Bainstorming Blog - August 2017 Subjects This Issue: Apologies (again), “Jungle Fever”, Books to be self-published, Audie Murphy quote, Apertures information, Post Office Can lose mail, Sacral Implant, Whoops! Storm!, Fall
Again, Neat Butterfly Experiment, The God Stories, The Last Williard Brothers Book Fight For Mars which completes the series, C.S. Lewis Quote.
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Subjects This Issue: Apologies (again), “Jungle Fever”, Books to be self-published, Audie Murphy quote, Apertures information, Post Office Can lose mail, Sacral Implant, Whoops! Storm!, Fall Again, Neat Butterfly Experiment, The God Stories, The Last Williard Brothers Book Fight For Mars which completes the series, C.S. Lewis Quote.
I have to apologize again for not getting notice of the last Bainstroming issue out to my contacts. Some doctors sort of intervened with a couple of surgeries (see Sacral Implant). It wasn’t all my fault this time, (again, see Sacral Implant), although I do have to take a little of the blame. But it’s hard to get anything done when you’re constantly ill, having surgeries, suffering from falls, and more importantly, I need surgery on my eyes now. It is supposed to take place the 22nd of this month if Harvey didn’t put a kink in the schedule. I sure hope not. It is getting to where I have to hold my brows up in order to read, but when I’m able, I can still type pretty well. This will be an office procedure under local anesthetic, a first for me. The two previous surgeries of the same type were done under anesthesia. I certainly hope I don’t blink while the scalpel is carving on my eyebrows! As I get older I tend to do more reading and less writing, but right now it‘s a matter of my eyes.
I think I’ve written about this before, but briefly, for the last three or four years I’ve been subject to episodes of extreme chills combined with very high fever and mild muscle aches. No other symptoms, especially not respiratory, for which I’m grateful. Doctors haven’t been able to diagnose it. On average the episodes occur about every 6 to 8 weeks. However I hadn’t been bothered for almost six months and thought maybe I’d finally wore it out. Wrong. Oh, yes: a peculiarity of past episodes is that they have all invariably occurred at midnight plus or minus a half hour. However the recent one upset that schedule by beginning in the late afternoon, about five o’clock. I have no idea of the significance, but I can say it was a severe episode, ranking up near the most bothersome. These chills and fevers always leave me debilitated for a week or so, then I’m fine again. Weird, huh?
Books to Be Self-published
I still have about 15 books that I’ve been given back the rights to by either Double Dragon or Twilight Times. In the interest of getting them back into print, I will probably self-publish them, with the possible exception of the Apertures Trilogy. See the section devoted to Apertures.
Audie Murphy quote
I ran across a phrase in Audie Murphy’s book, To Hell and Back, that I don’t remember from the previous (and numerous) times I’ve read it. The phrase is: …the freedom we cherish and abuse. Now isn’t that true and so well stated that it should give us all a lot of food for thought? I certainly think so.
Post Office can lose letters. In my case it wasn’t a letter but a bill I paid. This was back when we were still farming Christmas trees. There was very little income during the year other than Betty’s SS check so the farm was operated on borrowed money that was repaid after Christmas and we had all the money to pay our bills. In one case we owed a credit card over seven thousand dollars. I wrote a check for the whole amount and sent it off. The next month I received a very irate phone call from the credit card company asking where the hell their money was, or at the very least, the minimum payment. Naturally a big argument ensued and was finally settled by me asking the bank to stop payment on the check that had never arrived and write them a new one. I still had horrible nightmares about someone who might have gotten their hands on it and cashed it at another bank and it simply hadn’t caught up with our bank yet. As it turned out, that piece of mail containing the check never turned up anywhere. It disappeared into the great Post Office in the sky and was never heard from again. For large checks now, I use money orders or certified checks. I have to admit it scared hell out of me, though.
As I mentioned above, I recently had a sacral implant in order to stop fluid leakage. That required a preliminary operation in order to see if it would work, then two weeks later another operation to implant a permanent sacral nerve stimulator. The whole process took up six weeks and just as I was feeling normal again, here comes the “Jungle Fever”. Now I’m scheduled for eye lid muscle repair in September. At that, I guess I’m better off than my brother Gary, two years younger than me. He’s having five procedures done at once: eyelids, brow and corners of his eyes, a five in one operation. He opted to have it all done at once. I don’t blame him a bit. That’s what I would do, too. I’ve already had both eyelids worked on, one twice and here we go again. Rats. Some days I think I use my eyes too much. And it’s a long way to drive for us, or I should say for my wife, Betty. She drives me anywhere farther than 20 miles. And she is now limited to less than 50 miles. Getting old ain’t fun, even if retirement does have its points.
The Apertures Trilogy
These three books represent what I consider my best writing and on top of that, the first two have been completely re-edited by a top notch (and expensive) editor and the other by my brother. They are so good now (if I do say so myself) that I hate to just self-publish them but I may have to. Looking for, and finding an agent or publisher when a book has been published elsewhere previously is hard. If any of you who have read the books and could recommend a publisher or agent, I would be extremely grateful, and would certainly mention your help in getting the books published. They are alternate world stories, reference quantum theory, which many theorists believe happens, although none of them know of a way to see or go to those alternate worlds. I described a method of reaching alternate worlds (but it turns out that some of them are rabidly hostile) that uses the quantum function of our brains. Probably didn’t know you had any, did you? If I do self-publish I’m going to do so soon, so last call for potential agent and/or publisher.
I’m leaving this blank for now and will report when it’s over. According to most forecasts we’re going to get umpteen inches of rain and points south even more.
Report: I guess more than 28” of rain qualifies as umpteen, although there were spots south of us that got 50” or more. There was massive flooding in Houston, especially downtown. Most of the interchanges of the freeway system were underwater and couldn’t be accessed. Thousands upon thousands of homes were totally destroyed and many more thousands were damaged in the amounts of thousands of dollars. Fortunately, the giant Medical Center flood protection system had seen considerable improvement after the last flood when so much damage was caused, including lost experimental work, test animals lost and much more damage which set the Medical Center back for years. This happened when Tropical Storm Allison dropped so much rain, left then came back and rained on Houston again, went away and then the remnants came back and it rained some more. It was a hard learned lesson but it did cause preparations against flood damage to be instituted. We live about 50 to 60 miles north of downtown and had essentially no damage, other than we were expecting some medicine in the mail and we’ve had no mail for over a week now. The Houston Chronicle newspaper did finally arrive yesterday, along with Tuesday and Wednesday copies but dern it, we wanted the Sunday paper. Both Betty and I are inveterate newspaper readers and really missed it. However, we never lost our power so Betty could watch TV and I browsed on the computer. I did lose my internet connection when it rained real hard but it always came back as soon as the rain slacked off, but while it was off, I just switched over to documents and did some writing until it came back. We do live on a county blacktop one lane road and the people below us were stranded because of a creek between us and them. It overflowed so badly that the bridge wasn’t even visible. With The Trinity River in flood stage, I imagine it will stay impassable for some time, since the Trinity is so high it gives the creek water no place to go.
We were very lucky. No damage to the house even though I did have to get out in the rain and widen and deepen the channel I’d had my handyman dig along the back to give the water some place to go instead of into our house. We learn quick. The last heavy rain got our indoor/outdoor carpet wet and damaged some of our supplies in the storeroom but we stayed dry this time.
I also bought a lot of water for drinking and filled three heavy garbage cans full of water for flushing but it wasn’t needed.
Neat Butterfly Experiment
This is something I did out of curiosity, nothing else, when I was a young man. It would be fun for a school project, a household display, show and tell at school, a teaching experiment, etc.
Here’s how it goes:
Find a quart jar with a lid, punch holes in the lid, clean it until it glistens and is easy to see through, open it up and insert a small limb with no leaves but several branches. Now go find two mature caterpillars (or as I like to spell it, caterpiggles) of the same species. Leave one alive and kill the other so that it is left completely intact. You may smother it with ethanol, ether if you can find any (be careful! That stuff is extremely flammable!) or perhaps pierce its brain with a fine needle and pierce the other end of it so that it will remain in place. Wrap it in foil and save for later. Leave the other alive in the jar and leave it be. When the caterpiggle can’t find anything to eat it will find a spot on your limb and spin a pupae. Leave the jar in a room at comfortable temperature and eventually a butterfly will emerge from the pupae. Don’t move the jar, just leave it be. In a week or two, when the butterfly can find nothing to eat, it will lay a clutch of eggs at some spot on the branch, then attach itself to the branch and die within a few days. At this point you bring your dead caterpiggle and place it inside the jar near the butterfly, eggs and pupae. You now have the complete life cycle of the butterfly on display: Caterpiggle, Pupae, Butterfly, and eggs. Neat. If you try it, I hope it works as well as the same experiment I performed simply out of curiosity. Good luck!
I’ve always read where older persons have more of a tendency for falling than their younger contemporaries. I suppose they are right since Betty has had two falls where she hurt herself and so have I. This one was a silly fall, but damned if it didn’t hurt and could easily have killed me. I had let the two little dogs lick my paper plate of the extra creamy cool whip (If you haven’t tried the Extra Creamy, do so. Not that many calories and good!), then I bent over in a half squat to pick up my paper plate to dispose of. The smaller dog didn’t want to give it up and somehow, got my legs tangled with his. Over backward I went. The lower part of the back of my head hit the buffet and I literally saw stars, like in comic books. My butt hit the floor, right where the sacral nerve stimulant was implanted and where I have a small but noticeable bump on my left butt cheek. Since it sticks out a little above the rest of my butt, naturally I landed on it first. It is still very sore as is the back of my head. That’s where the danger was. I could very well have gotten a subdural hematoma from that bang on the back of my head. I’ve had to watch two teen aged girls die from subdural hematomas after sitting on the hood of a car and their boy friends gave the car a bit of gas and caused the girls to fall off--and hit their heads just where I did. All I got was a mild concussion. The girls got a casket. It was really sad, drawing blood and doing blood chemistries when all the while I knew they were dying. Later I had to go down to the morgue wih one girl’s father for identification purposes. That was a bad experience. While I lay in bed I imagined Betty there with me if I had suddenly began geting nauseated, then lost consciousness. She would have known immediately what was happening, as she has a B.S. in nursing and lots of practical experience. I’m extremely glad she didn’t have to experience that.
And even more glad that I didn’t!
The God Stories
For only 99 cents this is a bargain. You’ll laugh, cry and maybe think I’m nuts and an atheist in the bargain, but I’m not. Just a person who has had an interest in the many different religions, which caused me to lean toward an agnostic point of view. To paraphrase Robert A. Heinlein, religions begat other religions as naturally as mother cats have kittens. Islam is a perfect example, where a “prophet” came along and developed a following, splitting off from Christianity, but keeping some of it. For instance, Muslims consider Jesus to be a major prophet, but is superseded by Muhammed. And of course Christianity developed from the Jewish religion and the old testament. Then it hardened into Catholicism which in turn begat Protestantism and it burgeoned into so many different forms I can’t count them all. Actually, there are so many different religions I don’t see how anyone can logically decide which one of them is right, or if any of them are right, of if all of them are right, or if none of them are. Comments???
Lately I’ve begun reading many of the books I wrote myself when I have to get away from the computer for a while. Earlier I quoted Audie Murphy. This quote is taken from one of my favorite books I’ve written, Strange Valley, where I used a quote from C.S. Lewis (giving him proper credit, naturally). He says…Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience….C.S. Lewis was a wise man and I was pleased to be able to use the above quote from one of the scenes I wrote in Strange Valley.
It is amazing how much I’ve forgotten about my earlier books (and a few of them deserve to be forgotten in their entirety, but others are still in print). Strange Valley is one of them and I’m enjoying it as if it was written by a really good author. : ) Sorry, couldn’t resist that.
This Issue of Bainstorming Blog:
I’ve covered a lot of subjects in this issue, some dating back to the last one, that I wrote but failed to get contacts notified for the most part, and then lost it somewhere in my thousands of files. I keep telling myself I’m going to delete a lot of them so I can find what I want when I want it, but somehow never get to it. Again, back acting up big time and pretty well immobilized me for three months before I could get into surgery. That’s the story as well as I can figure out of the lost Bainstorming. If the eye surgery is successful, I promise I’ll do better in the future. As is, what I can remember of the lost Bainstorming is included in this one.