Tag Archives: a personal note


Jack climbing the wall of the Palace of Obann–don’t look down, Jack!–had hardly a more difficult time than we’ve been having since our computer’s hard drive died last weekend. But like our hero, we’re making progress.

Tomorrow morning Adam the tech is coming over to re-install our regular computer. Thanks to the old keyboard here, I was able to write and send my Newswithviews column today. And among the many reasons why getting the old hoss back is a very good thing, I’m just about ready to type and submit another set of chapters of The Temptation.

What will Lord Chutt find as he digs up the ruins of Old Obann? Will Lord Orth come back, or will he venture farther into the East to preach to the Heathen? And will Gurun’s brothers finally make it to Lintum Forest, where their sister is?

To those of you who are new to this blog, I hope you’ll soon make acquaintance with my books. All nine of them (so far: more will come) are available for your examination. Just click “Books” and you’ll get the covers, featuring Kirk DouPonce’s glorious artwork, and sample chapters. Or you can look them up on amazon.com and read the Customer Reviews. If this sounds like a commercial, that’s only because it is. But you can’t blame a writer for wanting readers!

We’re Back (It’s a Miracle)

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Well, we’re back from delivering our busted hard drive to a data recovery house somewhere in the Watchung Mountains.

Great Caesar’s ghost, it was a nightmare! Neither Patty nor I had been up there in years, and the whole area is unrecognizable. The route we were given was tricky and complicated, and when we had to stop for directions, a couple of the people we asked gave us bum steers.

Even worse than that was the traffic. It was as if someone had turned a gigantic tap and cars and trucks came out instead of water. And all those other drivers, they were flyin’! I wouldn’t have thought my car’s exhaust pipe could have been so fascinating to so many people.

We got a bit lost coming back, too, but it wasn’t as bad as going there. Eventually we found Park Avenue in Plainfield and it brought us home.

And where, I ask, has this day gone?

Hell Week is Here

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Somehow we’ve got to get our regular computer back and running before this laptop keyboard causes my head to explode. But I’ve also got to take our old hard drive to some data recovery place which looks like it’ll be real hard to find; and we’re out of Robbie’s ear gel medicine and have to get more, and we gotta take Peep to the vet, and there’s a doctor appointment for me…

Aaaaaghh!!! Do you see that? This monster refuses to type the letter “m”! You have to stop and stab the key decisively with one finger, or you don’t get no letter “m”. I can’t imagine how I’m going to be able to compose a Newswithviews column this week.

Please pray for my sanity.

The Robbie Report

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Okay, we’re back from the vet and I want to thank all of you who’ve prayed for Robbie, and thank the Lord Our God for hearing our prayers, and granting them.

The doctor was surprised by how much better Robbie has gotten in a month. Last month she was a poor little bag of bones, 10.25 pounds. Today she weighed in at 11.50 and just looks so much better! The treatment she’s getting has been working, and will continue for some time longer.

Again, everybody, thanks.

‘Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee’ (Libera)

I have to take Robbie to the vet this morning, but first the hymn for the day–Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee, performed by Libera boys’ choir with orchestra backup.

Don’t worry: they just want to check and see how the treatment is working for her. We think the signs are positive.

Wedlock, Schmedlock

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One of the things that most troubles me about this age is the ease with which people of my age, or only slightly less, abandon truths and standards that they were brought up with. They don’t hang on to them at all.

I think I must have mentioned this before, but it is to the point and I’ll never forget this incident. The young amoral couple in the next apartment, the woman not yet divorced from her current husband, succeeded in conceiving an out-of-wedlock child. To celebrate, they threw a party on the lawn. The whole neighborhood turned out–all these people old enough to know that you don’t shack up with some jidrool before you even file for a divorce from the other monkey, let alone produce out-of-wedlock children by some guy who already has a kid somewhere California–a kid, but no wife.

This was not a thing to celebrate. People in their fifties and sixties ought to know that. But there they were.

Then another neighbor had an out-of-wedlock pregnancy, and they threw her baby shower at the Baptist church. I thought Baptists knew it was wrong to beget children outside of marriage. Did God change His mind about that, or did the Baptists just forget?

What does it take to swing people around 180 degrees from their moral standards?

Not much, I guess.

This Morning (Sigh and Groan)

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It’s raining, the neighborhood resounds to the sullen roar of the mulching machine, and Adam the tech guy is here to see if he can fix our computer, which may not be possible. And guess what? We might have lost all our data!

Anyhow, the cats are upstairs under the bed and it’s hellzapoppin ’round here, and I’m still trying to type on this laptop keyboard which was designed by fairies from a distant galaxy.

Hmmm… it might have stopped raining. I wonder if I can sneak out with a cigar and my book, which I couldn’t work on yesterday. If I go outside, I won’t hear any computer talk unless the birds and squirrels start it.

I haven’t looked at any news yet today. Maybe I won’t.

PS–The verdict: hard drive is dead, gone, must either be replaced or we gotta buy a new computer. Enter infinite turmoil.

Today (Groan)

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So how was your day?

Typing on this keyboard, which was surely designed for some other form of life, murdered me. But we also had to do our grocery shopping. When we finished buying our supplies, we discovered that Patty had locked her keys inside her car. With the engine running. No problem, said the auto club: they could get there in just an hour and a half.

At this point the Lord provided a good Samaritan who offered to drive me home so I could fetch the spare key. Thank you, Father; and thank you, most benevolent stranger.

After that, all I had to do was type my Newswithviews column on this infernal keyboard.

We have to get a new computer. And if that means I will have to learn a whole new system, after it’s taken me ten years to get this far with Windows 7… Well, that ought to just about finish me off.

Computer Hell on Stilts, with Leprosy

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So we settled down to watch a movie last night, and the computer died. Just up and died As in kicked the bucket, went kablooey, adios muchacho. And I am trying to type on this horrid laptop which gets every other word wrong and was clearly designed by demons. It requires me to hold my arms in a tiring and completely unnatural position. Please pray for my sanity.

I have to compose a Newswithviews column on this keyboard. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA….!

I wonder what asylum I’ll wind up in.


Memory Lane: Toothpick Sam

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Something about the light outside today whisked me back to an early Sunday afternoon in 1959, in my Grandpa’s gardens. They’re all gone now, along with the house, the chicken coop: dogwoods, roses, black and red raspberries, grapes, butterfly  bushes. All torn down as a sacrifice to Progress.

So I was standing there in the sunshine, ten years old, opening a pack of baseball cards which Grandma had just given me. And as the wrapper came off, the top card was, as pictured above, Sam Jones: aka “Toothpick Sam,” because he often chewed on a toothpick.

What a treat! This was one of my favorite players ever. I don’t know why. Something about his face, I think: it made me feel like it would be just so wonderful if this man someday took me fishing. It wasn’t exactly hero-worship at first sight: no. Just something in this man’s face that made me really, really like him. Until I had his baseball card, I’d never seen him before.

And oh, bliss! A few days later he was traded to the Giants–my family was a Giants family–and went on to win 21 games for them that year.

Maybe it was the way the light came down on the gardens, behind a houseful of my family. They’re all gone now, too. And as far as it goes for me, baseball’s gone, too–changed so much, I just don’t care about it anymore.

But the memory remains; it’s a very vivid memory. And I’m thankful that I have it.


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