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Savage Survival



Darrell Bain's Newsletter

March 2008

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 noted and included as follows:
Bainstorming: Darrell's Monthly Newsletter.
Copyright © March 2008, By Darrell Bain

Responses to subjects brought up by this newsletter are welcome. I can be contacted by e-mailing me from my website.

  Subjects this month:

Betty and Kitty, Memories, Bain Muses, Drunk Memories, Book Reviews, Bain Blunders, Politeness in Marriage, Progress Report, excerpt from Alien Infection


Betty and Kitty
One of Betty's legs is still sore from that spider incident two months ago and now Tonto decided to play "chase the kitty" while Betty was out at the trellis in the middle of the yard clipping rose bushes. Velcro the cat headed across the yard at a dead run and 12 pounds of cat going at least 20 miles an hour hit Betty in the foot and careened up against her calf and thigh full force. Her foot is all scratched and her calf and thigh have big bruises from the cat hitting her and she can still barely walk, much less do hardly anything else--and that was three days ago!

And a week later: favoring the new injury on the opposite leg stirred up the spider injury and now she is hurting severely in both legs. Some days it don't pay to get out of bed!

Update: Betty's leg from spider injury is steadily getting worse. The sciatic nerve seems to have been stirred up. I can sympathize since I've had the same thing for several years. She will see the doctor next week and we'll go from there.

Moral: Don't try stomping spiders, just ignore them and stay away from cats when dogs are chasing them.

Have you ever just sat down and tried to see how much you could remember from your early childhood? I was writing to my brother Gary about the idea and he quickly responded!

I remember the frog that got in the cistern but little else there, 'cept playing under the house, scaring Mike with matches in the crib, the stairwell on fire, Daddy making Mike stay outside with dogs and him just a bawling, Mike getting hand burned, us listening to radio and me wondering how those little guys lived in the wire, trying to make caps out of paper and then darnit they wouldn't work, riding a horse side saddle style and falling off by the fence and was scared sh*tless, the bees Daddy tried to drum up beating on the old car, running with knives Daddy told me to go get when slaughtering hogs and he chewed my ass out for that, making all those cracklins etc., baby pig getting caught under fence and Daddy warning me not to get close as hog would kill me, getting tongue caught on frost on hatchet, the garden, singing "Found a peanut", and damn, I'm starting to remember so much I'm tired of typing-lol-Daddy saying he lost the 22 in the woods but probably lost it gambling and drinking, me hiding Carla's lunch so I would have someone stay with me at home, oh well, all for now!! PS and just have to mention fishing on Boggy Bayou, cooking the fish on the banks and Daddy saying he had to go get milk but he was going after booze!! And the floods and us catching fish in the puddles when it subsided and I caught a snake, wonder how we kept from getting killed, and I do still have that memory of falling in well.

I also remember daddy talking about Hitler but didn't have a clue then what that was all about. Also when Mike got his hand burned I remember that rather vividly and someone hollering for tea to soak his hand in, I suppose an old country rememdy, also Mike started calling the nurse mama because he was there so long. Then Mother I remember was going to hospital but don't remember date and she was saying goodbye to all of us because she was going to bleed to death is the way I remember it. Obviously didn't, and oh, remember Grandma Bain, a MIRACLE, prayer cured her cataracts!! You and I fighting for arrowhead on trail in Arkansas when the Confederate club was out hiking, damn, I had that arrowhead for years and years and then just suddenly disappeared, one of my most prized possessions, I suppose 'cause I beat ya to it-lol-the $1.99 daisy BB guns in Arkansas were the thing-eh?? And damn you, just remembered ya beating me up while Kellog I think it was just watched-haha!! Mother chewing yer ass out 'cause she said I worked like a peon-lol-gotta run, perhaps more memories later-G

I remember when we were going to revival out in Summer Grove I guess, I sure wanted to go down to the front of the church and be saved, or whatever it was that everyone else was doing-ha! I think that's where I learned to read so good was in those days, looking at animal books especially and comics. I remember one comic book where Hopalong was saying' I happened along...." and I just cudn't make sense of that happened, just didn't seem right and I pored over that all day. The big huge cast iron pot outside for washing clothes, Mike drinking kerosene, guess we almost lost him on that one, and I used to stick my hand down a calfs' mouth for some reason and found that exciting, too young for sex so don't have a clue what that was all about, seems I remember us playing Chinese checkers and always wondered about the neat stuff from far away China!! We could probably write a book about Ft., Worth and how we escaped death!! Damn, can ya imagine swimming in that sewer and wondering why we got ear infections??-lol-And fishing with grasshoppers, eating spanish rice, me trying to swim across the small part of river but water was swift and I had bucket tied around my neck and halfway across the bucket dumped over and the current caught it, I was going down for the proverbial third time and my hand hit a submerged stick and I was able to catch my breath, get the bucket squared away and make it on across. How in heck we kept from drowning I'll never know. Yeah, those cretins, Jewel I think she was, with those wooden falsies.

Thanks for the memories, brother!

Bain Muses
If something around the house can't be fixed with a can of WD-40, a hammer or duct tape it probably isn't worth fixing to begin with.

With all that's wrong with the country and the world, what does our vaunted congress do? It begins an investigation on the use of steroids in baseball! Sometimes I wonder what goes through the minds of those idiots. No, I don't, either. I know what goes through them. All that's in their minds is getting re-elected.

The world is out to get us. In the end, it does!

More Memories
While Betty and I worked in Saudi Arabia in 1979, we made some tapes and sent them back to members of the family. My brother Gary just dug them out in the process of reorganizing things for his new home studio and transferred them to CD. He sent them to us.

Have you ever listened to yourself ramble while you're drunk? How embarrassing! Or even worse, imagined you knew how to sing and had it recorded while drunk? I can't carry a tune and am tone deaf besides. No wonder Betty was so upset with me that night!

Otherwise, the recordings brought back some fond memories, especially of our vacations (see Betty's Bangkok Memories at www.fictionwise.com).

Book Reviews
As always I read (or attempt to read) a great many more books than I report on. Any book that finds its way into my newsletter is one I think my readers will enjoy regardless of their genre preference. I never report on books I don't like or which I think are only so-so.

1635: The Cannon Law by Eric flint and Andrew Dennis is a continuation of the alternate history series begun with 1632 by Eric Flint. 1635 is the fourth or fifth book in the series and all of them have been immensely popular--with good reason. One of the reasons the books are so good is the extremely detailed historical research. He weaves the changed circumstances of an area of West Virginia thrown back to the sixteen hundreds seamlessly into actual historical events and shows how determined men and women can alter history. One of the best series I've ever read. I sure hope there's more on the way!!

Special Circumstances is the debut novel of Sheldon Siegel. It's a legal thriller combined with a whodunit that's well worth your time. A former big time lawyer is fired from a firm and almost immediately winds up defending a friend from the same firm of a double murder of two other partners in the firm. A high publicity trial for his first case after going on his own makes a good story. Lots of good characterizations and twists and turns. I'll look for more books by Siegel.

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid is a hilarious memoir by Bill Bryson. I have a hard time finding words to describe how much I enjoyed this book about growing up in the fifties and sixties. From the time he was born in 1951 until grown, he led a life of a boy in the age before computers and play stations. As he says, it was a happy time in our nation, at least for middle class households. I recommend it highly. If you're his age you'll find yourself remembering the times fondly and if you're younger you'll be amazed at what boys did for amusement back then.

I sincerely hope Manxome Foe is not the end of this great science fiction series by John Ringo and Travis S. Taylor. I personally think this one is their best effort. It has humor, romance, great military action in space and on the ground (sort of), aliens of various shapes and types and of good and evil intent. In short everything you could ever wish for in a science fiction novel. More! More!

War, the book made from the series is a great all around overview of WWII, including the home front. It covers just about everything and is well worth your time, whether you're reviewing the era or exploring it for the first time.

Worlds of the Imperium Trilogy consists of three books by Keith Laumer. He was a great science fiction writer until having a stroke later in his career. These books are about alternate realities, all connected with a central character. Most alternate worlds have been accidentally destroyed by the very technology that enables traveling across the world lines--or so it's thought. Not until the last book does it all become clear, but up until then prepare yourself for an engaging hero and lots of derring do in the grand old tradition. I loved all three of them: Worlds of the Imperium, The Other Side of Time and Beyond the Imperium.

Bain Blunders
This has never happened to me before. I was getting ready to brush my teeth and applying toothpaste to the brush. Just as I got the nozzle of the tube to the end of the bristles, somehow the last bristles bent and as the tube of toothpaste moved away, the bristles flipped a glob of toothpaste up and it hit me squarely in the eye! In case you've ever wondered, toothpaste in the eye burns like hell!

I think either my skin or my whiskers have changed as I've aged. I've been shaving with an electric razor since I was in my twenties in Vietnam where I had to shave in cold water from a pan set on a packing crate. That's when I bought an electric razor and I've used one ever since. However, just lately my electric razor has started to abrade an area of skin at the edge of my mouth. I thought I'd try shaving with a regular razor and soap and see how that worked. Mistake! By the time I finished it looked as if I'd been dueling with sabers and lost! I've obviously forgotten how to use a regular razor. Back to the electric. Or maybe I'll just grow a beard. I haven't worn one in a long time.

Politeness in Marriage
Any time Betty says something to me, regardless of what I'm doing, even if I'm reading a particularly engrossing passage in a book for instance, I'll look up and pay attention. She does the same. We never ignore each other or answer each other with a grunt and go on with what we were doing. We always say please and thank you to each other. Not surprisingly, we don't argue. I've watched other couples, married or just together as a pair, who ignore their partner in favor of whatever they're doing. I've also noticed the lack of courtesy to each other in a lot of marriages or couples. I've also seen the result. They argue and fuss a lot. It's a puzzle to me why a person will say please and thank you to complete strangers and not do the same with the person they're living with. The little courtesies to your partner (and yes, to your kids if you have them) will go a long way towards making your home life a lot more satisfying. Take a few moments during the days ahead and test yourself. How polite and courteous are you to your partner and/or kids? If you find yourself lacking, try it. You may be surprised to find out how much happier your home life becomes!

Progress Report
This month should see the e-book release of Mogollom Rim: Seeds of Destruction, my first novel since Warp Point. Spores from the remote past cause more trouble than the Strake brothers, a couple of rounders, ever imagined! Fortunately, two really neat and pretty scientists help them solve the puzzle before they not only kill themselves but the whole world in the bargain! Look for it at Fictionwise.com and eReader.com.

This month should also see the print release of Bark! my novel of an ADHD afflicted little dachshund who saves the earth from a really strange invasion by aliens, the prototypical BEMS, bug-eyed monsters. I had a lot of fun writing this novel and believe you'll have fun reading it. As an added bonus, the print edition contains the complete autobiography of our dachshund, Tonto, whom the dachshund in the story is patterned after. Yes, I know, dogs can't talk, but Tonto did once upon a time and I transcribed it, so there. The autobiography and the novel are both available as e-books, under the titles Tonto, The Autobiography of an Odd, Addled, Autistic Dachshund and Bark!

I'm in the final stages of rewriting Quanty, a novel of an intelligent computer that can't quite get the hang of human behavior as it tried to protect its creators. More next month.

This month also sees the re-release of the e-book, Laughing All The Way, the sequel to Life On Santa Claus Lane. Both are now available at your usual sources for e-books, Fictionwise.com and eReader.com.

Thanks for reading.

Darrell Bain
Shepherd, Texas
March 2008


Excerpt from Alien Infection:

Other than The Sex Gates, this is my best selling book. Available at Amazon.com It is a novel of a lab tech who accidentally infects himself with blood from a supposed accident victim. The next thing he knows, he's on the run from government agents with orders to shoot to kill. Here's the excerpt:

...His forearm hit my hand where I was still holding a piece of gauze on the puncture site and knocked it up into my other hand, the one holding the syringe of blood. I felt the prick of the needle entering my wrist.

"Oh Goddamn!" I cursed loudly, jerking my hand away. The needle pulled out of my wrist but it was already too late, of course. If the patient had an infectious disease that could be transferred by blood, I probably had it now, too. I had been holding the damn syringe at just the right angle for the force of the patient's arm to cause me to press on the syringe plunger, injecting a bit of his blood into my system.

The doc and the nurse were busy trying to keep the patient from falling off the gurney and at the same time realigning the broken leg with an air cast. They couldn't spare me a glance and I knew they were assuming my curse was simply a reaction to the sudden movement of the patient.

It had been a long night. I was tired and my feet were hurting and I didn't feel like filling out an incident report with all the time and paperwork it would entail. Besides, paperwork wouldn't do me a damn bit of good if I had caught something. I quickly transferred aliquots of blood to three different vacutainers, then removed the needle from the syringe, all the while concealing the dot of red on my wrist where the needle had hit me. I dropped the used needle into the disposal box, stripped off the disposable gloves and got out of there, still cursing, but silently. It had been a long while since I had gotten stuck by a contaminated needle, but it certainly wasn't the first time. That sort of thing is an occupational hazard for a lab tech, and a very dangerous one in this day of AIDS and Hepatitis C and all the other deadly diseases, but I'm a fatalist; I figured if I had caught anything, filling out an incident form wasn't going to make it go away. Later on I could run some tests on myself and see whether I had lucked out again--or hit the bad end of the jackpot.

... The blood analyzer dinged and flashed a light at me while it printed out the results. Not to get technical, but the counts were all screwed up, red and white blood cells alike. None of it made sense to the electronic sensors. The results didn't make sense to me, either.

Either a cold agglutinin or advanced leukemia of some sort was my first thought. I glanced at my watch. It was almost time for the morning shift to begin showing up, but I still had time to make a slide and take a gander at what the blood looked like to the human eye. I began the preparations and that's when all the weirdness started.

I heard the entrance door swing open and almost immediately there was a shout. "Stand where you are! Don't move!"

I moved, of course. When I turned around there was the ER doc, being shepherded by two grim looking men in suits. One of them wore a thin little mustache that didn't match the shade of his blond hair. The other was dark colored and had black, swept back hair. Both were wearing suits but what they also had in common was a scared but determined look on their faces.

"Where's the blood? We want it, right now!"

I had no idea what in hell was going on, but the muzzle of the gun one of the men was pointing at me got my attention quicker than seeing one of the nurses walk in naked would have.

"What blood?" I asked, rather inanely, then said a little more forcefully. "Who the hell are you, anyway?"

"Are you Michael Brandon? The lab tech?" The guy with the gun asked.

"That's him," the other one said after glancing at the name tag on my jacket. He was gripping the upper arm of the doc with a pressure so tight I could see him grimacing, but he wasn't making any attempt to get loose. As a matter of fact, he looked as scared as a whipped dog. For all my bravado, I probably didn't look much different.

"The blood, mister. We want that blood you just drew in the Emergency room."


Available at Amazon.com



Places to find my books

Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.


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