monday search term safari LIII.

write on a typewriter

I love writing on a typewriter.  There’s something very satisfying about producing instant hardcopy, and it makes you more mindful of the sentence you’re about to write, since you can’t just backspace and get rid of it.  I work in longhand these days, which has the same advantage while being even more fun.  Ever since I started writing “analog”, my prose has gotten tighter and less wordy.

fountain pen and paper

The ultimate analog writing method.  I have to admit that I’m utterly addicted to the feel of a good fountain pen nib putting down a smooth line of ink on good paper.  Writing longhand shares the advantages of using a typewriter, but you’re more flexible when it comes to writing location.  (Try hauling a twenty-pound Olympia to a coffee shop without throwing your back out.)  It’s also a more organic way to write, for lack of a better term.  As I cross out words and change things around, the page just kind of evolves.  I can see my changes and margin notes, whereas the deleted stuff on a computer just disappears altogether.

mormon theology in mistborn

Brandon Sanderson’s “Mistborn” trilogy contains no Mormon theology I can remember—unless Mormons can do magic by ingesting little flakes of metal, which I don’t believe to be the case.

fake cheese mouse traps don’t work

I have a Victor trap with a fake cheese bait paddle that says otherwise.  As of this morning, it has accumulated nine hash marks under the little mouse drawing on its back. 

nuts with guns

Here you go:


dog washing machine

There is such a thing?  Where can I buy one?  It would make keeping those little stinkers clean so much less of a chore.  Do they make tiny ones for Chihuahuas, and huge industrial-sized front loaders for Great Danes?  Do I even need special equipment?  I mean, I can probably stuff all four of ours into our little Kenmore…although I suspect I should set the cycle to “Gentle”, and use a low water level.  Any tips for keeping them from barfing during the spin cycle?  Because, you know, that gets them all messy again.

being a parent means your life is over

I won’t deny that some parts of your life are definitely over—the parts where you get to sleep in until 10am, party all weekend, or leave the house without twenty minutes of preparation.  The stuff you trade for all of those abilities, however, makes it well worth the exchange.  You’ll get to meet someone who thinks you’re the coolest, most capable person on the planet, and then you get to show them how the world works.

pistol cal 32 walther ppk

The PPK is a fine little gun, especially in .32ACP.  I actually prefer the PPKs in that caliber to the versions chambered in the larger .380, because they don’t tend to beat themselves up, they have fewer reliability problems, and they’re more pleasant to shoot.  Also, they’re just don’t-you-wanna-pinch-its-cheek-if-it had-one adorably pretty little guns.

novelists longhand

Some novelists who work longhand: Neil Gaiman, Neal Stephenson, Garth Nix, Joe Haldeman, J.K. Rowling, and Stephen King (since Dreamcatcher, anyway).  Also, pretty much every novelist before Mark Twain, who was the first author to deliver a typewritten manuscript to his publisher—Life on the Mississippi, in 1883.  (Twain didn’t type it up himself, though—he dictated the book to a typist from his handwritten pages.)

"are protestants christian"

Well, let’s see.  Do they believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior?  Then they’re Christians, aren’t they?

One thing I find amazing about American Christianity is the fact that some believers dispute that the other denominations are “true” Christians.  In Tennessee, I attended a college class where all the present students except for me agreed with the statement that “Christians” and “Catholics” are two different things.  And if you think that kind of weirdness is limited to the Catholic/Protestant divide, find yourself a Southern Baptist and tell him that his daughter’s secretly dating a Mormon or an Episcopal.


Those are/were the long range reconnaissance patrol units of the German Army.  Prior to the Bundeswehr’s massive post-Cold War reorganization, there were three Fernspaeher companies, one for each German Army corps: FSK100 in Braunschweig (for I Corps), FSK200 in Weingarten (for II Corps), and FSK300 in Fritzlar (for III Corps.)  I served in FSK300 back in 1989.

In the big reorganization fracas, FSK100 and 300 were disbanded, and their personnel absorbed into the new KSK (Kommando Spezialkraefte, the new German Special Forces branch).  FSK200 was converted to a Lehrkompanie (schooling unit), although their recon teams are an active part of the Bundeswehr’s special forces command.

how to write a military novel

You write a literary novel, strip out all the stuff about unrequited love and chain-smoking in the rain, put in a bunch of guns and uniforms, and end the love story subplot in Chapter One, where the hero gets disgusted with his love interest ditching him for the prom, and goes off to join the Marines instead.  (If you’re writing Military SF, make him join the Space Marines.)

atomic vespa

I am not aware of a nuclear-powered scooter, but I’d be totally in the market for one.  Call it the Vespa Becquerel.  I’d buy one just for riding it down to the alternative coffee shop where all the latte-slurping hippies hang out.  I’d park it near the front door, get an outdoor table, and start counting aneurysms.


That’s it for the MSSF First of June edition, friends and neighbors.  Now back to work!  In Soviet Russia, paycheck earns you!


18 thoughts on “monday search term safari LIII.

  1. Dustin says:

    There actually *is* a dog washing machine. I’ve seen videos of it, but I can’t remember where at the moment. It’s an enclosed square (looked kind of like a front-loading washing machine, but the floor was vented and water sprayed down and up. It may also have had a hot air cycle, I do not recall.

  2. Dr. Feelgood says:

    “…find yourself a Southern Baptist and tell him that his daughter’s secretly dating a Mormon or an Episcopal.”

    No true Baptist would let his daughter… 😉

    Christianity is my family, I can tell who belongs and who doesn’t. Denomination is usually a trustworthy guideline, as far as first impressions go, but not an absolute rule.

  3. BryanP says:

    Love the gun nut pic. Mind if I borrow it?

  4. vinnie says:

    Old joke:
    I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the
    edge, about to jump off. I immediately ran over and said “Stop! Don’t
    do it!”

    “Why shouldn’t I?” he said.

    I said, “Well, there’s so much to live for!”

    “Like what?”

    “Well … are you religious or atheist?”


    “Me too! Are you Christian or Jewish?”


    “Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?”


    “Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?”


    “Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the


    “Baptist Church of God.”

    “Me too! Are you Original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed
    Baptist Church of God?”

    “Reformed Baptist Church of God.”

    “Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or
    Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?”

    “Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!”

    To which I said, “Die, heretic scum!” and pushed him off.

  5. perlhaqr says:

    I’ve had hardcore atheists argue with me that Mormons aren’t Christians because they don’t accept the Nicene Creed. Some people are just way too acculturated to following rules. Anyone’s rules. From anywhen. *eyeroll* Argh.

  6. Robert says:

    “unless Mormons can do magic by ingesting little flakes of metal, which I don’t believe to be the case.”

    True, but they might be able to do magic by ingesting burning coals (Isaiah 6:7) and swallowing little books (Rev. Chapter 10).

  7. MarkHB says:

    Dog Washing Machine? Easy.

    Bass Net. Dog. Flush toilet. Some assembly required.

    The important part is to flush before, during and after, o’course. I can’t take credit, it was in the same P.J. O’Rourke book where he espouses cooking steak in the toaster. What a guy.

  8. Sigivald says:

    I’m pretty sure that denying the Christianity of others pre-dates America.

    It’s only “American” now because Europe’s stopped being Christian to speak of, I think.

    (Plus there’s the interesting theological question of “is believing Jesus is the Son of God sufficient, or just necessary”?

    At least it interests me, as an atheist.)

  9. Gregg says:

    I kinda like the thought of the Vespa Chernobyl. In fact I could see Tam or her roomie riding one down Broad Ripple.

  10. Larry says:

    So, Does the mousetrap have nose art as well as the hash marks?

  11. boomvark says:

    Neal Snow Crash/Cryptonomicon Stephenson works in longhand?

    Damn. Cool.

  12. Kristopher says:

    The problem with writing on typewriters is getting the ink to not smear on the metal and plastic typewriter chassis, and having to store one typewriter for each page of written text.

  13. mts says:

    Try hauling a twenty-pound Olympia to a coffee shop without throwing your back out.

    The whole idea of the coffee house experience is with one part being that it’s an inspirational place for a writer. After all, that’s where the Harry Potter line began. Coffee house: where greats like Picasso, Hemingway, Matisse, and Kurakin went for the Muse so they could fill their Moleskines. No one specified exactly how the writing was to get done.

    Dang, you gave me a great idea for a shenanigan. I still have my non-electronic word processor. I can imagine walking in with that thing in its case, getting a coffee, then taking it out and plopping it on the table, thwack, loading the paper, zip, zip, zip, then typing away. Considering the acoustics of most Seattle based chain stores, the sound would ricochet off the hard surfaces and sound like someone set off a belt of fire crackers. Tssh, tssh, ta-ta-ta-ta-tsh, bing! Shoomp. Tssh, …

    I’ll have to find a cohort to go in separate from me and time it. I bet I’d get at least three minutes, but less than five, before I get the manager to mind and say something.

  14. LittleRed1 says:

    When I worked on the Iowa tundra (that’s what an associate of mine called it), I was cautioned to stay away from Missouri Synod Lutherans “because they’re fast.” (Being a mostly-Methodist, I just nodded and looked grave.)
    I mentioned this later to an older friend of mine who grew up near Hastings Nebraska, and he laughed. He’s German-Lutheran and was warned in the 1920s-30s to stay away from the Bohemian Catholics in the town up the road “because they’re fast!”

  15. Michael says:

    There’s a dog washing machine at the pet store in West Lebanon on the left as you’re going towards the Power Station area from I-89. Never seen a dog more nervous, scared and miserable. Terrible idea.

  16. Bob Durtschi says:

    “mormon theology in mistborn”
    This blogger thinks there is:
    and lists nine points to prove it.

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