :-] And about your stuck story getting unstuck!!! You go, Boy! ;-) About those singing appliances-- you mean to tell me they're all one-note on purpose? Oh well, if that doesn't take the serene out of serendipity...!!!

TEEKAY: Thanks for the blistery blustery poem again - just as wonderful the second time. :-]

CHERI: There's a great short humor piece circulating, a conversation between GOD and St. Francis, where God's enquiring about the upkeep of the earthly gardens, etc., and St. Francis has to explain about people cutting their lawns to use the clippings for fertilizer to make their lawns grow so they can cut it again...HA! :-] We are a funny race of creatures, aren't we?!

A BIG HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO to everyone else!! :-) Have a great writing day, you-all. I'm off to uncover the desk so I can HAVE a writing space...I need prayers for this job, people...hoo boy! Paperwork piled high...perhaps a lit match would be the best thing-- :-]

Mel 1-11-2003 9:21

RANDALL -- just watched "Signs" -- interesting!

howard 1-11-2003 0:52

JERRY -- another thing that helps relieve arthritis and joint pain is MSM Glucosamine compound. I've been taking that as well, for a couple of years now, and the neuro-surgeon I go to said that I should actually double the amount I take daily. He said he uses it for arthritis pain, and has avoided further hip surgery by taking it. I know it's helped my knees considerably.

howard 1-11-2003 0:21

Randall - just watching the weather, sounds like your son is in for his first real taste of cold. Minot is to get down to -13. Here we will be basking in the warmth of +6.

Debra, thanks, I am thinking of ordering some to test it out, it it works it would be super.

Jerry 1-10-2003 23:11


I had you in mind when I saw him. I always hear about how much pain you are in all the time.

I would just buy some calcium if I were you right now.

Debra 1-10-2003 20:53

By the way -- that link below really works. It's to the Hobbit Name page. You can go there to find your hobbit name, and now it also has your elven name as well. Mine are Ponto Bulge of Great Smials (hobbit name) and
Camthalion Arnatuilë (my elven name).

howard 1-10-2003 20:13

JERRY - thanks for the tip. I've been using coral calcium for a month now, and I really do feel the difference.

howard 1-10-2003 14:39

VIV -- Here's an example of a link:

<.a href="" target="blank">Hobbit Names

The dot after the first caret (<.) allows the html line to be displayed. If you were to copy/paste it into your page as a test you'd have to remove the dot.

Have you tried going to for that free html editor I mentioned a while back? It's NoteTab Lite, and it has a split-screen library of html stuff all ready to use.
The free version impressed me so much that I bought the pro version.


I had a cousin who was one of the big guns where he worked -- until they fired him...

howard 1-10-2003 14:37

Hello everyone again!
Seems the topic has turned to guns, so my one cent view. I don't like guns, neither of my parents have owned a gun, and I'm pretty sure that none of my grandparents did. My great grandpa on my dad side used a gun, but I don't know if he ever owned it. So with that background, it's pretty safe to say that I won't own a gun either, I'm not a very violent person and a gun (to me) symbolizes violence. (Shiver!)
Anyway.... I didn't get to finish Time Shadows, so here's all of it.

Time Shadows
Time goes quickly, time goes slowly
All at once, far ahead and behind
We are stuck with in His shadow
As we step through shades of time
When all else fails, who will conquer?
When all is lost, where is thy Hope?
We don't know, we're merely mortal
With sins unwashed by cleanest soap
In the end, we will conquer
When all else has faded away
E'en when faced by Death's dark night
We will see the light of day
For the Goal is pressing nearer
It will surely will soon come
When at last we're at our Home
Angels sing through out the Kingdom.
He's our Goal, our final Hope,
He's our Light, our only Pleasure
We will finally meet Him there.
Because of His Love's great measure
We will dance and laugh in Paradise
While we wile away the time
Forever praising, here, there, ever
Praising Him though out all time

Copyrighted by: Elaine 1-8-03 @11:29 am

Hope that you all enjoy. I enjoyed writing it, It's been a while since I've done anything with rhyming in my poems. I've been practicing my free form for poetry. Well, must be off!
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 1-10-2003 12:31

Howard, I know you and someone else (Was it Debra?) were talking of Coral Calcium, at any rate I just watched the infomercial, and did a quick search for the product on the www. Here's a link that has the stuff way cheaper then the infomercial did.

I don't know if I buy what the guy was saying but it may be worth a try, who knows if half of what he was spouting is right it would be some good shit man.

Jerry Cheap suplements 1-10-2003 11:04

Debra - You surely have the absolute right to hate guns. Isn't America a wonderful place to live where we are free to hate inanimate objects, yet I think Trent Lott just showed us that you are absolutely not free to even hint that you hate another race. Well you can hate whites if your another color, and you can hate Jew's if your black, but white's can't hate anyone.

I guess that's ok since I don't hate anyone based on race or color, or creed (well I'm not overly found with those mid-eastern fundamentalists who want to kill me, but I think that's still OK.)

It's just the idea that our country has come so far that one who still believes in the "old school thinking" can be ostracized from society. I know I shouldn't talk of such things I may be labeled a racist, and nothing is further from the truth, it's just the idea that it's just fine for someone like Jesse Jackson to speak of "Himy Town" yet Trent Lott gets the horn for trying to make a very old man feel good when he retired.

Enough politics.

Debra thanks so much for kind comments on my writing.

Jerry 1-10-2003 10:24

Viv - I use for my pages, they offer free web pages and have a super easy access system with a page designer, file transfer system and the works.

I usually make the page first then make the hyperlink, but you can do it either way so long as you know the address of the page. You don't need a button, but can use one if you wish, I usually just make a text hyperlink as I do at but I have used buttons too, at

You can look at how I did this by (Using Microsoft Internet Explorer) going to the page, then once the page is loaded, click on View (On the bar at the top of IE) then select Source.

I got the buttons with a now ancient HTML editor, I don't recall the name anymore and doubt that it's even around any more, but buttons are available at many sites on the WWW, or you can design your own using the free web graphics designer Paint Shop Pro (Shareware).

Oh I think that designer software was called Gomer or something like that, there should be a link to the page on my Links page but it's probably out of date since I lost the password to that site back in 96 or there abouts.

Jerry Geocities 1-10-2003 10:12


I knew we weren't having an argument!

Yes, I do fear guns, thus creates my hate.


Let me tell you I'd be the first one thankful if there were ever an invasion and the people who loved guns ended that one for us. Not by killing people per say but just restored things to the natural order. See I want it both ways. I know there's no such thing.

I do still believe that laws are to protect the innocent from the stupid.

I know the last thing you are, Jerry is stupid. In fact you were talking about a writer not long ago and stated that you wished you could write like him. I wanted to say then, that you write like you. You should be proud of that. Your stories are amazing and the writer you were admiring couldn't write those.

That's my favorite thing about writing, there's enough for every one it's like the sun. They only thing writeres have to worry about is someone blocking it.

Debra 1-10-2003 8:30

Carol: UlP, sorry. No pages today. Grading plus making a new website took from 12:00-6:00. I can't seem to concentrate because it's finals week and I have everything else on my mind + the cat is sick. Still, I'm going to get up at 4:00AM and wake the day with Pommes. Wish me luck on that promise but now that it's public I'm going to loose face if I don't. So I will.

Jerry/Howard: I have the webpage made but two questions. I want to add more pages. I have the front page and now I want to create pages that someone can click on and go to the next page. Kind of like that button at the top where we can add our thoughts on this site.

How to I do it? Do I create a new page then make a hyperlink?

Do you know a free web server. Absolutely FREE. I'm experimenting with something new and I can't afford to sign up for a costing one because I don't know how to remove a website once I have it uploaded.


Mary/ thank you for all you taught me with the last website. It's getting closer to do-able for me.
I just wish I could read and understand all of Internet for Dummies and Websites for Dummies. It's really bad when the "For Dummies" series doesn't make sense.

Viv 1-10-2003 4:29

Oh Debra, I didn't attack you, or at least that wasn't my intention at all. I would never do that, we're too good of friends for me to even think of doing that.

If it sounded like I did, I apologize.

As you know I'm a gun nut, always have been, will probably die one. I just found lately that guns aren't something I need anymore, and since my house was falling in the hole under it, I sold most of them except the two I was just talking about.

Funny how that works everyone who looked at any of my guns wanted those two the worst, but I know that should I ever sell dad's old .22 my eldest sister would skin me alive, as it was her gun when we were growing up.

Now she wouldn't have it in her house now as she has reformed, but one day when we were kids we were on our way home from town. Dad had been drinking way to much and mom was driving, when my sister spotted a pheasant rooster out in the hay field just south of our house. She told mom to stop, took that old .22 out from the floor boards where it road all the time, put it to her shoulder and shot that pheasant right through the eyes at over fifty yards. A shot that would make any target shooter proud, then she went out and picked it up and we went on home where mom cleaned it and we had it for supper. See how handy a gun can be...

Someone said laws aren't for the law abiding, but who would be arrested for the trigger lock law should it pass? Surely not the criminal who is robbing the quick stop in Bismarck, nor the fellow who kills his spouse in the heat of an argument. No it would be the good citizen who is sitting on his couch drinking a Coors Lite, when a cop chases his kid in after a car chase, or some such thing and sees that rifle sitting in the gun rack unloaded but without a gun-lock.

Or the fellow who pissed off the wrong guy and the guy calls the ATF on him reporting that he has an illegal firearm, even though he doesn't, when the ATF breaks down his door and takes all his firearms "for evidence" then arrests him for violating such law.

Think I'm off base with the above, don't you believe it, it has happened hundreds of times in the gun world, and the ATF (famed in song and legend from such places as Ruby Ridge and Waco Texas) are well known to shoot first and question later.

Ok, now back to writing....

Jerry 1-10-2003 0:20

Debra - I'm not mad, not at all, just expressing my opinion. Someone once opinions are like ass holes, everyone has one and they all stink.

I'm not at all upset, except maybe at Handgun Control Inc. since the ONLY thing they based their rating on was that law. Not the fact that there isn't a recognized problem here (well there I now live in South Dakota), just that the state law makers haven't passed a law that HCI thinks in needed. Several state legislators were interviewed in the story, it was their feeling that should North Dakota's lawmakers TRY to pass such a law there would be such an uprising that the next elections would find ALL those presently serving replaced.

No we don't close the borders although some have suggested we should, and yes there are those from out of state who move here, many trying to get away from such restrictions, others coming, like Randall's son, to serve the Military. Those who come still observe the teachings that they received from their parents, many think guns are evil and would never have one in their homes. Nobody is forcing them to buy guns and keep them. They are free to do as they please, but those who live here, mostly rural folks, know guns, they know that they are simply another tool that if treated properly will do the job it was made to do. Like any tool when used improperly, it can harm or kill others. They know that and like you, they love their children and would never do anything to harm them. That's why they teach their children gun safety at a very young age. That is why most children here know exactly what to do if they see a gun laying unattended, they know not to touch it, and to tell an adult. Sure there are still rebellious children just as there are in other communities, the break the law, and they are treated as they would be in other states. It's simply a way of life out here. We like to think that we are somehow a bit more free then those who live under such restrictions as gun control, registration and such and most think it unnecessary because of our way of life.

I hope I said that the way I intended, not preaching, or anything, simply stating the facts.

I used to think that it would be nice of handguns were restricted only to peace officers and Military, that was before I became a peace officer, before I began dealing with others in the community who enjoyed and used firearms. It was then that I learned what many know, guns are not evil, they do not kill people, it's the idiot pulling the trigger who is evil, who kills others.

Anyhow, I now only own two guns, my old .45 ACP, and dad's old .22 target rifle that he used to feed us for much of my youth. Dad would break the law and poach game, not for fun or for sport, but to feed us, as we were very poor back then. Dad had been sued by the Federal Government following his father's death for Federally Insured Seed loans that his father had taken out. As the administrator of the will, he was sued personally. His four brothers had agreed to pay, but never did. Thus every cow that dad sold fifty percent of the money went to the Fed. There was no such thing as a seed loan for the farm, so all the money that we could come up with had to go straight back into the farm, there was little left, and most of that went to booze, so that .22 rifle was a tool that kept our far afloat, and kept us eating. We enjoyed venison, rabbit, pheasant, grouse and such year around.

One time the game warden caught dad, he confiscated the deer that Dad had taken, but on his way out told dad that he would keep the meat in his freezer and if we needed it, we should come up and get it. He only arrested Dad because dad's brother and a brother-in-law were along. Nothing ever came of the arrest and the charges were dropped, we ate the deer a few weeks later thanks to a kind game warden.

It's because of such memories that I keep that old rifle, although I could sell it for a nice sum, as it's a rare Remington Target Rifle and worth quite a bit to the right collector, I keep the .45 because it was part of me for so many years, it road with me in the car, protected me when things got tough, and brought me so much pleasure at the range when I qualified, there was always a bit of competition amongst we officers on qualification day, and scores were remembered from year to year, a Talley of who beat who lives on. When I handle the old gun all those memories come back, in fact a few weeks ago, I took it out of it's cabinet and tore it down to it's basic parts, cleaned and oiled it, then put it back again. I don't know that I'll ever load it again, or take it out to shoot again, I do know that I will never have it around the house loaded, in fact the gun is under lock and key in the gun cabinet, the magazine is empty in a different locked cabinet, the ammunition is in boxes, in an old strong box that is also locked with an old brass military padlock that somehow found it's way home with me one day back in 1975 or so. The very last thing I would ever do would be to put my granddaughter in danger by having it laying around loaded when she comes to visit.

Things are very peaceful around here and a loaded gun under the pillow is not something that you will find in most homes around here.

Jerry 1-9-2003 23:59


Guns ... I have been a gun person my entire life, maybe longer. I enlisted in the Navy in 1966 and asked the recruiter if I could work with guns? He beamed at me and said "You bet son. Sign here."

What a nice guy. :-)

I have guns in my home, always. And they are loaded. Not chamber loaded, but rounds in the magazine, safety engaged. As a rule ... three mechanical moves away from firing. My kids grew up with my guns. When Sara and Sean were young children I brought a deer home I had killed. It had a gaping exit wound in one shoulder. I told them that this would be what they would look like if they played with guns. After that I could have laid a loaded and cocked pistol in the floor and they would have stepped over it without a second thought ... other than to tell me.

Now my son is guarding Minuteman III missles in North Dakota with the latest military rifle the A-4, a souped up M16. (Or soon will have.) In boot camp guns were no big thing because Sean had been around them his entire life. Yes, a gun will kill. And it will protect ones family. I always pack a pistola when traveling. Loaded. Under my control at all times. Usually my family knows nothing about it.


Well, I had rather have the awesome responsibility a loaded firearm requires and never need it ... or at one horrible moment need it to protect and save and not have one. Texas is a gun state, most western states are. I am reminded of the tale about President Ford visiting Montana to dedicate a new dam many years ago. The Secret Service visited the locale a month in advance and were apalled at the pickups that were carrying rifles. They told the local law that the guns must go before the president arrived. A local cop laughed at them. "These old boys," he said. "Would rather have their guns than any president coming around."

Guns are part of a ranchers life here. Just another tool. I watched SIGNS tonight, the Mel Gibson movie. A great comedy about non-violence. Annnnnnnnnnnd I'll tell you one thing for sure my friends. If that movie was a real time event...any alien invading my home would have enough lead in their person ... it would take a backhoe to move the carcass! There would be so many good old boys swarming out of the woodwork with granddad's six-shooter any alien would be shot and shoveled double time.

Well, guess I done enough damage so I'll go.



Randall 1-9-2003 23:54

Hi All :)

The reminder of an everpresent vigilance for safety struck a hard blow on us yesterday. Hubby began work on building his new ice shanty. He needed to cut some strips of the cedar and revved up the table saw. Five minutes later he walks up the basement stairs and says, "I need to go to the hospital." I didn't even look, just grabbed my purse, his wallet and helped him into his coat. He neglected to use the wood block at the end of the board he was cutting. Said board had this nice little knot at the end and of course, blades don't like knots. He now has a rat bite on the pad of his right thumb, 1 1/2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. He'll heal. I think he'll remember to use that wood block from now on! Actually, I believe he mentioned a plastic thingee that does an even better job. A trip to the hardware store is in order.

Needless to say, I haven't had much time for writing lately. :(

Welcome Righter!

Howard - congrats on those test results!!!!!! (Hey, Heather - I think I found some exclamation points you missed! hehehe)

Well, we have a long day at the VA tomorrow, Hubby is getting the first round of his teeth pulled. That poor man is one huge ache! Off to bed for me. Have a safe and happy night/day everyone!

Carol 1-9-2003 23:52

My gosh! I chased everyone out of here!

Guys it's safe to come back. I was only kidding.

Debra 1-9-2003 21:44

My husband loves guns and I don't.

We have a mixed marriage.


Debra 1-9-2003 21:28


No no no
Of course not.

Don't worry.

I'm always fine. I know you and you're not the offending type, neither is Jerry.

Nothing is happening with us.

Right Jerry?

Spring is coming.

I do like talking about Spring.

Although, I know you're not looking at Spring if we are.

What are you looking at Fall?

Debra 1-9-2003 18:25

DEBRA: I meant no offence to you either. It's hard to tell if you are offended,I know you're a sweet sensitive woman, I want you to know right now, I would never say anything to intentionally hurt you.
Most of my sarcatic comments are definitely tongue in cheek and they are definitely said without intent to wound.

Personally, I don't see a need for guns in my normal everyday life. (Thank God.)
Or irons.

Teekay 1-9-2003 17:58

DEBRA: Couldn't you guys talk guns for a bit longer? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeez?

No, really.

I love to hear points of view, especially of topics where people have strong opposing view points.

My 2 cents worth.
We have gun laws here, but the bad guys still get the guns.
Adults can still fag in cars with their poor kids sititng in there with them sucking up all their putrid smoke.
Be interesting to know which has the hightest fatality.

Peace Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan V

Teekay 1-9-2003 17:41

HOWARD ! ! !

Mark 1-9-2003 17:19




Spring is coming!

I always love talking about that!

Debra 1-9-2003 16:13

Hi All:

HOWARD: On both counts CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!
On the second count, I hate to keep saying this, but......I told ya so!
Actually, I'm glad I could say it :-D

RIGHTER: Welcome to you.
Just a thought, maybe those starving bodies in the third world countries aren't paying a Karmic debt, maybe they are simply spiritualy evolving faster than you or I.

DEBRA: Now you oughta know by now you can't discuss guns and politics with JERRY without it getting ummmmm, interesting.
Now you can either not voice your opinion and keep the peace, or you can voice your opinion and rile up JERRY and give us all something interesting to read. That garbage recycling stuff was just about done with anyway.

JERRY: This is in no way an attack on you. I love you, you make my life richer for your presence in it.

HEATHER: Gorgeous! No wonder you have dribbly eyes.

Ciao now brown cows.

Teekay 1-9-2003 15:54


Devices that have a projectile coming from it at such high rates of speed that when it hits its intended target or whatever it hits it makes it less than it once was or completely destroys it.

Guns have inspired more passion than any living thing or religion in this world. I'm stupefied. I have arguments with my husband and son all the time about guns.

You hear people spouting second amendment this and second amendment that, like there's only TWO and only ONE has worth.

Charlton Hesston was being interview by someone just after he announced he is now suffering the early stages of allzimers. He was asked if he would be worried to have guns in the house when it completely overtakes him. He answered one of those long basey no's, like it was the silliest question he had ever heard. He's apparently fine with having weapons of amazing destruction when he doesn't know who he is or what he is. Imagine! The passion!

I don't like guns but I'm not trying to make a law to get rid of them. And of course if I'm living in a state where the majority of people in it, are diligent and explore safety like it was the most important thing there was, who cares about those few children who die because there was no laws to protect them. Who cares if the caregivers of those children are not punished by dropping the ball. MOST of us are fine.

I don't leave my children with babysitters except on my birthday, my husband's birthday and my husband's Christmas party. Other than that they are with me or him. So I don't need laws to protect me from a person who I leave my child with and they end up dead by the family gun.

Should I say who cares about those children who end up dead by the family gun or the gun of a caregiver? Would you say who cares? Laws are to protect the innocent from the stupid.

We here in America are one. I'm glad for me and my country that in North Dakota there are so many gun smart people. That's means nothing when it comes to laws. When someone is stupid and a child ends up dead, that someone has to be PUNISHED. No law no punish. Unacceptable!

That's all I'm saying Jerry.

Debra 1-9-2003 13:20

Sorry about the short little post on Monday, but I honestly had only 30 seconds to write that. I had enough time to type it in and press the enter button before i had to run to my gym class. First a warm welcome to RIGHTER, glad to have another writer joining in our midst. What novel did you write? I'm interested because I'm writing a couple stories that feel like novels (and may be in all actuality are novels!). VIV: I don't know if there is a group I can join in my city, but I think there is one in a city near by. My teacher is checking on it for the class. Our German class isn't much about learning vocab and spitting it back up anymore. It was the first couple of years but then it went to more talking then spitting out. So I'm not terribly dissappointed. HEATHER: I do have a result ready for you that's even here with me but I don't know if I have enough quickly...
Time Shadows
Time goes quickly, time goes slowly
All at once, far ahead and behind
We are stuck with in His shadows
As we step through shades of time
When all else fails, who will conquer?
When all is lost, where is the hope?
We don't know, we're merely mortal
With sins unwashed by cleanest soap
In the end, we will conquer
When all else has fade away
E'en when faced by Death's dark night.....
That's not all of it but the bell rang, be back with the rest tomorrow!
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 1-9-2003 12:33


You worked in law enforcement. You know that laws are not for law abiding people. They are for the innocent children who will be hurt by the people who don't abide by them. I think there should be a law in every state for that one child whose parents don't represent all the law abiding people of North Dakota.

We have a seat belt law here in Rhode Island. I don't need it. I follow that law even if there wasn't one. What kind of person would I be if I said every car has seatbelts? People can get them for free right in their car. Because of my protesting they changed the law and very soon some little toddler was killed because their parents said well there's no law.

It's good that North Dakota has such dilligent parents. You didn't close the borders of your state did you? As long as people are free to come in any time they want, you can't predict what kind of people they are. Can you?

I love laws. I'm sure you love the law too. I still can't understand why you attacked me. We have always had such a nice relationship.

Debra 1-9-2003 11:30

JACK - Have you looked at any of those links that were posted down the page a bit?

They are to horrible places, anti-Jew, anti American - Anti-Freedom.

A little cleansing may be needed

Jerry 1-9-2003 9:52


Why so sensitive? You know me and that I don't critize people for any reason, especially you.

Debra 1-9-2003 9:42


You were talking about North Dakota. I can only assume if people are getting hurt enough to give that state a D then the guns are loaded.

I'm sure as a member of the police department you are pure safty at all times.

Debra 1-9-2003 9:39

Howard - Wonderful news - I'd chalk it up to the Writers Notebook and the Power of Prayer.

Jerry 1-9-2003 9:36

Debra - Who said anything about loaded guns??

The very first thing my father taught me about firearms was "treat every gun as if it were loaded, even if you know it isn't"

The only time I EVER had a loaded gun in my home was when I came home from work for dinner or at the end of shift. Then I always unloaded it and put it on the top shelf of my closet, the clip was in a different location.

Those who know about guns, know how to safely handle guns don't need the law. Those who don't would leave the trigger lock off anyhow thinking unloaded guns are safe.

A cautionary tale my father told me many times; One day he and his brothers (there were five brothers in all) returned from a day hunting rabbits. As they sat in his Aunt Sophie's living room (where his brother Clarence lived) talking and cleaning their guns, his brother Marvin, who had a pump .22 was playing with his rifle, pumping the action and pulling the trigger. The boys were always told to never point any gun at another person, and Marvin was observing that rule keeping the muzzle pointed at the ceiling. After ten or twelve pumps and trigger pulls a round of ammunition that was stuck in the magazine tube of the rifle came loose and fed into the action, when he pulled the trigger the rifle went off and drilled a nice little .22 hole through the ceiling, the bottom of Aunt Sophie's trunk, through Aunt Sophie's good china and lodged in the top of the trunk.

According to Dad, it was weeks before any of the five could sit down to eat after Uncle Adolph was done with them.

As I said, up here we are raised with guns, we hunt from the time we cut our first molar and are taught gun safety from the time we can speak.

Maybe where you live there aught to be a law, but from where I sit, I simply don't see the need for one. Well there are a few folks who moved here for out of state, maybe they need a law...

Jerry 1-9-2003 9:33


I'm beside myself with happiness for you.

Did you ever hear of the studies done with dishes of germs or bacteria? They had one group that sat alone

They had another group that had people praying over them. The group that had the prayers responded amazing and the other group had no change.

Of course you want to know responded how and what changes were they looking for! I don't know. It was a long time ago and I only remember the high details.

I'm so happy for you and us all. We have God in our lives. Did you ever think that once he comes to take the people who are going home, that it will no longer be up to him what happens to us?

Scary! Isn't it!

Debra 1-9-2003 9:31

Much praise! I went to the surgeon yesterday for a followup and he compared the new CT scan with the one taken in October. The earlier one shows what they call neoplasms (densities, cysts, perhaps tumors) on both lungs. He looked at the new one, and said "They're gone! Not larger or smaller, Gone!"
Thanks for the prayers and other good wishes! I know they work!

I've been stuck on a story for several years -- JJ is still in the tunnel with Grum, who is taking him as captive to the Dark Ones. Couldn't get past that until last night in kind of a half-waking dream (ever have those?) I saw a possible way out of the rut. It means cutting out a few pages, and reshaping a character or two, but I think it's moving again!

howard 1-9-2003 8:58


If I knew there was a loaded gun in my house it would strike fear in me like a bomb with the timer ticking away.

The reason.

Humans! They are in my house too, family friends and unexpected guests. At best they're unpredicable, at worst they are predictable.

There ought to be a law!

Debra 1-9-2003 7:59

Actually he raced the Karma Ghia -- until his pit crew quit. They never could get used to it -- every time he pulled in for a pit stop he looked different..

howrad 1-9-2003 7:29

Friend of mine once had a Karma Ghia -- it just kept on going around and around and around...

Then he took up Yoda, practiced the lotus position for quite a while until the little sucker did him in with a light sword.

"Ma, is it true we come from dust, and we go back to dust?"
"Yes, Johhny...why?"
"Well, I just looked under my bed, and someone is either coming or going.."

howrad 1-8-2003 22:10

Heather, your paintings are wonderful! But it's no surprise that you're getting bleary-eyed. ;-)

I especially like the one with the caterpillar. I'd go ahead and place a bid right now, but my husband is at work and I can't remember our ID and password info. I'll do it as soon as I can grab hold of him.

Thanks for sharing another of your other passions!

Sunny 1-8-2003 22:07

What ever happened to playing with firecrackers and dinky cars? :o.

Heather 1-8-2003 21:57


From tonight's local news:

Handgun Control Inc. has given the State of North Dakota a D in gun safety for children.

Despite the fact that North Dakotan's have more guns per capita then any other state, despite the fact that nearly all children in the State are well trained in gun safety by their parents. Despite the fact that the State rates lowest in child deaths per capita, and child injury per capita by guns.

Why one might ask did North Dakota get a D? Simple the State does not have a law REQUIRING trigger locks on all firearms. Now any citizen of the State has access to FREE trigger locks by simply requesting one from any police officer or sheriff's deputy, but they don't have a LAW!

I think Handgun Control Inc. needs to RETHINK their priority's.

!!!****END POLITICAL CONTENT*****!!!!!

Jerry 1-8-2003 21:43

It works!! How's that for positive thinking....I think....HAHAHAHAHAAA

Heather 1-8-2003 21:30

Here's the link to my ebay listings!

Heather orchestrina 1-8-2003 21:29

Sunny - hope you're feeling better and here's a grin! :oD

Teek! I just didn't sit there long enough pondering what OCD stood for! LOL. Had I discerned it, I'm sure I would have remembered the story to go with it.
Ah, much to be said for concentration, or lack thereof!
Speaking of which, I have taken another short break from Phantasium, to allow my eyes to stop swimming!

I've been busy painting miniatures lately, too, and having fun coming up with new 'pun paintings'. Actually, the most recent aren't as 'punny' as the ones I have planned.
If anyone is interested in checking out my mini paintings, just go to or and click on 'search', and then click on search by 'seller'. Type in orchestrina, and there you have it! All my current listings. I'll try to cut and paste the URL into the field, so you can just click on the listing page, but I've tried that before and no luck.

The time to be happy is now ~:o)

Heather 1-8-2003 21:26

Welcome, Righter, and "right on" Heather! I'm with you totally. I teach a workshop where I talk about the 4 cornerstones of successful living -- being "who" you are, "where" you are, enjoying your life and giving back in gratitude. When you start with the basics, anything is possible.

Sunny 1-8-2003 18:20

Welcome, Righter!
Congrats, you have found the best writer's group on the web!
(At least, we all think so)...
I nodded (repeatedly) when reading what you wrote about karma.... not only are situations of poverty a manifestation of past negative karma, many circumstances we find ourselves in are also such - perhaps all are. We are the masters of our own lives, our own destiny after all. We choose the paper, the pen, the style and the words with which we enscribe our existence. We can scribble on the pages, we can tear pages out, we can add papers in, we can ignore the pages altogether. We can write nonsense or mathematical theorum. We can draw pictures and write jokes.
We can flush the entire book a little ahead of schedule. Whatever we do with our lives is our choice. And what other people do with their lives only has an effect on ours if we want it to.
Diseases are manifestations of not only what we bring with us into a particular life, but also manifestations of what we do in that life. Like cancer, for instance, blossoms from worry. Arthritis descends from anger; blindness encroaches through a past refusal to see.
Others may not agree, but that is how I view it personally.
I do not, however, agree that the world is gone to shit, therefore let's just give up and throw in the dirty towels.
The world is similar to our homes. Most of us attempt to keep our homes clean, neat, organized - these are our personal living quarters, yes, but also a symbol of our present soul state. Should we all agree to see our homes into perfection, what is so hard about seeing the foundation of our homes into a perfect state as well? The Earth is our present physical foundation, and I am simply being literal. Homes can be repaired, souls can be repaired; just as the world can be repaired should it become everyone's priority. Cease treating the world as a dump and it ceases to stink. What problems seem insurmountable now diminish with every additional mind joined into the barn-raising.
...I know what I'm like with home improvements; they get put off until I'm tired of staring at the problems and get my rump into gear and get them solved. Yes... should home improvement be at the top of my list, it would be finished already. My soul needs work or I'd be finished with this lifetime and be onto other things. The entire purpose of living on a planet and experiencing things in a physical body is for either a) learning or b) fun.
There is no other reason, unless we choose to delude ourselves and believe we're here to be tortured, doomed or otherwise. What we believe becomes our reality.
As we think, so we are.
I believe I'm having a wonderful day, and my house is a spectacle of cleanliness. LOLLL

Have a good one, all!

Heather 1-8-2003 16:31


Welcome aboard. I enjoyed your post. Lots of luck with your writing and visit the Notebook often to let us know how it is going.

Rhoda 1-8-2003 14:48

Welcome Righter.

Sounds as though our Indian summer has come to an end,well there's still tomorrow, then comes the cold.

Got a call from our Rancher friend, our beef is nearly ready, we'll be making a trip to the meat packing plant to pick up our half, and mom's quarter. About time we're running a bit low. Tomorrow is yet a bit warm but the day after they say the high will be in the teens, so the meat will stay frozen on the seventy mile trek.

All around us there are men making ready for war. The National guard Unit that used to be stationed here (many troops still live here) has been activated, as have the ones south and east of here. The North Dakota news is filled with the activation of their National Guard and Reserve Units, both Air and Army. Some of them are to serve as added security for the Air Ports, and Air bases, others are being deployed to Colorado where they will receive a couple weeks training in middle eastern traditions and customs, their shots will be updated (including small pox, plague, black fever and other wonderful diseases most folks have never heard of) they will be fitted with the latest in MOPP gear to defend against the chemical weapons then it's off to the middle east.

One wonders at the start date for the coming military actions. They cannot be far off.

I think I understand why, yet I dread the acts that are about to be taken on by our troops. Not that I fear they will hurt others, just that they may indeed end up names on a black wall some twenty years down the line, should there be enough who care what happened there to erect one.

Never mind me, just awoke from a bit of depression that's been clouding my mind for several months, things are clearing up a bit now and I'm feeling much better now. Only problem sleep hasn't been a visitor recently, and I'm a bit edgy and my eyes burn from the lack.

I'm off to bed to try and catch up. Have to turn John Wayne off first, something I thought I'd never do The Commenchero's is on, and I do love that movie but I love my sleep better.

Good Night All, oh, and WRITE ON!

Jerry 1-8-2003 1:12

I'm getting back to writing (one novel published ages ago)and having just become electronic, thought I'd look for writer's groups. This one looks pretty darn good. My appliances often sing to me but I didn't think they were all the same note, maybe it's different in my part of the country (mid-south). I wonder if the paragraph is unusual because it is about itself. I wonder why people separate cans from bottles when there is so much nuclear waste in the ocean and the ground that life as we know it on this planet is already moribund. No offence to recyclers, that's just the facts, ma'am. Some years ago I got involved in the nuclear power problems (does anyone know what the Price-Anderson Act is? I wanted to tell the public about it but no one was interested) but I had to get out of it when I realized how ineffectual individuals are (even in groups) against the Powers That Be. Or if you do actually make a difference, you will meet the same fate as Karen Silkwood. For a really scarey read, try The Secret Papers Of The Atomic Energy Commission. Don't mean to be depressing, I happen to believe in karma and those who gain riches now at the expense of future generations (such as they are) who will have to deal with today's nuclear waste, will have to pay the piper someday, perhaps it is greedy bastards like them who come back as starving children. Also, reincarnation is nice since we can just pop from planet to planet in different lives so this one dying (except for the cockroaches, of course) is really no big deal, there are plenty more out there. So how's the writing going? Is this a novelist's group, I can't remember what I clicked on and don't even know if I can get back. Hope I can join your chats, it's so good to see people who can spell!

Righter 1-7-2003 23:03



I have been busy and unable to join you guys much. To my dismay ... Many thanks for the compliments about the Catalina story and the " as Satan's belly button."


I found a rather dramatic weather cam in Utah over the weekend. It may be found on National Weather Service - Salt Lake City site. Once you get there, go to weather cameras, then the HORN MOUNTAIN site. A camera is mounted high on the eastern slope of the Wasatch Plateau overlooking the Hunter Power Station. A coal fired plant, the cooling ponds and smoke stacks send out great amounts of steam. In the morning when it is coldest they form a dramatic sight framed against the San Rafeal Swell area of eastern Utah. On clear mornings the La Sal Mountains east of Moab are visible, a distance of many, many miles.


Anyway, it impressed the hell out of me annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd since some of you have been recycling ... this is a form of recycling ... turning coal into electrical power for human use... Right?


Oh! Big paintball shoot out this coming Sunday. I'll don the cammies, face paint, masks and race around in the woods with a bunch of teenagers shooting paintballs, from gas powered guns at each other. My wife, God bless her, told me to take the number for 911 so I will have it handy!!! Whatta wit!

Randall 1-7-2003 22:37



I mean HERMAN!

How silly am I?!?!?!??!?!

No, don't answer that.


Teekay 1-7-2003 21:07


Your killing me! Heeeheeee!

Though you're right. I think you miight have started a trend over in your neighborhood. Good one Teekay! I never meant anything by the fool thing. Not you you. I meant what comes from your frustration is that fuzz over our minds and it kills our creativity. Our country will be judged harshly that's for sure.

I love to recycle. Did you notice that you stopped feeling so bad as soon as it started? I used to see the milk carton on the table and think another brick on the trash pile. Now I don't think that anymore. I have a clearer mind.

This Chrismas I spent almost two straight days tearing up boxes and removing the plastic from boxes and putting paper in bags. My hands are killing but my mind is clear.

Debra 1-7-2003 20:53

HOWARD: I have one desperate stab in the dark, but I don't really think that's what it is. I'll email it to you so as not to ruin it for anyone else.

Teekay 1-7-2003 18:27

You know, I think we must have talked about almost everything now. From cars to bears to politics to religion to dentists to garbage and most everything inbetween.
Is that well rounded or what???

HAROLD: I can't get it. If you're awake, please email me the answer before I crack up.

If anybody is looking for a good book to read, may I whole heartedly recommend 'Gap Creek' by Robert Morgan.

Just finished listening to a rather enjoyable rendition of waltzing Matilda courtesy of my household appliances. I think the blender had a little difficulty maintaining the high notes, though I would never say so out loud.

Teekay 1-7-2003 18:23

Thanks so much for all of your get-well wishes! They are much appreciated as I slowly return to normal. :-)

My town in New Jersey has a very good garbage/recycling program. We have ordinary garbage pick-up once a week during the cold months and twice a week from June to September. We have recyclable pickups of paper, and then glass/tin/plastic on alternate weeks. Yard waste is collected weekly. You can put large items out with the regular trash, but anything really big like a refigerator has to be scheduled for a special pick-up. Twice a year they hold hazardous waste collections at the local community college for items such as tires, old paint, batteries, etc. And we have a dump where you can take old clothes. The program has been developed over a number of years and it's very effective, I think.

Sunny 1-7-2003 17:11

Hi All :-D

MEL: This one's for you (again)

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

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

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

DEBRA: I'm more annoyed because I care what happens to the planet, rather than what history will make of it. Ain't no country on this earth that hasn't got a tarnished history. Besides, I have very little faith in the media's portrayal of anything.
I feel being considered a fool is not a strong motivator as I have small consideration for the judgments of others.

One thing I found inspiring though is that on recycyle day I have boxes and boxes of recyclable stuff out on the pavement and the neighbours up and down the street have their one little black box filled with empty beer or wine bottles.
Well, this time I noticed that the next door neighbours had just as much recyclable stuff as I - and not just bottles. Don't worry, I didn't go riffling :-D
I think you can only do what you feel is right and if you're lucky others may follow your example. (This is not a good thing if you're a serial killer though )

HOWARD: Will go and look at that paragraph and if I come back that means I worked it out and if I don't it means I gave up.

And after that I'm going to listen to the household appliances.


Teekay 1-7-2003 15:47

I found this paragraph at
(check it out!)

Try to find (if you can) why it's so unusual. It took yours truly about half a min...

1. An Unusual Paragraph

How quickly can you find out what is so unusual about this paragraph? It looks so ordinary that you may think that nothing is wrong with it at all, and, in fact, nothing is wrong with it. But it is unusual. In no book will you find a similar paragraph. In fact, it is hard to fashion such a paragraph. In all of world history, you will not find many such paragraphs. I think you will not run across a similar paragraph again. Why? If you study it and think about it, you may find out, but I am not going to assist you in any way. You must do it without coaching. No doubt, if you work at it for long, it will dawn on you. Who knows? Go to work and try your skill. Par is about half an hour. Good luck!

howard 1-7-2003 14:20

MEL -- Yes, they're all singing the same note -- in this case a note about halfway between F and F# two or three octaves below middle C. It's the 60 cyle hum from the electrical power. Eddie and Litter would hear a slightly lower note, as their AC runs at 50 cycles (hertz).
Check for a chart showing frequency of musical notes.

howard 1-7-2003 13:42

We have recycling here, but I always have to shake my head at people who THROW OUT their grass clippings. If you leave them on the lawn, it's a natural fertilizer. Why spend the extra time and energy to collect something that doesn't need to be picked up? As for the leaves, they make a great mulch for plants, trees, and bushes. My yard is too small to use all the leaves we have so I take the excess to my mother's house. She is BIG TIME into recycling and reusing. She also has a large garden and composts just about anything organic.

We also have curbside pick-up for glass, plastic, tin, aluminum and cardboard. I can't imagine how many more bags of garbage we would have if we didn't recycle!

It's sad that it's not done everywhere.


Cheri 1-7-2003 13:07

Wonderful thing this sunshine, it has drawn me up from a bit of depression to normalcy again, what a wonderful feeling.

As far as recycling, here we have only voluntary recycling, there's a place where you can take paper and aluminum, they do pay for the aluminum. The garbage man has a list of things that they cannot take such as chemicals batteries, and tires. Then they have special garbage days when these items are acceptable, a truck comes from somewhere (Wyoming I think) and pick those forbidden items up, (Chemicals too).

We still have an open garbage pit where you can haul your own rubbish to, there's this fellow who stays out there in a little shack with a TV, recliner and climate control items (heater and air conditioner). He looks at your load and directs you to the right area of the dump grounds to unload. There's no fee if you live in town (show your water bill receipt) unless it contains things like white goods. It's illegal to scrounge around out there but they do let the old guys who have scrounged for the last fifty years continue (there's three of them that I know of) and if you happen to see something that you can't resist, they will look the other way as you haul it back home (ie. that computer desk I recovered last year).

The State gives the City burn permits so they can burn the wood and non-toxic household goods about once every two months if weather permits, and the pile where everyone dumps their grass clippings and leaves usually spontaneously combusts a couple times a year. (One wonders how spontaneous the combustion is?)

Jerry 1-7-2003 11:26

What a toppsy tervy world we live in. All you good folks are suffering winter's crule bite, while here where it's supposed to be a way of life, we have still another indian summer. Yesterday it was up in the 40's the water is running down the streets and snow is mostly gone. Today the weatherman is predicting 68F! Told the wife that we should pack up the camper and head for the lake!!

Jerry 1-7-2003 10:12

Debra: I'm glad you wrote that to Teekay. Gave me some energy to come back after Christmas and start working on what is important. I need to write for information on Colorado's waste treatment, plus I need to talk some stuff over with my husband. I forgot in the bustle of the holidays.

When I was in Denver there wasn't any system for separating the garbage at all beyond big stuff that didn't fit in the can had to be left beside the can.

I asked the trashman what to do with some cans of pint stripper/ thinner and paint. He said, "give it here" then tossed it in the truck.

I asked my neighbor where to take your old batteries because I didn't have my charger with me. She said, you don't, you throw them away in the trash.

I do know that American furnaces burn hot enough to be able to take some things like cans and bottles. I need to talk with my husband about the batteries/paint. (Although I'd rather keep the paint stripper and thinner to myself because I have a pretty good idea that might upset him enough that he'd hit high C when he said WHAT????) I could be talking off the top of my head because I don't know the waste disposal system they are using in Denver.

It all boils down to one thing: Garbage disposal is a lot more complicated than it looks.

America is such a big country and a great deal depends on the state budget. Other factors figure in...rainfall and the space available,size and heating factors on incinerators, political interest in the general population vs convenience and big business. I'm VERY AMERICAN and proud of our country. I'm proud of Denver too. Still, I think maybe I need to learn a little more about my state and what it is doing with the garbage. While I'm at it, I need to check on the water board. They are always up to no-good! Ahhhh, Christmas is over. Cleanup begins. Ummm, I hate to say this, but I could really use some copious free time.

Viv 1-7-2003 10:00


You said something that stuck with me. You said that your country was the worst with enviromental things. I know how frustrating that feels. My state is getting better. I just want you to know that I feel that of all the countries Australia is the youngest. It's like in adolecesece. I don't mean that in a bad way. I'm so very happy when I think of your country. I know it's a friend of ours that's not fickle. But more to the point, when I was in school we were getting forms all the time to have our parents fill out. They were looking for people to go there and live. We would have gotten land and money and a job. The government wanted to populate the country with the group of people they chose. I remember there felt like a real chance that they might have done it. Of course they didn't.

Your frustration is real. YOu feel like you are going to be labeled as a fool when history grades this time. You won't. Plus you know how much cleaner things could be with just the simplest tasks being done. It's the highest level of frustration. Maybe you could be the one to speak out. Maybe you could gather strength from other women like you who think they are just one person. There isn't anyone out there who is more than one person.

Debra 1-7-2003 9:07

Hi, All! :-)

It's a blowy, snowy, wintry day here in Ithaca/Elmira, NY area. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!! (And one more for HEATHER --- ! )

HOWARD: When the power went out for some with that last snow storm, ours didn't. But our favorite Christian radio station (FLN) was OFF the air. My husband shook me with a question that day - "What if it's the rapture?" Hmmm, the Christian radio guys would be taken and the rest of us would be left listening to the static... hmmm, scary thought!

ROSEMARY: Now that you mention it, I bet "Purple Greasy Smoke" would make an excellent title for a children's book... hmmm, but not for Toady. I WILL get back to him one of these days!

I saw GEESE flying SOUTH this morning...!!! All the rest went three months ago! I think the leader of this bunch must have Alzheimer's or something - they were seen flying north yesterday, and today going south... hmmm.....

And another thought for thinking (my muse just reminded me with that last hmmmmmmmmmmmm): as writers, you all are very observant people. Tell me, has anyone ever noticed that the hmmmmmmmm of the household appliances seems to be the same pitch for each one? -- !!! (And another extra for HEATHER -- !) AT least, a few weeks back, I was in the kitchen when I tuned into the microwave hmmmmmmmmmm and the refrigerator began its hmmmmmmmmmmmmm and it was the same hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm as the microwave hmmmmmmmmmm!! :-)

Then later, (or earlier, I can't remember which) I was in the basement laundry room, doing laundry, of course, and the dryer was going hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm and I turned on the clothes washer and it went hmmmmmmmmmmmmm on the same note...and then the furnace began a hmmmmmmmmmmm and it was all the same note! :-) I suspect that the dishwasher hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm is the same note as the refrigerator and microwave hmmmmmmmmmmms. If my theory is correct, I will prove one of these days that the kitchen appliance hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmms are the SAME note as the basement hmmmmmmmmmmmmms... but to prove it, I may have to blow a circuit breaker or something if I have them all hmmmmmmm-ing at the same time. Hmmmmm, I'll have to think about that.

Meanwhile, listen to the hmmmmmmmmms in your house to see if they're the same note and report back. If someone gets the hmmm-note off a piano, perhaps we can theorize about the appliance-hmmm being the same note in ALL houses... gosh, around the world maybe!!!! 8-)

Ummm, I'm going now, before the m & m's are all gone...

Y'all have a GREAT writing day!!!

Mel 1-7-2003 8:30

ROSEMARY -- I'm glad you enjoyed Mary Brown's The Unlikely Ones. She also did another excellent set of books - Pigs Don't Fly and Dragonne's Eg (yes, only one 'G') She's become one of my favorite fantasy authors. I'm on the lookout for more of her work.

Had another CT scan on Friday, now waiting for another confab with the surgeon. Life goes on!

They say there's more snow on the way. We had a bunch Friday night, on top of ice, and there are trees down all over the place. According to the news there are still around 1500 customers still without electric power in our area. Ours was out from Friday night until mid morning on Saturday, but some have really been hurting. One local dairy farmer finally gave up and disappeared with his checkbook. Left his wife and all. Other local farm families are pitching in to keep the cows milked and fed. Desperation sure can get the best of a person.

howard 1-6-2003 22:20

ooops! Forgot to post my address.

Debra 1-6-2003 21:03


Thank you.

But it's the power of your story that stayed on my mind.

I'll be looking for that one. I can't wait to read it again.

Please do something with it. It's wonderful.

Debra 1-6-2003 21:02

Evening all,

I was reading a book by Mary Brown that was recommended by Howard(I think) a while back. It had greasy smoke in it. Maybe you will remember the stories we swapped a while back in which I recommended 'purple greasy smoke' trying to make the scene a little more scary. I thought I had made it up. Maybe you told Mary Brown about it??? :)
Anyway, HOWARD, the series of books is very good although I had trouble with the first one. The unusual ones.(?) I think her writing got better and better as she went on.

Thanks for the recommendation.

Rosemary 1-6-2003 19:36

MMmmmmmmmmmmmm blueberry pie.

Teekay. 1-6-2003 17:21

HEATHER: It's the one where the mother's quite abusive and the daughter keeps washing her hands, or doing something repetitive and the mother's getting meaner and meaner. It was allthat long ago. It was very short, but very potent.

Teekay 1-6-2003 17:21

!!!!! Anyone have an extra exclamation key? I seem to have worn mine through. HA HA HAAAAAA

Heather 1-6-2003 16:16

Hi everybody!
Debra: I think that is so sweet of you to ask, and that you remember that story! :o) Yes, I have a copy of it on disk, I can email it to you if you would like! I just don't know if I've got your addy on hand - so send me an email and I'll have it then! The title of that story was 'Bullroots', just so you know when you see the attachment and wonder what on earth it is!

Teek - OCD one? Honestly, I can't think of which story you meant! LOL
Yes, chocolate malted milk shakes....mmmmmmmMMMMMMMMMM!!
I'll bring along some of my homemade blueberry pie, too!
Meet you at 7! :oD

Heather 1-6-2003 16:15

Hi Y'all,
VIV: Good thinking 99. Normally though, my garbo is a shrouded figure in a noisy truck, passing my way at some unreasonable hour of the morning. I think I'll buy that beer like you said and next time I come close to missing that ol' truck, I'll just sit meself down on the gutter and drink it all.

*Note: As I hate beer I will be buying sarsparilla instead. MMMMmmmmmmmmmm Sarsparilla.

DEBRA: Oooh yes, I remember that story, that was wonderful. HEATHER you really ought to do something with that one AND with the OCD one.

CHRISTI: Thanks for the publicity :-D. Why don't you bring TINA round coz HEATHER's coming round later and we can all go for coffee or chocolate malted milkshakes. MMMmmmmmm chocolate malted milkshakes.

ALL: This is CHRISTI's and my first paying story. We only had to give them $50:00.

On the losing weight front, if you want to lose quite a few pounds and you want to lose them fast you can cut your head of.
Well it's really funny after 3 sarsparillas.

Going now as I'm starting to annoy myself.

Teekay 1-6-2003 15:47


I'd love to read your story about the spot on the wall in prision again. Do you still have that one lying around?

Debra 1-6-2003 12:40

I've got 30 seconds left in class, just posting to say that I hope your Mondays go well! Oh, and one little thing, WE FINALLY GOT SNOW!!!! (It's just a few weeks late...)
Sorry this is so short, but this is all I can fit in 30 seconds!
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 1-6-2003 12:32

Don't ask me what happened in the first sentence - I meant 'tell her it's from me for both of you'.
Blame it on brain farts. :oD

Heather 1-5-2003 22:00

CHRISTI! Give Tina a HUGE HUG when you meet her, and that it's from me to the both of you! HA HA HA
Dang, I'd love to be there and meet you both.
Make that an 'I'd love to meet everybody on the NB' except Yang! LOL

Oh, and I know what you mean about jeans that would have been huge... oh, those days, have they really gone forever? I remember trying on a pair of jeans that were 24" waist and they were too large. Of course, that was not at the best of times, when food was scarce for me. I didn't have a scale at the time, but I know that when I did weigh myself, after I had gained some weight back I was still not much over a hundred. My normal weight when I was very very athletic was 145 - almost all muscle. I'd like to be that again, muscle or not! I doubt I can limit myself to that low a caloric intake per day because of hypoglycemia (a form of diabetes) - I'd pass out for sure.
So, the answer is? Yup. Sign up for soccer. LOL
Ah, in my case, it's sign up for soccer, baseball, hockey, long distance running and the high jump. :oP

Heather 1-5-2003 21:58

Wow, for not having a lot to say I sure said a lot.

Christi 1-5-2003 19:54


Allein! You have completely inspired me! Reading your post, I thought what an incredibly smart way to go about it. Forget fat grams and such, just give yourself a calorie limit and boom! I've been on the ALLEIN DIET for two days now, and I'm gonna stick to it too, except I give myself 1200 calories a day (gotta have my fresh carrot juice). Over the holidays I went shopping for jeans for myself and I couldn't believe how the sizes that used to be huge on me were TOO TIGHT! Put a scare right into me, and needless to say, I did not purchase any jeanswear that day.

Randall, That was a great New Year's story! I'd like to know how much of these tales is truth and how much fiction. Seemed like it went from happening to paper, very nicely done! I used to know a girl named Catalina. But that's another story.

Get well very soon, Sunny.

Heather, That was a nice ironical tale. Snapshots in time, oh yeah. Don't mind me, I'm a doofus today. :) Glad you're back!

Litter, I really enjoyed your synopsis. I've never had the horror of writing one, but I can imagine pretty well after redrafting my cover letter for the umteenth time. What helps me is writing it like I'm not the actual person who wrote the story so I can treat that writer really well (cause I'm a big fan, haha), and then I'm not embarrassed to boast a little, exaggerate a lot. How did you write yours? Any cool tricks?
BTW, I liked your teaser ending most of all. That all by itself would make me open the book.

Hey, Teekay, thanks for the publicity! I was about to mention it myself, but just didn't get around to it. Don't worry about the Freudian slip, it just means you love me. :) HEE! I'm still pathetically excited about being published at Anotherealm.
And GUESS WHAT, you guys? TEEKAY is scheduled to be published there in October, ain't that a hoot? Don't miss it, and if you forget, I'll be here to remind y'all. :)

You're too funny, Viv! Great imagery with you bowing like a madwoman in hair curlers. How the heck do you know when to quit bowing?

Howard, Welcome back from 'Zonie. We're about to harbor Tina in a few days, can't wait to meet her in the flesh!

Over, out, and totally gone,

Christi 1-5-2003 19:53

Found this site, it has links to live broadcasts from around the world. This isn't the old shortwave, but streaming audio from the regular radio stations in different nations.

I've been trying to keep to english speaking since that's about the only language I can figure out, but there's tons of them many from Europe, Africa Iceland etc.

Jerry International Radio 1-5-2003 12:24

RANDALL -- Brilliant! And I really dug that "Black as Satan's bellybutton" description as well! Great imagery!

VIV -- We saw some longhorns while driving through Texas last week. Awesome critters!

Garbage trucks? Ours is the standard packer truck, pulling a trailer for recyclables. We recycle paper, glass, and plastics. For some reason we can't out the paper in plastic bags, though -- have to put it into paper grocery bags. Cardboard has to be flattened and tied into bundles.

Was going to take the grandkids to see Two Towers yesterday, but ended up blowing snow all day instead. We got about 18 inches of heavy snow, and it played havoc with the power in the area. Some folks won't have power restored until Monday or Tuesday. One dairy farm across the hill from us is really hurting. They can milk only once a day while they run on their generator, and the cows are Not Happy.

More snow on the way.

howard 1-5-2003 9:57

Garbage men, now there's a topic. Here, we know the garbage men, in fact way back when, my Uncle Clarence worked for the City and pulled some time on the Garbage truck before the city hired it all out. Taking out the garbage is something I did when I was a kid, and once in awhile when I was working, now it's a bit hard to carry it and use my stick at the same time, but I do manage to carry out a box or a bag once in awhile.

Got a little note from Workers Comp today, the have ordered me undergo another examination to see if I can return to work. Oh if it were only so, I'd love to return to work, but I know there's not much chance of it. More red tape I guess, I understand the "bureau" is running a bit in the red since their primary investigator was elected to a Sheriff's position in the State Capitol, so their checking everyone, twice if they have any doubt.

Just to be on the save side, I forwarded a copy of the order letter to my lawyer.

Still enjoying very unseasonably warm weather, the weatherman keeps putting the cold "Snap" farther away, and less of a snap, more like a chill.

The cold viruses have invaded our home, I think it climbed aboard at the theatre, or maybe not anyhow our daughter is down with it, and my nose is stuffy tonight, a sign of things to come?

I sent a nasty note to our local weather guy who is advertising their link to Accu-weather software that installs a bit of spyware with the software. Got a nice note back from the guy, who appologized then told me how to get around it. I uninstalled it and went back to weatherbug, which isn't quite as invasive.

Smoky just commited the ultimate offence, knocked down a bunch of the wife's prize ceramic village. Doesn't appear that much broke and I've tried to put the things back as they were, but since I don't pay enough attention to what it is supposed to look like, I'm sure it isn't close to the way the wife put it up.

Oh well he'll just have to face the music in the morning when the wife arises and finds the mess. I don't envy that cat one bit.

Jerry 1-5-2003 0:04

Hi All :)

Ok, enough lurking, time to post something - anything! I've got to get back into the groove of things.

Randall - "black as Satan's belly button" -- now that's a new one on me! Nice touch! And as always, I enjoyed your story. I remember my own days of chasing herefords with my bare, calloused feet flattening last years corn stubs. I only had one mean one in all those years of 4-H. And of course, he was the one with the best potential to get a ribbon!

Sunny - warm thoughts winging your way to feeling better soon.

Viv - I'll try to have something as well by Friday. I'll have to send it out Saturday though. Hubby has his first round of getting his teeth yanking on Fri. I did manage to fill in one "hole" during the holidays. That felt good!

We have had a nasty start to the New Year so far. First was a call to have the oven repaired -- then the furnace! All in one week! Now, that wasn't very nice of those applicances. Especially the furnace, it didn't warn me until after normal working hours. That overtime rate is nasty! But, we have heat again and none too soon. A cold front is expected very soon.

Now, its running late and I suppose I could check to see just how badly the Pack lost tonight. :(

Take care everyone!

Carol 1-4-2003 23:06

Litter: The plot synopsis is interesting, and I know I'd read the first pages just to see a little more. I wonder if this might make a strong first line:
The Watchers are here.

That directs my attention right away to the Watchers and I get the typical ? reaction.

I tried doing a bit of editing but constant interruption by family and telephone are keeping my mind operating in 20 second blurbs. I love the holidays but they are hell on my concentration. My nerves are beginning to show the lack of time for attention to detail.

Sunny: Hope the bronchitus is on the run. It's what I call Kanto Crud here. We all get it before Christmas. It's miserable and takes forever to go away. Take it easy, and I hope that soon you are breathing easy once again.

Elaine: The German for me is the language of Christmas. I spent 7 Christmas' in Germany so it sort of falls out into my writing and speech at that time of year. I think in different languages for different things.

I'm glad you are learning German because it gives you an entirely different way to think and feel once you've used it in certain situations. Is there a German club in your city that you can join? Sometimes they have great events and you can give a little more life to the language than just that classroom, memorize the words, spit them out on the test type stuff. You may not have time now but keep playing with the German vocabulary and you'll be suprised at how much fun you can have. Sounds like you had a great Christmas. I wish I'd been given a notebook or two, I go through them at such a rate that I always have to buy them.
The mobile sounds nice too. Much better than getting practical gifts like underware. I gave underware, pajamas, and a coat to my children this year. I think more fun stuff next year, but we needed to get some warm stuff on the kids. It's cold this year.

Randall: Loved that Texas story! I learned a lot about longhorns. Is it really still like that in Texas? It sounds like something from the Wild West! Oh boy, I'm about to become a Texas tourist!

Heather: Sounds like you dumped some real emotional garbage when you dumped the "trashman for a day". Thank you for getting that editing done. Don't know how you do this during the holiday season because I'm not finding much time right now.

Teekay: There's a trick to the trashmen in Japan. I give them a couple 6 packs of beer during the hot weather in August. It does not improve their driving, but if I ever forget to put out my trash they politely honk and wait for me to come tearing out in my robe and p.j.s with curlers in my hair. My that does something for my ego...there I am looking a mess, and we stand around bowing to each other! Yarrgh, bowing in curlers! I try to avoid this, but it happens to the best of us.

Carol: I'm hoping that by Friday I have something to give you on Pommes. It's been kind of crazy here with my entire family home. I think maybe I'm going to have a big adjustment with retirement. Gulp! Right now, nothing is going quite as I'd wish. Even the cat is sick and needs attention.

Viv 1-4-2003 19:30

HEATHER: I must have 'love' on the brain :-D Love/death death/love - bet Freud could've had a field day with it.

I think your garbage collection is brilliant. We get this pissy little black plastic bin, I guess it's about 3 feet wide and 2 feet deep, but I might be being generous here, and this is our recycling bin, and the recycle truck comes once a month!!!!!

And people don't even have to recycle!

Australia is one of the worst places in the world when it comes to being enviromentally friendly, which I think is pretty disgusting.

Teekay 1-4-2003 16:58

Actually, it should be 'Death is a Redhead', silly Teek!

On the garbage trucks - we only have manual pickup in this city because of our 'highly evolved' recycling program. We have to use separate colours of bags for wet garbage (compostables) and blue for plastic, glass, metal, etc., that is recyclable. We don't separate the recyclables into bins or anything - all the stuff goes into one big blue bag. The garbage guys have to use a truck that has two separate chambers inside it in order to keep the wet and dry separate, and because there's more than one type of garbage at the curb, I guess it's just simpler to have someone get out and sort it as they toss it into the truck. The green bags go to a landfill, and I'm not sure if the outer bag is removed or just gets ripped in the process of compaction and whatnot in order that the compostables compost properly. The blue is all sorted at the plant and then the tin and such is sold bulk. The recycling plant makes millions per year reselling the metal, paper and plastic! So I suppose it's worth paying the guys who gather and sort it the 18 bucks an hour. :o)
If you don't kelk too much!

Heather 1-4-2003 16:20

HEATHER: hee hee Good 'un :-D.
Just curious, but our garbage trucks have these huge long arms on them, so the drivers don't even get out of the truck. The arms just go out, latch onto the otto lift it up and empty it into the back and set it down again ( - so much faster and makes the truck harder to catch) They probably don't even have to touch rubbish anymore thanks to unions (there was a bit of tempered sarcasm in that union remark - in case it was missed) Do you guys have these now or is it done manually still?

LITTER: It was very subdued here New Years also. Even in Sydney - it was all very overlaid with something dismal.

SUNNY: Don't you find you always appreciate how good it is to feel healthy when you're ill?
Get well soon.

ALL: You have got to go here (if you want to)

and check out our very own CHRISTI's 'Love is a redhead' whoo hooooooooooooooo YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!!
Don't know if that links gonna work, will try it in a minute.

eh eh eh ehhe that's all folks.

Teekay. Link 1-4-2003 15:20

Oops, sorry Jack! html acts a little differently in here than on ebay listings!!!

Heather 1-4-2003 13:00


Heather 1-4-2003 12:59

Just got back from Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. Wonderful movie, God how I wish I could write like that!

El Nino is still strong, it's still nearly 40 above, very unusual for this time of the year, the streets are nearly dry, well the traveled ones, our street is still like glass but then we know how to drive on it.

Again, what the hell ever happened to the color cartoon? The theatre showed EIGHTEEN minutes of commercials ( I timed them! ) before the movie showed. Well there were a couple of previews in there mixed with messages from Coke, Audi, Sprint, and about ten other companies. I would surely be willing to pay another five bucks for the damn tickets if they'd give up on the commercials and show me a color cartoon before the feature, hell I'd even enjoy a newsreel!

Guess you can't get away from SPAM even at the theatres these days.

Jerry 1-4-2003 1:26

LITTER: You definitely have my interest. I'd pick that book up in a second.

HEATHER: Well I didn't work on my novel today, but I did WRITE. In fact I tried something new. I wrote the begining of a horror story. Actually, I surprised myself, I didn't think I could do horror.

Well, gotta get some sleep. Good night all!

Cheri 1-3-2003 23:30

Happy new year! I've missed this place, but am fighting a bad case of bronchitis (which my doctor informs me was about 2 days away from being pneumonia), and that makes it hard to focus. At any rate, I wanted to send along my best to everyone, and hopefully I'll be feeling well enough to write something decent again soon. :-)

Sunny 1-3-2003 20:04

Litter - when I asked whether 'kelk' was a familiar term, it DID NOT APPLY to your synopsis! ;o)

Heather 1-3-2003 19:21

Ooh, Elaine, it sounds like your friends and family know how to treat the writer in you! I love receiving journals and cool pens and sticky notes too!
Enjoy them, and post the results soon. :o)
Teek! Good to see you posting more often, sweets!
I run for the garbage truck some weeks, others I have the stuff out on the curb hours and hours ahead, so I can sit all smug and warm in my kitchen and drink coffee while the garbage guy goes by. Yep, I meant 'smug and warm'. Heh heh. But, for a touch of Divine Justice, I will impart this stout little tale about garbage day:

Before children and marriage and all of those fine things I enjoy now, I was once dating a guy who was (forgive me) as dumb as a fence post. Believe me, after dating a psychotic jerk previously, this guy was about all I could handle if I were to have a peaceful existence and a boyfriend at the same time. He was peace-happy and completely unaware of the human capability (let alone capacity) to learn. Oh well. At least he didn't get angry!
Anyhow, unfortunately, he was also lazy, and relied on my ability to hold down a job and pay rent. He did cook once in a while... The new recycling factory was opening up (Wet Dry recycle, meaning we can recycle just about anything) and I suggested he apply for a job. All he needed was grade 12 (which he thankfully had, thanks to wood and metal shop and basic English classes) and the pay was supposed to be pretty darn good. His reaction was famous in my circle of friends for a while: he nearly threw up, made a hundred faces, actually choked on his own spit for a while, and nearly died gagging. "I couldn't handle the smell, I'd kelk!" Kelk, as far as I know, is Irish or Scottish slang for the act of gagging. Maybe vomiting? I'm not sure, but the sound of the word reminds me of gagging!
Anyhow, to make this stout tale a little longer, about a year after we bought our house, my son and I were in the kitchen, and I had my usual pot of coffee on so I could sit and watch the garbage guy with fresh smugness. Christian, 2 at the time, just loved watching any large trucks go by and always wanted to open the front door to get a better look. Well, who could it be, strutting out of the garbage truck to pick up shitty diapers in those thin green garbage bags, piled out at our curb? You got it! Mr. Kelk himself. No doubt about it. And, to make it even funnier, he saw the two of us watching him, and recognized me!
Oh, he continued to strut about, and even popped the hood and made out like he was fixing something, just as if he knew what he was doing. (Honestly, he really couldn't fix fallen off car trim - I have proof!)
Soon after I raced to the phone to relate the incident to my best friend, whom had been there to hear the original Kelk story.
Ahhhhh, sigh. He was only on our route the once; must have been our regular guy's replacement for the day. Oh! And that reminds me - I wondered until the guy pulled up and I saw who it was why the truck had not gone on it's usual route that morning! It was all backwards - our side of the street is usually second to be collected, but was almost last that day. Not really surprising, though, is it?

Litter! Good to see you here, too! Tell the expression 'kelk' (never mind my interpretive spelling) a familiar term?

Cheri - great to see you still pulling up a chair here!
Nice resolutions - and we'll be cheering you on!
Resolutions? Me? Nah! Never. I know myself too well, and I'll spoil things the minute I promise myself I'll do anything that specific. I have to sneak up on myself these days...

Happy New Year, everyone! I think, yes.... yes..... I think I'm almost back to my usual self! (NO GROANING, PLEASE!)

I want to work on Phantasium for one more whole week and then off it goes to Ronsdale publishing! Keep fingers, toes, elbows and eyebrows crossed!
Jerry - I think I have one or two more to send back soon for you to approve!

Ta ta, all! Sweet dreams and pen-filled pages,

Heather 1-3-2003 19:16

Paragraph indents got a bit lost, sorry. And for all you word counters – I KNOW it’s over 150 words…

Litter 1-3-2003 18:12

A Happy New Year to you all, or should I say, “A guid New Year to ane and a’.

I for one am glad that 2002 is over. Apart from the great news of my book being published last year was a real bugger of a year for me and mine. As the bard said as the bells were ringing the new year in –

Let’s toast the bastard old year out –
The year that caused me debt and doubt,
And also caused me stress and sorrow –
I’m mighty glad it’s now tomorrow.

We got our first snow of the year today. Only 2 inches but it is still lying and it’s the first time this year we have had to keep the heating on all day.

I can’t help thinking that something is a bit ‘off’ this festive season. Neither Christmas nor Hogmanay seemed anything like they should have? Cannot quite put my finger on it. Comments?

Work on my book has now begun in earnest and I find I have to provide a 150 word synopsis – OUCH! It has taken me two hours for a measly 150 words and I still haven’t managed to say everything I wanted to. Perhaps some of you would hazard an opinion as to whether or not the following would peak your interest if you happened to casually look at the book jacket. On or off the notebook, it makes no difference.

The following:

The Watchers

“They have been watching and gathering for 2000 years. They are here in fulfilment of a prophecy, but not one of earthbound religion. A ‘New Genesis’ is close. Fraser Davies does not know it, but his life is inextricably linked to these ‘Watchers’, the Matha.
It is 2006. A new comet is discovered, inbound, on a near earth trajectory. SETI, the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, finally finds proof of alien intelligence, but the signals end abruptly.
Meanwhile, Fraser has a dream. It disturbs him deeply, triggering memories of Natasha, a friend from university, and threatening both his marriage and employment.
After publication of a sci-fi story inspired by the dream, Natasha contacts Fraser, insisting that his story is recovered memory not fiction. They are soon on the run from clandestine agencies, embroiled in political and extra-terrestrial intrigue.
The comet approaches and Biblical Prophesies tumble as the planet is increasingly rocked by disaster.
Then things get interesting…”

Lang may yer lums reek.

Litter Again 1-3-2003 18:09

I've never really made a New Year's resolution before. This year is different! My husband and I have pledged to lose 30 & 15 pounds of bodyfat by March 31, respectively. I also resolve to write at least 15 pages of my novel in the same time period. My one other resolution is to submit something to a publisher, be it a short story, article or whatever!

Randall; Loved the story!

Teekay: You sound about as mixed up as I feel most of the time. 8)

Everyone, WRITE, WRITE, WRITE, till it hurts!

Cheri 1-3-2003 16:29

Nope, make that: I spent ALL of Thursday thinking it was Wednesday.

I'm going to find Hiroshi now.

Teekay. 1-3-2003 16:06

Make that Thursday afternoon thinking it was Wednesday.

Maybe I'm just easily confused :-D

Teekay. 1-3-2003 16:04

Hi All,
well, somehow along the away a day in my week went AWOL, and that's whay I had to make the mad dash for the garbage truck. I spent Wednesday afternoon thinking it was Tuesday and Wednesday up until 9:30pm thinking it was Wednesday.

JERRY: That is really sweet. I have been notebook negligent of late, and I've really slacked of on the writing, forsaking it for quilting instead. Anyway, this year I've started a yearquilt and you have to keep a journal with it, so I'm not feeling quite so bad ecause I write in the journal everynight.
That might only be of interest to someone long after I'm dead and gone though.

RANDALL: Good one. I sure hope you have plans for these extracts of Texa's life.


Teekay 1-3-2003 16:03

First of all, a happy New Year to all and another belated Merry Christmas! My resolutions are made (there are quite a few of them!) and I'm already back at school (unfortunately)
Anyway... I'd like to thank VIV, MEL, and CAROL for your comments on the poem. I wrote it last Christmas and wasn't able to put it in. I'll have type more in when I have the time.
How many people speak or use German in the NB? It's like I can't turn around without seeing German! (not that that's a bad thing..) It gives me a chance to work on my German anyway. I was just wondering.
Writing wise, I'm doing all right, I have to finish a short story that I'm working on right now, don't know what to call it, but I don't think that it'll be to hard to finish up. I'm writing on 4 (or 5?) different projects right now, all of them with a good start (I believe(so does my sister(she's my critic))) but it'll be a while before i have it finished. So far 1 historical fiction, 2 fantasy/science fiction and 1 mystery are the genres of them. I don't know about the mystery though, I may have to drop it if I don't edit soon. I started that one in 8th grade, so it's not very good. Oh well.
SO what did everyone get for Christmas?
I got a couple of good stuff. From my family/relatives I got a necklace and bracelet made of real pearls, two crystal necklaces in the shape of puzzle pieces, a dolphin necklace, a mobile with colored glass humming birds, 2 notebooks (they have pressed leaves and flowers on the cover) and pens.
From my friends I got a hard cover journal with music notes on the cover, a hard cover green journal, lots of pens, candy and post it notes. I think that's it, but I'm very happy, i didn't really expect anything that good. Oops! look at the time! Bells about to ring (again) and that means I have to leave for the next class. Sorry for not answering back sooner.
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 1-3-2003 12:28

Neat story Randall - we don't have any long horn up here, but there's some fairly mean bulls. Got chased clear across a pasture one day by one of them, me and my buddy. We were playing like we were those two guys chained together, the prisoners in one of those old black and white movies they used to show at the Palace theatre. I drug that poor fellow nearly the whole way as he couldn't keep up with me, and I barley kept ahead of that bull. It's surprising how fast you can run when your scared shitless, and a big bull is right on your heals.

Have a great one.

Jerry 1-3-2003 0:38

Randall - He's got a rude awakening comming yet, you see we're in one of those El Nino winters where it's a lot warmer then usuall, but the weatherman told us tonight that it's comming to an end in like three days then the mercury will drop well below zero, our normal winter temps.

I'm sure he'll get to love it though, the cold seems to grow on a person when he comes north and winters are looked forward to, especially when the July temps get over a hundred.

Next time he calls tell him the very best part of the North Dakota winter can only be appreciated once you have a pretty northern lady to help you warm up when you come in from the cold.

Oh and he will soon find that when he comes in to a warming house, one of those with a space heater that you find yourself backing up to them. Nobody knowes exactly why, you just do, well men do, women face it straight on.

Looks like this hiroshoieirsershe guy is some sort of communist or something, I followed a couple of his links strange stuff. Very anti-American. But then I guess this board is international so all points of view can be posted, but the lenghth, heck I've read novel's with less worthless space.

Jerry 1-3-2003 0:20

Poor Hiroshi! He's obviously just trying to make the world a better place. Too bad he doesn't know there's an easier way -- he could just leave...

howard 1-2-2003 23:44

Christi - Not much will power at all, I'm on the 1000 calorie diet where I can eat whatever I want as long as I don't go over 1000 calories. ^.^ You feel like you're starving about the first two days and then it goes away and after a week you don't even think about it.

Hitori (was that his name, I forget, you know who you are) - I think Hana said it all, so I'm just gonna use the most basic otaku anime insult - BAKA DESU!!!

Allein Peachick's Gallery 1-2-2003 22:55


Happy 2003 gang!

I tell ya :-) where do the time go ... eh?

Jerry ... Sean called Tuesday night. Said he had never been so cold in his life!!! He said the other Special Forces guy's in the "Cop Shop" was giving him heck as a "Warm-blooded Texas boy!" He said the supply depot had given him a BUNCH of cold weather gear and told him he would get used to the cold!



By Randall H.

Shari, a lady rancher I know owns a herd of longhorn cattle. Twenty or so cows, she brings in a rent bull when required. She loves her longhorns, on occasion raising an orphan with a bottle. Shari keeps them in a fairly large pasture and most are as gentle as lambs and may be hand fed. But there is one ... you know what I'm talking about. There is always one. At a smoke filled coffee shop last week I heard an old time rancher mumble "That old mean bitch! Why if I'd had my six shooter that morning, I'd sent her straight to ..."

I, as well as many others sitting around knew exactly who he was talking about ... Catalina the Longhorn. Catalina is nothing less than a train wreck on the hoof. She stands six feet at the shoulders and wide sweeping horns longer than that. In her prime Catalina knows no master. To see this matriarch standing tall, head held high, eyes black as Satan's bellybutton is a rewarding experience ... as long as there are at least two fences between you and her and you are inside a sturdy vehicle, motor running, foot on the gas. If provoked, she has the potential to leap a fence as easily as a greyhound or whitetail deer. That's where a sturdy, fast vehicle comes into play. Best guesses at her weight would range from 1500 pounds to, "Too damn big! Somebody ought to shoot that bitch!"These remarks are usually from cowboys perched in a tree, panting and out of breath or sitting in the local hospital ER awaiting treatment. Any other domestic animal would have been shot for pure orneriness years ago ... but Catalina's one redeeming trait makes her a real prize. She is a calving machine ... regular as clockwork and delivers two fine calves every 18 months. Occasionally Catalina produces a set of twins just in case Shari has any thoughts about selling.

Catalina came out of a herd of gene rich Spanish Longhorns from the massive King Ranch in South Texas. She was hauled to my friend's ranch when only two-years old and ...

"What happened when you brought Catalina back from the King Ranch?" I asked Slim Lee, Shari's foreman, as we sipped coffee in the Industrial Cafe on a fine Saturday morning.

"Well, I'll tell you what happened! We opened the trailer gate and that damn bitch leaped about twenty feet straight out. Knocked me and a fine cow pony right down in the middle of the cow lot. Thought she killed me and that roan horse for shore! Catalina never hesitated, leaped a six-foot steel rail fence and took off for the high cotton."

"Did you chase her?"

"Yes sir're Bob we did. Miss Shari paid a hatful of money for that Longhorn. Me and old man Doss Skinner and two Mexican cowboys tracked her through eighteen fences across a 25,000 acre ranch full of the worst brush I ever saw. Took us and a pack of hounds two days to finally get a rope on her."


"Yeah, jumped most. Run through the rest. Never seen anything like it. I don't believe she ever slowed down, day or night. She ran as straight as the little Indian boy went to crap. If Manual and Jose hadn't been raised on the old Star Mexicali ranch below the Rio Grande, I doubt we would have ever caught her. Their family run longhorns for two-hundred years down there in the Sierra Madre foothills along the Rio Yaqui river and they knew the breed. Manual and his little brother finally cornered her up against a limestone cliff down on the Colorado River close to Valeria. That bitch was a'tossing them hounds around like they were dolls. When I finally made my down to the river bottoms, it was dust city, hounds barking, horses snorting, Catalina bellowing. There were two inch sapling trees going down like match sticks! Catalina was backed up against an old cliff face fighting them hounds like a cornered wild cat. Jose finally roped a rear hoof and Manual got a rope on her head. Catalina broke left headed for a dense patch of willow brush and river grass. Manual had dallied down the rope on his horn and it liked to have jerked the saddle off when she leaped away! But that's where them Mexican cowboys shine. Jose turned his horse and laid Catalina down in the dust. Best job of team roping I ever seen."

"What was old man Skinner doing?"

"Trying to stay on his horse, loading his Winchester and cussing like a sailor. Them hounds were his and after two days in the saddle he was really ticked off at Catalina."

"He didn't shoot her though?"

"Nah. Old son-of-a-bitch couldn't hit a bull in the ass with a base fiddle anyway. Manual and Jose stretched her out, then got a hog ring through her nose and old Catalina calmed down right away."

"Thats amazing."

Slim finished his coffee and tipped a sweat stained hat back on his head. "You know, Catalina followed us the first day as we headed back. Gentle as a dog. Course we had her roped and ringed pretty good too. But, the funny thing was, the second morning she took the lead and even though still on a rope went right back the trail she took out on. I told Manual to take the rope off and she trotted straight back to the pens."

I laid a couple of dollars on the table and walked out with Slim. "Reckon she learned her lesson?"

"Could be," he said standing next to a mud-covered Ford dualie pickup. He rapped a scarred and weathered fist against a busted rear fender. "Catalina done this yesterday. Ambushed me as I was unloading a round bale of coastal hay inside the gate. Shorty, my Border Collie saw her a'sneaking through the brush and began barking." Slim chuckled. "Shorty was standing on the pickup cab, cause he had too many rounds with her as it was."

"Smart dog." I commented.

"Yup. The old timers say Longhorns are smarter than most other cattle. Got that old Spanish/Moor blood in ‘em. We put Catalina in Miss Shari's main pasture right after we caught her and she ain't once tried to jump out or run off since then. Course, if you're a cowboy, once you get in her territory it's a different matter. Me and Jose was in there last week on horseback, gathering up calves. Catalina damn near killed both of us. Came out of that scrub brush like a she demon from hell! Head held high, horns gleaming in the sunlight, snorting like a steam shovel! Discretion being the better part of valor, Jose went one way and I the other. Old Shorty was with us and he jumped up in my arms."

"Gonna kill someone one day."

"That's the hell of it Randy. Seems Catalina knows when to back off. Don't know if it's my imagination or not but it seemed Catalina gave me enough time to get in the pickup before she rammed this fender other day. One of Miss Shari's grandkids disappeared from the ranch house a while back. Miss Shari and the kid's mother went hunting and found the little girl hand feeding Catalina some cow cake pellets down behind the barn. Miss Shari said Catalina was just as gentle around the little girl as you please."

As Slim climbed in the pickup and I noticed a weathered Colt six gun on the dash. "That for Catalina," I kidded.

"Nah. I carry grandpa's old six shooter for them buzz tails. If Miss Shari thought I meant any harm to Catalina, I'd be on the hoof real quick. Miss Shari told me long ago ‘Catalina may be a pain in the ass, but she's OUR pain in the ass!' "

Happy New Year my friends.


Randall 1-2-2003 20:37

Hey, I know this Haroshi guy, wasn't he in that Card book, the one where they were up on the nets? Na, this is another idiot.

Jerry 1-2-2003 19:58

Hey Hiroshi -- I second that! Especially the no chin chin part! Hoppa hoppa nookie anna POW!


howard 1-2-2003 14:52

Hey Hiroshi:
Kimi no chin chin to jibun de aasonde kudasai! Otoko datara, jibunde aasonde. Otoko jana katara, oonani iite chin chin wo nami shi nasai yo, hentai no baka.
Matakonaide ne, aaho, gikanga ga atara, hayaku shine, gigi.

Hana 1-2-2003 9:17

Wow. THAT was entertaining...NOT!!! 8-[

Maybe Hiroshi and Yang will strike a deal; such prolific writers... Yang can post on all Hiroshi's message boards and Hiroshi's message board friends can all reply to Yang's mailbox. Yang will be so busy filling orders from his mine that he won't have time to post here; so he'll send all orders to Hiroshi and then H. won't have time to post here either, heh heh heh...ah, sweet daydreams...

REAL WRITERS of the NOTEBOOK - I bid you HAPPY NEW YEAR and GREAT writing inspirations for the day!!!

Mel 1-2-2003 7:59



Any useful FORUM / LINKS that belong in Jay's progressive Internet Resources
This is an alphabetical/selected portals list for all Good People around Planet
Earth who are anti-War, anti-Imperialist, anti-Racist, anti-Zionist and
anti-Fascist; who want to Fight Back and build together a Better World:
IMPORTANT DISCUSSION FORUMS/ SITEs LISTed - (last updated by the Friends of
Palestinian Library-Francia ...) In memory of Ernesto Che GUEVARA, Patrice
LUMUMBA, Deniz GEZMÍS, Martin Luther KING and all the honoured people who
dedicated themselves to anti-imperialist struggle!...

Please use the English language if you can!..

Aramean/Suryoyo Forum of Beth-Nahrin:
Ahmet KAYA Protest Art forum against Genocide: (unfortunately,
password demands)
Anti-Eurogold/Anti-Imperialist Peasant Revolt/Bergama Solidarity forum:

Webmaster/connection, Comrade Aykan AYDEMÍR:,,,,,,

Anti-Fascist forum:
Webmaster has a strange passionate to the passwords, chiffres, secret numbers
etc. E-post:

Anti-War service /Kriegsdienstgegner /Savaskarsitlari-forum: (unfortunatewly, same sickness;
password demands) War
resisters don't want be military slaves of Imperialism, Nationalism, Zionism
and such all other Fascist systems... Discuss by e-mail, too:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, stasazen@eunet.yu,,,,,, (Unfortunately, many desertörs
from little Asia have a strange passionate to the passwords, chiffres, secret
numbers etc. and therefore their forums collapsed.).

Arameans Anti-Genocide forum: (moved to the Syriac Studies online....)
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the closed down the former main
forum because of the provacative Zionist Fascist attacks/Forum gesperrt; Bitte,
lesen:Das forum (Antifa Hamm; wurde jetzt
vorübergehend gesperrt, da es sich vermehrt zum treffpunkt von fascho-
zionistischen entwickelt hat, die hier ihren geistigen dünnschiss abgelassen
haben, neue einträge sind zur zeit somit nicht mehr möglich, es können aber
weiterhin alle beiträge unter dem gastzugang betrachtet werden. das forum soll
aber nach möglichkeit aufrechterhalten bleiben, wir überlegen uns wie das zu
realisieren ist... Revolutionary regards from Antifa Hamm /Germania

Turkey Democratical Discussion:
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page shows all the IP numbers !
Universal forum:

"As for Kurds, Palestinians, slum-dwellers in Cairo and others who contribute
nothing to the basic structure of power -- they have no rights, by the most
elementary principles of statecraft. Perhaps they can occasionally be used in
one or another power play, but that is where their rights end, as the history of
the Kurds has demonstrated, today once again. The status of the Palestinians has
been even lower than that of other worthless people; their value is not zero,
but negative, in that their plight has had a disruptive effect in the Arab
world, thus interfering with US goals. They must therefore be marginalized
somehow, perhaps under a form of "autonomy" that leaves them to manage their
own affairs under Israeli supervision.", comments Noam CHOMSKY. (Z Magazine,

World Socialist Forum:
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** Please, use always the international languages
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Anyway, if you don't want to show your IP-number; so, it'll be better you should
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4-) or you can choose a kidding- IP number that belong to IMF/World Bank or
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Helvetia) struggle pages etc... Many servers have stock-exchange connections
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minimal power on the own pages... This is the ironical panorama on the
Internet-markets.. Revolutionary greetings from Canada!..

"Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable
rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice
and peace in the world..." - Preamble to the Universal Declaration of HUMAN
ANTI-IMPERIALIST LINKS' Webmasters / Comrades in Solidarity-chain:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, stasazen@eunet.yu,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
This work dedicated to the HEROES of HUMAN RIGHTS, like Ernesto Che GUEVARA,
Patrice LUMUMBA, Deniz GEZMÍS, Martin Luther KING and all other revolutionaries


Hiroshi Fujiyama 1-2-2003 7:00

Yet another holiday done with for yet another year. Had a nice day at mom's today, first I had to go to my sisters and replace a switch in her ceiling fan, then to mom's where I mounted the clock/radio/light/timer under her counter. Then it was T-bone steaks (we furnished and mom fried) followed by four quick games of Pinochle 5 handed, nice quick once around the table please. The warm weather did come, it was melting the snow when we left but not all of it, just enough to make the streets like glass. Sure glad most folks were home holding their poor throbbing heads. Another reason to be thankful that I gave up the drink so many years ago.

All that work did take a toll on my back so I spent the rest of the day in my favorite recliner playing games on my computer. Another plus, the email server was down for maintenance all day yesterday and today so no bad jokes or worse crap from folks I used to know long ago that still have my email address.

An old friend we used to know did pop up on MSN Messenger, we had a super conversation for well over an hour, he's living in Kansas City now and is a Chaplin at a local hospital there and oh so very homesick. I think I cheered him up a bit, it would sure be nice to see him again, he's been gone now since '96.

Hope everyone's having a super new year.

Teekay nice to hear from you again, we've missed you, stick around awhile. I know how those garbage men work. Speaking of garbage men, on New Years Eve at about 11:00 PM the fire whistle blew, I didn't pay much attention, then a few minutes later when I was going to bed I noticed a pickup in our alley, strange, I thought and watched it for several minutes, then it just drove off. It was so dark I couldn't tell who was in it or even what color it was, just an older Ford Pickup.

Then I heard today that the fire was set in a dumpster by the Armory, some three blocks from our house. Got to thinking, maybe it was the guys in that pickup. Not that there's a thing I could do about it, but I must be getting old or something not to have put the whistle and the pickup together and at least consider that when it was going on. Yep, I'm officials getting old.

Sure wish I could take off 35 or sixty pounds, maybe I'll give it a shot now that all the eating is done for another year and I've probably added another five or six pounds.

Happy New Year

Write on.

Jerry 1-1-2003 23:40


Teekay, That is surely one of the perks of being a garbage man. haw haw haw!

Mark, I hope you do go to see Two Towers, even if by yourself. I go tomorrow! I might as well have been by myself for Fellowship. Hubby says my mouth was open through the whole thing, and that he expected drool to make an appearance. All I can remember is the utter delight, and the smile that would not come off my face as I was cast into that magic land. I'm such a dreadful nerd/sap that I cried afterward, they'd made it so true and beautiful. Gads! What's next, Klingon ears?

Allein, Great job on the weight loss! Whenever I start to say how much I wish I could lose some weight I stop myself, because if I really did want to do it, I just would. That's all there is to it, ain't there? :) Nice bit of self-control there, chickadee!

Hugs to all! I'm feeling rather misty and benevolent at the moment. Wonder where that'll take me?

Will report tomorrow on TT!

Christi 1-1-2003 22:25

JERRY: I think we must have swapped weather somehow. Yesterday here it was overcast and cold (Not that I was complaining) Today it's back to it's hot 'ol summertime self.

All these holidays are confusing me terribly. This is the second week where I've almost missed the Garbo. Have been sleeping soundly dreaming of things delightful, when suddenly I'm pulled from my subconscious amblings by the gruff and tumble of the garbage truck. From then it's down hill, a mad dash to throw on a brunchcoat, before I flee barefoot out the door.
With one hand in control of the bin and the other clasping the sides of my brunchcoat together, I almost lost the bin twice due to the kerb and an unforseen pothole, which resolved in a rather awkward set of manouveres ( definitely wrong)but thankfully enough I caught up with him on the other side of the road where he greeted me with a cheery wave. I wonder if he gets such entertainment often. I believe he might.

My youngest daughter's birthday today. Am wondering how I managed to cope every year before now with party celebrations so soon after Christmas and New year.


Teekay 1-1-2003 16:04

I must be getting old or something, didn't even stay up to see the ball drop last night. Anyhow looks like 2003 made it in even without my help. That's the first time in as long as I can recall that I didn't.

Fantastic sunshiny day today, temp says 14F but you couldn't tell by looking. I am very happy that we made the holiday without an attack of any kind. The damn news has everyone on edge with their dark predictions of attacks and reports on the increasing security precautions.

I often think we'd be much better off without any television news, let those who wish to see what's happening do it the old fashioned way, read the damn newspaper.

Maybe we should start a nation, no wait, a WORLD wide strike against the world press corps.


New Year's resolution for the world - NO CNN, NO TELEVISION NEWS, let the bastards loose their jobs when the ratings put them UNDER such shows as professional bowling!

Jerry 1-1-2003 10:27

Hi all!


I have my 2003 calendar out - made it myself, that is, I drew the pictures and had Kinko's put them on a calendar. :)

I've lost 13 pounds on my diet so far and I'm happy about it. Yay! :) My goal is to lose 50 by June.

I'm also planning ahead for Sakura Con this year - I'm doing cosplay (dressing up as an anime character) for the first time. My costume is simple - I really only need to make the shirt but I hope it gets good compliments. :)

A little over 2 weeks till my boyfriend visits!! YAY!! *bounces with excitement*


Allein Peachick's Gallery 12-31-2002 21:12

Happy New Year!

We got home this afternoon. Stayed last night in Newmarket, VA in a Days Inn on the site of the Newmarket Battlefield. Lots of Civil War things going on there. Didn't take the computer in as it was late, and I didn't want to disturb y'all...

Drove on home this morning. Stopped for breakfast and someone swiped the driver's side parking light lens and frame while we were in Denny's. I know it was there when I parked the car, and it was gone when we came out. No use in reporting it, and we were in a hurry to get home, so I hope whoever needed it gets his money's worth out of it.

Our grandson called us from Arizona a few minutes ago to see if we got home safely, and to let us know he's going with his mom and dad to Rod's Steak House in Williams, for a New Year's Eve steak dinner. That was John Wayne's favorite steak house, and they've got lots of memorabilia there. Last time they went they got to sit at the Duke's table. It's quite a place!

I have a minor bellyache now. We stopped on the way home for some groceries, and picked up a bag of clams (100 small ones for $5.99). I steamed them, and boiled up a few dozen big shrimp, and fixed pasta with butter, olive oil, and garlic, onion, rosemary, basil, and peppercorns. We pigged out! :-) Now Dorie is making lasagna for dinner tomorrow. I feel so deprived...

Happy New Year!

howard 12-31-2002 20:32

Happy New Year to all!

Rachel 12-31-2002 19:35

Posting from a brand spanking new install of Redhat Linux 8.0 and loving it.

Happy New Year to all Notebookers, and everyone else around the world!!

For those of you who are prone to going out on amature night please have a designated driver. Also when driving on the freeway, stay in the slow lane as when those idiots who drink too much get on the wrong side of the freeway, they will be driving in what they think is the slow lane, and if your in the fast lane you may well meet them head on at 125 MPH PLUS. Usually the drunk lives, the sober die. Something about being very relaxed when drunk.

Have a safe one everyone.

Jerry 12-31-2002 19:29

A P GNU EAR!!!!!



Teekay 12-31-2002 16:56

To wit, a jot,
It's not a lot,
To greet sweet friends
at Old Year's end.

Yet more is it
to stir, a bit,
the pot of mirth
at New Year's birth.

Joyous Calendar-burning,
er, Calender-turning
(or, ah, Calendar-Yearning
if you are without a new one...)

Now where did I put those 2003 calendars???!!!
Hmm, must be with that old list of New Year's resolutions that lies buried somewhere in the excesses of my imagination! Hoo boy...

:-] Party well, then put writing at the top of your list for New Year's Day (AFTER you have brunch, of course!).

Mel 12-31-2002 15:47


Well if you all are as strange as I am, you check in on this old notebook to browse for a moment even when you aren't posting regularly. So I hope ALL the friends I've made here will see it when I say HAPPY NEW YEAR, friends!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May the next year be rich in love, joy and satisfaction. May your trials be minute, and if they're not, may they make you stronger and more you. May your dreams and chicken scratchings enlighten and entertain all of us, and more importantly, yourselves.

Happy New year. Cheers.

Christi 12-31-2002 14:05

Akimashite Omedito Gozaimasu! May all the writers in this Notebook enjoy another successful year of writing.

Randall: Keep your eye out for that tee-shirt. It should be staggering in any moment now. (What's worse is I still have Christmas packages to mail!)

Viv 12-31-2002 12:24

Christmas is a time for joy for most folks, especially for kids but there are also some terrible things that happen around Christmas. I don't think it's the season or anything like that, it's just that everyone expects to be happy around that time of the year and when something terrible happens around Christmas people tend to remember it longer then if it happened say in the middle of June.

The worst Christmas I had wasn't when I was in Vietnam, or when I was in the army but when I was the Chief of Police in a little town not far from here. This happened, just the names have been changed to protect the writer. It's stayed with me ever since that terrible day in 1984, and I'll remember every second of that incident till I die.

Every year around Christmas I think of it, and the good folks that it happened to; the senselessness of it all but I guess it's all part of living and dieing.

Fred Barth was one of those guys, you know the type, the fellow who would give the shirt off his back to the filthiest of bums should he see that the fellow needed it. His son followed in his dad’s footsteps.

I knew them both so very well, it was my privilege to call Fred my lodge brother, his son who worked behind the counter of the Super Stop convenience store spent at least a half hour every night visiting with me as I took my coffee breaks in his store, the only place in town where you could get a cup of coffee or a pack of smokes after ten PM.

This all made it so hard, probably the hardest thing I ever did to notify Fred that his son, who was moved by his company to a neighboring town was killed in a hold up.

It all started around midnight on Christmas Eve 1984, I had stopped in at the Super Stop to have a drink of coffee, Albert was working the counter, Albert was the boss but he worked all holidays so his staff of counter people could celebrate. He was just that kind of fellow our town was filled with good folks like that, doing things for one-another; a wonderful place to live; to raise children; to thrive.

The radio that I carried on my duty belt broke squelch, it was my wife who was watching the police phone while I worked, our small town form of a dispatcher, and for this she enjoyed thirty bucks a month and a turkey on Thanksgiving from the city dads.

“Call home right away!” she said, I could tell by the tone of her voice it wasn’t good. I went to the counter, Albert gave me the work phone and I made the call. My wife gave me the number of a PD some hundred miles north and told me to call their chief right away. I rushed back to the PD and made the call, it was then that I learned of the murder. I was stunned, Bob Barth was my friend, and now he was dead. Not just dead but mutilated beyond recognition the result of two twelve gauge shotgun blasts to his face.

I made another call to another friend, another brother in our lodge the minister of the Lutheran Church, the Church both Fred and I attended on Sunday; the Church where Bob was baptized some eighteen years ago, where I stood by Fred as the boy’s Godfather while the Reverend Randy Hoffman said the words, sprinkled the water and together we prayed and welcomed Bob into the Church.

Minutes later I pulled up in front of the Reverend’s house, he was ready, and as he trudged through the three inches of new fallen snow, he combed his hair and straightened his tie. I snubbed out my cigarette knowing that the Reverend didn’t like the smoke. When he opened the door, the icy blast of winter entered the car with him.

Neither of us spoke, as to speak would be to cry and neither of us wanted to do that, not right then anyhow. Slowly I drove to Fred’s house that stood on the very outskirts of our little town; it was dark as were most of the other homes in the neighborhoods. I parked the car in the drive where I’d parked it so many times before but this time there was dread in my soul unlike the usual joy of fellowship that came when I visited Fred. We stood there for what must have been five minutes, neither of us wanting to ring the bell then as I reached for the button the kitchen light came on in Fred’s house.

“Who’s there?” It was Mildred, Fred’s wife.

“It’s me Mildred.” I said, “Could you get Fred to come down, I have to talk to you.”

Mildred opened the door, the smile on her face disappeared when she saw the both of us.

“Oh no!” she said “What happened?”

“Get Fred Mildred.” I said.

“FRED!” she shouted “GET DOWN HERE!” she collapsed into the reverend’s arms.

Fred came down the steps in his robe, seeing the three of us; he knew it wasn’t good news.

“Let’s go into the living room, just a second, there’s coffee in the thermos.”

Seconds later, Fred joined us in the living room, we sat at the table where we’d all sat before in better times, the table where we celebrated their anniversary last June, where we celebrated Bob’s graduation from High School two years before; where we’d sat and mourned the loss of his father last year.

“It’s Bob,” I started.

“Oh GOD!” Mildred screamed Fred held her close as she sobbed into his shoulder.

“He was shot tonight, during a robbery, I’m so very sorry to tell you, he didn’t make it.”

Fred’s face turned white, Mildred held him tightly still sobbing.

“He always said if he was robbed he’d help them haul the till to their car!” Fred said.

“I know Fred he’d told me that a hundred times.” I said. “I don’t think the guy gave him a chance.”

“They catch the bastard?” Fred asked.

“Ya, he shot it out with the Williston cops he was killed.” I explained.

“Well that’s something.” Fred said, “How do we get the body?” with this, Mildred moaned.

“I’ll make the arrangements to get him home.” I explained.

With that, I shook hands with my old friend and left them to pray with the Reverend. I drove to the old ball park, and cried for a few minutes, then went back to work.

Jerry 12-31-2002 0:25

Sure doesn't look like the President is letting any grass grow under his feet. He activated a unit of the SD. National Guard for immediate deployment. It's all over the news but they aren't saying which unit as of yet. He has also activated the Happy Hooligans, the ND Air National Guard again (they were activated on 9/11 to patrol Washington DC.) Again for immediate deployment.

A site I go to occasional to get software when I need a program for just a few minutes is named fosi, maybe that's a middle eastern site???? at any rate they have a news ticker that runs on the bottom bar of their site, it proclaimed that the war would begin on the 21st of Feb. I don't know where he get's his news so it may be a shot in the dark, or maybe not.

What a way to ring in the new year.

Jerry 12-30-2002 20:59

Greetings from Jackson, TN - about 70 miles east of Memphis. Wild ride today -- very windy, and the traffic was heavy! Then we stopped for supper at the worst Shoney's we've ever had the displeasure to stop at.
Gotta stagger off to bed -- 13 hours on the road is way too much!

howard 12-29-2002 22:17

Randall - I put my son on notice that he should watch out for a new guy on ice. Our son just left for Minot this morning too, after the holiday celebration. We had a great time. He says that it looks like most of the Minot Air Base folks are getting ready for war. I know a lot of them served in Desert Storm, as well as the lattest war on terror, our TV news (most comes from North Dakota) has had several homecomming shots of the Air Force folks returning from missions.

At any rate he'll be a bit surprised at the weather here now, we've had a bunch of snow then unseasonal warm spells that melt most of it. I guess Minot hasn't been all that warm so he should get a taste of the white stuff too.

I think he'll like it though, the North Dakotans are some of the most friendly folks in the world, and they love the Airmen, many invite the unattached home for dinner, or so the news tells we outsiders.

It was nice that he was able to be home for the Holidays anyhow.

Jerry 12-29-2002 18:19

MARK -- hang in there -- IMAX sounds promising!

We're sitting in a Red Roof Inn in Amarillo, on our way back home. Not sure if this is a local call, so I'm not gonna stay on long.

We had a once-in-a-lifetime experience yesterday. OK, maybe more than once if I can make it happen. Dorie and I drove up to the Grand Canyon -- wanted to see it in winter, with all the snow. Figured it wouldn't be too crowded, but boy were we wrong! The place was packed! And beautiful!
Even better, we took a helicopter tour over the canyon!

more later

howard 12-28-2002 22:13

Hey ...

Jerry ... we're taking Sean, our son to San Antonio tomorrow. He'll catch a Northwest flight around 5 PM for his AF duty station, Minot AFB, a B52-H and Minuteman III Missle base ... "ONLY THE BEST COME NORTH" It has been great having Sean with us for the holidays. But I will be the only father in the world ... who stands in tears watching his beloved son depart for life in the military ... tears of sorrow ... and tears of joy.

:-) Sean has nearly drove me crazy (Nearly, I say!)with phone calls to his many girl friends, most out of the state. His leave was 10 days and he has spent 45.7% of his waking hours on the phone. Our phone was in use, outgoing and incoming, from 9 in the AM to 3 in the AM! At one time he had our land line and HIS cell phone in use ... at the same time!


Grin and bear it I suppose. I would rather have Sean underfoot, on the phone, trashing the computer station and his once clean bedroom, than not around at all. Another sore spot, the bedroom ... Sean arrived with five bags of assorted uniforms and civies and promply dumped everything, clean and dirty on his bedroom floor! "Dad, would you wash these? I have to make a phone call."

I would rather have Sean making small talk with a girl out of state than not know where he was. I would wash his clothes, daily, knowing I would see him daily. Anyway, Jerry ... look out a Texas lad is heading to North Dakota! The Dakotas may never be the same!


Randall 12-28-2002 22:06

Mark - Not an unusual problem, my mother and her sister did the same when mom's second husband (her sister's husband's brother) died. Big deal over some land that her sister's husband bought from his brother, then found that he would have gotten it in the will had he kept his mouth shut and not bought it a couple of years earlier. At any rate, the didn't speak for nearly ten years after the big court go around, then when her sister's husband died they sort of started talking again, but there's still lots of tension there.

It's sad but some folk just can't forgive, and booze makes it so much harder. I know, dad drank daily for as long as I can recall, and died when he went to hospital for a back strain. The Dr.'s took him off booze cold turkey and he died of the DT's in his hospital room. Drinking was the way of life for him and all his family, mom's too, although mom doesn't drink anymore, and I limit myself to one drink a year now, on Christmas Eve.

Jerry 12-28-2002 21:20

I had my birthday yesterday and my brother and my husband took me out to a French Quarter Irish pub called O'Flahrity's. It was great to sit around in a very old bar, drink a Harp, and listen to traditional Irish music.


I am sorry about your sister. That has to be extremely hurtful. Perhaps given more time, the wounds would heal enough to allow some understanding between you and your sister. These grudges are horrible. My mother had one regarding her brother who was not a nice guy at all, but I do think that if my mother would have forgiven and had responded to her brother's attempts to heal the breach, she would have died a happier woman.


Give Renn and Smokey a hug for me.

Rhoda 12-28-2002 10:47

And another Christmas celebration is over today was with our son and his family, it was real nice. We miss them a lot since they moved to Minot, which is quite a bit farther away then they were, so they don't make it down as much as they had been when they lived in Bismarck, and with both of them attending college and working they haven't much time for visiting. Our little granddaughter has been growing like a weed, so much bigger then she was last time we saw her.

Lots of good eats ( I'm way stuffed! ) followed by a bunch of pinochle (single deck four handed auction) and boy am I beat. Off to bed where visions of rest and relaxation will dance in my head.

Renn is doing much better, Smoky is still dotting over him like a mother hen with chicks. Smoky is Renn's cat, always has been since the day we found him, and I think Smoky knows that. Strange behavior for cats and dogs I guess but it's nice that they get along so well. I don't know what Smoky will do if we loose Renn. Smoky is upset though his living room is full of un-rapped packages and he doesn't have room to run and play like he likes to, then there's all these strange people picking him up and petting him, he doesn't like strangers at all, and to him our son and his family are strangers so they now have a few scratches and a bite mark to show Smoky's uncivilized behavior, but they have learned to leave him alone. They're cat people too, and I think Smoky smells their cat's on them, as they came from their house near Bismarck where their cat's still live with our daughter-in-law's sister who is house sitting for them while they go to school.

Enough boring family stuff, hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and will have a super new year.

write on.

Jerry 12-28-2002 0:32

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas - I did! ^.^ No snow, but that's to be expected here. I'll bet dollars to doughnuts we get snow the weekend my boyfriend will be in town so we can't go to Seattle like we planned. I hope not - it can snow any other time, but not then, in fact, I hope it's clear that weekend so we can see everything (mainly Mt. Rainier - so pretty!)

Anyway, I finally got that copy of Monty Python and the Holy Grail I wanted - the 2 disk special edition DVD set! I was so excited. Although, I haven't actually watched it yet - I will this weekend. I also got a Tinkerbell ornament and a special edition of the vol. 7 Evangelion manga complete with Asuka figure from my boyfriend!!

I pigged out way too much, but that's okay cause I've lost 10 lbs on my diet so I'm entitled to a day of pigging out I think. My goal is another 10 pounds by mid-January. :)

Updated my webpage for anyone who's actually desperately bored enough to visit it. LOL. :)

That's all! :) Hope everyone had happy holidays.

Allein Peachick's Gallery 12-27-2002 22:28

LOTR on IMAX did not come to pass. HOWARD, when you come back to town we could buy tickets online and make a day-trip of it. Maybe stop in Elmira and pick up MEL. It's a three-hour drive from Vestal if we don't stop to onload or offload coffee.

Got to my sister's house for Mom's b'day party and most things went smoothly, but when cousin Candy left she insisted I say "I love you" to her. Candy and I have been off for years. Her demand made my day.

That night I got a call from sister wondering what I had said to Candy. Sister's version was -- of course -- slightly expanded from the actual. I believe I lost my sister's trust and affection in a couple of incidents during my alcoholism and it showed that night. Sister heard Candy's side second hand and my side first hand and decided that I was wrong. Next day at our parents' house, my sister remembered some prior commitments for the IMAX night. Since I was to stay overnight at her house that night, the whole day collapsed.

I have only myself to blame. I lost my sister years ago. I have recovered from my alcoholism, but my sister is one of several people whose affection I have lost for good.

In 1965 I started drinking. By the end of that year I was drinking every day. In 1980 my parents asked me to leave their home and not come back. In 1981 I drew my first sober breath. In 1982 I was welcome back with my parents. This week I found that my sister has let me in because she "has to," I'm her brother.

The whole episode left me with a bit of guilt and wracked with questions about the nature of love. Why couldn't I just say the little lie and let Candy go home happy? I'm not sure I know what love is, and less sure that if I said it to Candy, what it would mean to her. Of course there's always that little nuisance of how she demanded it.

Count to ten, Mark.

Mark 12-27-2002 20:36

Wait! A scratch under Renn's chin before I tackle the stairs....:oD

Heather 12-27-2002 2:54

Cheri - Boxing Day isn't really anything, as far as I've ever heard; it's just the day after Christmas. I wonder if it didn't get its name from all the empty boxes left over, mercilessly clogging everyone's back halls, sundecks, and basements, or landsliding over helpless porches? Boxing day would not be a quiet day to begin work at a recycling facility.
Pardon any sarcasm - I just hefted the eighth bursting bag of recyclables onto our deck myself!
Uh, oh - did you mention laundry? If I had a set of doors on the laundry room they'd be lying on the basement floor, tits up by now. Ka-BOOM! I haven't washed a stitch of laundry since the funeral (Wayne's got the heart of a giant and made sure we had at least the preliminary few loads done) and I don't plan on going down there to that room with those piles until I'm good and armed!

I've got Bounce on my belt, Fleecy in my backpack!
Pass me the Tide!
I'm goin' in.......

Heather 12-27-2002 2:53

Not eating today? Now why didn't I think of that...

Had a nice peaceful day after Christmas - well it's sort of a break between Christmas's. Our son and his family will arrive tomorrow and then we go through it all again, but today was heaven. The wife and daughter took off with the word SHOP on their lips and drove over to that store that's going out of business, got tons of bargains and left me with the two little ones. Renn our little dog, and Smoky our little cat.

Renn had a bad spell on Christmas Eve, I thought we were going to loose the little guy, it started with one of his seizures but he never came out of it. He lay so very still for most the day and when he did move he would whimper. If there were a vet here, we would have taken him to it, but the nearest open vet clinic that will see small animals is 90 miles north. Christmas Morning, he came out of his bedroom (yes he has his own but looses it when guests come) moving a bit better, and when our daughter arrived it perked him up a bunch, as she was the one who rescued him from the animal shelter after police removed him from a horrid abuse situation. Today he was back with us almost normal, he still yips a bit when he jumps off the couch or bed but other then that he's playing with his cat Smoky like usual.

I was very worried about the little guy, he's nearly 14 years old now, (well we've had him that long the shelter told our daughter he was three years old when she got him as far as they could tell).

Smoky knows what Christmas is now, and he loves it. He's been taking the bows off packages and playing with them for about a week now, but when he found out there were toys inside he went nuts, tried to open all of everyone's but that only lasted a bit then he started playing with his new toys and completely played himself out. Both are in bed now, as is the wife, I shall join her shortly.

Hope everyone had a super Christmas, and have a wonderful new year.

Jerry 12-27-2002 0:37

Hi! I've now got AOL installed on my laptop, so I can check the web from the hotel room as we travel. Ain't technology wonderful!
We're driving up to the Grand Canyon tomorrow morning. It snowed up there, and they say it's beautiful. I can't imagine a more awesome spot on earth, but my son-in-law says that the view of Lake Tahoe as one approaches from the mountains is even better. Someday I'll check that out, but for right now the canyon beckons.

MARK -- how was LOTR on IMAX ? I think I'd probably have a coronary if I tried that! What a way to go!

Gotta run -- tying up the phone line here. We're leaving for home on Saturday morning -- can't wait to get back and start up the snowblower! :-)


howard 12-26-2002 22:01

A belated Merry Christmas to all!

We had a wonderful Christmas. It was even WHITE!

Luckily for our family we live pretty close and didn't have to travel far.

If I don't get a chance to say it later, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Cheri 12-26-2002 20:32

A Very Happy Day After Christmas to everyone!

Ok, so I wasn't home to wish you all a great day yesterday. :D

The weather was nice enough to allow my traveling to be pleasant and stress free. The majority of the family made it to Mom and Dad's and all those cookies I helped her bake are down to crumbs and memory. hehehe But, oh so good!

The kids surprised me with one of those little digital diary things. I was up way too late last night playing around with it and finding some its secrets. Except now, hubby will have even more fodder for yelling if I forget something. I can't blame forgetting on a lost note anymore. Maybe this isn't such a good thing ....

Canada people - I have a question. Just what exactly is Boxing Day? I really have no clue. Still - I wish you a happy one. The name just strikes me a little. I picture all the people going outside and just boxing everyone they meet till they all have black eyes. hehehe

I have so much catching up to do today, I don't know where to start. There's still a long list of email. There's garbage from presents to be taken out. Laundry. And, oh, yeah, something called writing!

Carol 12-26-2002 16:45

HEATHER - I can't make up my mind if that was irony or poetic justice.

JERRY - It's 6.15 pm here and after the excesses of yesterday I haven't yet eaten today and my wife never wants to see food again...

Litter 12-26-2002 13:14

Jerry - too bad I can't throw a few html bombs at him!

Heather 12-26-2002 10:20

Did I mention I am do full of turkey that I can barely keep my eyes open, my pants buttoned, and yet still I want MORE FOOD!! Must be Christmas that wonderful day when all food is calorie free, fat free and guilt free. Pass the peanut brittle please!

Jerry 12-26-2002 0:00

Heather - At least you got that damn chinaman Yang

Jerry 12-25-2002 23:56


Heather 12-25-2002 21:03

Why, thank you Litter! LOL

Heather 12-25-2002 21:02

Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas one and all. (Even Heather, who is just showing off.)

Litter 12-25-2002 15:42

I'm echoing everyone's good wishes and fervent hopes for a happy, healthy, peaceful new year full of all good things, and especially - good writing! :-)

Sunny 12-25-2002 13:14

That is more like it!

AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL! Peace on earth, goodwill to men!

Rhoda 12-25-2002 4:35


Rhoda 12-25-2002 4:31


Rhoda 12-25-2002 4:26

Even you, YANG, you dang tenacious ass!

Heather 12-24-2002 20:56


Heather 12-24-2002 20:55




TEL:0086-411-2827218, FAX:0086-411-2810866


yang lian chun china chengjiang heqi industry and trade co., ltd 12-24-2002 20:53

Merry Christmas, chummy wummies! Have a goodun, and don't pork out too much! I'll do enough for all of us.


Christi 12-24-2002 20:04

Hi all! Am at my parents' house. Mom is 80 today (yup, the day before Christmas). So we had one party today and will have another tomorrow.

Made arrangements to see LOTR -- hold your breaths here -- on an IMAX screen Thursday.

Be well and safe and happy.

Mark 12-24-2002 18:26

Click the link for a Merry Christmas!

Jerry Merry Christmas 12-24-2002 17:58



May it be joyous and safe with lots of good things to eat and loved ones to share it with.

ciao for now brown cows.

Teekay 12-24-2002 15:24

Finfer much better this morning. Must have been the 7000+ feet elevation getting to me last night. Also the tired.

MEL -- never drink the eggnog from the store! Instead, take the top off your blender, add 4 or 5 scoops of a good French vanilla ice cream, 3-5 eggs (depending on how rich you want it), vanilla extract to taste, 1/4 - 1/2 cup of sugar, and a couple of dashes of nutmeg (freshly grated is best). Top it off with milk, and blend until smooth. Rum is optional. Guaranteed to be much better than that store stuff!

Gotta go, using my daughter's computer and son't want to tie up the phone.

Merry Christmas, all!

howard 12-24-2002 10:40

Mel sounds like fun, we did the Xmas light drive three days ago, our town is small enough that we did the whole town in about an hour. Our daughter joined us as she always does, and our little dog, he seems to love the drive as much as we do.

It's fun to watch Smoky our little kitten (not so very little any more). Since this is his first Christmas, he is having a blast checking out the stuff under the tree, swatting at th elow hanging bells and such. We gave him a couple of bows to chase, just about like having a little kid in the house.

Jerry 12-24-2002 10:20

Holiday traditions...

Today is bake-clean-wrap day, not necessarily in that order (my husband goes shopping!); an early pizza supper (by candlelight) and then off to church for music rehearsals before the 7 P.M. service where I'll be singing with the choir (3 children too), ringing handbells (1 child too), and playing my 'cello as part of a trio (with flute and clarinet)accompanied by piano and handbells and featuring our teen choir (includes two of my sons) singing a beautiful piece called "From Heaven Above To Earth I Come" - one of our three preludes to the service. The other two preludes will be by the handbell choir. Lots of music in our church services! :-) We'll end with everyone singing, by candlelight,"Silent Night" accompanied by handbells.

After church, we'll do our traditional family drive-around to see other neighborhoods' Christmas lights, then home for egg nog (for those who can stand to swallow the thick eggy stuff - moi excluded from that! >-{ yuck!) Then my 5-year-old can sprinkle her reindeer food on the lawn. The young ones go to bed, my husband and I exchange gifts, followed by a Christmas movie, perhaps, and listening for Santa (well, my husband listens, I scurry around finding Christmas stockings, etc, etc!)

Then a few hours' sleep before the Crack of Dawn awakens not-so-sleepy children and ever-so-sleepy parents... we look to see if Santa came, open gifts, I throw a turkey's buns into the oven (an 18-pounder this year! Have to feed 15 people at my house at 1 P.M. Christmas Day)... After dinner, more gift-opening, wrappings everywhere, chatterbox children disappear to play video games in the upper or lower rooms, not-so-noisy adults banter until the men fall asleep or else one of them brings out the bathroom scale for a macho contest to see who weighs how much...and the women clean the kitchen till the pots and pans await the MEN (I love that system!). :-) One by one, families leave, quiet returns, and at 8 P.M. this Christmas night, I am going to relax watching St. Olaf's University PBS-televised music celebration (WONDERFUL music!).

To all here who celebrate it, I wish MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

And to Everyone here, I wish hope, peace, joy, and love.

Here's to a New Year filled with newly published Notebookers - YEA!!! (I hear Litter bowing, at least!)

Happy holidays to all.

Mel 12-24-2002 7:36

Howard = OOOUCH!!!

I'm not at the top of my game myself this holiday season, as I mentioned, went through the bit of withdrawal, that's over now but as these things go, one thing has an effect on another and another in the body. Now my coitus has kicked up which has driven up my blood pressure, which in turn puts additional stress on the old back. Now this makes jack (or Jerry) in this case not a happy camper, but I'm keeping it together, trying to enjoy the season, and achieving it to some extent. Our daughter has been over the last few days, but we had to skip the trip to mom's as the brother in law and family were due to come by for early Christmas festivities Sunday. They didn't make it, they have two son's in school sports and both had to attend sporting event's over the weekend, so we had a nice quiet Sunday at home.

Now the daughter has to work till late Christmas eve night, and our son can't make it down till the 26th so we will be opening gifts when they all arrive, after all it's not as great an event till a child is present. Our traditional Christmas eve cheese and cracker candle light supper will be just the wife and I this year. I think it'll be nice anyhow, and we can surely save the left-over's (there's always plenty) for when the kids arrive and have repeat.

Ah well Merry Christmas to all, and may the new year find you happy and prosperous.

Jerry 12-24-2002 0:34

Yrs, I frrl likr an old phart tonight! Wr lrft Amarillo, TX this morning in a blinding snowstorm, with srvrral inchrs of thr slipprry stuff packrd on I40, and hradrd wrst. It was misrrable for thr first frw milrs, thrn got worsr!
Wr didn't hit clrar road until wr wrrr past Albuqurrqur, and by thrn I was brat!
But wr krpt on, and arrived safrly in Williams AZ (600+ milrs) somrtimr aftrr 8PM.
It's brrn quitr a trip so far. At thr first rrst stop, way back in PA, I managrd to slam my lrft middlr fingrr in thr sliding door on our van. And it latchrd. And it hurt. It's grtting brttrr now, but still looks trrriblr. I think it's brokrn, but I stopprd at Wal-Mart and bought a splint for it, to avoid furthrr damagr. It's okay, rxcrpt whrn I brnd it and it goes off into a funny anglr. I can typr okay with it, though.

Havr a Mrrry Christmas, Rvrryonr!

howard 12-24-2002 0:10


Debra 12-23-2002 20:00

Jerry - get yourself a copy of that! Even though you will never forget it, you may also never be able to say it exactly the same way twice, if you tried to re-write it!

Randall - have one of those days with your son!

Merry Christmas everyone,
hold on tight to those you love.

Heather 12-23-2002 12:21

Hello all,
We're back from the Highlands. Had a wonderful time and took loads of pictures. I will put them up for you all to browse through soon.
Brought lots of haggis back too. We are having Haggis n' Neeps for dinner later. We got the Haggis from Cockburns near Inverness, it will keep for over a week.

On a more serious note; The RAF are obviously ready to go anywhere to perform LLBR's. The F8 Tornados' were out practising all day every day over the Firth of Dornoch while we were there. Very spectacular, with low charge bombs actually exploding on target for all to see. It was amazing to watch those pilots pulling around 4-5 G's as they pulled out after releasing the payload.
They worked really hard, well into the night.
Anyway, pics to come soon. Had a wonderful time. Anita enjoyed herself and had a well deserved break at the same time.
Nice to be back though and getting ready for Christmas and New Year.
Take care all.

Eddie French 12-23-2002 9:11

Randall - Nothing brings a father closer to his son then the thought of loosing him to a war.

The best memory I have from my youth was the day after I came home from basic and AIT in 1970. I was already married, my wife had come down to Missouri near Fort Lewis when I was in AIT, so homecoming was with mom and dad. That first night was all visiting, dad, as he usually was had drank his quart of Vodka for the day, I joined him in a drink or two, but had not yet really acquired a taste for hard liqueur, no that would come a bit later.

At any rate, the next morning, I was awake early (a hold over from training when the DI's would come through the barracks at 0 dark thirty, kicking garbage cans to wake us all for a lovely day of training.) My wife was still asleep, mom was up and cooking already, she had a huge breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast with home fried potato and flap jacks on the side. We ate quietly so as not to wake my wife, who was exhausted from the bus trip up from Missouri. Then dad and I grabbed his fishing tackle and headed to a nearby lake where we spent the day fishing. I didn't notice till we were there that Dad left the bottle home, very unusual indeed.

Now you have to understand, dad was then over fifty, my age now, and had been drinking steady for so long as I can recall, but anyhow we sat there on the dam with it's rails across the top, with trains crossing the small lake every two hours or so. Not much was said till nearly noon when Dad finally broached the subject of me going to war, (I had my orders to Vietnam already and would be leaving in under a week). He told me how proud he was to have a son who would stand up for his country, how worried he was, and how closely he had been watching things over there while I was in training.

It was a time to remember, a bonding that father and son experienced probably stronger then ever before or after in their lives. I guess it is sort of hard to put in words what happened that day, but it was so very special for both of us. I wrote an essay about it, but don't know if I even have a copy, wrote it for my sister when she asked of that day, and I think she still has a copy. She's my biggest fan and has a copy of almost everything I have ever written.

Jerry 12-23-2002 0:11

Oooooh shoot! Carol: You need a translation program to figure out what I'm saying. Then I said it wrong! I need to rewrite it. What was confusing. I want to mix the German and English so anyone could pick it up at first glance. RRRRRRRRAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTT's. Well, back to the drawing board to figure out where I went overboard. Was it the titles? Oh yah, I see it. Plus I may have written it in dialect...not sure of the actual spelling. Gedult=patience. Learning patience.
Nicholas kompt nicht so bald.= Nicholas does not come so soon.
Endlich alles kompt = Finally it all comes
Nicholas Tag is the 6th of December but it takes nearly a week and a half for her to get recognized.
Does any of this make sense? Uh oh, I sense a big rewrite on the way!

Viv 12-22-2002 20:07

Oooooh shoot! Carol: You need a translation program to figure out what I'm saying. Then I said it wrong! I need to rewrite it. What was confusing. I want to mix the German and English so anyone could pick it up at first glance. RRRRRRRRAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTT's. Well, back to the drawing board to figure out where I went overboard. Was it the titles? Oh yah, I see it. Plus I may have written it in dialect...not sure of the actual spelling. Gedult=patience. Learning patience.
Nicholas kompt nicht so bald.= Nicholas does not come so soon.
Endlich alles kompt = Finally it all comes
Nicholas Tag is the 6th of December but it takes nearly a week and a half for her to get recognized.
Does any of this make sense? Uh oh, I sense a big rewrite on the way!

Viv 12-22-2002 20:07


Very good Mark! :-) (Big grin!) I like a good hand off ... even if it's not in a football game!


Randall 12-22-2002 18:27

Hi All :)

Viv - I got the chapters, printed them out and will be reading them very, very soon! I'm going to have to go upstairs and dig out my German translation book. I wonder what bag in what corner its hiding?? hmmm....

Randall - I can relate to your feelings and worries about your son. Our's was in the Marines for ten years, and did duty in Somalia. The only way we got through it was by keeping a candle lit for him and praying a lot!

Elaine - lovely poem, thank you for sharing it. It did bring tears to my eyes. (the good kind)

Mel - your poem is heartfelt too! My mother did learn to love my husband, despite their five year age difference.

Gariess - nice to see you again! A very happy holiday season to you too!

And - while I'm at it, I doubt I'll have time to return before the holidays start -- so Merry Christmas everyone. (Jerry - keep your snow please, I've got enough! hehehe)

Oops - almost forgot -- I did indeed meet my goal of six pages for last week. This coming week, I'll focus on editing. I pasted together a variety of "starts" and now need to blend them all together. Fun, fun, fun!

Carol 12-22-2002 13:51

Well, Well. GARIESS. Good to see yer name out there, guy.

RANDALL -- old fart? back, knee, and groin problems? {sigh} Yup, that's HOWARD and JERRY alright.

Mark 12-22-2002 10:44

Oh Mel: Perfect!

Viv 12-22-2002 10:08

RANDALL: I hear your parental cry to forever protect your child...and commiserate. Not all the wars, however, are on the battlefield...

She said they will be married
--three years hence.
Her mother's heart? Devastated
--can't make sense.

He was another's husband
--broken vow.
He's old enough to be her dad
--love came anyhow.

She's beautiful, intelligent
--first-born pride.
He's past his prime, well-middle-aged
--more tears cried.

Perhaps I'll learn to love him too
--three years hence.
My heart cuts ties umbilical

How come my muse works so swiftly when I'm depressed? My musical muse has set this tear-jerker to music already too. Does anyone else have to put up with contrary muses? Maybe while they're on a roll, it would be a good day to work on that novel in my closet...Not.

Thanks for listening. I'll go look for my smile now - I think I dropped it somewhere by the phone last night...

Mel 12-22-2002 8:42

Gariess: Where you been? Sorry I missed you last post. Welcome back and seasons greetings.

Viv 12-22-2002 3:21

Randall: Got your box all packed and there it sits on the dining room table. In fact the dining room table is covered in boxes and little gifts. I figure everything will get there sooner or later. I had fun packing your box. I hope you notice where I get most of my informational brochures...7/11. Yes, 7-11 just like in America. It's open all night.

Hey everybody: Got a question. Who is the idiot with the dictionary complex? I'm talking about the night owl who wrote:


12-19-2002 23:21"

Get some sleep and next time remember to sign your name.

There's nothing wrong with using a rhetorical question to give warning as bacteria are also classified as microbes.

There's nothing I hate more than petty academic sharpshots during the Christmas season. (Most likely because these little barbs fly fast and furious during our last days of work during this season. I suppose homesickness, feelings of inadequacy, and general insecurity combine to breed this vicious brand of humor. Anyway, Debra...keep posting and ignore the baboons.

Elaine, Great poem! So you are 16. That's one year older than my daughter. Well, she turns 16 on the July 4th. Right now she's into writing vampire stories, and I'd rather they were poems like yours. However, writing is writing and hers is sharp and clear. It has focus and moves right along so I'll ignore the subject and enjoy the happiness it brings her when she accomplishes a chapter. As long as she volunteers at the church, I don't have too many problems with her strange tastes in subjects.

Her vampires seem to hang out in bars down in Roppongi. Since I know she has never been in one of those bars...I think maybe she needs to check out the scenery. We're going to have to go down one night, walk up and down the street, collect the names of bars and peek in the doorways. I've never been in one either. I've heard it can get rough so I'll take my husband along. Who knows, maybe we'll see some vampires. I don't think so. I plan to go long before bedtime. Since bedtime around here is 9:00PM (I'm a sucker for getting up early) I don't think there'll be a whole heck of a lot of action.

Another good time to check this out might be at 4:30 AM, on my way to the Tsukiji fish market. I drive in to Tokyo super early before New Years and hit the fish market to stock up for New Years supper. Since the bars don't have a closing time here, this might be a very disgusting time to take a quick peek inside. All the smells of the night before will linger, and the people remaining at this hour will really look like either victims of vampires or real life vampires themselves. It's kind of fun to watch a writer at work. It'll be fun to watch what she sees and what interests her.

Carol: I did three chapters today! It started out as one but kept dragging forward. Either this is three chapters or one...I can't figure it out. I'll send it right after this. It was pretty sticky work and I hope it rings well when you read it. The last chapter was a last gasp! I'm not sure I did the right thing when I ended it quickly.

Howard: Thanks for the Website advice. Turns out I really need it. Got my videocam to work out as a web cam which tickles me as it's analog not digital. I don't have to buy some fancy smancy new camera. The old one works just as well. It was cheap too!

Viv 12-22-2002 3:19

I thought I would stop in here to say hello. Happy holidays to old friends.

gariess 12-22-2002 1:32

Randall - Did I mention, my son and daughter-in-law live in Minot. They're going to Minot State University and living on campus with their daughter. Lots of snow in Minot this week nearly a foot and a half. It closed down the base and most of the schools for the day it snowed but we clean it up quick around here, it was clear sailing the next day. Here we only got about six inches or so, maybe eight depending on who you listen to, I blew the snow out with our snow blower that was rumored to have come over on the ark. It did a fine job despite it's age.

Went out to dinner with our good neighbor Jon and his wife tonight. Been a long time since we've done that, seems I am nearly a hermit since I hurt my back but we had a nice time. We made quit a sight I bet crossing the street to the supper club. The streets are icy so we were walking slow, Jon recently had a knee replaced, his wife back surgery, me with my stick and my wife with hers, like a herd of cripples or something but there wasn't much traffic.

The dinner was to pay me I guess for all the work I do on they computers, like us, they each have their own, their son-in-law from Denver brings them up parts then leaves, I put them in for them, and service the machines when something goes wrong. I never have charged them anything, it's just the neighborly thing to do, and besides since we moved in, Jon has kept our drive clear of snow, well except for this year since he's laid up from the surgery.

At any rate we had a very nice time.

Hope everyone has a happy holiday, and a white Christmas. (If you don't I could ship some snow down, we do have lots of it right now.)

Write on!

Jerry 12-22-2002 1:26


Evening gang...

For a few precious days our family is together. My son, Sean is on Christmas leave from the Air Force after graduating from Security Forces's training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio. We drove down for his graduation ceremony Friday and he returned home with us. He will be home till after Christmas and then report to duty at Minot AFB in North Dakota. Sean was in a class of 122 trained to be Security Force for AF bases and outposts throughout the world. Of these fine men and women over a dozen are going with him for duty in Minot. The rest are pretty much scattered over the US, with a hefty portion in Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota. I mentioned to my wife during the ceremony that it appeared we might be having trouble with the Canadians, with this many security force personnel going to the northern border. Hi Heather! :-)

It was a stirring ceremony, hell, I felt like going out to re-enlist. My wife, ever the wit, said they needed healthy young persons, not old farts with knee, back and groin muscle problems. Guess that rules out Jerry and Howard and Mark as well. :-) The key note speaker was a retired Security Forces Colonel who is now head of security for the Trans-Alaskan pipeline. He said the pipeline was on the top five target list for potential terrorist attack. Somehow I cannot imagine a couple of Middle Eastern types slogging through snow to blow a pipeline. Still, who could conceive that the World Trade Center buildings would be only a memory? The man was a good speaker and his message about relating to the world today was right on.

I do have concerns related to my sons future though. Last week I talked with him on the phone and asked, "What did you do today." He said they were practicing defensive firing positions against an aggressor force. Trying to make a joke I asked, "What were you defending ... a donut shop?"

"No dad," he answered quietly. "We were fighting an attacking force who were trying to capture a nuclear weapon on our base."

El Crapo ... Double El Crapo! Of all the words I could put together, of all the words I can imagine, of all the words that might be spoken to me ... "nuclear weapon" in the context with my son will no doubt cause me the most mental anguish.

Well ... I feel our sons and daughters and husbands and wives who are defending our country are given the best training possible. But it will never be easy for those who stay behind and pray in the silence of the night that our family members will one day come home.


Viv ... this coming week. Probably... :-)

Randall 12-21-2002 22:56

Been watching the Lott thing for some time now, I think I understand the problem much better now, what got me to thinking I guess was a bit on NBC tonight where they interviewed a fellow who was about my age, and about the same background in the military, yet he spoke of being chased daily by whites in Miss growing up. That sort of brought it all home I guess.

See up here when we speak of blacks, or hispanics, when we do and it's a very rare thing since we have no contact with them, all we speak of, hear of, is the horror that happens in the streets of LA among the gangs. Seeing this Vietnam Vet, speak of the old days in Miss. was a real eye opener.

Think I'm going to drop that free writers course, it's becoming a sort of joke.

Jerry 12-21-2002 18:54

Hi All,

More good news from Carol. She has the results of the fours scans that were done to seek out any other cancer. The results are very good. The cancer is regionalized to one area. I can't think of better news to have received.

Take care all.

Rachel 12-21-2002 14:34

Hi, everyone!

Just a quick note on a very busy Saturday morn:

ELAINE: Wonderful poem! :-]

HOWARD: SHE will do it... Went to Middle-earth last night, as you can guess... enjoyed all but the change of Faramir's character - He was one of my favorites in the book; too bad they made him more like Boromir in the movie...

Be warned, you-all - You write great characters and some overcreative movie director/producer/screenwriter comes along and re-molds your work...OUCH!

Write 'em anyway. :-) Have a great day, everyone!!!

Mel 12-21-2002 8:52

Hello all! Sorry if I haven't written in forever, I've been swamped with homework, shopping, and other things.
VIV: I'm 16 right now, I'll be 17 in Febuary. Hard to believe. I know I sure don't feel 16. My pre-Christmas depression has worn off. I think that indifference/excitedness has taken it's place. I don't know if that's worse or better. Before I forget, I have a poem I'd like to share (in the light of the season, of course) that I wrote on Christmas night. Enjoy!

A mother's tale

What Child was this?
Who laid in manger mean
Who now is on a cross hanging
Our humble, lowly King
My mouth spoke gratefully
Of his gerat and mighty deeds
I watched in wonder
When he planted those little seeds
Now the wonders are over
The miracles gone from my eyes
All I see now, blood dripping down
All I hear are heavy sighs
Could this be the Child
Born in the town of Bethlehem?
Of whom shepherds spoke about?
The angels did proclaim him
Now only jeering crowds
Meet my ears unkind
"Are you REALLY the Savior?"
They jeer, "Lord? Give us a sign!"
Where have the joyful angels gone?
From that wonderous day at Bethlehem
The Son of God still hangs there
The angry crowds stand around him
I remember the day he was born
I remember how I held him
I remember the angels singing
I remember the inn at Bethlehem
I followed him as he grew
My faith grew stronger
I remember how the mourners
Stopped their mourning, and burst into song
Now, it is I who is mourning
For my Savior, dear
For he is dying slowly
And no longer will be here
But came a few days later
I heard the angels singing
On that Easter morn
Just like on that Christmas night
When my Savior was born
The news that He has risen
Was ringing in my ears
And when I saw Him ascend
It brought my eyes to tears
Jesus Christ, my Lord
Has been born, dead, and back alive
I will proclaim the news louder
For the rest of my life
Now, as I spread this on to you
Because I loved Him dear
For my Son, I request
My tale, please listen, please hear
If you don't reject Him
He'll work faith in your heart
He'll make a home for Himself
And from there, He'll never depart

Copyrighted by Elaine 12-25-01 @10:17 pm

Well that's all for now, I'm hoping to get on sometime during Christmas vacation. A Blessed Christmas to all if I am not able to! Season's blessings!
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 12-20-2002 12:29

To all who prayed for Carol,

I wanted to let each of you who has said a prayer for Carol, to know that she has had her first treatment. She says that she has never felt this good after cemo (spelling)? She is surprised and delighted. She thanks you all for your prayers and says that they must be helping. I really hopes that this will work again. I hope that this time she can be done with cancer.

Thanks all.

Rachel 12-20-2002 9:07

DEBRA -- no, nothing specific on the label.

howard 12-20-2002 6:58


12-19-2002 23:21


I think what he's saying is true too, but I need more information on the substance in the coral calcium called microbes.

Do they have information on the product like a paper inside on the studies on the microbes and what they are exactly. I wonder if they could parasites. I don't know I just hear microbes and don't know.

Please share what you know and feel.

The other part about more calicum sounds promising. really!

Debra 12-19-2002 10:38

DEBRA -- I called the 800 number and ordered it there. He said you might see/feel results the first day, but maybe not until a week or two. I've been taking it for about a week now, and I do feel a difference. I'm also taking MSM Glucosamine -- the neurosurgeon actually recommended that I double my dosage to 4 per day, and I know that helps the arthritis considerably.

howard 12-18-2002 22:40


Where are you getting that coral calcium? Did you notice something on the same day? He states that you would.

Do they say what is exactly in it?

Debra 12-18-2002 20:26

DEBRA -- I've been taking that coral calcium for about a week now, and I do believe it's helping. The guy makes sense, even through all the hype. I figured it's worth a try.

Well, "The Two Towers" is quite a movie! The special effects were astonishing, and in my opinion everything connected with Gollum deserves some sort of Oscar! And if an animated/computer-generated character could win "best supporting," Gollum deserves it for the scene where he argues with himself. Treebeard and the ents were good, but Jackson did take lots of liberties with the story in this one.
I may only go back to see it four or five more times, while I wait for the DVD. :-)
And now we've returned to the "wait until the next one!" mode. Another whole year! Gonna have to read it again now.

howard 12-18-2002 17:31

Just passing through - the shitstorm has begun to subside - family feuding and all....(explanation to follow some day... SIGH) however, this could simply be the EYE OF THE STORM!!

I miss the days when it was mere fatigue, too much on my plate, and creative burnout combined that had me away from the Notebook. HA HA HA.

Thank you from the core of my heart to everyone who held my family in prayers and thoughts over the past 9 days. Hard to believe it is only that long, and not at least a month.
But we shall come out the other side (no pun intended) stronger and hopefully, a closer knit family. That will require fervent prayers I'm afraid!
More later....and thanks again to all. I think of all of you often and wish you a wonderful Christmas!

Heather 12-18-2002 11:57


I was watching a story this morning on TV about calcium and pain and other aliments.

Here's the address and the amount I'm sending for the book.

This guy is a scientist and has nobel prize winners saying he is correct in everything he is saying.

It's 29.99

The Calcium Factor
P.O. Box 7077
Beverly, MA 01915

I'm sending a Money Order so just in case they are dishonest they can't find out anything about my accounts.

But he was reviting. He could answer every question the critics were asking. He said that people in pain could get virtually out of pain forever. It might be worth a try. I'm thinking it might be any way. If I get my two books and tape first I'll let you know.

He also claims that it can prevent cancer and other things, let's just say the list was long and impressive. He was saying that all cancer and pain is caused by too much acid in the system and the calcium washes it. Also, you need to be able to absorb the calcium. So if you have ever been on antibiotics you should eat yogurt. The antibiotics kill everything in your intestines that help you absorb food. The yogurt replaces them. He also said it has something to do with helping people sleep better too.

I hope it has the answers you are looking for.

He states that the doctors tell their patients what the drug companies tell them to say. The drug company's can't patent a component that is found in nature like calcium so they don't want you to know the findings on that. His studies have been on people in other countries who live into their hundreds aumongst other studies. He claims he can prove every one of his claims. He was having no trouble answering the questions he was being asked on the hour long show. Don't say anything but I would be willing to pay more than $29.99. Shhhhhhhhhh!

Debra 12-18-2002 9:44

It's a matter of opinion that Yule love the game we're
about to play.
each sentence below, fill in the blank or blanks with
an expression
commonly used at Christmastide. Answers repose at the
end of this

1. On December 24, Adam's wife was known as _____

2. In Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, Scrooge was
by the Ghost of _____ _____.

3. An opinion survey in Alaska is called a _____

4. What does Santa Claus do with his three gardens?
_____, _____, _____

5. What Christmas message do these letters convey?

6. When the salt and the pepper say "Hi!" to each
other, they are

on _____ _____.

7. A holy man bereft of change could be called _____

8. When you cross a sheep with a cicada, you get a
_____ _____.

9. A quiet medieval armor-wearer is a _____ _____.

10. A cat walking on the desert is bound to get _____

11. People who tell jokes on December 25 might be
called _____ _____.

12. On December 25 actor O'Connor and actress Channing
are known as _____ _____.

13. What do Spanish sheep say when they wish each
other a Merry

_____ _____.

1. Christmas Eve
2. Christmas Present
3. North Poll
4. Hoe, hoe, hoe
5. Noel, Noel (no l, no l)
6. Seasons' Greetings
7. St. Nickel-less
8. Bah! (or Baa!) Humbug!
9. Silent Knight
10. Sandy Claws
11. Christmas Cards
12. Christmas Carols
13. Fleece Navidad!

--Author unknown.

howard 12-18-2002 9:29

Randall, yep it was Wednesday, but I have Saturday off too. The post office is open until 12:00! It's going out Saturday for sure...or so.

Viv again 12-18-2002 8:39

Randall: Hey, don't feel guilty. I found YOUR tee-shirt in my in-box this morning. I threw it out into the hallway so I'd have to trip over it and then I'd remember to take it the the post office on my way home. Uh, I forgot... Don't worry. It's still there. That's the nice thing about my system...everyone knows it belongs to me if it's smack dab in the middle of the hallway in front of the door. It means it needs to be done and hasn't gotten there quite. It also means step over it.

I go in at 5:00AM tomorrow. I'll find it where I left it and probably a copy of the Yomiyuri Journal. I'll wrap it in that and include any stray stuff that I find on my desk or under it. As long as it isn't moving, and looks to have some sort of cultural weirdness to it, I'll pop it in the box. Then I'll throw it out the door again.

This time it will be big enough I'll either trip over it and break my nose...or I'll remember and mail the sucker! I'll also have all the other folks who tripped over it to remind me. (Handy system desu nee?)

Jerry: Whoa, all that and you are still writing. That's an inspiration if I ever heard one. Hang in there! I hope the agony is soon in the past. I wish doctors could find a pain med that worked and keep it so it doesn't addict folks.

Viv 12-18-2002 8:36

Hellooo, everybodies! :-)

I've been swamped with Christmas preparations, end-of-year stuff at work, blah blah blah etc.etc. aka LIFE. 8-]

I took a breather last evening - too long! Twenty minutes before my supposed bedtime, my husband puts on a movie that RIVETED me to my chair (and I usually fall asleep in that chair!) - the movie? MINORITY REPORT with Tom Cruise. Of course, he's riveting all by himself :-) but the story was truly FASCINATING! I want to write a FASCINATING story like THAT!!! It's a story by Philip K. Dick - sci-fi too with all its marvelous gadgets and futuristic innovations - I found everything about the story original, fresh and flowing. Now I have to read the book - the screenplay was fantastic!!! If you haven't seen it and like sci-fi, waste not another evening - go rent it! :-)

Happy writing to all... I must return to the year-end plowing of my office tasks and deadlines... bills, books to order, more bills, books to process (how come I don't see any familiar names from the NOTEBOOK on the spines of these new books??? hint hint!)... :-]

Mel 12-18-2002 8:11

Thanks for the kind comments, sometimes I forget to say that and I am sorry for that, been sort of a bad few days for me, when the Dr. Switched my meds it put me into a mild withdrawal from the (wonder drug Pain Killer) Ultram. I didn't expect this to happen since I was going from an artificial narcotic to the real stuff. Going the other way, then I'd expected it. It's sort of like trying to quit smoking, drinking and sex all in the same week accompanied by fits of sweats followed by the chills that shake my very bones.

But on a lighter note, IT RAINED yesterday, we were all so happy but then someone wished it would snow...

Now there's over three inches of it on the ground but hey it's nearly Christmas, and I have been wishing for a White Christmas.

We're in a winter storm warning supposed to expect eight inches by morning, a foot by tomorrow night, and it's the heavy wet stuff, the trees are all sagging under the weight but oh the outdoor lights look so very Christmasy and in the air you can almost smell the joy of the kids in the neighborhood, sleds have been going by already. Oh to be young again at Christmas time...

Jerry 12-17-2002 23:53

Good evening...

Thanks for the compliments on my story, Viv and Howard... Viv I am STILL gathering stuff to send to you. I will be in San Antonio this weekend and will try to buy your T there. It may be a week before I can mail everything to the APO.


Randall 12-17-2002 20:41

Hi Elaine: Tell your mom I breathe down my daughter's neck too sometimes! How old are you? My daughter is 15. She's a great writer, better than I am. In fact, she was the one who taught me how to write in the third person. It's amazing to see what she can create at such an early age.

Heather: What a rough start you've had on Christmas. May the rest of the time be spent with close and happy family. You need a gentle time to sit back and reflect. Please don't worry about Phantasium right now. You need to care for yourself a little and enjoy the holiday with your children. I hope all the best of Christmas comes to your house this year.

Randall: I'm sorry. I haven't mailed your tee-shirt yet. I'm leaving the house before six o'clock and not getting back until the stupid post office is closed for the night. I'll get it done Wed. my time. Day off! Whew!

Jerry and Randall: Thanks for the great stories!

Viv 12-17-2002 8:57

yang lian chun china jilin shanwei wollastonite mining co., ltd 12-17-2002 1:51

Not to worry, I guess I understand not having been exposed to such things up here, I guess all I see is an old republican, soft spoken who has always sounded like a very nice fellow when speaking as the Senate Minority leader. When I heard the speech, it sounded to me like he was simply placating an old man who had served his country well for a very long time, and who, after all was himself a Senator who had once strived to lead our nation.

My exposure to race relations was all in the military, and for the most part was uneventful. I had many friends of all races, and when the race riots began in Da Nang when I was stationed there, it wasn't a Black/White thing because our unit was a close knit outfit and when the Blacks of the neighboring transportation unit tried to march on our streets, we, our black and white soldiers all stood fast and stopped the whole dang thing. I understand that there was a time in our nation when things were not right, they aren't all that right now, but it simply looks to me like it's a lot to do about nothing.

Maybe I'm wrong about it, simply my point of view the rapidity of the assault on Trent looked a bit too contrived to me but then as I said, I wasn't all that close to the whole deal.

We still have folks around here, those who have lived here all their lives and never left the county that freely use the "N" word, and I don't think it's with malice, heck mom still uses the vulgar word for Brazil Nuts and hasn't an idea that there's anything wrong with it.

I do understand that there's a void between our races and I guess when thought of it the way folks are talking about it Trent did put his foot in his mouth, but then there's old Senator Bird on the other side of the Isle who was once a Grand Wizard in the KKK and nobody is calling for his removal from the Senate, or what ever, hell we're all people, people do make mistakes and if we can't understand that then we aren't much of people are we?

But your probably right, he should step down if it's that bad, I surely hope he doesn't resign from the Senate, or get mad and switch to the other side of the isle and screw up the R majority.

Anyhow I shouldn't talk politics here either as it usually ends out bringing up hard feelings somewhere.

Jerry 12-16-2002 22:49

I read my post again and felt it sounded a little harsh. What I posted was only meant for politics. The individual is important. When someone falters, the right thing to do is to give a hand and pick him up. People are worth another chance, and their shortcomings should be forgiven. People are never expendable. But in Trent Lotts case, he is in a leadership position, and I believe leaders are held to a higher standard.

Forgive my departure into politics. I suffer from run off of the fingers sometimes. I would be horrible in politics because I talk too much and as many of you know, I sometimes express some wild ideas not always too well thought out.

Sorry to bring up Trent Lott.

Rhoda 12-16-2002 22:13


The thing that distinguished Dixiecrafts above all other things was segregation. When someone says the country would have been better off had Strom Thurman won, he is essentially embracing segregation. Perhaps Lott had no such meaning in mind, but it was a horrible, horrible thing to say. Lott could have said many nice, kind things to Mr. Thurman without saying that. And the fact that Trent Lott believes that the furor of his unfortunate remark is overplayed does not have any sensitivity to people's feelings on this subject. The Civil Rights movement is one of this country's greatest achievements, and should never be apologized for.

I don't know what is in Trent Lott's heart, but he deserves to go, and if he really cared about the Republican party what it stands for, and if he really is a man of principle, he would step down as majority leader because he will for now on be detrimental to the country at large because his ability to lead will be hampered. Democracy is like a relay race. You play for the team, not for your own personal glory and pride. When you can no longer serve, step aside and make way for someone who can do it more effectively. Whether Trent Lott got entirely what he deserved is beside the point. He cannot be trusted to control his mouth (sort of like Rev. Falwall), and he is clueless to political realities, so he is no longer qualified to be Senate Majority Leader. Actually I believe all the leadership in the Senate ought to be changed because I personally believe that Tom Daschle did more to lose seats for the Democrats than anyone else.

Rhoda 12-16-2002 20:47

Hi all,

Thanks so much for the prayers for Carol. I will let her know. I think that knowing people are praying for you is a very powerful thing. Before we knew that this was happening with Carol, we had made a shift to my home for the big family gathering. I think that is a good thing. I think that the treatments and entertaining would have been a lot for her. I'm pretty excited about Christmas. My family and I will sit between sixteen and twenty down the the meal. We've got the table arrangement set and know that all will fit quite nicely. Thank goodness for large rooms!

Take care all and thanks for the hopes and prayers for Carol.

Rachel 12-16-2002 20:19

I know the feeling, Christmas is coming way to fast this year.

You know you can find ANYTHING on the web now days, I was looking for Doom variations, as I've been a doom fan since the game came to the forefront back in '94, and when I found one that said it was Nazi Doom, I pictured a combination of Castle Wolfenstine and DOOM, I know there was one of those so I downloaded it.

Now I'm probably on some hate list, the dang thing is Doom remade in the image of the modern Nazi party with all the monsters being black's, well the Nazi image of blacks. I deleted the dang thing but it was a shock. I didn't know those idiots knew how to write software, but I guess it takes all kinds, this in the light of Sen. Lott's chilling statement the other day.

I sort of think Lott wasn't reflecting his true feelings but I guess when your in the spotlight and you say something, it's real hard to "unsay" it. Too bad it's only kids who can take it back. I sort of liked old Trent...

Jerry Ericsson 12-16-2002 18:41

I haven’t been posting much lately due to the Christmas season and all. And my Great Aunt passed away last week. I’m still not ready for Christmas, the presents aren’t wrapped, heck half aren’t even bought yet!
On the plus side, the tree I put up the weekend after Thanksgiving and I finished and mailed the cards today! YEAH ME!

Now for a bit a of rambling:

Sometimes I want to write so badly, but the words are only in my head. They are more like feelings than words and it’s hard to write these feelings. Even these sentences don’t accurately describe what I’m trying to say.

My other problem is that my fingers don’t write or type fast enough to keep up with my brain.
I get an idea, but before I get it all onto paper it tends to float away to fast to nail it down. Sort of like trying to nail jello to a tree. (I love that image!)

All right, enough of that! Onto more serious matters.

CAROL: I got your e-mail and yes, I see what you mean. An example is a book I read a little while back called Emerald House Rising. In it are descriptions of jewels and different cuts for different stones. Even though the book was based entirely in a fictional world the elements of the story would have to have been researched if the author did not know anything about jewelry and gem cutting. However, I don’t know a thing about jewelry or gem cutting, so it’s possible the writer made everything up! It did appear to be accurate.

HEATHER: I also agree with you. If the world were totally fictional, what would you need to research? If you start with a new world then you’re going to need to develop everything on that world. If, however, you use anything that resembles anything from this world, then perhaps it might be better to use what is here to make the reader understand what you are writing about. Unless you can create it better than it is here. Did that make sense?

RHODA: RE: Nora Roberts, YOU SAID IT. My sister and I both love her books. I especially loved the trilogy you’re reading now. One of the reasons I love her stuff is that she is not strictly romance. She mixes in a little fantasy and mystery as well. After reading that trilogy I wanted to take a long vacation in Ireland!

HEATHER & RACHEL: Prayers to both of you and to your families.

Cheri 12-16-2002 15:38

RANDALL -- Another good one! Thanks for that!

JERRY -- Chilling -- I think there are a lot of stories like that, that we'll probably never hear.

howard 12-16-2002 7:51

Now accepting original voluntary publications for admittance to an online animal compendium. A collection of as many articles as possible on all issues pertaining to companion animals. All works become the property of our website and all credit will be given to original author at bottom of article along with optional link to animal related web page of the authors. New web page will begin to be up and running by the end of Dec. 2002. Please submit all questions and entries to . Keep all articles to a maximum of 1500 words unless queries are sent for longer articles. All accepted authors will be considered for future work. All work will be checked in database to determine originality. frauds will be prosecuted accordingly. I will not be back to check this board on a regular basis so please post all replies in emails. Thankyou for your time and energy.

Jessica Bailey 12-16-2002 0:43



Good story Jerry! Liked it.

Red Britches tossed a knarly mesquite log onto a blazing fire. In the dark Texas night he settled back against a huge Mesquite log with a steaming cup of coffee in hand. "Ever think about the supernatural aspects of Jesus's birth?"

We were camping high up on the Jim Ned creek in the north part of the county. Red Britches, George Matthews and myself. It was bitter night time cold, at least for Texas, temps in the low 30's. Ostensibly we were helping Red load out some wood he had cut for sale in town. But the reason for an overnight stay was simply too good to pass up. Red wine, outdoor cooking and sleeping under the stars. Winter camping is not for everyone, but when one is surrounded by a dozen cords of oak and mesquite, temperature control is a lot easier to maintain.

Red is or was or might be single or married. No one really knows. George was temporarily on the outs with his live in ... no problem there. My reason for staying out on a December night went over like a screen door on a submarine with my wife. Actually, I would have been better off confessing I was spending the night with a couple of old Hugh "Pass the Viagra" Heffner's LA bunnies rather than admitting to my wife I was staying with "That good for nothing wino!" Red and "Dirty grease monkey!"George. That's what happened when one's reputation proceeds ... But after much pleading and promises I couldn't possibly keep my spouse agreed. I'm not fooled. I know seconds after I hung up my wife and daughter were dancing wildly in the kitchen and made a break for the local mall with every credit card we had. What the hell, it's only money. Christmas is the season for giving and giving and giving ...

Red had built a large shed on a small ranch he had leased for wood cutting ... three sides and a slanting roof of heavy canvas and mesquite limbs, tastefully interwoven with the remains of an old white 3/4" PVC waterline, more for support than decor. Inside there was a large table made out of stumps, branches covered with a thick canvas "duck" for the top, chairs (stools really) made from more cut tree trunks. One bed had been hastily assembled from dozens of empty paper feed sacks, an ancient set of rusty bed springs and a half-dozen surplus GI wool blankets. Two more beds were of firmer stuff, the front and back seats of a 1961 Chevrolet sedan. Really plush for Red.

We had Red's wood trailer loaded just after sundown, built a roaring fire, incinerated beef weenies on sticks and boiled up a gallon can of Texas "Wolf Brand Chili" in a large cast iron pot. Chef Red and Assistant Chef George spiced up the concoction with a generous portion of red wine, a pint of hot peppers, an Aggie onion, and a handful of wild garlic bulbs Red had located on the creek bottom. Fit for any English, (or Scottish) dragon! After the meal, Red managed to brew up a gallon of "Navy style" coffee in a badly dented coffee pot. I would agree. The brew could peel paint off the battleship Texas right down to bare metal with a temperature just below the critical level of a nuclear reactor containment system. One of the finest meals I've ever eaten.

"Did ya hear what I asked Randy Boy?"

"Yeah, I heard you Red. No I never really thought much about it."

"That's odd. You claim to write science fiction, but you never thought about the night Jesus was born?"

George came up about then. He threw down a thick roll of bedding and kicked it open. Sat down pulled off his boots. And looked around for his coffee mug. "What about it Red? You mean the virgin birth?"

"Everything. A man and his pregnant wife spending the night in a room where the locals housed their livestock. The actual birth of the baby Jesus, Mary assisted only by her husband."

"Not much supernatural there." I said settling against a wheel of the wood trailer.

Red held up a hand. "Shepards in the meadows outside Bethlehem visited by an angel announcing the arrival. A massive star or light over the village. Three wise men from Arabia seeking a new born king after working out a message in the stars. Livestock speaking to the new Lord of Hosts."

"Well, it makes for interesting reading. Mostly legend though."

Red's eyes were sparkling in the firelight. He waved a hand indicating the moonless sky. "The God who created all of this needed a son, a representative among His people. Someone to show them the proper way. What would be the first thing He would do? Well, when dealing with humans the opening statement might be to send an angel to the chosen woman's husband and announce that, oh, by the way, your wife will soon be carrying a living God. To that end, nothing works like a teenage virgin girl. What would be the mechanics of that? Perhaps the Angel touched the sleeping Mary and with the spirit of God initiated a fertilized egg."

"Fertilized egg is very cold language Red." George sipped his coffee. "More likely just the thought of God was enough."

Red nodded. "Yes. I agree. But if we're talking mechanics here, perhaps the child was cloned. In a spiritual sense of course."

"God must have had an angel or two watching over the couple and His unborn son." I offered. "If I remember right, King Herald was seeking them. He wanted no peasant king for competition."

"So they made the journey from their home with at least one angel protecting them." Red said. "Only to find the town full, with no room to sleep. Very hard for a woman with child."

Red paused. "If God wanted someone to represent His needs on earth, would he want His son born in a palace ... or a more common place?"

"What better location than an area where the animals were kept." I answered. "God knows that religion flows from the ground up. The very thought that a representative of God would come from a home of wealth and privilege would be very hard for poor people to swallow. You never hear of a fat prophet from the rich side of town."

"Shepards watching their flocks outside of town would be a nice touch." George stretched out on his bedroll. "The common man at work in the field."

"And then?" Red asked.

"Then the sky opens and an angel appears." I commented.

"Why an angel? How exited were you about you're first born?"

I laughed. "I called my folks right away Red. Mom told me I was talking so fast she could barely keep up. She said I was a mile high!"

Red nodded. "Maybe God was happy and decided to put in a personal appearance? If He created us in His image, then he knows happiness and sorrow."

George walked to the coffee pot, stumbled as a grass burr bit through his sock, but managed to pour a cup of coffee standing on one leg. "Works for me. What about the three wise men?" He hobbled back to his bed.

"The three wise men are a problem. The problem is we, that is, the learned public feel we are far superior to people 2,000 years ago. So who were these so called wise men? How do they know who the baby Jesus is? They deduced His birth by reading the stars? A prophecy? Maybe they were time travelers? Say from the year 3001? Wanted to see the birth of a God?

"There can be little doubt that the three wisemen, whatever their purpose had retainers. Servants, because men of wealth always have. According to legend, a young boy servant is said to have played a musical instrument and sang for the baby Jesus. This was the inspiration for the popular Christmas song, LITTLE DRUMMER BOY. It is said that Jesus smiled at the youngster..."

I quipped, "Having Jesus smile at you, even though an infant would be a very good sign."

"I should be so lucky." George said sorting through his sock for the grass burr.

"The star over Bethlehem?" I asked Red. "Supernatural?"

"I believe the bright light over Bethlehem was not a combination of planets or stars. I believe it was just that, a marker set forth by God. This is not unusual in Biblical events ... witness the pillar of fire that led the Israelis out of Egypt and through the wilderness. In our modern day misdirected ego all things must be explained by science. Why is that?"

"So, connect all the dot's Red."

"A most Holy being named Jehovah, a God sent an angel, or maybe He came alone and precipitated the pregnancy of Mary through divine intervention. Just such an incident is recorded in Genesis. Jehovah appeared to Joseph and told him what to expect and what would happen. Jehovah also told Joseph, He would protect them and to accept with calm and dignity what would occur. Bluntly ... you take care of My son, raise him well as a human and I will take care of you. A win-win deal for Joseph. About this time God made this information available to numerous "wise men" throughout the world through channels known only to Him. This was the first incident of the Gospel of Jesus being dispersed. God was laying the ground work to initiate His kingdom on Earth through His son Jesus. Through God's supernatural abilities He created a brilliant light over Bethlehem, a marker, an indicator of His promise to mankind. Much like the rainbow after the great flood. This beacon was another incident that foretold the birth of Jesus, beginning His ministry through creation of an epic tale.

"God protected Mary and Joseph and the unborn Jesus. Would you expect a father to do otherwise? He shielded them from harm through the arduous journey to Bethlehem. His last appearance was to the startled shepards to announce the birth of His son. Again, would a father do otherwise? The three wisemen and the shepards found the infant Jesus in a room used for livestock. Influenced by God the wisemen gave Joseph, through Jesus, valuable gifts that would enable him to properly raise, care and educate God's son. The unknown wisemen departed after warning Joseph of the approach of Herod's soldiers. How could they have known that the soldiers were approaching?

"So Randy boy, the birth of Jesus was a supreme supernatural event, brought forth by God to change the direction of countless unborn egos from negative to positive. Because that is what life is ... embrace the positive and shun the negative. Jesus's message directs us to embrace the positive and put our trust in Jehovah."

Happy Christmas!


Randall 12-15-2002 22:18

Thanks again everyone for your thoughts and prayers and everything this past week - it was a rough one. Still trying to 'clean up' the mess of his brother's life (mostly his WIFE) and in the process, the 'note' was found.

We had barely begun our Christmas shopping and had just put up our tree the day before Lee died, so it is going to be a MAD scramble this year to get everything done in time.
I will probably not be able to get anything finalized on Phantasium until after Christmas, but in that week before New Year's I'd really like to get that finished. Good way to start off a new year, isn't it? With one big fat submission!

Thanks again everybody, your thoughts and prayers and support meant more than you know.

Heather 12-15-2002 12:37

I saw Star Trek Nemesis tonight. It was good, but sad because it might be the last movie. The movie just left me hankering for more Trek. I wish they would do a new series using some of the old cast. They could take two or three from the past three series and make a new series, could they not?

Actually I like ENTERPRISE just fine, but have read that their ratings are faltering. I don't think it is the series that is the problem, but UPN. There are not enough Joe six-pact, testosterone charged men 19 to 45 that are interested in true Star Trek. That is the target market for UPN, or most television for that matter. I really feel that until Star Trek finds a new television home, it will never again have a successful series.

Rhoda 12-15-2002 2:08

Elaine needs to go pick up her freshman sister from a Christmas school dance. That's why she has to go.
Thank you for understanding!
Better get going!

Elaine's Mother 12-15-2002 0:07

Thanks VIV. Maybe all I needed was some advice. I hate to cut this short(I mean REALLY short,) (so short that not even half of the little post box is full yet!) but my mother is pushing me off. She says I take to long on the computer, (I don't think so but that's her oponion) So...
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 12-15-2002 0:05

I was a bit indisposed on Thursday and Friday nights, but wanted to participate in shorty night, here's my bit:

.It was so damn hot I thought I must be in hell, and I guess in a way I was, well some folks called it hell, some called it home, most called it South Vietnam.

We were on stand down, for the uninitiated a stand down is sort of like a day off mixed up with the second day of vacation, blended with your first trip to a whore house.

Collins sat below me on “the hill” Baker was blow him, Baker had one of those stupid foil things braced up around his neck, in THIS temperature, hell we all knew Baker was nuts, but this proved it, he wanted “the perfect tan” so on stand down he got all the sun he could since in the jungle the sun is just something you know is there because of the heat, and you know it's there because you can see, sort of, when a bit of it filters down through the tipple canopy, but it NEVER hits your skin, and in Nam, your skin stayed white, pale, like death. But not Baker, no, not Baker, he had that bronze skin tone of the beach bum on the coast of California, or the surfer on the black sand beaches in Hawaii.

I had just started my third Stroes beer, that bottom of the barrel lager beer that seemed to be the only brand allowed in Nam, shit Tiger Piss was better but Doc says that the formaldehyde in it could be hazardous to our health. What the fuck does Doc know anyhow. Anyway, I had just finished my third Stroes, and shout SHORT for the tenth time that day, shit I was so short that I had to part my hair to shit, and I wanted everyone in the platoon, no company, no hell I wanted everyone in the Battalion to know I was SHORT only sixty days and a wake-up and I'd be ridding that freedom bird home to the world. What I didn't tell them was that every night before I slept I prayed to God that I'd make it through the next day, then the next and the next....

But as I was saying, I was just starting my third Stroes when the rockets began landing, they started back by the Company HQ and walked down the Company street hitting the Shitter, the Mess Hall, then the NCO Club (Cheers went up amongst the enlisted). Then they stopped. I started to get up to run to a bunker for cover, but then thought about it again and drank down my third Stores and used my church key to pop my fourth, damned if I'd let Charlie screw up my stand down, I was OFF DUTY.

The rest of the guys came back a couple of minutes later and lay back down in the sun. Baker lit up a joint and lay back putting his foil back up to get “that perfect tan”, Collins shouted for Smitty to toss him another brew, Smitty threw the Stroes to Collins and the fucking thing EXPLODED, blew Collins up in the air and parts of him rained down on the rest of us covering us with blood and gore. Well I thought at first it was the beer that blew up, but I guess it was another rocket, a love tap from Charlie.

Baker sat up, dropped his foil and said something that sounded to my ringing ears like “WOW MAN – WHAT A TRIP!”

For some reason I started laughing, there wasn't anything particularly funny about Collins blowing up, or the war or anything else for that matter but just that bit from Baker in the midst of all that was going on around us made me laugh. I was still laughing my ass off when I jumped into the bunker that squatted next to our hooch a couple of seconds later, and tripped over the Sarge who looked at me like I was nuts, Baker fell down over the top of me trying to get into the bunker and it's relative safety, he was laughing too, we just sat there on the ground laughing while the whole damn world seemed to explode around us, and somehow, right then, I don't know why, I knew I was going to make it.

We had a super time today, drove a hundred miles east to a little town where the Gibson's store is going out of business, big sign said 40-80% OFF, so we grabbed carts and shouted SHOP! got what we figured was about two hundred bucks worth of super stuff and found a check out line. When she got done ringing it up, it was only one hundred bucks, what we didn't read was it was so much off the LOWEST sticker price, most of the stuff was already like half off! Why heck we had to go get a bite to eat and SHOP again! Got the wife a bountiful coat for Christmas, was marked $197.99 and when they rang it up came to $41.00 can't beat a deal like that with a stick!

Oh and have I mentioned the weather here has been absolutely beautiful, it got up to 68 degrees today, UNHEARD of warmth for December. They say it's El Nino and I guess it is, but we could sure use about ten feet of snow, everything is so terribly dry you can start a prairie fire now by tossing a bottle out the window of your car, act's like a magnifying glass. Still lots of those dang fires saw lots of smoke on our road trip.

Write ON Writers!

Jerry 12-14-2002 23:58

Hi All :)

Viv -- no forgiving necessary. Just write what you can, when you can. This time of year is generally a bit harder. Between shopping, mailing, cleaning, cooking, decorating, parties --- and whatever else! There doesn't seem to be much time for a person to be alone, let alone do some writing.

To report on the success/failure of my goals posted last week -- well, I can't say I completed my goals. But I did solve a major problem so I still feel good about the work I accomplished this week. The problem? Well, I have this nasty habit of starting over. I had four versions of my story started with one up to the beginning of the middle. I solved the problem by pasting them all together and then cutting what I didn't need or want. I now have a good lead into the middle of the novel! So, this week's goal? To continue into the dreaded middle of my story. Shall I set a goal of word count, pages? I like to accomplish three pages per day of writing. Keep it simple right? Ok, with getting so close to the holidays, I'll set a minimum of six pages for the upcoming week.

Mark - we carry similar ways of thinking. Now I wish I had taken the time to watch "Taken".

Heather - my thoughts continue to be with you and your family.

Rachel - my prayers for Carol.

Laura - my prayers for you too that you find not only the time to write, but the solution you wish for your characters.

Now I'm lost on who else needed good wishes and prayers -- so blessings of the day to everyone!

Carol 12-14-2002 16:33

The Dr. bumped my pain meds up, seems to help, but like most pain meds it will wear down after a fashion. At any rate, I feel MUCH better right now and I guess that's what I was looking for. Switched me to a narcotic again, been awhile since I've been on those, and this one is a bit stronger then the last. Sort of leaves one with a warm all over calm feeling combined with a fair amount of pain relief.

Began my online writers course today, only a few days behind the rest of the class, got the email on Monday, didn't go to the site till today, guess the class started (as these things start) on Wed. Not that I missed anything, just read through the posts, picked up my first assignment and left. I've taken this course before, a few years ago, it's a six week exercise that I found enjoyable, I look forward to another enjoyable six weeks this time.

Eddie - I envy you, I've always wanted to tour Scotland, and the rest of the British Isles sounds like great fun and a relaxing break from reality. Should give you great fodder for stories and such.

Jerry 12-14-2002 0:57

Just finished watching the finale of 'Taken' on the SciFi channel. Watched all 20 hours. They're having a 'Taken' marathon tomorrow, showing the whole thing starting at 11 a.m.

I think the narrator was the neatest piece of the whole thing. A little girl with preternatural knowledge who told us bit by bit how to understand both the aliens and our own understanding of them. At the end she said that the key to life here was continuing to ask questions, not have answers. I've always thought that was the hallmark of true wisdom. The narrator continually dropped little gems like that. Another was the idea that after we get hurt or scared, we put up walls around ourselves. We think we can go back to just the way it was before we were scared. We can't. We just become people living inside walls.

Mark 12-13-2002 23:18

Elaine: Wait, the magic of Christmas comes back! The secret is you get to be Santa. Soon you will be holding one child while another rushes ahead of you to greet Santa Claus. Until then, you have to make Christmas for those who really will not have it if you aren't there.(It's practice time!) Sing Carols with your friends from door to door. Visit a nursing home with a few small gifts, like slippers, ask at a church or a hospital if there is some small way in which you can get involved in the giving of Christmas. If someone does not show gratitude, well, that's kind of preparation for real life. A three year old will look at a gift and say..."Gee this stinks! or I love it!" You never can tell quite what a three year old-7 year old will do.

I'm feeling a little the same way as you oldest daughter can't come home for Christmas and there really isn't much Christmas here in Japan. Maybe it's time to take my own advice! I see there's a caroling party for the lepers at Gotemba....hummmm. Well, I've done it before and at least it's a trip to a place I HAVEN'T gone in a long time.

Viv 12-13-2002 17:41

Watch out for this one!

This destructive Internet worm runs on all Windows platforms. This worm propagates using its own SMTP or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol engine and sends email to addresses it gathers from HTML files on the infected system. It sends email with the following details:

Subject: N`4_
Message Body: -
WIN.GIF (120 bytes) MUSIC_2.CEO

* is the registered owner of the machine and is the organization of the owner.

This worm sends email using a known exploit that causes the attachment to automatically execute when the message is viewed or previewed on Internet Explorer-based email clients, such as Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express. This exploit is known as Automatic Execution of Embedded MIME type.

It is capable of terminating certain monitoring programs and antivirus products from memory.

*********Upon restart, this worm deletes all files from local drives, except files that are currently running on the system.************

Eddie French 12-13-2002 17:38

.....or perhaps that should be Tuesday.
Breakfast time on Tuesday.




Crystal clear rivers running over stone.

Eddie French 12-13-2002 17:02

It's not that I'm the type to rub it in or anything but....
It's been a while since I had HAGGIS on my breakfast plate!
Mmmmmm....that's one of the special things that I'm looking forward to. We just can't get it around here.
Roll on Monday.

Eddie French 12-13-2002 17:00

Well, just checking in again. Congrats on the publisher. Have works of my own in progress, am hoping to get the first draft of one or more done by my self-imposed deadline of my birthday. (Feb 24) But I don't know if I can. Need lots of prayer since I am working retail, and my novel characters seem to bug me about the wrong parts, much of it is being written in reverse, (From end to beginning) and another manuscript is screaming to be done. Oh well, I guess since I have the weekend off I'll lock myself in my room until I get something done. (As soon as I get out of the library.) I came to pay my fine, but ended up staying here for a while. maybe I'll do some research while I'm here, pull out the OED and make some words....

Laura 12-13-2002 15:43

Well, we have 5 days left till TWO TOWERS! I can't wait to Wednesday. On a more serious note, my prayers go out to you HEATHER, and RACHEL, send my prayers on to CAROL. I don't have much to say. Even though we're drawing closer and closer to Christmas, I think the less excited I get. It used to be that Christmas was the music, candy, presents, and church services. (Not in that order) Now it's still the music, candy, presents, church services, but without the joy that each used to bring me. I guess that means that I'm growing up, that pretty soon I'll be too old for anything but the music and church services. (SIGH) Sometimes I wish that all could go back to normal, the way it was a couple of years ago when Christmas was a time of joy. Well, there is nothing more for me to say. I just needed to write this out. Thanks for listening.
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 12-13-2002 12:02

Whew, Carol, one more day to go until freedom. Today I had to attend the husband's office party! Tomorrow a computer class. Please forgive the lack of writing lately.

Viv 12-13-2002 6:26

Rachel - Prayers and good thoughts are going toward Carol. :)

I'm currently working on character lists for my stories. I've never used them but my friend suggested it. Now I just have to remember every character in Mali and Azol...this could prove difficult. I'm sure I'll end up leaving one person...or a whole family...out of the list. :D

Sipping in Seattle Latte Land...woo! I'm HYPER!! :D ::bounces around with Christmas hat on singing carols::

Allein Peachick's Gallery 12-13-2002 1:01

SSSsit, laid around so long I caught a stupid cold.

Oh well I see my Dr. tomorow, maybe he'll put me out of my misery.

Jerry 12-12-2002 23:36

Well Sunny, you were more right than you could know! I did set myself too large a goal, and I don't know that I could have accomplished all I set out to do even if I hadn't gotten sick. But our goalsetting was very productive in that I looked at my story with a keener eye and got going on a track that I really like, and what do you know, but I think this is not going to be a short story, but a novella! That's why it never worked for me, because I had to wrap up too quickly and the story demanded more and more details be told. I'm very happy; thanks for the push!

Heather, My heart is with you. Hang in there.

So ... I am sick, but am flying up to Boise, Idaho to fetch my sister, whereupon we will drive back to Tucson, yippee! I love road trips. I'm hoping to really enjoy it, as my sickness will be on its fourth day and hopefully on its way bye bye.

Wish I had time to catch up with everybody! I see many familiar faces around here. Happy holidays, y'all!

Christi 12-12-2002 22:13

EDDIE – Hope you remember your passport. We’re getting kinda strict on immigrants :o)

Of late, the English have been positively flocking across the border. They’re flocking across the border at Berwick. They’re flocking across the border at Gretna. They’re flocking across the border at Carters Bar – We can hardly move up here for flocking Englishmen… :o)

But seriously, take some very warm clothing. The weather is guaranteed to cold but the welcome, warm. Enjoy!


Litter 12-12-2002 19:07


You, Sassenach! Don't mind me. I am just jealous. I hope you and Anita have a wonderful time. Let us know all how it went and take lots of pictures.

I am having trouble feeling like it is near Christmas with highs in the upper 50's. No snow, no ice, not even frost on the car windshields in the morning. Our neighbor had new landscaping put in and a couple of weeks ago, there were some people out mowing the grass.

Actually I love this time of the year down here because it is so nice to be outside and it is just cold enough to discourage the mosquitoes. All the creepy-crawlies slow down a bit during the winter, and one isn't as likely to see snakes and alligators.

My father is buying me a new digital camera for Christmas. I want to get some photos and post them on my sight so I can show off my new home town.

I have just discovered Nora Roberts. Most of the women I know like reading her books and consider her their favorite romance author. I finally decided I would read one of her books and see what the excitement is all about. Usually I have been disappointed with best selling authors, but Nora rocks! I am reading JEWELS OF THE SUN, which is the first of a trilogy taking place in Ireland.


My prayers are with Carol.

Rhoda 12-12-2002 14:23


I guess a lot of children/teens go through this sort of stuff. I know that our teen has had his problems. He attends a self motivated school. What this means is that he doesn't have a teacher who sits and covers the lesson plans at a steady pace. This means that he is able to do the work when he feels like it. Most recently he didn't feel like doing the work at all. He and I had a little chat about the school up the road that functions on a more traditional approach. I gave him one more semester, with no nag from me in which to catch up with the work. He has accomplished this. I sure was relieved that he got to it. I wasn't looking forward to removing him from such a free learning environment.

I just completed another semester. I think that my grades are part of what is motivating our teen. He doesn't want to be outdone by the mom (grins and laughter). In order to keep up to me he is going to have to sit on the honour roll long term. Seems that is just what he is going to do. I like that I'm able to motivate him and please myself. That is the best of both worlds (big wide smiles).

Take care you.



If you could send prayers, healing thoughts, and good vibes in the direction of my fathers wife, I would appreciate that. She has lived past breast cancer, she lived past brain cancer and now that blasted, rotten stuff is back again. Carol is a religious woman and I know that she would appreciate any healing energies and prayers that were being said or felt for her. I want so badly for her to be free of caner. This just seems to go on and on. I think that Carol is one of the bravest people I have ever met.

Thank you.

Rachel 12-12-2002 9:49

Cruise Special.

Special Cruise From Carnival 12-12-2002 9:45

Eddie French:

You brat! Why are you telling me that. I want to go with you. Take me! Take me with you.


Thank you, I'm putting that tidbit ritht into my Litter doc.

Merry Christmas to all!

I know saying that is becoming not PC. Imagine!

Debra 12-12-2002 8:47

I'm off to Scotland on Monday!
Anita and I are taking a brak for a week.
We are going to Dornoch (The one up in the Highlands)
It's on the east coast and about as far north as you can get. If you have a map look for the Firth of Dornoch Inverness.
It's my first time in the highlands so I'm really looking forward to it.

Keep well all,

Eddie French 12-12-2002 6:34

Heather - sounds like a tough one. What people have to keep in mind is the fact that we will all die one day, those who choose that day and end it by themselves while not common are also not that rare.

Personally I used to dread that day, the one I die that is. Now I wouldn't kill myself, or at least I like to believe that I wouldn't but I do know that when I die, the pain will die with me, and I do so look forward to an end to that pain. Somehow I guess I understand those who choose to end it all, but in a way, it's one of most selfish thing then can do. They are thinking only of themselves, for to think of leaving loved ones would stop most. I know that I wouldn't leave this world and those who I love no matter how bad the pain becomes.

Self destruction can echo through a family, it rips at the very fabric that binds humans together, tugging first at one end then at the other, as those who survive try to find someone to blame, anyone but the one who did the deed for to blame them would be admitting that you somehow failed them. That isn't true of course, I've seen many suicides, and in the end, it's a private decission made by those who end it all. Some are sick mentally, some so very sick physically, others end it all when they have lost spiritually.

To sit around and hash it all over and over again does nothing but increase the pain in those who survive.

Sorry for the long post, my head is still a bit abuzz from the meds that I've been pushing through my old aching body searching for relief, and finding little.

Time to down a few more and head off to bed and drift off in that wonder of all ages, sleep, wonderful healing sleep.

Write ON!

Jerry 12-12-2002 0:22

Hi All!

HEATHER – My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours. The death must have been devastating enough, but suicide… I don’t know how you cope with something like that?

DEBRA – We speak English. Have done officially since 1707. (The Union of the Crowns.)

RHODA – the forward of the book is pretty much correct. It should be invaluable, but only if you can think in dialect. (Billy Connolly is a good dialect coach – he doesn’t overdo his accent, like some.) There’s bound to be local variations to the dialect in the book, as it is undoubtedly based on West Coast dialect, (70% of the population live in the west), but it should keep you out of trouble. There are very close ties with German and its derivatives, e.g. Scots, in the main, call local Churches, Kirks. (Kirken in German.)

ANYONE any idea of how many Mb’s of incoming email it would take to crash Yang’s inbox? Maybe would should all mail him the contents the notebook, complete with his unwelcome spam, but only when it gets really bloated. Perhaps a bit of personal hassle would make him review his habits? Maybe not?

My 17-year-old daughter’s male best friend, Paul, lost his father to a heart attack only 2 weeks ago. She came home from school in tears, and told us that her female best friend, Alison, lost her father to a heart attack today. He just pulled his car to the side of the road and died… Kirsteen, my daughter, is beside herself, not knowing what she can do for the best. It is going to be a pretty awful Christmas for those poor kids and I’m not sure my daughter will be in festive mood -- she’s very empathic and feels the pain of others very acutely.

My wife thinks that my daughter is convinced that I’m going to die next – both men were only a couple of years older than me. My health is crap but it’s not terminal and I plan on being around for a goodly while yet. (Hey, I want to see my happy smiling face staring back down at me from the bookshelf next year!)

These deaths, and others, have made me face my own mortality, however, as I watch friends and family shrinking around me. I don’t fear death, but have no real intention of succumbing without a vigorous fight. What really brought it home was that my wife and I spoke to Alison’s dad just yesterday during a parents evening at the school all 3 kids attend. He had just been told that his daughter was and exceptional student, and I would imagine that he was really happy when he went home last night.

Bugger death! I want a shot at immortality.

It feels even less like Christmas now.

Catch y’all later.

PS Signed the contract on tuesday.

Litter 12-11-2002 22:07


I agree. Scottish history and culture is fascinating. I have some Scot, but I do not know to what degree. I am so typical North American Heinz 57, but if I were to learn tomorrow that I hadn't a drop of Scottish blood, I would still love Scotland. I hate to say it, but I feel the same way about Wales, Ireland, and England also. Now if all these beautiful people could just get along!

Rhoda 12-11-2002 21:58


Thank you, I just love info on Scotland. I wonder why that is! I've never been and as far as I know I'm not Scotish.

Debra 12-11-2002 21:02


Good evening ...

Heather ... take care of your family. The book will wait. Sadly, death in some families seem to bring out the worst in people. I believe your strength of character will prevail and guide you and your family through this current turmoil.

How about a tale from where I work ... a lot of fact and mostly fiction. :-)


"The Mexicans ate my chickens," Sherry commented late one Friday afternoon.

A light rain fell most of the day and the December sky was dark and threatening with additional moisture. Street lamps glowed through store windows as a wet twilight hastened the end of another busisness day. It was a slow afternoon at the store, almost quitting time and, as in most places, this close to the weekend people tend to relax. The atmosphere becomes almost giddy as job stresses evaporate and the promise of a weekend brightens everyone's outlook. The usual crew was lounging around, store employees, stool lizards (persons not buying, just hanging out) swapping lies, telling jokes, discussing weekend plans. As in the best jobs where employees are comfortable with each other there is a great deal of verbal horseplay. Everyone strives for a humorous comment and camaraderie is a tangible emotion fueled by fellowship. We all turned to Sherry at the opportunity this new topic offered.

"Who ate the chickens?" Will, one of the youngest employees asked.

"The Mexicans who lived next door." Sherry, a veteran parts person with short blonde hair was perched on the counter. "At least I think they did."

"Whatta you mean, you think? Don't ya know?" David, also a veteran parts man was leaning against the counter, arms folded over his barrel chest.

"Well, they're not around anymore."

"The chickens or the Mexicans?" David laughed.

"The Mexicans are still there."

"How many chickens did you have?" I asked from my position on a low bench that lay just behind the counter.

"Three, not counting the fighting rooster my landlord gave me," Sherry replied.

"What rooster?" Will questioned.

"The one my landlord left after he took the horse away."

"WHAT HORSE?" several of us asked in unison.

"The horse that wandered up last week." Sherry answered grinning at the confusion she was sowing.

David rubbed his face in disbelief. "Wait! Wait! A horse just wandered in?"

Sherry smiled. "I went out one morning to come to work and he was standing at the gate. So I let him in the yard."

"Did you try to find the owner?" I asked.

"Well, I called the sheriff's office and they said no one had reported a missing horse."

Will snickered. "Horses are so easy to lose!"

"Now wait a minute," I was struggling with the flow of conversation. "Back to the chickens. Were the chickens yours or did they wander up as well?"

"They were there when I rented the place. They roamed the neighborhood, I fed ‘em, but they slept on the Mexicans side of the fence."

Will giggled. "Chickens sleep around a LOT!"

"Maybe the Mexicans owned the chickens?" David added. "Ever think of that?"

"I don't think so." Sherry replied. "They were shooing them out of their yard not long ago."

Matt, the youngest delivery driver laughed. "That's cause chickens shit everywhere."

David held up both hands. "Okay! Now, how did you get the fighting rooster?"

"I guess my landlord came and got the horse ..."

"Did the horse belong to your landlord?" Will inquired.

"Well, he said he didn't own a horse. But when I got home the other night, the horse was gone and the rooster was perched on the front porch."

David probed deeper into the missing chickens mystery. "Maybe he traded his rooster for your horse? And took the chickens too."

"Anyone in her neighborhood could have eaten the chickens." Will suggested. "It's like a Beverley Hillbillies demilitarized zone there."

"Maybe somebody ate the horse?" I ventured. "Maybe the rooster just wandered up on his own? Everything else seems too."

This was greeted with a long silence.

"Seen any real fat neighbors lately." Matt added and the gang broke up.

After the laughter died David tried once more to get the chicken story straight. "How do you know the Mexicans ate the chickens?"

"I saw their kids chasing them a couple of nights ago."

"That doesn't mean anything. Maybe they were just playing?"

"Well they asked me over to eat bar-b-que tonight." Sherry replied with an elfish grin.

"CHICKEN!" several of us shouted in glee at one time.

Mystery solved...


Randall 12-11-2002 20:28


I found a Scots Dialect Dictionary at Barnes and Noble recently. It will be helpful for my project. Scots is not the same as Gaelic which hasn't been spoken in lowland Scotland for centuries and among some people never was! Turns out that Scots is mostly Germanic and has evolved from the language of the Northern Angles (Northumbria). As time went on it added French and Norse words.

Is this right, LITTER? I don't care what the forward of the book says, I will take your word over any of it.


Sounds like a horrid situation, but I have no doubt that you will see it through just fine. I'm still praying for you and your family and hope that all works out as it should and that healing can begin for all involved.

Rhoda 12-11-2002 19:41

Thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers everyone; they are received with many thanks. I'm sorry about my rant earlier, I was a bit over-done in the oven about all the stunts pulled over the last couple of days.(ugh, has it only been 2 and a half? It seems more like two weeks)

Still sizzling but it looks like rain,

Heather 12-11-2002 17:23

HEATHER -- Continued prayer for you and your family. That's one of the roughest things to go through, even without the complications.

RACHEL and RHODA -- we're going through the same thing with our oldest grandson. He can do the work, but doesn't. When we ask if he's got his homework done he says he does, even if we press him for a straight answer. Then we find out that he's been dropped from the football team, or, as the case this week, the swimming team. Can't seem to get it through to him that he needs to do the assigned work in order to pass.

howard 12-11-2002 16:13


I'm so very sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family at this dark time.

Debra 12-11-2002 11:42

Hi again everyone. Just popping in to let you know what is going on with the family. It turns out from the coroner's report that Wayne's brother Lee committed suicide by ingesting 60 morphine pills. Lovely. There's a lot of anger and guilty feelings flying about, and Lee's wife is causing major problems(supposed to be ex-wife, but she refused to sign the separation agreement, even though she verbally agreed to the terms). I have taken the role of mediator between Lee's wife and the Myles family, and so far that has worked well and things are smoothing over slowly.
Please forgive me for delaying the work on Phantasium, as with the turmoil going on, I haven't slept, and I am still working. The only replacement I have for my job is Doreen, and she was close to Lee as well so she's grieving. Anyway, things will be much better after the funeral, because most of the turmoil has to do with details and things not being settled. Then the shit will hit the fan again when it comes to the insurance policy. The coroner deemed Lee's death an 'accidental overdose', but in reality I have no clue why it wasn't considered a suicide flat out. It may have to do with the doctor who gave him the prescription having a say in the official report findings. Another lovely addition to the mess.
But, if Lee's wife is going to be a complete moron and screw things up further, we will just have Lee's lawyer contest the findings and have him deemed a suicide on paper, and cancel the insurance payout.
Well, toodles, and I'll be back soon.
There is SO much more to this story than I can handle recounting (ackkkkkkk, it is just too much to type!) but believe me, this smacks of some Dallas episode.
Take care everyone!

Heather 12-11-2002 11:19


I can hear what you are saying about kiddies and the homework. Our daughter, Jordan, recently did something a little like what Russell did. Jor lost one of her books. Instead of telling us that she had lost it, she kept looking for it on her own. When we would ask her if her homework was done she would tell us yes (I can't believe she lied)... Jordan thought that she would have lots of time to catch up on the work when she found the book. One week before mark deadline I was chased down in the hall by her teacher, who told me I might be interested in something he had to show me. The man took me to the class and handed me a sheet of paper that informed me my daughter had 16% for the term. I almost fell to the floor. I couldn't believe that out of eight units, she had completed one. Jordan spent a week working very hard. We assisted her in the work as well. It isn't easy to fit a semester worth of work into one week (grrrr)! She did get it all done. She did okay on the term. She, Dan and I talked about the importance of asking for help. I think she got the picture. In any case, she and her work production are being watched with a keen eye. We haven't done any power point presentations, but we do video, tape and slide shows on the iMac. My children could do simple reports, they just don't want to. Ahhh, and as a point of frustration, it only took me five minutes to find the book that Jordan spent a semester looking for. It was in her desk at home! Whew! Thanks for giving me an opportunity to get that off my chest (grins and laughter). Hope everything goes well with your sons presentation.

Take care you.

Rachel 12-11-2002 9:26


Russell is in sixth grade. He does power point very well. The only problem is that he doesn't do well at all at using the Internet for school research, and he doesn't keep me well informed about his progress with projects. He kept telling me, "I am doing it at school, Mom." Then the night before the project was due, I asked him the questions from the instructions he was supposed to answer and realized to my dismay he had just put in the graphics, etc., but no information. So it was a mad dash to the Internet to gather all the information we could find and try to put it together on poster board since he didn't have a copy of his power point file.

I checked on him at 12:30 and he was almost asleep and I realized he had done all he could do, so I sent him to bed. I am praying the teacher will let him hand it in late for partial credit.

This is the second time this year such a thing has happened. I have to follow up with him very closely and never take his word for anything, not because he lies, but he just does not have any idea about dead-lines, time constraints, and the time required for certain tasks. That is the ADHD, and we are now getting some help for that, so hopefully in time, things will improve and maybe, just maybe, Russell might pass 6th grade.

Rhoda 12-11-2002 8:38


Thank you!

If someone asked if there was a language of Scotish, how stupid would they sound?

Debra 12-11-2002 7:29

Rhoda: WHAT GRADE is your child in???? Power Point Presentation???? My jaw is dropping, did you hear it hit the floor?

Mary, I'm glad your theme days are back. I have two more weeks until I get a break but oooooohhhhhh keep dropping those themes in. I want to write a shortie again. My longie is bogging down. My creativity feels like it has gone underground and my brain is turning to mush.

Viv 12-11-2002 7:17


I am envious. I probably will not see "The Two Towers" for several weeks because I have a hard time getting to movies and being on time, so I dare not buy a ticket in advance.

I agree, the extended version of "The Fellowship of the Ring" is excellent. I also enjoyed all extras that told how they adapted the story, costumes, make-up, props, etc.

"Nemeis" comes out this Friday. I hope it does well at the box office. I also hope I get to see it. There are so many movies I want to see. I did see the new James Bond flick and it was good, and I don't really have a great love for James Bond movies. We just showed up at the theatre, and "Die Another Day," was the only movie we were on time for, so we watched it, and enjoyed every moment of it. Incidently Pierce Bronson looks very, very good with a beard.

I have burned the night oil with my son who had a report due tomorrow. I thought he was making progress on it at school with a power point presentation. Turns out that was not the case at all, and he had to do it tonight, almost from scratch. I hope he gets some credit from turning it in late.

Rhoda 12-11-2002 1:42

make that 12/18 -- the first showing in this area.

howard 12-10-2002 22:50

I now have a ticket for the noon 12/19 showing of "The Two Towers!" Been waiting for this for a long time.
BTW -- the extended version is excellent! It really fills in some of the parts we missed in the theatrical version.

howard 12-10-2002 22:49

Hello Everyone!

Heather, more hugs for you. Hang in there, and remember what I told you in my last email. xoxo

Jerry: OUCH! Whatever you do, try not to laugh. Did I ever tell you that my daughter pronounces 'Spongebob Squarepants' a tad incorrectly? Oh yeah, she calls him, "Punchbob Queerpants". (He has the mentality of a brick...your medication made me think of that.)

I don't know if anyone around here is in the mood to write a shortie or not, but the topic for this Thursday is...


Mary 12-10-2002 22:22

Un-freakin-real. This guy knows when his chemistry ads have been deleted.

Mark 12-10-2002 20:40

yang lian chun china jilin shanwei wollastonite mining co., ltd 12-10-2002 20:14

yang lian chun china jilin shanwei wollastonite mining co., ltd 12-10-2002 20:08

Oh Heather! (((Hugs))) crossing Canada right now as we speak.

Christi, you know, I haven't even thought about that! I wouldn't even bat an eye if you have an accent. What other mischief are you planning? ;-) BTW, I still haven't found a car rental in Eloy, but I'm working on it. It's small, but I mean really!

Jerry, take it easy! I know, you don't have a choice.

Have to head to work again. Between my two jobs, I'm doing 20 days straight through until Christmas. Tired already, but it'll be so worth it come January. Big planes, blue skies!

Tina 12-10-2002 11:46

Jack, I like the idea of a bottle of bad soy sauce. It gave me an idea...maybe we should take all our left over turkey stuffing from the holidays, stick it in a box and send it to him. Include a spoon. Be sure to cook the stuffing inside the bird for maximum effect. If that doesn't work, maybe I can send him some beef from Japan.

Jerry, hope your back is feeling better soon. All you can do is wait this out. Hope someone has a computer propped up so that you can see the screen without too much pain.

Viv 12-10-2002 10:05


What a shock! I send thoughs of support and condolences in the direction of you and your family.

I also wanted to send you hugs and smiles in regards to your work in seeking a publisher. Not an easy task eh? Know what? I would be thrilled to know that the book was published in Canada.

Extra hugs to you.


Rachel 12-10-2002 9:59


I don't know what to say! I can only imagine how it must be for you and your husband. My prayers are with you.


I hope you feel better soon. My thoughts and prayers are with you also.

Rhoda 12-10-2002 9:33

Hi, Everyone!

HEATHER: More prayers and (((hugs))) for you and yours in your time of tragedy...

JERRY: Gentle (((hugs))) for you - I've had some back muscle spasming lately myself, so I understand a bit of your pain. Rest, rest, rest... with me, I have to watch my posture, whether sitting, standing, lying, and all the movements inbetween to get from one position to the next without torque-ing my back out of alignment (after years of walking at a slant because of my hip, it's hard now to remember where and what "straight" is!). All my sympathies to you!!!

ALLEIN: I once had my writing muse and my music muse battling for my attention at the same time. I can't remember who won the moment, but I remember writing a poem about a song I'd never compose and then composing a song about a novel I'd never write...! HA! 8-} Fun.

TEEKAY/TAYLOR: Tell me about SPRING weather, PLEASE!!! It's c-c-c-old here in New York State. I need flowers and warmth.

A good day of writing to you all!!!

Mel 12-10-2002 8:12

Heather - That's terrible! My thoughts and prayers are with you and everyone affected. (((HUGS)))

My writing muse has come back but so has my drawing muse and they're currently conflicting with each other...but as long as I'm at the computer I may as well write. ^.^

Allein Peachick's Gallery 12-9-2002 23:28

Heather - Wow, sorry to hear of your family trouble, a death is always a terrible thing to face, but sudden death is even worse.

I'm moving a bit better today, but still have a ways to go, usually takes a week or better when this happens. Moved from the sofa to the recliner today, and starting the stretching exercises that help get things back in working condition.

Thanks for the thoughts.

Jerry 12-9-2002 22:19

I think Yang has the notebook address in some sort of automatic mailing machine.
I sent a polite note to the three addresses listed, and asked them to remove our address from their list.
Next time I send ninja...
then tong...
then bottle of bad soy sauce...

howard 12-9-2002 22:10

I can think of nothing to say other than that I'm so sorry. I wish there were words to help you through this. Know that your friends are pulling for your family at this time (and all times), and that we're here for you.

Christi 12-9-2002 19:04

Hi All :)

Heather - my condolences and prayers to you and your family. Don't forget to take care of yourself while you're taking care of everybody else, okay?

Jerry - my own hubby suffers big time with him back. Warm thoughts are winging your way while you rest that back.

Carol 12-9-2002 15:53

HEATHER -- Our prayers go out for you and your family.

howard 12-9-2002 15:30

JERRY: I'm sorry to hear about your back. my dad's back got thrown out of joint when we moved to a new house. I hope that it feels better soon.
HEATHER: What an awful thing to happen! I'm sorry to hear about your brother-in-law. I'll pray for you and your family tonight.
I have to go, not much going on writing or life-wise so I'm going to see if I can catch a few zzzz's.
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 12-9-2002 12:06

Jerry: Get well soon! I hate it when my back goes out. I've missed some very important dates when my back suddenly pulled a case of the "I won't move" and "I will leave you whimpering every time you try to move." Awful. HOpe that you wake up fine tomorrow.

Heather: What a frightening experience! My prayers are with you and your family.

Randall: Thank you! Those Texas items are going to be fun. What is great is I can introduce the biggest State in America. Might as well start big! Let me know if there's a sudden influx of young Japanese visiting Texas next year!
Hey, It's 12:20 PM. I lived through Monday. No huge disasters today except I had a television fall over in my classroom. There's nothing like the slow motion experience of watching a television set fall off the high stand and crash down onto the floor. It's those great wobbles it does as it prepares to begin that first revolution on the way to the floor. I put it back on the stand, turned it on and No Harm Done! (You'd only notice if you looked close that it's missing one corner)

Viv 12-9-2002 10:14

Shit, forgot to leave my email in a link, just in case you are looking for it and don't have it on hand.

Heather 12-9-2002 6:28

Hey everyone; some bad news in my family last night. My brother in law Lee was found dead on the floor by his roommate. Police investigation, autopsy, everything.
I will have quite a few of my husband's family to take care of, plus first and foremost my husband and kids. No idea if the funeral will be a long way away or not with this sort of thing - I've never experienced this before.
Not that I want to take notes, or anything.
I just wanted to let everyone know in case I'm not answering emails right away in the next few days.
I am still pushing ahead with the editing, choosing the stories to go to Ronsdale Publishing and proofreading them (last polish if needed). I want to have that all sent before Christmas, so the editor doesn't forget about my inquiry, or that he wanted me to send the manuscript along.

These are the tasks before me in regards to Phantasium:

~Choose the sample stories. (I have to check Ronsdale Pub's guidelines again to see how many pages they expect samples to be, as that will influence how many full stories we can send along)

~~Proofread and last polish on the sample stories

~~Credentials for authors of sample stories (and entire collection at the same time is fine, no harm having everyone's all at once. Best to email me with history of your published work and where it appeared (NO MATTER HOW SMALL!) and then if you feel like it, you can add any other details in about you that you feel an editor might like to know.


I think, with a little help, I can have the above accomplished before Christmas.

Thanks everyone!

Heather 12-9-2002 6:26

yang lian chun china jilin shanwei wollastonite mining co., ltd 12-9-2002 2:15

yang lian chun china jilin shanwei wollastonite mining co., ltd 12-9-2002 2:14

My g/f can write some of the best poems i've ever read, so for her birthday i'd like to find a company that I can send her peoms to and they'll make a single professional book out of it
Can anybody please give me some suggestions on what company could do this?
Any help is greatly appreciated

Faust 12-8-2002 23:35

Mark - I want the best of the best of our stories as our sample to send to Ron. Help me pick!!!!

:OD Grinnin' ear to ....other ear!

Heather 12-8-2002 23:10


and now for something similar:


Oh, and
Debra - English. Unless there has been a major influx of Russian Scotsman lately.

Heather 12-8-2002 23:08

HEATHER -- WOW! You rollin now, girl.

I went to the rondale website. They aren't giving away any samples, but the list of authors is healthy.

Mark 12-8-2002 20:33

HEATHER -- Yessss!

howard 12-8-2002 19:35

JERRY -- Reminds me of the cannibal who passed a stranger in the jungle...

howard 12-8-2002 19:27


What languages do they speak the most of in Scotland?

Debra 12-8-2002 16:46


Heather 12-8-2002 15:32

ooooooooh, or was that 'pass my computer'?
Ick! How do you manage the keyboard?

Just kiddin'.....

Of course, laughter is not always good for back twinges, so NO LAUGHING.

Heather 12-8-2002 15:20

Ow, Jerry ~ I don't envy you, having to 'pass that couch'... I'd be asking for an epidural!


Heather Hemlock Bags 12-8-2002 15:18

Moved a bit wrong yesterday and my damn back spasamed up like a clam protecting it's pearl. Spent most of yesterday on a heating pad popping pills that reduce my mental state to that of a brick, today looks to be moving in the same direction.

If you don't hear from me in the next few days that's the reason.

I'll try to check in on trips from the couch to the bathroom as I pass my computer.

This must be what it's like to LURK.

Jerry 12-8-2002 11:54


Hi Viv ... I'm working on my end of the deal. (And believe me my end needs a lot of work! HA!) I am sending more than a T shirt. I have been gathering a good bit of information related to Texas, magazines and some local info. I haven't bought the T shirt yet ... but that will happen this week. Should get the whole mess in the mail this week. (Just in time for the Christmas rush!)

Heather ... Yeah, I get a bit torqued over dealing with other people on my novel. And I was really upset over the movie I watched last night. But all things must pass ... but first ... the gas!

Have a good day friends


Randall 12-8-2002 10:23

Randall, finally found your tee-shirt today and got it. You will now be able to wear the entire subway system of Tokyo on your stomach. I hope you found something just as classy to cover my belly. NOw to get it into a packet and into the mail. Tuesday for that errand. Monday is an all day/ all night rat race. It's going to start at five in the morning and end about 10:30 at night. One week more of the rat race and I've pretty much have the rats under control until New Years vacation.

Heather: I have a friend who knows a publisher in Tokyo if that is any help. Wishing you luck with the Canadian publisher. Thank you for going to such trouble.

I think one of the best things about our stories is that they come from English speakers all over the world. I hope the Canadian publisher will read your letter and realize the strength in having ghost stories with regional slants from everywhere in the world. Crossed fingers and lots of prayers in that direction.

Viv 12-8-2002 8:42

Heck, if you really want to get down to it? The stories are our credentials. The chosen pile is EXCELLENT WORK.
Have no doubts about that!
If this editor doesn't want to have a peek at the collection because not all of us are Canadian, then I've only got a few other places left to inquire....and I'm on to the US markets.

Heather 12-8-2002 5:33

Randall - I don't know about arrogant, but you do sound a wee tad eensie bit exasperated with the whole process. Be careful you haven't taken too much to heart with any past rejections! I know I always do. Yup, roll eyes all you want, everyone, but it is TRUE.
I get very upset, and later, six months or a year later, I can usually see why the work was rejected. It's one of two things: It's overdone/underpolished, or I submitted it to someone who didn't want that type of story at that particular moment. Or....third possibility.... from what I've been told recently, my work is on the whole, well, gritty.
I like gritty, but not everyone will.
:o) Keep on keepin' on, Randall! And remember to cut half the exposition (to the stumps, I say) and you'll have yourself a WINNER.

Heather 12-8-2002 5:32


Go get ‘em Heather!!! Tell 'em if they want another story from me they had better listen up and walk the line!!!


Heather ... I couldn't help but reflect on your post referring to credentials to a scene from the movie BEETLEJUICE. A (movie plot) deceased, Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis ask "Beetlejuice" (Michael Keaton) what his qualifications are ... in reference to haunting a house and scaring the inhabitants away. He reels off a long list of totally irrelevant BS and ends something like this "...I lived through the Black Death and had a lot of fun during that. I've seen the EXORCIST a couple of hundred times and it keeps getting funnier every single time I see it ... NOW WHATTA YOU THINK ... AM I QUALIFIED OR NOT!"

I would imagine furnishing credentials for unpublished authors to an editor is like proving you don't need the money in order to borrow money from a banker.

I am submitting "Flowers" (again) and wrote an agent in an otherwise PC query letter ... "I am not a published author but is that going to stop you from looking at the small section I am submitting? How about the first page? First paragraph? First sentence?"

Is that arrogant? If so, their loss will be someone else's gain. So many agents, so little time.


My tone you ask? I just watched BLACKHAWK DOWN on TV and the Bill Clinton, left wing media, bleeding heart liberal mindset that started that whole mess in Somalia really ticks me off. Big time! They said 1,000 Somalians died in that raid along with 19 American boys. I kept seeing my son in a situation like that and was greatly affected. I would offer that the ratio at one end should have been greatly magnified. I would accomplish this by airdropping the media big shots who pushed for intervention into that arm pit of a country one day after the aborted "raid." Maybe they could have got their message across to the warlords.

"Why, we are here to help you."

It's hard to help someone when he has a weapon and is already helping himself.


Randall 12-8-2002 0:27

I live in York Province. Ticonderoga hasn't fallen yet, has it?

Mark 12-8-2002 0:04

Just wanted to write back, and say that this "accountable" goal-setting is working for me! Although I'm tempted to wish that this was a chat so I could have a break with you guys, I'm grateful to have the impetus to push forward and tackle this outline. My problem is that my editor wants me to create a "program", which I can do, but it's alot more work than the collection of newsletters that I thought I was originally contracted to do. *sigh* The bright side is that it's forcing me to get much more concrete, which is a good thing.

Thanks again for your support and inspiration. :-)

Sunny 12-7-2002 18:48

Oh, and I have replied already, mentioning that several of the stories in the collection have or will soon be published in magazines, etc...... I also have basic credentials, but said that should he like specific credentials, I will ask the group and let him know asap.
I listed my measly credentials, and HOPE that it is at least not laughable.

Heather 12-7-2002 18:24


I contacted a Canadian publisher today. They accept short story collections, but specified Canadians only.
Here's what I asked, and his reply:
What are the writers's credentials?


At 12:15 PM 07/12/2002 -0800, you wrote:

Hello there!
I am interested in submitting a short story collection for your consideration, however, only some of the authors of this unique collection are Canadians. Every writer that has a story included in the collection is part of the same online writer's group, where the project originated. I am Canadian, and I headed the project personally. Would you consider the manuscript anyway?
Thank you so much for your time, and my best to you!
~~Heather Myles

Heather 12-7-2002 18:21

Oh, what the heck..

A woman goes to the post office to buy stamps for her Christmas
Cards and says to the clerk, "I'd like 50 Christmas stamps"

"What denomination?" the clerk asks.

"Oh my, has it come to this?" the woman replies "Then
I'll have 6 Catholic, 12 Lutheran, and 32 Baptists."

howard 12-7-2002 18:13

Jack - just for the heck of it, I visited your site, and this one using IE 3.0 in my Windows 95 virtual machine, caused one script error, the notebook came through without a complaint.

Not bad considering many of the sites I've visited tonight using it cause complete lock-ups of the VM needing a reboot of the VM to get back up and going.

Jerry 12-6-2002 23:44

Heather, Five good U.S. markets are waiting in your box! Hope they help. :) Welcome back, girlie.

Don't worry, Sunny. There's not all that much to do on my end. You're the one who sounds truly busy!

For me, the market searches are already done; they were just sitting there waiting for me at this wonderful site called Ralan's Webstravaganza, the best site I've found for Speculative Fiction markets. One down!
Then, that first story I referred to is just about ready and only needs a little tweaking, and I know right where I'm sending it. It'll take me a day (I hope).
The only one that I dread is finishing up that blasted House of Netherly! Give me strength, oh please! I'd just like to get all this stuff done before the holidays kick in to high gear when I'll probably get nada done.

Go Carol! You can do it!

Peace be with you. And you, and you, and you ...

Christi 12-6-2002 22:09

Ooooooh, sorry, that came out like a mouthful of squid!

Heather 12-6-2002 17:45

CHERI - no, absolutely not - research on worlds you create is not necessary! It's fiction.
But, a funny thing about fiction: the more outlandish the truth, the more people believe it to be fiction. The more outlandish the fiction, the more people believe it to be true.

Heather 12-6-2002 17:45

Thanks, Christi!
And yes, Howard, I might be able to, but who would want to? Yikes, that is a load of interviewing publishers for the most current info! Bleeeech! I hate researching things.
If I had to do as much research and planning as some of us do (Carol, Cheri, wow, a lot of us....) before writing a short story, I'd open up a vegetable stand.
Seat of my pants is an understatement. I write by the one bit of elastic hanging off my undies!

Heather 12-6-2002 17:42

CAROL: Here it is. Thanks!

I won't be here for the rest of this evening, so I'll check back in the morning.

Have a good evening all!

Cheri 12-6-2002 16:13

Cheri -- send me your email address. Some of the information I'm willing to give I'd rather not give on open-forum. One thing I have read about that is important in fantasy writing is to put in as many "real" details as you can so that the reader will believe the fantasy. (does that sentence make sense???)

Carol 12-6-2002 15:51

CAROL: I'm just wondering, is the story you're doing fiction and if so, what research do you need for it?

The reason I ask is that I also have a fly by the seat of the pants approach to my stories and I also get bogged down. My stories are pure fiction, another words they're based on another world that I made up. So I don't suppose there is any research I need to do. Is there?

Let me know, PLEASE!

Cheri 12-6-2002 15:43

Hi All :)

Ok, I'll post. But if you see any typos I miss, blame the cat. It's awkward to type with one laying between your body and the keyboard. But, its so sweet and trusting! :D

I believe I mentioned in my last post that I had hit a bog down in my story. I should explain that a bit. I am one who writes by the seat of her pants. I came up with a very general idea then fly with it until it bogs down. I have several stories I was unable to continue with once they bogged down. But this story - well this one is the one that was born of a dream, inspired by a suggestion by Viv and now needs to be told. One way or another. So, yesterday I started with my "core" elements, the ones that I really need to have in the story. Then I read some of my research notes to see what popped out at me, demanding to be added. Now I've got several pages of free-thinking that somewhat looks like an outline. I'm looking hard at my characters and figuring out just exactly who they are.

Thanks to the buddy system Viv and I started about a year ago, I do have over 13,000 words gathered together into a loose story. Tomorrow I'll send Viv all the notes I've put together these two days. In regards to the goal setting mentioned here (and I'll keep trying anything to keep me moving forward! Thanks for the idea!), my goal for the upcoming week: to sketch out complete physical and emotional characteristics of five characters. From fleshing out the characters, I hope to fill in more of the plot outline of the story. (that may sound like a lot, but I've been filling my sponge with research and hopefully I can start wringing it dry now.)

One of my favorite fantasy writers is Marion Zimmer Bradley. In her work, I've noticed that she makes every single character important. Every character changes in some fashion during their appearance in the story. This is one of the elements in her work that really appeals to me and makes the reading fun. And its one of the elements I want to have in my work.

So, there's my goal and the reason for it. I'd best get busy. Have a great day everyone!

Carol 12-6-2002 15:01

Good work, Christi! But isn't that alot to ask of yourself? What's your first priority? And second?

As for me,I'm going to begin to finalize (that sounds funny) my book outline. I have alot more notes to integrate, but I promised myself I'd be ready to hit the ground writing by Jan. 1st. Unfortunately, or fortunately in the $ sense, I have to be out to town from Monday - Wednesday for a speaking engagement, and then again on Thursday. But Friday I should be ready to start the push again. So...this weekend I organize, and next Friday I lay it out.

I really appreciate this opportunity to make me do what I tell myself I'm going to do! Thanks, and may the Force be with us. :-)

Sunny 12-6-2002 13:36

Hey everybody!

Heather, I commend you on your perseverence and hard work. May I say ... dang. And Thanks! Thanks to you, Mark, too!
I'll look around for publishers in the States who are looking for Anthologies. However, if I were going to market it here, I might leave the 'online' angle out of it and push it forth with the pitch that it is a collection written by group of international writers. The U.S. isn't yet very accepting of things internet related, and I believe our publishing industry is no exception. What do you think?

Sunny, But wait, it's Friday! Actually come to think of it Friday may be a great day for goalmaking. Maybe it'll encourage me to get going on the weekend! Loving this idea.

Howard, That was lots of fun. I missed the Chiquita Banana one, and the ... wait, I don't want to ruin it for those of us who are top-to-bottom postreaders (Jerry, Rosemary, etc!). Does that make the rest of us bottom readers? Bottom feeders? Groan. Yup, I had to make it worse.

So here's a cute thing I was reminded of by my mom the other day. My two-year-old son was on the phone with my mom and she began to question him in typical Gramma fashion. "How are you doing today?" "Fine," he said. "Are you being a good boy for Mommy?" she asked. He looked at me strangely and said in a sulky tone, "Nooo." She paused, not expecting this answer, and then asked, "Why not?". His answer? "It's too hard, Grandma!"

Hokay, my goals for next week:
Finish the edits and send out my newest story to a good literary magazine.
Finish my short story (The House of Netherly) that has been haunting me, mocking me for SIX MONTHS(!).
And possibly work on finishing one of my other stories that have been mocking in much the same manner as HON.
Research U.S. markets for Heather.

To post or not to post ...


Christi 12-6-2002 12:37

I just got this from a friend -- thought you might enjoy the diversion...


Solve the puzzles by saying them out loud, over and over,
faster and faster, repeating the phrase, until you "hear"
the answer. (they kind of sound like those early day
computer generated 'voices', like the one Stephan
Hawkings uses)

Example: LAWN SAND JEALOUS (place) Answer: Los Angeles

1. SHOCK CUSSED TOE (person)

2. SAND TACKLE LAWS (fictional character)

3. MY GULCH HOARD UN (person)

4. MOW BEAD HICK (book)


6. CHICK HE TUB BAN AN US (product)


8. AISLE OH VIEW (phrase)





13. AGE ANT HUB BLOWS HEAVEN (fictional character)


15. BUCK SPUN HE (fictional character)

Okay, the answers are below. Don't cheat.


1. Jacques Cousteau
2. Santa Claus
3. Michael Jordan
4. Moby Dick
5. Thomas Jefferson
6. Chiquita Banana
7. The Titanic
8. I love you
9. The Brady Bunch
10. Christopher Columbus
11. Doctor Seuss
12. The Milky Way Galaxy
13. Agent 007
14. The Sound of Music
15. Bugs Bunny

howard 12-6-2002 10:19

Christi - Thanks for responding! I do believe this could work. Although maybe I ought to reprint the gist of it since it disappeared as a sacrifice to Jack's on-going efforts to make things better here. ;-)
The idea is that we would print our weekly goals here so that we would have a constant reminder, plus the interest and little kicks in the pants from others. We would learn more about each other's projects and use that knowledge to help in any way that we could. It's an easy kind of accountability that could be win-win for everyone!
I'll be back later today and make my first entry!

Sunny 12-6-2002 8:47

I'll bet you could write a book on publishing!


howard 12-6-2002 6:40

Popping in, finally!
Just reformatted and things are back in place after a week's down time. Edited more stories while I was internet- and email-less, so I have more to return and have approved for the final copy disks.
I will have the completed list shortly!
Thanks to all for your hand in this project to date (Hugs all 'round!), and the remaining stories to be approved will be emailed back to the respective authors this week coming up. Maybe even this weekend, but it is looking slightly hectic. Ah, who am I kidding? There is no such thing as 'slightly hectic'!
A special thank you to Mark for his editorial expertise.
The fiasco with attachments is water under the bridge (phew) and all is in order. I have a cdrom waiting in the wings for the entire collection to be saved altogether at last. It's too large to fit onto even 2 floppies.

Research on publishing markets has been underway for a while, now I'm finalizing my list and double-checking guidelines and so forth. I will let everyone know what the top three publishing houses on my list are very shortly, and will certainly accept suggestions from anyone who knows of a specific publisher that is looking for collections as well - right now I've focused on Canadian companies that accept fiction/short story collections, ruling out those that accept submissions from Canadians only.'s everyone else doing? LOL
Back tomorrow!

AHHHHHH, it feels good to say that with certainty.

Heather 12-6-2002 6:29

I took this free course several years ago, it's kind of fun, but I see things have changed a bit, when I first took it, you had a mentor and so froth free, now if you want the same service, you have to pay the 22 bucks. I signed up for the free one just for the exercise and commitment so I can get back to writing again. Seems without a good reason to write, I find other things to keep me busy.

Jerry Free writers online course 12-5-2002 23:40

Sorry, Jack. Who wants a hug? :)

Sunny, I think that's a great idea! I've got a similar accountability deal going on with my sister, who is also a writer. Our deal is that we must write something, even if only a sentence or one paragraph, every weekday--weekends are optional. Usually the sentence turns into a paragraph and the paragraph turns into a satisfying page or two, woo hoo! We report our progress via email daily, and it has worked out to be the first thing that's actually got me writing on a real regular basis.

I'd love to hear your weekly goals; heck, I might start posting my own if this works. Inspiration is sooo contagious.

Hi, Christine! You sound as if you deserve some personal writing time more than most people I know. Go for it! Maybe you could make it a weekly thing.

I wish I could remember the rest of the messages, but my mind wasn't recording when I read all the posts earlier. I'm pretty puffed up about remembering two!

G'night y'all. BTW, Tina, I was thinking how funny it would be if I walked up to you when we meet in January sporting a HUGE, completely hick-ridden western accent. But then I thought, who am I kidding, I can never keep a straight face for anything! :P hee hee


Christi 12-5-2002 23:23

OK, everyone. My attempts at modifying the cgi scripting page ended up corrupting the Notebook. So, I am going back to square one. Someone gets to be first one to hit the Notebook. I will be hunting for an alternative script or some way to eliminate the spams. We will see.

Jack Beslanwitch 12-5-2002 23:04

Post your comments to the Notebook

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