Forey into LotR FanFic

So, based on a conversation I had yesterday on Facebook, I just wrote a small piece of FanFic in the imagined LotR world. It was a fun hour of writing.

Hope you enjoy it.

The Report
Copyright 2015 – E. J. D’Alise

“They did what?”

The Nazgûl cleared his throat before continuing. He no longer had a throat, of course, but old habits were hard to break.

“They distracted us, Dark Lord. One of them threw a piece of wood and we followed the sound.”

“Let me get this straight,” Sauron said, his voice rising with his mounting irritation, “you were within inches of the One Ring, and you turned to follow a stick they threw?”

The Nazgûls stood in silence, afraid to answer. Truthfully, the excuse sounded flimsy even to them and they had been there.

Sauron continued.

“And this was before or after you killed a bunch of pillows?” Sauron asked.

“That was before,” Angmar dared answered, “and before we lost them at the ferry crossing.”

“You did what?”

If Angmar could have sweated, he would have. Obviously, the Dark Lord had not known about the Bucklebury Ferry miss, and Angmar would now have to explain it.

“Ah . . . we were chasing them, you see, and they ran ahead of us and jumped . . .”

“Wait,” Sauron interrupted, “you were chasing them on foot? What happened to the trained horses I gave you?”

“. . . we . . . we were chasing them on horseback . . .”

Sauron’s eye looked at each of his Ringwraiths in turn. To Angmar, it seemed as if the great eye had developed a slight twitch.

The Great Eye looked back at Angmar. Sauron had never learned the names of the other Nazgûls; with great annoyance he always returned to Angmar as the only Nazgûl whose name he knew.

“How fast are these Halflings? Are they like Pronghorns, able to sprint at great speeds?”

“No, my Lord; it was more as if some magic had us move as if swimming, moving slowly . . . although, if I might add, looking very impressive what with the robes flying about us and . . .”

The great Eye’s stare had him stop. Composing himself, he continued.

“Anyway, they arrived at Bucklebury Ferry ahead of us and . . .”

“What,” Sauron asked, “is a Buckleberry?”

“No, my Lord; bury; b-u-r-y. It’s a name derived from Borgeldeberie, meaning Burghild’s fortified place.”

“What’s a Burghild?” Sauron asked.

“I know,” piped up the smallest of the Ringwraiths, “it’s a woman’s name.”

“Which woman?”

“Uh . . . any woman; it’s a name some women have.”

Sauron missed having arms and hands; he so wanted to rub the temples he no longer had.

“And then what happened?” he asked instead.

“Well, we can’t swim, so when they launched the ferry barge, we could not follow, and had to take the long road.” Angmar’s voice was confident; this was something beyond their control. They had asked for pool facilities in Mordor, but the request had been denied.

“So,” continued Sauron, “you then went to the Prancing Pony and killed a bunch of pillows.” He paused before asking, “Any particular reason you did that?”

“They tricked us! They are sneaky that way!” the oldest of the Ringwraiths answered with an indignant voice.

Sauron mentally counted to ten . . . Twice.

“But you followed them . . . ” he said, drawing out the rest of the story.

“Yes, we did, and we had them trapped at the hill of Weathertop, and even managed to stab the Ring Bearer!” The youngest of the Ringwraiths was excited to retell of their short-lived success.

The great Eye turned to him, and he retreated, partially shielding behind Angmar.

“. . . but you did not get the ring . . .” Sauron said, his voice now past irritation and into resignation.

“No; a Ranger was with them, and he attacked us with sword and fire.”

“There are nine of you!”

“Yes, but he was quick! And did I mention he had fire? He lit a couple of our robes, and we retreated.”

“IDIOTS!” Sauron composed himself as his outburst shook the ground and put a crack on one of the Dark Tower’s supporting beams.

“Tell me,” he continued with a calm voice, “did it occur to any of you to just remove the robes? You’re invisible to living things, you could have attacked at will.”

“Uh. . . ” the wraiths looked at each other, well, at each other’s robes, and replied with weak voices, “. . . no, I mean . . . it all happened so fast . . . we didn’t have time to . . . it was chilly . . . “

“Silence!”

Sauron now sported a sizable eye migraine. One of the many disadvantages of not having eyelids.

He resumed after a few minutes.

“. . . but you kept following them, right?”

“Yes, and we waited until the elf maiden with the very fast horse had the Ring Bearer before we gave chase . . . uh,” Angmar paused a moment, “now that I say that aloud, it does not seem like that was a good strategy.”

“You think?” Sauron’s voice had the Ringwraiths bow their heads.

He sighed. Internally, of course. Having no lungs, he was not even sure how he could speak. Perhaps all this was just a bad nightmare, and he would soon wake up, clad in his shiny armor.

But no; a few minutes passed, and nothing happened. This was the reality he had to deal with.

“So, you were chasing her . . . “

“. . . uh, yes . . . at times we were within arm’s length, and the next instant we were twenty-thirty feet away. Must have been some elven optical illusion at work because depending on the angle, we were either right atop her or quite a distance from her.”

“How did you lose her?” Sauron asked.

“She crossed the river into Rivendell and stopped to face us.”

“So you were able to catch her?” Sauron asked.

“No, we stopped as well.”

“. . . what?” Sauron had a feeling where this was going, but like watching a wagon wreck, he had to see it through.

“We stopped across the river from her.”

“Was this a deep river, or very wide river?”

“No, very shallow, and no more than twenty or thirty feet wide,” Angmar answered.

“. . . and you stopped . . .”

“Yes. We asked her to give us the Halfling.”

“. . . you asked her . . . “

“Yes, but she refused, even after we told her we would take him from her.”

“No kidding,” said Sauron.

“No, I’m serious! It made us mad, and we all drew our swords!”

“That. Was. Irony.” For being a fiery eye, the Dark Lord could put quite the chill in his voice.

No one spoke as the eye now showed a distinct and rapid twitch. Angmar was worried it might dislodge from its perch.

After a few minutes, Sauron formulated his next question.

“. . . and then?” He braced himself for the answer.

With hesitation, Angmar continued.

“. . . we . . . we slowly began to cross.”

“Slowly?”

“Yes; you should have seen us. We looked impressive and menacing.”

“I don’t . . . you . . . Nevermind; just go on,” Sauron said.

“Well, we were crossing slowly, and she began to chant, and then giant water horses appeared a few hundred yards away.”

“Water horses?”

“Yes! Giant waves in the shape of horses . . . the elf seemed as surprised as we were.”

“So,” Sauron slowly said, “you rushed across before they could reach you, right?”

“Uh . . . No; we turned to face them and waited. We and the horses were swept away. Most of our horses drowned.”

Sauron just stared at them, his migraine doubling, his twitch making it difficult to see.

“You  . . . lost . . . my . . . trained . . . horses?”

Before the Ringwraiths could answer, the Lieutenant of Barad-dûr approached, bowing to gain Sauron’s attention.

“What now? Are the toilets backed up again?”

“No, my Lord. I mean, yes, but also Saruman is on the line and wishes to speak with you.”

Sauron looked up . . . for not the first time, he wondered if all this was really worth it.

He spoke without looking down.

“Go,” he told the Wraiths. “We’ll pick this up later. Oh, get down to the livery yard and get yourselves new mounts.”

The Wraiths made to turn but stopped as Sauron continued.

“Get something with wings this time; something that can fly over water.” There was no irony in his voice.

As they left his presence, they could hear Sauron connect with Saruman.

“Hello, are you there? You would not believe the kind of day . . . “

To be continued

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

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Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Stuff, Writing Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

CoS Mill Outlet Fabric Shop – Part Three

So, where were we? Oh, yes . . . more fabric. 

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I assume some readers are rolling their eyes, stifling a yawn, and scratching an imagined itch in their armpit . . . or maybe it’s a real itch; I don’t know. 

Anyway, I had an interesting experience a few weeks ago. I had an upgrade to my house alarm system and one morning, while we were at the gym, one of the motion sensor in the house fired, setting off the alarm. 

The alarm company had messed up the call order, and instead of calling the local security company, they called El Paso County Sheriff. The Sheriff Office said they do not respond to alarms when the homeowners are not home (as indicated by the fact they could not reach us).

Oh, here’s more fabric before I continue.  

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Neat colors and designs, eh?

Anyway, the call station then phoned the local security outfit, and they came and checked out the house, making sure none of the perimeter entry points were breached. They weren’t. It was a glitch, and it has not happened since. 

But, I then got a call saying that if I wanted the Sheriff Department to dispatch a deputy in response to an alarm when I am not home, I would have to provide a means of entry, typically a lockbox with a key. 

I’ve since removed the Sheriff department from the call list, except for hostage situations. But it got me thinking. Every entry point is wired, there are interior motion sensors, and sensors to detect the noise of breaking glass. Honest, I don’t care much when I am not there; all that is mostly to alert me when I am home. 

When I am not home, the system is a deterrent, making my house a less likely target as opposed that of my neighbors.

So, why would I . . . 

Wait! These are interesting patterns . . . 

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If you are susceptible to that sort of stuff, those will make your eyes go funny.

Anyway, say we did not have the local security outfit as first responders. We would then have to provide a key and have it accessible from outside the house so that the Sheriff would respond to calls. I mean, a kid might not be able to break into a lockbox, but an adult can surely find a way. 

So, in the interest of security, I would make my secure house less secure. 

This next fabric is difficult to focus on.

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I did not take many photos of the store itself, but here’s two; they give an idea what it’s like in there.

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And look! I always wondered what happened to Cousin Itt. I also wonder if Cousin Itt was the original R2D2, but that’s another story.

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The reason I mention the security thing is because there was a minor fracas recently when companies like Google and Apple said they would provide better and more secure encryption.

You should have heard the FBI, CIA, NSA, and other law abusers . . . er . . . enforcement agencies bitch.

“Whaa, whaa . . . we won’t be able to do our jobs, catching terrorists and stopping attacks!”

Someone should have asked them how many plots they have averted through their massive and largely unlawful surveillance. They certainly did not stop any of the major ones or, for that matter, any of the minor ones.

It was also interesting having the FBI immediately come out and warn of possible July 4th attacks by homegrown ISIS terrorists . . . which begged the questions . . . where, when, how many, and how come you were not out there arresting them?

The fact is, all the surveillance those agencies do has turned up surprisingly little useful information. Some argued that it’s useful after the fact, but you know, that to me does not seem all that useful. That’s a bit like anti-guns proponents saying cops will keep us safe when in actuality cops just show up after the fact to investigate and, if they get lucky, catch the culprits. 

Will you look at that! . . . it’s like being near the sea.

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I mention all this because we are having a national discussion (not really) about security, and it pisses me off the media is not doing their job.

We have dimwitted media rear-end-wipes asking questions like:

“You want the authorities catching terrorists, right?”

“You want the authorities able to track phones and rescue kidnapped children, right?”

“You want the authorities prevent the next 9-11 from happening, right?”

The people dutifully nod their heads.

What they should be saying are things like this:

“You want the authorities catching terrorists, right? But, understand that crooks, foreign governments and even people who hate you can use those same tools to steal your credit cards information, social security number, and look into everything you do.”

“You want the authorities able to track phones and rescue kidnapped children, right? But, understand stalkers, murderers, and anyone with nefarious aims will be able to use those same tools to find and track their victims.”

“You want the authorities prevent the next 9-11 from happening, right? But, just so you know, those same tools can be used to plant damaging data on your computer, to steal your banking information, to allow someone to impersonate you and let you take the fall.”

See, if they phrased it like that, we would have an actual discussion about the value of unrestricted surveillance and security that can be circumvented by “the authorities.” 

And here we have automotive and space themes:

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Why, I half expect to see animal pelts next. 

. . . doh! . . . 

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. . . I don’t think they are real . . . 

Plus, we are only thinking of ourselves. Think a moment about other countries; countries with governments that are even less friendly toward their citizens than ours. Those same tools can be used to track dissidents, frame people, persecute people, and have them live under a paranoid reign of terror . . . a bit like here, but multiple times worse.

It’s a shame we don’t learn from history . . . the Gestapo, Stasi, and KGB would have given anything to have even a fraction of the tools available now. All of those agencies were used to keep the population in check, making sure that for reasons of “state security” dissenters and people critical of the government were monitored and, if necessary, re-educated. 

“Ah, but,” you say, “we don’t have that kind of government; we are the good guys.” 

Right. Our government would never do anything wrong. They would never abuse their power or use mission-creep to expand their power. Incorruptible, they are, serving powerful and lucrative positions in government (positions they would lose if they were voted out of office) with selfless dedication and personal sacrifice for the sole purpose of serving the people they refer to as “ordinary”.  No, they would never abuse their position; our government is composed, after all, of the good guys. Why give me one example . . . er . . . two . . . er . . . more than many . . . OK, you know what? Nevermind.

Sometimes the fabric defies description. 

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I gots to tell you; that stuff looks scary . . . but not as scary as the Halloween stuff.

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. . . and it gets worse . . .

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More to come, but for now . . . 

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

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Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Creative, Musings Stuff, Photography, Photography Stuff, Stuff, Writing Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Oh, WordPress, what hast thou done to me?

So, it looks like WordPress decided to wipe out a lot of the formatting I had set up and maintained for a number of years now. 

Gone are my customized header and the menus, and it’s not using the font I had picked.  Now, I’ve not modified anything, and in fact it happened while I was composing a post (I did a preview and thought I landed in a different blog).

I’ve tried setting things back, but the appearance panel locks up when I try and make changes. 

So, dear readers, please excuse the FSM-awful look of the site as I try and straighten things out. I’m hoping this is a temporary glitch. If they can’t recover my site as it was, I’ll be looking at alternatives. I’m getting tired of WordPress messing with stuff without asking and then telling me it’s an “improvement”.  All they are doing is screwing up, and if they don’t see that, I don’t think they are the same company I originally signed up with. 

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Stuff | Tagged | 12 Comments

Photo Rehab Cover Makeover #4: The Invention of Solitude

Cover Makeover #4 and I am still interested. It’s kind of fun, and it repurposes old photos. A win-win, if you ask me. Yeah, I know you didn’t ask me.

Here’s what we are given as the original:

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It’s The Invention of Solitude and here is a brief excerpt from Goodreads: “Paul Auster’s moving and personal meditation on fatherhood. The first section, ‘Portrait of an Invisible Man’, reveals Auster’s memories and feelings after the death of his father, a distant, undemonstrative, almost cold man. As he attends to his father’s business affairs and sifts through his effects, Auster uncovers a sixty-year-old family murder mystery that sheds light on his father’s elusive character.”.

This is an interesting book because it was originally published in 1982 and it is occasionally listed as fiction and other times as a memoir. It is, as far as I can tell, a memoir. There are a number of covers for different editions, and the above is a fairly faithful take on the first edition. Other covers play on different themes, so I felt pretty good about taking some liberty with the theme, concentrating on the title rather than the actual content. 

And, yes, this is yet another book I would never read. For one, I’m not a father. For another, my experience with fathers is not exactly something I draw on for anything but at best a neutral experience, and often drifting into the negative. 

Solitude, however, is something I valued even as a kid. I much preferred being out on my own, the company of others being a burden. Per my limited understanding, that makes me somewhat unique . . . but then, aren’t we all unique?

Solitude . . . as humans are absent in the vast majority of my photos I immediately resolved to eschew any representation of solitude involving actual humans. 

I could have used animals (ignore the caption; it was for another post) . . . 

I have lots of pictures of this place, but the buffalo adds an anchor to the picture. Something for the viewer to connect with.

I have lots of pictures of this place, but the buffalo adds something for the viewer to connect with.

. . . but, that’s not something a person can identify with; not many people wade through rivers in Yellowstone. 

I could use one of my many landscape shots . . . 

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But, that’s a broken-down remnant of human presence. I know I can see me in a place like that (restored, of course, and with cable, internet, and a nearby Costco), but others might have difficulty associating it with “solitude” and may see it more as “lonely” which is a whole other thing (and one I’m not familiar with). 

No, I needed something evoking a person alone with their thoughts but that does so without the actual person.

I took this photo because the empty furniture looks inviting as a place for solitude . . .

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. . . cropped it to the desired orientation . . . 

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. . . added mood . . . 

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. . . and I was nearly there.

However, there was too much texture, detail . . . too much distraction. Enter Topaz Simplify . . . 

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Yeah! That’s what I’m talking about, but still too much color . . . enter Topaz B&W . . . 

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Perfect! . . . or so it seems to me. Others might disagree.

Here’s the final product after processing it in Photoshop.

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For them who need mood music to go with it . . . 

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Amplified and drawn out

Amplified and drawn out

Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.  

If you click on the doodle, and nothing happens, this is the link it’s supposed to go to: http://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/palm-vx-and-i/.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Photography, Writing Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Observed

The last time I did any writing was July 5th . . . nearly a month ago. That’s fine because I did some editing and wrote a whole lot on my blog, responded to comments, and spread my wisdom around the web.

But July 5th was the last time I did any fiction writing. That bit of fiction is HERE. For them who already forgot about it and for them who had not seen it, it was an exploration of yet another idea; about alien invaders nicknamed Hens. 

As I said, I do that sometimes; I start writing, let my hands dance on the keyboard, and see if anything interesting comes up. A friend told me the Hen story didn’t have a “hook”. Reading back at it, he’s probably right, although I still like where I am going with it. 

Now, I’ve been happy just playing with my photos, but I’ve also been reading what my fellow Vipers 19 are doing . . . they are writing. They are submitting stuff, searching for agents, plotting stories, editing stories. 

. . . they kind of make writing seem fun and exciting. And then, I remembered; it is.

Now, I had the choice of starting on a couple of new ideas I have, continuing on any of the four or five things I have open and floating out there, OR . . . you guessed it, Bob; something completely new. 

I think I am my best when focused on something, but I am my second best when I just start writing and see where stuff goes . . . tonight, you get second best. 

Observed
Copyright 2015 – E. J. D’Alise (ViperXIX)

You are not paranoid if people are actually spying on you.

Ed had read that somewhere; more and more it came to mind. It came to mind because of math.

What are the odds that every time you looks up or turn, or look at the reflection in a window, you notice someone looking back, turning away the moment you make eye contact? Slim to none, is what Ed figured.

He turned the corner at the supermarket, looking at the overhead mirror as he did so. The girl put down the box she had pretended to read and hurried to where he just turned. She almost got there when she too looked up at the mirror. He waved. She skidded to a halt as he stepped in front of her.

“Hi!”

“. . . uh . . . hi.” She looked around as if afraid of being seen. Or being seen talking to him.

“You want to grab a coffee? That way you can tell me why you are spying on me.” Ed smiled as he spoke. She was, after all, a very pretty girl. Early twenties, fit, modestly dressed, plain hair . . . almost a deliberately bland look, as if wanting to blend in, to not be noticed.

“I . . . I can’t . . . I . . .” she stopped, turning toward the approaching man. Somewhere between thirty and fifty, the guy looked solid. Dark clothes masked his exact shape, but he moved like someone confident of himself.

Ed noticed the girl blanch and heard her sharp intake of breath.

Just before stopping in front of them, the man’s serious face broke out into a smile. Ed assumed the guy was making an effort at looking friendly. Mentally, Ed gave him a D-minus on the effort.

“Marin, there you are. Let’s go,” the man said, “we’re already late.” His hand went to grab the girl’s elbow, but Ed stepped in between them. The man’s hand recoiled as if afraid of contact.

“Hi. I’m Ed. Would you be so kind as to tell me who you are?”

The man hesitated, then replied with a curt “Bob.”

“Well, Bob,” Ed said putting his hand on the girl’s shoulder, “it seems to me this girl is afraid of you. Perhap . . .”

He did not finish; the look of horror on the man’s face combined with the trembling of the girl’s frame made him stop. Ed looked from one to the other, confused. He was missing something, but what?

The man backed up, and the girl made to follow him, but he held up his hand, stopping her. He then turned and quickly walked away.

The girl’s shoulders visibly sagged, and she had gone pale.

“Are you alright?” Ed asked.

She straightened her shoulders and raised her head to look up at him before answering.

“I’m sorry. Yes. Yes, I’m alright. Sorry to disturb you.” And with that she walked away.

He followed. Before they reached the end of the aisle, two men turned the corner, blocking the way. The girl looked back at Ed, and then past him. Ed also turned. Two more men blocked the other end of the aisle. All four men wore what looked like one-piece outfits that covered their hands and feet. The collars came up to their chin.

The girl looked really scared now. Ed looked back and forth to the approaching men, got close to the girl, and gently got her to the side of the aisle. He then stood in front of her as the men approached from each end.

They slowed, and Ed took the opportunity to take out his phone and begin snapping photos. The men all stopped and shielded their faces with their arm.

They stood like that for a half minute or so until Ed put the phone away. They lowered their arms and would have resumed advancing were it not for the next thing Ed pulled out. It was a plain-looking gun.

The men stopped. They stood as if paralyzed. Another shopper turned down one end of the aisle, stopped, and then quickly moved away, probably heading to warn the manager and call the cops. Ed didn’t mind.

The men turned as one and headed off. Ed put his gun away.

“You’re not supposed to have a gun.”

“Uh . . . Marin, is it? As it turns out, I do; more than one, actually,” Ed answered. “But I’m curious as to what you mean.”

Marin looked uncomfortable. Looking both ways again, she grabbed his elbow, leading him away from there. She spoke quickly as she answered.

“There’s nothing about guns in your history, but right now, we need to move from here. When we’re clear, I’ll go my own way; we can’t stay together.” She sounded more confident and less scared as they made their way through the store. She was not weak, either; her grip was strong as she was pushing Ed along with a force disproportionate to her size.

Ed complied as he did not want to explain anything to either the store manager or the cops. As it was, they were likely on the surveillance video and he would eventually be asked about this incident, but right now he did not feel like spending a few hours answering questions. As the automatic doors opened, the girl pulled a little device, aimed at one of the cameras and pressed the side of it.  A small flash and the smell of burnt wire insulation and Ed got the feeling there would not be any video of this whole sequence of events.

Perhaps he would not have to answer questions, after all.

Out in the parking lot, Marin directed them to his car. Ed looked up at the cameras mounted on the lampposts. They too were smoking.

They stopped near the car, Marin letting go of his elbow.

Ed leaned on the car.

“What are you doing? You need to leave before the police get here.” Her voice elevated, she was obviously a bit stressed. She also kept looking around, although Ed was unsure if she was more worried about the cops coming to investigate, or about the goons in the dark suits.

“I’ll leave if you come with me,” Ed answered as he leaned one elbow on the hood and crossed his ankles.

She focused on him with more fire than she’d shown so far.

“That’s not happening. What will happen, is you getting in this car and leaving,” she said

“I don’t think so,” Ed replied as he pulled out his phone. “Someone who knows me might tell the cops about the little incident in there, and I have proof to exonerate my somewhat illegal act of brandishing a gun.”

Marin pulled out her little gizmo, but before she could do her zapping thing, Ed interrupted her.

“Automatic backup. Unless you’re going to take down Google, those photos are beyond your reach. Plus, I don’t have insurance for this phone; you frying it would make me quite cross.”

She looked around one more time before giving in.

“Fine; let’s go before this gets messy.”

A few minutes later they passed a couple of cop cars speeding toward the shopping center Ed and Marin had just left. Their flashing lights were on, but not the sirens.

“So, how about that coffee?” Ed asked.

“Look, I’m with you because you’re a stubborn ass and I needed to keep you safe, but don’t think I’m going to become your sidekick. We’re splitting up at the first chance we get.”

Marin had answered as she kept her eyes on the rearview mirror. She also stole the occasional glance at the sky.

“Don’t know if I should say anything, but you seem older and more assured than when I first saw you. By older I don’t mean looks. Your mannerism has changed.” Ed also stole the occasional glance at the mirrors and took a creative route designed to identify any potential followers. Unless they were using multiple cars or helicopters.

“I like it,” he added.

Marin broke away from scrutinizing the mirror and looked at him.

“You think this is funny.” It was a statement, not a question.

“Yeah, kinda,” he answered.

“You have no idea just how not-funny it is.” She resumed looking at the mirror and scanning the sky.

“OK, so now I really want to know what’s going on, who you are, what’s your relationship to Bob, and why those goons were after you.”

Marin didn’t say anything for a few minutes before sighing, sitting back on the car seat, and turning to face Ed.

“You are the wrong Ed Green. I tried telling them that, but they insisted you are the right Ed Green.”

If the words were meant to enlighten Ed, they failed miserably.

“OK, I’ll bite; what makes me the wrong Ed Green?”

“You have guns.”

“. . . and, the other Ed Green, presumably right Ed Green, does not have guns,” Ed picked up the conversation where Marin stopped. “I still don’t see the big picture here; you’re going to have to tell me more. You can start how me not having a gun might have gotten you hurt back there.”

Marin sighed before replying.

“Yes, you saved my life back there . . . and also screwed it up.”

“. . . uh . . . ‘you’re welcome and I’m sorry’ seems appropriate, but you’re really not explaining much. In fact, you’re just mucking things up more every time you open your mouth to speak.” Ed still had a playful tone to his voice, something Marin found a tad irritating; this was serious business, and this guy treated it like a game.

“Alright; this will seem a bit strange, but here goes nothing; I am from the future, and so is Bob – his actual name is Herion, by the way – and so are the Fixers,” Marin said, and held up her hand as Ed started asking a question.

“The Fixers try to undo things that might have repercussions down our timeline. You noticing me was bad. Us talking was a disaster. Bob tried to remove me from the situation before it got worse, but you touched me. That was a catastrophe. Physical contact has the possibility of transferring DNA, and that usually has consequences. The Fixers would have wiped you, erasing any memory of me, and I would have been ended, both here and when I came from, but you had a gun.

“The moment you stopped the Fixers,” Marin continued, “the rest of me was sent down. My full personality, what makes me ‘me’. Uptime, my now empty body will be destroyed.”

She stopped, hesitated, and then continued as she turned her head away from Ed.

“The thing is, I can’t be allowed to live here. I now have a huge target on me; it’s the Fixer’s jobs to remove me as soon as possible before I mess something else up.”

Marin looked back at Ed.

“They have to eliminate you as well. Were you the right Ed Green, they would have done everything possible to keep you alive,” she finished.

“. . . but I’m not the Right Ed Green. Sounds complicated. Do you guys do a lot of this? And what’s so special about the Right Ed Green?” Ed sounded even more jovial.

Marin studied Ed. She did not speak for nearly a minute, observing him, his checking of the mirrors, his precise driving.

“Are you a policeman?” she asked.

“What? No,” he replied.

 “You seem to be taking this rather calmly.” Marin looked back out as she spoke, taking note of where they were. Not as many houses, not that many cars, and getting into rural areas with even fewer homes and cars.

She was silent for another minute before asking, “What’s going on? Who are you?”

“Why, I’m the Wrong Ed Green; I thought we had that established,” Ed replied.

The End (for now)

OK, I am tired from house chores, working out in the yard, eating a big bowl of pasta, and snacking on crêpes and blueberry muffins. I still have to drink a glass of orange juice before heading off to bed (I’m a tad dehydrated), but despite all that, I kind of like what I wrote. Two thousand words is a good chunk of words to put down on virtual paper. 

. . . still don’t know if it has a hook, but now I can hold my head up as I face my fellow vipers. Well, at the very least, I don’t have to look away in shame at not having written anything for nearly a month. 

. . . it is quantity and not quality, right? Right?

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Fiction, Science Fiction, Short Stories, Writing Stuff | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Flowers and Bugs and observations

Taking a break from the fabric shop, I return to my summer staple post; flowers and bugs. OK, I’m adding other stuff that intrudes on my otherwise blissful life and despite myself has me think about said stuff. 

As usual, if you are reading this and don’t want to hear any of my observations, go to the SmugMug Gallery HERE and just look at the photos; there are no words of any kind. You can also skip the clearly labeled portions below. For the rest of you, carry on. Oh, as usual, you can click on the photo for a larger version.

We begin with petunias . . . 

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Some of you may be asking yourself, “Self, I thought he mentioned bugs. I don’t see any bugs. Is Disperser practicing for political office?

Hold on to your horses there, Bob. I mean if you have horses. Here come the bugs . . . starting with the Goldenrod Crab spider. 

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This fellow scampered pretty quickly out of sight, so I went on to the salvia and the next bunch of Stella D’Oro lilies. 

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Not a great shot of the body, but a clear shot of the mandibles. 

Observation No. 1 – skip ahead if desired.
So, last night there was another shooting. Sorry; another random shooting, where the shooter had no specific animosity toward his victims. Here’s the interesting thing: the guy thought the Westboro Baptist Church was the last real church and he hated Liberals. 

Right away I wanted to know if conservatives were going to label this as an attack by a Christian or Conservative extremist. I mean, had it been a follower of Islam, that fact would have been smeared across all the Fox News broadcasts starting early morning and ending with the strident pundits of prime time and late evening. Surprisingly, not a word was so far mentioned other than the facts, what little are available. Now, I can only stomach so much of the “news” so it may very well be someone will mention (and probably dismiss) the association.

I mention this because in recent shootings involving an atheist and a Muslim the connection and association were prominently featured in every broadcast, implying, if not outright suggesting, the individuals represented every other atheist and Muslim, respectively. Apparently, this was just some deranged person. Go figure. 

There is another side of the coin . . . Democrats (and them Liberals) are pointing once again at the “gun violence” and the obvious need to have stricter laws. Mind you, as usual, there is no viable proposal made other than to ban guns as they conveniently ignore other gun violence no one wants to really do anything about. Right. 

No major news outlet mentioned THIS story.

End of Observation No. 1.

The next Stella D’Oro lily also had a Goldenrod Crab Spider on it . . .

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I got to wondering if all the lilies have spiders on them.

Did you notice? It has a yellow body. Goldenrod is a yellow-flowering plant, and the spider can change the normally white portion of its body to yellow to better blend in. 

This next shot is just of flowers . . . if there are bugs on them, I have not found them.

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However, I knew the Yarrow would have bugs all over it . . . I was not disappointed. 

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Of course, there are other bugs on there, but I figure I would once more show this familiar fellow. The flowers themselves are also a joy to look at in detail. 

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Right! . . . readers want to see them bugs . . . 

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Neat, eh? 

Observation No. 2.
So, people get really invested in the candidates they support. Take Hillary. Please, take her . . . OK, that’s an old joke, but lies are not jokes.

Supporters are raising incensed voices in her defense, literally grasping at nuances as they cling to the imagined purity of their candidate. They point out  there are no criminal charges filed for her misconduct and misuse of classified material. They make it sounds as if that is something special. Per my opinion, that should be the accepted norm and not an excuse.

Of course, there won’t be charges filed against her. The very idea is inconceivable, regardless what she does.

But that’s not the point; the point is she repeatedly said she did not use her personal mail for the transmission of classified material. That is not true. No matter how many times she repeated it, it was and it is not true.

Of course, we knew it was not true; had it been true, there would not have been any need for the intelligence agencies to review her e-mail; they could have just released them all. 

Now, you can argue this or that fine point . . . but she lied. Knowingly, and with a dismissive smile on her face. 

Realistically, she’ll likely be our next president as the Republicans still haven’t figured out they can’t be rear orifices and expect to win elections. And that’s sad . . . yet another liar ascending to the throne of the United States. Not that any Republican candidate would be a truthful person.

I can’t believe voters have yet to accept the fact politicians will lie, say anything, to get into office, and that once there they gleefully disregard rules they expect the rest of us to follow.

End of Observation No. 2. 

I saw a couple of additional bugs I thought were interesting. Take this beetle, for example. I could not find it in my bug books, but it looks neat, or at least its coloring does.

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I took a few more shots of the ladybug and fly before going visiting the blue wildflowers (Penstemon). Those and other extra shots are in the SmugMug gallery. By the way, if you live out West, THIS is a decent source for identifying wildflowers. 

I had mentioned that bees like to crawl inside the Penstemon flowers, and here’s proof . . .

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FYI, I’m listening to this (in MP3, not YouTube, but I can’t upload the MP3).

While I was there, I came close to capturing decent photos of bees in flight. I mean, I like these, but I would prefer them a bit clearer.

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The last one would have been near perfect, capturing her at the moment she launched off the flower. Ideally, I would like the body in focus and the wings a blur. 

I headed back to the Yarrow, a mysterious and dark force compelling my return . . . 

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Here, look at these critters while I look up what kind of bug it is . . . besides “scary”.

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Like the earlier one, it’s probably the same one, this is a Nine Spotted Lady Beetle.

This next one is a Green Bottle Fly. Despite the apparent color mismatch, the description fits: “light metallic yellow-green or coppery green overall.”

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Anyway, the steel-blue wasp is . . . wait . . . something is happening here . . . 

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A different Lady Beetle landed near the first and made its way to the one that was already on-site. I thought they were going to fight, but it looked like one kissed the forehead of the other  and then went on its way. 

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What was that all about!?

Anyway, the steel-blue wasp is the Steel-blue Cricket Hunter. Let me tell you this; I would not want this thing after me if I were a cricket, which I am not . . . and now never want to be, Jimmy or not.

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Well, it was getting hot, so I headed to the front yard. 

Oh, OK . . . I lie. Damn, playing politician is difficult, I tell you. 

What happened was that I saw a Western Tiger Swallowtail butterfly. It landed on the Yarrow, then the daisies, then some other flowers, but never stopped long enough for me to snap a photo. I followed it to the front yard where it gave me exactly two half-second opportunities to snap two photos . . . 

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I was getting tired, and since I was in sight of the front door I headed for it . . . stopping to snap one more shot of a crab spider. 

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. . . a flower . . . 

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. . . and more petunias . . . 

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That wasn’t that bad, was it? Only two observations, and I gave plenty of warning of their presence. Still, some people ignore signs telling them the bridge is out . . . too bad for them.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Amplified

Amplified

Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.  

If you click on the doodle, and nothing happens, this is the link it’s supposed to go to: http://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/palm-vx-and-i/.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Bee, Creative, flies, Flowers, Goldenrod Crab Spider, Lady Beetles, Musings Stuff, Opinion, Petunia, Photography, Photography Stuff, Politics, Religion, Salvia, Spiders and Insects, Writing Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

CoS Mill Outlet Fabric Shop – Part Two

We now get into the actual fabric in the fabric shop.

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Honest, as much as I see different cloth items, I am amazed at the sheer volume of choices one has when deciding to make something out of cloth.

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I’m only going to cover a few here because there are just so many and I’ve already decided I should split them up in multiple posts . . .

. . . I should probably group them by category, but as I wandered about the store so you too will wander with me as I present the photos in the sequence of their capture. By the way, in case it’s not obvious, these are all from my Samsung Note II, a now antiquated (based on the accelerated product cycle we live in these days) but still capable smartphone.

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Also by the way, I decided to stop watching Chinese movies. Last night I watched The White Hair Witch of Lunar Kingdom. Like many other Chinese dramas, usually set in semi-historical times, the production value was very high, the women were strong, the leading men were unimpressive, and the story engrossing . . . until the end. Spoiler: no Chinese movie I’ve watched has ever had a happy ending. In fact, not even a so-so ending. From my Western-born-and-raised perspective, the endings are always what I would classify as Foxtrot depressing.

Understand, I watch movies and read books primarily to escape the suckiness of life. By that, I don’t mean I have a sucky life, but rather that life all around me looks like it sucks, and it gets depressing and disheartening. Entertainment, to my thinking, should aspire to present how things should be if this were a just world, if good people were rewarded for being good, if bad people were punished for being bad, and if Taco Bell did not exist.

The Chinese desire when it comes to entertainment, as far as I can tell, tends toward the heroic . . . but depressingly tragic in its totality. Sure, there are pretty costumes, stuff that looks a bit (but not quite) like this . . .

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. . . and people able to defy gravity while swinging swords and lances and wearing flowing attire, but when it comes to life, they are basically and summarily screwed.

After watching these movies, one is left, as I was last night, not hopeful or content but rather depressed and distraught. You see, the actors make you care for them, and then . . . well, let me put it like this. Imagine you are watching a humpback whale and her calf, marveling at the beauty and pureness of the moment . . . and the next instant a pack of killer whales eat the calf alive as the mother tries in vain to protect it . . . and then they also kill the mother . . . and then they hunt down any related whales and kill them too, not to eat, but for sport.  

Chinese movies are a lot like that, only a bit more depressing.

The message in all these movies seems to be: life sucks, and then it gets worse, and then you die. Like I said, it’s a peculiar Chinese predilection that has them churning out literally hundreds of similar movies. I get the feeling there are no happy and hopeful people in China. Or, if there are, they watch these movies to shake those feelings right off.

Hey, more cloth . . . 

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Lest you think it’s all greens and yellows and reds and flowers . . . 

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Oh, I meant to tell you . . . I almost forgot I am going to Viable Paradise XIX . . . I mean, I remember, but as the initial group enthusiasm dies down, so has my immediate awareness of it. Mind you, I’m sure my enthusiasm will awaken as the date draws near. For now, I have to be content with reading about writing. 

Specifically, I came across this piece on Visual News about how five famous creatives (yes, and adjective as a noun) prep for projects. 

Hey, this is a nice sequence of colors . . . 

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. . . as is this . . . 

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Yes, there are a few patterns in there, but not as many as in this next sequence.

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Anyway, the Visual News bit . . . 

I only knew one of the “creatives’, Pablo Picasso. Well, I did not actually know him; I knew of him. Something about distorted and unrealistic drawings of people. Apparently, folks like that sort of thing. I’m not sure I could do the same in writing, having words every which way and with different fonts and backward.

The only advice I could relate to was by a writer I don’t know (there are many).

VNElizabethGibert

The thing is, that’s the sort of advice one can follow only after one is a “famous creative”. Me, I have to beg people if I want them to read my stuff . . . and I’m not good at begging.

Anyway, I have just a few more photos before I send this to the “schedule bin”. These two photos are of two separate aisles . . . 

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. . . and these next two photos are of more interesting colors and patterns.

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I know what you’re thinking. It’s “Damn, how many more photos does he have? How big was this store, anyway?”

Some of you might not use ‘damn’, substituting ‘gosh’ instead. Regardless, I’m not quite halfway through, but close. And it’s not that the store is gigantic; it’s that it’s well organized with material in every nook and cranny. 

Sometimes the endcaps would show materials arranged in patterns . . . 

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. . . and sometimes there would be a single piece of cloth on display . . . 

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That’s right, it’s not just patterns . . . there are also vegetables (and other food items) . . . 

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. . . and various themed objects . . . 

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Will the fun never stop? Not for a couple of more posts, anyway. 

I think I’ll stop here and let you, my dear readers, soak in what I have presented so far. More tomorrow. 

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Creative, Musings Stuff, Photography, Photography Stuff, Stuff, Writing Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments