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Somewhere Over Omaha
Because you knew the job was dangerous when you took it.
Found this in one of my scrapbooks while packing. Darling Daughter oohed over it so I thought, given the date, I'd share it here.

photo of kc star

It's dated July 26, 1969.
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lobby

The big celebration is next Monday, complete with ringing the NYSE bell, etc.

Kind of cool, to be honest.
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Speaking of pretty good runs...on this date 27 years ago, The Redhead made a rare error in judgement and became my wife. I'd say I got the much better end of the deal. She's always there when I need her, be it for support or a swift kick in the keister. Beyond the fact that I'm pretty good at housekeeping and grilling, I don't know what she's getting out of the bargain, but she's sticking around, so who am I to complain?

Or as she always put it: "Divorce, never. Murder...occasionally."

Thank you for making me the luckiest man on Earth, Red. You have no idea how much I love and need you.
5 voices from the peanut gallery or speak
Which is a pretty damned good run, when you think about it. I'm sure Death had one hell of a battle getting him to sit still for it.

I'm pretty sure I've said this several times, but back in 1978 I harbored hopes of becoming a writer (don't we all). I discovered Ray's address in a copy of "Who's Who" and in my young arrogance wrote to him asking for advice. Much to my shock he not only wrote me back, but included a few booklets he'd come up with with practical advice on writing. The two things that stay with me to this day are "Don't think" and "Don't accept any criticism unless it's good".

I loved his works. There was a certain rhythm to his words and cadence that just carried you along. And oh he was a master of the opening line. "It was a pleasure to burn." Certainly got your attention, didn't it? But my favorite bit was in "Something Wicked This Way Comes", where he builds up this incredible dramatic bit with Will against the carnival...and the next chapter is simply "Nothing much else happened the rest of the night."

Ba-dum.

I wrote to him on two other occasions-can't remember why--but he was always gracious in responding. And the highlight of my life was meeting him at Archon in 1996. I was still very much reeling from the death of my father a year earlier, so things like this felt a lot more intense than normal. I gave him two of my tattered old books to autograph--the copy of "Fahrenheit 451" that I'd bought from Scholastic back in 1968, and another tattered copy of "Martian Chronicles"...and somehow managed to tell him how much of a guide and inspiration he'd been to me. He was very gracious and allowed me to get my picture taken with him--which is sitting back at my apartment near the computer.

I won't pretend that I have ever been any great shakes as a writer. I've written tons of fanfic and have one professional sale to my record. But anything I've learned and/or developed over the years started with Ray and the advice he gave me way back when--especially on how to read not only WHAT other writers are saying, but HOW they say it and add it to your repertoire.

He was my hero, and yes I'm sad, but I'm also celebrating one hell of a great life. "One For His Lordship, And One For The Road!"

Addendum: If you're remotely curious about what he suggested back in '78, this is most of it.
7 voices from the peanut gallery or speak
So there was this last week. Might add this isn't too far from where I live.

And now I see this today.

This drives me absolutely nuts, because it's such a stupid thing that impacts so many lives. Not just the families of the victims, but also the train crews, who have to go through mandatory counseling and in some cases never get over the incident. I just do not understand why such a simple concept cannot be understood:

STAY OFF THE DAMN RAILROAD TRACKS.

Yes, these are both tragedies...more so because they DIDN'T HAVE TO HAPPEN.

Current Mood: angry

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I finally got a chance to watch the original "Godzilla" on Blu-ray this weekend. It's actually well done for its time, and when you're aware of the historical context you really appreciate it all the more...even if my daughter and I snickered about the "tortured genius scientist who has build the ultimate weapon". I mean, you KNOW he's not going to make it to the end credits.

Being a bit of a masochist, I decided to take a look at the Americanized version of the film, which featured a lot of inserted scenes starring Raymond Burr. Gives you a whole new perspective on character insertion stories. Unfortunately, I didn't get more than five-six minutes into the movie when I had to stop because I was laughing too hard.

They just HAD to name Burr's character "Steve Martin", didn't they?

Current Music: "Godzilla" (of course), Blue Oyster Cult

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Order the new Spider-Man game from Amazon and get to play as Stan Lee!
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Forest Service may blow up frozen cows in cabin

It may take explosives to dislodge a group of cows that wandered into an old ranger cabin high in the Rocky Mountains, then died and froze solid when they couldn't get out.
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"...and I shall name her...Rainbow Dash!"
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