A Maligned Sentence

It was a dark and stormy night. What a maligned phrase we have there. In High School Mrs. Morris, our English teacher, pointed out that it was night, what else could it be? It is always dark at night. Being a dumb kid I nodded my head and went on through life. It was later I learned that nights were not always dark. No, not at all.

For people in our modern times with electricity, it seems dark out there. Nothing is darker than a dark place right after you have been in a lit-up place. Give the nighttime and you will develop the ability to see. Kinda of. You won’t be able to see colors. But you will have “visual purple” or “rhodopsin that builds up and you can see better in the dark. Commonly known as dark adaptation. In the light of the stars, no moonlight, never any moonlight at a star party, I would walk around just by the light of the stars. I could see the bushes, the roadway, everything I needed. Bright out the moon and it was even brighter. So bright that when I was camping in White Sands, New Mexico, I read a book. It was that bright. You could have the same effect on a white sand beach.

So no, it is not necessarily dark in the nighttime. A dark night is special. That talks about clouds. Clouds to block the light from the stars and moon. Add some rain, Then you have darkness. A dark and stormy night. You want darkness, you want stormy add them together and you have one proper dark and stormy night.

But we have Bulwer-Lytton still known for The Dark and Stormy Night. There is an annual contest of people writing their worst first sentences to books that are never written. This years winner (??) was:

A lecherous sunrise flaunted itself over a flatulent sea, ripping the obsidian bodies of night asunder with its rapacious fingers of gold, thus exposing her dusky bosom to the dawn’s ogling stare.

– Stu Duval, Auckland

It does not have the spare seven words employed by Bulwer-Lytton’s namesake. It does go on for a bit there. There are other categories Western, Vile Puns, Historical Fiction, Adventure to name a few.

It was (not) a dark and stormy night. Not tonight here. The moon is waning. Just a night or two ago, it was in three-quarters. If you were up at three or four in the morning you could see it shining light into your home.

Side note, I usually fill up my car on the last or first day of a month. Not this month. My wife told me the average driver in the US spends $250 for a month of gas. I have used four gallons of gas, about $15 worth. I can got through that same amount next month. So I will try. Two months, one tank.

— MichaelRpdx :: rkmm

Everybody Wants

“My sister looks cute in her braces and boots. A handful of grease in her hair.” Got that? Got that in your mind? Were you a juvenile product of the working class? or “Yeah, you got the speed-freak jive now Ah can’t you hear me knocking’ on your window Ah can’t you hear me knocking! on your door”? Down your dirty steeet, how was yours? “There’s somethin’ happening here … stop stop whats that sound?” Could keep going. But something is growing. Another worm. Another earworm. Earworms “Nobody told me about her…” How are your earworms?

Sorry, I have not had any in the last few years. If you have one, well, Sorry about that.

Whether it is the time of the seasons, oh sorry about that.

I am going to comment on lefts, rights, people all apart here in our fine country. I have only one thing to say: Vote. If you have not voted because the candidates are not to your liking, Vote. Write in who you want. We will be stuck with two party system until they get the message. Unless there is enough people voting for people not in the parties to have them see people wanting others enough to vote for them. You can follow a white rabbit. But vote for who you want to see in the office.

Today the rain stopped. We have a couple of days of bright, sunny days coming our way. But we also have March weather, never mind the yellow leaves, we have wind. If you had a kite it would not take anything to get it up and high in the sky. I heard it is time for kite flying in the spring. Why then? I dunno it is something I heard through … sorry. It might be the wine bringing what I almost write, except I have not had any wine tonight.

You know I always thought of this as a ZZ Top song. “I look good and I’m funny so why am I lonesome honey?” David Lee Roth But Don’t You Forget about me . . .

I need to leave here. I do not have earworms. I do have YouTube rolling around in front of me.

It is Saturday Night and …

— MichaelRpdx :: rkmm

Three Responses and Some Blather

AP from Tacoma We are all joining the stream of our lives. It is good that you are intereted in history. Just plopping in and joining the conversation (??) works out just fine. Pho is, so far, a west coast stronghold. Though I just read a Duluth review of it. Very favorable. It is too bad their choices of cow parts is so limited. A PNW stronghold of One Typed Page-ers? I only count five people in that group. If a group is the right description.

The Who Was It? Who recommended: Kanopy. Oh yes, it is a gem of a place. We started with “Intelligent Trees”. Yes, a documentary. But the diversity of what they offer in easy to navigate groups is wonderfiul.

New ribbons coming for this typewriter (Hermes 3000) and my others. This seems a bit odd. The density of ink on the paper does not seem too bad. But, well, maybe it is the paper. The inkjet paper I buy because it feeds my printer and typewriter and I use more paper in the printer. What I use in typewriters is such a small amount I have not purchased paper just for it, for typewriting. (If you have thoughts on the matter I am listening.)

Writer of the Lucinda saga: (If “Lucinda Saga” is the right description) I greatly admire your hanging from the cliff end of the page work, It is not a lot to work with but each and every one gets to the end of a page and … well? What is next? So nice whoever you are.

Who decided to put ‘ and ” in a dedicated key to the right of ;/: key?

The typewriter gods decreed they should be above 2 and 8 and I still find them there. I often type @ and * when I mean ” and ‘. They are (were?) in convenient places on the keyboard. If you second on an instrument, with similar keys, like guitar and ukulele or clarinet and saxophone, this must be maddening.

Getting, getting ready for NaNoWriMo. My preparation is getting lists of things to type about. Not in the chroninolgy of the book To Be. Just daily things to do 2,000 (yes, I am aware I only need 1,667) words I can sort them out later. It is a First First Draft and so it will be. What scares me most is lacking in things to type about. Yes, I did do five consecutive days. Yet at the same time, I run up against not having ideas to type where? Here!. I mean what the hell? I sit in the morning and type out a bunch of words and then later not much comes from me. Perhaps because I am conscious of all of you seeing this. My morning words were to one person. In a week I will know if I need to have all of my First First Draft writing to one person. We will know in a week.

— MichaelRpdx :: h3k


Three bucks for a …? What can you buy that you might want for three bucks? It used to be a hamburger and fries. I am not referring to whatever it is at McDonalds for $1 to be a hamburger. In a hospital I frequented (wait, yes I do frequent a hospital) I can get a bowl of soup or 4oz of tuna salad, or 30% of tater tots for under $3, three bucks. (Why did I ask a question I already know the answer to? Really, honestly, this is one of those cases of writing something to answer it. Those that kind of events is to ask a question about something weighty and Something that requires thought and you need to write it out (where write equals typing, but all of you get, understand that) to get the thoughts on paper and figure it out.) But what can you get for three bucks that will provide you with lots of pleasure and things to think about and really enjoy?I strongly suggest Stephen King’s novel 11-22-63.

(Substitute slashes for the dashes here, which my typewriter does not have so I can present the title of the book the way the author intended.)

As to why you should splurge $3 on this book, and if my, well forget this if my stuff. I say it is good. But who knows if your tastes come close to mine so why read a book based on my Saying so? Don’t,

You should find Kent Peterson’s review about the book, read that, and then go buy the book and read it. I realize I am not giving you much leeway here. The book is that good. But read Kent’s piece as to why.

#   #   #   #

I get my booster vaccine yesterday. I was kinda out of it yesterday. Today I feel much better. OK, I feel better, not a lot yet. But I am sure I will feel better with each passing day. Just like I did the last two times I got a vaccinene. I am (yes, more unasked for advice here) Suggesting you get your booster vaccinen, ahem, vaccine, whatever. As soon as your six months since your second one was administered. Even though I had to go to the community-based place to get it this time around my health provider provided. Same day service.

Gotta love that. Not too many things you can make a call and get treatment the same day. For that matter, the only other times I had same-day service involved emergency rooms and ambulances. This was much nicer.

— MichaelRpdx :: rkmm

The Way We Were

kanopy – what a great suggestion you made. I am sorry for not naming you, but … damn it looks great. Even with just six movies a month.

Remember when you had one, or perhaps two, movies to see at a time? We had one movie place, the Blue Fox, and that was it. It was where I first viewed “The Way We Were”, remember that? It holds up should you be so inclined. (I just spent time looking up 1973 movies. DANGER! Rabbit Holes Ahead! )

All first drafts of everything are garbage.
The first draft of everything is shit.
– Ernest Hemingway

Those are the alleged words, including an edit, from Ernest Hemingway. Everything I write for One Typed Page is a first draft. Just get it out. My college class in Logic leads me to conclude everything I put here is shit. At least I can get it for you wholesale.

Good night all.

-— MichaelRpdx :: h3k

What Do They Know

A long time ago I received advice about writing. “Be Specific” and “The Power of Detail” were two of the chapter titles in Natalie Goldberg’s book Writing Down the Bones. These were two of the many bits of advice given in the book. It seems to be very popular. They just released a deck of cards to go along with the book.

My only problem with those bits of advice were the examples she gave with them. “I am in Costa’s Chocolate Shop in Owatonna, Minnesota.” The what, where? The name and the place are meaningless to most people. This was made worse when she referred to a newsstand/coffee shop in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was living in Albuquergue at the time, the late 1980’s. I could buzz up the road and see the place for myself. I did and it was unlike anything I had imaged. As a result, I put the book on the shelf and did not use it.

Too bad. There is a lot of good bits of advice in there.

On a better side of my experience with the book is that I am conscious of what I put in to whatever I write. Which leads to my questions about Pho.

Results, people from the midwest have no experience with it. People west of the Sierras or the Cascades have heard of it. And perhaps tasted it. There is one respondent, “america eats the world” indicated he knows of Pho from time in Vietnam. He could be anywhere. Having said that, those things, I know what I have heard is a way too small a sample of people to know anything. How do I include Pho in something I write and expect it to be relevant to people?

This is a problem with being specific in writing. Ms. Goldberg talked about learning the names of plants. But the readers, most of whom grew up in cities, what do they know of plants?

I am puzzeling today.

— MichaelRpdx :: h3k

Anniversary Dinner

Hobbs is wearing Jams
45th and Clay
I have a lot of feelings

Medusa was declined. These were our dinner dishes.
OH! A plate of Jolene tots! And a champange of honey.

We ordered too much, two dishes would be fine for us.
But now we have days of food to feast on.

Oh num, num, we have many days of food. Of delight.

MichaelRpdx :: h3k


Writing and Being Read

About NaNoWriMo, the only absolute thing about it is 50,000 words. And that is kinda iffy. Their real goal is to get people to write. You know, the way Daniel gets people to write One Typed Page a day. Their way works on getting a lot of people excited and all working on their thing for November. And if you consider what habit creatures we are, we@l after month of 1,667 words a day it is kind of hard to go back to not writing.

What you write can involve a

Novel              Short Stories           Memories
Script              Non-fiction              Poetry 
and the big one: Other

As to what you type or write or whatever could be an

Adventure           Children Fiction       Erotic
Fan-fiction           Historical         Horror/Supernatural
LGBT+                Literary                    Mainstream
Mystery               Religion/Spiritual     Romance
Science Fiction   Thriller/Suspense     Young Adult

Pick one from group A and as many as you want from group B.

 #      #      #      #

So far the representatives of the Western US are leading in Pho. michael@jamhome.us is the place to let me know if you have heard of it. Vacationing Catarina pointed out the& in addition to Pho they have Bahn Mi and she reminded me of Cafe Sua. Cafe Sau is very strong, intensely bitter, and mixed with condensed milk. It will wake you up.“

Nice shelfys you have there. Especially with books I have never read.

Tori (Lilly)
There are plenty of someones somewhere who are reading, enjoying, and all that kind of stuff. Ask any teacher here and they will tell you about students seeming to not listen at all. Yet they still seem to absorb the lesson. Yes, there are plenty of people here and just not replying.

Type On!

All of the People on Proofreading
HaHaHa Haaa I do not know how or why but we cannot proofread our own stuff. Even if you set it aside for months. You need friends and a professional to catch all of your mistakes. But you know that already.

MichaelRpdx :: rkmm

Eating and Reading

Everyone, if you type or read: This is for you. I am getting some information about people and their eating, in other words, I am curious about them. If you can help, please answer these questions:

Do you know what Pho is? (beyond having heard of it)

Is Pho available in your area?

Have you had Pho?

What kind of area do you live in? (city, smallish town, east, west)

Please answer here in comments, in a One Typed Page, or email me, michael@jamhome.us

I will gather up the answers and include them in my One Typed Page on Monday. You will be able to read the responses on Tuesday. Part of the motivation for asking this is we have a lot of Pho here in Portland. I do not want to assume that other people have Pho available. So, I am asking to find out.

 #      #      #

I am rereading Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson. I have forgotten it. I am (am?) sure that I will eventually find parts of the book that I remember. But for now, it is like reading a book, a very fine book, for the first time. I am having the same experience with On A Winters Night A Traveler, Italo Calvino, and the first pages are very vaguely familiar. But for the most part, it is like reading a new book.

Have I forgotten so much? From a stroke? This can be a great time. I know of lots of great books. If I have forgotten them as well as these two, well I have a lot of reading to do. Without any worries about wasting time on shitty or just mediocre stuff.

Then again, I have already read a bunch of mediocre stuff. Thankfully nothing recommend here fell into that category.

— MichaelRpdx :: h3k

Bicycle Advice

A couple of decades ago I heard about this thing. It was a bicycling event with no winners. But people went fast, but not too fast as there were limits in this event, both for the fastest allowed time and the most allowed time. This sounded interesting. It seemed like I could do OK with it. Well maybe. 200 kilometers, or about 120 miles, was nothing to sneeze at. But it seemed doable. It was called randonneuring. Or rando for short.

Could I do this event on a Bike Friday? That was the only bike I had, Being well into the web I did some research. And yes. There was a guy who road rando events on a Bike Friday. Even better he had ridden one of the biggest events, Paris-Breast- Paris successfully, and even better he lived in my part of the country, the Pacific Northwest.

I wrote to him, he wrote back, I asked for advice, he gave it, I did not always succeed at following the advice, but he, being a great guy, did not turn his back on me. He kept answering questions. And we became friends over the years. I am talking, typing, about Kent Peterson.

Now, this is important for you. Because Kent has been a huge proponent of bicycling. He has a wide range of experience. And he will answer questions. Check the comments section for today. IN it he answers an # unmasked question, Hopefully, the guy starting commuting will listen better than I did. He will go further faster than I did.

Yes, I realize I am volunteering Kent here, I am pretty sure he is OK with this. He is that kind of guy.

*      *     *     *

Have you ever tried a shelfy? Not a selfie. A shelfy. That is a stack of books that reflect your current state of mind. See below.

Post one of yours?

–MichelRpdx :: rkmm