Category Archives: Internet Snafoos

Light Blanket of Snow for Christmas

In the two months leading up to Christmas Eve, I was treated to a double computer crash, recovery proved impossible, so purchased a new machine, and subjected the other two to low level formats. With the new version of Windows Seven, some of my trusted programs didn’t work anymore, and I had to purchase replacements. I also had to upgrade to the latest versions of Wordperfect X5, Adobe Acrobat X Pro, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe In-Design. This process necessitated my extra trips to the Big-Smoke (Toronto) for parts and visits to the computer doctor at the Lung Association.

At the moment I have a lot of unhappy customers since the bookhouse is chock-a-block full of new boxes of books that all need dustjackets, and a stack of orders for fulfillment — long overdue orders!

I have also been working away at the art of e-books. I think I have mastered the hurdles of Adobe.pdf files, with graphics and bookmarks, importing them into itunes, and the masterfully insightful bookshelves on the iPod itself.

I had originally planned to travel over the holidays, because I had deliveries to make in Sauk City, Wisconsin and Chicago, but this did not happen, instead the day before Christmas, a light blanket of white snow arrived, and the chill of cold weather which has finally frozen the lake in front of the house. The front curtains are now closed since they offer another layer of insulation from the cold through the windows.

The two events that highlighted the holiday for me were: a Christmas Eve Carol Service at St. John’s United Church in Flesherton, and a Turkey Dinner on Christmas Day at the Gentle Shepherd Community Centre. Indeed, this was an event to remember! It had been organized for a number of years by Nelson and Wendy Weber, but this year they had a number of volunteer helpers headed up by Kim Lucas and her husband. The tables were preset in the basement with Christmas cheer, including Jelly Beans. The meal was a sit down and not buffet; There was lots of delicious, home-cooked turkey, with all the trimmings, homemake cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, kernel corn, turnip, sweet potatoes, and an excellent turkey dressing, as well as a great selection of homemake pie and cakes. Every attendee left with a Christmas present.

Now that the computer is back in order, I will continue to work on The Wodehouse Bibliography, and get ready to celebrate Sherlock Holmes birthday in New York in the middle of January. I was invited to the preview of the new Sherlock Holmes movie, and the allusions to the Canon were superior to the first one, but the level of gratuitous violence should attract a youth audience, and hopefully lead them to the ready of the real McCoy. The high-point for me was seeing Stephen Fry, plump and past his prime in the buff.

Now it is time for a walk. I will particularly look for the various animals tracks in the newly fallen snow. I bought 50 pounds of carrots and a large salt block for the deer who frequent the old apple orchard behind the cottage.

it is also time to put another log on the fire.



My Want List

I have a number of rather large literary projects on the go, both with members of the Editorial Board and with individuals whom I have encountered on the World Wid Web, a truly fascinating mechanism to meet and correspond with people without the involvement of Canada Post or it’s counterparts in other nations. There surely must be a time when these organizatons must go the equivalent of bankrupt, and their service doesn’t improve with age either! In the process of creating a book, or books, I need content; I cannot create an omelette without eggs, the same way a creative writer does. Hence for each project I have a want list of stories, books, magazine appearances, newspaper appearances and or digest appearances. I shall endeavour to list them here by author. This blog entry is a work in progress, and I shall emend and update it, as well as link to it in the future. I shall be eternally grateful, as well as pleased to reimburse the reader for out-of-pocket expenses for any items on these lists that can be supplied, either by e-mail attachment or by the equivalent of that dinosaur Canada Post alluded to above.

“White Slave Girls of East End Chinatown” by Sax Rohmer World’s Pictorial, ca. 1920.

“Wainwright T. Morton and McGarvey” by Donald Barr Chidsey: The Carrion Clue(Dime Detective Magazine Mar 15 1935); The Scar Clue (Dime Detective Magazine June 15, 1935); Once Too Often (Detective Fiction Weekly April 29 1939); The Jawbones of Nightmare Swamp (Detective Fiction Weekly Apr 5 1941)

Henry St. Clair Whitehead: Mechanics of Revision (Writer’s Digest, September 1927); The Project Method (Date unknown); The Occult Story (The Free-Lance Writer’s Annual, 1927)

Fraklin H. Martin: (in collaboration with Edward Agnew for WWI Air Adventure Stories) Lone Eagle (Aces, September 1932); The Cloud Crasher (Wings, August 1932); Dealers in Death (Wings, October1934); God Help the Hun (Wings, January 1935); Song of the Eagle (War Birds, June 1937)

Frederick Nebel:  (in collaboration with Edward Agnew for WWI Air Adventure Stories) Skyrocket Scott (Wings, March 1928); Birdmen of Borneo (Air Stories, September 1927); Bolt From the Blue (Air Stories, October 1928); High-Flying Highbinders (Air Stories, March 1930); South of Saigon (Air Stories, June 1930); Boomerang Barnes (Air Adventures, January 1929); The Scourge of the South Seas (Flying Stories, 3 parts, September–November 1929).

Raoul Whitfield: (in collaboration with Edward Agnew for WWI Air Adventure Stories) The want list consist of 54 stories, instead of an individual list, here is a link to the web page where the entire table of contents can be reviewed and the wanted pulps are highlighted in red.

Nictzin Dyalhis:  (In collaboration with Robert Weinberg for The Nictzin Dyalhis Portfolio) The Whirling Machete (Underworld, December 1933)

Seabury Quinn: (In collaboration with Gene Christie from The Case Files of Major Sturdevant) The Washington Nights’ Entertainment: No. 2 Not seen? When V3#4; The Washington Nights’ Entertainment: V4#1; The Washington Nights’ Entertainment: V4#2; The Washington Nights’ Entertainment: No. 3 Not seen; “The Shrine of Seven Lamps” Real Detective Tales, V5#2 (September-October 1924; “No. 9. Voodoo” Real Detective Tales, V5#3 (November 1924)

Baroness Emmuska Oczy: The Miser of Maida Vale (Doran, 1925)


Only 258 e-mails in the Backlog now!

In April 2009 my computer got indigestion and crashed when Windows Express couldn’t cope, and then the new computer crashed again in September when the motherboard died. I lost my e-mails with the first crash, but retained them intact the second time around. I am playing catchup now, and I am only now sorting through the e-mail generated from my web site since  June 2009. Poor business man! and very slow on fulfilment to the frustation of many of my customers. There were other issues but no point in boring you with real life here.

Bob Weinberg and I are now working hard to put the finishing touches on The Arkham House Mission Statement and Forthcoming List (2010-2014). It’s not rocket science, one new book each year, one old book per year, and we can annouce we are scheduling Seventy-Five Years of Arkham House in 2014. This volume will highlight those Stanton and Lee titles missed the first time around, and other information not including in 60 Years. The editorial team is in place and reflects the length and depth of the collector-scholar community. The Arkham Brotherhood and Sisterhood will come together.


Baking Bill’s Cherry Pie

Last Friday I travelled to Toronto with a moving fan and my Cleaning lady, Irene and her husband Kelly who also serves as my landscaper and all around handyman. Kelly also drove the truck, and all three of us agreed that it was going to be a long day, but an adventure nevertheless. We arrived a little after noon to empty my friend Bill’s apartment on Broadview, just south of the Danforth.

We had to take the truck around to the back entrance, as the front entrance was a Fire Exit, and the snowy weather left the road up to read parking lot was slippery. After a dozen tries Kelly was successfula nd he backed in and lowered the ramp. Kevin Porter had worked that morning to complete the boxing up of Bill’s library, and had moved the boxes down to the read lobby. It was a long afternoon with a bare minimum of breakage.

Irene cleaned up the apartment as it emptied. She cleaned out the refrigerator. There were three pies left in the freezer — a pecan, a blueberry and a cherry.

The heavy large items exited last, and this process was expedited by Kelly’s experience in the moving industry in his youth. The pull out couch was doable after the cushions and mattress were removed. Finally the fireproof three draw safe filing cabinet initially proved obstinant. However the Superintendant Eric came to the rescue with a dolly, and I became supernumery, I was almost too pooped to participate anyway.

Another tank of gas and supersizxed meal at Wendy’s along the way fortified all three of us for the unloading into a 1o’x25′ locker in Shelburne. Then home before midnight. The next day I unloaded a couple of boxes from the car, one containing those three pies, and a fancy well-used tea-pot which I have now adopted, and which will remind of all those pots of Chinese Green teas that Bill and I enjoyed in various Chinese and Vietnames food emporiums in Toronto. Another box contained the two tape-guns, additional tape and green garbage bags surplus to the move. Better too many boxes, tapes and green garbage bags than not enough!

Over the past three years, after Bill moved back into his apartment from the nursing home where he lived on the Alzheimer’s ward with his wife Anna, we developed our Saturday routine. I would meet him at circa 0900 and we would adjourn for a leisure DimSum breakfast variously including Hargow(Shrimp dumplings), Sumai (smal pork patties), Chicken feet, Congee (thick rice porridge with chicken or fish or seafood) and deep fried octopus. Next we visited the factory outlet for the Weston Bakery. I well remember Bill purchasing those three pies late in the summer prior to his death.

I set out the Cherry pie, and read the instructions to bake it the next night. While I ate a large wedge for dinner desert, I reflected on my friend Bill, our times together, the adventure of closing down his apartment, the Memorial Service for both him and his wife Anna next week at the Manulife, and his book launch which we plotted over Dim Sum those many Saturday mornings.


Give the dog a bone

I travelled to Sauk City Wisconsin to visit April Derleth at Arkham House Publishers this week. I met with Bob Weinberg in Chicago going and coming back as well. At “Place of Hawks” April had her two dogs with her, and our conversation was difficult because both dogs, named Reggie and Queenie were constantly barking. Reggie is elderly and arthritic, and he grew tired and laid down in the corner.  Now Queenie was a young, lean, large Dobermann Pinscher with significant mouth full of teeth. The more I tried to talk with April about editorial duties and responsibilities with Arkham House, the more Queenie barked and howled at me. She bared her teeth in her barking and actually bit me, but did not break the skin of my hand. April noted that her dog would do better with a couple of milkbones but there were none in the house. I offered to bring some the next day, and I did. However April’s friend Jesse had already purchased a box of flavored large sized milkbones the evening before. April and I shared a couple of cans of “SunDrop” which is a local favorite — more later. At one point when we were travelling from the home to the bookhouse, I put the can of pop in my pocket, and it unfortunately it spilled in there. Both dogs were happy to be outside in the snowy cold, and Queenie decided to start barking once again with a vengeance. Suddenly I was struck with an idea, and I went back into the house and filled both my coat pockets with large and medium seized milkbones. Queenie continued to bark viciously between milkbones, but she much preferred the milkbones from the pocket containing the spilled Sundrop. It must have been the high sugar content in the soda pop, that swayed her preference. We took the Arkham SUV to go shopping, and I was doing the driving; the dogs were eager and came along for the ride, and April helped Reggie into the back seat. Queenie was excited about the trip and in a moment of weakness licked my right cheek in the driver’s seat. I was somewhat surprised and April chuckled. When the four of us returned from shopping, Queenie started to bark again in the front yard but was much subsued with a dozen or so more Sundrop coated milkbones.

And now “Sundrop” — Originally Sundrop was produced by the Celo Bottling Company with its headquarters at 708 Water Street, Sauk City. It closed down in December 2006, when its founder George Koehler passed away. George referred to himself as “King George” and to his wife as “Queen Thelma.” They were both keen fans of “The Rambler” and I met King George one day at Hugo’s Harness Shop, and he gave me a calender and a digital clock to display in the Shop. We sat and talked for well over an hour about everything under the sun. King George sat in Hugo’s chair, and I sat in Augie’s chair. George told me of his cars, and of his bottles — I actually said very few words that day. We discussed Hugo’s bamboo fishing rods, and King George’s memories of Auggie — going morelle hunting and walking uptown every day in his sandles and carrying his wicker basket for the mail. King George wanted to arrange to have a couple of cases of Sundrop at the Walden West Festival that year, and we talked turkey and it happened. He got all of his empties back, except a couple of the visitors who kept them as souvenirs — they are now collectibles. There are only a handful of rebottlers of glass return bottles left in The U.S.A. George told me that his Celo Bottling Company had its roots in the Second World War when it processed and bottled celery into a carbonated beverage for local consumption. For more information google Celo Bottling Company.

The Celo Bottling headquarters is located just down the street from the Old Hahn House where the old shack was located where August Derleth and Mark Shorer first composed those early collaborations for Weird Tales, and they both front on The Wisconsin River. I photographed this property in the fall of 2009 and I append it here.

And so the editorial responsibilities were fulfilled with the four participatants imbibing Sundrop, Queenie vicariously. On my next visit, I will go prepared with my pockets full of milkbones!


Mail-Box Full!

Over the summer months, I started to receive e-mails from a number of frustrated customers, that they were unable to send e-mails from the website, and that they were getting the message “Mail Box Full” To address this problem, I cleared the deck, and set a day aside this week to deal specifically with this issue with the Technical Team at my ISP provider that hosts my website. Rather than go into a detailed explanation of what then transpired suffice to say the two mail boxes were deleted, they had a total of over 8000 messages, but over 90% were spam messages. The remaining 10% were messages that I had already dealt with or received previously. I created a new e-mail address on the website, with instructions to forward all messages received to my current e-mail address. I tested it; it works!

A second problem that I had been experiencing with my website, involved my computer caching pages from my website wehn I accessed it on the internet, so that after I had update the Website with FrontPage, the old cached pages loaded instead of the revised pages. I was able to remove all caches and cookies with my Web browser, and the problem was instantly resolved. Now, more importantly I know how to resolve this issue when it present again.

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Posted by on September 20, 2008 in Internet Snafoos