Tag Archives: a personal note

Today’s the Day

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Today’s our wedding anniversary. Forty-one years ago, we buzzed off to Elkton, Maryland, and got married, Patty and me. We also went fishing that day. We were both working at The Bayshore Independent at the time. We I asked for Monday off, to get married, the publisher scowled and said, “Can’t you do that on your vacation?”

This afternoon, weather permitting, I’ll hie me down the Parkway to Keyport and get us some wonderful seafood at the Keyport Fishery. We used to go there a lot when we were at the Independent. The original family ownership has died out or moved away, but the new owner has displayed the almost unheard-of wisdom of keeping the place just the way it was! It wasn’t broke, so he didn’t fix it.

Readers, I may be kind of busy today, but you’ve got a huge Archive to play around with here: browse the wows, as they would say in Obann if they had blogs there.

Our Anniversary’s Tomorrow

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Tomorrow Patty and I celebrate our 41st wedding anniversary. I hope I can get my car out of the parking lot: the exit has been blocked these past two days by one of our town’s innumerable construction projects. I want to go down to Keyport and fetch us some really nice seafood for our anniversary dinner. So I’ll have to hustle to get a Newswithviews column written today.

As Scrooge’s nephew Fred said of his marriage, “It was the making of me.” I wouldn’t be me without my other half, without my wife. My work is all made possible by hers. Capt. Kirk can’t do bupkus with the Enterprise unless Scotty’s got the engines working. For us there wouldn’t even be an Enterprise without her. But the metaphor is in danger of being overextended.

Well, I don’t want to get all mushy today. The sun has come out, and so should I: work to be done.



Noise, Noise, Noise!

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Whatever happened to the Sabbath rest? Has it been outlawed or something?

This Sunday, every gavone in this neighborhood was out there with a leaf-blower, lawnmower, weed-whacker, air compressor, or any combination thereof, hour after hour, making the whole place sound like New Year’s Eve in Mordor. There was even a roofing crew loudly tearing off the roof of a nearby house.

And this morning it was first the jack-hammers, for an hour or two, and then, the moment they stopped, the guy next door with his leaf-blower and weed-whacker. He also has an outdoor light with a 1,000-watt bulb which he kept turning on and off throughout Saturday night, waking me half a dozen times.

Something’s going on here that I don’t understand.

‘A Prehistoric Lollapalooza’

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Nobody painted ’em like Charles R. Knight

What with one thing after another, I don’t have much oomph today: not much spark to my bark. Too much noise in the environment.

Anyhow, to turn to a more promising subject–

Uintatherium has been one of my favorite prehistoric critters since I was six or seven years old. Alas, the only video I’ve ever been able to find is this old soup commercial:


C’mon, somebody! Make us a real Uintatherium video. I mean, the world’s been waiting for it–right?

Trying to Rest

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We had another bad night last night, and when I went to eat my breakfast–well, there wasn’t any, and I had to run back out to the store to get some. By then it was too late for a bike ride. And I was too frazzled to work on my book.

So we watched a 1990s TV movie, The Haunted, a true story about a nice Catholic family that moved into a house infested by a demon, and got four very bad years out of it. “Bad” as in boggling the imagination bad. They had to endure it for four years before the church finally came through with a full-bore exorcism.

We read that more and more exorcisms are being done in America. Is that a surprise, in a country where Planned Parenthood slices and dices babies before they’re even dead? And others pack their 3-year-olds off to The Drag Queen Story Hour? Just to name two examples that spring to mind.

Anyhow, readership is down today, I haven’t got my writing shoes today, and we’re having White Castles for supper: score one for our side.

Prayer time.

Memory Lane: My Mother & My Lizards

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It can’t be said my mother liked lizards. Not for all the tea in China would she have handled one. And as for insects, forget about it.

Nevertheless, when I had pet anoles as a boy (inaccurately sold as “chameleons,” because they can change color), my mother went out every day with a jar and patrolled our florabunda rose hedge, catching assorted bugs–spiders, leaf-hoppers, caterpillars–to feed the lizards. This I thought was pretty cool.

The instruction book said it would be a good idea to put a piece of cut banana in the terrarium. This would attract fruit flies for the lizards to catch. So my mother did that, too. We never saw any fruit flies, but the lizards would eat the banana.

Later, when I had my iguana, she used to prepare very nice salads for him. So did my wife, and so did my next-door neighbor when we moved into our apartment. He had a personality that made nice women want to feed him.

Ma, you really were cool! And I still miss you.

If they have lizards in Heaven, and I don’t see why they wouldn’t, I’ll bet she feeds them.

A Stressful Day

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So I had to go to the bank today and set up Aunt Joan’s estate account. Nobody’s getting anything, the government will get it all, but the paperwork never ends. Like, never.

I didn’t understand half of what the guy was telling me, and when he got around to telling me that because I’m only a mere nephew, and not a son, they can only release half of the money, or whatever, I’m afraid I blew my stack. “What are you talking about? [expletives deleted] I mean, there is nobody else, there’s only me–everybody else is [bleep] dead!”

My wife was most upset that I didn’t get the business done as well as it could have been. *sigh* So I went outside to smoke a cigar, and discovered that there was a baby cardinal in the garden, with the mother and father flying all around and all in a tizzy because the baby should’ve been in the nest, and there was nothing I could do to help them. We just checked again, and found all three cardinals gone. I hope that means they got the little guy to fly. He must have done at least a little flying, to wind up there in the first place.

My stomach is just starting to return to its proper location in my abdomen. But I can forget about writing another chapter of my novel today.

It’s already after 3:00. Time for prayers.

I’m Cheesed Off

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I have absolutely had it with leftids, their faces contorted in a snarl, their words being forced through clenched teeth, eyes popping out of their heads, calling normal people “haters” and bragging about how much they hate our hate, hate us, hate our country, hate our God, and just hate it like rug-chewing crazy when we don’t obey them.

And I’m fed up with Democrat governments, great and small, all trying to control every aspect of everybody’s life. These people are addicted to power. The least little taste of it makes them roaring drunk. Here in New Jersey they’re trying to get smoking banned outdoors–on the beaches, for starters.

All right, nobody wants to go to the beach and have to plod through a lot of cigarette butts. So you provide trash baskets. But we are talking about a “pro-choice” mob that does nothing but try to take away everybody’s choices. The only time they aren’t grabbing for power over others is when they’re asleep.

Sorry–I’ve spent a week covering nooze and it’s got my blood boiling. I need a rest.

I will now go outside and have a cigar before it starts raining, on this beautiful cool day. I will remind myself that I saw a whole herd of deer on my bike ride this morning–two spotted fawns, two females, and a young male with a starter set of antlers. And Patty has rented a good movie for us to enjoy this afternoon.

And I will try not to think about the nooze.

Did I Do That?

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These remarks may strike some of you as a little weird. But writing fantasy novels does tend to lean a bit in that direction. And there are always readers who are curious about what it’s like to be a writer. So here goes.

I’m editing Bell Mountain No. 11, The Temptation, which means I have to read it attentively. And although I do know I made up the characters that populate my books, it doesn’t feel anymore like I made them up! They feel like real people that I really know.

When I’m actually writing a book, I’m too deeply involved in writing it to respond to what I’ve written. So when I read it, much later, it’s a whole different experience–almost as if someone else wrote the book, not me. I read a passage that gets to me and find myself thinking, “Oh, I didn’t write that! Did I? Could I?” It feels like these characters, places, and events came into print through me and have a real existence that has little or nothing to do with me. As if I were more a chronicler than a creator.

I wonder if other writers feel these things. I know she isn’t, but at the same time I just can’t shed the notion that Gurun (that’s her, pictured above) is a real person who is even now doing things, experiencing things, that I don’t know about.

I believe the people I read about in the “news” are real, don’t I?

“Never heard of ’em,” says Gurun.

‘Do You Love Daytime TV?’ (2015)

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I have to go to the laundromat today, and again The View will be on TV–they just have to have a television set in the laundromat, in case you want to watch something other than the clothes going round and round inside the dryer. I think I prefer the dryer.


Trying to get everything written, two hours gets torn out of my day.

BTW, I’m convinced it’s true about daytime TV killing flies.

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