Sunday, April 21, 2013

From Mr. Occasional

THE TIMES THEY ARE A’CHANGING?

For many years The Times newspaper in Britain was the erudite voice of "the establishment". Po-faced, serious, and ever so ever so boring. But they had a special offer a million years ago where you could take out a subscription for pennies. I wavered. I gave in. I have been reading it ever since.

If ever a paper has changed its style and reputation, The Times has. Excellent film reviews, comprehensive obituaries (they even gave my John Stewart half a page) and a reasonable sense of fair play. If there is a controversy, be it political or otherwise, they usually give both sides a column each to slug it out. But what I really enjoy is the mass of humor hidden away. British humor is often based on understatement. It is probably why Americans reading my posts have occasional difficulty. I mean, I have occasional difficulty myself.

And I do like the cartoons. This may not translate too well, but recently in Britain there was a headline-screaming scandal over horse meat. Now they eat horse meat on the continent, but to Brits this is generally anathema - especially when their microwaveable beef lasagne turns out to be more equine than bovine. Arrests have being made, heads are rolling – mainly because the fraud as with most frauds is all about money.

But there was lovely Times cartoon. It was a typical traditional children’s picture of Noah’s ark. On the top was a bearded Noah with a spatula in his hand. The sign above his head read "Noah and Sons – 100% Pure Beef Hamburgers". Walking into the ark looking extremely apprehensive were two giraffes, two elephants, two lions...

Well – I THOUGHT IT WAS FUNNY. I showed Mrs Occasional, but she used to ride horses and didn’t find it funny at all.

The bit of the paper she likes is the puzzle section. Years ago they separated the puzzles into a section of their own. Mrs O grabs that first and does the crosswords. I occasionally lean across and supply an answer – usually when she doesn’t want it and make myself most unpopular – but there is a clear demarcation – Mrs O, the crosswords, me, the Sudoku.

Sudoku is based on an old number puzzle on a nine squared grid that was revived in Japan, and then introduced into Britain by The Times, when it really took off.

And here is a funny thing. It is all down to the effects of alcohol.

Now I am unsure how clued up on British programs and books the Americans are – but a big favorite over here with several current spin-offs was Inspector Morse. Morse is always drinking (and rarely paying his way) but the lubrication gets results. And I have read the entire collection of Simon Brett’s Charles Paris novels – he is a failed actor and amateur detective, perpetually on the verge of inebriation. I find the books very funny and they wickedly parody all aspects of the entertainment business.

But you know what? – it almost seems to work.

Take last evening. Sudoku puzzles are offered on a number of levels, building up during the week from easiest to hardest. Starting with "Mild" they end up as "Super Fiendish" - real stinkers. Well, we were celebrating something or other (I think it was the anniversary of the invention of the spinning wheel) and had bought a large bottle of Cava – the el cheapo Spanish alternative to champagne. It tastes far better than the real thing as far as I am concerned, which puts me down as no connoisseur I admit, but who cares – very few here know who I really am anyway.

Anyhow, once you open the bottle, you have to finish it, don’t you – otherwise, I mean, the bubbles will all go off...

So the bottle was downed (and I generously allowed Mrs Occasional a taste) and then in a foolhardy moment I attacked the Fiendish Sudoku.

But do you know what! – I finished it.

I COMPLETED THE SUPER FIENDISH SUDOKO!!!

Quickly – easily – yes, there is still life in the old brain cells yet, but apparently assisted by the bubbles.

I am not sure what lesson I can take from that.

If I want to do something erudite, or complicated, the obvious answer is a trip to the English equivalent of the liquor store, and in true Inspector Morse and Charles Paris style – indulge a bit.

Hmmmm.

I’m not under the alfluence of incohol as you theaple pink I am, but the drunker I stand here the longer I get...

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Rough Word Count

220,000 words, with eight chapters and at least one appendix to go.
 
Writin and Living Pink!

Tormented Eyes

Other than a really nice lets-you-pay-attention-to-me snuggle this morning, I’ve spent the day working on Chapter Four. We wrote the first draft early in our research, and we were pleased with it at the time. Further research trashed parts of it. We moved huge sections of it to chapters two and three. It needed a re-write. In the process my WP moved a large section of chapter six into it. We followed new research trails. And today I’m squishing together my writing partner’s version and mine. It’s starting to look good, as good as a slice of Chocolate Suicide Cake might to a chocoholic. Okay, maybe not that good.

How to get your pet dragon's attention

We’re having the raise funds yard sale today. My daughters and one of my sisters are running the thing. We were going to use the money to buy some important papers, but we’ve generated an unexpected bill. It will all go to that.

Ton heard from a descendant of one of the important characters in our book. They’ve agreed to share things. I hope the material arrives soon.

I’m still in a re-arrange the house mode. The sitting room is all torn up, but starting to acquire the look I want. I’ve hung an additional picture, a nautical print from about 1920. It’s a very nice picture. It needs a new mat, but I’ll tackle that later. I tried two other pictures, one of which is a lithograph by a fairly well known artist. They just don’t look good there.

Knobby Knees is going to put up a new light fixture near some shelves. I need to find a new home for a vintage desk. It no longer fits there.

As I write this, it’s approaching two pm and I’m on my last cup of coffee. I drink the stuff at work and when I write. I have to say, the brew at work is nicer than I make at home, mostly because I buy the cheap stuff for home.

…. Back. Didn’t know I was gone, did you? Knobby Knees came home all grubby from mucking the barn and installing new electrical in the work area. He’s kinda cute all grubby and tousled.

 

I found some photos. These aren’t family photos, just some I found for sale that I considered buying. Two of them are disturbing. Take a look and tell me what you think …



These are part of a group of ten, all taken in England. Most of them show the family group. This child does not appear in the family group photos, though the screen behind her does. These are the only two (and I think they’re both the same person) that show her. The look in her eyes is disturbing.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Good, the BAD, and the indiferent

So … in what order do you want this? Oh, I forgot … you can’t answer in advance …

The good is that we located a photo of Otto von Zech. And we found some documentation of Zech’s financial dealings with Mr. Russell. This is good stuff.

We have a very faint photocopy of von Zech’s 1885 booklet. It won’t reproduce well enough to use as an illustration. I’m searching for his translation of Millennial Dawn. I found a copy; haven’t heard back from the library that owns it. I only want a scan of the title page.

That’s the good. Now for the Bad.

My health has deteriorated enough that I’ve had to quit one of my "jobs." Officially, it’s a leave of absence. But I won’t be able to go back to it for a long time if ever. They’re just being nice to me. This is a huge financial blow to our family, but we knew that days like this would come.

 

Badder yet, our school district has been hit hard by financial hard times. Among the programs targeted for cuts is the one that employs me. There is a good probability that come next school year I will not have a job there either. If I do, it will be one with greatly reduced hours. At best I’ll be on half-pay. At worst the program dies, at least the part I’m involved with.

 

The indifferent is my frustration over our research. We do try and help others. Occasional, who posts here and "Ton" who sometimes comments here, are top of our list. They help us; we help them. But we also get odd requests that we can’t reasonably fill. One of those is a request for research for someone else’s book. I think my WP plans on writing an email with basic research. But we can’t do major research for others. We’re swamped.

 

Back to the good:

My pet, knobby-kneed Scot (He’s currently a shape-shifting dragon) thinks I’m part of his hoard. I like the idea of being a treasure, even if that occasionally involves major dragon behaviors.



 

Back to the bad:

I would like to hang on for ten more years. That may be a vain wish. This last year I’ve been unable to remember my students’ names. As my memory deteriorates I am more and more frustrated. Usually I manage to cover my laps. In my youngsters writing class I have them raise their hands "so everyone knows who you are." They laugh at this and think I’m teasing. But it’s my way of "refreshing my memory."

I will miss teaching, if they lay us all off. (Strong possibility.) But it’s become a huge stress. My favorite class is my second-third grade class. This semester it’s all little girls. It’s a fun class. I especially like one of the students in that class. She’s a smart, sweet child. She’d fit in with my own children. I like her mom too.

 

I want to finish the book we’re writing. I want to see my youngest reach adulthood. And then, I’ll gladly let go. You have no idea how hard it is to make it through each day.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Two by J. C. Sunderlin

I think but can't yet prove that this is the photographer's wife.
About 1865
 
 
Flood at Ft. Edwards, New York, 1869.
The original has the photophrapher's notes on the back.
A stereo card.

And here I thought it was all due to ....

Because Anthony Keeps Poking

Libertarian Sexuality, Part 1: Human Sexual Behavior 101



by Anthony Pacheco

The Question:



We know authors portray libertarian societies as monogamous with a side of polygamy. Are m+n/f long-term relationship, where one woman has multiple husbands (defined as polyandry), possible?

Answer:



Absolutely. A libertarian society would see these types of LTRs, which occurs throughout human history and also in the animal kingdom. I’m here to talk about a hypothetical future, however. This is a three-part series:



  • Human Sexual Behavior 101


  • The Present: Doom, Doom, & More Doom


  • A Libertarian Future: Monogamy, Polyandry & Polygamy




  • Explanation:



    To understand how polyandry works in humans, let's define human behaviors outside of gender-relational wishful thinking. In other words, jettison current Western Feminism Dogma for the false-dichotomy it is and deal with facts.

    Yeah, I went there.

    The Basics of Human Sexuality Without Dogmatic Politically Correct BS



    We can divide this discussion right along the sexes: the male imperative and the female imperative.

    The Male Imperative



    The male imperative is amazingly obvious but modern men and women both attempt to ignore or marginalize the basis of human sexuality. Sperm is not just cheap, biologically speaking, its way cheap. Sperm is so plentiful a male human will jettison the excess through masturbation.

    Therefore, a human male is good to go when he can find a female willing to engage in intercourse. The more attractive the male is, the more females he can engage to deposit his genetic material into (we’ll talk about this later). Men not as attractive can also, through the pair-bounding process with a woman, create a monogamous relationship where the female is only interested in engaging sex with him despite her feminine imperative.

    They call it making love for a reason. A woman attracted to a man she gets high off a dopamine response. During intercourse, if the man brings the woman to climax she not only receives genetic material she receives an oxytocin punch to her neural response system.

    Literally, the male is drugging his mate with love, a one-two punch of biological epic proportions and the foundation of the pair-bounding process. If backed by cultural reinforcement, what also makes up monogamy and life-time mating.

    Why discuss the mechanics of sex specifically impacting women? In the men's section?

    That’s the male imperative. To have sex. We’ll come back to this later.

    The Female Imperative



    The female imperative is hypergamy.

    Hypergamy is the biological feminine drive to mate and secure commitment from a man whose relative attractiveness to her is higher than her own attractiveness. In different words, mate selection is the genetic drive to produce the best offspring she can.

    Not only is this feminine imperative, but a duality inherent in all women. They seek sex and commitment. A man can impregnate a woman with little biological commitment. A woman, however, once impregnated, not only consumes more resources than when not, but she is also "spending" her body in a nine month pregnancy followed by, by modern standards, eighteen years of child-raising commitment.

    A woman lies on her back, spreads her legs and offers a man her sex: this is a biological offer for a man to ride in the ultimate luxury car. It could be a short ride or the ride of his life, but for a woman sex is an impending biological sacrifice on an epic scale.

    This sacrifice is so foundational to a woman's make up hypergamy is akin to a woman breathing and an undeniable sexual drive rooted in life and death. Without hypergamy a woman could invest her entire life and offspring to a sub-standard male of lower genetic status. Not too long ago, mating with the wrong man meant death.

    Many say bad bad things about hypergamy, but biology doesn’t care. Many also define hypergamy as "marrying up." That is a simplistic definition of the female imperative.

    Hypergamy is the biological force in a woman which dramatically reduces her chance of getting knocked up by a douche-bag who cannot provide for her and her offspring nor keep them safe. She snaps her legs closed. She does not offer the man a ride in her Lexus. She tells him to go pork a Pinto.

    Strong as the female imperative is, it is not wishful thinking to recognize the pair-bonding process will dampen a woman’s drive to replace one man with a better one, as long as her current mate remains attractive to her. Making love is a giant, orgasmic sex drug for a woman (and men, but that's a different story) and can turn her into a slut. She is a monogamous slut only for her man because of her biological drive, as long as she perceives qualities in him which are better than her own.

    But it’s serial. As soon as her mate ceases to be attractive to her, all bets are off. Hypergamy kicks in, and with a vengeance. Remember, the woman is deciding to make a life-altering biological change. Why would she make babies with someone she isn’t attracted to and repulsed by? This directly translates to DON’T HAVE SEX. This DON’T HAVE SEX bit has many names. The Friend Zone. Divorce. Serial Monogamy. I Love You But I Am Not In Love With You™. Whatever you call it, thy name is legion:

    Hypergamy. The feminine imperative.

    Biology Doesn’t Care



    We’ve talked about love but only from a biological standpoint in the pair-bounding process. I didn’t talk about romantic love because biology doesn’t care. Biology doesn’t care about a lot of things and that coupled with this factoid this post serves as the foundation for understanding human sexuality. This seems simple and is simple. Humans are highly adaptive. Genetics roots this species specific trait in cold-hard reality.

    Let’s go over some examples. One classic misunderstood example is birth control.

    Mr. and Mrs. Biology Scoff at Your Scientific Advancements



    A woman can choose when to get pregnant. This ushered in a sexual revolution, right?

    Wrong. Evolutionary biology doesn’t care about birth control, at least not yet. All sex, for a woman’s brain, is make-a-baby-sex. All. If she has sex while ovulating the female brain goes "We’re making a baby! Yeah!" Before ovulation, her brain goes "Wooooo! Give me some of this white stuff because it sticks around for five days!" So-on-and-so-forth.

    The emotional response to sex is not the body saying, "Well, this is sex and I’m ovulating, but because I have a diaphragm in, I won’t get pregnant. Let’s not pair-bound, Ms. Body, either, despite the fact I’ve had three orgasms and this guys is hot, because I’m still working on my B.A."

    A woman’s hormonal system will care she is on the pill. Behavior traits based on millions of years of sexuality don’t.

    Let’s talk about the other side of the coin, men.

    Mr. and Mrs. Biology Don't Give Rip if You Think Objectification is Bad



    Today, many tell men to not objectify women because that’s sexist and ultimately misogynistic. Objectification, they say, is the moral basis for patriarchal systems and everything bad in men.

    Despite evidence of evolutionary traits men find attractive, somehow a man must ignore the massive amounts of testosterone in his body (as compared to a woman) and the theory of evolution and not objectify a woman he just met?

    Ignoring women also initially objectify men they desire, for men, the pair-bounding process replaces objectivity with idealistic notions of romance and love (much more so for men than women!). Yet somehow initial attraction, wanting (not necessarily doing but simply wanting) sex with nubile Katie without getting to know her is bad.

    Biology doesn’t care. Biology doesn’t care about the "unfairness" of Katie's long legs and big boobs while Sally is an A cup and therefore men should appreciate Sally just as much as Katie. It’s not supposed to be fair. It’s the male imperative. If a woman thinks this is bad, that's her problem. Not his.

    Get it?

    I end this post with a rational examination at sex-attributed behaviors and not a moralistic approach because in the next, we'll expose all the dirty laundry. My mantra as we look at the current state before moving to a future state of monogamy, polyandry and polygamy roots itself in this notion:

    The human brain is a meat computer. Emotions and feelings are tangible things running around a brain like software. Evolutionary biology is the runtime basis defining how the brain runs these programs.

    No sacred cow will be safe in the next post. Hold on to yer butts.

    From Girl to Woman

    Libertarian Sexuality, Part 1: Human Sexual Behavior 101, first appeared in Who Said Pixies Are Rational Creatures? in April 2013. For more information on Anthony Pacheco and his books, please visit his website.

    Red marks on the Pixie's butt.

    I have a headache. I don’t like headaches.

    Anthony, I got your post. I’ll put it up soon. I’m a bit swamped right now, but it’ll be up in a day or so.

    OR, same. Got your post. Prolly up by Sunday or so.

    I’ve been struggling with what is going to be our chapter four. I’ve added some good stuff, but it may change. Did that make sense? We decided to quote from Joseph Zygmunt, a sociologist. He was limited by lack of access to documentation, always an irritant to researchers. He jumps to unwarranted conclusions. But, on the topic we quote him, he’s very perceptive. We need to divorce his junk from his gold.

    As we rebuild chapter four we’ve had to do much more research than I anticipated. Along the way Bruce (my WP) found a really obnoxious but helpful article in a Presbyterian magazine published in Wisconsin. None of that will directly appear in this chapter, but ideas from it shoved it forward. My WP writes to another author who is researching early missionary efforts in Wisconsin, so he forwarded that to him. This man wrote back promising a photo dump. That would be stellar.

    Speaking of photos, I got a really nice email from Cornell University. They’re one of the few large institutional libraries on my "good guy’s list." They’re trying to trace down a photo of W. I. Mann, a key player in this story. One of Cornell’s libraries is named after Mann’s son.

    I have so much stuff to do today. …

    So we camped Sunday night. Getting the girls all cleaned up and off to school was an adventure. There’s a campground shower. The water was on the cold side, so we had a bunch of shivering children. But we got them all off to school on time. I waited until I got home to take a nice, long, hot soak.

    I have three classes to teach today. I have a registered letter from Israel to pick up. We need some lawn treatment for our lawn. The sprinkler system needs parts. It always does for some reason. Probably because it was put in by my grandfather back about 1970 and really needs to be replaced totally.

    Sex on a bed of pine needles, which can be demonic pokey things when it comes to little pixie butts, was still fun. I have a red marks on my butt though. You so needed to know this …


    It rained during the night too.

    I’ve printed out all of our mostly finished chapters. Well not all; there are two still to be printed. People! It’s startin’ to look like a real book!

    We really need to see some things we cannot afford. We need photocopies of the entire G. Storrs archive in the NY Public Library. We need the entire run of Our Rest copies, or at least examined and copied selectively by a knowledgeable person. We need the Library of Congress’ holding of Day Star microfilmed. (Over three hundred dollars for that). We need someone in the DC area to visit the Library of Congress and examine the American Colonial Society archives for letters to and from a Liberian clergyman. The prospects are dim.

    Next up we return to research we shelved to follow other trails. This will be the tail end of a chapter that we’ve mostly finished. We’ve debated how much to develop its contents. There is a huge amount of material. We don’t need most of it to tell the story. We debated making this a separate chapter, but I’m against that. When we reorganize our research I may change my mind.

    Okay I’m off to school to teach little kids about ballet as art, the place of the Oz books in American children’s literature, how to find the clues an author leaves, and the secret properties of dragon’s milk. (That last is in the book my young critical readers class is using.)

    Monday, April 08, 2013

    Harry Remembers

    Long before you were born, my dear pixie, there was a raven-hair pixie who danced and sung her way into my very young, eight-year old heart during the first season of the Mickey Mouse Club. Her name was Annette. I guess she was my first love.

    She died today after a long fight against multiple sclerosis. During her entire lifetime she was a lady. Her success did not change her like it did to so many young singer/actresses you see in the news today going through drug rehab or facing a judge in repeated court hearings.

    Annette Joanne Funicello (1942-2013) died today, April 8, 2013 at age 70.

    Now's the time to say goodbye
    to all our company…
    M - I - C
    K - E - Y
    M - O - U - S - E

     

    Sunday, April 07, 2013

    Kissin' the Goat


    I’ve worn my little self out. And my living room is a disaster. I decided to move furniture and rearrange the art and photos on the wall. I never learn to leave well-enough alone. Anyway, I’m giving it a rest. I’ll work on it tomorrow between my morning and afternoon classes. Then … we go camping! Sort of. I mean we’re only going to our usual gone-to-seed park. My brothers in law are out there today setting up the tents.

    Hebrew National hot dogs, potato salad, green salad, beer, rum, fried chicken, and an ocean of soda and snacks. So far eighteen people are planning to show, many of them children. I borrowed a metal detector. My sister in law is bringing games. I plan on eating, watching everyone wear themselves out, and on snuggling Knobby Knees by the fire. Oh yes, marshmallows. Sacks of marshmallows. Can’t camp out without them.

    Between shoving furniture and moving paintings, I’ve been adding bits to various chapters. When a chapter is still on the raw side, we leave “insert research here” or “Update” notices. I’ve been tending to some of those today. What will be chapter six has bunches of those. I’ve been squishing a thirty-four page hand written sermon down into two paragraphs. Try that when you’re tired!

    Anyway, this sermon got President John Adams’ grandson kicked out of the Methodist Church. Fun stuff. I’d have kicked him out too, though for other reasons.

    At the moment the house is quiet. Knobby Knees ran off to the store. (I think he was tired of moving furniture.) Two of the girls are at a religious meeting. The rest rode their bikes down to their gramma’s house. (I think they were avoiding my movie stuff project.)

    Mental picture of the day: Isabella scoops up a kid and cuddles it, kissing it on its head. Sister One says, “What if it was rolling in goat poo?” Isabella looks pained. Sister One says, “What if one of the other goats peed on its head?” Isabella looks slightly ill. I say, “Did she taste funny?” After a long pause, Isabella says, “No … I don’t think so.” Sister One says, “Kiss it again just to make sure.”

    Do you know where those lips have been?

    Alex Ginsburg - Stunning!

    Saturday, April 06, 2013

    A warm wind is blowing ...

    A minor character in our history is J. B. Keim, a Watch Tower evangelist in the 1880s. He dropped out of that ministry and moved to New Jersey where he stood for governor on various Socialist party tickets. Today I located a letter he wrote in 1924, about ten years before he died. He was trying to sell a painting, using as his agent a man named George H. Fisher. Such unexpected connections …

    I’m trying to find a photo.

    My WP is trying anew to pry a document from the early1880s out of the hands of a well-known tract society. I’m doubtful, but the effort is his to waste. He’s sending them one of our more finished chapters where we already use some of the material we want to see. (We have a few pages.) If they deny his request, in the finished book I’ll include a footnote saying something like: "The - - - Society denied a request to see the complete document. We do not know why, but presume that they fear release of contents." My writing partner won’t let me do that. I know he won’t. … But we should.

    Grow up, boys. Cultic secrecy is not Christianity.

    Recent research has raised some issues, and we’ll have to remodel our closing chapter to accommodate them.

    Remember that magazine I mentioned in an earlier post? The one where three volumes of the set was for sale? We still can’t afford those, but I managed to find the year 1814 for sale at twenty dollars including postage. This is good. I had to use household money. That wasn’t so good. But at least we can add it to our research collection. I really do hope we can write the prequel. We’ll need these if we do.

    So that means we’ve gotten two really good items in the last month. These are hard to find. They aren’t available online either. One we'll use in the current book. The other I haven’t read yet, so I can’t say. It has articles on prophecy from a Literalist view point. The possibility that we will is strong.

    Our Work in Progress is finally starting to look like a book instead of disjointed essays. We still have major work ahead of us, but not so much as just six months ago. I have thousands of pages of new material to read. Most of it won’t add anything, but you don’t know until you read it. Right?

    We want to pursue (mostly for the last chapter) the world-view of the major sect. I’ve been accumulating relevant external material, but neither of us has read through their magazine with that specific search in mind. This would consider how they viewed governments, socialism, communism, labor problems, their fascination with Henry George’s economic theories and such.

    I was reflecting on my previous post and one of the newly-born goats comes to mind. It’s four weeks old and cute as a button. It’s a male. I don’t think we’ll sell this one. We’re all attached to him. His way of showing displeasure is to pee on your shoes, or close to them. I think I just peed on someone’s shoes, even if they haven’t noticed yet.

    Other stuff:

    I got lost in familiar surroundings again last night. I hate that. At least this time I didn’t have to pull over to the roadside and cry my eyes out, and Knobby Knees didn’t have to rescue me.

    Four of us have proof read the same chapter. Last night I read it again. There is (or was) a glaring misspelling on page one. Right there. For anyone to see. None of us saw it. This is bad.

    A neighbor boy is mooning over Isabella. Isabella is gorgeous (even if I’m her mommy and sayin’ so.) I teased her about it and she gave me "the look." The women in our family are really good at "giving the look."

    "Mom," she said, "He’s a creeper."

    Understand that’s a misuse of "creepy." She didn’t mean he creeps along, but that he is a repellant, strange specimen.

    She’s a good judge of character.

    My oldest is putting off college. This mildly upset her dad. I’m supporting the decision. She was offered a job that will bring with it career-based education. She starts at an exceptionally decent wage. It’s part time. She wants to devote time to mission work for her church. I think this suits her better than being a full time student. When she is ready her new employer will pay significant amounts to educate her. She starts Monday.

    I got off work at 4:00 am last night, and I’ll work the same shift until mid-week next. Then because of another manager’s surgery, I’ll work a 12 and a half hour shift. I’m not looking forward to that. But, it’s nice enough that I can see a campfire in our future. I have (other than the classes I teach) Monday and Tuesday off. The plan is an over night camp out and picnic. So far my in-laws and two of my sisters and their families are coming. They’re all tent people. We’re more under the stars people. But we’ll set up a tent because it may rain.

    Let’s hope Katarina manages to not fall in the river this time. Of course, if she does, this will be the … what? Fifth time in a row. …. Just sayin’.

    You're old enough to know better. I think. ... well maybe not.


    My writing partner and I benefit from the interest our readers show in our work. A few, such as OR on this blog and Ton who visits but seldom leaves comments, have sent us endless material. Good stuff. Things we can use. There are others who read but never comment on our history blog. I understand that some of them have no way of measuring our research or contributing to it. Their interest is enough, though I do wish for an occasional “well done.”

    We’ve deleted a number of blog readers. One gentleman (hardly that, but it’s a nice word anyway) wanted to take “editorial control” of our work. He lasted about a week and a half. One threw a temper tantrum because I contradicted something he wrote. I am after all a lowly woman. He and another blog reader tried to get my writing partner to “control” me when I posted things they did not like.

    He tries to come back every so often. First he tried to regain his password, pretending to be one of the blog owners. Dear heart, that does not work. All such requests come to the registered emails, and he isn’t on that list. Lastly, he sent a photo without comment. It was typical of him, a photo of a grave. He likes headstones. I never replied. He can’t come back. I don’t put up with that sort of thing. Male temper tantrums don’t please me.

    We have another reader that I have tolerated, but for how much longer I will is an open question. He emails me and my writing partner on a regular basis. He shows one face to me, and, when discussing me, quite another to my WP. I don’t think he realizes that I see what he writes to my WP.

    Observation: Words have meaning. If you suggest that I’m drunk, I will remember it. Choose your words carefully. Make sure you know the meaning of what you say.

    The Rules:

    While Bruce has final editorial control, I have considerable say. If I say something is important to the story, it is. It does NOT matter what you think. You can pout all you want. It’s not your book. If you don’t like it, write your own.

    Presume I know this material better than you do. If you see something questionable in what we've written, feel free to point it out. I’m open to corrections. I’m not open to insult or to surrendering editorial control to you, your mother, your sister or your goldfish.

    Your assistance, documentary contributions or other help is appreciated. None of that obligates us to you. Do not presume that we now owe you a voice in our work or that we are obligated to provide minute feedback to every comment you make. AND DO NOT SUGGEST THAT I’M A DRUNK. DO IT AGAIN AND YOU’RE TOAST NO MATTER HOW HELPFUL YOU MAY HAVE BEEN. It wasn’t a fun joke and it was a very poor turn of phrase. A good rule of thumb is this: If you have something to say about me, say it to me. Say it to my writing partner, and it will get back to me, and I’ll chop your literary head off.

    I don’t want emails from any of you asking, “Did you mean me?” If the shoe fits, wear it. Otherwise, this wasn’t meant for you.

    Friday, April 05, 2013

    Rescued by the Dragon Boy


    Sometimes, having a shape-shifting Dragon-Boy husband comes in handy, especially when you're frustrated with someone and he takes over.

    Thursday, April 04, 2013

    Shoes!


    Death to Ants!

    This is a blah day. It’s rainy, over cast, cold. I’m out of coffee or Knobby Knees put it where I can’t find it.

    A friend of our research pointed us to two incidents in George Storrs life. They are interesting, but they don’t further our story. One places him as a side player in a murder trial – murder most foul, where in a Methodist clergyman murdered a young woman. If Mr. Storrs had been accused of murder this would be a huge bit of our story. But he wasn’t. The other bit was about a train wreck – interesting but not useful.

    His suggestions weren’t a total washout. He helped us solve two issues: The name of a clergyman to whom Storrs wrote, and why a certain booklet is described as "published anonymously." That was good stuff, and we’ve used both points.

    My WP is still trying to get someone off to Columbia University to copy Our Rest, an important magazine from the 1870s and 80s. No success yet. But we keep trying. Aurora University has issues of another magazine, World’s Hope, we don’t have. No joy on that yet either. And I’m frustrated that I’ve found a dozen issues of an important magazine from the 1850s and we just can’t afford the seventy-five dollars. Well, there’ve been other things we’ve had to pass on because of finances.

    There are three volumes of a magazine from about 1800 for sale too at $125 for the three. This is exceptionally reasonable. We just don’t have the money. My goal is to acquire that magazine from 1802-1820. It won’t happen, of course. We do have two complete years though. This is less important than the magazines I mentioned in the last paragraph. We’d need these if we decide to write a fourth book, one that looks backwards from the Nelson Barbour biography. That seems unlikely, but it is in our mind.

    I think I said somewhere else that we murdered our chapter four by moving major portions of it elsewhere. We’ve been working through a new outline for it. I’m not very pleased with what we have. … But I have a plan. It will take bunches of new research. It’ll give me a headache. I’ll be cranky. I’ll have to buy chocolate and kill ants.

    Did I mention we have an ant problem? We must have our lawn sprayed and our house bug-bombed. Fun huh? No.

    Death to Ants!

    So … that’s about it. I’m tired, and I’m going to take a nap.

    sitemeter died today

    I need something with which to replace it. Any ideas?

    Into the unknown


    Wednesday, April 03, 2013

    I think it gave me a rash ....


    So … I guess some people think I’m stupid or something close to it. I’ve gotten occasional visits from an IP address associated with a religious group. They want to know who I am, I guess. The word paranoid crossed my mind.

    Yesterday I got an email from someone who tried his best to make it sound as if he were enrolled in a university in New York City. He didn’t actually say he was, but the implication was there. He named a topic that he was researching, and then asked me if I would provide him with a photocopy of a book I mentioned on my blog.

    It is a rare book. There is a single copy for sale online for about twelve hundred dollars. The thing is, any first year college student would know about Inter-library loan. If they didn’t, their librarian would have suggested it to them. I declined to provide the photocopy on the basis that it would be an unreadable copy of a poor photocopy, which is the truth. But while I’m telling him that “truth,” I’m thinkin’ that I’m also not providing him my address.

    I have his though. He was silly enough to sign his real name which attaches him to a specific religion. I don’t know if I should throw a temper tantrum or just laugh.

    There are twelve copies available via Inter-library loan, one of which is only a two hour drive from his residence. ….

    My back yard ...