Ghosties in the Night

Every biennial year or so I go on a private, personal writing retreat to Wayne’s World, my cousins’ camp on Lake Arfelin roughly 10 rough, brutal miles north of Champion. The seclusion is delightful. On a good year I can spend a week without any human interaction at all, just the occasional revelers out on the lake or partying out of sight somewhere beyond the trees.

I’m not a Nervous Nellie, more of a Cautious Kelly. I guess. But the nights are very dark and very quiet, and I’m all alone at the end of the trail in a three-bedroom ranch. Despite the quiet, I prefer to wear earplugs when I sleep. Otherwise the least little noise would pop me awake—whether small animals rustling in the leaves, or bears tearing into the trash can. So far nothing and no one has bothered me.

There was one interesting late night incident, however.

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They Call Me MISTER Boomer!

This is a reprint from a post on my more obscure web blog, from November 1, 2008, in memory of Boomer (1992 – July 5, 2009)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy cat Mr. Boomer has been with us for nearly 16 years now. He came to us in November of 1992 as a stray: starved, insecure, needy, stinking, and full of worms. We took him to our vet, Dr. P–, of the P– Veterinary Clinic, and got him checked out and patched up. He’d already been declawed and fixed. I named him and he moved in and took over us and the house, even though my wife would have gladly had him put to sleep. He was loud, annoying, always hungry, constantly under foot, and every couple of days he’d have a poop like a St. Bernard that would fill the litter box and peel the paint off the walls.

Even so, he was my Mr. Boomer, my Big Guy, my Mr. Cat, my Mr. Boom Boom Guy, a real guy’s cat, a cat who met me at the door when I came home and coaxed me to the living room floor every day to roughhouse and play-fight with me. As Calvin said of Hobbes, “It’s hard to stay mad at someone who misses you when you’re asleep.”

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A Little Shameless Self Promotion


I’ll just post these covers while I’ll taking a break from blogging to do other things far more boring and stupid. I’ll just mention that I was presented with two electrical problems this week, and it took me most of the morning to fix the third one. Huh? Obviously, somebody can’t count. Or do I sense a conspiracy of some sort? Click on the title tabs at the top of the page to learn more about Life in Deathe.


Call Me Wish Male

Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off- then, I account it high time to get to the U.P. as soon as I can.

With apologies to Herman Melville


(Coincidentally, I bought up the rear of the shortest funeral procession I’ve ever seen this week. A minivan hearse, a six-door Cadillac XTS limo, and a four-door DTS limo. And me. But I wasn’t invited. And I didn’t care, when they pulled into a rather shabby suburban neighborhood. Who knows, maybe this a new high school prom thing?)

Slow Carb Diet

I was reminiscing about all the cars (and three pickups) I’ve owned and ruined over the years. I didn’t ruin any of them intentionally. I’m a victim of the Law of Unintended Consequences. (That’s the same law that says if you raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour it will lift many low wage workers out of poverty, but the consequence is that now a donut at the local convenience store is going to cost $5 and nobody will buy a $5 donut so the store closes and the national economy eventually plunges into recession.)

We could talk about the ’66 Mustang that suffered low oil pressure and blew head gaskets after I rebuilt the engine. (I blame this on the torque wrench I bought that I thought made me a master mechanic, able to fix anything. Never buy a torque wrench. That’s a prescription for disaster.) Or the ’75 Trans Am that… well, I don’t want to talk about it.

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Mark Wolfgang Signs Books at Bestsellers and the Internet Loses Its Mind!

Do you hate these click-bait headlines as much as I do? I mean seriously, the Internet lost its mind a couple decades ago. It’s become paranoid and schizophrenic, it’s manic-depressive, and it should probably be institutionalized and heavily medicated. (We can probably all agree it’s heavily medicated already, but not in a good way.) If you’re clicking on headlines like this, you already know that. And let’s be honest, we’ve all clicked on these headlines. The pain in this is that– and we do all know this— we’re going to have to click through about twenty nearly identical screens of random worthless high-pressure advertising before we get to the nugget of the headline, if it even exists.

Okay, I admit it, if I see a headline like Jennifer Aniston Hits the Beach in a String Bikini and the Internet Loses Its Mind, I am damned well gonna click on it. I admit it, it’s a weakness I share with the Internet. Even though I know– I know!— there’s not going to be any gold at the end of that particular rainbow. I can usually resist and close out after only a dozen or so screens of miscellaneous dead-end nonsense.

Nevertheless, I did sign books at Bestsellers Books and Coffee Co. last evening, April 15 (traditional tax day), 2016, and I like to think a good time was had by all. Sales were brisk. Friends and family came in swarms, at least for the first hour, when it was a total zoo and I, pen in hand, blanked out on the names of only a handful of people I’ve known for years. You had to be there. And if you weren’t, I’m sorry, I missed you… what’s your name again? The second hour everything calmed down and I actually got to visit with people. Life is good.

Thank you to all who made it. It is heart-warming and gratifying to have so many friends out there who are kind enough– or foolish enough– to encourage my imagination and semi-dedicated, hard(ish) work. And even for those who didn’t make it, I hope to give you a fresh opportunity, hopefully early next year, when Deathe Warmed Over may or may not hit the shelves… and the Internet. We can’t forget the Internet. We all know it has no mercy.

In the meantime, feel free to rummage around in the rest of my website here. Suggestions welcome. But please be nice– the Internet is watching.