Tag Archive | editors

Technology is wonderful when it works!

The computer an aid and a torturer!

The Geezer spends hours behind the keyboard. Authors do that. I guess that it’s inevitable that a love hate relationship formed between him and his computer. Human’s say familiarity breeds contempt. Were it only that mild. What happened over the Labor Day weekend illustrates the game of frustration in which he and Microsoft are engaged.

The old bird is on the excitable side. Over the past few weeks he’s been developing an idea for a new book. That’s wound him tighter than a cheap watch. He shared his idea with his literary agent and…Walla! Her excitement matched his. After a long, upbeat conversation before the holiday weekend, she requested a synopsis and some supporting work ‘as quickly as possible.’ When the Geezer get’s that type of a request, he reacts like Teddy Roosevelt on San Juan Hill.

CHARGE! The Geezer took the preliminary information he’d created and began hanging flesh on the bones. He dove into research immediately. His desk was awash in open books, scribbled notes, downloaded printed sheets, and the all-ways-present empty coffee cups. And…his problems began right with it. His original title for the book didn’t work for several reasons. Okay, just change it. There is that little matter of file names. Awww, the acorn that the mighty oak grew from.

It revolved around those pesky title changes and the cloud. Microsoft, in all its monopolistic wisdom, tries to force its software slaves to use the cloud. The cloud, or the ‘shroud’ as the Geezer calls it, gobbled up some files that he was trying to keep off of it. Some went here…some went there…some went everywhere! Unfortunately, he did not become aware of that until he was almost finished. Fuming, fussing, and cussing he straightened the mess out. The Geezer sent the synopsis, etc. to the fair lady agent for her royal perusal. He thought.

She acknowledged receipt. The time clock was punched and the Geezer’s office chair developed pins and needles. Thursday at five! Book synopsis D-Day. Awaiting feedback on his baby in the womb made Tuesday long, Wednesday unending, and Thursday excruciating.

ZOOM! The moment of truth. The Geezer’s anticipation bubbled. The conversation hadn’t progressed far when the Geezer got that feeling in the pit of his stomach…something was very wrong. One party was speaking about the sky, the other ant hills. After wasting a goodly amount of time the Geezer realized the files he sent weren’t the ones he wanted her to get!

After the call there was much gnarling of teeth. The Geezer had the fervent desire to throw the computer in the canal behind our house. But if the Geezer is anything, he’s practical. He selected a piece of paper, printed in large letters, ‘COMPUTER,’ folded into the form of a paper airplane, and sent it into the murky waters. Sigh! Humans!

Brandi Progress report: She’s growing! Fast!

Brandi is getting large! Hopefully the baby teeth will go soon and everything in the house and me won’t be a chew toy!

If you’re interested in taking in one of the Geezer’s presentation, check out his website at http://www.dlhavlin.com and look under calendar of events. (A link is to the right on this page) Thinks are beginning to reopen and he is also doing many things virtually. Sit at home and see “Here Come The Generals” (one of many) through Master the Possibilities continuing education program.

~~~~~~

Hi! I’m Brandi…

HI! I’m Brandi. I’m Sandy’s understudy. I hope to carry on with her tradition – – – a dog’s eye view of humans.

There comes a time in a dog’s life where she wants to kick back a little, smell the roast beef, and enjoy the next part of life. That time has come for me. Sooooooooooo, let me introduce you to someone who will be writing some of my information pieces on you humans. I give you Brandi! She’s a Golden Retriever just like me! In living color!

I believe a lot of life is the angle you view it from!

Hello! I’m young…I’m energetic…I love life…and I love all you crazy, mixed-up, humans. I’ll be sharing the keyboard with Sandy and the Geezer. Some at first, then more, and more, and more. About me! I’m still getting to learn about myself. I have a different view of things, I do some things well…Run around like crazy, wag my tail so hard my whole rear shakes, eat non-stop, and play hide and seek with Missy…She’s something called a cat. I’m still learning lots. My grammar is spotty, my bark is shrill and high pitched, and I don’t do potty well. I do LOVE to chew!

Above all else I love to chew!

One thing the Geezer and Sandy agree on is that I love people and people love me. Oh…another is I’m a cutie. Standby. I’m ready to start my writing career.

I know I’ll love all of you! I hope all of you will love me!

 

Sandy here! Isn’t she lovable…

~~~~~~~

 

 

How Reading Makes Me A Better Bear!

Reading makes me a better bear.

 

Guest post: The Geezer is doing this post for me – Woof, woof!

About four years ago, I’d had enough! Enough of what, you say? Enough of seeing young ‘uns with no interest in reading. I speak to libraries, civic groups, museums, continuing learning groups, and at book stores. After one of my presentations, there are always a few questions posed by audience members and they are often accompanied by young children. My standard question to ‘our future’ is “What is the latest book you’ve read?” The young ones most frequent reaction to the query is to look at me like I’m a Martian.

I’m not a children’s writer. But, if you’re going to criticize, you to be willing to help solve the problem, not add to it. (If any of you know a media person, please quote the last sentence to them.) I wrote “Why Reading Makes Me A Better Bear” for that reason. Its intent is to stimulate young children’s interest in reading. I print them, sell a few at appearances to offset my costs, and give them to schools, libraries, and organizations promoting children’s literacy. So far we’ve given over a 1,000 away. A two page guide at the rear of the book is a guide for adults to work with a young reader to get the most out of the book. (Prepared with the HELP of PhD. in education process.)

Since a lot of us are confined to wherever we call home, I thought this would be a good time to share…….and to hope you’ll share with your friends and family.

  1. Click on the link below  2) Power Point will ask if it can come up on your screen – answer yes  3) At top click on slide show  4) Select from the beginning.

Narated.Why.Reading Makes Me A Better Bear

One page from the book.

Feedback from libraries, etc. has been extremely favorable. If you are a teacher, librarian, or other adult who works with children and want a free copy of the book, go to my web page  http://www.dlhavlin.coom  then click the contact tab and request we ship you one. We’ll ask you for shipping cost ONLY.

 

~~~~~~~

 

 

Aunt Gilda’s Christmas Gift

The Geezer and I wish you all a very “Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!”

It’s time for my annual Christmas and Holiday greeting to all my friends…four and two legged. The Geezer has written a new one that I’m sure you’ll enjoy!

 

Aunt Gilda’s Christmas Gift

 

If I could relive one day of my life…at one place…whenever I wished, it would be at my Aunt Gilda’s home on Christmas morning 1968. I learned something that morning; one of the most important bits of wisdom I’d ever receive.

The year 1968 had not been a good one for our family. My older brother went to Vietnam and died there, early in the year. Resulting stress took its toll on our whole family. My sisters, both older, were very close to Eddie. The loss nearly destroyed them both. Their wrath focused on my parents whom they believed allowed Eddie to enlist. My father’s health went from vibrant to precarious after a mysterious malady struck him. He would not find the cure in the bottle that caused it. Mother struggled to keep what she possessed in-tact. That was difficult. Both my sisters were in a state of uncontrollable rebellion, her husband a tottering drunk, and I…I had become convinced that love was something I didn’t want. From what I saw, love was simply a transitory, conditional thing that eventually caused pain.

Aunt Gilda was special to me. My mother’s sister, she was several years older than my parents. Gilda wasn’t a stranger to life’s disappointments and tragedies. Her husband died in World War Two. She had no children. She never remarried. After a brief period earning a living as a nightclub performer, she settled into first managing, then owning a small restaurant. It suited her. Despite a fire, hard economic times, and a violent robbery, she persevered and prospered. She was happy sharing life with friends and her two Golden Retrievers.

I was her surrogate child and she was my favorite aunt. So, when things reached a crises in our household that December, I was sent to stay with Aunt Gilda for the holidays. My mother needed fewer problems and I was one that could be removed from her over-stuffed basket. Two weeks before Christmas, my aunt greeted me with a warm smile as I walked out of the airport gate. My twelve-year-old mind only processed the material aspect of my stay. Gilda was a great cook, generous to a fault, and fun to be around. My first evening there, Aunt Gilda discovered that as we sat in front of her huge fireplace.

“I’m sorry you don’t have your parents and sisters here. I know you’ll miss their love.” Gilda shoved a plate of pecan pralines at me.

I greedily grabbed a few of the sweet candies and said, “Thanks, Aunt Gilda. These pralines are a good substitute.”

“Jerry, you don’t mean that! There is never a substitute for the love we share.”

I casually said what I felt, “I don’t know Aunt Gilda. It seems to me that love always has a string on it. If things go bad, it can be jerked away. It’s kind of like the way my sisters play with their cat. They tie a piece of paper on the end of a piece of string. They let the cat chase it until they get tired. That’s the end of it. If things go bad or get boring, love just goes away. Dad says love is just another four letter word.”

My aunt examined my face but said nothing for several seconds. Finally, she said, “I’ll have to think about that for a while.” I was to get her rebuttal Christmas morning.

“Get up, Jerry,” my aunt said as she pried me from the bed much earlier than I expected. Presents! What was I waiting for? I rolled out of bed and took a few steps toward the bedroom door before she stopped me. “Whoa!” She grinned and I noticed a sheet and a huge red bow draped over one of her arms. “I have to wrap you before I give you away,” she said.

“Huh?” I was surprised and confused.

Gilda smiled as she covered me with the sheet, grasping both hands so they would extend uncovered. When she finished, I was encased in a white cloth “package” with the red bow pinned to the sheet. “You’ll make a great present!” Was I really going to be someone’s gift? She said, “Come with me,” and led me to whatever awaited. I could smell the pine as we entered the living room and stood next to the Christmas tree.

I heard strange noises. After a few seconds, I decided they came from my Aunt’s two dogs. She asked, “Are you ready?”

No one answered, so I decided I should. I murmured, “I guess I am.”

“Good…Buster, meet Jerry. He’s your Christmas present.” Simultaneously, I felt something soft, warm, and furry being placed in my hands. And, it was moving around. My fingers circled a small body between four legs.  Aunt Gilda snatched the sheet away. I was staring into the eyes of a golden retriever pup.

Back when I was a puppy ……

Aunt Gilda spoke to the puppy, not me. “What do you think, Buster? Do you want to keep him? He’ll likely be a pain in the ass to train. He has no idea that to love something or someone it has to be unconditional. No strings…no if’s…no anything. He’ll need to learn to take you with him most everywhere he goes, the proper way to scratch behind your ears, and what your favorite treats are. Test him a time or two…leave a few messes for him to clean up. Want to give it a shot?”

Buster whimpered a little, took his eyes off me, stared at Aunt Gilda for a few seconds, then focused on me before issuing a baby bark, indicating he’d accept the challenge.

Aunt Gilda looked at me. “It seems Buster is willing to give it a try. How about you, Jerry?”

I would have the thought the smile on my face would have answered her question, but I enthusiastically answered, “Sure!”

“Hold him to your chest and let him enter your heart.” I did, and Aunt Gilda said words I’ve never forgotten.

“Jerry, when you take someone into your heart and decide to love them, it’s a decision you can’t cancel, though sometimes you may wish you could. That’s the reason you make the decision to love carefully. Buster will provide you with unconditional love if you do the same for him. Love wisely, love unbreakably and you will love happily.”

Merry Christmas Friends

 

~~~~~~~

 

Do I hear sleigh bells? Or is it Gobble, Gobble?

I’m thinking the season is coming. No, I don’t have a red nose. I do like turkey!

Okay. I’m rushing it. In my defense, it’s hard not to. The Geezer and I have made several social calls in the last few weeks. As far back as November 3rd, we observed multitudes of colored lights appearing on porches, around windows, on bushes, even circling palms in some of our neighbors’ yards. The Thanksgiving turkey hasn’t met the Guillotine and people already are checking the northern sky for the fat man in the red suit.

With all the stores dressing for Christmas right after the 4th of July, it’s no wonder you humans allow your ‘not always strong’ minds to wander ahead. Aaahhhhh, try to remember all those store owners decorate their home Christmas trees with dollar signs. Get a grip. Remember that holiday that comes before Santa?

It’s THANKSGIVING! …… Not turkey day, diet abstinence day, football forever day, or “oh, no, not Uncle Pete!” day.

In your rush to get to that ultimate season of joy, you humans have a tendency to brush past Thanksgiving like the first Salvation Army kettle you spy outside Walmart’s exit. Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time of reflection and appreciation for the good fortune that has entered our lives. At least, that was the jest of Lincoln’s reason for creating it as a formal holiday. What has it become to some of us?

Turkey’s dread it! With such an attractive, pleasant, ugly, face. Its hard, easy, to understand its murder.

The compulsory day of gluttony – can heartburn be far behind?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You humans consider it a day to eat enough to increase your waist size so you can justify that new Christmas wardrobe. Green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, steaming baked biscuits, yams, wine, calorie-stuffed desserts, and…of course…turkey! Thanksgiving is a national day of mourning for the bird with the big chest. It’s been raised and hunted by men for that virtue (though some ladies can sympathize with that) since the pilgrims landed. When you think “Thanksgiving,” you have to think, “Fat!” with it.

To many, particularly men, it has become a day to participate in a marathon, a football watching marathon. The tube works overtime as you crush couches and consume untold unneeded calories. The potato chips, dip, little Smokies, and chocolate chip cookies are washed down with floods of Pepsi and Coors. Basketball has competed for a share of the audience. It won’t happen. Watching thin men in shorts works on the conscience more than watching fat men in pads. Humans don’t like to be reminded of their mistakes.

Fascinated by the tube, you human zombies eat snacks like a garbage disposal.

To those of us who reside with you humans, Thanksgiving is leftover appreciation day. Yes, it is a great day for pets. I’m less fussy than either the Geezer or Mrs. G. White meat, dark meat…frankly, I don’t give a damn. (I’ve always had a crush on old Clark Gable).

To the sound of music — “It was anticipation…”

Take your pick–“After the ball is over,” “Happy Days are here again!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To all of you have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING! (And try to remember why we celebrate it!)

 

~~~~~~~

 

 

“What’s in my head is what I’ve read!”

Reading makes me a better bear.

As you probably know, my human is an author. I call him the Geezer. I usually don’t talk much about his writing, because he does enough of that. However, one of the things the old boy does is really pretty cool. Why? Because he wants kids to develop an interest and love for reading. Even though he’s not a children’s author, he wrote and produces a short book for kids from preschool through 4th grade. The book’s title is, “Why reading makes me a better bear.”

I have to take part of the credit for “Better Bear.” The Geezer would often mutter and complain to me after making one of his many, many historical presentations. His standard complaint was as follows: It drives me crazy! Parents and grandparents bring their young ones up after I speak. I ask the kids what the last book they read is, and they look at me like I’m a Martian! Don’t the parents and kids understand reading is the foundation for all learning? I got tired of listening to it, so I told him, “Stop talking and start doing.”

One of the unique things about this children’s book are the last two pages. They don’t finish this book, they are what the Geezer hopes will be the beginning of adults working with, and encouraging their loved ones to read! Giving a child the gift of love for, and appreciation of, reading, is one of the greatest acts a parent or grandparent can perform to insure the youths success in life. It doesn’t cost the adult a thing! A friend who has a doctorate in education helped him with those two pages. That friend’s specialty is reading retention.

What he does with the the book, is what I consider the best part. He gives them away to libraries and elementary schools. When he makes public appearances, he sells a few…all the funds collected from these sales are used to print more “Better Bears.” He has distributed close to 1500 to schools, libraries, and teachers to date.

One page from the book.

When I told the Geezer I was going to write about “Why reading makes me a better bear,” he said I could offer a free book to individuals who’d like a copy for their personal use. So I can send up to 200 out on a first-come-first-serve basis, after September 30th, 2019. Here’s how to get one:

Go to his web page at     www.dlhavlin.com

Under Inside the World (right side) – click on Contact

Complete the form required information –

Write in the comments section – “Send me a copy of Better Bear.”  Write the address to where you want it shipped.

~~~~~~

 

 

Tap those paws! Bluegrass is Florida tradition!

Keith Bass – one fine banjo picker & and a true Florida cowboy

 

Yee – Haw! I sure like to go to hear some down home pickin’ & singin’. So do my human’s! The photo and video clip in this blog are from a trip to one of our neighboring towns, Okeechobee. The Geezer and Mrs. G went to see the “Kieth Bass & Florida Bluegrass Express,” a band that they have enjoyed listening to and visiting for years.

Many who live in the Sunshine State aren’t aware that bluegrass and country music are part of Florida’s frontier heritage. Florida? Frontier heritage? Many will be skeptical when told Florida was part of the frontier well past 1900. It was, and still is, one of the leading cattle producing states in the US. Many of Florida’s early inhabitants were Scotch-Irish from Georgia and the Carolinas. Most of these hardy souls were “cow hunters” or were  associated with them in some way. They brought their instruments and music with them.

I remember my parents going square dancing on Friday nights when I was in elementary school in Fort Myers. Dancing to banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and bass was a deep tradition, not only in Florida, but throughout the  South and the frontier West. There is great artistry in the “pickin” of these instruments that have no electric assists to make the musicians sound better than they are. If you want to hear the sounds of our American roots there are two places to do it. Find black blues, jazz, and soul music in an off-the-main-street  lounge or bar. Find a country, bluegrass, or folk music show in a rural location that is its home.

If you’re worried about the welcome you might receive, don’t be. The folk who attend bluegrass events are among some of the friendliest you’ll find. Don’t go formal…no one else will be. Just brush the straw off your Stetson, be sure there’s no manure on your boots and you’re ready to go!

Kieth Bass & The Florida Bluegrass Express is representative of the bands that play this traditional music. They play it because they love it. Bluegrass (and country/folk) tell the story of the life these people led. Mule Skinner Blues, Foggy Mountain Breakdown, Tom Dooley, Fox on the Run, and I’m So Lonely I Could Cry are tidbits torn from the fabric of their every-day living. Below is a clip of the KBFBE band playing at the get-together my humans went to.

 

 

If you’d like more information and get a chance to enjoy some real traditional music visit the face book link below. It has schedules and all you need to know to have a thoroughly fun time!

Keith Bass & the Florida Bluegrass Express Band

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Geezer (or DL Havlin as you humans call him) starts his fall and winter speaking schedule on September 21st., at The Landings Yacht, Golf, & Tennis Club in Ft Myers. He’ll be speaking to the American Association of University Women about Florida’s “Patriot War.” To find when, where, and what DL is presenting visit http://www.dlhavlin.com and click on his schedule of events.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

 

 

 

Memories, our most valuable possession………..

Sometimes I like to immerse myself in memories – so do my humans.

In the end, our memories maybe our most valuable possession. When other things are taken away from us we can retain these. They make our lives bearable, when material items are lost, when our physical capabilities are diminished, and most sadly, when those we love are lost to us. 

I have watched my human, one that I love, suffer the loss of his best friend. It was a friendship that is fifty-two years young and one that the Geezer says will transcend his “brother’s” death. Death is not a word we like. We avoid it like we avoid the event, but the knowledge it is inevitable forces us to consider it. Memories are what makes someone or something eternal. At least, that’s what the Geezer believes. 

His friend Chet was one of those people who created memories for so, so many. He achieved many things in life. Chet was a scholar-educator of the highest order, a great athlete, a fine father and husband, and a leader of men and women. He left his imprint on those who knew him. 

 The Geezer and Coach, as everyone called him, shared the highs and lows in life. The hunting and fishing trips, the triumphs and satisfactions of coaching young men, the sharing and support when either succeeded or failed, the unflinching friendship under all conditions, and they always knew if they needed someone they could depend on, it was that special friend. The memories of those times will not die. We love you Coach.

Chet the “Coach” on the left, the Geezer in the center, Miss Betty, Coach’s fair lady is on the right.

“I’ve never felt more alone,” the Geezer told me. “It is like losing mom or dad, again. We had so many good times together, we went through tough ones leaning against each other, it’s difficult to admit to myself I can’t get in the car and visit him.”

I told him, “It is so hard to say goodbye.”

The Geezer shook his head. “It’s not goodbye, it’s until later. Until then he is in my heart and in my mind. We will never be far apart.”

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

 

A visit from Freddie the Dolphin!!! (Up close & personal)

Somethings were just meant to be shared. What follows is one of them. The Geezer’s daughter and his grands were down to fish. Yes, they braved the summer heat, rain and insects to take  some fishing trips that the Geezer is famous for — fifty fish or more. Since most of the game fish are in a closed season caused by last year’s redtide, fishing was catch and release. The Geezer looked for and found ladyfish, they provided fast action and spectacular fights.

During our trip we were visited by the Charlotte Harbor Dolphins. The pics and video is of their entertaining antics. The Geezer christened one of them “Freddie the Free-loader.” He said it was the name of a clown played by a Red Skeleton. Of course, I didn’t believe that until he explained it was the name of a comedian from his stone-age past. See the film and pictures below.

 

Hi, I’m Freddie the free-loader!

 

There is such a thing as a free lunch!

 

Lori with a lady – The Geezer’s daughter remains beautiful.

Checking out Freddie and friends

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are you waiting for Geezer?

“One of these.” Good fish but no lunch for the Geezer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Grand Branden” with a catch.

“Grand Bradley” with a wiggler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Feed me, feed me, feed me, feed me, oh yeah!”

 

I hope you enjoy viewing these as much as I did seeing them!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

To learn more about the Geezer and his books and speaking schedule, visit his web page at http://www.dlhavlin.com  or his blog at    http://www.dlhavlin.wordpress.com .  His new book, Escaping Skeletons, is a must read for history buffs and mystery/suspense enthusiasts.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

 

Canine friends – A Dog’s Gallery

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. These are some old friends and old times. Friends and memories have the same value —- They are Priceless!

Me and my butt buddy. Ruger and I became mirror images … sort of.

Super Trooper a real lover

 

Telling a scary Halloween story to my niece. Remi!

 

Remi doing a cool dip on the hot 4th!

 

Ruger and me. Note my position.

 

Chating with my sister Gracie before the Pine Island Canine Chowder and Ham Bone Marching Society meeting.

 

Say it isn’t so!

 

What’s a retrospective without a baby pic- Yep it’s me!

 

I remember momma!

 

1096 Me w-#1 Bro at 10 weeks

Me and my brother Bo when we were kids.

Oh for the good old days!

 

~~~~~~~