Sunday, March 29, 2009

Delaying again

I'm running a little behind on today's blog. What with all the traipsing around and interruptions for one thing and another, I delayed writing it, and kept delaying. A good deal of the time was spent on the sequel to "The Upamona Gold Claim Wrangle" which I've dubbed "Red Returns to Upamona" for the time being. It still requires a good deal of of work. I've been going through it and changing the dialect language into plain English and removing some of the swear words, not that I find them offensive, but it seems to bother some publishers, while others want more of it.

This one hasn't been rejected by any yet, since I've never sent it out. But I want it to be in fairly tip-top shape when I do. So, will continue with the changes.

Marsha Ward has a new book available titled "Trail of Storms," published by IUniverse and is availabe through Amazon, cost $l6.95 or E-books for $6.00. Congratulations! I thought I would mention it since I have SO MANY READERS of the blog, but you can always go to her blog, "Writer in the Pines" and check it out.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Festival of the West

This past Sunday, my wife and I attended the 19th Annual Scottsdale Festival of the West at a place called WestWorld in North Scottsdale, well it used to be North Scottsdale, but now it's more like mid-Scottsdale since they annexed the area clear up to Carefree-Cave Creek. It's north of Old Town, though, just off Highway 101. This year they were celebrating Wyatt Earp History as portrayed by Randolph Scott (1939) in "Frontier Marshal"; Richard Dix (1942) "Tombstone The Town Too Tough to Die"; Henry Fonda (l946) "My Darling Clementine"; Hugh O'Brian (1955) Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp"; Will Geer (1950) "Winchester 73"; Bruce Box Leitner (1983); Kurt Russell (1993); Tombstone"; Joel McCrae (1955) "Wichita"; Kevin Costner (1994) "Wyatt Earp", and Burt Lancaster (1957) Gunfight at the O.K. Corral".

Western Authors featured were Gayle Martin, author of "The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" and "Billy The Kid". She was in a booth signing her books. Dixie Northcott, author of "Trekking Home". Passed away in Nov 2008. Cleo W. Robinson, Jr., "Trails and Tales of Sanderson Texas". Alice Thompson, "American Caravan".

Celebrities in attendance: Peter Brown, Don Collier, Ben Cooper, Michael Dante, Richard Eyer, Ed Faulkner, Robert Fuller, Ty Hardin, Robert Horton, Whitey Hughes, Lincoln Lageson, Charlie LeSueur, Wyatt McCrea, David Matuszak, Mike Moroff, Denny Miller, Tom Reese, Rusty Richards, Cheryl Roberts Barnett, Paul Savage, Stella Stevens, Buck Taylor, Clint Walker, Beverly Washburn, and Johnny Western.

There were several Old West wagons and Tepees, horses, Percherons, horse races. Hole in the Wall Poetry and Musicians, plenty of Western Music and Musicians, all sorts of food sales, and around 250-300 tables and booths selling everything Western you could think of, boots, leather, furs, jewelry, guns, etc.

The reason I went was to attend the Writer's Seminar, but the schedule never listed any particular time for the events, since everything was taking place at the same time, all day everyday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So, we were there a couple hours, saw something of everything, ate a sandwich and came home. It was a nice outing, and next year I plan to participate more, maybe.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax; Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes; Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax; Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Surcharge Tax;Telephone State and Local Tax; Telehone Usage Charge Tax; Use Tax; Utility Taxes; Vehicle License Registration Tax; Vehicle Sales Tax; Watercraft Registration Tax; Well Permit Tax; and last, but not least, Workers Compensation Tax

According to the e-mail, not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids. And I still have to press l for English!!!????!!!! What the Hell?

And yet, in the late 1920's the country sank into the worst Depression the country has seen and continued until World War II, which ended in 1945 and brought a new era of thinking and the Marshall Plan, which revitalized Western Europe.

And the rest is history, but we have to be reminded once in a while of all the changes that have taken place and are occurring as we speak, some good, some bad. The Nation will survive in spite of Congress and their continual hunt for money from tax payers.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Medicare Tax, Personal Property Tax, Privilege
tax, Property Tax, Real Estate Tax, Service Charge Tax,
Social Security Tax, Road Usage Tax, Sales Tax, Recreational
Vehicle Tax, School Tax, State Income Tax, State UnemploymentTax (SUTA) and there's more next time.

Speaking again of genealogy, here are some books I'd like to take a look at or maybe buy one of these days (available from the Hutchinson Book Company Catalog):

1. Early Ohio Setters. My great-great-great-grandfather was one of the first settlers in Northern Ohio, but he had relatives who settled south and a little west of him, one of whom was named Lora (first name), who, at first, I thought was a female, but he wasn't. He was a friend of the John Brown family who settled nearby, and was one of the people that Mr. Brown wrote to before he was hanged for his slavery work in Virginia.

2. Centennial History of Susquehanna County, Penn. More relatives were supposedly early settlers or passing through and stayed for awhile.

3. Histroy of Susquehanna County

4. Centennial History of Oregon

5. Oregon Portrait and Biographical Record of Western Oregon

6. History of the Willamette Valley

7. Early Connecticut Houses. Connecticut was where most of my ancestors settled, Hartford, Litchfield, Norfolk, Simsbury, Windsor, and other places. The histories and biographies of the first settlers and others of any of these places may turn out to be a wealth of knowledge

8. Portrait and Biographical Record of Denver and Vicinity

I don't necessarily want to own these, but I would like to thumb through them and maybe latch on to one or two just for my own amusement and knowledge.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Taxes/Trouble at Sagrado excerpt

Food License Tax,Fuel Permit,Tax, Gasoline Tax,Gross Receipts Tax,Hunting License Tax,Inheritance Tax, Inventory Tax,IRS Interest Charges on IRS Penalties (Tax on top of Tax),Liquor Tax,Luxury Taxes,Marriage License Tax (to be continued)

Excerpt from "Trouble at the Sagrado Ranch":

There were two corrals placed around the barn area for the horses, a large one and a smaller one they used to hold two or three animals for breaking purposes or some other reason. This morning there were two horses in the small pen, a beautiful black and a sorrel. The wrangle had the sorrel tethered to a post in one of the corners and had just lassoed the black. He was getting ready to throw on a saddle. Mr. Hawkins was the ony other person there as there as the two young men approached.

"Getting ready to tackle Black Velvet, is he?" LeGrand said to his Pa.

"For the second time, yup. He got threw off the first time."

"Want me to hold that rope, Lute, while you put on the saddle?" LeGrand asked.

"Nah, it's fine."

Lute was a man of average size, tanned by the sun in the exposed places, strong, slim, and confident in what he as doing. The three spectators watched him as he put on a demonstration of the bucking horse variety. He let Velvet have his way, urging him on as he went flying around the corral, clinging to the saddle with both legs, and holding on to the reins and saddle horn as he bounced up and down. He hung on untl the horse made a final kick and put the front legs and the back legs together in a wild buck. Lute went flying over the rails, landing on his head and shoulders, the momentum carrying him in a somersault and coming to a rest in a sitting position in the dirt, unhurt, his hat askew, but still attached to his head. He sat there with his arms around his legs, taking a few deep breaths and staring around at the hills in the distance.

"Is this a new way to practice cartwheels, Lute?" Mr. Hawkins asked. "Or are y'all just taking a break?"

"I was just admiring the view of the hills over there, is all," he replied when he had sufficient breath. "I think that horse is trying to kll me, though!"

"I think y'all did a great job at riding there," said Thad. "Are you going to try it again?"

"You bet! I think he's about ready to give in and let me be the boss," Lute replied, slowly getting to his feet. He climbed through the rails, grabbed a rope and lassoed Velvet, who was on the other side of the enclosure. Lute made his way to the center as Black Velvet started running around the corral. The horse slowed down as Lute talked to him, and soon Lute was standing by his side, petting his neck and forehead, and letting him smell and touch the roipe with his lips as he removed it. Lute mounted to the saddle and the horse started bucking again. Lute hung on for two or three gyrations, and the horse stopped and trotted around the corral. Lute let him have free rein, as he paced around, and then tightened up, and the horse stopped. Lute dismounted and removed the saddle and blanket, then the bridle and reins. Velvet kicked up his heels and trotted away with his tail in the air.

Lute said, "I'll try him again tomorow, maybe take him for a ride."

"Try this sorrel. See what he's going to do," Mr. Hawkins said, "That's all we have right now."

End of excerpt.

I think I've done about all I can, except for a few minor adjustments here and there, and will give it to my editor for her perusal.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

More on Taxes/Steaks

Today is the day we start the list of taxes people must pay, and pay, and pay:

Accounts Receivable Tax Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA) Fishing License Tax

That's a good start, but we've barely touched the surface. There's talk about adding a mileage Tax for every mile you drive. and that's only one new one that may be added to the list in the near future. And a Brooklyn assemblyman proposed a bill that would require a patron of a strip club to pay $10 to the State each visit to a strip club or topless joint. And then there will be the increases to pay for the Obama Budget and Stimulus Packages.

Some years ago while in Paris, I talked a couple friends into eating at a restaurant on the Ile St. Louis, where I had eaten a good meal a few times of steak and trimmings. It was reasonably cheap and you were served a fair-sized portion, including baked potato and a veggie. That was the main reason, the price, why I even mentioned it to them. The friends (two) and their wives showed up just as I as entering the establishment, so we all sat down, ordered the steak, discussed whatever came up, mostly jokes, while waiting for the food. The steaks came and everyone dug in. When the meal was about half demolished, Eb spoke up, saying, "My steak is great, but I don't think it's steak. Tastes more like mutton to me." Of course, I laughed. Mine tasted fine to me. Then the other friend, Jim, joined in, saying, "Yep, it definitely tastes like mutton to me, too." And their wives spoke up, all agreeing it was mutton. To me, it tasted like beef, and good beef. Well, it turned out to be MUTTON, and they never let me live it down.

Growing up, we ate a good share of mutton, since there were plenty of sheep around. There were also plenty of cattle, but, due to the cost, we didn't get beef regularly. My mother would cook the mutton, and about everything else, frying it in lard till it was good and well done and tough. And we ate it and liked it, but it never tasted too good. That's why I was surprised about those steaks in Paris, it sure tasted better than any I had ever eaten.

My friend, Willie, a member of the Air Force, bought a volkswagen brand new, black and shiny.
He invited, a WAVE (Navy) friend, an Army WAC, and myself to take a ride into Paris with him. So we piled in and headed down the autoroute through the 'burbs and into downtown, stopping at one of his old haunts. We drank a couple of rounds, toasted his new VW, and went to another watering place on the left bank and continued toasting his new car among other things. He then started the drive to our various places of rest, going up the rue St. Georges or one of those wide avenues, being about one AM in the morning. There wasn't much traffic when Willie plowed in to the rear-end of another vehicle, smashing in the bumper and denting the fenders and hood of his new vehicle. There was the usual cussing and yelling in French of the other fellow, but the rest of us stayed seated, no one being hurt, while Willie took care of it. The gendarmes showed up, settled the argument, gave Willie a citation, and we continued home. I didn't have far to go, living down by the Louvre, and the others drove away.

Willie was scheduled to leave for the U.S. in a month or two, but he was put on "Hold" while the case was settled. When I shipped out some time later, a year or so, and now in Belgium, Willie was still in France waiting. He didn't seem to mind, since he was thoroughly enjoying himself.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Brown's Park or Hole/Note on editing

When he's gone,
Do not relax.
It's time to apply
The inheritance tax.

I've been reading Will Henry's "One More River to Cross," and am about two-thirds through it. It's the story of Isom Dart, called Ned Huddleston in the book, but didn't have a name, being a slave. It says he used his owner's name. But it perked my interest when I remembered I had read another book containing Isom Dart. That one was the "Story of Brown's Park," or the "History of Brown's Park," the area also known as Brown's Hole on the Green River in northeast Utah and Western Colorado not far from the "new" Flaming Gorge Lake. That history of Brown's Park included Butch Cassidy and his gang, and was a well researched exposition of the area and the Park. Not that Will Henry's isn't, but his is more of a personal account of Huddleston.

Anyway, I'm really enjoying "River". Ned Huddleston gets into all sorts of messes and predicaments, like being tied to a big tree on the ground and left to die, betrayed by his woman friend and unable to free himself. It is well-written, moves along at a good pace without getting sidetracked . It was originally copyrighted in 1967, but the edition I have is a 1998 version by Leisure Books, pocket size.

Have been unable to start on editing of "Sagrado Ranch" due to the prepration of taxes. It (taxes) is taking longer than I expected. It might be two or three weeks or more before I can get to it. "Ranch" might be considered a sequel to "Tom Anderson," as it contains some of the same characters.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Trouble at Sagrado Ranch

Put these words
Upon his tomb,
Taxes drove me
To my Doom.

"Trouble at the Sagrado Ranch," is a novel I've written about the Hawkins family of Texas, formerly of Virginia. It is a tale of Pete Hawkins, the oldest off-spring, and Thaddeus Hawkins, third in line, who have arrived back in Texas on the very day the Civil War ended, having been fighting for the Confederacy. Reaching the old homestead in a state of excitement, they find it empty, no cattle anywhere, vacant. They visit a neighbor, Mr. Blain, to find out where everybody is, and Lila Hawkins, a younger sister runs to greet them and tells them the family has moved to Sagrado, New Mexico, to run a ranch for an eastern owner. Their brother, Adam, has run off to San Antonio, because he doesn't like the cattleman's life.

Pete and Thad decide to head to Sagrado, paying a visit to Adam in San Antone, find out he's managing a hotel, is married to Sylvia Guntersbach, a young friend, and has a baby. Pete and Thad continue to Sagrado, signing on with a wagon train as scouts and cattle trailers. After some trouble on the trail, they reach El Paso, leave the train, and continue on to Sagrado, visiting Mesilla, Las Cruces, Fort Selden, and Leasburg, where they nurse their bruises after a terrific fight in the Flat Rock Saloon. They pass over the dry, dangerous Jornada del Muerte and reach Socorro. While freshening up and resting for the next leg to Sagrado, a wagon rolls into the town with their younger brother, Willie, coming for supplies, escorted by a wary Shorty Jones and two others.

Well, I think that's enough of an introduction to see what it's about and where it's going, but I haven't mentioned the Apache troubles and the stealing of cattle by Shorty. Oh, well, I think you get the idea. The manuscript is complete, and I will now start the revising, editing, adding, deleting portion of producing a publishable story, at least to my satisfaction, anyway.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Money matters, editing

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave.
Tax the sod
In which he's laid.

What the Hell is the definition of "basis", as in tax preparation. The instructions are not very clear on this from my way of thinking. Maybe by April 15, I'll get it figured out, since that's the day that ends this year's tax season. Maybe someday, the IRS will issue another pamphlet to go along with the foot-thick rules and regulations that will explain further what the definitions of some of their terms are, and it'll probably another foot thick. Then they'll have to distribute a pamphlet to explain that written in Government gobble-de-gook that no one can understand. It'll be a never-ending paper production. It's their job security.

Its been about two weeks now since I sent a request to a bank to explain the status of something, which they indicated they would get back to me in up to ten days. I hope they are still in existence by the time I get an answer to the simple question. It would be nice to receive it before the tax deadline though, which gives them another month and a half.

My editor-in-chief (my beautiful wife) was given the manuscript of "Anderson" to read and make any changes that strikes her fancy. She's great at catching typos and grammar, and I'm sure there will be enough to keep her occupied for awhile. If she brings it back and tells me "throw it away!", I'll take it that she didn't like it. But, I think she will mean by that to send it to a publisher instead of trashing it. Just get it out of her sight, she's probably sick of me talking about it and teling her how wonderful it will be when I finish it before she even starts.