October 31, 2003

Yes and no

No, Chuck. Burger Queen wasn't just you. Part of me was there too. I was trapped. You held me so tight to this earth that I couldn't escape. I couldn't go where I needed to go.

Forgive me for being so harsh. For letting and helping you be so harsh to yourself. I had to take the chance or I might never escape. You are in a powerful place, an ancient and holy place. And you are here at a powerful time. I had to act while I had a window and I had to work through you because you were the one holding me prisoner.

But it is okay now. You've faced your demon and vanquished it. You have finally admitted to yourself what happened and I am free.

Yes I understood my vision. I knew what would happen before I took you back. I chose to be loved and to love. What other choice would a sane person make?

Do not do this thing that you are planning, Chuck. Live for both of us now. Now that you can.

Posted by Becky at 12:20 PM | Comments (1)


I'm going for a walk now. One last time. I rooted around in Benny's shed until I found what I need. I won't be posting again. You see, I I've got it all figured out now. The Burger Queen shit, I mean. How we have the same service provider, the same IP address. How she only posts when I'm asleep or passed out. The water in my engines. Batteries being drained. How she seems to know everything. All of that crap.

You see, Peewee, that flea, is me.

But subtitue BQ for Peewee.

I'm cracked. And tired. And I miss my Becky too much to stand it any more. And I don't deserve to be here after what I did to her.

Writer's Noose. Indeed. I wonder if I was planning this the whole time in my overactive little subconcious. Or maybe I can blame it on BQ?

Goodbye and thank you for bearing with me. I'm going to smash this laptop up pretty good and dump it in the lake. If Burger Queen or I didn't kill Benny and Gail i don't want them to read all of this when they get back.

Posted by Charles at 11:20 AM | Comments (2)

The end of the story

I wrote this yesterday but didn't have any juice left to run the sattelite. Here it is now. Continued from here.

She said no, she wouldn't marry me. She cried and begged me not to leave. I can't even describe what I was feeling. There was an ice cold rod at the center of my being that sent shivering bolts through me. I couldn't control my shaking. I was furious, over the top furious. I felt rejected, played with, unloved. At the same time I knew that she loved me more than anything in the world. The dichotomy was a spear straight through the tattered shreds of my heart. I couldn't stand it. I left.

I got in my car and drove off. I went to Niagara Falls. I don't know why. That place is loaded with memories of us together and it should have been the last place on earth I would have gone to. I rented a room and stayed in it for two days. I didn't eat, I didn't drink, I didn't sleep. I just sat there and stared into space. Broken.

The next day I came out of my stupor. I cleaned up, went out, ate, walked the Hill. I bought some booze and went back to my room. By early evening I was pretty buzzed. I decided to go out and live a little. I went to a couple of bars but they were too hoppy, too party, and they annoyed the hell out of me. I ended up at one of the strip clubs. I was blasted by this time.

I hooked up with a stripper and brought her back to my hotel. I was stumbly drunk but she got me up to my room. And then she got just plain got me up. It took her a good bit of effort too as I had serious alcohol dick. I don't remember much of it. I just sort of laid there while she performed on me. I was spaced out from the booze and just from my situation. Eventually she got frustrated enough that she left.

The next morning I woke up to one of those headaches I've become so familiar with over the past few days here. The phone was blinking, meaning that there was a message for me. That was odd as I hadn't told anybody where i was. I ignored it and took a shower and got dressed. I decided that I was going back. This running away was stupid. I had thrown my little tantrum and it had solved nothing. Net result, a blitzer of a headache and several days of misery. As I was leaving the room I saw the phone again with its little red light blinking. I pressed the button to retrieve the message.

"Chuck, I'm coming to see you. Please don't leave. I was wrong. You were right. I love you and I do want to marry you. Please don't leave. I'm driving down right now. I'll be there in an hour and a half. I love you!"

The message envelope played after the message was complete. It had been left the previous night right about the time I was stumbling down the Hill with my stripper.

Oh, God. Becky called and I missed it! I was out drinking myself blind and I missed the most important phone call of my life. Why didn't she call on my cell phone?

Because Chuckie had turned the cell phone off days ago when he ran away from home.

She must have spent hours calling hotels and motels all over the place. Days maybe. Until she found me. Thank God I hadn't registered with a phony name.

But she called last night so where was she? She must have gotten here and the desk wouldn't tell her what room I was in. But she would have left a message with the desk to tell me she was here and where I could find her. She probably checked in here! I ran down to the desk and asked for my messages. There weren't any. None? Are you sure? Absolutely sure, sir. They get logged in the computer. Has Rebecca Longcloud checked in? No, sir. Try Becky Longcloud. No, sir. Nobody has checked in since 4pm yesterday. Fuck!

I ran back up to my room and grabbed the cell phone. What a dumbass to not think of that first. I could just call Becky on her cell. I dialed. It rang a while and then went to her voice mail. I hung up and called right back again. It rang a few times and then her mother answered.

Mrs. Longcloud? Is Becky there?

Chuck? Is that you Chuck?

Yes. May I speak with Becky please? It's very important.

Oh, Chuck. Oh, God, Chuck. There's been an accident...

On the road late at night, driving alone, tired, excited, sad, maybe terrified, Becky lost control of her car. The weather was nasty but not that nasty. Becky's lived in the area for her entire life. She knows how to drive in Buffalo weather. She's driven that route more times that I can count. But she lost control. On a straight road.

Her car went down an embankment and into Silver Creek, which was bloated from snow melt. She wasn't too injured, just a broken arm and a concussion. Just enough so she couldn't get herself out of the car as it slowly filled up with freezing water.

As I was being diddled by a Canadian stripper, the love of my life was bleeding and freezing to death, trapped and terrified as her car turned into an icy tomb.

I killed Becky, just as surely as if I had put a gun against her head and pulled the trigger. She told me what would happen. She knew what would happen if I was with another woman. But it was worse than that. You see, it wasn't "if" for her, it was "when".

At the wake her father told me about it. During our separation she had gone deep into the mysteries. She was looking for an answer. Her father cautioned her against it telling her that she must make life decisions based on life experiences. Spirits were not there to act as omens. Even if she found an answer it would most likely not be to the question she was asking.

She went anyway. The spirit walk practiced by the Iroquois is a demanding thing. It involves long fasting, exposure and imbibing certain substances that could probably have gotten her disbarred if it became known. He monitored her for 7 days, he said, until she finally came out of her trance. She was very depressed and weak, but this isn't at all unusual after such a spirit walk. Under his ministrations she came around in a couple of days and told him a bit about her walk.

She said that she had a choice. She had two paths, one with me and one without. The path without me was frightful and she couldn't bring herself to walk it. It was dark and unknown. But the other path was shown to her. She said that if she chose me that she would be loved and be in love for all of her days. This was why there was such a turnaround in the way her family got along with me. They knew that i loved Becky and that I always would.

But there was another part of that spirit walk that she didn't tell her father or anybody else except me. You see, that path was shown to her right to the end. It showed her that she would die and that death would be marked by my being with another woman. Before she took me back she knew that I would betray her and cause her death and she chose to live and die with me anyway!

Oh, Becky, you fantastic fool! Why did you pick me? Oh, God, why?

And that's about it for my story. The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I know that you all must hate me now and that's okay. You can't possibly hate me more than I hate myself.

Posted by Charles at 11:05 AM | Comments (1)

Call me McGyver

I'm back. Damn it took some work but I'm nothing if not stubborn as an ass. Or just an ass, depending on who you ask.

I worked on the generator for hours, trying to get that thing to fire up. Cleaned out the cylinders (that were, predictably, full of water), dried everything out, took apart the carb (which was, predictably, full of water), dried that out. Ran the starter until the battery was dead then pulled on the manual starter rope until I couldn't pull any more. I checked the gas can again. It was full of water. Checked the spare can, all water. The can in the boat was (can you guess?) water.

So I ripped the sattelite receiver off of the roof, ripped all of the wiring out of the house, and put all that, the sattelite controller and the laptop in a couple layers of Hefty bags. There was no fucking way I was walking through the woods again but I figured I could row the boat to Benny and Gail's cabin. They have land line power.

As soon as I pushed off of the dock it started getting windy. The lake was all chops and white caps within minutes. This is not at all fun in a 14 foot open aluminum boat. It's hard enough to row one of these things in any case. They just aren't built for it. With the wind and the water it was freaking impossible. I stayed right in to the shore to use the woods as a wind break but I couldn't get too close because I kept running aground on roots and rocks. And no, in all of my fishing trips up and down this bank I've never had a problem with underwater obstructions.

The wind kept trying to blow me out into the lake. It was a constant and inexorable force. The lake was a field of blackness, broken only by white specs from the waves. And an occasional large splash. Big wave? Big fish? Mishipashoo? I was losing headway and in serious danger of freaking out. I grabbed for straws - I'm not a smoker so I didn't have any tobacco to offer but I had half a bottle of Pinch. I dumped that over the side and screamed out an entreaty to Mishipashoo. Please let me pass! I'm trying to do what's right!

I didn't hear any splashes after that and the lake settled down a bit. I think that scared me more than the waves and splashing had before. The wind was still fierce, blowing through the sinister woods right into my teeth. But with the lake a bit quieter I started making headway again.

I rowed for almost 3 hours. A trip that would have been a half hour tops on a calm lake. I stopped once and tossed the anchor out because I was just too exhausted to keep going. The water got choppy almost immediately. I pulled in the anchor and struggled along. My arms and back were on fire. I was already in rough shape from getting knocked around so much the night before and it was hours of pure agony in that boat. But I made it.

When I pulled up to Benny's dock the wind died off. Like a balloon that just ran out of air. It was deadly quiet and I could feel the menace all around me. I was covered in sweat and spray from the lake and shaking so much from muscle fatigue that I couldn't even tie off the boat. All I could do was lay there, arms hugging a pylon as the boat slapped against the dock. I managed to haul the bag of electronics onto the dock and crawled up after it. I reached back into the boat for the bow line but I was too late. It floated away from the dock and straight out of the cove, faster than i could have swum after it even if I could have swum at that point.

I picked up the bag and stumble crawled up to the porch. Benny had left a key in one of those stupid hidey rocks but it wasn't there. I used one of the rocking chairs on the porch to bust through the front window and crawled through. I gashed my leg pretty badly but didn't even notice it at the time, I was so utterly exhausted. I unlocked the door, retrieved my precious bag and stumbled back inside. I must have bandaged up my leg before I passed out because there was a pressure bandage on it when I woke up but I don't remember doing that.

I woke up this morning with my familiar splitting headache, shaking from cold, wet, bloody. What a mess. I took a shower and borrowed some of Benny's clothes. The leg is a mess. I'm sure there's some glass in there and it won't stop bleeding but I wrapped it up tight so I don't think it will kill me.

For the last two hours I've been trying to get this fucking sattelite to work. In case you are wondering, setting one of these things up is not easy. Well, setting it up is easy but pointing it correctly is a bitch. Especially when you don't know where to point it and you don't have a compass anyway. It was a whole lot of trial and error. At least the elevation was already done or I never would have made it work.

And here I am. Online again and ready to put up the end of the story. Which I will do right after I get something to eat. Sorry to tease all of you, this is just a petty and spiteful slap at Burger Queen. Rot in hell, bitch.

Posted by Charles at 07:45 AM | Comments (1)

October 30, 2003

A Pinch of Courage

I cracked open the Pinch. For those of you who are not scotch drinkers, it is a very nice scotch. Not snobby scotch, but the finest of the "regular folk can afford this once in a while" scotches. For those of you who are scotch drinkers - nanny nanny boo boo, I'm having Pinch and you aren't. Hehehehe.

It was supposed to be my celebration bottle for when I was done writing but I think we can pretty much screw that plan, don't you? As the level in the bottle decreases, my woeful mood increases. Except for the sadness part. I miss Becky so much. All this crap, the drunken ramblings, the psycho troll from hell, all of it. It has really brought it all home. And I just really miss her.

So I'm going to finish the story. Not for you, you psychotic bitch from hell! It's for Becky, because I owe it to her and for me because I deserve it.

What have I told you about Becky? Can't remember at the moment so pardon me if I repeat things. Becky was absolutely gorgeous. Not in a drop dead bombshell sort of way, like a supermodel or something like that. She was exotic and filled with a presence that absolutely dominated a room. Her dad is a full blooded Iroquois and her mom is Irish. Odd match, that. Especially when Mr. Longcloud is a tribal elder and Mrs. Longcloud is a devout catholic. But man, oh man, did they mix up one hell of a daughter. Daughters, I should say. She has two sisters who are just as hot. And no, they aren't available. And she has a brother who will shoot you if you bother them.

Becky wasn't catholic but she was christian. She had a problem with the catholic church. Too much rules, not enough love, she always said. But she did take the Bible as gospel and followed it according to her own interpretation of it. She was also a spiritualist and a disciple of her indian religious heritage. I never quite figured out how that all worked together. I figured that the two were pretty much mutually exclusive but she didn't see it that way.

She was a lawyer, like her mom. She turned down more jobs than you could shake a stick at after she graduated from college and returned to Cattaraugas to use her degree representing the tribe. That's close to Buffalo, NY, by the way. That's just the sort of person she was. She wasn't sacrificing anything, as far as she saw. She was doing what she wanted to do. It just happened that, with Becky, what she wanted to do was just about always for somebody else's benefit.

Then came me, and the things I wrote about before. Before our separation I did not have a very good relationship with her family. Things were always polite but strained between us. I don't know why, but after we got back together things got much better with her family. I figured that it would be even worse, seeing as we had been estranged for half a year. I was wrong though. The next time I saw her dad he gave me a bear hug and called me "son". I felt welcome in the Longcloud household. It was great.

And, like I said before, we went through the next two years in a mostly blissful relationship. We moved in together (which her mother was not overly happy about but eventually accepted) in a house we rented in Pendleton. That was about midpoint between my job at the Buffalo News and her office in Clarence.

And I'm rambling now. Fuzzy from the Pinch or just leary of taking this confession where it needs to go? Time to cut to the chase, as they say.

The one thing we fought over regularly was the future. I wanted us to be married. The sooner the better. Her mom was (predictably) on my side here. She saw marriage as a joining of two spirits as well as two people and she didn't think our spirits were enough in synch to do that yet (Remember what I said about her being a christian spiritualist). This both confused and angered me. She would get frustrated trying to explain it and end up just saying that she wasn't ready. She loved me but wasn't ready for marriage.

Her father understood and tried to explain it to me several times. He said that she loved me but she wasn't mature enough to marry me yet. This confused and angered me as well. Becky was a riot of fun but she had priorities and she kept them. She was a no nonsense, cut throat, pirranha of a lawyer. She never shirked a responsibility and never ever left somebody hanging. Immature? She was the most mature person I knew. He said it wasn't like that. Yes, she was a very mature person but her spirit was immature. She had much learning and experiencing to do before she was bound by marriage. Confusion. Anger.

Most of our fights were small and very far between. We never went to bed angry. But once in a while my patience would wear out and I'd argue for real. If you love me then why won't you marry me? We're living together just like man and wife, what's the problem? You say you want me and only me for the rest of your life but you won't commit to me. Our last fight was one like that, only worse. It was on New Year's Eve when we had gotten home from a friend's party. Something set me off, probably seeing our married friends together or something like that. I was brutal. I gave her an ultimatum. Marry me or I was leaving.

I see by the dimming lights that I am just about out of juice so I'll upload this now. If I finish before the power goes off I'll post the rest.

Posted by Charles at 12:22 PM | Comments (6)

Not so good

Oh, God, I feel awful. I'm cracking up, I know it.

I went to Benny and Gail's cabin yesterday. I had to go and see. The things that Bitch Queen posted, I had to see if they were there. If they were okay. I was so drunk I almost couldn't walk. Everything was moving. The trees wouldn't stand still. And they were grabbing me. Branches snagged me, scraped me. There was no sound except me and the noise of the wind in the trees. I kept falling. My hands are so messed up I am typing with two fingers. The forest hates me, I could feel it. I could hear the trees laughing at me. Fucked up drunk falling through the woods. God, it was awful. What was the booze and what wasn't? I don't know any more.

I made it to their cabin. They aren't there. The boat is gone. Like it should be cause they were going into the park. But there was blood on the dock. I think it was blood. It was brown and flaky. Could it be from the fish we cleaned? I don't remember. There was a lot of it there. Does fish blood get brown like that? I don't know any more. I want to go home.

I walked back to the cabin. My head was clear after seeing the dock. Like the alcohol just left my system, leaving an axe through the middle of my head as a parting gift. God my head hurts.

I was still stumbling though I didn't feel drunk any more. I tripped over roots and rocks. Half the time I was crawling. I had to get out of those woods. I felt them pressing against me, wanting me, waiting for me to give up. And something watching. Movement out of the corner of my eye. Always there, never seen. Tracking me. Playing with me.

I panicked and ran. I lost the lake. I panicked more and just ran until I fell again and then curled up in a ball because I felt the watcher coming now. The trees were breathless, they knew that the climax was coming, that I was done for.

And then it stopped. I wasn't being watched, hunted, any more. It was gone. I could physically feel the anger and disappointment around me. The forest had been robbed, I wasn't finished.

The terror was still in me. I still felt the palpable hate all around. But there was something else too. A center, a strength that got me back on my feet and walking again. The panic was gone and I walked straight back to the cabin. I don't know how I knew where it was, I just walked and got here. And then I went into a closet and curled back into a ball and passed out.

This morning I'm a mess. My clothes are tatters. I've got cuts and scratches everywhere. My left eye is swollen so bad I can't see out of it. The generator doesn't work. The boat motor doesn't work. I can't even think of walking in the forest again. I've got maybe a couple hours of power left in the cabin batteries.

I know what's going to happen if I don't finish the story. The owners will send someone down to close up the cabin for the winter a couple weeks after I'm supposed to have left and they'll find me gibbering in a corner or dead. I can't leave, I'm not allowed to.

But I don't know what will happen if I do finish the story and that scares me even more. Do I have more chances? If I just let the batteries drain out now will I get another chance to charge them up? Is it now or never? I can't decide. I don't even know if I'm sane any more.

I hope that was just fish mess on the dock.

Posted by Charles at 09:02 AM | Comments (1)

October 29, 2003

The WHOLE truth!

No, Sweet Meat. That's not enough. Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!

Posted by Burger Queen at 01:20 PM | Comments (9)


This is very difficult to write. I haven't spoken or written anything about this since it happened and I've aborted and restarted this post more times than I can count. Bear with me if it doesn't come across as some of my best writing.

Becky and I met through a mutual friend at a Holloween party (I was a bottle of bourbon, she was a martini - we hit it right off). I fell in love with her straight away. Love at first site and all of that romantic crap. It was overpowering for me as I hadn't ever been in a relationship where I cared so much for another person. Where I cared more for that other person than I cared for myself.

I panicked. I cheated. In my twisted subconcious I guess I decided that I would destroy the relationship before it was destroyed some other way - because nothing this good was possible and it was inevitable that it had to get messed up eventually and at least this way I was in control.

Becky found out. She broke up with me. I was crushed. Totally devastated. You know how they say that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? Imagine how much worse that is when you actually do know what you've got and you are the one who throws it away.

I begged and pleaded. I tried to explain my fucked up thinking and what I had done (and why). She wouldn't listen. Wouldn't even give me the time of day. I kept at it. I was relentless. I sent her flowers, candy, jewelry, you name it. She sent it all back. I wrote her poems, stories, left messages on her voice mail and answering machine. With each thing I sent I asked only for one thing - to see her one more time so I could set things right between us.

After almost 6 months of this harassment and stalking (I didn't think of it that way at the time but I've come to realize that this is what I had been doing) she agreed to meet with me. We met at the Skylon Tower in Niagara Falls, Canada. The restaurant at the top spins around. Very romantic, very expensive, the first place I had taken her for an actual date.

She was already seated when I got there (and I got there early, too) and I just had to stand there and stare at her for what seemed an eternity. She was so beautiful and so sad. Finally the "harumphs" of the maitre'd broke through my reverie and he escorted me to the table. Instead of sitting down I went down on my knees next to her, took her hand in mine and just said "I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry."

She looked at me for a heartache of seconds and then her eyes filled up and she started to cry. Deep, racking sobs. She pulled me to her and hugged me so hard I couldn't breath. I hugged her back just as hard and I'm not embarassed at all to say I was crying just as hard. She let go and grabbed my face and brought me up for the fiercest, most passionate kiss we had ever shared.

She broke from the kiss, stood up abruptly, said "Fuck this" (Becky was a bit...direct at times) and took my hand to lead me out of the restaurant. We got into the elevator and she gave the three other would-be passengers such a look that they all decided to wait for the next car. As soon as the doors closed she attacked me like a feral rutting beast. We made furious love as the glass walled elevator slowly decended the side of the Skylon.

We had barely gotten our clothes back in place when the doors opened - not that either of us would have given a shit at that point. We walked hand in hand to the Red Coach Inn (that was "our place" in Niagara Falls) without saying a word. In fact, I don't think either of us said anything until the next morning.

That was the most glorious morning of my life. I woke up with the warmth of Becky in my arms, the musky scent of our love making permeating the room, the feel of her hair against my cheek. And even in her sleep she had the bost beautiful smile on her face. A smile of perfect happiness.

I laid there holding her until she woke up, stretching like a cat and arching her back, which led to predictable results that lasted most of the rest of the morning. When we were both lying there in a tangle, totally sated and physically exhausted she turned to me and became totally serious. She said "Don't ever do that to me again. If you do that to me again it will kill me." I assured her I would never stray again. I started to explain my twisted reasoning and why it had happened - the stuff that I'd been trying to explain for the past 6 months - but she interrupted me. "It doesn't matter why, Chuck" she said "It doesn't matter why you did it. It won't matter why if you do it again. Just tell me that you understand that if you do it again I will die."

We had two blissful years after that. Oh, don't get me wrong - we had disagreements, arguments and fights just like any other couple. But even in the middle of a fight we were both secure that it was just a fight - that the important thing was that we were together and would be for all time. But for all time turned out to be just those two years.

Sorry, I'm done now. That's it, BQ. That's the end of it from me. Just stop now, okay?

Posted by Charles at 12:39 PM | Comments (0)

[start log]

[/BurgerQueen sets BurgerQueen +v]
[BurgerQueen] ...
[BurgerQueen] ...
[/NooseWriter joins #straighttalk]
[BurgerQueen] There you are! I thought you wouldn't show.
[BurgerQueen] Hello? Use the keyboard, Sweet Meat.
[BurgerQueen] Oops!
[/BurgerQueen sets NooseWriter +v]
[BurgerQueen] Sorry about that! You can talk now Chuckie.
[NooseWriter] Give me my blog back, you bitch! I can't even log on any more!
[BurgerQueen] Language, Chuckie, language. You shouldn't speak like that to a lady.
[NooseWriter] When I find a lady I'll make sure to be polite. Let me back into my blog!
[BurgerQueen] But I'm having such fun! I don't have my own blog, you know. I like posting on yours very much.
[NooseWriter] Just cut it out already. As soon as Pixy Misa gets my email he's going to knock you off anyway. Let me back in to my blog.
[BurgerQueen] Pixy is...occupied. He can't get you out of this one.
[NooseWriter] Why are you doing this? And what is that crap you posted about Benny and Gail? That is sick shit! You are fucking sick!
[BurgerQueen] I speak only the truth, Sweet Meat. Sometimes it's hard on people to hear the truth but I believe it makes us all stronger if we anchor ourselves firmly in reality.
[NooseWriter] What the hell are you talking about? And stop calling me that!
[BurgerQueen] I'm talking about the truth. Have you been truthful on your blog?
[NooseWriter] Of course I have! What reason would I have for lying about crap like not catching a damned fish?
[BurgerQueen] Get off of the fish already, Chuck. The fish are a side effect, not the problem.
[BurgerQueen] I mean the truth in the courtroom sense, Chuck. The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
[NooseWriter] Whatever! It's just a personal blog. I never intended it to be the story of my life, just a way to keep in the writing mode. I'm not going to lay down my life story there.
[BurgerQueen] That's fine, Chuck. Nobody wants your life story anywhere. That's not the truth I'm talking about. You need to tell the whole truth about things you've glossed over. Important things that deserve to be told!!
[NooseWriter] Why can't you just leave me the hell alone?
[BurgerQueen] Excellent choice of words, Chuckie. Why CAN'T I just leave you alone? I would if I could but I CAN'T.
[NooseWriter] I just want my blog back and for you to get the hell out of it.
[BurgerQueen] Will you tell the truth?
[NooseWriter] ABOUT WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!
[BurgerQueen] Don't shout, Chuckie. It's very rude. Think about it. Reread our conversation here. You know what it's about.
[BurgerQueen] Chuckie?
[BurgerQueen] Oh Chuckie! Where are youuuuu?!
[NooseWriter] I'm here. I get it now.
[BurgerQueen] Will you tell the truth?
[NooseWriter] About Becky?
[BurgerQueen] Bingo
[NooseWriter] That's not something I really want to talk about. Not in person and certainly not on a public blog.
[BurgerQueen] I know it isn't, Chuck, but it'll be better for you if you do.
[NooseWriter] And if I don't?
[BurgerQueen] Then no blog. No nuthin after a while. The boat won't work, the generator won't work, the woods will be closed to you. You won't be able to write. You'll be alone like you've never been alone before. And then you won't be alone but you'll wish you were.
[NooseWriter] This is too much. You're scaring the shit out of me.
[BurgerQueen] The truth shall set you free.
[BurgerQueen] Will you tell the truth?
[BurgerQueen] Chuck?
[NooseWriter] i'm here
[BurgerQueen] Will you tell the truth?
[NooseWriter] okay
[BurgerQueen] Give me a couple of minutes to unlock your account. You can start writing in the meantime.
[NooseWriter] okay
[/end log]

Charles should be posting shortly.

Posted by Burger Queen at 09:32 AM | Comments (0)

Benjamin and Gail Sutherland

Suddenly, October 25, 2003, at the ages of 64 and 57, of Montreal, Quebec, beloved parents of Benjamin Sutherland Jr and Felicia Monmarch. Friends can't do much of anything until the bodies are found but after that they can pay respects at the home of Benjamin Sutherland Jr. Arrangements to be announced.

Chuckie looks so peaceful when he's sleeping.

Posted by Burger Queen at 04:34 AM | Comments (0)

October 28, 2003

What the hell is going on here?

Now I've been hacked?!

Burger Queen - Listen to me you little rodent dropping. This crap has to stop. Are you truly this twisted? How can you get your jollies with this macabre display? It's not even human! What the hell do you want from me?!

Here, I'll throw you a bone - I still didn't catch any fish even with cheater bait. Does that give you a thrill?

Pixy Misa - Please help here. I don't know how the troll got in but I can't get it out. The username doesn't show up in my posters list and its post doesn't show up as editable for me. Please give this monster an administrative discharge!

Posted by Charles at 03:01 PM | Comments (1)

Rebecca Marie Longcloud

Suddenly, January 4, 2001, at the age of 27, of Cattaraugus Indian Reservation, beloved daughter of Michael Longcloud and Colleen Tavish-Longcloud; brother of Kyle, Solon, Kerry Longcloud; granddaughter of the late David and Vivian Longcloud and the late Timothy and MaryAnn Tavish; also survived by several aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Friends may call at the home of Michael Longcloud, Rte 438, Cattaraugas Indian Reservation, where the funeral service will be held Tuesday morning at 10 AM. Arrangements by Baker and Son Funeral Home, North Collins, NY.

You shouldn't have banned me from the comments, Sweet Meat. That makes me angry.

Posted by Burger Queen at 02:31 PM | Comments (0)

A bit about Mazinaw

I've been doing a bit of looking around about Mazinaw, Bon Echo Park and the stuff in and around here. For a decent look at what the park surrounding the lake is all about check out this site.

It turns out that the The Mazinaw Lake Monster isn't named Mazzy after all. The Indian name for it is Mishipashoo, which is both more impressive and somewhat more sneeze-like as far as names go. Here's a pic of the beastie:

As some of the meanings of the pictographs are not known, it is believed that the image in the lower right depicts a canoe carrying people across to the Rock. The larger image above the canoe figure is believed to be that of a Great Water Lynx, termed Mishipashoo in Ojibway. Native legends say that this water spirit inhabits large bodies of water, like Mazinaw Lake. Natives would offer tobacco to this spirit before embarking on a journey across such waters. The tobacco was offered with a prayer to appease this spirit with the hope that it would not whip up its great spiked tail and tip their canoe.

Oddly, there isn't much on the Indian drawings that are all over Bon Echo Rock. They are mentioned all over the place but finding pictures of them are near to impossible and except for the tourist blurbs I haven't found any mention of them. The one of Mishipashoo above is one of the very few I've been able to locate.

The woods around here are ancient.

Bon Echo Rock has been admired for centuries. A new discovery has given the Rock even more importance. In 1990, the University of Guelph discovered Eastern White Cedar trees on the cliff which are upwards of 1,000 years old. This makes the trees here among the oldest in Eastern North America!

This whole area was viewed as a place of power by the Oglala and Ojibway tribes but, unlike many sacred places, they did not contest for it or try to stop the white man's advance into it. Maybe they know something that we don't?

Posted by Charles at 10:54 AM | Comments (5)

The Noose Tightens

I lost it again. I can't write! I was typing away like a madman, barely able to keep up with my thoughts and then it just stopped. I reread the stuff I've been putting down and it is absolute crap. I can't believe I wrote it. No continuity, no plot or central storyline. When you are through with one of the stories all you can do is scratch your head and say "what was this guy on"?

I can't believe this! It's like there's a spigot in my head that is either on full force or shut off tight. And the water it's pumping when it's on is apparently raw sewage.

And Benny's "magical" rig? Crapola. Not a bite. Just those annoying nibbles to let me know that there are fish down there that are having little fishy chuckle fits at my expense.


Okay, calm down Chuck. Let's review:

  • Punditry is functional so I can still make a living at my job. This is a plus.
  • The blogging gland seems to be working well as I am currently blogging. This is also a plus as at least I have some kind of outlet.
  • I am the worst fisherman on the face of the earth. Or at least this lake. This is a minus. I didn't really care about catching any fish but since I can't seem to catch any fish the catching of fish is growing into an obsession.
  • I have a troll who has been vanquished. This was a minus that is now a plus. Minus because it sucks to have a troll and plus because I have a deep feeling of satisfaction having beaten it on my blog.
  • Either somebody is very cleverly sabotaging my stuff here or I am a victim of Mazzie the Lake Monster. I'm leaning towards number one and also figuring that the person doing it is my troll. Big minus.
  • I cannot write a damned thing. Big minus.
  • The stuff I wrote when I could write is awful. I'm going to call this one "not applicable". I know that stuff was golden when I was writing it. I'm pretty sure that my present take on it is being influenced by my total lack of creative brainflow.

Okay, so my problems are fishing, my saboteur/troll and my writing. The writing kicked in when I was spending time with Benny and Gail. They'll be back later in the week so hopefully this will take care of itself shortly. That leaves trolling for fish and trolling for a troll. I'm going over to the marina shop to get some cheater bait. Once I land a fish I can toss the rest of it but I need to get that one fish. For the saboteur I'll have to see what I can do but I'm a bright lad so I bet I can come up with something.

Not so bad when you put it all in perspective! :-)

Posted by Charles at 09:39 AM | Comments (3)

Do you hate red lights as much as I do?

Then do something about it.

Tired of sitting at endless red lights? Frustrated by lights that turn from green to red too quickly, trapping you in traffic?

Now anyone can breeze through congested intersections just like the police, thanks to a $300 dashboard device that changes traffic lights from red to green, making nasty commutes a thing of the past and leaving other drivers open-mouthed at your ability to manipulate traffic.

This little beauty abuses the emergency light change system that is in place on many traffic lights. You know the one that lets ambulances and fire trucks change the light so they can clear an intersection faster.

It works on an infrared system so it is not a violation of any Federal Communications Commission rules.

There is a good bit of consternation about it. What will happen if several people have the device at the same intersection? The digital version of Dueling Banjos? Even one person using this in a metropolitan area could quickly throw off the traffic patterns and start a gridlock.

So what can be done about it? It doesn't seem to violate any existing laws. I'm sure that some blanket traffic rules could be cited - Impeding the flow of traffic or some such. I can guarantee that if abuse of the system causes an accident or it delays an emergency vehicle that the powers that be would be able to charge the violator with something. If the violator could be identified, that is.

According to the article the device is being targeted to smaller police and emergency services that can't afford the professional product marketed by 3M. That's nice but eventually there's going to be a distributor that sees profit in selling to the masses.

The newest of the light changing systems can be programmed to lock out these devices but upgrading to such a system will cost thousands of dollars per intersection.

The solution of legislators is, of course, to initate new legislation. Is that the answer? If radar/laser detectors are any barometer then no, it isn't.

I expect that a bunch of people will be spending a good chunk of change on these things and that the majority of municipalities will spend a whole lot more to protect against them. 3M and the company that is making these will get richer, everybody else won't, and in a relatively short time they will be a useless item.

Posted by Charles at 08:57 AM | Comments (2)

October 27, 2003

The Troll is Slain

Okay, I rebanned the IP for my troll. I can't post comments in my own weblog but now it can't either. I'm saving the last couple comments that it made. As Allan said, they may be useful later if I need to take any official action against this bastard.

By the way, Allan. I've verified that IP block doesn't take out a range. I don't know how the troll and I seem to be getting the same IP but one of the people on the MT forum mentioned something about IP Renew? That the troll might be specifying my IP when they get their lease? Way over my head.

As for the crap that Burger Queen was posting - it's crap. It's from a troll. Take it as the ramblings of a lunatic who feeds off of causing other people to be miserable.

In happier news, the rain has stopped and the air is so incredibly clean that there's no way I can stay inside to write. So, I'm going outside to write. Aren't laptops great?

Should be able to do some fishing tomorrow too and try out that rig that Benny lent me.

Posted by Charles at 06:50 PM | Comments (0)

Where's my knight in shiny armor?

I'm at a loss on how to get rid of my troll.

I tried IP banning it but then I couldn't post comments either. Apparently we're using the same provider?

I have the comments set to demand an email address but it just puts in non-existant ones.

I've emailed support at my provider to see what they can do but I haven't received a response.

Any ideas?

Posted by Charles at 10:57 AM | Comments (6)

I'm back!

Yesterday was not a good day. I woke up late and very fuzzy headed. There was no power at all. The batteries were completely discharged. It was raining and very windy. The generator wouldn't start.

Son of a ...

Since there was no hot water I had to go for a cold shower. This was a miserable experience for approximately half of the shower. It got worse at the half-way point when the water ran out. No water left in the reservoir. Great.

I washed the soap off with bottled water, practically freezing my boys off in the process, got dressed and went to have a look at the generator. Everything looked fine. It has run perfectly the day before. Now it wouldn't even give me a chug or a gasp. Sound familiar? Yeah, I had a cold spot in the pit of my stomach that blossomed into a thorough chill of my entire being as I removed a spark plug and saw the cylinder was full of water.

You know how this is pretty impossible in an outboard motor, right? well it's even more impossible with this generator because the thing is air cooled. There's no water. There is absolutely no possible way that water could be in this engine unless somebody came in the middle of the night, removed the spark plugs, pored water into the cylinders and then put everything back the way it was. Hell of a prank.

Did I mention that this person would also need to be a flying master thief? The ground around the shed is clay and mud. It had rained pretty much all through the night. There were no footprints. The door to the shed is locked. I specifically remember locking it the morning before.

I siphoned the water out to make sure it wasn't gas like Benny thought it might have been in the boat motor. Nope. Definitely water. Somebody was maliciously sabotaging my equipment. Who the hell would do something like that? There just aren't many people on the lake right now. There is nobody within a half mile of this cabin. What kind of vicious prankster would go so out of his way to try to make me miserable?

I spent the day in a funk. I couldn't get online since the sattelite uses house power and there wasn't any. I wrote a bit on the laptop until its battery died. The rest of the day I just sat on the porch watching it rain and drinking beer.

I woke up an hour ago with a beautiful hangover and went immediately to the shed to check on the generator. The cylinders looked bone dry. I put the plugs back in, hooked everything up and gave it a yank. It fired right up. I've got power and water again and am about to go take a warm shower. I don't know who is fucking with me but I'm pretty damned pissed right now.

Posted by Charles at 09:04 AM | Comments (14)

October 25, 2003

G'night for real this time

I was about to turn in but I started thinking about some of Benny's stories and just got an urge to use them. And I did. It was flowing down like magic, like I write when I'm in the zone. I've got two complete short stories done and I'm working on a way to incorporate those as chapters in a novel. I'm writing!

I guess my motor problems were divine providence because Benny and Gail have proven to be the bowie knife to my writer's noose.

But it's late now and my eyes won't stay open. I'm going to go take my evening constitutional and hit the sheets.

G'night all (for real this time).

Posted by Charles at 11:26 PM | Comments (1)

Happiness is a warm outboard

I didn't get to the marina again today. What was it this time, you ask? With my recent lucky streak you might imagine that the boat sunk or Benny blew me off or that I was attacked by the infamous Mazinaw Lake Monster. You didn't know that Mazinaw had a lake monster? Either did I until today. More on that later.

But it was none of those things. Benny got here right on time and we decided we'd just tow my boat over to the marina. It made a lot more sense than what we'd originally planned - going over and having a mechanic come back over to the boat.

We hooked the boats up and were just coming out of the cove (Benny driving his boat, me using the dead outboard as a rudder to steer mine) when the tarp I'd put over the outboard (to keep debris out of the open cylinders) flew off. I yelled for Benny to stop the boat. Took a bit of doing - he's got a 200 hp Evinrude on his and it's loud as hell. I caught his eye when he looked back to check the tow and he pulled up.

I didn't have another tarp so I was just going to finger thread the plugs back in (which is probably what I should have done in the first place). I got the plugs out of the plastic baggie I had put them in and was about to put the first one back in place when I noticed something peculiar. Rather, I noticed nothing peculiar. I couldn't see water down the plug hole. I looked at the other plug hole and it was the same - no water visible at all.

By this time Benny had brought his boat back along side me and was asking me what was up. I got a flashlight from him and looked down into the cylinders. No water. Benny towed us back into the cove and we docked back up. We put the plugs back in, put the carb back on, primed it and pulled the cord. The damned thing started right up on the second pull.

I was dumbstruck. Benny was laughing his ass off, joking about my diagnostic mechanic skills and how I'd marooned myself for days. I didn't find it funny at all. I'm not a mechanic but I know how an engine works. I can also recognize water (or at least some liquid!) when I see it and those cylinders had definitely been full.

Benny nocked off the needling when he saw I was pissed and suggested that it was actually fuel that had been in the cylinders. A couple days exposed to air would definitely allow it to evaporate. Even if it was water, he said, it might just have evaporated. I don't think so. A glass of water takes more than a couple days to evaporate and that's with a wide open top. These are only exposed through that little hole the spark plugs thread into. But I guess the gas theory, or gas with some water, is workable. I sure can't think of any other workable scenario. Except that I imagined the whole thing, and I'm not quite willing to explore theories of insanity.

We went with Benny's theory. Since we didn't have to deal with the marina after all we had the day to use for our own. We drank beer (Labbatt's at my place - Benny suffered through it stoically), played euchre and shot the shit. Benny has some amazing stories. I started taking notes cause this stuff is absolutely golden. I even started getting the urge to write! It was a blast.

That was when I learned about the Mazinaw Lake Monster. Same sort of legend as Nessie - reclusive monster occasionally terrorizing boaters and swimmers, gets blamed when anything bad happens on the lake. Mazzie isn't famous like some of the others. The locals keep trying to drum up the myth (great tourist gimic after all) but it just hasn't taken hold well like it has elsewhere.

We took his boat out to the cliffs to see the indian carvings there. I'm not sure but I think this was Algonquin territory. Too far north for Iroquois or Crow. I'm going to have to do a bit of research on the carvings because they were quite impressive.

After that we came back to my place, ate an early dinner and then went off fishing. Benny has some prime spots that he knows and we hit most of them. He was pulling fish in hand over fist. Most of them went back out - he only kept the lake trout. I got nothing. Not a damn thing. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal but it was sort of embarassing to be with an uberfisherman and get nothing while he's having a banner day.

Gail fried up the trout for dinner and we played some more euchre then Benny brought me back and here I am. I'll be on my own for the next couple days. They're going to be doing some camping and hiking in Bon Echo Park. Good news though - Benny loaned me his rig including the ancient lure he was using today. He said if I can't catch anything with that then he wouldn't be able to drink with me any more. I'm not sure if he was joking.

G'night all.

Posted by Charles at 09:42 PM | Comments (0)

EULA goes to the next level

This article at Ed Foster's Gripe Log absolutely floored me. Stots (a tool manufacturer) has added a shrinkwrap EULA to their TemplateMaster jig template. This tool is used to make jigs that are virtually identical to itself.

...TemplateMaster may be used “in only one shop by the original purchaser only” and that “you may not allow individuals that did not purchase the original Product (to) use the Product or any templates produced using the Product…”

You are not buying the tool, you are licensing its use. You can use it for yourself but you may not let a friend borrow it and you can not use it to make templates for other people. Taken literally you can't even buy it as a gift for another person as only the original purchaser is allowed to use it. If you're working in your own shop with a buddy, he is not allowed to use it to help you on your project.

I understand Stots' concern here. If you buy the TemplateMaster you can quickly, easily and cheaply recreate the tool for all of your buddies, who will then have no need to buy their own TemplateMaster. There is an elemental problem here though. The EULA effectively prevents you from using the product to its full potential. Any tool that I buy can be used to create something of value. I can use my lathe to make table legs and then sell them. What if my lathe came with an EULA that said I could use it to make my own table legs but that I couldn't sell or give those table legs to another person? After all, if I'm going to be supplying my friends with table legs then they won't need to buy a lathe of their own.

Think of this in traditional software terms. Say the new EULA for Microsoft Visual Basic Developer says that you can use it to create programs for your own use but that you cannot make or sell programs for other people. After all, if you're going to sell programs to other people then they won't need to buy their own copy of Microsoft Visual Basic Developer.

There's another pretty basic problem with the EULA for the TemplateMaster though.

The reader doubts it’s particularly novel, in that the template or jig one creates with it will be virtually identical to “Keller” jigs that have been around for many years. “The key difference is that the instructions that came with the Keller jig said, in not so few words ‘here, use this jig to make a dovetail joint’,” the reader said. “The Stots jig, which is geometrically equivalent, comes with instructions that say ‘use a duplicating router bit to copy this jig to make a jig that looks almost exactly the same as me -- and exactly the same as the Keller jig -- then use that jig to make a dovetail joint.”

In other words, just use the tool to make another tool. Take that tool that you yourself made and you can make as many tools as you want from that and give them away, sell them, what have you.

Posted by Charles at 08:40 AM | Comments (0)

Chuck needs more sleep and less hangover

Never try to outdrink a Quebecian who is fixing your drinks. They cheat. Bad. Damn my head hurts. No nausea though, thankfully. A couple Excedrins and a pitcher of water will help.

I had a wierd wake-up this morning, probably from the hangover. I was snoring peacefully away, oblivious to my cranial pains, when Becky gave me a gentle shake and said "Wake up, Sweet Meat" in that ultra sexy, husky, half asleep voice. Sweet Meat is the pet name that she gave me. I mumbled "Whuh?" or something equally witty and she said "Get up or you'll miss your fishing". My sleepy brain registered that not only did my lovely Becky not mind me going fishing early in the morning, she was actually going as far as to wake me up to make sure I went.

Freaking awesome! I gave her a kiss and said thanks for waking me. She smiled in that (once again) ultra sexy, half asleep way and I was about to abandon the fishing idea cause she was looking soooooo damned good but she rolled over and said something I couldn't quite catch but was probably "don't stay out too late" and went back to sleep. Damn.

I went into the bathroom and while I was brushing my teeth I realized I had a massive hangover. My sleep fuzzy brain actually began working a bit at this point and I remembered drinking too much over at Gail and Benny's. (By the way, if there are any Canadians out there, is it spelled 'Benny' or 'Bennie'?)

That in turn led me to wonder why Becky didn't seem hungover, which led to remembering that Becky hadn't been there, which went to wondering why Becky hadn't been there, which led to remembering exactly why Becky hadn't been there, which resulted in me booking back to the bedroom at top speed and an increase in my head pain of at least 200%, and this of course ended up with me looking at a very rumpled bed that had obviously been slept in by one person as the copilot pillows were still stacked neatly on the desk chair where I put them every night, apparently even when drunk off of my ass.

That got me pretty depressed. You see, Becky wasn't at the cabin with me at all. I was just dreaming or hallucinating or whatever, helped along by some residual alcohol and a hangover and sparked no doubt by thoughts dragged up by my very own troll. Becky should be here with me right now. I should be married to her. In fact there's only one reason that me and the love of my life aren't together now and never will be al long as I'm alive. She died over 2 years ago in a car accident. It was a single vehicle accident during some pretty nasty weather traveling from Rochester to Buffalo.

My little dream thing this morning has put me into one serious funk so sorry if I'm a bit morose today. Then again it's not exactly like I'm the King of Happyland in any case when I'm hungover.

And I IP banned the little shit troll. That felt good.

Posted by Charles at 08:05 AM | Comments (4)

October 24, 2003

They grow 'em tough in Iceland

Icelandic "Iceman" grabs shark to save men

This fisherman captain ran into the water, grabbed a 660lb shark, dragged it onto the shore and stabbed it to death with his belt knife. Now THAT'S tough.

Posted by Charles at 01:54 PM | Comments (3)

Where are the Mounties when you need them?

Or at least a Park Ranger. I was about a mile an a half into my hike and I got the bejeezus scared out of me. Yes, that's right, I no longer have any bejeezus. I was walking along, admiring the panorama of color all around me when I heard a crash a ways behind me and something big tearing ass right for me through the brush and fallen leaves. I jumped behind a tree just slightly faster than I have ever moved before in my life and whipped around to see what horrid monster of the deep forest was about to disembowel me. Bear? Wolf? Rabid bunny? Nope. Nothing at all. And everything was perfectly quiet. Spooky, freaking quiet. I'm talking Steven King spooky.

My heart was racing at about 200 beats per minute and my whole body was tingling from the most massive adrenaline rush ever survived by man. I sort of slumped against the tree and hugged it for a while to stay upright until my circulatory system decided that it wouldn't explode my heart through my chest after all and all of my limbs worked again.


I resumed my hike without so much as a pale shadow of my earlier tranquility. I kept looking back over my shoulder every couple yards and getting startled by every noise that occured. The frikken squirrels were having a laugh riot at my expense. I'll tell you - once you get a serious spooking like that it takes a freaking loooooong time to return to normalcy.

I got to a portion of the shore that had quite a few cabins and immediately felt better. Civilization! Ahhhhh. Safety. Even if all of the cabins were vacant it was still a Man Place, know what I mean?

I lucked out at the cabins. Three were empty but the last one had occupants. Benny and Gail, two Quebecians who come down every year about this time to experience the autumnal color display in relative isolation. And they were friendly! Quebecians! I shit you not. I try not to fall into patterns of prejudice but I've discovered by hard experience that most Quebecians do not display a lot of warmth towards non-French speakers.

Benny and Gail are a definite exception to the rule. They're sixty-somethings with very outgoing personalities and a pair of wickedly warped senses of humor that had me instantly liking them. As soon as I mentioned the boat problem Benny offered to help. He has one of those bass boats that sits 4 inches out of the water with a motor the size of Michael Moore. No problem to take me up to the marina, happy to help. Gail insisted on having me stay for lunch before Benny took me over to the marina. We sat back in comfy canvas chairs around a goodly sized fire (it's chilly here, did I mention?), ate sandwiches and drank iced tea.

I told them about my scare in the woods on the walk over. Benny said it must have been a raccoon. There aren't any big animals around Mazinaw. I know that he's right but my writer's imagination keeps going back to it and painting a nasty hairy beast of the dark.

Gail asked about my bandaged thumb so I told them about hooking myself. Gail checked it out for me. She said that after 4 kids she was as good as any nurse I'd find. She pronounced it not infected and healing pretty well. Throbbing and swelling are at normal levels and will subside shortly. So all of you who have been following the story so far - tetanus shots do seem to work for the full 10 year period.

We drove over to the marina and found the shop closed. Closed? Yes, closed. Sign on the door said "Gone Fishing, Back in a Bit". Great. Nothing like specifics. Benny didn't want to leave me there in case the proprieter didn't come back today so we hung out there for a bit drinking beers from his cooler (Molsons, not Blues, but I'm nothing if not adaptable) and shooting the shit.

Nobody was there after about an hour so we decided to head back and that Benny would pick me up tomorrow and we'd try again. He invited me for dinner and I tried to beg off but he wouldn't take no for an answer. He's going to pick me up again at around 4. I am going to go try to write a bit now before chow time. Maybe I've had enough excitement to get the creative juices flowing again.

By the way, Bennie didn't hear of any fishkill around here. He said he's been landing lake trout regularly. He thinks the problem is my bait. The fish left after the season are too crafty to be sucked in by worms. Sounds as reasonable as anything else I can think of.

Posted by Charles at 01:04 PM | Comments (5)

And...he's off!

I'm heading out for Trek Around The Lake, Part 2. I've actually planned and prepared this time. I've got my backpack with lunch and a couple bottles of water and I'm wearing boots instead of sneakers. Hey, that's as much outdoorsman as I've got in me.

I think I'm out of dumbass mode. I ran the generator and thoroughly charged the batteries and refilled the house water system. At least if I screw up again and don't get to the marina I can tell you about it tonight. ;)

Posted by Charles at 08:29 AM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2003

Chuck is a dumbass

What a freaking moron! I feel about as intelligent as the average stamp right now.

Okay, so I started walking around the perimeter of the lake towards the marina. It was a gorgeous walk. I mean breathtaking. I was having a great time and all of my pissed-offedness over the boat evaporated. The trails aren't straightforward (they're animal trails so what would you expect?) so I was doing a good amount of doubling back and forging through on my own but it was all cool. There't not a whole lot of underbrush here so I didn't have any real problem. I just kept close to the lake so I wouldn't get lost and I was making good progress. I stopped by the handful of cabins that I came near but all of them were either unoccupied (it's post season now so I sort of expected this) or their tenants were out on the lake.

About an hour into my little trek I discovered just what an idiot I am. You see, a good chunk of the lakeshore on Mazinaw isn't shore at all. It's really really big cliffs. They're gorgeous too and have quite a history and following. They just aren't that gorgeous when you catch site of them and realize that they are between you and the marina and that you are an incredible dumbass because you should have walked around the lake sunwise instead of widdershins.

So I'm back now after trekking my dumb ass to the cabin again. It's too late to make the trip around the other side of the lake before it gets dark so I'll put that walk off until tomorrow.

For tonight I'll fish off of the dock a bit and then try again to get writing (but that doesn't seem to be going anywhere, unfortunately).

Posted by Charles at 03:41 PM | Comments (1)

We like our celebs hot and stupid

What happened to clever and witty celebrities? Where is the next Bob Hope? Why is it impossible for somebody like Janis Joplin to get popular in this day and age? All we get are mannequins molded after Barbie with the intellect of the average grasshopper like Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson.

On a recent episode of her MTV reality show "Newlyweds," Simpson didn't know if she was having chicken or fish while she was eating "Chicken of the Sea" tuna.

Simpson said she's good-natured about the flak she's received for the mistake, as well as for other mix-ups on the show — like thinking Buffalo wings are made of buffalo meat.

"I think it's fun. I've made a mess up on national television and everyone has been giving me a hard time about it, but it's better just to sit back and laugh at yourself," she said. "I do have my ditzy moments."

Ditzy moments? How about ditzy carreer? Back when talent, skill and intellect mattered you would have been lucky to be a back-up singer or a fly girl. Your only contribution to your own success is a tight ass and implants. Your manager gets you your songs, your choreographer does all of your moves. All you do is jiggle and spew.

Boy, oh boy. I guess I'm in a fairly pissed off mood about that motor. I'm normally not this bitter sounding. I'm off now for my trek about the lake. Wish me luck.

Posted by Charles at 11:10 AM | Comments (2)

Senate does something worthwhile

Senate approves anti-spam bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The U.S. Senate voted Wednesday to outlaw deceptive "spam" e-mail, and set up a "do-not-spam" registry for those who do not want to receive unsolicited commercial e-mail.

Similar legislation in the House of Representatives stalled as lawmakers try to hammer out differences between two competing bills. The Bush Administration said it supported the bill.

I don't know how enforceable this is as much modern internet harrassment originates from foreign countries but it's a step in the right direction.

The bill would not outlaw all unsolicited commercial e-mail, focusing instead on the fraudulent or deceptive messages estimated to make up two-thirds of all unsolicited commercial e-mail.

Oh. Never mind. They aren't serious after all.

The bill would also prohibit marketers from sending unsolicited messages to consumers who place their e-mail addresses on a "do-not-spam" registry, similar to the popular "do-not-call" anti-telemarketing measure launched earlier this month by the Federal Trade Commission.

Because that's working out oh so well with telemarketing.

State and federal law enforcers and Internet service providers such as EarthLink, Inc. would be allowed to pursue spammers, but individual users could not sue directly.

This is sounding worse and worse. Now they are creating legislation that defines an act as criminal and are making recompense for violations available only to corporate entities.

Forget my title for this post. I'll change it to Senate Maintains Collective Head Up Ass Despite Golden Opportunity when I get around to it.

Posted by Charles at 10:31 AM | Comments (0)

I wonder how long that hike will take

Definitely looks like I'll be taking a walk around the lake. I pulled the spark plugs from the motor and there is water in the engine. I'm not a mechanic but I know that is pretty bad. I have no idea how the cylinders can get water in them, though. I mean the thing was running just fine right to the point where I shut it off last time. Wouldn't it have died if there was water in there? I'm not talking a little water, either. The damn things are full so you can actually see the water right up to the hole the spark plug goes into.

Crap. I'll mess around here for a while and walk around to the marina after lunch.

Unless there's some handy mechanic reading this who can help me out with a virtual engine overhaul?

Posted by Charles at 10:07 AM | Comments (11)

Mither Frikkin Brikkin Racken

That's my Yosemite Sam curse, by the way. What could have me so peeved on such a glorious (yet chilly) autumn morning? What could put me into such a foul humor when I am surrounded by nature's tranquility and a panorama of peaceful colors?

It's the boat motor. Won't start. Not a chug or even a gasp. Just pull the cord over and over again and hear the disinterested sound of an outboard motor ignoring me. Choke is fine. Primer is fine. Gas if fine. All the wires are in their correct positions. It was running fine when I shut it off last. WTF?

I'm not stuck or anything. There are deer trails all over the place. I walk around the forest in the evenings and know the ones around the cabin pretty well by now. I don't think it'll be especially difficult to walk around the lake. I mean all you have to do is keep the water on one side and eventually you get there, right? Or I can row the damned boat back to the launch if I want to. I don't think I want to row this boat for better than 4 miles though.

There are some tools in the shed. I'm going to see what I can do to show the outboard how displeased I am with it's non-performance.

See if you're so nonchalant when I've got a screwdriver to your carbuerator you little bitch!

Posted by Charles at 07:53 AM | Comments (0)

October 22, 2003

Critters & Varmints & Beasties, Oh My!

The cabin and its environs are in ship shape. Amazing the sort of unconcious mess that a guy can leave over a week's time. Of course I did have some help. Some beastie attacked the mulch pile. Half rotten veggies, leaves and less identifiable stuff strewn all over the garden (already harvested before I got here so no big deal) and the path leading back into the woods (big deal, this is the path I use to take my evening constitutional).

That took way longer to clean up than it should have. Mostly because the smell was so bad I had to stop to retch every couple minutes or so. Nasty! Must have been a raccoon as there's nothing bigger than that up in these woods.

But it's all cleaned up now and so is the rest of the grounds and the cabin itself. I finished a steak on a stick and now I'm sitting back with a Blue and watching the stars. Beats the hell out of network television, I guarantee.

Posted by Charles at 10:44 PM | Comments (1)

Can't resist...must punditize...

Students Offer Bondage Class at College

VICTORIA, British Columbia - University of Victoria student curiosity about sex with ropes and knots has led a campus club to offer a bondage class because of concern for safety.

The "Bondage 101" workshop, not part of the university's official course curriculum, is scheduled Wednesday evening on campus by UVic Pride Collective, a gay-oriented student organization funded partly through student fees.

The group recruited bondage experts from an alternative lifestyle group to teach the three-hour evening class, "a workshop about safe use of ropes in a sexualized context," [spokesman Michael] Joyce said.

Where the hell were these people when I was in school? And why is this in Canada - shouldn't it be Berkeley?

Seriously though, shouldn't there be some limit to what student contributed fees are used for? Sexual fetish instruction is well beyond any conceivable line I can imagine.

Posted by Charles at 09:49 AM | Comments (5)

When fishing poles attack

Well yesterday was my first day back to a noon fishing schedule. I got hurt. I was baiting my hook when the damned pole fell into the lake and sunk like a stone. It took the hook right through my thumb. I screamed bloody murder while grabbing for the line with my other hand. I got it on the second try, just before the hook tore through my thumb. I yanked the pole back up into the boat and sat there cradling my hand. After a minute or so I was able to go through the tackle box and get the pliers but there was no hope of pulling it out - that sucker was set deep. I pushed it through enough to expose the barbs, snipped them off and then backed the damned thing out. I was so mad I picked up the rod and threw it as far as I could. It landed with a splash and bobbed softly up and down, bouyed by its cork base. That's right. It was kept afloat by its cork base.

I got a serious chill down my spine right there. That rod had sunk when it fell off the boat. I know it had. Hadn't it? Yes! It had nearly pulled that hook clear through my finger. But it couldn't sink. I had bought a corked rod specifically so it would float if I dropped it. It was floating right now, 10 yards away from me. What the hell? It must have just been the momentum of falling off of the boat that let it sink that hook. I had grabbed it and yanked it back in before it could even bob back up by itself. Yeah, that had to be it. Only some part of me wasn't buying that explanation and I felt another chill run down my spine.

I bandaged up my thumb (damn, that hurt!) and started up the outboard. I almost left the pole there but finally got disgusted enough at myself to stop and retrieve it before heading back to the cabin. It was early afternoon when I got home but I was tired and my thumb was throbbing so I decided just to go to bed. I popped a couple aspirin, washed them down with a Labbatt's Blue and headed to slumberland.

I'm feeling fine now but the thumb is throbbing a bit. It's a bit swollen but not too red so I don't think there's any infection happening. Still, I think I'll skip the lake today and clean up around the cabin.

Posted by Charles at 08:04 AM | Comments (7)

October 21, 2003

I caught a crappie "This big"

Gotta love a fish named "crappie". The problem is that I didn't catch a crappie "this big" or any crappie at all.

The first couple days out I got a couple of nibbles but that was about it. I knew there were some fish because I lost my worm every time I cast. It was very odd to get nibbles but no bites. Big fish bite, little fish nibble. I was there late in the season so the fish should have been on the largish size. Even though I was fishing at a bad time of day the place I was anchoring was usually teeming with rock bass and crappie. I had pulled them in hand over fist when I was up here as a kid. I started actually fishing then. The next couple days I fished presun, mid day, late, you name it. Never more than a nibble and I never got a worm back once it was dunked. Where the hell were the big fish?

I thought that maybe the lake had been fished out but I dismissed that idea pretty quickly. I've seen it happen before at other places but it just isn't a reasonable hypothesis for Mazinaw. The lake is just too big and too much stock is added each year for the population to be decimated by sport fisherman. I remembered reading about a fishkill in Georgia earlier in the year. That's when massive amounts of fish die, often from a bacteria or other infective agent. The dying fish polute the water with stress hormones and ammonia. That sets off a chain reaction as other fish stress and develop ich and velvet and then die, letting off stress hormone and ammonia that makes other fish stress, etceteras, etceteras, etceteras. The cycle continues until you have a fishkill and it can depopulate a body of water. I figured that Mazinaw must have had a fishkill. That would have eliminated the big boys and only the fry that survived or came down the streams would be present now. Nobody had mentioned a fishkill but I hadn't mentioned fishing at all when I rented the cabin or the boat so it may just not have come up. I've made a mental note to ask about it the next time I went in for supplies. The problem is therefore solved in my mind I'm going back to just afternoon trips and will continue happily drowning worms.

Posted by Charles at 07:51 AM | Comments (0)

I am a lousy blogger

Okay, I admit it. I got this blog all set up for me and I had every intention to use it but every time I tried to blog something it just didn't work. Not the MT - I mean me. Everything I wrote just seemed trite and stupid and I'd either not post it or I'd delete it after I reread it because it was so stupid. I think it was because I just wasn't into it. The subjects weren't mine and I'm just so sick of punditing (I do it for a living, why the hell did I think I'd enjoy doing it for a hobby?)

But all that has changed. I've got some interesting stuff to write on now. My own little mystery that I'm living right now. I owe you a bit of background from the past week and then I'll get into the good stuff:

So I was here for a week with no constructive writing, got the blog set up and was struggling to do something with it. I figured I was just too tense. I had to relax, let the spirit of the place infect me, ya know? I took the boat out each morning for a cruise around the lake. It’s a little 14 foot open fishing boat with a little outboard in the back. I had to rent it to get to the cabin since there’s no road coming anywhere near the place. No phone or electricity lines either, did I mention that? Yeah, I guess I told you about the phone but there’s no juice either. There’s a bank of deep cycling marine batteries and a generator. That’s mostly for the water pump; house water comes from the lake and you have to fill the reservoir early in the morning before the boats on the lake kick up too much silt and crap. While the generator’s going you can run a couple of appliances and still charge the big batteries. Those will hold a decent enough charge to keep the satellite receiver and one or two lights going throughout the night. I charge up the laptop batteries while I’m filling the reservoir.

Damn, I’m doing it again. I get on these freaking tangents and don’t even realize it. Yesterday I was grilling up pancakes and ran some trash out to the compost pile. I ended up shooting the bow for like 15 minutes until I noticed the huge gouts of smoke coming out of the kitchen window. Anyway, I decided to take a week off – no writing. More correctly that would be no attempting to write ‘cause I sure as hell wasn’t writing anything anyway. So I started taking the boat out in the morning. Early. I kept it slow and quiet (it’s a little engine but those two strokes can get freaking loud) whenever I came near one of the other cabins. I let the place seep into me and just enjoyed the lake, the forest, the mountains, the sunsets, the sunrises. The whole place.

It was really tempting to go native. Just say “screw you, world” and walk off into the woods. My sanity was saved by that annoying voice of reason in the back of my head that reminded me of my total and complete lack of survival skills. Still, it was tempting.

I started fishing in the afternoons. I know, I know. That’s not the best time to fish. I wasn’t fishing to catch fish, I was fishing to relax. Actual fish would have been a distraction. So I’d take the boat back out, drop an anchor, drown a few worms, replenish the lake with some thoroughly bioprocessed Labatt’s. Yeah, I know it sounds gross. I was pumping my house water out of the lake and I was pissing into the lake. Do you honestly think a couple bladder-fulls of my urine made a difference? You’ve got a million birds, fish and critters pissing and crapping in there. Besides, I never fished anywhere near the cabin and the tap water is filtered.

Anyway, that’s when the weirdness started; when I started to fish. More later - must go run the pumps or I won't be having a shower today.

Posted by Charles at 07:25 AM | Comments (1)

October 17, 2003

Welcome to Writer's Noose

Hello all and welcome to my blog. Odd name for a blog, eh? I'll get to the reasons for it in a little bit. First things first. My thanks to Pixy Misa for giving me a spot here in Munuviana and to Jim for convincing me to start it and giving me the intro to Pixy Misa.

Now, on to the name of the blog. This requires a little bit of background but I'll keep it short for you.

Me: My name is Charles but I go by Chuck. Some of my old friends still use Charley 'cause that's what my folks saddled me with as a kid. I'm a journalist who's trying to be a writer. "Aren't those the same thing?" you ask. No, my friend. Journalism is regurgitation. Writing is creation. I'm a text puker for the "other" paper in Rochester, NY. The one without enough circulation, sales or advertisers to stay afloat much longer. The one that isn't owned my a multinational. I take stories off the AP wire, edit them, punditize them, and submit them. Original content is not encouraged. Once in a great while I'll get to write some sap about a regional club meeting or other such rubbish. I want to be a writer. I want to CREATE.

My problem (part 1): I can't write at home. There is always something that intrudes. Work. Women. Neighbors. Noise. I just can never seem to sit down long enough for the creative process to really start up. My muse keeps leaving messages but I don't have the time to call her back. I've got outlines, plot lines, storylines, anecdotes, characterizations, you name it. I've got all of the pieces and I just need a bit of Me time to glue them all together.

Solution to problem (part 1): I came up here to Lake Mazinaw in the glorious province of Ontario, Canada (the 51st state of the Union). I've been here before, as a kid. I came up on a two week vacation with my folks and the one thing that stuck about the experience (besides catching them en flagrante delicto) was how unbelievably peaceful the place is. Dad got me in touch with the folks we rented a cabin from back then and they got me in touch with the folks that they sold the cabin to. Badda boom, badda bing, I'm on sabbatical. Two months in an isolated cabin on the lake. No phones, no neighbors, no interruptions. No television but a satellite uplink for the laptop (the place is billed as a businessman’s retreat now). Well, that’s not exactly fair. There is satellite tv set up here but you have to bring your own tv and I didn’t. After all, I’m here to write, not to entertain myself right?

My problem (part 2): I can’t write. Not a fucking word. Since I got here I haven’t written a single worthwhile sentence. I spent days going over my notes. I don’t have any idea what I was thinking when I wrote them. It’s like some other person jotted all of that crap down and none of it fits together in any way I can see. My muse got pissed that I didn’t return her calls and has gone looking for a more attentive partner. This is my one and only chance to get a book written. I am not wealthy. This two month sabbatical is draining every bit of my savings. I cashed in my retirement account. I am totally fucked. This is way worse than writer's block, it's writer's noose (therefore the blog name - clever, eh?)

Solution to problem (part 2): I wrote to Jim about the writer's block (we were in the same lit class in college) and he reminded me of what old Prof Shail told us. Shail said that there is no sure cure for writer's block but he had one method that usually helped him. "You can't write? Write anyway." He told us that when you can't write what you want, write what you can. Keep in the habit of writing and eventually you'll start to really write. So Jim convinced me that blogging was the way to go and here I am now.

Posted by Charles at 12:04 PM | Comments (5)