Posts Tagged ‘fiction

18
Jan
11

Liz & Li’l Jimy – adventure girls

Their mother just grins like the Cheshire Cat any time I mention their activities, but both of the girls are a spitting image of her, so it should come as no surprise that I am the odd one out. They are the beauty of my life, her two children, they wouldn’t harm a fly, and can charm an Eskimo into buying ice cubes.

Liz was the firstborn and probably a typical baby up ’til about age two. By then she was ramblin’ around on both feet and talking like a Maine sailor. Then Li’l Jimy came along and I had three redheads to care about. I shouldn’t have worried though ’cause if Jimy wasn’t asleep or at mom’s breast, Liz was there to nurture her. She taught her how to talk, how to behave at tea, and how to act in any situation. By then Liz was a first-order princess of the highest, proper of demeanor, smarter than any audience, and a damned snappy dresser.

Li’l Jimy followed Liz around like my old pet duck for the first year, crawlin’ and squawkin’ as hard as she could to keep up, but it wasn’t long before she found her feet and and her voice. Since then those two have been joined ‘at the hip’, although by now Li’l Jimy always seems to be a step ahead of Liz. They run the local fields and woods, know all the farmers and have a fondness for Jenkins and his goats.

Liz with Li'l Jimy at the controls in Sequatchie, TN

They ignore the divide between boys and girls.. if anything can be done that means they can do it. They’ve been helping me in the shop for years and can take anything apart and put it back together. They could both read, write and do numbers before they started school. ‘Course we’ve taken them to the library in town two times a week for years so I suspect they’ve read their way through it as well as the encyclopedia we have at home.

Age 10 & 8 today, they are scary-smart and more capable of things than even I can imagine. I don’t worry about them per se but they are beginning to shock adults that don’t know them.

Like last weekend when the three of them went over into Sequatchie, Tennessee with the Everett family to watch them race motorcycles. They had a great time and are making plans to do it again this summer.

After they got back and the girls were asleep, Jane showed me a picture one of the spectators had taken.

She said “You know how Li’l Jimy is always one step ahead?” then she just grinned like that Cheshire Cat. 🙂

I knew they wouldn’t be content to be spectators !

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08
Jan
11

of mark twain and moon crickets

Dear Mr. Mencken,

Your letter concerning yesterdays BAITA* get-together arrived in the morning post, and I much appreciate your catching me up on those proceedings. I had prior engagements so I sadly could not attend. Mr. Clemens also dropped in this afternoon for a bit of coffee & cobbler talk, and we both delighted in your written comments and rapier wit.

Mark Twain - 1909 photo

Having an authors’ book (or comments) placed on the ‘banned’ list is a great distinction, plus it assures that the book is constantly mentioned even if it’s read less often. We all know how much work it takes an author to craft and sharpen each word, and sentence, and paragraph of a book before he submits it to the lancet of the editor/publisher. But to endure that and finally reach publication, then acclaim of the masses, and then have those actual words further impaled and changed by a so called “editor and Mark Twain scholar” Dr. Alan Gibbons, well Mr. Clemens is feeling quite esteemed over the full issue.

Eulogized at his death for “not having written a book that any father cannot read to his daughter”, Mr. Clemens is delighted to watch Dr. Gibbons attempt to whitewash [pun intended] the classic tale to make it palatable for modern youth, or at least those youth whose minds have been twisted by those of Dr. Gibbons ilk.

I particularly enjoyed the fact that you read the ‘EXPLANATORY’ from the Huck Finn into your minutes, since the book is primarily a work of dialect and the word ‘nigger’ was central to many of its themes, bein’ as the word negro is spelled differently depending on how you talked in your section of the country.  No need to quote it all in this letter but;

“In this book a number of dialects are used to wit: the Missouri negro dialect; ….. The shadings have not been done in hap-hazard fashion, or by guess-work; but pains-takingly, and with the trustworthy guidance and support of personal familiarity with these several forms of speech. THE AUTHOR”

Again, thanks for sending the notes, it made for a charming afternoon. I do worry about this modern society and their odd way of thinking. I wonder what other Orwellian misadventures will be be perpetrated? And what if this thinking is extended onto the art world? How will they defend something such as this?

by Marcel Duchamp 1919

Sincerely,
Barney (BCM) Farthing

* Banned Authors In The Afterlife

16
Dec
10

ify:5 why read sci-fi

I actually don’t remember why or how I began reading what is called science fiction. I was limited to books from the public library, but I did see Buck Rogers in the serials played before the Saturday morning movies. Yea, we laughed at Buck Rogers, and the strings holding up the model spaceships, and the stuff that spewed out as ‘rocket exhaust’ and fell to the ground. Gad-zooks – we knew there was no gravity in space 🙂 Still it was fun, just like the early comic books were fun and amazing at the same time.

So I must have gone to the library and begun searching the very limited sci-fi section. I also read every Hardy Boy book the came out, and the ultimate book series Nancy Drew. Boy, did I want to grow up and meet a girl like that!

I didn’t know that sci-fi was not considered literature, it was just fun. Eventually I found authors that I enjoyed and the stories and the characters became a bit more real, and the themes more consistent. Then I saw some of the authors on the news, talking science and learned that writing was a 2nd career .. they were Ph D’s – trained and working in the fields of physics, cosmology, engineering, chemistry, computers, etc.

It’s like I’m taking a home study course in bunch of disciplines (there is real science there) and wondering how these technologies might effect society’s future. In the late 60’s there are very few computers in the entire state of Missouri, Dick Tracy’s wrist device is way in the future, but I learn IBM 360 Assembler while in high school. I take a programming class 1st semester of college, and get hired as a graduate assistant the next, and the news if full of exploits on the “space race”!

So the years begin going buy, and I wonder how many of the fictions I’ve read in these books will become “sci-fact” during my lifetime? And wonder .. could the world disintegrate to the visions of “1984” or “Brave New World”?

Years and then decades wheel by, and I’ve see lots of fiction become fact, seen cultures and countries react in eerily similar ways I’d read about decades earlier, everyone has a computer, our population explodes as resources recede, the computers are connected on the web, and you can strap your smart phone to your wrist if you wish.

Our society accepts Political Correctness as status quo just 20 years after 1984, and the warnings of earlier sci-fi themes are still being ignored. Fishing quotas in the oceans ?, political skirmishes across the planet for water supplies? … the list goes on.

I still wonder how much of the ‘future forecast’ I read will happen and be enjoyed,
but I’m also worried about how much of those forecasts will be ignored,
because the more that is ignored. the more that will have to be endured.

10
Jul
10

a thoughtful girl

Shannon

She was a thoughtful girl. Not overly kind, just thoughtful of herself and of others and the world in general. I mean that she thought as in she considered stuff and outcomes and the future. Not just tomorrow, but next week, and down the road. She thought over, under, and around ideas and concepts. Much better than most folk did.

The fact she was drop dead beautiful, and sexy, was beside the point, but now that I mention the point, what was it ???

You didn’t have to see her, but if she was there you were compelled to be aware. Not of her, but of you, the both of you. She didn’t capture a room, but she slowly, helped you fill it with indescribable awareness.

Her voice may not have fit her face, as it went from a high alto down to high baritone (and oh so totally feminine) when secrets were being whispered or close thoughts shared.

It is so great to enjoy something you do not need to see that you enjoy so much more when you see it.

On the back of the bike

sweet breath on my neck

arms around me

sweet firm cusp of breast holding me,

the torture of continuing

to endure painful rapture

may be too much Shannon

25
Jun
10

Animal Cannon

If you don’t mind I’ll give you some general info on the Animal Cannon hobby …

Early development work on the Cat Cannon

Early development work on the Cat Cannon

Hand weaponry should really be treated as a separate topic. If you think about it, Mouse Cannon might sound cool, but you can’t really strap a cannon on the hip, can ya?

Smaller animal shot is getting down into the more normal range of the ‘old style’ calibers. We fondly call’em a Mouse Pounder. The trusty old MP is actually a 62mm barrel and many of us have quite fancy holsters. I prefer the clamshell you mentioned. Shot is cheap and inside 100ft the MP is a devastating weapon.

‘Course you gotta raise your kids right, so you start them with the smallest caliber weaponry which is the Igun series. And before you ask, yes, Steve Jobs is a big fan of this class of target gun and he got the idea to name the Iphone from us.

Obviously Igun is short for Insect Gun which uses 17 thru 23mm shot, standard NATO stuff. (North American Terrestrial Ordnance). Yes, you can shoot inanimate stuff like stones or hunks of wood, but only social deviates do that. We uphold our cultural standards in the hobby and I teach my kids ‘right’, so we stick with the live NATO rounds.

Ya got yer 17-23 caliber class ‘Bug Baby’ in both rifle and handgun styles, a nice agile weapon and the rounds are free. Double dangerous though when loaded with grasshoppers. The legs really attack the target.

From there you got the ‘Beetle Bouncer’ at 38 caliber. Standard load here in Missouri is June Bugs or the brown night beetles. Ladies prefer this weapon as it’s small and comes with a wide range of iridescent shot.

There is that special class at 45mm, but this is primarily a show pistol as the shot is restricted to the Rhinoceros Beetle. A hot collectors item though, and “Beetle Blaster” draws them into the tent at cannon shows.

Above these sizes you “go mammalian”, as we say. Lot’s of diversity here, and there are loads of guys (and gals) that make custom weapons. The aforementioned Mouse Pounder is the most popular. I’ve moved up from the mini-mammal to my beloved cat-cannon. A great all purpose weapon, and if you don’t mind an ‘inside’ joke, we like to say that cat-ammo will keep you alive both in the chamber or the stew pot.

There’s lots of exciting new things on the ammo front, what with the advances in genetics the last few years. It’s an exciting time to be associated with this whole Animal Cannon hobby, and great for the kids too, what with the emphasis on the new science.

Sorry to chat on like this, but talking hobbies is fun. We can chat some more later.

Right now, I gotta go out back and “feed the ammo”.

25
Jun
10

Stand Up Mouse

Stand Up Mouse

Stand Up Mouse

That’s probably not the best line to start the set with, but it does work, every time. Nobody accused Rodney of overworking “Take my wife, Please!!” did they? Not in the Catskills anyway, maybe Atlanta or Dallas.

But this is Billings, Montana and about the 20th stop (out of 26) on a long and grinding road. Sort of a White Man’s Chitlin’ Circuit with an equine feel. Cowboy doggerel and all that. At least I don’t do poetry or strum guitar.

I’m not an alcoholic (not yet) but the drink count is going up as I get a bit older, the road gets longer, and (it seems) the audience gets smaller.

‘Course I don’t have a large bag of cowboy or Big Sky jokes either and this ain’t the place for a southern Missouri hillbilly to attempt any jazz Cowboy poetry.

Fly fishing is off-topic for humor too, not forbidden, it’s just who ever heard a funny joke about fly fishing? I sure haven’t. There is “I got a new fly rod & reel for my wife … best deal I ever made!”, but that’s just a variation of Rodney’s old joke. Lob the setup in the air and slap that puppy outta the park. Timing and delivery is everything in stand up. Obviously the money is not, but you do this work for more than the money. At least in the artist community we do get some respect.

The twins, Ronnie & Connie

We all make that type of compromise, our own definition of what success really is, where happiness reaches an even keel. So I am and am not looking to the end of this tour. This is the last road tour, but the artist/entertainer seldom retires to a backwater.

You can always get a gig and work the craft. Shannon and I also have the ‘other’ business, but the twins are in the terrible two’s and she would appreciate a full time mate and so would I.

We’re gonna let the wheel turn, and start a new chapter to life, and that I’m looking for ward to. In a few weeks I get to say:

“Take my job, please!”

09
Dec
09

Apollonia

I can see the white gown flowing upstream through the trees at the forest edge, so she is coming to visit .

A wafting, like a swan in flight, which can only be Apollonia.

A slightly frothy wave ripped from the ocean and come to wash upon my Aegean shore.

Come to see my sister Asherah no doubt, and toss me only the slightest nod as she enters.

Sending a few drops my way like a christening, when I want a baptism.

It’s embarrassing that a god can be shy.




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