Minden Siren Remains Under Protest


Minden, like Virginia City, sounds a siren each day.

A group of more than 50 people gathered for an eight-mile protest run at the sounding of the siren on Sat., May 28. The town used to sound the siren each evening starting in 1921, requiring people of color to leave town at sundown through 1974.

While the siren’s continued use honors the volunteer fire department and first responders, protestors regard it as a painful reminder of former racist practices. Nevada banned sundown sirens in 2021, though Minden officials claim the law does not apply to their siren because it honors first responders under the town’s 2007 retroactive ordinance.

Following the state law’s passage, town manager JD Frisby and Washoe Tribe chairman Serrell Smokey agreed to change the evening siren from 6 p.m. to 5 p.m.

They issued a joint statement that the change would “acknowledge the volunteer firefighters and first responders who have been historically dispatched by the town siren” and “honor those hurt by archaic sundowner mandates of prior eras.”

The siren was silenced for two months in 2006 while officials and townspeople debated its purpose in 21st century Carson Valley, resuming its official sounding on Veterans Day that year.

L.A. Man Has Strange Encounter on Geiger


On a weeklong business trip from the Los Angeles area to Reno, George Marrón decided to take some time and visit Virginia City on Wed., Jul. 20, at about 7:30 a.m.

“I haven’t been up here in several years,” he said. “I expected it to have changed, gone modern, or something, but it hasn’t. It would be a great place to retire.”

He had asked us where he could get a cup of coffee and something to eat, and that’s how we met. In minutes, we sat outside at the Canvas Cafe’, where he shared his odd tale, an event from about half an hour earlier.

Marrón, 43, is a large man, broad-shouldered and tan. He provides landscaping for multimillion-dollar developments throughout the Western U.S., and he’s been a success at it for nearly 25 years.

“I was just passed the summit, and the sun was blinding me,” Marrón said. “I was having a hard time seeing the road when I suddenly saw a man walking in the middle of the highway.”

Marrón paused, looking around and lowering his voice, “I thought I hit him. I pulled off the road, grabbed my cellphone, dialed 9-1-1, then looked back to see if I could see the guy, but he wasn’t there.”

“The dispatcher answered as I was getting out of my car to go look and see if I could find him,” he continued. “I told her what happened, and she told me I wasn’t the first caller reporting someone walking in the roadway in that area.”

“A trooper met me, walked up and down the road, checked my car for damage, and said there was nothing to be done,” Marrón said. “Then he said, ‘Must have been a ghost or something.'”

“Can you describe the man?” we asked.

“Not really,” he answered, “I know he was thin, seemed dirty or maybe scruffy.” He paused, looking off into the distance, before adding, “And now that I think about it, I don’t remember him having feet or anything below his knees.”

We sat quietly for a minute before Marrón shook his head, “I’m Catholic and not supposed to believe such things, but now I think I’ve changed my mind.”

We finished our lunch in silence.

He Shall Forever be Mississippi to Us


We are sad to hear of the passing of a longtime rodeo competitor nicknamed “The Jewish Cowboy” on Wed., Jul. 6, at his Los Angeles, Calif.

Most people know him better as actor James Caan. Many do not know that he was a team roper competing in some of the top-ranked roping events in the 70s and 80s, earning $2,404 in his PRCA career.

From the Desert Sun, dated Feb. 2, 1973:

“The secret is out. Daredevil rodeo rider Jimmy Caan of Columbia Falls, Montana, who has thrilled fans at Las Vegas, Los Angeles’ Forum, and numerous other big western professional rodeos is also James Caan, one of Hollywood’s brightest and most acclaimed young stars.

Caan, who specializes in rodeo team relay contests along with his stuntman-friend Jimmy Nickerson, is a registered professional rodeo competitor. He was good enough to be accepted over a year ago into the Rodeo Cowboys Association so that he can enter any professional contest.

The talented actor…started to use the Montana identification after surviving a barrage of “Hollywood cowboy” wisecracks when he made his professional debut last year in the Las Vegas Rodeo using his correct residence credit. He thereupon decided to borrow a Montana friend’s hometown to avoid movie star prejudice, either pro or con.

Caan, who grew up in New York City, always loved horses, riding, and rodeos as a youngster. His involvement in rodeo riding started when he met a Nevada rancher who taught him the intricacies of “bulldogging,” “steer wrestling,” and the other specialized roping techniques used by rodeo contestants. He became so proficient in these techniques that he bought his own horse, which he keeps at a Sylmar ranch not far from his Beverly Hills home.

Caan is most expert at team roping, a two-man event in which he works together with stuntman Jimmy Nickerson…”

In 1975, Caan reportedly snuck off during the production of Funny Lady to participate in a roping competition in Palm Springs. He broke his right arm during the event and had to remove it during filming.

He roped steers on the rodeo circuit and was often injured. He had so many stitches and screws in his shoulders and arms that sportswriter Jim Murray said, “Jimmy Caan was not born, he was embroidered.”

Caan loved sports and acknowledged in stories that he found competing in the PRCA challenging. He became interested in roping while on location in Nebraska, filming the 1969 movie “The Rain People.”

“I didn’t know what I was doing in the beginning, but I’m a good mimic,” Caan was quoted in the 1983 Official ProRodeo Media Guide. “I worked hard at my roping and learned it.”

Caan added that he enjoyed competing with PRCA cowboys.

“I like the way they treat me,” Caan said. “It was hard to win their acceptance and respect. At first, they figured here comes this Hollywood actor wanting to play cowboys. I had to win to be accepted. After you win a few times, they treat you like just another guy out there competing and who can beat them sometimes. You can just be yourself. I don’t know what it is. It is partly being able to act out a kid’s fantasy. But I like being around them. It cleanses my brain.”

In 1980, Caan competed in the 1974 PRCA Team Roping World Champion with H.P. Evetts and won money at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver with a 7.3-second run.

“I think the reason the cowboys accept me is because I’m at a rodeo to win,” Caan said in a Jan. 14, 1980, PRCA press release, “I’m not some Hollywood guy who acts like a professional roper, I am one. As a matter of fact, my rodeo accomplishments mean more to me than my Oscar nomination for the “Godfather.” There’s something about rodeo dirt that makes me feel clean – it gets me away from the fakery of Hollywood, and back to the basics.”

While “The Godfather” or “Elf” come to mind as favorite Caan movies, we remain partial to “El Dorado.” In it, Caan worked alongside John Wayne, whose final film, “The Shootist,” was filmed at the 1914 Krebs-Peterson House down the hill apiece in a quaint little burg we like to call Carson City.


My Cousin Elmo says, “So, when a baby crawls across the floor for its bottle, it’s cute, but when I do it, I need an intervention.”

Knothole of Eternity


It was a three-day weekend, and my friend had loaned me the use of his cabin for a short holiday retreat. I pulled in by early afternoon and unpacked my truck.

Once set up, I poured myself a small glass of Candian whiskey, pulled a chair from the small table by the wall, dragged it out onto the porch, and sat down. As I sipped my drink, I looked down the long valley towards the massive mountains to the south.

“That’s gonna be a magnificent view as the sun comes up in the morning,” I thought.

For how long I sat there, I don’t know. I do recall getting up and pouring myself another drink, returning to my chair.

A minute later, I noticed a knothole in the wood deck. Slightly intoxicated, I got down on my knees to peek into the hole to see what I could.

Bending over, I toppled, smashing my forehead hard into the plank. As I hit the board, something poked me in the eye.

Surprised, I got to my feet and jumped from the porch to look under it. The space was about a foot between the dirt and the planking, but nothing was there.

Confused, I stood up and found I was no longer alone. In the chair, I once occupied sat a man.

He was dark-skinned, younger than me, but had a white beard and head full of hair color. He wore blue jeans, a tee shirt, a zip-up hoody like me, and sandals.

“Howdy,” he said.

His sudden appearance did not alarm me, though looking back, it should have.

“Where did you come from?” I asked.

“Oh, I been around,” he answered.

“And, who are you?”

“You know.”

“Are you the one who poked me in the eye?”

“Yup.”

“Why?”

“To get your attention.”

For a few seconds, I stood there staring at the stranger before I asked, “You hungry?”

“Famished,” he said.

We went inside, where I prepared dinner; steak, baked beans, a sliced-up tomato, and a drink of choice.

“I have soda, whiskey, or water. Sorry, but I don’t have any wine.”

“No problem — I’ll have water.”

We ate our dinner in silence. Afterward, we spent the night and small hours of the morning talking about theology, politics, food, and women.

“Redheads,” he said often.

At some point, my mind became so full that I became forgetful. The sun was cresting the far away mountains when I woke up.

I was on the bed, covered by my sleeping bag, and my guest was gone.

Then I looked at the table and saw a note written on a small piece of paper. It read, “Thank you for dinner and the conversation. We need to talk more often, J.”

Quickly I went outside to look for him and found no one. On the porch, by the leg of the chair, sat an empty bottle of Canadian whiskey.

I thought, “I shouldn’t have drank so much.”

Then I noticed that the knothole was gone, and I rushed inside, recalling the note. It was in a script that I did not recognize.

For the longest time, I sat on the edge of the bed, puzzling over what had happened and wondering if it were real or an alcohol-induced hallucination. The remainder of my weekend, though restless, was what one could only call ‘normal.’

Returning home, my wife was concerned at how fiery-red my face was, saying I should be careful about getting so much sun as I could develop skin cancer. She suggested I apply a health layer of aloe vera, which I did to calm her fears.

Two days later, I took the note left for me to a linguist at the local university.

“Where did you get this?” she asked with some excitement.

I told her, though I could tell she was somewhat skeptical.

“Well, you should hold on to it — it’s ancient Aramaic, also known as Jewish Babylonian Aramaic, and it’s been unused since 200 Anno Domini.”

I stood there stunned, unable to speak.

“And by the way,” she added, “I’d get that sunburn looked after before it scars or you develop skin cancer.”

From the Pages of the Past


On Sun., Aug. 5, 1877, Samuel C. Davis, of the Virginia Chronicle, the wit, poet, and genial gentleman, was among the visitors at the turnverein picnic. He attempted to pass himself off as German several times during the day, but his act was flawed.

Otherwise, his conduct was exemplary.

On the same day, at about 3 o’clock, a man fell in the street, a short distance north of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad depot. It was supposed that he had a fit or a sunstroke.

He seemed to be unconscious for a considerable time, but after doused by a bucket or two full of water, he revived and exclaimed in stentorian tones, “B-boys le-lets take er drink o’ sunthin.”

The sympathizing stander-bys departed in disgust, favoring the conclusion that the old fellow was playing possum.

The morning prior bore witness to three children of Mr. Fricke, a farmer at Sheridan in Douglas County, severely injured by the explosion of powder stored in the rear of the house. Fortunately, it was only half a keg, as the rest had been sent into the mountains to be used by the woodcutters.

All of the children received severe burns.

And on Tuesday of the same date, in 1902, the upper portion of the Chollar shaft caved in at 4:45 this morning, wrecking the eastern or forward part of the main hoisting works building and the machine shop on the north side and part of the floor of the carpenter shop on the south side. The noise of grinding, creaking timbers aroused residents of the vicinity, who were soon on the ground viewing the wreck.

No one was hurt or died because of the cave-in.

De Quille’s ‘Traveling Stones,” Then and Now


One of the most famous stories ever crafted by Territorial Enterprise reporter Dan De Quille involves the Pahranagat Valley in eastern Nevada, about 75 miles northeast of Las Vegas on U.S. 93.

In the 1867 story, De Quille writes about having met a man from the Pahranagat Valley who showed him “a half dozen pebbles that were almost perfectly round,” saying that the rocks were “rolling stones,” which, when spread out, would gravitate together “like a bunch of eggs in a nest.”

De Quille described how the man would set the stones on a floor or table in a circle, and the rocks would start moving toward each other. He speculated that the stones probably rolled together because they were lodestone or magnetic iron ore.

De Quille received thousands of letters asking about the pebbles and a reported $10-thousand offer from P.T. Barnum.

In response to one 1871 inquiry, he wrote, “We have none of said rolling stones in this city at present but would refer our Colorado speculator to Mark Twain, who probably still has on hand fifteen or twenty bushels of assorted sizes.”

DeQuille finally revealed in a short 1879 article that he had made the story up.

“We are now growing old, and we want peace. We desire to throw up the sponge and acknowledge the corn; therefore we solemnly affirm that we never heard of any such diabolical cobbles as the traveling stones of Pahranagat — though we still think there ought to be something of the kind somewhere in the world.”

People refused to believe his retraction and thought he was lying, so he could keep the rocks for himself. But what De Quille did not know was that some 200 miles away in Death Valley, rocks do travel.

While no one has seen it happen, they leave tracks hundreds of feet long, and one 700-pound rock disappeared altogether in May 1994.

Arizona Playwright Recalls an Event at Piper’s 


Jeanmarie Simpson is artistic director of Arizona Theatre Matters, where she is working on her latest production, “When Churchyards Yawn,” billed as a spoof on “Hamlet,” by William Shakespeare.

“This is a pandemic-inspired piece,” Simpson said. “We were stuck, for a time, not knowing when it would end or where we would be when it was over.”

During an interview with Broadway World’s Robert Encila-Celdran, she recalls an anecdote from Virginia City.

“In the first production I directed at Piper’s Opera House in Virginia City, Nevada, something fabulously spooky occurred,” she said. “The theater had not been restored on the inside. It was getting a new roof, but there were still spots where you could see the sky through the cracks. and it was great fun for dark theater.”

“One night, a slew of bats swooped down over the audience just as Hamlet was saying [could I drink hot blood], and they circled him on stage then flew back over the house, and out the cranny whence they came,” she added. I’ve always held that passage in my heart as especially magical.”

“Beyond that, I imagine when churchyards yawn they expose Purgatory, which is where our play takes place,” she finished.

Unfortunately, unless something changes, Simpson will not be offering her play at Piper’s. Instead, it will appear during ArtTown, on Sun. Jul. 17th at 10 a.m. at Ali’s Alley, 836 E 2nd Street in Reno.

The Roomba Doom


Janice was a fan of horror movies and books and even dabbled in ghost hunting from time to time. So when she saw the area rug with the Ouija board design, she knew she had to have one.

It became the talk of her many friends, who believed it to be perfect given Janice’s personality. They failed to recognize the small changes in her, though.

It began the morning after she purchased the rug while she was gone. She had set the Roomba to vacuum the house, and it accidentally summoned the demon that slowly started taking possession of Janice.

Virginia City Survives Boil Water Order and Power Outage


Storey County issued a boil water notice on Tue., Aug. 16, in the afternoon for many Virginia City residents.

The county said through Twitter that the notice was for the areas between Sutton and Summit, Sutton and C Street, and C Street to the Virginia City Gas Station. The order was to be in place until Thursday afternoon.

No further details were forthcoming.

Then on Fri., Aug. 19, Virginia City residents were subjected to a power outage between Sutton and Carson Streets around 8:30 a.m. Though not directly communicated by the county, we learned the outage came in response to a pigeon contacting a high-power tension wire, causing the wire to fall.

“This actually happened to me once,” reports Aengus RJ Luker. “I lived in Pahrump, and we had Peacocks. Peacocks are seriously stupid. They can’t fly much, but they fly up and land on stuff to roost.”

“A cat walked under one of the roosting trees and spooked the peacocks,” Luker said. “One jumped straight up, hit a branch, and broke its bloody neck, while the other flew up and landed on the transformer.”

“All we heard was a big huge ‘ZaPoooof,’ and the power went out for the whole damn block,” he adds. “Every house, out of power for a long while, until the electric company got out there.”

“All we found was an exploded cooked peacock carcass and a buttload of burnt feathers scattered around,” Luker finished. “As I said, peacocks are stupid.”

Six Mile Canyon was closed at C Street for the duration with detours advised. The power was restored by 1:30 p.m.

Kachina Terror


Karen was excited to get her new purchase home. The Kachina doll was unlike any in her collection.

Proudly she set the figure on the middle shelf next to the colorful feathered dancers. She knew he would fit right in among the others.

With dinner over, she was busy cleaning the kitchen when she heard the dog growl, followed by barking, then by a pained yelp.

Karen walked into the living room only to find herself darted by a small arrow in her left breast, just above the nipple. She reacted to the pain to be met by two more arrows, one in her hand, another in her right cheek.

Then she saw her recent purchase jump from the shelf, screaming and racing towards her. The Kachina shot three more arrows, each striking her in her right thigh.

“Oh no you don’t,” Karen cried as she grabbed the doll at the waist and rushed back to her kitchen.

She flicked on the garbage disposal and shoved the figurine into the hole, “I saw ‘Trilogy of Terror’ as a kid, you little bastard.”

The Burn


Helene sat on her stoop, enjoying the cool Autumn air. Her joy broke by shouting from across the street.

It was Korean George hollering at someone to leave his corner bodega. A young punk hurried out as Korean George chased him, wielding a bat.

“And don’t lemme see your ass in here again.”

“Yeah, whatever gook-face.”

The man walked across the street to where Helene sat, grinning.

“What’ya staring at you old hag?”

“Just watching you.”

“Well, don’t, you’re gonna burn a hole in me.”

She smiled as he walked away, breaking into laughter when he spontaneously burst into flame.

History Repeats, Repeats, Repeats


0500 hours, October 26, and Wilson’s body continued to tingle as he stepped onto the wooden porch of Crazy Kate’s boardinghouse on A Street. Passing through the Gate did that to him every time.

He reached the door and tried the knob. It turned, and he pushed his way inside.

To his left was the glass oil lamp, as expected. It was lit, with the wick barely visible.

As he moved forward, he stepped on the tail of an orange tabby that had never been there before. The house cat screamed in pain and bolted between Wilson’s legs, throwing the man off-balance.

In trying to avoid the cat and regain his balance, Wilson bumped into the low table on which sat the oil lamp. Before he could react, it smashed to the floor and erupted into flames.

There was nothing he could do. The boarding house was a tinder box and exploded into a roaring conflagration.

All Wilson could do was return to the Gate and the 21st century, leaving 1875 Virginia City to burn yet again.

Audition Video: Cornered


Saturday, just after noon — I had finished delivering the last of the Comstock Chronicle and Dayton Valley Dispatch. My truck broke down, so I could not finish it the day before.

Driving up Six-mile Canyon, I happened on a woman in a small car with a flat tire. Knowing what it is like to wait for service, I pulled over and offered to help her, which she happily accepted.

During our few minutes by the side of the road and her car, I learned she was in the Comstock scouting locations for an upcoming dystopian film and looking for local talent. I told her about all the actors Virginia City had working in it, especially at the Cowboy Show next to the Storey County Fire Museum.

She gave me her card and asked if I had ever done any acting. Boy, I was glad she asked.

After I listed all my various film gigs, she told me to make a short audition video and email it to her, which I have. Now, we wait.

Tipsy


Tipsy the Clown stepped out of the bar and into the evening’s chilled air. Drunk, he proceeded to stagger to his clown car and climb in.

With his knees higher than the steering wheel, he turned on the car and stomped on the gas pedal. The tiny vehicle took off at a fast rate of speed, disappearing into the dark.

Suddenly there was a loud crash as Tipsy missed the sharp curve heading out of town and slammed into a huge tree.

When first responders arrived, they immediately radioed for 24 more ambulances. They had all seen this carnival show before.

Roast


“I found a new butcher’s shop today,” she said.

“What was wrong with the old one?”

“Nothing, it’s just that this one has better, leaner cuts of meat, and the prices are better.”

“How long have they been in town?”

“I’m not sure. Maybe two weeks or so.”

That night, at dinner, he agreed that the roast she had bought from the new butcher was tastier and more tender than what they had been eating.

She smiled.


Three counties away, the local sheriff was investigating yet another disappearance of a young child.

“That’s the third one this month,” he complained.

Alcohol Abused


As any service member can tell you, there is a penalty for alcohol abuse. In this case, we are speaking of spillage.

When it happens, punishment — erm — we mean discipline — must be provided to the offender. Though it varies from one duty station to another, a set of push-ups are generally the prescribed correction.

As I sat in the Union Brewery Saloon in Virginia City, I was startled by the sudden affections of a woman. As she hugged me and kissed my cheek, I knocked a newly decapped bottle of Yellow Belly to the floor.

Because of “muscle memory,” meaning I didn’t think first, I dropped to the hardwood floor and started “giving 25.” It became a sad spectacle as, by the ninth one, I knew I did not have it in me to finish.

My arms collapsed, and my back spasmed to the point I lay on the floor, flopping like a fish out of water in spilled beer. The laughter that ensued was not my intent, but I rolled with it anyway.

Now I wonder which needs more work, my push-ups or my alcohol abuse.

Smoke Day


it is not a smoke day for schools
pity the little school children
sitting in class and dreaming
staring out the smokefrosted panes
thoughts of making smokemen
creating winged smoke angels
tasting newly fallen smokeflakes
eyelashes catching smokeflakes
building not-so-secret smoke forts
having many smokeball-fights
and sledding down smokehill
on last years steel smoke-runner
gloves and knit smoke hat ready


My Cousin Elmo says, “Stop buying plastic skeletons for Halloween. They are bad for the environment. Locally sourced, all-natural skeletons are much more environmentally friendly.”

Them Was the Days


For the third time in the past six months, I played the song “The City of New Orleans,” by Arlo Gutherie, written by Steve Goodman. It’s a nostalgic tune about the passing of the railways throughout the U.S.

It leaves me both happy and sad.

The first thing I thought of when hearing it this time is the Virginia & Truckee Railroad and how hard Tom Gray, and his late father Robert, have worked to keep the engines moving. Then like a needle on a record that gets bumped, I skipped fancying if anybody would find a gas-powered engine nostalgic.

“Them was the days, boyos! The days!”

Lastly, I wondered if a song would ever find its way into American folk music.

“A salute to the ruling classes
U don’t know a gas-powered engine
Once was the proletariat workhorse
We would go four hundred miles on a tank again”

Nailed it!

News


Sometimes it is difficult writing and reporting for the newspapers of record in such small communities like Virginia City. All sorts of things can go wrong, like seeing a bad story about a friend.

That happened this week, and I had to bite the bullet and do my job, whether I wanted to or not. There was no way to soften the blow of stories subject — solicitation of a minor.

I consider everyone innocent until proven guilty, but many people prove themselves of the opposite thought.

Writing about death, whether natural or an accident, or unnatural, makes for a bad day. It is worse when the story fails to make the pages for whatever reason.

That happened about a month ago when a person’s obituary got deleted. I’m still sick to my stomach over that one.

Then there are the times I get caught by some opinionated loudmouth wanting to know why I didn’t report on this or that or to complain that I wasn’t harsh enough on a person in an article. The most recent happened while I was repairing the paper box in front of the post office.

I try to educate rather than argue.

“Think about the word ‘news,'” I often say. “It is an anagram for north, east, west, and south. It also contains the word ‘new.’ If it isn’t new information, it isn’t news. Further, the word ‘news’ doesn’t contain the word opinion, and therefore it doesn’t fit with reporting the ‘news.'”

They usually go away as angry as they were when first approaching me. I can be very stubborn about this, as I want my work judged on its fairness and not on whose side I stood when it came to small-town politics.

Lastly, there are times that I never hear about a story until after my weekly deadline of Tuesday at 5 p.m. In those cases, I have to wait for the following week.

Hey, I ain’t a mind reader, Mr. Barnum.

But before I can whip out a story, I need to judge if it is still relevant by following the ‘news’ as I laid out before. If it is, I move forward — if not, it is ‘redlined.’

To escape all this week-to-week drama, I read, draw, paint and write these dispatches to break the stress. Anyways…

Tuaca and Toast


It has been at least 20 years since I got my wife drunk on Tuaca. We both had hangovers the following morning, but hers was worse than mine because she is not a drinker.

We polished off the entire bottle of liquor, one shot at a time, before finally turning in at around 3 a.m. Honestly, a drunk sleep is like no sleep at all.

Hunger pangs got the better of her around 11:30 a.m. She decided on toast for her late morning breakfast.

She slipped two pieces of bread in the slots and pressed down. She must have forgotten or was half in a daze when the machine kicked the toast up with a pop less than a minute later.

I cannot recall the last time I heard her scream so loud.

Red


While I try never to take anything for granted, gospel truth (other than the Gospels) or random gossip, I did find myself intrigued by what others have to say about someone else in this small community called Virginia City.

For instance, no less than two people told me that Alexia Sober was playing host to a “Red meeting,” complete with vodka. Knowing Alexia as I do, it did not make sense as I know she would not dabble in Communism willingly or without purpose.

So I decided to find out by having breakfast at the Canvas Cafe and asking a few non-invasive questions. And after what I learned, I shall return in a couple of months or however long it might take to sample the homemade vodka that her boyfriend, Kyle Blanchard, is fermenting out of red potato peels.

Senator Joe McCarthy shouts, “Have you now or have you ever been…intoxicated?!”

“Yes, sir,” I yell back. “In fact, I still am!”

A Woman Named ‘Mudbutt’


When I first met Tina, she wore a beautiful Victorian-style gown with a corset and bustle underneath. I know this because I asked, which is not being rude as Virginia City reenactors want and like such notice.

Tina is her real name, but I only knew her reenactor name, Trixie. Out of costume, makeup, and character, I sometimes don’t realize I’ve already met them.

One early morning Tina stopped by the Sugarloaf Motel to pick up a pack of Marlboros from the mart there. There were four of us sitting around a picnic table conversing.

She took a seat, making it five. I did not recognize her, so I introduced myself.

Shaking my hand, she said, “We’ve met before on the boardwalk. I’m Tina, but most people call me Mudbutt.”

I could not help but develop a wide grin before asking, “Really?”

“Yup,” Tina answered.

“How did you get that?”

“It was given to me in high school after a game of ‘telephone.”

The game of ‘Telephone’ involves creating a message, like a short sentence, and whispering it into the ear of a participant until it returns to the original sender. In this case, the sender was Tina.

“What was the original message?”

“I have a beer gut.”

We roared with laughter.

SCP 18721981


It began as an innocuous posting on social media about an 1872 Nevada-California boundary marker made of cast iron near Verdi, Nev., being added to the National Register of Historic Places on Aug. 27, 1981. Things quickly spun out of control as someone replied, “‘Cast Iron Obelisk’ for when you want something durable, cheap, and ominous.”

Then the boundary appeared on the Secure, Contain, Protect (SCP) Foundation’s Web-based project:

  • SCP 18721981 is to be under armed guard and electronic surveillance. Due to SCP 18721981’s nature, it may be necessary from time to time to detain tourists lured into its minimum safe zone.
  • Do not look away from SCP 18721981 as it may suddenly accelerate to unsafe speeds. And if you begin to hear strange sounds while in the vicinity, try retuning your dental fillings to a different wavelength.
  • SCP 18721981 contains a liquid core. If a rupture should occur, do not touch, inhale, or otherwise view. If contact occurs, telephone the SCP Help line at 1-800-666-6666. Please press 2 for Español.
  • Use as directed as it may cause side effects. Do not use SCP 18721981 if you are pregnant or under 12. Ask your doctor if SCP 18721981 is right for you.
  • Do not place fingers or objects inside SCP 18721981 cage. Do not attempt to feed SCP 18721981. Do not taunt SCP 18721981. If SCP 18721981 assumes the voice of a loved one, do not listen.
  • The SCP 18721981 may stick to certain types of skin. If SCP 18721981 begins to smoke, get away immediately. 
  • Do not look away from SCP 18721981, as it may suddenly accelerate to unsafe speeds. And if you begin to hear strange sounds while in the vicinity, try retuning your dental fillings to a different wavelength. 
  • Ask your parents before using SCP 18721981 as it may cause priapism. If you experience an erection over four hours, call your doctor.
  • Only valid at the Nevada-California border. Do not use SCP 18721981 near other states as it does not play well with others.
  • Some restrictions apply. SCP 18721981 comes with a lifetime warranty.

Finally, some erstwhile traveler reported, “SCP 18721981 is along the old Emigrant Trail & Lincoln Highway, uncaged and living its best life near a picnic table.”

Not in the DNA


He was what they were looking for in a subject. His deoxyribonucleic acid was perfect, and he had withstood the various probes they had put him through in their last three visits.

For his part, he believed he had been suffering from nightmares. It was the last time, with the full-body paralysis and blue-green lights, that he understood they were not.

Once on board the intergalactic craft, they released him from his immobility, allowing him access to much of the ship. His willful eagerness surprised them.

They did not understand that they had unleashed a serial killer into their midsts.

His Eyes Said It All


Hell-Betty and I were walking down from Penelope Pennyworth’s Photographs, where she works, to the Washoe Club to meet her brother Bert the Hurt for a beer. We were chatting about our day, paying little mind to the visitors that filled the wood boardwalk.

As we passed the open doorway to the Silver Queen Hotel, a Latino man of about thirty came flying down the narrow staircase, nearly running the both of us down. It wasn’t like he meant to — he was just in a hurry and didn’t have the time to think that perhaps two or more people might be crossing in front of the door during his sudden escape.

Out of the doorway, he practically flew, chattering in his native tongue. His eyes were wide with surprise and fright behind his yellow lensed glasses.

“You would think he saw a ghost or something,” my friend quipped.

Hell-Betty and I laughed, knowing he probably did because we both witnessed that peculiar look before.

Dog Faced


Sitting in the back of Virginia City’s Union Brewery Saloon by myself, I watched a man and woman enter with their dog and take a seat at the bar. Carol Sisco took their order as their pit bull sat down facing me.

Every once in a while, the dog would prance his front paws and thump his tail as if he wanted me to pet him. I remained seated, watching and grinning at the young and excitable pupperz.

At one point, the man got up and walked toward me. I thought nothing of it, as the bathrooms are along the wall to the right, from where I was sipping my beer.

He stopped and demanded, “Stop smiling at my wife!”

“Sir, I was smiling at your dog,” I responded with a deadpan face., “I never smile at humans.”

Without saying anything else, he returned to his spot at the bar and let the dog off its lead so it could come down and visit with me. The pitty and I had a wonderful conversation without speaking a single word.

Page Ramos, 1943-2022


A few years back, Tonya Ramos and her late husband, Rich Irvin, reached out to me through social media to say ‘hello’ after I wrote my first spiritual encounter in Six-Mile Canyon. The couple wanted to visit Virginia City and that place.

Near the beginning of 2022, Rich passed away, leaving Tonya a widow. Then on May 17, Tonya’s mom, Page Ramos, entered the afterlife, only a few days before her 79th birthday.

Both people’s deaths left me sad, but because I’ve known Page all of my life, her’s hit me the hardest. There was even a time when I thought the Ramos and Olivera families (my mother’s maiden name) were cousins.

My mom used to refer to Tonya’s father, Tony Ramos (yes, she is named after him, and you’d best learn to say her name with a ‘tony’ in it) as family, as did my grandfather Joaquin Luis Olivera (whose name I bear as my second, third and fourth.) Page politely disabused me of the notion.

Last night I learned that Page had passed, and because of this, I fell asleep with a deep sadness in my soul. The feelings precipitated a dream where I was sitting in the back of a long hall, a cathedral if you will, where God was speaking, and being interrupted by two women giggling and laughing. It was Page and her mother, Theral Hammond (Tonya’s grandmother, a woman known for her jazz and honky-tonk style of piano playing.)

Then, I heard God ask, “Am I going to have to separate you two, again?”

I woke myself up, laughing.

Silvery Figure


Running late Friday morning, still needing to deliver the Dayton Valley Dispatch to the farther reaches of Lyon County, I was merrily speeding along U.S. 50, coming to the hill that drops into Stagecoach, when I saw it. That ‘it’ was a bright, silvery figure running across the sagebrush-strewn landscape.

Stepping hard on my old truck’s brakes, I swerved off the road and stopped. I fumbled for my cellphone, wanting to take a video of it, but because of my unsafe maneuver, it had fallen and slipped under the passenger seat. Instead, I sat there and watched as it raced behind a bush, squatted down, and vanished.

At first, I thought that maybe I saw a dust devil that had picked up a piece of aluminum foil or some metal flashing used in roofing construction. Then I looked around me, finding two other vehicles had stopped, and each driver was out of the car and truck, looking in the same direction I had been looking.

Getting out of my truck, I looked in the direction of the silver thing and found it nowhere. Then I looked again at the two who had also seen what I had.

The expressions on their faces were of disbelief, and I could tell neither one wanted to compare notes as each was quick to get in their vehicle and drive away. I sat there another 20 minutes or so, hoping to see it again.

Such an odd thing to happen in the middle of the day, on a busy highway, and only three person’s taking notice. Wishing my phone hadn’t gone under the seat.

The Nuckelavee


“But pleasures are like poppies spread,
You seize the flower, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snow falls in the river,
A moment white–then melts for ever;
Or like the borealis race,
That flit ere you can point their place…”

Tam o’ Shanter, Robert Burns, 1790

The press machine hummed and thrummed as I sat at the desk folding newspapers for the next day’s delivery. At my feet lay Buddy-dog, asleep, waiting for me to finish so we could go home.

“Clackity-clack” was the sound that came from outside the Virginia City shop, the old office for the long defunct Hale-Norcross Mine. Buddy raised his head, then sprang to his feet with a deep-throated growl.

I followed him to the doorway, where we both stood looking into the dusk of a quickly falling night.

“Hello,” I heard a woman with a brogue say.

Buddy’s ears laid back, tail upright and taut, the hairs along his backbone raised on end. I stepped onto the covered porch to see from where the voice came.

To the right of us sat mounted on a horse was a woman. She greeted me again.

“Hi,” I returned. “A bit late for riding in such rough terrain, no?”

“We get along fine in the dark,” she answered. “I am surprised to find anyone using this place.”

“Yes. We print the local newspapers here.”

“Ah, so that is the noise we hear?”

“Would you like to see?”

Buddy growled a low throaty warning.

“Thank you, but no, we must be getting along.”

“Okay,” I said. “Take care and stop by again.”

The pair moved away, clickity-clacking along the paved street. Meanwhile, Buddy remained on alert, ears back, hair raised, his tail erect.

By then, dusk had fully surrendered to the dark. And as the pair grew into one with the blackness, the woman seemed one with the horse, with no dangling legs or stirrups and unusually long arms.

“A trick or the light or a lack there of,” I said, dismissing what I’d witnessed.

Gone from his sight, Buddy finally relaxed and looked at me, tail silently brushing the wooden deck, ears unfolded but alert. I reached down and scratched the top of his head.

As I turned on the office light, closed the door, and dropped the ‘Sally bar the Gate’ board, he returned to his spot on the floor, and I finished folding papers.

A week later, I found myself in the same place, doing the same thing. This time Buddy was not with me.

As I came closer and closer to finishing the job, I once more heard a sound different from the others I usually heard. It was the visitor I had from the week before.

This time I went outside before she could call out her ‘hello.’ Again she was partly obscured by the sage and trees that shaded the porch in the afternoon.

Again the landscape was nearly fully engulfed in darkness. The woman again used the lack of light to her advantage as she sat on her horse.

“Come down and come in,” I said.

“I think you know we cannot do that,” she said.

“I do.”

“And yet you do not fear us.”

“I do not.”

“What manner of man are you?”

“Simply a man. What manner of being are you?”

“I am a Nuckelavee,” she answered as she moved away from her cover.

She stood there, a female torso fused to the shoulder of a large draft horse. The horse’s head was large and held a single eye the size of an old truck headlight.

“Why are you here?” I asked.

“We’ve been asking ourselves the same question.”

“No answer, eh?”

“None.”

“How long have you been here?”

“What is time to an eternal being?”

“So, what do you plan to do now?”

“Was going to kill you and your cù.”

“Why haven’t you?”

I find you intriguing. You don’t seem to be in fear of me.”

“Should I be?

She laughed, and the thing I mistook for a horse belched a flame that gave off a gaseous odor that caused my eyes to water. I waved my hand in front of my face to ward off the smell.

“Most humans would have screamed, cried, run away, begged for mercy and asked God to wake them from their nightmare,” she added.

This time I laughed, “What if you’re having a nightmare or your inside my nightmare?”

“And intelligent, too,” she said.

“That’s a first for me,” I smiled.

“You are intelligent,” she said. “You have me in a paradox: if I kill you, then I die. If you kill me, I die.”

I smiled. It was all I could do because I hadn’t thought that far ahead.

It was dark by then, and I had yet to turn my office light on, but I was not sure I wanted to as the horse was hideous, and her skin was ghostly pale. We stood silently observing each other as if we expected the other to blink, ending our mutual truce and admiration.

“I know where there is a portal, a doorway if you will to elsewhere.” I offered.

“You would help me in spite of my covert threat?” she asked.

“I heard no threat,” I replied. “I heard an unsure being in need of help, and I’m offering that help.”

“Interesting,” she said before asking, “Will you show me this place.”

“The Chollar Mine,” I said. “Go inside to the very end, and there you will find this doorway.”

“No price? No demand?” she asked, surprised.

“Nope,” I answered.

“You intrigue me like no other…man,” she offered as she spun in a circle.

“Be safe,” I said.

“You, too, human,” she smiled as she turned and galloped into the inky dark towards the mine.

All I could do was stand there in quiet disbelief, physically shaking and nauseous at the sight and smell of this Nuckelavee. The thing frightened me, but I refused to show my fear until the thing left.

Retreating to the porch, I sat in one of the old faded seats lining the outside shop wall, where I listened to the press as it continued to hiss and heave printed page after page into the tray. Minutes later, I saw a green glow akin to the Aurora Borealis rise and float from the direction of the Chollar.

I stood up, walked to the far end of the porch, and leaned over the metal railing, puking until empty.

Blinkered


Since the weekend, I have been experiencing problems with my truck’s left blinker. I turn it on, and then it fails to turn off, unlike my right blinker, which works perfectly.

After this morning, I know I need to repair it.

Turning off Pyramid Highway and into the Walmart parking lot, I noticed a silver Toyota sedan with Florida license plates following me rather closely. The driver remained on my bumper even as I pulled in and parked.

Before I could turn my truck off, the driver, a man about eight years old, got out from behind the steering wheel and angrily confronted me, “You’ve been driving down the highway for the last four miles with your left blinker on!”

“Sorry, it has been malfunctioning, and I need to fix it.”

“Well, you best ’cause no one likes it when a person doesn’t turn or change lanes when they say they will.”

“Got’ya,” I returned. “By the way, your left blinker is still flashing.”

He looked at his car without looking back at me, shouted, “Dammit!” got back behind the wheel, and drove away.

The Thirty-something Woman


Because I spend so much time in Virginia City, sometimes a question must be clarified, quantified, or plain ol’ explained.

For instance, as I sat at the bar of my favorite watering hole, a thirty-something woman seated next to me asked, “You seeing anybody?”

I swiveled on my stool and looked around, then confidently turned back to her, answering, “Not at the moment, but spirits come and go all the time.”

She gave me the strangest look.

Then it occurred to me, “Oh, you mean relationship-wise? I’m married.”

Trying to maintain a forced smile, she asked for a plastic cup to take her drink in and quickly left the saloon.

Lucy and Kafka


We call her Lucy, the bossy little girl of Charlie Brown fame, but not today. She works better today than I’ve seen in many previous weeks, without complaints or demands other than paper and ink.

She is our printing press. And today, she thrums with literary agility.

Around me flits and buzzes my only other companion, Kafka. He makes it like he is busy, feeling the need to replace Lucy in the realm of bossiness.

“Bizz, bizz, bizz,” he says. Write, write, write.

Kafka touches my shoulder, my right elbow, and the fingernail of my left hand. I threaten him with a rolled-up newspaper from the week previous, though he knows I am not serious with each waving.

“Write, write, write,” he buzzes in my right ear.

“I’m trying,” I say, knowing he doesn’t understand.

He pesters my right earlobe, “Bizz, bizz, bizz.”

I offer him the top of my pen, “Come sit with me and help guide my hand as I complete my notes.”

Kafka pauses, lighting gently, inspects my work, and with no small amount of criticism, adding, “Bizz, bizz, bizz,” my friend, the fly, slips out the open door into the afternoon heat to return no more this day. I write, write, write to the general thrumming of Lucy as she spits out page after page of Friday’s upcoming edition, her literary agility notwithstanding.

Thunderstorm in Virginia City


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Lo! I watch high above and far in the distance as the Vultures float above Sugar Loaf — three, wings spread in an updraft. Half an hour and I see two more join the ariel play and now seven.

They rise gently and sweep swiftly downward, only to ascend to height once more. Play for these ungainly creatures, a joy, happiness only they can know.

None have once beaten a wing to the air, instead enjoying the heated thermals, as behind them, and even further in the distance, billowing white thunderheads build. I take note of these ominous clouds, but I return my eyes to the redheaded flock, and I find them no longer present.

It is then that I know what is to come. No sooner does the thought process than a flash illuminates my shadow, and a peal of thunder races multiplicity, echoing from behind where I stand. I turn and look up, find where the cell lives, high atop Sun Mountain, with its abandoned tailings and shallow, open pits.

Saint Elmo dances a jig between the high tension wires and the rooftop of the building across from me on F Street. Fascinating and frightening all at once.

No sooner do I step in under the porch covering the Hale-Norcross miner’s hovel is an odd Washoe Zephyr shooting its way from the north towards the south, pushing before its chilled breath a warm rain that pounds the corrugated tin foot overhead. Three, four, five roars of thunder, as many bolts of lightning, the storm races on from Virginia City to the south and the east, taking with it the wind, the rain, and the danger.

The skies above are clear again, but the Vultures fail to return. I am awed by these carrion-eaters instincts.


My Cousin Elmo says, “You don’t actually wash your hands. They wash each other and you jus’ stand there watching them like some sort of creep.”

The DOJ is Eating Its Own


The Department of Justice is becoming more cannibalistic as it attempts to defend itself from the Mar-A-Lago raid and the J6 Committee.

The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association is warning members of the U.S. Secret Service that their private phone numbers are in the hands of the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot Committee and that they “will likely be used” in a criminal probe. The warning comes after the committee received copies of Secret Service text messages from Jan. 5 and 6, 2021, thought to have been deleted.

And it gets worse as the DOJ, through the FBI, is investigating measures Secret Service members took to secure Presidential documents at Mar-A-Lago. As an aside, the FBI asked the Secret Service to add an extra padlock to the storage facility last June during their visit to collect papers for the National Archive.

Lastly, boxes labeled A-14, A-26, A-43, A-13, A-33, and a set of documents in a file folder, all seen on the final page of the FBI’s property receipt released on Fri., Aug. 12, contain attorney-client privileged information. Waiting to see who gets the blame and in whose lap the confiscated materials fall.

Remember, there are no coincidences.


My Cousin Elmo says, “As I’ve grown older my eyesight has gotten weaker, but my sixth-sense about people and their bullshit has become stronger.”

Federal Alphabet Agencies Have Never Been On Your Side


“You wouldn’t know a fact from your ass,” she responded to my latest post. I ignored her.

Here are some facts: What happened at Mar-A-Lago isn’t a one-off. It has been an ongoing pattern since 1913 when the FBI went by another name.

No one seems to recall the 1993 “peaceful” issuance of a search warrant on the Branch Davidians in Waco. Nor do they seem to remember the sniper death of a mother and her newborn at a place called Ruby Ridge.

Nor do they recall the 2016 federal shooting death of a Utah man on an Oregon highway outside of Burns, as he ran from his truck to save the people inside it from being killed, only to die himself with his hands up in surrender.

It is not limited to one side of the political aisle but both as they work to keep us from knowing the truth. Nothing more than lying, offuscating assholes.

Let us visit other alphabet agencies of our federal bureaucracy, like the Internal Revenue Service. They recently cleaned up their official webpage, scrubbing their advertising the need for their 87,000 potential hirelings to be able to use a weapon and have the willingness to take a life.

In 2015, a couple’s dress-making business in Garland, Tex., was closed down by the IRS after being accused but never charged or convicted of evading “federal bank reporting requirements by making cash deposits just under the $10,000 limit.” The Dallas police assisted the IRS during the raid, which led to an auction to recover a supposed $31,400 debt, netting the IRS about $17,000.

Then there is the Environment Protection Agency, which in 2011 sued a Priest Lake, Ida., couple for unplugging a drainage ditch that was flooding their home. The EPA claimed that the flooding, though caused by a faulty culvert system, was part of a “marshland,” costing the couple $32,500 per day until they complied.

Closer to home, in Bunkerville, Nev., in 2014, the Bureau of Land Management claimed the Bundy family owed over a million bucks in grazing fees because the ranch was using federally owned land to feed their livestock. In 2018, the dispute became an armed standoff between U.S. citizens and federal agents as the agency attempted to remove Bundy’s cattle from the site.

Once forced to retreat, BLM officers began destroying the livestock and burying the carcasses. Though pictures and videos surfaced online, they no longer exist.

Quit sucking the teet of pablum being offered by the politicos, the media, and entertainment and start gathering facts, dammit!

Angry, Tired and Alone


Since Lion’s Gate, I’ve done my best to hold my tongue. My anger is such that I could alienate everyone I know in person and online.

And this goes for writing what I know, what I think, and how I feel. We are in a world of betrayal, and less than half of us realize it.

Many of us live in a ‘polite society,’ having learned ‘to turn the other cheek.’ Being victimized and not retaliating is ineffective and exhausting.

When will the time come that we shall push back? Where is the breaking point — when it is too late? Death?

We are a failed society, broken by those who do not fear being violent, who do not think twice when it comes to destruction, animated by propaganda, and those who willingly propagate it. Are you not flagged by the dishonesty, the rhetoric, the partisanship?

I am, and I feel alone in this.

Where’s Wilford?


Wilford Green had three things that caused him to stand out, and one of those things he only recently acquired.

Better known as Willy, he was born with a tuft of bright red hair. And as he grew into adulthood, he became known for his love of practical jokes and being a smart ass.

Half a year ago, Willy began wearing a charcoal gray-fedora style hat he’d found one afternoon. The beaten and battered cover called closer attention to his bushy red mop-top.

Three weeks ago, he mouthed off to Mrs. Pembroke. She was in her yard, on her knees, working in her flower garden.

“While down there…” Willy laughed.

Mrs. Pembroke, a widow of twenty years, did not find humor in his innuendo and made sure Willy knew it.

“Yeah, what ever lady,” he replied.

“I’ll bury you, Wilford Green,” she yelled as he walked away, laughing.

Yesterday, Mr. and Mrs. Breckley were walking their black lab, Tippy, in the park when the dog darted off. Quick to follow, the couple raced after him only to find Tippy sniffing at a gray hat on the ground.

Tippy took it in his teeth, exposing a shock of red hair that jutted from the hard-packed earth.

Sea-to-Lake


There are many things I could write about yesterday’s events at Mar-a-Lago. But none of it would be effective or worthwhile.

Pointing out errors, correcting inerudite, unfounded statements, and replacing them with facts and knowledge does no good. Being canceled, doxxed, and attacked are all the rewards one gets for such straightforward activity.

No, I think I shall hold my tongue, keep my peace (despite my anger,) and instead write what I need to say in my notebooks. Call it paranoia or what have you, but I have little trust held in reserve for our federal government as I watch our nation wiped ‘peacefully’ away as we sat back, failing to act.

The enemy is at the gate, and the enemy is us with our misdirected desire to avoid what needs confronting. As the Bible reads, “Sell your shirt for a sword.”

But no one is hearing.

Bread and Circuses


Let’s cut to the chase about the “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022,” which the U.S. Senate passed today after a debate occurred at night and in the wee hours of the morning.

Here are the numbers.

  • 97.2 percent earning between $100K-$200K will see a tax increase
  • 91.3 percent earning between $75K-$100K will see a tax increase
  • 61.7 percent earning between $40K-$50K will see a tax increase
  • 24.6 percent earning between $10K and $20K will see a tax increase
  • $389B on energy and climate efforts
  • $300B-plus in ‘green’ load guarantees
  • $80B to increase IRS staffing
  • $60B for environmental justice initiatives
  • $9B for wealthier* families to buy electric vehicles
  • $2.6B to protect coastal habitats
  • $1.5B to plant trees

*Based on an average of .32 cents a minute to charges or $19.20 an hour. A full charge at eight hours is $153.60.

Next year, taxes will increase by $16.7 billion on taxpayers earning less than $200,000, a nearly $17 billion tax targeted directly at low-and middle-income earners next year. The proposal would raise another $14.1 billion from taxpayers earning between $200,000 and $500,000. Over half of all new tax revenue raised next year will come from those earning under $400,000. 

By 2031, when the “new green energy” credits and subsidies take effect, those earning below $400,000 will bear as much as two-thirds of the additional tax revenue collected.

Meanwhile, we have a compliant propaganda machine in the media that is pushing stories about monkeypox, Brittney Griner and the J6 hearings.

 

The Hidden Staircase


The noon-time siren had already sounded when I found my way to C Street, delivering the last of the Comstock Chronicles. I was on foot that Friday afternoon as Hot August Nights was in Virginia City for the weekend, and the street was full of classic cars and trucks.

Leaving the Ponderosa Saloon, I paused to check for traffic that might be coming down Taylor Street. It is a habit as I have nearly had unsuspecting motorists hit me, and I have almost hit unattentive visitors.

The only thing on Taylor Street between the Ponderosa and the Crystal Saloon, now the Virginia City Tourism Commission, was town folk dressed in period attire. As I passed, a woman in a colorful period dress tumbled from the top of the street where it intersects with B Street.

She had a wild-eyed expression and looked more puzzled than hurt.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes.”

“That was quite the fall.”

“It was.”

That’s when it occurred to me that she had dropped from a height, but there was nothing tall near where she’d landed.

“How did you…” I started to say as I turned to the woman.

She was gone.

“Did anyone see where the woman in the fancy gown went?” I shouted.

No one had. I raced to the boardwalk to look, but with no fancy gown to be seen, I returned to Taylor.

“What’s wrong?” one of the old-timers asked.

“I’m trying to figure out how that woman fell from about here,” I said, pointing to the side of the building. “It doesn’t make sense.”

“Yes, it does when you know there were wooden stairs against the building back in the 1990s when it was still called the Sharon House.”

Sun Mountain (a Haibun)


Thank you to my friend, Paul Vincent Cannon, for the inspiration

watching Sun Mountain
witnessing a burning bush
coffee has gone cold

Noon had just passed, and a wind was blowing down the slopes of Sun Mountain.
“Lets go have a cup of coffee,” Trevallions suggested, “we’ve got some talking to do.”
“Seems to me all you do is drink coffee,” Will complained…

Comstock Lode, Pg. 185
Louis L’amour, 1981

The Better You Exists, But…


“This can’t be all there is to my fucking life,” I think.
“This is it?” I add. “A few more colorless years spent working, consuming media, doing hobbies that will never find a place in the sun.”
“There is no ‘third act,’ no starring in a fantasy adventure, no gaining ‘Superpowers, no happily everafter,” I continue. “I’m an incomplete package sitting on life’s doorstep expecting the kid next door to kick me or some damned dog to piss on my wrappings.”
“I’m trying to be happy, be better, stay focused, get upset, overreact, overthink and be emotional,” I whine with finality. “I’m broken, imperfect, so don’t expect me not to be.”
Then I remember: No one owes me anything. Life is a series of choices that become habits, decisions made by no one else.
Damaged, we tend to see ourselves as the product of what happened to us, but we are not that. That was only our starting point — not the destination.
Want to heal? Figure out what hurts, where it hurts, how it hurts, and who, if not yourself, hurt you.
Want a healthier relationship? Learn how to communicate what you need.
Want a better you? Remake yourself every day by using what happened to you to your advantage.
For growth, do the fucking work. A shitty thing to say as advice goes, but it is supposed to be hard, so stop whining.
Instead of waiting for others to give you gifts, be the gift. As for “superpowers,” you were born with them.
Your secret identity is borne in life’s multitude of pains, hurt, unfairness, and disadvantages. Those powers are for you to use on yourself before attempting to use them for others.
Above all, be extremely honest with yourself as you work life out.
Happily, no one told me this when I was a kid because soft children only become soft adults. Fight for yourself, damn it!

Failed Advisement


One afternoon shortly before my seventh-grade school year, I was helping my Dad with a dump run. We were by ourselves, a good time to talk.

He was trying to explain some of the ‘other’ facts of life to me as we rumbled south on Highway 101 and over the Klamath River.

“Question everything,” I recall him instructing me.

“Why?” I asked.

“Don’t be a smart-ass,” he returned.

Yeah, even then. And now you know why I am the way that I am.

The Wisdom of Solomon


Before his traffic accident, my son was training to be a fixed-route bus driver. It ended when he was struck from behind while driving his vehicle, resulting in a prolonged case of whiplash.

One morning two women got on at the same time. Both headed straight for the last available seat, and when neither got there first, they began arguing.

My son did his best to break up the squabbling before it led to all-out fist-cuffs. He eventually had to stop the bus and separate the two women from each other.

As he returned to his seat, the pair started in again. This time, he didn’t stop the bus but instead announced calmly over the public address system, “Let the ugly one have the seat.”

Both women stood for the remainder of the route.


My Cousin Elmo says, “Bragging about a twenty-five cent decrease in the price of gas is like Hannibal Lecter cutting off your arm and then giving you back a finger.”

A Little Old-fashioned Internet Humor


A little boy goes to his father and asks, “Dad, how was I born?”

The father answers, ” Well son,I guess one day you will need to find out anyway.

Your Mom and I first got together in an online chat-room. Then I set up a date via E-mail with your Mom, and we met at a Cyber cafe.

We sneaked into a secluded room, and googled each other. There your mother agreed to a download from my hard drive.

As soon as I was ready to upload, we discovered that neither one of us had used a firewall, and since it was too late to hit the delete button, nine months later a little Pop-Up appeared that said, ‘You’ve got male!'”

The Two Gifts


After God created Adam and Eve, He said, “I have two gifts, one is so you can pee standing up and the other is…”

Adam interrupted, “I want it, Lord. It would make life easier.”

So God gave Adam that gift. Adam screamed for joy and began running through the Garden of Eden, peeing on every tree.

Shaking her head at the man and his antics, Eve asked, “What is the other one?”

“A brain, Eve,” God answered. “I have a brain, and it is yours.”

The Barbecue Feast


From a church sermon that I heard as a child many moons ago.

A son slaughtered a cow, fired up the barbecue pit, then said to his father, “Call our loved ones and neighbors to eat with us. Let us feast!”

The father took to the street and started shouting, “Please help us put out a fire at my son’s home!”

After a minute or two, a small group of people came out; the rest acted like they did not hear the older man’s cries for help. Those who did respond ate and drank until they were satisfied.

“I don’t know any of the people,” the son said. “I’ve never seen some of these people before. Where are our family and our friends?”

“These people came to help us put out a fire in your house, not for the party,” the father answered. “These are the ones who deserve your hospitality.”

Irregularities from 2020 Election Mounting


Immediately after the November 2020 elections, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) declared it found no hacking or machine vulnerabilities. The Department of Homeland Security admitted in a new report that the Dominion Democracy Suite ImageCast X voting system has nine vulnerabilities, including the ability to “install malicious code” on the machines.

CISA continues claiming that no Dominion voting machines were exploited in 2020, though two Iranian nationals hacked into a state computer election system and stole 100,000 voter registrations. The pair used the data to carry out a cyber-intimidation campaign targeting Congress, Trump campaign officials, and Democratic voters in the November 2020 election.

More than 50 national security experts, countless news organizations, and social media firms falsely claimed in the fall of 2020 that Hunter Biden’s laptop containing information about Biden family corruption was Russian disinformation.

In Nevada, Joey Gilbert has filed an election contest lawsuit after a recount showed he lost the Republican governor primary by about 26,000 votes to Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo.

Robert Beadles, a cryptocurrency millionaire who funded the recount, wrote on his website that the lawsuit filed in Carson City District Court will prove that “Joey Gilbert rightfully won the primary with 100% certainty.”

“It’s simple; we prove with mathematical certainty Joey Gilbert is the winner of the primary gubernatorial race and that he had over 55,000 votes taken from him,” Beadles wrote. “It’s a slam dunk case. We’ll post the suit, the exhibits, opinions, etc., as soon as the State publishes them.”

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the lawsuit alleges an “illegal geometric formula” affected the vote-counting process. A copy of the suit was not immediately available.

Former President Donald Trump’s campaign unsuccessfully filed an election contest lawsuit in the 2020 election, but the court ruled insufficient evidence existed to overturn the outcome,

The Clark County Republican Party issued an emergency alert to Republican voters on June 14 to beware of a group offering to help deliver your mail-in ballots.

According to an email from CCRP Chairman Jesse Law:

“I’ve also recently become aware of a major ballot harvesting effort by a Democrat dark money group called the “Institute for a Progressive Nevada.” They are calling around to Republicans to try to turn over your ballots to them. Please be aware of this effort and make sure the people in your network are aware and that it is recommended that they turn in their ballot in person when they vote at the polls or mail their ballot themselves.”

The Institute for Progressive Nevada, run by Nevada Attorney Bradley Schrager, has a mailbox at a UPS store in Las Vegas, Nev., registered with the Nevada Secretary of State’s office.

His employer, Wolf, Rifkin, Shapiro, Schulman & Rabkin, represented Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

In Arizona, a half dozen people face charges of illegal ballot harvesting in an expanding probe. The investigation comes after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected arguments, concluding Arizona’s ban on harvesting was constitutional.

A review of Maricopa County’s mail-in ballots 2020 presidential election shows that more than 200,000 ballots had signatures that did not match voter files, counted without being reviewed, and were more than eight times what the county acknowledged. The Arizona Senate officially called into question more than 50,000 votes made by people no longer living at the addresses listed on ballots.

A Wisconsin Supreme Court opinion states that the 570 drop boxes used during the 2020 election were approved unlawfully by the Wisconsin Election Commission (WEC.) The Wisconsin Supreme Court found that as many as 200,000 voters were allowed to illegally skip voter ID for absentee ballots by claiming they were indefinitely confined by COVID when there was no such legal authority.

The Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau identified more than 30 problems with the administration of elections in 2020, including unlawful orders and uneven enforcement of those laws.

Meanwhile, millions of dollars in donations to election administrators in five municipalities from the Mark Zuckerberg-funded Center for Tech and Civic Life violated state anti-bribery laws and corrupted election practices by turning public election authorities into liberal get-out-the-vote activists.

The WEC also failed to record non-citizens in the WisVote voter database, thereby permitting non-citizens to vote, even though Wisconsin law requires U.S. citizenship to vote, violating the Help America Vote Act.

Still in Wisconsin, Illegal ballot harvesting happened in nursing homes where third-party activists illegally collected the ballots of vulnerable residents, some of who lacked the mental or physical capacity to vote or were forbidden from voting by guardianship agreements. Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling secured evidence that eight out of 42 residents at a local nursing home had cast absentee ballots while not possessing the cognitive ability to vote.

The True the Vote election integrity group says in a complaint that a whistleblower, identified as John Doe, admitted his role and identified nonprofits that funded a “$10 per ballot delivered program.” The same group has assembled cell phone location records pinpointing the alleged harvesting by as many as 240 activists.

Michigan’s official state auditor found that Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson failed to adhere to state election law by properly updating and reconciling qualified voter rolls, increasing the risk of ineligible voters casting ballots. Three women face election fraud charges after investigators found they had harvested ballots from residents of nursing homes.

An audit of Texas voter rolls identified nearly 12,000 non-citizens illegally registering to vote and 600 ballots cast in the name of a dead resident or who voted in another state.

Georgia’s Secretary of State identified more than 2,000 foreigners who tried to register to vote though none reached the point of casting ballots. Georgia Secretary of State has opened a criminal investigation into allegations that activists engaged in illegal ballot harvesting, collecting ballots from voters, and delivering them in violation of state law.

The Georgia Secretary of State’s office has opened an investigation into the handling of dropbox ballots last November in one of the state’s Democratic strongholds following a media report that there were problems with the chain of custody documentation in DeKalb County.

Georgia’s handpicked election monitor for Fulton County, the state’s largest voting district, documented two dozen pages of mismanagement and irregularities during vote counting in Atlanta in November 2020, including double-scanning of ballots, insecure transport of ballots, and violations of voter privacy. The revelations prompted the state to take steps to possibly put Fulton County in receivership, empowering state officials to run the elections.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp referred the audited November 2020 election results in Fulton County to the State Election Board after multiple reviews found three dozen significant problems with absentee ballot counting, including duplicate tallies, math errors, and transposed data. Kemp’s referral calls into question hundreds of ballots in the official count.

Decisions, decisions


For the last couple of days, I have been moving from news stories for the papers and a news article for my website, and as I approach the final touches to it, I am finding myself unwilling to publish it.

Fear is an emotion I generally lack in these late days of life, and it has always served me well.

However, I must ask myself, do I want to be criticized for my reporting? Do I want to risk being canceled or doxxed?

It has happened before, and it was sheer torture. I spent weeks — no– months trying to recover.

I vowed never to let it happen again.

Yet, here I sit, struggling between the truth and my self-destruction should what I anticipate happen after I push the ‘post’ button.

The world is full of haters, non-thinkers, stuck in their self-made paradigm of “I’m right, you’re wrong.” They haven’t the capacity to see beyond what has been dictated to them.

Tonight, I sleep on it. Tomorrow I will decide.

Asshat Meets Another Asshat


“You’re an ass, aren’t you?” The armed security officer asked.

“Yes,” I answered. And pugnacious, too.”

“I don’t know what that means, but go through the door, to you left and get in the line.”

“Thank you.”

Behind me, I heard him call out, “Anyone with an appointment, come see me.”

I was at the new Department of Motor Vehicle building in South Reno to get my driving license renewed.

It was less the ten minutes before when I parked and walked to the back of the line that had cued at the front doors of the state agency. I let an older man and a woman with two children go ahead of me.

About a minute into our wait, the officer exited the building asking brusquely, “Again, anyone here with an appointment?”

The three of us at the rear of the line raise our hands.

“Well get over here,” he demanded.

That struck me wrong, and I opened my mouth, “First, what is this ‘again’ crap? We jus’ got here. and you ought to have a politer tone with the public.”

“Who are you talking to?

“You.”

“Mind your business and get in line.”

“Say the Ass with a uniform and gun.”

“I don’t don’t have to take your crap.”

“No, and we shouldn’t have to take your crap. I was nt here when you first asked ‘Again, if anyone here had anppointment. Exact words have meaning when you are in a public position, and second, don’t talk to me or anyone with that uncivil tone. You are in uniform and should act professionally.”

He stood there, gobsmack, as the other people, still in line, started clapping.

After getting my renewal, I walked outside and noticed he was being polite and talking to people rather than shouting at them. He saw me but said nothing, which was fine by me.

The Little Thing


As a recent born-again cynic, it delighted my heart to see a fellow human helping another in the only way he could.

En route home, I saw a U.S. Army veteran in his wheelchair holding a handmade sign. I have seen this man at the VA Hospital in Reno.

As I sat three vehicle lengths from the traffic light, I watched as another man, much younger than the vet, limp his way across the street. He stopped and talked to the veteran before doing something extraordinary — he gave the wheelchair-bound man his ball cap to cover his sunburning head.

No, it does not seem like much, but its tiny kindnesses and gestures like a freely given hat to a man needing it, making us real human beings.

I honked at the gift-giving man and gave him a thumbs up, and I got a beaming smile in return.

An Appointment with Anointment


It is one of the best interviews I have ever conducted. However, I forgot to ask permission to record her voice before we started.

It is one of the best interviews I have ever conducted. However, no one will ever get to hear it because I forgot to push the record button.

It is one of the best interviews I have ever conducted. However, it did not go as planned — at least to my plan.

It is one of the best interviews I have ever conducted. However, many people could not or would not appreciate the subject matter.

It was such an anointed conversation. And we are staving to hear your latest offering when it comes out, so thank you for singing it to me.

And since you can’t disagree with our dear, late friend, Holly Dunn, and her opinion, she was right about you. You broke the ceiling by being one of the Outlaws of country music, and you continued to break ground with your Americana sound.

Preach it, Lacy J. Dalton.

Sleepless Memory


Well, I stayed up till the wee hours because my mind refused to allow me to sleep. It happens more these days, and I believe it is a by-product of age.

While reading, then later listening to music on my cellphone, I recalled a bit of a song I heard many times as a five and six-year-old child. As I remember, it is bluesy, sung by a man with a deep froggish voice.

What song it is, where it comes from, who sang it, and whether recalling it right or bastardizing the lyrics are questions I took to searching for until after 3 a.m.

I know a woman, but she, she don’t like me
I know a woman, but she, she don’t like me
I know a woman, o how I wish she loved me

I never found an answer to those questions, and those words remain locked in my head like a treasured memory.


My Cousin Elmos says, “It’s July 8th, and family still playing with fireworks. Nearly set my Christmas tree ablaze.”

Mistake…Ha!


The California Department of Justice made public the personal information of California’s Citizen Concealed Weapon (CCW) permit holders, including names, date of birth, gender, race, driver’s license number, addresses, and criminal history.

But it will be okay — they are offering free “credit monitoring services” because of the “mistake.”


My Cousin Elmo says, “Not too long ago nearly everyone was wearing a mask because of COVID, now if seen wearing a mask, you’re a Proud Boy says to the media.”

Thirty-nine Hours


It began Thursday morning and came to a close this morning. What was supposed to be a simple news assignment turned into a several-hour event, throwing everything else off track.

“Can you cover the Nevada Women’s Foundation this morning? Shouldn’t be more than a couple of hours.”

“Yes, if you can start the printer.”

“Will do and thank you.”

By three p.m., I knew I was way behind, and even with CC printing underway, I was still in for a long night. At the shop, I discovered the printer had jammed at five out of 415 papers scheduled for production.

After seven more jams, I finally got the printer kicking out newspapers. Then it stopped for no reason, so I called the boss.

As she told me there was nothing to do other than go home, the damned thing started printing again. A few dozen more prints rolled off the press when it stopped again.

This time, I waited thirty minutes before making the call.

“Turn it on and turn it off. See if that gets it going.”

I did, and it did.

But after a few copies of the CC, it began spitting out the DVD. I tried to get it to switch back, but it refused.

It would shut off and on for the next several hours.

Finally, I completed the needed 160 copies of the DVD. It was after 3 a.m., and I left a text message asking the boss to print the last 200 copies of the CC that I still needed.

Next, I hauled ass down the hill to the radio station. After fixing myself a STRONG cup of coffee, I did my show prep before my 6 a.m. air time.

After finishing my shift, I rushed back up the hill to learn the CC was still not done because the printer was still misbehaving. By noon, everything was ready to go. It took me nearly four hours to finish my route.

Once home, I visited for a couple of hours with my wife before she had to leave as she was house-sitting for a friend. When she closed the front door at 7 p.m., I was relaxing in our over-stuffed chair, ottoman under foot, with Buddy-dog by my side.

I awoke this morning, having slept 15 hours where I lounged.

Wah


My son was about four years old when we went on a campout with a group of friends for the weekend. It was a hot summer day, we were on vacation, and someone handed me a cold beer.

He kept asking for a drink, so I gulped the remainder of the can down, went to the water container, and filled the can up. The next time he asked, I gave him the can, where he promptly took a slug.

He screwed his face up and fairly shouted, “Tastes like wah!”

Everyone laughed as he sat down and continued to take sips from the can. In the meantime, I helped myself to a second beer.

In an unguarded moment, he snatched my can of beer from the cup holder built into the chair I was sitting in and took a gulp. The look on his face said it all.

After he stopped gagging, he exclaimed, “That’s shitty!”

At least three of the seven people gathered around the still cold hearth blew beer suds from their noses.

A Conversation in Heaven


What are you doing here?
I don’t know.
How long have you known Jesus?
Not long.
What were some of the changes Jesus made in your life?
None that I was aware of.
What do you know about justification by faith?
Nothing, I have no idea what that is.
Can you tell us about imputed righteousness?
I don’t even know what that means.
Well, then, when were you baptized?
Never.
Did you attend church?
No.
What did you do for a living?
I was a thief.
Then, how did you get in here?
(Pointing to Jesus) He said I could.


My Cousin Elmo says, “Due to inflation, dirty deeds will no longer be done dirt cheap. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

Twenty-by-Twenty


Before taking off from Lindbergh Airfield in San Diego, ten Marines hurriedly boarded the commercial aircraft, filling empty seats around me.

“Where are you heading?”

“Camp Lejeune, then to Afghanistan.”

About half an hour into the flight, an announcement came, saying lunch would be available for five dollars.

“You going to buy lunch?” one Marine asked the other.

“No, I’ll wait.”

Looking around, I saw that none were buying lunch, so I walked aft and handed the flight attendant a fifty-dollar bill.

“Please make sure each Marine gets fed.”

Her eyes went wet with tears as she thanked me.

After eating, I went again to the back of the plane to use the restroom, where a man stopped me.

“Here, take this.”

He handed me twenty dollars.

Returning to my seat, the plane’s Captain came down the aisle.

“I want to shake your hand. I was an Air Force pilot, and once, someone bought me lunch, an act of kindness I never forgot.”

I felt embarrassed as passengers applauded.

Later, a passing man reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine. He secreted another twenty-dollar bill in my palm.

After landing, waiting inside the plane’s door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without a word. Forty bucks!

Inside the terminal, I saw a Marine Sergeant accounting for his nine charges. I walked over and handed him the 80 dollars.

“It’s going be a while before you reach the east coast. Your guys will be hungry before that.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“No need to call me, ‘sir.’ I was enlisted like you.”

“Yeah? What branch?”

“Marine Corps.”

How’s That Again?


When it comes to being a smart-ass to my wife, I continue to find myself on her shortlist. But at least I will never go hungry, even when I manage to piss her off.

She was in the kitchen busying herself with meal prep. She had a ham hock and a pot roast on the counter.

“Should I make a roast or pea soup?”

“Anyone can cook a roast.”

I had a peanut butter sandwich and a glass of water for dinner.

It was worth it.

From the Sky


The difficulty hasn’t been the writing but finding the time to sleep while writing. Therefore, I have been posting only “Cousin Elmo” jokes, if one can call any of them funny.

As I was finishing up my paper route in Virginia City, I had parked, crossed the street, dropped off some newspapers, and returned to my truck. That’s when I saw the light blue faux leather grain bible in the bed of my vehicle.

My first thought was, “How long has that been there?” followed by, “When did someone put that in there?”

To neither question do I have an answer. Then maybe, it simply fell from the sky.

So, I picked it up, and while sitting in my truck, I thumbed through it. No names, no highlighting, jus’ an off-white ribbon from Santa Rosa, Calif., and the Salvation Army on Pierce Street, that city.

That did not tell me much, so I decided to look over the pages where the ribbon had been place-marking: 1 Corinthians 13, which speaks to “spiritual gifts” and “agape-love.” I looked about the wooden boardwalks and saw no one that could have put it there.

Never one of my favorite letters in the New Testament, I am planning to re-study this scripture. Maybe it holds a message I’ve never known was there.

Perhaps, like the murder of ravens that screamed and followed me earlier in the morning, there could be meaning in this.

Sissy La-la


Bill must have thought I had lost my mind as I jumped up and screamed.

Working by myself, printing newspapers, and folding them demands focus, or I’d find something else to distract me and fall behind in my work. While some foot traffic and vehicles pass by the shop, there are times when it is quiet.

During these quiet times, amid the thump-thump of the printer, strange noises and shadows can be heard and seen. I generally ignore them.

However, this day as I worked, I was looking at a computer on my left. I had turned it on to see the time.

It went to “sleep” a few seconds later. When the screen goes off, it becomes dark and refective.

In that reflection, behind me, standing in the doorway, I saw a figure of a bearded man wearing a miner’s fedora.

As I stood and screamed, Bill backed up and out the door where the bearded man had been standing. I didn’t recognize him with facial hair.

He’ll probably never come by to say hello to me ever again.

Bully Pulpit Bully


Heading into town, I saw three people standing on a corner waving signs, campaigning for their favorite candidate. Generally, I pay sign-wavers, spinners, and holders no mind.

However, I couldn’t help but pay attention to these three — children between 12 and 15. It wasn’t they who stood out, but the man waving his arms, shaking his fists, half-kicking at them, yelling, swearing, and threatening to do physical harm to the trio.

“I’m going to kick your little asses since your dumb bitch of momma didn’t do it when you were younger,” the man shouted as I got out of my truck and approached.

He didn’t see me coming up behind him, but he must have read the middle child’s eyes as the girl looked at me, pleading with her eyes. Suddenly, he spun around, fists up.

“You get away from them right now,” I demanded.

“Yeah, watch’ya gonna do if I don’t?”

“Filet you, like a fish,” I quietly stated. “Now go away and don’t come back.”

“Let’s see you do it.”

I opened my knife with a click.

“Oh, your one of those, gonna pick on an old disabled man.”

“Don’t pull that with me. You’re standing on your own two feet.”

“Well, I have a right to give them a piece of my mind.”

“But not threaten them. Again — move along.”

Still mouthing off, he walked back to his wheelchair that he left in the middle of the crosswalk and started down the sidewalk. I watched him till I felt he was far enough away that he didn’t appear threatening.

“Where are your folks?” I asked, “And do they know you’re out here?”

“Mom’s at home,” the eldest said, pointing to a nearby apartment complex.

“I think you ought to go home because it’s dangerous for you to be out here without any supervision. And it could be worse next time.”

“Okay. Come on guys, let’s go,” she said to the younger pair.

I watched them disappear into the complex before getting back in my truck.

Jus’ Another Self-serving Politician


Ever since New York City Mayor Eric Adams demanded the federal government close down Polymer80 in Dayton, Nev., I have been trying to get current Congressman Mark Amodei or congressman-wannabe Danny Tarkanian to comment on the situation. Nothing from either man.

Getting no response from Amodei has become the norm, as he has never returned an email, a tweet, a FB post, or telephone call in the years he’s been our so-called congressional representative. And because that will never change, and because he has time and again voted to raise our taxes through Democrat-sponsored bills, I refuse to vote for him.

Tarkanian, who wants the job, is heading in the same direction. It is unfortunate.

While willing to bucket-mouth some anti-2A, showboating actor but not say a single word about the jobs and incomes of Northern Nevadans, being threatened by the Cities of Los Angeles and New York, he is not the man for the job: “If Matthew McConaughey thinks he’s going to smile into the camera and get the Second Amendment repealed, he’s completely wrong.” (Danny Tarkanian, Wed., Jun. 6, 2022, Twitter.)

Polymer80 has been in the news for the last couple of years because they manufacture gun kits that do not have registration numbers embossed on those parts. Thus they have been the scary name “ghost guns,” by the propaganda media. The business is within its legal right to do business within Nevada, including selling the sale of gun kits and individual parts outside of the state.

Nevada is being sold down the river again to the UNIPARTY: a coterie of Leftist Democrats and Republicans in Name Only, anti-Constitutional, bought and paid for bunch of backroom deal-making, champagne swilling, cigar-puffing, European-governance loving, Washington D.C. elitist politicos.

Play with His WHAT?!


Recently, my son took up playing the cahóne, a box-shaped percussion instrument from Peru. He has enjoyed it so much that he purchased a second one.

That is where this tale goes sideways.

First, you must know that his wife is of Mexican descent. And though she does speak some Spanish, she doe not speak the language fluently.

While visiting their pastor, my son got out his newest drum and let his wife and the pastor play on it. Afterward, the three of them arrived at the church for worship, where she told church members, “The pastor and I were playing with my husband’s cajones before coming here.”

Creep Factor


Here is a photograph of Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak wearing a Mickey Mouse watch and showing it off to a little girl from his Instagram account. It is in line with American Broadcasting Company and its subsidiary, The Walt Disney Company’s wokeness.

I’m just pointing it out because members of the UNIPARTY cannot see their gaffs and lack total self-awareness.

Blowing Smoke


On Wed., Apr. 1, 1970, President Richard Nixon signed legislation officially banning cigarette ads on the radio. The last advertisement aired on TV on Thu., July 1, 1971, and on the radio long before that.

Why is this being brought up now? Marijuana dispenseries.

First off, if you smoke tobacco or weed, I don’t care. I subscribe to the Thomas Jefferson quote, “If it neither picks my pocket nor breaks my bone, what matter is it to me?”

That said, more and more, I am hearing advertising on the radio for “head shops,” “CBD dispensaries,” and “herbal lounges.” Further, some commercials even describe their “green,” “leafy,” products as “bud” with funky names.

It is only an observation on my part, but I must ask, where is the line drawn between the two?

Pressurized


Shortly after getting home, my wife called, “Can you go down to the drug store and pick up the prescription I just phoned in?”

“Sure,” I said as I grabbed my keys and beat feet out the door.

Once there, I had to wait around for them to get filled. Bored with walking around the store, I sat down to wait.

That’s when I saw the blood pressure machine.

“What the hell,” I thought as I sat down to get myself a reading.

One-fifty-five over 81 read the screen. Once again, I took it, but the numbers weren’t much better.

“Well,” I thought, “these store machines are notoriously miscalibrated. I’ll go home and take it the old-fashioned way.”

Once home, I pulled out my old stethoscope and pressure cuff and took my B/P a third time. The numbers were worse than ever, 171 over 90.

One-forty-four over 77 is normal for a man of my age. So, yes, dangerously high, and I immediately called the VA and scheduled an appointment.

The irony of ironies — I was at the drug store to pick up my wife’s blood pressure medication, which she’s been on for the last decade.

Rented Danger versus my Dented Ranger


Because she needed her car as she didn’t have a ride home from work, and I didn’t have a way to deliver newspapers, my wife did the deed, renting a vehicle for me. Since I usually drive a 1998 Ford Ranger, she got a 2022 Ford Ranger.

While they call it a mid-sized truck, the newer beast is a giant compared to my old truck. I found this out the hard way as I exited the vehicle only to discover I was like 12-stories off the ground.

Thankfully, I grabbed the door frame, preventing myself from falling. I would do this twice more, plus catch my foot on the step under the door, something my truck does not have.

Aside from all of that, this new Ford is all electronic, meaning the damned thing is more intelligent than me. It has a backup camera built into the dashboard, flashing lights in the side-view mirrors to warn of cars caught the blind spot, and a noisy whine that lets the driver know when they are too close to something with the front bumper.

Unfortunately, I still have yet to figure out how to preset the radio or figure out what all the buttons with their neato graphics do. And I will never get the chance to learn either as it goes back to the rental lot on the sixth day.

While delivering papers and parked in a casino lot, a man drove by and yelled at me: “Go back to California!” That’s because it’s registered to that state and the license plate reflects this.

I laughed at him and his 1970s orange VW Bug with his Oregon license plate and expired registration tags.

Seeing Yellow


Since the sun rises earlier during these days, it has become easy to see the many large-sized skidmarks left on the asphalt from semi-trucks, most loaded with rock, gravel, or dirt, as the drivers of these trucks must brake hard to prevent running a red light. I’m not talking about one or two, but several showing that the truck’s operator, who was traveling over 55 miles per hour, had to bring their vehicle to a stand-still or end up in a crash.

Of course, no one at NDOT would listen to the public, which warned the agency about the danger. After all, no one is a better engineer than a planner seated behind their desk in a comfortable chair.

Hopefully, the pencil-necked lughead who formalized the decision is happy with themselves and will remain so even after someone gets killed when one of these big rigs fails to stop in time. And I hope it isn’t me that gets killed.

Unelected decision-making bureaucrats are nothing but a menace to society, no matter at what level of government they work.

Podcast Update


“Guilty as charged, your Honor,” I said as I pointed an accusing finger at myself.

For this, I am the Judge, jury, executioner, and defendant. Okay, so I’m blowing everything out of proportion, but what is a little exaggeration amongst friends?

Since mid-April, I have not recorded a podcast. But I do have my reason for not having done so, and here it is in a nutshell: audience indifference.

No, I am not blaming you. Audience indifference means I have not found a subject interesting enough to cause you to want to listen.

For some reason, I thought podcasting would come easy to me than it has. Sure, I could go the talk-radio route and piss you off with political rants, but that would leave me with one less listener, and that’s not a good business practice.

In the end, I stare at my microphone, and it stares back at me, and together we get nothing done.

Keycarded


It finally happened. And I was not only mad at myself for it, but I felt pretty stupid for having done it.

I drove thirty minutes from home to the radio station and forgot my key card to gain entry to the building.

What makes this so bad is I raced home to get the card, which I have attached to a red and yellow “1-800-Marines” lanyard, and then could not find it. Talk about being in a panic.

As I stood in the front room, wondering where I might have left it, the thought came to me: the car’s center console. And that’s where I found the damned thing, but still, I was fifteen minutes late to work.

Now I wear it even when I sleep.

The Day Long


Work, eat and sleep. Those are the three ingredients that make up my life at present.

It’s not a complaint but a statement of fact. I’m up by 4 a.m. and out of the house thirty minutes later, heading for the radio station.

Two stops an hour to present, first the traffic report and then the weather report is not a hard job.

My wife and I have been carpooling out of necessity since my truck remains in the shop. It isn’t anyone’s fault, just an unfortunate run of “bad luck.”

I don’t believe in luck, so you know it’s grim when I resort to using it to describe that situation.

The truck is nearly a quarter of a century old. It has become hard to find parts when it needs repairing.

By 8 a.m., I finished, and not a minute later, I am out the door and heading home as I have two newspapers that need written articles. That entails about 4,000 words per edition.

Tuesdays are my deadline for the papers.

Thursdays and Fridays, I drive 45 miles to print the newspapers I write for and then deliver them, driving around 160 miles, in addition to my morning air shift. They are my long days.

By 7 p.m., my bedtime, I am as worn out as a Marine recruits toothbrush after being used to clean the head.

Bogged


Something tells me that I might best return to writing fiction stories rather than churning out little diatribes about daily life. Not even poetry, or what supposedly passes for poetry in my mind, seems to be attractive to you.

It is a case of being caught between a rock and a hard place. I thought it would be easier to write as if I were doing a newspaper column, but my creativity has run into a mud-flat, where it has become bogged down and hard to move forward.

If you have ever ridden a bicycle along a riverbank or a lagoon or lake that is dependent on an outside source to keep it full, you know what I mean.

Until I figure out what next to do, I’ll keep pedaling like hell.

Broken Arm


Whose arm is that? I think I know.
Its owner is quite sad, though.
It is a tale of woe,
They watch him frown. She cries hello.
He gives his arm a shake,
And sobs until the tears make.
The only other sound’s the break,
Distant cars and birds awake.
The arm is broken, swollen, and deep,
But he has promises to keep,
Until then, he shall not sleep.
He lies in bed with ducts that weep.
He rises from his bitter bed,
With thoughts of sadness in his head,
He rejoices at not being dead.
Facing the day with very little said.