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Spearfish Lake Tales
Spearfish Lake Tales Message Board
Welcome! This board is intended for discussion of Wes Boyd's writings as posted on Spearfish Lake Tales;
or other message boards. Discussion of other authors that frequent these boards or sites is not off topic.

Please keep it clean and somewhere close to being on topic.
Spearfish Lake Tales

Subject: Winter surfing


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 12:28:52 12/13/13 Fri

It's the real thing even on the lower lakes!

http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nbc-news/53820541/#53820541

I don't care: BRRRRR!

-- Wes
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Subject: Joni, Teresa and Inigo


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 11:35:05 12/02/13 Mon

Another column lifted from the paper:

----------

Time passes, whether we want it to or not. As I get older, sometimes I think that's the theme of my life.

This morning Amanda and I were talking with a customer, and the subject ranged over several areas. At one point I made the comment, "People aren't going to know what they've got 'til it's gone."

That line stuck with me for some reason -- and I knew the reason; it came from the song Big Yellow Taxi back when I was in my twenties. That part I was solid on, but I had it in mind that Joan Baez did it and I wasn't sure I was right.

Google is your friend in such circumstances, and I only had to type a couple of words into the search engine before the answer popped up -- it wasn't Joan Baez, but Joni Mitchell. I figured that wasn't bad for not really being an old music freak and going on very old memories of a cherished time now longer in the past than I want to think about.

But just for the heck of it I brought up a video of Joni doing the song back in the day when it was popular. She was a good-looking long-haired young blonde in a lavender gown, with a clear, youthful voice full of passion. Ah yes, those were the days . . . until I glanced down in the corner of the YouTube screen and noticed another video of Joni Mitchell singing at her seventieth birthday celebration earlier this year. She looks seventy, too.

So what I want to know is how in the name of sin did Joni Mitchell get to be seventy?

I won't go into the background since it's complicated, and since it's from a novel I'm working on, sort of irrelevant, but this weekend I needed the lyrics for Put Another Nickel In -- you know, "Put another nickel in, in the nickelodeon . . ." (For any kids reading, a nickelodeon was a jukebox, not a TV channel.) I mean, I knew the lyrics but thought I'd remembered them incorrectly and thanks to Google I found out I was right on that.

But curiosity overwhelmed me when I discovered that it was Teresa Brewer's first big hit. Now, I do remember Teresa Brewer. She's more out of my parent's generation, but just for the heck of it I clicked on that YouTube link.

It was a cute song, but primitive compared to modern standards -- wow! It sounded sort of like some of those old recordings out for the 1920s you can occasionally hear -- the technical standards were just not up to what we have become used to. In addition Teresa Brewer's kid voice just didn't measure up to her adult standards of later years . . . holy guacamole, Batman! That was 1950 and it was a long time ago!

I told this story to Amanda, and of course she had one to match it. It seems she and her U of M student husband were at a party of his computer geek classmates over the weekend, and in talking about one thing and another she discovered that few of these had ever heard of The Princess Bride. "I am Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die . . ." Hey, that's after my time, too.

"Here are all these geeks," she reported. "And they didn't even know the roots of their culture."

There might even be a reason for that. Mandy Patinkin, who played Montoya, is close to my age . . . and she wonders how that happened, too.

"It wasn't all that long ago," Amanda reports, "That when I was hanging around with a bunch of college kids I was the youngest one there. Now I'm the oldest. What happened?"

Time passes whether you're having fun or not, Amanda. That's the way it works.

This morning I was talking with a guy somewhere around my age out at the restaurant where I normally have breakfast. "You know," I told him. "I have come to the conclusion that in every senior citizen, there's an eighteen-year-old fighting to get out."

The truth hurts at times.
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Subject: Photo Post - Dec. 5


Author:
K Pelle aka dotB
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 20:47:26 12/05/13 Thu

Neat old seed drill - but I can't recall ever seeing one rigged up exactly like that though. I don't mean the conversion from horse drawn to tractor pulled either - I was looking at the arrangement of seed and fertilizer bins, then noticed the setup of the disks and scrapers. Quite interesting to a guy who recalls his dad using one just about like it in the late 40s or early 50s.

kp
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Subject: Fog in Grand Canyon


Author:
Jim Wickman
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 18:31:23 11/30/13 Sat

Rare inversion fills the Grand Canyon with fog. Many stunning pix.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2516098/Photos-breathtaking-river-fog-Grand-Canyon-ONCE-IN-A-DECADE-weather-phenomenon.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
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Subject: photo-singing


Author:
mark
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 17:41:59 11/28/13 Thu

Wes, at what event did you take the photo of the lady singing? I kinda doubt you stood at the front of a church service to snap it.

I am enjoying Stray Kitten. Thanks for the work & creativity. Mark
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Subject: Stray Kitten - Chapter 17 (possible spoiler for chapter 18)


Author:
K Pelle aka dotB
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 23:46:57 11/26/13 Tue

Had to chuckle at the last few paragraphs - there speaks the newspaper editor - (and I can imagine the image that will be substituted - someone in handcuffs perhaps? lol)

kp
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Subject: A new device for Wendy Carter


Author:
Boyd Percy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 01:39:38 11/28/13 Thu

The link to the attached article reminded me of the automated support system Wendy Carter had. I guess in the future more paralyzed people will have the chance to live relatively normal lives thanks to advances in technology.

http://news.yahoo.com/tongue-pierce-lets-paralyzed-drive-wheelchairs-191705776.html

I hope all American readers will have a happy Thanksgiving.
Subject: Janice Lufkin's DOB in the Wiki


Author:
bigolal
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 21:14:20 11/26/13 Tue

Couldn't see how to make a change to the wiki, so I'm suggesting it here. In the character pages, Janice's date of birth is given as 1992, but in 2007, she is 17. This means she would have to have been born in 1990, doesn't it?
Replies:
Subject: A herd of deer


Author:
Hal Lanktree
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 21:47:38 11/22/13 Fri

Wes, what is the story about that herd of dead deer in today's photo?
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Subject: Internet trouble


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 18:30:52 11/18/13 Mon

I continue to have problems with my link at home. I'm giving up and getting a satellite internet service. However, it will not be in place for two weeks, will cost more than twice as much and has a download limit. I hope it will be reliable -- if so, I can put up with the other hassles.

Until this gets straightened out, if I receive orders outside business hours weekdays, I may have to wait until business hours to make uploads.

Sorry about the problem and hope to have it resolved soon. Thanks for your patience.

-- Wes
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Subject: New book, "Stray Kitten" now available for preorder


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 19:10:10 10/13/13 Sun

The next book from Spearfish Lake Tales, Stray Kitten, is now available for preorder.

I've been looking forward to getting this one up, since a couple of beta readers class it with Magic Carpet and Picking Up the Pieces, and frankly, it's one of my favorites, too.

Here's the summary:

When you pick up a stray kitten off the street, you take on the responsibility of caring for it. High school student Cody Archer finds classmate Janice Lufkin being beaten and abused by her father and her brother. An expert with a pistol in spite of his age, he rescues her, making her an orphan in the process. Cody and his big-hearted family decide to take the shy, pathetic girl in before they think about the question of whether they're ever going to be able to make a whole person out of her. Along with that, they have another problem they didn't consider: Janice feels she owes the rest of her life to her guardian angel, Cody.

There are a total of thirty-nine chapters.

You can preorder Stray Kitten for as little as $19.99 through the Spearfish Lake Tales Store or through the web page. Preorders will be sent sometime on the afternoon of October 20, Eastern Standard Time.

-- Wes
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Subject: Stray Kitten - Chapter 15 (minor spoilers)


Author:
Greg B.
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 11:12:45 11/22/13 Fri

As I was reading about the detectives breaking into the basement, I noticed my heart was beating faster. And when the entire Sheriff's Dept rolled out, I laughed out loud.

I'd call that a damned good chapter!
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Subject: Time the chapters show up.


Author:
Arthur Keith
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 21:38:29 11/14/13 Thu

Just have not figured out yet why your chapters each week show up 12 hours earlier on Firefox than on the Chrome browser. Can someone explain?
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Subject: No wonder my hands hurt at times!


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 00:00:29 11/13/13 Wed

I was checking posts on another board today, talking about the number of words posted. At the time I guessed I had a minimum of 3,200,000 words on Spearfish Lake Tales, making a conservative assumption of 100,000 words per book.

I'm facing a big, tough, emotional chapter in the book I'm currently working on and didn't want to try to get started on it late in the evening of a work night, so I dug through some old records, fired up Excel, and added it up. Boy, was I low!

Counting Stray Kitten as complete, (and not counting shorts, etc.) I have approximately 4,578,000 words (I rounded to the nearest thousand) on Spearfish Lake Tales, in 32 books and 1069 chapters!

In addition, I have 2,120,000 words in 518 chapters of 16 books in the pipeline at this point. That does not count the book I'm currently working on, or some other half-finished projects, and other odds and ends that aren't in line to be posted.

Wow! No wonder my hands hurt at times!

It takes approximately 600,000 words (or 156 chapters) to get through a year on Spearfish Lake Tales, so I should have figured my original guess was on the low side. Right at the moment, and not counting books in progress, the pipeline extends out to the middle of 2017. I've done well in recent years but I'm not going to hit my 600k goal this year unless a miracle happens. I might make it to 500k, though -- I'll have to wait and see.

I've thought for some time that if I get down to the point where I only have about two years headway that I'll have to cut back posting to only twice a week. But, there's no danger of that happening any time soon.

-- Wes
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Subject: Grand Canyon Flooding


Author:
Wexwiz543
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 13:49:39 11/10/13 Sun

Artificial flooding to create sand bars and beaches

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765641445/Feds-to-flood-Grand-Canyon-to-distribute-sediment.html
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Subject: Virus problem update


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 15:06:12 11/05/13 Tue

OK, I think everything is fixed, now.

Many thanks to Vlad the Inhaler for running diagnostics on the site to turn up a few hit counters I missed. I'm not sure if it was an actual virus or just Avast over-reacting to the hit counter. Either way, it should be taken care of.

I will probably be putting up some new -- and different -- hit counters on the main page and the current story page, possibly next week, in order to give this hassle a little time to settle down.

Hope this hasn't caused anyone any problems.

-- Wes
Subject: Stray Kitten posting starts


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 19:30:59 10/20/13 Sun

I just posted the first chapter of Stray Kitten. There are 39 chapters chapters.

Sales on Lulu for hardcovers, epubs, and PDFs have also been enabled. RTF files, mobis, epubs, and PDFs are also available from the Spearfish Lake Tales Store.

Preorders have been shipped. Very often when I put up a new story there are html bugs that don't show up when I tested it locally. I'll be up until about midnight local time, so if you notice something let me know and I'll try to get it fixed.

Also, if you want to order a copy of Stray Kitten in one of the available formats, I'll be available tonight for that until around midnight EST.

I will be going into the hospital later this week for fairly routine minor surgery. I will send the next update early, before I leave. Dan will be doing the last one of the week. He will also monitor my e-mail probably once a day to send any orders that may come in, so don't be impatient if it takes him a while to get one sent. I hope to be back for next weekend's upload.

-- Wes
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Subject: Shades of Magic Carpet


Author:
Boyd Percy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 23:30:41 11/04/13 Mon

This article is about legal prostitution in Nevada.


http://finance.yahoo.com/news/walked-nevada-brothel-expectations-were-210633832.html
Subject: Link Change Needed


Author:
Wexwiz543
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 18:09:15 11/04/13 Mon

Wes,
On the first page of VoyForms, you have a link to beyondthefarhorizon. The address of the link on the page points to beyondthefarhorizon.com It should point to beyondthefarhorizon.net if it is to point to where your stories are accessible.

Wex
Subject: Virus problem


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 14:29:14 10/30/13 Wed

I seem to have picked up a virus originating in the hit counter. That means I am going to have to go through and disable all hit counters, including the one on this page. I will be working from the newest books (Stray Kitten) through the oldest ones, and will get through them as soon as I can.

Sorry about this!

-- Wes
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Subject: Britney Spears vs. pirates


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10:55:17 10/29/13 Tue

I can't help myself for passing this along. I broke down laughing when I read it -- and it seems appropriate.

Britney Spears music used to drive away Somali pirates.

-- Wes
Subject: Otto Kretchmer, where are you?


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 12:42:30 10/28/13 Mon

I was just reading this article about oversized cruise ships when it hit me, "Wouldn't Otto Kretchmer just be drooling to see that?"

Otto, by the way, holds the all-time, open-class record for tonnage sunk by a submarine. The total, IIRC, is somewhere around the weight of one of these ships.

-- Wes
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Subject: Out of hospital


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 14:23:57 10/26/13 Sat

I'm out of the hospital and doing fine. I have to say things went a little better than I expected. Best of all, while there I came up with two possible story ideas, both of which need some thinking about before writing a word -- although I plan on getting some notes done this afternoon.

Thanks to my son-in-law Dan for taking care of filling orders while I was gone. I tried to monitor his work with my little tablet, and I think I got everything. However, if you ordered something and haven't received it yet, please e-mail me.

-- Wes
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Subject: Photopost 126


Author:
Sam
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 21:46:02 10/24/13 Thu

The photo post 126 shows some really nice autumn colors. I was wondering if the clouds of smoke are an incipient fire, or just a cranky engine burning off some oil starting up.
Replies:
Subject: Grand Canyon raft trips shutdown


Author:
Jon
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 19:32:37 10/02/13 Wed

NPR's "All Things Considered" has been running a story today (Wednesday, 2 October) about a private party that is blocked from getting to the put-in at Lee's Ferry due the shutdown of the National Parks System as part of the Federal Government shutdown.

Gentleman in the story said armed NPS Rangers are stationed at a chain & padlocked gate. The report indicated the gate is at the top of the hill, far away from the parking lot and ramp on the Colorado River.

The gentleman had pulled his son from elementary school for the 20 day trip scheduled to start today. He indicated the Rangers guarding the gate had no information about the fees paid (around $2,000) to the Park Service for this private trip. He estimated the group had around $30,000 in equipment and supplies to make the trip. IIRC, the trip had 18 people in the group.
Replies:
Subject: Keeping up with the family


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 08:58:07 10/02/13 Wed

Another column lifted from the paper:
-------------------------------------

Itís been twenty-five years or so since I had my first real computer, and boy, the changes just keep on coming.

Of course, I write a lot and was doing it before that first computer -- and Iíve done a heck of a lot since. More than that, as I get older I find myself doing a lot of reading on computer screens, too. Donít get me wrong -- I still like to sit down with a book in my hands and read the traditional way, but sometimes books are heavy and awkward to deal with. More and more, I do a lot of my dead-tree book reading while sitting at a table, just because itís more convenient, but given a choice I prefer a computer screen, at least some of the time.

Iíve also reluctantly learned to like e-book readers. For a while I had a very small PDA, about the size of a pack of cigarettes, but only about a third as thick. I could shove it in my shirt pocket and read just about anywhere despite the really tiny screen. Unfortunately, the battery went bad, and they donít make them any more, or else I would still be using it.

About five years ago, I bought a Sony e-book reader, which was actually pretty good for the time. It would read a lot of different files, and for a while I used it a lot. However, it got to the point where it had to be left on the charger for an hour for each hour I used it, and an hour was about the maximum life of a charge, so slowly I quit using it.

A year or so ago I had a special deal on a Kindle e-book reader, by Amazon, and figured it might be useful. While the Kindle had some features that are better than the Sony, I donít like the hand ergonomics of it as well, and some of the things you have to do to organize things and set them up are not intuitive. Fortunately, they have a fairly well-written manual included on the device, so when I need to do something on it I can always look it up.

While the Kindle has a pretty good battery, it does not hold the charge well if not used -- and sometimes I go weeks without using it. Itís a worse pain in the neck in that I have to plug in a cord to my main computer to charge it, and the fitting on the end of the one cord I have doesnít fit anything else. On top of that, unlike either the old PDA or the Sony, it canít be read in the dark.

When I had to go to the hospital a couple of weeks ago, I had no idea I was going to be admitted and have to stay for four days, so Iíd made no preparations. I had not used the Kindle for a while, so the battery was dead, so the first thing I had Amanda do was to charge it up and send it in. Fortunately, there were a couple books on the thing I wanted to read, and it kept me from going nuts. I mean, it was the Kindle, daytime TV or harassing the nurses, so thank goodness I had the Kindle. Daytime TV is no fun, after all!

The other thing I missed in the hospital was my computer. When I had my week-long hospital stay four years ago I had a laptop, and although cumbersome, it kept me going. But, I donít have it any more --the screen went dead -- and it just didnít seem worth the trouble of replacing it.

Now, it seems everyone else in the family has a tablet computer, and Iíve been the hold-out. It seems like the best answer to ergonomics, flexibility and usability. The heck of it is, which one to buy? Iím certainly the last one in the family to have any knowledge of the things, so I did what any sane person in my family would do -- I asked my son-in-law for a recommendation, and then ordered it.

So, we shall see what we shall see. Iím facing several more days in the hospital in a couple of weeks, and Iím not looking forward to it. Maybe the tablet will make it bearable.
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Subject: Revised Homestanders


Author:
Wexwiz543
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 22:52:07 10/12/13 Sat

Wes,
The Homestanders file on the web site is the old version. Were you planning to update it to the new revised version?

Wex
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Subject: Lear Jet 50 years old


Author:
Jim Wickman
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 11:11:42 10/07/13 Mon

Join Jennlyn and others in celebrating 50 years of Lear Jets.

Read all about it: http://www.wired.com/autopia/2013/10/lear-jet-50th/#slideid-95511
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Subject: bad link


Author:
Leo
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 19:59:04 10/10/13 Thu

quick note: in the News Box that went up tonight announcing the revised Homesteaders, that link is tossing a 404.
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Subject: Celtic Cowboy


Author:
Kirby Lambert
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 13:59:47 09/29/13 Sun

According to the "SOL: Admin celtic Cowboy passed away on September 10, 2013.

I will miss him and his wit greatly!

Kirby
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Subject: Part 3 of Three from Bradford


Author:
Skip
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 07:44:32 09/30/13 Mon

No part 3 start as of 6:30 Pacific time. Hope no serious problems.
Replies:
Subject: today's photopost (9/27)


Author:
Leo Kerr
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 20:52:20 09/27/13 Fri

it's sad to see the decline of film projection. A good film showing is excellent. Of course, most theaters now don't seem to care about presentation.

Where I work, we recently ran a 35mm print from the Fox archives. Being a archive copy, it wasn't being spliced (as shown,) and people couldn't believe that our (skilled) projectionist was able to seamlessly switch from reel 1 on projector 1 to reel 2 on projector 2.. even though they knew it was coming.

Still, while I suppose it's somewhat akin to the buggy-whip makers, there's a lot about film-making that isn't being improved by the whole "fix it in post" attitude that we're operating under now.

Ah, well, I started as a film-major in college, but changed before it was too late. I don't know that I'd have survived in this world. (And who thought I'd be a curmudgeon this young? (Maybe it's just as well I work in a museum..))

Leo
Subject: Over the fence


Author:
Jim Moore
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 03:04:55 09/27/13 Fri

I enjoyed the story. The songs reminded me of Dar Williams' "When I Was a Boy" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BE5YzRr9yPo
Subject: 5 Best cars for tall drivers


Author:
Boyd Percy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 21:14:37 09/06/13 Fri

I saw the above article on Yahoo Autos and it reminded of Shae Kirkendall and her modified car (Ford Taurus?).

The five cars listed were the Cadillac XTS, Hyundai Sonata, Hyundai Azera, Mercedes S Class and Kia Optima. They averaged from 47 down to 46.7 inches. The numbers were an average of headroom (40), legroom (45) and hiproom (55) added together and divided by three.

Maybe Shae is driving one of these cars nowadays.
Replies:
Subject: Revised "The Homestanders" now available


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 19:38:17 09/22/13 Sun

The revised The Homestanders is now available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo. And, what's more, the revised version is available on Lulu.com and the Spearfish Lake Tales Store, as well as having been posted on the web page. Although the story hasn't changed a great deal, there have been extensive revisions.

Links to all outside vendors are available on the Spearfish Lake Tales Store Page.

The information on the story goes: Sometimes you find opportunity at home. A lot of Bradford kids "take the on-ramp" when they get out of school, heading out in search of better things. But, some donít leave, and others return when their dreams have failed. Emily is one who stayed, and now her life seems dull compared to some who left. Vicky left, but came back after a disastrous marriage. Despite everything, they learn that the home town can still be a place to thrive, grow, and realize their dreams. Adventure, fun, fulfillment, excitement, respect, and love can be right outside the familiar front door, and sometimes the obvious answer is the hardest one to reach.

-- Wes
Subject: Hospital blues


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 14:46:45 09/20/13 Fri

I had a bout in the hospital earlier this week. I donít think it's appropriate to get into the gory details, but suffice to say there's a good reason why I don't care to have much to do with hospitals. Fortunately, I've been able to avoid it happening very often but I fear that as I grow older I may not be able to avoid it as much as I have in the past.

One of my favorite expressions is "it doesn't have to make sense." I find that especially true about hospitals. They are, and probably correctly, slaves to procedure and all the paperwork being in the proper place. Whether any common sense is involved can be hard to discern from the patient viewpoint.

For example, I found it hard to turn over in a hospital bed. It's not easy at home, either, and sometimes it's easier to just get up and turn around than it is to thrash around and wake up my wife. Honestly, I do it without waking up very much. So, one morning, I was in the process of turning over when I was shaken awake by a passing nurse's aide. "Are you all right?" she asked.

I told her I was fine. "Great," she said. "Now that you're awake, can I get your weight?"

Two-thirty in the morning and she was wandering the halls looking for someone to weigh! It turns out that it's hospital protocol to weigh people between two and six in the morning. So much for sleeping in. For that matter, so much for sleeping, period. I never did get back to sleep that night.

Ah, weight. Hospitals, weight and me have a long but convoluted history. During my previous hospital stay, four years ago, I lost twenty-five pounds in a week. That was the bad news -- the good news was that I managed to keep it off.

I didn't do that well this time. One day, in which I had eaten very little between weighing, I managed to gain three pounds, which had to be from the way they were pushing the IV fluids at me. I have over the years heard women griping about water weight. I know what they're talking about now!

Hospital food is certainly an excuse for losing weight. Now, it's no big secret that I'm diabetic and have been for many years. The problem is that as soon as you show up in a hospital and the word "diabetic" gets involved they automatically put you on a no-sugar, no-salt, no-flavor, no-fat, no-calorie, no-cholesterol, no-taste diet. For example, one morning I had "French toast" on the menu. What I got was two slices of bread, with no evidence of egg, or no evidence of toasting, either.

One noon the menu said "homemade macaroni and cheese." To be honest, I would give it about a two on a scale of one to ten. Now, that's actually better than it sounds since I wouldn't give any macaroni and cheese more than about a four.

To be honest, I was served a couple of meals I would have to say were pretty decent. One, for instance, was Swedish meatballs, which would have tasted pretty good had there been even a little bit of salt available. Mental note: the next time I have to go into a hospital, smuggle in a salt shaker.

Since this stay in the hospital was totally unplanned, there were other things I would have liked to have with me, but didnít. I was lost without a computer available, which was especially irritating considering how computerized hospitals have become. The only thing that saved my sanity was that I managed to remember to ask Amanda to charge up my Kindle e-book reader and send it in, and thank goodness there were a couple books on it that I had been meaning to getting around to reading, but hadn't. The alternative would have been daytime TV, and I don't think I need to say any more about that.

However, despite everything, I mostly had a good bunch of nurses and other staff members. They seemed dedicated and professional, and were mostly people I would like to have met under somewhat different circumstances.

Sooner or later I will probably have to be in a hospital again. I hope I learned something from this time.

-- Wes
Replies:
Subject: Out of hospital


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 14:04:35 09/18/13 Wed

Just got out of the hospital after four days of suffering a urinary tract infection. I may have to be hospitalized again in the foreseeable future but I won't know for sure until at least next week.

Many thanks to my son-in-law Daniel Ebbutt for making updates and keeping me abreast of e-mails. Unlike the last time I was hospitalized I didn't have a laptop with me this time and I really felt at a loss!

I figured it was enough to ask Dan to keep up with the updates, so I didn't as him to deal with the photoposts.

-- Wes
Replies:
Subject: Wes in the hospital


Author:
Daniel
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Date Posted: 16:31:39 09/16/13 Mon

Wes is currently in the hospital with a UTI, and is being kept informed of goings on. Updates will continue as normal. There may be some delays, but we'll try to keep on top of things. Wes should be back in a few days!
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Subject: A Mel Austin in the making?


Author:
Jon
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Date Posted: 09:00:51 09/17/13 Tue

New Speedway Owner Faces Long Haul

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/17/sports/autoracing/new-owner-faces-long-haul-at-a-short-track.html?pagewanted=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130917&_r=0

New York Times article from today's (17 Sep 13) on-line edition.

NY woman & family operates a Florida 3/8 mile track.
Subject: Lest We Forget


Author:
Boyd Percy
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Date Posted: 19:22:39 09/11/13 Wed

I picked up my 16 year old grandson after school today. I always ask him what, if anything, he learned in school that day. I happened to ask him if anyone mentioned 9-11 in school today. He said no. I told my wife later and we both felt sad that important events are so often forgotten. I confess I don't always celebrate national holidays and remember the reasons behind their significance. I guess many people think they're just a day they don't have to work.

Wes, thanks for your wonderful book, "Picking Up the Pieces".
Subject: Voicemail blues


Author:
Wes
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Date Posted: 12:31:21 09/03/13 Tue

Another column picked up from the paper -- Wes

----------------------------

Things have changed since I was a kid, but that's something you've heard me say before. Sometimes the change is for the good, and other times not so good. Very often we all have problems adapting to it.

One of the things that irritates me more than a little is voicemail. Now this is one of those things that it at least theoretically useful, but in practice if often becomes more trouble than it's worth.

Now, before I get too far into this, I'll have to own up to the fact that I'm not very good about using it. Often when I get a voicemail prompt I'll just hang up the phone and resolve to call later, since I'd at least like to know that the person I've left the message for has actually received it.

Sometimes -- and I suspect often -- the message doesn't get through. I'm guilty of that myself, and probably more guilty than most. I don't even check the phone for voicemails. At home, my wife is on the phone for the messages like a hawk just about the instant she comes in the door, so there's no point in my doing it. At the office, the machine is on my daugher's desk and I never check it. I don't even know how to. As far as I know she does check it, but she's not here every day, either.

One of the things I really hate about voicemail is the fact that it makes people lazy. One time a couple years ago I had a doctor's appointment after work. I showed up on time, but nobody was around the office, not even a secretary. The next day I called them up and asked what happened. "We had to cancel because of a schedule conflict," the secretary rold me. "We left a message on your home voicemail to come in two hours earlier."

"Look," I told her. "The appointment was scheduled so that I could come straight in after work. I never even went home. You people have my office number. Why didn't you use it, or did you just think I'm retired?"

She said she was sorry about that, but as it turned out she wasn't sorry enough to keep from billing me for missing the rescheduled appointment. They are still waitng for the payment . . .

In my job I have to spend a lot of time calling people for one reason or another. I have discovered that there are a lot of people that use voicemail to screen their calls. Now at home, with the many illegal robocalls we seem to be getting these days, that might not be such a bad idea. About all you have to do is hear the slight tone differential that indicates a recorded message, and with one flick of the button it's on to the next robocall. But, if there's a human being trying to get through to you with something besides a sales pitch for aluminum siding or something, things can be a little different.

But in this instance, I've gotten to the point of being irritated at the number of voicemail messages I leave with never a clue that they've been recieved. (Yes, I know I'm a sinner as well as being sinned against, but that's not the point.)

However, sometimes it works for the good. A few weeks ago I was calling around trying to find out a little critical information for a story. There were several possibilities of people who could help me out, but I got voicemail prompt after voicemail prompt, until I finally got the little bit of information I needed. About half an hour later, I got a call from one of the people I had tried to call -- she'd seen the "missed call" on her cell phone and was either curious or polite enough to call me back. Although I already had the point of information I needed and she couldn't have helped me out anyway, we wound up having an enjoyable wide-ranging discussion on several topics for ten or fifteen minutes.

The moral of this story? I don't even know if there is one. Technology is moving on and things change. I guess our manners are just going to have to catch up with them.
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Subject: A couple of "fluff pieces" from ABC news


Author:
Boyd Percy
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Date Posted: 15:55:22 09/07/13 Sat

As reported on Good Morning America, a former Marine stopped three bullies from beating up on a small boy. He wound up receiving a beating instead that required multiple stitches. He didn't fare as well as Brenda Hodunk and her friend Jason Bailey did in "Andromeda Chained".

While Americans flock to Europe for vacations, some Europeans like to come to the American desert southwest for "heat" vacations to places like Death Valley and The Wave. The National Park Service only allots 7300 day passes per year to hike the 5 or 6 mile route of The Wave. I guess Scooter could handle that hike even with her bum knees.
Subject: The Emerald Mile: fastest boat ride through the Grand Canyon


Author:
Brian Jones
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Date Posted: 06:42:05 09/05/13 Thu

Greetings

Today I came across a feature on the BBC web site about "The Emerald Mile: fastest boat ride through the Grand Canyon".

When 30 years ago three adventurous river guides in a wooden boat traversed all 277 miles in just over 36 hours.

In the summer of 1983 the authorities released vast amounts of water into the Colorado River to relieve the pressure on Arizona's Glen Canyon dam.

To see some film of the adventure the link is http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23845200#

Brian
Subject: spearfishlaketales nameserver problems


Author:
Luvirini
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Date Posted: 05:52:08 08/28/13 Wed

Been having problems on and off problems connecting to spearfishlaketales for the last month or so.

Cannot get name server reply and then it works again after a while.

Seems like there is some sort of on and off name server problem.

Firefox says:
---
Server not found

Firefox can't find the server at www.spearfishlaketales.com.
---

And nameserver says:
----
> www.spearfishlaketales.com
Server: google-public-dns-a.google.com
Address: 8.8.8.8

DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
*** Request to google-public-dns-a.google.com timed-out
---

Whereas the namseserver lookup itself seems to work fine for other places:

> www.xkcd.com
Server: google-public-dns-a.google.com
Address: 8.8.8.8

Non-authoritative answer:
Name: xkcd.com
Address: 107.6.106.82
Aliases: www.xkcd.com

----
The same time out happens for spearfishlake tales using other nameservers.

> www.spearfishlaketales.com
Server: ns1.clinet.fi
Address: 194.100.0.1

DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
*** Request to ns1.clinet.fi timed-out
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Subject: Jon and Tanisha alma mater in the news


Author:
Robert Moskowitz
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Date Posted: 09:48:03 08/23/13 Fri

All you engineers on the forum check this out:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=98nNpzE6gIs

Freshman convocation at Georgia Tech
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Subject: Rocinante?


Author:
Greg B.
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Date Posted: 18:25:58 08/24/13 Sat

I clicked this link out of curiosity, and was surprised to find it was about a Cessna 140. You never know...
http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/couple-sells-vintage-1946-airplane-garage-sale-165641527.html
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Subject: Photoposts


Author:
Sam
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Date Posted: 16:31:56 08/17/13 Sat

Hi, Wes, what camera equipment do you use for your photos?
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Subject: 2 rafting death on the Ocoee river in Tenn.


Author:
Arthur Keith
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Date Posted: 21:08:10 08/25/13 Sun

Just saw this message on the computer. Here is the webpage.
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/rafting-deaths-days-ocoee-river-tenn-20063094
Thought that it may be interesting with the earlier story about rafting.
Subject: Three From Bradford posting begins


Author:
Wes
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Date Posted: 20:00:56 08/25/13 Sun

I just posted the first chapter of Three From Bradford. There are 24 chapters chapters spread across the three short novels. Dodging Mom has twelve, Peeking Over The Fence has three, and With A Little Help has nine.

Sales on Lulu for hardcovers, epubs, and PDFs have also been enabled. RTF files, mobis, epubs, and PDFs are also available from the Spearfish Lake Tales Store.

Preorders have been shipped. Very often when I put up a new story there are html bugs that don't show up when I tested it locally. I'll be up until about midnight local time, so if you notice something let me know and I'll try to get it fixed.

Also, if you want to order a copy of Three From Bradford in one of the available formats, I'll be available.

-- Wes
Subject: starting Late


Author:
Gil
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Date Posted: 22:31:51 08/22/13 Thu

I read a lot on SoL and when a story finishes is when I rate it. I sometimes make comments to the author during the posting, more to encourage then criticize. Since this story has finished, its time to comment. I enjoyed it very much, as I usually do with any of Wes' work. Looking forward to the time we pick the Gravengoods up again. Thanks for the entertainment, Wes it is always enjoyable.
Subject: Thanks


Author:
The Mage
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Date Posted: 16:44:33 08/08/13 Thu

Greetings Wes,

I just want say THANKS for the many, many hours of fine reading that you provide!

With my poor health your stories are a Godsend!

Thanks again,

The Mage
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Subject: New book, "Three From Bradford" now available for preorder


Author:
Wes
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Date Posted: 19:39:55 08/18/13 Sun

The next book from Spearfish Lake Tales, Three From Bradford, is now available for preorder. This is a little different, in that it's three shorter novels under one cover.

Here's the summary:

Dodging Mom: Racially exotic Sonja Lambert holds dual citizenship. Her mother Zivah, an Israeli Army officer, shows up expecting Sonja to do her duty in the Israeli army. Sonja, an American at heart, has no choice but to hide with her boyfriend Scott Tyler's family. It's not be best circumstances for a romance, but when things get moving quickly things take some unexpected turns!

Peeking Over the Fence: At the Bradford Class of 1988 tenth reunion Scott and Sonja Tyler are surprised to meet a beautiful, personable blonde woman, Dr. Eve McClellan -- previously named Denis, one of the most disliked boys in the class. The upcoming Halloween party is a perfectly good excuse to explore a little of what it's like on the other side of the gender fence.

With A Little Help: Pat McDonald is headed for the Gulf War in 1990 when he meets a classmate, Cindy Yeager, who has broken up with her former boyfriend, Russ Bradstreet; it turns into a one-night stand. Cindy winds up going back to Russ, and years later they ask Pat to help them out at time of intense personal sorrow. He agrees, with long and profound consequences.

There are a total of twenty-four chapters among the three books.

You can preorder Three From Bradford for as little as $19.99 through the Spearfish Lake Tales Store or through the web page. Preorders will be sent sometime on the afternoon of August 25, Eastern Standard Time.

-- Wes
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Subject: www.spearfishlaketales.com down


Author:
Chris M
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Date Posted: 08:32:05 08/16/13 Fri

Today www.spearfishlaketales.com is down, with firefox saying that it can't find the server. Removing the www however seems to work fine though?
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Subject: Cosplay on Syfy


Author:
Boyd Percy
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Date Posted: 13:00:08 08/13/13 Tue

As you may remember in "Cattail", one of the most memorable characters Wes Boyd has created is Bonnie Smith, the mother of Catalina Bishop, nee Smith. Bonnie likes to attend Comic Cons and indulge in cosplay. Cosplay is dressing up as fictional characters from Japanese anime and magma and other fantasy genres. Premiering tonight, August 13,2013 at 10:30 pm E.T. on the Syfy Channel is a new reality series about a group of people who are involved in cosplay and what they go through to indulge their fantasies.

By the way, Wes, in one of your future stories, maybe Bonnie Smith could run into Susan McMahon and her friend Mizuki in some type of cosplay activity.
Subject: Handcuffs, Anyone?


Author:
Boyd Percy
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Date Posted: 22:49:57 08/05/13 Mon

I just read an article on Yahoo about a married couple who spent 48 hours handcuffed together. Apparently, they survived and had positive experiences from it. Of course, the article made me think of Spearfish Lake Tales and all the characters who were handcuffed. Maybe the next time Wes gets out the Soleils, he can cuff them to a couple and see how they get along.
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Subject: Better than Robert . . .


Author:
Wes
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Date Posted: 00:14:38 08/04/13 Sun

It's after Midnight, it's been a long day and there's a good reason I have to be up for another hour. (It involves towels in the dryer, if you must know.)

This evening my wife and I drove up to a small speedway we particularly enjoy going to on nice warm summer Saturday evenings. Though the fields in the various heats and features were mostly on the smallish side, only one race was a real yawner. I took a camera with me, and for a while the light was just fantastic, so I got some good photos. Not a bad way to spend an evening.

Usually when my wife and I go somewhere we take her car. Now, she's one of those people who has to have the radio going before they start the vehicle. I'm not; driving time is thinking time for me, and I find most radio rather distracting at best. I can stand a little light background music so long as there are no words in English to bother me, so my car radio will go months between being turned on.

Unfortunately, my wife likes to listen to public radio, and not the kind of public radio stations that play a lot of classical music, either. Sometimes the news feature stories are mildly interesting but I'd rather not hear them. But we made it to the track not much the worse for wear. Also unfortunately, we got to the track just before "Prairie Home Companion" came on. That show is an exception to my rule, but my wife detests it. Go figure.

The races went a little late, and it was just before eleven when we got heading home, to a particularly stupid comedy cut coming over the speaker. We couldn't have been more than a couple miles from the track when the next show came on: a rebroadcast of today's BBC World Program, which even my English son-in-law refers to as being "normally a bit dry" in true British understatement. The announcer started out, "In this hour we will examine the effects that the re-election of Robert Mugabe will have in Rhodesia . . ."

Now, I'm sure that somewhere in the listening range of the radio station there must have been someone who would be mildly interested in that topic, but I'd bet good money that wouldn't include anyone driving home from a rather good short-track race in rural Michigan. There are limits, and Robert Mugabe is well beyond them. I started fiddling with the radio, and finally found the "seek" button. The first good station I came to had some pretty good music on it, although I find it difficult to describe. Light, but with a good beat, and somehow interesting; the singing was odd but totally unintelligible.

"Whatís this?" my wife asked.

"Beats me," I said. "But it beats hell out of Robert Mugabe." We listened to the next couple cuts, one of which wasn't bad, sort of putting me in mind of old-time British Invasion music, and one that had an obnoxious, heavy beat and someone of indeterminate sex yowling like a cat in heat. Finally, the station identifier came on, a whispered "Alternative" with lots of reverb. That was it: an alternative rock station. I didn't even know we had one of them around here.

Now, this wouldn't be my normal listening choice, but I was tired and a little light classical, if I could have found it, would probably have put me to sleep. It turned out that maybe one out of five cuts was pretty interesting, if not something I would listen to on a regular basis. Most of the rest were really not my cup of tea. Every now and then there would be something so obnoxious that I would have been tempted to hit the "seek" button again, except that every time I started to consider it, the words "Robert Mugabe" came to mind and I would decide to endure to the next tune.

But the neat thing was there was only about one two-minute block of commercials in the hour drive home, and believe me, radio commercials can send my finger to the "seek" button just about more quickly than anything else. (And, for those not familiar with Public Radio, the "non-commercials" they have are often worse than the regular kind.) These commercials, well, they were hard to even tell they were commercials at first.

So, all in all an interesting experience, and the right music to keep me awake on a long drive. Besides, once in a while it's probably good to get out of our comfort zones and see what else might be out there. I might even tune into the station again sometime, perhaps on another trip home from a race. After all, it's a safe bet that the words "Robert Mugabe" will never be mentioned . . .

The dryer ought to be done by now and there's a pillow calling me.

-- Wes
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Subject: Revised "Runner's Moon" now available


Author:
Wes
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Date Posted: 18:10:27 07/27/13 Sat

The revised Runner's Moon is now available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and soon on Kobo too! And, what's more, the revised version is available on Lulu.com and the Spearfish Lake Tales Store, as well as having been posted on the web page. Although the story hasn't changed a great deal, there have been extensive revisions.

Links to all of outside vendors are available on the Spearfish Lake Tales Store Page.

The information on the story goes: Two kids, a dream, and acres of dogs . . . Josh and Tiffany want to become dogsled racers. They just have to grow up first Ė and learn about what theyíre doing along the way.

Runner's Moon
is a follow-on to Busted Axle Road, focusing on Josh and Tiffanyís adventures. It's not necessary to have read Busted Axle Road first.

This completes the revisions of the oldest books, a project that's seriously been under way for about three years. These were first posted without outside editing, and you can sure see the difference in the revised versions! The re-edit project will now turn to some newer books. The Homestanders should be along pretty soon, and River Rat after that. Several others are in the works, but since they had outside editing assistance, the changes aren't as extensive.

-- Wes
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Subject: Site down


Author:
Wes
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Date Posted: 10:16:54 08/02/13 Fri

The Spearfishlaketales.com hosting provider is having some problems with a data link. It's down now, but I hope it will be back up shortly.

-- Wes
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