Friday, March 30, 2007

Narrow Dog to Indian River

I love boats and boat stories. This one takes place on the east coast of the US,cruising down the intracoastal waterway in an narrow canal boat shipped over form England, written by a Welshman , his wife and their dog. Fun read, it has yet to be published but I did read their last book Narrow Dog to Carcassonne so I give this one props! Tell them My Mule sent ya. You can visit their website for more information, buy their first book and then buy the next one, great fun.
Visit their website.

March/April 2007


I won’t tell you how, or the way in which the natural world kept a big joke for the final voyage onto the Gulf of Mexico, or how the joke was on us, or about the vulture tree or the twelve-foot alligator, or crossing twenty-five mile Lake Okeechobee in fog, but I will tell you we made it! And in eleven hundred miles the engine needed only a pint of oil and a pint of water.

We are exhausted and fat but most happy.

Narrow Dog to Indian River is finished apart from polishing and any changes suggested by my kind manuscript readers and my publisher. The new book will be more adventurous than Carcassonne - we find it hard to believe ourselves some of the things that happened.

Among our memories will be the generosity of the Americans, the enormity of the waters, the beauty of the marshes, and the wildlife for its abundance and how often it attacked me, with many cunning and painful assaults.

We have missed our friends and family and the telly and the beer and the cool weather. We return with the news that both books have been bought by Bantam to publish in the US.

We will be in Stone on the 21st of March and the boat arrives a month later. I have had the easy bit writing the book, as Monica does all the arrangements – there could be no book without the expedition!

Many regards, (love, yip fart)

Terry, (Monica, Jim)


You look upset. I said to Monica. Something has gone wrong. Has Jim thrown up, or the gas run out, or your laptop stiffed? Share your problem with old Tel, and he will wrestle it to the floor and stamp on its fingers.

It’s Lake Okeechobee, said Monica. There is a route round the rim that is safe and I was going to do that. But I just rang the Corps of Engineers and the rim route is shut – there isn’t enough water so we have got to go across. Lake Okeechobee is seven hundred and fifty square miles. It’s wider than the English Channel by half again and it’s flat on the edges – no white cliffs, no Cap Gris Nez to steer by – just water. Do you know what Okeechobee means? It is Seminole Indian for Big Water.

You’ve got to give it to the Seminoles, I said – they get to the heart of the matter.

It’s bigger and more dangerous than anything we have seen so far, said Monica. It says in the book that if you are used to the sheltered waters of the Intracoastal Waterway you are in for a shock, and the book is written for people with proper boats.

The Intracoastal was enough of a shock for me, I said.

Lake Okeechobee is rough and it’s nasty, said Monica. It develops a short high chop that is said to be a killer, and it overflowed once, and drowned two thousand people. But most of all it’s enormous. It’s not an estuary or a sound like Albemarle or Pamlico – it’s a sea. We could never see land again.

To hell with what they are telling you, I said – we only draw two feet, we’ll go round the rim regardless. This is the amazing Phyllis May, that can sail across a wet football field. There you are – problem solved – the industrial strength mind of Tits Magee has smashed its way through.

The marinas on the rim were destroyed by the last hurricane, said Monica.

We’ll anchor out, I said, on the rim route.

You must be mad, said Monica – we have no dinghy and as soon as we set foot on shore the alligators will eat Jim.

Jim can stay on board, I said, and use the New York Times.

He won’t, he’ll burst, said Monica, or die. He’s a very clean dog.

I understand, I said, you have had a lot of disappointment. Poor Mon, you carry all the weight of management while I sit in the corner at my laptop on the log-box, with my feet on Jim, writing my little book. But fortunately due to the soundness of my overarching project design we have plenty of time. We will wait for a really calm day and set out across the lake on the direct route. We can wait for a month if we need to – lazing in this little marina, being welcomed and loved by the good ole locals, with our finger on the pulse of the weather. And when we set out who cares we will be out of sight of land – who cares when the water is like a mirror, disturbed only by the lazy splash of the pelicans and the slow dolphins passing with a smile and a sucking noise like a kiss.

They are throwing us out of this marina tomorrow, said Monica, because they are full and they need our space to lift boats out, and there isn’t another marina. We are going tomorrow, and the weather forecast is wind ten to fifteen miles an hour and there will be a killer chop and rain and thunderstorms and we could be struck by lightning and it’s too far to ask any of our friends to come down. We’re on our own, and we go tomorrow.

Don’t worry, I said, Mon dear – there will be an answer, trust me.

There is an answer already, said Monica – we go tomorrow.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sailing Tips Part I Can't Remember

I sit in the lab in my boats rear cabin, on the stainless steal table lay the specimen. By specimen I mean a wooden post/peg leg, or by today’s definition a leg carved from wood in a crude fashion, so as to help needy pirates who do not qualify for an HMO. They also make a great clumping noise, which inspires fear, something any pirate worth his salt just loves to do. I look up from my work at hand, light my pipe and stroll out into the main salon; I study the pile of kindling beside my wood stove, a pile of peg legs! These are fine, what appear to be vintage peg legs, something like you would find at Pier One, old looking, they burn well too, many an evening I have sat in my rocker warmed by the Franklin Stove fueled by Troubles labors. As it turns out they are old, centuries old if my carbon dating proves correct, odd I thought. For the last year every Tuesday and Thursday Trouble has delivered said sticks to my cockpit door and I pour my little buddy a caffeine free diet coke, Trouble loves the diet coke and I find the mystery of the peg legs intriguing, so continues the Tuesday and Thursday ritual.
I step out and take a seat at the wheel protected by my dodger from the warm spring rain, I smoke my pipe and listen to the rain, peaceful I think, the water of life. My thoughts drift, a late night reverie after a hard night in the lab, I look around and admire my boat, Queen Anne’s Revenge is her name, I won her at the 1987 World Mumbly Peg Championships. (different story). I pour myself some grog sit back take a draw, its time to relax. Around mid glass I hear a clumping sound, this clumping sound is approaching my boat it grows louder, this sound inspires fear in my heart, I finish the grog, the fear is tempered I stop and listen the clumping has stopped. I sit and count my heartbeats, they diminish in beats per minute and I begin to think of rational explanations for the terrifying clumping. I laugh at my foolishness and then out of the corner of my eye I notice what appears to be a man in a hat sitting on the stern of my boat, my heart rate doubles. It is a man, a shadowy figure of a man and he is missing a leg and flipping a peg leg 360 degrees in the air like a circus act with his free hand, the hand not brandishing a cutlass! I jolt to my feet almost spill my grog, had it not been for my quick thinking just seconds earlier to finish my mug I surely would have spilled my valuable medicine. I blinked several times just to be sure I had not dosed off and was just regaining my vision, but the shadowy figure remained, flipping the peg and testing my deck with his cutlass. I said, “Sir kindly do not poke at my deck with your weapon and please explain your presence, if memory serves, your presence is uninvited”. SF: (Shadowy Figure) replies, it is you sir 2nd cousin to Tailer twelve times removed who owes me an explanation! B: (bailer or myself) replies I owe you? SF: I hope you are not getting your jollies by playing the fool, but then again that would not be a reach for you now would it be? B: Jollies? Fool what in the Joshua Slocum are you talking about? SF: Are you daft? You train a dog to steal my peg leg so you can take it, burn it in your stove or to whittle on it during the summer only taking breaks to hoot and holler at the lady members. Fortunately I paid extra for the extended warranty and insurance so I am covered if I damage or my peg is stolen, however and listen close, the insurance is going to stop covering me, so let it be known I warned you to stop, stop or feel the steely steeliness of my sword or cutlass as the modern fool would refer to my tool of defense. What kind of man does this to a legend such as myself, a man of honor. B: I have not trained Trouble to steal your leg(s), leave trouble out of this and besides I just did some carbon dating and your peg legs are hundreds of years old, these things are all identical and all museum pieces, it tears me apart inside to think I took part in the destruction of history, had I known they were museum pieces I would have told Trouble to stop, err…Doh! SF: I know Trouble was just playing fetch for caffeine free diet coke, you found the wee ones weak spot and exploited it, you sir are nothing but a cur! B: Cur? I’d look that up but I we don’t have wi-fi yet so I’m just going to have to let that one slide, now…
My head began to swim, I saw multiple Shadowy Figures and then I slid out of my chair onto the deck .I remember waking up on the deck at high noon with a throbbing head ache and a damp chamois type cloth stuffed in my mouth that tasted like the sea. I gathered my wits, went down to my lab and studied the chamois under a microscope. Enough is enough I am a born skeptic so I have decided someone in this club is playing tricks on me and my pragmatic nature, this piece of leather was born from a rare species of bovine over one thousand years old and was written in cuneiform (one of my languages) it was written with invisible ink or lemon juice which is visible under ultraviolet lighting. The juice was tested and dated the same as the rare bovine leather, what it translated to was not a surprise but still a puzzle. Still relevant after 5 years or even over one thousand years, I feel closer to Tailer but he also has become even more of a mystery, we are becoming one and two at the same time or something like that. History repeats itself, we learn from our mistakes so I guess this helps explain why these tips stand the test, but I am really anxious as to who if anyone visited my boat and if he or it had anything to do with the Tailer gone missing mystery….So what was written on the ancient bovine skin? This is the question of the week or two weeks depending on how long it takes you to respond or me to feel inspired to forget this post and move on, times awastin'!
Pirate humor:An able-bodied seaman meets a pirate in a bar, and they take turns recounting their adventures at sea. Noting the pirate's peg-leg, hook, and eye patch, the seaman asks, "So, how did you end up with the peg-leg?"

The pirate replies "We was caught in a monster storm off the Cape and a giant wave swept me overboard. Just as they was pullin' me out a school of sharks appeared and one of 'em bit me leg plum off!"

"Blimey!" said the seaman. "What about the hook"?

"Ahhhh...," mused the pirate, "We was boardin' a trader ship, pistols a 'blastin' and swords a'swingin' this way and that. In the fracas me hand got chopped off."

"Zounds!" remarked the seaman. "And how came ye by the eye patch"?

"A seagull droppin' fell into me eye," answered the pirate.

"Ye lost your eye to a seagull dropping?" the sailor asked incredulously.

"Welllll..." explained the pirate, " was me first day with the hook."

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Lord Buckley Part Two

Copied and pasted from

All Hail Lord Buckley!


by Douglas Cruickshank

Copyright 1992 Douglas Cruickshank. Used by Permission.

"He played this bravado character," Lady Buckley said, "but inside was a sweet, very sensitive person who really didn't know how great an artist he was. I'll never forget when he invited Greer Garson to the Crackerbox Palace. It was a ramshackle place; she walked up all those rickety stairs-and I mean they were rickety-and she sat with us and had coffee and doughnuts, and she cried when Lord Buckley did 'The Nazz' for her."

Before moving to Los Angeles, the Buckleys lived on West 71st Street in New York City. George Greif, who managed Buckley for a while, recalled the scene there: "You'd go in and Lenny Bruce would be sitting at Buckley's feet with Charlie Parker and his wife, Chan. Bird was in a cast, and Lady Buckley was giving him ballet lessons. It was so bizarre." In 1975, Greif was in France at a dinner party for former Beatle George Harrison. "Somebody mentioned to George that I was Buckley's manager. We went up to my room and stayed up and talked about Buckley all night. Harrison even did some Buckley routines for me, and I told him about the Crackerbox Palace. It was a little house that looked like a crackerbox. Something about the story must have struck George."

"I wrote down ('Crackerbox Palace') on my cigarette packet," Harrison told Musician magazine in 1987. "It was a good phrase for a song. Near the end of the single there's a line in direct relation to Lord Buckley: 'I met a Mr. Greif/ and he said/ I welcome you to Crackerbox Palace/ was not expecting you/ let's rap and tap at Crackerbox Palace/ know that the Lord is well and inside of you'... everybody thought I was talking about the other Lord." The song was a hit for Harrison in 1977.

Actor Larry Storch, familiar to many for his role in the 1960s sitcom F Troop, knew Lord Buckley when he lived in Manhattan in the late '40s and early '50s. "One night in the middle of winter I was at a party at his house," Storch remembers. "He had everybody from the circus there - the Fat Lady, the Bearded Lady, the Strong Man, the Tall Man - and a three-piece outfit, some musicians that we knew. His Lordship was dressed in Bermuda shorts, captain's hat and an ascot. At 11 o'clock voices started yelling, 'Quiet down or we'll call the cops! We're working people!' Buckley went out in the backyard, and with his huge lungs like an animal yelled: 'I'll never be quiet! Not while there's breath in my body! We're celebrating something here you should all appreciate: the hard-working people from the circus. Have you no feelings? No compassion? That's how we judge Man, by his compassion, by his pity, up the spiritual ladder. Don't you know that?'

"Sure enough, 12 o'clock: a knock on the door and two of New York's finest came in huffing and puffing. Buckley, behind the door, slammed it shut as they entered. Heavy smoke filled the room and everybody had a glass of whiskey or wine or champagne. Buckley welcomed the two police officers: 'We of New York City, we welcome you, the finest in New York. You're not leaving here on a night like this without some sustenance.'

" 'What do you mean by that?' they asked. He gave a tumbler of whiskey to each officer-I saw it with my own eyes. And His Lordship said, 'You can't go back on duty without it in you to fortify yourself against Old Man Winter. Drink it down! Come on, boys, cough it up!' Well, they looked at each other. There was nothing they could do. They knew they weren't going to talk their way out of this one. They knocked off the whiskey and left, thanking Lord Buckley and glad to get out of there. That was the madness of Lord Buckley."

On a rainy Saturday morning I'm talking on the telephone with Dr. Oscar Janiger. Janiger, a Los Angeles psychiatrist, performed some of the earliest clinical research (from 1955 to 1962) on the therapeutic use of LSD. "I met Lord Buckley at a place called the Renaissance Room," he tells me, "a nightclub on Sunset Boulevard here in L.A. It was run by Benny Shapiro, a wonderful guy, a big-hearted fellow who would hire people who had, let's just say, some previous difficulties with the law."

"Sort of a home for wayward performers?" I ask.

"You got it," Janiger laughs. "Most of those guys were busted on marijuana charges, and in those days it carried a very stiff penalty: They'd lose their cabaret license. Lenny Bruce - who was one of the group - would bitterly complain, 'It's cruel and unusual punishment to take a guy's livelihood away from him' Lenny had a tremendous regard for Buckley, by the way. I was the resident psychiatrist, I suppose."

At the same time Dr. Janiger was spending his evenings at the Renaissance Room, he was spending his days administering the yet-to-become-controversial lysergic acid diethylamide to the likes of Anais Nin, Andre Previn, Car Grant and more than a thousand other souls from all walks of life. ("I have been born again," Grant told reporters interviewing him on the set of Operation Petticoat. "There came a day when I saw the light.") Janiger's research was aimed at studying the effects of the psychoactive drug on a "demographically random" cross-section of the population. And there was certainly no member of the population more demographically random than Lord Buckley. The arrangement Dr. Janiger had with the participants required that all of them write down their impressions of the experience shortly after having it. Lord Buckley's lengthy report of his soul excursion rhapsodizes in the inimitably jubilant Buckleyseque fashion at too great a length to reproduce here, though this short excerpt reveals the account's flavor:

"LSD, first, trip. By Richard Lord Buckley, ordinary seaman, on the good ship lovely soul detonator under the command of Fleet Admiral Oscar Janiger, head detonator and head head....My whole body was jingling with alert signals. This is gonna be one mother of a takeoff, hang on! It felt like a soul pressure. I felt strong. I felt words shooting out of me like projectiles, acres of untapped sound were waiting to be put in the gun of expression!"

The last sentence described Buckley's state during much of his life. He was compelled to talk, and because of his inclinations and sensibility, turned his talk into an art form.

But what was it he was trying to say? Underneath the flamboyant performances and eccentric personality, did the holy hipster have some kind of a message? Many Buckley aficionados claim that he did; that woven throughout his florid evangelizing was a plea for tolerance, equality and the power of love that foreshadowed the more sensible tenets of the social revolution of the 1960s. One of his most frequently quoted remarks are the few lines with which he often closed his performances: "Before I leave you," he would whisper, "I'd like to say to you, people are what it is all about... they are Mother Nature's brightest flower, her sweetest, purest, most elevating thing that ever was. You are groovy flowers in a garden where I am privileged to stand and share a few moments with you." Those words have been unimaginatively reformed into so many dull New Age bromides over the years that it's almost impossible to consider what a genuinely fresh and startling experience it must have been to hear them voiced by a 50-year-old, tuxedo-clad nightclub performer from the stage of a dimly lit, smoke-filled cabaret during the glum, gray years of the Eisenhower administration. Yet in the last decade of his life, Lord Buckley often spoke in a fashion that can only be described as religious. In a 1959 KPFA radio interview, he said, "All over this world, in the alleys, in the valleys, on the plains, on the mesas, on the mountain tops, on the plateaus, through the sand, to the gulf, through the whole scene of this world - black, blue, green, yellow and pink - it's loaded with beautiful people who we never hear a thing about...But they are there. And those people are the protectors and possessors of the vault of love which is known as God."

According to some old friends of his, Lord Buckley's most extraordinary performance may have occurred during a Thanksgiving weekend retreat in the late 1950s at Dr. Janiger's Lake Arrowhead vacation cabin. The result of that performance - Buckley is said to have delivered a non-stop monologue that lasted more than 18 hours - is one of this storys more mysterious elements. "I have never seen a creative process as remarkable as that thing that happened," Janiger said of Buckley's soliloquy. 'I've never seen a human being continuously expound on a variety of subjects in such a refreshing, interesting way over such a long period of time without ever repeating himself. It was a virtuoso performance."

As described by His Lordship's friend Jim Macy, the weekend was a normal one by the standards of the Royal Court. Buckley was on his way home from a gig in Las Vegas and stopped in to see his friends. "What happened," Macy recalled, "was that, believe it or not, we didn't have a tape recorder. So I called up a friend of mine and said, 'Youve got to get a tape recorder to me. We've got Buckley up here and he's going 90 miles an hour. It's too good- - we've got to record it." The friend borrowed a tape recorder and delivered it. "So we got a couple of days of that," Macy said.

Not long after, according to Macy, Prince Louis, Lord Buckley's aide-de-camp, asked if he might borrow the recorded treasure and make a copy for Buckley to use in developing new performance material. Macy handed over the Lake Arrowhead tapes to Prince Louis and they have been neither seen, nor heard, since. That is not to say that Prince Louis made off with the tapes - they may have been promptly delivered to Buckley who misplaced them, or they may have been turned over to a third party for duplicating and forgotten or lost. In any case, the record of what may be Lord Buckley's masterwork is nowhere to be found.

Late one night, the idea of the lost tapes echoing through my brain, I launched an interstate telephone search for Prince Louis. I had a far-away phone number for him that turned out to be no longer in service. Finally, after several circular conversations with some surly telephone operators, I asked one of them to give me the number of another individual in the same town with the same surname as Prince Louis. If that number belonged to one of his relatives, I reasoned, maybe they could lead me to Prince Louis. If not, I'd try another name, repeating the process until I either got a lead or ran out of candidates. Bingo! My first choice was an 85-year-old relative who was in the mood to chat. He knew nothing of Buckley, but told me that "Lou" had become something of a recluse and was living in a trailer in the desert with a coal oil lamp for company. "Sometimes he rides a bike around," I was told. "He don't have a telephone. I'm not even so sure I could direct ya there if ya come out." Having run through my travel budget and then some, that's where I left it. Like the secret of the Lost Dutchman mine, the solution to the mystery of the Lost Tapes of Lord Buckley may be holed up in the dusty solitude of a desert hideaway. Or it may not.

In 1960, Lord Buckley set out with future desert dweller Prince Louis on a cross-country trip that Buckley portentously christened "The Cosmic Tour." They headed their VW microbus to New York City, where His Lordship had an October engagement at the Jazz Gallery. On the way they stopped for a month or so in Chicago, where Buckley was interviewed on Studs Terkel's Wax Museum show on WFMT radio, and where he appeared at the Gate of Horn from late August through mid-September. One evening of the Gate of Horn gig was given over to a three-man show called "The Seacoast of Bohemia," consisting of Lord Buckley, Severn Darden and Del Close. In a 1981 interview, Darden mentioned that he believed Buckley was failing physically when he visited Chicago: "I think he'd suffered a mild stroke... sometimes he completely lost control of what he was doing and became violent." (Like any complex, volatile figure, Buckley undoubtedly had a dark side, though few seem to have seen it. However, his former manager, George Grief, commented to Oliver Trager that "To do a piece like 'The Bad-Rapping of the Marquis de Sade' you had to be able to relate to that character, and [when he was performing the bit] he was it.") Lady Buckley also referred to Lord Buckley having health problems in Chicago, although she wasn't alerted at the times. "I had no idea that he'd been ill in Chicago. I wasn't called. People used to wear him out, and he didn't realize that time had passed - he'd gotten older - it was too much for him."

His Lordship had sufficiently recovered from whatever befell him in Chicago by the time he reached New York to proceed with his $450-per-week engagement at the Jazz Gallery on St. Mark's Place. But then things turned ugly. "Buckley was about to go on stage at the Jazz Gallery on Oct. 20," the New York Post reported, "when a policeman took his cabaret card from him without any explanation. At a hearing before Deputy Chief Inspector Lent, he was accused of having falsely stated in his application that he had never been arrested." The action made it impossible for Buckley to continue performing and ignited a controversy over police-issued cabaret licenses that continued for years afterwards. The police licensing of entertainers had often come under criticism for alleged corruption, and was used by the authorities to hound Charlie Parker, Lenny Bruce, Billie Holiday and others. Buckley contended - and his family still does - that his failure to mention the arrests was a simple oversight.

During their last telephone conversation His Lordship asked Lady Buckley, "What do you want me to do, stay here and fight this thing or come home?"

"Come home," she replied.

But the Hip Messiah, as he was then being called, never made it. On the morning of Saturday, Nov. 12, he told Prince Louis that he didn't feel well, that he was under siege from the "bugbird," his word for his affliction and a term he'd used in his hipsemantic rendering of Poe's "The Raven." Prince Louis called Ed Sullivan and Sullivan called an ambulance. Lord Buckley died that night at Columbus Hospital.

I suppose a case could be made for the martyrdom of Lord Buckley, much like one was made for Lenny Bruce. But His Lordship would consider that a disservice and a tedious bore, as I'm sure Mr. Bruce did as he observed his deification unfold while seated in the loges of Satire Heaven. Buckley didn't take himself seriously, and he didn't expect anyone else to. He was just a four-star general in the war for whimsy who considered the humorless his rightful prey. Neither angel nor devil, he was a funny, complicated, triple-hip dude who happened to be the coolest, grooviest, sweetest, wailingest, strongest, swinginest cat that ever stomped on this jumpin' green sphere.

But to honor His Lordship, one final story. I think he might have liked the one Jonathan Winters told me about the two of them meeting for the first time in Las Vegas in the 1950s.

"He started calling me Prince Jon," Winters said, "and I asked him, 'Why can't it be Lord Jon?"

"Because, my dear man," His Hipness replied, "I am Lord...I am Lord Buckley."

And Winters said, "Yeah, I remember you in the forest. You were against the Black Knight and he all but dismembered you with some kind of medieval hand ax."

"Ahh, yes," Buckley said, smiling and taking a drag on his cigarette. "Yes, my friend, thank you for remembering."

Thursday, March 22, 2007

From the My Mule Archives, A Spanking Monkey on my Back

A word of caution, what may seem to start out as an
innocent obscene phone call you pick up, can be a
gateway call. A call that can come close to if not
ruining your life.
Last February 15th I had just such a call. I
chuckled and shared the experience with my friends and
my mule site readers just recently.
What happened after this I am ashamed and yet feel
liberated to admit. I became a phone sex addict. It
started as a joke, you know the game dial 1-800 and
then type in seven digits whose letters will spell
something obscene. For example 1-800-hot-sexy I would
wager would direct you to a sex line that you would
then have to give a credit card to and the rest is
lost wages. Well playing this game at parties and
such was fun and stuff but I began to do it alone and
used my credit cards, within weeks they were maxed
out! Then to ole reliable, the 1-900 #s well this went
on until I lost everything but my boat.
I was so addicted that I hatched a plan where I would sail out
on big blue sink my boat and then hold up an SOS sign
to be rescued, tell my fantastic tale of being at sea for six weeks
without food and water and capitalize on the news coverage,
maybe even cut a made for TV movie deal. All this to
finance my phone sex addiction! Well the best laid
plans of mice and pervs... instead of my SOS sign I accidently
held up my “Will work for phone sex sign”…
Then came the intervention. My folks hired six X Navy Seals to work
me over every time my digits tried to dial the
dreadful 1 –900 this plan did not work because the
Seals would beat the shit out of me for hours and when
they were spent I would sneak off and dial 1-900.
Finally I realized I had reached bottom and it was
time to take things into my own hands, so to speak.
What I did was take all the #9 buttons off my phones,
problem solved! Until I remembered the 800 # trick so
I would just dial those listen to the intro teaser and
then hang up. I still was not convinced I was cured so
I removed all the # 8 digits from my phone, problem
solved. Now this may explain to a few of my friends
whose phone numbers contain the number eight or nine
where I have been. Call me! I'm all alone with only a
drawer full of mangled phone buttons (8,9) and
a horrible addiction to keep me company.
Kind Regards Josh

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Amazon Review for Narrow Dog to Carcassonne

This review was recently published on Amazon, for the record I have not recieved one thin dime for any of my reviews, Amazon I am beginning to think takes me for granted...Onto the review by Jonathan Williams...

I am surprised to read negative reviews on this book, pay them no mind, this book is great fun, well told and I will most definitely be buying their new book. I have been up and down much of the inter coastal waterway so this should prove interesting as well. Strong work! Now its time for me to digress…
I remember when I was but a wee lad living in the country. I had a bow and arrow, I had a spool bolted to it, which was wound with fishing line and a special arrow. I could tie this line to this job specific arrow so as to shoot fish, the special arrow had retractable barbs so if I hit a fish it would cling to the poor thing like a fish hook, pull on the line retrieve the fish and then what? Fishing with a bow at least in my case should be renamed failure, not one fish, I shot a number of logs, but no fish, life goes on…I also had good ole fashion regular wood arrows with feathered ends and sharp points to shout at trees, trash cans anything large and stationary. My older brother Chuckles came up with a game that was a lot more challenging than what I had been doing. There was a Utility pole between our house and a small cottage in our backfield, the pole was a 6x6 and was used to string power to the cottage. His idea was to shoot an arrow straight into the air and try to pierce the top of the utility pole, leaving an arrow as a calling card to all other utility poles, don’t mess with the Williams boys. We gave no thought to what would happen if hit the power line, but we did keep our eyes on the arrow in flight, keeping tabs seemed like a good idea since we did not want anymore holes in our young bodies. When I look back on this I realize it was a stupid game as well as dangerous, but I make no claims that we were smart, but we were alert, we never took our eyes off the arrow’s. “Stupid but alert”, is this how my epitaph will read? I cannot predict the future but I can tell you that if you have a sense of humor you will enjoy this book…Kind Regards JW

Monday, March 05, 2007

Bailers Tips

I may be a fraud, I may not know enough to offer advice/tips but by God that does not mean I am not going to turn down a very lucrative job... My sailing club needed someone who would offer tips on how to make the club a better place, basically lay down the law! I post monthly and it is seldom mentioned, unless I the anonymous tipster offers his two cents...My predecessor was called tailer, (sailing term to complex for land lubbers to understand) he moved away and now it is left to me, Bailer...It does not make much sense but this is consistent with my blog so I include this months installment because I really am tired of looking at my last post which seemed to linger on monkeys. I'm all well now and the world is going to spin on greased rails from this day on...JW
March Bailer

I was walking the docks in the early morning fog, as is my habit, normally my dock buddy Trouble is at my side to scatter the sleeping geese and to share the local gossip as well. Trouble is a fine dog, but he does chatter like a magpie, bless his heart he is good people and that’s what I like about my club. (Forgive the possessive “my club” but I did some paper work with some of the higher ups and if it came to a legal battle I could own all the boats, case closed, I gain trust and then my deceit pays big time). As I approached my boat I noticed a note had been safety pinned to my little tattered flag that has a faded beer glass printed on it, the note read “meet me at the pressure warsher tonight at 11:45, don’t bring noone”. I thought about this, whoever this night owl is needs a lesson in grammar. The note smelled of danger so I palmed it so Trouble did not catch on , I did not want the little fella to get into trouble on my account. We said our good byes, I acted busy and when he was out of sight I gathered my cooler, chair, night vision goggles, a nice cuddly throw and various other items that might prove useful, I showed up at 11:30 and waited and waited till about 12:15, not a soul. I put on my night vision goggles and noticed what looked like a shop rag in the gravel not ten feet in front of me. I started to gather my stuff figuring I had been stood up, walked over picked up the rag/ litter. I was curious because what I thought was a rag felt like leather and with my goggles I could see it had writing on it, a foreign script?
Before I continue I feel I need to share a bit about my background. I have mastered and am quite fluent in 26 languages, by the end of the year I hope to have a total of 30 under my belt, my next conquests will be German, French, Spanish and Pig Latin. A friend questioned why I saved the last four to master, he said, “think of all the new people you could talk to”! I told him its not that I don’t want to talk to more people, its just that I think I have exhausted the ones I have already talked to, in other words I think the world is not ready for more of my drivel…. So it goes.
I took the rag/leather artifact back to my boat. I will come clean , yes I’m a live aboard I am sure you have seen me around the docks, but for now I think its best not to reveal to much about myself other than when I studied the rag under my microscope I realized that the Script was written in blood, my best guess Ox blood and it was written in Sanskrit further testing in my foreword cabin lab revealed that the leather was from an Ox but the blood was from a yak. Yak? Yes yak, yuck you might say but right or wrong this is what I discovered in my lab…If that is not enough I did carbon dating, the leather rag was at least 1,200 years old! The language, was Sanskrit which as I shared earlier I am fluent. I was shaken, taken aback, dumb struck etc. when I translated it, for the fifth time it revealed the same message. I will now share with you the translation, I suggest you sit down…Tip 1) If you have been at the Club for a few years and you don't recognize one of these tips, you are still a new guy.

Tip 2) Pay your dues on time by the end of February. If you don't, you will lose your place on the slip waiting list and your present slip. That line is a couple of years only want to stand in it once.

Tip 3) Always lock the gate after dark. Everyone should order extra keys this year. We should have one with us at all times.

Tip 4) Don't forget to put a buck in the bag for the ice you take from the cooler. It's the honor system...let’s keep it that way.

Tip 5) Dump port-o-lets into the big gray tank by the ramp port-a-potty. Protect your lake from e-coli. Remember, swimming is against the law… but you could fall in.

Tip 6) Relations with the Parks Department should always be nurtured. We are the renters. Any contact with Parks personnel must be in-line with Club policy. That is: We are the renters and we are always willing to help any way we can.

Tip 7) Be polite to other people on the lake. It's our reputation that you are protecting. You only get one chance to do this one right.

Tip 9) Be sure to pick up some lawn chairs and keep them in the trunk. You will need them for the CHAIR PARTY. Trust me, you'll need chairs.

I am dumfounded, I find a note pinned to my flag, the note leads me to a ox leather scrap with ancient Sanskrit writing on it in yak blood and when I translate it I discover it is the exact tips from Tailer circa March 2002! So who gave me the leather artifact was Tailer plagiarizing sailing club tips over 1,000 years old? Tips that are still relevant? What in the Sam Hill is going on? More later the editor tells me the internet is running out of ink….I will get to the bottom of this…Kind Regards and tack well Bailer