This is a step by step custom Ovation build. Installing a roller bridge, tremolo, Piezo discs and a humbucker as well. Starting from the shell of the donor guitar and continuing on to the completed guitar. https://books.apple.com/us/book/guitar-works-volume-one-the-adjustovation-build/id1357855618
Posted by Dell
This week: I have a true story from, “TRUE: True stories from a small town #1”. These stories are from my past. I have three volumes published and I will probably add a few more this winter when I have the time.
The Earth’s Survivors Plague:
Things are going to continue to be absolutely crazy here as I adapt to the changes with my health, but so far I am doing that well.
I will leave you with this true story…
Back in the eighties I drove taxi for a few years. That time of my life has provided tons of written material, but this is the only true story I wrote about that time period. I hope you enjoy it, and I will be back next week…
The Last ride By Dell Sweet
Single Edition Licensed for this Blog
PUBLISHED BY: independAntwriters All Rights Reserved
This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.
This short story is Copyright © 2013 – 2015 Wendell Sweet & independAntwriters. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the author’s permission. Permission is granted to use short sections of text in reviews or critiques in standard or electronic print
The Last Ride is Copyright © 2013 – 2015 Dell Sweet. All rights reserved
THE LAST RIDE
It was early in my shift. I owned my own taxi so I could pretty much pick which 12 hour shift I wanted to drive. I drove nights so that I could be home with my son during the day while my wife worked. I had told myself for most of the last year that I should stop driving taxi, settle down to a real job and be more responsible, but then a Conrail contract came along, and then the opportunity to work with another driver who handled the Airport contract: Suddenly I was making more money than I could have reasonably expected from what I would have considered a straight job.
The hours were long, but there was something that attracted me to the night work. Always had been. Like my internal clock was Set to PM. It just seemed to work and after a few failed attempts to work day shift work, I gave it up and went to work fulltime nights.
I was never bored. The nights kept me awake and interested. They supplied their own entertainment. Conrail crews, regulars that called only for me, the assorted funny drunks late at night when the bars were closing. Soldiers on their way back to the nearby base, and a dancer at a small club just off downtown that had been calling for me personally for the last few weeks: Using my cab as a dressing room on the way back to her hotel. It was always something different.
Days, the few times I’d driven days, couldn’t compare. Sure, there was violence at night too, but it rarely came my way and never turned into a big deal when it did.
It was Friday night, one of my big money nights, about 7:00 P.M. and my favorite dispatcher, Smitty, had just come on. He sent me on a call out State street that would terminate downtown. Once I was downtown, I could easily pick up a GI heading back to the base for a nice fat fare and usually a pretty good tip. My mind was on that. My mind was also on that dancer who would be calling sometime after 2:00 AM, and who had made it clear that I was more than welcome to come up to her room. It was tempting, I’ll admit it, and each time she called, she tempted me more. I figured it was just a matter of time before I went with her.
I really didn’t see the lady when she got into my car, but when it took her three times to get out the name of the bar downtown that she wanted to go to, I paid attention. Drunk. It was early too. Sometimes drunks were okay, but most times they weren’t. This one kept slumping over, slurring her words, nearly dropping her cigarette: I owed the bank a pile of money on the car and didn’t need burn holes in my back seat.
I dropped the flag on the meter, pulled away from the curbing and eased into traffic. Traffic was heavy at that time and I pissed off more than a few other drivers as I forced my way into the traffic flow. I had just settled into the traffic flow when a glance into the rear view mirror told me my passenger had fallen over. I couldn’t see the cigarette, but I could still smell it. I made the same drivers even angrier as I swept out of the traffic flow and angled up onto the sidewalk at the edge of the street. I got as far out of the traffic flow as I could get so I could get out to see what was up with the woman in the back seat.
I was thinking drunk at the time, but the thought that it could be something more serious crept into my head as I made the curb, bumped over it, set my four way flashers and climbed out and went around to the back door.
She was slumped over into the wheel well, the cigarette smoldering next to her pooled, black hair. In her hair, I realized, as the smell of burning hair came to me. I snatched the cigarette and threw it out then shook her shoulder to try to bring her around, but it was obvious to me, just that fast, that the whole situation had changed. She wasn’t breathing.
I reached in, caught her under the arms, and then suddenly someone else was there with me.
He was a short, thin man, wearing a worried look upon his face. Dark eyes sat deeply in their sockets. His hair hung limply across his forehead. He squeezed past me and looked down at the woman. He pushed her eyelids up quickly, one by one, and then held his fingers to her lips. He frowned deeply and flipped the hair away from his forehead.
“Paramedic”, he told me as he took her other arm and helped me pull her from the back seat.
We laid her out on the sloping front lawn of the insurance company I had stopped in front of and he put his head to her chest.
He lifted his head, shaking it as he did. “Call an ambulance,” he said tersely.
I could feel the shift in his demeanor. He wasn’t letting me know he could handle the situation, like when he told me he was a paramedic, he was handling it. I got on the radio and made the call.
The ambulance got there pretty quickly. I stood back out of the way and let them work on her, raising my eyes to the backed up traffic on occasion. The paramedic had torn open her shirt. Her nudity seemed so out of place on the city sidewalk. Watching the traffic took the unreal quality of it away from me. I watched the ambulance pull away, eased my car down off the curb and back into the sluggish traffic and went back to work.
I got the story on her about midnight once things slowed down and I stopped into the cab stand to talk to the dispatcher for a short while. His daughter knew someone, who knew someone, who knew someone at the hospital. The woman had taken an overdose. Some kind of pills. It was going to be touch and go. He also had a friend in the police department too. She did it because of a boyfriend who had cheated on her. It seemed so out of proportion to me. I went back to work, but I asked him to let me know when he heard more.
The night had passed me by. The business of the evening hours catching me up for a time and taking me away from the earlier events. I was sitting downtown in my cab watching the traffic roll by me. It was a beautifully warm early morning for Northern New York. I had my window down letting the smell of the city soak into me, when I got the call to pick up my dancer with the club gig.
“And,” Smitty told me over the static filled radio, “your lady friend didn’t make it.”
It was just a few blocks to the club. I left the window down enjoying the feeling of the air flowing past my face. The radio played Steely Dan’s Do It Again, and I kind of half heard it as I checked out the back seat to see if the ghost from the woman earlier might suddenly pop up there.
The dancer got in and smiled at me. I smiled back, but I was thinking about the other woman, the woman who was now dead, sitting in that same place a few hours before. The dancer began to change clothes as I drove to her hotel.
“You know,” she said, catching my eyes in the mirror. “I should charge you a cover. You’re seeing more than those GI’S in the club.” She shifted slightly, her breasts rising and falling in the rear view mirror. We both laughed. It was a game that was not a game. She said it to me every time. But my laugh was hollow: Despite her beauty, I was still hung up on someone being alive in my back seat just a few hours before and dead now. Probably being wheeled down to the morgue were my friend Pete worked. I made myself look away and concentrate on the driving. She finished dressing as I stopped at her hotel’s front entrance.
“You could come up… If you wanted to,” she said. She said it lightly, but her eyes held serious promise.
“I’d like to… But I better not,” I said.
She smiled, but I could tell I had hurt her feelings. It was a real offer, but I couldn’t really explain how I felt. Why I couldn’t. Not just because I was married, that was already troubled, but because of something that happened earlier.
I drove slowly away after she got out of the cab and wound up back downtown for the next few hours sitting in an abandoned buildings parking lot thinking… “I was only concerned about her cigarette burning the seats.”
I smoked while I sat, dropping my own cigarettes out the window and onto the pavement. A short while later Smitty called me with a Conrail trip. I started the cab and drove out to Massey yard to pick up my crew. The dancer never called me again…
I hope you enjoyed the story. I will be back again next week. Enjoy your week, Dell.
Posted by Geo
Writers… We often sit around and think things like this…
“It was a warm winter that year…”
No, no, no… Hmm…
“It was the winter of our…” No, already used… Damn…
“Winter came quickly to the north country as it was wont to do. My brother and I had just come around to our turn to wear the fall coats, there were only the two coats for the fifteen of us children. With them, we were able to play outside while our siblings were stuck inside. It would have been better if we had also had the shoes, but it wasn’t our turn yet…”
No, no, no. Too melodramatic…
“It was a long, cold winter. The cat had a litter sometime in there. A few kittens, maybe four. I often wonder what happened to those kittens. I only know we had meat for Christmas that didn’t in the slightest resemble Turkey…”
No, no, no… It was the dog…
“The dog had a litter that winter… They were fast growing puppies and by December they were half grown, as fat and sassy as could be. I remember petting the one I had named Dingo on the head just before bed a few nights before Christmas. I remember that clearly, yes I do, and it was the last time I ever saw Dingo…. I think so anyway. It’s tough to tell. All I know is that we had meat for Christmas dinner. A small ham, Mom said., but it didn’t resemble any ham I’d ever seen…”
“PETA called, knock it off.”
“It was a long cold winter that year. The rats in the basement had eaten the corn crop and left us starving… Daddy said we wouldn’t have to resort to eating rats, but as he headed toward the basement with a claw hammer I wondered…”
By Geo Dell.
Posted by Geo Dell
I have been concerned about the fact that Jimmy Hoffa must be buried somewhere. And they have had such reliable snitches to tell them where the body is that I started thinking about the odds of actually finding it. I mean, eventually, after sixty million wrong guesses, the odds will narrow, right? Then I thought, hey, when I was kid and anything came up missing, the cat, or the dog, you could usually get a pretty fast answer from Mom or Dad…
“Well, Spot went to the farm. You see, son, Spot was getting to be a handful and with your mother and I both working, well, we thought it would be better for Spot at the farm.”
“Well, geez, I didn’t want Spot to go to the farm. Can we at least visit him?”
“Sure, son. Sure we can.”
And of course we never did, but I built up a story in my head about the farm and what it was like. There would be Spot, running through the fields, chasing butterflies. Toilet bowls and fire hydrants everywhere. A cat to chase under every tree. Good old spot.
So, when I heard that maybe Jimmy Hoffa went to the farm, I thought, well, hell, that’s not so bad. I never heard any complaints from Spot about it, but as we all know, for the fourth or fifth time, Jimmy Hoffa is not at the farm chasing butterflies with Spot, or Tigger, or Frisky. Not there. But it got me thinking. He hasn’t been at the farms. Nor in the bridge. Nor the dump. Nor the vacant lot. Here is a short list of places he wasn’t:
Sources: Combined Google searches: API, NPR and CBS. (Paraphrased)
Authorities have pursued multiple leads as to Hoffa’s whereabouts since his disappearance in 1975. He was last seen outside an Oakland County restaurant where he was to meet with a New Jersey Teamsters boss and a Detroit Mafia captain.
Waterford Township, Mich.: Roughly two months after he vanished, in September 1975, investigators spent three days digging in a 29-acre area on a farm in Waterford Township. State police and members of the organized crime division of the state attorney general’s office broke out their spades after a Mafia informant’s tip…
Detroit area: In October 1975, FBI agents probed the trash compactor at the Raleigh House restaurant, roughly five miles from the Machus Red Fox, the restaurant where Hoffa was last seen alive. The theory was that Hoffa’s body was stuffed in the compactor and hauled off by a Mafia-connected sanitation company; investigators turned up nothing in their search of the 40-cubic-yard compactor…
Jersey City, N.J.: The search for Hoffa took investigators to Jersey City, where in December 1975, FBI agents searched a 47-acre landfill with mob connections. Officially, investigators weren’t searching for the rumored 55-gallon drum with Hoffa’s remains, but rather the body of Armand Faugno, a missing loan shark…
Hampton Township, Mich.: An incarcerated informant, who had already led police to another body, claimed Hoffa’s body could be found under an above-ground pool in the backyard of his former home in Hampton Township. The tipster, brought to the scene in handcuffs, watched as a backhoe demolished the pool in July 2003 and dug beneath it. Later, the people living in the home would get a new pool paid for by the county…
Milford, Mich.: The FBI called it quits after a 12-day search of Hidden Dreams Farm in Milford in May 2006. A 100-foot barn was demolished as part of the search by 35 agents, geologists, archaeologists and other experts. While the dig didn’t yield any remains, it proved to be big business for the Milford Baking Co., which sold 3,500 “Hoffa cupcakes” featuring a green plastic hand reaching up through the icing and sprinkles…
East Rutherford, N.J.: In 1999 a convicted mobster alleged Hoffa’s body was buried at Giants Stadium, though the feds never dug it up to find out. In a Playboy interview, Donald “Tony the Greek” Frankos said Hoffa’s body was cut up in Michigan, then driven to New Jersey and buried in the concrete foundation of the stadium — Section 107…
Roseville, Mich.: After a tip in the fall of 2012, authorities began sampling soil on the property of a Roseville home. Investigators had used radar and found an unusual mass, which prompted the sampling, but the results showed no sign of human decomposition in the dirt…
There are more of course, but remember, these are places Jimmy Hoffa is not. They have been checked, cleared, in Cop speak. Not there. But this past weekend I decided to put in some outdoor security lighting at home. What does that have to do with Jimmy Hoffa? Well, hang on. We’ll get there. I decided on two of those big sodium vapor lights, except one wasn’t sodium vapor.
I got to the store and I saw all the ‘Go Green’ stickers, you know – “Don’t use so much energy!” “It’s your world too!” “Save up to $298.00 a year!” Okay, I speak that language, ‘You had me at money’ so I bought two of the Fluorescent yard lights. Unfortunately I had to take one back as it was missing parts. So, I ended up having to put a sodium High Pressure system in and a fluorescent system for the other light. Hmm. The whole idea had been that they match, same replacement bulbs. But hey, It’s my world too and I do care… And I saved $300.00 bucks (Nearly).
So I get the lights. I get the post for the one that goes in the side yard (A 16 foot 4 inch by 4 inch pressure treated post. I buy a shovel. Thought about post hole diggers, said, Nah, I’m a Man, I don’t need post-hole diggers (Note: Get the post hole diggers. They’re called Post Hole Diggers for a reason! God, I can be so stupid), outdoor wire, Wire connectors, and on and on. Then I came home and picked the spot for my pole, but then I thought, ‘Whoa… Wait a minute… They have not found Jimmy Hoffa yet. He could be right under that spot I want to dig up to sink my post in the ground.’
I’m pretty sure Jimmy Hoffa is not in my garden, or my side yard, or the driveway. Those are all areas I have worked on lately, had to dig down into, and I didn’t see anything at all that looked Jimmy Hoffaish. Yes, I know that is an incorrect usage of ish, but, really, are there any correct uses of ish?
Here’s the thing though, I have not dug into the front yard and I am very concerned that he could be there, but not concerned enough to do anything about it. And if you are, and you would like to dig up my front yard to look for him, no. No! Now, after I’m dead, sure. Have a blast. Tell the new owners, in fact, that I said you could.
Reasons why Jimmy Hoffa might be in my front yard.
1. He wasn’t at the last place, so he has to be somewhere.
2. He had a friend who had a friend who had a cousin who visited New York one time.
3. Jimmy Hoffa worked for the Labor Union, and a lady just down the street went into labor a few days ago.
4. It’s not a farm. They’ve dug up enough farms.
5. The cats always seem to avoid a certain section of the lawn. Walking right long and then hop straight up into the air. Yes. I realize cats are nuts and I do have crazy cats, but still.
Okay, that’s enough reasons. I believe that is more than the FBI had, information wise the last time, isn’t it?
But hey, considering all the places they have dug to find him the odds are pretty good, or even just as good, that he could be out there in the front yard. So, I mounted the light on top of the garage instead. Yes, I know, I bowed to my own fears. And the side yard light pole I installed next to the house and incorporated into the deck. I figured, ‘Okay. Maybe Jimmy Hoffa is out there in the yard, but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have buried him right next to the house.’
I am happy to report that I dug the hole and did not find anything at all… Well, one bone, I’m pretty sure it was a ham bone the dog buried there. I say that because the neighbors dog, I don’t have a dog of my own, seemed pretty bent out of shape about me digging up the bone. But, come to think of it, that is better than the FBI did. At least I found something. Anyway, I didn’t call the FBI, the dog took the bone and left, he’ll probably rebury it somewhere else, you know how dogs are. Meanwhile, Jimmy Hoffa’s still missing I’m sorry to report.
In other news. Fred, my cat was nearly taken by the turkeys again. You may not believe this but there are turkeys that live in the woods behind me. Today I was in my office taking care of some email when I heard a rush of wings, a squawk, and some gobbling: If you have never heard a 35 to 40 pound bird drop out of a pine tree to the ground you should. Nothing that big should be a bird, and if it is it should not be falling from a damn tree.
Anyway, I rushed from the house. No, really, I did rush from the house, and what do I see, Fred standing her ground against a turkey that looked to be about three feet high. No, I don’t really think it was three feet high, but it was all of two and some change. The turkey saw me and took off. Good, I was not in the mood to fight a turkey, I was still concerned about Jimmy Hoffa as I had to put mulch in the garden, and that meant turning over the soil.
Well, it is obvious that the turkeys have it in for Fred. Fred has killed just about everything that lives in the woods at one time or another: When she was a kitten she used to bring them to me. Yes, Fred is female cat. It’s a long story. Damn cat. I think, sort of like that Clint Eastwood movie, Unforgiven, that the birds, mice, chipmunks, (This year has been a tough one for the chipmunks, that’s all I’ll say) and yes, probably the neighborhood dogs too, got together and sent word to the turkeys. I think, like the cowboys in Unforgiven, that Fred’s days are numbered. But if you had told me a year or so ago that a turkey would try to attack a cat? I would have laughed. Not no more. Not no more. This is serious business. These turkeys have taken a contract out on Fred I believe.
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Okay. Once again it’s raining here in northern New York. I guess I don’t mind the rain so much. Have a great week…
Posted by Geo
I wrote this today after taking a short stroll outside my house.
One afternoon of dreary gray, I walked my yard upon my way
To destinations yet unfound, and cast mine eyes upon the ground
Tiny corpses, all about me… death, the final fee…
Gray, and furred, and fat and thin, upon the earth they are not in
No place my wandering eyes did fall, was anything that lived at all…
The cats thought I, the cats it be, that wrought this death I can not unsee…
Yes, I will never be a great poet, my cats, however, are prolific rodent killers…
Hurricane is a book I have been working on for the past few years. Every time I think I will have time to finish it something else pops up and wipes out that spare time I thought I had. The book is actually written, squirreled away in one of my notebooks: Written completely in longhand several years ago. I have dozens of stories and books just like that; written between 2006 and 2012.
Now when I want to write I do it with Word or Open Office, but then I did not have that luxury; all I had was composition notebooks and sometime I didn’t even have those. When I didn’t have composition notebooks I used to feel stories slip away. I knew them; I heard them in my head, but I had no way to write them down or out of my head and so I lost them… I hope you enjoy this excerpt and the balance of your weekend, Dell…
A free look at Hurricane a book I wrote in 2007 and have yet to publish
Copyright Dell Sweet 2015, All rights reserved.
This preview is licensed for Dell’s Blog. If you wish to share this preview with a friend, please point them to this blog. This material may not be copied, quoted, or transferred electronically, or in standard print for any reason, without the copyright owner’s permission. Permission is granted to use small excerpts in critical articles both in standard or electronic print.
“It’s bad luck to skip school on a Monday,” Amy Knowles said to her best friend Deidre Blevins.
“I know,” Deidre said, “But I hate it. I just can’t be there. I can’t deal with those Goddamn Nuns today. You don’t have to come if you don’t want to, Aim… I didn’t even tell Jimmy.”
“I know that.. Obviously I want to go… I mean,” Amy fell silent.
“What,” Deidre asked?
“We’re friends,” Amy said. “It’s been me and you way before Jimmy or Mike came along… It’s just that, sometimes we get too far away from that.” Her face colored.
Deidre nodded. “We do… So, where do you and me go today…. With no car… No way to get nowhere. I hate being on foot…. It’s just about all I keep Jimmy around for. That and the pot,” Deidre said.
“Really,” Amy asked?
She thought about it. “I could think of something better… For right now he’s okay. I like him well enough.”
Amy wondered what the something better might be. Deidre had colored a little when she said it. She didn’t ask though. It was good enough just being together. She didn’t want to complicate it with feelings.
“I smell rubber burning,” Deidre said and smiled. “A penny for your thoughts. That’s what my dad always says to me,” She said.
“They’re worth more than a penny,” Amy said as they reached the parking lot. She slipped her hand through Deidre’s arm. “Lead on,” She said.
Deidre was surprised by the arm, but pleasantly surprised. She liked the feel of it, she decided. She looked up at the sky then back down at the parking lot. “We could hitch out to your place or we could walk around downtown.”
“We could get picked up by some Psycho too,” Amy said.
“Never have,” Deidre countered.
“Okay, but if some Psycho picks us up and kills us I am going to be so pissed at you,” Amy said. She tried a little smile on her face. Deidre answered it with one of her own.
“Never happen,” Deidre said as they started across the parking lot.
“I’d probably follow you anywhere,” Amy said softly. So softly that Deidre was not sure she had even heard her.
“Yeah. I wish that were true,” Deidre said every bit as softly.
Amy looked up at her. She had heard the words, but she was looking away. She was about to speak when Jimmy’s voice interrupted her. She looked up and there he was. His blonde hair hanging in his eyes, head half out the window of his truck. When no one answered he spoke again.
“I said, I thought you was staying at school today?” He said again looking a Deidre.
“Well, you said you might be here, so Amy and I thought we would try,” Deidre said quickly and smiled.
Amy nodded and smiled.
The car behind Jimmy’s truck blew its horn and Jimmy twisted around and glared back at the driver. He popped up his middle finger and showed it to the driver and then looked back at Deidre. “So, where we gonna go?. I didn’t make no plans and I ain’t got no money,” Jimmy said.
Deidre had about forty dollars on her, two tens in her pocket and the rest in her sneaker. She pulled out the two tens. “This will get us a little way, right,” She asked?
Jimmy took the two tens and slipped them in his pocket. “We can go out to Mike’s,” he looked at Amy. “He’s working on the Nissan today… I can help him… We can hang out… We have enough for beer now and gas to get there too.” Jimmy said.
The car behind him tapped its horn once more. Jimmy levered open the door jumped out and started to turn back to the car but Deidre caught his arm.
“Baby, you’ll get us in trouble. We’ll get caught,” she said as she pulled him away.
The guy in the car rolled his window up quickly. Jimmy smiled at him, flipped him off again and then turned back to Deidre and Amy. “Luck for that little fuck,” he said. “Come on.” He held the driver’s door open as first Amy and then Deidre crawled across to the passenger’s side and then turned and looked back at the car. The young guy behind the wheel refused to look back. Jimmy flipped him off again and then climbed back into his truck.
“What does it look like,” Bob Travers asked? He was at his own desk but he called up a view of the latest National Weather Service radar on his monitor.
Rebecca Monet leaned closer to the monitor, her breasts brushing against his shoulder as she did. “It could be the big one. It’s building fast and they are already predicting a path that will bring it right to us,” She told him. “I want to be the one that gets it if it does. I mean, I know I’ll have it at first but if it goes big I want to keep it instead of it going to Bethany,” she said in a low voice, nearly a whisper.
Bethany Jacobs was the anchor woman for Channel Eight News. She sat next to Bob during the newscasts. He had his pick of the big stories and left the rest to Bethany.
“Becca, you know I can’t do that,” Bob said in an equally low voice.
“Bullshit,” she said sweetly and smiled. “I know what your contract says. You schedule. You appoint. It’s your call.” Her breasts pressed more firmly against his shoulder. “Come on, Bob. I’m good. I can do it. You know I can,” Rebecca pleaded. Her hand came up and rested lightly on his upper arm. Her perfume was subtle but intoxicating.
“Bethany will go ballistic,” Bob whispered.
“So what,” Rebecca said.
“We have a …. A sort of,” Bob started.
“I know. It’s not like it’s a secret.” Her hand stroked his bicep. “I would do anything you want, Bob,” she said. The weight of her breasts against his shoulder suddenly seemed to increase ten fold. “I mean anything,” she said leaning closer and whispering in his ear. Her lips brushed his ear.
“Are we talking about the same thing,” Bob asked, his voice low. His eyes scanned the room looking to make sure no one was watching or eavesdropping.
“I’ve got a few minutes… I’m sure your dressing room is empty. Let me show you what I’m talking about. I think we’re on the same page,” Rebecca whispered. And this time her lips not only brushed against his ear they seemed planted there.
“I… I can’t right now,” Bob said.
“Can’t stand up,” she asked with a musical little laugh.
“Something like that,” Bob agreed.
“I’ll meet you there… I’ll let myself in,” She asked?
Bob nodded. The weight of her breasts were instantly gone, but the sound of her voice and the scent of her perfume were in his head. ‘Boy was Bethany going to be pissed off,’ he thought. But Tad Edwards, the station manager, had already dropped hints to him about seeing Rebecca work more, and a few other hints about how he thought Bethany was not aging well, meaning to Tad she was past her prime at twenty-seven and he thought it was time for a fresh face. A younger face. Rebecca was all of twenty, and she was… He made himself stop thinking about her. He had to, or else, he told himself, he’d never be able to get up.
‘Man oh Man was Bethany ever going to be pissed off,’ he told himself again.
Paul lay in Jane’s bed. He had left early this morning on the pretext of having to go over the paper work for the year end audit, and that was partly true, but the real truth was that they had been getting less and less time together and he had simply needed to be with her.
“We have got to go,” Jane said from beside him.
“I know,” Paul told her. Her body was pressed to his own, one of his arms holding her to him. He didn’t let go. She felt so good. She reached over and bit his chest softly.
“Ow,” Paul said… “Okay… Oh all right… Maybe tonight? I could say I’m working late.”
“I can’t… You know I’ve got classes… Tomorrow?” She countered.
He smiled “That will work.” His hand slipped down and rubbed across her buttocks, squeezing gently and then, reluctantly, he let her go.
She held him a second longer and then kissed him before she rolled away. “I love you,” she said.
“I love you to,” he said automatically. “I’ll go first?” He headed for the shower and a few minutes later he was merging into traffic on I 65 and heading towards the Airport Road exit.
He and Janey had been an item for about a year. Paul Blevins didn’t really think about it as cheating on his wife Peggy any longer. He was pretty sure she was pursuing her own interests anyway. It just was.
He didn’t think too hard about the love aspect of the relationship either. Sure, he told her he loved her, and he did. She had a perfect body, and he loved it. And her attitude was great, he loved that too. And, she was completely devoted to him, how could he not love that? But the other kind of love? The kind that made you cry? Made your heart ache? No. He had loved Peggy like that at one time. He loved his daughter Deidre like that. She could probably get anything at all out of him. But she didn’t abuse it. She was a pretty good kid most of the time. Not out running around getting involved in all the bad stuff that kids her age got involved in. He had no real concerns or worries about her. All of his real love. The kind that could hurt him anyway was reserved for her. She had never abused it and Paul didn’t think she ever would, or could for that matter.
He and Peggy had fallen apart a few years before and there seemed to be no way to fix it. Janey was pushing lately for them to be together. Her little boy, Lincoln, who was just two years old, already thought of Paul as his father. And Paul supposed that eventually he and Janey would probably be together.
Deidre had about six months of school left and then she would be off to college. Local if he had his way, New York if Peggy’s father had his way. And there was not too much that Peggy’s father did not get his way on. Money did talk and he had a lot of it.
Either way there was no reason to stay after Deidre was gone. There would be nothing there. It would feel too weird sleeping in the same bed, keeping up the charade. For what? For who? They really only kept up the pretense now for Deidre’s sake. If she was gone, what would be the point?
There would be no point, he told himself. Janey would most likely get her way… Sooner rather than later.
The radio played low as he drove and he listened as he watched traffic. Nothing much new. A tropical depression building off the coast of Africa. A big One. One that bore watching the weatherman said. Maybe it would be something, Paul thought, but he doubted it. They almost always slipped off and shot up the coast, or veered off and hit Louisiana or Texas. Most likely this one would too.
He came to a near dead stop in a long line of cars making their way onto Airport Road. Janey would be along in another thirty minutes or so. With Peggy’s fathers money it wasn’t a good idea to make themselves an easy target. On the surface Peggy might not seem to care, but Paul suspected she had to be thinking about the future too. Six months from now was the future. Or the end of their future. Six months from now, divorce most likely, and he didn’t mean to make it easy for her. So they were careful. Never leaving at the same times. Not being seen together.
The only reason he had stuck it out these last few years was Deidre. He wanted no custody dispute that she would be dragged into. No loss of seeing her. Peggy and her father’s money could make him look bad. Take her away. That would kill him. And, he knew it. She knew how much it would hurt him, which is exactly why she would do it. For Spite. For payback. Women were like that. Women whose fathers had deep pockets were even more like that, he thought. He had no doubt that had he pulled the plug a few years ago she would have made sure he never saw Deidre again until she was old enough to make her own decisions. But then Peggy may have poisoned her mind completely.
He could do without Peggy, Jane too, but not Deidre. So here he was, day after day. Six months to go and it would all be over. He inched forward through the traffic trying to clear his mind as he went.
The audit. Now there was a sobering thought. Janey really was helping with the audit. He had bought her in. It was a mess. There were real problems there. Problems that would take Janey to fix if he could convince her to do it for him. She was helping. Going through the mounds of paperwork. She was smart, she would see it. He would let it be her own idea. He hoped it would be her own idea. He pushed the thoughts away.
The line of cars suddenly poured onto Airport Road and he sped up just making it out and merging into the middle lane at the expense of a blaring horn and a pissed off driver of a beverage delivery truck who had not wanted to let him in. He made the left lane finally, signaled at the light and cut across the feeder road and then into the restaurant parking lot.
A few cars, and, for the second time in as many weeks a moving van was parked in the lot. Companies did that all the time, but he could not remember if there was a moving company nearby with that name. Peggy was what he was thinking of. Peggy and her fathers deep pockets. Her fathers money that could hire a private detective to follow him. To poke around. Six months, he reminded himself as he parked, got out and walked to the restaurant. She could do as she pleased with Daddies money after that.
He whistled as he walked to the door, unlocked it, and stepped inside the restaurant.
Dave Plasko shot the ball under his knee and across to Steve Minor. They had tried letting Darren Reed, who was part of their little group, play but he was too slow mentally to keep up. It confused him and then it panicked him, and once he was panicked he might do anything. Best to let him watch from the sidelines as he was now.
Steve caught the ball, faked left then nearly walked himself to the right, put the ball up, and it barely kissed the rim as it went through.
“That’s it. You dude’s are done,” Dave said.
“Another one?” Light said. “One more?”
“Got to work, Light,” Dave said. “Outside clearance. Can’t fuck that up. We’ll play when I’m back this afternoon.”
“Now, how is it you three white boys got that all sewn up,” Light asked?
“Hmm… We’re white? … It’s Alabama? How the fuck should I know. This is your fucked up state not mine, Light. You know we ain’t on that shit.” Dave told him.
Light bounced the ball across the small basketball court that was just off the main prison yard, and into the Recreation box on the other side.
“Yeah. If you could only play that fuckin’ good all the time…” Dave joked.
“I do, New York. You motherfuckers just cheat too Goddamn much,” Light laughed.
The yard gate opened and Jack Johnson, an overweight correction officer stepped in and looked around the yard. “What the fuck, Plasko,” he asked when his eyes fell on him. “You and your girlfriends ready to go to work or not? I ain’t got all goddamned day you know.”
“Later,” Plasko told Light. They touched fists. “On our way, Mister Johnson,” he called out. He looked to Darren and Steve and the three of them headed across the rec yard to the gate.
I hope you enjoyed the preview. I hope someday to finish that book and several others. Take a look at The new Survivors books…
The Original Survivors: From Ashes. The survivors face the apocalypse head on #Horror https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074B7T4MC
The Original Survivors: On The Road. Some who have survived are on the road looking for safety https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0749Y4M1R
A look at the title story, Mister Bob…
Collected Short Stories
Mister Bob: Collected Short Stories is Copyright © 2015 Dell Sweet
Copyright © 2015 by Dell Sweet All rights reserved
Cover Art © Copyright 2015 Wendell Sweet
This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your bookseller and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places or incidents depicted are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual living persons places, situations or events is purely coincidental.
This novel is Copyright © 2015 Wendell Sweet and his assignees. The Name Dell Sweet is a publishing construct used by Wendell Sweet. Portions of this text are copyright 2010, and 2011, all rights reserved by Wendell Sweet and his assignees. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the author’s or assignees permission.
Permission is granted to use short sections of text in reviews or critiques in standard or electronic print.
The Middle of the night: Lisa
She awoke suddenly in the darkness of the bedroom. Panic rode tightly in her throat, but nothing in the silence told her anything she needed to know.
The clock read 2:38 AM, green numerals lighting the bedroom in eerie, fairy half light. Spooky light, she decided. It was adding to her sense of something wrong. Would red be better, she wondered. She would pick up a new clock… Make sure it had red numerals.
Don slept on beside her, apparently undisturbed, but the sense of panic, touch of fear, would not leave her.
“Mommy…!” Alandra, sobbing, calling her name. She threw the covers aside and nearly leapt up, out, and to her feet in one motion: The cotton night shirt fell to her knees as she ran for Alandra’s bedroom. Behind her, Don grunted in surprise, but she barely heard him: Her mind had kicked into a higher gear; suddenly working overtime.
…Nightmare? … Kidnapping? …Killers? … Burglars? … My baby! …
And why is it, she thought, as her mind threw all the worst possibilities at her, that your mind does exactly that? Why?
She pushed it all away as she pushed the bedroom door open to find Alandra sitting up, staring at the closed window that looked out over the back yard.
She reached the bed and gathered Alandra in her arms… “What, baby? … Bad dream?”
“No,” Alandra sobbed. “Not a dream. You have to stop them, Mommy. They were killing Mister Bob… He told me.”
Lisa let her eyes fly quickly to the window, and then flit around the bedroom, alighting here and there, in case there was some wack-job standing in the shadows… Closed window… Tree limbs outlined outside it in moonlight… Closed closet door… She thrust one foot at the darkness under the bed.
“Baby, there’s no one here.” She pulled Alandra’s head away from her breast which was already wet from her tears.
“Honey, Alandra.” She waited until she turned her tear stained face up to her own. “Baby, there’s no one here… See?” She turned her eyes to the empty room.
“Mommy, Mister Bob,” Alandra said. “Look at the window.”
Lisa looked more closely at the window, but saw nothing more. “Honey, are you saying that Mister Bob was at the window?”
Alandra nodded solemnly.
Dan was supposed to take care of getting the tree outside the window trimmed. Lisa had been concerned of just this thing: Someone climbing that tree and having access to Alandra’s bedroom window. A spike of fear lodged directly in Lisa’s heart. “Stay here, baby, okay?”
Alandra nodded once more. Lisa gathered herself, rose from the bed, and went to the window, wishing she had thought to grab her pepper spray. Better yet, her mind supplied, Don’s 9 mm. The window was closed, but the thumb lock was off. She eased up next to the window, holding herself in the shadows, and scanned the back yard. … Nothing … The bedroom door opened suddenly and she turned quickly, her heart hammering hard against her rib-cage.
“Whatzit?” Dan asked.
“Jesus, Dan,” Lisa said. One hand went to her throat.
“Sorry…” He turned to Alandra. “What’s wrong, honey-pie?”
“She said someone was at the window,” Lisa supplied.
“Christ,” Dan muttered. He walked across to the window: A big man who moved fast. His eyes scanned the yard.
“Well… I don’t see anyone now,” he said.
“I don’t either, but I thought…”
He nodded. “Tomorrow morning, noon at the latest. It’s spring… He’s backed up.” Dan shrugged helplessly. “I’ve been on him, Lissy. I have.”
He held up a hand. “Or I’ll take the day off and do it myself… Promise… I’ll call him in the morning before I leave.” He sighed.
“Honey, you want to sleep with Mommy and Daddy,” Dan asked?
“Uh, uh. What if Mister Bob comes back?” Alandra asked.
“Mister Bob?” Dan asked.
“He told her that was his name,” Lisa said.
“Were you dreaming, honey?” Dan asked.
“She wasn’t dreaming, Dan,” Lisa warned.
“Well… Cops… Should we?”
“There’s nobody… What do you say exactly? No… Just make sure it can’t happen again,” Lisa finished.
“Okay… Okay.” He turned back to Alandra. “Come on, honey. Sleep with Mommy and Daddy tonight. Tomorrow we’ll make sure Mister Bob can’t wake you up in the middle of the night again.”
“Mommy will stay in here with you,” Lisa countered.
Dan looked from Alandra to Lisa. Lisa shrugged.
Dan frowned and then turned and left the bedroom. A few minutes later he was back.
“Here,” he said as he handed Lisa her pillow. His own pillow and a wad of blankets were tucked under his other arm
“We’ll have a camp out,” Dan said. He looked at the floor, yawned deeply and then spread out the blankets and tossed the pillow to the floor.
Alandra giggled as Lisa climbed into the narrow bed and pulled her close.
Dan was already softly snoring and Lisa was sure that Alandra was sleeping too. Her own thoughts were getting farther and farther away from her. Her mind free falling into the spiral of sleep when Alandra whispered.
“Mister Bob is my friend, mommy.”
She came up from the edge of sleep just that fast.
“He talks to me every night.”
Lisa pulled her closer. “When, baby?” she whispered back.
“All kinds of times… Sometimes when I’m awake, sometimes he wakes me up. He’s not mean, mommy. He’s my friend.”
“But, baby, a man shouldn’t be climbing a tree to talk to you,” Lisa told her.
“But he doesn’t, mommy. He’s already there. Mister Bob is a tree. My tree.”
“Oh, baby… A tree? The tree in the back yard?”
Alandra yawned. “Uh huh. My friend, Mister Bob.”
“He talks to me… He said… He said, they’re going to kill me, sissy. Don’t let them kill me.”
Lisa’s heart leapt in her chest. Sissy had been Alandra’s nickname until she had discovered that she liked her real name better in Kindergarten and had solemnly told she and Dan not to call her Sissy anymore. Lisa yawned in spite of herself. She pulled Alandra closer. Maybe it had been a dream after all.
“He calls you Sissy?”
“I told him I’m not a baby.” She yawned again and the rest of what she said was lost as she began to drift into sleep.
The fear that had been rising in Lisa’s heart bled out just that quick. Her own lack of sleep caught up to her. She yawned too, and a few seconds later she drifted down into sleep thinking about talking trees that spoke to little girls and called them by their nicknames.
She heard the alarm from her own bedroom. Dan had turned over, pulled the covers over his head and balled the pillow up under his head. He slept on, oblivious. She recalled a dream of her own. Must have been after all that had happened, she thought. She had dreamed that she had awoken briefly to hear Alandra holding a conversation with Mister Bob. Something like, “I told her… She’ll make sure you’re okay.” And the impression of another voice. Deep, resonant. She couldn’t understand it. A weird dream provoked, no doubt, by what had happened earlier and what Alandra had told her. She looked down into Alandra’s sleep eyes.
“Want to sleep a little longer, honey?” Lisa asked her.
Lisa kissed her forehead, got out of bed and then tucked her back in. She turned to Dan.
“Do you want to sleep in a little longer too, honey,” She asked.
The wad of blankets surrounding his head nodded.
“Well, you don’t get to sleep in. Come one. Get up.”
Dan groaned. He struggled briefly with the wad of tangled blankets that surrounded his head. Alandra looked over the edge of the bed and giggled. Lisa looked at her.
“You’re not going back to sleep are you.”
“Nope,” Alandra agreed.
“Well come on then. We’ll get breakfast and coffee going while Daddy gets his shower.”
Lisa shifted through her email: Nothing too pressing. She closed the browser and popped open her scripting editor. She worked for the next three hours straight after she had gotten Alandra off to school. The website she was writing a script for was nearly done. She had written the site, incorporated the graphic elements, and was finishing up the scripting that would load the cart system for the site and control purchases. She had one small script to write yet, and a few graphics to tweak and that would be it. She reached for her coffee cup, found it was empty, and headed for the kitchen.
She had just poured the coffee when she heard the sudden roar of a chainsaw. She knew the sound. She heard it often enough in the spring and fall, but it was close. Much closer than it should be, and that rattled her. She took a deep sip from her coffee, set it down on the counter, and headed for the back door, glancing through the windows as she went: Two men she didn’t know were in her backyard.
At first it alarmed her and then she realized they must be there to trim the tree. She levered open the rear door and popped her head out anyway. They both looked over and nodded.
The bigger one held the chainsaw in his hand. A bigger saw than the models she had seen used for yard work. Somewhere, probably in the garage, they had one of the small ones tucked away for just-in-case themselves.
She smiled. “Here to trim the branch?” It made her blush. She felt a little foolish asking, but the saw was huge. Maybe they were at the wrong house… Wrong job… Something.
“The tree, miss,” the smaller man answered over the roar of the chainsaw.
The smile left her face. The words Alandra had said the night before surfaced on their own but she couldn’t quite get them. Something like, Mister Bob was her friend… A tree… This tree, in fact, and they were going to kill him… Trying to kill him…
“The branch,” she said.
“Uh, uh,” the small one said. He pulled a notebook from his breast pocket, studied it. “Danny said… Danny said take the whole thing.”
“Well that just can’t be right,” Lisa informed him.
“Well, miss. I got it right here in black and white.” The big one was revving up the chainsaw and looking at the big tree with something like desire on his face.
“Well, see, I give Danny a good price, ’cause we’ll just cut this son-of-a-whore-tree…” He seemed to remember that he was talking to Lisa, met her eyes and blushed deep red. He turned away. He continued after a few seconds of silence.
“This ol’ tree, we’ll cut her up for firewood,” the bigger man continued. He had let the chainsaw fall to a rough, popping idle as they talked. From the kitchen came the ringing of the telephone.
“Excuse me,” Lisa said. She turned to go and then turned back just a quickly. “I’ll have to call Dan… Maybe that’s him. It’s only the limb though, not the tree.” She turned and headed for the back door.
The phone stopped ringing just before she reached it. She cursed under her breath, picked up her coffee, sipped at it, then picked up the handset, punched in Dan’s number.
The house phone was something that their friends considered an oddity and she considered a necessity. She liked it. She had a cellphone she rarely ever used. She had no real reason to. Her cell phone dislike wasn’t part of some strange phobia, it was just a habit she had never developed. She was a stay at home mom, what did she need a cellphone for, she asked her friends when the chided her about it. Secretly she hated it. More truthfully, she knew, she loathed it. It was something akin to being tracked everywhere you went. She had tried one for a year and that was how it made you feel. You didn’t have to slip it in your pocket, but you did. You didn’t have to answer it in the super market, but you did. While driving, while gardening, she had even tentatively answered it once when she had been in the bathroom.
That had been it for her. The cell phone had gone in a drawer, and the next time she had been at the big shopping center she had bought a wall phone with a built in answering machine. She had bugged Dan to get the house phone put in and things had been perfect. Calls went to the machine: If she felt like answering she did. But she didn’t rush to answer. She didn’t buy a portable phone to add to the line. She liked it the way it was.
Smooth silence greeted her on the line, then it clicked and a voice was in her ear.
“Hello? … Hello?”
“Hello?” Lisa answered.
“Miss Stevens?” A voice asked.
“That’s so weird… It never rang… Just sounded as though a number was being punched in,” the voice said.
“You must have been there when I picked up to dial,” Lisa said. “Sorry.”
“No… No, it’s okay… Miss Stevens, this is Ms Edwards… Joan Edwards?” Alandra’s teacher.
“Is something wrong?” Lisa heard the panic as it jumped into her voice, but she couldn’t have stopped it if she had wanted to.
“No… No, but, well, Alandra’s upset… Very upset. I’ve honestly never seen her like this… She wants to talk to you… About Mister Bob? I know her father’s name is Daniel, and the explanation about Mister Bob is hard to understand… She”s upset of course, but whoever this Mister Bob is, she believes…”
“Someone is going to hurt him?” Lisa supplied.
“Well, yes… Her words were stronger.”
“Kill?” Lisa asked. Her words seemed forced, her heart hammered right at the back of her throat, fast, hot, her tongue was dry and hard to move.
“That was it… I know it’s unusual, but I’m here in the principle’s office…, She’s quite upset.”
“Put her on? Put her on,” Lisa told her. “Baby? Alandra?” The sound of Alandra’s sobbing came to her. “Baby, what’s wrong…? What about Mister Bob?” She was getting more than a little freaked out. Two men had come to cut down her imaginary friend the tree. But there was no way she could know that, was there?
“Mommy, they came to kill Mister Bob.” Lisa only understood it because she was listening for it. Otherwise, it was just broken sobs and syllables. In the backyard the chainsaw revved up to a high whine.
“Honey, they won’t cut down Mister Bob.”
“Kill, mommy, kill.”
“Kill… They won’t kill Mister Bob. They won’t kill Mister Bob… I promise.”
“Mommy, I want to come home, mommy. I want to. I want to see Mister Bob!” She sobbed even harder. The phone clattered and the teacher was back on the line.
“Miss Steven’s, I don’t know…”
“Ms Edwards… Ms Edwards I’m coming to pick her up. I’ll explain when I get there, but I’ll come to pick her up.”
“Well if you think…”
“I do… Thank you so much, Ms Edwards.” The phone was back on the hook before the teacher answered, and Lisa was palming the back door open. The big guy was getting ready to cut a notch into the tree. She waved her arms and yelled at the smaller guy who tapped the bigger guy on the shoulder. He seemed to hesitate, then he turned to face Lisa. She motioned impatiently at the saw: Reluctantly he shut it off.
“Did I say you’re not cutting down my goddamn tree?”
“Miss… The mister said…”
“I don’t care what the mister said. The tree stays.”
“Miss,” the big one soothed. “It’ll be quick. I’m insured if that’s what you’re worried about. Let me take this ‘ol bitch down and get it over.”
“It’s a he,” Lisa said.
“A… Never mind. You’re not cutting down my tree… Are you really standing here on my property arguing with me about my own goddamn tree?” She took a few steps toward him and he stepped back, flinching as he did, despite the fact that he was easily twice her size.
“Miss,” he started, but the smaller one patted him on the arm. He turned, paused, and finally seemed to realize he would not be cutting down the tree after all. “We’ll be going,” he said after a long period of silence.
Lisa didn’t wait. She walked back into the house and was backing her Honda out of the driveway before the two men had finished loading up their truck.
Lisa popped her head into Alandra’s room, but she was fast asleep. Dan looked over the top of her head.
“Okay?” He asked.
Lisa nodded, closed the door a little farther and then followed Dan down the darkened hallway to their own room.
“A talking tree,” Dan said, not quite laughing as he changed for bed.
“She believed it… Believes it… I can’t cut down her tree.”
Dan shrugged. “Willy and Timmy were pissed off.”
“So was I.” Lisa said.
“I heard.” He held up his hands. “Not that you didn’t have a right to be… I should have told you. I made a deal to just take down the tree. I figured I’d just end up trimming the thing for years… It’s a bad place… But, if it stays, it stays.”
“I didn’t say the tree talked to me,” Lisa said.
“I know,” Dan agreed.
“I feel a little defensive.”
“Don’t… It’s over.”
“Would you have done the same thing?”
“Are you kidding? Nandie crying on the phone? I would have run them both out of the yard.” He sighed.
Lisa smiled. “Okay, that made me feel better.” She reached for the light, casting the bedroom in half light from the glow of the red numerals on the clock. Dan noticed but said nothing.
“I didn’t like the other clock,” Lisa said.
He pulled her close. “Okay,” he agreed. “Red’s good.”
“Baby,” Lisa pulled back and looked up into his eyes. “Do you think, well, do you think trees can …”
“Talk,” Dan supplied.
“No, I was going to say feel pain… Weird, right?”
“Well, they’re alive, aren’t they? But pain? I don’t know… Are you serious?”
“Well, Alandra was so upset… So hurt and…”
“It was a bad dream. You know how a dream can seem at that age. Like everything… Real. Completely real to a kid.”
“I think,” Dan soothed. He pulled her closer.
Lisa snuggled her head into his chest, meaning only to close her eyes for a few moments, but she drifted off into sleep instead.
“Sissy…” Softly on the wind…
Alandra’s eyes opened in the darkness of her bedroom.
“Mister Bob,” she whispered. She sat up and looked to the window, got out of bed and walked over quietly raising the window a little. She sat down on the floor and looked up at the branches that were only a few feet outside the window. The blue-gray moon floated above the limbs far above the tree. The name came again on the wind. Softly… Barely there.
She smiled. “Mister Bob,” she whispered once more…
Get Mister Bob from Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/mister-bob/id1197058839?mt=11
It’s raining in New York. Heavy, cold rain. Summer has been pretty hard to find so far this season, either blazing heat, or freezing cold, and lost and lost of rain. I thought I would share part of my past week with you…
I use Windows Seven for my operating system. Not because I like Windows Seven, but because Linux is not universally accepted yet. So I use Linux as much as I can and then Windows Seven when I have to. And forget about 8, I tried it and decided it wasn’t for me, so I have been hanging in there with 7.
I purchased a new machine a month or so ago and it came with Windows Ten. Oh, I could write a whole blog about how I hate Windows Ten. And I do. It compromises you and your information on every level, because it insists on having it. It insists on knowing everything there is to know about you. Do you have five freckles on the inside of your left thigh? That would be about the only thing it doesn’t ask or know about it, but I would not count on the fact that it doesn’t know, it just might. Anyway, for me, too nosy. I buy the software and so I guess that means I am supporting the invasion of my privacy. But I would like it to be more like a car. A Toyota will drive me anywhere I want to go, but, so will a Ford, or a Chevy, or a Dodge, or, well, you get the idea. So why is it we only have Windows? Where the hell is the support for Linux? Or something else? Okay, That’s all I have on that.
So, I deep-sixed the machine I bought because, as it turns out, you can not easily delete Win 10, at least on this machine. It would not allow me to install my Win 7. I struggled with it for a week. I decided in that space of time that there was no redeeming quality there and then one day I went online, ordered the parts from Amazon to fix my old machine. Kicked myself for not doing that first, and once they came I spent a few hours fixing the old machine. Once I was done I unplugged the new machine, stuck it back in the box and slid it under my desk. It made a great foot rest until my mother’s machine locked up the other day.
Moms machine is my old machine. I wrote several short stories and my first novel on that machine, a lawn sale item I had all of 40.00 dollars into. “Well, how would you like a Windows Ten machine, Mom,” I asked? For her it’s great. She is a social animal, Mom is. I think something like 600 face book friends. She has all her on-line shopping places, her Kindle account. Huh, I said to her, people actually use computers to socialize? Mom just laughed at me. She figured out Win 10 immediately and has no problem with it. Humph…
I use Windows Seven and it makes me money, or helps me to make a living. It’s a tool I use to run the software that makes my living, and it allows me to access the publishing services I need to be able to make my living. It also allows me to buy and sell on-line if I so choose, use software to listen to music, manipulate my artwork and create Artwork too. Record Music of my own. Read other E-Books (Yes, I read other authors, not just the ones here at independAntwriters). In short I spend a great deal of time in the Windows Seven environment and all I ever do is complain about it, uh, sort of like I am right now. But once I got a load of Win 10 I decided I would embrace Win 7. No more complaints from me.
So, last week I went to Google for a translation for a phrase spoken by one of the characters in Earth’s Survivors Three. Katie Lee is Japanese and African American. Her Grandmother spoke Japanese. I remembered the pronunciation for Grand Daughter in Japanese, but did not want to hack the spelling. And, growing up and hearing it, having an idea in my head what it meant, and then what it really means are different things sometimes. I went with Magomusume instead of Mago. Magomusume is more formal, and not really used often. But, I didn’t want to confuse things, it’s not like the character can launch into a long explanation about why it is not usually used in the Gender specific form.
So, I found it, but when I had searched, it had also shown me a few images of people that indirectly related to my search. Japanese life. Yes, for once, not porn that always seems to pop up, but actual people… With their clothes on. I was awed, and I did something I rarely do, I spent about four hours more on Google looking for more pictures of people from all walks of life. So when you read Earth’s Survivors Three and you reach the point where Katie explains Magomusume you will know that as soon as I wrote that I then spent four or so hours Googleing stuff. I went ahead and clicked the ‘Images’ link on Google. Like I said, usually I am leery of it, but this time I carefully restricted my keywords and was rewarded.
Poor, Gypsies, Vietnamese, Japanese, Native American, African and African American. One simply led to the next. And why look if you don’t intend to keep? The reason I thought of that is because I know a man who, whenever I visit, has his desktop machine (A MAC, Ironically) set to show different life scenes. And this is on his office machine, so while I’m waiting, I watch the picture show. I have been there enough times to know the pictures, and so I anticipate certain ones.
I sit in the padded leather chair, in his office, in America, where even the very poor do not starve to death in the streets, or get shot or terrorized by soldiers, or shot, killed and dumped in a ditch somewhere. At least not as the normal course of a day. Violence does happen here too. Having both grown up poor, and spent time actually living on the streets as a teen, I understand that what we see on the surface is only a poor reflection of what is under that surface, but I sit in his padded leather chair and I watch scenes from all over the world: People, Artwork, Animals, Architecture and more. It’s pleasant to watch. Soothing. I suppose it is for him too.
But the images I discovered that day were people who knew nothing at all about me. My life. My computer. The life I lead is so far from their life that it might just be incomprehensible to them. In any case, for most of them, they will never live this type of life. And they don’t look all that unhappy about the possibility of never living this life to me.
Yes, in some instances I’m sure they are. When their basic rights are violated, when they are oppressed, when they are hungry. Not our version of hungry, I mean when they have not eaten. Maybe for days. So their life is not all roses, but they don’t miss what they have never thought about, seen, or experienced. And I looked at the pictures and I thought this is what I need to look at every day. This is what can keep me connected to the real world. That is important to me. Being grounded. Staying grounded.
So I spent about four hours and downloaded every picture that I came across that I liked. I put them in a folder and I have added to that folder a few times now when I have thought of other people I would like to see. Then I set my desktop to that folder and voila. I Guess I am bringing it up because it affected me in some unexpected ways.
First, I have six monitors, so as I work I can see the pictures change, for the most part. The only time I can’t is when I have something else up on all the other monitors, but I found that I tend to leave a monitor blank most of the time now. And that, throughout my day, I am watching the faces pop up. A mother in Africa with her baby. A band of Gypsies Exiled by Hitler before or during the war. He hated them as much as he did the Jewish people. A proud but poor Father in Mexico posing outside of a house most of us would not want to step inside of let alone call home, with his family. All smiling. Looks like they have a lot of love if not money.
A young Native American mother sometime back in the 1700’s staring wide eyed at the camera, her child held in her arms. She looks so young and scared. A little boy smiling up at the camera, tribal scars on both sides of his face. He looks so happy. His smile is genuine. A mother nursing. Rebels posing with machine guns on a road in a jungle somewhere. A young Vietnamese woman making her way through the ruined streets of some Vietnamese city. A Chinese woman with her child on her back, wrapped and looking at the world go by as mom makes her way to where ever she is going. And more…
A family on the road. A father carrying his children. Images of war, images of peace. Images I have no context for, only the people looking into the lens of the camera, or away: Caught unawares. I realized it really was keeping the world in my mind. Why is that father carrying his children? What does that mother feed her children? Do they know about the western world? What do they think about it? I like it. It keeps the world on my mind. The part of the world that is important.
I don’t mean our jobs, bills, house payments aren’t important, I am only saying that people are more important. Seeing these people from all over the world. Some surely still living, some long gone away, keeps me grounded. If only because of what I just said. I know some are gone: Some still here. It reminds me that there were times with my family, friends, I wish I could have back, had cherished more. Some of those people are gone now. If I remember them as I look at the pictures it’s like they never left. And there are the questions I have for those I see in the pictures too. It keeps the important things in the world in perspective for me.
It has been an interesting week, and I am glad I made the change. It even makes me grateful, yes, grateful, to Microsoft for this desktop where I can watch those changing pictures. Or whoever came up with the idea. Does that mean I can’t complain about Windows anymore?
Have a safe weekend, Dell.
Zombie Plagues Podcast: https://thezombieplagues.com/feed/podcast
The Nation Chronicles: https://wendellsweet.com/feed/podcast
I have become interested in how versatile the Crown Vic and Mercury Marquis are when used for frame swaps for older cars and trucks. You can find these cars cheap, and then update an older vehicle to modern suspension either by using the front and rear suspension on your own frame or swapping in the entire frame or parts of it…
These are YouTube links to get you started. All of these links feature frame swaps, suspension swaps, most of them from start to finish…
4,790 subscribers: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMapRfKXRnbhh9W1fo0zzvg
10,977 subscribers https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzenfVtD8yaVY_LH_qe_wAw
Places to buy wrecks / rebuildables /Salvage vehicles
- With 2500 vehicles sold last year, RepairableVehicles.com continues to be the “Leader” in late model repairable vehicle sales. Although many others try to imitate us, they do not duplicate our VOLUME, our SELECTION, or our KNOWLEDGE in the industry. http://repairablevehicles.com/
- Search over 130,000 wrecked cars for sale.Over 400 seller locations.Trusted by 309,961 satisfied users. https://erepairables.com/
Cutting the cable part four
I now have all 15 channels in HD, including Canada. I did not know that Canadian TV has a new central network. They are all working and I hooked them into Pluto TV with the My Pluto TV APP, and so now our FTA channels are right there on our Pluto TV guide.
If you don’t know, Pluto TV is free. I have it on my Roku and it works perfectly. Once you authorize the app it will add your Over The Air signals to the menu, along with the information the signal carries with it. It is awesome.
So I have gone from a little more than $250.00 a month for cable and WIFI, to approximately $10,00 for Netflix, and $16.00 for Philo. I am still paying for WIFI, for the time being, but I am building WIFI antennas as I write this to access free WIFI services. Hope this was informative for you.
Roku TV APP: https://www.roku.com/
Walmart Antennas: Antennas