Bainstorming Blog - August to September 2019.
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Bainstorming: Darrell's Bain's Blog.
Responses to subjects brought up by this blog are welcome. I can be contacted by e-mailing me from my website.
And another Bainstorming is begun. I hope I don’t get in such a hurry to post this one that I forget to edit or to make it like I did in the previous one. I’m so far behind with re-issuing out of print books and various other enterprises that no telling what I’ll do next. Mostly I try to work after my morning coffee and breakfast, which occurs shortly after midnight, which is when I’m getting up now. Stupid body won’t change, either. I’ve tried like heck to get back to more normal hours but all that does is cost me some sleep because somewhere between eleven and midnight, my eyes pop open and I’m wide awake. Oh well, could have worse things wrong with me and do, but no sense in getting into them. Besides, none are life-threatening. Yet.
Doggie Biscuit by Darrell Bain
And to end this Blog, below is the December 2007 issue of Bainstorming (called a newsletter back then, but a blog now. Same Difference). I hope you enjoy it. I sure did, re-reading it and reminiscing about events from eleven years ago!!
This newsletter may be copied and sent to both friends and enemies with the stipulation that the source www.darrellbain.com is noted and the copyright notice is included as follows:
Subjects this month:
Please Note: No overseas unless it is an APO address or you agree to pay the postage (about 8 or 9 dollars).
You're so rich why not have someone do it for you? For the web site you've got, they probably wouldn't charge you all that much.
My other riches going to plumber today, Barb decided didn't like kazillion dollar sink from remodeling so bought another kazillion dollar sink to replace it and kazillion dollar per/hour plumber to remove and replace cast iron heavy sumbitch or wuda dun it meself!!
Now the next Bain Blunder belongs to my dearly beloved wife Betty. In all honesty, I'll have to admit that had it been me, I probably would have wound up in even worse shape.
It all started when Tonto began barking at a huge spider that was politely wandering across the living room floor. We have no idea where it came from, but there it was, the biggest spider she had ever seen. She saw it and immediately got up to stomp it, not wanting a monster that size wandering around the house. Everyone has a few small spiders in their homes but I doubt very many have one the size Betty saw. Anyway, she missed her stomp and it ran under the buffet. Betty promptly ran and got the broom and swept it back into sight and then stood up and whapped it with the broom. Immediately a thousand teensy tiny spiders erupted from the smushed back of the mama spider (that being what it apparently was). Not wanting to have a thousand little spiders running around the house with those kind of monster genes, Betty promptly ran and got a can of Raid, the first solution she thought of. She began spraying frantically, but some of the teensy spiders ran through the entrance into the hall. Betty ran after them, spraying frantically to make sure none escaped. The only problem was that she stepped into the slick film of Raid on the floor where she'd been spraying in front of her. Her foot skidded out from under her and in order to avoid a hip-breaking fall, she twisted around and grabbed for the entrance frame. In doing so, so pulled loose every muscle and tendon and fiber and blood vessel and ligament in her right thigh. That was four weeks ago. She still can't sit down for very long and when she does, she has to have a special pillow.
The only benefit I can think of from having a crippled wife is that Betty tells me she can now be properly sympathetic over my aching left backside where the sciatic nerve exits through the hip bone. I've spent the last several years feeling like I'm sitting on a toothache all day and it keeps getting worse. The only relief is narcotics and/or going and laying down in bed. Since I don't like to stay in bed more than twelve hours a day, that means I hurt the other twelve.
I can't think of a single moral to this story, other than to be careful with monster spiders.
And how about an autographed copy of Savage Survival? This is a special edition and a collector's item. Any woman who likes a strong female character will love it. So will men. In fact it's almost impossible not to admire Lyda Brightner. Shucks, I do, tremendously, and I invented her! All books ordered from my web site are autographed.
Life On Santa Claus Lane came about this way:
For twenty years, Betty and I owned a Choose and Cut Christmas tree farm (and still live on the place although we retired and closed it 4 years ago). You really can't imagine the work and frustration that goes into those businesses. And the funny things which happen on a Christmas tree farm, especially during the Christmas selling season. One of the funniest was when the Post Office was making private roads take names for 911 purposes, they gave our road a name without asking: Santa Claus Lane. It remains our official post office address! One of my first books was a compilation of incidents from the farm titled "Life On Santa Claus Lane". It's still in print and still sells well as Christmas gifts. A sequel, Laughing All The Way will soon be available (again).
Frankly I don't miss all the hard work, but I do miss the way the kids' eyes would light up when they got out of the car after a drive through the country and saw thousands of live Christmas trees growing. We still get calls and visitors after all this time and still get letters addressed to Santa Claus. I always answer them and sign them as Santa's Amenuresis, otherwsise known as an elf.
Thank You. And by the way, I'd like to say Merry Christmas to all my Newsletter readers and/or fans of my books. May you always have happy reading and read happily all your lives.
Older people are often accused of talking a lot about their illnesses. It's not really a symptom of old age. Every one talks about their bodily gripes. It's just that older people have more of them to talk about.
One good way of knowing what day of the week it is after you've retired is to subscribe to a newspaper. Just look at the date each morning. Of course you still have to remember it the rest of the day, so don't throw it away until just before you go to bed.
Velcro the Cat & Susie the Dog
Velcro the cat got his name from when we were in Oklahoma visiting my brother and sister-in-law. As we were standing by the car getting ready to leave, this gray and white kitten came running up to me, crawled up my jeans and attached himself to my shirt and refused to let go until we were safely out of Oklahoma. Naturally we named him Velcro. He began life as a barn cat (which explains why he wanted to leave so badly--the barn also houses horses), so he had no inside the house manners. However we tried. He once was a house cat at our home for quite a while but we couldn't break him of walking on kitchen counters. He was finally banished to the porch where he has a little home which is heated on cold nights. His most distinguishing characteristic is a nose of four colors; pink, brown, gray and white. He deposits his kills, mice usually, on the doormat. He knows we can't hunt worth a dern and tries to help supply us with meat.
There. Now they've had, if not equal time, at least a little time of their own.
Tentative dates for future print releases are given in a new menu entry at my web site, titled "forthcoming print books."
I still can't say much about Human By Choice since Doc Travis hasn't finished his part yet. Patience. July of next year is still the anticipated release date.
I have a couple of other novels working, including a sequel to Human By Choice. I don't do many sequels or series (except The Williard Brothers series), but this one will probably turn into a series, or at the very least a sequel.
My Brother Gary is now available in print and for sale at lulu.com. http://www.lulu.com/content/1378474
As anyone who's read the e-book version knows, I'm proud of him. You also know how funny he can be. And lucky. And brave. And so on. Try it and see. It's a short book but well worth the money.
Joseph Wambaugh's Hollywood Station is a great cop book, and much more from the patrolman's perspective than the detective, as much of police fiction is. Having been a Las Angeles Patrolman, he knows what he writes about. Most of us have no conception of what our patrolmen, the police at the level we see them most often, go through. Just attending wrecks can be horrible, not to mention their constant exposure to the less aesthetic side of life, so to speak. He writes with a fine voice and this one is well worth your time.
David Weber, in collaboration with Steve White, produced a series of books featuring space wars in the future. They are Crusade, In Death Ground, The Shiva Option and Insurrection, which combine to make a great series. Weber has made a place for himself in military science fiction by putting deep characterization into his people, making us care about them even as we are reading of space battles as only he can do them. And I just found out this team has just written a fifth in the series. I'm going to order it soon.
I re-read The Knife Man by Wendy Moore, the biography of the English surgeon of the 1700s. He was a man born out of his time. His studies went far beyond surgery. He did thousands upon thousands of dissections and experiments on animals of every description, seeking a unifying principal of life. There is a John Hunter museum in London which displays some of his preparations of animals or organs that are still beautiful today, as well as many paintings he commissioned. If you ever get to London, don't miss this attraction. Once you read the book, you'll realize what a great man he was.
I read David Weber's In Fury Born for the second time and enjoyed it more than the first reading. Weber is able to consistently wring more emotion out of his characters and situations than any author I've ever read. There's very few of his books that haven't brought tears to my eyes or that choking sensation in the throat--or sometimes even outright, out loud crying. There were several instances like that in this novel of a young woman seemingly born to serve in the military of the future. The last part of the book is so heart rending, emotionally charged and tension filled that I could barely stand it. If you've never read any of David Weber's books this great long thoroughly enjoyable epic is a great place to start.
Von Neumann's War by John Ringo and Travis S. Taylor is a really fine book, so good that I read it again only a few months after the first reading. I reported on it then, so I won't say much now other than the novel of an alien nanobot invasion was even more enjoyable the second time around. I also re-read Into The Looking Glass again and it induced me to order some more of Ringo's books.
Tom Cool is a terrific author and probably too little know. His novel Secret Realms is the best I've read yet about living in a virtual world. Once you get into it you can't put it down. A cliché, I know, but true nevertheless.
And last this month, I started John Ringo's Posleen War series. The first book is A Hymn Before Battle. Besides a nail-biting, sleep-depriving, heart-thumping battle against an alien army, he also brought back not so fond memories of the Army in the late sixties and early seventies. Much of what was going on in the army then contributed to me giving up my career only seven years short of retirement. Ringo knows his military. He's either been in it or researched it most thoroughly. I just received the second book in the series and will be reporting on it next month. If it's even half as good as the first, it will hold down a permanent place on my crowed bookshelves.
Relief from Political Correctness
The 'F' Word
Disasters: Individual vs. Group
Failure of Democracy
Except for the following excerpt from one of my books that would make a nice Christmas gift, that's all for this month. I sincerely hope you've enjoyed reading my newsletter. I am entirely open to suggestions for making it better. In fact, if someone gives me a good enough suggestion, I'll send them a free book.
Excerpt from Doggie Biscuit!
Once he tried riding a few times, Biscuit decided he liked to go in the truck as much as a kid likes to go on Merry-Go-Rounds. Pretty soon, he was begging to go everywhere I went. As soon as I make a move for my truck keys, he starts bouncing up and down and yelping and turning in circles and squealing as if he has a giant flea tickling him in a spot he can't get to.
Well, Biscuit hadn't been much trouble going to get the mail or newspaper so I began letting him go along to town with me while I ran my errands. At first, he just sat quietly on the seat beside me, but pretty soon he graduated to my lap (remember, he's a lap dog by temperament), and since my truck has no air conditioning, before long he was sticking his head out the window and barking at all and sundry who were using his road. Yep, every road we drove on belonged to him.
I thought it was pretty funny and the trips continued. I would come home and tell Betty about him barking at squirrels and crows on his road or cows and horses leaning their heads over fences as if they were just itching to climb over and invade his road, and yelping at people walking on his road, and in particular, warning cars in front of us to get off of his road.
On rainy or cold days, of course I left the windows up and since he couldn't stick his head out the window, Biscuit would sit in my lap. And that's what led to the trouble.
Sitting in my lap gave him a better view and he began to prefer that to hanging out the window, other than when we stopped and a strange dog, cat, any animal or person approached his truck on his road. In that case, he had to stick his head out (if the window was open) and tell them in no uncertain terms to get the hell off his territory.
Besides the vantage point given by sitting in my lap, Biscuit occasionally honked the horn by accident. He's a pretty smart dog, like I told you. Before long, he learned where both horn buttons were and that they were responsible for making all those neat, loud noises.
The first time we pulled up in front of the house after Biscuit had leaned on the horn the last hundred yards in order to let everyone know Biscuit, the boss of the farm, was home, Betty ran out the back door all atwitter, thinking I was in dire trouble. I was, but I just didn't know it yet.
Besides scaring Betty when we drove up, until she got used to it, Biscuit learned other uses for the horn. For instance, he soon found out that he could get me moving faster if he gave a couple of toots on the horn when I slowed down or stopped for some reason or other.
Now that was fine on country roads, but there is no getting out of it; I have to stop when I come to a busy highway and attempt to cross it in order to get into town. Biscuit can't read of course, (at least I don't think so, but he's learning to spell so reading probably isn't far off) and he doesn't pay any attention to stop signs. To him, they are probably just something he would like to pee on if I would just let him out of the car while we're stopped.
One day, we pulled up behind a big, off-road pickup waiting to cross the highway. Biscuit gave the driver about two seconds to get out of our way, then began tooting the horn. I could see by the line of traffic that the truck couldn't move yet, so I pulled Biscuit's paws off the horn. He slobbered my face and while I was busy wiping it off, he tooted some more.
Biscuit was busy wetting down my face again when I saw the door of the big pickup ahead of me swing open. A burly redneck with sleeves rolled up over biceps about the size of my thighs got out. He hitched up his pants, spit on his hands and slowly walked back to where I sat with Biscuit in my arms, wishing now that I had signed up for that concealed handgun class and was armed to the teeth, instead of having to depend on a sixteen-pound idiot-savant dog to protect me.
"You in a hurry, bud?" the big fellow asked.
Don’t you just hate teasers? You’ll hae to read Doggie Biscuit to find out how this little story ended. However, I’ll try to include the ending in the next Bainstorming, if I can remember. No guarantees, though.
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