Darrell Bain's Monthly Blog- July 2010
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Bainstorming: Darrell's Bain's Monthly Blog.
Responses to subjects brought up by this blog are welcome. I can be contacted by e-mailing me from my website.
Subjects this month: Betty TIA, Weber Quote, Too many books, Cataracts, Beyond the call of duty, Book report, Progress report, Web site repair, Nook for my youngest brother, Excerpt from The Melanin Apocalypse.
Betty gave us both a scare last month when she had an episode of blurred vision for 15 or 20 minutes, apparently the result of a Transient Ischemic Attack. All her tests turned out negative which suited both of us! Apparently it was just a very minor bit of damage to some small vessels in the occipital region of the brain, thank goodness.
Quote from David Weber Book
I love this quote from David Weber’s book, Echoes of Honor, slightly paraphrased: “Nothing in the universe has a shorter half-life than a politician’s memory for inconsistent facts.”
What have we missed?
I'm starting the seventh Honor book now. This is my third or fourth time to read the whole series. What a great series it is! And to think I saw it numerous times and it didn't sound interesting to me. Makes me wonder how many other great books or series I've missed but even for someone who reads as much as me, I can’t read them all.
The time comes to most of us sooner or later to have cataracts removed, having the lens replaced with an implant. I just finished my second. The first went perfectly, I thought, until the doc told me it took four people to hold me still, even with a massive dose of Fentanyl, a very powerful pain killer. I don’t remember it at all but I’m sure the thrashing around was because I had been told not to take a pain pill for my back that morning and by the time of the surgery I was really hurting. Whatever, for the second cataract, the doc insisted I have it done under general anesthetic. Fine with me except the evening before the surgery a clerk called and asked where was my lab work. I told him no one had said anything to me about lab. He said I had to come in immediately and get it done or they’d have to cancel. I said no way, by that time in the evening both Betty and I are hurting too much to drive fifty miles through traffic and back home to correct their error. He told me to hold and consulted his superior. Finally I was asked if I could be there an hour early the next day, at seven AM instead of eight. I said okay, so we got up in the middle of the night and arrived at a quarter of seven. At 8:15 someone gave me an EKG and sent me back to the waiting room. At 8:30 I was very aggravated and asked why I had been told to be there at seven for lab work and at eight thirty still hadn’t had any done. The lady called and a moment later told me, Oh they’ll do that in Pre-op. You can imagine how irritated I was. Anyway, the surgery went fine. All the surgery crew was very nice and helpful. When someone called the next day to ask for an evaluation of my experience you can be sure I told them about he lab mix-up or whatever the heck it was. I never found out.
The only thing that really bothered me about the surgery was the eye drops I have to use for six weeks. They make my eyes water and make it hard to use the computer. The first week is the worst. I was very thankful I had a Kindle ebook reader so I could increase the font size and dispense with my old glasses.
Beyond the Call of Duty
I thought I had told this story already but found out I hadn’t so here goes. A member of our family is working for the census department as a supervisor and a census worker in her area got caught up in a wild situation. The young lady had just arrived at a place and was attempting to determine how many people lived there when suddenly sirens and patrol cars with flashing lights and policemen with guns drawn were everywhere, demanding everyone freeze. The poor census worker had been caught up in an unannounced drug raid on that house. She was finally able to explain her presence. Most people would have gotten the heck out of there as soon as they could but not her. Hardly missing a beat, she stayed and counted off the arrested persons and the children being taken into custody by child care services until she was sure she had an accurate count then went on her way, having done her duty. However the census count may vary elsewhere, I’d lay odds that the figures she turns into her supervisor are accurate!
Christopher Newman is a new author I just discovered. I’ve read three of his police procedural novels, two from the late eighties and one from 1991. All were good and the protagonist detective, Joe Dante is well-characterized. So is his partner and the bad guys. A good series. I’m going to order some more books by him. He has several others in the series.
I also just discovered Greg Iles, author of The Devil’s Punchbowl. It is part of a stand alone series of novels using the same character or characters. The author is very good when he can make a mayor the protagonist of the novel and succeed very well. Of course in earlier books the mayor had been a district attorney. Anyway, this book is set in Natchez, Mississippi where the riverboat gambling had fallen into evil hands and the mayor is determined to shake it loose until his loved ones are threatened with death--or worse. I have also ordered some of his previous books.
Threshold by Ryk E. Spoor and Eric flint is the sequel to Boundary and is every bit as good. In the previous novel an archeologist discovers a strange life form on the boundary of deposits marking the extinction of the dinosaurs. From there clues take them to phobos, one of the moons of Mars where an abandoned 65 million year old alien base is found. In this novel the action goes farther out, to the asteroid Ceres and to Jupiter and its moons. The European Union is trying to get a piece of the technology from the age-old ruins. This leads to conflict with the international consortium parceling out the technology, the private firm owned by some of the characters and the E.U. Lots of action, a good plot and believable characters, both good and bad. I recommend it.
And I also re-read one of my own books, Space Trails. This is a novel from an idea I puzzled over for years. I wanted to put some of the heroics and hardships of our pioneer ancestors and the trials they faced on their journeys to the western part of our country in the 1800s into a science fiction story. The problem was that I wanted to show similar hardships in the future on the way to a new planet, not after arriving at one but that’s pretty hard to do with people traveling in a spaceship. Finally, after years of thinking about it I hit on a solution, covered wagons, horses, “Indians”, bandits, shortage of water and forage and all the other factors our ancestors faced. I won’t tell you here how I managed that but trust me, I made it believable and wound up with a fine tale according to the fan ratings. Rereading Space Trails makes me want to do a sequel and I may! It is available as an ebook now and will be in print within a year.
Mary Ann Steele is collaborating with me on a novel titled The Disappearance Enigma. Tony Teora is collaborating with me on a novel entitled Alien Enigma. Neither the two enigmas nor the books are connected in any way other than both present terrific puzzles and problems for the protagonists to solve. You can expect to hear more about these two books as work progresses.
Web Site repair
Repairs and updates of my web site are continuing. Please bear with me until they are finished. Thanks.
Nook for Mike & Linda
My Youngest brother Michael is practically bed-ridden from severe arthritis and his wife Linda doesn’t drive. They have to rely either on the kids taking Linda shopping or she has to take a Taxi. You can imagine how limiting this can be. My next youngest brother Gary and I went together and bought Mike and Linda a Barnes and Noble Nook ebook reader. They are now busily shopping and reading ebooks from Barnes and Noble, including my own books, of course. The only problem is whose turn it is to have the reader. We may wind up having to get them another one in order to stifle arguments!
Excerpt from The Melanin Apocalypse
Other than The Sex Gates, The Melanin Apocalypse remains my most controversial novel. There was a recent run on the Trade paperback edition so I thought I’d include an excerpt here.
…Scientists have declared that in ten years they will succeed in creating a radically new type of biological weapon. This weapon would be capable of infecting people according to a genetically predetermined marker such as skin color or eye shape. Infection could have a delayed effect or only begin once a certain type of medicine was taken. A recent closed seminar held by the CIA…..
…the most terrifying new possibility is the hypothetical biological weapon that could infect people according to genetic markers. Not only would it allow for genocide; it would be created specifically for that purpose. A recent report by the British Medical Association stated that "the rapid progress in genetics could become the basis for ethnic cleansing on an unheard of scale in the near future.
Excerpts from article in Gateway to Russia, March 2004 by Vasili Sychev.
CHAPTER ONEOn his hospital bed in the city of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Benjamin Imhonde barely had the energy to raise his arm, but that was enough to see that his skin was becoming lighter. Several weeks ago it had been ebony black. Now it was several shades paler. He wouldn't have minded so much except that as his skin color faded, he became sicker…and sicker. Benjamin made an effort and turned his head toward the bed next to him where his wife lay sleeping, exhausted from expending what little energy she had left in the simple act of using the bedpan. She had cried out weakly from the pain caused by her movements, but now she was silent.
Sleeping? No! She looked more like…He didn't want to think what she looked like. He tried to raise his head but a wave of pain coursing through his body dropped it back to the pillow. A tear leaked from Benjamin's right eye, then another, and one from his left. He felt them trickling down his face and tried to rein in his emotions. Even crying hurt now. I'm going to die, he thought. I've known ever since they moved us to the isolation ward. But no one would tell him what kind of disease he and his wife had! Just before the transfer, he overheard talk that the sickness was sweeping through the city of Port Harcourt. Then an orderly told him yesterday--or was it the day before?--that only blacks were becoming ill, and even more ominous, that no one was recovering. That bit of information had been bought from the orderly, but Benjamin didn't mind; he could afford it. He was even willing to pay for more, but the orderly never returned.
Benjamin Imhonde tried one more time to move, to stretch his hand out toward the body of his wife. His arm barely twitched. That was his last conscious movement. An hour later the orderlies came to remove the bodies. They were Catholic nuns. They were white. They showed no symptoms of illness.
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