WRITING: dreams and asleep

Friday, August 9, 2013

“If you love me only in my dreams, let me be asleep forever.” – Unknown

Sorry, but all I have is dreams.

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WRITING: Six word autobiography

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Married soulmate. She died. That’s life.

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WRITING: Quiet Quite

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

In the quiet of the night,
When only my failed dreams and ghosts speak to me,
I sadly hear the call of Fate,
Serenely and sirenly call,
“come join me”.
My answer is “soon, my love, soon enough.”

–30–


WRITING: Pardigms and memes

Saturday, April 27, 2013

If paradigms are what I sense,

and meme are how I think of things,

then paradigms are how my body fools me,

and memes are how I fool myself.

After all what is reality?

But fools fooling everything and every one!

–30–


WRITING: Addie finds peace (a fragment from a future effort with the working title “Joan D’Arc; One Story from beginning of Third Vermont Republic”

Monday, January 7, 2013

Addie finds peace

Church bells! Church bells announced War’s end. Not heard in Vermont since the Blue Hat’s began their reign of terror.  Addie knew what she had to do. Donning her famous pink helmet with “warrior princess” above a scratched out “in training”,  she slung her “Uncle John”. That full size 12 gauge was heavy on her shoulder. She peddled her pink bike down hill from the farm almost effortlessly. The beautiful Green Mountain hills were a little greener today. The sky a little bluer. And the bells a little sweeter.

In what appeared to be the blink of an eye, she was at the Bennington Bridge. She looked around and a crowd had assembled. How had they known? She strode to the heated “Headsman’s Pike”, where the evil Blue Hats had “posted” the latest victim of their “justice”. She knelt before it and prayed for her Uncle, her Brother, her Comrades, and All that had died at this terrible place. She rose and saw that the crowd had knelt with her. She stepped off five long paces from the pole. The crowd receeded back like ocean. She unlimber Uncle John’s favorite gun. Waved the crowd back on the left and right. They moved slowly. She just waited. When it was safe, she fired at the pole. About head high. Took five but the pole shattered in the middle. The top fell to the river below. She walked to the stump, actioned out the remaining ammo, hung the gun on the stump, and topped it with her pink helmet.

It stayed that way forever. The helmet faded. The sling rotted. Some one nailed the rusty gun to the stump. But, it was said to be there for her return should ever Vermont need another heroine.

That was the end of the public appearances ever reported of Joan D’Arc.

Needless to say life didn’t end for Addie. Although to conceal her identity, she began to use the name Megan.

Life was good. The Farm prospered. Peace abounded. People returned to the normal ebb and flow of life. But the Third Vermont Republic, founded on the blood of patriots, developed a national identity, that prevented the disunity of any disagreement from becoming personal and nasty.

The fact that dueling was reintroduced helped quite a bit. Heinlein said it best: “An armed society is a polite society.”

From time to time, when in Bennington for errands and chores, Addie, now called Megan, would stop at her Uncle’s favorite tavern by that fateful bridge and have one of those disgusting beers he liked. His stool at the end of the bar was always empty with a glass, a pencil, and a pad of sticky notes as if he’d just stepped away. She sat on the stool next to his. It made her feel closer to him. That corner had pictures. One of te kneeling prisoners, arms bound behind them, surrounded by the hated Blue Hats. This minutes before the massacre. Someone had framed the New York Times story reporting that the “criminals were apprehended, given a fair trial, sentenced, and executed”. Below the story, scratched on the frame, scrawled roughly a title: “Lest We Forget”. Did anyone in Vermont ever read the New York Times after that?

She shed no tear. This was now a lesson of history. She could only pray it wasn’t forgot.

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WRITING: An injineer’s bedtime prayer

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A fat old white guy injineer’s bedtime prayer

 

Now I lay me down to sleep,
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

And should I luckily awake, 
Help me be the best me I can be,
like the one you did make.

Teach me to see my flaws,
long long long long long,
Before others, offense they take

When you send me my troubles,
a test to take, 
brave, me, You should make!

The poor, me to see, Your help, please,
comfort them I should, 
That warrior I would be, I am, could, would, did.

At my own stumbles,
with a laugh gift me,
So that others I can join,
Humble, 
I have so much to be about.

And help me, God,
with all the things you know,
help with, I need,
that too blind to see, am I.

With the politicians,
patience, me you should grant,
if they had been smart, after all, 
they’d have been injineers too.

But most of all, 
help me check all my signs,
So that bridge doesn’t fall down.

Humbly submitted for your consideration,
this very night. 
In the sure certain knowledge … …

zzz zzz zzz zzz

-30-

© 2012 F. John Reinke

with apologies to:
MaryAnn (MC1989) McCarra-Fitzpatrick

 

 

 


WRITING: A Veteran of Unknown Origins

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Veteran of Unknown Origins

The Accident

It was a dark and storm night. The day had been a beautiful sunny summer’s day. The change was dramatic. He’d had the top down all day, but put it up for the drive home. Wife always complained of “fumes” on the highway even though cars returned purer air from the “exhaust” than came in the “intake”. But women; that was one battle no husband would ever win. She had other offsets; the Irish eyes, the rapier wit, and an athletic constitution. The picnic with relatives was fun. Seeing so may generations in one place at one time was inspiring. He turned off Route 37, drove by “his” American Legion Post, saluted, and approached the turn onto the ocean block. The storm intensified, lightin’ ‘n’ thunder, and the street was covered with several inches of storm water. He’d be glad to get his baby in the garage. The cherry ’57 Caddie was his special occasion ride. As he turned, he saw the surge. It looked like a foot or two wave coming right from the ocean. It lifted the heavy Caddie and rolled it. Wife was sucked right out of the car; he was restrained by the new fangled seat belt that she refused to mess her dress with. There was an instant to panic as the water engulfed him and the world went dark.

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The Scene

Lefty ran into the Post bar and yelled: “John: Call 911. There’s a one car accident in the back lot.” The Post Commander was tending bar and. like a good ex-military man, he could follow orders. “911. What IS your emergency?” “Post 351 has a one car accident in their parking lot.” “Anyone hurt?” “Don’t know yet.” “I’m dispatching now.” With that John went to see the accident. The bar had cleared; this was going to be the excitement of the day.

From the porch, he could see a Caddy on it’s side with sand all around it. Maybe the jerk rolled it speeding around the bend on Route 37, but he’d have had to be doing over 100 to get that many rolls. Then he notice that the lot’s fence was intact. Did it drop from the sky?

Walking over to it, he could hear the exclamation by someone: “I don’t care what it looks like, it does NOT look like any Caddy I’ve ever seen. The logos are right but everything else is wrong.” “Anyone hurt.” “The driver’s belted in but out of it. We’re waiting for rescue to backboard him. He’s got an American Legion jacket on, but even that’s strange Post 158247532?”

Patrol rolled up on the scene, and the officer radioed in: “We’re got a DUI here. Send a supervisor and HazMat for a fuel spill.” The rescue squad was right behind him. “Get him out and I’ll handcuff him to the gurney. Suspicion of DUI.” John was frosted: “Officer how can you presume he’s drunk?” “Rolling a car? Duh! I’ll probably get to write 5 or 6 tickets. Maybe get a commendation.” John looked around for Pete, the Post’s attorney. “Pete: Make sure this fellow doesn’t get railroaded. Until he can fend for himself, it looks like he’s ours.” “Sure. Give me a dollar as a retainer.” “You brigand!” The officer reached into the car, opened the glove box, and grab what he believed would be the registration. Pete chimed in: “OK, unreasonable search and seizure. Did you ask my Client for his license, registration, and proof of insurance before you search his closed glove box?” “No. He’s unconscious. Probably drunk out of his mind.” “Assumes facts not yet in evidence. May I have the material you seized from my Client? And you can address your questions to me. Unless you don’t want your pension going to my retirement account.” As visions of tickets satisfying his quota danced in his head, he handed over the papers. “OK, counselor, we’ll play it your way. Client’s name?” Looking at the American Legion jacket, “Ameril E Gion, will do for now”, and looked at the papers. He was in trouble. There was a New Jersey registration, but there was no name on it. Same with the Insurance Card, who ever heard of ‘State Met Pru’ Insurance. And the ‘paper’ felt like plastic. 

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The Hearing / Witness #1

“Ms. Buhl, for the record, please state your credentials.” “Certainly, I’m a Doctor of Forensic Medicine, as well as Pathology. I chair the Medical Anthropology School at the State University. I teach Medical Examiners, Pathologists, and Researchers. I also hold a doctorate from the State University in Chemistry. Specifically, DNA. My dissertation was on the ‘Unique Components of Humanity’s DNA. Where I …”

“Thank you, Ms. Buhl. I’m sure the Court accepts you as an expert. What can you tell us about John Doe?”

“You really mean ‘Adam’s friend Baker’. That’s an old anthropology joke which has special significance here. See the Bible says Adam and Eve were the first humans. There is DNA evidence that every human is indeed descended from an ‘Adam’ and an ‘Eve’. There are obsolete DNA fragments that are identical in every human being. Your John Doe doesn’t have them. Hence we’ve identified him as ‘Adam’s friend Baker’. Adam and Baker had different parents. Completely different. He has different obsolete DNA fragments. This is science shattering. All our understanding has to change.”

“Did you autopsy John Doe’s body? And what does that tell you.”

“My Baker, your John Doe, was what one would expect as a typical American male. Except his finger prints were not on file anywhere. He’s human, but there are many uniquely strange findings. For example, his eye’s show no signs of corneal degradation due to UV sunlight. Even in a teenager, one can see sun damage that will eventually develop into cataracts; Baker’s eyes are like a newborn’s. For example, his blood chemistry is off. His Vitamin C, D, and E levels are 1000 times normal. His coronary arteries look better than a baby’s. His teeth are perfect without even a film from his last meal of fried chicken, corn, mashed potatoes, with gravy. It’s like he went from a dental cleaning to the accident.”

“Was he drunk?”

“No signs of any intoxicant or drugs in his system. With the exception, aspirin! He had high levels of that. So high as to wonder how he ingested it. He didn’t get it via the stomach becuse such a level would have burned through the lining. It’s like he’d just come from an IV infusion. I’ve cryogenically preserved everything I could for a time when our science catches up to him.”

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The Hearing / Witness #2

“Mr. DuBois, for the record, please state your credentials.” “Certainly, I’m a PhD in both Material Science and Mechanical Engineering.” “Thank you. Did you examine the car that John Doe was found in?” “Yes.” “Your findings?” “I have over 11,000 pages of findings.” “Summarize for us layman.” “John Doe’s car was not made on this planet.” “Excuse me?” “The only thing in common between this car and our planet is that the elements are the same. For example, the car is made out of “steel”. Our steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. That “steel” has no carbon, but uses two .5% each harding agents of manganese and tungsten. Unheard of before. It’s lighter, stronger, and presents a completely different profile under stress. For example, John Doe’s Cadilac engine has a V-14; our “Cadilac” has had V-12 or a V-16. Never a 14. For example, the gasoline in John Doe’s tank was 104 octane and tests out to deliver 52.5 Megajoule per liter in energy. It is infused a nanostructured porous material which we believe is a lubricating fluid. Here are just three of a thousands of other world uniqueness.

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The Hearing / Witness #3

“Ms. Duchone, for the record, please state your credentials.” “Certainly, I’m the head of the FBI Identification Section and Doctor of Biometric Engineering.” “Please describe your findings.” “The car yields over 80,000 fingerprints. This contained 4,000 index fingers. We compared every print with all known sources of prints. No matches. None!” “Conclusions?” “It’s impossible.” 

# – # – # – # – #

The internment

At Post 351, having be granted Guardian Ad Litem for John Doe, ‘Adam’s friend Baker’, created a tomb for him in the back parking lot where he was found.

“Here lies Baker, a truly unknown. We believe he’s a veteran, but we don’t know of what. But like all comrades in arms, even if he’s from the wrong side, we honor his service. Even though we have no clue what it was, where it was, or when it was. We honor the contribution he’s making every day to our indigent fellow vets.”

John saluted and dismissed the assembly.

Strange how things worked out. Baker was a font of discoveries. And, all the money he “earned” came to the American Legion charity fund. Too much money. So the American Legion notified all the other veterans organizations to join them in helping Baker’s fund help indigent vets. VFW, VFA, JWV … didn’t matter, Baker was a cash cow.

Funny how things end.

Where was Baker from?

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WRITING: Climate Change — Not Warming

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Climate Change — Not Warming

“My fellow Americans: It’s time to face the harsh reality that everyone must move South of Route 10 from Florida to California. All roads are closed except to Government convoys. Those under 40 or in key professions will receive transportation. You may only bring one carry on bag like on an airline. Make your decisions wisely since it’s unlikely you will ever be returning home. Stay calm, stay in your homes, and await further instructions from local authorities. May God bless us and God bless America.”

Then the panic began.

Apparently, humanity is about to under go another ice age. Supposedly, the wobble wobbled further than previously thought. So the polar ice cap will extend further south in North America. Think the Grand Canyon repeated.

There’s triage going on. The old, the poor, and the not-politically connected are to be sacrificed for the good of humanity. There’s just not enough room or time to move everyone. Southeast Asia is offering shelter at a thousand ounces of gold per head. That’s the cheapest. Mexico cut a deal with the US Government, but not for all 300 million people. Oh, and the greenback US dollar became worthless in minutes. As well as US debt and anything denominated in the USD. No surprise there. Think “frozen assets”.
There were priorities! Politicians and bureaucrats. Doctors, Lawyers, and Indian Chiefs. Billionaires and millionaires. Politically connected. Those under 30. Parents with children. Zoo animals.

Everyone else was expendible.

The old man wasn’t upset. After filling the bath tubs, he just went about his daily routine. He’d lived his life. Folks came by and said good bye on their way to the embarkation point. He gave some of his gold coins to each child. Each parent got some silver. There were tears, but not by him. It was just life passing him by. Again.

The no travel edict locked him into his house. He had his y2k supplies and hadn’t got rid of them like the other sunshine prepares.

This was TEOTWAWKI, but there was no survival since you couldn’t bug out. The TV was doing stories of folks, attempting to flee, being shot on the road side. Lots of human interest stories of folks getting out and arriving at their new homes. And, no commercials. Who cared about the soon to be dead market. Couldn’t even sell them funerals. They’d be the fossils discovered when the Ice Age ended.

Shortly, it got cold and started to snow. The old man thought about what it would be like to be an avalanche victim. SO using some old electrical conduit, he made a “smokestack” for fresh air. He hoped it would give him some extra time. In a disaster measured in “age” (i.e., the Ice Age), this extra time was his version of panic.

Eventually the snow covered the house. The windows looked out on a white wall. First to fail was the water. Then the gas supply. Then, the cable TV and internet. Then, the electric. All with in a day. Then it started to get cold. He’d put all the blankets on the bed and spent all his time under the covers. Other than quick trips to the WC or the kitchen, he was in bed. Some prayers. Some illusions. Some delusions.

With no way to keep time, no day / night cycle, he lost all sense of time. On one of his quick trips to the WC, he notice that the tub water was frozen. Wouldn’t be long now. He was almost out of sterno, but he had plenty of food.

Then he started to get a headache. Guess he should have stocked oxygen. The ice must have finally topped his “smokestack”. So no fresh air. Or, it was clogged. Really didn’t matter, sooner or later, something would run out.

As he drifted off to sleep, the long sleep, he wondered if this was global cooling, why wasn’t he cold?

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WRITING: Never going to be a victim

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I’ll never be a victim

How do I begin? I’m the oldest of three siblings. A girl. Tall for my age. 12½. Gawky. Athletic. Timid and shy. And, I’ve just started the change.

There, I’ve gotten it all out.

I’m writing this in my laptop’s journal so that the secret does not bust out of me. I don’t want to blurt it out. I’m a sinner and a criminal.

My uncle was a funny weird man. Before he died just recently. I mention that because he is a key to my coming of age. A young widower he always came to dinner from time to time. Always brought donuts. I loved those. For my plays, he brought flowers. For my events, like confirmation, he brought chocolate. For our vacations and occasions, he always gave me spending money. He was a nice old man who seemed to understand me and made me feel powerful. And smart. And really listened to me prattle on. Not grabby, like other relatives. He always let me come to him. I relaxed around him. From time to time, he’d bring me and my brothers strange gifts. Puzzles, crafts, and toys that all had challenges. Most of the time, we didn’t do them, but he never made any comment. He wanted us to learn “stuff”. With no apparent emphasis on anything in particular. Just “stuff”. He’d say: “Never know what stuff might come in handy.”

I remembered one thing that came in very handy. But more about that later.

He’d debate with my Dad about all sorts of political topics. They never saw eye to eye much. My Dad was a quiet liberal easy going guy. My Uncle a crazy hard line guy. They most disagreed about guns. At first, it was scary. We’re taught a school that only criminals have guns. And, our friends, the police, would keep us safe. I was shocked to hear that my Uncle had guns. And, that he believed that he had a right to keep them. And, he would use them if need be. He hadn’t had to kill another human being. But he always ended that sentence with “… yet!” I remember he often cowed my Dad into silence when he delivered a now familiar quote: “Victim disarmament is the view that it is somehow better to see a woman raped in an alley and strangled with her own pantyhose, than see her with a gun in her hand.” I was becoming a woman and I knew a little about sex. It was supposed to be beautiful when the time came. I went to the internet to read about rape. I understood my uncle’s revulsion with that criminal act. Somehow I felt safe when he was around. I remember how he talked about his guns as if they were people or virtues. He called them: “Vengence”, “Justice”, and his favorite “Peacekeeper”. He said had them in his house ready to defend as needed. Once time he confided that Peacekeeper’s safety was getting to hard for him to operate. And, that he’d solved that problem like his Great Aunt did before the War with rubber bands. He had rubber banded the grip safety so all he’d have to do was point and pull. My Mom and Dad were shocked and asked if that was dangerous. He laughed and said: “Nah! As long as when at my desk, I don’t bang it with my knee.” 
I don’t know why that stuck with me.

Fast forward. He died about a month ago. And, there’s a bunch of legal reasons why his house has to be left alone until everyone can clean it out. But, that being said, it’s just sitting there. Mom goes and collects the mail. Waiting for the papers to arrive. She’s sad about it, and not looking forward to the job.

This spring I started to, as my Mom puts it, bloom. I can see the physical changes. Everyone is treating me “different”. And, I get happy and sad for no reason. It’s all part of “blooming” as Mom said.

But there has been a bad side to this.

At my school, boys and girls go to class together. You have all sorts of different types: nerds, jocks, punks, emos, and some you can’t label. There’s a group of boys that are just gross. And, they pick on certain girls. Up to now, I’d been invisible to them. But as I started to “bloom”, they began to target me.

I didn’t know what to do.

At first, it was just talk. Dirty talk. About how they’d “help” me along. Then, they’d touch me. In the hall, brushing me. Then, they’d grab my butt. I’d come home and cry. Lately, they’d been sending me messages on my phone and putting porn in my locker through the slots. Always telling me how good they’d make me feel. And, soon. One of the leaders seemed to have me staked out. In his mind’s eye. Today, in school, he walked up to me and grabbed my breasts with both hands and squeezed. Hard. I slapped him. He laughed and said: “Today, after the bus drops us off, I’m gonna drag you behind a bush and do you. You ready?” I was in a panic. What could I do. Sitting in class, I remembered my uncle’s desk and what he said about victims. “No one in their right mind should want to be down range of a crazed woman with a gun. Women can kill when they are threatened. Like a Momma Bear with her cubs or woman about to be raped. I trust them to know when to fire. A criminal should be killed.” I did have a right to defend myself.

My uncle told me so!

My tormentor was on my bus home. The bus ride home was hell. He was in the back with his friends laughing and smirking. I was resolute. I sat by the driver. Uncle’s house was a few stops before mine. When the bus stopped, just as the last kid exited, I sprang off. Without looking back, I walked to Uncle’s house. My tormentor got off at the next stop about ½ block away and was running after me yelling something. I walked up the driveway, opened the garage door, entered, and locked it behind me. Uncle never did get that garage light fixed; it was always on. Picked my way through the maze of stuff to the door that led to his den. Locked the door behind me. Push aside his chair and scooted under the desk pulling the chair back in. There on the underside of the desk it was. “Peacekeeper”! I slid it out very gently. Like a sleeping snake. It was a gun just like on TV. It was heavy. But felt cold to the touch. I used two hands like they do on TV and just held it out in front of me. My uncle’s words echoed TV’s message: “Finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot.” And waited.

It wouldn’t be long. I heard the banging on the garage door. Then window break. “Where are you, you tease. You’re only making this harded and me madder. It’s gonna really hurt and I’m going to enjoy you.” I heard noises. Some far. Eventually getting louder. “I can smell you.” The door to the den opened, and the tormentor was in the room. I was frozen in fear. Could he really smell me? Like dog or a wolf. “There you are? Come to daddy.” And the chair was pulled out. And, he reaching for me.

Finger to the trigger.

Explosion. Light flash. The brightest light I’d ever seen. The loudest noise I’d ever heard.

My uncle’s words to Dad echoed. “Pull the trigger until the gun locks open. Then use it as a club.” So I pulled. It wanted to shoot the ceiling, but I dragged it down to the floor. Five, Seven, Nine? Eventually the thing did lock open. The smell was terrible. I’d never smelled anything so gross. The charcoal grill, burnt meat, and a disgusting bowel movement all in one. Maybe I wet myself?
But my tormentor was nowhere in sight. I couldn’t see much. Blind! I felt around and there was a purse there. Open, with stuff in it, I could feel bullets and metal. So I put the gun in the purse.

Now a long time ago, Uncle had a dog. And, under his desk, was a doggie door. It was a big dog. Uncle was lazy and hated to get up to let the dog out. After the dog died he put a latch on the door to “keep the critters out”. I felt for the latch and let myself out. 
I walked home. Wondering what to do next?

My uncle’s voice gave me that answer too. To my Dad, he’d often say: “Shoot, shovel, and shut up.” So that’s what I did. Before going in the house, I went to my school project garden behind our garage and planted the purse. Our dog came out began licking my face. And, making a noise I’d never heard. Like it was telling me “I’m glad your home safe.” I was safe! And, a woman. Maybe not all the way. But I knew I was a powerful woman.

Went in the house, Mom asked: “How was school?” “OK.” “You’re late.” “I got off a few blocks early. Felt like walking. I was stiff from sitting all day.” “OK, but do your home work, practice tonight.” “OK”.

Today, I want to school; unafraid of the bully. Secure that, when I have sex, it will be with the boy whom I choose. But the school was all a buzz, with the report of a missing child. Our friends, the Police, were asking each class if anyone saw him. Me, and bunch of others, dutifully reported he was on the bus. Others said that he got off before his usual stop. No one reported what a pig he was. I was following Uncle’s last bit of advice: “Silence”. Today in library, I listened to a YouTube video: “Never talk to the police”. So, when I’m questioned, as I’m sure I will be, I’m just going to be a young girl too terrified of them to speak. Works on TV. Figure when the court papers, that my Mom is waiting for, come everyone will find out what happened to the “poor lost child”. The predator pig! Wonder if they’ll figure out what happened? Wonder if they will figure out that I’m the murderer? Wonder if I’ll go to jail?

Once thing is for sure, Uncle was right. Thanks, Uncle! School was OK today and I’ve learned some of that “stuff” you were trying to teach me. I’ve decided. I’m never going to be a victim.

# – # – # – # – #

 


WRITING: Entering

Monday, January 16, 2012

Entering

The captain walked to the back of the hovel. “All secure, Sergeant?” “Yes, sir.” “Report!” “3 of ours KIA, 2 WIA, 4 natives wasted. We breached as planned. No resistance; till we found the old man in the back bedroom. He started firing; caught us by surprise. Number One, WIA, was the first man; lost an ankle. The next three caught rounds in the face; killed instantly. Including the Louie. Fifth, a knee. Sixth, Tom, got him. The men wanted some payback and wasted 3 other ragheads.” “Very well. Get the wounded back to base fast. Load the dead. Search for weapons and contraband. Back to base for replacements. And, get an new interpreter. Can’t believe we hit the wrong address again.” The captain went over and took a shiny new Colt 1911 from the dead old man’s hand.

“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? . . .” — Alexander Solzhenitsyn

The captain wondered what it would be like at home if this was done. Result would be the same. Resistance? Can’t afford to lose three men in security operations. This adventure would end quickly. No way 100,000 Americans could police millions of ragheads. Be the same at home. Anyone’s home. Maybe next time they’d just go for a ride around town and back to base. He had family he wanted to go home to. They all had family they wanted to home to. Even the ragheads had family they wanted to go home to. Damn politicians!

# – # – # – # – #  2012-Jan-16 @ 22:02


WRITING: The big pension

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The big pension

He read the story on the political website, but didn’t comment or blog about it. A politician works the system and gets a pension four times that of the President’s salary. His meager life had always been good enough for him while his wife was alive. Now with her passing, he was mad. Crazy mad. At the doctors. At the system. At all the things undone. Time to take out some anger.

It was really trivial. Google maps the politician’s home. Google all the stories. Google the likes and dislikes. The woman was a dog owner. Pets have to be walked. Take down the pocket rocket box that his wife had never opened. Load it. And wait for nightfall.

Park around the block. Get out and walk around. Twice. Here comes the woman walking her pet. Just walk by. Stop, draw, turn, and fire. Walk calmly away back to the car. Drive directly to the Staten Island ferry. Pay the man and drive on. Fifteen minutes late. Get out of the car and walk to the rail. Gun goes over the side.

The police were mystified. All the fruits and nuts who commented or posted. The various three letter agencies all looked for a pattern. The media lamented that a dedicated public servant never got to enjoy her well earned pension. A story was even planted about another similar case. But our cowardly hero was out of the business. After all he only had one pocket rocket. And, it was the pattern, even random, that would catch the culprit.

Another politician decided that was no fluke and he passed on the opportunity to do the same thing. Another internet patriot put two and two together and blogged the story. And, another lonely old woman said that might be something she could do with her husband’s old hand gun.

Who says that one anonymous old man can’t change the world? It just requires some “wet work” by patriots.

Again!

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WRITING: Dog in the manger

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dog in the manger

“We’ll be back in the morning with your new roomates.” The TSA “housing officer” turned and stomped out.

Well they had finally caught up with him. Having one person living in the ancestral three bedroom hovel was indeed not “fair” to all the folk who had less. It was up to him to share as Big Brother decided was equitable. But he’d been paying, and would continue to pay. Well, the time had arrived. It would be dark soon.

He walked outside and took two thin little sticks taped to the downspout and found their place in the lawn. One taller than the other. It went furthest from the house; the shortest closer.

It’d been a good house. Filled with joy. Of course, there was sadness. Who can balance such things. But it was his. He paid the mortgage off in good times and bad. He’d paid the ever increasing taxes that made him feel like a renter. Or a serf to the feudal lord. He couldn’t be any more attached to it than if he’d actually mowed the lawn for himself. There were no children to leave it to, but still the State didn’t have the courtesy to wait until he died to steal it. He knew that any protest was futile. Redress of grievances would have to wait for a higher court.

There were a few last chores to do. He took a ride in the ratty old truck around town with a little box glowing green. Its mates woke up from their slumber and glowed green in sympathy. He drove to the park. A little less than a mile away. Where the happy couple had thought their children would play. Every time he passed, he thought that way. Who’d have believed that it would end this way. At least, she wasn’t here to see it. That made him free. He was uplifted as he walked back from the park.

But it would be dark soon. He had his last meal in the old house. Oatmeal. That’s all he could afford. He then packed a small kit to take to the new world. If he made it. Anything of value was in that. Wife’s ring, his diploma, picture of his first car. Those were the idyllic days when anything was possible. Before the boot on the neck. And the little entrenching tool from WW2. Where had that been. Never in as desperate situation as now.

At full dark, he turned off the light. Opened the valves. Waited for his eyes to adjust. Let himself out and walked to the park. It was dark. He was in black. And, no one cared. One didn’t look out one’s windows these days. Better not to see the experiment ending.

To the park and up that little hill commanding the heights. Six paces from the top marker towards the house, five at starboard forty five, and dig. The ground was hard from decades of sleep. When the Government first said his tools were “illegal”, he’d stored them for a rainy day. And, they were so stupid they couldn’t remember he had them. Three foot down. Half the distance for a grave. Would be if he was found. There were the long laid down tools. In pvc tubes, dirty but unbent. He laid the three side by side. This was the Rubicon. In the twinkle of an Irish Eye, the thought came: “It was her house.” That decided it. The thermite was struck and immediately flared. As if it had been freshly placed. The tools emerged from their long sleep. The dry ice, solid no more, smoked like a cigarette from the white tube casket. “George” and “Martha”, twin 45’s, were holstered once again. “Little Joe”, an American sten, was loaded and primed. And, finally, “Big Ben”, all 12 pounds of his 50 cal frame, was ready to rock.

From his fighting hole, he deployed his cover. The enemy would control the air. But, if he was lucky, and they were up to their usual subpar, he could escape after his task. His estimates wandered from slim to none. With stops at crazy, and what have you done. False dawn passing. His sweat cooled. He smelled homeless which would soon be true. But he carried his home in his heart. Along with the murder he was about to do. Peaceful by nature, never to strike the first blow, he respond to this aggression, with a kick in the nuts. Be careful of the quiet ones. Still water runs deep. Courage is to bear the little insults and respond to the big ones with all the outrage of a mother bear defending her cub. Homes are not cubs, but they can be symbols. Of what should have, might have, or could have been. Hence ikons of faith and hope. There’d be no charity here. Dawn.

Time to get to work. There were distances to confirm, angles to mark, little sticks to line up, and prayers to be said. Quickly done for it was mere a repeat of what had been planned. Drilled in the mind’s eye during each affront and insult. That glassy eyed stare at the “Nazi du jour” was not apathy. But vengeance being planned. Beware that stare should it be aimed at you. The bell tolls. That bell’s for you.

It was really anticlimactic. At first, he thought they wouldn’t show. But about 10, they did. Four cars. One truck. A squad of sixteen men. Six officers. One of whom was that “housing officer”. Three men and a officer blocked the street. Three men each to a sides of the house. The ones going on the closest side broke those sticks without noticing. No matter the mark had been set at the business end. It was really child’s play. He had no time to watch the show; there was work to be done. “Big Ben” ate 15 at a time, so there’d be a reload or two. Quick would be the word and sharp at the mark. For this was his.

It sounded like a cannon, but, in truth but a whisper, silence is golden and a silencer is de rigueur. Like Sargent York’s instruction about geese, you shoot the ones who can’t be seen by the others. Bang, bang, bang, bang, … as methodical as driving nails with a nail gun. The Misguided Children were right. Let God sort them out. The road guard disposed of. He took the back guard. They were easy the one facing back was first. Facing the back next. Finally, the guy who realized he had only seconds. He could see his eyes widen in terror. No matter. The time for realization that one was a “Nazi” was long ago. Today there was merely retribution. The officers in front next. By now, they’d figured out that they were “Custer” and someone else was “Sitting Bull”. Old ideas die hard. And, misperceptions deadly. They’d done this to the sheep so many times that they’d forgotten that there was a thing called a sheep dog. They paid with their lives. Running for cover was an amusing attempt. A 50 cal is no match for a car door. Put two in and watch the blood drip. But there was still the living to tend too. One obvious vet had thrown himself down to play dead. Since he wanted to play, I helped him to be realistic. A few threw down their weapons and put their hands up. Sorry, this isn’t the movies. This is Fifth Generation War. Bang, bang, bang.

The clock in his head was ticking louder and louder. Ammo was no problem; time was. Some one had to have called for help. If he was to survive, he’d better be quick. And lucky. He paused to survey the killing field. He thought he got everyone. But need to be sure. None should survive. Maybe that was a bad plan? One should of to tell the tale. Nah, he’d stick to the plan.

Then he heard the tell tale noise. Rotors. His life had gotten shorter. Maybe he could hit his miracle shot. The copter would be over the house. That was 800 meters. Let’s guess and altitude of a 1,000 feet. At eight inches per thousand drop on a level. What’s the drop at say 45 degrees? Aww, hell, there’s no time to calculate. If he even could. Call it 16 mils and aim high. “Big Ben” said “feed me”. So AP it was. Only five. They cost a cspot each at the local black market. Fired four at the bird. And may have got lucky. It spun off with smoke.

Time to bring the curtain down. So far we’d been lucky. Me and my friends — George, Martha, Little Joe, and Big Ben. But luck runs out and sevens always come. And the double zero is there to break up red and black. So into the stock where those two sticks lined up. And one AP round into the buried gas meter later, the old house was history. The gas in the house, fired by the gas at the meter, put splinters for meters. The smoke was amazing; the flame not bad either. Be long time before anyone could get near her.

So it was time to move on. “Big Ben” said “more”. But we were low on ammo and the targets were covered with wood chips. Slung Ben. Picked up Joe. And, quick march to the truck. This is where it could get dicy. Would anyone have figured out where the highpoint was? “Little Joe” was for that last fire fight. As I emerged from the park I still saw no one. Maybe some disadvantaged urban yutes inspecting cars but they were up the block. I think they saw Little Joe. Maybe they just saw a killer and decided “professional courtesy”. Either way Little Joe went on the front seat. Big Ben to the back. On the floor; not the rack. As I crossed the main road, I figured I need to give the Gooferment something else to think about. Pressed the button and a red light lit. Could hear the explosions. The high point looked like a volcano. Amazing what diesel, fertilizer, and some PriD do. Time to concentrate on the road.

Six non-stop hours later, he was in the Free State thanks to the back roads. He stopped at the first bar. After a pit stop, he ordered his first scotch in his new life. “Barkeep, is my gun safe in my truck?” “Sure, but feel free to bring it in. Everyone else does. Like Heinlein said.” Yup, the Free State! He’d made it. Just lucky.

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NANOWRIMO: Loser’s party!

Friday, December 2, 2011

http://www.hillarydepiano.com/2011/12/01/so-you-didnt-win-nanowrimo-this-year-you-should-still-be-proud-of-yourself-for-trying-even-if-you-fell-short/

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NANOWRIMO: I failed

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I was unable to complete the challenge.

No excuses, but I chose to work on other higher priorities.

Maybe next November.

Argh!

Feel bad, but that’s what happens when you say “yes” to quickly.

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WRITING: It’s always freezing in the field

Sunday, November 20, 2011

And it’s always freezing in the field

It’s always freezing in the field.
Thump, thump, thump …
Sight picture, trigger control, calmly breathe.
Thump, … thump, … thump, …
This is my rifle. … This is for fighting … Pray.
… thump, … … thump, … … thump, … … squeeze.

I am the boy / man who took to Massachusetts’ woods,
when the hated invader marched his red target
across the land of my birth,
to take our liberty and my manhood.

It’s always freezing in the field.
Thump, thump, thump …
Sight picture, trigger control, calmly breathe.
Thump, … thump, … thump, …
This is my rifle. … This is for fighting … Pray.
… thump, … … thump, … … thump, … … squeeze.

I am the boy / man dressed himself in blue or gray,
when the hated invader marched his gray / blue target
across the land of my birth,
to take our liberty and my manhood.

It’s always freezing in the field.
Thump, thump, thump …
Sight picture, trigger control, calmly breathe.
Thump, … thump, … thump, …
This is my rifle. … This is for fighting … Pray.
… thump, … … thump, … … thump, … … squeeze.

I am the old man who will take to America’s woods,
when the hated invader in the UN’s blue beret marches
across the land of my birth,
to take our liberty and my manhood.

It’s always freezing in the field.
Thump, thump, thump …
Sight picture, trigger control, calmly breathe.
Thump, … thump, … thump, …
This is my rifle. … This is for fighting … Pray.
… thump, … … thump, … … thump, … … squeeze.

Fair warning to all that it’ll be Chosin Reservoir cold,
when we all become those riflemen behind every blade of grass.
But we’ll be warmed by the long forgotten passion for liberty,
That has burned in all the riflemen before us.

It’s always freezing in the field.
Thump, thump, thump …
Sight picture, trigger control, calmly breathe.
Thump, … thump, … thump, …
This is my rifle. … This is for fighting.
… thump, … … thump, … … thump, … … squeeze.

Cold it will eternally be,
for the hated blue beret wearing enemy,
killed by all sorts of young and old men,
willingly passionately freezing in the field.

GBA!

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NANOWRIMO2011: Pep talk message

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Greetings, NaNo-novelist!

Have you seen the countdown clock on NaNoWriMo lately? The 2011 noveling extravaganza begins in just 13 days!

In preparation for this wild and wordy festival of writing, we’ve relaunched NaNoWriMo.org (and that very hypnotic clock). The site is now built upon the extra-sleek framework of Ruby on Rails, which means the forums are speedier than ever, and slow page-loads are a distant memory. (Though you can still fondly reminisce on those with me in the NaNoWriMo history.)

Come on over to NaNoWriMo.org today to check out all the shiny newness, including an all-star cast of pep talkers, the 2011 batch ofweb badges, our revamped forums, and special noveling goodies in the store.

You can also find the local chapter closest to you, and catch up on news and events there in the regional forum!

If nothing else, come by to witness the sheer speed of it all. Heavens to Betsy, the speed!

If you know any kids, teens, or educators who would enjoy this challenge, be sure to send them over to NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program! Director Chris Angotti has cooked up the best resources yet for our 50,000-plus young novelists around the world.

We can’t wait to see you in NaNoLand!

Counting down to go-time,
Lindsey Grant
Program Director

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Raring to go! U?

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WRITING: “Joan d’Arc — Third Vermont Republic”

Sunday, October 9, 2011

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joan_d_arc_3rd_VT-republic

Joan of Arc — Third Vermont Republic
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Joan of arc)

For other uses, see Joan of Arc (disambiguation).

“Maid of Pownel” redirects here. For other uses, see Jeanne d’Arc (disambiguation).

Joan d’Arc

<<joan_d_arc_sketch1.jpg>>

Self portrait. As an artist, her interpretation of herself.

<<joan_d_arc_sketch2.jpg>>

The only other images of her were the United Nations / United States Federal Bureau of Investigation Most Wanted artist renditions from descriptions. (Centre Historique des Archives Nationales, Brussels, reference La Cour Pénale Internationale — docket number 20XX-0002 – USA / VT)

Born ~2001
New Jersey, USA
Disappeared 01 July 2025 (aged 24)
Pownel, Third Vermont Republic

Joan d’Arc, nicknamed “The Maid of Pownel” (also sometimes referred to as Dolly, or Madison, “No Last Name”, ~2001? – ????), is considered a national heroine of the Third Vermont Republic. A middle class girl born in New Jersey USA. Arrived as a refugee in Vermont during the economic collapse of the dollar sometime between 2014 and 2018. It is believed that she fought in her Uncle’s resistance unit. Assuming command after his death, she developed strategies and tactics which defeated the attempts to return Vermont to the USA after several States seceded. Despite UN involvement, and later total UN control, Vermont successfully resisted as did eventually all of the old USA. She “disappeared” into obscurity and all attempts to discover her real true identity are met with non-cooperation, hostility, and in some cases tar ‘n’ feathers. Some historians doubt the existence of a single individual and call her a composite of folk heros. Survivors of the various Expeditionary Forces into Vermont insist that she is a real single individual who late in the era took particular delight in “taking souvenirs” (i.e., chopping off fingers) and “dispatching returnees” (i.e., slitting throats). She was designated a “war criminal” in 2022 for these and other actions. She is still carried on various War Crimes lists and is actively being hunted. She disappeared from public view in 2025 at the end of hostilities. Since Vermont is not a member of the UN and has limited diplomatic relations, it’s unlikely for her ever to be brought to justice. Billing itself as the “Switzerland of North America”, Vermont has full diplomatic relations with only the Vatican, Switzerland, Israel, and the Free French Republic of Quebec. It is openly hostile to the United Nations and there is currently an active “Act of Marque and Reprisal for War Crimes” against all former, current, and future UN officials. In addition, that War Crimes act also names specifically certain past USA citizens as well as pseudonyms for certain “John Doe’s”.

Contents   

1 Background

2 Life

2.1 Rise

2.2 Leadership

2.3 Strategy

2.4 Tactics

2.5 Disappearance

3 Post-disappearance events

4 Lionization

5 Legacy

6 See also

7 Footnotes

8 References

9 Further reading

10 External links

1. Background

In 2014, the US Dollar aka the Greenback aka the Federal Reserve Banknote became worthless after President Obama was reelected with all sorts of claims of fraud. The result was a collapse of the global economy. The chaos in the world was bad; the affect in the USA was catastrophic. With the collapse, imports to the USA as well as foreign lending ended. The internal economy returned to a subsistence farming level mimicking the 1880s or the 1930s. While politically the USA was run from Washington DC, there was uncontrolled rioting and crime. Since ½ the country was on the dole and ¼ of the country was in “public service”, the remaining productive ¼ was supporting them. When the economy collapsed as a result of the dollar collapse, the productive class could no longer pay the taxes. Anyone with any wealth simply either was robbed or “disappeared”. It’s estimated that ⅓ of the population died in the rioting or the aftermath of the chaos. In 2015, Vermont seceded from the USA. Those in control of the government of the USA had accepted UN conservatorship as a result of that government’s debts to the world. Several States of the USA repudiated this action: Texas, Georgia, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Alaska, and Hawaii. In addition several States fractured, Washington, Oregon, California, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida. Several also merged: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Maryland. As well as many of the boundaries changed as a result of the fighting over the next decade.

2. Life

Her birthplace is unknown. Her parentage or relatives are unknown. It’s believed that she escaped the riots in the Boston to DC corridor with her two younger brothers at age 14.

There is a colorful legend that has her parents dying in a home invasion where she killed the two intruders with a hidden shotgun that had been secretly given to her by her uncle. She then gathered up her brothers and, with her steering and the older brother operating the pedals, she drove from New Jersey to Vermont. Clearly impossible.

Supposedly they thrived at her uncle’s retreat. Riding out the chaos, until the attempted invasions of Vermont by armies of the USA, later the USA armies supplemented by the UN, and eventually just the UN. With a terrain akin to Afghanistan, the resistance movement was spawned by the attempt to “roll tanks into Vermont”. In retrospect, easier said that done.

2.1. Rise

In a 2016 Reuters report, an unnamed man, presumed to be Joan d’Arc’s uncle, was profiled as the leader of the Southeastern Vermont militia. Characterized as “a loon with delusions”, he was in command of irregular forces of “old men, crazy women, young girls, and children”. He’d fought the invaders to a stand still while never fighting an open pitched battle. His primary weapon was sabotage. It is believed that Joan d’Arc was one of these young girls. The report describes one young girl, believed to be her, pedaling her bicycle through the town of Pownel “trolling” for off duty troopers. When they would chase her, just to talk of course, she would lure them into ambushes where they were brutally murdered. This is all unconfirmed. What is confirmed was that casualty rates, in 2015 thru 2017, were a modest ½%. Combatants frequent gave surrendering troops quarter and parole. After 2018 thru 2020, casualty rates were a ⅓. From 2020 to 2023, they were ½. From 2023 until cessation in 2025, it was not uncommon that entire UN units were wiped out to the last man.

2.2 Leadership

In 2018, there was a massacre at Bennington Bridge. While many of the facts and interpretations are in dispute, there certain facts not in dispute. On 04 July 2018, the Government of the USA turned over all peace keeping operations to the United Nations. On 17 July 2018, a battle between UN peace keepers and Vermont irregulars occurred at Bennington Bridge. Unlike past battles, when the Vermont irregulars were defeated and surrendered, the UN general Muammar Gaddafi ordered the execution of all “arrestees”. Joan d’Arc’s uncle was believed to have been shot killing him along with her younger brother. It’s believed that she assumed command Southeastern Vermont militia. At around that time, they began to use the name Wolverines. The level of violence escalated dramatically after that. As a footnote, on 01 July 2019, General Gaddafi was abducted, killed, and his head was put on a pike at Bennington Bridge. That stayed there until it was taken down 01 July 2025 reportedly by Joan d’Arc personally.

2.3. Strategy

Early in the War for Vermont Independence, the strategy was to merely repel intruding armies. After Bennington Bridge, the strategy shifted to annihilating any armed intruder. Before, there was almost an intra-American civility with surrender and parole routinely granted, like a family fight; After, while there still was some surrender with parole for “Americans”, usually there was no quarter for the hated “blue hats” absent some notable UN courtesy to civilians, the wounded, or the dead (i.e., safe conduct to civilians; cease fire for retrieval of the wounded; honorable treatment of remains). After Bennington Bridge, parole was given only after non-surgical removal of the right pinky finger. Joan d’Arc was reported to have used an old native American tomahawk that her uncle had carried. If a parolee was captured again missing a right pinky finger, they immediately had their throat slit.

2.4 Tactics

Early in the conflict, some of the tactics had almost a humorous note to them. Joan d’Arc was reputed to have organized a “Gala Welcoming Ball by the Vermont Tory Woman’s Society” for the First Airborne Brigade deploying into Vermont. She captured all the officers and ½ the non-coms. Accepting parole, they were delivered naked to the US embassy in the Free State of Quebec. Every person, male and female, had a rude word tatted on their forehead and butt.

Later in the conflict, the tactics turned gruesome and even petty. Common decency precludes detailing them. Needless to say torture for information was routine. Torture, as a reprisal was de rigueur when the rules of war were violated.

In addition to the “right pinky finger” tactic, it was not uncommon for genitalia to be combined with dog tags and a blue hat to be staked on the border.

The western Vermont border was not the historical static dividing line. Vermont fought major pitched battles in New York east of the Hudson River. Skirmishes occurred as far west as the Thruway and the Northway. Eventually Vermont’s western border became the Hudson River and was codified in the Saratoga Springs Treaty. It was common knowledge that Seventh Vermont Regulars had to be recalled as a result of that treaty from the outskirts of Albany. There is no confirmation that Joan d’Arc was leading the Seventh and had “Buffalo or bust” chalked on all the equipment.

Similarly, the south Vermont border, with support of the sister republic of New Hampshire, by right of conflict, became the Atlantic Ocean. With the Treaty of Greenwich, Connecticut ceased to exist. Vermont followed the Hudson including the western part of Massachusetts to the Atlantic with New York City becoming part of Vermont; similarly New Hampshire followed the Rhode Island / Connecticut line though Massachusetts to the Atlantic. The old Interstate 91 became the VT / NH border and was renamed “Cooperation Road”. The western southbound side is in Vermont; the eastern northbound side is in New Hampshire. There are no border controls on this road. Massachusetts is essentially Boston and its suburbs. Rhode Island remains as it always was.

2.5 Disappearance

With Sarasota Springs treaty, Joan D’Arc simply “disappeared”. Many foreign news reporters, who were able to get visas, would find themselves “PNGed” (i.e., declared Persona Non Grata, deported, and if lucky not tarred ‘n’ feathered) for merely asking about her. Local news reporters carefully ignored identifying any Vermont Independence coflict leaders because of the outstanding International Criminal Court arrest warrants.

There was one report of Joan d’Arc responding to a question as to “where did she get her ideas on tactics and strategy”? She’s reported as saying: “As a young girl, I read my uncle’s writings extensively. Mostly Post Apocalyptical Fiction. While he was a very peaceful man, he had a vivid imagination and strong opinions about the future. While some of the ideas were grotesque, they had a certain logic about them. Some I stole directly like: maiming parolees to identify returnees, booby trapping common items, and employing fifth generation warfare against Vermont’s enemies. Others I developed from his themes: disguising one’s true intentions in conflicts, extending Vermont’s borders to the water’s edge, freezing the enemy in people’s minds like focusing on the hated blue hats, and never forgetting nor forgiving. He created a monster and his death, and that of my little brother, unleashed my full vengence. Hell hath no fury like a woman who is <past tense synonym for urine output> off!”

In Vermont politics, no one ever speaks of the conflict other than to mourn the dead and decry the suffering. No one speaks of anyone’s role in the “War for Independence”. The only distinction is that those who were in Vermont during the war are addressed a “comrade”; those who have come after are addressed as “citizen”.

Those individuals, who opposed Vermont Independence called Tories, typically didn’t survive the conflict. Those that did generally would not speak on the record for fear of “an act of marque and reprisal” by the Vermont Legislature. Anyone so “marqued” usually doesn’t survive very long. It’s an easy list to get on and one usually quickly falls off.

3. Post-disappearance events

It is believed that Joan D’Arc resumed her life as a simple young woman on her uncle’s retreat / farm. Her older brother is believed to have survived as well. There are some reports of her marrying and having at least six children. They are strong rumors that the children are named Mark, Maci, Mike, Madelyn, Mitch, and Evlynn. But this is unconfirmed by any records searched. No family with such names is believed to exist.

4 Lionization

Depending upon which side of the conflict that you’re on, her role is hotly disputed. From the Vermont side, she’s a patriot. From the USA / UN / World side, she’s gennocidal killer.

In the days after the peace was declared on 04 July 2025, a rock on private property was reported and photographed. In addition to lists of names and dates, it had the following dedication that can be read in the attached picture

<<<vermont_rock_joan_d_arc_farm.jpg>>>

*** begin quote ***

Comrades forever!

We may never see this place again. We may never survive our fight for Vermont. We may never get home, where ever that is to eventually be.

In time, this war, like every other war, will end. But we will never forget, and, in our dreams, we will come back to this place where it all began. Of safe good shelter. Of rest and refit. Of a base to strike out at the vipers who claim our souls. We’ll return often to it. If even only in our mind’s eye. To the safety of our comrades; to honor them in the common cause. Even when, or if, no one else ever does. Sad as that is, we’ll: Never forget. Never surrender. Never forgive.

In the early days of the war for Vermont’s independence, survivors, mostly children, placed their names, and the names of their lost upon this wall. They fought here alone; some gave up their lives. Some for us; some against us. No matter! They are ‘ours’. So that others could go on. They recorded their prayers so they’d not be lost.

We have made our mark. Each in our own way. Some had very short lives. Some suffered greatly; others passed quickly. No matter! Comrades in arms. Comrades in suffering. Comrades in the long cold sleep. If the writing fades, the deeds will speak for themselves! We have promised to each other: our fidelity, our lives, whatever meager fortune we gather, on our honor, to our comrades. Past, present, and in the future.

So say we all.

And, have inscribed our names as follows to this, our promise to each other, originally made on American Independence Day The First Day of July, Two Thousand Fifteen.

And, renewed today, on Vermont’s Independence Day The First Day of July, Two Thousand Twenty Five. The First day of our New Lives.

*** end quote ***

Since this rock is on private property, which is sacrosanct from trespass in Vermont, no further information, even its exact location, is available. All we have is the picture.

5. Legacy

At the four major entry points to the State, an intake building was built with a replica of the Statue of Liberty atop it. Suitable groups of refugees without sponsorship are organized into new clans to meet the sponsorship requirements. An Initiative named for Joan d’Arc will loan them the necessary funds to satisfy the entry requirements and provide sponsorship secured by liens on each individual.

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Their statue is now called “Joan d’Arc”.

<<<This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (March 2028)>>>

6 See also

7 Footnotes

8 References

9 Further reading

10 External links

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NANOWRIMO2011: Singup and setup

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/853592

On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 3:55 AM, <noreply@nanowrimo.org> wrote:

Dear reinkefj,

We promised we’d send you a mammoth email.

Ta-da! Here it is.

This is part welcome wagon, part instructional manual, and part pep talk. After you read everything, save the email for reference; it’s full of helpful tips!

Before you do anything else, complete your registration by clicking on this link or copying and pasting it in your browser:

{Extraneous Deleted}

After you’re logged in, enter your preferred password. Be sure to hit “Submit” at the bottom of the page to save this information!

Then, you’ll have the opportunity to complete your Author Profile and get to know other participants in the NaNoWriMo forums. To fill out your author profile, just click the “Edit Author Info” link and “Edit Novel Info” links from the My NaNoWriMo page. You upload your photo from the “Edit User Settings” link. Remember to scroll down and hit “Submit” to save your changes.

On November 1, we’ll unlock the novel-excerpt and word-count area of your author profile, so you can post your escalating word count, view your personal stats, and offer an excerpt of your work-in-progress to friends and fans.

When you registered for your account, you had the opportunity to affiliate with a NaNoWriMo region. You can affiliate with more than one NaNoWriMo region, and choose one region to make your Home Region. Many towns have Municipal Liaisons (MLs) to organize NaNo write-ins and get-togethers in October and November, and affiliating with a region will automatically add you to the regional email list for updates about local events. Every region has a special message board called a Regional Lounge that becomes visible to affiliates of that region on the Forums page.

To affiliate with any region, just sign in to the site and click the My Regions link in the left-hand menu on your profile page. When you click that, you’ll see three tabs. The Regions tab lets you affiliate with any of NaNoWriMo regions around the world. Once you’ve affiliated with the region (or regions—you can pick a bunch if you like), you should pick one of them to be your Home Region on that beautiful Home Region tab.

Picking a Home Region will add your word count to your region’s cumulative tally, allowing you to do your part in crushing the spirits of NaNoWriMo authors in rival cities and towns. It also designates any donation you make by check or through our store to your regional donation totals. (Be sure to include your site username when donating, though! That is the only way to attribute your contribution to your Home Region!)

Before you head off to train those typing fingers, we wanted to offer a few bits of advice. You’ll find many great tips in the forums, and we’ll be sending pep talks directly to your inbox during November. But for now, here’s a quick overview of the three-and-a-half things we wish we had known for our first NaNoWriMo:

1) It’s okay to not know what you’re doing. Really. You’ve read a lot of novels, so you’re completely up to the challenge of writing one. If you feel more comfortable outlining your story ahead of time, do it! But it’s also fine to just wing it. Write every day, and a book-worthy story will appear, even if you’re not sure what that story might be right now.

2) Do not edit as you go. Editing is for December and beyond. Think of November as an experiment in pure output. Even if it’s hard at first, leave ugly prose and poorly written passages on the page to be cleaned up later. Your inner editor will be very grumpy about this, but your inner editor is a nitpicky jerk who foolishly believes that it is possible to write a brilliant first draft if you write it slowly enough. It isn’t. Every book you’ve ever loved started out as a beautifully flawed first draft. In November, embrace imperfection and see where it takes you.

3) Tell everyone you know that you’re writing a novel in November. This will pay big dividends in Week Two, when the only thing keeping you from quitting is the fear of looking pathetic in front of all the people who’ve had to hear about your novel for the past month. Seriously. Email them now about your awesome new book. The looming specter of personal humiliation is a very reliable muse.

3.5) There will be times you’ll want to quit during November. This is okay. Everyone who wins NaNoWriMo wanted to quit at some point in November. Stick it out. See it through. Week Two can be hard. Week Three is much better. Week Four will make you want to yodel.

And we’re talking the good kind of yodeling here.

A final word before you head off! NaNoWriMo is a grassroots nonprofit, funded almost entirely by participant donations. If you get something out of NaNoWriMo, we ask that you come by our secure online Donation Station and Store and make a small donation to help keep the program going strong. Even $10 makes a world of difference! http://store.lettersandlight.org

With great well wishes on the noveling month ahead,

The NaNoWriMo Team

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WRITING: The 1957 Hungarian Pie Plate (an index card novel)

Friday, August 26, 2011

The 1957 Hungarian Pie Plate

Dearest Emily,

Miss you. Love you. Be back soon.

Well, as soon as I get the travel permits. I have so much to tell you.

Grand cousin’s estate is now settled here. It was very simple as expected. The family will now know what he was doing for the last 35 years. The weirdo was inventing. It turns out he was instrumental in Vermont Independence. Sounds a little Communistic but he’s a “Hero of the Revolution”. There are a lot, but his speciifcally has ribbons and clusters that I do understand. Nor remember. I’m told its among the highest.

The arrival was interesting. Crossing the border on our side, I had to <***** REDACTED BY HOMELAND SECURITY *****> but once on the other side all I had to do was lick my thumb, press a button, my picture was taken, and the machine dispensed the equivalent of our green card. Their’s is gold, issued by an insurance company, and acts as a real time credit card. Cousin guaranteed the whole family. So it also issued me some various denomination paper and gold coins. If allowed, I’ll bring some home for you to see. <***** WARNING BY HOMELAND SECURITY — foreign money may not be imported; it’s taxed at 100% *****> We should all come for a visit if we can get permits. <***** WARNING BY HOMELAND SECURITY — entire families are not permitted out of the country together *****>

Cousin invented a novel solution. Remember he was always concerned about what would happen if New Hampshire succeeded? Would the Federal Government roll tanks? Of course, the answer was yes. We know how well that worked out. <***** REDACTED BY HOMELAND SECURITY *****> He invented a distributed solution and wrote an IPAD app for it. Basically, the app was like FourSquare where “friends” voted on picture. Threat or no threat? No one is sure where the app is hosted or how it runs, but if enough votes are cast, this think called a “turtle” drops in and soon after things start to appear. Most common is what the natives call “pie plates”. They come in like frisbees. If a tank rolls over them, bang. One less tank. Any attempt to move them, bang. People can step on them; cars can drive over them. They are targeted on the tank. Should the tank fire on and destroy the turtle. One on the pie plates morphs into a turtle. Once targeted, most tank crews abandon the tanks and walk back to the border. Never did find out how the local got rid of these road blocks. They are all over the state on almost every road.

Cousin had a bunch of other inventions — the P51 Mosquito that would do the same thing to something flying, the Red Baron Butterfly that would protect people, and the 1911 R2D2 that would attack troops with a 10 shot 45 cal hand gun. All controlled from the same app. <***** WARNING BY HOMELAND SECURITY — non approved material is not importable – for your own safety *****>

He’s famous here and infamous on our side.

As you know they have no patents here, but some how his company, no corporations here either, is very profitable. It’s invented a solar power unicycle that is quite fun. I’ll bring one home.

If it wasn’t for my love for you, I’d stay. Be home soon. Waiting on approvals and reeducation.

All my love,
Ricardo

p.s., Cousin would be so pleased. Ferdinand and Ferdinanina are now a very popular name for children here. He got his wish — namesakes.

# # # # #


WHIZDUMB: FOWG’s guide to “Patient Advocacy”

Saturday, August 28, 2010

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advocacy

*** begin quote ***

Advocacy by an individual or by an advocacy group normally aim to influence public-policy and resource allocation decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions; it may be motivated from moral, ethical or faith principles or simply to protect an asset of interest. Advocacy can include many activities that a person or organization undertakes including media campaigns, public speaking, commissioning and publishing research or poll or the ‘filing of friend of the court briefs’. Lobbying (often by Lobby groups) is a form of advocacy where a direct approach is made to legislators on an issue which plays a significant role in modern politics.[1]

*** end quote ***

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patient_advocacy

*** begin quote ***

A patient advocate acts as a liaison between patients and Health Care Providers to help improve or maintain a high quality of health care for the patients. The terms patient advocate and patient advocacy have a broad range of usage and may be applied to the actions of many different individuals and organizatons. The patient advocate may be an individual or an organization. Patient advocacy organizations are often non-profit and focus on one aspect of health care or a specific disease. There are also governmental agencies that study and ensure compliance with government regulations or help individuals get information, financial aid, or help with interventions to allow improved health care for the individual. Some patient advocates work for the institutions that are directly responsible for the patient’s care. Many health care professionals see themselves as advocates for their patients. In any case, the Patient Advocate is a vital instrument to both patient and physician in the optimal delivery of health care. There is currently no curriculum, certification or standards for becoming a patient advocate. A Patient Advocate need not be in the health care profession and may simply be a concerned citizen, supportive neighbor, friend or family to listen, take notes and help the patient communicate, understand, remember and cope with an often confusing and fearful process.

*** end quote ***

  1. Awareness
  2. Organized data collection
  3. Roster of Doctors and Pharmacy information
  4. Drug lists (including brand name and generic name, dosages in plain speak, who ordered when, who stopped it when, why is it being taken specifically)
  5. Readings and Lab Reports
  6. Itemization of major events with description
  7. Injections, Immunizations, Transfusions, Infusions, and Procedures
  8. Ledger for medical expenses
  9. Correspondence
  10. Archive for all of the above

It’s import to keep authentic holographic notes in a bound book. You need some type of a numbering system to refer to document into your bound book. The exception to the hearsay rule is recrods kept in the normal course of events.

As far as litigation is concerned, fuhgeddaboudit! (translation from the Brooklyn dialect: “forget about it” with a sneer.) Unless they have killed you or crippled you for life, it’s just not worth the effort and expense.

# # # # #


WRITING: My Review of “CHURCH 10●19●62″

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

http://www.itstartedinchurch.com

CHURCH 10●19●62
“It Started In Church – October 19, 1962″
A Review by the Author
Ferdinand John Reinke

*** begin quote ***

This is either a foolish joke, and / or a touching story. I’ve had in my heart and head since I was an Eight Grader at Good Shepherd School in the 1950’s. As an example of TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) fiction that I summarize as: “An alternative future history. What might have been? If Nikta hadn’t blinked. If children were allowed to ‘be all that they could be’. If adults didn’t waste their time and attention on memes and paradigms that are insanity. If I’d known. Shoulda, coulda, and woulda! The human race’s millstone — obsolete thinking. Here’s what I think might have been possible.”

The hardback is suitable as a door stop, bug killer, or fire starter, it is 750+ pages or just under a half a million words directly from the mind of a hormone ravaged fat little kid in Catholic School some fifty years ago. Any way it’s a cheap download or “reasonable priced” hardback. (Depending upon how you define “reasonable”. It’s all about the definitions; like the word “is”.) Please bear in mind, I’m just an injineer with a low index. It’s also available in a two volume paperback at a more modest price.

Obviously influenced by Heinlein and juvenile science fiction, this story is a child’s look at the world. Remember the A bomb drill that had children hide under their school desks. Like that flimsy desk would save them. Look at the pictures of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in their history books of the time. Children would have to be pretty stupid not to know the truth. One joke about the drill was ‘Put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye’. Crude, but terrifyingly accurate. The first half of the story is their time in the shelter; the second half is their trek to safety and their life afterwards. It’s one set of possibilities. So this one child at the time constructed a safe mental world. There, the good guys win and everyone lives (almost) happily ever after. Even in those days, I was a “classical liberal” and knew that government was the problem.

I hope, that should you decide to read it (It is after all just under a half a million words!), you’ll laugh, cry, and ponder. (I did! Often.)

For those foolish enough to buy it, I’d be happy to autograph it for you. Then in 15 or 20 DECADES, some great niece or great-great nephew can be surprised on the Antique Roadshow to find that they have an American Primitive Author First Edition complete with the provenance to prove it’s truly original. (I also offer Certificates of Authenticity at a modest extra fee to cover printing and mailing.) With under a 1,000 copies printed, and one being in the Manhattan College Library, how many do you think will survive? Imagine if you could have bought a First Edition Shakespeare and passed it on. How much would that be worth to you today. Enough to remember crotchety old Great Uncle Fester kindly?

# # # # #


WRITING: Occupant (An Index Card Novel)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Occupant (An Index Card Novel)

The fat old white guy injineer read the letter again for the umpty umpth time. “Greetings Citizen: Congratulations on your Eightieth Birthday. Please report to the Shady Oaks Rest Home at 0900 hours for your Retirement Induction Ceremony. Blah, blah, blah.”

He’d lose his house, his truck, his money — pittance as it was, his pension, everything. The State would take care of him. It was general knowledge that once you were useless, you were sent to the equivalent of a death camp.

He had some other ideas. All along this Road to Serfdom, he’d had other ideas. He’d always admired Harriet Tubman.

#-#-#

In the early days of hope and change, like mind individuals formed the modern equivalent of the French Resistance. As they shuttled escaped POWs and downed Allied fliers back to England, so to a Renaissance Underground Railroad formed in the once free USA. The fat old white guy injineer was a “station master”.

Each Tuesday, morning, the garbage man came to collect his trash. Because of the handicapped symbol painted on his driveway by law, his can was collected from beside his house and returned there. Carelessly, of course. The can landed on its side. The top next to a big pine tree. The fat old white guy injineer’s grandmother planted it there decades ago. She called it “her freedom tree”; she too was a refugee. Weren’t we all at one time or another?

As soon as it was dark, the can “birthed” an inhabitant who took up refuge under the tree. The fat old white guy injineer had carefully and considerately and charitably left some scare food, a gallon of water, and some blankets under the tree.

The next day, a tradesman cam with a big truckload of baled hay. He carefully loaded the the fat old white guy injineer’s pick up truck with a small load. One bale was left ajar at the base. Yes, you guessed it. The “pyramid” had a secret space. That night, the inhabitant, or inhabitants, moved from tree to truck. The lone bale was fitted in by the fat old white guy injineer.

#-#-#

At the tunnel’s check point the fat old white guy injineer heard the command: “Your papers, please, comrade.”

He turned over his universal tamper-proof id card, he passport for interstate travel, his economic activity permit, his environmental impact permit, his gas ration card (to demonstrate he’d paid his fuel tax), and his prepaid tunnel tax.

With a smile, the fat old white guy injineer said to the guard: “Por su frio?” and exposed a small bottle in his pocket. “Con sugaro?” the guard asked. “Si!” was the response. In an oft practiced motion, the guard returned the forms to the pocket and the bottle wrapped in currency disappeared.

The journey resumed.

#-#-#

It was a crappy little town called White Horse Station. It truly was a “station”. At the end of a long windy road, more of a path, the truck came to a stop at the edge of a meadow. A shepherd with a flock contained by a single dog waited patiently.

As the fat old white guy injineer extracted the bale and his cargo, the shepherd came over to help. Two funny whistles and the dog cut out five sheep and began to herd them towards the far end of the meadow. “There’s your guide”, the shepherd laughed. “And, if the border patrol gets you, he won’t talk.”

Together the two new refugees took off after their guide dog who was patiently waiting for them to catch up. Was the dog thinking “these new shepherds are slow and dumb.”?

#-#-#

The sign over the gate said but one word: “Freedom”. There was a small line shack with an older than dirt gent sitting on the porch. He yelled “Hello. A minute of your time, friend.” The two refugees, tired from their hike, sat on the steps.

“Wait here, your ride will be along shortly. Here’s your citizenship cards!”

They looked at two unalterable id cards like the ones they had in the USA, but the new ones just said “Occupant”. He laughed at them: “It’s a joke, friends. Welcome to the Free State of New Hampshire.”

The fat old white guy injineer’s ordeal was over. He was free.

# # # # #


WRITING: Words of Whizdumb (An Index Card Novel)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Words of Whizdumb (An Index Card Novel)

The fat old white guy injineer was a real tin foil hat to the end of his days.

He’d become one in high school, after reading about the “Winds Code”. It had been introduced in the Congressional Investigation of 1945. Even to a rank novice, a mere babe, he’d blown right through that deception. After that, he was a nonbeliever. He later absorbed Stinnett’s work.

Along the way, President Kennedy was assassinated. It wasn’t until much later that he dabbled in guns. It was then he learned first hand about how unreliable a Carcano was.

After that, he was a Truther, a Birther, or whatever -er was ever offered for consideration. He believed nothing. Except maybe the fact that no one ever spoke the “truth”. And certainly, no politician or bureaucrat.

+++

He wasn’t looking for his own conspiracy theory. He was just the below-average fat old white guy drifting through life. And, as an engineering student, he muddled through all the courses — math, physics, chemistry, strength of materials — to name a few. He drifted through the military with a stop at both NASA and NSA. He had a few jobs on Wall Street. He few jobs around NYC and the suburbs.

Along the way he collected souvenirs. And, he even wrote an obscure novel that he self-published. All his friends rolled their eyes at “a future alternative history”.

+++

The fat old white guy injineer was in a frenzy. It had struck him like Saint Paul on the road from Tarsus. A few chemical tests of his brick from 9/11. An photo identification analysis of a picture he’d taken in Princeton. Water analysis of some stored bottles on the porch of his Mom’s downtown apartment. Several late lights surfing the net.

+++

He put it all on a web page. He’d emailed it to every email address he had.

Then he sat back to wait.

+++

“Is it done?”

“Yes!”

“Clean?”

“Neat and clean!!”

“And, the material?”

“All the primary evidence!!!”

“Secondary?”

“No, sir.”

“No? Explain!”

Now sweating, “Sir, it was the encrypted page that alerted us. Ever since the Patriot Act 1, we have been scanning the net with our allies in the various ISPs. The code was unbreakable. That’s what brought it to our attention.” Now really sweating. “It was obviously a book code. And, it didn’t match any of the Library of Congress books. That was the key that put the investigation in overdrive.”

Grimacing, the sweaty man knew this wasn’t going to be taken well. “The ISP gave us the identity. It didn’t take long to track him down. He didn’t use any attempt to hide like the Onion Router. Or post from a hacked account. It was really quite easy to find him. Amazon’s sample look gave us enough text from his pathetic story to decrypt enough. That’s the story. The ISPs recalled many of the messages. We nuked the web page. Google cleaned its caches. Lulu and Amazon nuked the book for sale. So while secondary evidence is not totally clean, it’s clean enough.”

“OK!”

+++

The mail that day delivered a printed copy of the webpage to several people.

The thin old Luddite friend of the fat old white guy injineer looked at the page of gobbledygook. Sad about the untimely demise. It was another crypto challenge from his old friend. the last one. He was enough of a crypto nerd to know it was a book code and he knew what book his old friend had used. Now if he could just find it.

The mail was also delivered in Iowa; two letters addressed to each of the two twin children — just babies — who were heroes and heroines in the fat old white guy injineer’s book. The babies’ dad put each letter with each twin’s autographed and dedicated book in their memory chests. Like a hope chest for when they grow up.

+++

The nation’s sheeple slumbered. Never knowing that another disturbing -er had been avoided. Suppressed.

Or had it?

# # # # #


WRITING: Just “Warm” the Water (An Index Card Novel)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Just “Warm” the Water (An Index Card Novel)

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

—- Arthur C. Clarke

# – # – #

The fat old white guy injineer, his tall lanky Luddite friend, and his two lovely apprentices has miraculously survived “the troubles”. Who cares what “the troubles” were particularly. They found themselves now on an island with a high water table cutoff from the Disadvantaged Urban Yutes, the Golden Horde, and the various “protective gangs” that use to make up gooferment. A rag tag village had sprung. Fish from the sea, truck gardens galore eked out a modest existence. It was not a rich lifestyle. But a healthy one. And, sumptuous when you compared it to the “main land”. When you Got Out Of Dodge, sometimes you met “interesting” people along the way. Some survived the contact and lusted over “the riches” on the island.

From his long ago science background, the fat old white guy injineer did his best to contribute to the island. Some project were obvious, solar stills. Some projects were obtuse, alcohol stills. And, some were just down right strange; like rolling even thinner sheets of a strange material on plywood one foot square squares. A dollop of special water under the foil and glue around the edges. They were deployed around the island. The beach area had them in a bizarre checkerboard fashion. And, at the town hall a “special radio” transmitter and an old “wake the dead” klaxon were installed. The islanders were instructed to be one foot away from any square if they heard the banshee wail. And, prepare to defend their island if they did because it meant invasion.

# – # – #

The fat old white guy injineer went to his eternal reward. And while we can wonder what it was and muse on the fact that we will all get one. That’s not essential to the story.

What is essential was that a lot of the science knowledge had been lost during “the troubles” and its aftermath. One can legitimately wonder if the human race had peaked.

# – # – #

The remainders of the Golden Horde, the Disadvantaged Urban Yutes, and what was left of the Gooferment’s Navy came up with the idea of “rafting” to the island. Sections of 4×8 backyard fence were transported to the shore. It was a warm summer day with a gentle breeze. It was less that a mile to the island. A swarm of hundreds of these raiders assembled on the beach. (There was a tremendous die off from “the troubles” and its aftermath. But some how cockroaches always survive.)

The activity was noticed by the island’s peaceful residents. Weapons were few and far between. The knowledge how to use them was even scarcer. The residents gathered at the town hall and prayed to the pictures the fat old white guy injineer had left as documentation of how to use his creation.

When a watcher ran in from the beach to report that the invaders had landed, an elder pulled the “magic” handle. A loud annoying klaxon blared out over the island.

# – # – #

The invaders were cold and wet from their swim. A raft isn’t a boat. They assembled into squads and were ready to loot the riches of the island. Kill the men; rape the women; and enslave the children.

(Nice fellows!)

As they walked up the beach, they heard the “magic” klaxon. But it made no impression on them. Some dirty jokes were made.

Then one of them stepped on a strange piece of plywood. And screamed like a stuck pig.

Soon, there were more screams.

As their feet and lower legs were instantly frozen solid. Ever had frostbite? The pain is excruciating. When the invaders fell, they often fell on a piece of plywood. Hard to live with a frozen solid heart.

Confusion reigned. You didn’t even have to step on the plywood. Even being close was good enough.

And another change happened. The sandy soil became like quicksand. And, only the wood floated. Bodies with their wooden tombstone attached sunk in the sandy sea. Not all the bodies were dead when they sank. The sand silenced the screams.

# – # – #

Eventually the village elder was getting a headache from the noise. He shut off the apparatus. The tribe went out to meet their fate. But the invaders had disappeared.

As the sand returned to normal, the sunken tombstones rose to the top. Their dead attachments buried deep. The checkerboard was restored. The squares had an attraction for each other.

The villagers went back to eking out their peaceful existence. The legend of the “sandy defenders” was started. Reenforced by skeletons that eventually were exposed on the beach.

Eventually the wooden squares were worshipped as gods. Not as impressive as the Easter Island Tikis, but worshiped all the same.

No one was left, who understood; it was science.

# – # – #

When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

—- Arthur C. Clarke

# # # # #

http://science.slashdot.org/story/10/02/06/0718206/Israeli-Scientists-Freeze-Water-By-Warming-It

“As reported by NPR and Chemistry world, the journal Science has a paper by David Ehre, Etay Lavert, Meir Lahav, and Igor Lubomirsky [note: abstract online; payment required to read the full paper] of Israel’s Weizmann Institute, who have figured out a way to freeze pure water by warming it up. The trick is that pure water has different freezing points depending on the electrical charge of the surface it resides on. They found out that a negatively charged surface causes water to freeze at a lower temperature than a positively charged surface. By putting water on the pyroelectric material Lithium Tantalate, which has a negative charge when cooler but a positive change when warmer; water would remain a liquid down to -17 degrees C., and then freeze when the substrate and water were warmed up and the charge changed to positive, where water freezes at -7 degrees C.”

# # # # #


WRITING: Sometimes It’s A Gun (An Index Card Novel)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sometimes It’s A Gun (An Index Card Novel)

The poor fat old white guy injineer had his home. Modest. Unpretentious. He prepped as best he could. He wasn’t handy. He wasn’t Supreman, Batman, or even Robin. And, certainly not rich. No Caddie survivalist; he had some food, water, and weapons put aside. He provided for his extended family as best he could. His big concern was the Golden Horde overwhelming them. It was truly something he could do something about. After all he was a smart injineer.

It started with a hunting cart, a gas cylinder, and a memory of how one of his long passed uncle’s neighbors scared crows. Controlled gas explosions directed by a tube. When the birds became to accustomed to it, a self-adjusting valve changed the pitch. From Boom to Bang.

# – # – #

The S did hit the F. His extended family assembled at his “retreat”. Stuff was working out for them. The the MZBs began to circle. Conventional rifles drove off the scouts. That scared the poor fat old white guy into action. He rolled out his Domesday weapon. Their lives would depend upon an untested after thought memory of times past.

He handed out make shift Darth Vader helmets and foam temporary ear plugs. The teenagers thought it was dumb; the younger boys were kool with it. The babies were hard. Eventually everyone was protected.

# – # – #

The local gang linked with two neighboring gangs with promising a “fat target” with women and girls. It was an easy sell. They gathered up for a straight bull rush up the dead end street and driveway. There was a little gas grill at the head of the driveway. Unconcerned, the rush was on. There was no firing from the house or grounds. Perhaps they residents had evacuated.

Half way up the driveway, they heard a small bang. Then, a HUGE one. At two meter intervals in the attacking mob, men and women collapsed with blood streaming from their ears. At five meter intervals, eyes exploded outward as interocular pressure surge in harmonic resonance. In the twenty five meter arc, attackers collapsed like pole axed from strokes caused by rupturing cranial blood vessels.

It was over in minutes. Those retreating blundered right into killing zones. When the “weapon” ran out of gas, (it had no shut off) the poor fat old white guy emerged from the house and switched to the alternative cylinder and was ready for another wave. He replaced the empty propane grill cylinder. There were a dozen ready to grill or defend. He looked at the bodies and wondered how he’d clean them all up. Guess his supply of garbage bags would have to be body bags.

# # # # #

Eventually, order was restored. The “authorities” came to investigate how three gangs were wiped out by one household. They were looking, of course, for “weapons violations”. There had to be automatic weapons to be seized.

As they walked the street, it was interesting that arcs had been created bulging in the asphalt. They arrested everyone in the house. Even babies. For officer safety, of course. Their search went on for several days. Even to the point of bringing in metal detectors. Other than a few odd casings, they found nothing.

Autopsies of the “victims” showed no bullet wounds and that many had died of “natual causes”. The “authorities” were mystified. The residents were released. With out apology or comment. But with a warning, that the “authorities” would be watching them. Their guns were not returned.

The poor fat old white guy went back to his home. Amused, but safe. And, he still had his “gas grill”. He wondered if he could make it portable. Holster-able?

# # # # #


WRITING: Kids, Fear Santa Claus! (An Index Card Novel)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Kids, Fear Santa Claus! (An Index Card Novel)

Before the Third American Revolution, Santa Claus delivered presents to all of the good boys and girls in the world, and coal to the naughty children, on Christmas Eve. After the Third, Santa morphed into a villain who took away bad people, including children. For Moms in the new America, he was the new bogeyman. Children knew the story and passed it by word of mouth.

# – # – #

The fat old white guy had died of old age. His fat old white house, sitting near the famous ravine, was taken as a historic site. A pedestrian walkway bridge replaced the old one. Also preserved was a replacement of a Christmas decoration, Santa and his sleigh. A marker told the tale.

“In the desperate days of the Third Revolution, Federales and Foreigners tried to impose their will on the Good People of New Hampshire. Here was fought the battle of Santa’s Bridge. It was a pivotal battle in the war that convinced the Blue Hats that they could not pass over this bridge at any cost, by any tactic, and, by extrapolation, could not win. … …

# – # – #

The lines had become static. Technology replaced by well-equiped well-fed conscripted Blue Hats from strange lands in a war of attrition with starving ragged patriots of all ages. The war was televised by CNN trying to propagandize the rebels. They forgot that there was little behind the rebel lines. Especially, working TVs. Or power.

On the front, Geography was key. The ravine anchored a line; that line grew organically into a front.

With TV cameras rolling, a Blue Hat officer gathered some children hostages and began to cross that bridge. The rebel forces didn’t fire. At the end of the bridge, that cunning officer waved his men forward.

From the house, rifle fire erupted. One by one, killing the children. There was no doubt as their little bodies exploded in bits and pieces. Finally, with no hostages at risk, the rebel lines opened up. That officer was killed as well.

The Blue Hat high command was convinced. Despite the CNN coverage showed the rifle fire coming from Santa. But no propaganda could erase the fact that everything would be sacrificed for liberty. In a short time, this war, like so many others, was ended. The rebels “won” their freedom on the little children’s bodies at that bridge.

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… … … An unknown patriot killed four little children being used as a shield and saved the position. The brutal killing was caught on video and was called the massacre at Santa’s bridge.”

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No one talked about it. But it was seared into the new country’s folklore. “Better dead than red”, “Live Free or Die”, and “You’ll have to cross Santa’s Bridge” took on new meaning. Santa was re-tasked as Liberty’s defender and the enforcer of good behavior on children everywhere.

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The fat old white man died and, with him, the identity of the child killing patriot. Shunned in the years after the bridge battle, he was a reminder of that sad event. In his last will, he asked the question: “Do the armchair patriots have stones to do what is needed to defend liberty? I did, and make no apology. Sic semper tyranis.”

Do you?

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