My Novels

Thursday, February 28, 2002

Not much to report today. It was cold this morning, but I still went on my bike ride, good to get out in the fresh air.

I finished another segment on my sci-fi story tonight, and it's going great. I enjoy writing again, yippee!

I just have to end with this great quote by the wife of the murdered journalist, Pearl. This shows what an insightful, intelligent woman she is, and I'm completely in agreement with her quote. But it is still more remarkable coming from her, after what she has suffered. She restores my belief that there is still at least ONE amazing lady left in the world!

"Revenge would be easy, but it is far more valuable in my opinion to address this problem of terrorism with enough honesty to question our own responsibility as nations and as individuals for the rise of terrorism."
---Mariane Pearl on the murder of her husband

Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Woke up to an inch of snow this morning in Dixie! And it wasn't even predicted in the weather forecast.

When I looked out the window shortly before going to sleep around midnight last night, the moon was so bright I could see everything in the yard. So I was surprised to find an inch of fluffy white pristine snow this morning! We're having frigid temps today, and it's only around 25, but most of the snow did melt when the sun came out. The streets were not bad; city schools were open, but county schools were closed. For me, this meant no bike ride today; I just couldn't brave that 25 degree weather and the north wind!

I wrote another segment for my sci-fi story yesterday, and continue to do extensive research, weaving facts into my fiction. That is taking most of my time these days, and I stay busy, occupied.

Here's an interesting, somewhat alarming article:

U.S. to Weigh Computer Chip Implant

``The problem is that you always have to think about what the device will be used for tomorrow,'' said Lee Tien, a senior attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy advocacy group.

``It's what we call function creep. At first a device is used for applications we all agree are good but then it slowly is used for more than it was intended,'' he said.

* * *
Yeah, I heard that! Imagine having a computer chip in your body so you could be constantly tracked...and by the government, no less. I think NOT, so I'll opt out.

That's it for today. Brrr, trying to stay warm!!!

Monday, February 25, 2002

DH and I had a pleasant drive in the country yesterday afternoon. We were gone over three hours, and it was great to get out of this house and city, to enjoy the rural scenery. When we got back, I decided I needed some exercise, and went on a long bike ride; I had to ride in the street though, since the park was full of kids playing because of the beautiful weather -- around 70 degrees, sunny. But we're supposed to be in for some rain tomorrow, possibly mixed with wet snow, and a cold front will then hit Dixie.

Today I went on the bike ride early, and even then got hot. It's around 70 today also, and I didn't even need a jacket today. Then I went to Wal-Mart, and found a great bargain. In their electronic clearance section, I found a small device that sends/receives email. It is called PostBox email, and is just a little smaller than a laptop. It was marked down from $100.00 to only $30.00, so I got it...although it would only be useful if I didn't have my computer for some reason. You have to have an account with Outbound, but it's less than $10.00 a month. I won't signup or use the appliance though, unless I need it. It uses batteries or an A/C adaptor. I continue to collect electronic stuff -- even if I don't need it!

Haven't worked on my sci-fi story, except for doing more research. I've been researching Eta Carina, a star that might go super-nova soon...and hope to use that in my story eventually. I did write out a detailed plot though, which will help me stay on course as I write the story.

It's late now, got to get busy with the evening meal.

I'll close with this wise quote: "Live as if your were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."
-Mahatma Gandhi

Saturday, February 23, 2002

I have a bad case of the blahs today. I also don't feel well, physically. I think this last head cold has zapped my energy the past week or so, but maybe I'll get over it soon.

I did force myself to go on my bike ride this morning, although it was a brisk 35 degrees. I can always tell when I'm not up to par physically; the ride seems difficult and draining, instead of invigorating. Yesterday I didn't go, because it was cold, blustery wind, overcast and I simply couldn't make myself get out of the house. I'll be glad when Spring arrives, but we're in for more colder temps this coming week, according to the weather forecast.

I'm still writing the sci-fi story, and reading/researching for material to include as background. I wrote a long segment yesterday, and posted it. I also designed a website exclusively for the story, and posted it thus far. I like the creativity of designing a website, even at the free servers, and spent quite some time working on that. I still haven't decided what to do about my webzine, whether I'll eventually continue updating or just let it stay as is. The readership continues, and new visitors arrive I wouldn't think of taking it offline.

Not much else to report. Did some housework, got everything sparkling clean for now.

I'm looking forward to our long drive in the countryside tomorrow, get out of this house for awhile.

I'll close with this anonymous quote: "Life is like a beautiful melody, only the lyrics are messed up."

Thursday, February 21, 2002

Tonight I learned of The Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Pearl's, death via the news. At first, I couldn't believe that any terrorist group would be so stupid as to kill a journalist. I mean, they could have used Daniel to get out their message; they could have tried to show him their side of the situation. Instead, they apparently brutalized, tortured and then killed him. And for once, I was totally outraged! For some time after hearing that his death had been video-taped, I felt so angry that I thought: "Kill them, just kill them all!" I don't think I was quite as angry as this even after 9/11...although maybe I was in shock, and later just sad for the awful loss of lives.

I have worked as a journalist, so perhaps that is why Pearl's death affects me so deeply. But again, I just cannot comprehend the savagery and brutality of killing someone who was seeking the truth...even willing to 'listen' to their complaints, do whatever it took (risking his own life) to find out what was actually going on over there. I can't understand those people, except that they are fanatically brainwashed by extremist religion, and have no intellectual capacity to reason and realize when they could use alternative peaceful methods to verbalize their cause.

Yet underneath all this, I still am afraid that with the advent of 9/11, we have seen a new battle between the 'haves and have-nots' inequality in the world of poverty and ultra-wealth reflected in the poorest countries like Afghanistan/Pakistan and us, the Americans and other such countries. Perhaps those people don't even understand or realize that they are FURIOUS at the countries that ignore their poverty...and have no other way of striking back, or releasing their rage. And this is what is so scary -- they will not stop, and no one is really safe, because their rage targets anyone they perceive is from a wealthier country and it doesn't matter WHO that individual is, or even if they could potentially be an ally in getting out their message.

I don't really know if that is what the deeper problem is -- but I do know that I am angry and sad about Daniel Pearl. He was just trying to be a good journalist and find out the truth. It's always been a dangerous position in wars, but never as seemingly difficult as now in the middle east where your source betrays you, and sets you up to be killed.

Sad, disgusting...a terrible tragedy and sickening example of humanity's lowest low.

Here's an article link/excerpt:

Journal Says That Kidnapped Reporter Is Dead -- Pearl's Murder Was Videotaped

The videotape delivered to the U.S. consulate in Karachi left no doubt that Pearl was indeed killed, according to the source. The videotape showed Pearl speaking with someone, almost as if he were conducting an interview, when suddenly an unseen assailant grabbed him and slit his throat, the source said. The videotape included no date, no audio and no faces other than Pearl's, the source said.

Wednesday, February 20, 2002

I haven't added links to articles lately, but will do that in this entry. I thought I wouldn't get to go on the bike ride due to storms early this morning, but by 9:30 it had cleared up and I went. The trail was a little damp, but otherwise okay for riding.

Here's the links to some interesting articles:

FBI claims environmental group doubles as terror group


U.S. military strikes could be coming, Pentagon official says

Wolfowitz said he was worried that Americans were beginning to act as if the threat from terrorism is over.


The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark

A shocking thesis is that the Gospel of Mark is a deliberate and conscious anti-epic, an inversion of the Greek "Bible" of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, which in a sense "updates" and Judaizes the outdated heroic values presented by Homer, in the figure of a new hero, Jesus (whose name, of course, means "Savior").

Shocking? Nah, but a very interesting (and probably correct) idea!

That's all for today folks!

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

I have been trying to make an entry in this journal off and on all afternoon; for some reason, Blogger wouldn't access it. Oh well.

Been a busy few days, trying to get our income taxes done. My brother-in-law is a CPA, and we sure needed him this year since I sold all that stock! We got started on the return Sunday afternoon, but I didn't have some necessary paperwork with me, so had to get it and go back there yesterday. At any rate, that's over with for another year -- and we're going to get a return after all. So I'm glad I DID sell the stocks!

I rode the bike yesterday morning and this afternoon, though I didn't feel much like it. I've got a minor head cold, and have felt tired for the past few days. But maybe it'll soon be over.

I'm also still writing the sci-fi story, and it's going well, taking most of my time....hence few entries here!

Thursday, February 14, 2002

My sci-fi story is going so well that I've neglected this journal the past couple days. Life is much as usual here -- biking every morning, and then writing/housework in the afternoons. We are having great weather, pleasantly mild and sunny.

DH got me a beautiful card for Valentine's Day, but is gone now. I gave him a pretty card too. At our age, and being married so long, I guess that might be the extent of it... But hey, we're still together AFTER ALL THESE YEARS!

I've been doing some more research for my sci-fi story, and saving stuff, reading avidly. That is occupying most of my time. But I'm also still thinking of buying a new laptop -- or trying an external modem on the serial port of my older laptop, to see if that might get me connected instead of buying a new laptop.

Tired now. But at least I AM writing fiction again!

Tuesday, February 12, 2002

Another day missed in not posting yesterday. But I was busy working on my sci-fi story, so that's my excuse!

I went on my long bike ride earlier, then washed my car. I am going shopping this afternoon, and the car was a real mess. I need to run some errands and get some shopping done while this great weather prevails. It's near 60 degrees, sunny and beautiful outdoors.

Well, a common problem has cropped up next door. We have renters in that house, and they just got a dog -- which barks at everything or nothing. I like pets, but dogs can really get on my nerves with incessant barking. I don't think the landlord allows any pets, and if he finds out about the dog, either it or the people will have to go.

Guess that's it for now. Have been having lots of vivid dreams, but nothing worthy of reporting.

Sunday, February 10, 2002

No biking today, my one day off! DH and I just back from our long Sunday afternoon drive through the countryside and it's a beautiful day out there. Clear, dazzling blue skies (after an early morning rain shower) and brisk wind bringing in a cool front, which makes it a bit nippy outdoors. I'm wondering if we're going to get an early Spring in Dixie? Hope so.

Saw a huge bulletin board on the roadside so typical of the Bible Belt:


It has a picture of a Catholic priest right in the center, ringed with average people praying, even what looked to be a shrouded Muslim woman. As for the quote, I would just say that it depends on WHAT you are praying for...cause we all know that the suicidal hijackers were praying for success at toppling the WTC, and it looked as if Allah himself must have answered THEIR prayers that day. But since I don't believe in prayer or religion, I think we humans would be better off ACTING for peace instead of PRAYING for it to happen.

Enough of my sermon for today, oh ye of little faith. (sarcasm)

Saturday, February 09, 2002

Well, I finally missed a day in this journal; I didn't write in it yesterday. But I DO have an excuse: I've begun writing a sci-fi story, in a continuing series style online. I have never tried writing sci-fi, but thought it would be interesting to use some of the material I've studied in astronomy lately. So I AM writing fiction again, and it's helping my mood (as it always has!).

I went on my bike ride yesterday afternoon, and then early this morning. We've got GREAT weather here, it's in the 60s during the day, sunny with a light wind. Just perfect for biking.

I wish I could go on a diet, but seem doomed to eat a full meal at our early evening dining. I only eat bran cereal and skim milk for breakfast, usually no lunch or snakes during the day, but then have the meal at supper. Then I will have one lite beer while watching TV later, but this doesn't add up to a huge amount of calories.Still, I would like to eat less than a 1,000 calories to really lose weight, but can't do so because DH watches my eating, knowing that I've been anoerxic in the past. Oh well.

I have fallen behind on answering my emails lately too, don't seem motivated to keep up with those. But at least I AM writing fiction again, and that is good for my emotional/mental health.

That's all for now.

Thursday, February 07, 2002

Here I am at the computer, my one night online while DH is away. I've been surfing, doing some writing and research.

I watched ET (Entertainment Tonight) before I came in here, and they mentioned a segment about Pro-Anorexic websites, how horrid they were. Naturally, I had to look up some of those, because I was severly anorexic in my teens and early twenties -- the point of hospitalization several times. I still crave dieting and/or fasting at times, and have never weighed more than the lowest end of the weight/height proportion scales. At any rate, to find any of the sites, I had to use 'pro ana' as the search words, and most had already been removed..but I did find a few.

These are usually sites by young teens, and advocate starvation, giving tips and suggestions for weight loss. Some of the tips were new to me, but I will try them, because none were dangerous. I will not list any here though, because I realize that some ana girls would overdo it.

I also read today that Botox injections may be FDA approved. Now tell me, which is worse, more vain -- starving yourself to be thin, or taking injections of snake venom to prevent wrinkles? Only in America, huh? BTW, I never starve for looks; I do it for the feeling of 'control'...and I happen to like the feeling of thinness, compared to being even at normal weight. That light, airy feeling...very, very appealing!

I went on the bike ride today around 1:00, instead of earlier in the morning. It was overcast and dreary today, cold too...and I really just didn't want to go, but I did anyhow. A dog that lives near the park came over and started chasing me, but is not threatening, more playful than anything. Still, it was distracting. But I put another four miles on the bike, and that should make me sleep well tonight.

Well, back to surfing now!

Wednesday, February 06, 2002

The ice/snow arrived last night, but it fizzled out this morning, turning into rain. It's still only about 35 degrees, and we've had a steady drizzle all day, gloomy and COLD! Last night I did fear for my evergreens, because the ice started forming on the limbs...but it wasn't heavy enough to do any damage. There's predictions of another freeze tonight, but I hope it isn't bad.

No biking! Instead, I spent some time this morning putting on a huge roast with all the trimmings. It smells delicious! It's my reward, since I seem to have lost 3 pounds since last week -- and I've not even been dieting! My weight is often unpredictable, but I KNOW the biking does help keep me slim and trim.

Here's a couple of links to check out if you have time:

George W. in the Garden of Gethsemane

An Open Letter to George W. Bush from Michael Moore



Go VOTE! :-)

Enough for today!

Tuesday, February 05, 2002

Brrrrrr, it's COLD in Dixie today! We're supposed to get 2-3 inches of either ice or snow tonight, and I'm hoping it's SNOW, not ice. The snow is beautiful and not as deadly/destructive as the sleet storms. The heavy ice on treelimbs can ruin evergreens, such as the huge magnolia in my front yard and the many pines and cedars in the back yard.

I went on my bike ride early this morning, and it was about 25 degrees! But still, I enjoyed the brisk, fresh air, and dressed warmly, wearing gloves and my toboggan. I probably won't get to go tomorrow or the next day, but after that, the temps will warm and melt any remaining snow/ice. Everything literally comes to a stop here when it snows, since the city doesn't have equipment to clear the streets. Once, we didn't get postal mail for a week; the snow was about 5 inches, and nothing much moved -- schools closed, etc. We rarely get that much snow/ice, and I suppose the city street department just doesn't think it's worth investing in expensive equipment for only an occasional snow problem.

I have a favor to ask of anyone reading this: Would you email me and let me know if you have just read one or two entries, or if you get this site on your Palm via Avantgo, or have become a regular reader? I'm just curious if anyone is reading on a daily basis. Here's my email address: --Thanks!

I don't have much else to report today. I saw the movie, "Patch Adams" for the first time last night on network TV; it was quite good, and certainly, doctors could use a bit of compassion and empathy for patients! I'm still unable to really get involved in reading fiction, but I keep trying. Maybe I've just not had any good novels to read!?

Till tomorrow...I'll end with this quote:

"The freest government cannot long endure when the tendency of the law is to create a rapid accumulation of property in the hands of a few, and to render the masses poor and dependent." -- Daniel Webster

Monday, February 04, 2002

It was really cold here early this morning, around 30 degrees, but I still went on the bike ride. In fact, I rode farther and longer than usual; the brisk air was so invigorating! It's sunny too, and made for a nice ride in the park.

One of the books I got the other day at the library is by Gavin De Becker and titled, "The Gift of Fear" -- Survival Signals That Protect Us From Violence. He runs a private security firm for celebs and other famous folk, but in this book he gives some sound advice about how to protect yourself from becoming a victim of violence. It's amazing, in that he also describes some of the stalkers/stalking of celebs, and I had no idea that there were literally hundreds of nutcases after celebs. It's enough to make you NEVER want to become famous! However, the author also makes some excellent points about violence in America; here's an excerpt:

Violence is a part of America, and more than that, it is a part of our species. It is around us, and it is in us. As the most powerful people in history, we have climbed to the top of the world food chain, so to speak. Facing not one single enemy or predator, who poses to us any danger of consequence, we've found the only prey left: ourselves.

Lest anyone doubt this, understand that in the last two years alone, more Americans died from gunshot wounds than were killed during the entire Vietnam War. By contrast, in all of Japan (with a population of 120 million people), the number of young men shot to death in a year is equal to the number killed in New York City in a single busy weekend. Our armed robbery rate is one hundred times highter than Japan's. In part, that's beccause we are a nation where 20,000 guns enter the stream of commerce every day. No contemplation of your safety in America can be sincere without taking a clear-eyed look down the barrel of that statistic. By this time tomorrow, 400 more Americans will suffer a shooting injury, and another 1,100 will face a criminal with a gun. Within the hour, another 75 women will be raped....

While we are quick to judge the human rights record of every other country on earth, it is we civilized Americans whose murder rate is ten times that of other Western nations, we civilized Americans who kill women and children with the most alarming frequency. In (sad) fact, if a full jumbo jet crashed into a mountain killing everyone on board, and if that happened every month, month in and month out, the number of people killed still wouldn't equal the number of women murdered by their husbands and boyfriends each year.

We all watched as bodies were carried away from the Oklahoma City bombing, and by the end of that week we learned to our horror that nineteen children had died in the blast. You now know that seventy children died that same week at the hands of a parent, just like every week -- and most of them were under five years old. Four million lucker children were physically abused last year, and it was not an unusual year.

I highly recommend this book!

On the stock market front, I found this article very interesting:

Waiting for the next shoe to drop

SAN FRANCISCO (CNN/Money) - The disturbing question on everyone's mind these days has a frighteningly simple answer. Will there be another Enron? Yes, of course, there will be.

The more tantalizing questions: Who will be next to crack, and when will we find out? The identity of the next Enron is tough to know. Short sellers will speculate, of course. But disasters like Enron tend to explode like bombshells, meaning that everyone but insiders will be surprised when the cataclysm occurs.

"The interplay of the relationship between issuers (of stock) and auditors for every public company this year will occur under the cloud of Enron," says Boris Feldman, a litigator with the Silicon Valley law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Roasati. "Every auditor in America is having a near-death experience," he says.

With Enron's auditor Arthur Andersen in mind, no firm wants to find itself in similar straits. The result: "There will be either adjustments or restatements (to past year's results), or, more likely, a very high level of detail in the footnotes," Feldman.

We shall see, but I'm glad I sold most of my stocks for profits last year!

That's it for today!

Sunday, February 03, 2002

Not much to report today, except DH and I are about to go on our long drive in the country. No biking this morning. It is overcast, and even had some light sleet earlier. But it's supposed to clear out later, and become sunny, though still only in the 40s.

Here's a couple of interesting articles to check out:

Churches on Right Seek Right to Back Candidates

IF churches start becoming political pundits, then they must continue to pay my opinion. Read this article, food for thought!


Is human evolution finally over?

Excellent opinion on this possibility. I personally think that humans will evolve ONLY if we engineer a combination of robot/human, and I believe this is closer than anyone really wants to admit. Think of pacemakers in hearts, and all the other 'artificial' implants already in use, and those which will soon make humans live longer. That kind of 'evolution' sort of sneaks up on humans; and who is going to refuse a chance to live longer? Not the majority!


Off for the relaxing and enjoyable ride now!

Saturday, February 02, 2002

I hadn't planned on the bike ride this morning, since it was quite cold. But when I went outside, it was just right, so I went and enjoyed it thoroughly. After my shower, I did some housecleaning, took care of my parakeet's cage, etc. Then I went to the library and got a huge stack of books. I got one on computer programming; I'm considering taking an online class in C++, but thought I'd look at a book first and see if it really is something I'd like to do. I also got a variety of non-fiction, and a couple of novels, just to see if I can revive my interest in fiction. I've not read much fiction in the past year, seem to have burned out on it -- reading as well as writing.

Here's some excerpts of articles:

Scientists at Economic Forum See Grim Future

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Scientists at the World Economic Forum predicted on Friday a grim future replete with unprecedented biological threats, global warming and the possible takeover of humans by robots.

"Extreme pessimism seems to me to be the only rational stance," said Sir Martin Rees, Britain's Astronomer Royal, at a session devoted to the future threats and opportunities presented by scientific advances.

He was especially concerned about the development of new biological weapons that could easily fall into the hands of dissonant groups or individuals and cause widespread devastation.

Even if governments tried to regulate and limit the spread of dangerous technologies, Rees said such efforts would probably be little better than current attempts to control the international drugs trade.

This isn't news to me, since I follow science closely. But what was interesting was the discussion group commenting on this article. The ignorance is truly shocking, plus the fact that it seems the majority of the public is (like most of humanity) short-sighted and self-centered, when it comes to future catastrophes of our own making. I made a few posts about other disasters, such as cosmic catastrophes that we really can't control -- and the distinct possibility that humans as a species may go extinct. Needless to say, most posters couldn't even accept this possibility at all. It makes you wonder about the I.Q. of the average person, doesn' it?


Nobody prepared us to consider these amounts of money

Nice commentary on the ga-zillions of money being tossed about in the current presidential administration for defense, and other programs.


I did get all my income tax work in order, and will hopefully get those done soon. And my PC is running much better, smoother since a tip I found about checking the system files under Win98 help section at the Microsoft website. I hope it continues this way, for then I can get a nice laptop...

Guess that's all for today.

Friday, February 01, 2002

Been a fairly busy day. I woke up around 5:00 this morning, and started thinking about tax issues regarding the sale of quite a bit of stock in late September. I was wondering about getting all the records together, so my brother-in-law, who is a CPA, can do our taxes soon. That kept me awake till around 7:30, but I finally drifted off to sleep and didn't wake again until 9:30. So I still got enough sleep.

Earlier today I went to the grocery store, then on the bike ride. It stormed last night, and was still overcast this morning but is clearing out now. The temps have fallen into the low 50s, which made it brisk for riding; a wind was blowing, and I had to fight that, but otherwise, it was a great ride.

When I got home, I then went in search of all the pertinent records of the stock sales, so I could stop worrying about that. I do keep good records, and always store the brokerage statements together by month/year...and I'm glad it wasn't a difficult task. I still have a couple of items to get lined up about other financial matters, but that should be no problem. The financial stuff seems to grow by the year, and now we've got funds in a variety of banks and a brokerage, IRAs, Roth IRAs, you name it! Having savings is sort of a juggling act, but I can't complain, since we are lucky that we've been able to save and have such benefits, plus my DH's guaranteed pension.

Here's some links and article excerpts:

BuzzFlash News --This is a liberal antidote to the Drudge report, so stop by if you like another perspective!


FringeFolk Protests --Excellent site for those who think the Supreme Court appointed our current Prez; it has a variety of articles, likeminded people, and great ideas for peaceful protests. Nice to know I'm not alone in still being annoyed/angry about our last election (if you can call it an election!).


Seems our good buddies, the Saudi royal family, are starting to be more candid/honest. Here's an interesting article excerpt. I still think bin Laden is in Saudi Arabia being harbored by one of his wealthy shiek supporters.

Don't Weaken Arafat, Saudi Warns Bush

In a wide-ranging interview, Prince Nawwaf bin Abdul Aziz, the kingdom's director of the intelligence service, also acknowledged that after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, the vast majority of Saudi young adults felt considerable sympathy for the cause of the Saudi-born terrorist Osama bin Laden, even though they rejected the attacks in New York and Washington.

A classified American intelligence report taken from a Saudi intelligence survey in mid-October of educated Saudis between the ages of 25 and 41 concluded that 95 percent of them supported Mr. bin Laden's cause, according to a senior administration official with access to intelligence reports.

And that's it for today.