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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: marlin.com and SPL internet services


Author:
byte mangler
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Date Posted: 21:08:43 07/19/13 Fri

I'm interested in more on this subject. IIRC marlin.com started offering DSL in the early days when the local phone co was in the process of selling itself out to a conglomerate (Verizon?). Not sure how Mark was offering DSL in the area unless he had an agreement with the telco or electric utility to use their poles (and there wasn't a state regulatory agency getting in the way). Might this have been 'naked DSL' (independent of the voice connection)? I know that VZ was slow to make DSL available in low density rural areas.

Basic DSL works well when the distance between the central office equipment and the subscriber is less than 10000-15000 feet [the greater the distance, the slower the service] but DSLAM units concentrate a number of subscriber lines and use a high speed link to the CO, so that the critical parameter is the distance between the DSLAM and the subscriber.

But there's another major player in the internet service business - the CATV outfits (Time Warner, Comcast, others). Since most of Spearfish Lake is a fairly densely populated area [as evidenced by the high school, the local businesses, and a police dept], most cable companies would have promoted their internet service [again, there have been exceptions - CATV franchises that did not offer internet, but the big players were into the internet as well as the TV channels].

From my own experience, we used to live in a quite rural area. TW had the cable franchise for the town, but did not serve all areas if the population density along a road was not enough to make it worthwhile. Neighboring towns had VZ phone service, and they were clearly not interested in deploying DSL outside of densely populated areas. We were fortunate in having a forward looking independent telco that did deploy DSL (complete with DSLAM units that significantly extended the range of DSL.
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Subject: Lucille Bogan


Author:
Steve A
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Date Posted: 21:15:24 07/28/13 Sun

Lucille Bogan, The singer whose "Shave Them Dry" has been referred to many times in in Spearfish Lake Tales has been discovered by Reddit (a board similar to what DIGG was)
link http://redd.it/1j7ovs I am not linking to the song on YouTube because the rules are keep it clean.
Subject: Dr. Hartwell-Harris would be happy...


Author:
Mikey
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Date Posted: 01:10:51 07/28/13 Sun

See the article at http://www.nbcnews.com/business/pounds-prejudice-jane-austen-graces-10-pound-banknote-6C10732364
Subject: Railroads and Snowplow Extra


Author:
Jon
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Date Posted: 14:12:59 07/25/13 Thu

This past weekend the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, IL held their "Diesel Days" which includes a parade of operating diesel locomotives.

YouTube has: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKhMHMcr41A

The parade of power includes:

Illinois Terminal #1605 & Chicago & North Western #4160, both are EMD GP-7. The C&SL "Burlington" is a GP-7.

US Army 8537, the GE45 Tonner is very similar to the C&SL "Chessie".

Milwaukee Road #760, the first Fairbanks-Morse locomotive produced and powered with a Fairbanks-Morse OP (opposed piston) engine, also used in marine applications. The OP engine was used in most WWII US Navy submarines.

CB&Q 9255, an EMD SW-7 is similar to the C&SL "Milwaukee". The SW-7 was a later version of the NW-2 with more horsepower.

Any number of "Covered Wagons" in various models. Of note is Chicago & North Western #411, the most original of the F-units in the video. #411 has diesel electrical generators to provide power (lighting) to the commuter cars. Most of the other "covered wagons" were repowered (upgraded) to newer prime movers such as BN-1, BN-2 & BN-3.

Nekoosa Paper #14, an ALCO S-1, the same model as the Lordston Northern #451.
Subject: Take advantage of summer


Author:
Wes
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Date Posted: 14:27:53 06/05/13 Wed

Another column picked up from the paper that readers might enjoy:

----------

"School's out for the summer," Alice Cooper sang a good many years ago. You can still hear it on rock oldies stations, I guess, although I don't listen to them any more. It reminds me of a time too far gone by.

But school is out for the summer, and I suppose there are a lot of kids relieved about it.

I know I was, lo those many years ago. It meant hanging out at the lake and a lot of other fun things. School getting out for the summer was one thing to look forward to over the many slow, bleak months of winter when my spirit was confined to a dull classroom. Then, summer went past all too quickly. Some things never change.

Back then, summer was a time to be outside, to have fun, to explore on my bike, go swimming with friends. This was in the days before home air conditioning was common, and it could get awfully uncomfortable inside; it could be a lot cooler to be in the shade outside with the breeze blowing.

I'll have to admit there's a certain amount of selectivity in my memories of those days -- I probably don't have as much memory of things that weren't as much fun.

Up until the time I was in the middle of high school, my grandparents had a house near ours, and they had an acre and a half or two acres or so of lawn. My folks had about as much, and some of it on a steep hill. Being young and available, I was detailed to mow all of it -- with a push mower. Let's just say it wasn't a relaxing process of sitting in the seat and steering. It took days to do it all, and if I got the least bit lazy by reading or spending time at the lake the lawns would be ready to start over again by the time I got them done. That may have something to do with the fact that I still hate mowing lawns. As far as I'm concerned, they're inexorable and evil.

Then there were the chickens. My grandparents kept several hundred of them, and guess who got to feed them and collect the eggs? Worse, chickens produce more manure than they do eggs, at least as far as my memory goes, and that got to be a rather smelly pain in the neck to deal with, too. As a result, I can occasionally manage to eat eggs, but my tolerance for eating chicken is still very limited, mostly because we had a lot of it.

All in all, I didn't lack much for things to do in the summer. I suppose there were times when I was bored and didn't know what to do, but there weren't many of them. But even with all that, I hardly looked forward with anticipation to going back to school in the fall. All the yard work and chores was still vastly preferable to sitting in a dull classroom.

Now, all this is leading up to a point, and that is that times must have changed somewhere along the way. I know that when I get out and drive around town in the summer, I hardly ever see kids, even using the playgrounds at the parks. They're empty on a nice summer afternoon. Where are the kids? Good question -- I have to assume that they're inside, sitting next to the air conditioner, playing video games or something.

Now, I know that's not always the case. There are at least a few kids that are mowing lawns, doing chores around the place and whatnot, or have summer jobs or something -- it's just that I don't seem to see them.

There are organized summer recreation activities, especially for the younger kids -- but on the odd occasion I've checked them out over the years, there doesn't seem to be a lot of interest there, either. The buses to the pool we used to have in this town are long gone, due to lack of participation.

Like I said, times have to have changed. Maybe it's for the good -- but I doubt it. Kids, get out and play a little. It's summer! Don't let it go to waste! Fall and school comes all too soon!
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Subject: Starting Late.


Author:
Arthur Keith
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Date Posted: 20:49:02 07/21/13 Sun

I just looked at your new chapter, chapter 7, that was posted on the web site. It was the same as chapter 6. Just a mistake, I am certain.
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Subject: Starting Late posting begins


Author:
Wes
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Date Posted: 20:38:44 07/07/13 Sun

I just posted the first chapter of Starting Late. There are 21 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 Starting Late in one of the available formats, I'll be available.

-- Wes
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Subject: Another Absent Friend Story


Author:
Boyd Percy
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Date Posted: 02:41:15 07/20/13 Sat

The US Navy's first black pilot, Jesse Brown, who was shot down over the Chosin Reservoir in 1950, hasn't been forgotten by his wing man. The Christian Science Monitor reports a group of vets are finally able to return to North Korea to try and recover Brown's body. I wish them success since Brown's 86 year old widow is still alive and waiting.
Subject: Winchester Harbor posting starts


Author:
Wes
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Date Posted: 20:49:41 04/14/13 Sun

I just posted the first chapter of Winchester Harbor. There are 36 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. A couple of customers reported a problem with the epub being unable to open, and it may have been a garbled file -- I don't know. I shipped all a revised epub file to all those who ordered the e-book downloads, and have not yet had any bug reports back about it. The revised file has been placed in the pack download file. If there are any more problems, be sure and let me know and I will do my best to make it right.

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 Winchester Harbor in one of the available formats, I'll be available.

Incidentally, I'm currently in the closing chapters of the first draft of the fourth book in this new series. It's gone very well this weekend. There are going to be plenty of twists and turns to come in this series!

-- Wes
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Subject: Mark Gravengood's Mother


Author:
Dang Fool
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Date Posted: 11:20:37 07/12/13 Fri

Facing the Storm, Chapter 1:

"Mark's mother had died just before the holiday"

I suppose since this is from Candice's POV, she got it wrong. Is the timing better for it to be Larry's funeral, not Rose?
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Subject: More Internet trouble


Author:
Wes
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Date Posted: 12:01:25 07/10/13 Wed

I'm having trouble once again with the so-called "high speed" internet at home. The hardware involved from the server company is old and due for replacement, so for now it limps along haltingly when it's working at all. That means that I'm restricted to a very slow dial-up connection, and since we have only one phone line I don't want to tie it up more than necessary.

That means I'm not on-line at home all the time and sometimes won't be very quick to reply to e-mails or orders. Unless it's urgent, I will have to make uploads from my office, which does have reliable high-speed. But, it also means that there may be several hours delay before I can make a response or fill an order.

I hope this problem clears up soon but there's no way of telling.

-- Wes
Subject: Photo Post of July 4th


Author:
Boyd Percy
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Date Posted: 21:28:55 07/04/13 Thu

Very nice photograph. This is how I picture the Bradford Speedway that Mel Austin built.
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Subject: New book -- Starting Late -- now available for preorder


Author:
Wes
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Date Posted: 20:16:11 06/30/13 Sun

The next book from Spearfish Lake Tales, Starting Late, is now available for preorder. Here's the summary:

The single mother of two young teenage girls is killed in a strange auto accident and the only family members able to keep them out of a foster home are Mark and Jackie Gravengood, near-retirement-age grand uncle and aunt, who never had kids of their own. The instant family has two very different girls, one big, athletic, and outgoing, the other small, shy, introverted, and studious. Mark and Jackie have to learn about kids, and the two girls have to learn about country and small-town living while everyone has to go through a difficult time in their lives.

Over the years several people have suggested a story that brings us up to date with Mark and Jackie. Their adventures are not yet over; though they're pushing sixty, they're got interesting times ahead of them. This book is twenty-one chapters.

You can preorder Starting Late for as little as $19.99 through the Spearfish Lake Tales Store at or through the web page. Preorders will be sent sometime on the afternoon of April 14, Eastern Standard Time.

-- Wes
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Subject: A Horse, of Course


Author:
Wes
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Date Posted: 19:35:02 06/25/13 Tue

A work friend of my wife has been bugging us for a couple of years to go take in one of her daughter's 4-H horse shows. As the girl is about to get aged out of 4-H we knew it would have to be this summer or not at all, but both my wife and I have been dragging our feet a little. But, last weekend we decided we'd better show up for a couple hours. We wound up sitting there watching and taking a few photos for five hours, and it was a lot more interesting than we thought it would be.

See, when I was a kid my mother had a bad allergy to horses. While I knew kids that had them I could never spend any time with them, much though I wanted to. So, I never got a chance to learn much about horses, which was a shame, and something I've never been able to make up. I've been able to ride a very little bit over the years, a dozen times at the most and then long, long ago, but would have liked to do more.

That much said, while I don't know much about horses, I can tell rough from smooth, confident from tentative. And, there was considerable esthetic pleasure in just looking at the horses and watching the kids, even though I knew none of them except for Katie, the daughter of my wife's work friend.

I don't normally like to post multiple photos of an event on PhotoPost, but I'm going to this week. The first photo, the one up tonight, is of one of the horses that impressed me the most. I seem to recall someone telling me the horse's name was Reggie, but I don't remember the name of the rider. The thing that made it interesting is that Reggie is a Percheron, a draft horse, the kind of horse you'd expect to see dragging a plow in Amish country, a genetic cousin to the Budweiser Clydesdales. Now, a Percheron is not what you normally think of as a show horse -- it's not fast and it's not agile. But Reggie just exudes power, which is a beauty all its own, and the horse has an unexplainable grace as a result. Reggie and his young rider make a great pair. Both rider and horse appear to be very well trained, and showed it by taking a number of trophies and ribbons, even in classes where speed and agility are at a premium. Watching the two of them barrel racing was an awesome sight!

In one of the classes -- don't ask me which one -- I was told the horses were graded by which horse the judges would most like to ride. I can't speak for the judges, but if I was one of them Reggie would have been my choice!

Friday's PhotoPost will be of another horse that impressed me a lot. I don't have a name for the rider or the horse, but I was told it was an Arabian. It took me a while to realize that he reminded me of a merry-go-round pony. The horse just looked like he was built for style and class; it had an attitude that said it knew it was pretty and was proud of it -- and wanted to show off what it was made of. He was fast and agile, and it was a joy to watch him give a spirited ride, head and tail held high, his mane flashing, clearly enjoying himself and making his rider enjoy the ride. The photo is not the best I've ever taken but is the best I got of this horse at the show, and it still shows some of the horse's spirit, in spite of a proportionately bigger rider than Reggie had to deal with.

The final photo -- next Monday's -- will be of our host's daughter Katie and her horse, Vidalia. Katie is a big girl, not much shorter than I am, but Vidalia is a big horse. Vidalia is very well trained, if not the fastest horse on the lot -- but Katie and Vidalia clearly understand each other. They managed a couple of trophies and several ribbons.

All in all it was a great afternoon when I wasn't expecting much of anything. No promises, but there might be a 4-H horse show in a Spearfish Lake Tales story someday.

-- Wes
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Subject: What hath God wrought?


Author:
Wes
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Date Posted: 14:15:11 06/19/13 Wed

Another column picked up from the paper

I happened to notice the other day that the world's last telegraph system will be decommissioned in the next few days. It's in India.

Wow.

To be honest, I thought the telegraph was dead of old age already, in this world of worldwide communication, satellites, cell phones, the internet, and many other things I could name. Rest in peace, Samuel F. B. Morse. Your invention served us well, and was the first true conqueror of time and distance.

With a few minor exceptions, until Morse invented the telegraph in the 1840s, the fastest way a message could get from one place to another was a courier on horseback. The telegraph changed all that. At first, it only connected Washington and Baltimore, but the advantages of faster communication soon had telegraph wires strung all over the country, then all over the world. The first unsuccessful transAtlantic cable was in the early 1860s; by the 1880s there was a world wide web (and yes, I'm using that term intentionally) of telegraph cables that brought the four corners of the earth within near-instantaneous communication with each other.

For the most part, they old telegraph system used dot-dash Morse code (yes, he invented it too.) Radio came along after the turn of the century, and it used dot-dash too. For about a hundred years or a little more, if an important message to be sent, it had to be sent by Morse code, in all caps: ATLANTA IS OURS AND FAIRLY WON, comes to mind, as does AIR RAID PEARL HARBOR THIS IS NO DRILL, and perhaps the most famous of all, SOS CQD TITANIC WE ARE SINKING FAST, the dots and dashes that sent the Carpathia racing through the night to the stricken ship.

But the dots and dashes were the backbone of communication in many other ways. Being something of a train buff, I have mental picture of an operator sitting in a train station somewhere working the key and listening to the clicks of dots and dashes, like a young Thomas A. Edison did not far from here a hundred and fifty years ago. When I was quite young, I remember being in a railroad station seeing the stationmaster working a telegraph to control train movements, just exactly the same thing, little changed from the days of the young Edison.

There used to be commercial radio companies that transmitted messages in Morse code, usually over oceans or long distances, much like telegraph companies did on land.

All gone now, and mostly forgotten, at that.

Back when I was younger, amateur radio operators needed to know how to use Morse code, and be fairly proficient with it to be able to operate with the higher level of licenses. I don't know when that changed, but as far as I know Morse code is no longer required and rarely used even there, although a Morse code signal can get through in conditions when more complex signals may be too garbled. Aviation radio beacon identifiers are still in Morse code, the only place it is used today, except for amateur enthusiasts.

The US Coast Guard no longer monitors the emergency frequencies for Morse code transmissions. In the United States the final commercial CW transmission was on July 12, 1999, signing off with Samuel Morse's original 1844 message, "What hath God wrought."

What God -- and the telegraph, and Samuel Morse wrought was a much smaller world. It was the first step toward the internet, to being able to pull your cell phone out of your pocket and call anywhere in the world with it. The original system may be gone, but it deserves to be honored.
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Subject: Revised Snowplow Extra now available


Author:
Wes
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Date Posted: 16:30:00 06/15/13 Sat

It has taken a while, but the revised Snowplow Extra is now available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and now Kobo too! And, what's more, the revised version is available on Lulu.com and the Spearfish Lake Tales Store. Although the story hasn't changed a great deal, there have been extensive revisions.

These files contain both the glossary and map to help make the book a little easier to follow.

In the middle of the worst snowstorm of the decade, the whole town was burning down. The only hope lay on two rusty steel rails . . .

Nonstop action and adventure – no sex or violence as railroad workers and firemen struggle against fire, storm, and failing equipment to relieve an isolated northwoods town.

If you're a train buff, you'll love this one! It's a rare piece of railroad fiction for this day and age, a story of railroad workers and volunteer firemen raising to the challenge of a huge, stubborn fire in tough conditions. Bud Ellsberg is the owner of the struggling Camden and Spearfish Lake, a short-line railroad in the north woods. When a huge fire breaks out in a neighboring town, the railroad proves to be the only lifeline for the town.


One more book to go -- Runner's Moon -- and the revisions of the oldest books will be completed. These were first posted without outside editing. I hope to have it reposted soon.

-- Wes
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Subject: Windmill Island


Author:
Boyd Percy
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Date Posted: 16:06:02 06/19/13 Wed

Recently in my reading, I came across a mention of Windmill Island in Holland, Michigan. I later found an article with a picture of a 240 year old Dutch windmill. In Hannegan's Cove one of Clark Construction's projects was building a house with English windmill to generate electricity on a small island called Windmill Island. I wonder if the windmill in Wes' book bears any resemblance to the real one in Holland, Michigan.
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Subject: How are small town papers doing?


Author:
ralph058
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Date Posted: 09:15:52 05/31/13 Fri

I've been of the opinion that the daily newspaper is dead, they just don't know it, yet. When I first moved to Chicago nine years ago, well over half the people on the morning and afternoon commute had newspapers. The last few times I've ridden during the rush hour, no one did.

The Tribe and Sun-Times have been in trouble here and there and now this:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-0531-sun-times-photographer-layoffs-20130531,0,4385137.story

With the Spearfish Lake paper being central to much of the Spearfish Lake story line and Wes' job, I can't help but wonder how the weeklies are doing.

They are close to my heart. My mother was a linotype operator on a weekly when I was in high school. I could identify with the paper rush in the stories.

Ralph
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Subject: SLT books now available on Kobo


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 16:19:04 06/15/13 Sat

The same Spearfish Lake Tales books that have been available on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble are now available on Kobo!

The Kobo e-readers are not real common in the US, but have a strong following elsewhere in the world. However, they use the same epub files that you would find at Lulu.com and Barnes and Noble, as well as those available from the Spearfish Lake Tales Store.

You can go to the Spearfish Lake Tales Store and click on the book you are interested in; you'll find links to several where the books are available, including those on Kobo, which are about half of the total list.

Incidentally, while I was going through and updating all the store pages involved -- and there are a bunch -- I discovered that I hadn't lowered the prices on Lulu epubs and pdfs on several recent books. That's been done, now.

-- Wes
Subject: Typo in Chapter 27


Author:
Roman
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Date Posted: 01:22:12 06/15/13 Sat

I believe that there is a typo in Chapter 27. The line is:

"...Since I’m an oldie, I’m always going to be out on some damn flattop somewhere.”

I believe that "oldie" should be "ordie" as it is stated in the previous chapter that Mike is an Aviation Ordnanceman on the Ranger.

I have read everything on the site, and I think that this is the first potential typo I have seen. I guess newspapermen know how to do it right!
Subject: Praise


Author:
Chris M
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Date Posted: 10:50:21 06/14/13 Fri

Over the past 3-4 days I've read all of "Icewater and the Alien", "Winter Layoff" and everything so far published of "Winchester Harbour".

I've been following your writing on StoriesOnline since you started posting "Snowplow Extra" there, and I think I've read every single one since. I've definitely enjoyed all of them - the characters are so real that you almost immediately care for and about them - it's really, really great reading.

Once I realised that it had been a while since "Susan" finished without anything new appearing I realised that I would have to bite the bullet and read here. This was suggested to me before, at least as far back as when "Andromeda Chained" concluded at SoL, but I knew that I'd basically sit and read non-stop. I find it difficult to put down even above average literature, and your work is far above that standard, so I knew I wouldn't have time.

So, this is a belated thank you for all you've written. I'm now going to try and catch up on some of life while waiting for the next installment.
Subject: Melancholy


Author:
The Mage
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Date Posted: 00:45:55 06/14/13 Fri

Wow! You made me think of all those that I have lost. I'm sitting here remembering the services of my friends and relatives and wiping my eyes over and over again. I really hope that the next chapter moves us beyond this melancholy.

Good writing though.

Thanks Wes
Subject: Astronomy News


Author:
Boyd Percy
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Date Posted: 16:30:48 05/26/13 Sun

I just read that tonight, Sunday, May 26th after sunset that three planets: Mercury, Venus and Jupiter will be visible in the west forming a triangle. Sure wish I lived in the country where I could gaze at them without too much trouble. I guess Mark up in Spearfish Lake will be out in his observatory.
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Subject: U.S.S. Morton


Author:
Boyd Percy
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Date Posted: 03:10:27 05/20/13 Mon

I love how things fit together so well in Wes' stories. In Absent Friends, the ship that rescues Binh Ky from a sinking boat in the Western Pacific in 1975 is the Morton. Just a few years later, Jake Lewis, the hero of Winchester Harbor is a sailor abroad the same ship.
Subject: Today's update


Author:
Joe Williams
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Date Posted: 21:24:25 05/16/13 Thu

Wes, tonight's update for chapter 15 isn't showing in the side bar on the left. You can reach it by the forward to next chapter at the bottom of chapter 14.

Joe
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Subject: Jet lag from Germany to Spearfish Lakes


Author:
Peter McMillan
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Date Posted: 19:07:21 05/15/13 Wed

I am reading "Susan" for the first time. There is some comment about her difficulty to US time over German time.

As someone who, for many years travelled frequently between London and Raleigh, NC, and from Darien, CT and Paris, the difficulty is getting up in Europe, and not in the US. Germany is 6 of 7 hours AHEAD of SFL, so the problem in the US is trying to find somewhere serving breakfast at 4.00 am, while in Europe it is hell getting into the office by 10.00.

In her first week, getting up at 4:00 to go the Chandler Lake would not be a problem.
Subject: May 7th Photo Post


Author:
Jim Scott
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Date Posted: 21:09:42 05/07/13 Tue

Today's photo shows a short track from the starter's stand but it also shows a figure-8 configuration in the infield. I hope they don't run that type of racing any more. I saw just one such race at Beach Bend Park in Bowling Green Kentucky in the early 1960's and don't want to see another. It is not auto racing but is instead a dangerously high speed demolition derby driven by fools. Any wrecks at the center crossing usually totals one or more cars and someone takes a trip in a ambulance if he survives. I do not understand how a track can get insurance that would cover such an event.

Jim
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Subject: Dwarf Classic Cars


Author:
Boyd Percy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 00:57:54 05/04/13 Sat

The linked article reminded me of Mel Austin and his friends and the MMSA midget racers.



http://autos.yahoo.com/blogs/motoramic/meet-america-biggest-creator-dwarf-classic-cars-211745795.html
Subject: April 19th Photo Post


Author:
Boyd Percy
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Date Posted: 02:48:13 04/20/13 Sat

The April 19th Photo Post is a photo of The Tiger's Den Steak House. I looked it up and found it was located in Hudson which is where Wes' newspaper is located. The mascot of Hudson Area HS is a tiger.

By the way, Hudson HS has recently won its fifth straight state championship in wrestling.
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Subject: Help in time of need


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 15:11:05 04/16/13 Tue

I had another routine column for the paper already written before the Boston Marathon bombing Monday, but this morning I thought it would be better to address current events. Even though this column is written to a local audience, I think it carries thoughts for us all.

-- Wes

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


I just watched part of the Tuesday morning news conference in Boston regarding the bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday. It’s pretty clear to me that no one in authority knows anything yet about the perpetrator of the bombing, or their motives, and I refuse to speculate about it.

But I do have to note one thing I noticed in the many replays of the incident I’ve seen on television: when the bombs went off and people were hurt and dying, there were a great many people who turned to help the injured in any way they could. It struck me as being similar to white blood cells racing to the scene of an infection.

It seems likely that many people in the end will wind up owning their lives to the selfless acts of others -- emergency personnel, security personnel, of course, but bystanders, fans, and even competitors.

Back at the time of the World Trade Center, I made the comment that it had been a great act of terror -- but that it was overshadowed by the thousands of acts of kindness and heroism. The same thing holds true for what happened in Boston on Monday.

We in Hudson are a long way from Boston and the Boston Marathon. Yet, there are several people in this community who have run in that event in years past, so there is some degree of connection between here and there. We at the the paper have been able to share the joy of our fellow citizens of the community at participating in the event, where even finishing is a great personal victory.

While such violent acts as Monday’s, whatever the motives may be, are fortunately rare disasters of many natures occur, often without much warning. I remember well the Palm Sunday tornado, now almost fifty years in the past, but it still carries a lesson for us today.

On that terrible night there were plenty of emergency personnel responding to the scene, and they had much to respond to. But one of the overwhelming images I remember from the night following the storm was the sound of chainsaws filling the air as local residents hurried to open roads so emergency personnel could do their job. No one asked them to get out in the middle of that tragedy -- it was a need that many people recognized, and they filled the need whether they’d been asked or not.

One of the enduring blessings of our society is that people really do help out, without being asked, when they perceive a need.

We have not yet heard the last of this tragedy. We will no doubt hear much more about it in the months to come. Enough police and investigators from several different agencies to staff an army of a small country are probing into the incident, and it seems likely that they will get to the bottom of this in good order.

But I would hope that in the times to come when there will be news story after news story about what happened Monday in Boston, that the simple heroics and desire to help their fellow man displayed by so many on the streets of Boston will not be forgotten.

The lives lost, the injuries sustained on Monday are indeed tragic. But it’s my hope that the events will not break the spirits of anyone in Boston or around the country. If the acts of courage of many near the scene of the Monday’s explosions are any indication, there still seems to be a lot of spirit left in people. I do not want to consider what would happen if we to lose this spirit of being willing to extend our hand to our fellow man in time of need.
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Subject: Shades of Snowplow Extra


Author:
Rob
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 09:27:35 04/18/13 Thu

The brief news stories about the fertilizer plant explosion in West, TX reminded me of the fear that existed about the possibility of a similar explosion in that story.

The setting (a small town or village) is a factor in common, but of course, other conditions were very different :)

Rob
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Subject: Colorado River


Author:
Boyd Percy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 11:53:54 04/17/13 Wed

I just read an article online that the Colorado is the most endangered river in the U.S. I hope that doesn't affect recreational opportunities in the Grand Canyon too much.
Subject: Photos


Author:
Dave
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 07:17:09 04/15/13 Mon

Will you consider adding a next/prior link to your individual photo pages? It would make it easier to see all the photos.

Perhaps if ts not too much trouble a link to a page that has thumbnails of all the pics. User at a single glance see all the photos and then click the thumbnail for the ones he wants to view.

Thanks
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Subject: mule train


Author:
joe spencer
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 09:59:01 04/13/13 Sat

Hey Wes sat morning NPR had a piece about cancellation of package delivery to Phantom Ranch.
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Subject: Loser Cars in SFL Tales


Author:
Boyd Percy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 00:16:18 04/11/13 Thu

I just read an article about the worst selling cars in U.S. history. The 2005 Pontiac Aztek and the 1960 Ford Edsel were two of five cars mentioned. Susan McMahon's parents pick her up at the airport in her mother's new 2003 yellow Pontiac Aztek and she is embarrassed by its color and style and that it is not a German car. Of course, she changes her tune when she realizes her parent's frugality allowed them to buy a decent used car for her. Mel Austin mentions in Bradford Speedway that several American cars of the 1950s including the Edsel were some of the ugliest ever made. It is interesting to note that 1960 and 2005 were the last years that Ford and GM made their losers. I was born in 1947 so I don't remember the Edsel but I do remember the Aztek and thought it was probably the ugliest car I have ever seen.
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Subject: April 12th photo


Author:
Hal
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 23:11:53 04/12/13 Fri

Hey Wes, it today's photo your daughter? Back from China? And another degree?

Congrats!
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Subject: Photo Post 04-10-2013


Author:
Lew Bevier
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 14:53:23 04/09/13 Tue

Today's photo post (04-10-2013) reminds me of the retention pond from Busted Axle Road. ( http://www.spearfishlaketales.com/photopost/pp042.jpg )

Lew
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Subject: Winchester Harbor now available for preorder


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 20:17:44 04/07/13 Sun

The next book from Spearfish Lake Tales, Winchester Harbor, is now available for preorder. Here's the summary:

Jake Lewis is at odds with his family over a girl he thought was his life partner who doesn't seem to feel that way. He doesn't know what to do except go looking for a new life somewhere else. Helping on a marina fuel dock, crewing on a Great Lakes charter fishing boat, and learning to sail help to take his mind off a cheating fiancée and his family problems, but not enough. Will the new friends he's made, including some rather special girls, help him find new direction and goals? And perhaps a new love from an unexpected quarter?

This is a start of a totally new series that will involve sailing, fishing, and other adventures on the Great Lakes and elsewhere, spread over a period of decades. At the moment, I'm currently hard at work on the fourth book of the series and have the hint of a fifth book in my mind. Winchester Harbor is a fairly long book at 36 chapters.

You can preorder Winter Layoff for as little as $19.99 through the Spearfish Lake Tales Store at or through the web page. Preorders will be sent sometime on the afternoon of April 14, Eastern Standard Time.

-- Wes
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Subject: Need a little help


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 09:36:38 03/28/13 Thu

Are there any readers who are current or former members of the US Coast Guard? I need a little background information for a story.

-- Wes
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Subject: Laser Weapon System


Author:
Boyd Percy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 20:34:22 04/08/13 Mon

I just read on Yahoo News about the Navy's Laser Weapon System (LAWS). It supposedly will fire laser beams at enemy planes and ships. They will place them on ships early next year. I guess Stan at Lamdatron had a good idea after all.
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Subject: Grand Canyon planned floods pictures


Author:
Mike Price
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 14:50:21 04/06/13 Sat

http://www.ouramazingplanet.com/3900-grand-canyon-flood-images.html

These are a series of pictures of different sandbars/camp sites along the Canyon taken before and after the planning floods during autumn 2012.

Most campsites were enlarged but some were drastically reduced in size. Measurements will be taken to see if the summer erosions remake the sites as they were prevously.

More floods are planned over the next 7 years.
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Subject: Busted AxleRoad revisited


Author:
PlainBill
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 13:38:02 04/07/13 Sun

Do to health problems I've had a lot of spare time to fill lately. I decided to try reading the updated 'Busted Axle Road', an effort which has been both rewarding and successful as filling idle hours. Today this cartoon http://www.gocomics.com/speedbump/2013/04/07 gave another take on starting a dog sled team.

PlainBill
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Subject: Winter Layoff posting starts


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 20:52:06 02/24/13 Sun

I just posted the first chapter of Winter Layoff. There are 21 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.

Very often when I put up a new story there are html bugs that don't show up when I tested it locally. I found several when I put the story up as it is -- they just hadn't shown up here, or if they did, I missed them. 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 Winter Layoff in one of the available formats, I'll be available.

-- Wes
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Subject: Model Garage stories


Author:
Harry
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 12:11:02 04/01/13 Mon

I was rereading "Bullring Days Two" the other night and came across the reference to Gus Wilson and the Model Garage stories. I had more or less forgotten how much I enjoyed reading those in my Father's Popular Science magazines.

I did a search and found a site that has all the stories compiled. I'm enjoying them all over again now. Lots of nostalgia there....

Here's the site: http://gus-stories.org/
Subject: Shades of Rocinante


Author:
Boyd Percy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 01:55:48 03/31/13 Sun

Our local (Baton Rouge) newspaper carried a story about a local man who has spent the last 16 years building an airplane, Van's Aircraft RV-6A, from a kit. He chose the kit which offered nothing pre-assembled because of cost factors. He estimated he spent over 2000 hours working on the plane interrupted by real life concerns. He flew the first time on March 14th. Since the FAA classifies the two seat plane as experimental, he is unable to give his wife or anyone else a ride until he amasses 40 hours flying time. Talk about persistence and perseverance.
Replies:
Subject: I wonder if Randy could fit this in during spring break week.


Author:
ralph058
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 20:30:24 03/17/13 Sun

Skiing and surfing (and whitewater kayaking) all in one cluster of close locations.
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Subject: Pass Christian, MS


Author:
Boyd Percy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 21:28:27 03/19/13 Tue

I just noticed on the Travel Yahoo site a poll about the most popular small towns for 2013. Bay St Louis,MS and Gulf Shores,AL were on the list. Both have about 9,000 residents. Bay St Louis is next door to Pass Christian and Gulf Shores is about 40 miles to the East. Both were hit hard by Katrina and both have come back well. Many folks thought Mississippi did a better and faster of restoration than New Orleans and Louisiana. Of course, the size factor may have something to do about that.
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Subject: International Astronomy Day


Author:
Boyd Percy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 22:15:41 03/27/13 Wed

We have a local park where stargazing occurs on a regular basis. Though not as isolated as it used to be, you still have a dark sky area suitable for star viewing. When I drove by this afternoon, I noticed a sign announcing upcoming events on International Astronomy Day which is April 27th. I hope Wes will post a photo on his Photo Post page of the night skies in his area. Thanks.
Subject: trains


Author:
Skip
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 20:50:54 03/02/13 Sat

Saw a show today on Great trains around the country. Some deisel, some steam all with great scenics. One was the Grand Canyon railroad, one ran the Nantahela Gorge ain NC, and Stopped at NOC. Nice to see some of the places you talk about.
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Subject: Katrina Cottages


Author:
Arthur Keith
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 21:40:03 03/21/13 Thu

Reading your last chapter made me think about the Katrina Cottages. These were real homes trucked in on wheels and then put into place on the coast of Mississippi. Most of them were of the two bedroom size, some two stories, others everything on one level. Google Katrina collages to look at them. There are still some for sale on the coast.
Subject: Absent Friend - Treason in the White House


Author:
Andrew
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 14:43:19 03/21/13 Thu

There was a very interesting article on the BBC website today, it comes from the LBJ archive. Apparently the parties were holding peace talks and were moving close to an agreement, this was towards the end of the LBJ administration.

The FBI discovered that Nixon was persuading the S Vietnamese to sabotage the talks because a peace treaty would have "derailed" Nixon's election campaign. If that is true then it cost millions of lives - the bombing of Cambodia under Nixon turned the Khmer Rouge from a splinter group to a major force.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21768668
Subject: I would not have gone through St Louis


Author:
ralph058
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06:20:13 03/18/13 Mon

If I was driving from Green Bay (approximately Camden) to Pas Christian, I would have gone down through Chicago and I55 to I57 to Memphis.

If I was driving from Iron Mountain (approximate Spearfish Lake) (especially with a slow truck), I would have driven over to Wausau and taken I39 south till it turns back in to US51 around Bloomington, IL and then taken 51 to I57 and avoided both Chicago and St Louis. You would be on the same route that Jim took after Memphis.
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