A Journal

4 Feb 18

Fortunately, starting a journal was not a resolution for the initial day of 2019. But I did hope to have this project underway before this date. I’ve been distracted, not busy. Distractions have become part of my everyday life. Some folks might call them daydreams. But for an old man who has had time to experience many daydreams, they are reflections. My latest has focused on the electronic bulletin boards, an event that played a role in my initial computer experience.

It began with a Commodore 64, an 8-bite machine with no mouse. Accessories were available – track balls and such, but they all consumed portions of what little memory was available after the operating system was loaded – 35kilobites, not the 64kilobites I was initially led to believe.

The BBSes in question are text driven. When the Internet arrived and the computers became more powerful and affordable I didn’t look back.

However, there were times when I yearned for the old machines that didn’t flash ads in my face, threatening to my purpose for logging in.  

Recently, a friend mentioned the existence of a Fidonet BBS. Between us, we unearthed a list of about 340 of these BBSes, some are new, others that never stopped running. What a hoot!

After devoting several hours exploring no less than a dozen of them I reached the conclusion that I can’t go back home. I can only return for a visit.

5 Feb 19

It’s often difficult to find any intelligent information on the the Internet, and I pass most of the blogs by. However, my curiosity piqued when another man’s journal mentioned The Well. The name alone gave me pause. After finding that it truly did exist and had for some 30 years I began considering the stated advantages, disclaimers, and rules. By the time I was finished it was time to turn in. Oddly, between the lines, I sensed the ghosts of Jack Kerouac as well as the City Lights Bookstore. I might have made the move, logged in at that very moment, had I not come across the $15 monthly fee. WHAT? I turned away and hit the sack.

As if I needed another distraction.

Perhaps my regrets will force me back to the “portal with cash in hand. On the other hand, that fee might finance a couple more trips to Starbucks where the conversations and flow of ideas are fee free.

Somehow, I missed the Kerouac and the Beatnik era. In the 1990s a friend introduced me to him and invited me to attend a late Kerouac birthday party at a local bookstore. I’m not sure how savvy my friend was, because he and I were the only ones, of perhaps 30 celebrants, who failed to bring a jug.

In spite of the rotten poetry and shit-faced reader who thought Kerouac had changed the world, I bought several books in an attempt to see how this reader reached his conclusion.

Some folks claim he was the first writer to consider the common man in his prose. Perhaps, but I thought Papa Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald had already done a fair job of that.

In conclusion, I think if Kerouac’s mother had not been such a forgiving person, Jack would had perished long before he wrote On the Road.

6 Feb 19

Who Am I?

I’m a husband, father, grandfather, a licensed amateur radio operator (N7NET), and an air force Cold War veteran. I served a decade in General Curtis LeMay’s Strategic Air Command. I maintained the navigation and communication systems in B-52G and KC-135A aircraft. There were tense moments with the Suez Canal Crisis, Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Dominican Republic Crisis. In spite of being at the ready 24/7 for a decade I have no Purple Hearts or combat ribbons. I was never in harm’s way except for a near nuclear accident. I fixed airplanes so others could travel into harm’s way. Instead of physical displays, I have three letters in my file, one each from President John F. Kennedy, General Curtis LeMay, and General Sweeney.

Twenty years ago I joined the ranks of the unemployed, and began keeping a cursive journal. My posts have given pause to no one, nor do I expect they ever will. But the mention of the word journal reminds me of a School of Journalism professor at Oregon State.

I’m not sure anyone knew of his journal keeping until at the reading of his will the attorney announced that he’d left his journal to School of Journalism. Someone dispatched a couple of undergraduates to fetch it. But they quickly returned, stating they were in need of a truck. The journal was typewritten and and each page returned, in numerical order, to the box from which they came – 150 reams.Though I’ve been journaling for awhile, my scribbles will never approach that which the professor left in his wake.

I think it’s traditional that this sort of post – who I am, what I’m about – should be post number one. My entire life has been slightly out-of-step with the general population. So don’t be surprised by other twists and turns.

I’ve been writing fiction for twice as long as I’ve journaled. I set out with hopes of becoming a freelance writer. Instead, it became a labor of love. Oh, I’ve earned a nickel here and there, but without a 9 to 5 I would have most certainly been a street person. And that’s okay. I try to no let greed control my life.

7 Feb 19

Who Am I?

I’m a husband, father, grandfather, a licensed amateur radio operator (N7NET), and an air force Cold War veteran. I served a decade in General Curtis LeMay’s Strategic Air Command, maintaining the navigation and communication systems in B-52G and KC-135A aircraft. There were tense moments during the Suez Canal Crisis, Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Dominican Republic Crisis. In spite of being at the ready 24/7 for a decade I have no Purple Hearts or combat ribbons to display. I was never in harm’s way except for one averted nuclear accident. I fixed airplanes, sending others into harm’s way. I have three letters in my file, one each from President John F. Kennedy, General Curtis LeMay, and General Sweeney.

Twenty years ago I joined the ranks of the unemployed, and began keeping a cursive journal with a #2 pencil. My posts have given pause to no one, nor do I expect they ever will. But the mention of the word journal reminds me of a School of Journalism professor at Oregon State.

I’m not sure anyone knew of his journal keeping until the reading of his will. The attorney announced that he’d left his journal to Oregon State School of Journalism. A couple of undergraduates were dispatched, but they quickly returned, stating they were in need of a truck. The journal was typewritten and each page returned to the box from which they came – 150 reams. Though I’ve been journaling for a while, my scribbles will never approach that which the professor left in his wake.

I think it’s traditional that this sort of post – who I am, what I’m about – should be post number one. My entire life has been slightly out-of-step with the general population. So don’t be surprised by other twists and turns.

I’ve been writing fiction for twice as long as I’ve journaled. I set out with hopes of becoming a freelance writer. Instead, it became a labor of love. Oh, I’ve earned a nickel here and there, but without a 9 to 5 I would have most certainly been a street person. And that’s okay. I try to no let greed control my life.

8 Feb 19

Yesterday I was bummed. It was a bad day and failed to get a journey entry written, even though I had time.

The manager of our apartment complex has some sort of degenerative eye disease. She’s slowly going blind. Once each month she has to have shots in her eyeballs. Bummer! The evening before she gave me the key and asked if I would unlock the laundry room 0800 and lock it again at 1600. That was okay. Since I had the key Barb and I opened the place at 0730 and had hardly started the washers before the group gathered at the door – four of them. I don’t enjoy waiting for a machine.

This morning, needing something to occupy my time, I started an Illustrated Journal. WordPress presented a host of ideas. The one that captured my imagination was a blog by Suzanne and her Illustrated Journal of her trip on a Path in Spain. The quality of her work was exceptional. I don’t have any plans of adding color, nor do I plan on using ink. Mine will pencil, at least for the immediate future. Another drew an illustration of his breakfast rolls, beginning with ink, then adding water colors, then actually sprinkling salt and pepper on before the ink was dry. That was such an inventive idea. He seemed pleased with the finished product.

This post is being written on a laptop belonging to my oldest daughter, using Microsoft Word. I hadn’t used Microsoft Word for nearly six years, depending on Open Office and Google Docs instead. I was several weeks growing comfortable with MS. It’s such overkill for a word processor. It’s very near a desktop publisher. During the decade I published QNC I got by with far less, and published forty issues that went worldwide via the postal service.

After experiencing temperatures approaching 80 degrees for the past week, we awoke to 28. Walking the dog at 0630 was a chilly experience. It didn’t take him long for him to get his job done. He doesn’t realize what a cushy life he lives. I he had a thumb he would soon be setting at the head of the table and I’d be awaiting crumbs.

Valentine’s Day

Valentines Day sneaked up on me this year. Last time i check it was a week in the future. Today it’s here. I used to write poetry for my wife and give it to her on this day. I may give it a shot later and give it to her a day late. Rhymes aren’t exactly leaping out this morning.

At this time, or about so, in 1962, I was stationed in Sacramento and each time I got two days off in a row I drove to the Oregon Coast to see Barb. It was a 500 mile trip, 400 of which were crooked mountain roads – no freeway. If I was off Saturday and Sunday I was up from Friday morning for duty and didn’t get back to bed until Monday night after duty. Where did all that energy come from?

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