Friday, January 29, 2010

From one of the Second Life blogs

Forest Rogers is moving his artwork

Irresistable artwork

Oh I missed this earlier ....

From's Forum comes this comment on the year's best short stories:

“Too Soon Goodbye” by Rachael de Vienne is a well told, sad (mainstream) tale.--StevenLP


... for raising my daily blog hit count. Makes it all worth while.

Jael and Timmy

Just a bit more in rough draft only:

“Jael?” I spoke her name softly, using the same tone I’d learned to use with wounded animals.

Nothing, not even a sigh, came from her.

“Jael,” I repeated. This time it wasn’t a question. I touched her cheek and gently lifted her head. Tears welled up in her eyes, and she turned her head away.

“What’s wrong, Jael?”

She said nothing. I tried to coax her head toward me, and she shook off my hand.

“Jael?” I spoke more emphatically.

“You’ll marry now … and it wont’ be … it won’t be me. … “ She said it so softly I had trouble hearing it. “You … are the age …” She swept the air with her hand. “All the unwinged find mates. You will marry Isabella, and I’ll die.”

I wanted to ask her if all pixies were so full of nonsense, but I already knew that answer.

“I have no intention of marrying anyone right now. I’ve got the blood of all four houses in me. I may not have wings, but I’ve got the blood – and just enough Pixie nonsense – to keep me alive for a long time. And I’ve got enough pixie sense to know that turning fourteen did not change me from boy to man, even if it does them.”

I copied her sweeping gesture. She didn’t raise her eyes to see it, but it wasn’t wasted; she followed the shadow of it.

“But when you marry … it won’t be me …”

It’s hard to explain just what those plaintive words did to me. I’d spent the last seven years fending off her claims on me. I’d been alternatively flattered and annoyed. I liked her. She was companionable most days, and we’d shared lots of adventures. Her one flaw was insisting that she and I were destined to marry.

I ran my fingers through her untended hair and pulled a bit of plant dross from her wings. “You’re a pitiful mess,” I said. And then I did the most unaccountable thing. I kissed her. I lifted her little chin and kissed her tear salted lips.

Understand that we’d kissed before – but not like this. They were little pecks. She was prone to kissing my cheek and flying off, and I kissed her forehead once. But this was … a kiss.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

More on the Skip - update

I had some slack time at work and got back on my radio. Here is a list of the AM stations I was able to pick up last night. To be on the list, the station must be more than fifty miles from my home.

Reception was so-so last night; let’s call it average.

Stations heard early morning January 27, 2010

540 CBK – Regina, Saskatchewan
550 KOAC – Corvallis, Oregon
560 KSFO - San Francisco. (very bad reception but clear enough to ID)
570: Three stations overlap here. One is from the Seattle area and one from California. I'm uncertain where the third is from. It's faint. Reception is choppy with bits of all the stations coming through.
640 KFI – Los Angeles, California
660 CFFR – Calgary, Alberta
670 KBOI – Boise, Idaho
680 KNBR – San Francisco, California
710 KIRO - Seattle Washington
720 KDWN - Las Vegas, Nevada
780 KOH - Reno, Nevada
810 KGO – Radio Stupid
820 KGNW - Seattle, Washington
830 WCCO – Minneapolis, Minnesota
850 KOA – Denver, Colorado
900 CKBI - Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
990 CKGM – Montreal
1010 CFRB – Toronto
1030 KTWO – Casper, Wyoming
1060 CKMX – Somewhere in Canada
1070 KNX – Los Angeles, California
1100 KOMO – Seattle, Washington
1100 KFAX – San Francisco
The two above over lap; first one is clear and then the other.
1110 KNZZ – Grand Junction, Colorado
1120 KPNW – Eugene, Oregon
1150 CKFR – Kelowna, British Columbia
1160 KSL – Salt Lake City, Utah
1160 – Unidentified station giving time in Central Time Zone
1260 CFRN – Edmonton, Alberta
1380 KRKO – Everett. Washington
1510 KGA – Spokane, Washington
1530 KFBK – Sacramento, California
1620 KSMH – Sacramento, California
1670 KNRO – Redding, California
1700 XEPE – San Diego, California

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

swede boy and central city girl

If you continue to lurk on this blog, the agreement I made with Sam is off. Go away now, like the nice little boy and girl you are.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Snow Fairy ...

Same artist as below. Sold on ebay recently for over six hundred dollars. Stunning!

I'm trying to get a guest post out of her. ... Stay tuned.

Simply remarkable artist

faerielady on ebay

Findin' Stuff

Image Shamelessly Stolen from Here:

You really need to visit that site.

I bought a huge pile of old religious booklets from an eBay seller just to get one booklet. I wanted a controversialist booklet by J. R. Reid entitled How Russellism Subverts the Faith. Most of this booklet is doctrinal. It’s historical worth rests in a footnote. I have a photocopy, but I prefer to have originals when possible. So, this came today, along with a huge pile of other junk.

Now junk is interesting. I always look through the extraneous stuff I get in a large lot. Most of it will find another home. I take it into a large bookstore with an evaluation and they give me credit and post the material on This works well for both of us.

Sometimes I find a gem in the scrap. This group was largely Baptist. I don’t research Baptists past the 1790’s. My interests rest with non-conforming Baptists of the early 18th Century. So as interesting as these tracts may be to others, they don’t interest me. That accounts for eleven of the booklets.

I have a small pile of things I’ll keep. These include a booklet by J.N.D. entitled The Dispensation of the Kingdom of Heaven. J.N.D. is John Nelson Darby. He’s on the edge of what I research. This copy lacks its back cover, but it’s exceptionally rare as a first printing. I’m happy to have it. I found an unusual and scarce pamphlet by Philip Mauro on the nature of Christ’s Kingdom. It’s undated, though probably about 1900 by the printing style. While it doesn’t directly meet my research needs, I will keep this one too.

Defilement and Wickedness: Are They Equivalent? by F. C. Jennings will go into my pile of “oh, how interesting; let’s keep it” stuff. An anti-Catholic booklet from 1912 will go into the same pile. Neither is relevant to what I research, but I find them interesting.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Swede Boy and Central City Girl

What you're looking for isn't on the blog. Perhaps you should reconsider visiting this blog. No amount of looking here will answer your questions. The answers simply are not here. They're not on white pages either.

Swede boy, try a Reno City Directory. (That should keep you busy) And Central City girl, I'm sorry for your loss and situation. You've picked the wrong place, and you need to reevaluate your approach.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Skip ...

During slack time at work, I turn on my radio. I'm always fascinated by the variety of stations and the distance from which their signal comes. Tonight I pulled in radio RJ 1200 from Vancouver, British Columbia. I've gotten radio from further away, but none more interesting.

They call themselves Vancouver's #1 Bolywood Station and play unremitting Indian music of that sort. Some of it is quite good, and some of it put me off. But I listenend.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fe Fi Fo Fum .. or something like that

I’m profoundly tired today. I’ve been up since yesterday except for some brief naps. I just can’t escape the pain today. But … that doesn’t keep me from thinkin’. Thinking is probably a dangerous thing. I don’t do it well. It strains my wing muscles. But I do try.

I’m still – if you’ll excuse this expression coming from a pixie – up in the air over Timmy’s quest. I keep going back to my original idea because nothing else works, but I’m not satisfied with it. I’ll keep grinding brain cells together until it works.

I haven’t got a title for story three yet. I’m still calling it Timmy’s Story.

Tentatively, the first paragraph is this:

“Three things happened in 1347. I turned fourteen, which made me an adult in everyone’s eyes – except those of my aunt and mother. A ship for Genoa landed at the London docks and most everyone in Scotland and England died as a result. The third thing? Well, I’ll tell you about that later.”

Later we meet a new character. She just kinda showed up in this story. I hadn’t planed this one at all:

I ducked to avoid a collision with Katra’ Jayin’s newest daughter. She was ten days old and had only one flying speed: as fast as she could go. She wing-braked, which is a lot like skidding to a halt in mid-air and circled my head twice, landing on my right shoulder.


“Good morning, Tamalee,” Unfortunately a food now has a similarly spelled name, and it is pronounced exactly the same. Alas, we don’t foresee these things.

She gave me a huge kiss on the cheek; she kissed everyone. “Momma and papa are still sleeping. They were up all night! Did you know that? So it was hard to sleep. It’s hard to sleep when you are up. Did you know that? … Aunty told me to chase a bug.”

I snickered at that. She ignored it.

“I caught five gnats, a green biter and one hopper. I watched Cousin Anna milk the goats. And Katra’Jael is sitting on the old wall where the rock pens are. She isn’t doing anything.”

That bit of news was disturbing. Jael was always doing something, usually involving keeping me within her line of sight.

Without a breath, Tamalee rushed on, “… and we’re going to have a big dance tonight.”

“First I’ve heard of it,” I said.

“Of course,” she said. “I just told you and I just decided to organize it. Well, b’ye!” She zipped off with that abbreviation of ‘God be with ye,” but made a long loop around Old Oak and returned to hover in front of my face. “You could dance one dance with me. … Even if you’ll dance ALL the others with Jael. Everyone know you belong to Jael.”

Everyone but me. Jael claimed me as her own when newly born, and that had been that. Well settled in her mind, she made sure it was a fixed idea in everyone else’s too. Until the last year or so, she’d had the bad habit of showing hunt teeth and hissing at every female, human or pixie, who sowed the slightest interest in me – interest that wasn’t motherly, that is.

I didn’t mind too much until this past year. I like Jael, though sometimes I like her more than other times. Last spring-day I had porridge and ham with the Widow Whitmore and her daughter Isabella. Isabella is two years past me in age and a Basarith granddaughter. That makes her a very distant cousin. She has glossy black hair and a sweet – and accommodating – disposition.

Jael’s muttering about ‘pulling off her wings if she had any, traveled through the village in half a day. Jael was scolded by everyone but so very unrepentant that Isabella found someone else upon whom to bestow her flirtatious smiles.

This is all rough draft, and bits of it will change. I don’t know why I’m so dissatisfied with the journey and quest that I give Timmy. None of them seem real. Part of what makes fantasy fun is finding something that’s outrageous and making it seem plausible and real. “Fee Fi Fo Fum ….” It may not make you shudder now, but only because you’re familiar with it, or learned it through a Mickey Mouse cartoon. Bah! I had it read to me from a Golden Book. It made me shudder! And at that tender age it made me ask dozens of questions. That’s good fantasy. So this journey has to work. I have to be happy with it, or none of my readers will be.

I'm not usually afraid of heights ...

Grand Coulee Dam (BPA/US Government Photo)

Taking a flock of sheep across the dam. 1947.

"The Grand Coulee Dam is almost a mile long at 5223 feet (1586 m). The spilway is 1,650 feet (503 m) wide. At 550 feet (168 m), it is taller than the Great Pyramid of Giza; all the pyramids at Giza could fit within the total area of its base. Its hydraulic height of 380 feet (115 m) is more than twice that of Niagara Falls. There is enough concrete to build a four-foot wide, four-inch deep sidewalk twice around the equator."

Because she sings it better than I do .... (dang it!)

Pasco, Washington - About 1909

Fourth Avenue, about 1909.
The parmacy in the photo was opened under this name that year. Most of these buildings were removed in the 1940s and 50s, and replaced by ugly concrete structures typical of the period.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

So ... Pixies are allowed to change their minds ...

I'm keeping my blog. As some of you know, I'm seriously ill. I discourage easily these days. But I'm keeping my blog for now.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I am suspending this blog

i have exactly two regular readers. no one else is the least bit interested in what i say here or in the photos i post.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Using Google is like sucking a lemon

Google is too big for its britches. Blogger/blogspot is an example. Yes, I know I’m using a blogspot account. You can produce a decent blog using it. Getting help from google is impossible, especially if your copyrighted work is being used on another blog. Some of my friends are being harassed by the same blog owner.

Read the complaint form details. Google’s complaint form is crafted so as to be unresponsive and discourage your complaint. They don’t want to hear from you, find you less than interesting, and hope you go away.

There are two ways around that. If your work is being stolen, your private conversations posted online or anything similar, you may get a court order. Google pays attention to them. You can use small claims court to do this. Google tends to overlook small claims court proceedings and the decisions of the court are as binding on them as if you’d filed suite in District Court, or what ever that’s called in your state.

Also, most states have consumer complaint forms through the State Attorney General’s web site. Use the form. There is nothing like receiving a formal complaint from a state’s Attorney General to open sleepy eyes.

Google is not irredeemably wicked. It’s just stupid.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I’m “thinking” today. Who knows? That could be the cause of my headaches! I’m stuck in the early part of a story, and I’m trying to wade through a mass of conflicting research material that I’m reading for the history book Bruce and I are writing. I am unhappy with both things. The story is about Timothy and Sha’Jael. I have them past a kiss and into the first stages of a communal dance. I’ve introduced one new character. I don’t know if she will play a larger part, though I suspect she will. I didn’t intend to add this character. She just popped out of the story.

I intend to send Tim and Fitz-roi on a quest. I had one in mind when I started writing. I’ve tentatively rejected it, though I may go back to it. So, I’m running alternatives through my mind. I don’t like any of them. And I have this huge information dump in three paragraphs. That simply has to go. I’ll continue to cogitate, but I don’t see anything hitting paper until the weekend.

The historical material presents other problems. When we started writing book two of this series, we went into it with fairly set ideas about one of the principals. We have both researched him for years. Our ideas are evolving. Some of the information we’ve uncovered makes me sad, but the man himself more human. There are many out there who will not like some of what we will say because they see him as a bit god-like. Probably when I was in my teens I shared something of that view without really identifying it as unrealistic.

His life created controversy and continues to generate it nearly 100 yeas after his death. Our approach is to be scrupulously honest with the original material. Probably the main problem we face is the lack of candor and solid research in earlier histories.

I’ve also been planning a second class for next year. (oh … I’m not sure those who read this know I teach middle and high school students in a special program for partly home-schooled and distance learners. The program is school district run and very flexible. It’s a great program.) The class will focus on historical research and writing, focusing on each student’s family. We’re calling it Your Family in World History.

We hope to accomplish three things: Give the students experience using original sources; Help them develop narrative writing skills, and help them connect history to their own life. They will get a taste of genealogical research too. The syllabus should be done by next Monday.