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Savage Survival



Darrell Bain's Newsletter

September 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 © September 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:

Bain Muses, Popular at Amazon, What I believe, Review of Doggie Biscuit! Admiration vs Jealousy, A Forrest Gump Life, Tonto's "Help", Book Report, Recognition, Reward for finding book for me!!, Does Corruption and Bribery Stifle Invention and Innovation?, Bain Prediction, Excerpt From "The Pet Plague Trilogy".

Special Notice
Until the end of the year, copies of Bark! bought at the following link will be discounted 20% if you use the special code DACHS:

Bain Muses
If our daydreaming fantasies were made real we would all be either in jail or dead.

Everyone is on someone's bad people's list.

As long as dishwashers have been in homes it seems as though the manufacturers of cups, glasses, bowls, etc. would have stopped making them with the indentations on the bottom. When turned upside down in a dishwasher these items collect so much water it doesn't all dry during the cycle and when you grab one from the dishwasher the water goes on you, the floor or on the other dishes and gets them wet again. So why don't they eliminate those annoying damn things that serve no useful purpose anyway? Probably because the ones who design them never empty dishwashers. Perhaps they will all read this newsletter and make my life easier since I'm the one who usually empties the dishwasher at our house. Just my little lovable self doing things I know Betty doesn't like to do.

I wonder how many men today would put their "lives, fortunes and sacred honor" on the line? All of our founders knew that if the revolution failed they would hang. Would you have that much courage? Think about it.

When citizens are no longer willing to devote time, money or the chance of bodily harm to their country then its life span is limited.

I read a science fiction short story once where pets had suddenly learned to make their thoughts known. You know what the first thing the dog and cat said? "My food bowl stinks!" Pet owners are hereby advised.

I read that the auto companies are asking for 50 billion dollars from congress to help them out. Betty and I ran a Christmas tree farm from our acreage for twenty years. I wonder if the government would have helped us out if we hadn't studied the market and planted the wrong kind of trees?

Bark! popular at Amazon
Bark!, the novel of an addled little weenie dog who saves the world from an alien invasion has become very popular recently in the dogs and cats humor category at Amazon even though it's a science fiction novel. It is humorous, though. Go Tonto!

What I believe:
This being an election year I shall continue with the series "What I believe" and this month I choose to write briefly about illegal immigrants. First let's get real. There's no way we're able to round up 15 million illegal aliens in this country and ship them home. For one thing they'd come right back even if we had the logistics to manage it, which we don't. Second, the vast majority of these people would make good citizens if we let them, or good temporary residents if not. So why don't we begin taking steps to secure our borders, hire enough immigration and border agents to control the flow and either let these people become citizens once they learn to speak English and learn the constitution or become documented guest workers? This isn't rocket science people, no matter what the politicians say. 1. Take control of our border 2. Allow the ones in now to become citizens if they like or documented guest workers if they don't want to become citizens. Now isn't that simple? And best of all we could start forcing them pay taxes and social security payments like the rest of us. Oh, one more thing. Yes, let's allow emergency treatment but if so, and they aren't documented, out they go as soon as they can travel. And no more services of any kind for illegals, no school, drivers licenses, etc. None of that stuff the sorry politicians have implemented to try to gain votes.

Nice Review For Doggie Biscuit!
5 stars  Laughed and Laughed UNTIL we cried, Amazon.com September 15, 2007

This book gave us more then we ever thought. The author brings true to life the real colors of having a doxie in your world. I originally got this book for myself to read. I ended up reading aloud virtually the entire story to my husband. Whether you have a doxie, much less a dog in your world, the story of Biscuit is hilarious, and to ones amazement daily life with a "wiener dog".
Even more wonderful is I have since read this book to our 3 nephews who laughed so hard THEY even had tears coming down. This book comes soo highly suggested, it would be a shame to go through life and to never have heard the story of "Doggie Biscuit."
Thank you Darrell Bain.

Admiration vs Jealousy
I write more science fiction than anything else because it is my favorite form of literature. I've had some success in a small way while doing it but I have to admit that occasionally I become discouraged when I read the really good science fiction authors (or really good authors of any genre). There's just no way of getting around the fact that they are better at the craft than I'll ever be.

Should that be a cause for envy? I know it is for some people. They'll rail against the world and claim they might be just as good if only they'd had the right breaks or run across a good agent who'd tutor them in what kind of literature sells or so forth. When reading good science fiction they might claim that if they'd had a better home life or been able to afford a better education or shucks, if any number of other factors had worked in their favor they'd be just as good. And the worst ones are the kind who claim their writing already is just as good as those other men and women but the editors or the world just doesn't recognize good writing when they see it.

I believe the people who are guilty of that kind of thinking are simply deluding themselves. They are letting envy and jealousy affect their thinking. On the other hand, I don't think there's a thing wrong with healthy admiration of the kind I have for the science fiction writers who are better than me. I know I'm not as good as those other men and women and probably never will be, but that doesn't keep me from trying to improve and certainly doesn't stop me from continuing to write. As I said, I have had some successes and have quite a number of fans who like my style and imagination enough to forgive my writing flaws. In the meantime I can read and enjoy novels by Weber, Taylor, Stirling, Ringo and others without letting envy ruin my enjoyment of their books. And if they didn't write so dern good I might be able to quit immersing myself so deeply into their stories and learn something from them.

Keep writing, guys. You've given me an immeasurable amount of enjoyment over my lifetime and my admiration of you only grows.

A Forest Gump Life
I just finished reading Forest Gump. Amazing I missed this book the first time around, but I did. So did Betty. After reading it I started looking back on my life. Just like Forrest Gump I have made some outstandingly stupid decisions that got me in all kinds of trouble (as anyone who has read my autobiography Darrell Bain's World of Books knows. It is available at www.fictionwise.com and www.ereader.com). Anyway, while reading the book I kept remembering all the dumb things I've done in life and all the trouble they got me in and so on but then I always have to think: if I hadn't done all those stupid things my life would have gone in a different direction and then I wouldn't have met Betty, who is undoubtedly the perfect woman for me. Now this isn't to say that just because I married Betty I stopped making stupid decisions because I didn't. However, she has stuck with me for almost 32 years now and probably kept me from making even dumber mistakes and even when she couldn't prevent me from doing dumb things, she provided a secure home and still loved me anyway and is always my sanctuary. So thank you, sweetheart. I know I act like an idiot sometimes but just think what I'd be like without you around to keep me from doing even stupider things!

Re-reading Books
I have just finished re-reading the first three books in the Looking Glass series. Like any books I really enjoy, I kept them, knowing I would read them again because invariably I miss a lot of nuances on the first read that I pick up on the second (or third, etc.). I have some books I've read two dozen times, at least. A good example is Citizen of the Galaxy by Robert A. Heinlein. It is my all time favorite book and that really says something for it as much as I've read all my life.

Many times I've asked friends or acquaintances if they re-read books. Most say no, a few say occasionally and the rare reader will say, "Certainly!". Betty and I are the rare ones who re-read our favorite books over and over again. We each have a collection of these favorites (and some we share) but inevitably we have to clean the shelves. It is really hard to decide which to keep and which to let go and sometimes we make mistakes.

I thought I had saved a certain book to re-read and tried to find it the other day. It wasn't there and I can't remember the author or title. See next subject:

REWARD! I will give one of my autographed books to the first person who can find the following book for me. Here is what I remember of it:

The novel is suspense/thriller
The plot is the protagonist on a mission of some sort and accidentally discovers a place where people are being kept captive and experimented on. The basis for keeping them captive is that they are supposedly mentally ill. They are in an institution of at least two stories. I think it has a basement but not sure.
The bad guy is a psychiatrist who I think once wrote a funky book and made a reputation from it and always jumps on fads, which is what he's into now but doing illegal things to his patients.

But the real bad person is the psychiatrist's wife. She is a real monster.
One of the characters is a little girl who has some kind of psychic ability, I think. She learns how to communicate with the other patients. Her communications in the book are in italics if I remember right, but not when she is talking in person.
One of the characters is a singer in a nightclub, a country western type, I think. She becomes a love interest of the protagonist. She has had or does have a problem of some sort, or maybe a past problem.
One of the characters is really mentally ill, I think, but functional, sort of.

Okay, that's it. Remember, first person who can identify it may take their pick of any of my books I have on hand (about 20, I think) and I'll autograph it if you wish.

Tonto's help
Tonto helped Betty plant some Fall tomatoes this morning. First he tried to help her dig the hole and got a trowel in his nose. He didn't like that so he got in front of her to dig but he didn't dig the holes in the right place so Betty had to fill them in and dig her own. Then he didn't like the way she was planting the tomatoes so he went behind her and began digging them up. She shouted at him. He looked up with a tomato plant hanging out of his mouth, wondering what he'd done wrong. He decided to sit down for a moment and see what else she had to say. Unfortunately, he sat down on two plants and crushed them. Betty shooed him away. Since she obviously didn't appreciate his help he decided to run around for awhile, right down the tomato row. When Betty shouted at him again, he turned around and ran the other way down the row of plants. Then when Betty got out the water hose to water them he knew she was doing it for him. He tried to bite the stream of water as usual and managed to step on a couple more plants.

When it was all over, Betty said if any of those plants survived it would be a miracle!

PS: One week later. They all died.

Book Report
Note: I read far more books than I report on. Only the books I truly enjoy and think others would like are listed here.

Old Man's War by John Scalzi was his first novel and it's a dandy. Once a person turns sixty five they can sign up for duty in the military off planet. Catch: they don't actually leave until they are seventy five, if they're still alive. The interim is used for purposes they won't learn of until later. In fact, there's bunches of stuff they won't learn about until after they turn seventy five, leave earth and get their new bodies. Most of it is totally unexpected, both for the characters in the novel and the readers as well! There's lots of action on different planets against different species but it's not all blood and gore. Good character development, great dialog and wonderful entertainment. I've ordered some more of his books.

In case anyone hasn't read Dune by Frank Herbert, you really should try it. Don't be led astray by the movie. I didn't enjoy it and found it hard to follow. Not so for the book. Herbert creates a desert planet and two different cultures with a deft touch and fine writing. What's so amazing to me is how many editors turned this book down before it was published. It's a classic and deservedly so. And guess what? A future culture without computers that really works!!

Immoral Certainty by Robert K. Tanenbaum is a legalistic thriller with about three separate plot lines, some really bad people and interesting characters. Well worth your time.

Forrest Gump by Tom Hanks gets kind of stupid in a couple of places but all in all is well worth the read. See the earlier segment of the newsletter, A Forrest Gump Life. I had a really good time reading an idiot's autobiography (somewhat like the one I wrote). It has an absolutely great ending, one of the best I have ever read.

Below is a note from one of my publishers considering Sony's e-book program:


Here's something interesting. We're probably going to sign with Sony
for their e-reader program and we mentioned you as being one of our
authors. The reply came back stating "Oh, we'd love to have more of
Darrell in our catalogue."


It's always nice to have your name recognized. After all, that's what sells books, and selling books helps buy groceries. DB

Does Corruption and Bribery stifle innovation?
Here's an interesting correlation I haven't seen mentioned anywhere. If you examine countries where bribery as a means of doing business is endemic, you'll also find corruption is endemic. And where you find both or either you don't find much innovation or inventiveness. Take a look at most of the South American countries. Bribery is a way of life. So is corruption. Same for most of Africa. Same for the Middle Eastern countries except Israel. Russia and China are rife with bribery. They develop lots of our ideas but don't show much originality.

Now look at the countries where patents per population are the greatest and compare. Those countries where bribery and corruption exist the most are at the bottom of the list.

I freely admit this isn't a perfect correlation. Other factors can intervene to change the statistics but as a general rule I believe I'm right.

Europe and North America have probably the lowest rate of bribery and corruption in business, politics and the legal system (although there is certainly enough) as compared to the other countries mentioned. And these are the countries where originality and innovation are the greatest.

Bain Prediction
I predict that twenty years from now solar energy will be booming and production of grains for fuel will be a dying industry, if not already dead. And I predict that nuclear energy production will have reached a plateau and will have begun declining.

The reason for the prediction is that technology will finally solve the problems of production, storing and distribution of solar energy. Since it is practically limitless, it will naturally be rushing to the forefront of energy production.

Thanks for reading.

Darrell Bain
Shepherd, Texas
September 2008


Excerpt From The Pet Plague Trilogy

Note: These three books explore the possible consequences of enhancing animal intelligence, particularly that of our pets. DB

A short walk brought him inside the complex to his own ground floor apartment, situated strategically with the door facing out toward the common swimming pool. He waved to a bare-breasted young woman of somewhat more than casual acquaintance as he passed and noted with a slight frown the slick furred body of a black otter descending the slide. He really preferred for the pool to be reserved for humans during the day unless, of course, Woggly wanted to go for a swim. In that case, it was different; Woggly was almost human.

The door opened automatically as he neared, recognizing the signal from his body computer.

"Greetings, kind Master," Woggly said, wagging his tail.

"The mighty human has returned," Fuzzy Britches purred from his favorite perch atop the back of the lounger. He stretched languidly, then settled back again. His whiskers twitched, as if sensing a mouse in the pocket of Jamie's coveralls.

"You've been practicing," Jamie accused. He directed a stare toward the curly-haired cat. His fur was a mix of multiple colors all tangled together, as if a rainbow had been run through a blender and poured over him. Both animals looked much the same as their ancestors, except for larger, high-domed heads and heavier necks and forequarters to support the added weight.

"Not so," Fuzzy Britches answered, jumping down from his perch. Jamie wondered idly why they didn't have the holo on. They spent a good deal of their time watching it while he was out, when not occupied with patrolling the complex for stray rodents.

"You can go to hell for lying, Fuzz. Have you eaten?"

"Only a little," Woggly said, advancing to lick Jamie's hand.

"You can, too, Wog," Jamie said. He scratched the dog's ears, then sniffed. An odor of wet fur assailed his nostrils. "Say, what's that smell? Have you guys been swimming?"

Fuzzy Britches didn't consider the question worth answering. He would as soon have made friends with a feral rat as taken a swim. Woggly nodded a firm no, but continued nuzzling and licking Jamie's hand as if his denial carried a caveat with it.

"What's that smell, then?" Jamie sniffed again, then headed toward the bedroom.

"Wait!" Woggly barked. Jamie turned and stared at the shaggy brown dog. What was going on?

"Strange dog in there," Fuzzy Britches said, coming over and rubbing against Jamie's shins. He looked up smugly, dangling imaginary feathers from his mouth.

"A strange dog? Whose is it? Who let it in?"

"Woggly did," Fuzzy Britches said, disclaiming any responsibility.


Woggly rolled over on the floor in an exaggerated surrender reflex, tail tucked between his legs and front paws akimbo.

"Oh get up, Wog, and stop acting silly," Jamie said. "Why did you let it in? You know you're not supposed to have guests while I'm gone. Whose dog is it, anyway?"

"Feral dog," Fuzzy Britches announced from a neutral position. He licked a paw and rubbed it lazily over his ears, as if suggesting a feral dog in the house was nothing out of the ordinary.

"Dios y Santos!" Jamie exclaimed, borrowing one of his late mother's favorite expressions. "And you let it in here? Why didn't you give an alarm?" He could hardly believe it.

"Wog said not to," Fuzzy Britches demurred, absolving himself of any responsibility.

"That's no excuse. Since when have you started listening to Wog, anyhow? Damn, that must have been the one that broke in this morning. And you let it in here? What in the hell do you think Alvarez will say if he finds out? He'll want both your hides for rugs, not to mention my own. Damn, damn, damn."

Woggly nuzzled Jamie's hand again, then backed off when he saw that Jamie was having no part of it. He lowered his haunches to the floor and tried to look contrite. "He has a message, boss."

"Don't give me that 'boss' routine. I know who the real bosses are around here. Just what is this ever-loving message that caused you to let a damn feral dog hole up in my own bedroom? I warn you, Wog, this better be good."

"He says message is from feral human."

That gave Jamie pause. It was a well-known but seldom discussed fact that there was a scattering of humans still living in the wilds, protected from harm by their own coterie of enhanced animals, but not as masters. They owed their existence to the usefulness of their hands to their pawed cohorts and to the inventiveness of their human minds, something the genetic engineers had had little success in transferring to other species. He couldn't imagine any sort of message from a feral human important enough for his pets to let a fugitive dog hide in their own home. Nevertheless, he trusted Woggly's judgment enough to at least listen to what the strange dog had to say before sentencing it to death in a general alert, or from his own laser gun. The fact that Fuzzy Britches had not raised a hue and cry influenced him even more. The cat was the more intelligent of the two animals.


"Bring him in here, Woggly," Jamie ordered. He patted the gun holstered at his side for reassurance.

Woggly barked at the bedroom door. It opened and he scurried inside. Jamie heard a muted conversation interspersed with non-threatening growls and whines. Enhanced animals had their own conversational shortcuts when talking among themselves. A moment later, Woggly returned, leading a short-haired dog of indeterminate breed, somewhat larger than his own moderate size. It (or rather, he, Jamie noticed) was rather less bedraggled than he had expected, although he still smelled of wet fur. Jamie suspected Woggly had coerced him into cleaning himself up and standing under the flea-killer for a moment before being presented.


Available at Amazon.com



Places to find my books

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