Archived Messages from February 12, 2003 to April 16, 2003

Hi all!

Litter, congrats again! very very cool. I'll go check out the link to your book soon as I post this.

Howard, I think you won the 'warm and fuzzy' award of the month. and oh! I'd loved to have seen the look on the poi's face.

Jack, watch it! As tempting as it is to push those extremes, they bite back.

Hey, I've been crafting a poem for the last two weeks, and am looking for input. Anyone game? E-mail me if you are.

So we found a house to buy, she accepted our offer, and now we wait for the bank to okay it. Waiting, waiting...

Also waiting for Mary's Big Announcement! Anyone have news?

Blue skies!

Tina 4-16-2003 0:35

ANFSCD: Here's an interesting article that might generate some SciFi action -- it's about the Human Genome Project.

If that doesn't show up as clickable, copy/paste it into your browser address space and hit 'go'.
The original url should show up, and take you to the article.

I'm finding increasingly handy for compressing those horrendously long addresses into a useable one.

howard 4-15-2003 22:35

I just received a pointer to a chilling passage in Isaiah 17:1-3 -- a reminder of a prophecy that has taken on new significance in the past few days. Not a doubt in my mind that it will happen someday -- just pretty sure it won't be for a few years yet.

howard 4-15-2003 22:12


Evening all...

Cheri...thank you. I have taken a hand off from Jerry and submitted two "Red" stories to a ND newspaper. What the heck, maybe the ship will float. I need help with bills also. Don't we all ...'cept maybe Litter. :-)

Very tired...had to cut my Toprol in half from 100 mg to 50 mg last week. I was wasted halfway through the day... It's a heart or artery medicine, not sure. The heart doctor was very blunt when he prescribed it to me. "Take it or die!"

You'll never find a Texan that will pass up a little gallows humor. I hesitated. When the seconds stretched out he asked, "Well?"

"I'm thinking about it! I'm thinking about it!"



Randall 4-15-2003 21:34

Hello all: Been a bit sidetracked of late what with being a guest at Norwescon - as well as being vice chair for Westercon 56 - . Wanted to mention that Westercon is doing a Buisness of Writing Workshop prior to the con. You can find out more about it at .

Well, Fran and I scared ourselves a bit when we attempted to do a wall in the San Juans. We were pushing to envelope as far as being on the wall before the currents changed and did some things we know better than doing and ended up doing a 116 foot dive that totaled five minutes in length, down quick and up quick. As it turned out, no harm done. Just our nerves. I also will likely archive in the next day or so since things are up close to a meg. Take care everyone.

Jack Beslanwitch Business of Writing 4-15-2003 17:54

DAMN that weatherman!! a week of wonderful summer-like warmth, trees budding, grass growing, now we're under a winter storm warning, expecting 4-8 inches of snow along with 20 -40 mph winds!!

Guess we pissed somwone upstairs off

Jerry 4-15-2003 14:41

RAMON -- Yes, Playboy is tough to get into, and yes they pay well. I was surprised (years ago) to see a classmate of mine from high school (Laurence Leamer) published there. He's gone on to several best-seller lists since -- for The Kennedy Women and a couple of others.
Haven't seen him since graduation night, though.

howard 4-15-2003 14:36

Ramon: PLAYBOY is one of the toughest markets to get into. But they pay huge. Five thousand for a short story. They usually only publish one a month, sometimes two, and they are all written by well established scriveners--we're talking Updike, King and the like. They do take new writers though. It's a quality magazine. We have a load of them that come into work once in a while, and I go through them with a fine tooth comb looking at every story they have. I actually "read" the stories in PLAYBOY. The pictures are no big deal since all four walls, the ceiling, the fridge door, and even inside it, are all plastered with nudie pictures. But by all means, give them a shot. They have a web site, and you can get to their guidlines, but it might take a little snooping around.

ben 4-15-2003 14:07


Debra 4-15-2003 13:35

Just got this from a newsletter -- I love it!

A woman gets home, screeches her car into the driveway, runs into the house,
slams the door and shouts at the top of her lungs, "Honey, pack your bags. I
won the lottery!"

The husband says, 'Hot dog! What should I pack, beach stuff or mountain

"Who cares?" she says. "Just get out."

howard 4-15-2003 13:22


Here's a link I think I got here some years ago.

It's horror, but I don't know if it's all horror.

Debra 4-15-2003 10:12

Just a Quickie

The web address no longer works properly. I had changed the directory to make it work and it bumped my other three web sites in the process. The original link: now works again. I'll make up a gateway from my .com web address to the other sites when I get a minute. Promotion is very time consuming especially with me living on the other side of the pond. PA will be publicising the book on the internet an in the US but I'm doing the UK side. Anybody got any original ideas for marketing to those who may be missed otherwise? This would be a benefit to me but also (I sincerely hope) to other Notebookers.

I have been writing emails and releases all morning and I am knackered. All I want to do is get on with other writing – typical – I always feel more like writing when there are other things to do…

Myriad ideas and myriad possibilities (that's for Howard :o) … My head hurts!


Litter Again LitterAli Writing 4-15-2003 9:38

Hello all!

RANDALL: I know its been said before, but I felt it needed to be said again; GET THOSE RED BRITCHES STORIES TOGETHER AND GET THEM TO A PUBLISHER! They are great, wonderful, fantastic! If I could tell a story half as well as you, I wouldn't be worrying about my bills half as much.

Just felt that needed to be said.

Back to lurking!

Cheri 4-15-2003 9:17

Hiya Guys. Haven't been here for a while as I have been somewhat distracted but I am still writing. I am still trying to make up clues to my murder mystery after having devised the who, what when where how and why. Just need to figure out a way for my smart arse hero to piece it together. I am also developing some short story ideas if I only have say 30 mins or an hour of time free.

Hands up any guys/girls (I am not biased) who ready Playboy. Reason I ask is that I am looking for publications for short stories and I know Stepehn King had "Word Processor of the Gods" published in an edition of playboy. Having never read it myself, ever, I was wondering if they still publish such stories? WHy haven't I read some may ask? It just never appealed - I love women believe me.

Short story publications seem to be diffcult to find in the UK so if anybody can throw some names at me I would appreciate it (especially any Britons out there who know of any UK magazines that also publsh short stories). It doesn't matter if its US or Australian or whatever.

I see the political climes in the middle east are getting progressively worse. No surprise there.

Cheers Y'all


Ramon 4-15-2003 7:50

No Jerry, you're not. What the hell are those two idiots thinking?

ben 4-15-2003 2:43

Am I the only one a bit nervous about the new rumblings of war against Syria?

Shades of 1930's Europe?


Jerry 4-15-2003 0:03





Randall Henderson

In a move that has surprised the "gang" Red Britches recently evolved into quite the business man. What was once a weekend job of cutting firewood evolved into a full time occupation for Brownwood's most prominent character and wine bon vivant. This was brought home when I saw a gangly man astride an all terrain vehicle motoring stately down the highway. Red waved gaily as I zipped by the trailers loaded with wood behind a straining ATV.

An hour later I delivered a load of tune up accessories to George's shop. Fuel additives and WD-40 mostly. "Saw Red a while back George."

"Hauling wood on trailers pulled by an ATV?"

"Yeah. First time I've known Red to be so occupied."

"He has his moments." George paused and looked hard at me. "You haven't heard the latest?"

"I don't suppose..."

George poured a pint of liquid tune up into the gas tank of a rough idling 1976 Buick "Roadmaster." He wiped clean a three-legged bar stool (one leg heavily wrapped in electric tape) and motioned me to sit. He walked to a nearby propane powered refrigerator and hauled out a couple of long neck, Lone Star beers.

"Red has a partner in the wood cutting." George explained as he tossed me a brew. "Miss Shari..."

"Miss Shari, the largest land owner in Central Texas ... who owns Catalina the Longhorn?"

"One and the same. That ATV you saw Red riding belongs to Miss Shari. The wood belongs to Miss Shari, the chain saw, and the ax and the land. About the only thing that she don't own ‘round these parts are Red and that old she devil Catalina."

At my frown George added. "Catalina is her own boss. I suspect she stays with Miss Shari because the mood suits her." He paused and sipped from the beer. "Red cuts the wood, hauls it to town, sells it and splits the proceeds 50/50 with Miss Shari."

"Neat deal."

George snickered. "You ain't heard it all Randy. For all his well-meaning intentions Red is a real test for Miss Shari. She opened an account for the enterprise at the Tackle Shop which is on the way to the ranch. Red was supposed to buy a few groceries there ... butter, beans, bread, gasoline, two-cycle oil for the chain saw. He does that but no matter what he gets Red always includes a little libation on the ticket, if you know what I mean."

"Just a little?" I joked.

"Well, more than a little. A gallon of Mogan David every morning might be more like it."

"It's hard to imagine Red running a chain saw."

"Well he starts out with a double bit ax and a chain saw in the morning. He can do as much work with one as the other, but at the end of the day only the ax will be running. But the old fool hasn't cut anything off yet so I guess he knows what he is doing."

"So is that the latest George?"

"Not quite. Last weekend Red was headed in, way past sundown. The highway patrol has stopped him a couple of times for driving the ATV at night on the highway. It's only because they know he is working for Miss Shari keep them from hauling him in. That old gal has a lot of pull in these parts and since the highway patrol to a man belong to the local fishing club..."

"And Miss Shari has a dozen government reservoirs on the ranch full of black bass and channel catfish ... and sponsors most Bass Tournaments."

"Yup, you understand. So they give Red a good chewing out, take his wine, then let him go. Red has learned the highway patrol for that highway eats supper around ten at night. He makes a dash for town about then cause he wants the rest of his wine for a bedtime snack."

George paused. "Ain't ya gonna drink that brew?"

I handed it to George. "I'm on the job George."

"Grown awful particular ain't ye! Red is darn good at avoiding the law. There is a great big concrete culvert box system under the ranch highway about halfway into town. A three-box culvert, each one eight-foot wide and ten feet tall connect Miss Shari's ranch which is on both sides of the road. Red will pull out of the ranch gate, look both ways and race for the culvert with his trailers loaded down. He has slipped the fence so he can zip in under the bridge if he feels the highway patrol is in sight. Well, according to Red he spotted headlights ahead and discretion being the better part of valor headed for the culvert box at high speed. Only thing was a new pickup was parked in his hidey hole."

"Someone else was inside the culvert?"

"And not only that, had Miss Shari's current crop of longhorn calves out of you know who."

"Catalina's twin calves!"

"Exactly. Someone was stealing Catalina's calves. Had both loaded up in the bed and sitting on the tailgate drinking beer!"

"Oh shit!"

"Yeah, that's just what Red said. Red said both the guys were staring at him like they had something bad in mind. You know rustling is a no-no here ‘bouts. It is said some rustlers that disappeared after being caught on Miss Shari's ranch vanished rather mysteriously. Slim Lee, Miss Shari's foreman is mean as all hell when it comes to protecting ranch property. He doesn't carry that old six-shooter for show. Lots of deep ravines way back inside the ranch."

George set an empty bottle on the workbench and opened the other. "But Red said oh shit for another reason. He looked beyond the pickup and said he saw a pair of flashing sparks about eight feet apart. Coming right at the pickup. The sparks were from Catalina's horns as they scrapped against the sides of the box culvert. Catalina was coming for her calves at a high trot, her old bony head high and homicide on her mind. Red said he shot the gas to the ATV and raced out on the road running Chief Deputy Lawdog and his new patrol car right off the road."

"Oh my God!"

"Apparently Deputy Lawdog was madder a wet hen. But just when he reached Red there was a loud crash from inside the culvert. Then another. Seconds later the two rustlers were ejected rather forcefully from the culvert box followed by Catalina. Red said she was breathing fire but that was just the wine talking."

"Now wait a minute George. That box culvert is only eight feet wide. Most vehicles would fit rather snugly in that thing. How did Catalina get around the pickup?"

"Jumped it. Saw it myself cause I was duty wrecker that night. I hauled the pickup in. Catalina first bashed the grill in. Then put the neatest set of hoof marks in the hood and on the cab you ever saw."

"Did Red get in trouble?"

George laughed. "Are you kidding? Deputy Lawdog was handed a rustling bust by Red! That alone is a $10,000 reward from the Southwest Cattle Raisers Association! Besides that he stopped Miss Shari's pride and joy from being stolen. Old Lawdog has an invitation to hunt and fish on the ranch, probably forever! The two rustlers were wanted all over the state on multiple charges."

"Red will come out smelling like a rose, eh?"

George grinned widely. "Nice word play Randy. But not in an olfactory sense. Red said when he saw Catalina coming through that culvert he said, ‘Oh shit' and then he did!"

Good night all


RANDALL 4-14-2003 22:49

Pamela - You're right, of course, since we have only one cafe that is available for coffee's we wouldn't give it up, and the wife did have this strange little smile on her face for several hours after we left. I guess it gave me a sort of boost too in the long run, knowing that I have what others want, kind of a nice feeling after all.

Now just so the wife doens't get any ideas....

Jerry 4-14-2003 22:37

LITTER -- Oh sure! Now I see how you managed to get published! Not only did you write a good looking book, you also used 'myriad' correctly on the first page! :-)

Nice web page too!

howard 4-14-2003 22:21


that web site link doesn't work and I have no idea why, so it is back to the generic and that will get you there.


Litter Again Link 4-14-2003 20:58

Grrrrr! I had a long message that disappeared, so this one's going to be shorter. (Sighs of relief)

Things are a bit strange just now.. I still haven't heard officially the book has been released, but as I live in the UK, my mail is going to be a week or so behind all of you in the good old UsofA…

I had a plan: Revamped website, follow up articles (from recent local press interviews) of the launch of the book, parties… sex, drugs, and Rock and Roll… (OK so the list should have stopped at parties!) I had, by PA's reckoning, another 2 to 4 weeks – plenty of time for all that I wanted to do. It has taken a mere six days from the acceptance of the cover design. I think they are trying to get it on the streets before official notification of the comet that is inbound on a near Earth trajectory… Do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do… UFO's up in Fife are getting a bit frisky as well…

Anyway, I revamped my website in record time in an all-new livery. It is smaller than before but contains an extract from the beginning of the book and a couple or three 'new' poems. I'll be adding some links and stuff when I get the time.

Check it out at –

ROWHAD – the vexing question of while v whilst. Hmmm. Encarta has 'whilst' as a English equivalent of the US while, but I don't think that there is really a clear-cut proper usage in the UK or the US. I use it the way I was taught at school – 'while' I would use in relation to time. E.g. It happened while she was away : it happened at the same time, or, It was a while before the royalties rolled in, i.e., it was a length of time. 'Whilst', on the other hand, I tend to use for more abstract comparisons/discourse (as opposed to inter…) such as, He had many good points, whilst that bad ones could not be overlooked. Subtle differences, and down to individual taste I reckon.

Interestingly, the etymologies of the words are not quite the same. 'Whilst' is from the Middle English 'Whiles' which means 'against'. (As with pitching one idea against the other.)
But the etymology of 'While' is from the Germanic (Close relation of Middle English) which then became the Middle English 'the while that'. (As in a measure of time.)
Even back then you could probably get away with either?

Must dash,

Litter LitterAli Writing 4-14-2003 20:50

"Day of the Weed." Wasn't that a '60s protest song?

Mark 4-14-2003 19:45

EDDIE/LITTER/(or anyone) Here's a question from a member of a group that dates back to my IBM days. Mayhap you can answer the first part -- the second is an interesting observation:

"I keep reading the British "whilst" as our (American) "while"

Is this always so? Or is there a subtle but deeper difference?

Also, interesting & similar factoid recently confirmed:
In the Persian language, there is no translation for the
word "too" used as " .. too many " or ".. too much". They
use the word "very" instead as in " .. very many"/"very much"

My friend Jim, who was born/raised there (here for 40+ years)
recognized that was correct and undersood the difference,
had a long discussion (argument?) with his brother (who's
been here much less time). His brother couldn't understand
the distinction between "too many" and "very many"!

Language does reflect AND control thoughts & ideas!"

howard 4-14-2003 18:03


No I don't do the weed. The best way I can tell you is a line on the Roasanne Bar show. Remember that? Dan asked her one day how long it had been since they quit somking pot,.....15 years? She said "we quit? I thought we were just out!" That's hysterical. Although, it might actually depict how some people found out they quit.


You're not telling me????? Please tell me!

Also, Roy just died. I missed that one last week. Why did he die? Why does his son think it's her fault?

You can tell me that! I wouldn't call it gloom and doom. It's seems more true to the things that actually happen in life.

Are there other soaps in the UK? Also, if the UK is small TV wise, why is it everyone they surprise on "What not to wear" all seem to never have heard of that show. They all have that look like "what not to wear" What show is that? That' impossible that not one of them know. Isn't it?

Debra 4-14-2003 17:18

Is Phil a killer?
Does Noddy drive a red car?
Does Litter enjoy a wee tot?
No....Not telling
And yes......
You are Waaay behind!
I really can't stand the accents in that show. It is also known as the doom and gloom soap. It is really the most dire, depressing soap on British tv.
And that Dot!!!

Eddie French 4-14-2003 14:54

Debra-- and here I thought "day of the weed" meant you got high while doing laundry.

I'm feeling better now, much thanks to you guys. Jerry, I don't really expect to get anything from my BBB complaint, I'm into my book now instead of the architecture anyway. I just want the bastids to have a complaint on their record. What an embarrassing situation for you and your wife, small town life indeed. It might be nice for her to know she had an admirer (always good for one's ego) except for far too much detail in much too public a place. I wouldn't avoid the restaurant altogether but would sure check for their car in the future.

Yes, Nashville has a hockey team, heaven only knows why, I really will have to get to a game sometime.

Welcome to the world to wee Claire....

pamela 4-14-2003 11:14

Okay week not weed.

Debra 4-14-2003 10:21


One more thing, I'm glad you're laughing. Laughing is good.

I'm now involded in the show Eastenders. You had asked me if I watched that one, and I said I didn't. Well I started. It comes on the day of the weed I fold all the clothes for the house. So I finish my laundry and watch Eastenders. Great show! I think we might be behind over here in the U.S of A. We stil don't kow if Phil is a killer or not yet.

Is he?

Debra 4-14-2003 10:20


Actually it was more than a friend and she lives in a country, which shall remain nameless, who was invaded by the Russians for her whole life time. The Russians have now left of course, but the people they invaded still don't like the Russians as you can imagine and tell me that they can't be trusted ever. I'm sure she is talking about the government.

Let's not talk about it any more. Let's just pray that Iraq embraces democracy forever. That could only lead to great lives for every last person in that country.

Debra 4-14-2003 10:16

The next time some paranoid friend tells you that 'The Russians are coming' you just tell them that you have many friends on the other side of the water who, being much closer and so much more in tune with events over here, who laugh at the thought.
The Russians could never mount such an attack, even if they wanted to, which they most certainly don't. it wont be long before they are applying for EU membership!

Eddie French 4-14-2003 5:51


Jerry: I know I saw Star Wars at a young age, but unfortunately being only 3 at the time it was in the Cinemas I only saw it on video.
My brother and I saw Empire Strikes Back in the Cinema when it came out... Really loved it.
It took me a long time to see Return of the Jedi because I thought it would be just another Star Wars movie. I didn't see it till it came on television.
I thought it was heaven to have the chance to see all three Star Wars pictures in the Cinema... But I had to laugh at hearing this comment from a mother and child as the movie started.

Child: "Oh this movie screen ain't so big."
Mother: "Well it's bigger than our television"

Having been brought up around Horror movies such as Friday the 13th, Amityville and House even, I find that watching a really good horror movies relaxes me.
On that note, I finally got my hands on Halloween 1... But I think I may have seen it because one part seemed so familiar in it... That was when the children were taunting the boy saying that the Boogeyman was going to get you. Over and over.
I felt cheated about Halloween 3 though... No Michael Myers.

Taylor 4-14-2003 3:19

Litter, It looks wonderful! I can't wait to buy it. Going to request it as part of my B-day present in May, yeeeehaw! BTW, I've checked out PublishAmerica before and they look (to me) like one of the more reputable publishing houses out there. CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!

Teekay, Beep beep! Christi's email delivery, late, never on time, and yet so happy to be back in your box! :D

Jerry, Oh, I love this! I saw Star Wars with my family when I was eight years old at an old drive-in called the De Anza. The six of us sat on a blanket and were made instant fans as soon as the first spaceship swooped into view. Sigh.

Christi 4-14-2003 0:12

JERRY -- My first time? I was on a business trip, and saw it in 1980 at a drive-in theatre in Poughkeepsie, New York. That's pronounced Po-Kip-See, (accent on kip) for anyone not familiar with the town. I liked it right off (the movie, not the town) and have seen it several times since then.

howard 4-13-2003 22:41

LITTER -- No problem! I got a Litter letter. They're advertising it for you -- quite well, I would say. Very professional and to the point.
Their web site looks impressive as well!

howard 4-13-2003 22:36

Where were you when you saw your first Star Wars Movie?

I saw mine in 77, at the theatre at the corner of 12th and Lyon in Marshall Minnesota (Schwann's anyone). I was an Army Recruiter, and our office was in the theatre building, one of the perc's was free movies for us and our families, well we were expected to buy popcorn, can't beat a deal like that. Ever since that day, I've been a Star Wars fan, we have the movies on VHS, and I've now downloaded several of the movies off Kazaa.

Use NvidaDVD to watch them, it seems to work the best on my machine, and allows me to move the screen to our television and watch it that way, beats the heck out of my little fifteen inch monitor, and the wife can enjoy them with me.

Yesterday I watched the Red Dragon, wife was gone to a meeting, she doesn't like any of the Hannibal series, I love them, also have downloaded the entire set off Kazaa.

Write on...

Jerry 4-13-2003 21:20

Damn - Is this global warming or what? Got up to 87 today, the last week has been nearly all record breaking highs. Everything is still way too dry, that fire I mentioned a few days ago is still burning off and on, when they think it's out, a few hours latter it flares up again, thus far it has consumed over three thousand acres of grassland. If that's not bad enough, our fire department is out as I type working on a fire about fifteen miles from here, and on their way out, they reported another fire out of their district, this one is bad enough that they've sent units from a neighboring town.

I sure hope it rains soon, the weatherman is predicting the highs to drop to the low 40's and snow by Tuesday, that would be nice.

Been watering every day on my new grass, it's coming and you should see the birds rejoice in the sprinklers, like a bunch of little kids playing splashing and chasing each other. The wonders of life.

Still loving this duragesic patch, I used the nicotine patch to stop smoking some eight years ago, now this. Seems everything is being offered in patch form now, the Doc offered the wife hormone patches, but she turned him down, now I see you can get arthritis patch for local application, better living through chemistry.

Jerry 4-13-2003 21:08

HOWARD: Oh my golly!!! Now couldn't I make myself some fine ol' snowballs with that!!

Teekay. 4-13-2003 19:14


Hockey rocks! How about the singing of the Canadian Anthem! Holy wow... That was something to listen to. I love that the Canucks won. I love my home team. I love, love, love em!!!!! I even loved them when they took that 6 nothing loss. Ahhh, hockey.

Rachel 4-13-2003 18:49


Thank you for those kind words. I do believe you completely. I'll relax. All what you say makes sense too. I can't understand that the Russian (people) not politicians want war of any kind with any one, especially us. I don't mean because I think we are a super power, did you see the Chinese Army do back flips off the trucks with their guns in hand and land on their feet in formation, it's more because they want to be our allies. I think Russians like most countries want to rule themselves like we do.

I'm praying democracy takes in Iraq.

Debra 4-13-2003 17:41

Hi People.

You Guys and Guyesses are amazing! You knew my book was available to order before I did!

Thanks for the interest, congrats, and for being my cyber buddies (and for the sales of course :o). I got a big adrenalin hit when I read the Notebook today. I wonder when PA are going to tell me? I'm more than a little surprised at how rapid the progress has been as the cover was only confirmed last week. The cover art is all my own, with one little exception – They wanted two little changes in the artwork that I produced but we settled on one – they moved the title and name down an inch or so. I think the Cover Design Department felt they needed to have some input?

To say this an interesting time is somewhat of an understatement – the highs of the publishing process against the lows of a financial shit storm – but the highs are winning at the moment…

JERRY – I can appreciate a little of how you feel (shit-storm-wise) and I feel doubly honoured that you want to spend some hard to come by dollars on the book.

CHRISTI – Don't you just hate it when people get precious about their work at the first opportunity? Not me! (he boldly exclaims, splitting his infinitives, fingers crossed behind his back.) Although I might have to start charging an 'appearance' fee. :o)

ROWDAH – What can I say? Thanks pal! Did you get a postcard or are you psychic?

PAMELA – A few of us have been where you are. You're among friends. I normally find solace in music from my teens and twenties and old comedies – Monty Python's Life Of Brian always gets a smile, especially the song 'Always Look On the Bright Side of Life' at the end of the film. Such an incongruous scenario. I also tend to lie down a lot and think, 'What If?' Failing that, I have car that tops 120mph and a lovely strait bit of road nearby. (My wife doesn't like it much.) As a last resort, I have my limited but glorious selection of Malts in ascending order of age; 10, 12, 15, & 20 years old. (The 12 year old took a bit of a beating last week.) … Or then I could always write something? Nah!

DEBRA – Don't Panic! The Russians are making the political noises that are expected of them. Vlad Putin has appeared on TV throughout Europe stating that 'An American defeat is not in Russia's best interest'. Note the word 'not'. The Russians do not have the will or the resources to do anything other than commit suicide. Remember, a great many Russians are now enjoying freedom (and some of the flotsam of capitalism) that was undreamt of 20 years ago. The Russian people are neither stupid or belligerent, and wouldn't put up with hostile political decisions. I don't know where your friend is getting her information?

BEN – Way to go! I'm Still waiting to see if the 'money' question is a myth or not. Nice thought though…

MARY – Let us know when it is time to wince :o) May the Angels watch over you.

Got another book about the paranormal. I didn't buy it, it just appeared one day…

I haven't seen this one this time around – Definition of a well balanced Frenchman: A chap with a chapeau and a chip on both shoulders.

Hope I haven't ignored anyone.


Litter 4-13-2003 17:03


Unfortunately, the place where I live there's no chance in hell of it snowing. Since we live close to a desert. But there was an old report where it rained fish here, but haven't found it.
I've never seen snow.

I don't think I've talked about Kalgoorlie too much. I'm going to describe it in three words.
Mining, Pubs and Brothels.
Not neccessarily in that order. In Kal there's at least 24 pubs.

Taylor 4-13-2003 10:35

Oh yeah Howard, I checked out those pictures, and thank God I live on the West coast. We don't get snow out here.

Ben 4-13-2003 1:27

Go CANUCKS go!!! God I love hockey, especially when the home team wins. And Pamela, Nashville has a team in case you didn't know. Of course, they're not in the playoffs, but Dallas is. Of course, I'm going for the Canadian Rachel. :-)

ben 4-13-2003 1:23

Overheard in a café;

Lady: “You’re looking at her aren’t you?”

Man: “No, I was reading the desert board!”

Lady: “Don’t give me that shit, you’re looking at her, I can tell!”

Man: “So what if I am, I married you!”

Lady: “Do you think of her when we’re making love?”

Man: “Of course I don’t!”

Lady: “Then why did you scream her name when we were making love?”

Man: “That was a long time ago!”

Lady: “Three weeks is not a long time ago!”

Man: “I haven’t even talked to her in over thirty years, you know that!”

Lady: “How do I know that?”

Man: “Well for over twenty-five years they lived in a different state!”

I just couldn’t take it any more, I took my wife (Who they were arguing about) by her arm and we left. Guess we will have to find some other café for coffee, only problem the only other café’s are either a night club, or the A & W/Cennex gas station.

Ah small town life, you gotta love it.

Jerry 4-13-2003 0:45

Teekay - Yep, we's smart!

Pamela -- I know that feeling, I had to fight with Workers Comp for several years, I think my lawyer was right when he said, "they ALWAYS turn you down the first few times!"

I was lucky, in North Dakota, Workers Comp is a State Agency and can't screw with you quite as much as insurance companies do. That and the law said that they HAD to pay for my attorney if they turned me down. (That has since changed, progress, go figure!) We went through the whole deal, ending with them looking like total fools in court, but just to keep me guessing, they screw with me every once in awhile when I least expect it. Since they are a State Agency, I keep regular correspondence with the Governor's office of North Dakota and notify them each time I get one of their "YOU ARE ORDERED TO REPORT!" letters.

I guess that is no help to you, lawyers are EXPENSIVE and usually not worth even one percent of what you pay them. Again I was lucky in the fact that my former partner on the PD, and best friend for years quit police work and went to law school, he specialized in Workers Comp, and is well known in ND as one of the very best WC attorneys in the State, when the bureau see his name on the bottom of the legal papers they quake in their boots. He is also number one in my address book and I scan every note I get from the bureau into my computer and send it off to his office. Sure glad he works pro bono for me on the stuff that the bureau refuses to pay for.

At any rate, good luck, I hope it all works out for you.

Litter -- Congrats on the book, right now we're way short on funds and I can't order it, but if I manage to sell one computer I just put together from left over parts (not one of the give-away's I'm building, this one is a bit faster and more modern) I'll get an order off, I am anxious to read your work.

Jerry 4-13-2003 0:28

I'll never complain about snow again!
Check this out:

howard 4-12-2003 19:59

LITTER: Just went and checked out your book. The cover looks good and the story sounds fascinating!!

Teekay 4-12-2003 19:46

LITTER: Your book is on the shelf?? That's absolutely BRILLIANT!!!!!

I am sooooooooo happy for you.

You are one of my great inspirations!!

HOWARD: What a beautiful story.
You also are one of my great inspirations.

CHRISTI: Don't worry about it. And don't go feeling any email pressure, I know you will when you want to.

Hmmmmm, so nice, basking in the glow of the success of others :-)

Ciao ciao.

Teekay 4-12-2003 19:38

Where? Where can I get me a copy of The Watchers?
Ahhh!!!! OH! NO! MY! EXC!AMA!!ON KE! IS STU!K!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OH DARN!!!!!!

Heather 4-12-2003 17:30

Forgot to say big, BIG, B I G Congratulations to Litter on the release of his book, hooray for you! Can't afford to buy it right now but will see if the library can order it.

pamela 4-12-2003 17:22

Thanks again, everyone, things ARE looking up. An old friend expressed an interest in renting a room from me, which would mean that my daughter could move out, she has been staying here helping me; so sweet of her but that has made me feel bad too, she's 21 and deserves to have a place of her own (she's had apartments before and moved in with me to get away from roomates and into her own place, then got stuck). Also I filed a complaint against Metlife with the Better Business Bureau, I don't expect to get my disability back or anything, it's just me stepping on the toe of the giant who crushed me and it feels GOOD!

Heather and Taylor, hope things are looking better for you too. Who could help but laugh at the picture of a horse tromping through Rachel's house! Or smile at the thought of swimming in a rainbow pool...

pamela 4-12-2003 17:18

CHRISTI -- and others -- thanks for the kind words. Nothing special about me, though, lots of people do things like that.

Dunno why that link to Litter's publisher didn't show up as a link -- here it is again.

If that doesn't work, just copy/paste.

I just sent a note to Jack -- the notebook is over 1 meg now, and might be a tad slow for dialups.

howard 4-12-2003 15:57

Whups, Hey Litter, it looks like Howard answered my question. But still, a link would be nice ...


Christi 4-12-2003 15:28


Hey Viv, Saren Wrap universal? Coool!

Rachel! That's hilarious! Act of horse, yeesh. At least he didn't do his 'business' in there. Man, I'm so jealous of yours and Rosemary's horses. I've longed since I was two. Someday ...

Howard, I had tears in my eyes early on in your telling of the events in the Chinese restaurant, and by the end I was not so prettily sobbing. Thank you for relaying such a beautiful story. You're one of the things that's right with the world, Howard.

Teekay, Nice words from the Guru! I'm so sorry I've been such a brat about mailing you! I even got you a little something to make up for it. :) I've been doing nothing but shopping at ebay for about ten days and it's getting ridiculous. Somebody stop me!!!!!!!!!! But I did get some really cool LOTR bookmarks, LOTR audio cds, soundtrack albums from you-guessed-it. And at least four books at last count. Droooool, slobber.

Pamela, Despondence is an awful place to be. Doesn't matter how guilty and ungrateful you feel about everything being so bad everywhere else, it still seeps in sometimes. So you stop beating yourself up for every last thing, girl; you're a pretty terrific person who's made it through some pretty terrible things. You deserve a break and I hope you get one in a big way very soon. I hope something makes you smile and the clouds break up and a great double rainbow dives from the heavens right into your window and lands in a pool at your feet. Wouldn't it be great to swim in a rainbow pool? :)

Taylor, I just jumped with delight when I saw you were back. Be gentle on yourself too. You're a VIP, here and lots of other places I'm sure. HUGS!

Hee hee! Heather, I just got to your posts. Whups, you're absolutely right! I think I sign off in my EMAILS that way sometimes, not here. My bad! So please, won't you tell me your funk has turned around as well? I'll lend you some of my cheer, I seem to have some to spare today. And give P** a break if that's what you need. Sounds like you've been working much too hard!

Mare!!!!!!! She's probably already here! Well good luck, even if I'm a little late, and welcome to the world, Claire Marie! You got lucky--you were born into a fabulous family.

Hey, I love Oprah! Nah, she's not perfect, but for the most part I enjoy her shows immensly. I used to think Mr. Rogers was a little creepy until a friend told me that he was the only person who ever told her she was special when she was a kid. The cool part is that she listened to and believed that tennis shoe tossing, make-believe having, kind-spoken man on her television. I think he was boss! There oughta be more Mr. Rogers' in this here world.

I said it once, and I'll say it again. Sasquatch for president!

Litter, Your BOOK!!!!!!! It's so cool to see you excited about it. So many writers act bourgeois once it happens, and it IS so exciting. Stressful at times, I'm sure, but there should be excitement too. BTW, I would dearly love to have a copy when I've saved up a little (after having won all my auctions :/). Is it available yet? Is there a link I could follow? Advertise, man!

I've used up my !!!!!!s for a month. Anyone who catches me using one next post can slap my hand. But I'll most likely do it on my first sentence. I swear I don't do this in my fiction! Whoops. I mean, I swear I don't do this in my fiction. ? ! HAHAHAHAHA! Okay, I can't stop myself. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Going now. Where did I place those crazy pills?


Christi 4-12-2003 15:23

I just ordered "The Watchers" by G.K. McLaren, from

Now I'll have to remove the "No Littering" sign from my bookshelf -- but that's okay, it's a great looking book!

howard 4-12-2003 15:08

Howard, I knew that 'Angels on Street Corners' was inspired by someone. Now I know who!

Heather 4-12-2003 15:06

PAMELA -- Hang in there! Stick around and you'll find this is one great group of encouraging people!

VIV -- thanks! that really happened a couple of years ago, and I'd all but forgotten it, but I stopped at the same restaurant yesterday and saw an old man there with his family, and that brought it all back again. Deja warm all over again! :-)

howard 4-12-2003 7:27

Howard: Wonderful! You probably gave that man the sunny spot and the thing he'll remember about his vacation. It's always terrible to watch a group doing a close out on a single person. I'm glad you told the "koi" that he was going to sit with you.

I was shopping today and the same thing about fluency not being a necessity occured to me. All one really needs to communicate is an understanding heart. Today I had a real difficult task and one of those I dread. I had to get a giant sized roll of saran wrap. (Plastic wrap) I am wrapping up rugs and these strange trianguar cushions I bought in Thailand. So I go to the local building supply store and I have to ask for help. I drag myself over to the counter to ask...dreading the answer. Usually it's arimasen...even if it's on the shelf in front of me.

Today the young woman and her friend behind the counter had curious eyes. As I approached they didn't turn around and start searching for other work. They waited and listened. They obviously didn't understand, but one woman said, Ahhhh Saran wrap. A one word Gotcha'. She led me over to a counter where they had the king sized rolls of saran wrap, then to the other counter where they have the "keeps stuff dry" packets. No words other than saran wrap were necessary.

It helped a lot. I'm going in to teach the kids that all flunked English last year. I have 45 of them in one room. You know what I think...I'm going to keep my standards low. As long as they know please, thank you, I'm from... where are you from? This is my family...This is my pet...we're in business. (Oh and Thanks to very special word....Texas.)

Viv 4-12-2003 4:41


You do sound like one to go on. Good for you (hugs). It takes a lot to move forward in the face of adversity. My hat is off to you.


Glad you got the message :o)

Pamela and Heather,

If you are still feeling a little blue, I've got a story from my life. This happened this evening...

Our horses seem to think that they should live in the house. It has been an issue for some time now. When we are outside and then go into the house, the horses try to follow us. This evening I was out closing the gate as a friend left. I had told my daughter to be sure to close the door when she went in. Jordan forgot to close the door, and one of the horses was up that step faster than I could run across the yard. I was yelling the whole time "The horses are getting in! The horses are getting in! I guess it was pretty hard to hear me over the screaming of the birds, the laughter of Sebastian and stomping of hoof beats on the hardwood floors :o) I'll let you in on something that I bet a lot of people don't know. Horses look a lot bigger inside of a house than they do outside of it. I just about had a fit when she made for the stairs. If she had gone to the second level I don't know what might have happened. I doubt it would have been any good thing. As it is we are down the contents of our china hutch. We've collected the remains in a box and plan to call the insurance company. I don't know if they cover act of horse...

Take care all.

Rachel 4-12-2003 1:27

Thanks so much to Rachel, Heather, Rhoda and Rosemary for your encouraging words regarding depression. It does not just have to do with the goings on in the world (although that sure doesn't help) but with very real financial problems brought about by our federal government (no offence to you flag-wavers). I became disabled for my profession, which was supposed to be covered by the long-term disability that I purchased through my employer, but they denied it on the basis of bulls**t trumped-up charges which I never had a chance to defend myself against. Just to pass the word along to others considering insurance purchased through your employer, this falls under Section 502 of the Employee Retirement income Security Act of 1974 which, in the words of the attorney I consulted, gave insurance companies "carte blanche to rip people off" since lawyers can't afford to handle federal cases on a contingency basis. I had spent quite a bit of money (purchasing this computer, for one thing) to start a new occupation in architectural design, having been offered Voc. Rehab. and with the understanding that this was an approved return-to-work plan. Then they found a bunch of excuses to pull the plug and I find myself in dire financial straits, not to mention my long-time dream crashing around my head. Oh well. When I look at those in war-torn countries who only have the clothes on their backs, I realize how lucky I am and hate myself even more for wondering how I will survive for the rest of my life. Love it or leave it? I would happily leave for a socialistic society like Canada or the U.K. where my tax dollars would ensure that I could survive, but I can't afford to leave! Anyway, I AM a survivor, I've gotten through child abuse and prison and insanity so I will make it through this somehow. Some disassociation is good. Realizing what a tiny speck we are in the totality of it all can be frightening but also reassuring. Reading mysteries is good (I've read some of the cat books) as is volunteer work, which I have done in the past but have been remiss on lately. Thanks, guys. I'll be back instigating before too long.

pamela 4-12-2003 0:26

I stopped for lunch today at one of our many Chinese buffets. This particular restaurant is just about half-way between health department closings, so I knew it would be a pretty good balance between ptomaine and good eats. The department had closed it a while back only because the inspector had been driving by on the highway behind the restaurant and spotted a couple hundred frozen chickens thawing out (unwrapped) on the roof, right out in the open. Definite no-no there.

Anyway, I had just set down to my usual first course - a Mongolian hot plate, bowl of hot and sour soup, and a dish of kim-chee, when a tour bus full of elderly Chinese folks from New York City pulled into the parking lot, and about 75 of them poured into the place.

It's a big restaurant, so there was just about enough room for all of them, except for one wrinkled up, shabbily dressed old man who looked lost, and it was obvious that the rest of the bus folks were real satisfied with that state of events. Every time he'd head towards a likely looking spot at a table, it would close up, and they would not-look at him. It wasn't just that they didn't look at him, or see him - it was more of an obvious choice to not-look, if you know what I mean.

He just stood there looking helpless, and I felt bad taking up a whole booth by myself while he just stood there, so I motioned for him to join me. He looked around, not certain that I was looking at him, so I nodded and pointed to the seat across from me. He lit up like the sun coming out on a cloudy day, and came and sat down, nodding and smiling all the way, and began to thank me. At least I gathered that's what he was doing - I recognised right off that we had a language barrier here. He had no English at all, and my Mandarin is even more of a no-show, but we had smiles in common, so I figured we'd get along pretty good.

Then a woman (one of the group leaders, I think) came stomping over, looking very official, and said something not so nice (also not sure because of the language, but the tone was unmistakable), and the sun went out. She turned and began to apologise to me for his unseemly behaviour as he slowly started to slide out of the booth. I reached out and put my hand on his arm and stopped him, motioned for him to sit down again, and told her I had, in fact, invited him to sit there, and she should please learn to mind her own business and show a little more respect for us older folks.

He smiled and lit up again, and she just stood there with her mouth opening and closing, looking for all the world like the koi in the tank behind her. Then she turned and went away, and I noticed the folks at the nearby tables and booths not-looking at both of us.

By this time the crowd at the buffet had thinned out, so I motioned for him to go and get something to eat. He looked confused at that, so I took him by the arm and led him over to the food, and helped him get some fried rice and soup.

We sat together in silence, enjoying our meal, not conversing (except with an occasional smile) and then he reached in his jacket pocket and took out a picture and showed me his family. I could tell they were his family because of the way his eyes shone as he pointed to them. He said these were his grandkids, and he was on his way to see them. Don't ask me how I knew for sure what he was saying, because he said it in his language. I only recognised the pride - and the love - not the words themselves.

Then he made me understand he wanted to see my family as well, and I took out pictures of my wife and kids and grandkids, and showed him, and he lit right up again and I know he said they were beautiful too.

I finished my lunch and got ready to leave, and got up and reached over to shake hands with him, and he struggled to his feet and said the first and only English words I heard him say - "Thank you!" Well, that turned the handshake into a bear-hug, and all the not-looking people started to not-stare instead!

I went out through the foyer, and paid for our lunches on the way, and went out to my truck, parked just outside the window. I got in and fastened my seatbelt, started the truck, and looked up to see him standing in the window, smiling and waving goodbye, just like a little kid. Then I turned to back out, had to blink more than a few times before I could see clearly, and drove away.

howard 4-11-2003 23:10

My life's not stolen away. Don't worry.

I don't care if they have legimate reasons to complain about how we did this war. I'm so very happy for the people of Iraq. They've had enough torture and death. They needed this.....political or not.

I'm over joyed.

Debra 4-11-2003 22:03

Sorry, I should have included the author of that series. It's Lillian Jackson Braun. Just in case someone wanted to know.

Stuff to do---Gotta go.

Rosemary again 4-11-2003 20:25

Evening all,

I'm getting ready to go to a Market Trail event in a small nearby town. My crochet items do not do well in hot weather so this will probably be the last time until October. Got its good and bad sides.
Last weekend, I took some of my hats to the book fair and traded for a couple for books. That worked out pretty well.

One of my favorite remedies for the blues is a nice easy cozy mystery. 'The Cat Who. . ' series is one of the best for this problem. And if you think it might take a while, there's about twenty of them in the series and she's still cranking them out.

Be happy all,

Rosemary 4-11-2003 20:23

And I hope the daily Guru, doesn't mind me sharing this with my friends, it's today's deep thought and it just seems appropriate :-D

"A new life of abundant cheer is found in one way and one way
only. All others lead to endless anxiety.

It is found through an awareness of its existence.

This is the entire secret. We must catch a glimpse of this fresh
life for ourselves. We can start by remembering that it exists
within, not without. We already possess this higher state. But we
must become aware of our rich possession. This awareness will break
through, with increasing force, as we dare to seek it beyond our
present mental attitudes."


Teekay 4-11-2003 19:24

Hey, JERRY, maybe we weren't so far off the mark :-)

Teekay 4-11-2003 19:20

Happy Very Belated Birthday to MEL and LITTER!


Looking forward to hearing good news soon. Take good care of yourself and your little one.


I get a lot of world news (Foxnews, ABCnews, Drudge, and the radio reports not to mention lots of magazines), and the Russia thing has not come across my radar screen. Don't let fear and speculation steal your life away.


Best thing for depression is to get your mind off yourself. Get out of your house and do some volunteer work at a local school or maybe a nursing home. Even going shopping helps for the short term. A good Bible study is a big help too. I know what I am talking about, because I have dealt with it too, and refocusing your energy will help. Also, watch that self-talk. Be positive when you think. Good outcomes are always more likely than bad outcomes in situations.

Rhoda 4-11-2003 15:22

RACHEL - THANK YOU! )))Well received, well received. (The brackets are me catching the vibes!)

PAMELA - No more of the deep dark indigo funk! Spread yourself out in the sunshine and see if that helps, ok? Try not to allow depression to sink it's purple talons into you. I love when you're here and you're inspired and rarin' to go - it really rubs off. :o)

Speaking of depression... there is sunshine abounding, so I think I'll go soak some up. I could use it right

Heather 4-11-2003 15:04

Debra - radioactivity and Russia. Hmmmmm. I haven't seen that on the news, but it doesn't seem to be front page, or I would have heard something on radio, the TV, or the newspaper, I'm sure of it.
I will look out and see if I hear anything, but remember, it is easy to get actual news details and rumour mixed together! The best way to handle rumour is to ignore it - it only spreads panic.

Heather 4-11-2003 15:01


Don't buy into the blues. Try to swim out of that stinking rotten ocean of despair. I know that there are times when the tide seems to be sucking one out into the depths, but don't give up. I think the most depressing thing about depression, is how much time a person spends thinking about the state that they have fallen into. I kind of wonder if it isn't a bit of self fulfilling prophecy sort of deal. I think I am depressed, therefore I am. I know that depression is real, but I think that it can be a lot less destructive if a person takes a hold of it and tries to choke the living shit out of it. Fight for you life! Fight for your right to have the same moments of joy and happiness that are out there for the taking. I don't think that happy is a state that one can live in long term, it is a transient sort of thing. Love it while you have it and never look for it, or it will avoid you like the plague. Seems to be how it works.

Rachel 4-11-2003 14:31


I don't think that the people who are no pleased with the way that the United States did are limited to Russia. I can't think of a place I have gone that I have not heard people picking up different positions. I do not believe that anyone in their right mind is "mad at the States" that would be foolish. The United States is a body of people who are not defined or represented in completion by the actions of their government. There are lots of people right in the United States of America who are "mad" about how this was done. What do you think? Do you think people are mad at the States? Or do you think people are upset with goverment action and policy? I believe it is the latter.

Ah well...


A patch for the blues? How about I send you an energy patch. Here it comes >>>>>>>))))))))))))))) Hope it gets to you :o) Hang in there girlie!

Ciao for now :o)

Rachel 4-11-2003 14:23

I was just pulling out of my depression but now I think I'll go back in again.

Ben, big congrats on the story, I'll watch for it to come out.

pamela 4-11-2003 14:21

The planning something big, that's still rumor.

Debra 4-11-2003 8:51

Heather huney bun (hugs)

That's where I got this new information, the news.

They said all roads lead to Russia, including the find of radioactivity in the site they found.

Debra 4-11-2003 8:50

DEBRA! Stop that rumour mill, you are like the ceaseless mouse on the wheel! Always have to have something to make you run. It's doing you no good. (((HUGS))) to you, and relax! There would be something on the NEWS if there was anything true about it, don't you think?

Heather 4-11-2003 7:59

Hmmmmm. I wonder if there's such a thing as the 'Depression Patch'? Think I might need something like that, and soon.

Still working on Phantasium, getting pickier by the day. Someone stop me!


Heather 4-11-2003 7:56

I told you my friend who lives in Europe, was hearing rumblings that Russia was really mad about us invading Iraq.

It was Russia the whole time doing this.

She also heard they are planning something.


Debra 4-11-2003 7:07

Woohooo got my lawn seeded, spread fertilizer on it, watered it, everything, what a wonderful day.

Bright sunny, my new specs arrived from the VA all was as they said they would be, had to get them adjusted a bit by the local eye guy, cost five bucks but well worth it. Even got my ears lowered. Busy day, but a great one.

My Doc put me on the pain patch, this is my second day and it kicked in full force today, it's like having a five ton weight lifted off my back, I'll have to ask him why he waited so damn long.

Feel so good, I think I'll get back to some writing again, I've been letting that slack way too much of late.

Jerry 4-11-2003 0:22


Hasn't everyone received inspiration from Mark Twain? He wrote a simple story, not simple, but you know what I mean.

It was just the nature of humans getting to know each other. They were surprised at the similiarities of those people we thought were so different. Humans are the same, no matter where you find them they are the same. Simple! Inspiring!

Debra 4-10-2003 18:40

MARTIN -- Sorry, but the only one that comes to mind right now is H.L. Mencken. But I'm not sure if he's the kind of author you're looking for. He was a journalist, and a dyed-in-the-wool curmudgeon. Had little use for most everything in society, and no use at all for politicians.

howard 4-10-2003 18:33

BEN -- Congratulations! Way to go! I'll look for it.

howard 4-10-2003 18:29


Finally, after two years it seems, or maybe longer(?) my story's comin' out on the web. It's at PAPERPLATES.ORG. I was wondering if it was ever going to come out. It was pretty strange clicking onto the website just to check and see. I was going to send an e-mail asking if they were still publishing it--you know, curiosity--and then followed a few little pages here and there, and voila, there it was in the upcomings: ST. FREDA. My heart leapt into my throat, and just at that moment, my son walked in from school and I called him over to see. He looked at me and said: Are you published? See? Long time to wait, but well worth it I guess. Now, if I could only find someone to publish me and PAY me, life would be good. Anyway, just dropped in to let you guys know the good news.

ben 4-10-2003 17:37

HELP !! I need urgent help! Could anyone please informe me of some authors who have recived inspiration from mark twain !! please! write here, or email me. I need it tonight !

Martin Salazar dá beauteey 4-10-2003 14:43

Taylor--don't feel alone, I've been broken lately too.

Sasquatch-thanks for nice easter poem.

pamela 4-10-2003 10:51

TAYLOR -- Welcome back! It's good to see you're on the mend.

BEN -- Did someone contact you for YT...? If not, and you'd still like to participate, send me a starter and we'll have a go at it!

ALL -- The following website looks like fun!

Don't let the media destroy English. SPELL members fight their abuse.
Grammar counts. Web: E-mail:

howard 4-10-2003 10:14


Thanks guys.
Yes, I have been writing since I got back, but so far only in sporradic intervals(sorry if it's spelt wrong... I just love the sound of the word sporradic)

I had no intention on catching the news late last night(A little after 10pm my time)But isn't it funny how you get that feeling sometimes that something is happening. Typing on my computer last night, I got that very feeling and turned on Fox News and watched the Troops in the Centre of Baghdad assist the Iraqis in tearing down that monstrosity that is Suddam Huessein's statue.

Randall: I liked your analogy of the German Shephard and the SS Gestapo guys. Never thought of it that way before, but it makes picturing your story much easier.

That tv show I was trying to think of awhile back where that Mountie goes to New York Police department is called "Due South" I have stayed up late a couple of nights and been watching it on good old Foxtel. I remember that I attempted to model myself after that Mountie on the show a few years ago, but it was totally unrealistic to do that... Nobody's "That" nice.

Taylor 4-10-2003 6:27

Wow, summer is here hit 79 today, along with the warm weather came the first prairie fire of the season, big one south of Bismarck, nasty stuff.

Still haven't gotten my grass seed spread, computer crashes took up my day, the daughter's and the nieces both went down hard, strange exact same symptoms, totally different causes, and on the same day, how strange is that?

Anyhow got them both up and running again, so my time's my own again for a day or so, hope the weather cooperates and I can get the grass seeded, I did manage to get the well turned on and running so we can water when I get the seed down. We've had so much drought that most of my lawn is bare ground now with little trace of the wonderful lawn we had just three years ago. Oh well I guess it'll look all the better once I get the seed down and we get the massive rain storms that all the population have been praying for now all these dry years.

So great to see things are drawing down in Iraq. Hope our troops will be safe, but I fear that the dying is not yet done.

Randall - wow, you do bring a smile to my face with predictable regularity.

Taylor so great to see you back on the notebook, welcome back. Hope you're up and writing again.

Jerry 4-10-2003 0:19



That scene in Baghdad this morning? Nothing to compare with what I saw next door...

Had a bit of a fracas at the house this morning. Yeah. Terrible row. My neighbor owns a large German Shepard, Klaus. Nice animal, but Klaus is a dog totally lacking with the milk of canine kindness. He guards his backyard like German SS fanatics guarded Hitler's favorite brewery. Satan's bodyguards could not have a more grim aspect and outlook on interlopers than Klaus. No one, and I mean no one walks into his yard. Anyone strolling down the alley is greeted with a rousing vocal assault. Klaus tips the scales at 125 pounds, and is a credit to his species...a rabid werewolf with an impacted fang.

So ... just as I was leaving for work our house cats, "Suzy Cat" and her two half-grown kittens "Jack" and "Ripper" made a blatant and flagrant three pronged assault on Klaus. Our neighbor, Kenneth, normally a shy, retired school teacher displayed several signs of a major heart attack at the height of the fracas. Pale faced and clutching his chest he raced around the yard holding a hummingbird feeder high overhead. He was right behind the cats who were chasing Klaus who was right behind a terrified squirrel. The squirrel was chattering, Kenneth hollering, Klaus barking as the silent trio of killer house cats slowly closed the gap. Kenneth was moving in rapidly but a wayward clothesline flipped him end over end. His wife hearing the uproar rushed to Klaus's defense. She executed the finest column interdiction under fire I have ever witnessed, cutting through fluid battle lines with grim determination and elan. Apron flying in the morning sun she leaped over her downed husband and routed the "killer cats" with a two-pronged assault of kitchen broom in one hand, fly swatter in the other. This no doubt saved Klaus and her husband from a fate worse than falling into a two-week-old kitty litter box. Despite my feeble attempt to apologize all three disappeared into their house ... Klaus leading the way.

It seems a squirrel intent on self-preservation sought sanctuary on Klaus's dog house. To no avail but for darn good reasons. When my cats go after a squirrel, they GO after the squirrel! By my count in the last four weeks the trio have accounted for five rats, four squirrels and innumerable birds. From the feathers I have observed in our front and back yard there couldn't be a bird in a six-block area. The nesting bird population is decimated and I spotted flocks of English sparrows, sans baggage, departing just two days ago. My wife informs me that she was in the backyard right after lunch and heard a loud whistle. She scanned the area and saw a squirrel high in a tree with a silver chain around its neck attached to a small whistle in one paw. She glanced around and saw Suzy Cat, Jack and Ripper cat-footing around one corner of the house.

So it seems the battle is on ... cat versus rodent and bird. Who will win? I don't know but I would have to bet on my trio of Big Bad Mama and her brood. Dare I say...the game is afoot?

Good evening...


RANDALL 4-9-2003 21:35

Hello Guys!

With the imminent arrival of my wee Claire promising to keep me away from worldly communications for at least a small while, I thought it best to check in with you all and let you know I have been thinking of you. Hope that you are all happily writing and rewriting, submitting and resubmitting your literary offspring and feeling the satisfaction of accomplishment that only creativity can bring.

Personally, life has been filled with too much lately and I will be glad to sit back and reap some well-earned rewards. (Needless to say, none of the rewards will be writing-related, but I have invested nothing into that lately and you get what you give.)

This is just a hit-and-run visit to send my best to you and most likely you will be hearing from Heather within a few days when she lets you know there is a new girl in town! (Please keep your fingers crossed for us that we make it to the hospital in time...I have this sneaking suspicion that we aren't going to and Claire Marie Lockwood will come into this world at a speed of 65 miles per hour in the back of our car.) We made it to the hospital with only 7 minutes to spare last time.

OK, I am off for now, but I will return...I always do! Take care.

Mary 4-9-2003 21:34

TAYLOR!!! Welcome back to the fold!
Just shrug that embarrassment off, no need for that.
Glad to hear from you, and glad you're back! ((((HUGS)))

Heather 4-9-2003 20:36

TAYLOR: Welcome back!!!! :-)

VIV & TINA: I don't get it, what's wrong with Oprah?
I admit she's a bit of a pain mentioning her vast amounts of wealth all the time,
and when she does boring celebrity interviews,
and when she big notes herself,
but other than that what's wrong with her?
You can dislike her all you like, I'm just curious as to why.

Pee Wee Herman, well, no explanations necessary :-D

Have a good day all.

Teekay 4-9-2003 18:32

Hey Quasimodo -- I'll be back!

Arnold Hunchenegger 4-9-2003 18:02

Hi All!

Great pics from the centre of Baghdad. I was more than a little surprised when I got up this morning to see the US forces driving into an area where news crews were being mugged, to the relief of one Sky News reporter in particular.

They've dragged the statues and portraits down, but where is the sod? Some reports are still saying he was killed or injured on day one, others that he was killed last night, with more saying that he is still alive????? I hope there are no 'suicide surprises' still waiting in the wings and that Saddam is caught or identified soon. Despite the sporadic fighting still going on, there seems to have been a huge drifting away of soldiers of the 'Elite' guards units. A few of those US soldiers in the centre of Baghdad seemed to be genuinely dazed at how easy it was for them to enter and secure a lot of the city regarded to be where the real fighting was expected…

Better days ahead, I hope, and some peace for the families of the killed and injured.

HORWAD – I did get the Celtic competition email. Thanks, I'll be having a good look at that one. Meant to reply sooner than this. Sorry :o

I'm not going to mention the book… I'm not going to mention the book… Oh, bugger, I mentioned it…

Litter 4-9-2003 16:26

Hi all :-D

Taylor, warm ((((HUGS)))) from my little corner of the world.

Viv, I SO agree with you on those three! Mr Rogers gave me the heebie-jeebies. I was a Friendly Giant kinda kid.

Heather, no I didn't receive any e-mails from you. As for the title, how about just 'Fountain of Youth' I like that! Much better than anything I've come up with. Thanks!

Okay, back to work...
Ooh yeah, we're putting an offer on a house tomorrow, so cross your fingers and send lucky vibes my way, if you please.


Tina 4-9-2003 15:24

Happy belated B-days to Mel and Litter! Sorry for not coming in earlier, but school life is getting hectic again, projects creeping up, snow storms coming at unexpected moments, the musical taking up all my afternoons (even Saturdays!) church on Wednesdays in the evenings, Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, Good Friday, Maundy Thursday, reports, a couple pages here, a couple poems there, and still enough time to get a few hours of sleep. WHEWWW! I don't have any poetry with me, otherwise I'd share it with all of you. Wrote a new one just yesterday, it was about writing, funny enough as it sounds. I wrote in paragraph form so now I have to put it in verses, well gotta go, Bible reading on Wednesdays and we have to read.
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 4-9-2003 10:32

Hey Taylor: Good to see you back. Stop worrying. We've all been chomped in the pants by life now and again. Thank goodness this isn't a website bent on creating perfect people. I'd have to throw up my hands and quit. I fully intend to go on being my upsie-downsie self. How in the world can you write about emotion unless you've experienced it. Wait about five years and look back on this, you'll realize you've added an emotional dimension to your characters that adds depth to your writing. I only know one person who was completely placid...Mr. Rogers. Personally, I could only take his neighborhood for about 15 minutes. I know he was a wonderful influence, but Oprah, Mr. Rodgers and Pee Wee Herman kind of set my teeth on edge like fingernails on a chalkboard. To everyone I just insulted, pardon. Personal taste I guess. I like my reality real.

Viv 4-9-2003 10:31

Study, don't study, weep don't weep it doesn't matter. All I know is I wouldn't want to be saddam right now, or ever.

Debra 4-9-2003 10:00


Well for the last day or so, I've been scrolling up & down, reading a few posts and debating whether to post or not. Kind of still slightly embaressed by the whole thing.
But I'm back now.
Thanks for the messages people.

Taylor 4-9-2003 9:29

I have a hunch the movie will be over soon.

quasimodo 4-9-2003 9:22

There's a real pretty song at

Bring Kleenex™

howard 4-9-2003 8:30

HEATHER -- We already have "obsolescense," but "Obseletion" might work too -- sort of a cross between 'obsolete' and 'absolution' -- positively gone!
Maybe not -- that would be 'obsolution' or absolescence' -- I love words! :-)

howard 4-9-2003 8:06

Oh Randall:

I couldn't agree with you more. The issue I was writing about was weeping. Let's study those who will be weeping as well, if we can find any. Don't say his mom. His mom will weep. She doesn't need to be studied. We understand mothers.

Debra 4-9-2003 7:34

Tina - how about 'Fountain of My Youth' as a title instead of 'Sandra and Lily'?
Let me know what you think of the idea.
I tried sending Daniel (final copy) but my email program went down for the count. I'm able to access it now, so if you didn't receive the email and attachment, I'll resend! I honestly can't recall if outlook express managed to send before the driver went splat or not!
Having fun with the prep for reformatting, actually....yeah. Sure. I am quite sure I've got all of the files I need to save already saved, but better saved again than sorry!

The lingo of the times! That word came up in conversation yesterday, and my kids looked at me strangely. The word 'lingo' is fading into obseletion! (Perhaps 'Obseletion' shall be a new word?)

Heather Hemlock Bags 4-9-2003 6:51

Jack - Too bad we missed each other. ^.^ Actually the wait for the dealer room wasn't that long. We got in twice and waited about 15-20 minutes each time. I had fun, I was dressed as Ranma (girl Ranma - there's not enough chest tape in the world for me to pass as boy Ranma).

Next year I plan to dress up as Asuka from Evangelion, I love Eva!! It's the best anime show ever made!! I recall saying this about Kodocha not too long ago, I'm sure it'll pass, but I really love it now. :)


Allein Peachick's Gallery 4-9-2003 0:48

Mark - each to their own I guess, I've had nothing but problems with Mcaffee's but Norton's anti virus has yet to let me down. As far as the utilities, I use them, at times I cuss them but they seem to do a fair job of keeping things running smoothly. I've tried the others and always come back to Norton.

Ever go to a Doctor and make HIM happy? Had that happen the other day when I went for my regular appointment, the local guy here. At any rate he'd put me on a new pill to control nerve pain, but the pill had a strange side-effect, it fixed another problem that I've been fighting since 1984. He was tickled pink said he has yet to find anything that worked much on colitis so he's going to try this on his other patients with that problem.

Sometimes things just work out I guess.

Oh Mark - I guess I've been screwing around with computers at least that long, I began with the old Commodore 128 and worked my way up. I still have my old Commodore SX-64 that I picked up many years ago to play around with, and it still works as good as the day I traded an old replica of a Colt Navy .36 cal cap and ball pistol for it.

I think it was like '85 when I got my first machine, I've used Norton in one form or another since the early 90's when I got my first PC.

Jerry 4-8-2003 23:30

Evening all,

That eyeball needs Visene.

Went to a city college book fair with my friend with the 2 published books. She didn't sell a one. I think she has finally decided that being one more book (or 2 as the case may be)in a sea of other books for sale might not be a good idea.

See ya,

Rosemary 4-8-2003 22:45

Check this page -- put your cursor on the image and move it around!

howard 4-8-2003 22:23



Oh alright, I confess, I am not really the talented Sasqy, but our legs really do look rather similar.

Teekay 4-8-2003 19:26

RANDALL: Maddy Saddy had a horrible upbringing. He was aboandoned by his parents as a young 'un. I think his mother was a bit mad, so he had a head start, there is a lot of inbreeding in that part of the world, (Saddy's wife was his first cousin)
Saddy was raised by a brutal Uncle,so we can guess what happened, and he grew up and passed on what he knew onto his sons. A viscious circle.

Personally I think Saddam suffers a little from America Envy.

But it is true. He is worthy of our empathies. His soul had a huge challenge, put into a body with a deranged mind, and an ego the size of Texas, this guy really had his work cut out for him.
I confess to feeling a little bit more empathy toward his victims though, but that is speaking from the limitations of my earthly knowledge.

Teekay 4-8-2003 19:15

HOWARD: I am the talented and furry SASQY, it's true, look at my legs.

Teekay 4-8-2003 19:04



Debra ... :-) I know these guys are evil. But it is the mechanics of WHY that I ponder. Persons like these need to be captured and studied, at least for the human race. We must find out why they are as they are. I believe the execution of Tim McVeigh the OK bomber was a mistake. He should have been studied till he died of old age in prison. For humans to advance within our humanity, we must understand why, as Howard said, why some take a wrong turn.

One time Saddam was an innoncent youth with good intentions...Wasn't he? But something turned him away from good...what was it? I hope they did not kill him last night. I want him alive, in prison, and a long line of doctors and shrinks waiting to see him. (Real torture, huh?)We have to understand evil, maybe develop methods of turning unproductive humans into good citizens.

Then we enter the "Big Brother" arena... I just don't know. I do know that behavior like his retard advances in humanity.


RANDALL 4-8-2003 19:03

JERRY -- I have worked with computers professionally for 12 years. You are the first person I ever heard give Norton Utilities a good grade.

Mark 4-8-2003 13:04


You're writing as uaual is beautiful. Saddam was the worst of all of them, even Chemical Ali, Udai, and Quasay all put together.

Just to paint a picture, Chemical Ali, invited thousands of people to a gathering. He flew over in a helicopter and dumped gas on them and had another helicopter right behind him with a flaming of some sort. Fify thousand people died there. Then he had them all dismemberd and forbd the arms and legs to be buried just to send a message to who ever did not die.

Udai, tried to pick up a girl she said no. He took her to a farm tortued her and disfigured her for three months, and when he grew tired of her, he fed her to his dogs.

Saddam is worse.

It's a good question, who will be weeping.

Keep me posted if you find out.

Debra 4-8-2003 9:36

SASQUATCH -- I love it! Who are you?

RANDALL -- You're not alone in feeling these things. In Jeremiah God said "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it?" And in Ezekiel 18:23-32 God says "Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die... and not the he should return from his ways and live? But when the righteous turns away... shall he live? All his righteousness that he has done will not be mentioned: in his trespasses and in his sin shall he die... For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves and live."

Saddam, like all others, had a choice. He chose the wrong.

howard 4-8-2003 7:27

Heather - I've found that once a computer is infected with that damn virus about the ONLY real cure is a total reformat (low level) and reinstall. I've seen those damn things live through a regular format (that really only erases the computer's reference to where the data is located) and flare right back up after a reinstall of the operating system.

What I do is check with the outfit that made the hard drive, (Maxtor or IBM someone like that) and get their low level format software, use that, then fdisk, format and reinstall the OS.

What a low level format does is to write 0's to every sector of the hard drive thus removing absolutely everything (including the virus) and making the hard drive like it was when it was brand spanking new.

Then when you are finished with the reinstall of the software and OS, you have a well running machine ready to again be invaded by some ass hole somewhere who thinks it's fun to screw with other peoples systems.

One time my sister brought over her machine that was infected, the damn virus moved onto my boot disk when I went in to do the reformat, and that disk spread it to every machine I had and a bunch of my floppy's. Needless to say, I was mad enough to throw things (floppies bounced off walls for days!) and every once in awhile, Norton tells me that the floppy that I have inserted is infected.

I've noticed that when I gave up McAffes anti virus in favor of Norton my trouble with viruses have dwindled down to none. Norton does a super job and regularly updates itself. Mcaffes allowed my machine to become infected once and that was enough for me.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are plenty of folks who love Mcaffe's but I guess I'm just not one of them. Since I moved to Norton, I also got there super Norton System Works and use it go keep my systems healthy, as well as Norton Firewall to keep prying eyes out of my system. I wasn't all that impressed with their firewall but it does seem to work well and integrated itself with the whole Norton Suite, it does keep programs under control as far as connecting to the internet. Some of them I don't think should contact their owners no matter what their reason, and Norton does allow one to decide for themselves weather to allow such connections.

Besides that, I use Ad-Aware to keep down the spyware, as well as SpyBot that tackles a few of the spy programs that Ad-Aware doesn't. Both are available for free download, and make your machine run better with less advertising, which is something I like.

Enough free advertising.

Hope your machine get's it's health back.

Jerry 4-8-2003 0:51

I've got a hunch it was Esmerelda!

quasimodo 4-7-2003 22:42


Who weeps for Saddam?

Now that the regime is in ruins, who cries for the despot? Saddam may be dead by now, or in flight, in fear of discovery and punishment. I cannot help but wonder...what went wrong? Genetics awry? Mental trauma? Physical influences? What happened to this man, one of humanity? By all accounts he wasn't stupid. Smart like a desert fox someone said. Like Adolph Hitler he actually helped his country ... up to a point. He relaxed Islamic codes, kept the radical religious movement in line ... for a while. Allowed women of his country freedoms other religious countries forbid. He created beautiful cities out of the oil his country was so blessed with. But then he brought it all down ... political control by bloodshed and terror. Mass murder, torture and fear evolved into a means to an end. Self-destruction claimed him and he fell deeper into evil, even embraced it. Did he recognize evil when it came into his soul? Did he embrace the double-edged sword? As I strike my enemy, I bleed, so I strike.

Saddam was a baby boy born to a man and a woman. Did they smile and laugh at the wonder of creation as he kicked and squirmed in their arms? What were his single digit years like? Did he run and play with neighborhood children, run through dirt streets laughing? Maybe he once went to a movie where he gazed in wonder at images on the screen. Did his eyes light up as an American-made movie played out? Did he peer into local stores yearning for the goods inside? Did he have a puppy to cherish? A first love? A broken heart? What made him cry? Laugh? What went wrong? Was there an event so traumatic in his life he evolved into evil? Did absolute power corrupt? When did he lose the grasp on what it was to be human? At what point did he realize he could kill and kill and kill without emotion?

Once an ally of America, Saddam fought another country. Did he realize he was being used, like a knight in a world chess match? At what point did he feel the need to use terrible weapons on his enemies that were more like family? When did compassion leave and cruelty arrive? Why didn't he become more like the kind and benevolent ruler of nearby Jordan? Will the real Saddam stand up? Was his persona so tainted by unknown influences he evolved away from normalcy and into corruption, greed and murder? At what point in life did he change? Why?

Was Saddam a "good" father? A good husband? Did he teach his sons justice and the wholesome goodness of right? What was his definition of right? Did he court his wife with gifts and love? Was he faithful? Come home at the end of the day? Did he wrestle with his sons, tease his wife about her cooking? Did she ask him for another dress? Did his sons ask for toys? Did they pray together? Take outings together? Laugh when together as a family? When did his sons begin their slow slide into the hell he created?

Or was Saddam so isolated in absolute power that aides and advisors fed a raging psychosis, striving to outdo each other for attention and favor. A glorious statue here, another bigger one there, an airport with his name, thousands of men in arms responsible to him alone. And the money, the oil money, truckloads of gold, fine palaces, private planes, world travel. And the women, always the women so eager to please ... for the money, the power. Finery beyond the poverty of his early years, the power of a ruler, the power of control, the absolute power. God like. His every command obeyed. Only speak and it is done.

Who weeps for Saddam?

Humanity should. Like it or not, Saddam is one of us ... a human, deeply flawed for sure, but human. He once was an infant, a young man, a son, a father, a husband with an open world ahead. Bright with the promise and the intelligence God gives all, Saddam stood on the brink. But in a moment of time, days, months, years he slipped away from human kind. We lost him. He became an enemy of humanity, his own enemy, the destroyer of rational, the corruption of simple goodness and right. Stripped down before God, in judgement, a soul in torment Saddam must answer, as we all have to do, to a higher power and authority. Who weeps for Saddam? God? Humans? No one? Surely this is the worst punishment for all deserve tears when they die.

Maybe no one will weep? On dark nights will a desert wind weep as it sweeps sand among the debris of war. A thousand years ahead will isolated humans seek shelter behind the rusted and sand scoured remains of an ancient war machine. Will an old man began a story..."There was once an evil man near here. A confused man. We must pray for him, to ease his torment, because no one wept as he died so long ago..."

Good evening


RANDALL 4-7-2003 20:54

greetings humans persons. i sasquatch memory this time long ago when Yeti saw this. Yeti memory this when trees and earth become again green. it is old memory of the One.

Yeti memory

beast and earth,
heaven, tree, and sky
all witness
men take him
the One who made
the One who loves

earth would help
still the way is hard
ground trembles
stones cry out
this cannot be
he did no hurt

tree would shield
heavy though, the beam
weighs on him
grown for this?
to lift the One
who gave it life

beast rages
let us rescue him
he says no
came for this
now he forgives
and now he dies

heaven sighs
why could we not go?
old One turns
cannot look
it is finished
now all is done

sky weeping
wash his blood from stones
angry wind
thick’ning cloud
now hides the sun
the darkness grows

in the ground
now men seal their work
roll the stone
hide him now
they have done it
why do they fear?

creatures wait
he cannot be gone
he was good
he made all
he is our life
he cannot die

morning comes
how the earth does shake
stone is gone!
empty grave!
he is not here!

sasquatch 4-7-2003 20:07

Tina - I'll send 'Daniel' to you, the final copy version as soon as I can - the computer is acting up and giving me good reason to pull my hair!
Not right out, but I believe I've lost more than my hundred hairs of the day..... and it's MONDAY.


Heather 4-7-2003 17:14

Hi all!

Heather, about Phantasium... maybe send me 'Daniel' again so I can double check, but I think I okayed the changes. The title for the other one is completely wrong, but sadly I can't think of another that isn't MORE wrong.
Thanks again for all the work you're doing on this!

Haven't received an e-mail about the YT. How about if I promise not to mention skydiving? ;-)
oops I said I wouldn't mention it again. sorry.

Happy Happy Birthdays to Mel and Litter!

Allein, good to see you on here again. Long time no post!

Jack, ditto. How are you feeling?

Well, I'm posting from work and lunch is over. Must run.
Blue skies!

Tina 4-7-2003 15:33

Hi guys,

Wanted to clarify that disaster does not mean that I failed. I did pass the essay, just *phew*


Rachel 4-7-2003 15:31

Hi all,

Yikes! I just got back a preliminary mark for my final essay in one of my classes and have been informed that it is a disaster :o) I know I shouldn't be laughing, but I am. I read the comments and had little bursts of laughter througout. It is funny in an awful sort of way. This was the creative muse essay. I had thought it might not be received well (grins). There was a time when news like this about my school would have caused me a good deal of stess. Now I find that I am not so worried. I don't know if that is a good or bad indicator. Maybe it is that the end of the semester is here and I've all ready turned off for the break. Hum... I just feel bad for the teacher. I hope he doesn't think it is his teaching that is the issue. Up to this point I have been an 'A' student. I guess it is a surprise to him to see such an essay from me. Ah well, I imagine I'll be writing a new essay.


Rachel 4-7-2003 12:00

Allein: glad you had a great time at Sakura. I was nosing around a bit today mostly as part of our Westercon meeting. Hope you were able to get into the dealers room. Heard there was an hour and a half wait yesterday.

Jack Beslanwitch 4-7-2003 2:16



Nope, still here. We had our NAPA tool and filter sale Thursday and it wore me out. Spent most of the weekend in bed, that is after a visit to our local gun and knife show where I bought a .22 rifle and companion pistol...for the camper. Beautiful weather, a shame to spend it indoors. Still... Looks like our guys are kicking butt in Iraq... Well gonna go, see ya!


RANDALL 4-6-2003 20:09

I've again been dipping into the writings of early American historians. Wonderful to read, albeit a bit on the hard side. They wrote in such long sentences, some taking up an entire page, and use words now strange to our modern tongue. I have my dictionary program up on the computer so I can seek meaning of some of the texts. I am at present reading the second volume of American History covering that period from the end of the war of Revolution to the administration of John Adams. Very in-depth coverage on nearly all aspects of the birth of our nation. It talks of the institution of slavery, the "red savages" and the treachery English, who at one time during the Revolution freed the slaves in the colonies, took them to their breasts, then placed them aboard ships and resold them in the British West Indies.

The Copy write on the book is 1894. Strange how our language has changed, words seem to have shrunk, I was surprised at the usage of very long words who's origin is at once recognized.

The authors - Julian Hawthorne ?-1783; James Schouler (1783-1865); and E. Benjamin Andrews (1866-).

Somehow I find this history book believable since it was indeed written by those who lived very near the time involved. You can see their personal prejudices and political beliefs in the text, these guys were very anti-slavery, but also traced the origin to the very early days of our land.

Jerry 4-6-2003 12:04

Wow...I've been away a while. Mainly cause my muse has been gone and I haven't done much writing. But I just got back from Sakura Con and am really pumped to write an anime Con chapter for my story Fragrance of Flowers.

But I have a question, I'd like to add cosplay into the Con experience, but how do I do that and still stay within legal boundries when it comes to mentioning character names, series names and small descriptions (ie: they saw a girl with pig tails in a sailor outfit or it's a movie about a girl raised by wolves). Basically, these two original characters of mine dress up as characters from an anime and my friend Frank, who's pretty knowledgeable about the law, says as long as I mention the names of the characters they're dressing up as, the series they're from and who created it (thus giving credit to the creator where it's due) that would be fine, so people would know that the characters they're dressing up as are not mine.

Anyway, any help would be appreciated in this, also I'll post when I finish the chapter and if anyone might be able to help me with all the legal red tape matters, I'd be happy to e-mail the chapter to you and see what you suggest so that it's completely within legal boundries (I don't want to get sued - I have NOTHING).

Thanks. It's good to see all the old faces and nice to see some new ones too. ^.^


Allein Peachick's Gallery 4-6-2003 5:09

Hey what a great idea for a little project--re: "Your Turn". Count me in. I've just been laid off for a little while. Had all of this last week and next week off. So I guess I have time on my hands...

ben 4-5-2003 15:00

By the way, in case anyone's interested, our new HEMLOCK site has been launched!!!!
Knock yerselves out browsing!
This time it's much easier to do just that.... :o) Thanks to Mary's hard web-work!

Heather Hemlock Bags 4-5-2003 14:23

OH SURE!!!!!! My first post didn't show up, so I wrote another one......and then it didn't show up either.
And to my embarrasment, embarrassment? Bare-ass-ment.....
here are all three right before my eyes!

SO bite me, I'm gouda.

Heather 4-5-2003 14:20

Christi - have I ever missed a single post you've written? I'm sure I haven't!!! (Well, maybe one... or two?)
You always sign off with something original, so I've probably just forgotten about the Goota Guy......


Heather 4-5-2003 14:18

Christi - have I ever missed a single post you've written? I'm sure I haven't!!! (Well, maybe one... or two?)
You always sign off with something original, so I've probably just forgotten about the Goota Guy......


Heather 4-5-2003 14:16

Ohhh, dirty indeed, Christi!!! LOL
I have probably read every single post you've written, Christi, and you always sign off with something original... but I don't remember 'Goota Go'! Still cute, and I'm still giggling. :oD

Heather 4-5-2003 12:57

Babe Ruth got a candy bar, Clippy (from Microsoft) got a game!

Destroy Clippy. (game)

howard 4-4-2003 18:22


I hope this is the happiest birthday yet!

Debra 4-4-2003 15:38


Hey Heater! SOOOO great to see you back to your old self. And I hope this doesn't make it any less amusing, but I often sign off goota go, or goota guy as a nod to my slight dyslexia. Hey if you can't have fun with yourself who can you have fun with? :D Does that sound dirty? Heh heh.

HAPPY Late Birthday, Litter! My Dad's birthday was yesterday. Ah you Aries, so strong, so bold and witty. Late {{{Hugs}}} to ya!

Kari, Hi and welcome! Think about what it is you REALLY want to say about time. Is it that it is cruel, or that it was always there and always will be there, dependable? Or is it a new thought you had on the essence of time? You want to convey with strong, vivid words and thoughts that make the reader feel and hear your voice. Keep writing! There aren't enough poets out there.

Howard, You know, as much as I'd love to be in this new thread I don't think I have the time. I'm finally writing on my book again and don't want to distract from it. I'd love to see what you guys come up with though. Give us a looksie, won't you?

Love to all,

Christi 4-4-2003 11:32


Poems. Say what you want to say then smooth it out.

Debra 4-4-2003 7:56

i'm a little young but i started writing when i was in the 1st grade.i need so advice on how the write better poems.if you wounder how i write,here is a sample:

Time is nither here nor there,
But you can find it anywhere.
Time went back to the old Romans,
Time went back to the Egyptians.
Time is nither here nor there.

kari tachai (aka lisa terek) 15 years old

thanks alot!

kari aka lisa 4-3-2003 22:20


I should lend you my muse. My Muse is awake, well and kicking. The only problem is that a Muse and an essay do not always walk hand in hand (grins). I just turned in quite an imaginative Philosophy paper... I only have one last paper to write and am very excited.

Here, I've sent over my Muse, oh! The other one wants to come along as well. You better hang on to your boots with those two about ;o)

Take care you.


Rachel 4-3-2003 20:30


Teekay 4-3-2003 19:24

Dang, lost my post!

I said Happy Birthday to Mel and Litter, a bit late I guess never got up here last night.

Viv I have used CuteFTP and WSFTP both are easy to use and both have shareware versions that work fine if you just need to upload occasionally. Of late I've simply used the software supplied by the sites where I have my web pages. I have most of my stuff on Geocities, simply because it was the place I put my very first page up on back in the mid 90's when they first came available. I moved one to another of the free sites because Geocities is getting picky about what they allow you to do anymore, for instance you can no longer place a file up there and link to it at another site, like here!

Most of the places that furnish free web space also have built in file utilities to help you upload the files making the FTP software unnecessary, and Internet Explorer also has built in FTP software that works fairly easily too if the FTP site is set up to accept it.

Jerry 4-3-2003 19:06

Hi, You-uns,

Thanks for b'day wishes. I'm at home today but will be back at work tomorrow (and my email)if anyone's waiting on a YT... from me.

Ms. Muse is sleeping today, darn it... maybe I can rouse her before the evening is over...

Catch y'all later!

Mel 4-3-2003 18:02

Back up! Took a nap while the 80gb hdd was formatting, and now all I have to do is connect the old hdd a slave and copy all my stuff -- there's an awful echo in here!

howard 4-3-2003 17:06

Okay -- update time! Had to wait for the confirmation on my tax filing, but now I'm ready.

See you on the other side! :-})

howard 4-3-2003 14:30

Mel and Litter,

Happy Birthday!


I'll look forward to reading your posts again when you return :o)

Rachel 4-3-2003 13:42

VIV -- The idea is to send a YT... to someone and work with them to complete the story. Some folks here don't post their Edress with each post (it's optional here, and if you enter your Edress in the Email: space when posting, your name shows up in blue at the bottom of your post. Anyone can click on that to send you a note.)
Use that to send a note to one of us initiating the YT... exchange.
My suggestion was that anyone not wishing to post their Edress here could send it to me and I can forward it to anyone else in the group wanting to YT... with them. That way no one knows who is working together until they're all revealed on the target date.
Several have already indicated that they're open for YT... and all anyone has to do is Email a starting paragraph to one of them.

I've got room for one or two more, if anyone hasn't got started yet, and I've got Mark's Edress is anyone wants to have a go with him. Just send me a note.

howard 4-3-2003 9:07

Friend of Taylor: Thank you for the update, and also passing along our messages. Got one more for Taylor:
We're looking forward to seeing you again on the notebook. Don't feel shy. We've all been there and back.

Howard: I don't understand the e-mail addresses. Are these for the add on story or something different.

Do you use cuteFTP to upload or something different. I have Windows 98 and am trying to upload something to a site. Can't seem to get the job done. Is there any shareware for cuteFTP or should I just buy it for $43.00?
I am still a dinosaur when it comes to making websites. I'm so ashamed. After everyone has helped so much, I continue to be a butterfingers on these websites. Ugh! Ignorance here is not bliss. It could cost me a job if I don't learn how to do this easily.

Viv 4-3-2003 6:56

Excuse this... But just letting you people know that Taylor could be back home at beginning of next week.
I was able to contact him and relate messages and talk for quite a bit. He's doing better. Could tell. Taylor says thanks guys

Friend Of Taylor's 4-3-2003 3:41

LITTER -- Happy Birthday indeed! And many more! Did you get my note about the Celtic writing contest?

As I said -- don't wait, if you haven't been approached for the YT... round 1, approach someone! And note Litter's Edress here.


Encounter in a restaurant:

The meal was decent, the service adequate, even though the waitress was a bit preoccupied with her friends in the next booth. She did ask if I wanted a warmup of my coffee, then forgot to bring it.
The check came to a little over $11, and I only had a $20, so I went up to the register to pay and get change for a tip.
Got back to the table just in time to hear the waitress saying (to the next booth) "...Asshole didn't even leave a tip!"
I just stood there until she sensed my presence and looked up, face reddening instantly, then dropped a fiver down the front of her shirt (there was plenty of room) and said "Asshole had to go get change," and smiled, and turned and walked out.
The look on her face was worth it all.

howard 4-2-2003 23:14

Mark - in 1971 I stopped in at the Gunfighter PX in Danang and bought a watch. The one I pointed at was a small cheap little Siko that you had to wind, no date or anything, I just wanted one that kept time, and I had never heard of Seiko. The gal behind the counter gave me a watch box and I went and paid my fifteen dollars for it. When I got back to the unit, I opened the box and inside was a Seiko self winding, day/date 25 jewel stainless steel watch. I've had it on ever since, once in, I think it was 74, the self winding weight came loose and I had the PX send it in and get it repaired, I was lost without it for the couple of weeks it was gone, and very happy to have it back. I've worn it ever since.

I have received many watches as gifts since, and they all lay in a drawer in the bedroom. I dig one out when I have to go to a funeral, wedding or such, but just for that part of the day. Funney how one can become attached to such an object. However it's kept perfect time since the day I bought it so I can't complain.

Jerry 4-2-2003 21:09

What ho, fellows?

Happy Birthday to me,
Happy Birthday to me,
Happy Birthday dear me-ee,
Happy Birthday to me.

MEL – I too am another year older (and deeper… etc.) I am also a year older than you too. Coincidence or what? Happy Birthday to you too.

HORWAD – I'll have a go at the 'Your Turn'. Email as at bottom of page.

ALL and EVERYONE – Anyone using my 'madasafish' email address, please use the link below for now on. I'm in dispute with the ISP for offering such a crappy service and I anticipate retribution. The new email address is with an ISP recently voted the UK's best ISP, so I don't anticipate any problems with the new addy. (Famous last words.)

Joy, Joy, Happy, Happy.

Litter 4-2-2003 20:39

Christi, Goota!!! Love the typo! (I'm serious, it actually caused all sixteen of my smiling muscles to work today!)
Hugs to you, sweets, and I've missed you around here!
(Or has it been me, delinquent as usual?)

Sorry again on the Phantasium news....though I am progressing quite quickly, my computer has not been the same since the worm virus, so I'll have to reformat pretty soon. Of course, I do have extra backups of my backups for Phantasium, so no worries there.
Actually, I may have them all printed and ready to go before I reformat anyway!
I'm almost there!
Carol - I finished up your 'Grandma Rose' last night, and I changed a number of things....
I'll email you a copy of the revisions by pasting it into an email, so don't mind the lack of proper formatting! Let me know as soon as you can whether you approve my changes - there aren't that many!
The last two lines are probably most noticeable, but I really think the revision creates more punch - definitely a more memorable and meaningful ending with only a slight change.
Thanks Carol!

Tina - Daniel has been fully edited and is printed and ready to go with the collection. I'm not sure if you approved my changes/edits on it or not, so if you want me to send the revised 'Daniel' to you just to be sure, let me know! Email me or leave me a note here. :o)
Oh, and 'Sandra and Lily' didn't need any real alterations; perhaps one sentence had rewording, that was all. Did you still want to re-title that one, or is it fine as is?
That one is also ready to send, but if you wanted to change the title, I can just change that and re-print the first page without a problem.

Tomorrow I should have the finalized list of stories in the order I've placed them, (a little different than my initial list about three months ago)

and tomorrow looks good for mailing. I've said that before, so just ignore me until I come onto the NB and shout 'I MAILED IT!' in huge purple lettering.

Take care all,

~~Bug-eyed and lovin' it,

Heather 4-2-2003 17:57

CHERI -- I think that's "museability."

CHRISTI -- You'll have to post your Edress, send it to me, or start a YT... ("Your Turn...") with someone whose Edress you already know.

howrad 4-2-2003 15:08

Include me in the Shared Story please!

Happy Birthday, Mel! Glad you finally told us, you little so and so!

Goota catch up on the posts, whew.

Christi 4-2-2003 14:00

MEL: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!;) I also would like to participate in the paragraph writing, but am limited as to time and muse availability(did that sentence make sense?).

Just a quick note to say HI ALL!

Back to lurking.

Cheri 4-2-2003 13:41

HOWARD: Good idea on the "Your Turn" naming. Thanks for the whole idea and for being willing to post them on your website for us. :-)

I forgot to mention I used to do this sort of thing orally as a child with my dad. He'd start a bedtime story (about a paragraph's worth) and then he'd pass it, by pointing or with his eyes, to me or whoever else was listening too, with a "And then--." They were great fun. :-]

Mel 4-2-2003 8:48

GREAT news from Iraq last night! A special team of heroes went in and rescued one of the POWs! Thank You LORD!

Here's an additional tweak on our "your turn" stories. By the third round, the person first receiving a "your turn" paragraph had to name the story (not the person initiating it).

I think this will be fun!

And anyone who has not been approached with a "your turn" yet, who wants to be involved, don't be shy -- either start one yourself (there are Edresses in recent posts) or say here that you haven't got into one yet. We don't bite, (except maybe HEATER -- I got the impression she's into that kinky sort of thing...) ;-}) and we'd hate to leave anyone out!

howard 4-2-2003 8:31


Hi, You-all!

HOWARD, SUNNY, ANYONE ELSE Wondering: Yes, I'm another year older now (yesterday). I try to be humble about having birthdays - don't know why. I guess they're about as troublesome as a yearly physical at the doctor's - you don't want 'em but you gotta have 'em. Birthdays make you reflect on the past and I'm not too keen on most of mine. BUT! A bright spot was my cake - my husband lit forty eight candles on it and, man, was it warm and bright in the room! ;-] Now I can move on to more pleasant things, like scheduling eye-doctor appointments for my changing eyeballs, and hoe-ing out the attic for a Spring yard sale. Yippee. 8-/

I too am open to the email paragraph writing thingy - my additions will probably be VERY short for lack of muse-time, but maybe they will give her a jolt of inspiration!

It's a rainy day - I feel like Eeyore. Maybe one of you Tiggers will bounce by for a visit and bring the sunshine with you! :-]

A productive writing day to each of you!

Mel 4-2-2003 8:02

Just in case anybody was, don't wait for me to start it -- there are a bunch of Edresses posted (for the newbies, a name in blue means an Edress), so have at it with one another!

Also -- if anyone has trouble seeing the Operation Iraqi Freedom Powerpoint presentation I sent, or have posted on my page, you might need the free viewer available at

There's more viewers and MS Office file converters (free also) at

If the two urls are not completely hilighted in blue, copy/paste them into your browser starting with the http.

My page (with the pps file) is

howard 4-1-2003 21:55

Count me in, HOWARD. Sounds like fun.

Rhoda 4-1-2003 21:23

ROW HARD -- You already have my edress (mlenihan at). Send paragraphs. I woke up in the middle of the night a week or so ago and wrote a note to myself. I can make those sentences the start of something. Well, hell, you knew that. Anybody around here can tell you, "Yeah, that Mark, he can start something, alright."

Mark 4-1-2003 20:40

Randall, the umbrella bit is brilliant! Just hilarious. Thank you!

Both of my grandfathers fought in WWII. Both lived. My english grandfather was a pilot in the RAF, my german grandfather was in the Canadian Forces (I believe Navy) and landed on the beaches in France.

Heather 4-1-2003 20:28

Howard - the writing prompt stuff - I have a book by one of the editors at Writer's Digest, and the whole thing is filled with writing prompts. I believe it is called 'The Writer's Idea Book' (which is a tad misleading, really!) but I'll have to check. Hmmmmmm. That prompts me......


Heather 4-1-2003 20:09

Count me in, too!

Heather 4-1-2003 20:05



This arrived as an e-mail from a friend and I'll post it without comment.

"To nobody's surprise there were protesters today in DC, they attempted to disrupt the metro system and block the Key Bridge, a leading artery into DC from Northern Virginia. I got hosed twice because I come in from Northern VA. on the metro and it is raining hard which makes traffic worse any way. My commute was long and arduous and only caused further resentment for protesters (but that isn't the point of this thread).

"Anyway, I'll get to the point.

"I got off the train in Rosslyn because I had to use the bathroom and the train was moving quite slowly. When I was getting back on the train, there were protesters on the train platform handing out pamphlets on the evils of America. I politely declined to take one. An elderly woman was behind me getting off the escalator and a young (20ish) female protester offered her a pamphlet, which she politely declined. The young protester put her hand on the old woman's shoulder as a gesture of friendship and in a very soft voice said, "Ma'am, don't you care about the children of Iraq?" The old woman looked up at her and said, "Honey, my first husband died in France during World War II so you could have the right to stand here and bad mouth your country. And if you touch me again, I'll stick this umbrella up your ass and open it."

"I'm glad to report that loud applause broke out among the onlookers and the young protester was at a total loss for words.



RANDALL 4-1-2003 19:53

This SARS epidemic reminds meof Stephen King's book 'The Stand'.
Now that was a good book.

Teekay 4-1-2003 18:40

I'm not a fiction writer, but I'd like to participate. Is that OK?

Sunny 4-1-2003 18:35

I'm game for Howard's co-written shortie idea. Anyone interested, drop me an e-mail. In the spirit of the surprise factor, I won't mention it again.

Tina 4-1-2003 17:19

HOWARD: That sounds like a fun idea. Count me in.

Teekay 4-1-2003 17:12

Just received this in a Writer's Digest newsletter --

The Cincinnati Celtic Music & Cultural Festival is pleased to announce its first ever writer's contest. There are three categories: poetry, short story and short one-act plays. Each must have a theme incorporating Celtic people (historic, real or imaginary). Awards of $100 will be given to the winning entry in each category, and $50 to the runner-up.

All submissions must be received no later than June 2, 2003. Send entries to: Writer's Contest, Cincinnati Celtic Festival, P.O. Box 9008, Cincinnati OH 45209-0008. Winners will be notified by one of the panel judges by August 15, 2003.

For more information see

howard 4-1-2003 16:13

MARK -- My Rolex is self-winding. It stops if I leave it on the dresser for more than a day. It's an expensive watch -- cost me 25 years of my life -- at IBM. Got it in 1991, and recently sent it in for cleaning and adjustment. They charged over $300.00 just for that! If it ever wears out I'm getting a Timex.
I've had fun with it -- one day back in school I was helping a 19 year old classmate with one of our papers, and she said she had to run a couple of errands, and hoped she'd get back in time for class as she'd forgotten her watch. I handed her mine, and told her she could return it at class that afternoon. She put it into her purse without looking at it, and left. That afternoon she came into the classroom, her face pale, as if she was in shock.
"This is a real Rolex!!"
"You just loaned me a real Rolex!"
"How much is it worth?"
"But why?"
"You needed a watch, this is a watch."
I thought she was going to faint!

howard 4-1-2003 16:08

Re: the screensaver that froze -- Remember self-winding watches? Had little weights inside that wiggled and wound the spring as you moved your arm. Knew a sedentary kid in high school who had one that stopped.

Mark 4-1-2003 15:28

That entire line has to be pasted into the to: address of your mail. Leave the rest blank

howard 4-1-2003 14:23

Another Neat Thing --

Writer's Digest has several free newsletters available, one of which is a "Writing Prompts" list, sent each month. This is a list of daily prompts, one for each day of the month, to stimulate, prod, poke, wake up, shake up, excite, and otherwise attract your muse's attention!

You can subscribe to the text-only version by sending a blank Email to

I haven't seen a lot of junk mail from it, and you might like it!

howard 4-1-2003 14:21

A lull in the action -- actually in the beginning of the action, as I haven't started it yet. Rearranging the computer room. I can actually see the floor in places now! (Teekay knows what I mean by that -- we traded computer desk pix a while back)

It's snowing hard here -- got over an inch so far since mid-morning, and it's still coming down! The poor finches are protesting noisily!

Here's a proposition to maybe stimulate some writing:

A friend of mine started something right out of the blue a few days ago. he's not a writer, but he sent me a paragraph and ended it with

...your turn

I added some lines and sent it back. It's several pages long now, and it's a lot of fun! All sorts of twists and explorations. I remember we've done that sort of thing here before, but this one was totally unexpected. Maybe we ought to get one or two going amongst ourselves (via Email) and publish them on a set target date a month or two away.

Simple rules (if anyone wants to play)

Keep each project between two people, with no telling who's working together until pub time. That might mean any one person is working on more than one. But don't overload, and if you're full up and someone sends you a "...your turn starter" let them know that you can't do it just yet.

No more than a paragraph or two per turn. Plot turns and twists are welcome, but not required. Try to keep it light -- something along the lines of Douglas Adams or Monty Python, or Edgar Allen Poe...

Keeping with the tone of this forum, keep it "family friendly" -- no blatant porn, etc.

This will be entirely via Email, so if you'd like to participate, but don't want to post your Edress here to get started, you can send it to me, and let folks know you did that, and they can send me a note requesting it. I won't share it with anyone but "family."

If there are no objections, how about a target date of 4/30 for the first round? I'll be glad to put them on my web page, such as it is, so we can all read them. I think it might be fun!

Comments or suggestions for further rules are welcome!

howard 4-1-2003 14:09

MEL -- Happy Birthday! (I think)

It's sleeting here, so I tossed the towels into the dryer instead of hanging them on the back line. Still have snow from Sunday and Monday -- some of the squalls were intense, with zero visibility for several minutes at a time. I'll have to go out to the garden and take a picture of my garlic poking up through the snow. That's okay for the garlic, but I hope my new strawberry plants have enough sense to hit the snooze alarm and lie low for a while longer!

I'm going to be doing a major upgrade to my computer over the next day or two -- new 80gb hdd, DVD with CD-R/RW drive, and WIN/XP Pro. That last one scares me a little, but my son-in-law has been running it for a year or better with no problems. He's also running a wireless network, and has a server in his spare room, so he's really into it.

Anyway, if you don't see me here for a day or two, that's the reason. If you do see me here in a day or two, and I appear grumpier than usual, that's the reason.

Maybe Andy Rooney was right! ;-})

howard 4-1-2003 10:32

Good morning, everybodeez! :-] And that's no April Fool's joke! I hope you all have a wonderful, muse-filled day.

And now, a word from my sponsor:

hm-hm-hum-hum to :-}
hm-hm-hum-hum (tomorrow) to Litter!
hm-hm-hummm-hummm (tomorrow) to the NOTEBOOK!!!
hm-hm-hum-hum to US!

And now I must see a gnarly time-gnome about ripping another year off my life calendar-- (hey, you! You with the wheelbarrow! Don't look so happy about it...How'd you like a mouthful of dirt to wipe that smirk off your face? You love dirt? Okay, here I come---)

Later, 'gators!

Mel 4-1-2003 8:14

Got a scene in your story where they're playing cards? Other games? is an interesting site full of descriptions and rules for whole bunches of them! It's interesting research, if nothing else.

howard 4-1-2003 7:40

Great quote!

"Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things
they make it easier to do don't need to be done."

--Andy Rooney

howard 4-1-2003 7:23

Sure sign of spring, I got the lawn mower out and picked up five 30 gallon trash bags full of bird seed hulls and dry grass, now if we can just get some rain...

I'm going to seed the lawn tomorow if the weather holds, it got up to nearly 80 today, that was a shock to the old system, broke records all over both Dakota's.

JERRY 3-31-2003 23:48

Heather - You have a PC right, not a Mac? At any rate, you can set your machine to turn off the monitor after so long to save the screen, works much better then a screen saver. It's adjustable under the video properties/screen saver/advanced tab

Jerry 3-31-2003 23:33

Viv - I think the funniest aspect of it was the thought that ran through my head:
Technician: "So what's been happening with your monitor?"
Me: "There are images burnt into the display."
Technician: "Don't you use a screensaver if you leave your computer on for long periods of time?"
Me: "The images are from the screensaver."

Heather 3-31-2003 23:26

Hi Heather: Your screensaver freezing caused you to laugh? Honey, you've been sitting in a cold climate much too long! Time to fly south. (Uh...I'm having this problem too. As it rains outside I'm giggling at the notion of someone giggling when her screen saver freezes. Go figure!)

Mark: Good for you on the puppy buying. I agree with you on the 5 dogs on a city lot. The difference in care really shows in the personality of the dog. It makes a huge difference. That's why I bought my dog this time rather than using the Japanese vet system. (I have two animals I got because they were referred to the vet because of abuse). There's a huge difference in the amount of time training takes and personality. We had to train our other dog to allow us to step around and over her so that we wouldn't get bitten just as we passed.

Carol also got a German Shepard!
Got to get going. Have to find the map of Hawaii and a nursing home I can get to in about an hour for my story...not for my relatives or myself.

Viv 3-31-2003 21:09

Hey everyone!
Guess what caused one of my 'belly laughs of the day' today?

My screensaver froze.

Heather 3-31-2003 13:33

VIV -- She's a large pup, German Shepherd. At eight weeks she is already bigger than our other two were at three months. Our 13-year-old male is part Shepherd and part Hound, so he's not quite as large as full Shepherd. He has incredibly bad hip displacia (dysplasia in some books). We worried about getting a full Shepherd, but our vet said to get a registered dog and make sure the parents had their hips registered. So we did.

We passed on Shepherd pups from a low-class couple who advertised pups after seeing that the pups' momma walked oddly. We suspect she has it. Didn't feel good about cramped city lot with five dogs and a litter of pups in a rundown house on the edge of a bad neighborhood.

Mark 3-31-2003 11:50

Hello everyone again! I love having a computer again. I can't talk long, but thank you Teekay, and it was a beautiful poem, I have to go now.
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 3-31-2003 11:44

HOWARD -- I got 11 and was told only three people scored that high before me. Wonder if they're the same three who did it before you?

Mark 3-31-2003 11:33


Good morning, all! :-]

HOWARD: Ithaca roads are just fine today. Not that much white stuff either, really! BTW, I got 10 out of 11 - I can't believe I screwed up the ark question!!! 8-/

TEEKAY, SUNNY, PAMELA, and Anyone else interested:
End of my first of four months writing extravaganza PROGRESS REPORT:
Well, I haven't progressed as far as I'd hoped (first 10 chapters) BUT I progressed more than I thought I would (a few unwritten scenes now written and more editing done than I expected what with family distractions, etc, etc!).

I have revised the PLAN for the next three months. I learned a deep truth this first month - while pushing myself gets some results, I really do have a LOT of editing to do on the first section of my book (e.g. the first three chapters). So I am going to spend a second month on those first several sections/scenes that encompass the first three chapters and make them BETTER. Then in May and June, I hope to blow full steam ahead with the remaining chapters (um, 15 a month, about 2 days per chapter - still unrealistic but it will succeed in PUSHING me to write. And that is my ultimate goal, I think - shh, don't reveal my hidden agenda to my muse! She's lazy enough as it is!).

BTW, everyone who participated: I really enjoyed the shorties on gardens and then on warm fuzzies. :-]

I'm sure there was more on which to comment, but my brain has early morning freeze right now, so am just going to toddle off to my work desk for now {dreaming of the day when my work desk can just be my writing desk at home, sigh...)

:-] A great day to each of you!

Mel 3-31-2003 8:30

Randall: Oh is this going to be fun. You don't know exactly what you did, but you've opened a Pandora's box!

Mark: Oh, not you too. Carol and I both got puppies. Whaddya' get? Big or little? Hope you get to have an entire nights sleep soon.

Jerry: I'd go bezerk for that land if it has water + water rights. No kidding. A whole half a block. Wow what a neat treasure.

Viv 3-31-2003 6:51

HOWARD: I got 10 out of 11.
I guessed the innings one. What's an innings?

That was fun. :-D

Teekay 3-31-2003 0:41

Jerry -- just get one of those wildflower seed mixes, scratch up the dirt and scatter the seeds around. No mowing, pretty flowers, and the birds, bees, and butterflies like it! They have several mixes -- one especially for prairie regions.

howard 3-30-2003 22:42

I got 11 of 11 right! Try it!
(It said only three other people got them all right -- dunno if I believe that...


howard 3-30-2003 22:39

Any bidders? If you thought you'd seen everything on Ebay, check this auction out!

Jerry Ebay auction 3-30-2003 22:37

Geeze, I have this lot in North Dakota that I can't GIVE AWAY! Believe me, I've tried. It's right next door to the house that the Gov ripped from under me, I bought the lot seperatly from the City for $25.00 it's 25 feet wide by a half block long. Both folks that own the land on either side of it think they already own it. I had a friend try to sell it for me, when he talked to both they were surprised that they didn't already own it. I told him to go back and tell them that I'll send the deed to the local reservation as a donation, maybe they could find a use for it, but he didn't want to threaten them, he's the local game warden.

I guess the City will just get it back for taxes in a couple of years, God knows I'm not going to pay the taxes on it with absolutly no use for a lot some three hundred miles north east of where I now live.

The only problem with bird feeders is the mess you have to clean up. Right now, there's about six inches of hulls around the seven feeders I have up now, very soon (as in tomorow) I'll get my mower going and pick them all up. What with the drought that we've had the last several years and the bird seed, there's not a blade of grass to be seen around there anyhow, I'm going to have to reseed the whole front yard. Think that may be an exercise in futility too since the basement guy wants to dig up the front yard to access the basement area so he can finish digging and putting up the walls.

I don't know though, think I'll seed anyhow I hate bare ground in the front yard.

Jerry 3-30-2003 22:34

Hi, all. Just popping in. Have a puppy here. Eight weeks old. Does not yet sleep through the night (so neither do we) and surely does annoy our two older dogs and two older cats. Going to bed early tonight. "Beauty" will cry soon enough.

HEATHER -- yes yes yes

wuzzersomethinelse? therwuzsomethinelse. ahhhphooey. morelater.

Mark 3-30-2003 22:22

Oh, and Virginia also has beautiful patches of wildflowers in the median strips of their interstate highways, with signs warning about disturbing them.

howard 3-30-2003 21:22

ROSEMARY -- That was New York that gave my dad the $150 for 8+ acres, not Texas. It included a year-round spring that was piped down to the barn via a hand-made wooden pipeline! I still have a section of that pipe around here somewhere. There was also a small gravel pit that we had reopened for personal use, and a very nice field of millet that a farmer aquaintance was going to cut, but never got the chance. We had no immediate use for the field, so we let her raise feed on it. Oh, and there were a bunch of active beehives there as well. We left them, and I understand they got in a few licks when the crews went to clear the area.

HEATHER -- the bird feeders weren't my idea exactly, my wife sent me a picture of one, and I sort of took off from there. I'll take a couple of pix of one in the morning and post it on my page, with instructions. I filled it again this afternoon, and it holds about a quart of thistle seed. My grandson gets a big kick out of watching all the birds (14 at a time) on it.

TEEKAY -- Some do, some have, and some will yet. More offline.

howard 3-30-2003 21:19

Evening all,

Oh, RANDALL, did you have to let them all know those big burly tractor drivers weren't mowing around the wildflowers on their own accord. It would be much sweeter to think they cared a little instead of cursing the extra trouble it took to follow the rules. You're right about the wildflower laws. We're not allowed to mow, pick, dig up and transplant or even sniff strongly. If Lady Bird had her way, there would be a limit on how many pictures could be taken. I think recently I read that she has had a couple of strokes and can no longer talk but she still makes her wishes known.

I know Texas can be a big bully but that must have been a long time ago that they took the land for $150. Three or four feet of anywhere is worth more than that. Jeepers, where are the lousy lawyers when you need them? Now you know how those people that use to own Matagoris (Sp?) Island felt when the state (federal?) took it away from them. Now the gov. doesn't need it any more but won't let the family have it back. Nobody promised us fair.

Enough of that for tonight.

Rosemary 3-30-2003 20:59


Evening all... for me. Go for it and good luck! :-)

Viv...Okay! A Japanese doll will suffice. :-)

Howard...Oops! Yeah, Old LBJ's wife is still around. I think. I scanned several sites seeking info and all left date of death blank... Old Democrats ya know... :-)


Randall 3-30-2003 20:14

I can honestly say that I did NOT edit that last post. After this collection, I may have to give my red pen a serious vacation.

Heather 3-30-2003 19:27

Howard, you genius, thank you for the bird feeder idea!
That is one thing our yard is lacking, and that's a bird feeder. We get gold finches occasionally (probably would see a lot more if there was food they liked hanging around)
and cardinals, blue jays, robins, purple martins, mourning doves, and all sorts of those little brown jobbies. I think they're wrens. LOL Oh, and chikadees. The only birds we have in the area that I would definitely prefer they vacated are the woodpeckers. Dang it, why do the big power poles just have to harbour insects? There's no sleep in the summer mornings with those peckers around. HAHAHHAHAHAHAAAA!

By the way, folks, Phantasium is nearing the very very end of finalization, and will be ready to mail out tomorrow or Tuesday morning. The last ten stories only need pagenumbering!!!!! I'm almost DONE!!!!!!! Can you believe it?????
I'll bet you were all starting to wonder when I was going to give up the ghost completely. HA HA HA HHA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAA.....ha. I'm not giving up! We're almost there!!

Randall - replaced 'Ross' with 'Doss' again, and 'Missus' with 'Mrs.'..... was that all there was to fix? Let me know if it's ok to send as it stands, and it'll get pagenumbering and be ready to send along too. :o)

Howard, I included 'An Old Hymn' in with the collection.

Carol - Your Grandma Ghost story... It's the only one left that may need approval for edits, if I decide to reword anything. Minor things such as typographical and grammatical errors I'll fix without approvals, ok?

Mark - your Intro is now called 'Forward', and my intro is still and introduction. Thought it might be better that way. Let me know.
I also signed off the Forward with "~Mark Lenihan", since it hadn't been included in the original. :o)

Jumpin' off to go and pagenumber til my eyes fall out.....8o}

Heather 3-30-2003 19:25

HOWARD: I wasn't asking you why, as in I think your accountable for them :-D
You just always come to mind when I have those probing kinds of questions.

Teekay 3-30-2003 17:46

RACHEL: I understand what you're saying and agree with you too :-)

HOWARD: That sucks! I wonder if there's anyway you could win it back through the courts.
About the notification thing. Sounds complicated. Couldn't we just get someone to post. We should all go now and tell our nearest and dearest that if we are to die, or become seriously ill or incapacitated to log onto
and let everyone know. I'm going to post this to hubby's email right now, with a note.

Thought of a question I wanted to ask you last night. If those of the Jewish religion knew about the prophesies in their bible and then Jesus came along and fulfilled those prophesies. Why, in hindsight haven't they become Christians?

RANDALL: I think I like no: 2 best. It seems more rounded.

Just babbling:
There's a series on the ABC called frontier House, about these 3 families who go live as they did back in 1860, for 5 months. I love it.
I can see how that type of thing would be character building. I'd really like to try it myself.
I think.

Going, going, gon

Teekay 3-30-2003 17:34

RANDALL -- LBJ's widow is still around? I thought she'd gone on to that great highway beautification program in the sky a long time ago! We're still kind of ticked at that farce.

Our place was originally a little over 13 acres, and then they took 8 acres (complete with year-round spring) for the I81 construction. Gave my dad the princely sum of $150.00 for it!

Then to add insult (and more injury) to injury, along comes Lady Bird with her "Highway Beautification" project, and took a wide strip on each side of the highway. Told my dad he had to sell it to them outright or they'd take it. THere was an article in Reader's Digest a few years ago talking about the favoritism, illegality, and outright thievery in that mess.

Anyway, now we're down to just over three acres, and now the state is allowing billboards (big brightly-lighted ones) to be placed along 'selected' stretches. None right behind our place yet, so we can still see the stars from our back yard -- but I have a feeling it's just a matter of time. There's one a ways down the road from us, so we don't get to see the southern sky because of the light pollution, and I'm just hoping they don't come further north with them.

I've been trying to buy back the strip behind our place, but dealing with the state is a real bag of snakes. They say I have to watch for "Public Notification" of any possible sale. That means an ad on the back page of some small-town newspaper that we'd never see, plus a discrete phone call to someone in the crony system to see if they'd like a real deal!

It's bad enough that we can't hear the owls, and other night (or day) critters -- except for the occasional fox or coyote -- because of the traffic noise on I81. We moved up here for the peace and quiet, but it ain't happening...

howard 3-30-2003 16:17

Jerry, now that's warmer and fuzzier!

Tina 3-30-2003 12:00

Howard - I've never purchased any thistle seed, way to costly here. Don't know why but you can get 50 pounds of any other kind of seed for the same cost of 5 pounds of thistle. My sister has put some out in a small feeder and attracted lots of little golden finches. We get some with the sunflower seed and the wild bird mix in fact one day I got up and opened the drapes (All my feeders are in the front yard right in front of a huge picture window) and our twelve foot tall snowball tree was covered with gold finches. Looked like a wonderful Christmas Tree in the spring.

Jerry 3-30-2003 11:31

Those goldfinches and robins are real pretty against the snow...

MELANIE -- My son-in-law called from Ithaca a couple of hours ago (Sunday morning) and said the roads are really bad there already. He's going to wait until the plows get out before trying to make it back here -- and he's got 4-wheel drive!

TAYLOR -- Hang in there, and thanks for letting us know!

That got me to thinking -- we have grown to be a close group, even though we will most probably never see one another face to face. I imagine there are other groups, and Email friends in the same situation. What happens if something happens to one of us?

I've been trying to think of some sort of notification page/site/process -- not only for us -- that would allow a person to notify his or her cyber-buddies in cases like Taylor's, or Randall's. It's nice to be able to know if anything's happened to people we care about.

I thought perhaps a registry, where we could put Edresses of "cyber-kin" to be notified, and a card to be carried requesting that a notification be sent to that registry in order to trigger the process for any given member. Get it all in one place, and make folks aware of it, and it might fly. Dunno about hosting it, or paying for it, or insuring privacy, though.


howard 3-30-2003 10:09

Hi Randall: Randall, gotcha'! Sounds do-able. One problem...China? or is Japan ok?

Carol: I'll send you my work hopefully this week. I'm trying like crazy to keep the light tone of that chapter. It's not easy somehow because I'm feeling a little like I'm tussling with alligators. This time of year is tough for me. Luckily, teaching starts up in a week or two. That always seems to snap me back into writing. One thing I discovered I was doing was not prioritizing my work. Maybe when I work, I keep priorities because if I don't, I'll end up standing in front of a big group with nothing to do or say.

Well, back under!

Viv 3-30-2003 1:13

There's a very interesting (and short) essay at

howrad 3-29-2003 22:33


Evening...buckaroos!!! :-)

During a search for humor on the web I found this. But I altered that F word....

Top Ten Times in History When Saying F#@* was Appropriate:

10. "What the F#@* was that?" - Mayor of Hiroshima

9. "Where did all these F#@*ing Indians come from?" - Custer

8. "Any F#@*ing idiot could understand that! " - Einstein

7. "It does SO F#@*ing look like her!" - Picasso

6. "How the F#@* did you work that out?" - Pythagoras

5. "You want WHAT on the F#@*ing ceiling?" - Michelangelo

4. "I don't suppose it's gonna F#@*ing rain ?" - Joan of Arc

3. "Scattered F#@*ing showers... my ass!" - Noah

2. "I need this parade like I need a F#@*ing hole in my head!" - JFK

And the number one most appropriate use of the "f" word....

1. "Who the F#@* is going to know?" Bill Clinton

I like #10.... but #6 is neat also.


Randall 3-29-2003 20:27

Hey Teekay,

I saw you write that you are a scorpio. My husband is a scorpio! No wonder I;m fond of yah :o)

I like my classes. I would never say any of them are easy, but I like them. I started back to school for the single purpose of wanting to improve my writing. I figured that if I expanded my understanding of people and the world that I would be a better writer. I also wanted to learn about writers and writing, thus my English classes.

I used to think that religion was a path to god. I think it is a little different than that. That may be part of it. I think it is more personal spirituality that leads to god. You can have all the religious books, papers and study in the world and not have a spiritual bone in your body. I don’t know if you get what I’m saying. I bet that you do though. I also don’t think that one needs religion to know god. However, I do think that religion is a part of our world. It is a part of our social structure, our history and in some places, politics. I think that it is a part of politics in all places in the world, just not overtly. It is when we try to say religion is not a part of politics, yet apply religious criteria our society that we start to run into problems. Hum...

I’m not sure about God. I’m sure that there is something, but I’m not even willing to go into if it is a single thing or if it is all things, or if all things are in fact a single thing. I know my own heart and I know how I wish to live. I will follow my convictions and if I am wrong and have failed some god unknown to me, then I will gladly pay any price that is expected from me, because, I will know I have lived well any god that couldn’t accept that is not god that I want.

Religion and the battle with the ego is tied close and tight. I can’t think of a religion where this hasn’t come up in some way or another. It is there again and again. I am of the opinion that as soon as a person feels that they have moved past ego, that they have fallen into an ocean deep and wide of it. I think the key is in knowing that we are never to where we are going and that we haven’t perfected anything. If there is anything that could be perfect I would hope that it could be my resolve to ever more forward and never allow myself to fall into the illusion that I have arrived. Let me be always a seeker. That is what I want. To be ever a seeker is not to never find, in case anyone who reads this is going to pick up that little thread with me ;o)

What is awareness of god? That is a question for the ages. Each religion will give you its own answer. Each person, within each religious tradition will have a different answer and then each individual person, within each individual tradition will give you what it will mean to them. They will all point in a direction and what you will see will depend upon you and where you sit in the mix, mash and mesh of it all.

I also don’t have the answers. I have some interesting points to make and can answer some pointed and direct questions, but I don’t want to pretend to know. What I’ve learned that is most surprising is how individual traditions within larger traditions can become blinded to where it is that they come from and where it is that their roots lay.

Ah well, enough of that. I should complete the last of my lessons, reading and get ready for my exams.

Rachel 3-29-2003 20:09

CHRISTI: The offer always stands. I was expecting you late this afternoon.
Do you mean to tell me you're not on the plane yet?

Teekay 3-29-2003 17:55

Soft as a whisper
Jack Frost has been,
transforming the garden
to a fairy tale scene.

Gaze with the eyes
and glory the heart
with bejewelled spider webs
the most delicate art.

Frosty leaves powdered
in crystallised white
glitter and glisten
in morning’s first light.

Go lightly, go softly
touch not a thing,
for one human finger,
destruction will bring.

Actually, it wasn't frosty this morning, but my toes were decidedly cold.
It won't be long til' we're breathing out frosty clouds of air and rubbing fingers briskly to keep off the chill.
It won't be long til' a fire roars comfortingly in the cast iron stove and we gather indoors with hot chocolate and glad hearts and listen to the muffled sounds of winter.

Won't be long til' I'm complaining about how bloody cold it is and when is Spring going to get here :-D

PAMELA: TAYLOR is a guy.

Have a good day all.

Teekay 3-29-2003 17:51

I look for the goldfinches every spring too. We've had them here for a couple of weeks now. Lots of finches for most of the winter. They relly like the thistle seed feeders I make. Take a four foot clear plastic tube, made for protecting flourescent lights, and cap both ends with cut-off plastic baby juice containers. Drill holes for perches and just above the perch a slot for the seed. We have one right in front of the living room window that has 14 finches at a time on it! I've got more of the tubes (get them at Lowe's or Home Depot), including some 8 foot long ones!. We feed lots of birds over the winter -- usually get thistle seed and regular mix by the 50 pound bag.

howard 3-29-2003 17:13



Rosemary...the easiest way to have a little one-on-one session with the unofficial Queen of Texas, Claudia Alta Taylor "Lady Bird" Johnson is to mow HER wildflowers. I can see your grinning...but it's the Lord's truth. Lady Bird is the queen of wildflowers within Texas highway right of way. The Highway Beautification Act of 1965 was her contribution to the environment. What a staggering monument to the people of America.

"She still supports causes dear to her--notably the National Wildflower Research Center, which she founded in 1982, and The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library. She also serves on the Board of the National Geographic Society as a trustee emeritus."

Many years ago when state employees mowed the right of way, (you probably saw a contractor) a tractor was being operated by a summer employee in the "Hill Country." He was busily mowing through a lush patch of wildflowers having a gay old time. Fortunately for the wildflowers but unfortunately for him Lady Bird was traveling through admiring the scenery. Lord above! What does she see but a state employee transforming HER flowers into mulch. The story goes that she came to a rubber burning whoa, leaped from her car as agile as a teenager and stood in front of the tractor with both hands up. I heard through the state grapevine that she read the summer employee the riot act, chapter and verse, cornered his boss, drove to the maintenance section, got a piece of the foreman, paid a visit to the Highway Commission and then called the governor!!! That all to familiar slogan ... DON'T MESS WITH TEXAS was supposed to be DON'T MESS WITH LADY BIRDS TEXAS!

My grandparents are buried in Wagram Cemetery close to Mason, Texas. In bluebonnet season it is a staggering sight with wildflowers everywhere. One year the Bluebonnets were nearly two feet tall with blooms up to 8" Everyone who can, should travel to Texas about this time of the year and view Lady Bird's wildflowers. But beware of a little old lady who closely guards HER turf! (No pun intended) Don't pick ‘em! Don't drive through ‘em! And never, ever, mow ‘em!

Have a good day my friends!


Randall 3-29-2003 13:54

A blustery but georgeous morning to all.

It got down into the high thirties last night, probably for the last time this year. I just love to sleep all bundled up when it's cold. My poodle just had his spring shearing and he slept under the covers all the way down to the foot of the bed.

You writer people are amazing. Tina: I loved your view.

JERRY--I don't think 'warm and fuzzy' is suposed to make you cry, but perhaps the thought that deer and other animals can really care about one another and mourn when one gets killed--maybe that is warm & Fuzzy.

I just love big fat bumbly bees. I'm so glad you didn't kill him. They may not provide honey, but they are so funny that I just love them. Isn't it great that we have this place to go to when the world keeps whacking us over the head. Try the Chamomile tea. It's really good.

My W&F for today:

Bright yellow baby chick all warm and fuzzy from the nest, looking around. Mama is not ready to leave the nest but
Baby Yellow is bored. He wobbles around a little, while Mama scolds. Beware! Big red rooster struts up to baby and stands there looking down from his lofty height. Baby
Yellow squats, staring up at this imposing creature. Cheep, cheep. The Rooster hunkers down and looks around. Then he scratches a little in the hay and bends over. A tiny morstle is delicately picked up in the cruel beak and offered to the baby.

Chickens are amazing creatures to watch. One minute you would swear there could not possibly be a stupider or meaner creature in the world and the next they do something that touches you.

Have a great day all,

Rosemary 3-29-2003 12:46

The Goldfinches have arived!! Boy are they cold, damn cold front moved in, dropped the temps way down, it was 12 degrees this morning, warmed now to 27. I put out extra sunflower seeds for the returning signs of spring, hope it warms them.

Jerry 3-29-2003 12:44

Listen, in the darkness
Do you hear,
The distant echo of destruction
Come for us?

What is it we dread most?
the fear?
the pain?
the awful, gaping loss?
the gut wrenching despair?
Surely not death

Not that final absolution
for which we have lived
our lives to achieve ?
Do we fear we may fail the exam
The final test?

May I be excused?

3-29-2003 1:14

Anybody passing by would think they'd stumbled into a Deepak Chopra site :-D

ELAINE: I just knew that was your poem, even before I got to the bottom. You must have a certain style :-)

TINA: Absolutely. Would have bet my bottom dollar your warm and fuzzy was going to be about sky-diving :-D

JERRY: Yes, that's right. That was definitely NOT warm and fuzzy.
That was sad and depressing.

PAMELA: Move over. After JERRY's post I think I'll join you. Gotta tissue?

Teekay 3-29-2003 0:59

Love is ...

finding kind words where you expected angry ones.

Christi 3-29-2003 0:23

Here's a neat video, a relaxing tour of our claim to fame, our Petrified wood park. Turn on the speakers for nice background music.

Tour the park 3-29-2003 0:15

Warm and fuzzy shorties!

The warm sunshine raises a sweat on my skin as I reach the top of the hill. I steer my bicycle to the side and look down over the valley and lake, panting from the exertion of the first bike ride of the year. The hills are still brown with last year's grass, and the trees haven't budded out yet, but a blue heron is busy repairing its nest in a tall sparse cottonwood. It is spring, and the world is awakening.

And you thought it was gonna be about skydiving!

Hallee! Have a gooooood night! And day. And night. ;-)

Taylor, as said earlier, be good to yourself. Take care.

Rosemary, sounds like a good trade.

Blue skies!

Tina 3-29-2003 0:14

Hello all.
I'm sorry for not dropping in a whole lot earlier, but 4 major projects crept in at the last moment and I HAVE to deal with them. I just kind of glimpsed at the topics being discussed and the majority of it I saw about the war and religion. War is horrifying isn't it? I hate it. I don't really have a lot of strong convictions that never sway, but this is one of them. War is awful and always be awful. I only know of two other convictions that I'm strong about my writing and my faith. (obviously not in that order) Oh, be right back! (racing around parents' bed, into my room, turn light on, grab red binder, race back) Wheww! And while we're talking about the war, I wrote a poem, it actually sounds the opposite of what i've said, but I'll leave that to you for decide.

Peace, a Shattered Dream

Peace, a shattered dream
A word, nothing more
War is coming, war has come
Are you prepared for it?

Our buildings are shattered
Our people are dying
"Where is the retribution?"
Our people are crying

"Did we die in vain!?"
Our dead cry out
While we cry in the courts
"It's too hard!" the rest shout

"Give us peace," they cry
"For both living and dead!"
"No one's behind us!"
"Our blood flows ever red,

Yet you do nothing
And just sit twiddling
Making excuses, for this, for that
We want ACTION, not fiddling!"

"There's still hope for peace!"
They say, shaking and whining
As they send others to fight
While they enjoy their dining

Peace is a shattered dream,
A dream lying broken on the ground
The hope they are harboring,
That peace may be found.

Yet peace will elude them
While more keep on dying
Action is what is needed
Not meek talk and trying

Take the initiative
Carpe diem! Sieze the day!
Be strong in your decisions
You'll find a way!

Peace, a shattered dream
Our rights we must defend
But time heals all wounds
Even broken wings will mend

Don't lose all hope
For the broken dreams
For peace isn't as far
Away as it seems

For even if the dream is broken
This much is true
There is a time for everything
A time for me, a time for you

Yes, there's even a time for peace
E'en though it's the time for war
We must fight to keep our freedom
Yes, some things are worth fighting for

Peace, a shattered dream
Just a word, now something more
"War has come, we rest peacefully
This is what we were waiting for."

Copyright 3-13-03 @11:47 pm Elaine

Well I hope you enjoyed it. It was an idea flittering around in my brain and I had to write it down before I lost it by some thing else just as good. I plan to be on here tomorrow but if not...(Shrug) not much I can do about it. Well I have to go. Nice seeing the NB still full of memebers. (Oh how much I've missed being on!)
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 3-29-2003 0:02

I'm not the warm and fuzzy type of guy, but I'll give it a try -

On the trip the other day, a doe was standing in the ditch, all alone. One rarely sees a doe all alone, but there she was just standing there, watching us go by; then I happened to look in the other ditch, and there lay another deer, struck down by a passing vehicle. I had to wonder if she were mourning her loss.

I guess that's not all that warm and fuzzy.

Jerry 3-28-2003 23:58

A big fat bumblebee is in this corner where I'm writing. He was nestled in the shelves for a while and then he buzzed around and then he was quiet and now I just saw him on the table a couple of feet away. I know he is lost and I don't want to kill him but I am afraid......
Danger over now. I put a cup over him and slid it over a piece of wood and put him out the window. Good.
Maybe I'm having a freaky experience like my character Sunny. Will have to tell you about duplicate experience I had like Litter.

pamela 3-28-2003 23:56

Boy, did you guys ever just come through for me tonight. Won't go into detail but had been boo-hooing about circumstances, feeling kinda hopeless and wishing I could leave this stupid physical place and go HOME and then I tune in here and Teekay and Sunny are waxing spiritual and philosophical in a vein much like my own and Rhoda opens loving doors and Christi recognizes my fears and Rosemary is warm and fuzzy and --- wow, I'm suddenly okay again. Thanks, my cyberpals. (Well, I did just start crying again and can't talk anymore but it's a better kind of tears.) I guess I must be joining Taylor (is he a girl?) and having a mini-breakdown.

pamela 3-28-2003 23:48

CHRISTI: I've looked at the war from a physical and spiritual perspective, and I can tell you that for me the 2 don't mix.
I'm going to do what MEL says. I'm just gonna leave all that stuff to those who are good at making those decisions.

ROSEMARY: My warm and fuzzy.
I watch from the window as storm clouds gather, bruised and swollen. The air is translucent, still, perfumed with the smell of distant rain . The world waits, breath held. I sit with my quilt in my lap, needle resting in my hand, listening to thunder's distant rumble. I wait and watch with wonder and awe as the tempest comes.

I'm a scorpio too. I figure we must be total saps :-D

Teekay 3-28-2003 22:29

OH Teekay, that sounds SO good! If the offer still stands maybe I could come over right now! Unfortunately I was the one relied on to take care of others during that time. Isn't that just the way of it? Sniff. I want my mommy!

Pamela, I agree with much of what you have to say regarding the war. IMO none of this would be happening if we had not gone to war with Iraq the first time for the wrong reasons (and yes, I do believe it was mostly about oil that time). This time around I don't think it's about oil, but perhaps misguided ideas of patriotism and humanitarianism, and a bit of good old fashioned revenge. I love my country but I don't agree with this war. Just thought I should stop sitting on the fence and throw in my two cents.

Many of us who never supported the war, but didn't speak out earlier on figured well, the thing has begun so I might as well support it. I just can't. I'm afraid that this is turning into a holy war, and we all know how endless and bloody holy wars are. A lot of people are afraid to speak against the war for fear that others will call them traitors, or they might be taken in for questioning or arrested. I've got to have more faith in people than that. As long as we have a real democracy there's hope. I hope we always have it.

Peace, y'all.

Christi 3-28-2003 21:40

A cool evening to all. (Cool meant both ways)

Well, You all had your chance. The six roosters are gone. I traded them in for three hens.----That sounds like a husband threatening to trade a fourty year old wife in on two twenty year olds. :oP

I have a friend who had her gall bladder taken out years ago, and she now can not tolerate fried foods. That ought to make a person lose weight. Unfortunately, I still have mine.

I use the military medical system on base. (Military Widow) That isn't the same as the VA is it. I guess it helps that there are two of the military's larger hospitals here. They even treat accident and gunshot civilians. They say they need the practice. And I don't get any glasses--frames, lenses, nothing except the RX. No Dental either. :-(

Get well soon and thank goodness for MOTHERS.

I was wondering if anyone might want to put in a paragraph on things that give you a 'warm fuzzy feeling'. Kind of like the visuals we use to do. Well I'm going to anyway.

As I was driving down the highway, I got that WF feeling when I saw the giant mowing tractors very carefully avoiding brilliant patches of Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrushes, Pinks, and other wildflowers with names unknown to me.

OKAY, its mushy. Even though I'm a scorpio, I'm entitled once a year.

Good writing all,

Rosemary 3-28-2003 21:04


TGIF!!!! Friday at last!!!

Good evening friends.

A little trouble with Syria and Iran now???? Oh boy!

Mark, Jerry and Howard...though I am a Vietnam veteran I have never used or attempted to use the VA system in any way, shape or form. My health insurance through the State of Texas as an active state employee (and now retiree) is more than adequate to care for myself and family. I have heard horror stories of languishing veterans needing health care, so the VA health care system was and is something I avoid. No thanks, a matter of personal choice. The Veteran's health care agency is after all a federal bureaucracy where waste is surely rampant, tolerated and regarded as routine. And that is the problem, the VA is a bureaucracy which operates within a federal budget where they do not have to show a profit to exist. When the VA is all one has access too there may be a problem related to their competence and your discomfort and/or mortality.

I heard my father talk of the VA many times and not in a pleasant tone. In 1961 he nearly died in the VA hospital in Temple, Texas because no one believed he was having a heart attack!!! Dad said he was in a dorm with many other ill vets and knew something was dreadfully wrong. He managed to stagger to the doctors office and collapsed on the doctor's desk!!! Only then did the medical staff take him seriously!!! The VA like so many federal institutions are where less than competent administrators, technicians and medical personnel settle in...safely within a bureaucracy where inefficiency and waste are tolerated as normal. And termination for nonperformance is absent...

The VA is not the real world in health care providers. Real world advances in health care are made in an environment where competence is appreciated, nay demanded, not a good old boy network which permeates many federal run bureaucracies with fat budgets. So blaming poor old George Bush (43) and the republicans (and democrats) has little relevancy. Sorting through and attempting to solve any trouble within the VA by throwing truckloads of tax payers money at them is absurd and bound to failure. The VA system is no doubt a LOT better than they were at one time, but a long way from non-government institutions where performance is expected. private medical care and avoid the VA, an agency long troubled.

Hallee...nice post and documentation on the VA. I like that...

Pamela ... still here lady. Hanging onto a branch with one foot like an aged buzzard wondering why the world has turned upside down... (Mark... does this qualify for "...writerly [sic] types who feel the importance of word rigamarole [sic]."

Viv...perhaps we should work up another T-shirt swap? How about a nice China Doll for this old brush popping graybeard? :-)

Oh BTW, I have lost 15 pounds in the last four weeks!!!! How much did that Gall Bladder weigh ... anyway? :-)


Randall 3-28-2003 19:56

SUNNY: Simplisitic is good. :-)

Long live simplicity.

Teekay 3-28-2003 19:23

That was me, Sunny. Can't believe I hit Enter. *sheesh*

3-28-2003 18:36

Teekay - I don't think you're wrong at all. To me, any kind of healthy spirituality brings you closer to goodness, and that should be where we're going.

I believe that we're on this earth for 4 reasons: to be WHO we are, WHERE we are, to ENJOY our life and to GIVE something back, in gratitude for our existence. How we to do that is an individual choice, based on our unique individuality. Therefore, there's alot of room for looking at differences.

It's not my place to judge, I think, but rather to look for ways in which I can add to the common good. This sounds simplistic, I know, but I believe that that's my mission.

3-28-2003 18:35


I stand corrected. I also appreciate the fact that you have read the Bible. Though we may not agree on the interpretation of what we read, you do have a basis for your thoughts, and I respect them.

After some thought and soul searching, I realize that I was a little out of line with that post. Most people have opinions about things they know little about. If we only discussed things we were experts at here on the Notebook, we would have very stilted discussions. It was wrong of me to imply that those who have not read the entire Bible are unqualified to make a judgment upon the faith as a whole.

But I do have very strong opinions about what a Christian is and what a Christian is not, and I believe that many of the people who go out and do horrible things in the name of Christianity are not Christians at all. I also sat through many college history classes where Christianity was dissed on a regular basis.

Rhoda 3-28-2003 18:10

RACHEL: That was an interesting piece about Akbar. I'd love to study what you're studying. It would make for a great inlook into the human psyche.

My take on God and religion is that religion is intended to be the pathway that leads to God. Unfortunately, as with most things, aspects of human nature gets in there and stuffs it up and makes it complicated.
Personally I don't think one has to have a religion to know God.

My belief is that we have a soul and this is where God speaks with us if we are quiet enough to listen. The soul is the place we allow God to enter us. The problem as I see it is that we have focused on the physical and part of the mental, but have in a large part denied our spirituality.
I think this is why a large slice of society has come to the point it has.

So long as we deny this part of ourselves, which is the truth of ourselves, we can only blunder along in ignorance, feeling empty and futile and wondering what it's all about.

Once we have become aware of God, all falsity falls, ego, though it may struggle, eventually falls away, (but can pop up often to give us grief). We realise what and who is important.

Just thought I'd share my take on it with you all. I'm still blundering along on my spiritual journey, so I might be right, I might be wrong.

Being wrong won't be anything new.

Teekay 3-28-2003 18:09

Hi All;
TAYLOR: Don't be gone too long. Have all the chicken soup you can fit in, drink lots of hot chocolate and let your mum dote on you as much as she wants to.
And don't give yourself any flack with the writing.
Gonna miss you.

Ooh, Ooh I right this second remembered this song I've been trying to think of for about a hundred years.
It was by Willie (?) or was that Villie Manilli and it was called Girl, I'm gonna miss you.
That was a beautiful song.
Thanks Taylor :-)

HALLEE: Hee hee, this morning while I was making my first coffee to drag in here to the computer, I was thinking about you and wondering wether you'd shaved your legs yet :-D

PAMELA: About UFO's. I think it's possible. I heard a while back that a solar system similar to our own was discovered.
And HOWARD is usually pretty much on the ball with everything. (Not the re-incarnation thing though - he wrong there)

CHRISTI: (((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))))))
I would've given you all the chicken soup and hot chocolate your heart desired, and doted on you too.

Speaking of chocolate MEL's been uncommonly quiet. MEL, if you're lurking, how is your novel coming along? Mine is now about 2 chapters from the end (unedited that is)
I think I must have some psychological problem.
I just can't seem to pick up a pen and just finish the blooody thing???

I keep thinking of new ones I want to write, but refuse to until this one's finished. I've sort of got myself into a selfmade rut. I'm not panicking quite yet, but am getting a tad frustrated.

Anyway, I'm off to make myself another coffee.


Teekay 3-28-2003 16:47


I experienced what most would consider a nervous breakdown once, and not all that long ago. I did emerge from it relatively unscathed, and I know you will too. I don't know if your friend will be able to give you the message or not, but please know that we care about you. When all is said and done you will be stronger for what you're going through.

It's so hard being a sensitive person today. Seems like more than ever you've got to make a constant, conscious, effort to protect yourself from the influences that can injure your psyche, whatever they may be. The good news is that it can be accomplished.

Try to get as much rest as you can, okay? Thanks for letting us know what's going on with you. Come back soon!

Christi 3-28-2003 15:49

Carol - Your husband's experience sounds a bit like my first visit to the eye clinic. It was manned by a very old man with coke-bottle glasses, he had four frames to pick from, three plastic and one steel frame. I asked about tint or photo-darkening and was told that it wasn't available in plastic lenses, then I asked about high-density because my glasses are very strong and very thick, which makes them very heavy. He said no, had to get glass, but he could get me high-density glass so that's what I ended up with, and my nose shows the weight of even those high density.

That's why I was so very surprised with this appointment, they had a new guy, he was very friendly, explained everything he did, took his time and measured my face so many ways I couldn't describe them all, to insure that the frames would fit properly, and that the lenses would center right (a bit off throws my eyesight way off). Then went over all the options they now offer, including line-less tri-focal lenses, tint, photo-gray, and high density plastic lenses with high strength scratch guard. He didn't know if he could get the new transition lenses, but checked and said they were available. Like I said, the fitting room had an entire wall of frames from the old black plastic to the one's I got titanium wire frame.

I don't know why the change but it was welcome.

Mark - no, I am not getting service related to my military disability and am now on a six month rotation, but my doc said I could go to a three month rotation if I thought I needed it, since I have a local Dr. who treats me for my back problems, and also does a bit for my blood pressure and so forth, I stayed with the six month rotation.

I think the difference is that while this hospital services a rather large area, they aren't overwhelmed with veterans. They have out-reach clinics all over the area now, some are closer then the Hospital but I chose to stay with the main hospital just for the conveyance of having all the services available at one time.

I do know that my brother-in-law who is signed up with the Fargo ND hospital has problems getting appointments and such but he just signed on a few months ago.

I have a buddy in California who says he has a hell of a time getting even signed up.

Now my Uncle, who has no service connected disabilities, was in an accident last year, and needed emergency medical treatment. He was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital, an when he was able, he called the VA. They said they would cover the emergency treatment, and if he wanted would send an ambulance up here to pick him up and take him to hospital there, or offered to continue covering his hospital stay. He chose to stay where he was till he was able to ride in a car to the VA, and when he showed up down there, they admitted him and treated his injuries, as well as put him through physical therapy till he was able to go back to work.

Like I say, this is probably because we have a much smaller, population wise, area.

Jerry 3-28-2003 15:23

Hi All :)

How I would love to fully comment on the VA health care comments. Suffice it to say, that even those who are labeled permanently 100% service-connected are having difficulties getting the proper care in a timely fashion. Jerry has been one of the few lucky ones I've encountered. My hubby had a choice of six glass frames and a nurse who argued with him about the need for tinting. And that's just one example.

Viv - I'm still here. Though the writing is still stalled and not speaking to me. Did your muse perhaps go to Hawaii to look up some of those descriptions you needed? Send me whatever you wish. Maybe reading your work will get me going again. Oh, how I hate this time of year! We're now buried in a foot of snow and its still coming down.

Hallee -- enjoy!!

That's all --

Carol 3-28-2003 14:55

Thanks, PAMELA -- but I only know what I read... and I never claimed to be a "good Christian." Only God is good, and I only try to do what I believe He told us to do.

The following is Not to argue "religion," but to clarify a point found in a book.

The Bible does speak of war authorized by God. In the NT, Romans 13:1-7 talks about being subject to the government, because that government is charged with your well-being. Rulers are supposed to be "not a terror to good works, but to the evil." And "he (governor/ruler/etc) does not hold the sword for nothing -- he is the representative of God to execute wrath upon him who doeth evil."

Now, that's the way it's supposed to work, and we've all seen it not working as it's supposed to work, but the question was "Does the Bible authorise war under any circumstance?" I believe it does, but I also believe that authority has been abused, misused, and (mostly) forgotten. But there are warnings about the consequences of that too.

And I believe God used Moses as an example, not of His meanness, but of the natural consequences of disobedience. He was prevented from entering the promised land to be sure, but not lost entirely. He appears again in the NT, in Luke 9:30, with Elias and Jesus. I've heard it argued that if he had been allowed to enter, and died there, the people would have either 1) given up entirely, or 2) raised a shrine to Moses, venerated his bones, and begun to worship him instead of the "I Am." Moses called himself a servant, and certainly wouldn't have wanted that.

I'm honestly looking forward to chatting with him some day.

howard 3-28-2003 10:54

Taylor's friend--thank you for letting us know where he is, no need to apologize for any intrusion, I hope he will feel better soon. I have "broken" before and know what he is going through, I am glad he has a mother to take care of him.

Viv, you've been gone a while, it's Hallee who's the blushing bride, her hubby's coming home after six months, Yeee-hah! Hallee, one white and one black thingy, sounds great, I'm sure Gregg will love them (though it sounds like you may not get to wear them for long).

Rhoda, I imagine there are probably some people here besides you and Howard who have read the Bible. I have read both the old and the new testaments, although the cruelty of the God in the old testament was almost as painful to bear as the war news is today (how terrible to deny Moses entry into the promised land because he once hit the ground with a stick in frustration). I agree that there is no justification for waging war in the name of Christianity (or any other religion) but not with your implication that Jesus condoned war simply because he did not speak against it specifically. War is a violation of the commandments not to kill or to covet what your neighbor has. He instructed his followers to turn the other cheek when someone smote them and to love and forgive their enemies. When Peter asked how aften they had to forgive them (perhaps just seven times?), Jesus replied that if they expected God to forgive them, then they should forgive others ALL of their trespasses. And when one of his diciples tried to defend Jesus as he was being taken, cutting off the ear of one of the priest's servants, Jesus told him to put his sword away, that to live by the sword is to die by it. Spiritually speaking, there is no justification for war, period.

Howard, I did think of you when I asked about "hear, hear", I meant it sincerely when I said you were learned. When I wondered if it was "here", I wasn't thinking about directing barmaids to one's table (though I see that is another usage!) but as in when one toasts TO something, as in "Here's to the newlyweds" or whatever. Anyway, thanks for clarification. As a good Christian yourself, I can see how it must be frustrating to see unloving folks claiming to be one. When I was a food server, Sunday day shifts were dreaded because the "church people" were often unpleasant and cheap. Like you said, loving one another seems like such a simple thing to do, it's too bad more people can't practice it.

pamela 3-28-2003 10:09

Taylor or to be passed on by Friend of Taylor,

I hope that you recover quickly. Hang in there and be good to yourself.

Rachel 3-28-2003 9:11

PAMELA -- That's ok -- the whole post originally said (without the italics)

It's "Hear, Hear!" as in "Hear what this person has to say! It's worth listening to!"
It has, however, taken on the "Here, Here!" meaning at times, when accompanied by the waving of an empty beer mug in the general direction of a bar-maid bearing a pitcher.

I still dunno what happened there -- I double checked the tags before hitting enter because I've (as you well know) been burnt before.

MARK -- There was a big push to sign up for veterans' benefits back in 1996 -- I even got a call to encourage me to sign up -- so I called for information. Was told then that I'd have to get an appointment for an exam before I could get anything but the most general brochure. Then, without asking, I was told that it would take 6 - 8 months to get an appointment for said exam.
That was "between the Bushes" so to speak, but I agree -- things are getting even worse now. Like
Like I said -- it's one of the reasons I'm not a registered Republican.

But then again -- if the so-called "Christian Church" would get off their fat asses and get to doing what they were intended to do we wouldn't need all this government involvement in socio-economic services.

"Love thy neighbor" seems so simple, but the church hasn't done it, so the Democrats have tried to mandate it, and the Republicans keep saying "Not my job."

howard 3-28-2003 8:01

Hallee: Sounds like your son got married. Congratulations!

Taylor: Hope you get to take a peek at the Notebook. Hope you're back again soon.

Randall: Only two weeks until I get to go back to school. The box is sitting there and waiting. I uploaded some games (for races) from a site called Gepeto Software Products. Http:// Take a look at some of the nifty puzzles you can make. I am so looking forward to this semester. Thank you for the help. AAs I started vacation my feeling was I NEVER wanted to go back to I'm raring to go again.

Viv (again) 3-28-2003 7:59

Carol: You out there? I managed to rewrite the end of the great and terrible Chapter 14. How can the beginning come so easily and the ending stink so horribly? I'm still working on it. Frustrated but got in my hours this week. Hours of type, delete, type delete. If I can just get this to end I'll send it on. (But I'm not sure you ought to read it unless you want to take a nap.)

What a week! My muse has gone on a long vacation. I wonder where she is? Thailand, Mexico, skiing in Aspen Colorado? It sure would be nice if she'd take me along.
(Then again, maybe she's a reservist? Who knows.

Viv 3-28-2003 7:53


Happy Friday all!

PAMELA: I did that Wednesday (grin) I bought two things...a white thingie and a black thingie. We have two days in Montgomery before we have to face the real world again.

TAYLOR'S FRIEND: Please give Taylor my best.

TEEKAY: Where you been for two days? huh? huh?

HEATHER: I went to Mary's site a few months back and saw that you two were collaborating together. How is that going, and how is she?

I don't remember if I thanked everyone for your good wishes and prayers for Kaylee, and I don't really have the time to scroll back and look for it, so if I didn't, thank you so much. From the bottom of my heart.

My house is clean...the laundry is just about caught up...his plane lands in about 40 hours...YAYYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!

Now I must go get the office prepared for my absence on Monday. Then I need to go to the grocery store with the list of all the things he's been craving that he emailed me the other day. Fresh pinapple...I may take that with me.

You guys have a fantastic weekend. I know I will. This is from the email he sent to family and friends this morning: If all goes well, I should leave here at oh-my-gosh-it's-early tomorrow morning my time zone and should arrive at oh-my-gosh-it's-late tomorrow night your time zone. My beautiful bride will be there looking all gorgeous and stuff so I won't be calling anyone until she looks suitably disheveled. I estimate that should be sometime Monday or Tuesday. (giggle)

Hallee 3-28-2003 6:42


WASHINGTON — Administration proposals to meet growing health care needs of the nation's veterans, including raising prescription drug copayments, have no chance of winning congressional approval, the Republican chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee said Tuesday.

"A few of these proposals simply won't fly," said Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J.

Smith told a hearing on the president's fiscal 2004 budget proposal for veterans that he saw no reason for his panel to even consider proposals to more than double the prescription copayment charged to some better-ove its goal of reducing to 30 days the average wait for new patients seeking an appointment at a primary care clinic, he said. Now many new patients must wait at least six months.

But with substantial opposition to new fees for veterans, lawmakers questioned whether the VA was realistic in assuming $2.1 billion in collections for the year from fees and reimbursement from private insurers, a jump of 32 percent.

The budget proposed charging higher-income veterans, those making about $24,000 or more, an annual enrollment fee of $250 and increasing copayments, again for higher-income patients, from $15 to $20 for outpatient primary care and $7 to $15 for prescription drugs.

To the disapproval of many veterans' groups, Principi last month suspended through 2003 all new enrollments by higher-income veterans to the health care system, a move expected to prevent about 164,000 veterans from enrolling

Much of the maneuverng results from a 1996 law that opened the VA health care system to almost all veterans, going well beyond the traditional role of providing care to low-income veterans with service-connected diseases and injuries. Since then, those using the program has more than doubled.

By not providing resources to keep up with demand, said Joseph A. Violante of the Disabled American Veterans, "We see the benefits of good medicine being diminished by delayed care, and we see sick and disabled veterans being denied desperately need care altogether."

Principi spoke of the difficulty of putting restrictions on some veterans to ensure that the VA's primary concern -- veterans with service-connected disabilities -- get proper treatment. He noted that more than half of enrollees are signing up mainly for the inexpensive prescription drug program, and the VA didn't want to become just a drugstore for veterans.

Rep. Steve Buyer, R-Ind., said Congress, in passing the 1996 law, gave the VA secretary the authority to control enrollments to ensure the agency's core health care missions were achieved. He chided veterans organizations for "trying to turn this into something not intended by Congress."

Hallee 3-28-2003 4:56

First off, I am sorry for this intrusion people

Just letting you know that Taylor will not be back for awhile. He asked me to let yous know that he won't. Unfortunately he'd had a bit of a breakdown and gone to stay at his mother's for an undetermined time, but says he's ok. And will be back when he gets back.

Again sorry for this intrusion

Friend Of Taylor's 3-28-2003 4:10

I have heard that statement all my life about more violence wars and atrocities being committed in the name of Christianity than any other religion in the world. It makes no sense. It is something one hears in high school social studies and then hears some more in college. It is a cliche, because there is no way one can quantify such a statement, especially considering the 3000 or so years of human history that took place before Christianity ever existed. Those 3000 years were no more peaceful than the 2000 that came after it.

Religion is always a factor in conflict because people always seek a justification for what they do. If someone here besides HOWARD would actually "read" the New Testament, they would find absolutely no justification for a war waged in the name of Christianity.

That doesn't mean that the scriptures are against war. Jesus never, never decried the practice of war and he never interfered in the matters of the Roman Empire. He never once allowed himself to get drawn into a political discussion. At the same time Roman soldiers who joined the faith were not told to give up warfare.

Wars are secular, even wars such as the Crusades. The only way in which those wars were religious is that kings and popes used the religious feelings of the people to manipulate them, just as Islamic mullahs and so called "holy" men are using Islam and the teachings of Mohummad to fire up the people for very secular gains. It is a power game--a very old story and a very old tactic. You can use Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, or any --ism you wish to do it (even Communism or Facism).

Rhoda 3-28-2003 0:45

RANDALL -- Yup. That came from the Democratic members of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. You can look at it at
Or just go to and see the majority page. On the Republican page there's a link to the budget recommendations of that committee. The second paragraph is a marvel of political word play and should be assiduously studied by writerly types who feel the importance of word rigamarole. That paragraph states that the committee believes that the current administration has not gone far enough in funding veteran benefits. Pres Bush has asked for $2 Billion but only funded $1.5 billion, saying that the shortfall could be made up by "organizational efficiencies." The committee admits that those efficiencies are hard to come by. They go on to propose that VA hospitals should charge higher rates for services and seek greater compensation from patient insurance companies (though most vets come to the VA uninsured). To quote the committee: "Adoption of these policies would result in a significant reduction in demand for VA health care from veterans who do not have a compensable service-connected disability and who are not poor. " In other words, those who can afford to pay and can help make up the underfund, will go elsewhere.

A number of recommendations follow, each one a grace note of nice things to have, each one noted as not being in the current budget. All in all, the Republican document says the committee would not recommend doing things the administration way. Oh, thanks.

JERRY can tell you of his nice visit and his new eyeglasses. I have already told you that I have skin cancer and can't get an appointment. JERRY is undoubtedly in the system as a regular customer. I see a doc when I'm sick. My last checkup was 1999 at the VA here. Now I'm on a 6-month list. If I had stuck with regular servicing I might be a tad happier right now, but I can tell you that in the 1998 and 1999 time frame when the load here was lower, I still had to go on lists. That doctor is now gone and they don't plan to replace him.

Is either Jerry or I going for service related treatment? I don't think so. I got a lot of sunshine in those years, but I got more years of civilian sun, didn't I? It's a wonder I don't have colon cancer, the Defense Department put a lot of sunshine up my

Mark 3-27-2003 22:40

Hey Randall, was worried because we hadn't heard from you for a while, glad you're okay.

Jerry, I think the recent religious discussion has been separate from the war discussion (we sure can pick the topics, can't we?). At least my posts on the subject have had nothing to do with whether the war is about religion or not, but about religion in general.

Howard, thanks for clearing up the "Hear, hear" question, I thought it might be you who would know because you are obviously so learned (compliment).

Hi, Teekay, hope your email wasn't too junky.

Ohmigod, somebody said I was right about something, I'm so excited! Of course, probably twice as many people think I'm full of it but thanks, Rachel, for seeing my point about the apple tree. Your religious studies classes sound very thought-provoking, I wish I had the money to take some classes just for fun.

Okay, new topic: Who believes in UFO's? (I do, I do!)

Sweet dreams of harmonious fantasy lands to all,

pamela 3-27-2003 22:39


Mark help me out here. I'm confused about your post.

How has the Bush administration shown its support for our troops?

a. The Republican-controlled House Budget Committee voted to cut $25 billion in veterans benefits over the next 10 years.

Mark...was that cut "...for smoking related illnesses?" Self inflicted diseases? Were there budget cuts for service related injuries, such as GUNSHOTS?

b. The Bush administration proposed cutting $172 million from impact aid programs which provide school funding for children of military personnel.

Mark... is this what you're talking about? "Public schools are required by law to accept all children from military families and tribal reservations. Families in federal housing or on reservations, however, DO NOT PAY LOCAL PROPERTY TAXES, a traditional revenue source for school districts. Impact Aid was designed to make up the difference. However, the Bush administration says that military families living off base pay property taxes that support local schools."

This does not effect military families, but could cause an increase in local property takes. But most property taxes are increasing anyway with Democratic policies of tax and spend.

c. The administration ordered the Dept. of Veterans Affairs to stop publicizing health benefits available to veterans.

Mark...I'm very confused now... Under a MSN search program I entered ..."publicizing health benefits for veterans" and was rewarded with 1,712 hits. Most of these were from the VA, publicizing HEALTH BENEFITS for veterans. Or has the order to cease not filtered down yet?

d. All of the above.

The answer is (d).

Funny isn't it Mark. Selective quotes taken out of context by Democratic Party hacks who keep shooting each other in the foot. Referance Tom and Hillary...

Goodnight all


Randall 3-27-2003 21:31

Gee Howard, you sure make reading the text easy...

The religion thing is sure happening today, I agree with, was it Howard, so hard to tell with all the italics, but this isn't a war about religion, it's a war about terror, a war about hate, a war about freedom, and yes to those who think it's all about oil, it's a war about OIL!

Without oil there would be no modern war, oil lubes the tanks, oil makes the stocks of the M-16's the M-60's and the bayonet handle. Oil lubricates the engines, oil makes the wheels go around, oil makes the lights light to see at night.

It's a war about killing, a war about murder, a war about destruction.

There are no good war's.

It's been a long night.

Write on.

Jerry 3-27-2003 21:24

Tonight I showed my daughter the horrors of war.

I showed her a picture of four soldiers. She aggreed they all looked like nice young boys. We both stood there for nearly a minute looking at the sweet faces of the soldiers.

Then she said, "where's the horror?"

That's when I told her those are the guys we are trying to get.

We remained there looking at the picture for a long time after that. I could feel her heart breaking.

There are so many people on both sides misunderstood. I wish we could have agreed on the men at the top.

Debra 3-27-2003 20:40

Aaaaaaccckkkkk! It was there! I know the ending tag was there! What happened? Lost the tag and two whole lines following it!

howard 3-27-2003 18:44

PAMELA -- It's "Hear, Hear!" as in "Hear what this person has to say! It's worth listening to!"

It has

howard 3-27-2003 18:42

Hi Pamela,

Akbar lived 1556-1605. He was a part of the empire known as Mughal Raj, which endured for more than three centuries, then was absorbed by the British Empire during the nineteenth century. I’m taking Religious Studies in school. This is my third Religious Studies class. I did world religions, then a little deeper explorations of Religions of the West, followed by Religions of the East. You are right, what ever comes next will come and will be no matter what we try to apply to it, it will be as it is and what it is, nothing more and nothing less.

Rachel 3-27-2003 18:28

Hi All :-D

HOWARD: I know where you're coming on. With free will comes a lot of responsibilty.

PAMELA: I can see where you're coming from too.

I love these kind of discussions, but I have to be out of here by 9:50, so I'm going to read my email instead. It sure stacks up in 2 days. Most of it junk.

Be well all.

Teekay 3-27-2003 17:09

Mel, Mel, our dear wonderful Mel, you are an AWESOME writer! Your muse is just taking a rest, she is a little peeved at you for making her work so much lately, you have been wearing her out. The words are inside you, simmering in a big pot, tumbling and roiling around in the broth, getting the flavor and spices all mixed together just right, so when they spill forth they will be sooooo delicious and none will be able to resist the temptation to taste what you have brewed up. You have been a big inspiration to me in getting me back to my book, my muse was practically sleeping like a princess in a spell until you, and others here, awakened her. Give her a little rest, read back over some of the stuff you do like, and she will forgive you and grace you with her favors again.

Here's hoping Hallee is shopping at Victoria's secret today....

Ramon, I'm so disappointed, here I pictured you as kind of a cute Ringo Starr-type, adorable with large nose and soulful eyes. Well, crooked noses are cute too and I have to like green eyes since I have them also. Once in Texas, though, I was told there was no such thing and had to put "hazel" on my driver's license. I in no way thought you were coming on too strong, (hey, you said you agreed with almost everything I said!) but I myself have been getting too bickery about war talk so will refrain from commenting on that subject for a while at least.

Rachel, the tale of Akbar, whom I have never heard of, was really interesting, what era did he live in? Were you taking a theology class? I had to look up "syncretism" and see that it attempts to blend contradictory tenets into one system, something that would indeed go a long way toward creating peace and harmony in the world. But that wasn't what I meant when I said all roads led to the same place, I wasn't talking reconciling different dogmas and doctrines, but that they all lead to the same actual reality of God, of what truly happens after we die. If I may borrow your apple tree analagy, God is the apple tree and even if different groups call it an orange, plumb, or pear tree, that still does not alter the fact that He is an apple tree. I think that no matter what we call it, the Whatever It Is remains the same. That whether we believe there will be heaven or hell when we die, or a place between reincarnated lives, or 70 black-eyed virgins, or nothing at all, whatever actually does happen will not be altered by our beliefs. That it will remain whatever it is regardless of what we think while we're here. That's assuming that there actually is a collective, objective reality and not an assortment of subjective ones, which could be the case, who knows? (The foregoing expresses the opinion of this writer for discussion purposes only and does not reflect any attempt to convince anyone of anything.)

Ben, I thought that was a good idea about descriptions to sort of just suggest the surroundings and remind the reader of them from time to time. I can see that when folks are writing fantasy or science fiction they may have to describe things people have never seen before, but for writing in the present place and time, sketchiness should work. Another thing one could do is invent locations within a real setting. I mentioned the author who hired someone to report on details like the color of the carpet in a casino, but one could also set a story in Las Vegas and make up a casino in it with whatever color carpet one chose. (So here's some more writing talk for you, Mel, there has been some going on after all, thank goodness.)

Question: When raising a glass and proclaiming "Hear, hear!", is it "hear" like from "hear ye, hear ye," or "here" like in "here's to whatever?" I have a character saying it and then realized I didn't know which was right (I'm thinking it's "hear"). If anyone does know for sure, please pass it along.

Howard, I don't mean to frustrate or annoy you, please forgive me if I have. I like you and enjoy talking to you here and have a great deal of respect for your belief in Christianity (I think it is wonderful that your church is helping those who are being affected by the war).

Love and Peace,

pamela 3-27-2003 17:06

RAMON -- "more crimes against humanity committed by 'Christians' than all others put together?"

I think not. Consider Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Amin, Castro, Mussolini, Czarcescu, Khadaffi, Hussein, Khomeni -- just to mention a few -- and we haven't even looked to all the countries in Africa, Communist China, North Korea, Maylasia, Suriname, VietNam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Haiti, and on and on and on.

It's not a "Christian" problem, any more than it is a Muslim, Hindu, atheist -- or any religious or non-religious label you care to use -- problem.

It's a HUMAN problem! That's what I've been trying to say all along. It's a human problem. Human nature. Religion -- including what we deride as "Christianity" -- is a Human Invention. Every one of them is made up of rules and requirements stating how humans think we ought to live -- even how nature is supposed to operate -- ignoring the principles laid down by the Creator (yes I know I'll draw flak for that one) at the outset.

Someone asked Jesus (remember that "nice man" and "great teacher?") what He considered to be the greatest commandment. He replied (in Matthew 22:37-40) "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

Everything else depends on those two commandments! And He was quoting this directly from the Pentateuch -- from the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy. That wasn't "Christian" when I last looked.

How long since you've seen anyone -- Jewish, or Christian or not -- follow those commandments? How often does anyone put "Love thy neighbor as thyself" into practice?

People keep saying that "Christians" are responsible for atrocities. I'm saying that there are great numbers of people who call themselves "Christian" because they were born in a western civilisation, or their family went to a "Christian" church one Christmas or Easter. Or because they pay lip service to "The Ten Commandments." Most of them don't even know what it means to be a Christian! Many wear the cross as a mere decoration -- having no idea of its significance.

They -- and I'm not referring to only "christians" here -- embrace religions created by themselves to make themselves feel good about themselves. They include just the right touch of piety or humility or histrionics -- or legalistic mumbo-jumbo -- to please a god --- also created by themselves (increasingly this god is themselves) who may take on any form they choose. And all those "religions" have, I think, obscured the simple truth -- genuine love.

It's those underlying principles -- loving God and loving thy neighbor -- that I was referring to when I asked what it was that originally constrained our society to develop the education, freedom, etc, and restrained us from committing the same levels of atrocities as those societies not founded on those things.

Ours (our so-called "Christian bloc" ) was -- you can read it in the history of our nation, and in the writings of the founders and philosophers of other western nations -- although I believe we (and they) have, as we've become "more sophisticated," distanced ourselves from those truths.

Look around. Do you see society improving? Is humankind evolving into the next, grander, more beautiful stage of our development? Have we somehow become "nicer people" through the lessons learned in all our "past lives?"

If we have, then why are our kids killing one another? Why are our parents dying alone? Why are our neighbors starving? Why does our music and poetry not sound like music and poetry any more?

Why so much lust, and so little love?

"The last word in lonesome is me" -- Roger Miller

howard 3-27-2003 16:39

I just can't get the words right. Maybe when I peeled the duct tape off my muse her lips went with it. Great. Now how do I find the right words when y'all are still talking politics and religion? Where's a writing conversation when you need one? sigh...

I suppose all of you are miles/kilometers ahead of me in writing down all the right words today... :-[

Say! There's a glimmer! LITTER: The media COMPETING over coverage of your novel? Way to go, boy! Smile nice for the cameras! :-]

Mel 3-27-2003 13:11


You didn't come across as too stong. You still don't sound cynical. I'm sure if we were allowed into the inner recesses of anyone's mind everyone would seem cynical.

Well except for Roberto Bennitti. He's the one that played in the movie "Beautiful LIfe" He said he wanted to make love to everyone in the world. I"m sure he's not yet happy with his progress.

I heard that Iran stopped an Iraqi boat filled with explosives. Yeaaaaah Iran!

I'm on the edge of my seat to see the pictures of the newly liberated long oppressed Iraqi people. I'm also a little dissappointed in how long the help took. But one only has to look at the trouble the coalition forces are having with some nay sayers.

Debra 3-27-2003 12:50

Everone - do a check for the worm_klez.h virus. That's what got my system by the cahones. Just doing a triple check to make sure it's gone....

Heather 3-27-2003 12:39

I apologize for the tone of my last posting. I am not having a go, honest. So Debra, Pamela - ladies please forgive me I came across a bit too strong. See to be doing that alot lately.

Ramon 3-27-2003 12:28

I hope I don't make anyone mad, but after reading about the fragging I have to question the new Army slogan. Maybe they need to change it from "An Army of One", to something that emphasizes the teamwork that it takes to win.

Viv 3-27-2003 10:23

Pamela: Sorry to disappoint you my dear but my nose is not that big (but is crooked) and I have green bloodshot eyes from lack of sleep.

Debara: Just the one question? To answer I don't know anymore. I do know that I have seen some reports of Iraqi citizens who have placed Saddam Hussein on the same veil as God. I think it was an ITN reporter who pointed out to one citizen in Basara about SH's atrocities and the guy simply replied, that they must have deserved it. Contrary to popular belief SH has more support on his home ground then you would believe. At the risk of generallising, Muslims stick together no matter what. They call us infidels but they also distinguish between white infidels and muslim infidels so there's your answer.

As for Jordan and the rest of the Arab Nations, I don't know what their intentions are. To be honest I am more concerned about these stray bombs and friendly fire killing our own troops and Iraqi citizens. If this keeps up we could lose this war not only by killing too many of our own, but also in the "popularity" stakes. Those Iraqi citizens who support the coalition will turn on us if we keep doing the kind of damage the stray missle did to Baghdad. Remember when the allieds started bombing Bosnia. Before then Milosovic had his share of enemies, and Croatians and Serbs had taken to the streets in protest in their homeland and abroad. When the bombing started they turned on us, because we were bombing their homeland.

This is going to get a lot worse before it gets better (if it ever does).

Still think I am not so cynical. If I were to tell you what was really going through my head I think I would stun quite a few people here. So I won't.

Pamela: I agree with everything you said pretty much. Did you know that of all the religions so far, more crimes against humanity have been carried out in the name of christianity then any other religion or atheist doctrine. I believe the more advanced the civilisation and the more aware, the more likely they are to break those human rights we cherish so much.

People are mistaking Saddam Hussein for a mad tyrant. Well he is a tyrant and he is messed in the head but he is very smart, so is Osama Bin Laden, otherwise they would both be languishing in prison waiting for trial. But they are both hiding and manipulating their supporters using the Qoran as their authority to committ the crimes they do.

Food for thought guys.

Ramon 3-27-2003 8:54

How has the Bush administration shown its support for our troops?

a. The Republican-controlled House Budget Committee voted to cut $25 billion in veterans benefits over the next 10 years.

b. The Bush administration proposed cutting $172 million from impact aid programs which provide school funding for children of military personnel.

c. The administration ordered the Dept. of Veterans Affairs to stop publicizing health benefits available to veterans.

d. All of the above.

The answer is (d).

Mark 3-27-2003 7:00

Got an email asking how to turn off HTML in Outlook Express (one of my earlier recommendations)

In the menu bar across the top of Outlook,
Click Tools, you'll get a dropdown menu. In that menu click
Options, that will give you a new window with tabbed pages (like a recipe box)
Click the "Read" tab,
Near the top of that page you'll see a group of checkboxes,
Click the one that says "Read all messages in Plain Text."

If you have already turned off Preview Pane (View, Layout, Show Preview Pane uncheck), then you'll have to double click a message to read it. But you have just increased your security because you;ll have to decide to open a mail on purpose. And then when you do, you will only open it as text, so HTML attachments can't just pop off and go to work on your system.

Mark 3-27-2003 6:44

Sorry everybody - the virus may have been passed onto you by my #()*%(#@! machine - the addy is my business email that I share with Mary.
I left the link to Hemlock in a recent post, so perhaps it got around by that route; I'll check into it.
Until then, if I don't tell you I'm sending an attachment, don't open it!
That was my first mistake earlier today, when I got a spoof email from Mark, which he didn't actually send. Am re-scanning for viruses now, so far nothing detected.

Heather 3-27-2003 5:47

Tina, You’re welcome.

To say that the great religions of our world are similar is to simplify and discredit them. They are very different. Yes, they do share similarities, but it is the difference that are in them that make them what they are. I’m going to give you a piece of one of my exams to read over. This is a quesiton that looks at the beauty of the dream of a syncretistic approach to religion, its appeal and why it can not work. This was my weakest answer on the exam, but I think it is good enough to share the idea.

In question number five I have been asked to explore the religious vision of Akbar. In addition to this I am to delve into what the appeal and yet limitations of this synchretistic approach to religion are. Akbar, the great is how he is known in history. Our text tells us that he is well deserving of the title and I agree.
This all began with his simple desire for the unification of his empire, which propelled by his intelligence and passion almost came to be. Akbar didn’t just talk about these things, he was in a position to transform his dream into reality. This began with granting the Hindu subjects a level of equality. Thus putting an end to their persecution and poor treatment.
The religious vision of Akbar was an exciting, revolutionary approach to religions. Akbar began by wishing to find a way, like Guru Nanak and Kabir before him, to bridge the gap between those of the Muslim and Hindu faiths that lived within his empire. After consideration Akbar decided not to limit his dream and opened wide his mind, embracing the idea that not only Muslim and Hindu, but the best that other great religions and cultures could offer as well, should be incorporated into the manifestation of his dream.
Akbar demonstrated his synthesis in spiritual, intellectual, cultural, artistic and architectural ways. Akbar conferenced with and set up councils for religious representatives to come together in debate and discussion. He encouraged learned men and artists to come to court at Fatehphur - Sikri to be a part of the great work of this synthesis. In the cultural aspect, Akbar crossed cultures in his choices of wives. He selected four women, one Christian, one Buddhist, one Jain and one Zoroastrian. The dream that he presented to his people was not just words, it was something that he was making visual and accessible to his empire on all levels. His dream of synchronism could be seen in the blended culture and architecture embodied and represented in the palace
of Fatehpur - Sikri.
To Akbar, more exciting than the meeting of cultures, minds and arts, were the religious aspects of the synthesis. This aspect of his dream for his empire is called, Din - i - Ilahi. In English this means Divine Faith. Akbar wished to bring common elements from all religions to his new concept and then, incorporate the best elements of each religion into something entirely new. This was the reason for his conferencing and debates with the religious leaders. He wanted to know the commonalities, but gave no thought to the differences, thinking that the common core essence, the “Din-i-Ilahi” would over ride these differences when presented to the people.
One certainly does not need to think for long to uncover what the appeal of such a synchretism of religion and culture would be. The benefits would be the fulfillment of man’s desire to live in peace, prosperity, harmony and unity with our fellow man. I believe that a Nation functioning within this dream would attain great power. In fact I think that such a nation would be invincible.
So, why did such a well thought out plan fail? What were the limitations that stretched out like vines to capture and then choke the life from Akbars dream? I will explore these reasons. I mentioned that Akbar sought out the commonalities in religions, that was a good idea. However, it was those things that were not common to all of the religions in question that came back to destroy the dream. When one explores
religions, one will find that they spring forth from a deep set of roots. These roots wrap themselves around concepts of views on life, how to live, what the I is and what is the end, if in fact there is an end, as well as presenting an understanding an analysis of the human condition that will be distinctive in each religion explored. These are the roots that drank down the water from the depths, leaving Akbars new, seedling with fledgling roots to die. Akbar attempted to tame and domesticate the great religions, without giving due consideration to the fact that they all began in different places and could not be moved from those beginnings. A religion can not be synthesized, it must and will be itself. An analogy of this could be seen in the following example. If I decide to go to the apple tree in my yard and pluck all of the apples from it, does this make it any less an apple tree? I think not. Next, I could affix oranges to where the apples once grew. I could create the illusion of an orange tree. I could conduct a harvest of oranges. However, when the time came for new growth, my tree will produce apples, because, at the core of its make-up, in the depths of its roots, that is what it is. So, in like fashion religions will be true to what is at their core and in their roots.
Akbar’s manifestation of his dream might have fallen on infertile ground, the real life representation of the dream may have been crushed, but the dream itself did not die. He dreamed of a world, nation, country or community, living in this sort of unity is something many of us share. For this reason, I believe that Akbar, Guru Nanak and Kabir will always be
admired as men who had the courage and intellect to put their dreams into action, to give voice to their ideas and give us a glimpse of a very different world.

Rachel 3-27-2003 0:36

Correction - she said it's snowing doillies (sp)(those little round things ladies make with crochete hooks and put on end tables) my spell checker changed it to dolly's.

Jerry 3-27-2003 0:11

I'm here to second JERRY's warning about a virus. Just got a note from HEATHER that mentions an email from me. Trouble is, I didn't send it. And it had funny attachments.

Rule #1 in email: turn off the preview pane.
Rule #2 in email: read messages in text mode, not in HTML
Rule #3 in email: open no attachments that you did not know were coming

Mark 3-26-2003 23:45

nevermind -- I won't continue this further. I had a reply typed in, but I won't post it here. If anyone is really interested send me a note and I'll email it.

howard 3-26-2003 22:49


Today, I've received two viruses in my email, the first came from an address I've never seen before, but the second rings NOTEBOOK - I think somebody on the notebook must have a loose virus on their computer since this one reportedly comes from

Of course, it could have come from anybody, and Sam Spade read the header and said it couldn't confirm or deny where it originated. But one thing's for sure, mary@hemlockbags must have either been in the their address book, or the originating computer, of course it could also be that the virus found that address somewhere else and forged the header of the email, who the heck knows.

At any rate, someone here may have a virus that's sending itself to others.

Jerry 3-26-2003 22:43

Rachel, that info was really interesting, kinda tends to support the theory that all roads lead to the same place if all roads started at the same place. A God by any other name is still the same.

Hallee, I'm so glad Gregg is coming home, is he going to get to stay for long? Please do not confuse my questioning whether the end justifies the means with ingratitude for the sacrifices of Gregg and other brave soldiers. I feel better knowing that if we are ever attacked, there are people like him to defend us. I hope you have a wonderful reunion.

I think I'm going to follow Tina's lead now and bow out of politics, I'm getting depressed and scared again and I wasn't kidding about my blood pressure; I'm ten years older than my father was when he dropped dead of a heart attack. Hope I didn't make anyone mad, I'll shut up now.

pamela 3-26-2003 22:27

Spring must be here - We had our first robin at the feeders today, this morning a lady called into the radio station with a wonderful description of the weather, she said "It's snowing dolly's!" then this afternoon, a tornado touched down just a few miles north of Jamestown ND.

Yep, it's springtime in the Dakota's.

Jerry 3-26-2003 22:11

Hallee, that's GREAT news! Migraines still suck, but far better that it is 'just' migraines. I've had only one in my life, and I so sympathise with Kaylee.

Rachel, thanks for that snippet of info. Interesting.

That's it from me. Not up to politics or religous debate.

Tina 3-26-2003 22:03

I stand corrected. We are not bombing the hell out of a country. We have only stated publicly that we wish to assassinate the leader of another country, we have gone into that country, which has not attacked us first, and dropped bombs and missiles upon militarily strategic locations in that country. We informed the world that our military bombardment would be viewed with "shock and awe". The overwhelming majority of countries world-wide oppose our actions and view them as aggressive. The question is not whether SH is a bad man or not, it is evident that he is; the question is whether we have the right to attack any country which has ties to terrorism (read: entire Middle East) or mistreats its citizens. If so, let's bomb militarily strategic locations in Romania next and get all of those babies out of the orphanages, and then South Korea since they have a missile that can reach California, and then Cuba since Castro is a dictator who has repressed his people, and then China since they ran the Tibetans out of Tibet, and then......

Howard, you say that I missed the point of your earlier statement, which was that "our principles...were the reason we had fewer human rights violations on our record than other groups." I think I can be forgiven for missing your point since that is not what you said, which was: ..."from the perspectives of education, standard of living, technology, personal group consistently looks better...It has to be something else--something external--that makes a difference." Sorry, I thought that sounded like you were talking about God.

Litter, hooray for you, I am so happy for your success.

pamela 3-26-2003 20:08

Hi all,

Did you know how much Judaism, Christianity and Islam have in common at the foundations and roots of their traditions? Check this out.

Don't think that I'm trying to say we are all the same. I think that all great religions are very different. They are different because of the different answers that they have come up with and posed to the big human questions. Anyway, thought this might be interesting to some folks.
If you have a hate on for religion or are just tired of reading about it, then do not read this post. The differences start right in the garden and grow from there into the distinctive religions that we now have in Islam, Christianity and Judaism. I've got whaps of more info on this but didn't want to put you all into a coma.

Okay, so lets say that Religion is a beliefe in the world of the Divine and the practices accompanying that belief. Did you guys know that the word religion comes from the Latin - religare - to tie (ligare) again (re), and religion may tie us to the Divine (its spiritual function), to each other (its sociological function), to nature (its ecological function), and make us whole emotionally (its psychological function).

Judaism’s Sacred History.

God creates universe in 6 days, rests on the 7th.

Adam and Eve created “in God’s Image”

Adam and Eve, tempted by serpent, disobey God and eat forbidden fruity. They are exciled from God.

God makes covenant with Abraham -- he will be Father of a great nation in a promised land. (1900-1700 BCE).

Abraham agrees to sacrifice son Isaac -- at what is now Jerusalem, but ram takes son’s place.

In Judaism the original tie is in the Garden of eden, the tie to God is proken by human sin, injustie and idolatry. The tie is restord by sacrifices attemple (Isralites) Following Torah (modern Judaism). The way is show by Prophets and the Torah. The ultimate time is in life through following Torah, after death in heaven.

Christianity’s Sacred History.

God creates universe in 6 days, rests on the 7th.

Adam and Eve created “in God’s image”

Adam and Eve, tempted by serpent, disobey god and eat forbidden fruity. They must leave the garden; humans since share in Original Sin.

Jesus death on the cross as an atonement for Original Sin.

Original tie in Garden of Eden. Tie broken by Sin of Adam and Eve, human sin. The tie restored by Jesus's Death. The way shown by Jesus. The Ultimate tie is estalbished in heaven, after death.

Islam’s Sacred History.

God creates universe in 6 days.

Adam and Eve first humans.

Adam and Eve, tempted by serpent, disobey God and eat forbidden fruity = human Forgetfulness. Adam repents; God gives him mercy and guidance. Adam a great prophet/messenger.

Abraham agrees to sacrifice son Ishmael (note the difference in the son that they believe was to have been sacrificed). Abraham and Ishmael build the Ka’aba--the sacred shrine in Mecca.

Near Mecca is where Abraham was to sacrifice Ishmael. Muhammad’s Night Journey takes him to heaven from there. Jerusalem is the place that Muhammad went to heaven from.

The original tie was in Paradise (Garden of Eden). The tie was broken by human forgetfulness of Allah. The tie resotred by submitting to Allah. The way shown by Qur'an and Muhammad. The ultimate tie is found in paradis, after death, last judgement.

The above information is taken from study notes and lectures by David Whyatt.

Rachel 3-26-2003 19:58

Litter - Friendly fire is an oxymoron, any fire that's comming your way will indeed kill you despite where it came from.

That fragging at the 101 brought back a memory, I wrote it down.

She had the voice of an angel, and her long golden hair flowed down around her nine year old shoulders.

Her first song was done in a small child’s dress of the ‘50s, as she sang “On the Good Ship Lollipop” you’d swear she was Shirley Temple, but her face showed her father’s Tai heritage, much as her golden hair and bright blue eyes showed her mother’s parentage from the Land Down Under.

The U.S.O. sent them to entertain us, and entertain us they did, but the bright spot for everyone in the audience consisting of our Engineers Company was that little girl. Sure her mom was a knockout that everyone would have given their left nut just to hold her hand, but that little girl could sing so sweetly that it brought tears to even the hardest of the hard in our little gathering of soldiers.

Her mom and pop did a passable job of the latest Rock and Roll hits, some of which were truly outstanding, and their daughter would join in with her sweet voice and harmonize with them like a pro. When the show ended with “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” we all went wild, everyone joined in. That song was the anthem for all who served over there, but, of course we had a few of our own words.

I had my old Hitachi Cassette tape recorder set up on the stage, capturing their show so I could enjoy them even more when they were gone and we were left to our thoughts and fears. To this day I regret giving them that tape, but when they asked, I couldn’t say no to such wonderful artists.

That night, as we were sitting in Sgt. Pool’s room playing a bit of bid whist and drinking warm Tiger Piss, we heard the explosion. It was nearby, and the take cover siren blew, we scrambled for our flak jackets, helmets and M-16's but before we even left the hooch, they blew the all clear.

Within minutes, the word got around, some asshole from the 509th Transportation Company down the Street from our Unit had fragged the Top Three club. Two of the eighteen top Sergeants were wounded, but the band on the stage, that same trio who had wowed us that day were playing for the top 3 NCO’s took the brunt of the explosion, the little girl was dead, her mom we latter learned lost a leg, her father lost his eye, and had major trauma to his neck resulting in the loss of his voice.

The ass hole who tossed the grenade was sent to LBJ (Long Bien Jail) then on to Ft. Levenworth Kansas for the rest of his life, and that lovely little girl will sing forever in heaven.

Grenades have no enemies, just victims

Jerry 3-26-2003 19:19

Just had my third interview for 'The Watchers'. This one lasted an hour and the photographer took at least 30 pics. Both the reporter and photographer said they would like to buy a copy when it's released. The local press seem hell bent on outdoing each other, which is to my benefit, so I shall continue to cultivate them. :o)

End of shameless self promotion.

Well, the war moves on a pace with passions and feeling running ever higher. What I find most galling is that, yesterday, it was reported that 18 UK servicemen and a UK new reporting team have died in the conflict but only ONE has died due to enemy action, (although there are probably more than that now?) The others, including the tv crew, have been killed by friendly fire and accident. I cannot imagine what that means to the families involved or those who now bear the burden that they have been responsible for the deaths of their own allies. I'm glad that I am in neither position. There but for the Grace of God, and so forth.

We've had a few unseasonably warm sunny days recently and rumour has it that we are due for a hot summer in Scotland. Probably means the rain will be warm…

As for the question of groupies – I think I have one? – Mousy, tweed twin-set, sensible shoes… Don't really like thinking about it. :o Then there are the tall grey people…

Not long heard – chalk up another 2 to 'friendly fire'

Litter 3-26-2003 19:13

Carpet bombing? We haven't carpet bombed since 1974 or 5 in Vietnam. Now we bomb what we want, and leave the rest alone. Saddam has placed some of the tartets of our bombs near civilian targets, our radio broadcasts have warned the Iraqi people to stay away from these places, and we have been bombing them. Saddly some of the Iraqi people don't have radios I guess or more likely some of the dead civilians that the Iraqi TV have been in truth, Iraqi soldiers in civilian attire, much like those who have been murdering our soldiers by shooting them in the back (dirty low down bushwackers!).

Like American Soldeirs in every war, I see the troops are giving their "John Wyane" candy bars to children. I guess the MRE's candy bars are probably better then the old choclate/almond bar, 1 each, C-Ration, 1945 that we used to get, at least I hope so or the Red Cross will be on our ass about giving bad rations to children.

Jerry 3-26-2003 14:03

One of PC Magazine's newsletters points to two sites that I think are very interesting and informative places for research for articles, homework for the kids, etc etc.
They're -- Arts&Letters site -- Science news

They're worth a look-see.

howard 3-26-2003 13:47

PAMELA -- I think you missed my point -- I didn't say that God is favoring us because we're a "Christian" nation. My point was that I think the difference in our philosophies -- the foundation on Judeo-Christian principles is the reason we have far fewer human rights violations (I didn't say "none") on our record. It's the reason we are using our technology to spare their people and infrastructure instead of bombing them back into the stone age (as we did in VietNam). It's the reason we have the educational and technological advantage in the first place -- the freedom to learn and use knowledge results from our foundation on those principles.

I didn't say we've done anything on our own to merit any special favor -- we probably don't deserve what we have -- it's just that I think the principles themselves lead to the results we're seeing.

Compare the foundations -- leave "religion" out entirely, if you wish -- then compare the results. As I said, I could be dogmatic about who and what originated the principles we call our Judeo-Christian heritage, but I won't. It's the results that I'm pointing to. I don't think we can dispute them. We're seeing them.

Or is there some other basic difference between "us" and "them" that I've missed? I don't think so. We've proven we can be just as evil -- look at My Lai, Wounded Knee, Andersonville -- at times. But not constantly, not without conscience.

What, then, is restraining us?

howard 3-26-2003 12:36

HOWARD: Thanks for looking but you can stop. I found the link in the archives! Again, thanks!

ALL: I know I don't participate much, but I'm a bit of a fence sitter. I see both sides of the arguement; for and against this war. Mostly I am for it, but I become extremely sad when I think of lost lives. I do , however, realize that if we succeed so many more lives will not only be saved, but also will be lived much fuller than they are now. God bless all of our men and women in armed forces and may they succeed and come home soon!

Cheri 3-26-2003 9:56


This world is going to hell. I heard "my mom" say carpet bombing the other day. I've heard her say carpet cleaning, but........ This is getting serious.

Debra 3-26-2003 9:40


Are they playing this on TV in Jordan? That would be helpful.

I heard the same thing.

Plus, I was going to say that about Ramon's eyes. Fowl!

Debra 3-26-2003 9:33

Oh yeah - MY HUSBAND'S COMING HOME IN 4 DAYS!!!! ~~~doing the little happy dance~~~

Hallee 3-26-2003 9:06


I just have one more question, since you do know something about that part of the world and its people.

I'm wondering how it is that everyone here in America knows straight from the mouths of Iraqi people testifying on TV that Saddam is killing, starving and robbing his own people, but neighboring countries still think that the coalition forces are just trying to take over the country?

I know Jordan is on our side but it only seems to be the government. The people don't seem to know even one person from Iraq who's famiy has been killed or tortured. It that possible?

I can't imagine protesting a war of a neighbor of America when the people from that country are rushing into our country telling us that the government is doing such things. Could it actually be that the word isn't getting to the civilians in Jordan what's going on?

We have been watching one person after the next on TV from Iraq who says they are aching to go back to their country and help rebuild. One person this morning says his family actually lives in Bagdad right now and he's says they are anxiously awaiting the liberation.

Also, I greatly admire the Arab countries for sticking together even though they seem to argue with each other. What I can't understand is how Al-Jazzera isn't telling it's people they are being rescued even though the people running that station must, must, must know that's what is happening. What drives them to say otherwise, knowing that they are putting the Iraqi people in danger of being left without the Coalition Forces if a pullout is called for mostly because of their lies? They must know they might be putting a whole country at risk while only helping ONE MAN, SADDAM.

While, I'm at it. I just saw an interview from the actual King and Queen of Iran who live in exile right now in America. I hear good things from them both. I feel that Iran and its citizens are so filled with hope for the future. They seem to be two amazing people and I hope that all their plans to go back to Iran are realized. Only good can come from that. Yes, he admits his father made decisions he doesn't understand, but his future plans involve peace to all Iranians and the world. I'm hoping to see them speak again.

Debra 3-26-2003 9:04


Pamela: Just to clear something up, we aren't "boming the hell out of a country" - we're boming the hell out of militarily strategic locations. And the Iraqi's are ecstatic because of it. We have the capabilities of being very specific of where our bombs it - there is no "carpet boming" happening.

When we reach Bagdad, we'll lose a lot more soldiers for it, but the point is not to destroy Iraq - it's to remove Sadam Hussen and his regime -- so we're doing everything possible, including not carpet boming a city and therefore putting our troops in more danger for it, in order to accomplish that with minimal civilian loss.

And Iraqi on the news this morning who is some sort of go-between between the "Free Iraq" people and the Americans, was asked if the Iraquis, as mentioned on national news, thought this was a weakness or a strength. He said, "This is the Americans' strength. It's proving that they value the lives of the Iraquis unlike anything else could have."

Here was an article in the Washington Times. The fact that the people interviewed were so against the war that they actually went to be human shields speaks volumes:

AMMAN, Jordan — A group of American anti-war demonstrators, part of a Japanese human-shield delegation, returned from Iraq yesterday with 14 hours of uncensored video, all shot without Iraqi government minders present, with Iraqis eager to tell of their welcome for American troops.
The Rev. Kenneth Joseph, a young American pastor of the Assyrian Church of the East, said the trip to Iraq "had shocked me back to reality."
Some of the Iraqis he interviewed on camera, he said, "told me they would commit suicide if American bombing didn't start. They were willing to see their homes demolished to gain their freedom from Saddam [Hussein]'s bloody tyranny."
Mr. Joseph said the Iraqis convinced him that Saddam is "a monster the likes of which the world had not seen since Stalin and Hitler. He and his sons are sick sadists.
"Their tales of slow torture and killing made me ill, such as people put in a huge shredder for plastic products, feet first so the [torture masters] could hear their screams as bodies got chewed up from foot to head."

Hallee article 3-26-2003 9:03

Correction: I should not have said they "never" say "soldiers" since they do once it becomes unavoidable and the "troop" has a name, then they use it unmercifully to engage our sympathy and support for the war, such as showing the pictures of those poor boys on tv over and over again. I only turn it on for a few minutes at a time now, and those shots always appear (I feel so sorry for their poor parents having to see that a jillion times a day). I was referring to the general reporting on the action, which consistently uses the word "troop" in place of "soldier". I was also wrong when I said I could watch the ticker run through once to get all of the available information, much of that is taken up with rhetorical claims of righteousness and victory by our leaders, rather than hard information.

pamela 3-26-2003 8:59


Howard, so are you suggesting that because we have a higher standard of living here that means God favors us because we are (largely) Christians? What about the 6,000,000 Jews killed in WWII, didn't He care about them? Could our standard of living stem from our greed, our invading and taking this land away from its inhabitants, our capitalistic celebration of the almighty dollar? Aren't we supposed to share what we have with others? I can't make the connection between material wealth and spirituality, sorry, but I think it is just the opposite. And I do think that many of the terrorists are sincere in their belief, if only because they have been brainwashed since they were children, we have all seen the pictures of little boys holding machine guns. I, for one, feel sorry for them and for their lives that are wasted through hatred, that is why I said I wished that the Islamic clergy could go on tv to talk to the terrorists infiltrating this country, to tell them that they have been tragically misled. Please do not mistake this for support of terrorism in general, it is sympathy for the individuals who have been given no chance to make up their minds for themselves. You accept things on blind faith, Howard, and if something is not logical, you just say we can't understand it; well, they have no more choice than you do in believing what they have been taught since they were children. And in teaching it to their own children as well.

Randall mentions Bush's use of the word "crusade" and we should be cognizant that words are being used to influence our opinions. I have noticed that they never say "soldiers" have been captured, they say "troops", incorrectly using that term for an individual soldier ("twelve troops were captured") when it actually means a group of soldiers. And calling this war "Operation Iraqi Freedom" is pure BS; discounting the possiblity of a hidden agenda regarding control of oil, we are supposedly fighting this war as part of the war against terrorism, not to free the Iraqi people, which would be a collateral benefit. If we are going to bomb the hell out of any country which mistreats its citizens, if we declare ourselves the arbiters of acceptable treatment, then the rest of the world better watch out!

By the way, where the heck is Randall? He must be having some more medical problems, surely he would be here discussing the war if he could. I'm thinking about him and hoping he's okay.

Hallee---oh, SO glad your daughter is all right. Well, migraines are nothing to sneeze at but surely a relief after the possibility of a tumor. Any news on Gregg returning on Friday, is it still a go?

I went to the site that Howard mentioned and read some entries in a discussion group there, for anyone interested in knowing what others think of us, it is a good source. One Canadian made a funny comment, said he was glad they had insisted on U.N. sanctions but didn't think Canada's involvement would have much impact anyway because "We can't get our battleship started and our helicopter's in the shop." Hee, hee, thought that was cute.

Ramon, I like big noses and think they add distinction to a face, I just gave one of my characters one. Besides, I bet you've got those big, beautiful liquid brown eyes to make up for it.

Howard, talked to my brother in Alaska yesterday and he has also heard the lights sing. I haven't seen any of the other phenomena you mentioned but I did see the "green tide" I think it's called, when I lived on the Gulf of Mexico in Texas. All of the white in the water was luminescent green, caused by plankton, I believe. I remember going to the beach that night and running into the water with all my clothes on, I was wearing a white shirt and the sparkling green dripped off of me like diamonds. Back home in the one-room shack we lived in, sharing a bed with my two brothers, I looked out the window and watched the water dancing in the darkness, the breaking waves making squiggles of glowing green, until I fell asleep.

Tina, you asked about my genre; my first book was described on the cover as "a very erotic ghost story" and the one I'm working on now is a supernatural, psychological thriller with a serial killer and sex, something for everyone (I hope.)

Love to all,

pamela 3-26-2003 8:40

JERRY -- The viruses (and porn) is one reason I quit using Kazaa -- just too much crap out there. Another should be obvious to a writers group. I guess backups are okay, but to download a copyrighted work just because it's free and available and being "shared" just doesn't seem right to me. The author or owner of the copyright makes his or her living that way. But it's a very fuzzy line, I guess.

howard 3-26-2003 7:24

Oh you were speaking of audio books, they too are available for download on Kazaa. I use a version called Kazaa Lite it's available for free download just do a google search for it.

Again, this is in reality probably theft of intellectual property to use, but for those short of pocket and LONG on Norton Anti Virus (there be viruses hiding behind nearly every file!) well not really but I do find a virus trying to board my machine at least weekly while downloading with Kazaa.

There' plenty of audio books available, you can save them to your hard drive, burn them to cd's or copy them to cassettes should you have the right equipment for later enjoyment.

I went though a phase there where I downloaded a bunch of books on tape but have never listened to one I guess, right now I'm downloading movies, they take a bit of time and most fill one cd, some have to be spanned over two depending on the quality but will make camping much nicer, to be able to carry a couple of dozen movies in the space you could only carry one CD. I do have most of these movies on VHS tape anyhow, and I guess it's legal (or so I've read) to back up your VHS tapes for your own use.

You can get anything you want (At Alice's Restaurant) on Kazaa

Jerry (filling the notebook) 3-26-2003 0:35

Howard - There may be a few in the Iraqi government who believe that they are right, but I have my doubts. After all Saddam has been proven, and is known by his countryman as a tyrant, a dictator who has NO value for his people, and only want's more power (sounds a bit like Tim Allen?).

Our local channel did an interview with some Iraqi's who live here in the Dakota's they left shortly after Saddam came to power. He was in the former leader's military and was very familiar with Saddam and his Ba'ath party. He said he would love to return to Iraq and will once the U.S. has driven Saddam from power. His tales of life under Saddam (he only stayed a short time and escaped with his family at his first opportunity) would make your blood run cold indeed.

I really don't think there are many except fellow criminals in Iraq that want to see Saddam make it out of this war alive. I could, of course be all wrong, it sure wouldn't be my first time.

I did feel a bit uneasy today when I was waiting for my Middle Eastern Doctor in the waiting room shortly before I was called it was just me and this really big Middle Eastern fellow waiting (Probably her husband who she said has joined her here in South Dakota, they were separated my last appointment six months ago.) Just the war I guess, and 9-11.

It was after all middle easterners who flew those planes into the towers, mostly Saudi I guess but middle eastern's all the same.

Isn't that the same thing as saying, it was North American's who did .... And lumping all from North America into one lump, guess so. See how understanding we can be here in the mid-west.

I saw this deal on Canadian TV last night (they get that on the cable down in Sturgis) and the fellow was saying how President Bush kept using the word crusade in his speeches. Then tonight on the news they too reported this, and how bad this sounds to those who live in the Middle East who were attacked so very many times by Christians bearing crosses and swords in crusades to free the holy city.

You know after those reports, I do recall those words in many of his speeches.

He never was much on public speaking was he.

Jerry 3-26-2003 0:19

We might not have to wait until December! Check this out!

ROTK release moved forward?
Not to repeat news, but Heri posted this in an earlier news item:

If New Line Cinema is therefore unable to screen its third "Lord of the Rings" film several weeks before its planned Dec. 17 debut, the film could miss out on early awards attention and suffer from the stampede of Christmas films. Last year's second "Lord of the Rings" installment, "The Two Towers," was shown to critics and other awards voters starting the first week of December. The studio is now planning to show the third film beginning in mid-November, says New Line marketing chief Russell Schwartz.

And I thought that it needed to take a little more priority.

Basically, due to the Oscars moving forward, we could find that LOTR:ROTK moves forward in conjunction, perhaps even to mid November, forsaking its now expected Christmas release.
More at,0,7200865.story?coll=cl-home-more-channels

I found it at

scroll down the page a bit, and there it is!

howard 3-25-2003 23:34

No such thing as "off-topic" here! I'll look for it and post it asap.

howard 3-25-2003 23:33

HOWARD: I know this is off topic, but I've lost a link you posted on this site some time ago. It was for a thersaurus. I really liked the site and somehow it is not bookmarked. Please if you find it would you post for me? Thank you!

Sorry but now I'm off to bed.

Have a great writing day or night all!

Cheri 3-25-2003 23:30

JERRY -- Several of us have been saying for quite some time that you should collect your 'Nam stories and package them for publishing! Same as RANDALL with his "Red Britches" and etc.

There was a news report this evening that told about UK forces taking a town, and finding a store of arms and a tank INSIDE a hospital. The Iraqis have also chained women and children together and used them as shields in front of their lines, shooting through them at coalition forces.

Like I said before -- we're up against demons.

The following is NOT to start another debate on "religion" but only an observation (maybe from an over-simplified viewpoint) on the current situation, and its causes, to stimulate some objective thought.

Someone had said to me (earlier today) that "After all, they (the militant Muslims in Iraq) firmly believe they're right too." My wife and I were talking about it on the way back from church tonight, and arrived at the same thought -- what is the most significant difference between the main coalition countries (US/UK/Canada/Australia), and the enemies we've faced over the past 50 years or so (and even the countries that used to be our close friends)? I mean the philosophical differences that affect our views on human dignity and the value of life. I'll speak for the US, but I believe the basic thought must apply to the other countries I listed with us (as well as some others).

Our nation was founded (at least the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, etc say so) on Judeo-Christian law, belief, and principles. We claim (or used to claim) that we are a "Christian" nation.

The enemies we've faced are, for the most part, made up of societies who have rejected those principles we call foundational. Some of them turned to atheistic principles -- Communist Russia, China, etc -- rejecting any form of religion. Some turned to Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. Some turned, or are turning, to Secular Humanism.

All of these philosophies claim to be right. All claim to be the truth (or at least the truth as they see it).

As I said, it's probably over-simplification, but look at these groups from a human rights perspective. Then look at them from a human dignity perspective. Then from the perspectives of education, standard-of-living, technology, personal freedom -- no matter which lens you look through, one group consistently looks better.


It's not because the one group is inherently nice people, and the rest are not. Not at all. We're all human -- no differences in the way we're made. So it has to be something else -- something external -- that makes the difference.

I could (and have) dogmatically stated what I believe to be the answer, but I won't now. Like I said, just some objective (I hope) thought on the subject.

howard 3-25-2003 23:12

Was it Rosemary who suggested I put together my Vietnam stories? I think so, I scrolled down again but couldn't find it.

At any rate, I have thought of that, and may in fact do it if I can find them all. I fear many were only posted here in the notebook. I always try and save them to my hard drive but usually forget to back them up before I crash my machine and have to reformat the dang thing.

The drive down yesterday did have it's interesting moments, not the least of which was when I decided to pass this dang Semi hauling milk. It was in a particularly hilly narrow section of the highway, but I had plenty of room, or so I thought till I got beside the damn thing and discovered it was a double length, but since it was a "farm implement" it needed no oversize load sign. I was past the first trailer and nearing the middle of the second when a second Semi appeared around the curve ahead. Now I wouldn't say it was "real" close but I swear I could read those little numbers on his license expiration tag, and I could see the green of his teeth that were clinched as he was smoking his tires trying to slow down, I was very lucky to get through that with the mirror on the door of the car. The strangest part, I don't think I met over ten outfits all the way down.

There was enough snow and rain south of here to begin to green things up nicely, and the antelope were all over the place, some herds so big that they spread out for over a mile. One was strange, there were antelope on one side of the fence in the ditch, mule deer on the other side. None of them decided it was wise to cross in front of the car which was a relief.

There was one spot where a large doe Mule Deer stood on one side of the highway, all by her self, and when I looked in the other ditch, there lay another that had been struck by a car or truck that morning. Could she have been looking for her mate? It was a sad site. On the trip home, the Turkey Vulchers were feeding on the dead one. The circle of life?

The jack rabbit population seems to be healthy, they were all over the place on the way down, their bodies littered the highway on the trip home. A good rabbit population is very indicative of a healthy wildlife population over-all, since they feed the coyote, wolf and fox population.

Jerry 3-25-2003 21:36

Hi all, well the trip is over, a relatively good time was had by most.

The Best Western was great, and they offered a ten percent off for AARP folks like us, so the room was only forty-four bucks a night, cheap at twice the price.

As far as the VA, I had expected some trouble having read the recent post by Mark, and the article he pointed to, but it must not have effected our Hospital. In fact I went to the VA web site and read their info, their site said quite plainly that I would no longer be eligible for eye glasses.

Much to my surprise, when I showed up for my optical appointment, there wasn't a problem, in fact the old fart that I saw two years ago that miss-fitted me with these glasses is no longer there, having been replaced by a young opthomologyst who did a very through exam. Then he informed me that under the new guidelines, I could now receive line less tri-focals (that I turned down, tried them years ago and they didn't work for crap for my eyes) as well as tint, or the relatively new transition express photo-darkening for the now available high index plastic lenses (also unavailable two years ago). Then sent me to his assistant who had a full range of frames to select from, quite different from the four "standard" frames available last trip. I selected some very expensive titanium frames and was fitted with them on-site. Because of the distance from the hospital to my home they will mail them and I can either have them fitted locally or return for a fitting when they come in the mail.

Next stop my MD, who did a very through exam, went over all the labs I had taken earlier (Who got me in two hours early since I was scheduled for an afternoon appointment but had earlier appts with the eye Dr. and foot dr. (Both ends worked on you know). Then when we were talking of my blood pressure problems, she said I should have a blood pressure machine at home. I told her I had just purchased one, she said "well take it back, we'll give you a good one!" Which she did. By the time I was scheduled for my afternoon appointment, I was nearly seventy miles closer to home.

Guess I can't complain, they treated me like a king all the way through and every one was super to work with. Maybe it's just good people up here, or the fact that there's a lot less Veterans up here competing for their services. I know my buddy in California said he had a heck of a time getting set up out there and has been on a waiting list for over a year for his first check up.

It was a nice break from watching the war on television. I agree, don't watch that crap all day and all night. The best we can do is find some way to support the troops, no matter how we feel about the war itself, fly your flag, give blood, send emails to the troops, or like we did in the last gulf war, collect books, package them up and mail them to the units. (The Legion can help you with an address for them if you decide to do that, it'll be a nice gesture once they go from a war footing to a peace keeping mission.

As far a believing what you hear on TV even from the White House, or General Franks, don't. The US is obviously trying to freak out Saddam with their press releases, and as we saw in the last Gulf war they will tell you what they WANT to have you believe. After the battle is over, things that happened, the accuracy of the weapons and such will be truthfully reported.

I did hear a very disturbing thing the other day that sounds like it may have a bit of truth, that Saddam has mined his hospitals, schools and apartment buildings with explosives on the walls and plans to set them off whenever the US or the UK bombs "near" those sites so he can kill his own people and blame the us for it. I don't doubt that he may very well have done this. I hope he doesn't use them but fear he will.

Then again, this could be a propaganda story to cover off target explosives. Who knows in today's world of propaganda and counter propaganda. Sounds a bit hitlerish on both sides I guess.

Jerry 3-25-2003 21:17

Rhoda, you don't come off 'preachy' to me, and everything you had to say was well merited and worth noting! (((HUGS)))

Heather 3-25-2003 20:08

Hi All,

HALLEE: I am sooooooo HAPPY for the good news. My daughter suffers occassional migraines as well. She doesn't eat meat (unless it comes in a MacDonald's burger)and it's usually after high pressure days or active sport that she gets them.
I figure her body is lacking in the iron her body needs to carry it off.
Anyway, that is wonderful news!!

DEBRA: I heard Russia is supplying Iraq with weapons and such,(and has been for yonks-not openly of course) but George W. had a word in the the President's Putin's ear about it and the President said he would look into it and would get back to him. George W. said he was looking forward to it.
And about the worry thing - it's easier said than done. First of all when you're feeling anxious, take big deep breaths thinking of nothing but the breaths, and then, when your mind is clear tell yourself, there is absoloutely nothing you can do about it, and then play with the kids or get into a real good book - I recommend 'Gap Creek', that'll whisk you off and away.
Praying helps too.

I learnt last night that France (Jacques Chirac was president for the first time)sold Iraq it's first nuclear reactor? is it?, They said they did it because if they didn't someone else would, however, no one else was. Anyway that was destroyed during the Iran/Iraq fighting.
Eventually Saddam gave a proposal to Germany for so many millions to make another plant in Iraq, though it was under the guise of a factory to make insect repelant.

Am wondering if France was so adamant about vetoing anything that resulted in war because
A; It might harm the lucrative trade deals it has going with Iraq.
B; France, Germany and Russia (all naysayers) are well aware that Iraq has an abundance of nuclear weapons and dread the end result of what a war may bring.
Remember France did say France would go in if nuclear weapons were used.

Another thought. I recently wrote that S.H. was under the impression that he won the Gulf War, I wonder if maybe a man whose mind works so laterally, might not find it increasingly brilliant to use nuclear weapons when he has the troops all in one place, Baghdad. We all know he cares nothing for killing his own people.
He may see this is going down in glory.
It may be dumb, but I hope the military masterminds planning the strategies for all this have taken that into consideration.

Ugly though it all is, it's all quite fascinating. A real study on character and motivations and the complexities of human nature and driving forces.

Teekay 3-25-2003 17:19

There's an interesting article on poetry in the current WD magazine -- it's also at
for anyone who wants to read it there.

howard 3-25-2003 16:58


The doctor saw no visible signs of a tumor, and he did a pretty thorough check. He has concluded she's having migraines. I'm to create a "headache diary" and he suggested medicines for her pain.

I'm so relieved I feel like sobbing. This child is such a joy to my life - she is so full of life and love. Some of her pictures are on the website above.

Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers.

Hallee hallee 3-25-2003 16:35

Hi All :)

Its been too long since I've last posted. Course, its also been a long time since I've added much to my story. I'm conflicted as to which is the worst offense ... .

I confess to being a strange one. I managed the death of our dog reasonably well when it happened, but now, a month later the full effects of grief/depression have set in. The other dogs help, but its not the same. We had one of Moose's puppies (well, he's big now at two years of age) returned to us but even that can be hard. I heard a rumbling growl the other day and stopped just short of yelling at Moose to be quiet. Zeus has his daddy's voice that's for sure.

Reading through the posts, I had a nice uplift when I read about the northern lights sightings. Oh, an April night, cold and clear several years ago. Wrapped in two coats, my hubby's handiwork on my feet and a lawn chair under my butt. Those dancing lights, swirling -- so joyous, so free. I recall thinking that they were all the souls dancing to heaven hand in hand. No matter how long I live, or how long I go before seeing those lights again, I'll never forget that first experience. That was the night and the experience that solidified God's existence for me. Several hours after seeing the northern lights, I wrote a piece of flash fiction. That one piece was published three times with the last printing being in an actual, hold in your hand magazine which paid me my first check. Passion in writing is the most amazing thing. I didn't "hear" the lights as someone mentioned, but they sang their way into my soul.

Rhoda - the scariest thing about Lupus is the difficulity in diagnosis. Even with all my blood work and my symptoms, they will not say yes you do have this. Sometimes I think they don't worry about Lupus much at all unless the kidneys are involved. But even in the "milder" cases such as my own, its highly annoying.

I believe there's conversation going on regarding descriptive problems, especially in fantasy writing. I believe the best work I've seen has the description woven in seamlessly. "Michael descended to the dungeon level, his hand sliding on the wet stone wall as his bare feet felt each dank, musty step." One of the most common faults I've seen critiquers make regarding description in fantasy work is the lack of smell. So stink the place up! hehehehe

Hallee - prayers going out for your daughter. I hope all will be well.

Jerry - hope you had a good day at the VA. (being said tongue in cheek -- I won't even mention those ongoing problems here!)

Pamela -- a big congrats!!!!

Rosemary -- I think I too will pass on those roosters. I don't think you want me feeding them to the doggies. :)

My love to all. This board is keeping my desire to write alive, even if my will is sleeping at the moment. I'll try to write something today. Even if its not related to my current work.

Carol 3-25-2003 16:21


How are you now? What's the diagnosis?

Debra 3-25-2003 15:57


Lupus is one of those diagnoses that come up when someone is having varied symptoms that are seemingly unrelated, especially when rashes and muscular-skeletal pains are involved. One doctor looked at me and told me that lupus was the problem. He scared the living daylights out of me, but he had no right to say what he said because he had not adeqately reviewed my medical history and had not run any test. I went to a rhumatologist shortly after that and had all the necessary tests, and there was nothing to intimate that I had it.

Strange thing is that during that time, I befriended many young women going through post-partem problems. One friend had come down with fiber-mialgia. Another one suffered from carpel-tunnel syndrome so bad she was forced to give up playing the piano. There is much about pregnancy that the books never prepare you for. Furthermore, many of the doctors are terribly ignorant about the toll pregnancy takes on a woman's body.

Rhoda 3-25-2003 15:20


Don't be silly. I love hearing from everyone at all times. Your attacker was from within. That is scary. You couldn't just turn it off and take a drive or a walk. You really had to over come a lot. I commend you. I really do.

Yes, there are things worse than Lupus, but I hope you don't have that. Post pardum depression is hard. I had it a little from one of my pregnancies. You are a truly a strong woman. Of course I always thought using strong in front of woman was a little redundant.

Debra 3-25-2003 14:21


Forgive me. That last post sounded somewhat preachy. I was talking to myself everybit as much as to you. We all are subject to fear. It is part of being human. You are just more open about it than the rest of us.

If you have to really pay attention to any of my post, just make it the last two paragraphs. That scripture really helped me along and it still does. There are many more scriptures that put things into perspective.

My kids tell me all the time I lecture too much, and I do. I will not lecture you anymore, DEBRA, for you have things a lot more together in most areas of life than I do.

Rhoda 3-25-2003 13:51


Leukemia can also be caused by too much chemical exposure. Industrial solvents such as Carbon tetrachloride and benzene can give it to you as well as many naturally occuring poisons in concentrated doses.

I also wish to add that fear can eat up your life. I myself have a low threshold for worry, and after the birth of my third child, I lived a life of extreme fear for my health because after that pregnancy, my blood pressure shot up to dangerous levels and I was experiencing terrible muscular and joint pain. That fear stole my life for almost a year, and before I could get on with my life I had to conquer it. Much of all that was the result of Post Partum depression and harmonial, chemical things, but my tendency toward fear was part of the equation. I finally had to get to the point of accepting what God was willing to allow in my life. If I had lupus as one of my doctors thought, then I would have to learn to live with it. Frankly I could think of a lot worse things than getting blown away in a terrorist attack.

We will all die sometime, and for most of us, it will come from commonplace sources. We are living in dangerous times, but we really need to see things in some perspective. I agree with HEATHER. Get away from the news! I have had to because I keep having dreams about this war. I cannot change it, and neither can you, DEBRA. If the Russians, North Koreans, Chinese, or even the French want to go to war with us, and they decide to nuke us today, what are we going to do about it?

The United States and Western Europe have enjoyed an incredibly long time of peace and security. No one has been this fat and happy in the history of the planet. Somehow we get to thinking that we are entitled to all these good things. Well, fact is, we are not. We are merely reaping the rewards of the sacrifices of those generations that have come before us. We are also reaping the benefits of God's grace and mercy.

My father grew up during the depression. Oftentimes the only food his family had to eat was what they were able to grow on their farm. They lived hand to mouth and they were so busy trying keep a roof over their heads, they didn't have much time to worry about all the horrible things that could happen to them. Then there was WWII. My mother talked about being in movie theatres and watching the parades or the Third Reich on the news reels and realizing all along that these people could win that war. And if not by the grace of God, Germany and the Axis powers could have won it. What would have happened if Britain had not held out? What would have happened if the Russian winter had been mild that year of the German advance and if Hitler could have actually pulled off the Russian campaign? Think about a society where there were no men except those too old or too disabled to fight. That was the United States prior to 1945. In those days Germany and its allies actually did have the ability to win the war, unlike the Iraqis have now.

I think what our wealth and technology have made us forget is that life is very uncertain. It is very unpredictable, and it is very rarely just.

Still nothing is certain. Victory in Iraq is looking to be quite costly in the terms of lives. I have decided to live one day at a time as it comes. I cannot deal with the potential horrors of the future, but I have the will and the resources to handle the needs and demands of today.

For some better insight on my post, read Matthew Chapters five and six in the Bible. Jesus ends this sermon on the mount on the thought:

"Take therefore no thought for the morrow for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."

Rhoda 3-25-2003 13:23


You don't sound cynical. I think the people who are saying that must close family members. We all know how that can go sometimes.

Debra 3-25-2003 13:15

You're all absolutely right and I'll do the best I can.

Debra 3-25-2003 13:09

DEBRA: Before I go on answer your question, Heather is very right. This is not worth losing sleep over and ruining your health. My advice? Keep living your life doing the things that you do. Let the war follow its course. Believe me keep going on like this and you'll end up like me. I've been told that I am far too young to be as cynical as I am.

Anyway the Turks. I was only making logical suppositions but it wouldn't surprise me if they were looking to wipe out the Kurds or rule them. As far having to deal with the coalition, our track record at the moment is not good so they may not see us as a threat. Anyway you, enough of this, heed my advice above and don't let this affect your health or your sense of hope. Do not dwell on this I will get really really mad.

Shutting down for the night.

Peace to all

Ramon 3-25-2003 12:45

Debra - Pamela is right (I think it was Pamela?)
You have to stop concentrating on Iraq and the news for a few days. Throw your TV out!!
You are going to eat a hole into your gut with all that worry, and for what good? If you can't sleep, can't eat, and can't concentrate on anything but the war, are you a politician, in a position of influence? No. Your unrelenting worry will not affect anyone but you, your family, and others around you. Take a week off. The war isn't going to stop just because you're worrying about it.
Relax. It's probably the best thing you could do.

Heather 3-25-2003 12:27

Hallee - very good to see you! You and your husband and daughter are on my good vibes list. (((HUGS)))

Heather 3-25-2003 12:23

Well there's probably a lot of radition coming off the sand from the sun. Although, one has to wonder what else could be causing it. For instance, is are these high numbers new? Meaning, has it always been that way, or are these high numbers a current condition dating back to a certain time?

Debra 3-25-2003 10:20

Leukemia is a common result from over-exposure to radiation.

Nick Nicholson 3-25-2003 9:58


Just a note. Your description of yourself is just smashing. I'll bet you're a sight for soar eyes. In case you never heard that expression, it's a good thing.


This sand storm NOW, I also think it's a good thing. I can feel all the forces getting a collective cat nap.

Debra 3-25-2003 8:57


I didn't think for a minute you were ignoring me. Yes, that's the kind of information we're getting too. ON the Turkey front, how much of a chance do you see this happening? HOw much of a chance do you see Turkey thinking they can take on the liberated Iraqis, the Kurds and now the Coalition Forces to get that land? That's just what they have to consider if they decide to move.

Plus they chance looking like international looters. Right?

I also have to apoloqize to all the notebookers who gave me words of encouragement. I have become a whiner when we are all going through this together. I hate those people and now, I'm in danger of becoming one permenatly. I'm putting the brakes on that.

I think we should all just say a collective prayer for all concerned. All concerned is the entire planet, with the epocenter being Bagdad.

You know what I just heard today? The children of Iraq have the highest numbers of Lukemia in the world. Hummm? Could it be the exposure to chemicals?

This whole thing is like watching someone step into a hornets nest.

Debra 3-25-2003 8:52

PAMELA -- Or even "...he went down the skylit stairwell that separated the kitchen from the playroom -- and saw that his wife had already tidied up from last night's party..."

TINA -- I've heard the aurora, right here in upstate New York! It's a definite crackling sound, with an almost inaudible chiming/humming/whooshing sound behind it. I actually went in a got a newspaper to see if I could read by that light, and I could! I can remember only three times now that I've seen it, and it's fascinating!

Has anyone here ever seen the "green flash" at sunset? Or "St. Elmo's Fire?" I haven't, but I have seen "ball lightning" -- back when I was a kid.

howard 3-25-2003 8:06

DEBRA and everyone else.

D: Sorry I haven't posted for a while but I have been sent by my company to work in an Office in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, for one week. To answer your questions, I live in the UK, in a city called Bristol. Despite my Iranian/Iraqi heritage I am a very much a British citizen, in fact aside from my nose (don't laugh)you wouldn't tell I was half persian (my mother is English).

The turks are getting involved to prevent the Kurds from setting up an independent state (there being no indication they were ever going to). Turkish and Kurds are not allies contrary to popular belief, and there is even concern that the Turks may go in and take Kurdish occupied territories for themselves, so by the time this is over we could end up with Iraq being split in much the same Germany was after WWII.

In terms of news coverage, I have cable so we have CNN and CNBC and Bloomberg, but also BBC24 and ITN News. Difficult to describe the coverage and how Americans are perceived. We're getting all sorts of coverage, i.e. ours and your troops being killed or injured by friendly fire, the soldiers captured and paraded on Iraqi TV. What is frustrating is that the CIA keep posting these stories saying a plane has crashed killing coalition troops but then quickly retract it or that they have found SH's body and they place him elsewhere. There is so much information being poured into the papers and the TV news its difficult to distinguish what's what. One thing though that is concerning was the death of ITN's Terry Lloyd and Reports have indicated it was due to friendly fire by US artillery. Is this what you're being told.

This whole thing is a right bloody mess. Pray for a quick ending guys otherwise a lot more people are going to die before this is over and if what I said about the Turks pans out then when this war is over we're going to have them to deal with as well as China, North Korea etc.

Debra I wasn't ignoring honest my dear. For Uk coverage of the news try or

Peace to all.

Ramon 3-25-2003 7:47

HALLEE -- We'll add your daughter and hubby to our list. It's getting long, but He's a good listener...

howard 3-25-2003 7:47


Dreadfully sorry about the double post...
And the post before that I'm sorry about... It wasn't until I was in bed that I realised that the post sounded very callous and coldhearted.
I would like to make a formal apology... I meant no disrespect at all... and it sounded like I was making light of the events.

Taylor 3-25-2003 7:14


Hallee: My prayers for you and your daughter... Things these days seem so cruel... Best wishes going your way as well

The Producer of Documentaries at the Oscars... I can't believe he said what he said, "We live in a time with fictitious election results that elect a fictitious President who sends us to war for fictitious reasons" It makes want to scream.
Don't some realise that people from other countries should have the same right they do... Try to go to Iraq and openly criticise the government via National Medium and then see how far you get.

But I guess he has every right to say what he said... Too bad that he opens his mouth and increases MY support for the war... Everyone should have the freedom to speak out.

Taylor 3-25-2003 7:10


Hallee: My prayers for you and your daughter... Things these days seem so cruel... Best wishes going your way as well

The Producer of Documentaries at the Oscars... I can't believe he said what he said, "We live in a time with fictitious election results that elect a fictitious President who sends us to war for fictitious reasons" It makes want to scream.
Don't some realise that people from other countries should have the same right they do... Try to go to Iraq and openly criticise the government via National Medium and then see how far you get.

But I guess he has every right to say what he said... Too bad that he opens his mouth and increases MY support for the war... Everyone should have the freedom to speak out.

Taylor 3-25-2003 7:08

Hi guys! What's new? (Kidding Jerry...) I don't want to talk about the war. As a Canadian, I have no right to. So let's just leave it at that.

I read what Amerigo had to say, and well, maybe it's better that he left. Even I can't be that ignorant...can I? Well, whatever. I'm sorry Rosemary, and I apologize for him--I apologize on behalf of all ignorant people.

And now to business. VIV: I write about places I've never been to all the time. I don't think it out too much. I think that's the secret. If you say you want to place it in Hawaii, then mention a few palm trees, some local sights, sunsets, and let the reader's imagination fill in the rest--I read somewhere that the reader actually likes to form pictures in their own mind--and breifly remind them as the story goes along...the weather was warm, the night was cool, the smell of food or suntan oil, little things. Atmosphere. That's the best I can do for you, but it might work. I've been to Rome, China, Idaho, New England. Setting is important just for that: setting, but it doesn't have to bog the story down because the writer wants to impress the reader with all the research he's done about his subject. I hope it helps...

ben 3-25-2003 2:09

The thing with 'Shadow' is, I've been told repeatedly that I use too much descriptive narration. Okay, fine, but I swung too far and took out too much, until when I re-read the first section I realised that readers won't get the context because I haven't said enough about the world I've created! So I'm putting it back in. The writers I admire - Mercedes Lackey, Anne McCaffery, Tad Williams, Terry Brooks - they all go to pains to create the world of their story so that the reader feels like they are there. Descriptive naration. Science fiction/fantasy isn't meant to be Literature with a capital 'L', so I'm gonna stop pretending it is.

And the beginning? I've re-written it one, two... three, and then four, five, now SIX times! But it's finally close to what I want.

Okay now I have to admit to a brain-fart. I was completely unable to remember what kind of writing you do, but didn't want to admit it. Military thriller? Suspense? Legal?
And yes, it's reassuring to read a BAD novel in your chosen genre. I know mine is better than some of the trash I've read, so it HAS to have a decent chance at publication! ;-)

Tina again 3-25-2003 0:51

Tina, nice description of the aurora, I really like "colour-fall". Didn't know you could hear it though, how cool it that? The Yukon still calls me, when I sell my book and make a jillion dollars, I'll get back up there again.

pamela 3-25-2003 0:35

Me again, forgot to respond to Tina's editing talk (this is a writer's group, after all). Glad you got the beginning re-worked, it is so important since we must grab the reader's attention immediately to keep him engaged. Cutting out unneccessary verbiage is good, I expect my 100 pages to be shorter when I'm done editing it. Descriptive passages are tough, it's hard for me to judge when I'm painting a good picture or going into too much detail when the reader might want to get on with the action. That's in real life, if you are creating fantasy then I would think you would have to have a lot of description for the reader to see what you see. Sometimes instead of describing things straight out, I describe things in the course of the action, like "...he went downstairs to the playroom, separated from the kitchen by a skylit stairwell..." or whatever. I don't think we have to follow the rules all of the time, sometimes, for instance, we might use incorrect grammar or punctuation to create an effect, and thinking outside the box is how new discoveries are made. I do plan to heed my readers' advice, though, if they tell me something is boring or draggy; that's why I want them to read it. I know Heather warns us against over-editing and I agree, sometimes we read it over so many times that we can't see the forest for the trees and it all starts to look like when you write an ordinary word and you know it's spelled correctly but for some reason it just doesn't look right. Fantasy is really hot right now, unless it totally sucks (I'm sure it doesn't) you should be able to sell it. I read lots of thrillers and I'm always glad when I read a bad one (occasionally they're so bad I don't even finish them) because I know publishers must be desperate for them and I'm sure to sell mine. Not being egotistical, just confident, I have to be or else I'd never go to all this trouble.

pamela 3-25-2003 0:28

Hi Pamela!

I'm not very north, just over the border, but I've had a few outstanding aurora viewings. During the solar peak we always get amazing shows. There was one a few years ago. January, freezing out, about midnight, and I saw aurora out the window. I wrapped myself in a quilt and went out on the porch.

Wow. The only way I can describe it is this:
Imagine yourself under an immense clear dome. Above the dome it is black with a million tiny glittering stars, while Jupiter is a beacon to the southeast. And then red and green and blue and yellow paint is poured over the dome, and it swirls and mixes and dances over the dome. Sometimes it sways, sometimes it spikes up and down, sometimes it clears away and reappears off to the side. It just keeps on going, an endless waterfall of colour tumbling overhead. A dancing colour-fall.

I have never heard the aurora, and that is on my 'must-do' list. Head up to the Yukon, maybe. I have to hear the aurora sing.

Blue skies! or multicoloured. ;-)

Tina 3-25-2003 0:15

Hi again, just popped in to revise my "Girls Night Out" to add "plus Howard" (brave soul).

Tina, thanks for compliments, I wish I didn't have the ability to be so far-thinking (I'm analytical), maybe I wouldn't be so frightened now. I do think we are being subjected to propaganda here, at least by ommission. I appreciate your being honest about the world view of us despite the fact that people don't want to hear it (please nobody get mad). The snowdog effect sounds beautiful, I guess you get the northern lights up there a lot too. I saw them when I was in Alaska but not colors, it wasn't cold enough, just white, but it was sooooo cool!

pamela 3-24-2003 23:56

Hi all!

Pamela, you have a good way of stating your thoughts clearly, and frankly, you're one of the only Americans I've met who seem able to see past the rampant propaganda within your country. OTHER USIANS don't flip out on me! Someone asked for views of non-Americans about the US, and while you may be shocked, yup arrogance is high on the list of generalised traits. There is a reason why young Canadians travelling overseas always put a Canadian flag patch on their bags. They get treated better when their hosts know they aren't from the US.

A lovely atmospheric phenomina (sp?). When it is really really cold and crisp clear, tiny ice crystals in the atmosphere refract light from the sun and moon. Very nice.

Feeling a bit overwrought right now. Probably because I planned on jumping on the weekend, and the weather didn't cooperate. No jumps = grumpy Tina. It's the perfect stress relief, so I'm un-relieved.

I did rewrite the opening of 'Shadow'. Much happier now, much cleaner.
I've made two decisions about 'Shadow'. One is that I will become merciless in cutting out unneeded passages. The other is that I am going to acknowledge everyone who has told me to cut out the descriptive passages, and then leave them there. I might even add to them. I've been analising my chosen genre, and descriptive passages are important to create the world. I am creating a fantasy world, not a literary one. Literary rules don't fully apply, and I need to keep that clear as I edit.

Hallee, (((HUGS))) and well-wishes for your entire family.

Debra, a dot of lavender oil on your pillow should help you sleep.

Blue skies!

Tina 3-24-2003 22:50


I did not go forth to edit, I went forth to my local for about half a dozen beers (over a period of hours--no driving drunk). Except for a few conversations there, forgot all about the war for a while, looked out at the park across the street as twilight fell, talked to fellow artists, one a musician, one a painter, discussed creativity and other general stuff, it was great. Came back here to Girls Night Out (they should know better than to let us out!).

Oh Hallee, bless your heart, you are really going through it right now. I will be thinking about your daughter (what is her name, how old is she?) and that whatever problems she has may be fixable (they can do amazing things these days). You are so strong, I don't know how you do it. Please God let Gregg come home to you on Friday. Clean the house and go shopping at Victoria's Secret.

Debra--you've seen how scared I got lately, follow the good Hallee's advice and turn off the tv for a day. It DOES seem like playing ping-pong with a madman, our whole world has gone CRAZY!!!!! (Picture female Lewis Black here.) The Sleepytime tea is a good idea and I also strongly recommend watching The Daily Show for a different perspective of world affairs (it's on Comedy Central and Jon Stewart is actually well-informed and has some serious guests but they manage to laugh anyway). Italian Sunday dinners sounds like delicious fun.

Roosters sound like fun too but sorry, Rosemary, I don't have room for any (are they edible?). I worked with a gal who raised fancy chickens and they were really pretty. Looking through job listings recently I saw one for a chicken catcher, now, that sounds like a pretty lousy job.

Heather--Didn't mean to steal your whip, you do such a good job! Thanks to you and Rhoda and Teekay for saying I inspired you, I am so glad to repay the favor since this group has inspired me so much. Rhoda, don't worry about misspellld wrds, we have to leave something for the editors to do. Teekay, hope you get a good start on your short story.

And thanks to those who congratulated me on my 100 pages, awwww, you didn't have to do that (yes you did, was I fishing, or what?).

Rachel, I dont know how you do everything you do, you are awesome! Sunny, YES, I can feel the power! (I think I've stolen someone's exclamation points.)

Love, l*o*v*e, LOVE to everyone, we shall survive (here or somewhere else). And peace.

pamela 3-24-2003 22:35

ROSEMARY -- If I had my coop cleared out I'd take you up on that offer! We're planning to get some more chickens and a pig or two, maybe even a small-breed milk cow, but not for a while yet. We usually keep aracauna chickens -- that's one of the old South American breeds that most of our modern chickens were derived from. They lay the colored (pink, blue, green) eggs, and they tolerate the cold better than some of the other breeds.

DEBRA -- Don't take alarm over every rumour you hear -- that's what Saddam and his verminous offspring would want us to do. Personally, I believe they're at the very least demon-possessed, if not actual demons themselves. Yes, I believe there are demons, and we're no match for them in our own strength.

If you want a good read, try Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness to get some idea of the spiritual battle going on all around us. Scary, but reassuring as well.

We've opened our church up an extra evening a week for the community to come in to pray for their loved ones in the service. So many frightened people needing comfort and encouragement. Many needing help with every day living as well. Many reservists have been called up, leaving their families in real need for everything from food to child care. Look around wherever you might be -- there's someone who needs you right now! We've gotta stick together to get through this one.

howard 3-24-2003 22:31


The book SHADOWS IN A DREAM written by AMERICO, RACHEL, JACK and ALLEIN, was written on that very premise. They could tell you more about it.


My prayers go out to you, your husband and your daughter. Hugs to you. I admire you for holding so many things together.

Rhoda 3-24-2003 21:34

There is such power in this group; can you feel it? It really is very special.

My heart goes out to everyone overseas, and their families at home. You are the best of the best.

Hallee: prayers for your daughter's doctor visit are being sent tonight.

Has anyone ever thought about making a book out of this message board? Our stories are a wonderful microcosm of life in this age, and they're all archived! There is a dearth of internet stories out there, and this is such a positive one.

I want to thank all of you motivators out there for keeping me writing! Because of what I read here before dinner, I'm getting alot done tonight.

Keep it coming! And as Pamela said, we will all get through this together.

P.S. Rosemary, don't think I'll take you up on the rooster offer, but thanks just the same. :-)

Sunny 3-24-2003 20:34

An ending to a beautiful day here,

About the books-on-tape, The San Antonio Library carries a good selection. I plugged in the keyword 'cassette' just to see how many, and it was over 10,000. That should keep us going for a while. The librarian also said that if I wanted anything the whole library (1 central and about 15 branches) doesn't carry, she can get it for me. On the minus side, we thought we had lost one of eleven tapes to a book and the library said it would be $80 if we didn't find it. My sister (left it in the eighteen wheeler) called the 800 number on the case and they sent her a replacement for about $5. That fuzzed us up for a while. They would charge us that enormous amount instead of dialing a phone number. We got over it. Are a lot more careful now.

Does anyone need a Rooster or four. We're doing our yearly cutting down of the heard. We get rid of as many roosters as we can catch. The first eight are gone and four more are waiting in cages. That is three coachens and one white leghorn. No pedegrees on anyone. Just send an address and I'll ship the nicest bird available. (this was a joke)(unless someone really wants one. Shipping charge only)
We always end up with the fastest and wildest because we can't catch them. Oh well.

Try large doses of chamomile tea in the evening. It really does help. I found out about it when my husband died twenty-five years ago. Also, I would doubt it could keep its strength over a number of years, but if it was sealed up real well, who knows?

Good thoughts to everyone.

Rosemary 3-24-2003 20:08

Oh my gosh I'm so tired.

Debra 3-24-2003 19:49

You know this whole war thing isn't about WMD for me. In fact last night when I was at my Italian mother's every Sunday dinner with my family, yes, needless explaination. I just like saying it. Anyway, we were all sitting having desert when they announced they found the so called chemical factory. Everyone cheered like in victory. I was just shocked and made them all stop. This is not the time to yell victory. It's when all the Iraqi people are standing around with their smiling faces and guards down cheering dancing with the colition forces. That's what this war is about for me.

Some Iraqi diplomat sunk his own ship one night for me, when he screamed "Iraq has the largest wealth in the world in oil. That's what they want." What an idiot! His people own people are starving. Children are dying 2000 a month from the sanctions, because his leader doesn't care.

Saddam reminds me of a man standing of a roof holding a baby threatening to throw it off if its family doesn't feed him and throw him their money. Then they do and instead of giving the baby back he laughs and says "again."

I'll be he did destroy his weapons. He's just so arrogant he'd rather make his whole country suffer than just admit it. That's what this war is about for me. I want that baby saved i.e. the whole country and him stopped. He's the ultimate bully and now he's spawned two more just like him.

Debra 3-24-2003 19:47

YOu know what's really hard on the old soul? You listen to one show and they say "oh they're doing great, ahead of schedule."

Then you listen to another show and they say "they're trapped. They're going into armageddon."

Who's right? Who's right?

I don't have the stomach for war. At times like this, it feels like I'm the only one. Although, I know I owe the freedom I enjoy TO war. It feels like I"m playing ping pong with a madman.

Debra 3-24-2003 19:29


That's one powerful wet noodle you got there. You should show it to Rumsfeld. Or is it like you said, I just need time to get used the fact that my world left, i.e. Gregg left. I do have to reorganize my shock and awe. I'm shocked and in awe, and a whole lot horrorifed. I saw some great interviews with the troops for what seemed like months of the waiting. Now I'm remembering the sweet faces and wondering how their doing.


I hope you're right. The person who told me lives in a country that was occupied by Russia for years. Her mother is hearing rumors from towns people. Not good!

Let me be wrong!

Let me know what you're hearing over there down under if anything. You guys are the greatest, just the greatest!

Debra 3-24-2003 19:17


Happy Monday all! Well, I have almost good news. My husband should have been home this week, then they quit those plans, and rumors had been going around that it would be August. Well- barring anything unforeseen he'll get on a plane Friday. The first plane leaves at 0500 local tomorrow morning (which is really in about 2 minutes) and he's on plane 9 of 12. Okay - now I must clean and do things like shave my legs. I'm trying not to get excited, but it's SO hard not to.

Bad news - my daughter is exhibiting three different symptoms of a brain tumor. She has a doctor's appointment tomorrow.

Books on tape: My husband and I have never lived together. We met, fell in love, and got married living 357 miles apart and driving to each other as often as we could. As soon as his National Guard unit got activated, he was no longer able to leave the state of Alabama, so I went every weekend - 5-1/2 hours. We left every Friday right after work. If I had Kaylee, we came home Sunday. If I didn't, I left Monday morning in time to get to work by 8:00. I fell in love with books on tape. My favorite, and if you like them, find it - is Ava's Man by Rick Bragg. Unbelieveable book - and the author narrates the book himself.

HEATHER: Hey you** Good to see you.

TEEKAY: (((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))) right back at you.

DEBRA: Trust me - there is no good that can come out of now sleep and constant worry. NONE. I think I broke down about a month after Gregg first left. I finally just started functioning. Snap out of it and turn the television off for the day. There's nothing you can do, save for praying for those soldiers, but your children and husband need you functioning. (Okay - I'm putting the wet noodle back now.)

MARK & JERRY: I didn't realize what a rigamarole the VA was until I heard about my father-in-law's plight. He contracted Hepatitis (C?) in Vietnam from Agent Orange and now is in the throws of liver failure. The things he has had to do and the hoops he's had to jump through. And after serving his country for 30 years. Women with 6 kids on welfare get better medical treatment. My dad hasn't had any bad experiences, so he must be near a really good VA hospital.

I've written a lot lately. It feels good to be writing again.

I must go now. I threw a roast into the oven as soon as I got home from work, and it should be about ready now.

Be well, all.

Hallee 3-24-2003 18:38

Well crack my whip! Pamela, your inspiration is sure catchy! Thank you, by the way! (((HUGS)))

Heather 3-24-2003 17:17

Hi All,
ROSEMARY: I think those book tapes are a great idea. I mostly listen to them when I quilt and am alone in the house.
The alone bit doesn't happen very often though.

PAMELA: Well done on the writing front. Now I'm feeling even stodgier :-D
Shame me enough and I may even get it together and do some writing.

JERRY: What fun. I especially love the idea of staying overnight in a motel.

HALLEE: ((((((((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS )))))))))))))))))) 2 U.

DEBRA: I'm with JERRY. I doubt Russia would fight. They don't really have the resources to waste on a war they wouldn't win.
I did hear however that if the factory in the desert was found to be used for making chemical weapons, more countries may wish to enter into the war.

War; - three little letters with such ugly conotations ~shudder~

Oprah was very interesting. An inside look at Iraq and Suddam Hussein.
Interesting to hear that he believes he won the Gulf War simply because he survived it.
Part 2's on today.

Anyway, there is this short story I have been meaning to write for a while, so I am going to dangle PAMELA's post in front of my nose for inspiration and see if I can't get it at least started today.

Teekay 3-24-2003 17:00

Hi Teekay and Rosemary,

The tea is on :o)


I did have a nice time at the tournament. Sure, it has put me behind very close to the end of the semester, but I'm getting caught up. I will write one test tonight, I've completed two papers and two assignments. How is that for a productive morning (smiles). There is still a lot to do, but that's the way it goes. I wanted to do this, so should try not bitch on about it.

Take care all.

Rachel 3-24-2003 15:50


I mispelled that too. This doesn't bode well for the novel.

Rhoda 3-24-2003 14:57


That last post was mine. I was addressing it to Pamela.

Rhoda 3-24-2003 14:56

Way to go on your rewrite! You have inspired me to turn off the radio, put on some Celtic mood music and get working.

PAMELA 3-24-2003 14:55

Dunno why that url didn't light up -- it's

If that doesn't work, just cut/paste or type on your address bar.

howard 3-24-2003 14:26

ROSEMARY -- and anyone else who likes books on tape -- check and take a look at what's available there! They've got all sorts of books for download, playable on your PC, on Diamond Rio (and other) players, even burnable to CDs so you can listen anywhere. I have a couple of the players -- little pager-sized units that hold 64mb -- that I listen to through a cassette daec adapter in my car, and will shortly start burning to CD for the same purpose.
They offer several deals where you can get a free player for subscribing for a year to their service -- I get a book a month plus a month's subscription (this month I got NPR's CarTalk) to a newspaper, radio show, etc, for $12.95 per month. Not a bad deal.

howard 3-24-2003 14:24

I don't think we're being bickery either, this war stuff is just getting on everyone's nerves and the media constantly repeating the same old stuff doesn't help. Jerry, I, for one, haven't been offended by your comments, I think we all need to get things off our chests and am glad we are now doing it in a peaceful way. I appreciate your taking the time to read the stuff that was scaring me and can understand. I'm not trying to do any convincing, I don't even know what I believe myself, I find myself just plain scared. I've decided to lay off watching the news so much, I can turn it on once at the end of the day and watch the ticker make its run-through one time and get all of the information that the media takes twenty-four continuous hours to tell you. Hallee, please don't think this means that I don't care about your husband and the others over there fighting for us, just that my blood pressure can't take it.

On a brighter note, I hit page 100 on my book rewrite today! My page-progress posts have been understandably lost in the shuffle of the crisis we are experiencing, but will somebody please pat me on the back now, my shoulder is getting all out of joint from doing it myself! I've decided to stop at this point and go back and edit what I've got so far, then print it up for my sample readers to tackle (two friends and one librarian who regularly read thrillers). Kind of scary to do that, but other readers loved the first draft, which wasn't as good as this one, so hopefully they will like it okay.

Naughty girls, naughty girls. If only the boys knew what goes on behind our sweet innocent faces... You potty-talk girls could maybe get a job writing for SouthPark, the most scatological show in the history of television. Mmmmm, I like chamomille tea with a bit of honey and lemon. Come to think of it, I should start drinking it more often (I've got an old box of it, does it last forever?) during these tenseful times (made-up word but I like it). Rachel, I didn't know you were going to hockey games with hubby coach (I thought you were just a fan), that must be fun. Is it little kids, do you get to be a den mother on the road, do your own kids play?

Okay, I leave now to go forth and edit. Love to all, we'll get through this together.

pamela 3-24-2003 14:02


My husband thinks that the soldiers doing battle are getting more sleep than I am. I haven't been able to eat, sleep, or concentrate on much since it started.

I have a stack of bills that should have gone out already, still sitting here. I'm hoping to get to them today.

Debra 3-24-2003 12:08

Make that BLASTING over the airwaves, see what happens when you press enter before proof reading?

Jerry 3-24-2003 11:44

Debra - I doubt that Russia would try to attack the U.S. over this war, probably just a rumor, you know how easy it is to get them started once conflicts begin.

I would think CNN would be lasting that over the air waves every second of every day if they heard such thing.

You're right about the constant blather of the news on the war, heck they even interrupted the Oscar's last night for stupid bulletins about mostly nothing.

I take exception with the press when they have to be knocking at the door of every POW's family's and those MIA and KIA. Can't they just let these poor people grieve in privacy? I know if my son lay dead in the desert of Iraq and some ass hole from CNN came knocking on my door, he'd be picking himself up off my porch after my fist connected with his jaw.

It's getting so stupid but I guess that's what we have to put up with in a free nation with free press.

Just a note before we head south to the VA.


Jerry 3-24-2003 11:43


Thanks for the hugs.

This war coverage is all just too much. Also, anyone abroad, I've been hearing from a friend of mine who's mother lives in Europe that the Russians are claiming to be planning an attack on the USA. Has anyone heard anything to that one?

Debra 3-24-2003 8:56


Feeling better now...

I've looked for Halloween 1... but not available in Kal as far as I know.

I've actually allocated myself a certain amount of time for watching the news everyday... And what about Non-War news? None happening or is it being ignored?
And it seems everyday there's a new "Mishap" which causes death... From accidents to "Fragging"
Soon it seems the US & Coalition forces will not need an enemy.

NoName poster: At least post a name so we can know who we're debating against.

Taylor 3-24-2003 6:14

I'm off to see the wizard! Well not the wizard exactly, the Dr. down at the VA, just my regular check up thing, nothing serious. At any rate to avoid the pitfalls of driving the round trip and falling asleep half way home, we're going to make a day of it, leave tomorrow afternoon, spend the night in a neighboring town at a nice motel, the see the Doc bright and early with an afternoon drive home.

If my mumbling on the war has offended anyone, it was surely not my intention.

Anyhow you now get a nice break till day after tomorrow anyhow.

Jerry 3-23-2003 23:51

I love hot tea British style. That's with milk and sugar. MMMMMMMMM. I don't think we were bickering. Hope you had a good time at the hocky thingy.

A idea for those who want to read a good book but have other things to do. Try a book on tape. I run one whenever I do kitchen clean-up or crochet. Anything that doesn't take concentration. My sister uses them on her job driving the big truck at night to Dallas and Houston. Makes the same old drive over and over go faster.

Microsoft just did a two hour update on my computer which I am sure it needed, but now I can't access my Mail through the internet explorer. I have to minimize it and click on the Outlook Express. Bummer. But, at least now I can click on things in the mail messages. Before it said I was missing a file that probably went out with CompuServe. Nothing is ever easy.

Gone for tonight.

Rosemary 3-23-2003 23:30

RACHEL: Mmmmm, down time is good, and reading for the sheer pleasure of it, and does anything beat when you can lose yourself in a world of complete fabrication, or that sense of achievement when you've written just that bit (or a lot) more on that novel, or polished up that short story and made it just that touch more perfect?

And a cup of tea sounds brilliant. I'm going to make myself one right now and go watch Oprah.

Teekay 3-23-2003 22:27


I wrote a post some days ago that could have been read as somewhat bickerish, that is what I'm talking about. Crap, I've spent the past four days trying to write papers and complete assignments and party at the same time. That is not easy... In the end, I spent a lot of time in my room reading and writing, while people came in and out asking me to come out and play. It was so hard to resist. I think it is good that I'll take the spring/summer semester off. I need a little break. Dan is going to take the spring/summer hockey season off as well, he usually coaches pretty much year round. I think the two of us will enjoy a little down time. Well, I guess now I'll sit down and write two more papers, then I can start to study for a couple of tests that I've got to do. Man, I just want to read a book for the pure enjoyment of it. I want to write, to stretch out my creativity and roll around in it for a time. Yup, I do need a cup of tea.


Rachel 3-23-2003 22:09

Pamela - Went to and read for the last couple of hours. There were some intresting things there, none of them changed what I believe, but I can see where they could.

Hi Teekay - Heather - Good to see you posting.


Jerry 3-23-2003 22:00

I didn't think we were bickering. HEATHER's being a bit naughty though.

Teekay 3-23-2003 21:38

Pamela - love it! I am, it's true. Toilet humour, alas, looks to be my lot. AAAAA HAHAHAHAHHAHA HA HAHAHA HA HA HA!!!!!

Heather 3-23-2003 21:19

We're not bickering. I'm finding it helpful to be able to express my doubts and fears here.

pamela 3-23-2003 20:55

Who's bickering?

Teekay 3-23-2003 20:22


Lets kick back and make a pot of tea. I know I could use a nice cup. I've been away at a hockey tournament over the past few days and have no energy to bicker or fight. There is enough fight going on.


Hugs are good things, aren't they (smiles to you).

Take care all.

Rachel 3-23-2003 20:07

Pamela - My father told me a thousand times, believe none of what you hear, a quarter of what you read and half of what you see and you'll be about right.

He was a wise man.

I guess, like everyone else, you have to take in the information that is available, run it though your thought processes, come up with a belief, then stand by it. That's all anyone can do, and in today's world with the rewriting of history to fit the beliefs of those who teach, not those who lived the history one has to simply have faith in our own belief system, and try and glean some bits of truth from that.

It's probably always been that way, and I guess that so long as man is the animal who rules this world, man, who is indeed fallible, then one can only live on the faith that one has in the reporters of the facts the one has come to believe and toss the rest out with the bath water.

Does that make any sense?

Probably not, it's been a very long day, and tomorrow looks to be even longer. After 9-11 one simply has to try and live life as best we can, hug those we love and move on to the next crisis.

Oh to turn the clock back to the 60's when we had a war we knew was wrong, the threat of total annihilation held over our heads like a mushroom cloud and lots of drugs to make us forget all that crap...

Jerry 3-23-2003 18:47

I was looking for some more balanced coverage on the net and read several articles from last week's Newsweek, the cover of which featured a missle hovering over the planet and the headline "Why America Scares The World." Newsweek is a reliable source, isn't it, I mean it's not just a bunch of nuts? I wasn't reassured. America is beginning to scare me.

pamela 3-23-2003 18:13

Pamela - I guess I've heard that from many of the protesters who were interviewed by news hounds on the street at the protests. Another thing most of them said (I don't think they could help themselves!) was their belief that the President wasn't elected, he was selected. I guess they do have a point, I would have liked to have seen a 100% recount nation wide to put an end to all the crap that won't end till the next election.

I recall also hearing about 99.9% of the Democrat's in the house and the Senate saying that "there is NO proof that there is any connection between terrorism and Saddam."

At any rate, I do think that the US should attempt to work with the UN, but when, after viewing evidence that Saddam was not in fact disarming, and only making very small concessions after twelve years, all those wise men on the UN Security Council wanted to keep up the shared, and allow this tyrant to continue murdering his own people, raping their wives and children, poisoning the minorities and developing his WMD.

If the US does not find WMD (and there's a very good chance that Saddam will destroy them himself before he is taken out just to prove a point.) Then there will surely be proof that he had them at the time the war began.

As far as why he has not used them, it is very possible that he will not, just to get the judgement of the world further against the US.

I do think that once the war is over and the US has a good chance to explore all the underground compounds that Saddam has (Should they ever find them ALL) that there will be ample evidence that he had them.

There is no doubt that he had them in Gulf War I, since the VA now includes "those exposed to poison gas" among those eligible for VA Medical services, that in itself is proof. After all it took many years before the US would admit that Agent Orange was in fact bad for the health of Vietnam Vets.

At any rate, I guess all that we can do is sit back and watch the action, that a pray.

As far as the President being arrogant, I don't see him that way, I see him as being a brave forthright man, who is strong enough to stand up to those who would speak against him, and do the right thing to protect the people of the United States despite the bleeding heart liberals in Europe.

Jerry 3-23-2003 17:48

MARK: Good onya, and I had a mouthful of coffee too.

PAMELA: I sort of had the same worry as you, but in reverse.
Terrorism has already filtered through into our way of life. Our (Australia's) freedom of speech has already been attacked through the Bali bombings because of our open support to America. To me terrorists are like cockroaches, there's no getting rid of them, and if you just let them go they become totally unmanageable.
Do you know that in Iraq schools the children, before begining their lessons, stand and have a hate and destroy America anthem and have had for many years. They're propogandering hate at a very early age, I'm hoping that this war will eradicate that useless harmful type of mindset, because as far as I can see, since Sept. 11th we're all in it.

DEBRA: I wouldn't have a clue how many Kurds live in Turkey. (Am holding myself tightly back from following MARK's lead :-D)
What I told you was basically what I'd got from TV viewing.

Just in case you're not getting it over there in the U.S.A.
Australian's are the best soldiers in the world.
And we are soooooooooooooooooo PROUD of them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Teekay 3-23-2003 17:08

ROSEMARY -- It (and you as well) means very much to me!
NOBODY messes with our gal(s)!

howard 3-23-2003 15:32

Heather--- you're totally gross but a doll, bless you and others here who make me laugh. And so mystical too, so are you a big fan of the Boston Celtics? How about some more baby poo stories from Rachel and Tina?

pamela 3-23-2003 15:20

Jerry, I totally agree with you that it is not a valid argument against war to say there is no connection between Iraq and terrorism, I was not aware that anyone was even saying that. From Teekay's post too, it is obvious that many of the protesters are idiots. It just scares me in general that one single man can have such large effect on such a global scale. It also disturbs me that someone here had to ask Ramon what other countries were saying about us, especially after watching a special last night about George Seldes, an outspoken journalist from early in the last century who talked about misinformation fed to the public by the media during WWI and II. Even I am watching the news now and I notice that they don't report much that is negative toward or about our country, including other countries' opinions. It makes me wonder how much might be being withheld from us now or in the future. If they did not find WMD, do you think the world will be told of that (and if SH has them, why isn't he using them now that he is under attack)? Surely all of those who are against this war, to include heads of countries and members of governments, aren't completely uninformed fools. I think we should pay attention to how the rest of the world perceives us, we are definitely becoming known for our arrogance. However one feels about the U.N., basically telling them to go **** themselves sends a strong signal that we feel we do not have to follow any rules. What if the rest of the world decides that George Bush is a threat to peace, a man who feels he can initiate a war any time he wants (which is, after all, what he is saying)? I don't think people are against dealing with Iraq so much as the way Mr. Bush went about it. I am not really arguing or disagreeing with you here so much as expressing my fears. I hope it all turns out for the best, I really do, but I wonder what kind of terrorist atrocities our children and grandchildren may have to suffer because of new seeds of hatred that are being sown now and the door to possible future diplomacy being firmly slammed shut.

Okay, where do I deposit my two pennies, I've had my say and am now going to return to my book. I'm on page 96 today, looks like tomorrow I'll get to buy a bottle of champagne when I hit 100. All write!

pamela 3-23-2003 15:13

Hugs to everyone... stranger times I can't recall.

Heather Hemlock Bags 3-23-2003 14:57

Pamela - the only thing I know of dogs in winter are frozen snoopies - as in Snoopy the dog (and Snoopies, referring to the air being so cold, the snot in your nose freezes and gets prickly)

There's a disgusting thought of the day...!!
My husband just came up with a Timbit (like the little hole from a doughnut) and it is pressed in on one side, and looks like....uh, something dirty! LOL

And he ate it.... :oD

Heather 3-23-2003 14:43

Pamela - I wasn't addressing ALL the protestor's comments, but many said "there is NO connection between IRAQ and the terrorists!" now that argument is not valid.

The Congress DID in fact give the President authority to use military power to disarm Iraq, hell even Dashal has admitted that, but now wishes he hadn't because his democratic advisors said it is NOW wrong.

I think it's great that the protesters can go out and say what they want to say, that's what makes America great, but you have to look at the reality of the situation.

As far as a rift in Europe, that was coming anyway with the new E.U.

Germany and France want to emerge from this as the world's new super power and that's what is causing their descent, that and the fact that both nations traded regularly with Iraq despite the UN sanctions that were in effect.

Russia is pissed off because they made a sweetheart deal with Saddam to re-arm him in trade for illegal imports of oil (not for food!)

As far as China, they've been pissed at us for years because we stand between them and the free Chinese in Taiwan.

The United Nations has been a joke for the last thirty years and everyone who's watched what goes on there knows that. I'm with Jean Kirkpatrick when she said back in the 80's that the UN could feel free to pull out of the United States and we'd all stand on the dock and wave good bye and good riddance.

It's a joke to think that such an orginization could do anything, they simply exist to make themselves feel good, yet they have no real power, proven by the last twelve years sitting back and telling Saddam, "Ok now you have to disarm!" a few years latter "Ok Saddam now you HAVE to disarm this time we mean it!" and again and again the same crap with NO ACTION!

I say GOOD FOR GEORGE W BUSH! It's about time someone steps forward and kicks this little dictator's ass. The truth will soon be known but there are those who would say "It doesn't make any difference it's all about oil!" Well that's crap, it's ALL ABOUT the last presidential election and half the country thinks Bush a selected President, not an elected president!

Jerry 3-23-2003 10:17

Good morning all,

Before I forget, Mark, REALLY good work on your characterization in Guess Who? So good that it makes me go, "hmmmm" and wonder if perhaps you have a hairy secret.

Hallee -- I've heard that bidets are nice too, I wish we had them everywhere here like they do in Europe. The best thing, of course, will be for your hubbie to return to you safe, sound and SOON.

Hey you Canadians, I just read a book set up there and they referred to it being so cold the sky was full of "snowdogs." Huh? Whazzat?

Jerry, are you claiming that everyone who is protesting the war believes that there is no link between Iraq and terrorism? That is like saying that everyone in the 101st Airborne wants to throw grenades at their commanders. I know it feels good to go bomb the hell out of the bad guys but I think there are other legetimate concerns and that people have a right to voice their opinions without having them generalized by people who want to follow authority without question. If people had not protested against the war in Viet Nam, more young men would have had to suffer the horrors that you did. As it did then, my heart goes out to the brave troops following the orders of their leaders but that doesn't mean that the leaders are right. President Bush has taken action that affects much of the world, and I, for one, find that disturbing. He has circumvented Congress' sole authority to declare war, especially without U.N. sanction, (their earlier vote to use force if necessary did not address this situation). I am assuming that we agreed to abide by the rules of this organization when we joined it, yet when things do not go our way, we first try to pressure people into changing their votes (not a very democratic thing to do) and when that doesn't work we say to heck with the vote, we're going to go ahead and do what we want anyway. A huge rift has been created in Europe, and countries who disagree with us are ostracized and ridiculed (changing "french fries" to "freedom fries" in congressional dining rooms--how childish is that?) Our actions have resulted in even the conservative Islams calling for jihad against us (perhaps resulting in the 101st incident) and we are now being threatened by China, another very powerful country. As we sit back and watch our TV war that "looks like an action movie" I think we should also take a look at the larger picture. And also think about what is next. Mr. Bush has now established that he alone can decide to bomb anyone he perceives as a threat, I guess Korea will be next, then. There are lots of bad guys out there committing atrocities, does he plan to kill them all?

pamela 3-23-2003 9:30

The site below is sort of cute.

Jerry Bomb Saddam 3-23-2003 0:53

Mark, you made me laugh - an all-out belly laugh, only the second time today. Thank you! ;o)

Heather 3-23-2003 0:19

If the Turkish people took control of the Kurds and then intermarried, would the resulting population be Turdish?

Ahh, I dunno. I'm going to bed.

Mark 3-22-2003 23:46

Evening all,

Last night I had a brilliant post almost done
and ready to post when my lousy computer threw
me out of the internet. Everyone is being so
great about posting that even if I could remember
what I was saying, it would be old news now.

All the animals are doing pretty well. My poodle who is never let out of the yard unless he is with me, stood outside the gate and cried until I noticed he wasn't in the
house. That was a close call because the trafic on the
highway in front of our property is very dangerous. I
told him he was a very good dog and gave him an extra
rawhide chew.

I know what you mean about the notebook feeling like
home. I have moved three times since I started lurking
all those years ago. You must have been before me because
when I first noticed you, you lived in Texas. I didn't
post for the first couple of years. Too scary. Still sometimes.

You need to get those Nam stories together, get them edited and start sending them out. There is an excellent market
for that area of stories. I'd try a couple of likely
publishers then if they didn't have the brains to know
what they were missing out on, I'd go the PublishAmerica
route. You have to sell your own books but you might just
get a home business going.

For what it's worth, I think you're both great!


Rosemary 3-22-2003 22:48


PAMELA - funny, and a bit scary, that you're not the only person who has ever recommended that to me - haha.

TEEKAY - That was hysterical. A friend of mine even sent me some article written by someone named "Mohammed somebody or other PHD" about the nuclear bombs being used in Afghanistan. Now, I have a very reliable source in Afghanistan, and tried to find a way to laugh it off instead of just stressing out all over again.

TAYLOR: The first Halloween is a classic. You must see it.

JERRY: That site was wonderful! I sent a link to my husband.

I'm off to bed. You guys have a fantastic rest of the weekend.

Hallee 3-22-2003 22:27

Sorry -- that last post was mine.

howard 3-22-2003 21:52

Ask almost anyone whose last name ends in -ian how they feel about the Turks coming into anywhere and I think you'll hear something less than supportive.

Armenian Genocide 1915-1917

In the early stages of World War I, in 1915 Russian armies advanced on Turkey from the north and the British attempted an invasion from the Mediterranean. Citing the threat of internal rebellion, the Ottoman government ordered large-scale roundups, deportations, and systematic torture and murder of Armenians beginning in the spring of 1915. Estimates vary from 600,000 to 2 million deaths out of the prewar population of about 3 million Armenians. By 1917 fewer than 200,000 Armenians remained in Turkey.

Whatever the exact dimensions of the genocide, Armenians suffered a demographic disaster that shifted the center of the Armenian population from the heartland of historical Armenia to the relatively safer eastern regions held by the Russians. Tens of thousands of refugees fled to the Caucasus with the retreating Russian armies, and the cities of Baku and Tbilisi filled with Armenians from Turkey. Ethnic tensions rose in Transcaucasia as the new immigrants added to the pressures on the limited resources of the collapsing Russian Empire.

Wonder why the Kurds aren't happy with the thought of Turkish control?

3-22-2003 21:51


According to what I heard, the population in Turkey is almost all Kurds. Then you got that huge population of Kurds in Iraq. Turkey is worried that there will be a revolt and they will try to turn Turkey and the Northern half of Iraq into one large Kurdistan. I can't imagine that happening now or ever.

I hope no mucking will begin.

Debra 3-22-2003 18:08

DEBRA: No! I didn't, and I'm kicking myself. I'm also wishing I'd taped a video some dis-enchanted human shields made of their valiant trip to save the world.
Too too funny.

I've only heard that the Turks are trying to stop any Iraqi refugees and to see that the Kurds don't try and begin an independent..........state? is it? Anyway, the Kurdish speaker said they have no intention of starting an independent state, they just want Iraq as a united democracy. Don't quite no what it is to do with the Turks anyway, but as far as refugees go, it seems that Iraqi's who left their cities are returning. That was another Shrek moment.

Teekay 3-22-2003 17:08


You're killing me! That's just so funny.

Why didn't you record it? Are you hearing anything about Turkey?

I just hope they don't muck this thing up.

Debra 3-22-2003 16:55

I love the media!!! (for the moment) Yesterday they interviewed Judy Davis, actress and leading protestor voice. I groaned inwardly at the thought of it, but it was fantatic!!! The woman made such an idiot of herself that I'm glad they interviewed her.
She had no idea what was going on, - obviously she hadn't taken a look at the TV or listened to the radio that morning otherwise how could you not??
She thought the coaliton had begun using nuclear weapons. When the interviewer (who looked a bit dazed) set her straight she acted like she didn't believe her and said that maybe they ought to get a bomb specialist to verify it. Oh, and there was more, so much more, I was delighted. Hubby and I watched the interview and later it occured to me that our expressions looked a lot like Shrek and Donkey's when they came to Dulock. And like Donkey I would have LOVED to watch it over again, and again.
Soooooo funny.

Teekay 3-22-2003 16:43

Um.....that's NOT telling its citizens.

Debra 3-22-2003 16:20


Where do you live?

Do you live in the US?

If not, what news are you receiving? I'm hearing disturbing news that other countries are telling its citizens that this whole mission is one of rescuing the Iraqis and keeping other countries safe from terrorists attacks.

Debra 3-22-2003 14:05

Well one has to wonder now, those who are protesting the war claiming that there is no link to terrorists and Iraq will reconcile the death of the journalist in Northern Iraq at the hands of a El Quada backed terrorist suicide bomber.

Ah well I guess they will simply ignore such graphic evidence and continue their anti-Bush protests.

Jerry 3-22-2003 13:47

Howard - downloaded ALICE and have been playing around with her, lots of fun, you're right, she's much brighter then Eliza.

I first had Eliza back in the early 90's when I ordered a copy on a 5.25 inch floppy for my old Commodore 128.

Have you downloaded her? When you do you have to download another support software called "Wordnet."

Wordnet makes a nice desktop dictionary, it seems very complete and gives the same multi definitions that most good dictionary's give. Great to have available when your writing.

Jerry 3-22-2003 11:26


Staying up late last night writing... I caught an old horror movie called Halloween 2. It's funny escaping the frightening reality to my old favourite hobby of watching scary movies. Out of one frying pan and into another huh?
And then it struck me... I still haven't seen the first Halloween movie yet.

It's good with this new willingness to write, I feel as if I'm finally getting somewhere in my novel. LOL, first draft is racing through, then it will be onto the next phase.

I don't write to make a fortune, but I'll like to make enough to travel and do some research for the next novel or two. There are some places I'd like to visit.

Taylor 3-22-2003 1:04

This email from my daughter, it's offered in fun....

Subject: Fw: Rules of Etiquette and the Impending War

> Rules of Etiquette and the War


> Many of us will encounter "Peace Activists" who will try and convince us that we must refrain from retaliating against the ones who terrorized us all on September 11, 2001.


> These activists may be alone or in a gathering.....most of us don't know how to react to them. When you come upon one of these

> people, or one of their rallies, here are the proper rules of etiquette:


> 1. Listen politely while this person explains their views. Strike up a conversation if necessary and look very interested in their ideas. They will tell you how revenge is immoral, and that by attacking the people who did this to us, we will only bring on more violence. They will probably use many arguments, ranging from political to religious to humanitarian.


> 2. In the middle of their remarks, without any warning, punch them in the nose.


> 3. When the person gets up off of the ground, they will be very angry and they may try to hit you, so be careful.


> 4. Very quickly and calmly remind the person that violence only brings about more violence and remind them of their stand on this

> matter. Tell them if they are really committed to a nonviolent approach to undeserved attacks, they will turn the other cheek and negotiate a solution. Tell them they must lead by example if they really believe what they are saying.


> 5. Most of them will think for a moment and then agree that you are correct.


> 6. As soon as they do that, hit them again. Only this time hit them much harder. Square in the nose.


> 7. Repeat steps 2-6 until the desired results are obtained and the idiot realizes how stupid an argument he/she is making.


> 8. There is no difference in an individual attacking an unsuspecting victim or a group of terrorists attacking a nation of

> people. It is unacceptable and must be dealt with. Perhaps at a high cost. We owe our military a huge debt for what they do and are about to do for us and our children. We must support them and our leaders at times like these. We have no choice.


Ø We either strike back, VERY HARD,

Ø or we will keep getting hit in the nose.

Jerry 3-22-2003 0:46

Who is Christina Boo? Id is dweebiedork at hotmail -- just sent me a nastygram. Cute.
Anyone interested in AI (artificial intelligence) might be interested in this note that I just received from a friend. I tried ELIZA and ALICE -- interesting!

Eliza, was created in 1966 by Professor Joseph Weizenbaum of MIT,
to study natural language communication between man and machine.
Eliza parodies a therapist by answering questions with
questions. Here's a conversation I had with Eliza:

Me: Hi there. I've got a few questions to ask...
Eliza: Please go on.
Me: Well, I think I have a drinking problem.
Eliza: But you are not sure you have a drinking problem?
Me: I'm sure. All my shirts are stained in front.
Eliza: Why do you say your shirts are stained in front?
Me: The dry cleaning bills are really getting out of hand.
Eliza: Would you like it if they were not getting out of hand?

Although Eliza is 36 years old, you can still try it out at

ALICE (Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity) is a more
sophisticated program that creates the illusion of natural
conversation. ALICE can even tell lies, spread gossip, and is credited
with influencing several real world happenings. Try this one at

There are lots more interesting chatterbots, like BRIAN (a computer
program that thinks it is an 18 year old college student), the John
Lennon bot or Mr. Mind (you have to convince him you're human). Visit
them and many other chatterbots at ;

There are chatterbots that speak various languages (some can even
LEARN new languages) and bots that you can invite into a chat room.

howard 3-21-2003 23:57

CHRISTI -- Your apology is not necessary, but humbly accepted. Faith/religion is a volatile subject, and I know people get passionate about it. As far as I'm concerned we were never more than a keyboard away! :-)

MARK -- I'm sorry to hear about the delay in the VA. Those cuts, and the ones in education are part of the reason I'm not a Republican.

howard 3-21-2003 23:34

I know hundreds of guys who have bad/no health insurance and have been relying on VA clinics. We have lost a doctor here and he will not be replaced because of funding cuts.

I called and asked for help with this basal cell carcinoma on my ear, was told that dermatology is backed up by six months and that I should get a local surgeon and take care of the problem myself.

The link here is to a news-wire account of the VA cuts. No, this is not service-related. But leave it to the freakin republicans to cut services.

Mark Still Like Dubya? 3-21-2003 22:48

Mark - I too took French in High School, but that was over thirty years ago, back when French was the language of deplomacy.

At any rate there is a web site for those who are angry at the French, I've posted a link, got it from a conservative army buddy from California.

If you love the French, don't click the link, the site lists French owned companies and encourages America to boycott them, not that it'll do much good as if there's one thing one can say about the French, they do pretty much what ever they damn well please, much like America.

There are several links to some very good articles about why France is being so stubborn about the whole thing. Most are in the popular press so if you regularly read the New York Times and the Washington Post you've probably read the articles. If not it makes for some intresting reading.

Jerry Fed up with French 3-21-2003 22:24

OK. Time's up. Guess Who, c'est moi.
Oops. JERRY, pardon my French.

Mark 3-21-2003 22:17

Ramon - I regularly write emails to the President, and of course our famous Senator "Puff" Dashal. It's simply a matter of blowing off steam but I feel better once I press the send button.

I know that neither will ever see what I write but that's ok, I had a chance to say my peace and somewhere in their office staff's sub office some assistant to the assistant to the assistant secretary in charge of voters complaints puts a check mark next to a YES or NO box.

At any rate my last email to President Bush had the following suggestions:

1. Cut off all relations with the French.

2. Do the same with Germany, and pull ALL U.S. Forces out of Germany (this would be a substantial strike against their economy!)

3. Demand payment on war debts from WW II from Germany and France.

4. Remove Most Favored Nation status from China.

5. Stop ALL foreign aid to those three nations as well as Russia.

I would tell you what was in my last email to Dashal but I hesitate to use such words in the Notebook. I did end the Email by explaining that he in NO way represented my feelings or the feelings of ANYONE I knew in South Dakota.

In reality I think China is joining the anti-war crowd not because the love Iraq (one of their favorite trading partners) but because they want to look to North Korea as a nation that can befriend them and perhaps defang the recent saber rattling from their neck of the world. I don't know if it's the same where you live but it's damn hard right now to find anything in the home that doesn't have MADE IN CHINA stamped at least on some of it's parts. Especially computer motherboard, hell it appears that most of the one's I play around with are stamped either made in China or Taiwan, well there is one old one that I have running a Pentium Pro processor that is actually stamped MADE IN USA but it's the most problematic board I have.

Jerry 3-21-2003 21:59

Jack - I think everyone would be happy just to have the old workbook back if you happen to have a copy of the source from years ago, I know I would.

Christi - Don't feel bad, I had my times with the church too. At one time I called myself agnostic, and I used to love arguing with believers, had my own spiel about the scientific view of the universe, had something to do with all the solar systems and galaxy's being nothing more then atoms, and once man was wise enough to build a space ship fast and powerful enough, one day he would set sights on the edge of the universe and once he penetrated that barrier and turned to look back he would see the true nature of the universe, it would be an old fence post on a gigantic post located in a seldom visited corner of a ranch located on a huge planet that itself was in a solar system, galaxy and universe....

Somehow I found myself in need of spiritual growth and found the church, well a church, then another....

Such is life, but isn't it wonderful that we can live it!

Write on.

Jerry 3-21-2003 21:38

I'm not going to have a moment's peace until I've really and truly apologised to Howard. I've had a few days to think about what a giant ass I was to you, Howard. I was calling you out, no doubt about it. I'm so glad you were the bigger person and didn't bite. Strangely enough, I don't know that I'm not a Christian myself. I don't yet know what I am. Certainly just about every religion in the world has skeletons in their closets--obviously I lashed out at Christianity because my feelings have been hurt in the past. But I should know better than to heap accusations on a good friend who has never been anything but kind to me. Sorry Howard.

Haven't read the other posts yet, but HI everybody! Humble pie ain't so bad. Needs salt though. :)

Christi 3-21-2003 20:52

Sunny - to post your bio and photo, just email them to Jack with bio in the subject line and he'll put it up when he has the time.

Jerry 3-21-2003 20:18

Yes Litter:

I meant to say that. wow!

Debra 3-21-2003 20:05


Do you know any thing about what might happen in Northern Itraq with the Turkish Army. I was worried about this.

Debra 3-21-2003 20:03

I had to go look, I've been here since March of '99.

Funny, I had thought it longer, but then I do loose track of time a lot of late, old-timers desease you know.

Jerry 3-21-2003 20:02

Thanks, Jerry! I love you! :-)

Now, would everyone please get busy and put their little bios up there? It's fun to learn more about y'all, and see pix of the stuff you post about. (BTW, how do we do that again? ;-)

Sunny 3-21-2003 19:49

About the only good thing about those idiot on the tube was when they showed the Iraqi people cheering the colition forces as they went by, treating them as the liberators that they are. Sometimes I'm damn proud to be an American.

Jerry 3-21-2003 19:07

And again

Jerry archives 3-21-2003 19:02

Here you go

Jerry Bios 3-21-2003 19:01

Now I'm mad.

For whatever reason, I still cannot access either the Biography section or Notebook Archives. The links on my page are not active.

I have an idea, though. Would it be possible for someone to post the links as urls that I could bookmark? I really really want to be able to read what's there.

Thanks so much!

Sunny 3-21-2003 18:23

I was wrong. I did not get here until 1997, and here is my first post pulled from the archives since I am in such a nostalgic mood right now:

Rhoda Fort Wed Jul 30 13:17:39 PDT 1997

What a wonderful webpage! I don't have many remarks about writing to share right now because I'm ashamed of myself. Here I should be writing and
I am spending all this time online glued to this page, reading the biographies and the comments.

I live in Bloomfield, New Mexico. I am currently working on my 2nd book--a historical romance I've titled VALERIE'S SONG. It would be finished
by now, but I got on to the Internet a couple of weeks ago, and I've done more surfing than writing. Hopefully the novelty will wear off soon and I'll get
back to serious work.

I did want to comment about an internet publishing service a friend of mine has started. It is known as epubs, Do check out
her page; it's truely impressive.

Rhoda 3-21-2003 17:39


I have been posting since 1996, and I do remember Philip MacLaren well as well as Hayden. I also fondly remember some people I briefly critiqued on the Workbook who were not regular posters. I also remember my old friend GOODWEED, the only Notebooker I ever actually met. GOODWEED, if you are somewhere, please pop in and join us for awhile.

I really, really miss the Workbook. JACK, if you will revive it, I will send you money to help revamp the site.

The Notebook has been special to me because I have moved so much. When I first started here, I lived in Farmington, New Mexico and I had just completed my first novel. I moved from my beloved Farmington, which I miss more than anywhere else, to Perryton, Texas. Then I moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and here I am now in Louisiana. I have lived in four states and through it all remained a contributer. I have continuity here on the Notebook I have few other places. Sad to say that in Perryton and Tulsa, I made few friends I correspond with, but here I have kept up seven years. That is a big chunk of my life.

For those newbies or relative newbies such as RAMON, CAROL, PAMELA, and those I did not mention, have some fun and read back in the archives. If you are patient you will find some firestorms that make this little tiff we had recently minor by comparison. We have mellowed out in recent years. We don't blow life we used to.

For those of you who offered to critique with me, I wish to finish the first draft first. But I want to thank you for offering. Incidently I will be happy to look at anything you might have you wish to run by somebody. I haven't done that sort of thing for awhile, and I might be rusty, but I'll do my best.

Rhoda 3-21-2003 17:25

Illiteration aside (Forgive the the unresistable Pun) Tomorrow we will indeed awake to a different world. Tonight the American leadership has thrown down the guantlet!
Let those who dare oppose the might of the free world.
In the Uk we have at last been awakened to the true face of EU integration. Recent events at the UN will be remembered as the time that England was made aware of the true nature and intentions of the French and German led EU agenda.
We can say goodbye to the single currency. As far as UK is concerned the Euro is dead in the water (My opinion).
We have no desire to be led by Chiraq or any of his ilk!
Our allegiance lies firmly to the west and will remain so. I have always regretted the end of trade between liverpool and Argentina!!
(Ask Jack Dooley!)
The future is beginning to look bright for British American relations.

My God.. I sound like a Tory!!!

Eddie French 3-21-2003 17:21

I preferred the world being changed by the Beatles but I guess I can't have everything.

The media becomes more and more smarmy every day. I thought it was preying on people's fears when channel 2 ran on for three hours after Bush's speech Monday night. It's not like they said anything that the million stations covering everything 24/7 weren't already telling us.

Hallee--six months-yikes! Hope you've got a good shower massage. And Heather and Debra, such naughty girls, especially that cradle-robber Debra with her young husband and her Ben-Gay.

Mel, cool idea to take your characters to lunch. Ramon, be careful with your killer, he could be trying to pull a fast one on you (Don't turn your back on him when he's got a steak knife in his hand)! Also neat reincarnation ideas, Mel, I too think that certain memories, deja vu and child prodigies could have something to do with it. I've never thought about some rather than all people being reincarnated but it's an interesting idea. It will be nice to find out the Great Mystery Of Life someday, kind of a bonus for leaving here.

Litter-- well, you little celebrity, you! A third of a page, nice article, with pics too. Do you have groupies yet?

Randall, I laughed (and identified) with the lessons learned from kids. Sunny, yes, getting that drop of sweetness from the honeysuckle is a great childhood memory. So good that I think I'll do it when the one in my yard blooms in about a month, why should kids have all the fun?

Who is Guess Who? Liked his story a lot, along with all the other garden plots (ha ha).

It's nice that everyone is friendlier today. Group hug? ((((( !*! )))))

pamela 3-21-2003 17:00

Sorry, should specify a little more about the boy. the newspaper was the mother's last resort. She was being ordered by the court to hand her son over for visitation rights, but no one was listening to her, or the boys claims. She put her story in the paper hoping that it might help.

A big red itchy rash to the media. The one over this a- way anyhow.

Teekay 3-21-2003 16:25

TINA: That garden and those Grandparents sound wonderful. I could see it :-)

TAYLOR: Blame the media. Most of those fools waving banners haven't a clue what it's all about. They see up to a certain point, but not beyond. Nobody wants to see innocent people killed, but it happens each and every day and in far less noble causes.
A while ago the Daily Telegraph ran a story on page 14, small piece right down the bottom about a little 8 year old boy who wanted to kill himself because his father had been sexually abusing him on visiting days. This was around the time of the Illegal Immigrant debacle where everyone was getting ont heir high horse and writing in about how cruel the government is etc etc. Well 1 person wrote in about that 1 little boy - me. I then wrote a second letter saying how surprised and disappointed I was at the lack of response, the editor wrote back agreeing with me, saying mine was the only letter. I responded by saying I was also surprised that he hadn't published my latest letter as it might have made people think about their priorities.
I stopped buying the paper after that, and my opinion for the media is at about the same level as my opinion of Telstra.

Long live peace, a pox on the media.

Teekay 3-21-2003 16:23

Oh my....
We will wake to a different world tomorrow.
In 1963 the Beatles burst upon the world with Rock and Roll and the world changed forever.
On 21st March 2003 Rumsfelt burst upon the world with Rock and Roar.
Same effect!!

Eddie French 3-21-2003 15:21

I hear that the civilians in Safwan are ripping down the portraits of Saddam,....the civilians. What does that tell anyone what the Iraqis are feeling?

Debra 3-21-2003 13:30

Oh a shorty on garden's I misunderstood! Ok, here:

A Stroll in the Garden
by Jerry A.G. Ericsson

According to Lieutenant Newingham, our mission for the day was to take and hold the small village of Puch Vin in the Central Highlands of the Vung Tho province.

Because of the intense rainfall our departure from Phu Bi was delayed till after supper, a meal we devoured so quickly, it was the first turkey we’d had since we arrived in country some eight months before.

We boarded the soggy choppers, slipping and sliding on the wet aluminum floors, many were fearful of falling out should the piolet bank sharply, and rightfully so, the door gunner and crew chief were doing their best to remain on post in the doors, their tethers were all that kept them from falling to their death in the jungle below.

After what seemed like hours aloft but was probably less then twenty minutes, the choppers decended into a clearing, flared and we unassed the slick’s, some tumbeling as they fell on the wet floors. Within seconds the choppers were gone and all was silent except the sounds of our boots as they freed themselves from the mud, and the squish sounds as they found traction in the mud that was the floor of the sparse jungle coverage.

We stopped as Sgt. Anderson took compass readings on the peeks of the “hills” that jutted up out of the earth like hands reaching to the sky.

“Fucking idiots!” he said, “six klick’s off from the planned LZ!”

Six klick’s! Shit that’s a long walk even on a good day and this was not a good day.

By the time we reached the ville, the sun had long set and the only lite came from a few fires the residents had burning as they sat around them chatting of the happenings of the day.

Quietly we skirted around the ville, always keeping a sharp eye for VC who may be manning listening posts in the darkness that clouded the rice patties and hooches that sat outside the village proper.

As we neared the far end of the village, shots rang out. They didn’t sound like the AK-47's or SKS’s that we usually faced, no these were from a much more powerful weapon, and the rate of fire proved it not to be a semi-auto but some sort of bolt action, or possiably a single shot rifle.

Smitty was the first to go down, shot through his right knee. Doc was right there patching him up with field dressings and sprinkling sulfa powder around the wound to protect from the infections that ran rampant in this rural area.

Next it was Nelson, he too took a shot through the leg, then Sgt. Anderson, a shot to the hip.

Doc. was busy patching up the troops, the Lt. Shouted to take cover and concentrate fire on the spot behind a large tree where the muzzle flashes were coming from.

We all began firing toward the tree, splinters and pieces of bark were flying every witch way, Alphabet let loose with his M-79 grenade launcher, the explosion was enough to shock even the bravest of soldier, half the tree fell to the soggy earth.

A few seconds later, a white cloth began to wave from behind what was left of the tree. The Lt. ordered the person to come out from behind the tree with his hands free. We all watched as first the hands appeared from behind the tree, then came the person.

She must have been nearly seventy years old, her face so wrinkled that one could hardly separate the facial features from the wrinkles. Tears ran down her face as she walked toward the Lt.

Slowly we all lowered our M-16's, when the old lady got to the Lt. She went down on her knees and began to beg in Vietnamese. The Lt. translated her sobbing plea:

“Please don’t burn my garden, it’s all I have to eat.”

I don’t think there was a dry eye in the Platoon as the Lt. Assured her that her garden was safe.

We checked the ville and found no weapons except for the old French 7.5 rifle that the old lady had been using to protect her garden, and the next morning, she cooked us up some of the finnest cabbage soup I’ve ever eaten.

Jerry 3-21-2003 13:16

I am a little confused, how can people protest war with violence? Those who are protesting and exhibiting their "freedom of speech", seem to contradict themselves. Do they not know that the Iraqi people should also have the same right as them? Are they so ignorant to think that they like the rape camps? I REALLY think they need to do some research. I don't like the idea of war and I would love for this to end, but if there ever comes a time when God forbid we have rape camps in this country I pray someone will come save us too!!!

Wendy 3-21-2003 13:09

DEBRA: Yes I do mean writing. I want to write a crime novel (classic whodunnit) and in order to flesh out my characters I am taking them to lunch - first up was the victim (thanks mel). No idea where SH is hiding - probably having lunch with his Osama somewhere near the Iranian Border.

JERRY: What about the Chinese? Incidentally when he gave his speech on TV after the first attack was it my imagination or did he sound like one of the martians from "Mars Attacks"

Off now to have lunch with the killer. See you all soon (I Hope)

Ramon 3-21-2003 12:38

You guys sure can write. :-)

There is nothing, NOTHING, like the smell of fresh honeysuckle on the vine. Dusty yellow and soft you remember what it's like to to pull out the middle stem and suck the drop of dew at the bottom? Instant summer; instant childhood.

Mel - I'm working and I'll be in touch!

Sunny 3-21-2003 11:29

"Garden Midnight"

I woke up in the middle of the night for some reason and my mind quickly crowded with problems. Bill and I rarely made love anymore, Becky was going to need braces, Sam was acting up at school. I sighed and got up, then thought that a nighttime visit to my garden might relax me. I slipped out the back door, moonlight softly showing the way. The flat stones on the patio were cool on my bare feet and the grass was covered with dew. A breeze brushed my nightgown as I entered the little world I had created at the back of our suburban lot. Deciding against rows, I had curving beds along the back and sides and a grassy path looping around two gardens in the middle. Tomatoes, beans and flowering vines along the fence enclosed the area, while drifts of flowers and vegetables filled the bursting beds. I sat on a small stone bench and deeply inhaled the scent of greenery and earth. I felt the vines rustling at my back. I looked at the silvery plants across the path and watched them grow. I could see them growing, actually getting bigger, slowly at first and then growing faster and faster, like time-lapse photography, and the leaves behind me were touching me, branches became grasping arms slithering around me but I could not move as I watched the other plants shooting upward, towering over my head, leaves so thick that I could not see the house, stems growing into trunks, pressing in, closing in on me as I sat frozen, surrounded now by vines entrapping me in a horrid embrace, they wound caressing about my neck, the leaves were just about to smother my eyes, I looked up for one last glimpse of the moon... And then I woke up. Bill was snoring softly beside me in our bed. I turned over and snuggled up next to him.

pamela 3-21-2003 11:12

Many people across the world are wondering what the French and Germans are trying to hid by being against the war.

It's becoming obvious that the French were trying to hide the fact that they were training the Iraqi troops how to fight, this by the number that are waving white flags, the Germans are trying to hide the fact that Sadam is a graduate of the A. Hitler school for dictators.

I'm sorry but it's just so dang obvious.

Jerry 3-21-2003 10:40


Thank you. Plus, you're so right about that.

Debra 3-21-2003 10:07

Tina - sounds to me like your having the same feelings the rest of us have now that war is happening

Jerry 3-21-2003 10:01


You sound a little calmer today.

When you say your killer, you're talking about writing. Right?

You seem to know alot about that side of the world.

Where do you think Saddam is?

Debra 3-21-2003 9:11

TAYLOR: I know what you mean. I opposed this war, still do, or should I say opposed the war without UN backing. I question the motives our leaders who have been bullying the UN and the rest into action without giving the peace process chance. I feel differently now, although I am not sure why and I get quite angry at the protestors and countries like France (who quite franky were usesless during WWII) Germany (who so far have lost 2 world wars) and China (whose actions during their oppression of its own people and occupation of Tibet rival Saddam Hussein), demanding we stop and giving us ultimatums. Confused? I know I am. Lets just hope it ends soon with no more loss of life.

MEL: Like your idea of taking my killer and victim to lunch. My victim is a bit of a bastard actually with a taste for seafood. He is stinking rich with a multi million pound company, and yet he insists I pay for lunch; MEANIE. He showed me some interesting pictures of someone involved in a drug deal. I get the impression its someone very powerful and in the public eye otherwise I think he wouldn't have bothered. I've taken this opportunity to fill you in while he is in the middle of a phone call - sounds like a lovers tiff. Gotta go as he 's just hung up. God his gravely voice drives me mad, if he doesn't shup up soon I am going to kill him.

Ramon 3-21-2003 8:56


TAYLOR: No one likes war - even those that know it's what has to be done at this time. The soldiers that are there - they don't like war - but they know their duty and they know they're doing the right thing. We all prayed that it wouldn't have to happen, but unfortunately, it did. You aren't a hypocrite.

TINA: Yeah - it's not quite the same thing, though. *snurfle*

Happy Friday!!!

Hallee 3-21-2003 8:18

Oh my gosh, I'm geting a huge urge to join the Marines.

Debra 3-21-2003 7:55

That post made my day. I'm going to have to try out a few of those things...namely the dust bunnies vs the rollerblades. We have these big thick dust bunnies that form on the stairs on a bi-weekly basis. It doesn't bother anyone but me. I sweep up big dustpans full. Everyone else walks by the things. Now I've got a use for them. That's what I'm going to be up to when I finish unloading that 30 foot container from Thailand...then come home and finish that stupid section where the bird does not fly into the police station in Chapter 2, plus write in all the street names (boring). I'm going out and light dust bunnies. If they don't ignite when I roll over them, I'll use the zippo.

Viv 3-21-2003 7:40


I've debated whether or not to post today... At this point of time I feel like the biggest hypocrite alive.
I've been saying that I support this War on Iraq... But it saddened me to see that President Bush has gone through with it. I caught his speech yesterday and I almost cried. I know it sounds stupid.

I thought that PM Howard was right in committing troops to the Gulf... But the thought of them being in harm's way kind of angers me that it's happened. Yet I hate the protestors against him. The Opposition Leader calling him a liar and a coward didn't make me none to happy either. And I think why can't they rally around our Commander in Chief.
If that's not hypocritical... I don't know what is.

At work tonight it seemed like everyone was nicer, but then again could just be imagining things.

I don't watch the news alot, but I like to keep up to date. About the 7th Calvary rolling on, it makes me think what is going to happen when they reach the outskirts of Baghdad.
The thought of war does sicken me because innocent civillians will die. And it's heartwrenching to see that the people around the world are protesting and rioting and there doesn't seem to be peace anywhere.

Lately I find myself a little anxious at times and now I've kinda buried myself into my writing just to escape this madness that's been going on.

Sorry about the long post.

Taylor 3-21-2003 7:40

Busy day in the notebook!

Mel, I'm jealous. So little time to write these days.

Hallee, sounds like it's time for e-sex. ;-)

Debra, I'm so glad you enjoy your girls that much. Too many parents don't.

What garden could compare to the enormous plot beside my grandparents home. Fresh vegetables came from that garden at every meal. Carrots, potatoes, onions... every day something was harvested from that fertile ground. Flowers divided the rows, sweet peas and marigolds that busily worked to control the bugs. Honeysuckle climbed a trellis to one side, beets and turnips alongside, and corn gave shade to the peas.

The peas. Planted before the last frost for early abundant harvest, they climbed their supports all summer. Grandma had reign over the garden, but it was Grandpa who cared for the peas. From the first planting onwards, he'd set a plot every two weeks.

Grandpa had more grandkids than I can count, and regardless of the time of summer, when we showed up to visit, there were peas to pick. He would return to the house before dinner, find us kids, and take us out to the pea patch. Two pods for the basket, one to share. We'd shuck the peas, and again only two thirds would reach to bowl. They were never cooked, just served raw. But as good as they tasted, the true joy was in the picking with Grandpa.

Blue skies!

Tina 3-21-2003 1:29

I see we have hear from China again, wonder of wonders.

Ah the garden - sadly we won't have one this year since it becomes harder and harder for we old farts to get out there and care for it. I'll miss the tomato's, cukes, and oh the radishes, god how I love the radishes.

Truth be known, I think we'd put it in again this year but for the fact that our garden man is in the National Guard and he's gone to war now. That and the basement guy isn't done as of yet and he has this nasty habit of parking in the garden spot, perhaps he'd be a bit more careful but one doesn't piss off a good basement guy, at least till he's done with your basement.

What the hell, maybe I'll get the other garden guy to do our garden and put a fence around it. That's the problem with coming home though, the "other" garden guy was once a very close family friend, in fact when we lived on the farm, his family was our nearest neighbor. He stayed that way till 1969 when in a drunken haze, he slammed his brand new Buick into the back of the old Ford that mom and my sister were in, and put them both in the hospital, crippling mom for life, and doing terrible damage to my poor sister who but for the grace of God barely survived. The same guy that I arrested for his seventh DUI back in 1973 is the other garden guy and I don't feel right giving him money.

Maybe I can find a kid with a tiller....

I hate it when the notebook get's angry, yes I know I've often been the one who stirs up the trouble, but I still hate it.

The notebook is such a wonderful peaceful place to visit, I think my blood pressure drops several pounds each time I visit, even when war raises it's ugly head.

By the way, who the hell told those idiots in the television business that we wanted to watch EVERY DAMN SECOND OF THE BLASTED THING!?!??!

Write on

Jerry 3-20-2003 23:41

The garden? Nah, that's my wife's turf. I pretty much stay out of there. She had me wheel in a truckload of topsoil (my truck, that is; not a dump truck). My arm the way it is, I guess I took about 20 to 25 trips with that wheelbarrow.
Younger man would have done it in less. That's the way, ain't it?

I notice the way her knees trouble her. She don't kneel like she used to. Most days now she just bends at the waist to dig around with that little spade and that three-fingered fork thing she uses. Sometimes I just study her when she's bent over like that and remember our younger days; sometimes I gotta smile thinking how she looks like one of them 'old lady' yard decorations; you know the ones, the ones with the old woman bent over and showing bloomers. Heh. Didn't know 'til this year how real that was.

Ah, well, soon enough she'll have me out there picking ripe things off the lowest stems or tying up vines to keep 'em off the ground. But I'll tell you this, I don't make no decisions, no, sir. That's her turf out there.

Guess Who 3-20-2003 23:18

CHERI -- almost missed your topic in the flurry!

Garden in the Spring

Five hundred garlic sets patiently wait for the covering snow to disappear so they can send up greetings to the bright April sun, while their cousins the lilies will sleep a bit longer, then catch and pass them by in a profusion of white and pink, and yellow.

Uncovered are trails the mice and voles made under the snow in their search for winter sustenance. It was a hard winter -- perhaps the lilies won't be as numerous as I'd hoped.

The compost pile begins to steam in the sun, warming up to its task of nurturing the new plants, and the soil it will cover opens hungry and thirsty cracks to receive the snow-melt and the sun's early warmth.

It's early yet. Not time for most planting, but there a few things -- peas, onions, last year's parsnips. And in the back row I can almost hear the new asparagus struggle toward the light.

howard 3-20-2003 22:31


Heeeheee! Bengay smells good! My husband has applied it to his muscles a couple of times already. He's six years younger than me.

Debra 3-20-2003 21:57

DEBRA -- Of course one does get to that point where it's "YooHoo, honey...over here...and bring the BenGay!"

howard 3-20-2003 21:38

Greetings all.

Well it has started with a vengeance, and the politics and morals, the rights and wrongs, have already been and will continue to be discussed for some time to come. What I pray and hope for now is that this thing ends quickly and with the minimum loss of life.

As writers, we should discuss this thing and use the weapons of our trade – the power of the word – to debate, and present or views to our peers. I am dismayed that insult and invective have replaced informed opinion in some posts. Need I say more?

To those I owe emails – my most abject apologies – someone has stolen all the good words from my email client, and I don't want to write emails to my friends with all the words that were not good enough to take…

On a brighter note – some of the local newspapers are writing news items on the upcoming publication of my novel. The first one is out and have they ever done a good job for me! A third of a page article, complete with a pic of me spread across three columns, and even a pic of the proposed book cover! I think I'm developing a soft spot for partisan local press :o)

Let's leave the vitriol for the bigots and shit-heads and focus on honing our skills, huh?

Be safe

Litter 3-20-2003 21:36


Thanks for the encouragement. Sometimes I do get discouraged, like when a pefectly good publisher rejects me. They never say why. Well their loss.

Also, my girls probably do sound aweful by my own words. But if you were here, you'd see they are close to me telling me stories, and loving just the close proximity to mom. The chair rocking and head pushing is unavoidable after that. I do from time to time get tired of it all and make them move one or two feet away to dance and yet still forcing me to turn my head to watch their routine. There's no escape. I'll never forget the tearful woman on TV one day who lost her chld to abduction. They later found her dead in a field. She said though reddend eyes that she never realized how lucky she was when her little girl was there making too much noise and messing up her house. Then she followed up by saying "all you mother's out there who's house is a mess, I'd give anything to be you right now." I think of her often.

They're going to school this September. Look out after that. I'm gong to have lunch, use the ladies room, shower and write. In the meantime, I'm so very lucky to have them messing with my thoughts and civility.

Debra 3-20-2003 21:22


Good evening to all... Had a day off and actually did three hours of writing this morning (well, mostly editing) - that felt good! :-]

SUNNY: I EXPECT you are doing the same? (Yes, that was the whip CRACK!ing.) ;-)

CHRISTI: You're right - writing CAN change the world; maybe not my current novel, but then again... :-)

HOWARD: So glad to hear a writing progress report from you! Your story sounds very intriguing. I like "Picts" - has an enemy sound to it. Maybe it's close to the word you really want - check that rhyming dictionary... :-)

PAMELA: Reincarnation (is this topic too old?) - anyway, I think some who have vivid "memories" or deja vu's could very possibly be reincarnated; I don't believe it happens for everyone, though - a special gift for some, or maybe a curse?? I have a romance story, two lovers who are reincarnated over and over as soon as they come to remember each other... Evolution/Creation (another topic about done?) - I believe both are really the same thing (as some others here have stated); who's to say that a day in God's time would be the same 24-hour day we know? Those who believe the bible to be true read about people who used to live for HUNDREDS of years; it was only over generations that their lifespans decreased to our current 100 years or so. (On the side of Darwin, though, I do have trouble picturing Adam as a Neanderthal - hah!) :-) Keep up the great writing progress you're making!!

RHODA: Transitions are killing me too, only mine are at the beginning. I'm trying to smooth a scene or two at a time, the beginnings and the endings...

HEATHER: $100!!! Woo-Hoo!!! :-) (The party's not over until the last whoop is whooped!) I'm still whooping for you!

TEEKAY: *Uhh!* *Uhh!* You stunned me for days (well, it's a likely excuse for not posting sooner, isn't it?) Thank you, anyway - I so needed that! :-] The toothpicks are fully reinserted to hold open my muse's eyelids. (SH can't hold a candle to what I do to my muse to keep her working!) Anyway, I have given my muse a new mantra: There's no place like writing. There's no place like writing. There's... okay, you get the idea. I regret to inform you, however, that the chocolate fast must remain intact, to honor One who gave up so much more for me. (Do have a Cadbury creme egg for me, though, will you? Uh...Can I sniff it first?) :oP

RANDALL: Your "Ice Follies" was hilarious! :-] I'm glad you didn't shoot the pond--one of the wisest choices you ever made, huh? Seen that list of kids' endeavors - yup. I can relate!

VIV: Good to hear you here again. I think transitions need the scenario approach: this way or that way or the next way... Try 'em all till one feels right.

MARK: God created Good with Free Will. That's how Evil happened - a choice made against the good intentions. (ha'penny spent!)

HALLEE: So glad to hear you're WRITING. Glad I got back to it too. :-)

DEBRA: You are doing GREAT things to promote your book - keep at it! :-) And don't let those cherubs bounce you around like that! Go feed them something (preferably without caffeine or sugar!).

RAMON: Take your killer and your victim - separately - to a luncheon interview. You will amaze yourself with new knowledge gained about them. :-)

Whew. Am I up-to-date on posts yet? Lessee... skipping over war talk, war arguments, and sex objects (?)...

Oh yeah!

SASQUATCH: I must say again, YOU are so wise... Shaped in the One's image, we really must try to honor Him better with our words and actions. Right on! :-]

ROSEMARY: I had to check again as I forgot too: JACK's first archived entry is April 2, 1996. So the Notebook is almost 7 years old. :-) (((HUGS))) to see you here - what are the animals up to, these days?

CHERI: This is off-the-sleepy-brain right now:

Childhood Garden

Late June--the end of school!--
Blackcaps are ripe, as a rule;
Berries galore,
Still I need more;
I hunt for backyard gruel.

I dance down the grassy side hill,
to the garden I raid--what a thrill!
Peas in the pod,
Chives from the sod,
Summer lunching is a favorite thrill!

Good night to all! :-]

Mel 3-20-2003 21:07

Americo - I used to consider you a friend, but it comes to me, the first time I read one of your first posts, I replied that you didn't deserve the name Americo.

Now I'm sure.

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lianchun yang wollastonite 3-20-2003 20:20



I found this tonight...and thought humor might be appros....

Lessons I've Learned from My Kids

1. Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.

2. A 3-year-old is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.

3. If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.

4. If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42-pound boy wearing Batman underwear and a superman cape.

5. When using the ceiling fan as a baseball bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit.

6. The glass in windows - even double pane - cannot stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.

7. When you hear the toilet flush and the words "Uh-oh," it's already too late.

8. Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.

9. A young child can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year-old man says they can only do it in the movies. A magnifying glass can start a fire even on an overcast day.

10. Small Legos will successfully pass through the digestive tract of a six-year-old.

11. "Play-Doh" and "microwave" should never be used in the same sentence.

12. Super glue is permanent.

13. No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool, you still can't walk on water.

14. VCRs will not spontaneously eject PB&J sandwiches

15. A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq. foot house 4 inches deep.

16. Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise in a moving car.

17. You probably do not want to know what that odor is.

18. Always look in the oven before you turn it on. Plastic toys do not taste or smell better baked.

19. The spin cycle on the washing machine does make earthworms squirm.

20. Making a cat dizzy will cause it to spit up twice its body weight.

(GRIN) Been there!


Randall 3-20-2003 19:55


I don't know how I got your name wrong you were sitting right there under mine.

I have two children here with me. One is rocking my chair and the other is sitting behind me pushing my head forward while I'm typing.

That can't be it.

Debra 3-20-2003 19:50

Hallee I said your name, but I meant Heather.

Heather: That one of pokes and dreams was for you.

Hallee six month since the obvious. Is that why you're sobbing?


Sorry we cleared up that shredder thing.

I was happeir with the sex.

Maybe you're not feeling sexy, but I'm sure you look it.

Debra 3-20-2003 19:40

It's a bit of a grey afternoon here, physically and mentally. The war pre-empted CSI last night. (JOKE people!) :-}

I want to thank everyone for their nice thoughts. And, I want to say that this crop of new notebookers is among the most intelligent and literate of any in the nine or so years (?) I have been loitering here.

Does anyone know just how many years it has been going? I know I found it just a few months after JACK started it. Philip McLarin(I know that's not sp. right) and another really nice published author from Australia were posting then, so were GARISS and BEN and many others. RACHEL too.

RACHEL, sorry if I upset you. I have followed your life on this screen with much admiration.

aren't you the one that used to enter and win writing contests with regularity? Also you put out an amazing amount of work. Is that still going on? I really must get back to it.

Anyway, thanks again. I thought everyone was going to be mad at me for causing a fuss.


Rosemary 3-20-2003 18:59

DEBRA: I meant about the people shredder. Sorry, I should have specified.
Definitely not feeling sexy :-D

All: Read this really cool saying the other day:
Adversity does not develop character; it reveals it.

Teekay 3-20-2003 18:40

DEBRA & HEATHER: You two are really pushing it. 6 MONTHS! 6 MONTHS IS A LONG TIME! *SOB* (hahahahahaha)

Hallee 3-20-2003 18:23


You mean you're feeling a little flirty today or my secret to a good life.

It's weird that's how I'm feeling too.

My husband is here too. Heeehee!

I'm beginning to think we're all ovulating. You know that's what happens to women when they ovulate. We're all like "you hooo Honey over here."

Love you too

Debra 3-20-2003 17:11

Hugs to everyone! I think they're needed more now than ever.

Viv - this is my "blue funk" time of year. So, not much writing here either. Drat it! I've been rereading a little and marking some of my red herrings for future follow up. How I wish I could lay back in the sun and let it warm my soul. But those days are behind me. I do that now and I'll really get sick. Follow Hallee's excellent advice and use the internet to get what info you can on Oahu. And if your Hawaiian friend is agreeable, use her to proof read those sections showing the environment. Promise her an acknowledgment and I'm sure she'll agree. :D

And life rolls on .......

Carol 3-20-2003 16:51

Hi All,

CHERI: A lone capsicum, the last surviving, grows strong and vibrant, ripe fruit dangling green from its branches. Along the border a clump of strawberries, planted too late in the summer is preparing to sleep. There are still some yellow poppies and the sweet pink buds of late carnations, but mostly there is rich dark soil through which the inquistive heads of waiting weeds, poke their first shoots. Now it is their time, to grow and thrive throughout the winter months.

PAMELA: Mmmmmmm, lentin chocolate. It did sound decidedly decadent.

DEBRA: Me too, I've heard that.

AMERICO: I do love you too. I find you funny, artistic, articulate, intelligent, interesting, sensitive, creative and definitely charming, and I know you don't listen to me, but you really ought to apologize to ROSEMARY.

Love ya's.

Teekay 3-20-2003 16:47


I'm starting to think you are feeling a little flirty today.

I hope your husband comes home soon.

Debra 3-20-2003 16:38


That comes under pokes and dreams!

Oops! I mean hopes and dreams.

Debra 3-20-2003 16:34

You forgot great sex, Debra! Great, shuddering, orgasmic, intimate, messy funky lovemakin'.
Oh, yeah.... I forgot. That doesn't actually make the world revolve. Just feels like it!


Heather 3-20-2003 16:25


I am aware how grateful the people of Afganistan are. I'm hoping we can recreate that same feeling in Iraq.

We'll keep hoping for good.

I don't know why mankind hasn't learned that the secret to a good life is having, spirituality,loved ones, hopes and dreams, a full stomach and a good nights sleep. What more could one want? There's enough of what I mentioned for all without fighting.

Debra 3-20-2003 16:10


Hello, all.

There's been a storm on top of us all day. I'm not certain if that is the cause of my headache or if it's lack of sleep. My telephone rang at 1AM, and a very staticky (sp?) phone call with my husband insued. Then the sirens went off and he had to go.

RANDALL: I had a response for AMERICO all typed out then made it to your post. You said it all. I noticed he left without leaving an apology. ROSEMARY: (((hug)))

VIV: Dig, research, read accounts, look at pictures. You have to get there, vicariously if you need to, but you have the whole wide world of the Internet at your fingers. Do a google search for just that city name and see what you can come up with. Look at maps, pictures, real estate sites. Take several days or weeks and just discover your city.

DEBRA: He's an evil man. Nothing will surprise me. But, the good thing is that he won't be in power much longer.

PAMELA: There's been no charm that you've missed. Others think so, but never as far as I've seen. I believe the last time I left was when he was throwing a fit over us going into Afghanistan. We have done SO MUCH in Afghanistan, both for our country and for theirs. You would probably be very scared and very surprised to know just how much HASN'T happened because of Operation Enduring Freedom. Oftentimes, I wish I didn't know the little bit that I do.

I'm off to nurse this aching head. Hopefully, it will be gone by the time I pick my daughter up from school.

Have a great Thursday all.

Hallee 3-20-2003 15:45


Published author and editor, Shoshana Lepon, wants to hear about the challenges you have faced in life and what you have gained from your experiences. High-level writing a must! Any style, any subject, up to 2500 words.

I am looking for personal stories, not newspaper articles. Humor is welcome! Must have beginning, middle and end.

BTW, I am trying to stay away from topics of illness, abuse and other horrible things. I’m looking for more upbeat submissions. Also please no “poor me!” stories. Stories must be G-rated clean and, while spiritual is welcome, try to keep things non-sectarian so all readers can relate!

$250.00 for the winning entry.

All submissions will be considered for publication in Shoshana Lepon’s new anthology: Life’s Little Lessons (& Big Ones, Too!). $15 and 1 free copy to all authors published.

I purchase one-time rights, only.

Opportunity to work with motivational writing coach and experienced editor! Good exposure!

Authors’ bios included!

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You may submit more than one entry!

Deadline: April 30, 2003.

Please email all submissions to:

Please spread the word!

Shoshana Lepon 3-20-2003 14:01


I'm afraid that I am one of those newcomers who ignore that this page has been blessed by God and by Jon for many years. I haven't seen many posts from Americo and haven't observed the charm that has captivated others here in the past. I hope he can start being charming again, he is obviously a clever guy, but I do think we all have the right to express our opinions here without being called names or personally insulted. Maybe by the time I post this, he will have apologized to Rosemary and we can all be friends again.

Regarding the war: it's sad, it's scary, it's historic to be sure. Who knows what will happen, it will be years, probably decades, before the full impact of the present actions will be known. Of course it is on our minds and I just hope we can discuss it like rational adults, agree to disagree where applicable, and keep the fellowship of this group of people together.

About Writing:
Heather, a great BIG, HUUUUUGE, pat on the back (hope I didn't knock you over!) for actually getting paid for writing! That is fanTAStic, WONderful, FABulous, you should be so proud of yourself. Who cares if it was just $100, I agree with whoever said to spend it on yourself, buy something special that will remind you of your accomplishment. Well done!

Viv, for sure it's hard to write accurate settings about places you haven't been. You poor thing, I guess you'll just have to force yourself to go to Hawaii. Or you could do like one author I saw on tv, forget who it was, but he sent his assistant to places to check them out. I think they were talking about a book set in a casino and the writer wanted details like the kind of carpet and light fixtures in the hallway of the hotel and such. See, problem solved, just send somebody else to do your research for you (I'll volunteer). Myself, I just make places up like the fantasy writers although mine are present-day. Like Ed McBain and his city of Oceola used in the 87th Precinct books. I just got through page 82 on my manuscript this morning.

Taylor, I think a book about your previous life sounds like a cool idea. What nationality were you at that time?

TeeKay, I do hope you haven't been struck with or by lightening for advising Mel to eat some chocolate. "Lenten Chocolate" sounds like something that would be good.

Sasquach doesn't sound anything like Howard to me, I don't really read him as anyone else here, just his own sweet Yeti self.

Let's all try to stick together in these troubles times, practice love and tolerance toward each other and not let negativity and hostility take over these pages. Peace, Love and All That Jazz...

pamela 3-20-2003 13:42

The USA was always considered in Europe as a good democracy. Contrary to what some Americans think, we like you and admire some of your qualities. But this war and this Administration is doing a lot of harm to that good image of our American friends. Many of us worry about the present and the future of that great country. Some of us see too many similarities between present-day America and the Germany of the 1930's. I sincerely hope that those fears are unfounded and that America recovers her good image soon.

I am a very busy writer and, honestly, don't have time to be with you any longer. This is my last post. As Jon likes to say when he leaves for his long journeys, "behave yourselves".

Pussy also wants to say goodbye. Here's her favorite words these days: "Make tea, not war" — at least as soon as you can.

Goodbye, all.

Americo 3-20-2003 12:53

Here’s a topic for shorty night if anyone’s interested in WRITING: What’s in your garden? (real or imagined)

This is mine:

In my garden I smell the sweet gladiolas and watch the tall purple irises sway in the gentle summer breeze. Seeing new pea pods, I pick a few, open them and eat the sweet little nibs. Yum! I can feel the soft warm dirt on my bare feet. In the air I can smell the freshly mowed grass and the scent of lilacs. Butterflies land gently on the flowers and bees buzz to and fro. Birds sing and swoop to catch the insects. A squirrel hurries from here to there, not stopping for long once he spies me. A rabbit munches on dandelion leaves at the edge of the yard eyeing me warily. I slowly make my way back to my hammock and lie down. The sun peeks through the new leaves of my favorite maple tree and I close my eyes to the wonders around me, but I never close my heart.


Cheri 3-20-2003 12:48

Sadly, I wake up to find that the terrorists are winning, and the proof is that the fear and hate in the world is slithering down to split up a group of people who have known each other for years. Discussion and disagreement are one thing, but to make personal attacks is to show ones true character.

Jack, I don't know where you are, and I know that you've never monitered this place as a moderator. It might be time to do so.

Americo, sometimes I agree with you, sometimes I disagree. Pretty normal, that. But you just chose to say something hurtful and nasty that was way out of proportion to the ongoing discussion. You owe Rosemary an apology. Buck up.

Rosemary, regardless of whether I agree or disagree with the US government's actions, I interpreted Americo's comments the same as you did.

Viv, bless you for talking about writing!
As for choosing settings I can make believable... I write science-fantasy. I never have to worry about getting the 'real' details wrong, so long as it feels like a real place should. The few stories I've written that take place here and now, are set only in places I'm familiar with. In BC or the prairies, Canada at the very least.
I'd say you need to head for Hawaii. :-)

So, it's raining here right now, after two blue sky days. Hopefully it clears up for the weekend, I'm having serious altitude withdrawl. With the world so messed up, the only sane place left seems to be the sky.

Peace, and blue skies. If not in the world, at least in our hearts.

Tina 3-20-2003 10:49

If you enjoyed "The Godfather" you might appreciate an essay on the film written by a friend of mine, and posted on
Look for the essay by Craig Russell

howard 3-20-2003 10:36


Thanks for the hugs. I needed them.


I hadn't heard that China report. You're right or else what?

I'm not at all comfortable.

Debra 3-20-2003 9:32


That is such an image of horror. I have not heard anything about that. I would wait for a confirmation on that one. The war machine is gearing up. You are going to hear a lot of awful things. Try to wait for something to substantiate them. This is bad enough without any of us adding imagination to it. I send you hugs.


Here is a quote by Kahlil Gibran " Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution"

Rachel 3-20-2003 9:20

EDDIE: Shall we get started on that bridge (offers gesture of handshake) after it all doesn't matter what we think anymore does it?

RANDALL: I wouldn't so much as attack Americo's point of view but the way he insults other people in this notebook. I don't know about you but when somebody resorts to name calling it's because they no longer believe in the validity of their argument or are unable to justify their pov and rather than admit defeat they resort to insults. What do you think? Me I prefer a civilised for and against debate resulting in an exchange of information to add flesh to the bones that is one persons knowledge of this matter.

DEBRA: Sounds OTT but I wouldn't put it past the man. I did hear China has ordered us to stop attacking and pull out of Iraq or else. Or else what? Answers on a postcard. I am impressed with CNBC coverage so far unlike our morning programme here in the UK which gave an Iraqi whether report and they even said "It's going to be a lovely sunny day with highs of 20 degress celsius". Televsion - who needs it eh

Take care for now.

Ramon 3-20-2003 9:18

AMERIGO -- Here you are free to state what you will -- this decadent society as extended this right to even you.

But this does not give license to refer to Rosemary as an "ignorant bitch." You can call me what you like -- I really don't care. But I do take exception to the way you have spoken to Rosemary, and I would expect that if honor is still to be found in your European civility, you will apologise. Or do you hide behind your trembling fingers in this as well?

howard 3-20-2003 9:17

Sorry -- that was me...

howard 3-20-2003 9:05

Owwww! Spent yesterday in the hospital having surgery to correct a locked tendon in my hand. Couldn't open my ring finger without clicking and grinding, sometime not at all unless I forced it with the other hand. Painful. Surgery moreso. But the chemistry is nice! :-) Now a week with it elevated, some exercise, and it should be all okay again. I hope so -- got some trees and garden to plant next month.

SASQUATCH -- I wish I were you! Except for the aroma you mentioned a while back. :-) "more like the one" is exactly what we need, I think.

AMERICO (and JON) -- A friend of mine sent me an audio file, an excerpt from a talk show in which an Iraqi ex-patriate asked a young woman (an anti-war protester) the following question: "How will leaving Saddam in power guarantee peace?" It generated an interesting exchange, but no answer.

I think the file is too large to send to a slow speed Email connexion, but I'll post it on
for anyone who wants to listen to it (or save it) that way.
Now, this may have been staged, or it may be a genuine clip from KVI-AM in Seattle -- either way it's an interesting and thought-provoking dialog.

3-20-2003 9:04

Someone told me yesterday that they heard on radio Saddam orders people to be placed in a tree shredder.

I can't absorb that information. Has anyone else heard that?

Debra 3-20-2003 8:34


Morning and God Bless America...

"I have been watching this war on the TV all night. I am sick. How can a strong civilized country drop missiles on a defenceless (sic) people, destroying lives and buildings?"

Americo the coalition is not dropping bombs in a random fashion. Actions are against a terrorist regime that HAS dropped bombs and destroyed lives and buildings...remember the Kurds, Kuwait? Iranians? Where is your outrage for the dead there?

"This is just an attack of the rich against the poor, of the pseudo-Christians against the Muslims."

Saddam is one of the richest men in the world. Rich from stealing and killing HIS own people. It is not a race-war and to say so is irresponsible of you, because you know better. RICH terrorists are killing innocent poor people, not vice-versa.

"This is the most coward war in History."

Americo, how many Kuwait citizens died in 1991? How many Kurds were killed by poison gas dispersed by your hero Saddam? Iranians? History is worth remembering ya know.

"As a writer, my fingers shake, as a human being my conscience aches."

If you fingers shake its a conflict of emotion cause your intelligence should know better. If your conscience aches I hope it is for the millions of people Saddam has killed.

"I am ashamed of all those on this page who have been supporting this war against international law, but perhaps even more ashamed of the so-called democrats who remain silent before this crime."

You may feel how you wish. The United States for one lost 3,000 Americans in 9/11. We have the right to defend ourself. BTW...Are you outraged by the "Muslims" attack on pseudo-Christians? Of course we support our boys and our president. President Bush is a leader not a lackey like so many European heads of state.

"Macarthism (sic) was nothing compared to the stupid policy of Bush, which has already destroyed the United Nations, NATO and is about to do the same to the European Union. Please wake up before it is too late!"

France and Germany destroyed the UN because they did not have the guts to enforce their own resolutions. The "New" Europe is nothing more than welfare states staggering backward as America moves forward. Envy is such a small emotion Americo. That President Bush is such a strong leader offends many persons who feel threatened by authority. And that is the problem with Europe, Americo. We have awaken while Europe, like a tawdry whore, sleeps on dreaming of what once was. Resting on your laurels is dangerous Americo. It represents stagnation and leads to decadence and loss of motivation.


Randall 3-20-2003 8:14

As a footnote to my last:
Just how this is affecting opinion across the world.
Two of your fellow countrymen are now in (jail) in my country for having two 'bombs' in their flat.
Is this to do with your country hosting the Azores conference? Is this even connected to the war?
We probably wont find out. Some people will convince themselves that it all has to do with the above and more.
We have to be careful what we think and what we say.
The worse thing that can happen during any disagreement is that things can be said which can not be retracted later.
Not everything can be forgiven or forgotten.
Take care everyone who contributes to the Notebook, especially those in harms way.

Eddie French 3-20-2003 8:01

International disagreement on the virtues (Lack of) of this war is reflected right here in this esteemed forum.
During the Croatian struggle, the American Civil war, the English civil war, brother fought brother, father fought son (What a heartbreaking thought). When this is over the whole world, including the Notebook, will have to work harder than ever to heal the deep divisions which have been created by this disagreement.
Take comfort from the fact that this vitriol is merely a microcosm of the general emotions now being expressed by the world in general.
Please bear in mind that one day this will all be over and the world, including the Notebook, will have to begin building bridges. Literally and metaphorically.

Eddie French 3-20-2003 7:53


I don't know anything really about war and this war is no different. I only know what my government wants me to know.


What will you say if after this is all over the Iraqi people do stand up sand say thanks for getting rid of him. He has been treating us badly. We were frightened of him. He has been hurting woman and children. We are now free.

What will you say?

See.....for me, it's not about the WMD. It's is he hurting his people! That's what I worry about.

Do you have any information about what Saddam does you can share with us?

We all like you here... so much... and still do.

Debra 3-20-2003 7:51


Did you read the same post by Americo that I did? I know that my view may be slanted as I am quite fond of him. I really didn't get the same message out of the post as you did.

Americo and Jon,

Hugs to the both of you :o)

I'm going away for a few days. My son has a hockey tournament in Oliver.


Hi you !! Thanks for thinking of me.


I don't care who you are. I think you are a doll.

Nite all.

Rachel 3-20-2003 1:04


I also have been watching the news. It is hard to take. I feel sick when I think of all the suffering, past, now and future. I think of all of the people, not of sides, but of people. I have been thinking of all of the different minorities that make up the majority of the world. I wonder what we are doing to each other?

Rachel 3-20-2003 0:54

I have been watching this war on the TV all night. I am sick. How can a strong civilized country drop missiles on a defenceless people, destroying lives and buildings?! This is just an attack of the rich against the poor, of the pseudo-Christians against the Muslims. This is the most coward war in History. As a writer, my fingers shake, as a human being my conscience aches. I am ashamed of all those on this page who have been supporting this war against international law, but perhaps even more ashamed of the so-called democrats who remain silent before this crime. Macarthism was nothing compared to the stupid policy of Bush, which has already destroyed the United Nations, NATO and is about to do the same to the European Union. Please wake up before it is too late!

Rosemary, If you were not such an ignorant bitch, you should know that I referred to those Americans who ignore that the area between the Tibre and the Euphrates is the cradle of a very old civilization. I was not referring to ALL Americans. I was referring to semi-illiterates like you and not to those Americans who are protesting against this stupid and criminal war, nor to those Americans who understood from the beginning that Bush was leading your country and the world to a very dangerous situation. As for the newcomers, the passage is so clear that even you, after reading it again, will be able to understand that I was not sneering at them.
Now go to hell and don't come back.

Americo 3-20-2003 0:30

They can tell you to leave, but in the USA you have a choice, you can stay without harm. (At least I hope it's that way. If not, we need to work to make it that way.)

Stick around folks...especially Carol! Carol, I'm just revising but so much of my story was wrong. I talked to a Hawaiian woman and so much is incorrect and I'm trying to make it correct enough that someone from Hawaii could read it and say, "Oh yes, she's lived here." I still may have to take that field trip. Bah! I hate to travel alone...esecially when I have a new pup. I don't even want to leave the house to go to work.

Question folks: How do you write settings that are accurate without actually living in the place. I can't set this story in Japan. I need to set it in an American city. I chose Oahu because it's close.

Viv 3-20-2003 0:27

Well got messages from both old friends, all is well again, I guess everyone's a bit jumpy right now.

Looks like we missed him, or at least that's what Iraq wants us to believe since they say Sadam will be addressing the Iraqi people on TV today.


Jerry 3-19-2003 23:45

"Genesis is not a scientific account, though it is an absolutely factual one."
So, what, then ... science is not fact-based? I prefer to think is is neither science nor fact, but Poetically true.

I remember a comment about the space shuttle from an engineer to the effect that controlling every piece of that thing was in some ways like taking a million separate pieces and flying them in formation. I'd call that a good analogy for creation.

If the Big Bang is the moment of creation, I see no reason why God couldn't have all those pieces flying in formation. Physical laws in place, mental laws up to the user.

A high school science teacher (a priest) tried to show me God in the action of ice. Everything else we had measured grew smaller as it froze, but water approached freezing and began to expand. Why? Well, that's almost a philosophical question, isn't it? But physically, ice floats because it expands as it freezes. If ice were to continue to contract, then it would sink in water and the sun could not melt it the way it does now. If our ocean bottoms were lined with ice, the planet would be much different than it is today. It may not even be able to sustain life under those conditions.

I believe in the Big Bang and millions or billions of years of physical history, and I believe in the Poetic truth of scripture. I do not believe anyone's bible to be an historical artifact or a technical manual from God. Every page of scripture was written by (and then translated by) human men with specific viewpoints they wished to get across. The Pentateuch were written by people who lived in a pre-literate society. Those stories were handed down by recitation through generations. There's no telling how it actually began.

Compare the opening of Genesis in the Douay and King James versions. In Douay you'll see quite a few "and then" constructs. That additive type of storytelling is typical in pre-literate cultures and pre-literate thought processes. Listen to children tell of their day: "And then we were walking, and then I saw the bird, and it was sitting on the fence, and then we walked closer, and then . . ." Children and pre-literates typically construct narratives additively. In King James, however, the scholarly collective who translated the texts were commisioned to make the bible a beautiful example of the English language and good usage. The KJV has the same stories, but directed at a literate audience for linguistic as much as religious purposes. Is either version closer to the "truth"? I knew people who'd tell you that if you weren't reading KJV, you might
as well be a heretic. If the Douay is closer to childlike, I'd call that a merit. If the Douay is closer to verbal tradition, I'd call that a merit.

That the one sings the song in the voice of oral tradition and the other tells the story in the literate phrases of cultured minds I call also a merit. Both represent the poetry of the story as it should best be understood. Poetry.

RHODA brings entropy into play here with notions that junk won't transform itself into a 747 and so a microbe can't evolve into a millipede. But things do transform. Don't leave work out of your equation and don't leave environment out either. I have a skin cancer which would never have grown there had I never gone out in the sun. I have 30 or 40 actinic keretoses which need to be removed also, all caused by the sun. Microbes becoming something other than what they were before and all caused by energy.

The cricket jumped onto a branch and saw a centipede working toward him. Cricket marvelled at centipede's motion and asked, "How do you do that? how do you keep all those legs in time like that?" Centipede began to think about it, and never took another step.

Mark 3-19-2003 23:44

Hi Rache, Sasquatch, Teekay, Jon, Pamela, Howard, Jerry, and Randall.

I hear you, Teek, it's a mighty eerie wind. I feel as if everyone in the entire world must be holding their breath in unison.

Hang on, my brothers and sisters. Keep your arms and legs inside of the vehicle at all times. It's going to be a bumpy ride.

But smile, knowing that there will always be a tomorrow--another chance. I believe that. {{{{{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}}))

Christi 3-19-2003 23:12

I love thee also, dear Americo.

Christi 3-19-2003 23:01

Sasquatch for president.

Christi 3-19-2003 23:00

Hi all,

Howard, if you are our Yeti kin, I just love yah all the more!

Americo, I adore Jon and I adore you. You have brought much to the NB and you are as free to speak as any other in this place.

Rachel 3-19-2003 22:57

I guess in this nation we can say "I disagree" without fear of death but not without being told to leave.

pamela 3-19-2003 22:53

hello jon creature i sasquatch have sorry in seeing humans friends speak harsh words on others. i sasquatch know there is strong feeling on each side of this difficult and humans persons hurt very much and strike out like creatures at other but not really at other but at pain felt. sometime mistake other humans persons for pain and say to them hate, but only hate pain not persons. i sasquatch do not know of illegal or unjust. or christian. i sasquatch am only creature. only here. only now. Yeti memory remains but sasquatch does not. i sasquatch know this. Yeti wise but not like the one as humans persons are like the one. for creatures death is only part of life. kill is eat for some. kill is live for some. it is natural. but humans persons do not like kill or death.
i sasquatch see different in humans persons from other creatures because humans persons are made like the one. and death is not part of the one but life. so some humans persons afraid of death and some afraid of life. some make death to punish other. or make fear. or hate.
Yeti memories many humans persons killed because of different. speak different, think different, talk to the one in different ways. creatures do not this, only humans persons do this. i sasquatch believe this to be so as humans persons do not remember that they are made like the one.
i sasquatch can not advice but if i could do i will say humans persons made like the one. but not do like the one. if not doing like the one makes painful and hate, then maybe should try more to do like the one. i must go.

sasquatch 3-19-2003 22:50


Below are the sections that I considered sneers to new notebookers and everyone from the USA. Please explain where I misunderstood.
This reasoning is probably too complicated for those newcomers who ignore that this page has been blessed by God and by me for many years. I will try to make it simpler.

(the age of the first civilization in the place which stupid Americans want to destroy tonight)
I'm sure I'm the only one who misunderstood the term 'stupid Americans'

At least I don’t hide behind a cat.

--And, the out of context excuse most 'POLITICIANS' use won't work because anyone can scroll down and reread that shameful tirade.

Rosemary 3-19-2003 22:10


Good evening...

Within this night of darkness and death I stand in spirit with our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers as they once again liberate a foreign nation from oppression. If I could be there I would. America is the greatest nation on the earth, the bastion of freedom where one person may stand up and say "I disagree" without fear of death. There has never been as great a nation as America, a nation of so much, a nation of giving and compassion, a nation under God. A nation of persons not afraid to step forward and be counted on the side of right. I wave the stars and stripes proudly and forever proclaim God Bless America. Love it or leave it.

"Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
"As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on."

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat:
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me:
As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on."

The Battle Hymn of the Republic

by Julia Ward Howe

God bless the brave members of the coalition of nations as they enter the devils den and crush the serpent with their heel...


Randall 3-19-2003 20:58


rosemary said i sneered at new notebookers. i did not. she said i sneered at anyone from the U.S. she exaggerated. she said the towers and a number of her own people, but 6 were of my people and i did not like it at all. not because of my people and her people. because i don't count bodies according to nationalities. but because killing is very ugly. it's immoral. it's sinful. It's a shame. Both in peace and in illegal, unjust wars. Please agree with me on this, my Christian friend!

Sasquatch, what do you do, in your realm, to people who misread, exaggerate, distinguish bodies according to nationalities and support killing. Please advise me on this difficult question, o divine creature.

jon 3-19-2003 19:58

Just when I thought I understood all this war crap, I get jumped on by two of my oldest and dearest friends from my past. Both liberal to the bone.

Ah well they were good friends.

They'll probably be good friends again if they ever get over my almost support for the war that is so very near now.

It's been a day of smoking emails back and forth with these two fellows, both of which have stopped for now so we can all watch the battle begin.

War is indeed hell.

Jon nice to see you back amongst us once again.

I always figured that evolution was right until a short time ago when it dawned on me, if Darwin was right, then why are there still monkeys, chimps and gorilla's?

If they evolved into us, then why didn't they all?

If evolution is right then why have we stayed relatively the same for the last couple of thousand years, well sure we've gotten a bit taller and a bit heavier but that's because we've learned to care for ourselves better.

No, I don't think Darwin was right, oh he probably had a point as far as survival of the fittest, and all that, natural selection and that too, but now that science has found homo sapiens bones alongside neatdrathal bones of the same age, when modern man's bones have been discovered reaching back much farther then Darwin ever imagined, the one must wonder.

That and when you look at the way other species have evolved, branching and branching once again, but with each branch there are surviving members of the former branch, then one would think that human's would also have such surviving branches, that is if Darwin were correct there should still be different species of man living today, yet there are none (unless you think as many men do that women are in fact a different species)

No, I don't think Darwin was correct, now those folks that think man was planted on this planet by ET, they may have a point....

Intersting happenings on the local front - our city government is considering cutting the police force here by 25% because they can't afford to pay them any longer, this when the rest of the nation is building their's up. I don't know what these idiots are thinking either....

Jerry 3-19-2003 18:47

i am sasquatch. sasquatch is me. Yeti memory is long and it passes to all in turn. jon creature you say howard person tells 8000 years but Yeti memory does not say time as humans persons. rhoda person tells one day is 1000 years again Yeti memory is not measure like. i am sasquatch. in Yeti memory is much of the one. i must go.

sasquatch 3-19-2003 17:11

Well, so much for any similarity between Americo and Sasquatch. At least this time he only sneered at new notebookers and anyone from the U.S. I wonder what he would feel if terrorists killed 3,000+ of his people in one fell swoop? "Poor misunderstood babies, they didn't really mean it."

Here in Southwest Texas, all the weeds have gone into power growing. The Bluebonnets and other great wildflowers will be covered by the weeds far before they are through their glorious show season.

I have been mowing for the last week. It's finally dry enough to get the mower through the stuff. I have over half an acre to mow and it usually takes me four or five days the first time of the season. Each day I am able to cover a little more area than the day before. If I ever bought a riding mower, I'd never get any exercise.

Saw a bunch of sayings about dogs. The best one (I thought) was--If your dog is overweight, it means you aren't getting enough exercise.

A truth if I ever saw one. Of course my two dogs are slim and trim but that's because one is a poodle and the other lives outdoors in the big 3 acres of our property.

Gotta go,

Rosemary 3-19-2003 16:38

It's very eerie outside. The air is cool and still, but overhead the sky is a leaden grey. Sheets of cloud scud across and every now and then the ghostly outline of the sun can be seen.

Teekay 3-19-2003 16:35

Lightning, definitely not the other :-D

RHODA: I agree with you. I find it all incredibly fascinating.

JERRY: I thought the point of this war was to get Iraq to conform weapon wise with the standards set by the UN in order to make a safer playground for all of us here in this ever shrinking world.

It would be better to have UN backing, but how can you give that any credence when the veto lay with a country that had no inclination to even consider another resolution, but is willing to join the coalition if nuclear weapons are used. All seems a bit half arsed to me.

I don't think we particularly want to lord it over Iraq, we just want to get rid of a regime that is a threat to our long term safety.

It certainly is an interesting time to live in though - what next? Korea? Or will Korea open fire on us as soon as the first missile heads toward Iraq?

Is this the move O.B.L and his mastermind team had hoped we'd make when they planned their dastardly deed, and are terrorist cells just waiting for that very first missile also?
Keep thinking about your conspiracy theory. Makes sense.

I am heartliy sick of all these protestors though, and the media who tell us in a couple of lines in the newspaper to support our troops and then bombard our senses with images of mindless, stupid protest actions.
And no matter what the media might portray on TV, or the polls might indicate, I'm of the opinion that the majority of the population support John Howard in the very difficult decision he's made.

I really hope that the Iraqi soldiers will just surrender straight up and that no one will be killed. Wishful thinking I know, but where there's life, there's hope.

Long live peace.

Teekay 3-19-2003 16:05

Rhoda — "When God created cats, they were cats."

You know very well that when Americo created me (a cat) I was (and still am) Americo, a man, though in the brilliant desguise of a feline.

The same happened when God created Man. He changed his form, but not His intrinsic identity. That's why God is Man and Man is God. Exactly as my creator is a poor man and I Americo's adorable creation.

This reasoning is probably too complicated for those newcomers who ignore that this page has been blessed by God and by me for many years. I will try to make it simpler. Howard created Sasquatch (a yeti), but Sasquatch is nevertheless Howard (a nice man). Howard and Sasquatch are the same, though the former is a creationist and an enemy of French fries while Sasquatch is our favorite Notebooker. How can a man who believes that the universe has just 8 thousand years (the age of the first civilization in the place which stupid Americans want to destroy tonight) be the adorable yeti we all love and admire? It can because good and evil, ignorance and wisdom, superstition and faith derive from the same source — and the source is the soul of man in its infinite complexity.

Should we believe in God? Of course, God is evident, just look at you. Should we adore Him? Well, that depends. If it is a good creator, like Howard, yes. But if it is a stupid writer like Americo, no — in this case you must adore (or at least venerate) his adorable creation, me.

In my opinion this solves the creationism vs. evolutionism puzzle. If you have more difficult questions, just ask.

Now let us all pray that Sadam and Bush be delivered to the International Penal Tribunal and that they both have a fair trial. In the meantime, make tea not war.

Jon 3-19-2003 13:42

Rhoda/Tina. I tend to agree with both of you. Whilst I do not necessarily beieve in God, if I did I would concede that God created the universe through evolution. It makes sense that the two would go hand in hand. A wonderful argument along this line was acted brilliantly in "Inherit the Wind" a stage and film production of the tennessee (is that right?) monkey trials.

If I were to subscribe to a belief it would have to be the one put forward by Douglas Adams in the Hitchikers Guilde to the Galaxy. For those of you who haven't read this, I urge you to pick a copy of the book which incidentally is a Trilogy in five parts, and read. It is a bit silly but is very cleverly written.

I use to believe that the Universe was sentient and that it wasn't so much the answers that were important but the questions, and when those questions were answered, it was time to find new questions. I have lots of questions but no answers. I envy people who have faith because they see light at the end of the tunnel. I just see the tunnel.

Ramon 3-19-2003 11:11

Rhoda, I like your thought process!

My simple answer to this whole question - and yes it is very simplified and yes my own beliefs are more complicated than this - is 'God created the Universe through evolution'.

My husband has a curious question, and I thought I'd post it here to see if anyone more learned than I in such matters knows the answer.
Overall, the world runs by the calender that says 'today is March 19, 2003'. But do Muslim/Islamic countries actually measure their time by our western calender? And if not, what is their calender?
Me thinks I need to do some internet research, but no time right now.

Blue skies!

Tina 3-19-2003 10:39

Evolution vs. Creationism?

Ha, ha, I love this one! First let me qualify this subject by saying, I was not there when the world was created, so I am open all possible explanations.

I am a creationist by the fact that there is no doubt in my mind that God created everything and put it together with such intricate detail. Whether one believes in evolution or not, one must admit that the chances of all this complexity around us just happening defies all reason. There was an intelligence at work in it all. I am a chemist by trade. I have taken a lot of biology, and the more science I learned the more it actually convinced me that only God could have put all of this together.

That being said, I think there is some question as to how to read and comprehend Genesis. Back in Moses's day, God could not have gotten too technical about it. Genesis is not a scientific account, though it is an absolutely factual one.

How long is a day? It says in another part of the Bible that a 1000 years is as a day to God. However, God could have just as easily created the world in 6 seconds as he could have in 6 days, or even 6,000,000,000 years. There were 6 stages, and I believe the given order is the way it happened. Consider also that God said, "Let there be light." One astrophysicists I read made the case that without light there would be no time. They are linked, so when God made light, he also made time. God is timeless, hence, some of the confusion people have with concepts such as predestination. With God the past, present and future are not linear, but humanity's existence on earth is. The big bang theory intimates that all matter and energy existing, or the universe as we know was created at one moment.

I believe in evolution. Evolution means change. Species do change over time--no doubt about it. Darwin laid down the concepts of natural selection and survival of the fittest, and these concepts have been proven and make perfect sense. Where I part company with evolutional thought is that I do not believe that in the course of several million or billion years a one cell organism can evolve into a cat or even a millipede. Having this happen by genetic mutation, natural selection, etc., progressively over time does not make sense to me. When God created cats, they were cats. When God created millipedes, they were millipedes, though both these creatures would have looked and seemed quite different millions of years ago.

HOWARD is right. Many scientists giving no regard to religion have questioned, some even rejected Darwin. Others have tried to make some modifications to his theory, and as a result faced great amounts of reticule (Stephen Gould is an example). A theory is nothing more than a working model. Theories exist only to be tested and then modified. It is that way in all other areas of science. To many people (most of these outside of science), evolution in itself is more than that. It is a tenent of their modern faith.

During the early 80's I once attended some lectures given by a Nobel Lauriet in Chemistry. He was a pioneer in quantum physics. He paused in the midst of the lecture and noted that the major thing that flew in the face of his knowledge of quantum physics was the existence of life. Statically, and all quantum physics is based on statistics, the odds of molecules forming by themselves to make proteins, DNA, simple life and on up were astronomical. Things just do not organize that way and get more complex. The more complex becomes less complex left to itself. You don't drop a lot of trash in a junk yard and eons later expect to see a Boeing 747.

Rhoda 3-19-2003 10:28

Try this:

Eddie 3-19-2003 10:03


You've touched on a lot of things that I have been trying to say. You're absolutely right Saddam Hussien is without a doubt one of the most barbaric leaders to rule a country for quite some time - it makes one wonder if he is even human.

The soldiers, when they go in have an awaful job on their hands and I wouldn't want it. I couldn't serve in the military if I wanted to as I have bad asthma. It will be hardest on them, judging by some of things I have been told by friends and family who have served in WWII, Vietnam and the Gulf. Can't imagine what effect this will have on them.

I'll join you in wishing them a safe return, if that's alright with you.

Ramon 3-19-2003 9:00

You know, one does have to wonder, is this war with Iraq right?

I mean who do we think we are to try and tell others how they should live?

But then one has to look at the way the people of Iraq are forced to live, and maybe it's simply way too much television or something but it appears that this guy is about the worst villain one could ever dream up and it appears that the people of Iraq are indeed being enslaved.

Then again it could all be a bunch of propaganda and we've all been taken in, but then one has to look at our free press and how much they hate Bush and the truth comes through, Sadam is a bastard and he needs to be killed, but is the price too high? Is the cost going to be more then we should pay?

Is this going to tear the world's nations apart or is it a matter of France, Germany and Russia trying to cover their tracks of selling illegal goods to Iraq during the past twelve years up?

Who the hell knows, and I guess tonight, I don't much give a shit but I do hope our troops are going to be safe.

My cousin is still here in the USA but has orders to go in with the clean up crew when the shit is over and we have to mop up the blood. I don't envy him.

Jerry 3-19-2003 1:07

Gee I think those folks in Iraq will say what ever Sadam tells them to say, cause if they don't then Sadam will send his brown shirts to kick their ass, rape their wives and kids and shoot them in the back of their skull, but then that's just what I think, having watched bunches of crap on the tube.

Jerry 3-19-2003 0:12

Ben, funny, I was just thinking about that proverb/curse yesterday after watching G. Dubuya. Like you, I'd rather be bored.

Tina again 3-18-2003 21:53

Hi all!

Rosemary! I've lost your e-mail! Don't know how, it was in my address book, but it's gone. I've taken a chance and posted my own addie; could you send me yours again? Please?

Christi, glad to hear your sweetie is feeling better. Now get some rest!

Heard a great saying today, but I have no idea where it originated.
'Passion, once in motion, moves itself.'
Anyone know who said it first?

Creationism vs Evolution... I'll take evolution, thanks. If the Christian God created the world about 8000 years ago, why would that God include such abundant evidence that the world is much older, and the solar system itself is closer to 4 1/2 billion? And I don't buy into the 'test of faith' argument. That's dirty play, and I could never believe in any god that resorts to dirty play.
Sorry Christi, but I have no problem with hairy apelike ancestors. I mean, you met Troy, I'm married to an ape. ;-)

As for becoming our own critique group... I'd sign up happily, but that in the past I've had little success getting anyone to do more than partial critiques. It works well for short stories and novellas and poetry, but nothing much longer.

Tina 3-18-2003 21:49

Anybody know anything about Farris Literary Agency?

Authentic Creations, Inc.?


MikeK 3-18-2003 21:39

MARK: hahahaha

Halee 3-18-2003 21:22

TEEKAY -- if it's chocolate, LIGHTENing isn't what you'll be struck by.

Mark 3-18-2003 19:47

I don't have much to say. Just dropped in to see if I could get on-line or not. Been havin' a few problems lately. And besdies, with it bein' Spring Break up here, and the kids always using the computer, I don't get a lot of time here. But I can hear one upstairs in the shower right now--and I'm asking myself is it a sure sign of holidays when you can sit around the house all day in your P.J's, and then have a shower at four in the afternoon? It must be.

Anyway, I spent the morning working on my novella. I want to print it out tomorrow and mail it out by the end of the week. I know the printer cartridge is going to run empty as soon as I start though. But I found a place that refills them for twenty bucks, which isn't bad considering they cost me $55 brand new. I want to send this away and start something new. I just don't know whether to start something "new", or to try and revise something old.

Excellent conversings on the old religios question gang. As for Creationism and Darwinism, I tend to lean toward the latter just because it makes more sense to me. I've always looked at the "six days of creation" more like the Ages of Mankind--Stone Age, Bronze Age etc.,--in that it would take thousands of years for one day to pass...but I guess that's not possible if the Earth is only 8000 years old, is it? :-)

I guess old Sadman has just one more day left--twenty five hours from now. I wonder what he'll do...It's sort of ironic how I heard people in Bagdhad were saying Bush should resign because he was a threat to world peace. Different slant on life, or different Spin Doctoring? I guess that old Chinese proverb is going to come to life: May you live in interesting times. I'd rather be bored.

ben 3-18-2003 19:19

And here's a song, written in the mid 60s, that has proven to be timeless! (Not that I agree with the sentiment, but it is eerie how it comes around again!)

6. Send The Marines
What with President Johnson practicing escalatio on the Vietnamese, and then the Dominican crisis on top of that, it has been a nervous year, and people have begun to feel like a Christian Scientist with appendicitis. Fortunately, in times of crisis like this, America always has its number one instrument of diplomacy to fall back on. Here's a song about it:

When someone makes a move
Of which we don't approve,
Who is it that always intervenes?
U.N. and O.A.S.,*
They have their place, I guess,
But first - send the Marines!

We'll send them all we've got,
John Wayne and Randolph Scott;
Remember those exciting fighting scenes?
To the shores of Tripoli,
But not to Mississippoli,
What do we do? We send the Marines!

For might makes right,
And till they've seen the light,
They've got to be protected,
All their rights respected,
Till somebody we like can be elected.

Members of the corps
All hate the thought of war;
They'd rather kill them off by peaceful means.
Stop calling it aggression,
Ooh, we hate that expression!
We only want the world to know
That we support the status quo.
They love us everywhere we go,
So when in doubt,
Send the Marines!

You can see all of Tom Lehrer's songs at:

They're a hoot!
If you like that sort of thing.
Or maybe I'm simply strange...

howard 3-18-2003 16:42

Speaking of Lent -- here's the bridge from one of my favorite Tom Lehrer songs, She's My Girl! :
The girl that I lament for,
The girl my money's spent for,
The girl my back is bent for,
The girl I owe the rent for,
The girl I gave up Lent for
Is the girl that heaven meant for me.

... (She's my girl....and I Love her!)

howard 3-18-2003 16:34

or by lightening.

Teekay 3-18-2003 16:28

MEL: Oh gosh, I'm ever so sorry, I thought Lenten was a type of chocolate :-D
Guess you'd better stick to it.
Am hoping this post reaches you before I am struck down with lightening.

Teekay 3-18-2003 16:28

I see France is now saying that they still don't agree with us, and will not support us in the was with Saddam, but they claim dibs on the cleanup contracts...


howard 3-18-2003 16:03

CHRISTI -- Thanks! Actually the two Talons are intentional. I hope I can make that part work. I think the one may be a totem of the pursuing savages, and the other just might be spared one day because of his name, and because the image of the falcon is engraved on a medallion he wears. And Salla has control over both... Hmmmm! This thing is almost writing itself! :-})
And you're right -- I still don't like 'Picts' as a name for the enemy. Been trying to come up with something different. Not easy -- JRRT sure used up a lot of good/bad names!

howard 3-18-2003 15:49

Ah forget it. If interested, just type into your addie box. :) Yes, I am master of my computer. Ha.

3-18-2003 11:55

Shoot, let's try that again.

Christi Link 3-18-2003 11:54


I'm so glad that so many people are writing! Wow!

Pamela, Thank you, my son's doing much better the last couple of days. I was going a mite insane from lack of sleep. Last night was the first night in eleven days to supply me with something close to eight hours of sleep. Ahhhhhhh.

Howard, I loved the sound of your story and almost all of its characters, but I wasn't so hot on (you guessed it) the evil hoarde's name. Oh also I spotted that you had given both the fugitive prince and the hunting falcon the same name. I do that all the time when I have a lot of names to come up with, and when I'm vascillating on who to pin them to.
If you like it, for your bad guy you could use one of my badie names, Rawthe. I think it sounds gutteral and nasty. And actually, Drachan, Salla's uncle's name sounds like it would nicely fit your bad guys. Anyway, I hope I get to read this one, it sounds right up my alley.
BTW, I also subscibe to the Creationism theory. Could be partly due to the hope that I did not spawn from a hairy apish creature who liked to pick bugs off his friends for lunch. Puts a whole new meaning to 'bugs in your teeth'.

Ramon, Hi! How about "Visage of a Killer" or Killer Visage"? ")

Welcome back, Hallee! Your husband's message gives me something to think about.

Mark, HA HA HA! The thing is, I also ask myself before I go, "nuts?", except I mean in the head. My answer? Yup. Give your two cents anytime. My pockets are empty. :}

Teekay, Me too, but at least the chocolate and coffee were good! *sigh*

Tina, I'm still smilin' for you. :)

Heather! Congratulations!!!!!! That is so exciting; what a nice paycheck! {{{Hugs}}}

Hey Rhoda, My humble opinion? Don't worry about your synopsis! I mean, maybe you usually follow the map you had laid out, but it never seems to work out that way for me. My best stuff is the writing I let go where it wants to go and I worry about the changes later. My sister is an outline writer and thinks I'm crazy. Anyway, whichever way it ends up, good luck!
I'm always willing to read manuscripts, but I prefer to read them after the first draft has been accomplished. Otherwise I feel I can't give a proper critique, not knowing really where the author is going or what they'll change. Also I live in fear that something I say may make them change where they were going or make them toss the whole thing.
Maybe we could form a critique group right here, eh?

For anyone who loves good fantasy and really needs a smile, you should check out the new story at It's hilarious!

Lovely day to all of my fellow penners,

Christi 3-18-2003 11:53


My husband, also a writer (and a more brilliant one than I could ever hope to be) wrote this piece this morning.

I first crossed the border in February -- February of 1991. I sat aboard a UH-60 Blackhawk that was packed with other soldiers and their gear and slingloading a pallet of supplies destined for Logbase Zebra. Days later, I watched as the Republican Guard retreated in column to Bagdad but we couldn’t open fire. The cease fire was already in effect.

The absolutely horrible things I saw on the way into Kuwait City I cannot describe. I reckon, though, that the feelings that stirred inside me were akin to those of my ancestors when they looked across No-Man’s land in Verdun to see their brothers suffering and dying trapped in the wire, or when they liberated the death camps in Bergin Beltsin or Auschwitz. How can I describe what months of looting, rape, torture, butchery, and murder can do to a population?

The Iraqi army in occupation in tiny Kuwait became as animals. They gang raped children. They tortured women to death and weighted down their dismembered bodies with cinderblocks to be casually tossed into the Persian Gulf. There were so many corpses discarded in that manner that the Seal Team assigned to dive in from a few miles out and secure the US Embassy could not get through them and had to turn back. How can I describe the lives and livelihoods Iraq destroyed in a few short months?

Can you imagine a sky so full of smoke that for nearly half a year one could not make a distinction between night and day? Can you imagine the smell, the terrible sweet nauseating smell of nearly a quarter of a million dead? Can you imagine the disease which ran rampant among the occupied because Iraq would not let them obtain medical attention? They died by the hundreds from infection which became gangrene. They died by the thousands of influenza and malnourishment. They died in staggering numbers of Cholera because dead human beings tossed into the water supply rotted there and contaminated the drinking water.

When people say that Saddam Hussein is not a totalitarian dictator, that he is not a monster, that he is not a truly evil man, they are mistaken. He is quite possibly worse than Adolf Hitler. Hitler never once used chemical or biological weapons even in Stalengrad when they could have made the difference between winning and losing the Eastern Front. Saddam Hussein has used them on Iranians and on his own people. It is very likely that he left chemical weapons disguised in innocuous containers for the Coalition forces to detonate as if they were conventional munitions, thus infecting as many as 350,000 US troops. He has not signed either the Geneva Conventions or the Nuremberg Accords as far as the ethical treatment of prisoners. He is guilty of or responsible for countless, countless millions of human rights violations.

When they say he doesn’t support terrorism, they are mistaken. He has laundered money for upwards of seven terrorist organizations through his state run bank, the bank of Iraq, including Al Jazeera Jihad and Al Quada. He has provided equipment, munitions, and training camps and skilled “advisors” to those same organizations. One training camp has the fuselage of a Boeing 767 and was clearly used to train terrorists in how to take over and hold hostage an airline. And who could forget the fact that he once filled a commercial airliner with convicts -- who he ordered smothered to death -- and then flew it in the direction of a US Carrier Group until we had no alternative but to shoot it down? What if we hadn’t?

Some people ask why we have to go into Iraq? Why did we have to go into Germany?

And, he is quite totally insane. Given time and freedom to accomplish his goals, the leader of Iraq could, quite literally, bring about the destruction of the entire world. Those who didn’t capitulate to his will could find themselves the victims of a dirty bomb, or a man-made deadly disease, or an occupying force of soldiers who are trained in the art of gang-rape, torture, and butchery.

The man is evil. His regime is evil. His purpose is evil.

Saddam Hussein IS a terrorist.

“We will make no distinction between those who committed these horrible acts and those who harbor them.” President George W. Bush

America is more than a nation it is an idea. It is an idea that we as human beings have rights. It is an idea that we must, from time to time, roll up our sleeves and fight and sweat and bleed and possibly even die to preserve those rights when some two-bit so-and-so tries to take them from us. And why is it that some completely wrong-minded Americans feel they need to go to Iraq and become “human shields.” I say we should make no distinction between them and those who committed this horrible act. I say revoke their American citizenship and bar them from reentry onto our sovereign soil. I say, seize their holdings and property and use it to the benefit of those who are fighting for America instead of letting them keep it to be used, quite possibly, for evil deeds.

We see people like Barbara Streisand, Mike Farrell, Martin Sheen, Sean Penn, and Danny Glover saying how wrong our government is. They would say so regardless of whether we, as Americans and we as human beings, were in danger from terrorist despots like Saddam Hussein. They would say so because they are liberals who never uttered a peep when Clinton ordered Serbia and Bosnia bombed back to the stone age. They are hypocrites. They are people who would spit on my uniform and call me a baby-killer while demanding taxpayer funded abortions. They are to be ignored. We see news commentators and organizations like AOL TIME WARNER who seek out the most vociferous liberal minded fool to spout nonsense and propaganda and represents that voice as the voice of the majority. It isn’t. CNN ignores a pro-America rally of 30,000 people one mile from their headquarters to report on a peace rally of 300 “Lesbians against Bush” (and here I thought lesbians liked bush) miles and miles away. I submit to you that the majority of Americans are not lesbians. I further posit that the majority of Americans are not against Bush.

We read the endless debate in our magazines and newspapers about what a terrible precedent it will set if we go to war, how we (and this makes me laugh) will be war criminals if we do, and how harshly history will judge us for our actions. Imagine if we did not act? Would we have a history to render that judgment?

It is terribly easy to sit at home in the comfort of your living room and watch the media tell you that the majority of Americans do not support this war (a blatant lie). It is terribly easy to try to dictate to the military how they need to accomplish their difficult and daunting task, having never served yourself. It is much harder to get off your ass and get on your knees and pray for the leadership of this country, pray for the servicemen who face this terrible thing, and pray to God to, by His grace, grant you
FAITH that this nation will win through -- FAITH that our leaders are slightly more informed than Dan Rather -- FAITH that if we are to have a future, justice demands that we intervene, right now, right here.

I may have to return to those powdery hot sands. I may have to return to that smell and that coppery desert taste. I may have to and I will do so gladly. I will serve. I will do my duty. Don’t dishonor me. Don’t dishonor the memory of the sacrifices made in September of 2001. Don’t dishonor the sacrifices made by my brothers and sisters in arms who have given everything for the idea that is America (65 service members have lost their lives so far in Operation Enduring Freedom). Don’t disgrace yourself by dishonoring their memory.

It is time to make a choice. It is time to draw the line. It is time to stand tall and be proud and do this terrible and costly task that needs doing. It is time to support those who are down in the blood and the mud having a direct or indirect hand in the doing of it. It is time to remember what our ancestors fought and died to create and preserve.

Hallee 3-18-2003 8:57


Ramon: You want to talk about cheesy? For my war novel, I have the title "There's No Such Thing as a Good Soldier" at the moment. I'm sure I'm going to change it when I come up with a better title.

I've also been debating internally to write a Vietnam story from the Australian's point of view. Because I keep thinking I dont think that's been done before. But I also keep thinking that the world doesn't need another Nam Novel... But it's been bugging me to write it. So it might be an unpublished novel, or one that's on Fanfiction site.
As for that novel... The title in my mind so far is...
"VIETNAM, BLOODY VIETNAM: The Australian Viewpoint"
Using the word bloody because of it's dual meaning... Bloody meaning blood: And Bloody being a word used in anguish by some Australians.

Taylor 3-18-2003 8:36

CHRISTI: You want to know how the writing is going. Slow at the moment. The only time I can find to sit down and work on my idea is during my lunch break. Once a week I sit in my local Starbucks with a Venti black Americano (no sugar) and a Pannini (I can't spell) and work on my crime novel. I can only do this once because Starbucks in the UK is expensive. Home life is busy and work is stressful so I have very little time. But I am trying. At this rate though I'll be an OAP before the book is finished.

I am going there this afternoon to see if I can create some BIO's for my principle characters. I have a Killer and a Victim I just need to work out the how, why and when.

I do have a working title though: "The Face of a Killer". Cheesy I know but I'll work on it.

One last thing about religion; I said before I am not sure what to believe anymore as I have become such a cynic that it has just blackened my view of things. I would like to believe that irrespective of faiths, if on the whole you are a good person, then you shouldn't have anything to worry about. I am no angel, but I work hard, pay my taxes, always keep on the right side of the law, and look after my friends and family. I think that should be enough for any divine award in the afterlife. Or am I just being silly now?


Ramon 3-18-2003 7:09


Thanks. I'm looking into a fundraiser. I'm calling the school department today to find out how it's done.

Debra 3-18-2003 6:57


Is that the story with the spot on the wall in prison? If it isn't, you should send them that one too. Do they own your story now? If they own it now, then don't. That story is worth more than $100.00 a lot more.

Debra 3-18-2003 6:56


Pamela: I believe we were soldiers in WW2(my mates and I)And during that time we thought we could get away with anything we wanted to... I was a writer in that life who craved inspiration. I thought there wasn't enough going on at the time so my 2 mates and I came up with a plan to create some inspiration... Then things got out of hand until we were all found guilty by a local village through a speedy but fair trial and ultimately punnished.

I wouldn't mind writing a book about it actually... I think I've got enough info stored in my mind about the events.

I caught the President's address to the nation this morning/Last night by America time... I didn't know how I felt about the approaching Gulf War in 91... Guess being young and ignorant of the world around me at that young age, I didn't really take much notice of it.
But now, I feel sad about the troops being put in danger, and for the families who could lose loved ones.
I am fearful for the Iraq Civillians... Some would certainly be killed in the crossfire.
And I feel proud that PM John Howard has committed Aussie troops to the War.
To all those serving their country: Thank you and God Bless you all.

I do hate the idea of a war... But that won't diminish my support for the soldiers who just do their duty.

"Still not a single word about the dog either :("

Taylor 3-18-2003 6:43


Hello all. Happy post-St. Patrick's Day. My daughter had little green bows in her hair all day - very cute.

RHODA: I've heard good things about zoetrope (sp?). If you want someone online, I'd be more than happy to critique with you. You could also check the RWA website - surely there's something in your area. I found two other romance writers in my area and we meet to critique about twice a month.

MEL: Oh honey, I admire you. I would never have the discipline to choose chocolate for Lint. (haha) Keep at it, chicky.

My writing? I'm in the process of writing 3 books right now. Well - writing 2 and researching 1. I haven't written this week yet, but it's been insane here, and my husband has called early both mornings. (I won't have contact with him for about a week once this all starts, so I think he's calling while he can.) I'm excited about all of the books, but the second one - the one I just started - has me by the brain and is revving to go! Hopefully, I can punch it out and get back to the first one and my research on the other one.

Oh! He just instant messaged me, so I'll wrap this up. Have a fantastic Tuesday!

Hallee 3-18-2003 5:28

Strange the WAW said it's all about oil, it appears to me that the President said that because of what Sadam did to the oil wells in the last war, not because he want's their oil, he want's those wells to be able to produce so the Iraqi's have it to pay their own way in rebuilding their nation.

At any rate, that's just the way I see things.

It's raining like a cow pissing on a flat rock outside, has been for most of the day, and boy can we use it the weatherman says we already have over two inches and more is coming.

Be safe all.

Jerry 3-18-2003 0:33

Hi, all. Made sure I had change for a nickel so I could contribute two cents.

RANDALL -- I'm with HOWARD. A little spell check, a little grammar check. Sanity check seems to have been done. My friend Vinny Bicepalino used to pat himself down before going out the door:
Keys? Yup.
Money? Yup.
Wallet? Yup.
Nuts? Yup.
Good to go.

{insert $0.02 here}
Ultimately, to believe in God is to believe that Good and Evil emanate from the same source. Americans aren't used to thinking that way. Pres Bush has a 'with me or against me' thing going on right now that is familiar and comfortable to a lot of people here. And he sure does like to use the word 'evil.'

Most people would concede that the nature of God and the mind of God are beyond human comprehension, way beyond. Yet most people of 'faith' can tell how they know His will or His word. Hmm. It is beyond our ability, but I know what it is. Most such people will also aver that God is of Good and Evil is of somewhere else. How did this happen? God created Good, someone else created Evil?

Writers of inspired texts have stories to explain how this came to be. But we are writers. We have all experienced the time when the story "just wrote itself." Inspiration. Inspired text. From where I sit, no one culture has a total grip on creation or the Creator. We can never know the totality of God's actions. Any part of the story is just that, a part of the story.

Yes, I am a believer. Somewhat like JERRY, I had my moments of faith and hope in desparate situations, but it really is cliche to say "There are no atheists in a foxhole." I didn't acheive faith because I found it at gunpoint; I acheived faith in the days and weeks afterward when I wondered why I had survived and friends had not. My faith was born of prayers answered. Next I wondered why some were answered with 'Yes' and some with 'No.'

The same God that made us, also made them. Americans like to think in polar opposites: US and THEM, GOOD and BAD. In truth. it all comes from one source and He has not conveyed his totality to any human brain.
{$0.02 spent}

Mark 3-18-2003 0:16

Hey YO Randall! Your box arrived with plenty of motivators for both teacher and students. Just in time for the year to start! Thank you. Also, nice story!

Carol: Still nothing inspired comes from these fingers. Did half a chapt but nothing great. Decided to go back and add the minute details like bus numbers, route numbers, colors, types of bird, and re-write chapt. two because the police station is air conditioned and the birds wouldn't just fly in and out.

Tina: Congratulations on finishing your novel.

Heather: Congratulations on the $100.00 US. Go buy something you can keep and treasure with it. Maybe a beautiful necklace or set of earings. Every time you wear them you can be reminded that you are a sucessful writer.
Not a lot of money but it can be translated into something nice.

Rhoda, Doing the same thing you are on the transition. Grrr. Has me biting little circles round the pencil.

Viv 3-17-2003 23:20

Geeze we have a mad anti-Busher who posts without honor, at least he or she would leave their name so we could engage in dialog.

It appears that the bombs drop this week, hang on to your hat Sadam.

God bless our President and our troops who face death in the desert.

Oh and God Bless the U.S.A.

Write on and on and on.

Jerry 3-17-2003 23:18

Hi all!

Christi, thanks for the pep-talk. I think I'd be more excited if the next level of work didn't seem so daunting.
How is Jacob now? Ear infections are one of those things that sweeties should never have to endure.

Sunny, I've got a personal website full of pics if you're interested. The link is below.

Heather, it may not be what you expected, but congrats anyway! Personally, I think their crit of your submission was way outta whack. The valid points they made were buried under the grasping effort to find problems that didn't exist.

Randall, glad you're feeling well enough to go back to work.

Jack, I hope you're okay! Been a long time since you checked in!

Haven't written much of anything lately, most notably not my querry letter. sigh I must do that, and soon!
I like the idea about looking for author credits to their agent in the acknowledgements of books of my genre. Being in Canada I'm a bit limited for choice, there aren't that many agents, but that seems like a good way to narrow the field.

Blue skies!

Tina My web page 3-17-2003 22:18

RANDALL -- when my wife wakes up in the middle of the night because the bed is shaking how'm I going to tell her it's because I just woke up again with the picture of somebody attaching a tag to a bobber and leaving it for the ice to melt come spring? And I'm laughing my ass off! Thanks a lot!

All I can say is you'd better be getting these Utah stories, along with Red Britches and mules and all those others ready for a book, because I want an autographed copy!

Real glad you're back! :-)

howard 3-17-2003 22:06


My first day back at work. Tired but glad to be back in the swing of things. I want to post something and thought you guys might like another "Utah" tale. This is a story from our 1979 hunting trip to Utah. Charlie is the man we stayed with during the hunt. Charlie was an ex-Texan from Coleman County, hard as a mountain man, valued performance, a DEDICATED hunter and brooked no nonsense...

By Randall Henderson


"One morning we were taking a break just off Skyline Drive. Charlie reported he had recently spotted tracks in an area that had, in the past produced large bucks. I volunteered to scout this rocky overhanging ridge, maybe getting out alone would be good for me. The rest would move down the road a mile or so, and would be in position for whatever ran out ahead. I would catch up with them there. An old fashioned Texas deer drive. So far so good. They departed and I struck out. Getting lost would not be a problem as my hunting area ran more or less parallel to Skyline Drive. Taking my time I sauntered along through moderate snow, hunting some, but mostly admiring the mountain scenery. Slogging through snow was mildly exerting and soon I reached for my canteen. It wasn't there. It was in Charlie's truck. Well no problem, I'll eat a little snow and go on. That didn't work. For some reason, physical or psychological a craving for water increased almost at every step. More snow in mouth, more thirst.

I put the dilemma aside and continued along. There were tracks aplenty, mule deer were in the area, but none today. An hour passed and exasperation, slowly eroding self-control became distracting. There would be no escaping, I simply had to have a drink. There was water available. Solid, though. Frozen in place, ponds of water covered by ice lay everywhere. I propped up my rifle, got down on my knees in the middle of one of these areas and with a sheath knife began to chip away. How far down could it be anyway? To no avail, this stuff was rock hard. Sitting on top of enough water to satisfy a hundred men, sucking on minute chips of ice, frustrated at the problem, my eyes strayed to the rifle. Say ... that might work! By now thirst had banished reason, and any method to obtain a drink would be considered. If anything would punch a hole through ice a powerful 7 MM Magnum, 180 grain bullet surely would bring forth the water. I'd drill that sucker.

Rifle in hand, safety off, finger on the trigger it was now pointed roughly in the direction of my earlier chipping. Head turned away, eyes shut tightly against the blast of ice and water sure to erupt, I slowly began to squeeze the trigger. And in another dry hour walked down to where my friends were waiting.

No, I didn't shoot. I figured Charlie hearing the discharge would immediately drive everyone to my position. I could seem 'em now. Stepping from the pickup, eager looks on their faces, glancing around.

"Well, where's he at killer?"

"Did you get a big one?"

"I knew Ol' Randall spook something up."

I visualized eagle-eyed Charlie glancing around, quickly spotting the fractured ice. A Coleman County smile turns down like a Samurai warrior whose least favored servant just dropped a dead fish into his lap. With hands tightly clenched and firmly planted upon each hip, grim faced War Lord Charlie Eppler pivots to see guilt flashing like a neon sign across my red face. He Did It! -- He Did It! -- He Did It! The rock hard supervisor faces a bumbling insubordinate, to unload indignant wrath upon his head.... A blood stained Viking warrior raises his heavy broadsword for a final killing blow.... With pistol in hand the ice cold German officer poises to execute the first co-conspirator....

"Randall, come here!" Charlie's Viking blue eyes drilled daggers into the Texas poacher, road hunter, couch potato.

In Alaska one phone call from him and hundreds of men mounted powerful caterpillar bulldozers, lifted the blade and struck out for the northern lights.

He once fired an entire bus load of hardened construction workers for insubordination. (And Marijuana.)

He operated bulldozers on Alaskan mountain slopes that a Dall Sheep would stroll down main street to avoid.

His ideal of fun was patrolling rugged Utah mountains by snowshoe poking full grown, raging mad cougars out of trees with a wooden stick.

His record book cougar was an inch smaller than Teddy Roosevelts'.

Man without fear, hunter of Wilderness Alaska, heavy equipment operator, constructor of the Valdez Pipeline, stalker of mountain lions has a target in sight. Smoking gun, ice slivers in the beard, crimson faced, guilty as charged. Snow is melting around us, falling in chunks from trees with the heat of his caustic question.

"Why did you shoot into that frozen pond, the one that's solid ice plumb to the bottom? Are you hunting with the rest of us or just be-bopping around?"

Danny Griffin, ex-marine Vietnam combat veteran shaking his head in sadness and amazement. Art Reed, ex-navy Vietnam combat veteran, stalwart Texan with endurance levels that were legendary grimacing in embarrassment. Danny Williams, south Texas hunter par excellent with a house full of trophy whitetail bucks shifting uneasily not looking at anyone. Lynn Jones, Brown and Mason County hunter, partner in crime and confidant, head down ... searching his genuine, war surplus army overcoat for another beer.

You see right before Bill Ruger's well made sear slipped, touching off the shell primer and igniting 3500 foot pounds of granulated powdered energy I paused. If this story gets out I might have to endure years of insufferable jokes. A thing like this could follow one into the grave, it might even be carved into your tombstone.

Saint Peter stares in amazement as he blocks the pearly gates. "So your the one? Randall Henderson ... who in 1979 shot a frozen pond? Someone call THE BOSS, he's here! Say Randall ... did you tag it?"

Death from thirst might be preferable.

"Oh yeah. Hey bro, ask Ol' Randall what he shot in Utah. Go ahead son tell'em what you killed."

"Hey everybody come over. Girls, come on down he's going to tell us what he shot."

"Well I was thirsty and...."

"Oh my, wait, wait ... this is to good to waste. I'll tell you what he shot. He shot a solid block of ice. There wasn't even any water, the pond was frozen. Two feet down. Ha, Ha."

"Hey Randall here's an ice cube, wanna shoot it?"

"Say, Randall. What kind of license do you need to shoot ice?"

"Wow that's great, did you tag it Randall?"

"Are you gonna get it mounted?"

Goodnight all...


Randall 3-17-2003 20:41

St.Patricks Day March 17,2003 21st. Cent. 4:44 P.M. P.S.T. So, our new "king George W. Bush has pledged a war. His comment that the Iraquis should "protect their oil)(Soon toi be stolen by the "GOOD(?)" O'l U.S.A. Shows what this war is about. To thoise blind doubters who are the "Patroits of pain" That will be inflicted on INNOCENT citizens and our american military. For the greed of BIG OIL< BIG GREED< BIG BANDIT BUSH!!! Who can noiw doubt that IT';S THE OIL ? WHO???? A NEW AMERICAN REVOLUTION IS NEEDED NOW TO DETHONE "KING GEORGE" NO JOKE!!!! Wriuters Against The War W.A.W. Nova Bakunin, Email Ersner

3-17-2003 20:41

St.Patricks Day March 17,2003 21st. Cent. 4:44 P.M. P.S.T. So, our new "king George W. Bush has pledged a war. His comment that the Iraquis should "protect their oil)(Soon toi be stolen by the "GOOD(?)" O'l U.S.A. Shows what this war is about. To thoise blind doubters who are the "Patroits of pain" That will be inflicted on INNOCENT citizens and our american military. For the greed of BIG OIL< BIG GREED< BIG BANDIT BUSH!!! Who can noiw doubt that IT';S THE OIL ? WHO???? A NEW AMERICAN REVOLUTION IS NEEDED NOW TO DETHONE "KING GEORGE" NO JOKE!!!! Wriuters Against The War W.A.W. Nova Bakunin, Email Ersner

3-17-2003 20:40

Hi All,

MEL: *SLAP* *SLAP* Now, snap out of it. I can't understand what you're thinking.

CHRISTI: About the writing, I'm still about to start, still, maybe after I make a coffee, or something *sigh* I could have some chocolate.
I think I'll go have some chocolate. As Homer would say Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm chocolate.

PAMELA: About the stolen generation. yes indeed it was a hideous part of history and it should never ever never have happened. The thinking behind it was that the children, being half aboriginal and half whatver the whites happened to be, the children would be better off raised and educated as white. Also, the half cast children were looked down upon and segregated within their tribes simply because of their mixed parentage.
Not condoning it one bit, just pointing out the reasoning behind it.
What a nightmare.

Sweetest HEATHER oh wild and free. That's FANTASTICALLY BRILLIANT!!!!!

SUNNY: That book is already on my 'to read' list. Have you read it yourself? Is it good? Have you read any by Linda K. Hubalek??

A really good novel on the subject of evolution is called 'Mr. Darwins Shooter'. I think it's by Robert MacDonald. I just went to the bookshelf to check and I have this horrible feeling that I sent it away during a decluttering phase. Oh, I do hope not.
Anyway, I'm with HOWARD, I don't believe in the theory of evolution at all. Besides, it is just a theory and according to studies there is not enough existing links (fossils and such) to prove it.
Anyhow, the book is really good, it's about this Christian man's dilemma when he realises what affect the work he did for Darwin impacts upon the rest of the world and the belief of Christianity.

RHODA: I tried Zoetrope for a bit. It was pretty good.

HOWARD: Man, the world is filled with some scary people. after some thought I have come to the conclusion that ignorance is not bliss, it is just really stupid and dangerous.

DEBRA: Go with the good feelings. Lap them up, enjoy them, and even if it all comes to nought (which I strongly doubt), at least you have had them.

What else, what else?


Teekay 3-17-2003 17:58

HEATHER -- a hundred bucks is a hundred bucks -- CONGRATULATIONS! That gives us all something to shoot for! And so what if it's the "before" picture -- I've been that most of my life!


howard 3-17-2003 17:06

PAMELA -- an even bigger can of worms! The Theory of evolution is even more volatile than "religion" to many -- in fact, to many it is their religion!

Simply -- No, I do not believe in the Darwinist Theory of Evolution. I believe in the creation account in Genesis. If that means the earth is only 8000 (or so) years old, so be it. Does that make me backwards, flat-earth neanderthal? Again, so be it.

But if you check it out, you'll find that some "respected" scientists -- former vigorous supporters of the theory of evolution -- now agree that there are enough holes in it that it is unsupportable. They may not embrace creation yet, but they no longer dogmatically support evolutionary theory.

And no, I don't believe the old wives' tale about Darwin, on his death bed recanting his theory, although it is far different today than he had originally proposed it.

For me it simply boils down to this -- If there is a God, and if He is who He says He is, then He certainly has the power to wave His hand and snap His fingers and create and sustain all that is. (Actually He merely spoke and it happened)

If he doesn't have the power he claimed, then he can noodle off into oblivion with the rest of this big electro-chemically generated mistake/happening/ when it all collapses into the nearest black hole.

And if that's the case, then Santana was right -- "Got no choice in being born, and no choice in dying, so we might as well enjoy what's in between."

howard 3-17-2003 16:49

Try American Zoetrope. I workshopped some stuff on here that led to publication some time ago.
You will find a core of responsible 'Critters' there. One or two go in for mutual compliments, but on the whole it is pretty good. You will find your own way through to rewarding interaction.

American Zoetrope 3-17-2003 16:23

Well, tickle my toes..... I got my first check for writing in the mail today - $100 US. From Writer's Digest Magazine... they are publishing the excerpt from HAVEN that appeared in the Writer's Digest Feb issue in 2001, into a hardcover book with other writer's submissions for their online writer's clinic. Oooh, yes, it isn't exactly what I'd hoped to have as my first published work....hahahhaha....but:
What great fuel to get me fired up about writing again!

Heather 3-17-2003 16:17

RHODA: Try Yahoo! groups. I found one for fantasy writing and I'm fairly certain that other writing groups exist there. I don't know if you need to be a member or anything, since I have my e-mail with them already. You could also do a search from yahoo. I've found many interesting sites through searches both on yahoo and from sites here on

Hello to all!

Have a great writing day today and always!

Cheri 3-17-2003 16:12


I am glad you asked. My writing is driving me crazy, and I would like to talk about it. I am bogged down in the middle and am trying to write through a transition. I have also been questioning some of the points I had listed in my synopsis. They don't completely make sense anymore now that the story has evolved a bit differently.

I want to have the first draft finished by the end of April. When I understand what I am doing I can write very fast, and all that will be required me at this point is another 200 to 300 pages.

I miss the Workbook. I remember it fondly not only because of the feed-back I got from other people here, but because I had the opportunity to read the work of the people who post here. I need to find a critique group and I am asking if anyone here can direct me to an on-line group or forum who do this type of thing. I know that many do, but I have been involved in on-line writer's groups in the past that have folded. On the other hand, I have heard of individuals that found the right thing.

I did make it to the SOLA romance writer's group here in New Orleans. I met some really super people there. Almost half of the writers are not romance writers. I have no problem with that, but the sad thing is that these non-romance writers have stated that there are no other writer's groups in the New Orleans area that are as helpful as the SOLA group. Many writer's groups have come and gone; they just cannot seem to stay. I relate to that. You hear the same story everywhere you go. But it is sad that there are not more active, vibrant writer's group. Anyway I am grateful for what I have found.

Rhoda 3-17-2003 15:17

Taylor, how interesting that you have ended up with mates whom you were previously executed with, but I think we do run into significant people in our lives over and over again. Have you ever read Edgar Cayce? He was a very devout Christian who believed in reincarnation even though he was shocked by the idea. Don't feel bad about the hangings, after all, I was a pirate who killed the fellow I ran into in this life.

I think is good to discuss religion, as Mel said, it makes us think about our own spirituality, but I'm sorry that it has gotten a little intense. I have found it really cool to discover other people who believe in reincarnation since in this country we are largely regarded as kooks. Howard, I would like to offer one more choice other than that Jesus was right about everything or else he was a complete ass: The possibility that the Bible has been changed over the years, edited by those in political or religious power, and that the message is not untrue, just garbled. When you say you believe the Bible literally, does that mean that you do not believe in evolution and that you think the world is just 8,000 years old (I believe that is how it has been figured)? Christi made a very good point that we tend to follow the religious practices of the region where we were raised. And I must agree that it seems strange to think that the majority of people on this earth will be damned because they do not believe that Jesus is their savior. I still think that Love is the way to God, no matter what church you go to.

Who asked about writing? I'm still at it, I got six pages done before noon today, I am now through page 71. Yay. It is still murky and foggy up ahead but I think, yes, I can barely make it out but I do believe I can just see the beginnings of Page One Hundred not too far down the line.

pamela 3-17-2003 15:14

And my writing is going fairly well (to get back to the notebook). I've got the intro and first chapter of "Falcon Loosed" just about done. That's either good (it's about done) or bad (I started it over a year ago!) depending on your point of view. :-)
Having trouble with names, though -- have a girl (late teens) named Salla, a fugitive prince named Talon, and a couple of other (good, bad, or indifferent) characters names Daan (King, Talon's father) Drachan (Salla's uncle -- not sure if he's wearing a white hat or not), Mardoc (the king's Madge -- just getting to know him), and Gord -- Salla's cousin, who mistreats his horse (and everything else), and is jealous of Salla's power over her friends. Not sure if there's redemption for him or not. Then there's Hugo (a huge mastiff) Winter (grey gelding) and Talon (a beautiful hunting falcon that Salla has named "not for the prince, he doesn't own the name!").
And there are the Picts (tentative name for the savage enemy horde that is hunting them). I'm not happy with 'Picts', but it's a working name. Suggestions welcome! :-)

howrad 3-17-2003 15:05

Fair 'nuff. Hugs all around.

Christi 3-17-2003 14:52

Only because you asked...

No, no lambasting from here. Not at all. It's not about "I'm right and you're wrong" at all. I don't go down that road.

There's no "me" in it. There's only Jesus Christ. Either He's right on all points -- all the things He claimed -- or he was a total ass (even worse) who doesn't deserve further mention by anyone. I chose to believe -- call it faith, the Bible does -- that He's right. And He has proven Himself to me over and again. But what I believe or disbelieve directly affects only me. I can't save anyone. I can't condemn anyone. Nor can anyone but Him. It's a personal choice.

But I can tell you that if there was room for me in His mercy and grace, there's room for anyone.

And I don't believe it will be too much longer before we all "know for certain" the ultimate result of our choice.

howard 3-17-2003 14:29

I'm sorry, all. After Howard posts his comments to my post I will bow out and leave it at that. If we're going to get hot and heavy I guess we'll take it to email. I don't think this is the place, although it certainly has been interesting.

I'd love to hear how everyone is doing in their writing. Mine is still on hold which is perhaps why I'm mouthing off here.

And Mel, who says writing can't change the world?

Shoot, since I'm in trouble already why don't I just state my politics too? :] Kidding.

Christi 3-17-2003 13:53

I meant 'Christ AS your Savior' not AND. Oops.

Christi 3-17-2003 13:45


I respect you and your opinions but I do not agree with them. You grew up in the United States. You may or may not have been brought up a Christian, but I believe you probably were, as it is the prevalent religion here in the U.S. Had you been born in Jerusalem or in Egypt or Japan or any number of other countries you very well might be Jewish or Muslim or Buddhist and have a whole different slant on the subject.

I find it impossible to believe that Christians have the market cornered where heaven is concerned. That would mean that all Jews, Buddhists, etc., most of the world's population in fact, are going to hell simply because they do not belive in your God. You could be a Hitleresque abomination, but as long as you eventually come to believe in Christ and your Savior you are guaranteed your seat in heaven, whereas a Jewish humanitarian would be denied. Hit the bricks, Jew-boy. I don't care what the New Testament says, I think that's crap. Many people believe in their Kabbalah, Talmud or Koran just as heartily as you do in your New Testament and have much different views on the afterlife.

It isn't that I don't believe there shouldn't be a moral code and it isn't that I don't believe in God, or think he's there just to give everyone warm fuzzies. I just don't believe in your God. I guess that means, according to you, that I'll be blowing smoke rings in hell.

I don't think so. Too bad neither of us will ever be able to prove it.

And I also must say that the reason Christians find trouble when they voice their opinions is that they do so with complete disregard for others' beliefs. No room for anyone but us, they seem to say. We're truly sorry, but that's just the way it is. We're right, you're wrong, end of discussion.

I will always love you, Howard, but this makes me very sad. I expect I will now recieve a lambasting. :)

Christi 3-17-2003 13:43

HOWARD: And more "tears in heaven" from those of us who DID try to tell some people--and they chose not to listen.

Writer friends, I find myself in a curious quandary:

Political discussions make me eventually turn from the world's woes and get back to writing my escapist literature.

Religious discussions remind me I should be doing more for the world and not spend so much time in "selfish" writing.

I am now in limbo. And my Lenten chocolate fast is not helping! 8-/

Mel 3-17-2003 13:29

CHRISTI -- Ok, I guess I can't leave it like that.

Anyone who thinks that I enjoy the idea of people I care about (or anyone else, for that matter) going to hell is dead wrong. It really and truly breaks my heart. I don't like it, not a bit. But I can't change it.

The apostle Paul said that he would go so far as to give himself up for condemnation if it would mean that his friends and relatives would be saved. Sometimes I feel the same way. But that would have done no good then, and it still will do no good.

It's a personal thing, this relationship with God, and it's freely offered. It's not an invention of the church, though some churches/religions complicate it, and use it to subjigate and dominate people.

Some have added superstition, fear, their own invented requirements, and all sorts of fabricated punishments and penalties to this simple message, corrupting it into something to be hated and feared. Sinful people have invented their own comfortable ways to deal with their consciences, and called them "religion."

The truth is simple, meant to be simply understood -- remember Ockham's Razor? "When you have two competing theories which make exactly the same predictions, the one that is simpler is the better."

Many "Christian" religions/churches say that one must "do thisandthisandthisandthisandthat" to get to heaven, and if one "does thusandsuchandthusandsuchandthisandthat" he'll go to hell.

The Bible (sorry, it's the only credible source I know) simply states "Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." and "refuse to believe and you are already lost."

I know, we've had this "your truth, my truth" discussion many times before, but any argument that there is more than one absolute truth is a lie, direct from the pit of hell, generated and propagated by Satan -- the absolute liar. That's not "my" truth, it's God's truth, so I can't (and won't) apologise for it. If it offends anyone they'll just have to learn to live -- or die -- with it.

Again, if you think I like it, you're dead wrong. It would be easy to just ignore it and go on merrily and happily, and unconcerned about everyone else. But because I do care deeply about my friends, and because I truly believe the truth in what I've written (simply and clearly, I hope) I had to write it.

I believe the "tears in heaven" that will finally be wiped away by the angels will be those shed by those of us (including me) who failed to warn the people we loved. In my case that includes all of you, too.

So please don't take me wrong.

howard 3-17-2003 13:00

Sorry, Howard. That's just what you believe. I shouldn't have snapped at you like that.

Christi 3-17-2003 11:50

Happy Saint Patty's Day to all you Irish out there! Have a pint of the green stuff for me.

Christi 3-17-2003 11:45


So then that is exactly what you're saying. Double edged comments followed up by a backing scripture like that are one of the reasons I ran screaming from church.

Christi 3-17-2003 11:41

This new mysterious killer disease that's in the news, anyone ever see the documentary on Spanish Influenza?

Sounds like it could maybe be the same thing again? That's the disease the was the real reason that WW I ended, everyone was running out of human fuel for the grinder in Europe. I saw this program on the History Channel where researchers have dug up the graves of Eskimo's in Canada and Alaska to find the bug that caused this deadly disease.

Do you suppose that with all this talk of WMD Vietnam has gotten their paws on this germ and have released it maybe by accident and it's working it's way across the globe one more time?

Boy if it is, were in for it.

Gotta go fill my truck with gas, getting my gas cans full to, you know how prices go up after the first bomb drops and it looks like that's going to happen maybe tonight.

Jerry 3-17-2003 11:25


My exit! I forgot to mention that.

I guess I had been in there for a while, because the protest was all but over when I left. WAlking down the snow covered side walk I couldn't help but smile. I was exelerated. A guard sitting in a parking lot guard shack, suddenly looked my way. He moved to the window and opened it. He looked right at me and yelled, "that's the prettiest smile I've seen all day." I just laughed and raised my right hand in victory and said "I just met the governor." We both laughed together as I passed his shack and I made my way to my car. I'm still feeling really good. There's really no explaination for it. I'm sure in the end I'm going to hear that everyone's hands are tied to really implement any thing.

You know what though, I've decided I can't be stopped and that's what I think is making me feel good.

Debra 3-17-2003 11:13

Ramon - Those emails are known as "Nigerian" letters. They are indeed a scam, I've received lots of them myself. I used to forward them to the U.S. Attorney General until I finally got a response from them that since the scam originates in Nigeria or other nations that have no agreement with the U.S. that there was nothing they could do about them and that I should simply ignore them.

What they do is to get you to take the check for them and deposit it in your bank account, mixing it with a percentage of your money "so it looks normal to the bank" they explain. Then they have you issue them a check for the total amount, cash the check then stop payment on their check. They have your money and you have squat!

It's a nasty scam and many an old lady (and quite a few young men!) have fallen for it, loosing their life savings and becoming indebted to banks for the balance of the funds (usually in the hundreds of thousands of dollars).

Best thing to do with them is toss them in the garbage folder and forget them.

Jerry 3-17-2003 11:04

Howard, I welcome your discussion on religion. I think it's a personal thing, and in truth, the ONLY ones who know how one truly feels are God and the individual who feels those feelings.

I've gone through the gauntlet as far as beliefs are concerned, at one time I guess I was agnostic, and laughed at those who went to church "just in case." I recall when I was still in high school, I had to walk several blocks to get there beginning in North Dakota, where our house was, crossing the RR tracks that actually run down the border here in town, then through the town maybe five or six blocks. At any rate, just after I crossed the tracks, I was approached by a bible thumping fundamentalist of some sort (I guess I never knew what brand) who began to preach to me with a bible in one hand and my shoulder in the other. I was VERY uncomfortable with this, probably because I had no idea what he was talking about and didn't want to hear what he had to say.

It wasn't till I was in Vietnam that I felt the need for religion and found a Chaplin who was willing to work with me when we had the time.

My recent joining of the church and I guess search for salvation is the result to the sure knowledge that I'm going to die one of these days and need a relationship with Jesus to help me on my way to the next life.

As far as reincarnation, it resides in the back of my mind, at one time I embraced the idea and wanted to come back again and again to learn new things and know new people but now days I fear that it may in fact be true and that I may be forced to return again and again to learn those things that I didn't learn in this lifetime.

As far as hell, I guess it's a comfort to some that the current belief that hell is simply living eternity without knowing God where heaven is indeed eternity with God. I know there are branches of Christianity that believe in fire and brimstone, I hope they are wrong.

Another thing that's in the back of my mind was my father's death. When mom went to the church and asked that his funeral be held there she was told absolutely NO, since he wasn't a member of the church, he could not be buried by the Church. His funeral had to be held at the funeral home, but I did manage to find a sympathetic minister to do the funeral service.

For a long time I held this against the church, in fact all churches. I understand that this is still the case with many branches of the church but when I went over this with our minister, he explained that this is no longer the practice of our church. Now I don't know that it was necessary for dad to have his funeral in church since he hadn't attended since his childhood but it still pissed me off at the time. Bad PR you know.

Jerry 3-17-2003 10:57

Oooo Religion, what a dangerous topic indeed. I am not sure what I believe in any more. I was raised as a catholic but then stirred towards Zen Buddhism. Right now though I don't believe in anything.

RHODA: I hear what you are saying. Why is that? Just because one or two disreputable people have used religion to con money out of people doesn't mean all believers of that faith are disreputable. After all, despite there having been many catholic and protestant priests who have had affairs and molested children, nobody attacks those beliefs. It is unfair evangelism is targeted for ridicule by politicians & tabloids. But then what do you expect from a pig but a grunt?


Ramon 3-17-2003 10:40


I have felt no hostility here for my Christian beliefs. I have long had the feeling that people accept me for who I am as I accept them for who they are. There have been instances in the past where religious discussions have inflamed intense debate. A lot of this is due to the cast of players here which changes over time.

Where you live determines a lot of what HOWARD is saying. In Houston there were instances that people were suspicious of me when they found out I was a Evangelical Christian. It might come up in a conversation and before you know it someone is reprimanding you because of some remark that Jerry Falwall said. Most of the time I have lived in the Bible belt, and being an evangelical Christian is no problem.

Where you really see the prejudice is the popular media and in political circles. The "religious right" is lambasted by both Democrats and sometimes by Republicans. On television evangelical Christians are often portrayed as stupid, intolerant and dishonest.

Rhoda 3-17-2003 8:57

I get loads of these e-mails. I am convinced they are a fraud so I have composed one of my own to show just why I think these e-mails are out to con us. I recommend you read this carefull for the hidden message. A small portion of this by the way was taken from an actual e-mail bit not wishing to plagerise someone else's creativity, I changed 95% of it.


From: odalisamadu katanga (
Subject: I need your help

Dear Kind Sir,

I wish to discuss this matter with you that is a sensitive matter and one that would result in my death should I be caught sending this to you. I work for the financial management sector in the Ministry of Procurement, a most powerful department based in Lagos Nigeria and was formed after the revolution which took from us so many of our people who stood for the traditional ideals of our nation.

I am appealing to you for help because it was the will of God. I listed your name , amongst other provided to me by my contact within your company (which had a long standing relationship with my country before the revolution), prayed over them and your name was revealed to me by God.

Whilst reviewing the financial records of government investments, I discovered that a Frenchman by the name of Robert Ubelinde, a wealthy philanthropist had set up a deposit account into which contributions paid out by the Nigerian Government over the last 30 years, for overseas investment. The total amount in this account, according to the records is $100 million US dollars. I tried to contact Mr Ubelinde but was informed by his business partner that he had been killed in a tragic accident whilst getting dressed by his hotel balcony.

I thought I had seized an opportunity to have Mr Ubelinde sign a release for the funds to pass onto our brothers and sister who, with foreign assistance, retake our country from these communist rebels. The death of Mr Ubelinde had meant there was no other way to transfer the money and it would mean that I would have to disclose this finding to the Ministry who will claim it as People’s Money. However you can be the answer to my prayers and that of my people.

My proposal is that I will like you as a Westerner to stand in as Mr Ubelinde to go into a bank and transfer these funds into an account of your choice. I will provide you with identification and a specimen signature which you should take great care of and not lose. I will therefore require your full name and address. I would do this myself but unfortunately all transactions in any Nigerian Bank is reported directly to the ministry.

It will then be necessary for you to supply me with the details of your account so that I may monitor the transfer of the money from the government’s account into yours. I know that I am asking a lot but it is not without reward. For your services, you may retain 40% of the funds and maybe even keep any interest earned, once the balance is paid over to another account which I will give to you towards the end.

With your help, this money will end up in the hands of my bretheren who will release my people from the prison of occupation carried out by the current regieme.

I am relying on you.

Ramon 3-17-2003 8:49

PAMELA -- I'll post this one last response on this topic here, then I'll be happy to take it offline so the notebook can get back to normal (safe) topics... :-)

You said maybe this is one thing that makes people uncomfortable (I just thought of it), do you think that Randall, Jerry, Taylor, Sunny and I are all going to hell for our beliefs?

That would indeed make people uncomfortable!

Do I think so? No. I believe the Bible is quite clear that nobody is going to hell for their beliefs. If a person goes to hell it will be because he or she has continued on the way Adam chose for us all when he decided to disobey God. And that's called unbelief.

On the other hand, the Bible is also clear that if a person goes to Heaven it will be only because of what Jesus has done to satisfy God's wrath and judgement toward us.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." -- John 3:16

Like I said, I'll be happy to take this offline with anyone who wishes to discuss it further.

howard 3-17-2003 8:16


Thanks for your kind and hmorous comments. I have made another decision since I met him. I've decided to go to the city hall and find out how I can start a campaign to have booklets for people to donate a dollar and when I get all the tickets sold for each campaign I buy a certain amount books and donate them to specific schools.

Does any one know how such a thing is done? It is my hope to leave the booklets at stores that will allow me to put them there and other kind of places people go.

Debra 3-17-2003 7:42


Howard: No I wouldn't want to live in those societies. Not that one, not the one that believes that aliens are going to whisk them away or something like that.
Neither would I like to be in a society that totally accepts the bible as the unquestionable truth.

I believe what I feel is right... So I really don't think that I belong to any "One" society. I don't know all the answers, and I know that nobody does.

I believe in Ghosts- Because I've seen them
I believe in Phsycic ability- Because I've experienced it
I believe in reincarnation- Because to me it makes sense

Taylor 3-17-2003 3:19


Pamela: Yeah it was true the Stolen Generation. When Govt and religious factions took aboriginal children away from their families to give them a new life... That's what they said.

I was nobody famous in a past life, one that stuck in my mind came to a tragic but deserving end. What's more interesting is that two people involved with that life, is my best mate and the other one is a really good mate of his. And we've managed to piece alot together about the events leading up to our hangings.

Taylor 3-17-2003 3:12

Howard, I'm glad to see you weren't blown to smithereens by those stupid idiots, especially the one smoking when a fuel pump had just been ripped out (Duh!). I had a close call a couple of days ago when the axle on my car broke and my wheel fell off. I was so lucky that I was pulling out of a parking space in a market when it happened, especially since I had been on the freeway just a few miles before that -- Whew! I'm also glad that you didn't feel the folks here felt negative about Christianity. I'm surprised to hear what you and Rhoda said, I was not aware of such feelings by the general public, I would have thought it was the other way around, at least in this country where Christianity predominates. Think about how Shirley MacLaine is still joked about years after revealing her beliefs in reincarnation and her spiritual experiences. I was watching some lawyer show on tv the other night where they discredited the witness because she believed in reincarnation, they made her seem like a nut. On the other hand, I see bracelets and bumper stickers with "WWJD?" all around, which I think is a good thing, would that we would all think about how Jesus would handle a situation. I think Christianity is a well-respected and honored religion and I wasn't aware of the discomfort you refer to.

Rhoda, believe me, I have NO idea about the meaning of life, etc., I think reincarnation is just a small part of it and have no clue as to what the really Big Picture is. Also, just for the record, I don't feel that reincarnation and Christianity are mutually exclusive. I'm glad that Jesus has been such a big help in your life, I have also felt helping hands, I couldn't have made it through the many tragedies I have been through without spiritual strength. I see nothing politically incorrect about believing in God, I admire you for feeling strongly about your beliefs. I wonder though, and Howard, maybe this is one thing that makes people uncomfortable (I just thought of it), do you think that Randall, Jerry, Taylor, Sunny and I are all going to hell for our beliefs?

Sunny, past life regression for you too, I'm impressed, you really are a mixed bag (or baguette, being a girl?). I think most psychics are full of baloney, but I heard one on the radio being broadcast here locally some years ago and I started crying and shaking when I heard his voice, had a really strong reaction. I dashed down to the hotel it was broadcast from but he had already left. I tracked him down and he did a reading for me in which he told me we had been pirates and I had killed him in another life, hence my dramatic reaction. "But, as you can see," he said, "it didn't work." He told me about some other lives too; no, nobody famous, few people are, but it is a common misconception that those who believe in reincarnation think they were famous in a previous life. I think most truly spiritual people don't give a hoot about being famous.

Forgot to mention, Debra, your meeting sounded wonderful. Good for you for being scared and then getting over it and getting your point across. I see you as Sidney Wade in "The American President" when she told off Michael Douglas (and then walked out the wrong door, but hopefully you had a better exit than that).

Good night, everyone, and dare I say it, God Bless.

pamela 3-17-2003 0:52

Sunny - the trick is, hold your mouse over the bar, then the drop down menu will appear, click on the Our Biographies and it should open up.

Jerry 3-17-2003 0:42

It was indeed a bright sun shiny day, stayed in the sixties, down to 45 now. The TV has been scrolling a severe winter storm warning all night, they're predicting two to three feet of snow with high winds. Hope it stays north or south or some other way away from us, but I guess we do need the moisture.

I too grew up absent from the church but recently completed Lutheran cathiscism and joined our local Lutheran church. When I was in Vietnam, I met a Chaplin who taught me some about the Catholic church, and when I got back home, we joined that church but never really attended all that often and when I got into an argument with a priest about attendance I stopped altogether. I think it's age and the sure knowledge that I'll die one of these days, hopefully not all that soon, but one of these days that made me seek out religion again (that and the wife who used to be a Lutheran Sunday school/Bible School teacher before I married her and took here away from all that).

I do feel better about myself and my spiritual life being with a church again and with absolutely nothing to do most of the time, I look forward to attending services.

It appears that war is very near, well maybe, I guess I've heard the President say all this thing about days not weeks, then it was weeks not months, now it's hours not days, but with his track record we may have months of preparations left, who the hell knows now. I have a cousin who is on orders to leave tomorrow, he's full time National Guard and most of his unit is already at some fort or another but being full time, he had to man the maintenance department till all the equipment was shipped, now he's off. I hope he will be safe, he's a Warrant Officer so he should be far from the battle.

Jerry 3-17-2003 0:12

PAMELA -- No, my comment about writing for or against the Bible or Christian beliefs was not specifically directed toward this group -- I know better, having been here a very long time. I was really referring to the world in general. There seems to be more of an exclusionary attitude toward the literal Biblical world-view everywhere you look nowadays. It makes more and more people uncomfortable. The very name of Jesus makes people uncomfortable, where the names of Buddha, Mohammed, and all the rest do not.

Why is that?

howard 3-16-2003 23:02


I am with you. I believe the Bible is the word of God. I do not believe in reincarnation. I also believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and no man comes to the Father but by him, and that there is no other way for salvation and spiritual rebirth but by Christ. I suppose that makes me politically incorrect and unreasonable also.


History is not a science. None of us were there in Jesus's time. I might never be able to prove that the Jewish people chosing Barabas over Jesus actually happened, but by the same token, there is no way you or any other prominent, respected historian can prove that it didn't.

Haven't you read enough history to know that two or more historians writing on the same historic subject can disagree mightily? It happens all the time. Things I learned in history classes in college have been debated. I have three or four books that present three or four possible identies for King Arthur. If King Arthur indeed lived, he could not have been all of these men.

No surprise to anyone any of my religious views. I have poured out my heart on this Notebook throughout the years and probably haven't been able to convince anyone.

I am not that smart. I am not that righteous. There are many better read, more talented and better educated than me. I really do not know much about anything. I cannot single-handedly figure out or understand the meaning of life. I am really too simple-minded to play the intellectual games required by current New Age philosophy. I cannot be an Agnostic because I cannot navigate life by myself. Jesus has been my help, my friend, and my guide, and he has never let me down. I just don't think I could muddle through without him, and I don't even desire to try.

Rhoda 3-16-2003 21:05

Pamela, please keep us posted on the adventures of Sunny! (I believe that S*u*nny is the female spelling, and S*o*nny is for guys.)

FYI -- I've had a past-life regression done, too, and it was fascinating. i guess you could say that I'm a real mixed-bag when it comes to spirituality. I'm Jewish, by heritage ad upbringing, but I'm open to all approaches that stress contributing to the higher good of all.

Today was gorgeous here in the Northeast. Bring on spring!!

Sunny 3-16-2003 20:25


Howard, I don't know about anyone else, but I sure wasn't offended by anything you said and didn't feel you were ranting, just expressing your opinion like the rest of us. I am sorry that you feel that if you wrote something supportive of reincarnation or derogatory to Christian beliefs, it would be acclaimed, I haven't gotten that impression from anyone contributing to this subject. It seems that several people here do believe in reincarnation but I haven't heard any of them trying to impose their beliefs on others, I myself said I hoped I was wrong! I don't automatically believe anything negative written about the Bible, I have read it for myself and while I have an open mind about the research and theories of scholars and others, I don't necessarily believe or disbelieve them. I think you will agree that many people interpret the Bible in many different ways, just look at all of the different Christian faiths, and I don't think that implies that they are twisting it to suit themselves, just that it is a complicated manuscript. I hope that I have not offended you or any other Christians, that was certainly not my intent, it's just a discussion after all.

Christi, I hope your son's ear infection is all right, I know they can be hard on the little ones. Thanks for your kind words about my story, you brave souls who submit short stories have inspired me to possibly do the same. Not with "Across The Way" though, I have another idea. I'd prefer to focus on the book but if I could write a story pretty quickly, I'd give it a shot in the hopes of making a few bucks. Any ideas for a magazine that would publish a Techno/Twilight Zone story?

Sunny, thanks for letting me use your name. You know, now that I think about it, I think I just saw another secondary character named Sunny but he was a guy.

Hey Ben, nice to see you popping in with your two cents' worth.

Taylor, I'd love to hear more about your past life regression. Did you see that I've visited Australia via a novel? It involved the "stolen generation", I assume that that is true and not something the author made up. Very interesting and oh, so sad.

pamela 3-16-2003 19:55

BEN -- No, I'm not offended, just hopeful.

Had some excitement yesterday. We've been caring for an older woman from our church, and she decided she wanted to move back up north (about a hundred miles) to be near her son and grandkids. So we packed her belongings up in a 26 foot U-haul and I drove the truck, my wife drove the woman's car, and another friend followed in his car, to bring my wife and me back home.

Anyhow, the trip up was uneventful, but on the way home we stopped for gas at a Mobil station not far from here. I filled the tank, and on the other side of the pump island from us was a 3/4 ton crewcab (4 door) pickup, pulling a large enclosed trailer -- one of those car-haulers.

As I was putting the gas cap back on I heard a horrendous crunching/grinding/scraping sound right behind me, and looked around to see the truck-trailer pulling away, and taking a good part of the pumps with it. This idiot (the station manager called him much worse) had been watching deer on the hill overlooking the station, and had dragged his trailer over the base of the pumps. It tore the fender off the trailer, the sheet metal off the pump faces, broke the fittings inside, and ripped the hoses to shreds. I thought these things had automatic shutoffs, or an emergency shutoff inside the pump case. I looked for one (not for long, though), but gasoline under obvious pressure was pumping everywhere, at least 15 or 20 gallons before they got it shut off at the controls inside the station.

People were running all over, pulling their vehicles away from the other pumps, and hollering at the clerk inside the station to "Shut it off!"

All it lacked was a flock of birds!

My wife had gone inside to pay for our fill-up, and came back out of the station eith her face red and her ears burning! I guess the station crew was not too complimentary in their description of the driver, nor of the other two people in the truck, who were by this time standing out by the truck -- SMOKING! -- and laughing like fools at the whole situation, which, thankfully, didn't get any worse.

It could have been quite a wienie roast!

howard 3-16-2003 19:37

Howard: (Don't be offended by anything you read here...I'm just a Pagan at heart.)

Sorry, I came back to browse because I was having troubles getting on-line, and couldn't help reading your point of view as far as religion goes. Now I don't want to get on a big religious spin here, because I know people shouldn't discuss religion and politics--like that rule applies here :-)--but sometimes I just have to say a few things.

I'm one of those little Catholic boys that went to church every week until my first Communion, which isn't very long. My Dad decided against going to Church when they canecelled the Latin services, having been raised in Europe where they used it all the time. But I was a firm believer for most of my life. And it's not that I don't believe in "God", I just don't believe in "Religion". I believe a man can find God in his heart, and does not have to go to church to prove his love or respect of God to others. I don't not like religion because it's a Catholic thing--(all that stuff with the priests and their little altar boys came way after I made my decisions)--I came to my decision much in the way Martin Luther came to his. I find "religion" itself to be somewhat corrupted by the men in charge. "They" interpret it into what they think we should be looking for. I believe in the Godhead, but I can not fathom how it is possible for anyone to believe that only "good" Christian people are entitled to go to Heaven. Are not Muslims entitled to their Paradise? When the Papacy took over the Church, they used it as a means to their own ends. The Romans had religion, and philosophy, that the Church borrowed for themselves. I suppose that is why Catholicism is so ritualistic. But all Christian religions stem from that, don't they? The Bible has been interpretted so many different times, and by so many different people, that yes, things were added, and left out. One has to realize that in the dark ages, only the priests could read, and they found they were able to controll the populace with religion. And to some extent, they still try to--just look at the success of the PApal visits in the Phillipines and Latin American countries. Churches still have tithings to this day, where they expect you to pay 10% of your income to support the Church, and if you don't, you don't belong.

I work with several people of different denominations: Born Again Christians, Jehova Witness, Sihks, Hindus--Hinduism and Sihkism are two different branches of the same Indian beliefs--and everyone of them believes what they do. But the Christians believe they are the only ones who are following the Way to the Truth, and that unless the others come to believe as they do, they are going to be cast into the pits of Hell. The others believe in reincarnation, and Karma--which is basically a "what goes around comes around" mentality, and have always believed in this. That is why they had the caste system in place for so many years--something which still exists even here on this side of the world as far as they are concerned.

My brother is a Born Again Christian, and believes in the "Gospel Truth" yet is unwilling to look at the truth as history offers it. Take for instance the story of Barabbas--which means Son of Man. The Jews did not have a policy in which they let the crowds decide who should be let free for Passover. It never happened like that. But my brother, and others I know like him, state that it's written in the Bible that it did, so it must have. There. I guess he's right then, ain't he?

Reincarnation? Past life experiences? With Mankind only using 10% of his brain to begin with--politicians use decidedly less of course (they're the same as bosses and such for us simple labourers) who's is to say what is possible? Uri Gellar used to bend spoons with his mind...and some people said it was the Devil's work. He had an open mind. My Dad told me about a man he saw in Holland when he was a kid. He had a stage show before the second world war. He used to eat razor blades and stick knives in his body, and then heal the wounds in front of witnesses. He even sewed himself up after his own operation. He was picked up and thrown into a concentration camp when the war broke out, and decided he'd had enough of that stuff, and simply walked out. He was shot seventy-some odd times, dropped his coat, and just kept walking. They found his coat later and counted the bullet holes. He died on stage when a bullet went through his torso, ricocheted off something behind him, and struck him in the base of the brain. I still rememebr the name: Mirin Dijou, or something like that. But it was the power of the mind at work. Can you imagine a man like him having lived two thousand years ago? I'll bet you they'd say he was a god...

Just a few thoughts, I'm sorry I got carried away.

Oh yeah, and Jerry? You better shine up those glasses if the sun's comin' out today.

ben 3-16-2003 16:39

Hi everyone! I take a peeksie every now and then but have not had the time or inclination to post until today. We had to take my son to the ER yesterday--he has a double ear infection, poor baby. So you can imagine what my house has been like. I'm cheering up because I know the day is soon coming when I can write again!

Tina, I can't believe you're so nonchalant about finishing your novel! KUDOS, TINA-GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!! CHEERS, HIP HIP HOOOOOOOOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is something wonderful and encouraging for all of us, especially we who have been plodding along in our own work wondering when, when will it be completed, GOD, WHEN?!! *SOB!* I'll bet no one here knows anything of what I'm talking about. :) So anyway, Tina, don't sweat the editing, that will be for later. But right now crack open the champagne like SK does every time he completes a first draft and pat yourself on the pack and shed a few tears and do some cartwheels. YOU DID IT!

RAndall, I'm relieved you're fine and still Randall. (Could there be any question?) Thanks for the Utah story. I enjoyed it muchly.

Pamela, I read your story and really enjoyed it. It's such a ridiculous thing you were imprisoned for. I echo those here who think you should work on making it a larger story. Experience is gold to a writer and you've had plenty.

Debra, Congrats! That sounds like fun but very hairy. (No pun intended, Ha!) I would've been like, "Er, ah, yeah... so did you hear the one about the Catholic priest, the Rabbi and the business man?" I've got to get over my fears of public speaking.

Howard, I have no respect for SH now that they've turned down that story of yours. Don't let that stop you from sending it elsewhere, please? Rejection sucks, no doubt about it, but I think ... I hope it's worth it. I'm going to keep sending until they start accepting. What's that saying, writing is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration? I hate sayings like that.

Now on reincarnation and karma and such stuff. I don't know, but something tells me reincarnation is just a cool idea that never was. I think I've got a one-way ticket on this here planet. On karma, I don't believe in it (well obviously, since I don't believe in reincarnation) but I do believe we see a kind of karma in this life. You act like an asshole, you probably won't have many friends. You steal, you go to jail. Badda boom, badda bing. Boring, eh? But like my mom says, them's my sentiments. I love the idea of reincarnation though. I love Buddha and the Zen way of life.

Ben, Overtime slut, HA HA HA HA! Told hubby about that and he said, Hell yeah! He's been waiting for his overtime to come back. Me, I've loved not having him gone so much. Well welcome back, Ben, but oh wait, you're leaving. Well I'll see you around, probably the next time I post, ha ha.

Nice to see y'all. Let's keep the pens at the grindstone! Can you see the sparks? The shiny brilliant sparks? Cooooooool.

Christi 3-16-2003 13:07

Jerry, thanks for the note about the bio page, but unfortunately I can't access it. When I click on it, the same way I click on the Post button, I get the drop-down menu, but nothing else happens, no matter which way I come at it. Does anyone else have this problem?

Sunny 3-16-2003 12:53

TAYLOR -- Have you ever taken a close look at the societies that embrace reincarnation? Would you want to live in one of them?

And sure, the Bible is open to so many interpretations -- it would be, what with those intellectual types who can't stand the idea that anything could be as simple as a literal interpretation of what's written there. Or those who feel that they somehow must make it agree with the way they want to live (or force others to live). Isn't there some inherent problem a belief system that forces it to try to twist the Bible into an interpretation that supports it?
And yes, there are words in today's English language that carry a somewhat different meaning than those of the KJV days, but go back to the original Greek texts and you'll see the message hasn't changed. And yes, I've checked it out. I'm no expert in Greek or Aramaic, but I can read, compare, and do research.

TEEKAY -- There is another account in the Bible that talks about the last judgement. It speaks of "the dead, small and great," standing before God to be judged, before being cast into the lake of fire, along with death and hell. It refers to this as "the second death."
So it appears we have a choice -- a second birth (John 3:3), or a second death (Revelation 20:11-15). No room for reincarnation here either -- or karma.

howard 3-16-2003 11:31


I'm not one to pass up on religious discussion...

Personally I believe in reincarnation... I have done some past life regression work.

It's funny really... I went to church, I use to smoke... Left church, gave up smoking and rejected almost everything that they taught me.
But still remember most of it.

But the bible is just so open to interpretation it's not funny.

Taylor 3-16-2003 4:03

Yes, Jesus did say one must be born again to enter the kingdom of heaven. But if you'll read a bit further in John 3, He also described that as a spiritual re-birth, the details of which fit no account of reincarnation that I've ever read or heard about. It's not "coming back as a bug or and animal, or some other person" -- it's about a person being made spiritually alive to correct the spiritual deadness in which one enters the world at physical birth, that deadness being a consequence of original sin.
And sowing and reaping proving karma? Not. That passage (Galatians 6:7-9 was written to the Christian -- one who has been born again -- as a reminder of what the believer was saved from, and as a reminder that at the judgement seat of Christ -- a judgement of Christians only (the rest will be judged later) -- only the things done in His name, with His approval will remain. The rest -- those things done in our own strength, or done contrary to His commandments -- will be burnt up as wood/hay/stubble, but the believer himself will be saved. (1 Corinthians 3:10-15)

I find it amusing yet sad that people will believe anything negative written about Christianity and the Bible by so-called "experts" whose only claim to expertise is that they happen to have written something negative about Christianity and the Bible.

It's funny how this will be offensive to some -- perhaps many -- yet if I were to write a rant supporting reincarnation, or something derogatory toward Christian beliefs it would be acclaimed.

Ever wonder why?

howard 3-15-2003 23:40

Oh did I mention it's a GLORIOUS DAY in the center of the world today. The man on the radio said that in the last seven days, the temp has risen 99 degrees, not an unusual occurrence in the high plains. Went from -30 to +69 yesterday, a bit cooler today only hit 67 F. Most of the snow has gone, and the thirsty earth has sucked up every molecule of the precious fluid. It was almost funny yesterday I looked out the back window and it appeared we had a lake out there, today it's nearly dry. Hope the moisture keeps on coming we surely do need it, it's been a long drought.

Still a bit of snow in the front yard since it faces north and the house keeps it in the shade.

Jerry 3-15-2003 22:54

Now I raised this reincarnation thing with our pastor, he didn't think much of the idea.

But then again, I choose to believe in it, have for years and years. I've read tons of stuff on it, most of it is pure crap but there appears to be some truth to the idea, or at least that's how I see it.

But then again, I've been accused of seeing the world through red white and blue glasses so it may be a bit blurred.

Jerry 3-15-2003 22:42

Sunny - There is a spot here, but it seems I'm the only one who contributed since Jack put it up several months ago, click on the box on the left top of the page go to biographies, and there it is, all are welcome to contribute what little or large that they please and if you send a photo to Jack's email he'll put it with your bio like mine is.

Jerry 3-15-2003 22:20

P.S. Mel - I *am* working on my book! :-)

Sunny 3-15-2003 20:05

Pamela, I am honored that you chose to name your character "Sunny". I've been described as spunky, so you're on the right track. ;-)

This truly is a great site. Where else can you go to discuss politics, religion, and the relative merits of cat and dog farts?

Sunny 3-15-2003 20:04


Sunny synchronicity: I needed a specific kind of name for the hapless heroine in my book. It needed to start with "S" because the first communications from the Darkness will be a hissing noise that will turn into her name and I wanted it to end with "ee" as the Darkness later calls her like a child calling a friend to come out to play (like "Suuuu-zeee! Suzy Creeeeeem-cheese!" Who WAS that, Iron Butterfly? Cream?). I made a list of names and had trouble finding the right one: Sophie was cute but not spunky enough, Suzy had been used in the above song, I decided on Stacy but then met someone of that name, I don't like main characters named after people I know. I finally decided on "Sunny", which I thought would be good since that's a fairly unusual name and then, guess what? There's a Sunny here, I just read one book with a half-wolf dog named Sunny, and another one with someone's deceased mother named Sunny, the book opens with her funeral and she is mentioned fairly often. To heck with it, though, I'm using that name and that's it.

Speaking of reading, I just read one (with the wolf-dog, I think) which was set in Australia in honor of Taylor and Gladys Smut. Nice descriptions of the outback and going "walkabout" and there were towns named Milparinka and Tibooburra and Wollongong, how wonderfully mellifluous!

Teekay, yes, I had to take my shameful self to an unwed mothers' home, we couldn't walk about in public, you know. Regarding reincarnation in the bible, it does not say anything specifically against it and there are some who feel that the missing years in the life of Jesus documented his travels to the middle east and his teachings of reincarnation upon his return. The political powers that were preferred for their subjects to toe the line and so had all references to it taken out of the bible (talk about an editing job). This could very well be possible since it is fairly well documented that the idea of the triumverate, or the equality of the father, son and holy ghost, was a result of the Nicean council seeking to reconcile arguing factions about which was the most important, so they just declared them all the same. There is also a tale of Theodonia, the wicked consort of Emperor Justinian, disliking the concept of reincarnation because it held one responsible for one's actions, and that it was she who had it removed from the bible. It seems they missed a few references, however, since "You reap what you sow" is karma in a nutshell and Jesus said one could not enter the kingdom of heaven unless one was born again.

Randall, I'd love to see the show on Bridey Murphy, although the account of Shanti Devi, a child in India in the 30's who remembered a previous life, is pretty amazing too. I'm from Texas AND Tennessee, so enjoyed your writing about the Alamo.

Tina, here's what I'm doing to find an agent to approach with my book (previous one sucked and tried to rip me off): My reading for entertainment is the same genre of what I'm writing, so I check out the acknowledgements written by the authors and when they mention their agent, I write the name down. I will approach these first, since I know they handle work of a similar type as mine.

Howard, that article on artificial brain chips was fascinating. One thing that I found especially interesting was right at the end, when they said they had to be careful to program in the correct personality for the subject. Wow!

Cat farts are nothing, my dog's farts can actually bring tears to my eyes.

pamela 3-15-2003 19:48

Aaaaaaack! Make that "biblical!" not biblibal!...
Hand-eye coordination is going south again -- mispeling worbs agian!

howard 3-15-2003 19:42

BTW -- the biblibal reference to the passage I cited earlier is Hebrews 9:27

howard 3-15-2003 19:41

SciFi mavens may wish to check out

It's an indexed archive of Science Fiction authors, terms, plot devices, etc, etc, etc, with an emphasis on the etc!

It's over 55,000 entries, and looks pretty good!

howard 3-15-2003 19:39

TEEKAY -- the Bible says "It is appointed unto man once to die, and after that, the judgement." That seems to preclude any notion of reincarnation. Eternal life is just that -- life (perfect life) with God through Jesus Christ. The only other choice (and it is just that -- a choice) is eternal death/dying/separation from God. That's what the book says... And it doesn't matter how fervently one believes otherwise -- what is, is.

howard 3-15-2003 19:01

Got one for ya, Teekay! "Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey". And Jerry, that's a real nice site.

It's amazing what we have in common here. BTW, does anyone know if it would be possible for Jack to put up a board where we can post photos? I'd be happy to contribute to the upkeep; I just thought it would be fun to *see* the things we all talk about, like houses and cats and sky-diving and Australia!

And don't forget: If you experience any cool synchronicities, don't forget to let me know! (thanks, Randall ;-).

Sunny 3-15-2003 17:15

Hi All,
RANDALL: I'm so glad that you're back :-D

PAMELA: Gosh was it only 40 or so years ago that mothers were forced to give up their babies so as not to offend the delicacies of a puritanical society?
I had thought we'd been civilised for much longer.
(((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))))))) to you.
Does the bible say there is no re-incarnation? I haven't found that bit yet, but I would have thought having eternal life it would be a possibilty, or even a probablity.

SUNNY: Me too! 2 of my favourite subjects are definitely re-incarnation and I love the West - from the women's point of view. So if you know of any good books about women and Prairie life, do let me know.
I think yes. If you pay attention you will see an obvious increase in coincidental happenings. I can't even think of any now. usually they're so minor that you consider and marvel for a moment and then move on.

BEN: So good to see you too!

DEBRA: Wow!! That's fantastic!! Imagine, in 6 months time yours could be a household name.
I am so stoked for you!

I've run out of time and didn't get to read everything, but it matters not for what I don't know won't hurt me (I don't really believe this of course)

Anyway, a good day to you all.

Teekay 3-15-2003 16:57

For those who love the old west, here's the site of a newspaper that's published monthly filled with actual stories taken from the newspapers of that era. It's great, my daughter picked me one up at a farm/home show here yesterday and I've been reading it ever since - their thick!

As far as this war crap goes, I'm about fed up with the whole thing!

Jerry Chronicle of the old west 3-15-2003 15:17

Been scrollin' through and checkin' things out. Reincarnation? Sure, I don't have a problem with that. I grew up with all that stuff around me: automatic writing, chrystal balls, tarot cards and palm reading--reincarnation is not hard for me to accept.

As for Canadian Heroes: definitely Terry Fox. Rick Hanson too. But Fox is first. He did it first. And he died trying; even knowing he wouldn't make it, he kept at it. For those of you who don't know who Terry Fox was, he was a young man from out West here who decided to run across Canada to promote cancer awareness. He had lost a leg to cancer earlier in his life, and the memory of his step, hop and lope through rain and snow and sleet and hail, from the east coast to the west, and building momentem across the nation, is inspirational. That he did not make it is his testimonial to all cancer survivors. They have annual runs in his honour, schools named after him, and millions donated to cancer research in his name. And yet, outside of Canada he is probably anonymous.

And Ramon, I pretty well have to agree with a lot of what you say. The States can't go in without the U.N. though. It's not a great outfit, and they have f*cked up a lot lately with not going into Rwanda or stepping in and stopping the ethnic cleansing in Serbia and Croatia; and they seem to have gotten lost inside all of the diplomatic gobbly-dee-gook the world floats on, but without them, if someone like China decides they don't like a particular regime for whatever reason, and say they're goin' in and takin' the seat of government out, what do you think the rest of the world is going to think? 'nuff said 'bout that from me.

So being out here on the west coast, working outside everyday, one has to wonder about this global warming stuff. If all the world is affected except this tiny little corner, how can we speak out against it? We had three cm of snow this year. There was frost on the ground maybe six or seven times, and the rain is almost non existant. We call this Lotusland and La-La-land because people out here go about life at a different pace. We don't hurry ourselves crazy. Right now, after a day of intermitant rain, the sun is shining, the wind is a gentle breeze and the flowers are recovering. Oh yeah, they've been out for most of the winter. Sorry. Right now, it's about 11-12c (that's about mid 50'ish Jerry), and I'm loving it.

Of course, the fact that I'm still an overtime slut means that I'll be going to work this afternoon, but I've got next week off which is why I agreed to go in four hours actually. Next week, I plan on finishing my story's final edit, and printing it out again. I want to send it off by week's end. They want it printed on both sides of the page, which is somewhat strange and time consuming when it comes to actually printing it out, but hey, if that's what they want, that's what they'll get.

And now, it being Saturday, the wife being at work, I have another load of laundry to get on before I leave. The daughter'll have to fold it :-)...but isn't that why we have teenagers?

I'll see you guys in another couple of months or so, Ciao.

ben 3-15-2003 14:26


Afternoon all! I'm taking a break from my spring cleaning. This is hysterical, and unfortunately, you would have to know my husband to truly understand the hillarity of it. He is being interviewed by Geraldo Rivera tomorrow morning. (This is like Bill Clinton interviewing Rush Limbaugh - hahahaha). He said, "I don't know why the SGM doesn't think this is a bad idea. I told him not to be too smart-allecky, because it's being taped and they're liable to cut him out - haha. I'll let you know when I know it will be on.

DEBRA: Wow! You go, girlie! How exciting.

TINA: Awww - if you lived here, you could come over and we could chat over coffee while the laundry got "did".

RAMON: Deal. (smile)

TEEKAY: Cat flatulance? Ack! HAHAHAHAHA

PAMELA: I'd remark on reincarnation, but I don't want to shift from a giant political conversation into a giant religious conversation. (haha) (SEE?!? I have restraint!)

MEL: I'll get it to a publisher - eventually. I'm writing again, though, which is a good thing. It's been about a year, I guess, maybe longer, since I really felt like writing.

RANDALL: You should write the vibrating bed story and send it over to HEATHER for the compilation thingie she's editing.

Okay - back to the spring cleaning. I had an impulse/splurge purchase today and bought the Hoover Floor Mate. It vaccuums (which is spelled wrong - I know), scrubs, and squeegies hard floors. Sigh. I'm afraid to admit to my husband that I did that. haha. It's cool, though. It sucks to dump the thing, though, because you get to see how really dirty your floor was.

Have a fantastic day!

Hallee RememberSeptember 3-15-2003 12:37

Hi all!

Deb, you go girl!
By the way, I love those four little words. "Testosterone galore. My favorite!" Gave me an instant image of those troopers ;-)

Pamela, thanks! It does feel good, but also scary. No I don't have an agent yet, that's my next step. And I feel like my feet are stuck in molasses for that part of the process.

Randall, that piece put me right there. Yes, Utah is just one more of the places I want to go. Thank you for the cyber-journey.

Must run and do laundry. I hoped to never do the laundromat thing again. Oh well.
Blue skies!

Tina 3-15-2003 11:21


My meeting! Oh my goodness it was amazing, absolutely amazing. Fist, I woke up to find that it was going to snow that day. I don't dirve in the snow. I had to drive in the snow from my town all the way to Providence. It wasn't far, but in the snow all alone....far. Anyway, when I got there, they were having a protest of all things. There were tv trucks from all the local stations and at least two thousand people if there were one. They were out side and inside......well all the way up the massive marble steps and spilling onto the second floor. They has magaphones and everything. It was awesome. So I had to weave my self through all these people and finally got to the second floor and there stood a state trooper. He was standing in front of double doors bigger than my house. I walked up to him and said,"I have an appointment with the governor." He just looked at me and said "got the letter and your license." I gave it to him and he disappeared behind the double doors leaving me outside in all the noise of the protest.

He came back in less than two minutes, smiling. He said, "right this way." He lead me into this massive room. The ceilings were at least forty feet high. They were painted like Michael Angleo had been there. There were hugh columns that looked like real gold on all four corners of the room and two in the middle.

Inside the room it was quiet from the protest out side. There were more state troopers inside just standing around, testerone galore. My favorite! Any way there was this little man waiting on a hugh red couch. He was clearly ahead of me. They let him go first. One of the state troopers asked me to come forward and he waved a wand over my person and checked my pockets. Testerone! Nice!

So Finally they open the door to let me in. The first thing I hear is the governor's voice. He's standing right behind the door. I know as soon as I take just a few more steps I'll see him. Something struck me like a sand bag in the back of the head. It was fear. I suddenly felt like what was I doing there. I could feel my legs starting to give out. The trooper behind me, directed me to keep walking and into the room. So I went. There he was. Not only that there were three more state troopers standing in front of three chairs. There was a woman standing behind a desk. There were two chairs placed in front of that same desk that thet governor had now started to go back towards, but he turned and introduced himself first and shook my hand.

That's when it happened. I stated to talk. The first thing I said was where would you like me to sit! He pointed to one of the chairs in front of the desk. I sat down and talked some more. I don't know what came over me. I just said what I had to say. I talked and talked. The governor was surprised to learn that domestic violence is not automatic in schools. He said he would give the book to his wife as I had asked and his daughters too. The woman behind the desk was listening and agreeing. I didn't want to leave, but I had too. It was time. As the third trooper walked me to the door he looked at me and wispered, "good job." I felt my face flush and thanked him.

I don't know what will come of it, but I did take my message to him. Next stop Michael Bolton! I heard him talk and he's really passionate about domestic violence.

Debra 3-15-2003 10:16


Have no fear. You are safe from me. I will not take you to task for your belief in reincarnation. I am so glad to see you that I'll let you get away with it--this time.

Rhoda 3-14-2003 21:13

Randall - Yep when the mail get's this far north, it's quite common for the damn poney to break a leg and the express rider has to walk the last couple hundred miles, so it can take some time getting things up this a-way.

For example, I won the bid on a computer case here a couple of weeks ago. Gave it a week and when the package hadn't arrived, I sent an email to the fellow. Got this big appology that they were shifting from Fedex to UPS and that he'd personally carry the package down to shipping.

Wellllll yesterday I got a notice that the package had been shipped via Fedex overnight. I expect it'll be here in a couple of weeks since Fedex said it was shipped "overnight".

Same deal with a box of motherboards for my project of refitting old 486's for service families, won that one last week, it's Friday already and I haven't seen the box yet, don't expect it till say the 26'th when I'm down at the VA getting my checkup.

Such is life in the lost upper midwest.

Jerry 3-14-2003 19:20



Pamela...I saw a documentary on Bridey Murphy one time! If ever there was a case for reincarnation this should be it! I believe God recycles everything. From massive giant stars to human beings. Now, Rhoda :-) it just makes sense to me...

Sunny ... no, but I wish I had. However, I ALWAYS remember the day I will next write about, and on the night of that day I DID have severe, sharp, stabbing stomach you may have something there nice lady.

Howard...(grin) thanks... my good friend annnnnnnnnnnd this next post should be right up your alley..

A belated posting, written late Thursday night, March 6, 2003...

I awoke early this morning. A matter of bladder and containment and spill procedures. I lay in bed and again looked at the clock. 4:15...

"It's started."

My wife stirred and muttered. "Ya say something."

"No dear."

I napped fitfully, sleeping for a few minutes then again looking at the clock. Kept awake, knowing what they were going through. I finally gave up and put on my robe. The dogs bounded around me. Guess they have bladder and containment problems as well. Outside the sky was hazy, pinkish as if a fire was burning in the distance. I went in early to work, stopping at a 7-11 for coffee. A friend, Juan Perez, was in the store and we chatted outside for a minute, sipping Styrofoam coffee. He worked construction and by their standards was way late.

"They were burning the bodies by now."

My friend nodded and slapped me on the back. He understood exactly what I meant. "Yeah, it was all over by now." He laughed. "It was a long time ago amigo. A long time ago. Different people, different times."

I stared south after he left. In the distance I heard the Mexican Army bugles playing the dreaded "Deguello" (fire and death) no quarter to survivors. In the light of a thunderous cannonade four columns of General Santa Anna's army attacked from all sides in the hours before dawn, March 6, 1836. Twice they retreated as musket and cannon fire from the Alamo defenders raked their ranks, then someone changed tactics and concentrated on the nearly destroyed north wall. They broke through...

Colonel Jose de la Pena who wrote a much debated but probably factual account of the battle saw Colonel Travis in the Plaza. He wrote the Commander of the Alamo was very brave, standing and discharging his pistol and musket before he was struck and killed. Pena said he was a very brave man.

With horrific losses up to this point, enraged Mexican soldiers swarmed into the Plaza. Defenders of the Alamo and Mexican peasant soldiers died by the hundreds as they fought close quarters with cannon and musket and bayonet and Bowie knife. The defenders retreated inside wooden and stone buildings. Mexican soldiers seized the defenders cannon and blew in the walls. Inside the long barracks lay Jim Bowie, sick with fever. He was bayoneted to death. Joe, Colonel Travis servant said the soldiers tossed his body on their bayonets as one would load a hay wagon.

By eight it was all over. Colonel Pena said one could walk one end of the Plaza to the other on the bodies of the dead and dying. Other accounts related how blood maddened Mexican soldiers tried to assault and kill the few pitiful survivors.

"Survivors were Captain Almeron Dickinson's wife, Susanna, and their 15-month-old daughter, Angelina. After the battle, Santa Anna ordered Mrs. Dickinson, her child, and other noncombatants be spared. Other known survivors were Joe, Travis' servant; Gertrudis Navarro, 15, sister by adoption to James Bowie's wife, Ursula; Juana Navarro Alsbury, sister of Gertrudis, and her 18-month-old son, Alijo; Gregorio Esparza's wife Ana, and her four children: Enrique, Francisco, Manuel and Maria de Jesus; Trinidad Saucedo and Petra Gonzales. Another survivor was Lewis "Moses" Rose, who by his own choice left the Alamo on the fifth day of March.

Santa Anna, minimizing his losses which numbered nearly 600, said, "It was but a small affair," and ordered the bodies of the heroes burned. (And many of his own dead soldiers thrown in the nearby San Antonio river!) Colonel Juan Almonte, noting the great number of casualties, declared, "Another such victory and we are ruined."

Colonel Pena reports Colonel Davy Crockett and several others were captured, but executed in front of Santa Anna. Now this goes down hard with Texas and Tennesseans who hold that every Alamo defender died fighting. Colonel Crockett was a politician, so maybe he did try to talk his way out when the end was apparent and battle crazed soldiers surrounded him? Mrs. Dickinson wrote as she was being escorted out by Mexican Officers she saw Colonel Crockett dead in the Plaza with a "...maniacal look on his face, his distinctive cap laying close by." So who knows?

But the Battle of the Alamo was not about race. It wasn't a race war. Look again at the list of survivors. There is a "PC" movie now in production that hints that is exactly what it was about. But it was not about oil, not about WMD, not about ethic cleansing. Texas settlers were rebelling against a distant regime. They wanted their freedom, their own government, not a cruel repressive dictator. Sound familiar?

"In the southern part of Texas
Near the town of San Antone
Like a statue on his pinto rides a cowboy all alone
And he sees the cattle grazing where a century before
Santa Anna's guns were blazing and the cannons used to roar

And his eyes turn sorta misty
And his heart begins to glow
And he takes his hat off slowly...
To the men of Alamo.
To the thirteen days of glory
At the siege of Alamo..."

Marty Robbins

Well, gotta go.


Randall 3-14-2003 19:10

Wow - two of my favorite subjects -- reincarnation and the old West. I'm convinced that I was a horse wrangler once upon a time, because I have no other explanation for how a girl raised in suburbia feels such a powerful affinity for all things Western.

Glad to see you back, Randall. It's funny how reading everyone's posts makes me feel like I'm communicating, when I haven't personally said a thing! ;-)

I do have a request to make: I'm doing some research for my book to find out if writing down your synchronicities seems to increase their frequency. In other words, if you keep track of the meaningful coincidences in your life by recording them, do you find that you're experiencing more? If anyone has anything to share along these lines, I'd love to hear from you. (All responses will be kept confidential.)

Thanks, and good writing to all! :-)

Sunny 3-14-2003 17:33

Holy Cow! A friend just sent me this article. He knows I'm interested in memory functions of the brain. Amazing!

howard 3-14-2003 17:23

RANDALL! -- It's about time you got your calloused old butt back here! :-) I was beginning to worry a little! Like you said -- "cyber family..." We may not see one another, and we may not always see things eye-to-eye, but we do get glimpses of the world through one another's eyes, and that in itself keeps us close.
And I think Zane Grey should probably move over and make room for Randall, after that piece about Utah! Wonderful!

howard 3-14-2003 17:18


Randall, what a nice piece on your trip to Utah, and accompanying philosophical observations. Regarding heaven and hell, it does seem strange to be rewarded or doomed forever after such a short lifespan. I find it interesting that those who claim to believe in the bible will nonetheless do things which are supposed to result in eternal damnation. Why do people think they are excempt? Or is it that, deep down inside, they don't really believe it? To me, the concept of reincarnation and karma makes more sense, you progress (hopefully) a little bit every time, karma letting you experience what you have inflicted on others, and eventually make it to wherever you are heading. I didn't choose to believe in it, I read a book about it when I was 15 ("The Search For Bridey Murphy") and immediately thought: Oh, yeah, I knew that. It was like I was remembering something I already knew, but I don't presume to convince others because, who knows for sure? Personally, I hope the athiests are right, nothingness would be easy (you wouldn't know about it, would you?); they accuse those believing in life after death of being wishful thinkers but I think it is the other way around. By the way, Randall, I sent a note to your email address asking if someone could let us know how you were, so someone was thinking of you besides Howard. We're all SO glad you're okay.

Tina --- BIGGEST congratulations on getting your book done, isn't that the greatest feeling? Especially with a mystery or thriller, like you said, there are now a few other people besides you who know the ending, which seems to make it REAL. I'm so happy for you, what now, do you have an agent? I know it also must be great to be done with all of the packing and have the house sold, even if you are cramped at the moment.

Debra, good to hear from you, I've been wondering where you were. Tell us all about meeting the governer, all fingers and toes crossed regarding "Sweetie."

Teekay, from 18 to 3, that is a bit of a gap in the kid department. I have a 36-year-old son besides my 21-year-old daughter so that's a big gap too but my son was given up for adoption when I was a teen, which is what was done in the 60's. I had cousins who were adopted, so felt pretty good about it, they had a much better home than my own dysfunctional one. My son and I were re-united when he was nineteen and kept in touch for years, then Jenn and I went to see him right after Christmas of 2001. His girlfriend had had a baby so I was all excited about being a grandmother. Unfortunately, my son was a total jerk who abused his girlfriend while we were there, I took her side, it was a big hoopla, etc. etc. Turned out the baby wasn't his after all, but the ex-girlfriend and I still keep in touch and I am the baby's "adopted" grandmother since I defended him against my son and his family's ugliness. I still think adoption is a very good thing, much more preferable to abortion or to teens raising babies alone (my daughter has so many friends with babies now).

Carol, Happy Birthday, and many many more.

No comment on political discussions, I skipped 'em, no offense. Don't want to get distracted from my writing, I'm up to page 64 now. Just hoping there will still be a world here to publish it if I ever get it done (make that "WHEN" I get it done). Mel, your gentle whip-cracking is still a big help in getting me off my duff, where I'm imagining scenes, and to the computer, where I'm actually writing them.

pamela 3-14-2003 16:53



Still here and on the mend...

Well... (Sigh) At least no one can blame me for talking politics this time! :-) My first look on the net and it's politics again. Why not? But my post will be a little different today. As you guys are my Cyber family I instructed my daughter not toooooo long ago that if "anything happened" to post on the site. But then, deep inside I knew that old Maine Coon, Howard would eventually sniff out the sad tail, er...tale. :-)

Speaking of ... Cats... I have been an observer of cats ALL of my life and I believe they indeed see things we do not. If there would have been a cat in my hospital room it would have freaked out. Late at night the room creaked and groaned with regular "popping" noises. Several nights ( I was there 5 nights) I awoke to the bed vibrating gently. Thinking my own breathing could cause the bed to shift sightly I held my breath for long still vibrated softly. As a fan of old time cartoons I remembered a cartoon where Porky Pig and Sylvester the cat spent a night in a haunted hotel. I felt that way ... and as a side note to the far side ... This was the same room where my father died in 1983. Coincidence? Probably not...

Was at the post office today. Jerry, I sent Sean a guaranteed 2 day delivery to Minot ... money and a new ATM card. This was on March 6'th. As of last night it wasn't there... The lady at the post office this morning was nice enough and managed to track it to Fargo. That's 8 days on a guaranteed two-dayer! Why am I surprised.... Anywayyyyyyyy the post office just called and the letter has been delivered and waiting to be picked up. He said I could fill out a claim and ask for my funds back. Got that right Ace!

Oh Tina, the power of your words! For you dear Tina...because I too yearn to travel as free as an Eagle.


A hunting trip to Utah in 1979...

"Our path eventually exited Colorado to enter the great eastern desert of Utah. Much of Colorado's western territory has faded from memory, after Monarch Pass it seemed anti-climatic. But when we crossed Utah's eastern border and rolled into sagebrush country my eyes snapped open. Utah positioned between the Great Basin and Rocky Mountains contain stunning landscapes of conifer forest, tabletop rock plateaus and silver gray sagebrush flats. High desert valleys and imposing mountains are a magnificent natural heritage denied most states. Isolated mountain ranges and remote plateaus, seemingly leap out of perfectly level plains at regular intervals offering a stunning contrast to the otherwise innocuous terrain.

As a resident of Texas, vistas of pancake flatness existed in any direction. No big deal. Utah possessed a subtle difference though. In Texas 10,000 foot mountain ranges covering hundreds of square miles don't rise out of sagebrush plains. Vibrant, spectacular views of trackless desert and mountain escarpment hinted at a wealth of unlimited outdoor adventure, denied fence restricted Southerners. South of our western track lay Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef National Parks. To our north were the splendid alpine forests of the Uinta Mountains, the only major mountain range, (in the lower 48) which stretches east to west. 145 million year old fossilized remains in Dinosaur National Monument offered proof that life existed before humans on planet Earth. Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, located on the Green River offers a 91 mile long reservoir. The legendary Colorado cuts a deep swath through the south-eastern part of Utah forming Lake Powell. Impounded by Glen Canyon Dam this immense volume of water is named after one-armed explorer John Wesley Powell.

In Utah's distant skyline rocky buttes and snow capped mountain peaks embellished the horizon ... mysterious in what they concealed. This was a beckoning, intriguing country with a lure of something extraordinary, freedom to roam. A strange emotion long forgotten awakened. An aching feeling comparable to homesickness generated a faint stirring of uncertainty. But this couldn't be, Randall's feet had never entered Utah's borders. How could a person miss that which they had never known? What did the distant mountains offer? What lay deep inside those rugged stone and forested summits? What remote canyons lay hidden, concealed in the folds of red ridge and convoluted terrain? A feeling previously unknown awakened in my heart, an unsettling feeling was being created. Or revived? Could it be that memories generated by novels of Zane Grey, or writings of Jack O'Connor, with vivid description of mountain wildlife and purple sage were now coming forth? Could it be that Jed Smith and other ghostly trappers now casually leaning on their muskets, welcomed a long departed companion back to the realm of the west?

For residents of twentieth century America journeying into the west is an inevitable result of programming by reams of written material; nearly a century of motion pictures, and thirty years of television depicting the romantic nature of earlier times. The nation wide culture of traveling west was originally initiated by human desire for discovery, adventure and materialistic gain ... mostly gain. At all levels. Thomas Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark westward seeking a trade route to China. Mountain men followed to trap so men of fashion could be nattily attired in beaver skin hats. Settlers crossed the Oregon Trail, at great peril in hope of attaining free land in a territory "boosters" compared to the Garden Of Eden.

Migration, the desire for new territory or escaping older centers of civilization is an extremely ancient form of ... self-destruction? Humans believe escape to a new life in a fresh land is possible, but in completing the process, they emulate the society, they fled. America's century and a half population surge has crashed against the Pacific Ocean shore and is now falling back upon the inner-mountain regions. Large scale migration of dissatisfied or starving populations is not possible now, no government on earth would welcome such a thing. This is how I explain the term self-destruction used above. The all to human affinity of slash, burn, plant, harvest, deplete and move on applies with equal culpability to city planners who expend funds while ignoring the most basic needs of taxpayers. This must be addressed and the realization that escape from a self-imposed, self-generating, destructive culture is simply not possible. Sadly, human beings carry a lot of baggage and not all is favorable. My grandmother often said, "You made your bed, now you sleep in it."

Sweeping sagebrush flats gave way to red rock country as we motored along Interstate 70 headed to Green River. A mixture of distant mesa, craggy canyon, vertical buttes and imposing massive rock monoliths could only be described as raw elemental nature. I wasn't aware at the time, but we were crossing the great Colorado Plateau, an ancient geological formation that existed 500 million years ago. The Colorado Plateau is rock ... bare unadorned geology composed of ancient sea floors. Unknown to me, (then) south of us lay Canyonlands National Park, 527 square miles of remote isolated terrain. This park is so large, it is divided into separate areas. Island in the Sky, a triangular mesa of rocky terrain is enclosed by the confluence of the Green River on the west and mighty Colorado River on the east. Needles District is a landscape of wind carved sandstone. The Maze is a remote confusing area of canyons and considered by many to be the most inaccessible area of the lower 48 states. And it is all open for exploration.

North of us lay the Book Cliffs, Roan Cliffs and the East (and West) Tavaputs Plateau. North on the Green River, fed by the Price River and Wyoming mountain snows were Gray Canyon and Desolation Canyon. Further along lay the East and West Tavaputs Plateau. We crossed the legendary Outlaw Trail at Green River, that stretches from Canada to Mexico. An outlaw highway for Robert Leroy Parker and Harry A. Longabaugh ... Butch and Sundance. In 1869 John Wesley Powell passed under the location where we crossed by steel bridge in 1979. His party of explorers were on the Green River headed for a rendezvous with the greatest of all western rivers ... the mighty Colorado.

Early cultures could have existed in this land as early as 11,000 BC. Cliff dwellers constructed elaborate stone buildings deep inside immense mineral stained rock overhangs and isolated canyons. Anasazi Indian cultures called this south-western country home when climatic changes enabled them to produce crops such as corn, beans, melons, squash. They became more agriculturally adaptive, farmers instead of hunter gatherers. Living on vegetables and animals killed with spear, knife, rock would they understand modern men who think nothing of traveling hundreds of miles to slay a deer? Could they comprehend that some men kill game animals only because they possess large antlers. Fresh meat is not a consideration, but simply a by product associated with possible Boone and Crockett record book considerations?

Cliff dwellers had their time on earth, this was ours. Soon others will begin the demanding trek through life. That's the way it is folks, do your time, then move on. I have often made the comment that this life should be considered bootcamp, training for the next duty station. God, I hope the next part is easier. I have a problem with Christian beliefs that Heaven or Hell awaits. It just seems like the reward ... or punishment is too great for seventy odd years on the planet. But what do I know?

Windows down, with aromatic Utah sagebrush in our nostrils we motored along, sipping and driving. Our trek moved ever forward, closer to a rendezvous with something called the Wasatch Front. Over 200 years ago two Dominican Friars, Escalante and Dominguez traveled into the Wasatch Range, but their goals were different. They were searching for a route to California and Native American souls. We traveled to Utah on a lark, to party, drink and hunt deer. Maybe it wasn't Jed Smith who awaited me at the border? Maybe it was two Spanish men of God snaring Randall's soul as he zipped past? Time changes everything. Five Brown County boys into Utah's inter-mountain west ... trekking to Zion ... entering Brigham Young's great Mormon stronghold of Deseret."

GOD I love the west and it seems every day to move further and further away from me...


Randall 3-14-2003 13:51

Howard: I've clicked on the link and now the whole world knows what I look like after 10 beers, 5 Vodka Martini's and 10 sidecars (what can I say I except I celebrated the new year in style).

Mel: Perhaps you're right. I accept my taste veers very strongly towards Rock and Metal music, especialliy "power ballads". I shan't bore everybody to death with the details; that would be torture.

Shutting down now for the weekend. I am going home to watch Comic Relief with my family. Oh rapturous joy and heavenly awe.


Ramon 3-14-2003 12:33

DEBRA: I'm hoping he'll make it required reading too--and then other states will pick it up too--and then your wise words will reach more girls all over the country/world. :-]

RAMON: Um... It's definitely time to change your choice of listening music. :-] My husband prefers drum corps (that's the equivalent of happy marching band music, for the uninitiated). It puts him right to sleep...Not me! Give me a soothing symphony orchestra anytime (current favorite: Ralph Vaughn Williams' "A Lark Ascending"...beautiful, restful, restoring peace to the soul that's been razzed by the world too long). :-] I could go for a nap just now thinking about that violin singing into the depths of my soul... sigh...Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Mel again 3-14-2003 11:51

MEL: Yes I would love you're autograph, he he. Seriouly though that little piece you wrote has to be the first positive thing to enter my head. It wasn't life changing but it made me smile when you consider the words in my head, or blaring from my CD player are:

"Everything I can't remember
as f****d as it all may seem
the consequences that I've rendered
I've stretched myself beyond my means." (Aaron Lewis - STAIND)


"I wish I had a reason,
my flaws are open season
For this I gave up trying
one good turn deserves my dying,
you don't need to bother,
and I don't need to be.
I'll keep slipping farther,
'cause once I hold on,
I won't let go till I bleed" (Corey Taylor)

SO you see with you in charge of the world, hope springs eternal. And you think those were bad you should see some of my material.

Ramon 3-14-2003 9:00

Oh Mel:

I'm praying!

I finally met our governor yesterday. It was amazing, better than I expected.

He has my book. We'll see.

I'm hoping he'll make it required reading in high schools.

Debra 3-14-2003 8:54


Sun shines today, for me; sky, blue;
May peace cover Earth today, for each of you.

Um, sorry, the muse isn't quite awake yet --- Ow! Ma, she hit me.

RAMON: Copy away. Gosh! Do you want an autograph too, heh heh! Tomorrow's headlines: A NEW HEMINGWAY PEN WRITES WORLD-CHANGING PARAGRAPH (I wish!!!) :-]

TEEKAY: Day After Tomorrow's headlines: WARRIORS WORLDWIDE LAY DOWN ARMS TO SEEK OTHER GIFTS AT HOME (I'll keep wishing!) :-]

RAMON, TEEKAY: And when I'm elected DICTATOR of the World, there WILL be PEACE on Earth. I has spokened. [Uh, don't support the vote yet; my gift isn't dictating; it's wishing!] ;-)

HALLEE: You get that book to the publisher, girl, and SOON! :-)

LITTER: You need chocolate!!! :-P

HOWARD: I loved the FBI eyes. 8-] How do you keep finding this stuff??!!

DEBRA: Fingers and toes crossed for good luck for your book to be accepted by a publisher! :-)

SUNNY: Losing momentum, dang it...

ALL: Write, write, write... and a healthful weekend to each of you.

Mel 3-14-2003 8:24

HALLEE: Thank you and I never said it was you who called me a coward but is has been implied by others. But you are right about getting defensive - you can lose sight of the point if emotions run riot in you (meaning me). Lets shake hands and agree to disagree on a number of things as is our right to. Agreed?

MEL: I loved what you said. I've made a copy of it for myself-hope you don't mind.

JERRY; Thank you for the links which I have added to my favourites I will read in detail when I have a minute. I will say that I feel I don't need my eyes opening as I believe I am a very open minded and aware person and after briefly looking through some of those links I find they cover stories I have already read about or seen on the news. Having said that I don't see myself as all seeing and all knowing and as an open minded liberal I am always open to other points of view, because there is never just the one side to any story. So I will give the articles you have pointed to, a great deal of attention and thought. They may not necessarily change my mind but at least I will have given them some consideration.

TEEKAY: You old smoothie you.

You know we've all been debating this issue quite heavily, after all it's a serious issue. I will say this; if the UN back military action and UK and US armed forces go in I just hope it will be short, effective and with minimal loss of life on all sides.

Ramon 3-14-2003 4:49

Hi all!

Hallee, I'll drop you an e-line right after this!

Rachel, who didn't you recognise on my list?

you know, in ancient Egypt cats were considered to be gods...
Cats have never forgotten this...


I'm wishing the motorhome were taking us someplace. No, it will drive no further than the nearest septic dump :-( and maybe the dropzone on weekends.
Although I've long had a vision of doing a two year trip across Canada in a van or with a trailer. Stop for awhile in each province, see all the national parks, live on the east coast for awhile, jump at every dropzone... head south in the winter. That would be very nice. Just have to figure out how to finance the trip. Writing would work, as soon as I make it pay, somehow. sigh

Be well!

Tina 3-14-2003 1:02

You know there was a short time that I was employed as an office manager, the gal who owned the business shared the office with me, and the office was in her home so we had to put up with her cats and dogs.

It always amazed me that whenever she picked up her cat, they farted, now she always blamed the cats, but you know I always wondered which one realy made such a stench?

I know the boss always blushed after the smell got out and about.

Jerry 3-14-2003 0:16

Ramon - Here's a few links to a few newspaper articles that you should read, they may open your eyes a bit, some are US, others UK, but all say the same thing.,6903,591439,00.html

Jerry 3-14-2003 0:13

TEEKAY -- That (the cat on your chest, facing the other way) is aka The Wandering One-Eyed Wake-up Wink!"

And yes, they do have flatulence, which is no surprise, considering what goes on inside the nasty beasts!

howard 3-13-2003 21:09


That's great news. I am having my book read right now by the president of a major publisher. I'm hoping they like it,..........want to publish it........not change the inside.....not change the ouside .....and not rip me off.

Do I want too much?

Debra 3-13-2003 21:07

LITTER -- Congratulations! Let us know when it's out!

Be careful what you write here, though -- the FBI has a new monitoring procedure. Read about it at

Be afraid! Be very afraid!

howard 3-13-2003 21:02

Greetings all.

Just finished the editing the publishers' proofs. Yeehaaa! I don't have to edit it any more. Got my ISBN but still waiting on my copyright certificate.

DEBRA – The publisher made no substantial edits to my manuscript, but all my poor 'English' English is now 'American' English. RIP all the extra 'u's. (I think I might still owe you an email – I've got the memory of a Goldfish…) (I think I might still owe you an email – I've got the memory of a Goldfish…)

My brain is approaching meltdown. When focussed back am more I be…

Litter 3-13-2003 20:09

Here's a good one;
A US poll today put Tony Blair 2 points ahead of GWB in a popularity poll. (Sky News)
It's a funny old world we live in.


Eddie French 3-13-2003 17:32

Hi All,

HALLEE: By gum, that's a hell of an entrance. Welcome back. Hope you stay a while.

RANDALL: Well, it's a relief to see you posting again :-)

HOWARD: Have a nice cuss. Make yourself a hot gubadea (What Ant calls a cup of tea) and listen to what PAMELA said.
Oh, and don't stop there, there are other places to send it to, so send it. And here's a ((((((((((((((((((((HUG))))))))))) cos they never go astray.
My rejection nail is a third full and it's a bout 2 inches long.

PAMELA: My eldest daughter is 18 :-) so there's a bit of a gap.

TINA: What a great feeling that must be. On all 3 counts, but especially having a finished novel. And a motor home *sigh* Instant holidays.

TAYLOR: Have you put up signs for the poochy? I hope she comes home soon.

JERRY: Yes, I've wondered about cats. Our cat Misha ( a very dignified Oriental)jumped up on my chest once while I was abed one eve and put her bottom right in my view, and I wondered to myself if cats ever have flatulence. Well, glory be, my question was answered then and there.
Curiosity almost killed the human in that case.

RRRRRRRRRRAMON: Well, even when you're letting the fur fly, you still come across as quite unruffled. :-)

CAROL: Well HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you lass. Let yourself be spoiled today :-) Insist upon it.

MEL: Loved what you said about warriors and individual gifts.


Teekay 3-13-2003 16:31

MEL!!!!!!! Hey girlie! You posted on top of me. No - I havent' sent anything to a publisher. I've been a little busy lately.

Take care, you.

Hallee 3-13-2003 15:48



First off, you completely took what I said out of context. I will sum it up into one sentence:

The reason we are going in after Saddam and his regime is because they financially support terrorists who consider us “infidels” and would like to see us all killed, they harbor terrorists who consider us “infidels” and would like to see us all killed, and they are, under the guise of deception and trickery, producing weapons that they could and probably would sell to terrorists who consider us “infidels” and would like to see us all killed.

Like I mentioned, the fact that he’s a ruthless dictator who murders and maims his own people just adds fuel to the fire.

As for the IRA, I never suggested that the U.S. supported them. I said if the IRA had attacked the United States, then the United States would have attacked the IRA.

Also – as for: Its another example of how terrorism was ignored and we were left to fend for ourselves. That was an internal matter for which Great Britain never came forward and cried “help us squash this terrorism that is threatening our sovereign nation!” Otherwise, I’m certain that you would have never been left to fend for yourself.

Just a hypothetical question but if those planes had crashed into Big Ben or the Houses of Parliament instead of the towers, and we decided to go after Bin Laden and Saddam Hussain, (taking into account what I said about the IRA) would we have had any support? Yes. That is an EXTERNAL problem.

If getting rid Saddam Hussain is the start of a campaign by the UN as a whole to oust dictators and terrorist supporters, then let's get in there and make a start as it has already been left far too long and too many people have suffered and died. I just have this strong belief, as history has shown us, that the last thing Government institutions care about is saving lives and freeing people from tyranny and torture You keep confusing two issues. His tyrrany and torture are a SIDE issue. Quit combining them.

As for the being human statement, I apologize. (Oh yeah – I never called you a coward. Don’t get defensive or you’ll lose sight of the conversation).

TINA: I don’t know why email would have bounced back – my address hasn’t changed. Yours has, though. I remember you saying @home was going out of business, but I somehow did not keep your new address. Can you send me an email so I can save it?

RHODA: It’s good to see you. I love seeing all the same names when I pop in.

ROSEMARY: ((((hugs)))) on your losses.

CAROL: Thank you. (smile) You might enjoy the website my husband created. I've provided the link below.

Back to work for me!

Hallee RememberSeptember 3-13-2003 15:34


Hi to every one of you! :-) Hope your writing day is flowing in the right direction for you.

CAROL: HAPPY BIRTHDAY! (I think that was your hint!) :-) Have a good 'un.

RANDALL: (((((HUGS))))) Get better. Report back here regularly, whether you think you're progressing or not. We'll be the judges of that! :-]

HALLEE: Hey, girl!! Did you send James and Danielle to the publisher yet? I hope so!! Prayers for your husband's safety, along with all the other troops out there...

TINA, JERRY: A motor home is the retirement dream for my hubby and me. We'll set up four postal boxes around the USA, one in each area of the four main compass directions. Then we'll drive around the country to all the great national parks, etc., etc. The kids will never know for sure where we are, heh heh. Hmm, maybe it will be a retirement honeymoon... :-]

RAMON: I hear you. War only for the right reasons and take no innocent lives, and by God, take care of all our own countries' human needs first! Yes, there are those who feel safety by war is the first prioity - I say, let those who are gifted with that insight take care of it for the rest. That's not being cowardly; that's focusing on each person's gifts. Some are warriors, some are not. Those who are not warriors are other things and help their countries in other ways. Let not the warriors take too much funding for their just cause, because those left at home have other just causes - let us feed our hungry; let us clothe and shelter our poor; let us heal the sick and research ways to end other diseases and disabilities; let us educate everyone who wants to be a helpful link in the betterment of our societies; and let the warriors keep tight reins on those who lust for power over others.

Whew! For not being politically minded, that was a mouthful! My muse just fainted.

A day of peace to all! :-)

Mel 3-13-2003 15:26

Hi All :)

Hallee - now, to me, your response to everything said is well written and concise. That is a mark of using your writing talent -- to debate the issues with detail and passion. As the spouse of a combat veteran, I send you and your family my love and support. Our military volunteers not only risk their lives while in service, but they continue to pay a price long after their tour of duty is over. "Some gave all and all gave some."

Randall -- hugs and prayers. I'm glad to see you check in. We've all been worrying.

Oh, Howard! sniff, sniff. Well -- send it out again!!!

Tina -- congrats on selling the house! That's wonderful news. I can't wait for the day when I have my finished manuscript to let someone read. Oh, but that day seems sooooo far off!

Taylor - I'm still praying for your lost dog. Our cat disappeared one year for over three weeks. He did come back. I suspect someone had either purposely or accidently locked him up in a corn storage spot. His poo (to steal Teekay's phrase) was filled with whole corn and he was skin and bones. But come home he did and that's all that mattered to me. Our vets office now offers microchipping and I take full advantage of that service. Nifty technology and for only $20 to register the animal, its well worth it.

Its my day to tell the rest of the world to go jump in the lake. I'm assuming no responsibility for anyone's needs today. If I can't have my birthday to be selfish one day a year I'll explode. So, now I'm going to see how much closer I can get to the ending of my manuscript.

Have a great day everyone!

Carol 3-13-2003 14:41


3-13-2003 14:05

HALLEE: Another point I want to put you straight on is this; I didn't say that America supported the IRA (one or two African Countries did allow them to set up training camps but that's another story). NORAID was an organisation which provided funds for the IRA and its political outfit SINN FEIN, in their campaign to kick the English out. They were a powerful outfit and I only assume (unfortunately I have no hard facts) they avoided prosecution like any other powerful organisation - bribery and corruption. I am not saying America as a whole was involved and I don't hold America as a whole responsible. Its another example of how terrorism was ignored and we were left to fend for ourselves. Just a hypothetical question but if those planes had crashed into Big Ben or the Houses of Parliament instead of the towers, and we decided to go after Bin Laden and Saddam Hussain, (taking into account what I said about the IRA) would we have had any support?

And I don't believe you mean that comment about how human I am for being sad about 9/11. I thought I had lost family that day, and I delplore the loss of life on such a huge scale like that, like you wouldn't believe. I felt I needed to empahsise that so you wouldn't think I was souless.

JERRY: I did mean to add to my list of targets who need an ass kicking; China, Zimbabwe, Thailand, Brazil and a host of others. China, like Iraq, have on their payroll, "monsters" who go around Tibet raping women in front of their families. Some have taken to beating on pregnant women until they miscarry. They sadistically torture anyone who uses the Tibettan language or maintains its culture.

Ramon 3-13-2003 12:38

Jerry: If getting rid Saddam Hussain is the start of a campaign by the UN as a whole to oust dictators and terrorist supporters, then let's get in there and make a start as it has already been left far too long and too many people have suffered and died. I just have this strong belief, as history has shown us, that the last thing Government institutions care about is saving lives and freeing people from tyranny and torture. Would you at least concede that if the US and UK with UN backing go into Iraq and put a bullet in the head of SH, that we don't stop there. What about North Korea? They have threatened to use Nukes on anyone who tries to interefere with their arms development and testing. The list is endless.

And for the last time I don't support Saddam Hussain. My attack on Governments is based on their agendas. The more personal and political their agendas, the less they are likely to care about the people who will die as a result. If the cause is just and we really are going to start a neverending campaign to rid the world of tyrants and terrorists, and to protect innoncent citizens of not just one country but the world, then I am 100% behind it. But we live in the real world and politicians rarely do things (not even Bill Clinton whom I admire) for moral or just reasons. Soldiers and citizens lives are always at risk - politicians have the protection of the state and risk only their reputations, which is soon eased when living in luxry as most politicians do. I guess I sound a bit paranoid.

I am very thankful I live in a free society. If wasn't then I wouldn't even be saying all this. But no society is ever truly free. Some of our local politicians are prevented from speaking because their views contravene Race Relation Laws - take for example the BNP, a political party who I describe as a mild KKK. They are not allowed to address rallies or they will be arrested on contravention to the Race Relations Act.

I wasn't aware about the satellite photo's as there has been nothing in the news here about them - or there may have been and I missed it. Point taken. And yes it does mean something, and action does need to be taken. I have long said the best option is to send in the SAS to assassinate SH and his key followers.But governments would rather send in a rush of troops followed by MOAB's (yes I get CNN) which will certainly kill many of the poeple they claim they are protecting.

I will give Bush some credit in that he has the courage of his convictions (maybe that's a dangerous thing) and he is standing his ground. Blair in this country is under tremendous political preassure from his own party members not to defy the UN and go into Iraq. He doesn't know which way to turn anymore.

Anyway I hope this has cleared up some confusion.

Peace to all.

Ramon 3-13-2003 12:12


Hugs back to you :o) I like your hero list. A couple of them I have to admit I've not heard of. I will need to look them up.


Rachel 3-13-2003 11:23

Tina - Living in a motor home, I've always thought that would be a great way to live. When you tire of the neighborhood, the town, the state, simply put that old rig in D and leave it in the dust.

Now, however the dream has a few chinks, like how do you access the internet? Cell Phone maybe?

Oh but the things one could see, the wonders of our great country that await someone who is willing to put the old rig in D and move along. The campground with all the happy campers coming and going, the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, those huge redwoods in Northern California, then there's Washington DC with all it has to offer even in today's nervous world.

An hey with your writing talent, write travel-logs for magazines, the story of the good life in a tin house that moves under it's own power.

Where to get the best chicken fried steak, which campground has the best services, the most friendly hosts, the quietest nights, the best wildlife to observe.

Then there's the birds, one could log nearly every bird that flies these wonderful free sky's.

Ah but it's just a pipe dream (damn and I gave all my pipes away after I quit smoking!) but then again...

Ramon - I fully understand that there are evil people in many lands, but you know a fellow has to start somewhere and SH is indeed a good one to start with. Nobody ever said that this was the ONLY Hitler-Want-TO-Be that is going to get his ass kicked.

You surely have the right to dislike your nations leader, hell I hated Bill Clinton when he was President, and he hasn't done a thing to change my mind now that he's a "former President" in fact his constant attempts to interfere with our current President pisses me off to no end.

But you have to understand that our President has made it clear in MY mind that there are indeed connections between SH and Bin Ladin's network of terror and I see no other path to take now but to go in, kick his ass and free the people of Iraq.

Now I can't understand your support for this dictator, the very same man who killed hundreds of thousands of your former countrymen in Iran, that has me wondering at the reasons behind your attack on your current nations leader.

I would think you would be very thankful that you now live in freedom in a nation where you are indeed free to say what you please about the man who is protecting you and your family, something that you could have been put to death for in Iran.

Maybe I'm missing something there.

Doesn't it mean anything to you that the US has satellite photo's of a terrorist training camp in Iraq, one with the body of a 727 so terrorists can train on how to hijack aircraft and use them as flying bombs?

I guess not.

Oh well I was just wondering.

Jerry 3-13-2003 11:11

HALLEE: It was my comments that you analysed and responded too. Whilst I may disagree with some of the things you have said, you have absolutely every right to say it. Hey at least you were constructive in your comments and they were well thought out.

I agree SH is a brutal dictator, who has and still is, committing terrible crimes against his own people. He is a murderer, a terrorist, and a coward. But he is not the only one.

I don't support Saddam Hussain, nor anyone like him. I was in Iran when the reveolution broke out and I remember in school we had to tear out pictures of the Shah from our textbooks. I refused (don't ask me why, I was 8 at the time) and for my troubles the teacher smacked my knuckels which the sharp end of a metal ruler until I was bleeding. So I know something about the pain of living under a dictatorship.

I am insulted that anybody would assume I support a barbarian such as Hussain. And I am not afraid to fight. I just like a bloody good reason, and I am afraid a man in a tweed suit (meaning Tony Blair) with no spine who lies for a living, telling me I just have to, is not reason enough. Just because I don't have an itchy trigger finger doesn't make me a coward.

Sorry Teekay I tried to keep my fur on but, I am testosterone riddled male with a limited threshold.

I am sorry Hallee if I come across a bit strong.


Ramon 3-13-2003 9:59

Okay now I'm caught up but will I remember what I wanted to say as I read?


Hallee! Hey you! Was wondering where you vanished to when I sent you e-mails and they came back undeliverable. Glad to see you here.

Randall, here is a delicate (((HUG))). Be well.

Jack, don't worry, the water isn't going anywhere, don't risk your recovery. I understand your anguish, though. Serious altitude withdrawl here, and rain predicted for the weekend.

Heather and Rachel, (((HUGS))) for you two too.

Sasquatch, you have the kind of tolerance and clarity that more of us humans need. Stick around and help us learn through your example.

Someone started asking about Canadian heroes. In every interpretation of the word, you find Terry Fox and Rick Hanson. I'll also vote for Al Purdy. Historically lets get Laura Secord in there. Alexander Fleming needs a mention. Locally, I'd vote for Lars Taylor.

Okay, I know I wanted to respond to more things, but I've been on the computer for HOURS now and still have to take my dog for a walk.

Blue skies!

Tina Terry Fox webpage 3-13-2003 2:17


Jerry: It's believed that most animal have a keen 6th sense. And therefore probably be looking at something that's odd. But then again, it's probably just playing some cat game.

I've watched some cats when they hadn't seen me. I've watched them sunbake and use their paws to cover their eyes. And some pounce on bugs using two legs and almost do the splits. Seen them chase their tails with a frenzy. Cats are a funny lot when they get going.

My mum had these two old cats that were brought up together, they at times acted slow and lazy. Sometimes at night though you get woken up to the soound of them chasing each other up and down the hallway.

Another Cat incident: I was watching a little puppy at my mum's place acting silly. It sprinted down the hallway, almost hitting the cat who was asleep near the wall. The Cat jumped, almost did a 360 in the air. When she hit the floor, she promptly went back to sleep as if nothing happened.

Taylor 3-13-2003 0:41

Hi Tina,

Enjoy the new digs and all the news from friends.

Hi Teekay,

I think that many children have the same kid accent (grins). I love it. I heard a New York accent sported by a child of about three. He is not a New Yorker, but wow, you would have thought it. I’ve heard Boston babies and Texas Tykes. Seb has a bit of the Bronx I think ;o) Children can tend to be pretty free with the info. Yup, there is someone in there doing poo, is about as subtle as they get (grins and laughter). Or as Seb calls it Pooooooeyyyyyy! It’s a stinkyyyyyyyy, Whew, ucky. Each time he drops a load, he will do a dance and smack his bum repeatedly bounding around, laughing and telling me all about the stinky, pooooooeyyy, whew (he waves his hand in front of his face when he says that) and ucky! Do you think that we make a production out of change times ;o) You betcha!

Rachel 3-13-2003 0:34


Well some good news... It's great to hear about Elizabeth Smart, that she's alive and well and now with her family.
Hope the same for my dog now.

I've not been posting much, since I haven't had much to say. But I've been lurking a bit.

Randall: Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Taylor 3-13-2003 0:33

You ever really watch a cat, one that's not paying attention to you?

Cat's look around and focus on things that arn't there, or at least things that we don't see.

I wonder what they see.

Something to get the mind moving on a story?

Jerry 3-13-2003 0:33

ha ha! My internet is back up! I'll try and catch up a bit, but I haven't even looked at how much I've missed over the last 1 1/2 weeks.

Our house now belongs to strangers. Yay! I'm so glad to be rid of it, and don't miss it a bit. Granted, it was a wee touch more spacious than our current digs (a motorhome) but now we can find the right place and get on with things.

As for writing...
My sister has been reading 'Shadow', and I only recently sent her the final chunk. It was an odd feeling to talk to her after she finished it. The only two people who know how it ends are my hubby and my sister, and it just feels good to have it all out there in a finished-ish form.

Gonna run now and read back a-ways.

Tina 3-13-2003 0:15

Randall, you old reprobate, it's so good to hear from you! I'm sorry you had such a bad time of it, I hope your body decides to act friendlier toward you in the future.

Howard -- Hug, hug, backpat, pat, pat, pat, those lousy #@$!%&*$#@ so-and-so's! Don't forget about the pulitzer prizewinning book that was rejected 13 times. Rejection doesn't mean your writing isn't good, just that their taste is bad (mediocrity sells). Very moving story about Linda's mom opening her eyes to tell her goodbye.

Teekay, I don't know if it is appropriate to be using such offensive words as "poo" on here, but I guess we can let it pass. You and Rachel are so lucky to have little ones, although I enjoy my big one an awful lot too.

Hallee, I can only imagine what it must be like for your family to have your husband and father over there facing this danger, may he return home to you all unharmed and before too long.

pamela 3-12-2003 21:58

Dear Howard,

Thank you for submitting "The Terran Variant" to S****** H*******, but we've decided not to accept it for publication.

We appreciate your interest in our magazine.


....sob! ....chunder.... aaaaackkk! ...woe, woe oh well...

back to the keyboard.....


a pox on them all!

snif' 3-12-2003 20:45

Randall - Great to see your back among us, heal fast!

Hallee - Absolutly!

Jerry 3-12-2003 18:49


Great to hear from you. Will pray all goes well. Take good care of yourself.

Rhoda 3-12-2003 18:42


Thank you, thank you for your post. You have said so many of the same things that have been burning in my heart, but I have declined to say much of anything because when I do it generally ends in frustration and sometimes bad feelings with others here.

Unlike other opinions on the impending war, you back up everything with well-established facts and logic. I also sense your deep passion and realize that there was a tremendous emotional investment in your post.

God bless you, your daughter and your husband. I will hold you all in my prayers. I will pray that your husband returns home safely. My brother-in-law in the Kentucky National Guard got called up and will leave behind his wife and six year old child. He ships out next week, and they are devestated; yet they accept that he has to do what he needs to do.


Beautiful story. It shows God's tremendous grace when he gave that woman enough lucidity to express her love for her daughter.


I suppose we should always be careful what we wish for. We might get it.

Rhoda 3-12-2003 18:40


HI guys...

Had a moderately bad time. Emergency gall bladder surgery last Monday. Heart cather test the Friday before not good either. Wiil write more as soon as I can.


Randall 3-12-2003 18:32

Hi all,

PAMELA: Definitely, a hearty and a heartfelt BOO for the injustices of it all.

RACHEL: And that is exactly what happened on the MacDonalds slide :-D It was by no means a smooth trip down, I kept ricochetting (sp?) of the walls. (I was holding Ant on top of me - poor mite)
Seb, sounds sooo cute, he reminds me of Ant the way he speaks.
The other day I was in the bathroom and asked him to close the door on the way out, after 3 attempts I heard him call as he ran off, 'don't worry, if anyone comes I'll say there's someone in there doing a poo.'
I felt ever so much better :-D
I hope that bit wasn't to explicit for the notebook.

MEL: Oooh, I would love to be a librarian. I adore books. It's funny how I never ended up working at one. I do haunt them fairly regularly though.

JERRY: Snow *sigh* It would be soooo nice if it would snow here.
One freak day a few years back it did snow, a little, and it was absolutely gorgeous. We were driving out to the farm when it started, little white flakes zooming toward the windscreen and suddenly we were all 10 years old and oohing and ahing and hanging our heads out the windows to see what it felt like.
When we stopped we scraped together the snow that covered the ground and threw snowballs at each other. Soooo cold, but so much fun. We laughed like loons.

HOWARD: Well, you made me cry too. That is so sad and beautiful. I'm glad Linda got to see her mum one last time.

No news on the writing front, but I've done heaps on the quilt.
Have a great day all.

Teekay 3-12-2003 15:49

I've tried not to respond. I popped in to see how everyone was doing, to wave hello. But there was a post I could not ignore. I've spent so long compiling the answer, I can't even remember who wrote it in the first place, but I put his original statements in this post, too.

Hope you all are well! I'm okay. I miss my husband, but then there are a lot of wives/husbands who miss their spouses these days.

My daughter turns 6 tomorrow. *sniff* My baby's a full-blown little girl now. And a doll to boot. The website I've listed has some pictures of she and I on it.

Anyhoot, nothing like being gone for a year, then stirring the nest.

I haven't been writing for a while, for many reasons, but the impending war, has provoked alot of debate, especially in my head. To add some food for thought, here is why I am not happy about the prospect of WAR.

Text contained in an email from my husband in Afghanistan: “I see all the headlines about 'Don’t go to war' and wonder what kind of complete idiot doesn’t realize that we are already at war. It’s a whole lot easier to keep that cat in the bag than to put it back in, though. We weren’t the ones who started or declared this war but we damn sure better be strong enough and determined enough to finish it if we have a hope for survival. I often fantasize about rounding up all these war protesters and letting them run resupply convoys and pull perimeter security.”

Bush claims the purpose of invading Iraq is to overthrow Saddam to prevent him from using weapons of mass destruction and put an end to his treatment of the Kurds.

Saddam Hussein is a brutal dictator who is relentlessly pursuing and concealing weapons of mass destruction, which he has even used to kill his own people. He has ties to terrorists, provides sanctuary for terrorists, and he hates America. THIS is the reason that we will overthrow Saddam.

He needs to be reminded that during the Iran / Iraq war it was England and America who encouraged Iraq to wage that war and supplied him with the very same weapons they now want him to get rid of.

George Bush Senior never delivered weapons to Iraq. He may have been President at the time such a thing occurred and -- SO WHAT? Carter was President when he gave Panama the canal and Carter directed that the US would boycott the Olympic games. Those are direct actions. Are you implying that Bush DIRECTLY delivered or ordered the delivery of biochemical weapons to the nation of Iraq or any other nation for that matter? That simply isn't true.

In American Criminal Law, the seller of the gun is almost always not criminally liable for murder. Remember one of the basic rules of international politics: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Alliances exist until they are no longer politically tenable. Our alliance with Iraq was during the Cold War, and in the context of our enemy being Iran. There was also a time when Japan was our enemy, yet they aren’t any more.

SH was committing atrocities against the Kurds long after that war ended and continued to do so during the 1st Gulf War, which was only precipated by the invasion of Kuwait which threatened international oil interests. If Kuwait had not been invaded, there may not have been a Gulf War.

Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, which was the reason of the Gulf War – to remove him from Kuwait. The Gulf War ended in a cease fire. We stopped bombing Iraq under certain conditions. Saddam was told to disarm, and he has not. That war never "officially" ended.

For some really gruesome statistics, check out how many Kuwaitis were raped by Iraqi soldiers. Check out how many Kuwaitis were tortured by Iraqi soldiers. Check out how many Kuwaitis were simply exterminated by Iraqi soldiers, their bodies weighted with cinderblocks and thrown into the Persian Gulf -- so many that our underwater demolition teams could not swim through the carnage. Watch a video tape my husband took of the Kuwaiti war orphans – especially the part where a six year old girl was discussing how she was gang raped by a platoon of -- you guessed it -- friendly, peace loving, Iraqi soldiers.

Yet they consistently ignore the atrcocities committed by the governments of Indonisia, Zimbabwe, China, North Korea, Israel and parts of South America. In fact as I recall, America offered sanctuary to Ferdinand de Marcos of the Phillipines when he was exiled, a man who committed terrible crimes against his people.

Saddam gassed his own people. Why should we intervene if he gasses them, shoots them, drowns them, or sends them to big ovens? He didn't INVADE another country when that occurred. We would no sooner march on Bagdhad for that gross human rights violation than we would storm Tienamin Square -- although we certainly do not APPROVE or APPLAUD such barbarism. 

We are not as concerned about atrocities committed by other governments as we are about the national security and sanctity of our country. The fact that Hussein commits such horrible crimes against his people just ads fuel to the fire, but is in no way the main reason for anything we do. 

The very fact that you add Israel to this list is bothersome. I understand that were so much of your bloodline is from Israel is automatically hated by all – apparently, your attitude is the very same.

Another reason offered for this war is to put an end to terrorism. I believe that attacking Iraq will only provoke more terrorist action.

In 1993, terrorists set off a bomb in the basement of the World Trade Center, which killed six and injured 1,000 Americans.

In 1995 terrorists set off a bomb in Saudi Arabia, which killed five U.S. military personnel and injured 60.

In 1996 terrorists set off a bomb in Khobar Towers in Dhaharan, Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 and injured 200 U.S. military personnel.

In 1998 numerous U.S. embassies in Africa were bombed by terrorists, which killed a total of 224 and injured 5,000 people.

In 2000, the bombing of the USS Cole killed 17 and injured 39 U.S. Sailors.

There can be no one saying, “I’m against going to war.” Make no mistake. WE ARE ALREADY AT WAR. We have been at war for years. They declared their holy war upon us over a decade ago and brought that war to our shores, to our outposts, and they took American lives.

Here in England, we have had to deal with the constant threat of terrorism from the IRA for decades. During that time we had no international support or help. In fact certain foreign organizations (NORAID anyone) provided funding for the IRA to continue their campaign of terror which saw the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocents.

Hundreds of thousands? Please. 

As for the rest – the IRA did not bomb America, nor did they support, financially or otherwise, any organization that did. Had they done so then I’m certain that we would have gone in after them as well.

You should also consider that Esso are lobbying Bush to go to WAR so that they can have first dibs on the oil supply.

What did killing 3,030 people who were simply at work or traveling one Tuesday morning have to do with OIL? Besides that, who would gain from an oil glut on the market? That would actually DROP the price of oil.

I am half Iranian and part Iraqui. I have absolutely no love for Sadaam Hussain nor the people who support him.

You are doing a fantastic job of supporting him, yourself. You’re feeding off of propaganda and lies. If you are part Iraqi, you should LOATHE Saddam – you should want him maimed as he has done to countless of his own people. You should be in line to be the first one to go in there and help that country once Saddam and his regime are removed from power.

I saw the footage of 9/11 disaster and I cried. I had family in New York and luckily they were in California when it happened. I have a number of Black and White prints of New York on my wall at home and most of them feature the towers and each time I look at them I feel sad.

That’s very human of you.

To conlcude, I believe that there are factions who control weapons of mass destruction and are far more fanatical than Iraq; these are China, France, Japan, North Korea, Inida, Pakastan, Israel, and America. England is a nuclear power too, I just do not believe Blair is gutsy enough or fanatical enought to use them, except in retalliation.

Many, many “sane” and non-belligerent nations have nuclear weapons. We are trying to stop a MANIAC from using them or selling them to those who would use them.

Remember I am only talking Governments not necessarily people, and ask yourselves why are we really considering going to war with Iraq? Why are our Governments' willing to spend millions of tax payers money on this war when they won't spend it on crime prevention or education or health. Any government who will not spend money to educate its youth, treat its sick, protect its citizens, but will spend it to send its people out to die, does not deserve support.

America has more money in the budget for education this year than it ever has in its history, and there isn’t a sick person in this country who wouldn’t or couldn’t find the means to receive good, proper health care.

What Bush is doing IS protecting our citizens.  

What is worth noting is that the people who attacked us and who we in turn are attacking – the people America is at war with -- would not legitimize anything you say, either. They would kill you, they would kill your parents, just as surely and callously and remorselessly as they would kill any other “infidel.” 

The people we are “sending out to die” are volunteers who are willing to do just that. They believe in this country and they believe in preserving the sanctity of all that our forefathers sacrificed everything to have. When one thinks of the military, one thinks more along the lines of destruction instead of construction. By taking the lives of our enemy before he can strike at us once more, we are building a safer America and a safer world for all of humanity. By denying him sanctuary to train his evil minions, by seizing his assets and weaponry, and by killing him where he sleeps, we are ensuring freedom and that is building a future for my daughter, your sons and daughters, our grandchildren.


Hallee Hallee 3-12-2003 15:47

Sorry MEL -- Shoulda put " " aroune "unglamorous" -- I meant it as sarcasm/irony/&whatever. It seems that's the way they're viewed any more.

And (not to cast aspersions on Chris, really) I have a bit of a problem with (and it happens all the time any more) kids who tootle off to university and end up with a degree in &anything (especially English) and only then try to figure out if and where there are opportunities (read BIG BUCKS) in their chosen field. Wouldn't ya think they'd have picked up on something in their studies?

I saw a quote the other day -- dunno who said it --
"You view flipping burgers as menial, distasteful labor. Your parents or grandparents would have seen it as an opportunity."

Of course, now the parents (even grandparents), unable to make ends meet, wind up as greeters at Wal-Mart...

howard 3-12-2003 12:18

Howard - That seems to be the worst thing about aging, loosing loved ones who have lived their lives. One can only rejoice that they lived a mostly happy full life, then try to do the same.

Snow - Snow - More damn snow last night and today. That's what we get for praying for moisture I guess, hate moving that crap but my lawn will surely appreciate the nitrogen enhanced moisture.

English major jobs - Why WRITING has to be the most important job one so educated should pursue. Be it articles in the local newspapers, magazine articles, short stories or novels. The world has a shortage of GOOD writers this can surely be seen when one reads the news, or looks over the magazine articles available. Surely one so educated should be able to contribute to the enjoyment of readers all over the world.

Find a subject you love and write about it!

I know it's hard to break into print but if your good at it, and keep pushing against that door you'll find an outlet for your wares.
Write on.

Jerry 3-12-2003 11:08

HOWARD: What a sweet story! It brought the tears to my eyes too. But hey! Did you say that libraries are unglamorous places to work??? Not so!!! :-) I'm biased, of course - but every day is filled with new experiences, challenges, laughter, and so much potential for sharing happiness and contentment with people who need it most!

CHRIS: Try library science courses/ won't regret it. The field has so much flexibility in it, you WILL find some kind of library work that appeals to you. BTW, parlor is a very interesting website... gotta go back and explore some more. :-)

A great writing day to all!!

Mel 3-12-2003 8:56

Who was that who said they even miss Yang? *slow sigh* :o/

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lianchun yang wollastonite 3-12-2003 0:52

Just returned from the funeral parlor again -- we seem to be there a lot lately.

Anyway, my wife's Aunt Dorothy passed away at age 81 -- in the advanced stages of Alsheimer's Disease. Her only daughter Linda was holding her hand when she died. Linda is a sweet gal, in her 50s, never married -- chose to stay with Mom and Dad (she still called them "Mommy and Daddy") for as long as she could care for them.

Her dad passed away in 1985. I think I told you about how we discovered after his death that he was a war hero, with combat medals and commendations from the Normandy invasion.

Linda took care of her mother after that, even for a time after her mom could no longer recognise her. Finally she had to place her in a nursing home, where she visited faithfully several times a week, even though her mom no longer gave any sign that she knew Linda was there.

Finally, on Friday, Aunt Dorothy was taken to the hospital with pneumonia and congestive heart failure. Saturday wasn't too bad, but on Sunday morning Linda knew she had to say goodbye.

She held her hand and prayed with her, then told her "Mommy, I can't be selfish any more. I know now that I can't keep you any longer. I have to let you go to where Daddy is waiting for you, so you can be with him again. I love you." And she kissed her.

Aunt Dorothy opened her eyes then, for the first time in over a week. She smiled, for the first time in way longer than that, looked at Linda, and it looked like she really recognised her, and her lips moved in a silent "I love you." Then she closed her eyes again, and was gone.

My wife and I had our arms around Linda as she was telling us this. It was a bittersweet moment that I'll never forget.

howard 3-11-2003 22:29

make that finds oneself...
dagnab ggr4#%)&$ trifocals!

howard 3-11-2003 22:08

CHRIS -- Perhaps the biggest single job responsibility for an English major today is to simply use the language correctly in whatever vocation one fines oneself! Yes, we need more English teachers, but we need users of correct English even more!
Take a look around -- factory, school, home, playground, 'hood -- communication just ain't being did!
Seriously (but I was serious in the first part too) there is a great need for ESL teachers. Look around -- lots of folks for whom English is not their native tongue. They need taught!
I worked for a while as a tutor for ESL students at our local junior college, and it was a very rewarding experience.
There are also libraries, corporate communications departments -- all kinds of unglamorous things like that. But they can be fascinating places to work.

howard 3-11-2003 22:06


Seb seems to move a whole lot more than any other kiddies his age that I've come across. Then again, he has a lot of reason to move. There are a lot of people to keep up with around here. There are times when I wish he were not quite so quick at the climb. He never even got to a crib. We went directly from baby bed to big boy bed. A crib is no place for a climber. When he was younger it was more frightening to have him climb. Now he knows what it is to fall and does exercise a bit of caution, though not enough for my comfort. If he can't climb up something, he will pull over chairs or a coffee table, he will stack toys, build block bases to stand on. He is really a determined little fellow. He tells me all about it too (grins)! I go up now. I go up dere. Get dat ana go dere. He also loves to sing. He will sing a persons name over and over if he likes them. As he does this he will gaze at them with open adoration and stroke their face or hair or hand or arm. It is sooo sweet! I could eat him with a spoon!!

Rachel 3-11-2003 21:52

Rachel, your Seb must be quite developed for two years old to be climbing on that fun stuff already. I don't think I could take that slide either (unless it was upsized for grownups).

Teekay, thanks for kind words and sympathy for my weird experience. My sentence was a "Zip Six" or 6 months to 6 years. It's a shame to be sending kids to prison for a little pot while people like Enron can ruin people's lives and if anyone does go to prison, it is a "white collar" country club. Boo for unbalanced justice for all.

Chris, don't know any jobs for english majors, I thought being an english teacher WAS the only job for them.

Good thoughts to Randall...........

pamela 3-11-2003 19:34

does anyone know of a website (or have their own info) on job opportunities for english majors? other than teacher of course...thirty adolescents?! no!!!

chris parlor 3-11-2003 19:00


I haven't been down the slide and don't plan to take that trip. It would mess me up big time. With my height I figure I would give my back a heck of a wrench as my legs would start to touch down before I really cleared the last turn. Nope, don't want to try that one out. I can't sit up cause I'm too tall.

We have a place called Crash Crawlies. It has big slides, lots of crawl and climb stuff. We used to take our children there. I wouldn't let them go in alone when they were little. There were too many big kids with attitude. When the kids got older I was able to sit and read a book while they went wild crazy in the play area.
I wasn't fit at all when I was up to that play. I would be quite out of breath when I was done. Now I think it would be a lot more fun. I guess Seb is going to be wanting to do that sort of thing before I know it. For now I will keep secret the fact that there is a place known as Crash Crawlies! Bwah, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!!! Perhaps he will never need to know!!!!!!

Rachel 3-11-2003 18:27

PAMELA: It's a good thing you have no record.
I personally think there are 'crimes' that should be reviewed and removed after, maybe 5 years, or perhaps after the sentence has been completed.
I find it unfair that people have to live under the shadow of a record when their deed has hurt no one, but was illegal because it was too difficult to tax and make revenue from.

RACHEL: That cubby house you have reminds me of the spacestation they have at MacDonalds. Parents had to go with their kids on them if they were under 3, so for a while there I was pretty fit.
Unfortunatley there was one occassion when we went down the giant slippery slide - soooo scary - talk about burns!!!
Haven't done it since :-D

JERRY: Yes, men and remote controls. Now there's a topic! My poor hubby is perfectly helpless when the remote goes missing (no, I don't hide it :-D)

HOWARD: Thought about it after I dis-connected, but terrible has also become a word whose meaning has suffered.

Have a good day all.

Teekay 3-11-2003 16:21

For those intrested in the UN's Resolution, I've posted a link to the document that all the hub bub is about.

It's short and to the point. You need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed to read it, it's available free from

Jerry UN Res 1441 3-11-2003 12:20

Ghosts of the notebook!

Jerry 3-11-2003 0:28

testing -- just made a small post and it disappeared.

Mark 3-11-2003 0:18

Strange things are afoot. This gal that the wife rides to her meetings with's husband and son are both in the Guard, they were both activated and shipped to Ft. Leonardwood Mo. Anyhow this gal just got word that their chartering a bus to take the dependants down for a weekend farewell, then the unit is off to Turkey. Turkey???? I could swear that the news said that Turkey hasn't said they'd allow our troops there as of yet but she said her hubby said all their equipment is in Turkey now and that they would be landing there sometime Monday, then it's on to Iraq.

The gal did claim the first of my donated Pc's though, I was happy about that, and she said she'd pass the word on the bus about the ones I have left so I expect to have a run on the Pc's when it gets back in town.

It will be nice to be rid of them though they are sort of in the way in my little hobby room, so far I only have five or six up and running but the parts for the rest are coming from a fellow on Ebay. I bid on a box of motherboards and won, there were supposed to be twelve MB's in the box but a couple of them may not work. He emailed me to make sure I knew that, and in my reply I told him what I was doing with them. He threw in processors for each board free of charge as his donation to the cause.

Warmed up a bit today it's 22 above as I type, and on it's way up to sixty by mid week according to one weatherman, the one on the other channel says 58 by Sunday, I think I'll believe the first one.

Jerry 3-11-2003 0:16

Mark - did you get your internet server up and going? It can be a real challenge, I recall the first time I set ours up when we still had dial up service, what a pain. Had to go through basically the same thing again when we changed over to high speed (sort of) DSL.

I had the best luck using Windows ME for our home network, XP did work but had so many safeguards that it quickly became more of a pain then it was worth. When I reformatted and installed ME, it did all the work for me, set up the internet connection, did a share using Microsoft Internet Connection Sharing and sent the data out over the network, then it went and found all the network computers and fed them the internet. What a deal!

Had to do the same thing at my sisters as she and her daughter live on the internet every evening well into the night, I always know when their online by the constant email that they keep sending. (I hate to tell them I don't want it all, in fact I don't really want any of them but their family...)

Strange how things go now though, Sunday night I was surfing the channels with the clicker and found PBS had their pledge week going and they were showing a oldies folk music show. Now in the old days, I'd have sat and thought about calling my sister, as I know she loves old folk music, but now days I simply grabbed the keyboard and shouted at her on ICQ that it was on, her daughter caught the message, switched the channels for them and they took a break and watched the music.

Now when I was a bit younger, first off I wouldn't have been flipping the channels as we never had a remote control TV, couldn't afford one of those dang things. Then I wouldn't have ICQ'd her since we never had a computer (Who ever heard of a computer at home! Why they took up large rooms and ran off huge reel tape's) I wouldn't have picked up the phone to call either since the phone was in the kitchen on the wall and I'd be danged if I'd call anyone about a television show anyhow they could check all three channels if they could get one of the kids to walk over to the TV and turn the knob (Wait a minute we DID have remote control!)

Ah nostalgia remembering all the good things and never fixating on the bad, it's great to be an old fart.

Jerry 3-10-2003 23:36

Hi PAYE! is the T for Tri?

howrad 3-10-2003 23:08


It would be a neat place to hang out and write. I favor the porch swing though.


I can't keep Seb off of that thing. He can climb, crawl, swing, ride and slide on every part of it. He isn't your usual two year old. He began to climb up, on and all over that thing from the day we moved here. He was just over one year old. He used to think it was really funny to jump off the upper level when I was standing near by. I always managed to catch him, though I did hurt my back a couple of times. Seb has discontinued he wild man leaps. I also am sure not to be in too close of proximity to the play house if he is on it. he seems to have figured out how fast I can move ;o)

Rachel 3-10-2003 19:55

Howard, I remember when "queer" meant strange, "fag" was a cigarette and "black" was only a color. "Queen" referred to royalty (remember "Queen For A Day"?), "homey" meant someplace cozy, "Dick" was just a name and "libber" was an internal organ. Words we can't use anymore? Anything ending in "man" which must now be changed to "person", we are all huperson beings, after all.

Teekay, it wasn't too bad, I did over two years altogether, which includes six months in St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C., on the maximum security ward for the criminally insane by mistake after I was released. I went a bit crazy in prison, went to a hospital voluntarily when I got out and confronted the demons, who had NOT responded to medication. I had sent them packing and was all ready to get out and start my life again when our friends The Government decided to send me to St. E's. Since I was out of prison, I was supposed to be on an open ward, that max. security thing was just a little mix-up (OOPS!). Of course when I tell them they've made a mistake, do they listen to me, the inmate? Not! Anyway, like Carol, I have gotten through the bad times and eventually grown from them. Actually, my sentence was a youth thing, perhaps especially designed for those times, so officially I have no record.

Rachel, Seb will really love that playhouse when he gets just a little bit bigger. You'll love it even more when he can go out and play in it by himself (2-year-olds do require a lot of attention).

Carol, I'm glad someone else didn't notice the name change in my story, since I obviously didn't. From one who has been to the deepest depths and back -- Hang On! A portion of a poem ("Invictus") that always helped me out is:

"Out of the night that covers me
Black is the pit from pole to pole
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul."

Good stuff, huh? Speaking of poetry, I rembered the maybe Canadian poet I've been trying to think of: Robert Service.
Also good stuff.

Welcome, Col. Ott. You said that war is a necessary human trait. I don't deny it, I just wonder why that is?

Jerry, really liked your story, nice surprise ending there! Sorry, but I skipped previous post about HS atrocities (I've got enough potential nightmares of my own).

I sent a note to Randall's email and asked if someone there could let us know how he is, haven't heard anything yet (also told them our group name so they could contact us here).

Got some more writing done today, now halfway through page 59 --- yay!

pamela 3-10-2003 19:09

Hi All :)

Ok, now I feel a little more comfortable doing more than lurking. I managed to open my novel file today and actually do a few tweaks here and there and get a couple of ideas for further plotting. Not a lot, but still, after the events of the past couple weeks and the dry spell, I'll take it.

My last major bad year was in '91. Twelve years of only minor glitches isn't too bad. I got through it back then, I got through other bad years, I'll get through this one. One day at a time, one hour at a time if necessary. If I can keep plugging away at my novel, well, that's one major step forward! It'll make it a bit harder to make that June deadline, but I'm going to stick to that as much as possible. I'm one of those idiots who works better under pressure anyways. :D

Randall -- sending healing, good vibes on down your way.

Jack - I'm glad you're on the up-swing.

Howard - funny you should mention the change in "gay" defination. I clearly remember the day I discovered the change in its meaning. Someone asked me in h.s. if I was gay, I said yes since happy and carefree was my defination. It took me years to live down that reputation. Bad memories there.

Jerry -- nice story! Now, where's my dictionary? Well, I didn't know that! Eery, eerie, both accepted spellings. Hmmm. :)

Rachel - a playhouse? Oh, now that sounds like a perfect place to hide with a notepad and pen. Well, when the kids are taking naps of course.

Pamela - I was so caught up in your story, I didn't even notice the name change oopsie. My mind adjusted as needed. (and thanks for the good thoughts!)

Teekay - I can only torment the family when I'm bored? That's why I don't do that. They're too busy tormenting me for me to get bored in the first place! Dang them anyways. When is it my turn! I want one! (and there goes my heavy foot stomping the floor!)

Gotta go now. Take care everyone and write as much as you can.

Carol 3-10-2003 17:13


Welcome to the Notebook. I was born in Campbellsville, Kentucky. My husband is from Louisville and my father born in raised in Elizabethtown.

It is good to see someone from God's Country post here.

Rhoda 3-10-2003 16:48

JERRY: Oooh, good one. Didn't see that coming.

It's pretty horrible knowing someone's gone into have some surgery and then not knowing what's going on with them.

Come on in RANDALL!!!

MARK: Do you feel better and did MEL get a steeeerike!??

PAMELA: Cripes! How long did you have to stay in for and was it very bad? So, being 19 it wouldn't even have been juvenille, right?

HOWARD: How about awful? These days it means something terrible, rather than full of awe.

'tis a sad sad business.

Teekay 3-10-2003 16:36

JERRY: GREAT short story. :-) Glad you added that here, AFTER your gruesome SH tales--shudder! 8-/

Going home now...

Mel 3-10-2003 16:05

Here's that short story I was talking about.

I don't have it all polished up yet but thought I'd put it up anyhow just as a break from my usual political ranting and raving.

by Jerry A.G. Ericsson

I examined the grey powder that lay trapped in the sealed test tube, it looked much like any other crushed bone fragment, yet somehow it was different. When held to the light, the light seemed to make it glow in an eery way that I would be hard pressed to explain.

The package that came into our office was stamped with a small red CIA marker showing it’s origin, the packing list indicated the bone fragments came from a stone coffin that was found in a cave near Bethlehem in the Middle East. I had no idea how they got the sample, but the label indicated it was marked “James Son of Joseph Brother of Jesus.”

I pressed the call button on my phone, in seconds it was answered by Brenda, my secretary who sat in the next office protecting me from those who would steal my valuable time with trivial problems that they could indeed solve themselves should they make an effort. Brenda was very good at her job, in fact many call her “Brunhilda” behind her back.

“Sir” she replied to my buzzer.

“Get Dr. Hendrickson up here to my office please, and tell him it’s urgent!” I said into the box.

“Right away sir.” came her reply.

Minutes latter Dr. Hendrickson came through my door. His lab coat starched stiff as a board and nearly glowing in it’s whiteness. Hendrickson always showed his years in the military before I found him and took him away from all of that. He was good, in fact I think he’s probably the best in his field.

“Need a DNA check on this material right away, push it to the front of the list.”

Hendrickson held the tube between his thumb and forefinger, examining the content seeking what information his mind could gather from the appearance.

“Looks like very old bone fragments.” he said in that flat voice that always reminded me of a robot.

“That’s what it is, and it’s very old but we’re hoping to find enough DNA to get an idea of who this was.”

“Where’d it come from?”

“Sorry, can’t divulge that information.” I said.

“Secret shit?”
“Secret shit.” I replied.

“Ok, might take a day or two to extract usable DNA though this stuff looks very old.”

“It is very old but I can’t tell you exactly how old, suffice to say it’s old I guess.”

I filed the information that came with the tube and went back to my administrative business, in fact I completely forgot about the tube for a couple of days, but it all came back to me today when Hendirckson came into my office.

“We have a match.” Henderickson said, there was a bit of excitement in his voice.

“A match?” I asked, hell we didn’t even ask for a database search.

“You simply have to look at this data, it’s a definite familial match, sure there’s been a bit of change over the years but this person’s mother is definite a match with the sample’s mother.”

I took the paperwork and looked it over, it was a simple form, the same one we use when we compare DNA found at a crime scene to a sample from a suspect. The first part of the form dealt with the process used in comparison then I read down the paper to the suspect area, and there it was, the name of a direct decedent to James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.

“Anybody else seen this?” I asked.

“Just you and me.” Hendrickson replied.

“Any more copies of the data or this form?”


“Do another form, just the data, nothing about the search or match, the CIA didn’t want a data base search anyhow, just the relative data.”

“Yes sir.”

“Oh and Hendrickson, NEVER tell anyone what this form indicates!”

“Yes Sir!”

Hendrickson left my office I turned and put the data sheet in my shredder and watched as the paper was cut into thin strips then ground into dust, the last thing I saw on the form was the suspect name, then where Hendrickson had printed the name Charles Manson.

Jerry 3-10-2003 14:46

Hello, Very new to this. I live in Kentucky, Write just a few travel articles, military history A comment on ThevLiberator. Some wars are necessary. a preventive against Iraq is necessary now. War after all is a necessary human trait. When you have to fightEll, what can be said! Col(Ret) Paye T. Ott Lexington, Ky. Mon. March 10, 2003.

3-10-2003 14:36

Been doing a bit of research on Saddam, some of the things that surprised me, well shocked me:

He has on payroll professional rapists, who's duty is to rape women in front of their husband/children, when the husband has done something against Saddam's law.

His favorite torture chamber consists of a small room with hidden spray heads spread out across the roof. A person is placed in the room naked and the torture chamber operator begins activating the spray heads they spray nitric acid on the person in the room causing horrible burns and intense pain.

Saddam has torture rooms where he regularly crucify's people nailing their hands and feet to the walls of the room.

The people of Baghdad know that there are microphone everywhere monitored by Saddam's police, when anyone speaks so much as a word against Saddam, he is taken into custody and his tongue is either nailed to a board for a period of time, or if the speech was bad enough the tongue is removed with a knife.

There is a much longer list of horror that Saddam does against his own people but should I continue, I would fill this notebook with horror and that's not my intention.

Yes I hate war, but I understand why we can't simply stand by and watch things like this done to innocent people. Should we accidentally kill some innocent people in the coming war it will be a terrible thing, but freeing the people of Iraq from their horrible existence seems to me to be worth the danger, I'm sure much of Iraq would agree with us should they be free to do such things.

Jerry 3-10-2003 14:00

Ouch, my head hurts, Mark, hope you got your thingimibob all set up for your watchimicallit okay.

Mel, glad you liked my shortie and appreciate the thought that it could be expanded and submitted somewhere but it was just something I jotted down for fun; like you, I already have much to work on. I too sometimes arrange chapters around one that isn't there yet, it sure can get confusing, especially for a person who can't even keep her characters' names straight. Good luck with your organizing and here's to continued mutual inspiration, I'm just taking a break from my book right now, I think I'm over sixty pages now, I forgot to look.

Jerry, you old sneak, trying to slip some Rush in on me! I said I'd read it to see Randall appear, but that hasn't happened yet. I'm sure Howard is right and we'll hear from him soon.

Jack, I had been wondering about you too, glad you are okay, don't blame you for being grumpy with stolen-car episode, happy you're free of pain today.

About words, it is funny how the meanings and also the spellings change over the years. I remember when it used to be "compleat" but now it's "complete" I have no idea how such changes happen. The correct pronunciation of "forte" is (or used to be) with a silent "e" but today someone would sound dumb to say that doing something well was someone's "fort".

pamela 3-10-2003 13:51


You ask if I play in the play house. The answer is that I do. I don't very often though. I only go up if Seb insists on it ;o) I went up when we first moved here to see what it was like. Mostly, I just keep it swept clean and the sawdust raked clean. That is my involvement with the play house (smiles).

I know that the test will be fine.


Rachel 3-10-2003 13:48

MEL -- You've touched on a sore subject -- words that have had their original meanings changed so that we can no longer use them for their original intent. I've mentioned it before, but just imagine a high school today staging (as we did) Cornelia Otis Skinner's Our Hearts Were Young and Gay. It's a wonderful, funny play, but today?

Which complaint leads to an exercise -- what other words have suffered a similar fate, and what do we use in their place?

howard 3-10-2003 13:27


PAMELA: "Six" not "Siz" - of course.



Hmm, I think I threw my own head down that bowling lane instead of Mark's... Can someone please press the reset button? Thanks. And how about some new typing fingers while we're at it?


Mel, editing 3-10-2003 12:45


Hi, Writer-Friends!

JERRY: So, Mad MIke wasn't so mad, after all, eh? There's hope, then! :-)

PAMELA: I felt the "been there" in your piece - you should expand "Across the Way" with your usual action & dialogue approach and send it to a magazine - it's Good. :-) Thanks for kind words; I'm glad I'm inspiring you, to continue inspiring me! Siz pages done - you go, girl! :-) My "rocky road" (not ice cream, further misfortune, drat!) right now is mainly due to the re-organization of my first seven chapters/scenes, which include two partially written and one not yet written - ha! It's REALLY hard to "polish" draft that isn't even there yet! (Am I there yet? Am I there yet?) Hoo boy. CRACKing my whip - HeeYAH! Another two weeks on these seven and the rocks will become much smaller, I think!

TEEKAY: Thanks for kind words on my juggling act. BTW, do you wear a cape in Batman-mode? And who's your/his tailor, for crying out loud? :-] re: Defining heroes--and other words-- no matter how many of us "1st edition" dictionary enthusiasts remain (um, at least you and me?!), everyone will be right, eventually, as new dictionaries are produced constantly to keep up with the most modern and common usage of words. Like, who'd ever have thought a nice word meaning happy would be perverted by slang so frequently that you can no longer use the word "gay" in its original intent? Crazy world we have! And even as some rules are set, someone else changes them. Our only refuge: keep writing your way anyway, and eat chocolate as frequently as possible (unless someone changes the meaning of the word chocolate...???!!!).

MARK: 1--2--3--up--out--back--and forward--release and roll! ka-thud, ka-thud, ka-thud, ka-thud --- curving left toward center --- ka-thud, ka-thud, ka-thud ---STEEE-RIKE!!!
Feel better now? :-]

JAC: (((HUGS!))) Feel even better soon. (I hope you don't need your head used as a bowling ball too - that really was a gruesome experience for me!) :-/

Write well today, people - use the William Zinsser editing approach (cut all unnessary words, or as he'd say: Cut words).


Mel 3-10-2003 12:38

Pamela: Thank you, although I took no offence to any negative comments as everybody is entitled to their opinion. You don't make the comments I have made without believing them nor without attracting some negative/opposing comments. I may not agree with what everybody has been saying here but I respect their right to say it. Nevertheless, thank you for the kind words.

Teekay; long time no speak to. I'll try although some of it was shaved for a cardio scan I had the other week.

Canadian Heroes. HMMMM. They would have to be in no order of preference; William Shatner, John Candy, Mike Myers, Chad Kroeger & Nickleback, Default and Paul Gross (he of Due South). Oh and the priest who married my parents.


Ramon 3-10-2003 9:15

JACK! -- At least you're feeling better! And we're thankful for that!
That cup will fill up again, and you'll be good as new before you know it!
And thanks for fixing my screwup! I gotta remember to use the right closing tags!

I hope RANDALL is recovering okay from that heart procedure -- he should be back in a day or so if all goes well. Continued prayers and good vibes are definitely in order!

howard 3-10-2003 7:01

Gone for much of the weekend and did not get to the Notebook. Took care of the strikeout that took out the lower portion of the Notebook. I am somewhat better, just for everybody's edification, but fair to moderately swamped trying to take care of what did not get done while I was down and out with pain and whatever. Oh, that and the fact that our car got stolen right out from in front of our house. Then I got one of the worst colds I have had in ten years and got an ear infection to go along with it. So, all things considered, the last thirty to forty days go down in my book as a cup half empty :-). Did get the car back with a grand worth of damage and a $500 deductible. Grump. The worst of it is that I have been able to get into the water and dive. Oh, well, this too shall pass. Take care everyone. Today really has been the first day that I have not had any pain whatsoever, so I consider my cup three quarters full.

Jack Beslanwitch 3-10-2003 1:51

Randall! Where are you????

Since he's not around tonight, here's what your missing:

Having More Fun Than a Human Shield Should Be Allowed to Have

March 5, 2003

If you think there's not a stupidity gene, consider this New Zealand woman who said that she was willing to be crucified by President Bush if he pledges not to attack Iraq. The "catch" is that Bush would have to drive in the nails himself - something she says is "the measure of a man." Lady, why don't you go to Iraq and let Saddam crucify you. He'll nail your tongue to a board while he's doing it.

Consider this quote from the UK Independent from March 1991 out of Rush's Stack of Saddam Stuff: "In one cell, pieces of human flesh – ear lobes – were nailed to the wall, and blood spattered the ceiling. A large metal fan hung from the ceiling and my guide told me prisoners were attached to the fan and beaten with clubs as they twirled. There were hooks in the ceiling used to suspend victims. A torture victim told me that prisoners were also crucified, nails driven through their hands into the wall. A favorite technique was to hang men from the hooks and attach a heavy weight to their testicles."

This is what happens under Saddam, not here! Then there are a couple of stories out there about the human shields taking a powder from Iraq. They're hilarious and infuriating, but they're also sad. Consider this guy Nathan Chapman. He sold everything he owned to make the trip to Iraq, but "the delicate, 20-year-old Englishman" discovered that Saddam wouldn't let him protect purely humanitarian sites. Did these idiots not realize what was going on in Iraq before they shipped out?

Nathan is all upset that he can't go to a school or a hospital and dare his countrymen to blow him up. Saddam had - shocker - positioned him at military installations and this sort of thing. Well, hey, if you feel so strongly about this, defy Saddam and go wherever you want to save lives! Isn't that what protesting is all about? Ooooh, right, it's "not about dying," and you know Saddam will nail your tongue to a board if you try to speak out against him. I'm sick of these fools being touted as examples of courage and virtue and wisdom. They're dangerous fools, shocked that a dictator dictates where they can go! To listen to these people will lead to more and worse wars - the very thing they claim to oppose.

Jerry 3-10-2003 0:00


Somebody take my head and use it for a bowling ball. Please.
Setting up my PC to be a web server. Format. Re-install. Download. Install. Cool.

Where's my book?

Mark 3-9-2003 21:57

Teekay (here, kitty, kitty), sorry my dumb mistake on names caused confusion in my story. Yes, it is sad, but I'm glad it stirred some emotion. And no, it's not fiction, it is true and also autobiographical, something else I normally don't do. I think I mentioned a while back that I am an ex-con (!!), I was l9 years old when I went to prison for less than an ounce of marijuana -- hey, it was the late 60's and a world gone mad.

Rachel, I love the playhouse too, do you play in it? Good luck on your test.

Boy, I'd read a whole Rush Limbaugh column to hear from Randall right about now.

G'night, all...

pamela 3-9-2003 21:13


I heard that cartoon laughter!


I also think that they did a good job on making the place look old. I'm getting caught up on a whap of school work and feeling much better. Now I just need to take a test that I haven't studied for and I'll be done *sighs*.

Rachel 3-9-2003 17:07

PAMELA: Oh good, I wasn't missing anything.
And I'm perfectly happy to be a cat.

Thousands of years ago cats were worshipped as gods......

I utterly refuse to cut back on any catnip though - so fuggedaboudit!!!!

Teekay 3-9-2003 16:33

PAMELA: That was sad. I'm assuming it's fiction.
BTW at the end, you said Rainbow didn't call back. I kept reading it over in case I was missing something :-D
I still could be.

CAROL: A family is for support, ergo, when I am bored they are mine to torment.
Okay, maybe torment is not a good word.
Maybe, annoy.

I'm such an idiot. With all the hero talk yesterday I forgot to mention my own. In order:
Oreo cookies
Marge Simpson.

No sign of caps lock guy.
I wait with baited breath. Did he heed my words of wisdom or did RACHEL scare the beejeebers out of him.

Have a grand day all.

Teekay 3-9-2003 16:29

Thanks for comments on my shortie. It's nothing like what I usually do, which is primarily action and dialogue, so it was a good exercise. Dumb me, though, changed "Flower" so "Rainbow" at the end, fact and fiction collide in a Freudian banana peel. It's kind of funny, though, that I'm talking about always remembering this girl and then I call her by the wrong name, ha.

Teekay, I'm developing a theory about you, don't know if I should reveal it just yet, it was your mentioning tormenting the family as they were arriving home, okay, I'll go ahead and say it: I think you may be a CAT! (What do you think, Jon?) Your endearingly wild posts that are all over the page are just like a cat darting around the house. Rachel thought your feet were pretty, and what cat's aren't? Maybe you don't need medication, you just need to cut back on the catnip.

Rachel, got the pictures of the house, it's totally cool. I'm into architecture and they sure did a good job of making a newer house look old. LOVE your rustic treesy setting, makes me miss Alaska all over again.

Jerry, I like your cozy weather reports too, they make me want to snuggle up in front of the fireplace (if I had one) and they definitely make me appreciate living in the south. The guys on your force do sound heroic, good thinking to see that they had EMT training.

Carol, I know you've been having some troubles and down days, hope things are starting to look up for you, it is about right for a swingtime, I think.

pamela 3-9-2003 16:28

And yes, PAMELA -- Very Nice!

howard 3-9-2003 15:05

Yes, that was me as skotched the notebook -- sorry.
I've sent Jack a note, but if you want to read anything that now has the strikeout through it, you can do this:

Click on File, then
click on "SAVE PAGE AS"
and save the page to a folder on your desktop.
Then close the notebook, and bring up the copy.
Click on file again and select "edit with notepad"
find the word Indian in my post, and change the /I (between the <> characters to /S, and save the file.
Then bring up the file again, and you can see it sithout the lines.
Or wait for Jack to change it on the real notebook.

As I said, sorry for the incontinence...

howard 3-9-2003 15:04

Hi All :)

Nice job Pamela! To me, a good short is one that touchs my emotions and your short did that.

Teekay - family is for tormenting? Oh, my, now that does sound like fun! hehehe Maybe I'll put catnip on the cat's tail.

My writing this week has been a nice long letter to my Senator. That is definately an exercise in concise, clear, logical writing with just enough passion to rouse action. Randall already posted just such a letter in regards to his doctor office problems. Now that my letter is done, perhaps I can get back to the novel. Oh, but its been crying for attention and I'm getting crabby!

Be well everyone!

Carol 3-9-2003 15:03

"Across The Way"

The two girls noticed each other as soon as the second one arrived, although it was almost two weeks before they spoke. They were in a minimum security federal prison, rather like a college campus, arranged around an open quadrangle. They would see each other across the way and knew they would connect but they danced around it, savoring the anticipation of something significant in their colorless prison lives. Others asumed it was a meeting of the bodies and it was convenient to let them believe it, but it was really a meeting of two like minds, their tortured souls and slightly twisted psyches.
They finally joined each other on a bench outside one day and it was like two old friends meeting again. They started talking as though they were resuming a conversation; perhaps they were. They kept talking for the next two years, offering and receiving unconditional love. They made up names for each other to use in letters since real names were not allowed. The laughing flower child, guilty of getting high with her friends, was called Sunshine. Flower was the waifish fawn, with a much more exotic offence of joining her boyfriend escaping the draft by trying to hijack a plane to Cuba, an event in vogue at the time.
Sunshine's father was dead and her mother had abandoned her and so Flower's parents opened their hearts to her. They always mentioned her in letters and sent her gifts along with those to their daughter. Sunshine felt loved and secure for the first time in her life, even with the demons who came to her. Flower helped her battle them, although dealing with darkness of her own. They were artistic and intelligent, philosophical and fun, building their own world within the strange new one they found themselves in. They thought they would be sisters forever.
They lived in different states but kept in touch after they were out of prison, and arranged occasional visits over the years. Their lives wound their separate ways, sometimes they didn't talk for a year or two, but then would start right up again, as though there had been no break. Until the day that Flower decided to throw her past away.
Sunshine really needed her old friend, her mother had just killed herself in a very ugly way. When Flower's phone number was changed to an unlisted one, she called Flower's mother, whom she also kept in touch with. Tearfully, the woman told her that Flower had decided to completely break all ties with her past. That even included her, her mother, and Flower now refused to speak to her. She had her new number for emergencies and Sunshine called and left messages for Flower, pleading for their friendship, telling her about her mother's suicide, encouraging her to love her own. Rainbow never did call back and although I will always remember her, I wonder if I may be her forgotten friend.

pamela 3-9-2003 8:49

RACHEL: Marge Simpson laughter.

JERRY: I love it when you talk snowy and cosy.

I still haven't done the floor.

Where are my pills?????

The family have finally come home, am going to torment them now.

Teekay 3-9-2003 0:32

Tonight's weatherman had one very good piece of advice, he said "Bundle up, turn up the fire, and for God's sake STAY INDOORS!"

Wind chills are reaching to -40 F tonight (-78 in the old wind chill scale). (Which for those of the C persuasion is in fact -40!)

So cold out today that when I sat in my pickup to move it so I could blow the snow away, the seat was frozen hard, didn't sink a bit, now that's cold. Got the snow all blowd anyhow, and Noah is still running like a champ, amazing for his age, but it's sure a lot easier then shoveling, especially since I can't shovel anymore and I hate to see the wife have to work so very hard at moving the white crap off the driveway.

Hero's - I had two who worked for me, in fact my favorite lawyer was a hero, both I awarded lifesaving medals many moons ago when they did, in fact dash into a burning building and carry a man to safety who would surely have died had they not intervened. They were both officers on my Department, and I was damn proud of them to say the least. One went on to become a lawyer and represented me when I had to go before the administrative law judge over my workers comp case, and he did as good a job as a lawyer as he ever did as a peace officer.

That same man, months before the fire responded to a car wreck miles south of town when there were no other officers available (many miles and in a different state) when he arrived there was an injured man in the overturned wreck, the officer climbed into the overturned car, stabilized the injured party, and as he was just finishing the stabilization (the fellow had a broken neck) he felt the car begin to rock, he climbed out and found a couple of farmers backed up to the overturned car, they had attached chains and were going to right the vehicle. An act that would have killed the driver had the officer not stopped them. (footnote due to our rural location, I always required all my officers be nationaly registered EMT's since many times we were first on the scene and I felt we needed the training.)

Now there's a hero for you.

Jerry 3-8-2003 23:55


Maybe I'm a huge ass, with a huge ass! Ah ha! I've got it (grins and laughter).

Rachel 3-8-2003 23:50


I wouldn't want you to be anything other than what you are. I just might leap up and advance across the page at you now and then in a very aggressive way to ask you to clarify what you are saying or perhaps to challenge it. There are times when I can be a bit of an ass, but at least I'm a nice ass ;o) Or is it that I have a nice ass? Hum...


Rachel 3-8-2003 23:49

PAMELA: Hmmm, yes, to medicate, meditate or mop the floor.

keep on posting so I have something to read once my floor's clean :-D

Teekay 3-8-2003 23:34

RACHEL: Perhaps I do stamp my foot. I certainly do not mean to stamp my foot, but there are those who tread softly and I am afraid that I am at times a rather clumping inelegant oaf.

It's Sunday. I'm bored. Grumpy meets Bored :-D

Teekay 3-8-2003 23:18

Lines through the text, what lines? That is funny, wonder why and how that happened, maybe some of our computer experts can tell us.

Holy definition, Batgirl, it may be time for you to take your medication! (Kidding) Teekay, you have a point that there must be some rules, such as agreeing on the same definition for a particular word, or the same word for a particular thing. Rachael is right too in that there is a certain literary license we may employ for artistic purposes as long as our point is made (or at least we think it is). Metaphor and simile are examples, we may say "the night was a curtain of darkness" but the night is not literally a curtain, we just use that to paint a picture. Another interesting thing about words is that the same thing may have different definitions depending on one's point of view. The 9-ll pilots were martyrs to their own kind but murderers to us, so there is a certain flexibility to language.

Gladys, oi, yourself! I think you knitters from down under talk just fine (do you really crush beer cans on your heads?).

Howard, thanks for much info I was not aware of. My knowledge of Islam is limited, I worked with a nice Iranian fellow who brought me literature about it and we discussed it as a loving religion which recognized Jesus as a great spiritual leader. I have known several other Muslims who felt the same way. I guess there are as many different factions of it as there are of Christianity. It is very sad that Zen Buddhist priests condoned kamikaze tactics and advised the pilots not to worry about karma, they must have been from a strange sect of Buddhism. I have studied a bit of that, have believed in reincarnation since I was fifteen, and the Buddhism I am familiar with would eschew any such involvement as they attempt to free themselves from involvement in the corporeal. The Nicean sect is really wierd, I went to a chanting/meditation get-together one time with some people I did not know. The chanting was neat, there was a nice feel, and after it was over, I asked them about themselves. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that they were chanting for material things: a car, a washing machine, a job promotion. NOT!

Rachael, I hope your flu is not too bad and doesn't last too long. I've noticed quite a few people here getting it, I wonder if it can be transmitted via the net (why do you think they call them viruses?). I didn't get your pictures, I'll send you a new email at the address you posted and see if we can get it to work.

Oh gosh, I almost forgot, I broke fifty pages on my novel today! I wrote three new chapters, about ten pages, hooray, only 600 more pages to go! Mel, you help to inspire me with your writing extravaganza, thanks. Don't know about the flu, but good energy and creativity can definitely be passed along the network way.

Randall, I know I'm not alone in thinking of you and hoping you are all right. I want to hear more about Red and the gang.


pamela 3-8-2003 23:13


Yes, I think you have a very pretty foot. I have perceived you as having stamped it. Perhaps I am mistaken. Whatever the case, you are kind of cute when you do ;o)

Ah, and as a point of interest, Suzanna Moodie did rush into a burning building to save her children and house contents. She protected her children from the freezing cold by securing them inside a drawer and covering them with blankets, while she rushed in and out of her burning home, waiting for help to come to her distant little cabin. At least if one believes her journals to be true that happened, though the truth of the journals is open to debate.

I am feeling quite grumpy these past few days. I'm a bit of a loaded cannon right about now ;o) Had you noticed?

Glad that all is well with us.


Rachel 3-8-2003 22:59

RACHEL: I didn't mean that you had misinterpreted the English language at all.
I agree with your presentation of what the word Hero means.

I still disagree that a lot of the heroic figures mentioned are indeed heroic.

But I certainly didn't say all. Do not take it personally, it wasn't intended so. It was a mere observation.

Do you really think my foot pretty?

I also disagree that I stamp it a lot. Or even a little.

Teekay 3-8-2003 22:36


I did not manipulate the English language. I gave you two direct quotes from the same word in the dictionary. The dictionary is that which has deemed the word will mean more than simply that of the stuff of dreams, imagination and romance. As for justification in the manipulation of the English language, what do you think we are doing as writers? We play with words and phrases, we use psychological tools manifested in the very structure of our writing and punctuation. We have all sorts of manipulative tricks. I think that perhaps you have not considered the implications of your words.

You wrote “But basically I meant a hero isn't someone famous, though someone famous can certainly be a hero. Perhaps legend or superstar might be a better word. A hero, be it be a demi-god or something more modern is one who will sacrifice his own personal risk for the gain of others.
And looking over the contributions I would go as far as to say that most of the heroes listed are in fact not. Unless, unbeknownst to me L.M. Montgomery jumped into a burning building to save a baby, or even a cat, or did some other such perilous deed.” Perhaps you did not read what I posted about G.D. Roberts and Al Purdy. Under your definition they clearly fit the criteria set out. Roberts and Prudy risked reputation, rebuke and ridicule when they stood up and spoke for with the artistic voice that would represent a nation, here to before unheard or unexplored.

Hum, I'm wondering if this is one of those moments when you are going on a rant and you want everyone to hush up and agree with you, or you will get nasty as a b-queen on a rampage? You can tend to do that when people disagree with you. I can think of many times when ole Teekay has given the NB a stamp of her pretty little foot. Feel free my dear, but I'll not let you sit her and mince nasty words at me. You can behave or I'll have it out with you. If you want to talk nice and be rational I'm fine with that. That however would involve reading my posts with attention. I can get quite ticked when I feel that people are making sweeping generalizations.

Rachel 3-8-2003 22:06 the intention they are intended.


Okay, I admit it. I'm at a slight loose end. I think I'll go and find a political site or something.

Teekay 3-8-2003 21:56

So many words, you'd think writers especially could find a suitable one.

Oops, just ignore that bit.

But basically I meant a hero isn't someone famous, though someone famous can certainly be a hero. Perhaps legend or superstar might be a better word.

A hero, wether it be a demi-god or something more modern is one who will sacrifice his own personal risk for the gain of others.
And looking over the contributions I would go as far as to say that most of the heroes listed are in fact not. Unless, unbeknownst to me L.M. Montgomery jumped into a burning building to save a baby, or even a cat, or did some other such perilous deed.
And as for the movie stars listed, perhaps it is the characters they played which are the heroes.

I probably seem to be hanging onto this like a bulldog, but I think this is important.

How do we communicate on some kind of level and express ourselves hoping that our meanings can be accepted in the intention they are intended, if we do not obey a few simple rules?

Let's discuss this. We've already flogged the war to death, and we can't get hold of caps lock guy (who I suspect can't or won't read)to do the same to him, so this could be interesting.

And, it's about writing to boot.

Everyone's a winner.

Teekay 3-8-2003 21:40

And for fear of seeming judgmental I have to wonder how the psycopath who can't undo his caps lock key managed to learn how to turn on a computer.


Of course, like RHODA said, if your willing to have a reasonable conversation, by all means post, but yeesh, enough of the pointless crap already!!!!!!!!!!

But who the hell knows, maybe you are being perfectly reasonable and are simply modifying the language - as some do.

Teekay 3-8-2003 21:23

RACHEL: I shall agree to disagree. I feel we cannot be justified in manipulating the English language in order to suit ourselves and our own misinterpretations.
So many words, you'd think writers especially could find a suitable one.

Teekay in her own shoes. 3-8-2003 21:18


3-8-2003 20:53

Seek and you shall find, just look at where the lines start and you know who did it, well that and the "sorry Jack" comment nail it down. I've done stuff like that before myself so I shouldn't point fingers at Howard for a misplaced /,

Write ON!!

Jerry 3-8-2003 19:31


I don't really know much about poetry. I just know a little bit, hardly a scratch on the surface. I'm not being modest, that is the gods honest truth. Poetry is huge, and it is something not to be taken lightly. I never really used to appreciate that. Sure you can have a lot of fun with poetry, play with it, but the true, deep and meaningful poetry that can be found, well, that is something and a half. Then again, what is true, deep and meaningful will be different for each person and so it goes, round and round and round.

Anyway... Suzanna Moodie was indeed a pioneer. She wrote "Roughing it in the Bush" Her sister was Catharine Parr Traill, she also wrote about the pioneer life. Pretty amazing how differently the two of them viewed their situations.

Take care you.


PS - I bet that Randall will check in pretty soon.

Rachel 3-8-2003 18:31


You funny bug (smiles). The definition of hero fits nicely with most if not all of the people suggested. "...a man of distinguesed valour or intrepidity; a prominent or central pesonage in any remarkable action or event..." Sure it also means A kind of demigod in ancient Greek mythology, but these are modern times lady, loo ;o) We have to apply words to our less than god like ways ;o)


Has anyone else seen that there are lines stroked all through the posts? Is it just my computer? What is up with that?


I sent you an e-mail with the pics. If you didn't get it let me know and I'll send it off again. My e-mail address is If you get something from that e-mail address it is me. I think Libra folk are pretty darned nice. We tend to be decent types (smiles). Heart often bigger than brain sorts, at least I am.

Now somebody said I was a hero! Was that you Howard? I am pretty sure it was. Here is a big hug for you, you sweet thing.

I'm kind of spaced out right now. I've come down with the flu. I feel like crap and look about the same (GRINS)!

Dang! My memory fails me. I need to jump back in to see if there was anyone else who posted to me.

Hugs to all of you.

Rachel 3-8-2003 18:22

Oi! Oo made that smart arse comment 'bout us knitters not knowin' nuthin 'bout talkin' right?

Gladys Smut 3-8-2003 16:52

Holy eggplant, Robin, I really think some of you guys ought to go and get your dictionary and look up the definition of hero.
If this were a knitting site I might very well disregard the abuses of the English language.

And the people in the towers were victims. With a lot of heroes scattered among them I imagine.
The only martyrs there were the ones flying the planes.

(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS CAROL))))))))))))))))))

MEL: Good one. I can definitely relate.

Off to beat up the baddies and hand out a few BIFFS POWS and BAMS, extending to all a wish for a felicitous and nice day, and now.........
............TO THE BAT MOBILE!!!!!!!!!!!

Teekay seeing what it's like to try on Batman's shoes. 3-8-2003 16:37

OOOPS! Sorry, Jack -- shoulda put a /s right after 'indian'. Doggone trifocals anyway!

howard 3-8-2003 16:11

HEATHER -- you're on my Canadian hero list too! As well as RACHEL, TINA, and others! And isn't Anne Murray Canadian? She's one of my favorites.

MARK -- I know what you mean about the bow, and I used to shoot a bit too. Tried to be an Indian sorry, Native American, when I was a kid. Made a tomahawk, knife, and bow when I was thirteen. Never could hit anything with the bow (feathers kept falling off my arrows) but I did kill a rabbit with the tomahawk (lucky throw), skinned it with my knife, and cooked it on a fire started with a Zippo! Hey, nobody's perfect!


The more I listen to this Norah Jones CD the more I like it! She's right up there with Maria Muldaur, Linda Ronstadt, Brenda Lee, and the love of my life -- Karen Carpenter.

howard 3-8-2003 16:09

PAMELA -- the Quran does advocate the killing of infidels and unbelievers, and many Muslims see Christians and Jews as just that. Though they're referred to as "People of the Book," they're also seen as proselytizers of Muslims, which is a crime punishable by death. Many of the more militant Muslims viewed the innocent victims of the 9/11 attacks as combatants in an "evil financial war against Islam."

We hear far too many references to jihad (holy war), and shahadin (martyrs in the holy war), but far too few references to hirabah (unholy war against society) and mufsidoon (evildoers).

True, some Muslims referred to the 9/11 terrorists as hirabah mufsidoon (vicious was evildoers), but much more is heard praising the shahidin.

But the mujahideen are not unique, nor are the mullahs who egg them on to suicide in the name of Allah.

Did you know that the kamikaze pilots in WW2 would -- before their missions -- go to Zen Bhuddist priests, who would encourage them by telling them they would gain improved karma for the next life? They were also told that they would really lose nothing, since life is not real, and there is really no difference between life and death.

We constantly hear -- in the holy name of tolerance -- about all the gentle and good and beautiful faces of other religions, but rarely do we hear of their racism, bigotry, sexism, perversion, abuse, and other evils. But let a televangelist, Roman Catholic priest, or African-American, (or to be fair, a president, for that matter) fall...

As far as Saddam's ability to lob a scud into our neck of the woods, no. From what I've read, his missiles are short to medium range weapons -- capable of delivering nukes or biological warheads into many neighboring countries, including Israel and Turkey.

He presents more of a danger to us through the terrorist networks, who are perfectly capable of delivering a dirty nuke, or chemical or biological payloads via container ship to most any port in the US. Even to the interior, if you count the St Lawrence Seaway and the Mississippi and other inland shipping lanes.

Of course, if he hits Israel or Turkey we're committed to defending them, as well as many of the other countries around the region.


howard 3-8-2003 15:56

Hi all, I usually don't pop in so often during the day, still looking for that wacky Texan to show up.

Mel, saw your post after entering mine, sorry you're having such a "rocky" time of it. Your terrain may be rough, but your writing seems to be sailing wonderfully along, I really liked your piece on your non-human forgotten friends. After reading your post, I followed your wise advice and wrote, got six pages done and plan to return after this.

Rachael, hello, fellow Libra; like you, I can surely be stubborn too about issues I care about. What a great list of Canadian folks to admire you gave us, was Suzanna Moodie a pioneer? My knowledge of poetry pales beside yours. I emailed you and am looking forward to seeing pictures of your wonderful turreted house.

Jerry, I wasn't suggesting interrment camps like we had in WWII, just doing background checks to make sure people are legit. Of course I know it will never happen, the civil liberties issues are indeed too thorny even though terrorists are not citizens, but spies and soldiers and our freedoms should not be applied to them as they seek to destroy us. Regarding the Islamic religious leaders, (sorry, I don't know what to call them, Ramon, can you help?) I meant for them to publicly denounce terrorism, not turn in their members, although that isn't a bad idea. American criminals do enjoy some rights with respect to confidentiality but again, terrorists do not deserve the same rights, and I don't think the religious freedom offered in this country should extend to a religion which seeks to kill us all. Glad you agree about shutting down the borders, although many would scream about that too. I just feel creepy knowing that killers are here among us and I wish we could take more active steps to identify them. If we got them all out of here (and also developed alternate energy sources), then we could just leave the whole region alone, if you mess with a nest of vipers, you're gonna get stung.

Okay, back to my real writing now...

pamela 3-8-2003 15:54

Canadian heroes? I'd vote for Heather and for Joyce M. Kennett. Heather has such a long list of responsibilities and hobbies and life interests and life interruptions and she continues to work through all that while keeping her heart open to all of us. Joyce, or Jo, as I knew her, was the first writer I contected with on that spiritual level. She was 76 years old, in a wheelchair, and on oxygen. Yet she took online courses in fiction writing, published her work and kept writing to within a week of her crossing. Jo crossed over (as she preferred the term) just over two years ago yet she is still with me and still an inspiration to me.

Carol 3-8-2003 15:49

Mark - I used to be fairly good with a long bow but never tried one of those complicated looking compound bow. This was when I was a kid and all we ever shot were targets tacked to hay bails in the back yard. I though it great fun, my cousin and I used to spend hours in the back (Well side we had a strange yard) yard putting arrows in targets. We both had green fiberglass bows, I think they were like thirty pound rating. I used to think I was fairly good with them but I doubt I could hit the broad side of a barn now days.

Taylor - when I was in Vietnam the unit sent me down to Long Bien to take some sort of course, and while there we were billeted in long Quonset huts, the guy two cot's down was from Australia, and was one heck of a fellow, I spent a lot of time with him after school drinking beer (he must have had a hollow leg!) and telling stories. Don't recall his name but he struck me as one heck of a soldier.

Mel - I don't think I ever knew any soldiers with true blood lust, oh there were some who talked tough but when the bullets started flying they were the same as everyone else. We had one fellow we called Mad Mike, now there was a nut case, he acted like he was Rambo, took karate and all that crap, spent hours doing karate chops on sand bags, really looked like an idiot. We had house maids to care for our hooches and when we were at the base, they shined our boots and all, but old Mad Mike took sand and rubbed it into his boots so it looked like he was at a fire base, drove his hooch maid nuts till she decided to just leave them well enough alone. At any rate, when our unit was sent back to the States and we were all issued orders to other units in country, he drew a combat unit and that poor bastard cried like a baby four hours thinking he'd have to serve with an infantry unit instead of the Engineers.

Pamela, I guess I would agree with that, but then look at all the hell people are going through right now after the publication several years ago about the holding camps for Japanese Americans don't you think that the same thing would happen if we did that with Arab Americans, then there's that damn Constitution that keeps getting in the way of things like that, and wasn't there something about all men created equal and all those rights that we citizens of this great nation hold?

I would agree about sealing up the borders, hell I'd even go along with guard towers along our international borders. And I'd say yes to gathering up all the alien Arabs and checking their papers (WHERE ARE YOUR PAPERS???) to see if they belong here, but your also right, it would take decades to check even a third of those living here now.

As far as Islamic Clergy helping out, it sounds like a great idea to begin with till you think of what would happen if the nation called on say the Catholic Priests to come forward and report all those who confessed to crimes in the confessional, ain't going to happen.

Then there's the problem of weeding out all the terrorists who live among the middle eastern population, they don't have signs on their foreheads saying TERRORIST, or papers identifying them as members of terrorist orginizations. About all you could do is what's being done now, when you catch one of the leaders, grill that bastard till he gives you the names of his co-horts. Now that may mean turning him over to say, a third world nation for questioning, one of those countries that still uses torture to get information, and have one of our CIA guys there taking down all the information as bamboo shoots are being burned under the guy's fingernails. Only problem with that is that some liberal ACLU lawyer somewhere would get wind of it and sue the US for violation of the guy's human rights.

I think the Pres. is right, if we kick Saddam's Ass all the way to the Turkish border and leave him in the hands of the Kurds we will do more to stop terrorism then all the barbed wire and guard towers along the borders because we will be telling the next middle eastern dictator (Omar are you listening?) that if he so much as thinks about giving haven or weapons to terrorists his day's in this world are indeed numbered.

Jerry 3-8-2003 13:16

Another Canadian hero or heroine would be L.M. Montgomery, author the ANNE OF GREEN GABLES books.

Rhoda 3-8-2003 12:35


I appreciate your reassurance. You are right, of course. Thank God for separation of powers. I do take this all war stuff all too seriously at times. It is serious, but it isn't like I have a lot of control over it. I can only do my part to pray and to vote intelligently when the opportunity presents itself.

Rhoda 3-8-2003 12:33


I also am a Libra :o) I am peace loving, but I also have times when I dig in and won't move on issues, though, those don't come up very often. I like jeans, but I also love a pretty skirt or nice dress. I love nature and the raw beauty of it.

Canadian Hero folk... How about Al Purdy! He spoke his mind, put it into poetry that stood bold and unmoving. He added flare a kick and humanity to the poetry of Canada. We have Robin Matthews and Margaret Attwood. I am pretty sure that Robin is Canadian.

We have Leonard Cohen, Michael Ondattje, Annie Proloux and Sharon Pollock

If you want some old time hero to admire, I present to you Sir. Charles G.D. Robers (god damned Roberts - some called him). Roberst wanted to present a "Canadian" voice for poetry. He met challenges to his attempts that sited he only represented on portion of the Canadian voice, not with anger, but with acceptance, then went about better knowing his country so as to be better able to share its voice. Do you think I like the guy? Yup, so far as I see it G.D. Smith was the initiator of the Canadian voice in poetry and Al Purdy came along to pick up work. These guys weren't just contributors to Canadian poetry, but integral parts of the creation and in the case of Purdy, continuation and evolution of the Canadian voice in art.

There were the journals of Suzanna Moodie. The amazing and heart touching Rudy Wiebe. I could go on and on.

I'm just looking at literary hero types, but there are the same to be represented in each and every aspect of Canadian life and art.

Rachel 3-8-2003 10:53

Randall, where are you? I miss your sweet curmudgeonliness.

Rhoda, I hope you got that my comment wasn't critical, but meant to be reassuring. You are right too, it may all be too easy, but there are at least some safeguards from war being the decision of one man only. A breach with the UN would be a very serious event and I sure hope it doesn't come to that.

Jerry, I am not among those who scoff at the danger of SH and others like him, I think we are all in mortal danger right now, not just our military. I have a question for you, no sarcasm, I really want to know: does SH have the means to launch an overseas attack on the US? Is there genuine concern about that? If he did that, wouldn't we be able to stop attacks by air and wouldn't he know that we would then blow him away for sure? Or is the threat more in the nature of terrorist activities carried out on our own soil? These attacks must be carried out from within and I would like to see more being done to identify every middle eastern person in this country. They have been asked to present themselves for identification purposes and I think now the authorities should start actively checking out everyone to see if they have clearance. If they don't, they should be exported, if they are questionable, they should be detained, if they are shown to be part of a terrorist group, they should be put in a prisoner-of-war camp until the war is over (read: forever). We should also close our borders to middle eastern people, except those with impeccable credentials and business or personal ties here. It is unfortunate that many will be deprived of the opportunities in our country, but that is the fault of the terrorists, not us. Since we know for a fact that they are here among us, wearing baseball caps and acting like good old boys, they all have to be closely examined. Events like 9-ll could not be pulled off if they were not here in our country. I discussed this with a friend of mine from the Phillipines who has been here for over 20 years, has a phd, is a respected member of the community, etc., and would be among those cleared by a look at his records. I asked if he would mind being checked out if it were Phillipino people threatening us and he said no, he would not. The doctor in Houston who was detained after 9-ll because he had the same name as one of the terrorists was not angry at all upon his release, but said he understood the necessity of checking him out. Of course it would take years, but eventually we could roust out the spies in our midst and significantly reduce the threats that they must be here in order to carry out. Those who are here legitimately and are who they say they are, would have nothing to fear from being examined for terrorist activities. Civil liberites could be preserved by excluding evidence of anything else uncovered in the process. I also think it is high time for the Islamic clergy to step up to the plate and denounce the terrorists' version of their religion. I would like to see them speak on tv to the young terrorists in this country, telling them that they have been misled, that the Koran does not advocate killing those who do not practice Islam, and that they will NOT be met by seventy black-eyed virgins after murdering innocent people. Perhaps they could point out the inconsistencies of such a sexual version of heaven as opposed to the circumspect living encouraged by true Islam.

Taylor, you're from down under, aren't you? I feel bad not to be able to think of any Aussie heroes offhand. I do have big kudos to Austrailian architecture though, I get a periodic magazine from there from time to time and see a lot of really cool houses. I also get to see a lot of nice settings, what a beautiful country and such a variety of interesting locales. It's true that this country seems to idolize bad guys and also, as previously mentioned, the good guys break the rules and are about as bad as the bad guys. I just read an article in Discover magazine about how video games have taken the violence a step further than movies because the player can participate rather than just watch, and how dangerous this could be for young people. Elliot Ness did get his due though, several movies and tv series. I saw parts of that show you mentioned about the Canadian mountie in the states, I do think that shows like the ground-breaking Hill Street Blues and today's Third Watch are good at showing people how heroic and also human those people are who chose to protect us, and increase our gratitude and understanding toward them.

Gosh, sorry, I didn't mean to get so loquacious, especially about terrorism, I just popped in to see if Randall had checked in with us. I hope I didn't offend anyone enough to get mad or name-call, it's just a discussion after all.

pamela 3-8-2003 9:58


Good morning/evening, all!

In no specific order except answering recent posts...

JERRY: I too want no war but am in favor of supporting the troops who are simply doing their duty for their nation; if they're doing it for more than their duty (e.g. bloodlust), they don't get any sympathy from me!

HEATHER: I'm not hungry for what's on the "menu' either, and the "Man In Charge" isn't eating, just ordering - although he may have "just desserts" stuffed down his throat later--sigh. VERY good analogy.

RAMON: Don't you hate it when you have a great story idea and then someone else comes along and produces the movie before you have a chance to say, "HEy! I already thought of that!"? Aaarrgghhh!

Ideas seem limited, folks; WRITE and PUBLISH your great ones TODAY!!

Heroes vs. Legends (yea, TAYLOR!):

And as TEEKAY said, headliners aren't necessarily heroes.

Popularity doesn't make them true heroes (like the beginning of the Disney cartoon HERCULES); it just makes them popular. Do we cheer daring acts as heroic or just as great entertainment? I say we've sometimes defined our heroes incorrectly.

CHERI: Be watchful--even when you're CERTAIN your kids know real from fiction and right from wrong, they can surprise you and take a turn down the wrong alley.

TEEKAY: ROFL!!!!! You'd best stay away from your CAPS key for awhile...I think it's infected with BRU-HA-HAAAAAAAAAA!!!

PAMELA: I'm really swimming uphill on a down-slanted bulldozer...hey, you're right about the ROCKS down here!!! Stumbling along... :-]

MARK: Archery (oops, dropped my arrow again) and photography (darn that shaking camera!) both require holding your breath to be successful - I shake too much! When the choir director says "Keep singing, don't breathe here," well, and nature says "Breathe now or pass out," I go with nature. 8-} BTW, The Rock: he was better as a desert hero in SK than as the Scorpion King in the MUMMY movie where he really was just a victim of a curse and properly killed by prophetic execution. But re: unrealistic movie magic, sometimes ya gotta suspend judgment to enjoy the flick. I, too, however, prefer when it's researched and done right, e.g. Legolas in TT!

CAROL: (((HUGS))) Hang in there - a GREAT day is coming to you, just around the corner... Life always does that down-then-up thing. :-]

And now, as a late-for-shorty-night and slightly-off-theme offering, I give you a mental list from my muse, not unlike the lists we sometimes have made here of the contents of our pockets, and sort of 'forgotten friends" in a different perspective...


I wanted, just, to write my story,
but there were other irons in the fire:
Job, husband, kids, and household chores,
church worship, rehearsals for choir;
Eastern Star plans/meetings; and visits to parents,
the Homestead (my heart!) clean out;
Start up a Constellation! Yeah!
Weekenders-3/23-a doubt;
& Hey, how about that bike? Swim? Walk?
To read leisure books would be pleasure;
To read God's Word every morning, I'd love;
to pay my bills, measure for measure;
The 'cello, dust off; piano, play;
& writing loved ones far away.

So many, other such irons in the fire
to juggle with my deepest desire.


A good writing day to all!!!

Mel 3-8-2003 9:46

Taylor: Maybe a good term for the folks in 9-11 was martyrs. Hope that fits anyway. I keep thinking it's almost right but then again, a martyr is someone who dies for something he/she believes in. Those folks simply believed that they were going to work that day. Scary.

Randall: I haven't been reading all the posts and just caught that you're in the hospital for an operation. I'll add a prayer and do a couple claps as I pass the local shrine. Heck, in your case I'll even ring the bell.
Hope you are soon back on your feet and doing a kick up your heels type dance.

Viv 3-8-2003 9:37

Carol: Ditto that for me. Lurk Lurk.

Viv 3-8-2003 9:18

Oh wait a minute, maybe that was Kevin Bacon who was my hero.

Debra 3-8-2003 9:12


Heather: The same thing about bending the rules could also be said about Aussie Rules Football.

On American Heroes: What I don't understand is how people could have seen Bonnie & Clyde, Al Capone and such as that as heroes. And how come people like Elliot Ness never enter the frame?

On 9-11: I agree that not all the tragic deaths were acts of heroism. But there were stories of sacrifice... Such as a priest giving last rights to someone. Are acts of bravery considered heroic?

Canadian Heroes: I don't know if I consider Mounties Heroes like I don't consider every Law officer a hero.
But since people seem to be recalling Movies or TV shows... How about the one of the Canadian Mountie that went to the US and joined the police force? I can't remember what it was called.

Australian Heroes: Just had to put this in... I guess some people saw Ned Kelly as a hero... But I don't see how, he once said, "Kill one officer and you're a murderer, kill a hundred and you're a legend" or it went something along those lines.
But then there were the ANZACS on Gallipoli. The Rats of Tobruk. And I think the soldiers in the Battle of Long Tan Rubber Plantation in Vietnam were heroic as well.

I've been Archery shooting once... Didn't like it that much, but I liked trying it.

TIDBIT of Advice for the day: If you go Bunjee Jumping wear dark coloured trousers just in case "Accidents" happen

Taylor 3-8-2003 6:35

Where are my manners? The weather here has been cold, colder then a witches tit, colder then a well diggers ass and it's been snowing all day, we have a good three inches on the ground (I didn't say it was snowing hard) with another 2 to 4 inches expected by morning. The weatherman said it is snow blowing weather this weekend, and be ready to mow the lawn by next weekend as the temps are supposed to be up in the 60's F.

As far as Canadian Hero's, I've always liked the McKensy Brothers, and Sgt. Preston of the RCMP has to be among my top's, along with Dudley Doright and his horse.

I do wonder though, we here in America bestow heroism on each other for the strangest reasons, for example, just exactly what did the majority of those in the towers do to achieve heroism? Well I can see the cops and firemen as they rushed to try and save those trapped, but the rest were simply victims who died in a terrible attack against our nation. There was nothing heroic in their deaths, just tragic that's all, yet everyone talks of the three thousand hero's who died on 9-11.

Now those fellows who are lined up along the Iraq border may well be hero's tomorrow or the next day weather they die or live because they are putting their lives on the line to protect the beliefs of their nation, to protect our very freedom from terror.

I understand there are those here, as well as all over this nation who scoff at the idea that Saddam is a threat to our country, but that idiot is not only pure evil but he wants to be though of as a great leader of his people. What could make those in the middle east more proud of him then if he attacks the "great Satan" here in the land of the free home of the brave.

Ah well I don't want to get too political on you, but I just watched a bit of the former grand cyclops of the KKK, Senator Bird on Larry King Live as he put forth his belief that "old Saddam" aren't about to attack our great country, why hell he'd be just plain stupid to do such a thing, there's absolutely NO reason that the U.S. Should be attacking him, he couldn't hurt us if he tried!

Jerry 3-8-2003 0:52

And might I add, our President ALREADY has the blessings of the UN in 1441, all he has to do, could have done weeks ago is give one word to his General -- GO!

But he's trying to appease those nay Sayers in Europe, and in the Colleges where 96.5% of the student body nationwide DID NOT protest with a bit more diplomacy, more then most president's in the past would never have stood for.

Jerry 3-8-2003 0:29


What you say is true. Congress does declare war, but Bush has already got the approval to disarm Saddam Hussein. Furthermore, he is the primary mover and shaker on this war so it is his reputation on the line. As far as Congress, it is a Republican House of Representatives and a Republican Senate. That is not going to be a problem.

Rhoda 3-7-2003 22:51

Hi All

Sorry - just lurking for now. Life is pulling more nasties on me and the writing isn't flowing. Brain isn't working either or I'd send Hugs to those who need them. Please consider the hugs and well wishes sent. And prayers for the missing puppy.

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

Carol 3-7-2003 22:41

Mark - I've used a bow. First time I let fly, I caught myself in the cheek with the cording. OUCH!

Heather 3-7-2003 21:24

Ever use a bow? I took lessons. Before you even learn to aim, you have to learn the stance. Among the important points of 'the stance' are arm extension and shoulder-arm rigidity. At 10 years old, running barefoot in a Phoenix park, I didn't think much of the discipline my archery instructor wanted. Yet I learned that if I did as told, I could hit the target.

We stood rigid from the feet up, aimed, and released only our fingers. In the action of shooting an arrow, only two fingers move. I admired the attention to detail in LOTR-TT. Legolas had a good instructor. Sure, he bent, walked, swiveled, but the shoulder-arm combination remains rigid and his eyes follow the target above this stable aiming platform.

Then along comes the rock, or the jello, or the steroid ball, or whatever the hell he is. First this guy got whupped by Brendan Fraser in one of his mummy movies, next he comes back as a great desert hero. Well?? Which is he? I didn't see the movie. I like special effects and I like great vistas, but I really like attention to detail. The main movie clip for scorpion boy shows rockster shooting an arrow. With a bow. Like a klutz. Everything moves. His left arm is not quite fully extended, and when he releases the arrow, his left arm and shoulder throw forward as though he tries to give the arrow extra impetus, extra muscle. Sure. When a guy shoots like that, you better hope he's aiming at you. You'll be safe then.

Mark 3-7-2003 20:29

My Canadian heros are Kids In The Hall and Sgt. Preston of the Yukon (heard that actor died recently), one of my favorite shows when I was a kid.

Mel, best of luck on your writing extravaganza, you ROCK!

Howard, it was really interesting to read about the dogs helping with asthma and allergies, I'll remember that in case of an emergency sometime (assuming there's a Pom or Chihuahua nearby). Earl sounds like he was a wonderful man. I really like your attitude on death/leaving, that it is just a temporary separation.

Jerry, looking forward to your short story, hope it is going well. Is that cold weather gone now? We had a little snow here in the south but it's absolutely spring-like today.

Randall, really funny about the guy asking if you wanted the generator despite your upcoming procedure. Well, it should be done now, where ARE you, come and tell us you are all right!

Americo, sorry that you found my use of the word "paraphrase" to be pompous, and if I come across that way, I am truly sorry (not to mention hurt). I guess writing conversations like this, without accompanying gestures and expressions, can give the wrong impression. That is the last word any of my friends would use to describe me, as I am an Everybody-loving Libra who likes to laugh and have fun, lives in jeans and t-shirts, and has strong spiritual beliefs about the basic equality of all.

Ramon, I think you make some valid points and I'm sorry that you have been subjected to so much bashing.

Rhoda, President Bush does NOT have the power (by himself) to order the war, he is now hoping for UN approval and if that is not forthcoming, he would still have to deal with Congress, which might not be too eager to break with the UN. So, despite all the hoopla, war is not quite inevitable yet. Hopefully, all of the brave troops standing by will be able to come home unharmed.

pamela 3-7-2003 19:57

Hi all,


Ahhh, very nice. I recommend you all try it.

MEL: Ooh, I so enjoy watching the BTTF nmovies. The first is my favourite.
The scorpion king sounds pretty interesting though.

RANDALL: This is unlike you. I shall just put it down to anxiety.
Just wait till you get that pre-med into you.

RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAMON: I see I have no need to tell you to keep your fur on.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA oh, how funny am I??????

CHERI: My MIL thinks 'Days of Our Lives' is real. :-D
But she's a really good cook.

HEATHER: I'm sure Canada has, as we have, and all other countries, a huge amount of heroes. The Mothers, and Father's and Doctors and Nurses and Teachers, and the guy who walks the street pushing a trolley in front of him. Just because they haven't made headlines, doesn't make them any less of a hero.
Sort of like Celebrities, just cos they've made the headlines, doeswn't make them heroes.

Oooh, that was a bit of profound thinking, hold on a sec......

AND BLOODY &**&)*&&*(&*_*( SHIT BLOODY &**(&)_**(&&*(KILL KILLL MAIM MURDER ***&&)*&)**(7 WATCH JERRY SPRINGER AND VOMIT (**(*&(&)*(*^%$%&^&**&(+

Oh, that's better.

Thoughts of war and non war and upside down flags and throwing stones and pulling faces and calling names to the side, I keep thinking of those children dying in Iraq's hospitals, and so long as Saddam's in power they will keep on dying, one by one, slowly and surely and painfully.

Have a good day all.

Teekay 3-7-2003 18:26

Canandian Bacon is one of my heroes.

Debra 3-7-2003 18:07

Canadian heros:

Two come to mind for me. There is James Dohann (aka Star Trek's Scott) and Captain Kirk (William Shatner).

Rhoda 3-7-2003 17:47

oooooooooh, you know what's really frightening, Mark?
I can't think of too many Canadian heroes other Mounties! (And in Ontario you rarely see a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer unless it's New Year's on Yonge street...)'s a list of heroic Canadians (keeping in mind I read only MacLean's occasionally for world and Canadian news, even less occasionally the newspaper or the news on TV, and I tend to tune into 'Air Farce' more often than all of the above! But it is a political comedy for the most part, dealing with current issues....LOL)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oh, that list of Canadian heros, eh?~~~~~~~~~~

well, poop. Not very many come to mind!

Mike Myers is Canadian. But he did SNL, and stars in American made movies for the most part.
John Candy.
Wayne Gretzky - now there's a hero who played by the rules, didn't fight a lot (in fact, he shunned hockey fights)...

Ok....that's it. I give up. Somebody Canadian PLEASE add to that list! I can't even think of one heroine, either.
ANd there's got to be more than movie stars and hockey players!

*Dust off Heather's brain, please!*

What was that? HEY! Who wrote that!!!!

Heather 3-7-2003 17:26

Sorry, Mark - that thought wasn't completed! I can see why heros are made of rule-breakers and such... and you cited some killer examples, heh heh...
I just meant to point out that with football heros, it is probably not that they bend or break any rules to obtain hero status.


Heather 3-7-2003 17:12

Why do I keep thinking about that line from "Me and Bobby McGee?" -- "Freedom's just another word for 'nothing left to lose'..."

howard 3-7-2003 17:11

CHERI -- Your kids may know what is real and what is not, but it's been proven that constant exposure to the violence, immorality, and disrespect for authority currently the rage on TV and in the movies does have a numbing effect on the mind. Especially on the minds of impressionable youth.

MARK -- I don't think you'll find many of our military personnel -- especially the ones in close combat roles -- bending (even tweaking) the rules, though. One of the first things we learned in basic training was that bullets, bombs, and bayonets are unrelenting enforcers.

It's like gravity -- it's not just a good idea -- it's the LAW! Break it and you die. Or are seriously maimed. Or both. They know that.

Unflinching obedience to the rules, and to the orders of one's superiors may sound as if one has become an unthinking automaton, but the speed with which one can die in battle does not leave much time to consider the niceties of life. No time for pondering alternative lifestyles there -- it's SOGBOTP! (Sh*t or get blown off the pot!) Rather a live yessirnosir than a dead free-thinker (who would probably take a fair number of his comrades along with him)!

But I know what you mean about the bending/ignoring of the rules that we see on the big and little screens. It's cool, no doubt about it. Looks macho, boss, rad -- whatever attributes the unexercised minds of the great unwashed assign to that so-called independence. But there's no room for free-thinking in a body bag -- not even room enough to change one's mind.

Will it be a "Just War?" There remains a mandate higher than the UN, or the US Constitution, or any other earthly power that holds those in authority responsible to protect and serve (not abuse and enslave) the people(s) in their charge. I believe this mandate does authorize them to wage war, preemptive or reactive, on those who are a credible threat, or have already brought harm to those peoples. I believe they are also charged to bring to justice -- they have already been judged -- those who so egregiously break that higher commandment.

I know that in this age of "independence" and "rights" it is unpopular to speak of accountability and responsibility. But when has the right thing to do ever been wildly popular?

Kiekegaard is right -- the Bible does teach that we should be obedient to the powers that are placed in authority over us, insofar as those powers are not used in direct disobedience to the one who placed them there. I for one do not believe that they have been abused on our president's part, and I pray constantly that he will continue to do right.

I thought he looked weary last night, but I thought he answered well, even though he obviously stepped around some critical questions. I just pray that it was for the right reasons.

howard 3-7-2003 17:08

Mark - and, with the football analogy (or is that allegory?) there are those who also bend/break the rules, and the refs miss it - though I don't think that's why football players are sometimes seen as heros rather than just celebrities.

Ramon - The sport I meant was what people call 'American football' - I didn't mean soccer, but the idea remains the same. Soccer seems to have much more violence in the crowd. I wondered at some point whether or not this is due to the incredibly low amount of goals scored in the game on average... too much tension and importance placed on one goal.

Heather 3-7-2003 16:59

I am beginning to miss our chemical guy from China. He wrote better than the "writer, trailor trash, doctor," person who screams in caps. I never thought I would wish for Barium sulfate.

I like to think I am a fair person. I might not be, but I wish to be, so I am working hard on it. I have compassion on the DOCTOR, EDSON, guy. I issue this invitation:


Put your hatre Do you think you can do anything about THE LIBERATOR? We seem to have gotten rid of the asian chemical poster, think we could do the same of this PERSON?

Cheri 3-7-2003 15:09

The 66th Day(Today Friday March 7,2003) The first causalty of war? Truth. 66 days in the new year. Maybe10 to a war. When the drained of blood bodies. f American youth. eturn from Bagdad. The mothers and fathers weep. A hundred year occupation of a foreighn land begins. Weve done it! Become the Ancient Roman Empire And the New British Empire. When U.N. Sanctions come(sand they will!) Against the "Madman of March" Emperor /King Bush. Gas prices soar to $8 or more.Then tell me thast this war was RIGHT!TO THE NEW AMERICAN REVOLUTION!!!THE LIBERATOR(WRITER)

3-7-2003 14:39

HOWARD -- Mailer can really turn a phrase. It's clear that he has a bias in this case, and I admit I don't care because I have the same bias. Still, with him or against him, his prose remains a good example.

Canada and the U.S. -- A year or two ago I noted here that my favorite explanation of our differences was in our heroes. In the U.S. we make heroes out of individualists and outlaws -- Bonnie and Clyde, Al Capone, Jesse James. In Canada the main hero was always a Mountie. Look at cop shows in America. The most popular cops are the ones who bend the rules or, better yet, remake the rules to fit the situation. Now we have 'The Shield.' On the big screen we have Bruce Willis being a hero by disobeying direct orders.

Kierkegaard (mentioned in the Mailer article) made obeying orders an act of faith. Abram took Isaac to the mountain, fully intending to kill the boy. Seeing that His will was certain to be carried out, God called it off at the last instant. Imagine what that must have done to the psyches of those two guys.

I'm sure the Bruce Willis movie makes it clear that he follows orders from a higher authority than HQ. It's fiction. I don't know how many of us believe that the military and religious components of our tension with Iraq walk hand-in-hand. That's debatable. I also don't know how many of our young people in uniform believe in the American outlaw bend-the-rules hero. Probably too many.

MarkOn Thursday 06 March 2003 11:29 pm, you wrote: 3-7-2003 14:12

RANDALL: Hope all is well with you! Post as soon as you can and let us know how you're doing.

Great writing to all!

Cheri 3-7-2003 13:36

Shortie night didn't happen this week! Here's a subject if anyone is up to it: FORGOTTEN FRIENDS.

Take care everyone.

3-7-2003 13:26


It is often true that in a conflict that both sides take on the characteristics of their adversaries. I think conflict is sometimes necessary, but you lose a little bit of yourself in each and every one.

I don't like reading the newspaper anymore, and hearing the news on radio or television makes my skin crawl. I am afraid, very much so, and not of Saddam Hussein. I fear the rift with Western Europe. I fear the fact that in many respects my country is alone in the world. Someday this country will have to deal with that in a very prok better to have them all in a pack of

RANDALL: Hope all is well with you! Post as soon as you can and let us know how you're doing.

Great writing to all!

Cheri 3-7-2003 13:36

Shortie night didn't happen this week! Here's a subject if anyone is up to it: FORGOTTEN FRIENDS.

Take care everyone.

3-7-2003 13:26


It is often true that in a conflict that both sides take on the characteristics of their adversaries. I think conflict is sometimes necessary, but you lose a little bit of yourself in each and every one.

I don't like reading the newspaper anymore, and hearing the news on radio or television makes my skin crawl. I am afraid, very much so, and not of Saddam Hussein. I fear the rift with Western Europe. I fear the fact that in many respects my country is alone in the world. Someday this country will have to deal with that in a very profound way. I also fear the fact that many of the reasons this war has been proposed have fallen to the wayside. It is turning into a tit-for-tat conflict and a battle of words and a battle of wills, and on both sides it is very "in your face."

I just hope George Bush knows what he is doing. I certainly would have done it differently. Whether or not I voted for Bush is not the issue. The issue is that he has the power to order this war and that if and when it comes to that, things better come out better than they are now. I hope people realize Mr. Bush has much more to lose out of this whole mess than he ever has to gain. He is putting his reelection on the line and his reputation, plus the reputation of the United States of America. He is also risking the lives of thousands of US troops and Iraqi citizens. I think in light of all that, RAMON, any help he might give to his friends at ESSO palls in comparison.

I hate the harsh words that have flown here, and some of them can unfortunately be attributed to myself.

Well, time to cast off this mood and look ahead. I am going to the French Quarter with my women's club today, and I intend to have a great time. My book is moving along, and the week-end is coming up.

Have a great day, everyone. And I hope RANDALL is doing well right now.

Rhoda 3-7-2003 10:00

HEATHER -- Neat analogy!

We have a (now retired) plastic surgeon in this area, who is also an excellent amateur photographer. He drove up to Lisle -- the town we live in -- to get a picture of our old post office, a very picturesque old building. I think he was doing a series of photos on old town post offices.
Anyway, he took several good shots and went back home to process them in his lab.
Only after the prints dried, and he was evaluating them, did he notice that the flag on the post office flagpole was upside down!
He drove back out, went in and showed the postmaster, and that old guy was mortified! Apparently nobody else had noticed anything unusual.
I know in the military a screw-up like that was grounds for immediate reduction in rank, if not outright courtmartial.


RANDALL is probably at the hospital right now...

MARK -- The Mailer article is interesting -- haven't read it all yet, but have it saved to my desktop.

howard 3-7-2003 9:29

Eddie - noted. Apology not necessary and no need to recant your outburst. Say what you mean and don't ever hold back. As for the flag hanging upside down I'll make sure I tell my Dad next time England are playing.

Heather - When I used the word restraint I did mean reluctant to wage war. I have never seen Canada as a threat unlike North Korea who announced boldly they were going to test nuclear weapons, and quite frankly didn't care what the UN thought. They have also warned the WEST to back off, or else. I think they are a bigger threat.

Not unlike English football hooligans however. They have tore up stadiums around the world, beaten, battered and even (although I am not 100% sure) killed fans of rival teams. They truly are the ambassadors of chaos and bad sportsmanship in football. If we do go to war we should send the hooligans in. Iraq would surrender in a flash, although getting the hooligans to back off would be a problem. They never know when to stop.

Years ago I wrote a story about a policeman who infiltrated a mob that deliberately provoked fights at football matches. Once in, he developed a taste for it and became a hooligan himself. Unfortunately somebody got there first with two films "ID" and "The Firm" starring Gary Oldman. Ho hum keep trying eh?

Ramon 3-7-2003 8:47

Eddie - thanks for the info on the Union Jack! I know my Gimpa would never fly his upside down. He's either known that info for ages, or he's just got that kind of luck! LOL
Hugs to you :o>

Heather 3-7-2003 8:18

Hey, Ramon - I guess 'having more restraint' is a good way of looking at it. Reluctant to war with anyone is another!
I think the difference is easily noted when you take a look at Canadian vs. American football. Ah, we get our fans out to the games too, but there's nothing like the fanatical fans that flock to the NFL games! There's not so many in the way of the face-painting, sign-waving, pom-pom jiggling masses, and let's face it, the larger crowds are a heck of a lot more exciting. A lot more likely people will be trampled and die, and then there's the game - far more seriously taken!
If our population was what America's is, and our country the same in age, I would tend to think that we still would have a different way of looking at life up here in the more Northern climate. But, as conjecture always is, there's no telling either way. Kind of a moot conversation I'm having with myself, really! Canada is just different. Maybe it's the temperatures. We're perfectly willing to waggle our butts on the way to a polar bear swim; just not as willing to waggle those same rear ends in gun-fire.
I don't think there's anyone who actually LIKES war.
I feel for America - my impressions (perhaps incorrect) are that they've had things placed on the menu that nobody wants to eat, but the truck keeps coming with the supplies, and the kitchen keeps cooking it. The only one right now who can change things is the Man in Charge.

Heather 3-7-2003 8:16

Now that worked well -- gotta brush up, I guess!

Anyway -- if you haven't heard Come Away With Me, go find a copy and listen!

Like I said, Very Nice!

OK, NOW Back on your heads!

howard 3-7-2003 8:10

Nora Jones!
&nbr;&nbr;Nora Jones!
&nbr;&nbr;&nbr;&nbr;Nora Jones!

Very nice!

back on your heads!

howard 3-7-2003 8:06

Ah, flying the flag upside down!
The problem with the Union Jack/Flag is that most people in the UK are already doing this without knowing it.
If you have never served in the UK forces then you would probably not know that one of the top diagonal stripes on the Jack is a little broader the the other three. This stripe should be positioned at the upper portion of the flag when it is flown. I am always appalled at the number of Jacks that I see being flown upside down out of pure ignorance.

Eddie French 3-7-2003 6:31

Gracefully aknowledged.
Though the difference between a few hundred thousand and a few thousand is can hardly be described as "Not entirely correct".
I apologise for the last two words of my response, of course you should be allowed to speak.
nds up and say I am not a statastician. The figures are not important anyway as I was making a point that when England was under terrorist threats and attacks by the IRA, the world wasn't interested. I don't wish to repeat myself, as I think I have already covered this issue, but I see your point and I say fair comment.

Randall (again). I am sure you feel that insulting people is very clever, and you are entitled to your opinion, because beleive it or not (and I don't care which), I take the principle of free speach very seriously. However, I won't retort as I don't know you well enough to make any insults and, I haven't insulted or called anybody names since I left school which was over 15 years ago.

I will conclude by saying this; it's not that I feel that no action should be taken against Saddam Hussain. I question the motives of the governments calling for war. If it is to remove a dictator then this must be done on the premises that when Saddam is overthrown and Iraq is free, we then move on to the others. I don't believe this will happen. Not bad for a squirrel who's come down from the trees eh?

Ramon (Crusader for Squirrel Rights)

Ramon 3-7-2003 4:39


Mel: Enjoy the Scorpion King. I think The Rock played the role great... But then again I'm probably bias... I like The Rock alot in Wrestling.

Now it's time for me to have a little cry now... I think at times I tend to lose hope pretty quickly. Still no word about Tara:( and I'm sure it's effected my will to write lately. Oddly enough I'm sure late at night that I can hear her yap. And it feels like my second room mate is laughing at me when I sprint to the front door and find nothing there.
5-6 days have gone by... and no word or sign from her.

But thanks for your hugs and prayers all... If Tara doesn't get back home... I think it'll be the last time I ever have a pet

Taylor 3-7-2003 3:53

(A pure political post... Warning!)

I think some people on this site, even though they are entitled to their opinion... Should at least be game enoough to put their names to it.

As for Vietnam similiarities... I don't think that can be done... Vietnam I believe was just between French, North Vietnam and South Vietnam... From what I've read and seen about it, other countries just got involved due to Paranoia about the communist threat... The so called, "Domino Effect"
Even though I believe Vietnam was a military and political "Mistake"... I have the utmost respect for the soldiers who risked their lives because they had to.

On flying the flag upside down showing distress to the Nation... Anyone tried doing that on here or know anybody whos done that? To see what it was like to fly a flag upside down for awhile, truly when I did that, I put it the right way up as fast as I could.

But yes I thought I was with the war, then I thought I was against it. But have come down to the conclusion that if it's needed as a last resort to rid Hussein and his WMD... And if it did occur, I will support the Troops involved 100%

I would like to send a heartfelt thanks to President Bush, and to those that have served in the military ever. They got more guts than I.

Taylor(A political post warning) 3-7-2003 3:47

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George C. Marshall Write a Book Now 3-7-2003 0:34

Is is me or is there an echo in here?


Jerry 3-7-2003 0:12

So, the A.R.M. (American Resistence Movrement) To stop the Caeser of Amrerica begins! The NEW AMERICAN REVOLUTION< LAUGH!? When theres a new "Vietnam" wall with names of Americans slsaughtered by the Greed of King George (BUSH) you wont! To the revolution! I suggest that all American Youth Boycott entering the military, THat American Flags(as A signal of DISTRESS FOR OUR nation!) Be flown upsifde down. There is more to come. Remember Sic Transit Tyranus THe Ides of March Tyrants!!!! The Liberator Writer

3-6-2003 23:23

So, the A.R.M. (American Resistence Movrement) To stop the Caeser of Amrerica begins! The NEW AMERICAN REVOLUTION< LAUGH!? When theres a new "Vietnam" wall with names of Americans slsaughtered by the Greed of King George (BUSH) you wont! To the revolution! I suggest that all American Youth Boycott entering the military, THat American Flags(as A signal of DISTRESS FOR OUR NBATION!) Be flown upsifde down. There is more to come. Remember Sic Transit Tyranus THe Ides of March Tyrants!!!! The Liberator Writer

3-6-2003 23:23

So, the A.R.M. (American Resistence Movrement) To stop the Caeser of Amrerica begins! The NEW AMERICAN REVOLUTION< LAUGH!? When theres a new "Vietnam" wall with names of Americans slsaughtered by the Greed of King George (BUSH) you wont! To the revolution! I suggest that all American Youth Boycott entering the military, THat American Flags(as A signal of DISTRESS FOR OUR NBATION!) Be flown upsifde down. There is more to come. Remember Sic Transit Tyranus THe Ides of March Tyrants!!!! The Liberator Writer

3-6-2003 23:23

See what happens when you leave the door to the asylum open, all sorts of kooks get out and try to engage in meaningless conversations with themselves.

I'm not for war, contrary to what many may believe, but I do support our President, in fact I watched his press conference tonight and it gave me a bit of a push his way.

I don't like war, to quote an old poster from my younger days "War is not healthy for children and other living things!"

However there comes a time in history when war becomes necessary, and I think the President has put forth a rather convincing case for going forward with the battle.

The History Channel has helped me understand some small bit of what is happening in Iraq, for example I was not aware that Saddam killed his first man when he was fifteen, or that during one of his meetings, he insisted that all those who opposed his plans come forward and be heard, and when they did, he had them taken into the courtyard and shot. Other deeds that they uncovered persuaded me that he is a much worse villain than I thought.

The fact that only a small percentage of the people of Iraq support him was also a surprise, the fact that the Southern No-Fly Zone is to protect the PEOPLE of Iraq from Saddam was a surprise to me, I knew that he wanted to kill all the Kurds, but that he wanted to kill all those who opposed him in Southern Iraq came as a bit of a shock.

Sure, some have said that Saddam was once looked on as a friend to the US (The enemy of my enemy is my friend) during our trouble with Iran was not a surprise to me, but then we've done things like that before. The leader of North Vietnam was once our friend, one that we turned on to satisfy our "friends" the French following WW II, in fact when Ho wrote his Constitution, he used ours as a sample, but when we turned on him, he went to the Communists and the rest is a horror of history.

But that doesn't make any difference, it appears that we will be at war with this despot very soon, and how ANYONE can support Saddam is beyond me, especially those who have lived under his rule in Iraq.

Sure I'd like to see talk work but they've been talking with that bunghole for over twelve years and he's still doing what ever he wants.

God knows I don't want to see any of our brave soldiers injured or killed, and I've got to say, no matter how you feel about this coming war, SUPPORT OUR TROOPS, they have NO say in what is about to happen, and need all the support they can get.

I know how much it hurt me to see the anti-war rallies going on here in the USA back when I was serving in Vietnam, and I don't want to have our troops who are about to lay their very lives on the line for our freedom to have to go through that.

Write of your distaste for war if you must, march for peace, if you will, but keep our troops in your hearts and prayers as they are not political but patriots and deserve no less then a hundred percent support form we at home.

Jerry 3-6-2003 22:29

It is no small gift to be an absolute liar. If you never tell the truth, you are virtually as safe as an honest man who never utters an untruth. When informed that you just swore to the opposite today of what you avowed yesterday, you remark, "I never said that," or should the words be on record, you declare that you are grossly misinterpreted. Confusion is sown rich in permutations.

Mark NY Review of Books 3-6-2003 22:26

Oh, MY, my my my my my my my my my MY!
Ramon, you forget how absolutely DANGEROUS Canada is, with our beavers, and our moose, and oh yeah! Our huge nuclear weaponry. I'm sure we've got some, somewhere, packed away in a case of 24 beer....

I am being sarcastic, just for reference.

Heather 3-6-2003 20:58

Oh, whew. It was just a commercial for BTTF. He's really watching SCORPION KING. I'm safe. I think... uh, um... gotta go! :-]

Mel 3-6-2003 20:42

hee hee hee ha ha ha ho ho ho hooo boy, you guys are making me laugh! :-) Stop it! I have to get some writing done...

Uh, oh no... the hubby has produced what Sunny calls a "worthy distraction" - BACK TO THE FUTURE on the dvd player... gotta go!

Mel 3-6-2003 20:39

I just had to correct a statement you made earlier.
The casualty figures that you quoted for the IRA campaign which, in it's latest phase (1969 - ) comes nowhere nere the hundreds of thousands, Even if we roll back our count to 1900 i doubt if we would get the figures to above 6000 (Including IRA activists killed by the British Army)
I am an NI vet, I served in the seventies when the casualty rates where very high on both sides and amongst the civilian population. It was a very nasty, very dirty period, filled with hatred on both sides.
Dirt dishers who know little and spout much are not at all helpful in any debate.
Shut up!

Eddie French 3-6-2003 20:00



Many thanks my friends for the well wishes. I WILL think positive thoughts!!! Hope to be home tomorrow night...

Ramon ... Thanks for the update on current, and past world events. You claim to be half Iraqi and half Iranian but you are all wet. There are so many holes in your argument a blind man could drive a truck through. It's sad how ignorant many humans are. BTW buckaroo, learn to use spell check and grammar check and proofread your documents. Your writing is barely literate and correctly reflects upon your reasoning processes.

Dr. Johnson, please seek professional help. And learn how to communicate through CORRECT procedures of writing. Dipstick. Are you kin to Ramon? Please reference my pleas above regarding literary intelligence. Rubber duckie...

Trailer trash ... get a life. Are you kin to Ramon and Dr. what's his name? You all write the same ... spiritually and morally inbred, illiterate and like a half-wit... BTW, there is a person on this site who has a program that will backtrack posts to web servers. We used it last year and it works. And seek help on spelling ... and buy a rubber duck for when you bathe with the other two bozos.

These three guys prove a long held theory of mine gang. All the squirrels are not in the trees.


See ya friends


Randall 3-6-2003 19:42


My prayers go with you for tomorrow also. I will be thinking about you.

Rhoda 3-6-2003 17:55

So, Iam a writer and live in a trailer park!A BIG MISTAKE!! Its true thew sterotype of "TRAILER TRASH"!!! T he manager "LES" is a conniving tyrant! Who use's his position to extort money from the otherv tenents!Thev neighbores for the most part are"LOSERS< ABUSERS AND ABUSERS!!!!!" EVRYDAY< I GO OUT MY "COACH" DOOR (THSAT WHT THERE CALLKED NOT TRAILERS BUT COACHS!) IAM STRESSED TO POUT IT MILDLY WAITING FOR THE NEXT HARASSMRENT FROM THE RAMBUCTIOUS REDNECKS HERE AT OAKDALKE MOBILEHOME AND R.V> PARK> IS NO ONE HERE OR ANY TRAILER PSARK IN SOMEWAY SANE??????!!!!!!!!! THE TRALIER TRASH SO CXAL KID SUNLAND< CAL>

3-6-2003 17:50


I got the very same e-mail. I didn't even read it, just deleted.


Rachel 3-6-2003 16:47

ROSEMARY: Don't be silly. AMERICO is Isabelle Allende, and I don't care how vehemently he denies it, and SASQY is a cousin to that famous yeti guy from Monster's inc.
Sooooo obvious.
I'm sure they asked SASQY to play the part, but he would have felt it beneath him.

RANDALL: Are you going to have a pre-med? I hear that's a pretty good part of an operation.
Wouldn't worry if I were you, ain't much point to it.
Thinking of you.

HOWARD: That clone riddle was really cute :-D

and now I shall wipe the smile off my face and work up some pity for RACHEL, and RANDALL too if he wants it.



look, I'm just going to send happy thoughts your way instead okay.

Have a stupendously, marvelously, awesomely enjoyable day all.

Teekay Willemina Hillary Winterbalm. 3-6-2003 16:25

Huh! I just got an advert for a Colorado Hunting Adventure -- trophy elk, beautiful scenery, etc. At the bottom it says:

"I found your e-mail address at, If I have sent you this hunting trip offer in error please accept my apologies."

Their spiders (Edress harvesters) are everywhere!

howard 3-6-2003 16:20

hey ANDY!!! Why don't you go on down to the candy store, climb up on a stool at the fountain (they might have a stepstool to help you up) and have a nice cold chocolate shake -- with extra malt. You'll feel better, and it'll take your mind off nasty things that bother you so. Had you paid attention in your remedial English class you might have impressed a few, but given your equally apparent lack of rhetorical and logical skills I doubt it.

AMERICO -- "someone with a deep knowledge of English and a gift for poetry?" Thanks! But I'm not sure I qualify for all that! Like I said, I don't care who Sasquatch is -- he(or she)'s welcome in my world any time!

RANDALL -- Prayers are going up even now!

howard 3-6-2003 16:08


I find your posts insulting and arrogant. You can have reasons for opposing the war such as others here on this site have and if they are delivered in an honest, respectful, and logical way, they are worthwhile and worth my attention. Not everyone here agrees on everything concerning this war, but so far most everyone has expressed their views in a sensitive and respectful manner.

First of all, you don't have to shout. Are your arguments and your thoughts so weak that you must intimidate in order for anyone to pay attention to them?

Secondly you sound like a high school cheering section instead of a writer. Your statements are shrill and you give no supporting arguments for your statements.

I am a writer, and I am against war, but I don't really think Saddam Hussein is interested in anything that I would have to say or write.

Rhoda 3-6-2003 15:30


eDSON aNDRE jOHNSON 3-6-2003 13:03


eDSON aNDRE jOHNSON 3-6-2003 13:03


eDSON aNDRE jOHNSON 3-6-2003 13:03

I've just read an article on the wonders of a new medicine for rheumatoid arthritis. They call it D2E7 here (I'm not sure if it is an international name). They say it's a new hope for people suffering from that disease. I immediatelly thought of our friend LITTER. Why not ask your doctor about that, Litter? (But you probably already know about this new thing).

By the way, Sasquatch can only be the creation of someone with a deep knowledge of English and a gift for poetry. Howard or Litter, probably, but not me, unfortunately.

Randall, all the best for your operation.

Americo 3-6-2003 12:22

Hi, All - I've been busy getting myself organized for a personal writing extravaganza of my own making. Four months-forty chapters...write every day, 3 days to review and revise a chapter... I'm cracking the whip over myself! Full report in July if I survive the whiplashings. :-)

SASQUATCH: Your poem was soul-rendering beautiful. In the deep of my heart, I hear yours beating in the truest, most vital form that nature can offer. Long live the Yeti! :-]

RANDALL: Tomorrow, think of your favorite place and mentally go there. Know that all your Notebook friends are sending you peace and strength for the journey. (((HUGS)))

RACHEL: (((HUGS))) to you too. I can't imagine a clean house AND time with the kids. What's reading? 8-/ You go, girl! Finish those classes! :-)

TAYLOR: (((HUGS))) and prayers for your little dog to find its way home. It's good to have you here again.

Belated HAPPY BIRTHDAYS and WELL WISHES to all who need them! :-]

BEN: That proverbial ROAD is almost completely paved, thanks to my contributions. As soon as the bru-ha-ha ends over my nomination for next president of Procrastinators' International, I'll send word (or maybe a few). :-/

EVERYONE: Have a great feast of writing time today!

Mel 3-6-2003 8:29


Ramon: Personally, I don't think the education has gone downhill because of lack of funds... I remember awhile back I kept hearing of these Teacher stories where they seemed neglectful in their teachings and almost ready to kick some students out of the school for expressing themselves and their opinions on certain things.

It is true that the governments did back people such as Laden and Hussein in the past... But that doesn't mean that they shouldn't stop them when they do something wrong.
If President Bush did even just some of the things that Hussein has done... Wouldn't you want him out of power?

Taylor 3-6-2003 8:24

I haven't been writing for a while, for many reasons, but the impending war, has provoked alot of debate, especially in my head. To add some food for thought, here is why I am not happy about the prospect of WAR.

Bush claims the purpose of invading Iraq is to overthrow Saddam to prevent him from using weapons of mass destruction and put an end to his treatment of the Kurds.

He needs to be reminded that during the Iran / Iraq war it was England and America who encouraged Iraq to wage that war and supplied him with the very same weapons they now want him to get rid of. SH was committing atrocities against the Kurds long after that war ended and continued to do so during the 1st Gulf War, which was only precipated by the invasion of Kuwait which threatened international oil interests. If Kuwait had not been invaded, there may not have been a Gulf War.

Yet they consistently ignore the atrcocities committed by the governments of Indonisia, Zimbabwe, China, North Korea, Israel and parts of South America. In fact as I recall, America offered sanctuary to Ferdinand de Marcos of the Phillipines when he was exiled, a man who committed terrible crimes against his people.

Another reason offered for this war is to put an end to terrorism. I believe that attacking Iraq will only provoke more terrorist action. Here in England, we have had to deal with the constant threat of terrorism from the IRA for decades. During that time we had no international support or help. In fact certain foreign organizations (NORAID anyone) provided funding for the IRA to continue their campaign of terror which saw the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocents.

You should also consider that Esso are lobbying Bush to go to WAR so that they can have first dibs on the oil supply.

I am half Iranian and part Iraqui. I have absolutely no love for Sadaam Hussain nor the people who support him. I saw the footage of 9/11 disaster and I cried. I had family in New York and luckily they were in California when it happened. I have a number of Black and White prints of New York on my wall at home and most of them feature the towers and each time I look at them I feel sad.

To conlcude, I believe that there are factions who control weapons of mass destruction and are far more fanatical than Iraq; these are China, France, Japan, North Korea, Inida, Pakastan, Israel, and America. England is a nuclear power too, I just do not believe Blair is gutsy enough or fanatical enought to use them, except in retalliation. Remember I am only talking Governments not necessarily people, and ask yourselves why are we really considering going to war with Iraq? Why are our Governments' willing to spend millions of tax payers money on this war when they won't spend it on crime prevention or education or health. Any government who will not spend money to educate its youth, treat its sick, protect its citizens, but will spend it to send its people out to die, does not deserve support.

The End

Ramon 3-6-2003 8:04

make that "oxygen tent" not attack...

howrad 3-6-2003 8:01

SASQUATCH -- thank you for that. It brought a lump to my throat. I'm glad you can't leave us -- it shows we're closer than we imagined. And I don't care who you really are either -- you've struck a chord with many of us, I think.

TAYLOR -- Yes, it was a sad ending, but life's that way. We had seen the "Pomeranian Effect" up close and personal when my brother was a small boy. He'd have an athsma attack and spend days in the hospital in an oxygen attack. WHen they released him my folks would take him to grandma's house in town because it was closer to the hospital, in case of a relapse. My grandparents had a Pom at the time, named Sparkle Plenty (after the character in the Dick Tracy cartoon). Sparkie would climb up on the couch and lie on my brother's chest, or close beside him. Though he was allergic to dogs, he would actually improve as long as Sparkie was near him! We never realised that others were noting the same effect until I read about it a few years later in a magazine column. Started looking into it a bit more, and found it's more common than we'd thought.

I just read the the mall (a couple of hours from here) has dropped the charges against the tee-shirt guy, but he wants a full apology. The mall cited an incident that happened on December 21 of last year, when a dozen or so people wearing similar shirts walked (peacefully and non-disruptively) in groups of two or three among the Christmas shoppers.
They said they had a right as property owners to "restrict advertising, soliciting, and offensive displays," but apparently the "Peace on Earth" message on the tee-shirts was the only "offensive" display they could find. I guess they haven't shopped in the Spencer Gifts store!

howard 3-6-2003 7:48


Howard: Thanks for that dog story(unhappy ending though) Funny you should mention Poms and Chihauha... Tara's a Pomeranian cross with a chihauha.

eDSON: I don't believe that 'Oil' is the main reason for the upcoming conflict... But I was hoping that Suddam's destruction of those missiles would stop the war talk... But I was wrong.

Sasquatch: Please remember that there are still a great number of good people out there who I believe has stopped this world from going to the dogs... And as Howard said, don't give up on us as a race.

Rachel: When we were walking through the cell blocks, I noted that there were some I peeked through the peephole into and there were others that I would avoid... Had a look at one cell that they kept a West Aus Bushranger into and he cracked, we were shown it because there were no youngsters on our tour. It had quiet a few nasty writings on the walls and roof.
The Solitary confinement cells were interesting... The guide asked us why we thought the first one was the most feared... Stupidly I said, "Because the floor's uneven." Others came up with, "It's smaller than the others" or "Because the roof was larger and the walls were closer together"
It turned out to be "The Condemned Man's Cell" The last cell he would be in before being hanged.

That lead to the Prison Gallows... Now picture this:
One large room with a door for an entrance and a second door on the other side as well... In the centre the trapdoor was fully open with a rope hanging from a roof beam ending in the "Hangman's" Noose. A lever in just in front of the trapdoor to be used to pull it open. Three old style planks were used so that the guards or officials could walk over the trapdoor to the prisoner or the other side. Old style floorboards, old style chair... And to top it off there was a brand new looking white fan on a stand in the corner... I kinda thought that looked funny.

Freedom of Expression at work: I heard on the news of two guys were arrested for trespassing in a shopping mall after mall security ordered these guys with "Peace slogans" on their shirts while shopping to take them off. They refused now have to goto court.

Randall: Wish you all the best for the proceedure at the end of the week... Good luck mate

Taylor 3-6-2003 2:00

Wonder where he got his doctorate from?

Randall - I'll be with you in spirit.

Sasquach - nice to see you again.

Everyone else, hi, hope your writing well.

I've been working on the little short story that has been trying to escape my troubled head, it's coming along nicely. Perhaps if it isn't too long I may post it later, depends on how it ends up.

Sounds like war is closer yet, more service people leaving our State, as well as North Dakota, the news tonight showed the refueling aircraft from the Grand Forks Air Force Base leaving for the European theatre final destination undisclosed. As I write this, CNN is reporting the US is throwing Iraq'ees from their embassy's here saying their spies.

The drums of war beat on.


Jerry 3-6-2003 1:11

Hello Sasquatch,

Know that there is a person who cares and holds good thoughts for you.


You think Americo could be Sasquatch. I ask you, does it matter who is who? I think not. I know that each persona that visits this page is a voice speaking. That is enough for me. I can remember conversations and speculations when people have dug to seek out identity. I did it myself. Now I know that identity, presentation of self, are often just things we play at. I like Sasquatch, I like The Old Man, I like Pussy, Jon and the gods and other great folk who visit this site. I've even read a post from the Notebook itself. This is a place that will not be limited by our limited thinking.

Rachel 3-6-2003 0:59

i sasquatch have as well a heart and cannot go from this place in anger. Yeti memory tells go from this place as humans persons do not have trusting but i sasquatch feel/know/experience different in this place. it is as a hungry inside but not as hungry either but empty where i am inside at time i sasquatch am distance from this place. same empty inside at times as friends are to hurt other friends. empty inside hurts more than hunger.

i know i have a heart as well
inside me where the hurt grows
when for my friend is tolled a bell
again my heart the hurt knows
i know i will not see again
this friend,
this one who went to fight
because he thought that it was right
and hurt and sorrow fill the night
no matter i've just found my heart
in time to feel the hurt grow

sasquatch 3-6-2003 0:46


Yeah baby, send me those be happy vibes (grins). I'm feeling a little better. I've almost completed this take home exam that I wanted to find time for. It is going well and I am pleased with it. I know that I'm not behind, I'm just stressing. I need to mellow out. I'm kickin back and treating myself to some t.v. with the fam. It is a good feeling *sighs and smiles*

Thanks again.


Rachel 3-5-2003 23:33

Poor RACHEL. (I really mean it. Love for people to be happy)

I would be thrilled with the clean house.

Does anyone else feel a similarity between Bigfoot and Americo? Probably my imagination.

back to catching up.

Rosemary 3-5-2003 22:57

AMERICO -- Perhaps it's all three! :-})

RANDALL -- We'll be thinking of you on Friday! Praying too!

RACHEL -- Awwwww! Hang in there! (what's an iMAC?) :-)

Ethical question:
In light of the news of the so-called human cloning going on, we have to
ask ourselves this hypothetical question: If you pushed your naked clone off
the top of a tall building, would it be...

A) murder,
B) suicide, or
C) merely making an obscene clone fall

howard 3-5-2003 22:13

A friend just sent a very interesting site -- if you're into astronomy (TINA) or just like looking at the stars, try this site:

All you have to do is click on the link and watch. It runs about 12 minutes, but there's some beautiful photography!

howard 3-5-2003 22:01

Hi all,

I'm not having a very good day. It isn't that anything is really wrong, I'm just feeling the pressure of my courses. There is so much to do and I don't seem to have much time. I'm spending time with the kids, the house is clean, the school work is getting done. It more time for me to sit and read a book or just catch my breath that I'm missing. It is picking me today. I am frustrated with the difficulties that I have in getting my iMac to communicate with PC's. I could about rip my hair out! I love my iMac (stamp my foot). I know that I'll feel better when I review for the week and make a hit list of what I need to do. I'm getting a bit of a cold and am quite a grump. What I want is for all of you to feel really sorry for me.


I'll watch for your post to tell us all is well with you.

Rachel 3-5-2003 21:22


Evening all!

Mark ... thanks pal! :-) A funny thing happened today at work. I am buying an auxiliary generator for use around the house and with our camper. The annual one day tool and filter sale is coming up and I wanted the generator purchased to go toward the overall store proceeds. Our store is owned by a really neat guy who encourages competition between the dozen or so stores he owns. No one wants the DAL trophy which is awarded after all the stores have their tool sales. The dreaded Dead Ass Last trophy that reflects a poor showing in sales. Anyway my boss was working up the order and called me into his office this morning.

"Randall," he said. "You are going to have that heart procedure done this Friday?"

"Yes, Friday morning."

"And you still want to order the generator?"

I cracked up and his face turned bright red. He stammered that he didn't mean it the way it sounded. I told him to forget it and order the durn thing! :-)

Dr. Johnson ... thank you for the posting alerting us to the unforseen dangers lying ahead for America. Intelligent, thought provoking comments by professionals of your caliber are highly respected, given careful consideration and forever cherished. However, I might recommend that you stay away from the clinic prescription drug cabinet and for God's sake leave the laughing gas alone. It isn't working for you ... but, maybe it is? Whatever, I count a minimum of ten errors in caps and spelling and spacing that a nine-year-old child would avoid. And zero ... that is zero in real world content, factual intelligence and cohesive structure in your shrill "Hillary style" tirade. You really should get a life outside of sniffing little girls bicycle seats and playing with rubber ducks in your mother's bathtub. On second thought...maybe another big snort of gas might clear out the old cobwebs, eh? And since you've already had two ... why not another? Hell, take a cylinder home for additional gaiety and frolic! "Rubber duckie, you're the one." Rub-a-dub-dub ... two duckies in the tub!


Randall 3-5-2003 20:37

Feeling rather melancholy this evening.
We had a funeral for a good friend today. He was a good man -- loved his family and friends, and loved and served God with all his heart. He and his wife were married 59 years, raised three kids, adopted four more, and raised over 60 foster children as well!
There were over 160 people at our church for the funeral -- most of the foster kids came -- some from as far away as Washington State (we live in upstate New York).
Most everyone who got up and spoke, or commented afterwards, said that Earl would call them on their birthday to let them know he was thinking about them, and to wish them well (he called me on mine, too). He used to come and see me whenever I was in the hospital, and I loved him and his family.
Thank God it's only a temporary separation!

howard 3-5-2003 18:10

I mis-typed a few posts back -- I meant to say "in the past 2000 years" not 200 years.

howard 3-5-2003 17:57


I read your article. I wonder if what divides us is caused by different information or a different mindset. In any case, we share the same anguish to see some glimpse of truth in all this mess. (It could also be different breakfasts in the mornings, of course...)


you must excuse Jon. He only understands correct English. For instance, when you wrote that he "paraphrased" you wrongly, he would be happier if you had written that he "interpreted" you wrongly, or something less pompous and more rigorous. As for the post where you suggested that writers should refrain from politics on this page, I am glad that you did not mean it. It would be silly if you were saying that, when the world is about to witness mass murder, writers should be silent, wouldn't it? You are right: Jon is completely "schizophrenic".

Americo 3-5-2003 16:47

TAYLOR -- We'll be thinking of you and your doggie -- Poms are nice! And many do not know it, but Pomeranians and Chiuhauhas have some sort of beneficial effect on athsma sufferers. It's uncanny, but people who are otherwise allergic to dogs and cats, etc, can get relief by holding a Pom or Chihuahua close to their face for a few minutes. Even in the midst of an attack they'll get relief.
I told a co-worker about this one time, and he wasn't sure about it. His wife was extremely allergic to any animal hair, dust, etcetera, and avoided them at all cost. Then he told me that one day at the mall she began having an athsma attack, and could not get her breathing under control. They were near a pet store, and he remembered what I had said about the Pomeranian. He sat his wife down on one of the benches, and left her there with their daughter, ran into the pet store and asked if he could see a Pomeranian. he told the clerk to follow him out into the mall, and ran out and put the dog in his wife's lap. She wondered what the heck he was doing, and started protesting. He began to explain what I had told him about the Pom, and as she listened her breathing got better, until it was back to normal. The clerk was amazed, and asked if they wanted to buy the dog. The wife decided to wait until they were sure. A couple of days later she had another attack and asked her daughter to take her to the mall, where her breating was again eased as soon as she got close to that Pomeranian. She bought the dog on the spot, and took it home.
Then she made the mistake of telling her doctor about it, and he told her she was crazy, and that she'd better get rid of the dog. She did, and died a few months later of an athsma attack.

howard 3-5-2003 16:46


eDSON aNDRE jOHNSON 3-5-2003 16:42

SASQUATCH -- Please don't give up on us! We do try, and many times if we do screw up it's because we become so wrapped up in the gods we invent that we forget about the one who made us.
I'll miss you if you go away.

howard 3-5-2003 16:23

RACHEL: T'WAS I!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Send 'em on , Baby!

Dear, dear sweet Sasqy, you are so very right, and that is why you can not in good conscious go and leave us fumbling humans to our own devices.
Though you have been absent long enough already.
No wonder things got out of hand.

Please Sasqy, do not remove you noble light from our wanting presence.

TAYLOR: Well I for one am hoping that you find your little dog.
One souls as good as another, no matter what form it comes in.

Teekay 3-5-2003 16:10


Sebastian had a very nice birthday. I'm not sure he really knew what it was about. All he knew for sure is that all of his family were there, including fun cousins and that he got to eat lots of goodies and open presents. I had just got him to say "I'm one" before his second birthday. Now when I ask him how old he is, he smiles at me and says "I'm one." Now I say, to him "no, no Seb, you are two. I imagine it is quite confusing for him (grins and laughter).

Rachel 3-5-2003 11:45

RANDALL -- think positive thoughts before the procedure. I can testify to the power of simple faith and positive thinking.

Mark 3-5-2003 9:58

Hi Taylor,

All is well with me. I am thinking of taking this spring semseter off from school. Spring semester is really a horror. I would like some time to sit and read something besides texts. I have a draft that a person I am fond of sent to me to read. I want to print it off and sit back with it. I am thinking that spring semester would be just the time for that.

We had a prison not far from my home that shut down. A lot of it was bashed down, parts were turned into a medical building and a coffee shop. Kind of weird. Now there are houses built up all over the old grounds. I wonder if there is any bad vibes in those places. I think that there would be. There was a whole lot of bad energy and suffering concentrated in that area for a long time. I don't think I would buy a house there, not even if it looks over the river ;o)

Take care you.


Rachel 3-5-2003 9:13


I know with all that's going on with everyone this may sound somewhat selfish.
But I too ask for a little bit of prayer and hope...
My roommate's dog, one little Pomeranian that I felt like I partly owned went missing on Sunday night. And when we rung the pound, they said that over the weekend someone went around and stole a couple of small dogs. Unfortunately Tara (Our Dog) wasn't among them. And she has now been missing for 3 days but it seems longer.

Sounds funny with all that's going on, I'm sitting here worried about one little dog and any others that maybe missing from their owners

Taylor 3-5-2003 5:42


Rachel: Happy 2nd birthday to your Sebastion. Hope you celebrated with great joy and had fun.

I am back from my 'forced' extension holiday in Perth City. One thing did come out of it though, I managed to get myself down to Fremantle (A portside city) And visit the Fremantle Prison which was discontinued in 91/92 and shortly after that made open for tours. Interesting to hear about it's colourful history.

But now back into the sporradic writing routine since I've been back.

How are you all doing? Hope that all is well. Happy to hear about your projects coming along.

Taylor 3-5-2003 5:34

Hi guys,

I've got a picture of my house now. I can't really remember who wanted to see what it looks like. I think it looks like it belongs in a haunting movie ;o) I don't remember who wanted to get a peak at it. If you post me an e-mail, I will send you a pic of it.

Rachel 3-5-2003 2:32

Hello dear Sasquatch,

I will keep you in my rememberings and pass them to my children. Good spirits are not always easy to come by. Live well my friend.


Rachel 3-5-2003 2:19

Sasquatch, please don't go, not ALL humans are bad! We need your simple and innocent input. And it's not just humans, how about Jon, the cat from (or in) hell? Prizes, no prizes, the poor thing is obviously schizophrenic and he also paraphrases others incorrectly (I did not say that writers should not discuss politics, I said I wished we could discuss something besides politics, like writing). All that political talk bothered me to the point that I put my Mensan mind to coming up with a solution to terrorism which does not involve war. I came up with one, but one person CAN'T make a difference. I AM the little old lady waiting for the world to come to its senses but am old enough to know that it never will. And that's why I don't bombard my brain with repetitive, negative, incendiary, depressing and sensationalistic reports from the media and hackneyed political pundits.

So, how's everyone? Randall, best of luck with your procedure Friday, I'm sure it will be smooth sailing. I'm sorry for your gall bladder and physician problems, good work on the letter (I've been known to scorch the keys too, usually with positive results). Heather, it's so sad that your ex-sister-in-law is making this difficult time so much more difficult for all of you, who have your own grieving to do. Debra, I hope you are coping with your troubles in Rhode Island, I understand stricter safety laws are being passed for nightclubs. Rachael, lucky you, two is such a cute age, happy birthday to Seb, Ben and Laura. Carol, hope you are having fun with Bruiser, Tina, I hope you are through with moving. Ben, it's nice to meet you, I'll email you and we can talk writing.

Pamela 3-5-2003 1:14

Jon, great to see, well read you again. Say now that your down there, could you check around and see if Osama happens to be around, lots of folks up here are looking all over for him and all they can seem to find are scratchy audio recordings claiming to be he.

Smoky is watching over my shoulder (well from atop my shoulder, one of his favorite perches of late) and says hi, he would say hi to pussy also, but we recently had him fixed and he's not all that interested in cats of the female persuasion any more. For a cat that once fit in the palm of my hand (last fall) he sure has grown, he now lays across the seat of the wife's recliner and takes up the whole width, his tail has no place to go. We found his problem, seems he was allergic to red food coloring, when we put him on food without that additive, he's shot up like a weed, well out like ah, well, sort of like a. Never mind.

Say hi to Americo for me, and give pussy a smack on the chops too.

Randall - I've had such problems in the past, they can sure be a pain in the rear. Right now the wife has to pay that $400.00 a month for her insurance while she spends her twenty four months in purgatory awaiting Medicare to kick in. Same deal with her insurance but the clinic here has two huge signs posted in the waiting room.



Funny, when we see the Dr. they never ask for the co-pay but we get the bill rather quickly, and have always been able to pay them. The price is much cheaper here though, an office visit is only $65.00.

You're right though, a well written letter does a whole lot better then a poorly written threat.

Jerry 3-5-2003 0:01

greetings humans persons i sasquatch am angry with humans persons to think of more war and hating other humans persons. in Yeti memory all humans persons are this way but a very few. i sasquatch as other Yeti believe all bad comes from humans persons in all times and none is good or has innocent. i sasquatch have enjoy talk with humans persons but i can not enjoy anymore. i will miss Rachel person much. as well i will miss others. i must go.

sasquatch 3-4-2003 23:51

RANDALL -- Well done! Contrary to popular opinion, letters like that DO get results! Good on ya!

howrad 3-4-2003 21:18


Hi all

Ben, welcome back! Nice attitude! Works for me! :-)

Jon...thank you for the prizes. You know, THROW MAMA FROM THE TRAIN is a favorite movie of mine. It stars Billy Crystal and Danny Devito. It's about writers, basically. But there is a line in there I will always remember. "A writer writes." Whether writing tales of Red and George and their adventures, writing social and political commentary is also writing. Writing develops a lateral talent. One gains in knowledge by forming sentences and developing passion for the subject. No matter what I am writing...I am writing. Does that make sense?

An example...We had a terrible time with the office staff of our doctor last month. They would not give me an appointment to see him despite that he was our PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN. This was the day after my first gall bladder attack. I owed 250.00 on an unpaid bill. Over the phone I told the lady I would pay them 50.00 and make monthly payments. She said no, payment in full. Now, BC/BS our insurance company pays up to 80% of ALL charges. I mean, the doctor is receiving 80% regardless! His office call is 175.00 smackers! I didn't have the doctor.

Shortly after this sad development I received a REGISTERED letter from the doctor's finance office terminating my relationship with the doctor unless I paid the unpaid balance in full. Disgusted with their behavior I wrote and sent a REGISTERED letter chewing them out. A week later I was admitted to the ER with another severe attack, then admitted to the hospital. My doctor saw me in the hospital and prescribed treatment. A couple of days later I had a follow up visit with the doctor in his office. One of the office staff said I could see the doctor this time but more visits had to scheduled after paying the past due bill in full.

My wife was back for a follow up visit several days later...after her hospital stay. Sitting in the exam room alone she said the door opened and the ENTIRE office staff came into the room one at a time and apologized for their lack of compassion!!! The head of their finance office was the last one in and told Debbie the doctor ordered them to make amends!!! They said we could come in any time and they would NOT worry about an unpaid balance again!!!

The reason...they got the letter and the doctor read it! So writing...anything...Ben...Jon develops many talents... edited version of the letter.

January 31, 2003

Re: Letter from office manager Mrs. B H, dated January 30, 2003
"Account of D Henderson"

Dear Dr. N:

My wife, D Henderson has been under increasing harassment from Mrs. B H of your office. I was denied admission to see you this very morning, despite the fact that I was very ill. Mrs. B H demanded I pay a past due amount of 250.00 in order to see you. I said I could pay 50.00 but was told ... no and not allowed an office visit. This was and is very disturbing as such an insignificant amount of money should not interrupt medical care when the majority of all fees and charges are paid. It is folly for any business to turn down a guaranteed payment of 80%!

I am hesitant to bring these disturbing revelations to your attention but a Primary Care Provider should never deny medical coverage to a patient. Especially when BC/BS pays 80% of charges. Money is not part of a doctor's oath. Medical care and compassion are.

Mrs. B H is apparently not aware that BC/BS pays and has paid a very large sum for our care to you on a yearly basis. As befitting her title as "Office Manager" she should be aware of that. The small amount past due should not be held against this family and consequently denied medical attention. We received a vaguely worded letter today from Ms. B H on your letterhead demanding payment or "...we will have no choice but to stop our care for you." I cannot help but believe that you are ignorant of this matter. Our patient and physician relationship has always been up front and honest. We have nearly always paid the co-pay. As you know, I am a retiree from the State of Texas and money is sparse. I have a second job but there is not a lot of money there either.

This is not the first time Mrs. B H has harassed Debbie or me for money, despite the fact that BC/BS pays a substantial part of our medical expenses. On a recent visit Debbie was verbally harassed for money despite the fact she was very ill! I believe Mrs. B H's closing remark in the letter indicate she feels medical care is secondary to money ... "...stop our care for you ... we will take that to mean that you have no interest in keeping up with your part of the bill." No, that's not right ... I pay BC/BS 400.00 a month for medical care. In return they pay you up to 100% of necessary fees.

Dr. N, as you know Debbie has many problems, mental and physical. Her treatment from your office manager Mrs. B H is not conducive to her mental well being. Just when I can see the light at the end of the tunnel Mrs. B H action may reverse all we have accomplished. FYI, I am inclosing a copy of Mrs. B H's demand.

It is possible that Mrs. B H has misfiled our insurance claims. The correct billing is account zgb*&%^#@$&. Group 38. I received several letters last year from BC/BS that they would not paid a claim to your office because the account number was NOT filed correctly. Is it possible that other accounts have suffered from this clerical error of Mrs. B H? I would urge you to insist that all billing to our family be reviewed.



THAT letter got reaction!!! But then, a writer writes.

Goodnight all


Randall 3-4-2003 21:00

Spreading pearls and other pretty jewels, making Hell a more interesting place.

Sweet sweet Kitty with the golden tongue.

But don't get too close after a fish supper

Teekay 3-4-2003 17:32

JON -- Welcome back! It's nice to see you (sorry about your present location)!

I'm disappointed, though, in your assessment of the world situation, especially given your close association with a university professor (albeit a Eurocentric one)who should remember the adage about those not heeding history being doomed to repeat it.

In light of that, I've posted an excellent article by Alistair Cooke (an excellent historian in his own right) on my web page. Please do peruse it, keeping in mind that not everyone on that side of the pond has so short a memory.

It's at

We all hope that hostilities do not escalate as they did back then, but the human condition seems to allow for nothing else. More's the pity, when we consider the warnings we've had for over 200 years.

A famous writer (his name escapes me at the moment) once said that "The keeper of the keys to the universe will shortly lock the door and proclaim 'That's all, ladies and gentlemen -- we're closed'"


howard 3-4-2003 17:26

if jon is so divine then whats he doing in Hell?

3-4-2003 17:02

Kisses to JON, the beautiful, who's wrath is silvered, perfumed, poetic, and oh so gentle on the senses.

Long live that divine and cultured kitty.

(((((((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))))))))))) HEATHER.

Teekay 3-4-2003 16:40

Greetings from hell from Jon... I mean, Napoleon and Jeanne d'Arc, just two insignificant French soldiers of the kind described here... (malicious smile)... Don't panic, oh gallant American "patriots", your jokes made us laugh.

Here's, with thanks, a good one about Americans. We heard that in North Carolina people stopped eating chips because Americans call them French fries... We don't know how that sounds there; here it sounds hilarious.

(End of Napoleon and Jeanne d'Arc's post).

Yo, Jon speaking.

Prizes: to Pamela, Ben and Mark for expressing opinions more akin to mine (and my neibour Americo) than those of Jerry, Randall and Howard.

No prizes: to Pamela and Ben for suggesting that writers should refrain from politics.

No prizes at all: to the democrats on this excellent forum for being too lenient to Jerry, Randall and Texans in general (including Georgie W. Bush). I can't believe Macarthism and fear have returned to America (yet).

More prizes: to Randall and Jerry for speaking up their minds. That's what democracy is about: frank expression and even a bit of silliness from time to time. And despite the fact that I hate the bellic and the "patriotic" spirit, I have to admit that the 9/11 and the Clinton's love affairs were not things to be forgotten easily by honest people.

And now a couple of war cries: long live peace! Long live a good relationship between traditional allies, the young Americans and the old Europeans! We helped you defeat the Japanese of Pearl Harbour and you helped us get rid of Hitler. Don't exaggerate your help to Europeans. Countries like Canada, Australia, Brazil, etc., were also our "saviours". As for France, that's my favourite country for two reasons: they have had the greatest literature and they play the best soccer in Europe. They are also right in this stupid Iraq affair.

This does not mean I don't like jokes about the French. They are so absurd that they make me laugh . As a matter of fact, Jeanne d'Arc, Napoleon and I (and my neighbour) have been having a great time. Where? In hell, of course, the place where you will be sent to if you make war like we did, in our time.

Jon 3-4-2003 14:51


Belated regrets about your dog. It is always rough when an old four-legged friend passes.


Good to see you back. You are so wise. I could not have said better what you said. Historical perspective is always humbling. It does take the thunder and bluster out of many arguments. Still passion is what moves history, and I haven't yet been able to lay mine to rest. But absolutely, life will not come to an end. It is not over until it is over.

I have not looked over here at the Notebook for a few days, and I must take some time to catch up on what I have missed before adding anything more.

Kids have been off yesterday and today for Mardi Gras. On Mardi Gras Tuesday, the pharmacies, doctor's offices, and most businesses are closed, and what is worse...the trash doesn't get picked up. That is my great horror of the moment. I am being taken over with bags of trash that no longer fit into the bin and I cannot anticipate any short-term relief. That alone can bring the world to a crashing end.

Anyway the parades have been fun. We hope to go to a few more today. Beads, daubloons, plastic cups, trinket and toys for everyone here!

Happy Mardi Gras, friends,

Rhoda 3-4-2003 13:26

Ben - welcome back, so good to have your wit and candor back again.

So what have you been writing?

Jerry 3-4-2003 11:11

And yes! Happy Birthday! And many more! :-)

MARK -- Great descriptive writing! That's one of the best exercises there is -- take a simple, familiar action and put it on paper. Sounds easy until you try it.

howard 3-4-2003 8:20

Greetings BEN -- Welcome back! We've missed you. How's life on the river?

Don't be too hard on Jerry and Randall -- they've as much right to be as passionate about their viewpoint as anyone else. If it is, as you intimate, the end of civilisation as we know it, (I don't think so) then what's the difference? We might as well all go out with a bang, rather than a whimper. If not, then life goes on -- same old same old.

howard 3-4-2003 8:17

Sorry about the spelling errors. Musta been caught up in the moment.

Oh yeah, and Happy Birthday....Me!

(I know no one wants a war Jerry, but don't fret about it. A few hundred people will die on the allied side. The other side's loses will be catastrophic. And all those stats about the second world war? a lot of them were my relatives. So have a beer, and sit outside and watch the sun go down...oh yeah, you can only do that out here on the West Coast. Sorry, I forgot {lol}.)

ben 3-4-2003 1:38


Well, I haven't been here for a long time, and I see I haven't missed much. I scrolled through the first dozen or two entries, trying to ignore all the patriotic hoo-haa and find something with some substance--I mean something that would interest me as far as writing is concerned.

Jerry's still the same long winded gent who looks at the world through Red White and Blue glasses (rah, rah--let's all wave the flag together); Randall, however, has sort of lost his homespun gentility and Mark Twain sense of humor to jump onto the political bandwagon with him (tsk-tsk). Oh well, another one bites the dust.

Pamela attracted my attention. A light in a darkened room, she reminded me of that little old lady in THE STAND, sitting in her rocker waitin' for the world to come to its senses. So feel free to contact me and talk to me about writing. I'm apolitical as much as I'm apologetic...but only to a point. (There still isn't a softwood lumber agreement.)

Nations come and nations go people; Empires rise and Empires fall just as quickly. It takes centuries upon centuries to decide who was right and who was wrong; who should have done what to whom, when--but in the end, who f*cken cares? When you're dead, you're dead. The only thing that is constant in this world, is the world itself. If we destroy it, it still spins lifelessly through the vast emptiness of space, doesn't it? Man will always wage wars, will always kill, and want what the other person has because it is in his nature to want it. Before us, it was the British, the French, the Spanish, the Dutch, the Incas, the Maya, the Turks, the Moors, the Vikings, the Saxon, the Angles, the Babarian hordes: Atilla, Ghengis, Tamerlane; the Crusades, the Romans, the Greeks, the Egyptians--I mean my God, do you people honestly think this is going to be the end of it? Lighten up. If they use Chemicals then some of us will die--the lucky ones probably--and the rest of us will strave to death as economies shatter and a new world power rises. Nobody's going to win here, so relax, try writing something, and don't try to figure out what it's all about. It'll just drive you crazy...sort of like a dog chasin' its tail.

For myself, I plan to make love to my wife as often as I can, read as much as I can, and write twice as much as I can. Let the world go along on its inexorable course. And don't try to tell me that one man's voice makes a difference, because the only time anyone listens to that voice is when its gone. The Kennedy boys, Martin Luther, Ghandi, Sadat, and this is just in the last, what fifty sixty years? (And that's only because Ghandi's on the list. So, sorry about the half rant here, I just wanted to say if anyone actually wants to get back in to the writing end of this page, give me a shout.

(Jerry, Randall, don't bother answering this, or let it bother you, because it means nothin', and in a hundred years I'll have forgotten it.) :-}


ben 3-4-2003 1:25

HEATHER -- {{{{hhhugggg}}}}

How do you do a hug, anyway? Both arms up? Both arms down? One arm up, one arm down, the up arm goes over the shoulder and the down arm goes around the waist?

My dad is pretty quick about throwing his arms out, you know early that a hug is coming. First sight is usually of him with arms up full-out, shoulder-high, palms facing you. Another step closer and his left arm rises; that makes room for my right arm to go around his ribs (he's a couple inches taller than I). On the other side, my arm is up, his down. It's a thorough embrace.

Funny, I can remember when my dad was the dumbest s.o.b. in three states. When I think of him now, I think of the little things. He did (still does) a lot of them right.

Anyway, one step closer, my right arm goes up . . .

Mark 3-3-2003 23:32

Howard - OK

Jerry 3-3-2003 21:46


Heather ... a great BIG TEXAS HUG!!! And a gentle reminder...How many times have I told first, writing (editing) second! Okay! :-)

Mark...I checked Molly's stats on French war dead. WW I pretty much checks out, a disturbing number for sure. WW II looks like this ... France ... 340,000 military dead...470,000 civilians killed for a total of 810,000 dead. I cannot imagine 810,000 humans laid out, in a row, one after the other ... dead. Horrifying...

Even worse ... and grisly...

Soviet Union WW II deaths ... 8,668,000 military dead ... 16,900,000 dead civilians for a total of 25,568,000!!!

China ... 1,324,000 military dead ...10,000,000 civilians for a total of ... 11,324,000 dead.

Germany ... 3,250,000 military ... 3,810,000 civilians ... A total of 7,060,000 dead.

Surely any person versed in history should realize why the earth must never go through this again!

Mark...there was not a nation on the earth that could have stopped the German Panzer Army, 1938 to 1942. It is said that a famous German general at the end WW II commented that the American army at the end of the war was only then equal to Germany's army of 1941! He was speaking of General Patton's Third Army! Coincidently, Israel refined and expanded tactics developed by the German Army tank armies of WW II in the Arab-Israeli Wars!

BTW...Did anyone see the documentary where an American officer was wounded in an ambush in Vietnam? In his company was an ex-German sergeant who left Germany after the war and joined the American army. He grabbed the wounded officer and took off ... The American officer told the German Army veteran to leave him behind. The German replied in a thick German accent ..."I never leave my officers behind."


Anyway ... having a moderately bad time with the Gall bladder. A bad spell Friday night. The heart procedure will be this Friday, everyone tells me its a common thing ... still......


Randall 3-3-2003 21:31


I send you a very big hug.

Rachel 3-3-2003 19:32

Randall - had to set aside the last page or so of The Patron - more bullshit trouble with my ex-sister-in-law over the suicide letter from Lee. I will get back to it now that I've vented thoroughly....I think.
Could this crap continue? You better believe it. This woman is, oh wonder of wonders, presenting as many obstacles as possible to try to block the path to peace and quiet, and some real time to work through feelings about Lee's death. Just as she blocked Lee from having a peaceful existence during their marriage....

Sorry, I'm still pissed off - please excuse my ranting.
Can I have a hug?
Also, I'm really sorry I haven't kept up with what's been said/going on in the Notebook. Just my state of mind - I have little concentration available for matters other than what's been dropped into my lap at the moment. Always a pleasure to have a steaming load of dung on my pantlegs....NOT.

Heather 3-3-2003 18:15

BTW -- it turns out that "actual letter home from Bosnia" is listed as an "urban legend" :

A quick Google search found a number of links, including assertions that the letter is an urban legend. At least one journalist, who really should have known better, has it posted on his Web log.

Here is what Snopes says about it.

howard 3-3-2003 16:38

JERRY -- You're asking MARK to "lighten up?" I think he's been more than reserved in this one. Or is this a one way street?

howard 3-3-2003 16:34

Mark - Lighten up for God's sake, I don't know about everyone else but I'm just blowing off a bit of steam, tension is up all over and if I can joke about it a bit, it seems to lighten the mood a bit.

It's not like I hate the French or anything, but seeing those crowds degrading our President pisses me off, as it should you and everyone else who lives in this great nation.

Jerry 3-3-2003 15:20

I have gone out of my way to hear Molly Ivins speak. She was worth it. One of my students said, "What an elegant accent." I thought, 'Yup, West Texas, deep roots,' and said out loud, "Is it the accent or the woman using it?" Student looked at me for a moment, light dawning. I continued, "She has good ideas and shapes them well."

RANDALL should know of Molly, a writer from Texas. I saw a recent column of hers concerning the way we've been making fun of the French. One of her points is that the French lost 1,400,000 soldiers in WWI; that didn't leave many men for WWII. Nonetheless, they lost 100,000 trying to stop the advance of Hitler.

The column is a good one, both for the content and its shape. I think it's worth a look just for her method, even if you still think the French unworthy of esteem.

Mark Molly_Ivins 3-3-2003 14:01

Randall - it was all over the news last night, Minot AFB is sending over a thousand airmen somewhere to join forces in the middle east, with them are going nearly all the bombers.

Sounds like your son will be a bit lonely with all the forces moving out, but then I'm sure they still need Security, especially for the missile silo's.

An old friend of mine who has passed on now, used to maintain that North Dakota should leave the Union, and set up our own nation, we would then be the worlds third largest nuclear power.

Thinking of the war, and my nationality, it seems that my French side would like to see us leave well enough alone, my German side want's to attack in lightning fashion, while my dominant Swedish side would like to see more inspections and talk of peace. But then there's my American side that want's to kick that little Hitler-want-to-be's ass all the way to Turkey, then leave him there to screw with the Turks.

Jerry 3-3-2003 10:22

Yeah -- I was up late last night -- WRITING! -- and that caught my eye. Figured it out after a while. The flash site is kinda interesting, though...

howard 3-3-2003 8:28

When the nephew in law said a pickup load he wasn't kidding, he dropped off fourteen old computers, all 486's but one, that was a 386. Seems he does a bit of free lance computer repair, well his sons do so folks there abouts just drop this stuff off at his house when they buy new machines, he has several sheds full of the things. Only four monitors though so it limits how many I can get ready. Looks like these machines all had their hard drives stripped but I have a stack of old ones in the back room their missing CD drives to, I have a few extras of those too, so I can get four or five ready to donate.

Gives me something to do I guess, and it's fun to tinker.

Jerry 3-2-2003 23:54

Howard - Tried that a couple of times, thats all it took to see the pattern that the writer based it on.

Jerry 3-2-2003 23:46


Yup, my wee little Sebby is growing up. His party went very well. I can't believe how much family I have. I never really think about it, till all the nieces and nephew kin start rushing about. Wow! Little ones do grow up very fast.


YAWN. You are a bore.

Rachel 3-2-2003 23:43

BTW -- Like TINA said, if you're gonna throw stones here, have stones enough to show stones!

howard 3-2-2003 23:20

Sorry to interrupt all the French-bashing!

Check this out!
It's weird!

howrad 3-2-2003 23:17

Rachel, he's already two? The little ones are growing up too fast! My nephew turned 5 on Friday. He's a fun little monster.

Jerry, that's the best way to get rid of things you don't use anymore, provided you can find someone who wants it. I have an old sewing table that is in great shape, but no one wants it, me included. But I can't trash it, it's too good! Maybe the Art Center here in town?

My muse is aching to write, probably because she knows that I'm in the middle of moving and have no time. Hope she sticks around until things are settled again.

Christi, I finished 'Bird by Bird'. What a great book! I'll be buying that one, so I can re-read it at my leisure and mark it up and dog ear it. She definately hit a few of my nails on the head. Thanks for recomending it so strongly. :-)

Okay, more cleaning to do. Must run.
Blue skies!

Tina 3-2-2003 10:41

Dear anonymous poster of French ridicule;

Either get the guts to post your name with your trash, or shut your pompous self-righteous face.

Thank you.

this ends Tina's brief foray into political discourse

Tina 3-2-2003 10:34

An actual letter home from Bosnia:
Dear Dad,

A funny thing happened to me yesterday at Camp Bondsteel, Bosnia}:

A French army officer walked up to me in the PX and told me he thought we

Americans were a bunch of cowboys and we were going to provoke a war in

Iraq. He said if such a thing happens, we wouldn't be able to count on

the support of France.

I told him that didn't surprise me. Since we had come to France's rescue

in World War I, World War II, Vietnam and the cold war, their ingratitude

and jealousy was due to surface [again] at some point in the near future


I also told him that is why France is a third-rate military power with a

socialist economy and a bunch of pansies for soldiers. I additionally told

him that America, being a nation of deeds and action, not words, would do

whatever it had to do, and France's support, if it ever came, was only

for show anyway. Just like in ALL NATO exercises, the U.S. would shoulder

85% of the burden, and provide 85% of the support, as was evidenced by the

fact that this French officer

was shopping in the American PX, and not the other way around.

He began to get belligerent at that point, and I told him if he would like

to, I would meet him outside in front of the Burger King and whip his ass

in front of the entire Multi-National Brigade East, thus demonstrating that

even the smallest American had more fight him than the average Frenchman.

He called me a barbarian cowboy and walked away in a huff.

Dad, tell mom I love her,

Your Loving Daughter,

Mary Beth Johnson, Lt.Col., USMC

3-2-2003 10:20


My son Sebastian turned two years old today. There are some here who would remember when I was preggers with my little man.


Seb had his first hair cut a few days ago. He is growing up so fast. He is over three feet tall. I can't believe that. I think he is 3'2", but he might have crouched or bounced, I could be out an inch or so either way. He looks so different without his baby hair. We will have his party tomorrow. You are all invited!

Nite all.


Rachel 3-2-2003 2:34

Breaking news from Paris, France

February 27, 2003

Fireworks ban in France

France announced today that it plans to ban fireworks at Euro Disney, following last night's display that caused soldiers at a nearby French army garrison to surrender.

3-2-2003 0:05

Debra - sounds like a nightmare.

I spent most of the day watching movies. It's one of those day's that I didn't want to move much, didn't want to talk with anyone, didn't even want to write.

I was lucky, I've been downloading movies with Kazaa so today I watched "We Were Soldiers" and when that was over, I calmed down with "Snow White". Amazing what one can find on the internet now days.

IT sure cooled off, when we went to Church tonight, it was sixteen below zero. (-26.666 C)

Spring is comming, or at least it's supposed to be comming.

My best friend from grammar school lost his sister to cancer, her funeral was today. I thought of him most of the day but didn't attend, I didn't know his sister she was much older then we.

War must be right around the corner now, AMC has been playing war movies all weekend.

I do have a short story begining to form in my head, I'll try to get it down in writing on Monday, no time tomorow my nieces husband is bringing down a pickupload of computer parts to trade for an old gun cabnite I no longer need since I have no more guns. I don't know what I'll do with the parts but if there's enough I'll put together more computers for the families of the National Guardsmen from here so they can keep in touch.

Write on.

Jerry 3-1-2003 23:39

LAURA: A belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I know how you feel about being forgotten on your birthday. Not to mention that I remember my 25th and it was hard for me. It just seemed that I was truly an adult at that age. I don't remember feeling particularly "down" when I turned 30, of course by then I was married with children, a time in my life I have always looked forward to.

Anyway, just remember to give yourself a big hug and that people may forget your birthday but not YOU.

PAMELA: I don't participate in the political discussions either, however, I do enjoy hearing everyone's point of view. Then if I don't agree with what they say I can just ignore their post! AND remember opinions are like a--holes, everyone has one and they all stink!

Good writing to all!

Cheri 3-1-2003 16:03


Happy Saturday gang!

We recently went through an attempted identity theft. I received a call from our accountant that our income tax claim was returned from the IRS. It seems my wife was being carried as a dependant on another's tax form, re her social security number. We visited the tax man's office and after furnishing three forms of identity, drivers license, social security card, credit card, our taxes were refiled and apparently sailed right through. Luckily, this time a correction was simple and the attempt thwarted. But it's just another indication of the complexities of life.

Everyone ... I will refrain from publishing verbatium any more of Rush's comments or the one I reprinted last night. However, I retain the right to comment on statements I feel are not conducive to the public record. Mark's comment that there was deception from President Bush was half-right and half-wrong, but compared to the eight years of Clinton-Gore laughable. Sorry Mark. There IS deception from President Bush...right now. There has to be. Our intelligence experts know where Iraq's WMD are. But they cannot inform the United Nations because then the Iraquis would then relocate them.

President Bush's mistake now is trying to do the right thing, that is work through the United Nations.And what does he get? President Bush (41) did work through the UN for the Gulf War in 1991. President Clinton launched 450 cruise missles into Iraq in 1998. This was more that the Gulf War and the reason we ran out of cruise missles in our war in Bosnia! Which was not sanctioned by the UN by the way. Where were the protesters then? Where were the signs NO BLOOD FOR OIL? At the end of the Gulf War, if America wanted Iraq oil, it was available. Walk in and take it. But it wasn't ours, it belongs to Iraq's people. President Bush is a good man trying to clean up a mess left by a flawed UN mandate which only allowed President Bush (41) to throw Iraq out of Kuwait, not initiate a change of leadership in Iraq. Now President Bush (43) has a future conflict looming with North Korea because of what Bill Clinton did in transfering missile and nuclear reactor technology to North Korea.


Can you imagine what the media would do to President Bush (43) if it was made known that he had received campaign contributions from the Chinese Army? Which Clinton-Gore did. NORINCO is an arms company owned by the Chinese Army and several years ago they attempted to illegally smuggle into North America a shipload of fully automatic AK-47's. Where were the war and anti-gun protestors then? Would the signs held in San Francisco read NO GUNS FOR BUSH. Or perhaps, NO FUNDS FOR BUSH.

You see, the protestors are not protesting Saddam Hussein, not protesting Bill Clinton for furnishing a rogue state the wherewithall for making WMD, not protesting what Saddam has done to his own people, the people of Iran, the people of Kuwait, the acid baths he gives his opponents. No. They are protesting a good man who is trying to sort through a myraid of difficulties not of his choosing. Remember 9/11? 3,000 dead Americans. Hummm? It wasn't President Bush's fault. Can we pin the blame on someone for that. President Bill Clinton was offered Oslama bin Laden by the government of Yeman. He declined, stating legalities. (Reference Munich, 1938) This from a man who seduced young female White House interns, accepted bribes from the Chinese Army, lied under oath, lied to his friends, lied to his political party, lied to the American people, lied to his wife. "I did not have sex with that woman...!" Yet, seemed to find trouble in Haiti, worthless targets in Iraq or tunnels in Afghanistan or Bosnia or an asprin factory to attack when congressional commitees convened to investigate him. No protesters then. Why? Because Bill was their kind of a guy...sexual pervert, blatant liar, morally bankrupt, but "He looked Presidental!"

So have we learned anything? Oh yes! There are millions of persons in America and the world who can and will without fail, zero in and unerringly attach blame to the wrong American President, for all the wrong reasons. Listen to NPR. They will issue marching orders to the great confused masses who have no idea what is really going on in the world. And really don't want to hear the truth. At least, THEIR truths...are more relevant.


Randall 3-1-2003 15:05


Thanks for the hugs. I need them.


Let me know if they ruin your book. I just submitted mine to a commercial publisher to the president. Someone I know knows him. I also got an agent to sign on for that submission.

This nightclub fire has dominated every minute of every day since nine days ago. It's on every radio station, tv news, newspaper and conversation. I don't know anyone who didn't lose someone in the fire or they know someone who did. That's just the ninty-seven who died. That's just the nature of our small state.

My brother lost a girl he loved enough to marry. They both wanted the same thing but had some problems they couldn't fix. They didn't marry but stayed friends. She has a little girl who is five. She'll never know her beautiful mother. A lot of children were affected. He is going to be the poll bearer at her funeral.

On Friday morning after staying up all night hearing minute by minute counts, I called my son, his girlfriend, and my two brothers on their cell phones. I knew they all had gone to that club from time to time. They didn't answer. They always answered. Of course I didn't realize I hadn't ever called them during working hours on a weekday before. I finally got return phone calls later in the afternoon. I had felt like I aged a hundred years waiting. People came from lots of other cities and states to party in the nightclubs in Rhode Island. Providence was the biggest spot but not the only spot by a long shot. There are still almost two hundred who were injured. The place was supposed to hold three hundred only and all three hundred people were affected. There were 367 inside. They all had one minute to figure out an escape plan. The sixty or so who did were the lucky ones. The people who needed two minutes weren't so lucky. That's exact figures. They had only two minutes.

All the stations picked the same few panio keys to be the theme song. They are the exact notes that will make your eyes tear up in seconds.

We have had the blame game, the wait to identify game and now the funerals upon funerals and memorials.

I have spend more time on the phone taking calls from the Govenor's Office to reschedule my appointment than I'll probably spend there when I do get there. I do admire the way he has handled this. It says more for him than the two men who owned the club and made decisions that caused this tradegy.

I sat down on a Thursday night nine days ago to slip through the news to get to Jay Leno. I saw the intruption of the fire and waited for the news to get better. I'm still waiting.

Debra 3-1-2003 8:40

Yeah, I wold love one of those power things, but I have an OLD house where the plugs are not properly grounded, the wiring inadiquate,and, more importantly, I am too poor to spend a hundred dollars on a computer.

As to the cards and money remark, it was a card from my mom, with 25 dollars in it, (one for each year and one to grow on). nothing from my friends, nothing but a 'happy birthday' from my dad, nothing from sis, and no one even threw a party for me.

Laura 3-1-2003 2:31

Hi All

Well, no writing yesterday or today. Yesterday was the trip to pick up the new puppy and today was, well, discovering just how much more puppy-proofing I had to do in the house. I forgot what it was like to have one. He is a character though and very loving -- with a name of Bruiser. And with that, I won't bore anyone further.

Pamela - I'm glad you got going on your huge editing project. Sounds like you got a grip on it and are having fun in the process. I can't imagine trying to write everything by hand or even on a manual typewriter! I do write long-hand when I get inspired just before falling asleep or other times when the computer isn't handy. But I do like the speed of typing into the computer. It keeps up with my weird thoughts much better than my arthritic hands. :) Keep up the good work! I'll get back into my story tomorrow -- promise!

Take care all and write, write, write!

Carol 3-1-2003 0:20

Pamela - I would never tell you to leave. Nice thing about the notebook, everyone is welcome. You are free to take part in the political discussions if you desire, or simply not read them.

I've been in tons of trouble here before for expressing my views on the world, and if I offend anyone, I'm sorry but right now the world is sitting on the brink of a war that nobody in their right minds wants, and to ingore that one would have to be dead.

Jerry 2-28-2003 23:41


Pamela...sorry to put you through this...but in a sense we are discussing writing. A writer needs different points of view. Perhaps not for an immediate story, but current events are furnishing a zillion ideas for later novels.



rio Yaqui 2-28-2003 21:02


Good evening friends...

Howard...I've heard the story about the children in Maine, the sons and daughters of our National Guard volunteers. It's sad...but from the people who brought Bill Clinton upon the scene, what should we expect?


NewsMax 10/17/02 Limbacher

Posted on 10/17/2002 6:04 AM PDT by Tumbleweed Connection

"In what now looks like one of the worst foreign policy blunders of the postwar era in light of North Korea's acknowledgement (sic) yesterday that it's working to develop nuclear weapons, the Clinton administration poured billions of dollars in foreign aid into the rogue state throughout the 1990's - and earmarked a substantial portion of that aid for North Korea's nuclear energy program.

As reported in February:

A country designated by President Bush as part of the "axis of evil" received more foreign aid during President Clinton's two terms than any other country in the Asia-Pacific region, a congressional study concluded two years ago.

House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Christopher Cox, R-Calif., said the study conducted by his panel found that under the Clinton administration, North Korea became the "largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid in the Asia-Pacific region," according to the committee's report as quoted by

"In an astonishing reversal of nine previous U.S. administrations, the Clinton-Gore administration, in 1994, committed not only to provide foreign aid for North Korea, but to earmark that aid primarily for the construction of nuclear reactors worth up to $6 billion," the Cox Committee contended.

The committee's report added:

"The U.S.-funded light water reactors in North Korea will accumulate plutonium in spent fuel at the rate of about 17,300 ounces per year, enough to produce 65 nuclear bombs a year.

"The Clinton-Gore policy, it is now clear, has severely worsened the threat that North Korea poses to the world by systematically rewarding Kim Jong-il for his most dangerous misconduct. It has provided North Korea with an increased capacity for the development of nuclear weapons and the long-range missiles to deliver them."

Cox, along with fellow congressmen Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Benjamin Gilman, R-N.Y., sent a letter to President Bush in February calling for the U.S. to cancel the nuke deal and urged him to spotlight the North Korean threat during his then-upcoming visit to Japan, South Korea and China.

Beyond aiding North Korea's nuke program, the Clinton administration provided 500,000 metric tons of fuel oil per year to the communist dictatorship's state-run military-industrial base, a figure that was "almost double what North Korea's civilian economy can use," the Cox Committee said.

In 1999, Rep. Cox conducted a separate investigation into China's acquisition of U.S. nuclear secrets during the Clinton years, concluding that the People's Liberation Army had, for the first time in its history, acquired the capacity to strike the continental United States with nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles."

Mark I have to agree that there is always a certain amount of deception from any White House occupant, Republican or Democrat. And I think you will agree with me that Bill Clinton, for whatever his faults, was above board and up front about his policy regarding our friends the North Koreans. No deception there! I'm sure the North Koreans would not export, sell or otherwise furnish a WMD to Iraq. After all what would Iraq do with it? I mean, aside from killing thousands of American boys and girls with technology and the wherewithall Democrat Bill Clinton furnished the North Koreans. But then Americans have no business over there anyway. Right? If Saddam chooses to kill his own people or invade other nations, that's his business. Certainly none of ours. It's obvious to many of us that 12 years is not near enough time to honor a document Saddam signed after the Kuwait war promising to disarm. There should be no deception here from President Bush ... let Saddam kill his own people and bring our boys and girls home...

Folks can back who they may ... but Randall will stand with the armed services, the American flag, and president George W. Bush. Everyone else can FO.


Randall 2-28-2003 20:56

Litter, your Twilight Zone event was funny, I've had that happen too but just with little things. Tell us about the UFO activity in your area.

Carol, glad you're still writing, I've really gotten going too. Thanks for suggestions for large project, you were the only one who commented.

Today I blocked out the book into roughly 100 page increments, what I would want to accomplish in that span, but yikes, it ended up being 700 pages and that was squeezing a lot into each section. Well, I'll just have to see how it goes as I go along. I've gotten 35 pages done in the past few days, some new, some rewriting and editing, some putting handwritten stuff on the computer. Blocking it all out today really got me excited when I got to the twists, I think they will really surprise the reader. One good thing about this notebook is that I finally wrote new stuff on the computer, which I hadn't done before (I used to use a manual, didn't like electrics humming at me, lately had no typewriter so was writing by hand). How are others doing with their projects, you have sure helped me get fired up.

I write this in hopes that somebody feels like talking about writing rather than politics. I SERIOUSLY avoid political issues as an anti-depression tactic and no, Jerry, the situation doesn't drive me crazy because I don't know about it. I would rather spend my time enjoying my life and writing a book than worrying about things I can't do anything about. I do occasionally check out what is going on in the world and when I do, I watch the BBC news on PBS, it gives a good overall perspective view without the usual solipsist American attitude. I think putting France down for expressing views other than our own is demonstrating the same type of intolerance which we comdemn. If I want to read Rush Limbaugh, I will, but I joined a writing group with the hopes that the topic of writing might be discussed. Okay, I know Randall and Jerry are ready to have at me and tell me to leave and I will, for a while, the political discussions are too disturbing.

Pamela 2-28-2003 20:54

I guess French-bashing is in -- just received this from a friend in California..
The jokes have taken on a life of their own. Americans love them. For
instance, Jay Leno says it's no surprise the French won't help us get
Saddam Hussein out of Iraq. They didn't help us get Germany out of
France either.
Still, it's essential for them to join us in the war against Iraq. They can
teach the Iraqis how to surrender.

And why are French streets tree-lined? So the Germans can march in the
shade. How many Frenchmen does it take to defend Paris? No one knows.
It's never been tried. What do you call 100,000 Frenchmen with their hands
up? The army.
How many gears does a French tank have? Five, four in reverse and
one forward (in case of attack from behind). FOR SALE: French rifles
. . never fired, only dropped once.

Dennis Miller specializes in anti-French humor. "The only way the
French are going in is if we tell them we found truffles in Iraq,"
says. "The French are always reticent to surrender to the wishes of
their friends and always more than willing to surrender to the wishes of
their enemies."

That last one is more than a joke. It's shrewd commentary. It captures
why the French make such poor allies. When they pulled out of NATO
40 years ago and declared Americans must close down their bases in
France, Secretary of State Dean Rusk had a bitterly caustic response.
Should we dig up the graves of American soldiers in Normandy, too, and
take them home? No French answer was recorded.

howard 2-28-2003 15:30

Ran into this site today, this guy has a lot to say, and he's not bad with a fiddle either.

Jerry Charlie Danials 2-28-2003 15:02

Hi Laura,

I don't really know you, but, Happy Birthday! (smiles to you).

Rachel 2-28-2003 14:59

Mr. Rogers! Say it isn't so. what a drag. I loved that guy when I was a kid. Seb and I just watched the show. He did the loud and quiet episode. Seb is now standing beside me yelling for the Choo choo to come back.

Rachel 2-28-2003 14:57


Yuck! I would crap if I had to empty the craper ;o) In my family it was just a saying, not a reality. You are making me laugh again. Thank you so much.


Rachel 2-28-2003 14:54

Question: Why are there so many tree-lined boulevards in France?

Answer: The Germans like to march in the shade.

2-28-2003 14:37

Oh, Howard, not a problem, I haven't had a drink in years, and while I go to Sturgis regularly (that's where the VA hospital is) I never go to their bars. We do frequent the Gibson's store, and Subway for their wonderful Subs. It's a long drive but Subway makes it worth the trouble, that and the VA's medication policy of $7.00 a prescription a month makes life so much easier.

Jerry 2-28-2003 12:36

The link below is to the Boston Globe news story about the teachers in Maine and what they said to children of those deployed to Iraq.

Guess RUSH was RIGHT, yet again!

Jerry Maine Teachers 2-28-2003 12:34

Research leads into strange places, and we've gotta be open to learning new and exciting things!
For example -- JERRY -- did you know that if you visit Sturgis you have to be careful what you order in a bar? Check out
to see what I mean...

howard 2-28-2003 9:50

RANDALL -- I hadn't heard about it until late last night, and then just a phrase. I'll look more at it today, but I tend to take everything Rush says with a handful of salt.
It really wouldn't surprise me, after the way some of us were treated when seen in uniform in the middle and late 60s.

h 2-28-2003 7:27

Despite having written for TV, radio, magazines etc - I really can't be arsed sucking up to media excecs. So I decided long ago just to try and make people laugh - for no money, and with glorious anonimity! Some of you may enjoy THIS:


Inland Revue Inland Revue 2-28-2003 2:59

Funny, I heard that story on ABC News tonight too, guess there must be something to it.

Oh Mark, the Prez said that of and to nations of the world and he was speaking of the war on terror, not of the upcoming war with Iraq, but then some folks take words and mould them so they fit their beliefs.

As far as that goes, I'm with him.

Jerry 2-28-2003 0:24

Oh, yeah, notice the part in Rush's story where he says, "I've been waiting for confirmation on this story . . . " In other words, I don't know if it's true, but I am going to repeat it anyway.

Mark 2-27-2003 22:59

Overblown, I'd say. I remember a case in the '70s where a Mississippi homecoming queen (who was white) was accused of winning because of racial prejudice in the student body.
The accuser was a black girl. Turns out she was the only person screaming "prejudice." Printing the story did a disservice to the school.

Still -- I'm sure we are polarized almost as badly as we were during Vietnam. I heard a guest on NPR yesterday talk about the historic levels of lies and deception in this White House. And this guy was an economist talking about the economic effects of war with Iraq.
His forecast? Very little help for our ailing economy and the only trouble might be with oil prices if the war drags out. "Historic levels of deception," from this White House.

In the '60s we heard a lot of "America, love it or leave it." Hippies tended to say, "Love it and change it." Today I think we get a lot of "Be with me or against me," from George W.

From where I sit, it looks like our president is our chief polarizer.

Mark 2-27-2003 22:51



Rush (El Rushbo!) Limbaugh spoke of this today, as did Sean Hannitty. (SP?) Bill O'Reilly also did a short piece on FOX tonight. Is this overblown, taken out of context or have some Americans come down to this? I am afraid America has been polarized, a split that may be difficult to overcome. Howard, has this crossed your radar?


February 27, 2003

"There is an incredible story out of Maine in the Washington Times about children of Maine National Guard members being taunted by anti-war (read: anti-American and anti-Bush) teachers. A spokesman for the Maine National Guard said that children are "coming home upset, depressed and crying."

The Times reports, "The state commissioner of education has urged school officials to be more 'sensitive' to military children." What is this psychobabble? This is far worse than "insensitive." This is insulting, provocative and probably intimidating to these seven-year-olds. A woman named Sheryl sent me an e-mail claiming that the Bangor Daily News retracted this story.

We checked it out, and only found a single story on this topic from that source. It's from the February 25th issue by reporter Ruth Ellen Cohen, who reports simply that School Commissioner, J. Duke Albanese sent e-mails saying schools "must be more sensitive to the students," etc. I've been waiting for confirmation on this story after first hearing about this two days ago in James Taranto's Wall Street Journal "Best of the Web" column. We'll keep an eye on this, but I'm leaning towards trusting the Washington Times that at least one kid has suffered from this. I certainly wouldn't be surprised if a bunch of left-wing bigot teachers told kids that their mommies and daddies are baby killers. Would you?"



Randall 2-27-2003 21:45

LAURA -- and anyone else bothered by power interruptions -- you can get a UPS at SAM's Club for well under $100. It will give you time to shut down clean in a power outage. Mine will power my system and my wife's system for about a half hour. Cost me $118. Well worth it!

howard 2-27-2003 17:23


An hour isn't bad here a few years ago we had one that lasted for four days, that in mid winter.

I kept the house warm with a kerosene heater, cooked over a camp stove and adopted a neighbor family with three of the worst little brats in the world. It was either that or let them freeze.

There were a few hours there where I thought their freezing would have been better, but in the end, I'm not sorry I let them in the house.

Hope your outages are over soon, but look at it this way, you can use the birthday candles to light your house tonight.

Jerry 2-27-2003 16:17

Gee, Laura, I'm pretty sure the cards and money mean people remembered! Hope the power outages stop soon. :o)

Heather 2-27-2003 15:38

Not Mr. Rogers! Wonder who gets the neighbourhood?

Heather 2-27-2003 15:37

Just trying to dodge the blackouts brought on by gusty winds and heavy rains. It is sort of frustrating because you can only use your comp for ten minutes or you might get zapped by a power out. Rebooting in the middle of a chat is a pain, and not good for the comp I might add. Three power outs in one day, one lasting almost half an hour and it is only ten to 11. sigh... This is frustrating.

Another year older and other than cards and money, no one remembered...

Laura 2-27-2003 13:59

For more on Mister Rogers, go to

It uses popup windows, so if you have popupstopper hold the CTL key to disable it as you click on each link on the page.

howard 2-27-2003 9:15

RIP, Mister Rogers, and thank you for being my neighbor.

howard 2-27-2003 8:40

Just watched Discovery show the Kennedy Assignation in unsolved history. Intresting.

It reminded me of my English Comp 101 teacher, she was fixated on the assignation, that and she loved horses and Vietnam stories.

A buddy of mine in College was having trouble coming up with a composition that would get her attention and one day swore that he would write a story on how he killed Kennedy from the back of a horse while serving in Vietnam.

He chickened out and I ended up re-writing his final, a story that made an A, and was selected for publication alongside mine. Wonder what ever happened to that guy.

Jerry 2-27-2003 1:01

Spent most of the day today celebrating mom's 77th Birthday. Her idea of celebration is, of course playing Pinochle, so we played pinochle and played pinochle and played more pinochle. I think I won one game, maybe two but I know mom won a couple and that made her day, albeit interrupted by the constant ringing of her phone with well wishers from all over town and much of the country from her sisters, brothers, kids and grand kids.

Overall a great day, and the weather even cooperated with temps over the freezing marks.

Jerry 2-27-2003 0:52

Speaking of Do do do do, I've been downloading Twilight Zone Episodes off Kazaa of late, my collection is over ten now and I'm still working on it. Gotta love Adsl even if we only have 256K.

Jerry 2-27-2003 0:14

Random thoughts - Do do do do Do do do do.... Know where that theme originated? Right in my home town, that's where! Rod Serling grew up in Binghamton, graduated from Binghamton Central High School, as did Richard Deacon, who acted in several of the Twilight Zone stories.
And I swear that some of the characters from those stories are still roaming around these hills!


SOGOTP! Yes! I had to empty many a "Thunder Mug" when I was a kid! When we moved up to the top of Bunn Hill we didn't have indoor plumbing for a couple of years. Not too bad in the summer (except for the hornets' nests), but in the winter that path grew longer and colder. One tended to hurry back into the house and warm one's little backside behind the cookstove!


Remember how pissed off we all got when gasoline prices skyrocketed to 35 cents a gallon?! Then fifty cents?!?!? But it couldn't possibly go over a dollar, right? Riiiight!


howard 2-26-2003 21:55

Rachel - that saying was one of my dad's favorite too. I, however had a real image of what that meant, having used a pot for many years when it was just to damn cold to use the out-house. It was also my sad duty to empty that damn pot every day during the winter, not a fun chore, and when it was too full...

Jerry 2-26-2003 21:30

Hi Jerry,

I saw your "Shit or get off the pot" quote. That is so funny! That was one of my mums sayings while I was growing up. I can't count the times she shouted "shit or get off the pot!" Man you made my day. I've got a replay of funny events dancing through my mind.


Rachel 2-26-2003 21:08

Where does all the time go? Seems like forever since I last posted.

Things are getting spooky. My novel was based, in part, on a dream I had. In the book, the main character has the dream, which is based on real events in my past, and it goes on from there. It also includes an unprecedented level of UFO activity in Fife (where I live in Scotland) and, folks, a local newspaper has just declared an unprecedented level of UFO activity in Fife. There have also been coincidences in several other early parts of the story. The main Character, Fraser, who also writes a sci-fi story inspired by the dream, freaks when his nearly girlfriend (actually my nearly girlfriend) from his university years, recognises her own description in his book and contacts him. If the scrumptious Zoph Dimitri contacts me after the book is published, I will really start freaking… and looking for a bloody great mountain sized rock heading straight for us…

Am I a character in my own book? Do do do do, do do do do…

DEBRA – Sorry this answer is a tad late. Re publisher's changes to my manuscript – I am waiting for the publisher's proofs, so I won't know until they arrive. Congratulations on being 1/8th Scottish. :o)

Those who ail, be well. Those who despair, be healed. And those who are frustrated with a lack of writing productivity, do what constipated mathematicians do – get a pencil and work it out!

Write write write, right?

Litter 2-26-2003 19:58

Hi All :)

1,024 words today. New puppy is arriving tomorrow so it'll be a bit harder to get in my minimum word count. But I plan on taking a tablet with me for the trip (2 hr. drive to pick him up) and at least getting some work done then.

Carol 2-26-2003 17:56

Who says it doesn't pay to complain, bitch and scream?

Just got an email from they are sending me the item I paid for, well their sending me two of them for my trouble.

Guess they aren't as bad as I thought, well maybe it was just my writing skills that brought the action, or it could be the posting I did on the Ebay discussion lines. They were taken down by Ebay shortly after I posted as a violation of Ebay rules but I got seven responses from others on the board, all of which were favorable.

To top it off, the cold has gone south (look out Randall!) and has been replaced by seasonal weather, it's 21 (-6 C) above already this morning.

Jerry 2-26-2003 10:46

Am I the only one who wishes that this damn war thing would either get underway or drop, the tension is getting on my nerves and the constant beat of war drums makes everyone jumpy everywhere.

Message to our President, the inspectors, Sadam and the rest:


write on.

Jerry 2-26-2003 1:04


Link 2-25-2003 21:14

Hi all!

Howard, I think that was one of the worst puns I've ever had the sincere pleasure of reading. Still groaning.

Carol, Landing in water is bad for parachutes. ;-p
The dolphins are actually one of the things I don't like about Pern. That, and indentured servitude. And that they lost the knowledge of how to make - of all things - paper! I adore the first 6 books and like the rest, except the very last one which was lame lame lame.

Speaking of books I adore, the next Harry Potter will be out in June! Yay! About time.

One thing about packing up is finding things you'd forgotten all about. In the back recess of one closet, I found folders full of my art from college. A nice memory trip.

and speaking of Howard's jokes...
Back on my head!

Tina 2-25-2003 20:36

looking for writers

please go to

for submission info


opinion magazine opinion magazine 2-25-2003 20:34

Anyone ever heard of a Canadian outfit called Henry'

If you have, be warned don't order anything from them or bid on their ebay auctions, they just screwed me out of ten bucks.

Now ten bucks doens't seem like much but it took place over several months, trying to get them to send the item. Today they simply told me that they never received payment, "it must have been lost in the mail!"

Ok now maybe that used to happen but in my lifetime I must have mailed several THOUSAND letters and NONE of them have ever been LOST IN THE MAIL.

My error? Trusting them I guess since they couldn't take the money order I sent them and returned it, and since I had no credit card, I sent them cash "AT THEIR REQUEST!"

Now they say the never received it, knowing that there's not a thing I can do about it. Well there's one thing I can do about it, I'm telling EVERYONE I have any contact with not to trust the bastards.

Jerry 2-25-2003 17:52

TINA -- Is "withdrawl" the same as "fromTexas?"


howard 2-25-2003 16:57

Hi All :)

A sunny, but still chilly day here.

Word count for today -- 1,228. It was slow going at first, the background "action" was a bit boring. Just four guys running around a track, covering as much distance as they could for an hour. If anyone has a love of watching running races that they could share, I'd appreciate it. I tried to put in enough conversation to move the plot along but I think its a section I'll have to play with a bit more. The next sporting event got a little more exciting, so that section moved along a bit easier.

Tina - you forgot to have your bronze drop you into the ocean so you could swim with the dolphins. Now that would be a perfect ending to your ride on the bronze! (as long as you didn't have to fly the between that is! Brrrrr) When we moved the last time, the computer was the last thing I packed and the first thing I unpacked -- and that was before I came "on-line"! I'm glad to know that you're taking breaks though. They are much needed with all the hard labor you're facing.

Pamela - since I haven't hit that number of pages in any of my work, I don't have hands-on advice to give. I guess I'd break it up, chapter by chapter. Though your thought of 100 pages at a time sounds reasonable too. Or, if that seems even too large, break it even smaller into scene by scene. I'd guess there are just as many ways to do your editing as there are writers in this world. Go with your instincts and if that doesn't work, try another thought. Just keep at it! {hug} (I'm shivering at the amount of work you're facing! Good luck!)

Debra {{{{hugs}}}}

Rosemary - I sympathize with your weather shocks. Even with many years of driving on snowy and icy roads, that first time each year is a test of the reflexes for everybody. How much harder it must be for someone who so rarely experiences it.

Now that I've had such a decent writing day so early in the day, I think I'll see which stack of mess I can get cleaned up today. I know where everything is -- either one of three stacks on the extra desk or one of four stacks on the floor! Just don't touch anything!!

Have a great day everyone! (especially you Heather -- I just don't know how you do everything you do.)

Carol 2-25-2003 14:57

A very cold icy morning to all,

Just a quick note to notice the differences in the north and south halves of the country. JERRY is in the -20's and still functioning just fine. We (south Texas) went into the low 20's with rain last night and the whole area came to a screeching halt.
They shut down about 400 miles of Highway 10. From San Antonio almost to El Paso. I started to go out to feed this morning (about 10:30) and there was ice all over both porches. I went back in and called my sister to feed. She was suposed to drive her eighteen wheeler to Dallas last night but by eight o'clock on the far side of Austin, she turned around and crept back home.

I just mentioned this as a comment on how some parts of the country can cope with far worse weather elements but we just shut down and wait it out.

Rosemary 2-25-2003 14:24

Hi guyes:

Tough time to be a Rhode Islander right now. So far I lost one person in the fire. Still ninteen more people to be identified.

My meeting with our govenor has been cancelled for this month. I understand completely, still can't help being disappointed a little.

Debra 2-25-2003 7:24

Hi all!

Taking a packing break. Much needed.

Mel, thanks for the site. I've marked it, and will check it out thouroughly when I have time.

Someone (Carol?) suggested Anne McCaffery. I LOVE PERN! I'd take a trip there in a heartbeat.
Pern Visual... (if you haven't read the books, you won't get it)
The bronze dragon lifts me effortlessly into the sky, and the ground drops away... away. Each beat of his wings pounds through his skin into mine, our breaths echo in the silent sky. A few clouds are scattered around us, and then under us, islands in the blue.
And then we reach our goal; I loosen the straps holding me on his back, stretch out my neck and shoulders, and check each of my handles on my gear. The bronze looks back at me as he does his best to hover, I nod and smile my thanks for the ride, and then swing my leg over to one side, so I'm holding on only by the straps. And then I let go.
Man what a skydive that would be!

At any time, I might be off the net for a few days while we move. I'll be back up ASAP, since I think I'll go into withdrawl without it.

Randall, I'm reading a book that Christi recommended, called 'Bird by Bird'. It's an inspirational/how to/how not to write kinda book, and it's awesome. Several times things in it have made me think of you and what you've said about taking 'Flowers' to the next level.

Okay, enough distractions, I need to keep packing. My cold room won't pack itself.
Blue skies!

Tina 2-25-2003 1:26

Ah, unbelievable BS I have been through to get a new version of Outlook Express to work! Finally, the frustration has melted away... SIGH.
Randall, don't you worry about not editing The Patron very much ahead of time. I think it's always hardest to edit your own work!
Ha ha ha, and no, that's not what is taking me so long with Phantasium.'s staring at me again. Must somehow know when I'm talking about it, no? CREEPY!!!
More later. Work calls. Husband still not home with the car, and for once I'm actually ready to run out the door for work. Hmmmm. And he left the cell phone at home!

Heather 2-25-2003 1:07

Randall - it was only -21 this morning that's F for those of the C persuasion that's -27.9999 by my universal converter thingy that I got many years ago and recently found on a floppy in a box I had long forgotten. With the wind that was blowing it put the wind chill somewhere below -45 (-42C) that's cold. The weatherman said it was -22 in Minot F again that is. right now it's -3 F -19C (don't ask me it's the Universal converter doing the conversions.)

Oh Randall the news tonight said that part of Minot AFB has been alerted for transfer to Europe to support any future war effort. Probably flight folks and air support, also more of the ND guard has been activated to serve as guards around the air base, another ND unit that is a real estate unit was just alerted for activation and will leave this week for Ft. Carson then on to who knows where. Their mission is to rent land for bases on foreign soil.

Jerry 2-24-2003 23:15

Thanks Jerry, Eddie and Mark for attachment advice, I found how to do it with Notepad but there's a delay from the postmaster. I do know who sent it and, in fact, requested the material; I go straight to "delete" on email from anyone I don't know, much less attachments. Thanks for heads-up on anything with dat.exe, I'll be sure to remember that.

Enjoyed your pictures, Eddie, you looked different in all of yours but you do have some great gams! (That's "legs" in Americanese.) The Queen Mum apparently never aged since she looked exactly the same last year as she did in l968. What is Jock Bonner Night? Also, not to do with album, I'm just curious, what is Boxing Day? I too have problems realizing that the seventies were 30 years ago, time DOES go faster the older you get (did Einstein factor that in?).

Mark and Randall, enjoyed the jokes. Mel, you're a madwoman, keep it up! Carol, Viv, Mel, HOORAY for your writing binges, you are getting me revved up too.

Okay, here's something everyone should enjoy: I'm going to ask for advice (like opinions and anatomical parts, everyone has it). How would you go about writing/organizing a fairly HUGE project? My rough draft was 550 pages and, while some will fall to my red pencil, I have developed characters more fully and added some sub-plots, so the book will definitely run at least 5-600 pages. My first book was a too-long short story of 100 pages, then they had me write another 100 pages and that was pretty easy but the scope of this one has me a little intimidated. I've been thinking about breaking it down into segments of around 100 pages at a time, getting that much written, edited, pretty much finished, before moving on to the next section, what do you think? How would you approach a project this big? I'm a stream of consciousness writer but obviously I need to inject some organization into my thinking. ("No, no!" cried the rightside brain. "Yes, make an outline!" countered the leftside.)

Pamela 2-24-2003 22:14


FYI for all ye painters of religious aspects... :-)


There was a skinflint, a painter called Danny, who was very interested in saving a dollar where he could, so he often would thin down his paint to make it go further. As it happened, he got away with this for some time, until he painted a church. Well, Danny was up on the scaffolding, painting away, the job nearly done, when suddenly there was a horrendous clap of thunder. The sky opened and rain poured down, washing the thin paint from all over the church and knocking Danny off the scaffold to land on the lawn, among the gravestones, surrounded by telltale puddles of the thinned and useless paint.

Danny was no fool. He knew this was a judgment from the Almighty, so he got on his knees and cried: "Oh, God! Forgive me! What should I do?"

And from the thunder, a mighty voice spoke: "Repaint! Repaint and thin no more!"


Randall 2-24-2003 20:53


Ok Heather, sounds fine to me. I checked my e-mail, a note from you but nothing attached. I'll check later tonight or tomorrow. I have the distinct feeling that my failure to self-edit the story made me tail-end Charlie on this project. :-) God Bless you for your labor.

Jerry, it's freezing here. Never got above 30 all day. Now isolated rain, snow, sleet and freezing rain are falling throughout the area. As per Texas standards a dust storm could only be imminent!


Randall 2-24-2003 20:37

Hi All :)

I was not going to post until I had a word count to report for today. So -- not as good as Sat., but 1,136 -- still just a hair over my minimum quota. I don't know if I'll ever reach Randall's awesome output, but I'll take what I can get -- as long as I do it every day! Apply seat of pants to seat of chair. hehehe

Yes, Heather, I have had my cheese for today thank you for asking. A day without cheese is a day without -- I don't know! I can't think of anything terrible enough -- oh yeah! this board!

Jerry -- now that's cold! I wonder who made all those long johns?

Thanks Mel :)

I'll be back tomorrow with another word count. Making myself post it in here is helping a great deal. What a great group of people! {{{{{{Hugs to everyone!}}}}}

Carol 2-24-2003 19:04

Hint - For you impatient ones - There are a few on page 4.

Eddie French The KRAK 2-24-2003 19:00

Kings Regiment Association Knowsley

Browse thru a few old photo's. There are a few of me in here somewhere. I was in from 1970 to around 1977.
I can't get my head around the fact that it was almost 30 years ago. On one photo with my name underneath I am the only one in uniform because I was the only married 'PAD' ( I was waiting for transport home after work.) My buddies had all been showered and changed before I ever got off camp. Then again, I had Anita to go home to down in Hong Kong Town Centre. ( Worth the wait!)


Eddie French The KRAK 2-24-2003 18:57

I can access my home email from the website, but it's just not the same. I can't hang onto emails for more than 7 days unless I copy and paste them.
Randall - I've saved the original copy you sent me of THE PATRON, and I'm almost through editing it. I'll send it to you for approval before adding it to the Phantasium 'FINAL COPY' pile. Just so you know, I did find some things to cut. Nothing that changes the story, but I wanted the reader to actually get to the action parts before becoming bogged down with information. The setting is important, and a bit of history behind the goings-on, but not all of it is needed to enjoy the story for what it is - a ghastly being protecting a sacred place, and the items that belong in it.
I think you'll find that you don't miss any of the information that I have cut. I left in everything that is vital to the story, of course.
What I'd like you to do for me is to read the new version without comparing it to the original - and please do not re-read THE PATRON in its original form right before reading the version I'm sending, ok?
That way you won't remember specific lines that might be altered or missing, and you will be able to tell me if the story reads smoothly, and whether or not you were interested in the characters!
I do think it reads much easier now that it has had a better editing job - I didn't give it as much line by line attention the first time around. Instead of editing what I'd already done with the story (twice!) from before, I just started fresh, and I think this time it came out much improved! Last time it went a little south of awesome. :oD

Anyhow, seeing as I've taken up a section of the floor already tonight, I'll hand it over to the next Notebooker!
HUGS all around, for EVERYONE. Just to let you know I'm happy you are ALL HERE!!!

Loneliness is a dead end street.
Happiness, on the other hand, is a dead end street all set up for a street party!

Yeah, I've had my CHEESE quota for the day. Have you?

Heather 2-24-2003 18:36

Joke circulating Washington --

Officer corps all leaving the Pentagon, getting into their cars and onto the highways. On one major road all traffic comes to a standstill. Colonel checks his mirrors, checks the road ahead, opens his door and stands to get a view of what causes the holdup. Colonel sees a trooper zigzag from car to car saying something to each driver.

Trooper arrives and Colonel says, "What's happening up there?"
"Well," says trooper, "the president is depressed about getting such a bad response from the U.N. about going into Iraq. He pulled his motorcade over and is sitting mid-road pondering whether to pour gasoline over himself and light it. We are asking for donations."
"What have you collected so far?"
"About thirty gallons."

Mark 2-24-2003 17:55

Hi to everyone! :-)

Behind, behind, I'm so behind!
Posts to read, work to grind--
I've come to find I'm losing my mind!
Read, write, read, write, before I go blind!

um, Ms. Muse, that's QUITE enough!!!

Sorry about that. Dr. Seuss is rolling, I know...

TINA: Check out the young adult booklists on the attached link (at least I hope it's attached!). :-)

HOWARD: That color test was not nice!!! I had to do it five times before I got it right! ( To anyone still struggling with it, don't read any words, just match the colors!!!) Tricky, fella!

CAROL: 1400 words!!!!! :-) Yea! Have at it some more, girl!

VIV: 3054...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my gosh. I haven't enough exclamation points!!!!!! :-)

EVERYONE ELSE who's producing forward movement in literary endeavors: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep it up. You're inspiring me!!--

ohhh. I've run out of !

Good day, y'all. I'll try to catch up later (translate: tomorrow, or before the weekend gets here, if I'm lucky).

Mel Books for Teens 2-24-2003 15:58

Here's an interesting site. It was brought to my attention through a free newspaper delivered in today's mail.

There is a movement underway by the United Tribes of America to lobby for new laws putting all whites who live on Indian Reservations under the purview of the Tribal Courts.

At present, whites who live on reservation land fall under the laws of the United States, and the State in which they reside. Reservation Indian's however do not fall under the laws of the State in which they reside and only under the Felony laws of the United States.

Now this may sound like a moot point unless you happen to live in an area around the Reservations. You see way back when the reservations were formed much of the land was deeded to white settlers. This land came to be known as deeded land and remained the property of the family to be held by and used for farming purposes. Should this law be enacted those folks who were born and raised on that land, may third and forth generation farmers would loose all rights under the U.S. Constitution and those granted under the Constitutions of the State in which the farm lays.

Many in this area are preparing for legal battle, others with hotter tempers are sharpening their scalping knives (figuratively I hope).

The Site below will tell the story much better then I can. I'm not a member of their organization, and to tell the truth I'm not real sure I agree with all that they stand for, but much of the land where my dad and his brothers farmed is just miles from the reservation border and many of the folks who I grew up with lived on deeded land. To take away their rights in today's world would simply be crazy yet it appears that Congress is now considering doing just that.

Back when I was working in Law Enforcement it seems I was always near a reservation. It did pose problems back then because of the sovereign nation status of the reservations. Should an Indian do a crime, all he had to do was cross over the reservation border and he was home free, as we had no authority to cross that border to retrieve them. We could ask the Tribe to extradite but as far as I know NO tribe ever sent an Indian off the reservation to face justice for his crimes.

It also made things tough for the locals, since the Tribe issued it's own drivers licenses, license plates and so forth, there was no laws requiring Reservation Indians to have automobile insurance, thus if you were in an accident involving a Reservation Indian, you were SOL in getting your car repaired. Sure when we responded to the accident we could ticket the driver but unless there was a felony involved they could simply leave and cross that imaginary line the ticket wasn't worth the paper it was written on. Unless, of course a warrant was issued and you could find that individual off the reservation, at which time you could arrest them for failure to appear or contempt of court, but it was usually a useless act since there was no way a court could enforce any fines against them so only jail time was available for punishment and that cost the county so judges tried to avoid that.

Anyhow thought some here might be interested in something to take your mind off the war and such.

Jerry Citizens Alliance for Equal Rights 2-24-2003 15:40

Re the "evil" color test -- I, too got a zero the first time I tried it, then a 38, then another zero, then I woke up and got a 100. My wife got a 100 the first time! Why should I be surprised?

howard 2-24-2003 15:12

PAMELA -- The usual advice re odd email is to call the sender and ask if he sent it on purpose. If the sender is not sure of sending you an attachment, then there's a good possibility that the mail is a virus and sent itself.

Eddie is right. a .dat file is just a text file and will open in notepad. If it's one of those .dat.exe files then call your client and tell him he may have sent you a virus. Best case -- he's illiterate and sent you the wrong portion of the intended program. Worst case -- since you apparently don't know how to judge program content, you'll have to call in local computer support.

Call the client first and determine what he intended to send.

Mark 2-24-2003 10:13

SO cold here even the snowflakes are wearing long johns.

Jerry 2-24-2003 9:55

Windows Notebook will open a .DAT file (or any hex editor, such as Ultra Edit) MS write will also open it, it's usually just a text file.
Make sure that you know where it came from as it could be harmful.
Virus list updates or any update to a program which uses lists of text usually come in .DAT format. ALso make sure that you view the file in full details mode in explorer before you open it. If it has a further extesion - ***.dat.exe - don't even think of opening it - BIN IT!

Eddie French 2-24-2003 5:45

Pamela - Don't know what program opens a .dat file. For a spell checker I downloaded the free plug in for IE called Hotlingo it does a nice job on any site where you enter text into a text box such as this one.

As far as underlining, you can do it using HTML code but I'm not very adapt at it so I avoid it, there are some here who use it, sometimes it works great, other times they forget to turn it off and the whole notebook gets underlined, or italic or bold.

I guess it's not all that hard but every time I attempt it I fail. Never studied HTML in college as it was a NEW thing back then. I have several books on it, even read a couple of them but I always seem to forget some required / or < or something like that >.

I guess I don't like war either but there are times when it seems necessary. Hitler comes to mind. Just think what could have been had some brave leader in the free world had stopped that madman before he killed so many of all races and religions. What a wonderful part of history could have been saved had he not ruled. We consider ourselves lucky (my family that is) that one of mom's cousins sent copies of the birth certificates of my grand dads, and his parents before the original's (some stamped with swastika's) were destroyed in that horrible war.

Yes, I'm sure you can say that Sadam isn't Hitler, but then who would have thought that Hitler could have been so evil, and Sadam has indeed shown the same lust for power and readiness to murder all those who oppose him, of that there is no debate. The fact that he has horrible weapons is also a matter of fact and the knowledge that he can and has used them in the past against both his own people and his neighbors is a fact. Gee I guess he is sort of like Hitler.

Well maybe this war is necessary.

Well it isn't war yet but it's coming I'm sure.

Write on.

Jerry 2-24-2003 0:19

Hi, gang. C'mon, don't tell me I'm the only one who got 100 on Howard's evil colortest, though it took me three tries. We just have to read the instructions carefully, you pick the color of the LETTERING, not the words themselves. Try it again, you'll get a perfect score too!

Is there spellcheck on this notebook? Also, I'm assuming that there is no way to underline words since we keep putting book titles in quotes or capitalizations, if someone knows otherwise, please let me know how. Speaking of computer knowledge, I need a quick lesson from one of you experts: the man I'm doing the houseplan for sent me an email attachment but I can't open it without knowing what program created it. How do I find that out? It's a .dat file and I have a Windows XP --- Help?

Hello to Darren, you are right, people shouldn't hate others for not believing as they do. I personally think wars and bloodshed in the name of religion are especially heinous since virtually ALL religions are based on love (yes, even Islam, the real one, not the terrorist's version).

Everyone has been so creative lately, me too. I got a new chapter done yesterday, have finished my Tirehouse for Indians and rearranged my kitchen. I moved a counter I was using as an island and made a penninsula instead, then realized I had to walk farther to get to the refridgerator. That's good though, since I'm 3 days into a diet (I guess that makes it a "fridge" benefit?).

Viv, your mentioning letting the cat out reminded me of a funny t-shirt I saw recently: "Plans For The Day" on top, then, "Let dog in, let dog out, let dog in, let dog out..." you get the picture.

Peace and Love to all.

Pamela 2-23-2003 23:35

Randall - Yep.

Darrin - Go to google and do a search for a program called HOTLINGO - It will do a fine job of checking your spelling.

Well it works fine for mine, yours, I'm afraid may need something that's a bit stronger, perhaps one that can read your mind, as reading your writing is very difficult.

Jerry 2-23-2003 22:36



Viv... that 9,000 two day spree might have been a weekend. I don't know. But I remember several writing sprees that evolved into a frenzy that lasted from dawn till dark thirty.

Darren...there may be 130,000 nuclear and thermonuclear devices around the world. So far they have been under intelligent control. Even the communists had a degree of sanity. There are persons in the world jealous of western culture...

I am going to reprint an article from a noted radio personality. And Darren...become friends with spell check and proof read your work. Pride ya know.

(Heather, again, please excuse Rush's comments on Canada.)


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...


Randall 2-23-2003 21:57

Randall: Oh shoot. I was feeling so good until I looked at your stats on Flowers. Wow! 9,000 words. This must have been a fast growing flower indeed!

Well, three thousand was a break through for me. Sometimes the interruptions are so Frustrating (as I get up to unlatch the window and let the darned cat back in)

On the tee-shirt box, I'm looking forward to it, but around here you learn that mail is a privilage not a given. Who ever wrote in Cryllic or Arabic looking script and put that box of Thai jock powder in the package that messed up our mail over wasn't appreciated. It'll get here, hopefully before I move. That job application for Texas still hasn't been turned down and we'd definitely take the job. That's how much your Texas tales have impressed this family. Watch out or all the United States will be moving to Texas...and some of Japan.

Viv 2-23-2003 18:58

Hey guys!

Not only did Viv get over 3000 words, but they're good ones too! I want the "rest of the story" real soon Viv!

Hehehe -- very nice one Jerry. I was getting close to packing my ownself.

No words from me today. Sunday is my day off -- well, the day off except for all the cooking to last out the week so I can write and not worry about what we're having for supper day off. (try saying that real fast!) hehehe

Carol 2-23-2003 18:47

What do you think cause and effects woud be if a would be
"Terrorist" destroyed the Qaaba in Mecca?
Think Sleeper Cells, waking up, around the world.
Why must it away be if you don't belive in my way, you' the enamy? If you don't believe in God, you'r going to Hell'! I respect your beliefs but
don't kill me for not believing in You'r God!
I never bombed your skysrapers!
Of course we're going to retaliate.
How can we all live on the same planet without horrably killing eachother?
I know Countrys have Doomsday devices. Imagine Bush getting Us in a war with China?
Clothing makes the man.Naked people have little or no influance in socitity. Mark Twain.
There over 130,000 atomic bombs spread around the globe.
To put it succinctoy, The shit is going to hit the fan.
It would be nice to think ther was a way to avoid it.

darren 2-23-2003 18:21


Good Morning gang! borrow a line from Heather, Grrrrrrrrrrr! I hope the package comes thru! There is a lot more inside than just a T shirt. I crammed it full of things I knew your family would enjoy. Let's give it a little longer and I'll try again.

Tina...I'm not sure why I removed the sex scenes. File this under what seemed such a good idea then does not look so good now... (Head scratching) I REALLY can't remember my thought processes then...

Jerry... you sly dog! I was packing for a quick drive to Pa. to have a talk with that business! Till I read the "rest of the story." This story is what I mentioned several months ago...only at the end of the article is the true meaning revealed. I referenced the song I AM A MAN OF CONSTANT SORROW from the movie OH BROTHER WHERE ART THOU. Only in reading the last three words does the song snap into focus.

On the subject of word counting. I kept track of progress in writing FLOWERS.

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

As you can see I haven't done a lot lately. Still...I have deleted and rewrote a lot, so the final count will not indicate real progress, just a lack of Document Info.

Have a happy day all.


Randall 2-23-2003 12:22

Carol: 3054 words Right back atcha'. Man that feels good! Chapter only half done. Loads of fun to write. Thanks. It's 2:00AM. Why is it that I can only write around here between 11:00PM to 2:00AM? I need to get earplugs.

Randall: I think your tee-shirt is lost. Worse we had an anthrax scare at the post office. I may get it next year at this rate. Well, all I can say is bless the brave guys who handle the mail. I sure wouldn't want the job. If it turns around and comes home again (your package), I'm really sorry. Sometimes it's kind of hard to get a package here. Usually it has to have a couple tanks parked on it, then it goes and comes a bit, and comes limping in as tattered as lost soldier.

Viv 2-23-2003 11:51

Thank you much for all your well wishes. I'm just tired I guess, having to go back a ways on my novel and still trying to dodge other characters that aren't supposed to be in it yet. They tell such interesting stories but out of sequence, and I have to wade through them all. If I don't keep my fingers on task I end up writing the most interesting things that have nothing to do with the story. Sigh.

Laura 2-23-2003 0:10

Howard - GOT AN 88% Rated a MASTER!!! on the test, now if I could just figure out why.

I just let my fingers go wild clicking, but I got it.

Sounds like everyone is doing great, glad to hear it.

Jerry 2-23-2003 0:03

A sign on a business establishment in Philadelphia,
This sign was prominently displayed in the window of a
business in Philadelphia. You are probably outraged at
the thought of such an inflammatory statement. One
would think that anti-hate groups from all across the
country would be marching on this business... And that
the National Guard might have to be called to keep the
angry crowds back.But, perhaps in these stressful
times one might be tempted to let the proprietors
simply make their statement . . .
We are a society who holds Freedom of Speech as
perhaps our greatest liberty . . .
And after all, it is just a sign. You may ask what
kind of business would dare post such a sign?
Answer: A Funeral Home
(Who said morticians had no sense of humor?)

Jerry 2-22-2003 23:55

Tina - give Shawnee an extra kiss from me. I'm glad to hear she's doing so much better. I'm a Anne McCaffrey fan and I've never hesitated to recommend her books to my nieces. She's got a number of series that appeal to the young teen group -- Pern/Dragon series, Acorna series, Rowan series, Freedom series. Any of them would be worth checking out. And I think its great that you have another idea formenting in your noodle. :D

Carol 2-22-2003 22:30

Hi all!

First off, dare I say this out loud... but I've started working on a new idea. Not at the expense of 'Shadow' - I'm just waiting on some feedback on that at the moment - but a new idea nonetheless. A fantasy novel for pre-teens/young adults. I'm completely groping in the dark, but I have a rough story in my head and it just suits that age group best. I'll have to pick up a few novels at the library, research how to target that level of reader, check out Tamora Pierce, re-read Rawlings, and the like. But it's so exciting! I've done little but edit for ages, and it's great to be sinking some creative energy into a new project. Yeah I know, like I have the time but oh well! Did about 300 words today, along with meshing out the overall idea.

Can anyone with kids tell me some more good authors for that age group, that I should check out? Mel, any suggestions?

Christi, I'm reading 'Bird by Bird' and you were right. It is awesome! She calls it as she sees it, and more than a few times found myself in her descriptions. And she's freaking hilarious!

Randall, I'm not surprised that those events brought you to tears. These characters are part of our family, after all. And why did you take out the steamy sex scenes?

Carol, you go girl!

The house is currently a mountain of boxes. I'm waiting for the panic to set in, the "I'll never be ready in time!" anxiety. I'm a bit worried about the garage, it's still unconquered.

Shawnee dog is home and recovering well. Her appetite is huge, but we can't feed her much at a time because of the damage the rock did to her gut. She lost about 15 lbs in 10 days. Srawny mutt syndrome. But her energy is back and her fur is soft again, so we're happy parents.

Gotta go pack. More. I've used all the rags and extra linen, and I'm running out of newsprint. At least I have plenty of boxes.
Blue skies!

Tina 2-22-2003 21:15

Evening all,
It's finally quit raining for the first time in three days. Nice and warm but muggy.

I tried your test. Two times the way I thought it ought to be answered and scored 0%. The third time I did all right buttons and scored 68%. It said I was pretty sharp. I have no idea why those were the right answers.

Everyone sounds fairly happy and busy. Keep on keeping on.

Rosemary 2-22-2003 19:55

Thanks, Randall - can't access my outlook express program at the moment but I'm working on it!
Darned machines....

Heather 2-22-2003 17:52

1400 words today. :D

Carol 2-22-2003 16:10



The Patron should be there.


Randall 2-22-2003 16:03



Mel...I included a couple of REALLY GREAT...HOT, HOT, HOT romantic scenes in "Flowers." One with Robert and Andrea at the start of their relationship and one between Robert and the Presidents mistress in a cheap motel room. Being the President is Roberts best friend that one-nighter led Robert into a heavy guilt trip and insanity. This is why Tiki had her son living an isolated existence in the valley below where Andrea worked in the gift shop.

Writing, dare I say it, sex, is GREAT FUN! The one night stand between Robert and the President's mistress lasted nearly 8 pages. (Steaming!) Sadly, both were cut a couple of years ago. (Bummer!)

My friends and fellow writers..."Flowers" is a lot of things, war, celestial events, politics, greed ... one aspect is the relationship between Robert and Andrea. Their on and off and on relationship covers ten years, or more. A moment of candor...I cried when I separated Robert and Andrea. I also cried when I had to kill Joseph, Tiki's first husband. And that is as honest as Old Randall can be. Joy is so much sweeter when it is first washed with tears of despair.

I have a problem with POV. Always have. Not the concept, but the ability to's the shotgun approach to writing. :-)

Heather...will send The Patron ASAP!

Thanks Pamela for the heads up on the upcoming heart test. I'm worried that I will become aware during the procedure. Realize I'm floating above the bed and see the doctor and nurses frantically working over my quivering body. Nearby I see a small woman with long black hair staring at me. Her brow is furrowed and her large black eyes are flashing in anger. She shakes a small brown fist in my face. "Randall, I'm Tiki. You do remember Star Tiki don't you? The Navajo witch you created. The one you recently called a bitch! Come over here Tex and lets talk!"

Carol...thanks for the kind words. Sweeping is something I've done all my life! And when one has a screen door, the kind that closes with a spring...well, real life events are great reference items to include in any writing.

Beautiful day here. A great day to be alive...


Randall 2-22-2003 15:32

Randall -- not bad, not bad at all. If this is the only way I can keep reading "Flowers" then keep sending them on! One paragraph that really caught my attention was the detail you used in sweeping the dirt off the steps -- holding the door with one leg, hitting the broom against the step, etc. It is one of the everyday things we've all done and can relate to easily making the "magic" that much more believable.

Howard - I tried that test! Now that's nasty when I know I hit them correctly and STILL got a 0%. Some "friend" hehehe

Mel - I'd like to get my draft done by the end of June. Which would mean 1,000 words per day, everyday. I've done it, but never on the everyday basis. But -- I'll give it a darn good try! I'll keep the animals stories in the back of my mind. Perhaps on those days when "Alistana" just won't flow, a change of pace into the animals will be the medicine I need.

Pamela -- very good to see you again!

Heather -- nice work on "P"! And thanks!

Now, I'd best get in today's 1000 wc. Have a great day everyone!

Carol 2-22-2003 13:47

Hey guys, been off-computer for a week, lotsa news from you all. Randall, I know the arteriogram (I think that's what it's called) sounds scary as hell but those guys do know what they're doing. I've had a little practical medical experience and also volunteered in the surgery dept. of a hospital here where open-heart surgery was considered oh-so-routine (got to see a human heart beating--WOW!) so try not to worry. I enjoyed your religious jokes, especially the Forrest Gump one, I used to sing "In The Garden" to my daughter when she was little. Speaking of daughters, Sunny, that was TOO cute, your 7-year-old asking if you wanted her to drive when you were crying, what a sweetheart! Jerry, hey, Lemmon looks like a thriving metropolis compared to Davis, S.D. where my mother was from and I spent quite a bit of time. It looks like you have more than one paved road, anyway. Davis used to be bigger but most of it got blown away in a tornado in the 30's. Elaine, I'm so sorry about your wreck, don't fret, it happens to almost everyone, I'm just glad you and your sister weren't hurt. About a year ago a young girl hit my car and she was so upset, I was comforting her although it was my beloved cheap Mercedes that was wrecked and I've been driving wrecks ever since. Heather, I loved your Frustration scene, very vivid and realistic. Good writing. Randall, I also loved "Night of the Iguana", you are such a good storyteller. I did abstain from reading anymore of "Flowers" though, I want to wait for the book. Mel, good on you for getting "writing hungry", don't you love it? I was doing that recently and got 15 (short) chapters done but now have a bunch of other stuff to do. My book is calling though, part of what I'm doing is what you recommended, getting desk in order, but I'm doing it with my whole house. My now 21-year-old daughter is staying with me and we are going to do some re-arranging of rooms (I only have four) and my writing (and sleeping) space will go into my den so Jenn, who has been staying in the living room, can have my bedroom. Kitchen stays in the same place but I plan to move some free-standing counters around too. Getting a whole new look is energizing and I'm getting eager to get it done so I can get back to the book.

Well, what was the consensus on chapter lengths? Mine can be awfully short because I start a new one every time I change scenes. The chapters are shorter in the beginning because I'm switching around introducing characters in different settings and then they will merge together. I guess the chapters will get longer as the story gets more involved.

I'm thinking about Eddie, Anita, Nikki and Michael and sending warm thoughts and much love their way. I think about all of you a lot, almost every day. I think Michael is fine but he could use some comforting too because, although going home is wonderful, leaving so suddenly can be a bit traumatic. It is also sad to see those you have left behind being so devastated. You are still his parents and sister, please send love and comfort to him and he will send some back to you. He is gone but he is NOT dead. (I'm sorry if this is too personal, Eddie, just tell me to shut up if you like.)

Lots of talk about our wonderful friends, our pets. Warm wishes to those who have lost theirs, I know it is hard. Bono the cool cat has just discovered a new place to curl up---in a mixing bowl I brought home from the thrift store and had in a chair with some other stuff, he's been in it for several hours now. Cherokee the dumb dog remains on the floor except when I'm not looking.

Pamela 2-22-2003 0:04

A friend (I thought) just sent me this -- y'all have GOT to try it!

howard 2-21-2003 22:44

Randall! I am not sure if I have a copy of the original story for Phantasium - only edited versions that I've been messing with. Can you send me 'The Patron' in original form, please? I just want to compare it with what I've got to be sure.
Other than that, we're ALMOST good to go with sending this big ol' pile off to Ron!


Heather 2-21-2003 21:39

CAROL: belated (((HUGS))) for Moose. You really SHOULD write a book of animal tales - our library readers can't get enough animal stories!

ALL who have animal tails and more animal tales: PLEASE write down the stories and publish them. The world LOVES animal stories.

RANDALL: (((HUGS & KISSES))) :-] You done good! I usually have trouble reading multiple points of view when they fall in the same scene - but yours was done pretty neatly. Maybe you're destined to write more great romance scenes, heh heh! :-]

Y'all write great stuff today! I'm gearing up to bust a writing record for myself... I give myself FOUR MONTHS (March-June) to get the next draft of my first novel done. This from a crazed working mother, crazy to become a regular kind of writing fool. :-] If I can do it, you all can do it! Watch out-- I mean business!!!

Mel 2-21-2003 12:38



Romance is hard to write, for us guys that is.

Robert, the son of Tiki ... and Andrea, granddaughter of Senator Sam, have been apart for many years. Andrea met and married another man, after Robert went to Washington. Andrea's relationship was a disaster and ended when her ex-husband was killed by Emelio, Robert's best friend and President of the United States. (Really!) Andrea, under Star Tiki's influence moved to Arizona and went to work for Angel Kay and Joe Dan as manager of a gift shop. Oort Runner (The Whisper of Jehovah) is approaching and time is short. Both are in their late 30's... Tiki has held the two apart, Robert, in a large valley only miles from where Andrea worked. A large earthquake has just struck...


Randall Henderson

After regaining her feet Andrea surveyed the damage to her gift shop. She had raced outside as the tremor struck, terrified at the sound and movement only to be tossed to the ground. Now she stared in despair. Most of the contents were thrown to the floor, glass shelves broken, debris everywhere. Andrea stood, hands on her hips and surveyed the damaged building as it still swayed.

As the dust settled she went inside again, then came back weeping. A year of loving labor lay in ruins. The roof had split open, one wall buckled outward. Andrea sat on the back steps of the gift shop and cried. The frustration of a year was too much. She wasn't sure who she was madder with, the comet, the earthquake, or Robert. Damn them all she thought, tears streaking the dust on her brown arms.

Angel Kay ran over. "Wow! That was some jolt! Are you okay?"

Andrea dried her tears and turned to Angel Kay. "That damn earthquake has shaken some sense into me Angel Kay. I'm leaving. If Grandpa wants to go with me that's fine, if not I'll go alone."

"Oh no! You can't leave Andrea. What about Robert?" Angel Kay pleaded.

Andrea was unreasonably mad. "Enough is enough! Yes I can and I damn well will leave!"

Angel Kay decided to let her cool off a while and return later. Some time later she saw Andrea, sweeping debris from the gift shop. She had her baseball cap on, her hair in a ponytail and sleeves rolled up. Dust was fairly flying from her broom. Behind her, Andrea's Brigade stood holding empty cardboard boxes. Angel Kay decided to investigate.

"Hi. Cleaning the place out?"

Andrea paused, wiping dust and sweat from her brow. "Yes, I'm going to pack up the undamaged items, there are more than I thought. You can store them or take them into the Hole of Emergence. The library too I suppose."

"Have you changed your mind about leaving?"

"I'll spend the night and talk to Grandpa. Tomorrow morning I'll decide. I just don't think I can stay here any longer." She stared into the sky, despair on her face. "Oh, Angel Kay I don't know what to do."

"Listen honey, take it from me, always sleep on major decisions. Never rush into anything. Take some time and cool off."

As twilight deepened Andrea dismissed her brigade and solitude settled upon the compound. But, unknown to her a great deal of attention was focused her way. Under a nearby pickup youngsters of the Andrea's Brigade lay watching, giggling in anticipation. Inside their home Angel Kay was beside Joe Dan peering through the front window. Matt Morningstar stood holding hands with Tiki in the darkness beside a large aspen tree. Tiki was swaying, singing softly, eyes half-closed. Through soft light streaming through the gift shop windows they could see Andrea moving inside, cleaning, packing. Her long brown hair was swinging freely from under the ballcap as she worked.

"Yes that's right," Andrea was talking to herself. "This place may be a wreck, but it's gonna be clean when I leave. You just missed your shot Mr. Robert Ney, this girl is pulling out. That's right, I'm moving on and not coming back. Packing it in Buster Brown. Adios amigo."

Andrea worked another pile of dirt and broken items to the back door sweeping mightily with her straw broom. She held the screen door open with one foot and swept the large pile of debris out the rear door. Andrea paused, beating the broom against the wooden steps.

Standing twenty yards apart Angel Kay and Tiki gasped at the same time. Behind Andrea the overlook gate slowly swung open. A longhaired man leading a horse stepped forward. His jeans were ragged, boots heelless, a threadbare shirt was covered by a stained leather vest. A sweat stained hat covered a gaunt, whiskered face. He was terrified, shaking, trembling at a moment he had dreaded for years.

Andrea felt a prickling sensation on the back of her neck. Someone was behind her. Must be Andrea's Brigade she thought. The screen door slammed shut and she began to sweep the steps clean. In the fading beams of sunlight, streams of dust swirled around her.

"Guys, just set the boxes down and go on home. Your parents will be worried about you. We'll finish up in the morning. Okay?"

Andrea heard a soft chink of riding spurs and froze. The broom fell from her hand, clattering against the wooden steps. She was afraid to turn around. She smelled the rich animal aroma of a horse, she recognized the creak of leather as the horse shifted under the saddle. She heard aspen leaves rustling overhead and smelled mountain juniper on the gentle evening breeze. Andrea also detected the pungent aroma of a man. Her heart said turn, her mind said I can't.

Tiki was holding Matt's hand so hard it would leave a bruise. In a deep purple twilight Robert was standing only a few feet from Andrea. Andrea was rigid, hands at her side facing away from him. Tiki, sobbing openly, had tears streaming down her cheeks. Matt took her in his arms, but her eyes never left Robert and Andrea. Robert removed his hat and held the reins to his horse, but wasn't moving forward. Tiki sang softly, "Go to her Honey Bee, she needs your love. Robert go to your love, you need her love."

Inside the house Angel Kay held Joe Dan's arm in a grip of steel. She was whispering as she shredded a fingernail, "Oh God! Oh God! Turn around Andrea, turn around. Robert is right there!"

There was scuffling under the pickup. Some one had tried to whisper "Kiss her Robert, kiss her."

In the breathless silence of the moment Andrea heard a man clear his throat. Oh please let it be Robert she prayed, not some Navajo cowboy asking for directions.

"Andrea?" Robert said, his voice weak and cracking.

She gasped, unable to move as the earth stopped turning and her heart tumbled.

"Andrea, I can't stand the pain anymore. Need I say I love you? I have always loved you. Can you forgive me for hurting you? For staying away? Will you walk into eternity with me? Please say you will never leave me. I'm not a man any more, and this boy needs you so."

Andrea quickly turned. It was Robert! Not the young Marine Corps hero, not the powerful advisor to the President of the United States, not the son of a Navajo sorceress. But a troubled man with tears rolling down his cheeks. She leaped into his arms.

"Oh Robert," was all she said. They stood together, crying together, holding tight. Not Lord Jehovah or the Desert Coyote God could separate them now. The paths of Robert and Andrea met, and they would never part. When they kissed years of frustration and despair ended for both. What was always suppose to be ... finally was.

Tiki's faltering energy of life returned. She realized the future was now, as the universe again opened to her. Years of fear and doubt evaporated. Tiki had once tried to surmount the insurmountable emotion of love and the human in her began to erode. Love conquers all, not sorcery or ancient power. Tiki knew this now and the triangle of Joseph, Tiki and Robert became clear.

She looked up at Matt, her eyes moist. "Well my love, that was worth the wait."

Inside the house Angel Kay was weeping profusely into the front of Joe Dan's western shirt. "Oh God, that was so beautiful."

Behind the pickup the girls in Andrea's Brigade were giving each other high fives. The boys had left in disgust.

Much later Robert and Andrea sat together before the fire inside her cabin. She sat on his lap, her head on his shoulder.

"I must look a mess. I was cleaning up after the earthquake."

He nuzzled her hair with his face and kissed her smooth brown cheek. "Prettiest woman I've ever seen."

"We have so much to talk about, so much time lost. Where do we start?"

He kissed her cheek again. "We have all the time we need Andrea dear. My love for you will halt time. I will never be away from your side. I will love you always forever."

Andrea tightened her grip on Robert. "So much lost, so many years apart. I should ask for your forgiveness."

She began to cry again.

He lifted her tearful face, kissed tears away then her lips. "We start over my love. The past is nothing to us. I have returned to love you always."

Andrea suddenly sat up and rubbed his beard with her hand. "Well Robert Ney, you may be the big man in my heart, but on certain things I'm the boss. You know, I am the commander of a brigade."

Robert looked into her smiling eyes. "Yes?"

She stood, holding his hand. "My first order is a shave and a shower ... haircut can wait. Then we can really get into some serious kissing. Of course, I need a shower too and since Joe Dan rations his water ..."

Robert stood and picked her up in his arms. "Well, I would be the last person to go against the wishes of Joe Dan and Angel Kay."

Andrea giggled and pointed. "That way to the shower, dirty boy."

Well did I do?


Randall 2-20-2003 22:11

Hi All :)

Yes, I can smile again. The sun is shining and we actually hit 40 degrees today. Even a few dormant flies are buzzing around on the window panes.

Tina -- I'm so glad Shawnee is doing better. That's very nice to hear. My sympathies on the packing though! I've been there and few times and only thank God I'm not in your shoes now. The last time we moved, we vowed we positively could not get divorced - neither one of us is willing to move ever again! hehehe

There is news on the doggy front. The house has been too quiet this past week. I did manage to find a breeder I approve of and he does have a four month old male that fits our preferences. So, its now a matter of paperwork, money exchange and then, the biggie - good flying weather. The temperatures have to be above freezing since pets are flown in the baggage area. It will be nice to have a big ole male in the house again (of the canine variety, hubby don't count!). Oh, Sunny - GSD = German Shepherd Dog. My breed of choice. It is a big trick to find a good breeder though. One who watches closely for health problems predominant in the breed and who looks for the more gentle temperment. There is such a push on the attack/protection training and that just doesn't work well in family situations. The gentler temperments still have the protection drive, they are more selective about it though and only do so when its imperative.

Viv -- Thanks so much for the comments on my recent send! See - your comments do have an impact. It was your past comments that led to my dealing with those subjects so early on. Now, to move the story forward again. Choo-choo, chug-chug, Vroooommmm! Your question on chapter lengths? Most "advice" books say it only needs to be as long as needed to get the job done. (that sure answers the question nicely doesn't it? LOL) Do what your instincts tell you and if I notice anything way off when I read it, I'll let ya know. :)

Randall - your question to your doctor sounds perfectly logical to me! I hope things go well. {hug}

Jerry - your Lady sounds like a gem. Has anyone besides me noticed how many pet stories we all have?

Sunny - what a precious daughter you have! I'll tell a Moose story soon. I know which one, I just want to do it, and him, justice. Thanks

Well, hubby's cake is almost done. Thanks everyone for the support, I truly appreciate it.

Carol 2-20-2003 17:55


Howdy, everybody! :-)

I haven't caught up reading all the posts, so if I miss someone...

LITTER: Thanks for the writer's edits' Hokey Pokey. :-] Glad you're still dancin'!

VIV: re: chapter lengths; Some good to be said in either direction. When I read books with chapters of equal length, I can plan my reading time and know how far I'm going to advance (I like to stop end of a chapter, usually). Nice and neat. Then there's the other extreme, real short alternated with long chapters - these are nice too for readers - just when you finish a long chapter (and think "whew!") another little snippet comes along to keep you reading. :-) My novel SHARDS is by nature one of these; when you break glass, the shards are of unequal size, and so will be my novel chapters. The meaty sections unfold in longer chapters, but short little tidbits between them will hopefully keep readers interested. Bottom line - don't worry about chapter length, my opinion; just make sure your chapters end on a hungry-for-more note to keep your readers hooked! :-)

ALL: A most inspiring gimmick I recently tried and it's working wonders on me: if you're blocked, CLEAN YOUR DESK/writing area. When everything's put in order, extra papers filed, a nice empty area for spreading the chapter-in-the-works, the DESK CALLS TO YOU (at least it does to me!!!) - I'm hearing voices now, or else my muse has invited some characters over for a great big wing-ding bash! I walk near the desk (in my bedroom) and I just want to sit and WRITE, WRITE, WRITE!!! :-] It doesn't always happen, of course, but the TUG is there, more prominently than it has been in a long while. YESSSSS!!!!! I'm a hungry writer again.

Happy pencil-chewing to all! May your keyboards never need dusting because you're so busy cranking out drafts! ;-]

Mel 2-20-2003 12:22

I got booted off the net for the third time tonight. Came here to get my message through and not loose it.

Wowie! That was some writing you did on your last chapter. I love it. Not only did you get in the problem with bloodlines, the details of the dresses were splendid. I could see them. Thank you, that inspired me to get going and get the tangle of chapter 12's taken care of. I have three different versions of the same chapter. My only option is to print them out, read each one carefully and see what I like best. Yuck. A bunch of minute differences, and one chapter is split 12-13. Short chapters? Long chapters? Which is best? I want to make each one about the same length for some reason.

How about everyone else...should chapters be approximately the same length or should they be radically different? Does it matter?

Viv 2-20-2003 9:43


Hang in there.


Rachel 2-20-2003 2:00

Pets... I'm one of those people who'd happily have a dozen cats, a dog or two, and a yard full of miscelaneous critters. Kinda like Rosemary! ;-)

My first pooch was a cocker spaniel cross named Oscar (after Oscar the grouch, my favourite Sesame Street character after Snufflufigus. Course, I couldn't name my dog Snufflufigus.) A great dog, until he was dog-knapped and broke his back trying to escape. Years later I had a true All Canadian dog named Poco (means 'small music' because of his adorable whining when he was 6 weeks old) We lived in the country, and he just went missing one day. Shawnee is the third dog I've had, for the longest. She's my child substitute, and a great animal. And yes, she came through her surgery fine. She's still at the vet's, under observation.

Okay that was my break. Gotta keep packing. Where on earth did we get so much S#%$ I mean junk? And I'm chucking/recycling/giving away boxes and boxes of Cr@#stuff. We've only lived here 5 years, thank goodness. It'd be madness if we'd had 50 years to collect. Madness, I say!

Blue skies!

Tina 2-19-2003 23:25

It's rare, well not really, it's uncommon, well not really. Once in awhile I post something that I find on the web that I think may be interesting to you.

At any rate the link below is to a site where you can sign a petition supporting the President and his actions in Iraq.

After the cast of "The West Wing" were on CNN today bragging of their new site against the President and the war I felt it only fitting that there's someone out there that supports his views.

I did send a nasty gram to NBC complaining that the idiots on the show have come to believe that they really do dictate policy on how the U.S. Should be run.

I don't know why I watch that show...

Jerry Petition 2-19-2003 22:18



Jerry...the sawbones says my problem is in the bottom of my heart. (The sludge of a life wasted in wine, women and song probably.) He wants another doc to put a tube into an artery in my leg and ram it up to my heart for a look see. After he told me this I took several seconds to review the distressing mental images this information initiated. "Any questions?" he finally asked.

"Yes," I finally managed to get out as my heart rate slipped past the sound barrier. "Could you furnish me a signed and notarized copy of this guys medical license?" My doctor is a big Indian dude, a great guy, but naive to the ways of Texas humor. He stared blankly at me as my humor went yards over his head. Run Forest, run......

How about a little religious humor gang. You gotta look at this web site!

"One Sunday morning, a priest noticed little Alex staring at a large plaque in the foyer. It was covered with names, and small American flags were mounted on either side of it. The seven-year old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the priest walked up, stood beside the boy, and said quietly, "Good morning, Alex."

"Good morning, pastor," replied the young man, still focused on the plaque. "What is this?" Alex asked.

"Well, son, it's a memorial to all the young men and women who have died in the service."

Soberly, they stood together, staring at the large plaque. Little Alex's voice was barely audible when he asked, "Which one, the 9 or the 11 o'clock service?" [Thanks to Vicki McClure.]

I heard that Alex!!!


Randall 2-19-2003 19:56

Terrible to loose a pet.

Dog story - We've had lots of dogs over the years, but my all-time favorite, and the one I think of when someone says "your dog" was Lady.

She was a blue healer, wonderful bread of dog. I got her one day when I was just beginning my career as a police officer, I was ordered to destroy a dog and her pups on the night shift "after the town goes to sleep.

I never liked shooting dogs, even the sick ones so I dreaded the chore that night. It was cold and snowy that night and about 3 AM I had the town to sleep and drove to the City Shop where the dog pound was. Using the keys on my key chain I unlocked first the walk in door then the dutch door to the dog pound. When I swung the door open I was met by Lady. She was so glad to see me that she jumped over the top of the still closed bottom door and licked me on my face.

That was it, I simply couldn't shoot that dog so I gathered her and her five puppies up and took them home. Kind of had the wife wondering when the door opened at that time of the morning and six dogs run through the house, into our bedroom and jumped on our bed. By the time I made it there she was petting Lady and hugging two of the puppies.

Lady lived with us for over sixteen years. Her puppies were all easy to find homes for, and I know of at least one that was a hero and saved a child's life by pushing it away from a cliff where he would surely have been killed had he fallen.

Her end came when our Gas man sprayed her with pepper spray as he read our gas meter. I saw it happen and it was a senseless act as her chain wouldn't have reached the meter, I think he did it just to be mean. The excitement brought on a stroke and she had to be put down. Hardest thing I've ever done was to have that done but she did live a wonderful life, she was the only dog our kids had when they were growing up.

Loosing a dog is nearly as painful as loosing a family member, no wait, loosing a dog IS loosing a member of the family.

Jerry 2-19-2003 19:33

Carol - Yes, we have to re-live the sorrow, but sometimes it's worth it just to share what it was that we were able to experience.

I had two cairn terriers a while back, mother and daughter, 4 years apart. The mother, Kerri, always seemed like an old lady somehow, while her daughter, Windy, was a perpetual adolescent. I thought it was odd that I could never even *picture* Windy growing old, and then I found out why. When Windy was 15, still bopping all over the place, she committed suicide. I know it sounds strange, but I can't think of any other explanation. One day she got what I thought was some kind of gastrointestinal disorder, but the vet took x-rays and said that she had swallowed a jagged piece of metal. To this day I don't know how or where or when she picked it up, because she only went out on a leash. But because of the location of the piece, and her age, they had to put her down.

I was in shock, and had to pick up my 7 year old daughter from school that day, and tell her that Windy wasn't coming home. I remember standing outside the school where the car was parked, tears streaming down both of our faces. She put her arm around me and said, "Do you want me to drive?" I just stared at her, and then she realized what a ridiculous thing she had just said, and we burst out laughing.

Later, I told my daughter that she was a very compassionate person, even if she couldn't drive yet. And we decided that Windy had opted to end her life because growing old and sick and tired just wasn't for her.

I think it's important to remember what we have, and had, in our lives, and sharing helps to do that. So whenever you're ready, tell us a Moose story. And btw, what's a GSD?

Sunny 2-19-2003 18:22

Hi All

Thanks everyone for the comments about Moose. Rosemary -- {hugs}, I'm sorry for your loss too. What is it about animals that they get under our skin to this extent? I had to learn very young to deal with loss, but it truly gets no easier. My first "true" pet was a hereford steer I raised for 4-H. When he didn't make the weight for the fair, we had to bring him home. And you can guess what happened then. Somehow Dad's joke at the supper table did manage to lighten my sorrow -- "George sure tastes good tonight." I suppose that sounds a bit strange to say the least, but it is the life one learns when they grow up on the farm.

I'm now hunting high and low for a new puppy. We do still have one German Shepherd and the dachshund, but Lyndi is 8 now and the house does feel empty without Moose. With years of experience in buying, breeding and selling GSD's, I've gotten very picky on who I'll buy from.

Tina - I'm saying a prayer for your pooch.

Randall - thanks for the funny -- I needed that! :)

Sunny - a story about Moose huh? Trouble is picking one to tell. Actually with all the dogs I've had in my life, I could fill a book. The hard part would be reliving all the sorrow though too.

Ok, I'm going to get off the sorrow wagon for now. My story is still sitting there and hasn't had any attention yet today.

Take care everyone!

Carol 2-19-2003 16:26

Greetings from muggy south Texas,

First off, Hello!
I'm sure you're saturated with condolences about Moose, but thought I'd add mine. First off, I loved the name. Can just see the neighbors when you first stood at the door and called "MOOSE". The decision to be made by them is, is it just one and should we run.

Yesterday one of my favorite chickens died. This is not on the same scale, but she's not standing on the fence waiting for me in the mornings when I go to feed. There'll be a space there for a while. AND, you haven't lived until your favorite horse dies. Besides not being able to see what you're doing because of the tears, there is no putting him in a shoe box and burying him in the back yard. He weighed about 1100pounds. We had to contact the Vet. and pay a lot to have him hauled away to where ever they take -------Okay, I'm not going to talk about this anymore except to say we left the check in an envelope and left town for two days. Cocheese was about 35 years old and I had owned and ridden him for about 15 of those years.

I've gone and depressed us all, so I'm going away now.

Rosemary 2-19-2003 12:12

Hi all!

Carol, I'm so sad to hear about Moose. Pets shouldn't get old and sick. (((HUGS)))
My pooch had to have surgery today, so my emotions are real whacked right now. (Shawnee ate a stone, and it lodged in her intestine. I've always said she has rocks for brains ;-)

So, what writing deeds has everyone been up to? Huh? I can happily say that between boxes of packing, I edited the last 50 pages of 'Shadow' (again!) and am printing it right now to send to my sister. She's my most/only avid reader, and has given me great input and encouragement.

Still not sure where we're moving to next week. Guess we need to decide that soon, eh?
Must pack...
Blue skies!

Tina 2-19-2003 1:30

Randall - Got one of those events myself, happened about twelve years ago, I kept feeling it, felt like my heart was skipping a beat. So eventually I ask the Dr. about it, he checks and says "Why you sure do, you've got an extra beat about every fifth beat."

So I asks "Is it dangerous?"

"Dangerous?" he says "Why yes it can be, if it happens at the wrong time in the beat cycle, your heart will stop and you'll die."

Now that worried me a bit, but then he says "Of course we can control it completely with a pill."

Ah the wonderful pill, and I've taken it religiously now every day since, and I'm still alive. Oh and the extra heart beat hasn't been felt since.

Jerry 2-19-2003 0:16



Carol...sorry about Moose. We have two elderly dogs and the clock is ticking.

Guess what? No Gall Bladder surgery for a while gang! Reason? The heart stress test detected a "non-normal" event! What fun! Shor made my day!!! Now the doctor has to check out the "non-normal" event before my gall bladder can be removed. Sooooooooo... more tests. (Groan) I have been reading a web site ... religious jokes. My reasoning? If the good Lord is a humorous God, I'm okay. If not.... This is one of my favorites.


The day finally arrives: Forrest Gump dies and goes to Heaven. He is at the Pearly Gates, met by St. Peter himself. However, the gates are closed. Forrest approaches the Gatekeeper.

St. Peter says, "Well, Forrest, it's certainly good to see you. We have heard a lot about you. I must inform you that the place is filling up fast, and we've been administering an entrance examination for everyone. The tests are short, but you have to pass them before you can get into Heaven."

Forrest responds, "It shor is good to be here St. Peter, sir. But nobody ever tolt me about any entrance exam. Shor hope the test ain't too hard; life was a big enough test as it was."

St. Peter goes on, "Yes, I know, Forrest, but the test is only three questions. Here are the questions.

1. "What days of the week begin with the letter T?"

2. "How many seconds are there in a year?"

3. "What is God's first name?"

Forrest leaves to think the questions over. He returns the next day and sees St. Peter who waves him up and says, "Now that you have had a chance to think the questions over, tell me your answers."

Forrest says, "Well, the first one -- how many days in the week begin with the letter "T"? Shucks, that one's easy. That'd be Today and Tomorrow."

The saint's eyes open wide and he exclaims, "Forrest, that's not what I was thinking, but ... you do have a point, and I guess I didn't specify, so I'll give you credit for that answer. How about the next one?" asks St. Peter. "How many seconds in a year?"

Now that one's harder," says Forrest," but I thunk and thunk about that and I guess the only answer can be twelve." Astounded, St. Peter says, "Twelve? Twelve? Forrest, how in Heaven's name could you come up with twelve seconds in a year?"

Forest says "Shucks, there's gotta be twelve: January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd... "Hold it," interrupts St. Peter. "I see where you're going with this, and I see your point, though that wasn't quite what I had in mind, but I'll have to give you credit for that one, too. Let's go on with the next and final question. Can you tell me God's first name?"

"Sure," Forrest replied, "its Andy."

"Andy?!" exclaimed an exasperated and frustrated St. Peter. "OK, I can understand how you came up with your answers to my first two questions, but just how in the world did you come up with the name of Andy as the first name of God?"

"Shucks, that was the easiest one of all," Forrest replied. "I learned it from the song... "ANDY WALKS WITH ME, ANDY TALKS WITH ME, ANDY TELLS ME I AM HIS OWN..."

St. Peter opened the Pearly Gates and said, "Run Forrest, run."

[Thanks to Judith Jones.]

Neat, huh?


Randall 2-18-2003 20:23

Oh, dear - I missed your post, Carol, about Moose.
I'm sorry to hear about that - our cat's got kidneys that don't seem to be holding up well either. She's still here, but we don't know for how long.

Heather 2-18-2003 16:59

CAROL: Sorry to hear about Moose.

SUNNY: I'm snowed in right with ya! Wish I could say I'm using the time to write, but I'm not. Spent yesterday shoveling with my husband, today I woke with a nasty sore throat. I did get to play in the snow with the kids yesterday and a little today. Playing hooky from work! As soon as I came inside I started feeling yucky again.

ELAINE: I too hit a parked car. However, mine was due to ice on the road. AND you're not the first to drive and not scrap the frost off. I've done it too!

Gotta go and get some house work done! Have a good day all!

Cheri 2-18-2003 14:03


I just found out my paternal great grandfather was from Scotland. His last name was Carpenter.

Debra 2-18-2003 11:31

You are not the only one to hit parked cars. I do it myself on a regular basis. You have the snow and frost to blame, I do not. I just seem to hit the suckers. I've never whopped one so well I couldn't make a get away, but I hit them and leave dents. I have to go to front doors and knock, say politely that I need to exchange insurance information and take a few pictures for the record. It's a pain but a routine I know well after about 20 years of driving.

Hang in there!

Carol: I'm so sorry about Moose. What a week. I'm recovering from a weekend of dinner invitations. I gave a dinner and got a few given to me. I'm just enjoying the complete silence today and watching the dogs sleep. I may do a nap instead of Pommes because my thoughts need some clarity. Right now I feel as though I'm on the edge of being unintelligible.

Viv 2-18-2003 1:47

Elaine - Don't think you're the only one who ever did that.

No, I didn't but my camper was sitting in front of our house a year ago, and this gal came around the corner without scarping the frost off her windshield. When she finally stopped my camper was in my front yard, as was her car. She got out of the car and said the now famous words "So that's why my car wouldn't go any farther."

We had a bit of luck too, this cop just happened to move in next door so he was quick on the scene the report was done and she was on her way within an hour. My camper, however got all last summer off due to damage, and now hides in my mom's back yard where it's relatively safe (I hope).

Jerry 2-18-2003 0:09

Hello I'm back again!
FRUSTRATION SHORTY: I just had an awful day, so I hope if you don't mind if I vent just a little...
Seeing no objections...
I got up this morning, bolted out of bed, and whirl-winded into my clothes, got in my car and prepared to drop off my sister and I at school. I'm driving along and I realized that I forgot to clear my windshield of the frost. (First BIG mistake) Then, unlike a smart driver, I didn't go off the road and fix it, oh no, I keep driving, using my windshieldwipers to try to clear it off. (Second BIG mistake) For what seems like one second, I'm focusing on the frost, checking to see if it was getting any clearer, (Third BIG mistake) and...I ram my car into a parked vehicle on the right side of the road. (THE BIGGEST and MOST embarrasing mistake a driver can make.) It happens to be 15 minutes to when school is supposed to start, my sister and I both had brass instruments in the car, and we hit a car on my sister's 15th birthday. She runs home, forgets the instruments that I proceed to bring to the house about a block away. When I come home, I've found out that she's already called my dad (I'm glad I didn't have to do it) who was calling the police even as we spoke. Then she yells at me for not staying in 0 degree weather by the car. So, I go back to the car and wait for ten minutes as the 8:00 rush passes by on both sides. I then decided to look at the damages. The other car, (much to my relief) didn't look to be to damaged, besides one tear in the back fender/bumper, one mirror off, a couple of dents, and it being in a snow bank. Our car however was in pretty horrible shape. The whole right side of our front bumper was caved in. The right side tire was off the wheel and hub cap so it couldn't turn, debris was spread all over the place. All I could do was groan out loud. Then, as if in answer to my prayer, one of the mothers of several of the children of the school that my dad teaches at (if that sentence made any sense to you) came just a minute or two before the police arrived at the scene. I did have a little luck there, I had a very nice police man, he smiled a lot and when I attempted to joke he laughed a little. Then after he wrote up the report and had called a tow for our car, my sister and I got a ride to school, (not in the police car, our instruments wouldn't fit.)
By the time I arrived at school first set was over, and I was late for second set. Nothing very depressing or frustrating happened during school except that I was a little bit slower than usual, like my brain was in a vise. So that is how I must end my frustrating morning, though it's not really morning now.
I know it's late for the shorty but it fit so well with the theme, I think. This actually did happen to us this morning, we are shooken up, I have a bruise on my right arm and my sister has a bump on her knee but otherwise we are fine. I wish you all a good night (thanks for listening and for all those birthday wishes!)
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 2-17-2003 22:47

TOM - as far as I'm concerned, you should never pay to have your work edited. If it really needs it, the only thing I can suggest really, is to edit it better yourself, or have a writer friend/colleague help. The more you edit the better you get - just like the writing process.

Speaking of which.....I have taken the weekend off from Phantasium, as my head pounds just looking at the dang pile of papers.
Of course, now that it is Monday, I am back at the red pen again. There aren't too many to go, but there are a number of stories I have to simply paste into Corel and do the pagenumbering, and final edits at the same time.
I am using my philosophy that too much tinkering is not a good thing, but I am also very particular about grammar and technical presentation!
I'm buying the mailer for the collection this week and sending it off by Friday even if I don't have every story as polished as I would like. As long as there are no glaring errors or omissions, fumbles and non-sensical oopsies, we're good to go. Heck, I'm sending it to an EDITOR~! I do want to present to him a collection that is as near perfect as I can, though. It's so much nicer to read the stories and get the full impact of them without tripping over errors!

Well, I will probably screw up the whole notebook with my html party when the collection is sent off, but I'm sure you will all forgive me, with time! LOL

Teek, why thank ye, missus!

Heather 2-17-2003 22:18

I am *so* snowed in.

Carol - I'm sorry about Moose. Share a story about him here when you're up to it.

Tina - Moving is the pits anytime, but I didn't realize that you had to couch-surf. Are you looking for a place in a certain area?

I'm trying to get ready for a talk next week that I'm giving in Chapel Hill where my daughter attends school, and I'm getting frustrated. Everything I've ever spoken about or written seems relevant! The rest of this week is devoted to taxes and the talk and getting ready to go (e.g., making sure the dog has food, etc. ;-)

I have to get back on my book schedule when I return. I really appreciate the support here. Let me know what you guys need, and I'll do the same, OK?

Onward and upward,

Sunny 2-17-2003 22:06

Hi All

Life continues to smack me around. Today I took Moose into the vet since he was so obviously not feeling well. Turned out his kidneys were failing him. Rest in peace Moose and thanks for the love.

Carol 2-17-2003 21:16

Books for my research? I have a book on horse breeds and other info and one on historical weapons. I used my astronomy books to establish moon cycles for my planet. I've read several books on the psychology of war/soldiers/killing. (The one called 'On Killing' was very good, although it raised a few eyebrows when I read it at work) A couple about phsychic phenomina (sp?) Also some applied knowledge from other interests, like botany, gems, and geography.

So I'm still packing. Having a bad time trying to decide what to do about our living arrangements in the future. We'll be couch surfing at a friends for awhile, but after that? No ideas.

Jack, get yourself better! Take it easy and look after your health. \\\\////\\\\////

Gotta run. Dinner, and then more packing...
Blue skies!

Tina 2-17-2003 20:37

Hi All'

TOM: I thought the idea was the editor gave you money.
Sorry can't help.

HEATHER: Wow! Gobsmacked! Loved the shorty. You sure can pack a punch in a few words.

TAYLOR: Happy holidays!!! Sooo jealous!
Re: books. I haven't bought any to help with what I'm writing. It's a subject that doesn't require a great deal of research (Thank goodness!!!!), and what it does I have gathered from years of reading, as I just love the subject.

So excited, it's almost autumn. Ah, cool days and cold nights - can't wait! This summer has been a total stinker and I'm looking forward to seeing the back end of it.
Storm warnings on TV yesterday afternoon, and we got a huge storm that blew the sheets of rain horizontal, lots of thunder and lightning, and it lasted about 5 minutes.
Wonder where it was headed.
At the rate it was going, I don't think it lasted too long in any one place.

Ah well, off to do the life thing.

Teekay 2-17-2003 15:44

Cheri -- Thanks for your concern. We definitely got both barrels of it! It's easily going to be 2 feet deep here. My son has to keep shoveling a path for our poor shih tzu, who must think she's in the Alps. I agree with you about people's response to snow predictions, except that this time it seems they might be right! ;-)

Stay in and enjoy the show. Great writing weather!

Sunny 2-17-2003 12:23

Randall: I can assure you that dogs have more place in the church than teenaged boys. Last Sunday our church celebrated the Saint Valentine's Mass. Lots of readings on love a renewal of marriage vows...all the mushy stuff. As I was going up for communion I heard a scuffle behind me and a loud voice stated firmly, "If you pinch my butt ever again, I'll kick your teeth in." I looked over my shoulder in time to see my daughter slam her fist into a young boy's nose.

There's nothing quite like the feeling of being the mother of a daughter like that. All I could think was "Way to go hit!" All I could say was, "Oh oh! Trouble."

Well, I do believe that this was one Saint Valentine's Day Mass that the local folks won't forget in a hurry.

How about the audacity of the boy who decided to pinch the butts of pretty girls as they passed on their way to take communion. Wow! What a way to celebrate the Mass on Valentines Day!

I have to hand it to Catholic Kids. They can think of more ways to mess up a Mass on a Sunday. I think it's because Mass is a required and regulation event that kids always come up with nice ways to amaze the adults.

Quite frankly, the choir was dragging a bit, and the action was lagging. The bad end rhyme was flowing and the mothers were all looking at the fathers with that glazed eyed sentimentality...good to get a little reality back in control of the entire situation. Here's to human nature and the unpredictablilty of dogs and teenage hormones.

Viv 2-17-2003 10:19


Finally, I am away on holidays at the moment. Glad to get away from the daily routine of home.
Thought I would pop in and say a big howdy to all.

At the moment though I can't seem to get my mind off writing. Whether it be riding a train or going to see a movie. Saw 8 Mile over the weekend, not a movie I would have picked myself. Then saw Gangs of New York last night which was an interesting movie.

Another question for you writers... What books have you purchased because of the subject you were writing?
Since I've been trying to get into the phsycology of a soldier and war, I've brought a couple of books on Vietnam and one on Stalingrad.

Taylor 2-17-2003 5:49

Hi all!

Jerry, I really couldn't believe that sand storm. Outta nowhere, a solid wall that crashed over us in minutes. When the sand passed, the wind didn't. And even though it messed up my jump, it was quite something to see.

My pooch is sick. We're afraid she might have gotten into someones garbage the other day when she escaped from the back yard. Really hope it passes soon. Poor dog-o-mine.

Gotta go pack... more and again.
Blue skies!

Tina 2-17-2003 1:55

I have been referred to Zebra Communications by About Words Agency for editing services. I have already been stung once by an "editor" for more than $1,000 for virtually nothing. Do you know if Zebra is on the level?


Tom Lawrence

Tom Lawrence 2-17-2003 0:30

Snow???? Gee I sure wish we could have some snow, grounds nearly bare here now after the last couple of forty degree days.

Wanna see? Click the link below and see just what it's like to be downtown Lemmon SD the camera is above our local computer guy's shop and on the same block as the movie hall.

It's excitement by the hour, it's dragging main, honking horns, kids, adults, drunks!! Oh wait, this is Sunday. Oh well it's Main Street anyhow.

Jerry Main Street Lemmon 2-16-2003 23:27

SUNNY: Hope you're home safe and sound in this weather. Husband and I made the mistake of not doing our weekly shopping on Saturday and had to do a quick trip this morning. Why is it that whenever people hear a snow storms comming they think they need to stock up for three WEEKS worth of goods? I mean, really, most times we're plowed out in a manner of hours! NOT DAYS!

Anyway, hope everyone who's getting any of this blizzard are safe and sound.

Good night all.

Cheri 2-16-2003 22:55

One other request. I have not had a lot of time to handle much of late what with surgery and recuperation and some contracts that are settling in on my shoulders until I get them finished, but I have a couple of targets in the works on the back burner. One is to finally try to work out some password protected way for the site. We will see. And then try and get the Workbook rolling again. Second is to start getting cranked back up, check for bad links and add new ones. Time is the variable there. Finally, I would like to start getting an up to date set of bios for those who are regulars here. I will be adding my own in the near future, but for those others who would like, let me know privately and put Notebook Bios in the Subject line.

At any rate, slowly recuperating. Looks like another couple two to three weeks before I will be able to dive. I want the encision to be completely healed before I think about doing anything along those lines. However, I am hoping to get to a pool and do some lap swimming and maybe start getting some exercise into the mix a little better than I have so far.

Jack 2-16-2003 18:24

The shortie short from me is a tad late, I know...
I am still dealing with my brother in law's wife, and their relationship sparked that shortie, just so you know!
Have a lovely Sunday, all!

Heather 2-16-2003 17:31


I won't talk to you, I won't look at you, I'm not listening and I never will. This is said through crossed arms, hard eyes staring anywhere but into mine, a pinched mouth, a stiff torso. And the five feet between us.
I think I onced loved you. It is very hard to determine if I still do, with freezer burn in my chest. Yet you will not remove the flag you have raised at my feet, the one that proclaimed me yours; you will not relinquish me. Pack ice.

The dog strains at his leash, unsure of whom he belongs to. Who will take me for a walk? he asks with his expression.
There's no movement from us. Go first, and you have claimed the dog to be in your care. And then, you have claimed responsibility for all cares. We might just stand here like iceburgs forever, daring ourselves not to lash out... or worse; melt.

Heather 2-16-2003 17:28

LAURA: ((((((((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))))))) to you. And remember, this too shall pass.
But really, if it does go on for to long, maybe you ought to see a doctor.
Those dark feelings are the pits, but as someone once reminded me, it's in the valleys we grow.

Teekay 2-16-2003 16:10



Jerry, since you are always messing with computers...this one is for you!

"Did you hear about Pastor Festink's new Bible translation for computer buffs? Here's Psalm 23: "The Lord is my programmer, I shall not crash. He has installed his software on the hard disk of my soul; all of His commands are user-friendly; His directory guides me to the right choices for His name's sake. Even though I scroll through the problems of life, I will fear no bugs, for He is my backup; His password protects me; He prepares a menu before me in the presence of my enemies; His help is only a keystroke away. Surely clean code and flexible execution will follow me all the days of my life, and my file will be merged with His and saved forever." [From The Joyful Noiseletter.]"


Randall 2-16-2003 16:04


Yeah, yeah, it's old Randall again ... :-)

Okay, okay, you want something really weird about Texas? And if you can read this without falling to the floor in laughter, your sense of humor begs for help.

Again, from the site....

The Gonzales Inquirer, May 6, 1882 DOGS IN CHURCH

"After calm deliberation and mature judgment, we have reached the decided opinion that it does not improve the morals, and elevate the manners of dogs, to have them attend church, and we are positive that nothing is added to the comfort of the worshipers by their presence.

In fact we believe that church-going dogs are the most depraved of the canine family. They generally consider it the time and place to show their [pugnacity] and animosity to the rest of the gang that have congregated there. They make themselves at home in a manner that is supremely exasperating to average mortality.

The manner in which one of the well-trained ones can march up the aisle and scornfully survey the rest of the congregation would make a Texas legislator almost weep for envy.

The difficulties between the canines are generally adjusted in the middle of the church, and all other proceedings are generally brought to a close until the settlement is reached, and each one will resent an invitation to leave as a personal insult.

They seem to know that the bipeds are restrained by the laws from creating a disturbance and imagine that they have the right to run affairs to suit themselves.

Any town cur who is in the habit of attending church is as ambitious of being noticed as any politician in the country, and will play as many disagreeable tricks to gain the designed end.

One of the most harrowing methods is to plant himself in front of you, stare into your face with fiendish delight, and vigorously use his hind foot in scattering enough vermin on you to keep you thoroughly entertained during the rest of the services.

A few Sundays since one of the meeting house canines, after sliding up and down the aisle some forty times, walking into the stand and endeavoring to gaze the minister out of countenance, and performing all the other diabolical pranks that his abominable instinct could suggest.

Finding that he was not attracting that attention which his villainous heart longed for, raised his bristles looked savagely in the face at a lady near him and commenced barking in a manner that would almost render you frantic.

There were only five out last Sunday, but that was enough, and they made themselves felt, seen and heard. As members of a congregation assembled for religious worship, dogs are a decided failure.

We have never been able to appreciate dogs anyway, unless they were ornamented with a sardine box and earnestly and solemnly hunting for solitude and rest."

Dogs in church ... I can just see that happening today, huh?


Randall 2-16-2003 15:28


Good day...

Hope everyone is doing okay...and no, this is not one of my tales. Old Rip is as real as it gets. Eastland is about 40 miles above Brownwood...just off IH 20.

A big credit to


Ol' Rip, The Entombed Horned Toad of Eastland County


Where was PETA when we really needed them?

By Roman A. Clef

"Ol' Rip didn't want his fifteen minutes of fame. It was thrust upon him. He was Young Rip when he crossed paths with E. E. Wood, Electrician and part-time Cornetist with the Eastland Municipal Band. He was Ripley to his mother who had sent him to the store for a box of red ants.
Mr. Wood was on his way to the laying of the cornerstone for the new Eastland County Courthouse. The year was 1897 and people were starved for entertainment. So much so, that horned toads were regarded as pets. Even if they never brought the paper in or rolled over, people would watch their little wart-covered bodies sit immobile for hours. This was before Television, this was before Radio. Hell, if Edison hadn't invented the electric light, Mr. Woods wouldn't have been an electrician. Anyway, on the way to the festivities, Ripley scurried in front of Mr. Woods and changed his life forever. E. E. grabbed the unfortunate creature and put him in his pocket planning to present him to his sons at the end of the day.

Mr. Woods arrived at the site just in time to see the town fathers place various articles into the cornerstone/time capsule. Everyday items to be sure, but things that loomed large in the everyday lives of Eastland citizens. A few coins, a Bible, a newspaper and a bottle of whiskey had already been placed inside when the Mayor asked if anyone had anything else to contribute. Ripley chose that moment to scratch his little pointed head and Mr. Woods suddenly remembered he had something to offer. Everyone laughed when Ripley was lowered by his tail into his new home, for these were fun loving people who would've put someone's car keys in there, if cars had been invented. The cornerstone was sealed and Rip's mother and siblings starved for want of the ants Rip was to bring home.

Even in 1897 they didn't build things "like they used to" and 31 years later the Courthouse needed to be replaced. When news of the demolition was announced in the paper, a now remorseful Mr. Woods reminded everyone that a horned toad had been placed in the cornerstone. This would be an opportunity to see if the Indian legend of the toad's longevity was true. Word spread and a crowd of 4,000 people showed up. Most of them left when they discovered it wasn't a hanging, but enough were there to witness Rip's resurrection. His seemingly lifeless body twitched and he seemed to inflate himself as he breathed the fresh air. Eastlanders went wild. Westlanders went wild. The bottle of 31 year old whiskey disappeared. Rip went on tour. He went to Washington D.C. and sat on the President's desk (This was Calvin Coolidge, a man only slightly more talkative than Rip), he went to St. Louis, he made public service announcements and endorsed tennis shoes. Robert Ripley (no relation) featured him in his "Believe It Or Not" column and newsreels showed Rip's face on movie screens across the land. Warts and all.

It's too late to make a long story short, so I'll leave out his kidnapping. Rip spent what were to be the last months of his life in Mr. Woods front window in a goldfish bowl sunning himself or burrowing in the sand. Rip had literally found his place in the sun. Neighborhood children caught red ants by the bushel for Rip. But in February a Norther blew in and the temperature dropped. While the Woods slept under quilts, Rip froze in the unheated front room. Eastland County wept. The Nation mourned. A casket company provided a glass case, a monument company a marble base, and a taxidermist performed the sad task for free. Like Lenin, Stalin and Ho Chi Minh, Rip was put on public display. (It was never proven that Rip was, or ever had been a party member). Eastland's favorite toad, the reptile that brought fame to a otherwise sleepy town can be viewed to this very day in the Eastland County Courthouse. (North side.)"

My friends...truth is stranger than fiction. Rip IS in the Eastland County Courthouse, in a casket, dare I say ... as big as life?


Randall 2-16-2003 15:01


Thank you for your kind words. As to my life exploding, moving and a death in the family sort of does that to you, and realizing that it may be two or three years before you can do what you want with your life. I'm tired of this. I want to have my own place but I need money. I want to have my own place, or live with mom but I can't. My job won't let me.

God I am tired. I just feel so glum right now, I don't even think a rejection letter could darken my feelings any more. I'm trying to keep a new job I love, I just don't have the heart for it. I want to be elsewhere, doing something else. I want to be back in school. Will be trying for some of the awards in WM in hopes of being able to pay off my bills so I can go back to school.

Laura 2-16-2003 11:33

Tina - those who have never lived in the desert have no idea of the power of wind and sand.

When we lived in El Paso the local's used to have a term for it "Poncho Villa has stolen the mountains!" the would say as the wall of sand came between El Paso and the Franklin Mountains just blocks north of the City.

When I was transferred from Ft. Bliss (El Paso) To Fort Meyer VA (Arlington (DC Area)) my Sgt who also transferred from that post some two years before I did walked past my little Opel Manta and made a comment that he could sure tell where I came up from. When I looked I noticed the pitting in the glass of the windshield from that blowing sand.

GOD how I miss Texas.

Write on.

Jerry 2-16-2003 10:13

Hi all!

Just got home from a dance so I'm popping in. A local reggae group called Samsara was playing. Nothing like reggae to make your body talk. Very nice.

Sunny, one of these days I'll have settled things enough to have writing goals. Between two jobs and moving/packing, it just ain't gonna happen right now.

My alarm rings, but I'm already awake. I've been awake since the morning light began to peep through the blinds. How could I sleep? At eight, I'm going to do my 100th jump, and it will be from a hot air balloon. The anticipation began chewing on my stomach last night, and didn't let up. I've been planning this jump for months.

I roll out of bed and dress, grab my toothbrush bag, and open the door of my bunk. The clear Arizona dawn greets me, and I look over at the field where the balloon will set up. I can't wait!

At half past seven, I head for the gear locker to get my rig, and as I cross the compound a tiny breeze tugs my hair. It is followed by a larger cousin, more demanding. The usual wind that follows sunrise? No, for suddenly dust joins the wind and whips at my face.

Dreading what I might see, I look past the buildings to the sky. A dark wall stretches over the desert, and as I watch, dust obscures the nearest mountains. Now the dust is in my eyes, and I have to squint as I run for the cover of my bunk.

Ten minutes pass before I brave the wind again, and though it has lessened, it is not gone. Clouds race across the sky at the mercy of the weather gods. I see the balloon chase truck as it drives away from the field, not towards it.

I will do my 100th jump another time, and eventually I will jump from a hot air balloon. But not today.

Blue skies!

Tina 2-16-2003 4:24

Rosemary - You should be able to delete that, but then it probably won't do the job for you either.

What you need to do is establish your email account. You probably will have to use Outlook express for that. Start Outlook Express (It's the icon that looks like an envelope with a blue ring around it next to the start button on most windows systems. If you have never used it before, it should start a wizard that will guide you through the setup of your new account. You should have: your account name ie, your password that they gave you for sign on/email and the rest should setup by itself.

If it has been used before you may have to go to TOOLS ACCOUNTS and add a new account.

Jerry 2-15-2003 22:41


Hey Notebookers!

Frustration is:

Opening your heart-shaped box of chocolates only to find that a nasty evil person has pinched/nibbled a corner of each yummy, AND after having discovered their favorites has left you only maple cremes.

A big WHEW! for Jerry and his sister.

Hi Litter! Wasn't TT the best? I can hardly wait until they release the special edition DVD which will undoubtedly contain many deleted scenes. I haven't seen the Fellowship special edition yet, as I was one of the poor suckers who plopped down her money on the 1st release of Fellowship. I think it's kinda crappy the way they're marketing it, but I'll bitch all the way to the store as I buy the new one. Nice to see you!

Cheri, Nice shortie! I can relate.

Jerry, Frustration with a BANG!

Jack, Don't you know staples are for paper? : ]

Pamela, Nicely put! Sudden Archive Syndrome! I'll have to remember that one. I admit I was feeling the effects.

Thanks in part to the inspiration gained here I edited 7 pages and wrote 2300 words last week! I take weekends off and then it's back to the races. My sister and I email each other every day to make sure we either write 500 words or edit 2 pages, or combine the two (write 250 words and edit 1 page), or write 500 words in our journals. So far it's pushing us to finish some deadended stories and start new ones and I'm thinking this is a really good thing. Your idea, Sunny, really does work. I can prove it! Buddying up makes you accountable, because you have to report every day (we only do weekdays), and if you start to slack the other person's going to get discouraged, and so you would be paritally to blame if they quit. It sounds intimidating, but it has been nothing but fantastic. We started with smaller goals--at least a paragraph each day--but eventually we wanted stricter guidelines. (Didn't get a lot done with the 1 paragraph goal.) This buddy system has been working for almost nine months now!

Hey Samantha, this IS a cool site! Stick around!

Laura, Good luck! And do keep on writing. And send out that manuscript until it gets accepted!

Hey Rosemary!

Happy late birthday to Elaine!

Sloppy late Valentine's kisses to all! And may none of them contain the dreadful maple creme.

Christi 2-15-2003 22:33

I subscribe to this newsletter, and thought some of you might enjoy it.

Creative Writes 26
Kay Marie Porterfield’s Creative Writing Newsletter

Giving the Gift of Story:

“Stories are equipment for living.” Kenneth Burke

Imagine you are writing a saga, a rich and multi-layered tale that is
filled with intriguing scenes and fascinating characters. Your story
resonates with insights about childhood and families, about friendships
and intimacy. It delves into the issues of betrayal, joy, fear, and
love as well as longing and loss. The tale you are spinning details the
ultimate defeat or triumph of the human spirit. Your task is an
enormous one and has huge implications for your own life and as well as
for the lives of the people it touches.

You are in the middle of inventing this story right now, even as you
start to read this paragraph. You career as a storyteller began when
you were born. Whether you consciously claim this role as author or
not, it is yours. Every day that you draw breath you remain hard at
work constructing the story you tell yourself about everything you do
and everything that happens to you.

From the time you awake each morning until you fall asleep each night,
you construct this narrative in your mind, turning out scene after
scene, adding and removing characters, and layering one subplot on top
of another. You are not the only one doing this. Everyone you know is
authoring his or her own story, and you are a character in those tales
too. Our storymaking is part of the human condition. The reason we do
it is to find meaning in the raw material of our life experience.

Sharing our stories is part of what it means to be human as well. When
we speak or write our stories and listen to or read the stories of
others, we become connected. Story sharing provides us with a sense of
belonging, solace, and hope. We become aware that we are a part of
something greater than ourselves.

“The very act of story telling, of arranging memory and invention
according to the structure of the narrative, is by definition holy….We
tell stories because we can’t help it. We tell stories because we love
to entertain and hope to edify. We tell stories because they fill the
silence death imposes. We tell stories because they save us.” James

Most young writers begin by penning tales of unrelenting angst and
despair. The writers whose names we remember, the writers whose words
we read over and over again, outgrow that jaded perspective. They
awaken us to options we didn’t know we had. They open windows to new
ways of looking at ourselves and the world. They inspire us.

“If we see our life as a trivial story, we fall easily into inertia and
defeat. Seeing our life as a larger story puts us back on our feet and
helps us get on with living. And seeing our life as a great story can
fill us with the passion for the possible, give us access codes to a new
range of possibilities, and grant us a mythic life.” Jean Houston

Creative Write:

Our lives are filled with miracles. Often we’re too busy or stressed to
notice them. Writing helps us to slow down and pay attention to those
luminous moments. Make a list of the miracles you’ve witnessed and
experienced from the obvious to the subtle.

Write about a time you triumphed over adversity, a time you felt the
presence of grace or unconditional love in your life, or perhaps a time
when you found it in yourself to forgive another person you never
thought you could forgive. Write about a random act of kindness from a
stranger or a time you felt moved to reach out to another person. Don’t
worry about characters, plot, spelling or grammar. Let your heart tell
the story, rather than your head.

Once you’ve put your story on paper, go ahead and polish it. Now summon
the courage to give your gift of story to another person or a whole
group of people. You’ve nothing to lose but your isolation.

Writing Markets:

The following editors are looking for true, inspirational stories.

Chicken Soup…for just about everybody’s soul. When motivational
speakers Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hanson approached major
publishers with Chicken Soup for the Soul, no one was interested. Small
publisher, Health Communications, was willing to take a risk. The
number of Chicken Soup books keeps growing. Projects with a January 31,
2003 deadline include the Bride’s Soul, the Heroic Soul, the African
American Soul, the Fisherman’s Soul and the Horse Lover’s Soul.

Chicken Soup for the Caregiver’s Soul, edited by LeAnn Thieman, just had
its deadline extended to March 31. You can read about that project at

About 40 more titles are in the planning stages. The books have
different editors, but have similar requirements. Stories must be true
and range from 300 to 1,200 words in length. Payment is $300.00. The
guidelines posted at read like a short
course in inspirational writing.

God Allows U-Turns is a Christian oriented series of personal story
anthologies edited by Allison Gappa Bottke. Two to three of these books
are published each year. Upcoming projects include: Medical Miracles,
It’s About Worth not Weight, Golden Memories, From Grief to Glory and
Especially for Single Parents. Bottke, who wants U-Turns books to
continue for many years, says she is always willing to consider a good
story even if it doesn’t fit into upcoming themes posted on the site.

Stories need to be true. Contributors may be from any denomination. If
your story is published, you’ll receive a $50.00 honorarium and a free
copy of the book in which your story appears. Guidelines are posted at

Cup of Comfort books, published by Adams Media, Corporation are edited
by Colleen Sell. Upcoming titles for which she is seeking stories are:
Inspiration, A Cup of Comfort for Teachers, and Courage. Some of the
themes for future books will be Children of Divorce, Soul Mates, Healers
and Helpers, Creative Spirits, Christians, Blended Families, Devotion
and Generosity.

True stories need to be from 1,000 to 2,000 words long. Each story
accepted earns the author $100. A $500 grand prize is awarded to one
story in each volume. Read how to Brew a Cup of Comfort Story at

Chocolate Stories began with Chocolate for a Woman’s Soul. That was
followed by Chocolate for a Teen’s Soul, published by Simon and
Schuster. Kay Allenbaugh, the editor, urges potential contributers to
read stories posted in the chocolate sampler section of her website.
She continues to look for teen and women stories for future volumes.
Contributors earn a $100 honorarium for each story Allenbaugh publishes.
Her guidelines are posted at

Guideposts Books seeks personal stories for their daily devotionals for
Daily Guideposts. These, compelling first person stories run from 200
to 250 words and must reveal the teller’s character. The stories need
to focus on faith in action. Rather than looking for one-time
contributors, they seek people who can write for them on an ongoing
basis. Instructions about how to apply are posted on their site

Guideposts Magazine ( pays between $250 and
$500 for true stories between 750 and 1500 words. Payment for shorter
manuscripts ranges from $100 to $250. Fillers under 250 words earn
authors between $25 and $100. When you visit this site, read about how
to submit to their other publications: Angels Magazine, Guideposts for
Teens and Guideposts for Children.

New on Kay’s Site:

I’m trying something new this month. Since Topica (my newsletter host)
doesn’t support links, I’ve posted this newsletter on my site with
active links, in addition to archiving it. Look for it at the top of
the articles list on my home page:

Life: the Ultimate Creation by Teri Harris Saa is another new article on
the site. Teri shows us how we can apply conscious creation to our
daily lives.

If you found this newsletter useful, please forward it to a friend.

Good Writing!


Sunny 2-15-2003 20:01

Poor Laura, you sound so discouraged, I'm sorry life has exploded on you, it does have the tendency to do that to us. Turn around and bite it in the butt right back (if you can, sometimes we have no choice in the matter). I hope you hear about your submission too, don't stop writing. It does seem to be a rather love/hate realtionship sometimes but I have the feeling that you really love it.

Jerry, thanks for info on shortie night, chatroom abbreviations and spam. I haven't heard from that Algerian guy, that sounds like a pretty good deal.

Carol, animals know very well how to charm us, the little devils. Bono (my daughter named him after U-2 sunglasses-wearing singer since he has a black mask) will nuzzle up to you and reach out a little arm to put around your neck (melt, melt). They've really got us well trained.

Sunny, I'd like to get on a schedule too, first I will start with giving myself a week to get the houseplans finished and sent off, I hereby make a commitment to get that done by next Friday. THEN, I would like to start working on my book every day, maybe some days writing, some editing and typing up perfect copy. I'll be glad to be a writing partner with you, let me know if we'll do it here or by email.

Pamela 2-15-2003 18:35

One of the great things about this Notebook is that it can serve multiple purposes. It's good for community sharing and support, it provides a user-friendly writing workshop, and can also be tapped for goal-setting and keeping ourselves and each other on-track!

Personally, what's most useful for me at the moment is keeping me focused on my own deadlines. I have a tendency to get lost amongst my notes, and I need to keep moving in order to get this book done on time.

So while I won't be able to participate in Shorty Night, I would appreciate finding a few "partners" who are looking to stick to deadlines of their own. We can encourage (and maybe shove ;-) each other along the way.

If you're interested, let me know either on the Board, or via email. We'll keep it casual, but goal-oriented, OK?


Sunny 2-15-2003 17:48

Hi All :)

Pamela - I was wondering if an eraser would help. I'm glad you got it cleaned up decently and kitty cat is off the hook. (until his/her next escapade!) What I want to know is, why do animals look so adorable doing the things they shouldn't be doing?

Elaine -- Happy Birthday! Glad to see you pop back in too!

Laura - still got my fingers crossed for ya!

Samantha - hello and welcome!

Not a very productive writing day for me today. Did get in about 500 words, but they don't belong there! Oh well, I'll try again, and again, and again, and again. What was it Grandma used to say? "If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again." She was full of good old sayings.

Carol 2-15-2003 17:40

Hi all,
Well, I took the leap and canceled CompuServe. I uninstalled it and is working, except so far, I can't get mail. It still wants to go to compuServe when I try to read mail.
If I delete the thing in ---My Computer---innernet connections---that says Compuserve, will I loose anything else? Like a driver that runs something important? And, will that delete fix my problem?

Once in the past, I deleted a game and it deleted a driver that ran my cd rom. Been afraid to delete anything ever since. The uninstall program didn't get rid of everything, I guess.

Oh well, Really glad shorty night is starting up again, I tested and this new server will let me copy and paste into an internet field. It also-so far- doesn't give me all those line error messages. CompuServe always said it wasn't them, it was my computer or Microsoft windows. They were a bunch of #%$$$$. Emphasis on the $$$.

Got to get ready to go to the yarn store soon. Still crocheting in case anyone wants anything. Hats are my specialty but am also doing pot holders, scrunchies, scrubbies, and assorted other things. Just not with that fine thread. Too hard on the eyes.
So much for commercials.

PS My new e-mail address is posted here but I can't work it yet for all of those of you trying their hardest to contact me.
Bye again,

Rosemary 2-15-2003 13:16

Still waiting, Still writing, though sometimes I wonder why. It is love and frustration all in one. WHo was talking about shorty week? I'd be in. It'd give me time to schedual around work and write.

Sigh, sorry about not posting much, life decided to explode in my face. Still trying to recover. Hope I hear from Century soon, this wait is driving me nuts...


Laura 2-15-2003 12:50

Jerry: The chat capability is a JAVA applet and has not been running correctly for most of the past year. My suspicion is that it may be incapabilitible with certain versions of JAVA. In any case, I probably should drop the link to the page, but the next time I call into support I will querie them about whatever issues are involved with it and whether it can be revived.

Jack 2-15-2003 2:31

Pamela - The way it used to work was the subject was posted I think it was Monday, and the Night if I recall was Thursday so it gave folks a chance to get things prepared. Mary was in charge of topics and she used to come up with some great ones but she hasn't been her as often as she used to and the shorty thing sort of fell by the wayside. Sure glad to see it back about again though.

Chat rooms are different, I went to one for awhile during the last Presidential election night that lasted, what was it a month? Had great fun running down Clinton and Gore and building up Bush, but that was back then.

Anyhow SPAM is a wonderful meat named after, what else Spice Ham. It is also all that garbage that appears in your email box telling you that you can ENLARGE YOUR PENIS, or WIN MILLIONS, then there's the one from a poor public servant in Nigeria who has this fifty five billion dollars in US funds and wants to get it out of the country so if you would just give him/her the word the money will be deposited in your bank account. Just give him/her the number of your account and you can keep ten percent just for helping.

LOL = Laughing out loud ROFL = Rolling on the floor laughing, LMHA laughing my ass off, IMHO = In my humble Opinion and so forth.

There used to be a chat room right here but I don't think Jack has it back up running since the server change, I could be wrong. I don't go to chat rooms myself much after the Supremes gave us Bush for our efforts.

Anyhow hope everyone is well - Jack congrats on the unstapeling - Nice to see all the new folks and the retuning oldies, keeps things interesting here in the notebook.


Jerry 2-15-2003 0:36

Cheri, Just saw your post. Never been in chat room, this notebook is my first real contact with cyber-people. Don't know what LOL or LMAO are, or even "spam", other than that wonderful gourmet pressed meat (I especialy love Spam Wellington).

Pamela 2-14-2003 23:42

Carol, that was me growling, not the cat. I got him off the paper quickly enough but the damage was done. I can't really blame him, it was in the box I had pulled out with my rough draft in it and I already knew he liked to lie in there (why do cats like to lie on paper? Just to annoy us? Jon?) and my house plans and writing are tied together now because I've offered to donate this plan (impulse altruism) and feel I have to get it done before I can get back to the book. However, since it IS a freebie, I think I can get away with erasing some of the paw prints (got some off after they dried) and doctoring up with white-out. Contrarily enough, now that I've forbidden myself to write until I get this done, my characters are screaming at me to get out. Go figure.

So is the shorty night really a shortie week? That would be good for those of us (me) who don't know about "short" (remember my book started out as a short story) and so would need some time to consider briefness.

Elaine --- SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD! Have a happy and fun time, I know you can't understand this, but better you than me!

Hi Samantha, Jump on in, the water's fine.

Pamela 2-14-2003 23:37

I'll check back in tommorrow. Good night all!

Cheri 2-14-2003 23:18

Has anyone here tried going to a chat room for writer's? I'm in one right now and I'm confused about all the abbr. I understand LOL and LMAO. I guess I'm just old fashioned. I'd rather read something and not have to learn a new language just to "talk" to people on the net. Am I alone in feeling this way?

Cheri 2-14-2003 23:15

ELAINE: Good to see you here again. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! :) Hope you had a great one.

PAMELA: I would have answered your question but I wasn't sure myself. That was the first shorty I ever contributed. Give it a go! It's loads of fun and as Jerry mentioned, it gets the frozen juices flowing.

EVERYONE: Happy Valentine's Day! Hubby and I didn't do anything but, hey, we're still in love after 9+ years of marriage.

Good Writing to all!

Cheri 2-14-2003 22:29

Pamela - I think the shorty started when we were discussing a little thing that Alfred Hitchcock magazine did, they showed a photo and had you write a bit about it, had to be under a hundred words.

It has evolved to anything from two words to two pages of words but something in the middle is the norm.

We used to do it weekly but somehow it fell to the wayside as fewer and fewer participated.

Wonderful to see it return, hope everyone will join in, it's great to get the creative juices going when they've frozen from the cold and lack of muse.

Jerry 2-14-2003 21:58

Cool site!

Samantha Williams Samantha Williams 2-14-2003 18:24

Hello everyone!
Funny how a day like Valentine's Day brings people you love together! Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!! I'm terribly, truly, undeniably sorry for not writing earlier. I was sick with a viral infection, working my tail end off both at work, school, and writing, among other things that will take to much space and time to write down. To any one new Welcome to the NB! I know that any Newbies wouldn't know who I am so... Ummm... I've written a couple more poems, but I can't get them in right now, I have other things to do online yet, but there is no real rush. Oh, I'm 17 now, yesterday was the big day. Am I still the youngest one here? I will try to come back on tomorrow or Sunday. I can't promise anything but I will certainly try my hardest. With love on this special day, Elaine.
Till Niagara Falls!

Elaine 2-14-2003 17:49

Hi All :)

Pamela -- that's Hssssttt, not Grrrr! hehehe I do find a good Hsstt works on my cats. They do scurry away fast enough when I use it.

I'm having a devil of a time with my own cats at the moment. One needs to lose weight, the other needs to gain. (the old Jack Sprat nursery rhyme comes to mind) And of course, the skinny cat wants to eat the diet cat food and the fat cat wants to eat the stuff with all the tuna juice added to it.

Viv - I've managed another four hundred or so words, but not much else. I'll keep plugging away though. When there's a bit more, I'll send it on to you. I am feeling a bit better. I'm at the point where I have to take a chance and start eating aspirin on a daily basis. Its that or prednisone and I'd rather hold off on that one as long as I can. I'm glad everyone enjoyed your spaghetti dinner and you survived the ordeal. {{hug}}

Jack - I'm glad you got the staples out too and are feeling better.

Jerry & Cheri -- nice job on the shorty! I especially related to yours Cheri -- on all levels!! hehehe

Now, I'd better pound out a few words on my story today, or I'll be a crab all night and hubby won't like that on Valentine's Day! Have a great one everybody!!

Carol 2-14-2003 16:39


Hope all of you with significant others are doing something sweet for them today. For those in other countries: do you have Valentine's Day or is it just something made up by American greeting card companies?

Guess we're all suffering from a little SAS (Sudden Archive Syndrome)but recovering nicely. I had posted an errant page (and idea) from my rough draft, looking for some feedback, so I hope some of you will check it out when the recent archives are available.

Cheri and Jerry, liked your shorties about frustration. Do tell me about the shorties, are they supposed to be stories, essays, paragraphs, all of the above, etc.? Jerry, glad your sis is okay.

Darn CATS are frustrating (no offence to Jon and Pussy). I FINALLY got started this morning with my ink drawings of my house plan, was especially proud of perspective view which I did by eyeball and doubt I could do again and the furry creature who recently deigned to move in here (in spite of my dog) tromped all over my drawing with muddy paws. Grrrr!

Pamela 2-14-2003 15:26

Jack: Glad your staples are out. Yech is right. I'll bet you could write a horror story on that idea. Glad you're a bit better.

Lost my hard drive too. Felt so bad I got a dog.

Carol, hope you are feeling well soon! Hang in. Next Friday for me with the writing because today I had a dinner for 10. Not something I do with ease and grace. Thank God I stumbled through. Need sleep and feel a little down after all the work. I hate making something and having it gone in a few hours. Seems silly but I think everyone enjoyed themselves. Whew!

Viv 2-14-2003 11:50

Frustration can lead to most anything.

You may in fact be frustrated at the length of my little shorty, nearly as frustrated as the fellow with the hammer.

For over twenty five years Chan Minh drove his water buffalo around that spot in the rice patty. When he first saw the obstruction just after the end of the war he thought it part of an old land mine, but he knew nobody ever put land mines in the middle of a rice patty. Later he thought it a piece of shrapnel, yes that was what it must be shrapnel.

This year though he’d had enough, that damn piece of steel had lay there long enough.

He found an old hack saw, and began to saw it off but the steel was too strong and it simply destroyed the hack saw blade.

He built a small dike around the piece and removed the water so he could get a better look at it. The only markings were in French, and were so rusted that the letters couldn’t be deciphered.

The next day he returned to the patty with a hammer so he could bend it down and it wouldn’t hurt his buffalo. He began pounding on it, but it simply was too thick to bend, at least with the small claw hammer that he had. He went back home to rest.

The next day found him at Han Ming’s house. Han had a sledge hammer that he found near the old US Army Depot just down the highway from his village. Chan borrowed the sledge and returned to his patty.

He made a few gentle swings but the steel refused to budge, then he began swinging harder and harder, under his breath he cursed the French he cursed the war. One last swing and …

Nearly a mile away the head of the sledge hammer landed in the pig pen of Nyung Qie killing a small pop belly hog.

The crater in the patty was nine meters deep and over fifteen meters in diameter.

They never found Chan’s body; in fact they never found a trace of him after the French two hundred pound bomb exploded.

Jerry 2-14-2003 11:00

Good one, C