Celebrating My 300th Post With Poetry

I’m celebrating my 300 post with poetry. Fred Proud does an excellent reading in this video. Five minutes well spent. Kipling was an English Twain with his command of colloquialisms, the rough talk of plain people. I can almost see the sun coming up in his most famous line, “An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay!”


by Rudyard Kipling

BY THE old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin’ lazy at the sea,
There’s a Burma girl a-settin’, and I know she thinks o’ me;
For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:
“Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay! ”
Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay:
Can’t you ‘ear their paddles chunkin’ from Rangoon to Mandalay ?
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’-fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay!
‘Er petticoat was yaller an’ ‘er little cap was green,
An’ ‘er name was Supi-yaw-lat – jes’ the same as Theebaw’s Queen,
An’ I seed her first a-smokin’ of a whackin’ white cheroot,
An’ a-wastin’ Christian kisses on an ‘eathen idol’s foot:
Bloomin’ idol made o’ mud
Wot they called the Great Gawd Budd
Plucky lot she cared for idols when I kissed ‘er where she stud!
On the road to Mandalay…

When the mist was on the rice-fields an’ the sun was droppin’ slow,
She’d git ‘er little banjo an’ she’d sing “Kulla-lo-lo!
With ‘er arm upon my shoulder an’ ‘er cheek agin my cheek
We useter watch the steamers an’ the hathis pilin’ teak.
Elephints a-pilin’ teak
In the sludgy, squdgy creek,
Where the silence ‘ung that ‘eavy you was ‘arf afraid to speak!
On the road to Mandalay…

But that’s all shove be’ind me – long ago an’ fur away
An’ there ain’t no ‘busses runnin’ from the Bank to Mandalay;
An’ I’m learnin’ ‘ere in London what the ten-year soldier tells:
“If you’ve ‘eard the East a-callin’, you won’t never ‘eed naught else.”
No! you won’t ‘eed nothin’ else
But them spicy garlic smells,
An’ the sunshine an’ the palm-trees an’ the tinkly temple-bells;
On the road to Mandalay…

I am sick o’ wastin’ leather on these gritty pavin’-stones,
An’ the blasted English drizzle wakes the fever in my bones;
Tho’ I walks with fifty ‘ousemaids outer Chelsea to the Strand,
An’ they talks a lot o’ lovin’, but wot do they understand?
Beefy face an’ grubby ‘and –
Law! wot do they understand?
I’ve a neater, sweeter maiden in a cleaner, greener land!
On the road to Mandalay…

Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst,
Where there aren’t no Ten Commandments an’ a man can raise a thirst;
For the temple-bells are callin’, an’ it’s there that I would be
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, looking lazy at the sea;
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay,
With our sick beneath the awnings when we went to Mandalay!
O the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’-fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay !

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Update on My Book Proposals

My Stanton Delaplane (internal link) book proposal has now been turned down twice. I think that’s just getting started for most writers; two proposals barely a beginning. I do think, though, that I am going to reorient my proposal. Instead of a book featuring his writing on all kinds of subjects, I am going to limit my anthology or reader to just his animal stories. A small title, no more that thirty or forty six-hundred word columns. I might even consider self publishing the book, as I think such a title would make a wonderful book and I don’t want to lose Delaplane to history. If I find the money I’d consider getting an illustrator. I did get a nice rejection letter from one publisher. Here it is:

Dear Mr. Farley:

Thank you for thinking of us for your proposed Stanton Delaplane reader. I’d never heard of Mr. Delaplane, and I was charmed by your inclusions. A lot of thought, care, and affection has gone into this proposal, and I appreciate that. It’s a lovely and nostalgic piece of SF history. I see the resonance with our mission, but I fear that this project would be challenging from a financial and business point of view for us. I see this being a tough sell in a fiercely competitive marketplace, and we need for our books to sell at certain levels to not only recoup expenses that go into their production but also help support our overall organization in a meaningful way. I’m sorry to disappoint you, and I hope you find a better home elsewhere. Self-publication might be an option if you’re committed to seeing this book in print (I suspect you could negotiate very low fees from the Chronicle) and able to do some marketing to get it in the hands of those readers who would treasure it. Depending on the production quality, I suspect a handful of SF bookstores would be happy to carry the book.

Kind regards,
The Publisher

My Nevada Agriculture book proposal (external link) isn’t going anywhere. Despite limited interest, the University of Nevada Press and the Nevada Farm Bureau have declined to help. Two private foundations are also unable to supply funding and I have exhausted the resources in Nevada that might assist. Self-publishing this book would be impossible due to the costs involved. A two hundred page book in color would be very expensive to print and the project would take me a year of full time work to do. The problem is that Nevada is a small state in population and the market for the title isn’t that big. I might consider publishing houses that cover the Great Basin in general but for right now I am leaving this book idea alone.

And, I have a blue sky book proposal floating that I haven’t written about before. I call it blue sky because I am proposing not just a single new book, but a raft of new books, a new title series for a large publisher. I put together a heavily illustrated 14 page .pdf file to show what a book in the new series might look like. Preparing this file put my new camera to good use and I have just sent the proposal off. I can’t discuss it until something comes about; with all companies that means weeks and perhaps months of waiting. But I am enthused about the project because it would mean a number of titles I could publish myself with little expense save for travel. I would much prefer a large publishing house pick the idea up, of course, but at least I have a way to go if no one is interested. This proposal got me out to different places around Las Vegas and that made me happy. Here’s what Spring Mountain Ranch looks like right now.





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Tracking Queries With Google’s Calendar

I’m now using Google’s Calendar feature (external link) to keep track of queries. I wish I used it before. It’s a free service with a Google account. You already have it if you use Gmail.

The calendar is pretty straight forward to use. I note each date I send in a query. I then schedule a query follow up in two weeks or two months, whatever is appropriate. I get an e-mail when this happens so I don’t have to keep checking the calendar. Setting up e-mail delivery is a little confusing. First the big picture, then the small. Here’s what part of a calendar page looks like. We’re on the left hand side.

On my Mac, using Chrome, everything happens on the left. There’s a “Settings” feature at the upper right corner of the browser window (not pictured), but that doesn’t control notifications, which is what you want. Instead, look to the left side for those choices. Notice that tiny downward symbol next to the “My Calendars” selection? Click that and you will get to the notification settings.

Here’s what the next window should look like. Make sure you select “email” when you choose your delivery method. Selecting the alternate, “notification”, will only give you a fleeting message on your computer screen. Which you will probably miss.

Google’s calendar feature is fairly simple and free. It keeps me aware of the book proposals, literary magazine submissions, and magazine article queries I make. It keeps past entries so I can always check back later on when I sent something in.

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Finding Your Way With QR Codes

In my Rock&Gem Magazine articles I supply GPS coordinates for sites lacking a street address. Here’s a common example, this one leading to a noteworthy monument in Catheys Valley, California:

N 37° 26.292 W 120°05.177

This approach is practical but not completely convenient. Punching the right numbers and letters on a navigation device can be tricky and time consuming. How about replacing or supplementing those numbers and letters with a QR code?

I got the QR code below by first going to Google Maps and entering the GPS coordinates. That pulled up a map and with it a very long URL. Next, I went QR-Code-Generator.com (external link), which produced this hash which my smart phone QR app can read.

Success! This 300X300 pixel image was easily detected by my QR reader. In reality, in print, where detail is much finer, it is possible the QR code could fit into a space an inch wide and an inch across if printed at 300 dpi. QR images can be put into colors and even have logos and brands in their design. A terrific way to make navigation convenient.

The Nevada Department of Transportation uses QR codes on their maps. Very cool.

Just one of many amazing designs now produced.

I know you wanted to see the monument. 🙂

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Stop Government Overreach in The Auburn State Recreation Area

Could you please sign this petition? It protests the shutting down of the Auburn State Recreation Area to rockhounding and prospecting.

The Auburn RSA is located about forty miles northeast of Sacramento. Over many years, I’ve found gold in quartz, gold flakes, gold dust, and even beautiful quartz crystals. All of that activity is now illegal except for “hands and pans’ mining. That’s where you get to work a single gold pan without the help of any tool, not even a small shovel. Metal detectors are now strictly outlawed.

Here’s where to sign the petition. No registration or password required.


Please help keep the area open to rockhounds. To give you an idea of the area’s beauty and what everyone is being shut out of, here’s a mini-article. I can’t write up this story for Rock&Gem Magazine because people can no longer prospect. This particular area I visited a few years ago is just one of many where you can find gold. Read my captions below.

This is the middle fork of the American River. The middle fork and the north fork of the American come together near Auburn at what is called the confluence.

Plenty of areas to explore, especially at the end of the season with low water levels.

This is crevice work, where you dig out sand, rocks, and gravel between boulders, screen it down, then pan the fines.

Pioneer Mining Supply in Auburn (external link) sells specialty crevice tools like this or you can use old screwdrivers and the like. Don’t worry about disturbing anything; winter rains will wash new material back into the cracks. One hopes, with a little gold.

Here is the rough material gathered from the crevice. The large rocks are discarded and water flushes the fine material through the screen and into the pan. Then you pan out what remains.

And if you are lucky you will find some gold. All of what I have just described is now illegal. Please sign the petition if you would like to restore wonderful activities like this.


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The Free Public Domain USGS Multimedia Gallery

The United States Geological Survey maintains a wonderful public domain library at this address: https://www.usgs.gov/products/multimedia-gallery/overview (external link). All will do for web work and many are printable quality.

Nearly all 10,000 images are at no charge and copyright free but of course you should credit the photographer and agency whenever possible. I particularly like the well done images of minerals.

Mark Wipfli, Alaska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. Public domain.

David Pyke, USGS . Public domain.

(Credit: Carlin Green, USGS. Public domain.) USGS description: A sample of azurite, the blue mineral, and malachite, the green mineral. Both azurite and malachite are copper minerals that were once used as pigments but are now mostly valued as collectors minerals. They do serve as good indicators of copper deposits that can be developed.

John Mars, U.S. Geological Survey. Public domain. Taking notes on a silicified ridge at Goldfield, Nevada. Silicified ridges are typically associated with epithermal gold deposits.



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Working For a Content Creation Site

What’s it like to write for a content generation site? Or, as some people call it, a content mill? It reminds me a little of my past newspaper reporting. I get a topic I might know little about, I research it, and then I write up an article. Sometimes I have to get images to go along with it.

I  choose the topics to write about at Catalogs.com (internal link), although sometimes the choice is meager. Three or four links in every article are provided to participating merchants. Keywords for search engine optimization (SEO) are added. It’s interesting work.

Compared to the hours the articles take, there isn’t much money involved but I get a byline, a bio, and I get to keep writing. It’s resume and skill building and just one part of my overall income stream.

Here are topics I’ve written on so far. Each is 600 to 700 words. I’ve added some links to Catalogs.com so you can see what an article is like.

Top ten creative ways to use landscaping stones.

Top ten creative places to hang artwork.

How to decorate with a triptych painting.

Where to learn the history of country music. (external link)

Electronics for international travel. (external link)

The top ten accessories for outdoor adventuring.

Why do British movies look different. (external link)

What music genre is the most popular.

Which accessories to buy for your vinyl collection.




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