Satellite cable

Posted by Geo 01-30-17

Last day of the month. The time is flowing by quickly. Winter will be gone before I can even get a good complaint going about the cold and ice and summer will be here with its heat and humidity and I’ll wish I had never said a word.

Spent today waiting on the satellite company, spent yesterday waiting on the cable company. I love waiting for service people that have you completely at their mercy. In the end it all got straightened out and only half of today was wasted saying the same thing over and over as I was transferred to department after department.

I had bought into an advertisement on TV that promised satellite internet speeds as fast as cable. Just so you know, it isn’t true at all. Not even close. Half the speed, hard to even stream a movie without interruptions, and there is a data cap. Read that as one or two movies, a little light duty surfing and you are done for the whole month. That would knock me out the first day of the month. So I went through the whole hook it up and then disconnect it thing. My own fault. If something sounds suspect it probably is. I know that, yet I still fell for it. And so you know, it costs a great deal to buy your way back out once you take the plunge, but I ate that too. Live and learn.

So that kept me away from my writing schedule today and my day off yesterday. I will fix that though. I have a little story in my head where a Cable company installer gets involved with a Satellite installers wife. The husband finds out and all hell breaks loose. That’s the nice thing about being a writer. You can get retribution and it isn’t even a felony.

We are about a third of the way through the writing process for book Ten of the Earth’s Survivors series. It is coming along well. There is other writing for the 7th Zombie Plagues book happening at the same time as I mentioned last week. In any case it is going well. A few days of cable and satellite interruptions wont bother it at all.

So while I was waiting on the satellite service today, I decided that it was a good time to move my wireless router since I was changing the service over, and make the location more central to both machines and the printer that use it. I was wrong. I mean it got moved, but it was not a good day to do it. It is 28 and windy and snowing hard: You need windshield wipers for your glasses. I ended up drilling holes and running wires, all of the things I didn’t want to do in the cold, but somehow talked myself into. I am an idiot at times I will admit that.

I went ahead and assumed it would all work out great. I unplugged the modem, collected up the new modem and then the wireless modem and went to work drilling the holes and running about 50′ of cable for Ethernet too. Got out my little wire staples and popped it all together nice and neat and turned it on. It worked great. It worked great for about 3 minutes and then it quit working. Shut it off and turn it back on and it’s fine for three more minutes then it’s off again. It has been such a crazy two months using brand B’s service that I seriously considered whether or not I could get my web stuff done in that three minute window. When I realized I was seriously considering it I kicked myself in the ass and went back to work trying to figure it out.

The router would take me to the router site but then it claimed that it couldn’t recognize the service provider and refused to set it all the way up. So I went step by step as it said to.

#1. Reset the unit and wait 2 minutes before you cycle through the start up process.

I waited two minutes, same three minutes of internet access and then nothing. It finally occurred to me that I had never reset the other modem, the cable company one. Should that matter? Yes, it should and did. I reset it and it all came on and worked fine. Told you I was an idiot.

But really I think I expect everything to be intuitive. Maybe ask me a question or two in a robotic voice and then proceed to setup. No problem. I hate technologies that can’t communicate with each other and so have no clue why they are not working and no ability to chat back and forth to you to find out. I know this is true because several times this morning I called the router a No good ***&^ and a &^^**%, and it made no difference. If someone had called me those things I definitely would have reacted. So I am puzzled as to why it didn’t. It didn’t have to say much, just a short Sorry, or even Wow, you screwed that up, right? Anything like that, but it stayed silent: Nothing at all to say.

I made it past that though and everything is hooked up and very fast. So I thought, well I’ll take advantage of this super fast connection to access my account and cancel the old stuff and that was when things got even worse. Three hours later I managed to find an English understanding person in tech support, at least he sort of understood it about as well as I understood him. So I got off the phone. I considered that the cap to my morning. Stung by the satellite company, then the cable company, then tech support. Bastards. That was morning. It’s now afternoon and 5 degrees, that is about all that has changed. And of course it’s nearly 3:00 PM too. How in hell did that happen?

Well, there you go. That is my Monday, and I hope that your Monday is a lot better. I will be back on writing tomorrow, and from there the rest of the week stretches out pretty much problem free. I hope your day is problem free, and go download these free books. I’ll be back Wednesday, Geo.

The free books for today are:

Free eBooks

Earth’s Survivors Apocalypse

Series: Earth’s Survivors · Free eBooks. Price: Free! Words: 94,690. Language: English. Published: January 30, 2015 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General,Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic

(4.00)

Earth’s Survivors Apocalypse follows survivors of a worldwide catastrophe. A meteorite that was supposed to miss the earth completely, hits and becomes the cap to a series of events that destroy the world as we know it. Hopes, dreams, tomorrows: All buried in a desperate struggle to survive. Small groups band together for safety, leaving the ravaged cities behind in search of a new future…

Earths Survivors The Zombie Killers: Origins

Series: Earth’s Survivors The Zombie Killers, Book 1 · Free eBooks. Price: Free! Words: 77,890. Language: English. Published: February 25, 2014 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories:Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
The Zombie Killers are the men and women who keep the new settlements safe for the other survivors. Those in the Nation and those in the Fold, and the many independent colonies that would not be able to exist without their help and intervention. They are the ones who search out supplies, fight the Zombie Plagues so that the others can live in safety…

The Zombie Plagues Book One

Series: The Zombie Plagues, Book 1 · Free eBooks. Price: Free! Words: 73,100. Language: English. Published: September 14, 2013 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories:Fiction » Horror » Undead, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic

(5.00)

What if the world ended tomorrow? What would you do? Would you be able to survive? The Zombie Plagues books follow a small group of men and women as they struggle to survive on a vastly changed earth, where the dead sometimes do not remain dead. Follow along as they try to rebuild their own lives as they rebuild their world.

Connected: Sanger Road

Series: Connected · Free eBooks · Crime Novels. Price: Free! Words: 41,020. Language: English. Published: September 24, 2016 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories:Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Sanger Road: An explosive morning on a dead end road is about to change Carl Ever’s life forever. Ami Anderson is a young woman living a dead end life, the same as Carl. They are thrown together and find themselves in a set of circumstances neither could ever have predicted. Murder, hired killers, cash and drugs are all in the mix. Soon Ami and Carl find themselves on the run for their lives…

Free eBooks: https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/25786


Netflix Round Three

Posted by Geo 01-27-2017

End of Month Report Card on cutting the cable…

Good morning from the changing weather every ten minutes capital of the world. It is crazy here. Two days ago all of the snow had melted and the rains had been in force for several days. The rains then turned to freezing rains, what a mess that was, and then last night the temperatures dropped and it all turned to snow. Tomorrows forecast? 30 inches of snow. I certainly hope that is wrong.

I have been subsisting on re-runs lately. It is that time of year when some of the most popular shows are on hiatus and the second part of the season has yet to start.  That is why God invented Netflix. Okay, so maybe Man invented Netflix, but I bet even God has a subscription. Where else can you watch nearly anything at 6:00 AM, or 1:00 AM for that matter. Kids shows, mom and dad oriented movies, old series you loved and would gladly watch again and new series you heard about and wanted to watch like the first season of Better Call Saul, or Stranger Things, or Jessica Jones.

No, I’m not a paid representative for Netflix, I just like it. I am also getting around much better in Prime and really seeing everything Amazon gives me in that membership. First, for me, I like to shop online. call me lazy, I do all the time. It just makes sense to pay less in most cases and have what you want in a few days in most instances. And to get free shipping? Icing on the cake. So there is the free shipping, but there is also a great deal of content a well. They do their own series and movies and truly any movie you could ever want is right at your fingertips, because if it isn’t free with your membership then you can rent it for a few bucks or even buy it, because this is Amazon and they sell all those movies.

As for Hulu I received feedback telling me how great it is and so I gave it another shot and I have tried to like it, but it just doesn’t deliver. Maybe in a few years it will, hard to tell. Yes, the interface was redesigned and works much better. Yes, there are series and there are movies and they truly aren’t bad, but it is that boast on their page and in their ads that you can watch network TV the next day that is lacking. Yes, you can watch SOME network TV the next day, but not all of it. Yes you get the Discovery channel but no back episodes of any of their popular shows and no recent episodes or seasons either. Same with History and several others. My feeling is if you say it, you should have it and they do not have it. So I will get rid of Hulu after this trial month.

CBS All Access. This was another suggestion I received and so I added it for the month to try it out. It’s great. This app has been around a while and is a mature app. It allows you local channel access, so you can watch your own news in case of emergency or bad weather that could affect travel plans. It has all the current CBS series as well a older CBS series. It also has movies and back episodes of all their popular shows. Inexpensive too. This app is worth the money and solved the problem for me of having a local channel.

Crackle: I want to add that Crackle is a free movie app. It is owned by Sony and has a great deal of quality content. You watch commercials in exchange for the content. I saw this app when it first appeared and there were a few problems with the commercials loading, but all of that has been fixed. This is a good supplemental channel for good content.

YouTube: I will keep YouTube because there are millions of things to fill your time and or amuse you there, and why not see it on TV instead of eating the bosses time looking at it at work? Or, maybe you saw something at work you want the wife to see, or the husband, or the guys in the boarding house! Whatever, it is a good, well working app and worth having.

I guess that is that. That is the way the month shook out. I hope you got something out of this and I will be back on Monday! Enjoy the coming weekend, check out the free eBook links below, Geo…

……………………………………..

Featuring I Tunes this Friday! #Free #eBooks

……………………………………..

The Zombie Killers: Origins

There were millions of bodies. It was not so bad in those…

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-zombie-killers-origins/id829336927?mt=11

……………………………….

The Zombie Plagues Book One

The Zombie Plagues – The Zombie Plagues, no. 1

Geo Dell: https://itunes.apple.com/lu/book/the-zombie-plagues-book-one/id712828059?mt=11

…………………………………….

Genesis Earth: Armageddon

Genesis Earth, no. 1

Geo Dell: https://itunes.apple.com/lu/book/genesis-earth-armageddon/id920619629?mt=11

………………………………………

Connected: Sanger Road
Carl finds a world where anything is possible if you are willing to risk everything…

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/connected-sanger-road/id1159120378?mt=11

…………………………………..

I-Tunes: Apocalypse, free eBook…

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/earths-survivors-apocalypse/id963866999?mt=11

…………………………………..

That’s it. All of those listing are FREE ebooks! Have a great weekend, see you Monday, Geo…


Write, right

Posted by Geo 01-25-2017

Good morning! The world is ice and snow. The weather can’t make up its mind what it wants to do. We have had the strangest weather the last few days and now it seems to be warming again, melting all the ice that has formed and caused accidents and taken down trees.

I have been working on this new book and finally finished the basic novel yesterday. When I say that I mean the story is completely there. That is how I do it. Sometimes when I am writing like that it feels like it is pouring out of me so fast that I can’t think fast enough to translate it to the keys on the keyboard. It feels so fast that I think I should pull the plug… It’s too fast. it will tip me over. It gets like that. All consuming when that story grips you and just pours out of you. Time for a lunch break? No, not today. I may have been called to lunch or something else, but I never moved because I know as well as any writer knows that when that story is flowing like that you let it be. You don’t stop. You emerge hours later from this fog you were in, and go about your business, but it is hours before your brain settles down, and sometimes it doesn’t and you find yourself right back at it, the words pouring out of you once more.

So that is how the story came. Now it needs to sit a few days and then I will go over the entire thing and fix all the mistakes. Sometimes when the story is flowing like that you miss whole words, type half sentences. So I wait a few days, the story line is still fresh in my head, and I go back and fix all of those things. Then I make another pass fleshing it out. Sometimes I will throw in short talk, just a message to myself like “Put something about Karen right here!” At the time I knew exactly what I wanted Karen to do, be, say, fall into and so I want to write that extra scene while my brain is still there. And there are usually dozens of those sorts of things.

Then I leave the story for a month or two. I want to move on to another project, maybe even complete it before I come back. After that time I do a read through to see how the story strikes me with some perspective… Do I like it? Do I see glaring mistakes in characters or plot lines? Does it seem thin in places? After that, if I have decided to keep it I fix those places. Then I have  friend who reads it raw like that. She tells me what her impressions are and I make those changes. She is looking at it with a completely new set of eyes having never dealt with the story before. After those changes are made I am ready to flesh the book out to the size I want it to be. Am I aiming for a long book or a short book? With digital books I try to keep them around 50k, paperback only books closer to 100k. So I go to work expanding or contracting scenes until I am where I want to be. Sounds like surgery, and really it is.

I used to hate the whole process of attacking my own work and making it into something salable, but the fact is if you don’t there are no sales, you have to put it into the category and it has to be ready and whole when you do. So, one book down for the spring, summer or fall release, two to go.

The rest here is life a usual. Something large attacked one of my cats the other night. I found the tracks, the cat has a bruised ego and a sore tail, nothing worse. The track looks like fox to me. Could be, I found the tracks again this morning in the fresh snow. It came from the woods, up onto the porch, off the porch and down the side of the house and then crossed the road and wandered off into the woods on the other side.Until I figure out what it is I will have to be careful with my own animals so they don’t get injured or worse.

That is me this Wednesday. I will leave you with an excerpt from the next book I will be jumping into starting tomorrow, Hurricane. Hurricane has been the working title for over a year now. It will be book three in the Connected series when it is finished and should arrive some time between spring and fall of this coming year. I hope all is well in your world, see you Friday, Geo…

Hurricane

Copyright Dell Sweet 2017, All rights reserved.

This preview is licensed for the SOTOFO 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.

One

Elements

Monday:

“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 reading. You can check out the Connected series from W. W. (Jay) Watson below…

Connected: Sanger Road

W. W. Watson

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

Connected, a series from W. W. Watson. Sanger Road: Book one…
Pulled from his mundane life, Carl finds a world where anything is possible if you are willing to risk everything…
The smell of hot metal filled the air. Carl looked first to the car down the road, partway onto the cement pad: The trunk had popped open and all manner of stuff that had been inside now lay scattered across the ground. Hot oil and antifreeze dripped from under the hood onto the concrete. The front roof line was crushed flat to the top of the driver’s seats. The backseat area seemed untouched.
He slipped around the end of the trailer and looked at the other car. A newer Ford: He could see the badge on the rear deck. The front end of the car was wrapped around the oak in the backyard just as he had thought and steam was rising up into the air. The Ford first, he decided. The car across the road would have to wait.

The Ford had hit the tree and climbed it a few feet before it came to a complete stop. Carl had to stand on tip toe to peer into it. The driver had no head left, that had been the huge stain on the windshield. There was no passenger. Looking out from the inside it was not just red but gray and black too: Bone, hair and brain matter. His stomach did a quick flip and he began to close his eyes as he turned away.
As he turned, his eyes caught on the floorboard and a blue duffel bag that was jammed into the space with the drivers legs. There was no way that the door was going to open, but the glass was gone from the window. He balanced over the edge of the door trying to stay as far away as he could from the dead man as he did, leaned in and tried to snag the duffel bag. His fingers brushed the two plastic handles, but he could not get a grip on them.
Carl levered himself further over the window sill and nearly came down into the dead man’s lap as he lost his balance and his feet left the ground. His hand shot down quickly, bounced off the dead man’s thigh and hit the seat, stopping him just a few inches above the man’s lap and a small splattering of bone and blood that was there. His hand slipped, but he pressed down harder and held himself.
He could feel the slick blood and splinters of bone under his hand, but he pushed the knowledge out of his mind, took a deep breath, braced himself and then reached down with his free hand and snatched the handles pulling the heavy bag free.
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Connected: Dello Green

W. W. Watson

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

Jimmy West:
Jimmy West backed his big Dodge around to an open dumpster container, late afternoon was a perfect time. The county residents not in evidence: The large trucks done with their routes for the day: The dump about to close down for another day. Whenever he had something to dispose of and he needed privacy, he timed it so that he was here in the late afternoon just as he was now.
Smith, who now resided in the trunk of the Dodge, had met him on a back road of the local base. That was not as risky as it seemed. The base had been a small winter camp back in the early nineteen hundreds: When it had expanded the first time it had incorporated an entire nearby village. The whole township: Farms, streets, fields. At the third expansion, when it became a major base most people had forgotten about the old township and its farms and roads rotting away on the vast reservation. Jimmy, who had grown up in the area, had not.
Jimmy handled problems for different people. Very many of those people did favors for, or had business dealings with, people who had bad habits. Theft. Gambling. Prostitution, drugs, just to name a few. And many of those people with those bad habits got to know Jimmy West because they also had another bad habit: They constantly forgot to pay their debts.
Jimmy could see how a two dollar debt might slip someone’s mind. After all it was insignificant, but a three thousand dollar debt? Or even a thirty thousand dollar debt? No. He could not see how a debt that large could slip anyone’s mind. He couldn’t see how a debt that large wouldn’t be on your mind day and night until you had it paid, settled. Somehow, for some, it wasn’t that way and that was unfortunate for them because it meant they would most likely be getting a visit from Jimmy. A personal collection, so to speak.
Jimmy had a certain propensity for violence. His psychological evaluations in the service had shown an aptitude for following orders without question, and a certain flexibility of morals that some would find alarming, but which the government had used him for more than once. Killing didn’t seem to affect him the way it did others. In fact, it didn’t bother him at all. Killing was part of the job. That was how he looked at it then: And that was how he had explained his lack of empathy to the Army shrink that had debriefed him when he had resigned after his second tour. It was nothing special, it was how he was built. It was something his boss, Jojo White appreciated.
Jojo White ran the largest organized crime outfit on the east coast. He had met West fresh out of the service when some of those aptitudes had nearly gotten him killed. He had embraced that side of him. He employed West to fix problems for him.
Jimmy shut down the car and walked around to the back, looking in all directions, trying not be obvious as he did it: There was no one around. He keyed the trunk lock and the lid rose slowly. West looked down into the trunk: Smith had been easy. Sometimes ordinary people picked up information or habits that became liabilities. When that happened Jimmy’s phone would ring. Not every problem he took care of knew something, but if need be every one of those problems had given up their information before he had allowed them to die.
Smith had been selling in Jojo White’s cocaine territory. A bad idea. Jimmy knew he had sold the idea to a local bookie he had been in deep with. Move in, steal a little territory, sell fast and get the f**k out before Jojo even knew he had been there. It all sounded so easy when you were blue-skying it..
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Mister Bob and some humor for your Monday

Posted by Geo 01-23-2017

Today is an assortment of humor and a free short story, Mister Bob, at the end. This is all stuff I have written and set aside. There is so much of this sort of stuff that sometimes I wonder how I get any work done at all. Please take it all with a grain of salt, or two, or three…

My Friend Bob.

My friend is stupid. He called me up and said…

“Listen, I’m really worried.”

“What’s wrong, Bob,” I asked? I was concerned. Must be seriose for him to call me.

“Well, I’m concerned about this Transvaginal mesh thing on the T.V.,” Bob says.

“Oh… Wife?”

“Huh?”

“Wife had the surgery?”

“You know, I never even thought of that,” Bob says.

“Oh… Mother… Sister?”

“Jesus, now I’m really worried… I was worried about me… That time I had the surgery for the hernia.”

“Um… Ok… So, you were worried what, that they used transvaginal mesh to repair it?”

“Oh, that’s bad,” Bob says. “I didn’t even think of that… But, no… When I went to see that shrink a few years back he told me I had to get in touch with my inner Vagina.”

I choked. I couldn’t help it. “He said that?”

“I think so… The thing is he was saying a lot of shit, I really wasn’t paying attention. Inner femine side, vagina, something.”

“Okay… Well, is it possible he said inner child? And … Get in touch with your feminin side?”

“Maybe,” Bob allowed. “But, you know we are all female in the womb and that means we must have a vagina and that’s what’s got me worried.”

Things on TV that I don’t want to see or hear:

“If you have an erection that lasts more than four hours contact a doctor”

“Less leakage with our pads.”

“Let’s talk about our Bums.”

“Hail to the V.”

Important things to consider:

Bears can not wipe their asses at all.

Beavers are really an animal with buck teeth they can cut down trees with. How does that equal a vagina? Oh… never mind.

Groundhogs are really just rodents so you don’t have to listen to anything that they say. Such as, I don’t know, predictions from that fat bastard groundhog in Pennsylvania.

Boogers, there was a time as a child when you considered this food.

Assholes, what if everyone that was an asshole had to look like one? I know, right?

Hamburgers have no ham in them. Is that a lawsuit or what?

Politicians, what if everyone that was an asshole had to look like one? I know, right?

Loose ends

Riddle me this the big Dummy asked: What wind speed would it take to knock a 270 pound Idiot-Man flat on his butt on an icy driveway, while shoveling, in the middle of a blizzard?

You may ask, “Well, what was the idiot doing out there shoveling if it was a blizzard?” But that is self explanatory, he’s an idiot.

You may say, “Shouldn’t he have a Prozac and watch the snow pile up from somewhere safely inside?” But that should also be self explanatory.

Give up? Well, um, apparently all it takes is 16 mph winds from the West. I checked with the weather service after I got up. And, although you didn’t ask, I’m fine. Just fine, and, bonus, I apparently provided a smashing show for the guy driving by in the green truck. Happy to be of service, Guy in the Green truck…

Tough guy lines

“Hey… Hey, let me have your fucking attention for a moment if I might. Why don’t we do this. Let’s just shut the fuck up and accept what I’m gonna do or else I’ll put a fucking bullet right in your fucking eye… Okay? Are we cool with that?”

“Okay… Okay… I see. You are objecting to the way I’m handling this problem… I got that right, right? You don’t think I’m being fair? Okay. Well then, obviously I gotta make a change. Fair is fair. So, why don’t we compromise and do it this way. You’ll have your say and then I’ll do what I was gonna do anyway and you’ll shut the fuck up and quit jabbering about it. That way I don’t gotta shoot you in the fuckin’ knee… Now who says I can’t compromise?”

Things a dolphin might say if a dolphin could talk

1: Please don’t eat me.

2: So, you a fisherman?

3: I hear the Snapper is good.

4: Well, you could take me home… Keep me in one of those little bowls…

Things a dolphin might say if you get them drinking.

1: “So, me and my buddy were over by the coral reef when this huge frickin’ shark cruises in like he owns the place. Well, I says to my friend, let’s just see about that. So…”

2: So, she says to me. “You come here often?” Often, I says. Often? It’s the freakin’ ocean! Whad’ya’mean often!

3: Well I used to be a Loan Shark.

4: Sushi… I mean Susie… Ow! Stop it! Why are you eating me!

Truth in advertising

Used Cat, 2013 model with gray striping. Yellow/green/red/demonic eyes. Very low miles, sleeps all the time. Has claws, poops in the house, does not respect humans, dogs, bugs or pretty much anything else. Has chewed the cords off seven mice and three power supplies, still in all is a very likable cat.

Bad dog. Very cute. Has piddled or pooped in every spot in the house. Dug up garden. Bit mailman and killed neighbors cat. Very affectionate. Cheap. Papers included, newspapers I mean, because he is sure to crap all over your house too.

Microsoft Backup in the old days

Waiting for a backup is like watching paint dry… Nope, the paint is dry and the damn backup is still ongoing. I suppose, as a writer, that I should feel fortunate that I have so much stuff to back up, once upon a time I only had those first few words too. It has said … ‘About Four Minutes Remaining’ … for like twenty minutes now. Oh, what a surprise, I wrote that, went back and checked, and it still says … ‘About four minutes remaining’ … Figures. I do not believe that Microsoft Windows Backup can count. See, I wrote that too and it still says it!!!! ARRRGGGG. Lol. The Backup dilemma, do I have five hours to waste today to do a backup?

Scenes of Elvis I have cut out of books I wrote…

In a rusty old trailer, in the Palmview Park trailer court, in Miami Florida, a dark haired heavyset man sat at his kitchen table.

The power had been off for days, and the cheap plastic cassette player’s batteries had finally run-down. He had tried to be careful, had tried to only play it occasionally, but they had run-down despite his efforts.

He no longer wore the white leather outfit. He had hardly ever worn it anyway, only occasionally, only when he needed to, when he wanted to remember.

He had put it away two days ago, and he had no intention of ever wearing it again. It hung in the musty closet in his bedroom at the rear of the trailer, and as far as he was concerned it could hang there forever.

He removed the dark sun glasses and rubbed his tired eyes, started to put them back on, and then decided against it. They too had to go. Old stuff. Stuff that wasn’t important any longer, he knew. He ran his fingers through his thick hair, as he carefully set the glasses aside. He had thought of cutting it. Like maybe he should cut it, but he hadn’t been able to do it. In fact, he didn’t want to do it, so he had left it, along with the long graying sideburns. He liked them, they suited him, and he couldn’t let them go. He supposed they looked silly, even made him look older, but he didn’t care. And besides, he thought, he was old. The hair made him feel young, the hair made him remember, and if only for that reason, he wanted to keep it.

He sighed as he stood up from the table, glancing once more at the cheap plastic cassette player. It was time to go, time to leave, and although he didn’t want to go, although he really wanted nothing at all to do with people again, he knew that he had to go.

He had known, just known, when the batteries had finally died, that Florida was about to die too. He had to leave, unless he wanted to die right along with it. He levered the old door open for the last time, and stepped out into the warm morning air.

He took one last look at the rusted and faded trailer, and then set off through the park.

He walked slowly, looking around at the run-down park for the last time as he did, and headed for the marina that was just down the road. He hoped to find a boat of some sort, and leave.

And… Go where? He asked himself.

He pushed the thought away. It didn’t matter where he went, only that he went…

From a later book

Aaron walked slowly out of the bedroom and into the kitchen area. The music had cut off, and suddenly too. And for just a second there. For just one small second there, he had felt as though the last ten years had slipped away, had been made unreal somehow, and he was back in the run-down trailer in good old Palmview trailer court, in Florida. Which was ridiculous, had to be ridiculous, and even he knew that it was ridiculous, but it had felt that way.

It had, thank God, nothing to do with that though. It was ten years later, he wasn’t in Florida, and everything was… Well, regular. The damn breaker had flipped again.

Ira, had helped set it up, and most of the time it worked just fine, but sometimes like this time, he thought it didn’t.

Sometimes when the sun slipped behind a cloud the thing just shut down. And the reason was clear. The electricity was solar, and they had hooked up a battery back-up, but the back-up was shot, kaput, done, finished, the damn thing couldn’t hold a charge more than fifteen minutes on a good day, and the last several day’s had been far from good days. Barely any sunlight six days running and it didn’t look as though there would be any real quick.

No big deal, he thought, as he switched off the main breaker, and then reset the one that had tripped. It wasn’t like there were factories just pumping out batteries any longer.

He had come a long way since his days as the king of rock and roll. And, he really had been the king for a while there, even after he died, after he was supposed to be dead, he had still been the king: Still on top, and no one had come along to knock him out of that top spot either.

The Star Reporter had still been doing articles about him ten years ago. ELVIS LIVING AS A VEGETABLE IN BRAZIL, was his favorite.

Really? Please, give it a rest. How much, he wondered now, did they have to pay those people to say those things? Probably, he concluded, as he always did, with a dry chuckle, absolutely nothing. They were glad to say it, needed to say it even, and would say it regardless of whether they were paid or not.

Wouldn’t they be surprised to know that he had really spent those years since he was supposed to have died flipping burgers in a run-down diner on the outskirts of Miami?

No, he decided, that would be too boring to print. They would have never gone for that.

Aaron chuckled once more, and walked back into the bedroom. Ira had stopped by just a few hours before, and invited him over to dinner, no time to think about Slander Sheets now, time only to get ready, and not just for dinner with Cora and Ira. After all, there was some serious business ahead. Very serious, and Ira might not know it yet, but Aaron did, he knew it for a fact. And he also knew, had a feeling really, that this time… This time the king might really die. He might really die, and…

He chuckled once more, an uneasy chuckle, and again began to trim the bushy sideburns that had been one of his trade marks so long ago. It made no difference. Not to him, and most surely it wouldn’t make any to Ira. If it was time, it was time. Life hadn’t been so bad, at the least the last ten years hadn’t, not at all. In fact the last ten years of not being the king, of not living in the shadow of being the king, of not reading all that garbage every day, those years had made all the other years more than worthwhile. If he died so be it, Mamma would be there, and Aron would be there, and he had spoken to Ira about death, so he was no longer afraid of it. It was a known thing now, an understood thing, and if he had to go he would.

The sound of a motor came to him from outside, slightly loud. The exhaust, he knew, was going on Ira’s old truck. It was too dark in here to see all that well anyway without the light. He set down the scissors, and left the bedroom just as a short and feeble-sounding toot came from the truck outside. He could use a new horn too, Aaron thought, as he opened the front door, and walked to the truck.

A word from turtles

Thousands of turtles are run over each day, while doing nothing more than trying to reach their homes across the busy interstate. This wholesale slaughter can be averted. We are currently working to provide turtle overpasses on many of the nation’s busiest highways. Won’t you give to help this worthy project? Just ten cents a day could save the lives of these poor unfortunate turtles who are being run down and left for dead as you read this.

For ten cents a day you can give a turtle a safe alternative to reach his home. Won’t you consider it now?

Okay. Hope you found some of that humorous. I am going to leave you with a short story. Before I do that I wanted to let you know that I will be gone a good part of this coming week, possibly into the next week. I have posted concerning that so I won’t reiterate it. I’ll be back as soon as I can with fresh posts and blogs for you. Until then, have a great week, try not to hurt anybody on your way through life. That’s it for me today, Geo.

MISTER BOB

Mister Bob is Copyright © 2015 Wendell Sweet and his asignees

Additional Copyrights © 2010 by Wendell 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.

LEGAL

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.

_____________________________________________

MISTER BOB

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.”

“Dan.”

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.

Lisa yawned.

“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.

Alandra nodded.

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.”

Lisa nodded.

“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.

Morning:

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.

Alandra nodded.

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.”

Late Morning:

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.

“Yes.”

“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.

“What?”

“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.

Late Evening:

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.”

“Don’t?”

“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.”

“You think?”

“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.

Late Night:

“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.

“Sissy…”

She smiled. “Mister Bob,” she whispered once more…

________________________

Check out the full collection of stories in Mister Bob with free previews

Here if you are from the UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B017YKQX6I

or here for the US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017YKQX6I

 

Don’t forget to get your free copy of Earth’s Survivors: Apocalypse:

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00YDAXFLE

US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YDAXFLE

Have a great week, Geo.



Cats, Computers and Dams

Posted by Geo 01-18-2017

This past week I let all the work there still is to do on this house go and kicked back and wrote. This winter I will catch up on my other projects and that should be fine.

What went on this week:

Monday night my cat kept me up all night long yowling. There was a female outside and when I let him out Tuesday morning he got into a fight with a big tom and I had to go break that up. So, surprise, today he is not all that crazy about going outside as he usually is. He usually begins politely meowing, when that doesn’t work he begins the demanding meow: Of course once it goes past that you are not getting a thing done until you get the cat what the cat wants, becalms he or she is not going to shut up until then. I think cats are the trainers for those crying babies and tantrum throwing children you always see in the mall. For real…

Tuesday I spilled a very small amount of coffee onto the keys of my laptop and messed it all up. How, you might ask, could I be so stupid as to spill coffee on my keyboard? I don’t know. Plain old stupidity… Half awake… A cup of coffee in my hands… All the above. After determining that, yes, it was fried, I bit the bullet and headed to eBay where I found a replacement.

Wednesday I wrote all day and into the next day (3:00 AM). Thursday I did the same, and then tried to put together some computer parts I purchased. Failed. Realized I had bought a BTX form factor Motherboard (Advertised as an ATX), and even though it would not have fit the case I bought, I had not purchased the ATX case I thought I had, but a MATX case. Confused? So was I. After a gazillion hours trying to make it all fit I went online and looked for solutions. Ha Ha, I say that with the deepest sarcasm.

To fix the situation I needed to purchase a BTX form factor case, but I quickly found out a BTX case is hard to come by and more expensive than the whole combination I had bought. So, I looked for an MATX board to put the processor I had purchased on, but an MATX board, at least the ones I found, would not hold as much memory, slots, etc. They were generally more expensive with less to offer.

Which begs the question, why? I have noticed that a lot over the last several years. Want to buy a dog? Well, a German Shepherd or a Malamute, both about the same size, will cost about the same price. But, a small dog, I won’t mention the breed, costs more than either of those dogs. Huh. On that subject: As a dog, if a cat can kick your ass you’re probably too small.

Anyway, I finally decided to buy an ATX board and case. That worked except I was out more green. BTW, if you followed all of that you are probably as geeky as I am.

Friday I did some editing on Smashwords books. Writing, and eating Candy Corn. I have to admit it was great to get back to writing, but the candy corn was pretty good too, and then I remembered how far it was from Halloween… I kept eating it after a brief pause. And, listing all of those computer parts I bought that I no longer need. Let’s see. I spent about $250.00 in parts that I didn’t use, and another $200.00 in parts to actually build the thing, plus the cost of another laptop (Used on eBay), a really good deal for $125.00, I would say this week the computers won. And the thing is, in this society, you can not do without them. I guess I’ll be happier on Monday when the laptop shows up, and in a week or so when I put my fast computer together and convince myself that I am not really an idiot at all, technology is just faster than it used to be… Did that make sense? No.

What did I learn this week?

#1. Cats are not very useful when it comes to making you feel good about yourself. I mean they take off chasing the lady cats and fight at the drop of a hat, and take off for days sometimes only to come back looking all raggedy. Mine is currently MIA. That is a direct hit to the old self esteem. Of course maybe he was kidnapped or eaten by a dog, or a Sasquatch: After all there have been a great many Sasquatch sightings lately on the National Geographic channel of all places. I hope he didn’t suffer. That is of course if he was eaten. If he did run off with a lady cat I hope she takes him for everything he has.

#2. Laptop computers really suck. I have spilled whole sixteen ounce Cokes on my desktop keyboard, no problem except the keys began to stick bad. Also, the laptop keyboard stayed screwed up, I had to plug in a USB keyboard to type with, until I bought the replacement laptop. Second, I looked up form factors with Google. Holy Crap. The odds of me getting the wrong parts are very high, especially since some people that sell them don’t have a fricken clue what they are selling. There are dozens of form factors. Let me geek this out for you. Form factor refers to a common build for a particular board, across different manufacturers. Same pin connections, width, length. Etc. The last time I built a machine I only knew of two form factors, ATX and MATX which is a smaller board, and then there were proprietary boards built by some manufacturers. Yeah. No longer. So, now I think, spend the extra and have someone else build it to your specs. And after I get through this fiasco I will do that the next time.

#3. Writing is easier on the body than building a house is.

#4. I am no longer sure I should drink and keyboard. Coffee, Coke, it always ends up on the board before I am finished.

Other stuff:

Earth’s Survivors News: The first four Earth’s Survivors books have been put in a collection series. Buy two books at a time and save money, plus get more for your buck too.

Earth’s Survivors Collection One:

U.S. Link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013H08B5U

U.K. Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B013H08B5U

Earth’s Survivors Collection Two:

U.S. Link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013H08JI4

U.K. Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B013H08JI4

Earth’s Survivors book nine, Knock, is available from Smashwords or Amazon presently and will be available at other book sellers soon.

The Zombie Plagues: Smashwords only, the full series and the first book is free.

Everything else is in line and going well. Well, except computers, Cats and coffee cups.

I will leave you with a true short story…

………………………………………

THE DAM by Wendell Sweet Copyright 2010 – 2015, Wendell Sweet and his assignees.

All rights reserved, electronic or traditional print.

Blog Edition

This work is copyright protected. You may read it in its present form. You may not alter or transmit it by any means. If you would like to share this material with someone, please direct them to this URL. This is not a work of fiction. The people and circumstances really existed and I have faithfully reproduced the circumstances without excessive artistic license. I have changed names to protect innocent people.

Published by independAntwriters Publishing and Wendell Sweet

*******

THE DAM

*******

It was summer, the trees full and green, the temperatures in the upper seventies. And you could smell the river from where it ran behind the paper mills and factories crowded around it, just beyond the public square; A dead smell, waste from the paper plants.

I think it was John who said something first. “Fuck it,” or something like that,” I’ll be okay.”

“Yeah,” Pete asked?

“Yeah… I think so,” John agreed. His eyes locked on Pete’s, but they didn’t stay. They slipped away and began to wander along the riverbed, the sharp rocks that littered the tops of the cliffs and the distance to the water. I didn’t like it.

Gary just nodded. Gary was the oldest so we pretty much went along with the way he saw things.

“But it’s your Dad,” I said at last. I felt stupid. Defensive. But it really felt to me like he really wasn’t seeing things clearly. I didn’t trust how calm he was, or how he kept looking at the river banks and then down to the water maybe eighty feet are so below.

“I should know,” John said. But his eyes didn’t meet mine at all.

“He should know,” Gary agreed and that was that.

“That’s cool. Let’s go down to the river,” Pete suggested, changing the subject.

“I’m not climbing down there,” I said. I looked down the sheer rock drop off to the water. John was still looking too, and his eyes were glistening, wet, his lips moved slightly as if he was talking to himself. If he was I couldn’t hear. But then he spoke aloud.

“We could make it, I bet,” he said as though it was an afterthought to some other idea. I couldn’t quite see that idea, at least I told myself that later. But I felt some sort of way about it. As if it had feelings of its own attached to it.

“No, man,” Gary said. “Pete didn’t mean beginning here… Did you,” he asked?

“No… No, you know, out to Huntingtonville,” Pete said. He leaned forward on his bike, looked at john, followed his eyes down to the river and then back up. John looked at him.

“What!” John asked.

“Nothing, man,” Pete said. “We’ll ride out to Huntingtonville. To the dam. That’d be cool… Wouldn’t it?” You could see the flatness in John’s eye’s. It made Pete nervous. He looked at Gary.

“Yeah,” Gary said. He looked at me.

“Yeah,” I agreed. “That’d be cool.” I spun one pedal on my stingray, scuffed the dirt with the toe of one Ked and then I looked at John again. His eyes were still too shiny, but he shifted on his banana seat, scuffed the ground with one of his own Keds and then said, “Yeah,” kind of under his breath. Again like it was an afterthought to something else. He lifted his head from his close inspection of the ground, or the river, or the rocky banks, or something in some other world for all I knew, and it seemed more like the last to me, but he met all of our eyes with one sliding loop of his own eyes, and even managed to smile.

~

The bike ride out to Huntingtonville was about four miles. It was a beautiful day and we lazed our way along, avoiding the streets, riding beside the railroad tracks that just happened to run out there. The railroad tracks bisected Watertown. They were like our own private road to anywhere we wanted to go. Summer, fall or winter. It didn’t matter. You could hear the trains coming from a long way off. More than enough time to get out of the way.

We had stripped our shirts off earlier in the morning when we had been crossing the only area of the tracks that we felt were dangerous, a long section of track that was suspended over the Black river on a rail trestle. My heart had beat fast as we had walked tie to tie trying not to look down at the rapids far below. Now we were four skinny, jeans clad boys with our shirts tied around our waists riding our bikes along the sides of those same railroad tracks where they ran through our neighborhood, occasionally bumping over the ties as we went. Gary managed to ride on one of the rails for about 100 feet. No one managed anything better.

Huntingtonville was a small river community just outside of Watertown. It was like the section of town that was so poor it could not simply be across the tracks or on the other side of the river, it had to be removed to the outskirts of the city itself. It was where the poorest of the poor lived, the least desirable races. The blacks. The Indians. Whatever else good, upstanding white Americans felt threatened or insulted by. It was where my father had come from, being both black and Indian.

I didn’t look like my father. I looked like my mother. My mother was Irish and English. About as white, as white could be. I guess I was passing. But I was too poor, too much of a dumb kid to even know that back then in 1969.

John’s father was the reason we were all so worried. A few days before we had been playing baseball in the gravel lot of the lumber company across the street from where we lived. The railroad tracks ran behind that lumber company. John was just catching his breath after having hit a home run when his mother called him in side. We all heard later from our own mothers that John’s father had been hurt somehow. Something to do with his head. A stroke. I really didn’t know what a stroke was at that time or understand everything that it meant. I only knew it was bad. It was later in life that I understood how bad. All of us probably. But we did understand that John’s father had nearly died, and would never be his old self again, if he even managed to pull through.

It was a few days after that now. The first time the four of us had gotten back together. We all felt at loose ends. It simply had made no sense for the three of us to try to do much of anything without John. We had tried but all we could think about or talk about was John’s father. Would he be okay? Would they move? That worried me the most. His sister was about the most beautiful girl in the entire world to me. So not only would John move, so would she.

He came back to us today not saying a word about it. And we were worried.

When we reached the dam the water was high. That could mean that either the dam had been running off the excess water, or was about to be. You just had to look at the river and decide.

“We could go to the other side and back,” John suggested.

The dam was about 20 or 30 feet high. Looming over a rock strewn riverbed that had very little water. It was deeper out towards the middle, probably, it looked like it was, but it was all dry river rock along the grassy banks. The top of the Dam stretched about 700 feet across the river.

“I don’t know,” Pete said. “the dam might be about to run. We could get stuck on the other side for a while.”

No one was concerned about a little wet feet if the dam did suddenly start running as we were crossing it. It didn’t run that fast. And it had caught us before. It was no big deal. Pete’s concern was getting stuck on the little island where the damn ended for an hour or so. Once, john, and myself had been on that island and some kids, older kids, had decided to shoot at us with 22 caliber rifles. Scared us half to death. But that’s not the story I’m trying to tell you today. Maybe I’ll tell you that one some other time. Today I’m trying to tell you about John’s father. And how calm John seemed to be taking it.

John didn’t wait for anyone else to comment. He dumped his bike and started to climb up the side of the concrete abutment to reach the top of the dam and walk across to the island. There was nothing for us to do except fall in behind him. One by one we did.

It all went smoothly. The water began to top the dam, soaking our Keds with its yellow paper mill stink and scummy white foam, just about halfway across. But we all made it to the other side and the island with no trouble. Pete and I climbed down and walked away. To this day I have no idea what words passed between Gary and john, but the next thing I knew they were both climbing back up onto the top of the dam, where the water was flowing faster now. Faster than it had ever flowed when we had attempted to cross the dam. Pete nearly at the top of the concrete wall, Gary several feet behind him.

John didn’t hesitate. He hit the top, stepped into the yellow brown torrent of river water pouring over the falls and began to walk back out to the middle of the river. Gary yelled to him as Pete and I climbed back up to the top of the dam.

I don’t think I was trying to be a hero, but the other thought, the thought he had pulled back from earlier, had just clicked in my head. John was thinking about dying. About killing himself. I could see it on the picture of his face that I held in my head from earlier. I didn’t yell to him, I just stepped into the yellow foam and water, found the top of the dam and began walking.

Behind me and Pete and Gary went ballistic. “Joe, what the fuck are you doing!”

I heard it, but I didn’t hear it. I kept moving. I was scared. Petrified. Water tugged at my feet. There was maybe 6 inches now pouring over the dam and more coming, it seemed a long way down to the river. Sharp, up-tilted slabs of rock seemed to be reaching out for me. Secretly hoping that I would fall and shatter my life upon them.

John stopped in the middle of the dam and turned, looking off toward the rock and the river below. I could see the water swirling fast around his ankles. Rising higher as it went. John looked over at me, but he said nothing.

“John,” I said when I got close enough. He finally spoke.

“No,” was all he said. But tears began to spill from his eyes. Leaking from his cheeks and falling into the foam scummed yellow-brown water that flowed ever faster over his feet.

“Don’t,” I screamed. I knew he meant to do it, and I couldn’t think of anything else to say.

“Don’t move,” Gary said from behind me. I nearly went over the falls. I hadn’t known he was that close. I looked up and he was right next to me, working his way around me on the slippery surface of the dam. I looked back and Pete was still on the opposite side of the dam. He had climbed up and now he stood on the flat top. Transfixed. Watching us through his thick glasses. Gary had followed John and me across.

I stood still and Gary stepped around me. I have no idea how he did. I’ve thought about it, believe me. There shouldn’t have been enough room, but that was what he did. He stepped right around me and then walked the remaining 20 feet or so to John and grabbed his arm.

“If you jump you kill me too,” Gary said. I heard him perfectly clear above the roar of the dam. He said it like it was nothing. Like it is everything. But mostly he said it like he meant it.

It seemed like they argued and struggled forever, but it was probably less than a minute, maybe two. The waters were rising fast and the whole thing would soon be decided for us. If we didn’t get off the dam quickly we would be swept over by the force of the water.

They almost did go over. So did I. But the three of us got moving and headed back across to the land side where we had dropped our bikes. We climbed down from a dam and watched the water fill the river up. No one spoke.

Eventually john stopped crying. And the afterthought look, as though there some words or thoughts he couldn’t say passed. The dying time had passed.

We waited almost two hours for the river to stop running and then Pete came across…

We only talked about it one other time that summer, and then we never talked about it again. That day was also a beautiful summer day. Sun high in the sky. We were sitting on our bikes watching the dam run.

“I can’t believe you were gonna do it,” Pete said.

“I wasn’t,” John told him. “I only got scared when the water started flowing and froze on the dam… That’s all it was.”

Nobody spoke for a moment and then Gary said, “That’s how it was.”

“Yeah. That’s how it was,” I agreed…

***

I hope you enjoyed the short story. Look for a short story collection from me soon.

New releases this week” Amazon:

Dreamer’s Worlds the Dreamer’s Worlds. Made Amazon Exclusive. I had attempted to release this book on Smashwords but they disliked my Copyright notice. Sometimes I am okay with making all the changes they want, sometimes I’m not. I looked at it and relaized that this time I was not. So I published it with Amazon only.

Dreamer’s Worlds: The Dreamer’s Worlds:

U.K.: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B013O5I3EM

U.S.: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013O5I3EM

Dreamer’s Worlds: Sparrow Spirit: Made Amazon Exclusive: Gives a good preview of book three at the end of book two (Dreamer’s Worlds: Fig Street).

Dreamer’s Worlds: Sparrow Spirit:

U.K.: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B016P6JX1E

U.S.: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016P6JX1E

If you enjoyed the Great Go-Cart Race or The End of Summer you will like the third Dreamer’s Worlds book, Fig Street, it features the kids from those two short stories.

Okay, that is it from me. I hope all is well in your world, see you Friday, Geo.


The man in the black truck

01-16-2017 by Geo

Icy conditions beginning here and across the country, so keep that in mind while you are driving. At my place the ice is beginning to form.

I am going to be jumping into some website work in a little while and that will probably eat my daytime hours. From there I will be back to writing Hurricane and a few other writing projects.

For those of you that don’t know I am one of the authors of The Earth’s Survivors series. The Earth’s survivors books are available in digital or paperback at almost all booksellers. If you find someplace where you can’t get the books let me know and I will work to get them there.

The series is at book seven currently. It begins with Apocalypse, book one and follows the developing story of a asteroid that may or may not hit the Earth. It tells the story through the eyes of the characters that populate the books, and from the people who have developed a virus meant for soldiers, and who have now decided that the human race may need it more than anyone else.

The V virus, SS for short, enables a soldier to live longer with less food, water, even medical attention. It has been tested, and although it does have a few undocumented problems they have made the decision to release it anyway because the world is in need. The asteroid that is on the way will most likely set off a series of events that will destroy most of the worlds population. Without SS no one will live through it. The world, what will be left of it, will need to survive through extraordinary events. If there is to be anything left of Earth’s human race the virus is the only hope.

Earthquakes, super volcanoes, tsunamis, all set off whether the asteroid hits or is a near miss. Disease, lack of medications, help, and even starvation from the destruction of the food sources will be the next set of hurtles after the main series of events. Add to that roving gangs looking to control what is left, murdering those they don’t want, enslaving those they do and the world will not be recognizable.

Take a look at the excerpt from the first book, Apocalypse as the events begin to unravel and the various groups we will follow begin to form…

EARTH’S SURVIVORS: APOCALYPSE

Published with Smashwords

PUBLISHED BY: Dell Sweet

Earth’s Survivors: Apocalypse is © Copyright 2014 Wendell Sweet, all rights reserved.

Additional Copyrights © 2010 – 2012, 2014, 2015 by Wendell Sweet, All rights reserved

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’re 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.

…………………………………………………….

New York

12:30 am

Carl Evans watched from the mouth of a dark alley. It was one of the things he loved about this place. You could hang out in an alley, smoke cigarettes all day and night long if you wanted to, and nobody said a word to you. Where else, but New York could that be true, he asked himself.

He leaned back against the wall, one sneakered foot propped on the brick behind him to hold him, the other flat on the cobbled stones of the alley. Another thing about New York, he thought as he inhaled deeply of his cigarette, and then let the smoke roll slowly out of his mouth. Old things everywhere you looked. These cobblestones for instance. He wondered how old they truly were.

“Young man.” The deep voice startled him from his thoughts. He lifted his head to see an old, gray haired gentleman standing at the mouth of the alley a few feet away. His face was creased and seamed. His skin so dark it was nearly blue. A cane in one hand supported his weight.

“What’s up, Pops?” Carl asked politely.

The man placed his second hand on his cane and leaned forward. “That cigarette will kill you.“

“Pops…”

He held up one hand as Carl began to speak. “Just telling you. Don’t need an argument. It will kill you. The big tobaccos, they knew about it back in the day when I was a boy chasing that habit. And they knew about it when it was in commercials in magazines, and T.V. and what not. That cowboy died from it you know, they knew it and they still know it. It will kill you. In case you didn’t know it I wanted you to know it.” He straightened his back, lifted the second hand, nodded once, and moved across the mouth of the alley disappearing as though from some sort of magic.

Carl chuckled, lifted the cigarette to his mouth, took a deep drag and then found himself blowing the smoke out, dropping the cigarette, and crushing it. The old man had ruined it for him. He hadn’t smoked in ten years, but it tasted as good now as it had then. And he had figured with the way things were nobody had much time. Certainly not enough time to die from cancer or some other nasty surprise from cigarettes, but just the same the old man had ruined it for him.

He looked down at the blackened mess he had made as he ground the cigarette into the cobbles. Just as well, he told himself, it was time. He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a small silver canister. He inhaled a sharp breath involuntarily. He knew what it was. Knew what he was doing, but he still couldn’t believe he was actually going to do it.

He fingered the small red button on the top of the silver canister, hesitated, and then pushed it down. Something inside clicked. There was no other sound in the stillness. He tossed it down the alley, turned, and walked out to the sidewalk.

Route 81: A rest stop outside of Watertown New York

1:00 am

The black truck pulled into the rest stop and two men climbed out; walking toward the rest rooms that sat in from the road. Concrete bunker looking buildings that had been built back in the early seventies. They had been closed for several years now. In fact the Open soon sign was bolted to the front of the building; rust streaked the sign surface. It seemed like some sort of joke to Mike Bliss who used the rest stop as a place to do light duty drug deals. Nothing big, but still that depended on your idea of big. Certainly nothing over a few thousand dollars. That was his break off point. Any higher than that, he often joked, you’ll have to talk to someone in Columbia… Or maybe Mexico, he told himself now as he sat waiting in his Lexus. He watched the two men make a bee line for the old rest rooms.

“Idiots,” he muttered to himself. He pushed the button, waited for the window to come down, leaned out the window and yelled. “What are you, stupid? They’re closed.” He motioned with one hand. “You can’t read the fuckin’ sign or what?”

Both men stopped and looked from him to the sign.

“Yeah, closed. You can read right? Closed. That’s what it says. Been closed for years. Go on into Watertown; buy a fuckin’ burger or something. Only way you’re getting a bathroom at this time of the morning.” He had lowered his voice for the last as he pulled his head back into the car, and turned the heater up a notch. The electric motor whined as the window climbed in its track. He looked down at his wrist for the time, 1:02 A.M., where the fuck was this dude. He was late, granted a few minutes, but late was late.

A sharp rap on the glass startled him. He had been about to dig out his own supply, a little pick-me-up. He looked up to see the guys from the truck standing outside his window. “Oh… Fucking lovely,” he muttered. He pushed the button and the window lowered into the door, the motor whining loudly, the cold air blew in.

“And what can I do for you two gentlemen,” He asked in his best smart ass voice.

The one in back stepped forward into the light. Military type, Mike told himself. Older, maybe a noncom. A little gray at the edges of his buzz cut. With the military base so close there were soldiers everywhere, after all Watertown was a military town. It was why he was in the business he was in. It was also why he succeeded at it.

“Did you call me stupid,” The man asked in a polite tone.

“Who, me? No. I didn’t call you stupid, I asked, what are you, stupid? Different thing. The fuckin’ place is closed… Just doing my good deed for the day… Helping you, really, so you don’t waste no time,” Mike told him.

“Really?” The man asked.

Mike chuckled. “Yeah really, tough guy. Really. Now, I did my good deed, why don’t you get the fuck out of here ’cause you wore out your welcome.” He opened his coat slightly so they could see the chrome 9 mm that sat in its holster.

“Really,” the first guy repeated.

“Okay, who are you guys, frick and frack? A couple of fucking wannabees? Well I am the real deal, don’t make me stick this gun in your fuckin’ face,” Mike told them. He didn’t like being a dick, but sometimes you had to be.

“You know what my mother always said about guns?” The second guy asked.

“Well, since I don’t know your mama it’s hard to say,” Mike told him. He didn’t like the way these two were acting. They weren’t cops, he knew all the locals, if it had been someone he had to worry about he would have handled this completely differently. These guys were nobodies. At least nobodies to him, and that made them nobodies to Watertown. If he had to put a bullet in… His thoughts broke off abruptly as the barrel of what looked like a .45 was jammed into his nose. It came from nowhere. He sucked in a deep breath. He could taste blood in his mouth where the gun had smashed his upper lip against his teeth.

“She said don’t threaten to pull a gun, never, Just pull it.”

“Mama had a point,” Mike allowed. His voice was nasally due to the gun that was jammed hallway up to his brain. “Smart lady.”

“Very,” the man allowed. “Kind of hard ass to grow up with, but she taught me well.” He looked down at Mike. “So listen, this is what we’re gonna do. You’re gonna drive out of here right the fuck now. And that’s going to stop me from pulling this trigger. Lucky day for you, I think. Like getting a Get Out Of Jail Free card, right.”

“This is my business spot… You don’t understand,” Mike told them. “I… I’m waiting for someone.”

“Not tonight, Michael.”

“Yeah, but you don’t.” He stopped. “How do you know my name?” he asked. There was more than a nasal quality to his voice, now there was real fear. Maybe they were Feds. Maybe.

“Yeah, we know you. And we know you use this spot as a place to do your business. And I’m saying we couldn’t care less, but right now you gotta go, and I’m not going to tell you the deal again. You can leave or stay, but you ain’t gonna like staying,” The guy told him.

“Listen… This is my town… If you guys are Feds you can’t do shit like this… This is my town. You guys are just…”

The guy pulled the trigger and Mike jumped. He fell to the right, across the front seat. Both men stepped away from the car, eyes scanning the lonely rest stop from end to end, but there was no one anywhere. The silence returned with a ringing in their ears from the blast as it had echoed back out of the closed car interior. The shooter worked his jaw for a moment, swallowing until his ears popped. He lifted his wrist to his mouth. “Guess you saw that,” he said quietly.

“Got a cleaner crew on the way up. You’ll pass them in the elevators. We’re waiting on you guys.“ The voice came through the implant in his inner ear. No one heard what was said except him.

He nodded for the cameras that were picking him up. “In case you didn’t hear it, someone is supposed to meet him here so your cleaner crew could have company.”

“Got that too… We’ll handle it.” He nodded once more, and then walked off toward the rest rooms as the other man followed.

In back of the unit they used a key in the old rusted handset. It only looked old and rusty, it was actually an interface for a state of the art digital system that would read his body chemistry, heat, and more. The key had dozens of micro pulse sensor implants that made sure the user was human, transmitted heartbeat, body chemistry, it could even tell male from female and match chemical profiles to known examples in its database. Above and to the sides of them several scanners mapped their bodies to those same known profiles. Bone composition, old fractures, density and more. All unique in every man or women. The shooter removed the key and slipped it into his pocket. A few seconds later a deep whining of machinery reached their ears, the door shuddered in its frame, and then slipped down into a pocket below the doorway.

A second later they stepped into the gutted restroom. Stainless steel doors took up most of the room; the elevator to the base below. They waited for the cleaner crew to come up, then took the elevator back down into the depths.

~

The facility stretched for more than five miles underground. Most of that was not finished space, most of that was connector tunnels, and storage space bored from the rock. The facility itself was about three thousand feet under the city of Watertown in a section of old caves that had been enlarged, concrete lined and reinforced. The rest area was one of several entrances that led into the complex. An old farm on the other side of Watertown, an abandoned factory in the industrial park west of the city and a few other places, including direct connections from secure buildings on the nearby base.

John Pauls and Sammy Black had Alpha clearance. Both were ex-military, but most likely military clearance was no longer a real matter of concern this late in the game, Sammy thought as they made their way down the wide hallway. The word coming down to those in the know was that in the next twenty-four hours the human race would come very close to ceasing to exist at all. No confirmation from anyone official, but regular programming was off air, the news stations were tracking an asteroid that may or may not hit the Earth. The best opinions said it didn’t matter if it hit or not, it would be a close enough pass that there would be massive damage. Maybe the human race would be facing extinction. The government was strangely silent on the subject. And that had made him worry even more. The pass was estimated to be right over the tip of south America. So maybe formalities like Alpha clearance weren’t all that important any longer, if only Michael Bliss had given that some thought before he had pissed him off.

The halls were silent, nearly empty. Gloss white panels eight feet high framed it. It had always reminded Black of a maze with its twists and turns. Here and there doors hung open. Empty now. Always closed any other time he had been down here. So it had come this far too, Black thought. He stopped at a door that looked like any other door and a split second later the door rose into the ceiling and Major Weston waved them in.

Alice, he had never learned her last name, sat at her desk, her eyes on them as they walked past her. One hand rested on the butt of a matte black .45 caliber pistol in a webbed shoulder holster that was far from Army issue, and Sammy had no doubt she would shoot them both before they could even react. Alice was etched into one of those name pins that the Army seemed to like so well, but oddly, just Alice, no last name, rank or anything else. She wore no uniform, just a black coverall. The kind with the elastic ankle and wrist cuffs. No insignia there either. He had noticed that months before. Her eyes remained flat and expressionless as they passed her desk.

“Alice,” Sammy said politely. She said nothing at all, but she never did.

“Sit down, boys,” Major Weston told them. He spoke around the cigar in his mouth. Dead, but they were always, and there was never the smell of tobacco in the office. They took the two chairs that fronted the desk.

The Major was looking over a large monitor on the opposite wall that showed the north American continent. This map showed small areas of red, including the northern section where they were. The rest of the map was covered with green. “Where we are, and where we need to be, “ he said as he pushed a button on his desk. The monitor went blank. He turned to face the two.

“So here is where we are. You know, as does most of the world, that we are expecting a near miss from DX2379R later on tonight.” He held their eyes.

John shrugged. “I’ve been doing a little job, must have missed that. It’s not gonna take us out is it?”

“Saw that on the news a few days back. Guess we dodged a bad one,” Sammy said.

“Right… Right,” Weston said quietly. “But that cover was nothing but bullshit.”

“It’s going to hit us?” John asked.

“Maybe… The fact is that we don’t know. One group says this, another group says that, but it doesn’t matter because it will probably kill us off anyway. Direct hit, near miss, it is going to tip over an already bad situation with the Yellowstone Caldera.” He raised his eyes, “Familiar with that?”

“Yellowstone park?” Sammy said.

John nodded in agreement.

Weston laughed. “Put simply, yes. Yellowstone has always been an anomaly to us. Back in 1930 the Army did an exploratory survey of that area. What we came up with was that there was a section of the Rocky Mountains missing. Looked at from the top of Mount Washburn it was easy for the team to see that the largest crater of an extinct volcano known to exist lay before them.”

“I guess that’s about what I thought,” Sammy agreed.

“Yeah. We all think that. Except it is not true at all because the Yellowstone caldera is not extinct, it is active. Active and about to pop. There have been several warnings, but we took the recording stations off line quite some time ago, so there has been no mention of it in the news. Budget cuts,” he shrugged. “So everyone is focused on this asteroid that may or may not hit us and instead this volcanic event is going to blow up and when that happens the rest won’t matter at all.” He clicked the button on his desk and the monitor came to life. “All the red areas are spots where the surface pressure has increased. There was, at one time, many active volcanoes on the north American continent.” He clicked a button and the map changed to a view of the European continent with many of the same red shaded areas.

“All over the Earth… Higher pressures. Up until a few days ago the brainiacs were still arguing over whether this could even happen.” He laughed. “It is happening and they are arguing over whether it can happen. Well, we had our little debates and then we realized that history shows clearly that this has happened before. Several times. Call it the Earth’s way of cleansing itself.”

“But it’s not an absolute, right?”Sammy asked.

“Don’t start sounding like the scientists.” He reached below his desk and came up with six small silver canisters. Each had a small red button mounted on the top with a protective cap over the button itself. He clicked a button on his desk, and a picture of destruction appeared on the screens. It was obviously an aerial shot, looking down at a chain of islands. Smoke hung over the chain, reaching as high as the plane itself. As the plane dropped lower, rivers of red appeared. “That picture is an hour old. That is… Was, the Hawaiian chain.”

Sammy twisted further to the side, staring at the monitor. “How can that be… I mean everyone would know about it.” He turned back to Weston.

Weston nodded. “And that would be true except the satellites are out because of the asteroid. Shut down to avoid damage. That is the official word.” He clicked the button on his desk and the monitor went dead once more. “I started this out saying that none of it matters and that is true. The Yellowstone caldera is going to erupt sometime in the next few days. Not a maybe, not an educated guess, if the satellites were up you would know that the park is closed, it has already started. We have had a few quakes, but the big stuff is on the way. He rolled the canisters across the desktop; Sammy and John caught them.

“Super volcanoes… Earthquakes that modern civilization has never seen… The last super eruption was responsible for killing off the human population some seventy-four thousand years ago. Reduced it to a few thousand. And that is not the biggest one we have evidence of.” He lifted his palms and spread them open, sighing as he did. “So it is a double whammy. If we survive the asteroid the volcanoes get us, or the earthquakes because of them, or we’ll die from injuries. And I think those of us who die outright will be lucky. The rest of us will have a hard time of it… Staying alive with nothing… We will probably all starve to death.” He paused in the silence.

“Those canisters are a compound developed for the armed forces. Project Super Soldier. SS for short. That kept people from looking too deep, they assumed it was something to do with the Nazi youth movement here and abroad. We let that misconception hold.” He waited a second for his words to sink in. “SS is designed to prolong life past the normal point of termination. It allows a soldier to survive longer without food and more importantly without water. Does something to the cells of the host, I don’t pretend to know what. What I do know is that the people above me made the decision to release this…” He picked up a mug of coffee from the desk and sipped deeply. His eyes were red road maps, Sammy noticed now. Like he hadn’t slept in a few days.

“So this is it for us. I guess you realize that you probably won’t get paid for this. No money is going to show up in your account. I will run it through before I pull the plug, but I truly believe the machinery will be dead by the time payday rolls around. So this is something I’m asking you to do.” He pointed to the canisters that both men were looking over. Sammy held his as though it might bite him.

“Those babies are really all we have to hope with. Most people will die outright. They will never make it past the quakes, eruptions, and the resulting ash clouds and gases. Up here we should be okay as far as gases go, eruptions, but there are fault lines that crisscross this area. This whole facility is bored from limestone caverns. Probably won’t make it through the quakes, although it is a good eighty miles from the closest line,” he shrugged. “Maybe, maybe not. My point is there should be a good chance for survivors here.”

“So we do what with these? Can they harm us?” John asked.

“Harm you, kill you? No, but you will be infected the minute you push that button. It will protect you the same as anyone else. There is enough in a single canister to infect about five hundred million people,” Weston said quietly.

“Whoa,” Sammy whistled. “Why infect… Why not inoculate? And why six canisters… Three Billion people?”

“Minimum three billion. That is before those infected pass it along themselves, after a while it won’t matter. As to the question of infected, this is a designer virus. You catch it just like the flu. We infected whole platoons by releasing it in the air over them. One hundred percent infection rate. Be glad they decided on this. They have some others that will kill everybody in the world in a matter of days.” Weston nodded at the raised eyebrows that greeted his remarks. “I don’t doubt that the merits of which way to go were debated hotly,” he finished gravely.

“The virus is designed to live within the host, but it can live outside of the host. It can stay alive in a dead body for days, even if the body is frozen. In fact that just freezes the virus too. Once the body is thawed it will infect any living person that comes along. So those,” he pointed to the silver canisters, “are overkill. Same stuff is being released across the globe. Great Briton… Germany… Australia… West coast just a few hours ago. Manhattan has already been done, all the East coast in fact. I want the two of you to head out from here. One vial here, then one of you head west, the other south. Go for the bigger cities… Water supplies… Reservoirs… Release it in the air or water, it doesn’t matter. There are men heading out from the south, the west coast…” He rose from the desk. “I’ll see you out.” He turned to Alice. “Alice… Pack us up.” Alice nodded as Sammy and John got to their feet, but her hand remained on the butt of the pistol. Rubber grips, Sammy noticed as he passed her.

“Alice,” he said.

“Um hmm,” Alice murmured.

Sammy nearly stopped in his tracks, but managed to hide his surprise as he passed by into the hallway. The Major fished two sets of keys from his pocket. “Parked in the back lot. A couple of plain Jane Dodge four-bys. Drive ’em like you stole ’em. Leave ’em where you finish up. Hell keep ’em if you want ’em. Nobody is going to care.”

The three stood in the hallway for a few seconds longer. Sammy’s eyes locked with the Major’s own, and he nodded. The major walked back into his office, and the door rose from its pocket behind him. Quiet, except the slight buzzing from the fluorescent lights.

John shrugged as his eyes met Sammy’s, waiting.

Sammy sighed. “You heard the man… West or south?”

“Flip for it?” John asked. His mouth seemed over dry and he licked his lips nervously.

Sammy pulled a quarter from his pocket and flipped it into the air. “Call it, Johnny.”

“Tails,” John said just before the quarter hit the carpet.

Sammy bent forward. “Tails it is. You got it, Johnny.”

John looked down at the carpet. “West, I guess.” John said.

Sammy nodded, looked down once more at the quarter and then both men turned and walked away toward the elevator that would take them back to the surface.

…………………………….

I hope you enjoyed reading this excerpt from Apocalypse. You can get Apocalypse in the digital format you need from Smashwords, I Tunes, Kobo, Nook and Amazon FREE. That’s right, this book is free. Download it, read it and hopefully you will be back to read more about these compelling characters.

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Hockey – Skiing – The cold

 

 

01-13-2017 Geo

Happy Friday!

Yes, you really did make it, now all you have to do is get through the day, throw yourself in the car, make it home and kick back. It is officially weekend territory once the work day is over…

Hey, I’m just proud of myself, I have not yet typed 2016 instead of 2017. Of course I just jinxed it right there.

What is on the agenda today? I will, I hope, be writing most of the day away. I worked on this website a little yesterday, and I did get some writing done in the new novel. It is coming along fine.

The weather here is cold. Yes, sub zero four days ago to rain, sleet, more rain, snow last night and now the needle is plummeting again. These are the sort of weeks I ask myself why I stay in New York.

The Skiing? Not a skier. I ask myself; why would I go out into the cold, ski down a mountain at uncontrollable speeds, possibly break my neck, leg and other stuff? Is there free alcohol if you make it one piece? No. Will there be prize ladies like in NASCAR handing you an award and taking pictures with you? No again. Will it help your self esteem? No and no, because nothing messes with self esteem quite as much as crashing into a tree and then having to have a ski pole surgically removed from someplace in or on your body, and that would happen to me.

The Snowmobiling? Are you kidding? See above, except with a motor. And, besides, since I heard the first horror story about a fence wire and a snowmobile that was it for me. And, as an addition, what if you drove your snowmobile out into the middle of nowhere and then ran out of gas. And there is just you and this blonde college girl who suddenly showed up out of no place… And an old farm house with a rickety porch. You cautiously approach the house, but as you pass the barn you see a collection of scythes hanging just inside the door. Curious you step closer and that is when you see the corpses hanging from the roof rafters! You scream, the college girl who just showed up screams too! You both run for the snowmobiles, but then you remember they are out of gas… Need I say anymore? So, no, no snowmobiling in  my lifetime…

Ice Fishing? My God… Let me get this straight, and I can because I have lived here all of my life… Going out on the ice, chopping or drilling a hole in it. Maybe setting up a shed over the top, maybe not. Setting up the tip-outs to fish and then freezing while you wait for a fish. Meanwhile the fish are in a different part of the lake drinking hot cocoa and laughing about you trying to catch them. Or they are down in Florida for the winter and not even home!

Hockey? No. The last time I hit someone with a stick I nearly went to jail, nobody is hitting me with a stick either or they’re going to the hospital. No hockey for me. Yes, this is an area that produces hockey players. Sort of like the Midwest produces corn. I remember one of my first dates. Beautiful girl, I think it was fourth grade, and then she smiled. I don’t know, all those missing teeth just put me off dating girl hockey players. And here everybody plays. Girls, boys, the family dog, aunt Bev, everybody.

So here are all these winter sports I don’t participate in and it got me wondering, why are there so many winter sports here? Well, stupid, I often call myself stupid when I am answering a stupid question I have asked myself, it is because there is so much nasty, cold, snow type weather here! That’s why! Idiot. And I ponder that and come to understand the truth in those words. Uh, not the idiot part, the snow part. So maybe, I think, it is time to move south again. After all, birds fly south for the winter am I so much better than my feathered cousins the ex-dinosaurs? No, just dumber apparently.

And, follow me here, the Birds learned the hard way. Look what happened when they didn’t migrate the first time! Two stories high, with little arms and claws. Tails the size of a city bus. I’d pay to see Colonel Sanders deep fry one of those suckers. But my point is they were huge! Ruled the Earth! And what happened when the didn’t migrate? The were nearly wiped out. Yes, all true. Then they had to make a comeback as birds, chickens, robins, etc. A horrible way to live. So, migrate. See, I taught you something that you didn’t even know about the extinction of the dinosaurs that may or may not be true, but I prefer o think it is. But you know what? I’m not a migratory kind of guy. I think I’m a stay here and complain about it sort of guy.

Okay, so it is really Friday. I hope your week went fine. I am going to get back to that book and I’ll let you get back to work. I hope I helped to illuminate the wholly inadequate explanation of the Dinosaur extinction and why it happened all those years ago.

Hey, take a look at my some of Dell’s books on Smashwords! I Tunes or Kobo! All offer free books to get your Friday and the whole weekend rolling in the right direction! See you Monday, Geo…


Learning the ropes

Posted by Geo 11:50 AM 01/11/2017

What I am up to…

I am working on a new book today, enjoying the process. It is a beautiful day in the city today. The cold is gone, tomorrow’s temperatures are predicted to be record setting.

Misspent youth: How I got beat up the first few times – And Old School Mothers…

When I was a kid there was no Internet, phones were barely more than curiosities that not everyone could afford, and Jesus was only in the second grade. Uh, before God zaps me let me explain that, that would be Jesus Santos whose parents had moved to Galveston where I went to school at Island Elementary, not the savior that died on the cross.

But, that brings up a point, why name the kid that? Wouldn’t you be a little concerned that some smart Alec like me would come along and say. “Hey, are you that Jesus?” and “So, where are your disciples?”

Anyway, after Jesus punched me I realized that people with funny names can fight. And right after that I realized if you point that out to the person in casual conversation Jesus just might punch you again. I was not a smart child, a little brainy, but lacking common sense. What would have been great is if I could have taken Jesus through life with me to help me see those things. But no, not too long after that we moved to New York and I realized that people with funny accents tend to want to smack you when you point that out to them. And, not only that, they’ll turn it around on you and claim you have the accent because you came from Texas… I think I fought every day for the first few weeks.

But I fought. I didn’t call their cell phone and leave a nasty message. I didn’t leave a nasty note on their Facebook account, or hack it. That’s all I read about lately. That’s how it’s done. No face to face stuff. Of course, as I said we didn’t have Internet and phones were not for causal calls. I could see me picking up the phone and calling Jesus’s house…

Oh… is this little George? How is your mother?”

And that would have been the end of it right there. Small town. Maybe we had a half dozen phones, and everyone knew everyone. His mother would have recognized my voice, asked about my mother, and then what could I say? “Oh, she’s fine, and, by the way, Mrs. Santos, do you know if Jesus found his disciples yet?”

Even if I had done it I would have no more hung up the phone than Jesus’s Mom would have been on the phone to my mom. My mom would have hung up the phone and, as we used to say back then, my ass would have been grass. The shit would have hit the fan. Never mind ‘Wait until your Father gets home’ Moms were prepared to deal with you back then. They may have looked like lightweights… No tattoos or piercings, gym bodies or anything else. They were just tough no nonsense moms hanging out in the kitchen in their June Cleaver shifts baking pot roasts and meatloaf, but they were tough. Truthfully, if you asked a group of old school mothers where Jimmy Hoffa is they could probably tell you. They were that tough.

Do you know who that was?” She would ask me…

Mother Mary?” See, once you start down the road of smartassery it’s hard to stop.

Have you ever eaten soap? I have, and a conversation that made smart remarks about both Jesus and his mother would have been a soap eating offense.

But we didn’t do those things, mainly because we didn’t have the technology and secondary to that any kids mother could put a foot in your butt back then. It was a federal law. I’m pretty sure. So whatever you did it was coming back at you, so kids took care of things themselves.

The whole thing with Jesus taught me about emotion and how boys handle it. Taught me to duck a punch too. You would think it would teach me to shut up, but no. I decided that since I seemed to have a big mouth, and that teeth were made to last a lifetime, I had better learn how to fight. Somehow I decided in my head that learning how to fight would be easy. And then? Well, if I wanted to make smart remarks about Jesus and his little disciples I could. Of course the part of the equation I had missed was learning. I had to learn to fight, and learning to fight meant getting punched in the face. So, not only was I still getting punched in the face, I was volunteering to do it and I couldn’t even punch them back!

I think it was around my third time in an actual boxing match that I began to think it might be smarter to, one: Read about it first. Two: Try really hard to fall down with my face off to one side. Big noses break easy. Three: Find some other way to spend my Saturday instead of getting beat up.

After I woke up from my last fight I decided that Karate was probably smarter. I mean Kato was really cool. It looked so easy. That was great until I realized that not only would people be punching me in the face they would also be kicking me … In the faceReally hard... And anywhere else their feet could reach… Kids have bad aim. But the good thing I learned was, it is really hard to break your eye… Either one of them. And a point of fact, people with funny names can also kick box like crazy too. And a punch from a gloved hand or foot can still ring your bell. So if, let’s say the guys name was Frances, and he hated the name Frances, it might not be too smart to say things like ‘Frances Is A Sissy’ (Francis of Assisi) damn Catholic school knowledge. Or do you know what Nun means? None for you and None for me! Ha, ha, ha, ouch! My mouth is broken.

After a while I learned to fight. Either that or all the kids with funny names or in Catholic school would have just continued to beat me up all through school and I couldn’t have that. And I learned to fight when I realized I had a funny name too. Huh. You know I think kids can turn any name into a funny name. Gladys becomes Glad Ass, obviously if your last name is Kuntz you’re in for it. A kid in my class had that name. And a kid named Beeman… “Hey! Where’s your Bees Man?” Oh… We were so clever.

So, I grew up and got a job as a writer. Now when I don’t like someone I just kill them off in a plot and then throw a disclaimer in the front of the book saying it wasn’t them. Piece of cake. And if I want to pick on someones name I let the characters do it for me. And I never allow any of the characters to pick on my name. After all, they’re my characters.

Okay. I have to go. That whole Jimmy Hoffa thing has me curious. I have to go ask Mom about it!

Hey, get the Zombie Plagues free at Smashwords, Nook, I-Tunes, Diesel, etc… Here’s the Smashwords link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/5280

Have a safe week, see you Friday, Geo…


Dell Ultra Small Form Factor

Gaming on the cheap. Geo Dell

So it is Sunday and I thought I would share yesterdays project. I used to do a lot of selling on eBay before all the changes killed off many of us who had been around for a while, or forced us into a position where we had to pay too much for the privilege of selling on that service: So when I pulled the plug I had a lot of stuff left over that I had to re-purpose.

I had a Dell USFF 745 machine, an HP monitor, about fifty hard drives, memory modules, hundreds of games from the 80s and 90s. A dozen keyboards, mice, and the list goes on and on.

The Dell USFF 745 was one of a half dozen I had bought, the only one remaining. I had done nothing with it myself because it was old, under-powered, and I had a few other projects that came first. But yesterday I took another look at it.

First, all the files to rebuild this as it was from the factory and even better, are right on the Dell website. I decided to see what it would do. I downloaded the bios upgrade and flashed it. Sounds hard but it isn’t, it’s an executable and does the work for you, not like the old days of working from a command prompt and hoping you didn’t trash your machine for good when you flashed the BIOS.

It has built in video, built in sound, no room for a second hard drive, no card slots either. A purpose built machine that wasn’t going to be much in the upgrade department. But, that said, I wanted to see what it would do.

I bumped the memory up to the max of 2 gig (Newer USFF machines allow 4 gig). I replaced the 160 gig HD with a 500 gig used one I had wiped, flashed the bios as I mentioned, downloaded every driver Dell offered and installed them one by one.

Before I did all of that I had tested it with some old games and other software. That configuration was 1 gig ram, the same 160 gig HD with a new XP install and, of course none of the original drivers at all.

I installed and tried: GTA 3, Track Mania Sunrise, 3D Rad version 6.50, 7.19, 7.22. Track Mania the first version. Test Drive Off Road three. Midnight Club (Another Rock Star game that is highly addictive). Open Office 4 and the Spelling and Language add ons’. Photoscape, Gimp, Audacity, AIMP 3, D-Fend Reloaded (The Dos Box front end to play the old DOS games. Open FX (An open Source 3D Modeler). I tried a few other things too, but I’ll stick to those because for me those are my basic programs to test a machine.

All of them installed, none of them fully worked. The 3D Rad programs failed to start. Test drive off road worked but crashed, neither Rock Star game worked. Open Office installed but could not load the language module. The newest version of Audacity would not load, and the list went on like that. All programs that are advertised to work with XP, but would not work correctly.

The key was the drivers. It’s a straight forward process. Enter your model number and search for the drivers. It will warn you that they will not work on the machine you are downloading them too, or will not work with Windows 10, in my case.

I downloaded them, burned them to a DVD and then installed them on the USFF machine. The video drivers were key in getting the video games working, and 3D Rad too. The sound drivers fixed some problems with Audacity, and some games too. I also downloaded and burned to DVD the latest JAVA, DirectX and Chrome, because XP does not like you to use Chrome for some reason, so I downloaded the full version and installed it from DVD, there by by-passing Explorer and XP.

Before I had installed the drivers, I had wiped the drive once more and re-installed XP. I have dozens of OS discs, XP, Win 7, even Win 98, DOS, Geos, Ubuntu, more. The point is that I was once again leveling the playing field and starting with a clean slate. I installed all the drivers and files, even flashed the DVD bios, and then installed software piece by piece.

3D Rad shocked me. It not only ran 6.5 but also 7.19 and 7.22. Granted, large renders dragged it down fast. It is totally unsuitable for that, but even a small racing game demo played flawlessly and rendered well. I ran my own model in 7.22 with my own lkandscape, textures, and it played fairly well. It did lag a few times, but this is a piece I am designing on a machine with 16 gig of RAM and Win 10. No way did I expect it to even load on XP on the little USFF machine.

Open Office loaded and the language tool and the spelling dictionaries as well. I loaded one of my novels and ran through it, no problems at all. I loaded a working novel that had not been proofed and the language tool began finding all on the mistakes that are common to me immediately. Worked flawlessly even with very large files.

Audacity worked perfectly too, I went ahead and installed LAME for Audacity (To save to and read from MP3 files), no problem. Jack (Software that connects other bits of your recording software together), no problem, my Midi keyboard and my USB guitar input. No problem.

Gimp and Photoscape (Photo editors and more) worked well. Photoscape and gimp did well opening 4 and 5 mg photos to edit and save. I use the pair to do Book Cover and Ad illustrations.

Then I moved on to the games. Both RockStar games, Midnight Club and GTA 3 worked perfectly. I had a blast and had to force myself to stop playing. Test Drive Off Road, also perfect. Track Main Sunrise and the original version were also perfect. So, I went ahead and installed DOS BOX with the D-Fend Reloaded front end. NASCAR Racing, Need For Speed, Stunts and a few other games went in and played f;lawlessly. By then it was four AM and so I quit for the day.

Prognosis: This is an excellent machine, once set-up, to play all those great games from the 80’s and 90’s that are so cheap now or even public domain in many cases. It is also fine for 3D RAD with a light duty game build. I also tested assembling and making an executable, no problem. I had thirty bucks in the USFF Dell 745. Memory, a keyboard and mouse and the monitor kicked it up a couple bucks, all used stuff I picked up online, except the keyboard which I had new. The games and software were Open Source, Public Domain or original DVD or CD that I picked up on-line for cheap, like a buck or less per game. All in all I have a back up writing machine that I can also work on my games with, and play old games on too. It’s stable, I have CLAM Anti Virus on-board to protect it, and I have about $60.00 bucks in it and a few hours of downloading files. I see a future for this machine all set up to do everything I do as my backup and a gaming machine on the cheap filled with all those cool games from the 80’s and 90’s, and even some newer software too.

I ended up with a surprise but I had a few other parts I wanted to try out too. I opened it back up and installed a duo core processor from a junked Gateway I had. It was made for the LGA775 socket and with the newly flashed bios it booted right up. The speed increase was dramatic so I went ahead and popped in a Win 7 disc and upgraded from Xp to Win 7. The upgrade went smoothly and when I rebooted there were no problems. Everything I had already installed still worked perfectly. The machine was very fast. The Win 7 install had recognized the on board video and used it fully, even setting up separate memory for it. This is something that in the past I have not been able to get done. The drivers never seemed to work well.

All in all the machine works perfectly I donated it to a friend who needs a machine for business record keeping. This machine is stable and it will also play the occasional game if they are bored and killing time. I had very little in the machine and the parts and this is not unusual. If you take your time, go online and search out used systems you can find deals. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars or even thousand of dollars to have a stable machine. The last several machines I have purchase for myself run all the word processing software I need, all the 3D Game making software I run to make video games, and all of the music software I have to record and run a small studio. No problem, and I have never spent more that $80.00 or so for a nearly complete or complete system. Monitor included, usually. But if you need used monitors you can find them relatively cheap too: The last two I bought for my music studio were 15″ dell flat screens in perfect working condition $15.00 each. Just take your time and look around for a while before you spend that green.

I hope you got something from this. Enjoy your Sunday, Geo…

SOFTWARE MENTIONED

  1. Open Office: https://www.openoffice.org/ Free Open Source. I have written ten novels with it. Get the Language add on for it.

  2. 3D RAD: http://www.3drad.com/ I love this program. I have been playing around with it since about 2001. I paid for it back then, before it became freeware. Worth your time.

  3. D-Fend Reloaded: http://dfendreloaded.sourceforge.net/ Open Source and a must have for setting up those old DOS games that are mostly Public Domain now.

  4. Audacity: http://audacityteam.org/ If you want to record music, tracks, check this out. It works great. Free, Open Source.

  5. PhotoScape: http://www.photoscape.org/ps/main/index.php A great editor, viewer, and more. I use it constantly.

  6. GIMP: http://www.gimp.org/ This is a fantastic Photo manipulation tool. Filters, too much to list. Between This and PhotoScape I need to use nothing else.

  7. Old DOS Games: http://www.bestoldgames.net/eng/ That is one link. I would say be careful what you download. This site is safe, but I have noticed many are not. So think, check the link first, make sure you are getting what is advertised. I spend much more time searching than downloading. I never use a site that offers a download tool. I don’t need it, and nine times out of ten it is a way for them to sneak crap in that will end up in your browser or worse. I hover over the link if it says anything other than the file name I skip it. On to the next place that is playing straight.

That’s it for me. Hope you got something out of this. I enjoyed it and writing the article too. I’m going to go play GTA 3. Check out the Earth’s survivors series, my sponsor, Geo Dell…

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