Why Do I Do This?

Just did WordPress’ Intro to Blogging > Getting Prepared > Understanding your why

I can remember a time when this might have been harder to answer. It’s a funny situation now. I retired by accident then understood that maybe I might have navigated that differently. Now I’d rather eat better than mac and cheese (plus our house costs a lot to heat and cool), and my wife (The Droning Voice herself) is after me to get a job at a big box store which I know would absolutely kill me. Reminds me of Jeff Dunham’s Walter the Walmart Greeter.

Dave Ramsey says old people don’t work at Walmart unless they have to. I don’t want to be that guy.

Meanwhile, she got this idea in her head that people could use help falling to sleep (an ongoing issue for her personally). I’ve built websites for years (but not with WordPress) and saw how we could do this experiment where she reads old books (she loves old books, can you tell?) in a boring and monotonous way (that part was her idea), wondering if people would find it valuable.

All that, and the girl can write!

tl-dr version is: working on my wife’s blog/podcast/thingy keeps me from having to apply to Walmart for a job.

About Adult Fiction

Adult fiction from 100+ years ago is certainly…different from Adult Fiction of today.  Some would say it has “evolved”.  Others, and The Droning Voice is in this camp, say it has “devolved”.  For those raised on current authors, The Droning Voice can assure you that there are far fewer explosions, less profanity – though words like “scoundrel” were used -, more descriptions of being “perturbed”, and WAY more clothing.  Given the lack of on-demand temperature control, The Droning Voice is amazed those people didn’t just pass out from the heat, OR spend all their time huddled in front of their woodstove in a vain attempt to stay warm and not losing key fingers to frostbite.  The only people being dispatched usually had it coming (NO charges filed), and it was typically attended to discreetly, and usually to defend the heroine’s honor.  Actually, EVERYTHING was much more discreet, including how the lead characters in most of these novels procured their income.  The Droning Voice assumes they were ALL trust-fund babies.  God forbid they actually WORK for a living.  In today’s literature, yes, even working in an office can be rife with romantic intrigue and deeds of daring-do, and WAY more skin (often involving office desks).  But in the late 1800s and early 1900s, even the hint of such a thing would cause any lady to swoon, with a gentleman being quick to catch her.  Men were always hoping to catch a swooning heroine, that being the only time they could honorably grope her.  And EVERYBODY kept a small bottle of something called smelling salts on hand for just such an occasion.  Really, The Droning Voice thinks a small bottle of that stuff might be just the thing to wave under another person’s nose when said nose is getting “out of joint”.  Maybe, just maybe, it could snap them out of it, though The Droning Voice is skeptical.  Let her know how it goes!

Also, it seems that most of the heroes from the fiction of that era rode horses.  Given the costs involved with owning an automobile or other vehicle today, riding a horse to work may be exactly what the modern day businessman should be doing.  #historyrepeatsitself
If the listener is used to the works of, well, The Droning Voice won’t mention NAMES, any of these selections should put you right to sleep.  She sincerely hopes you have a good time reading the reviews while deciding which one to bore you into slumber.

As always, pleasant dreams!

Tom Swift and His Wireless Message

This book claims to have been written by a very proper, The Droning Voice is sure, gentleman by the name of “Victor Appleton”. In reality, though, it was ghost-written by some shadowy member of the Stratmeyer Syndicate. THOSE people had an iron grip on fiction aimed at children of all ages, and trust The Droning Voice when she says you probably need to be VERY COMPLIMENTARY of their publications. The Droning Voice was morbidly curious about their reach, though, so, with trembling fingers, looked them up on Wikipedia.

OMG. They started publishing in 1899, and appear to have maybe finished up in 2005. Maybe. You never know.

There were also subsequent iterations of “Tom Swift”, but this particular book was published in the first set, before Tom became associated with witty adverbs, otherwise known as “Tom Swifties”.

No silly puns in THIS book, no sirree. In fact, one of the first things we need to do is examine the characters of the story, namely:

Tom Swift – Our hero, and youthful inventor of high character. Intimidated by a roomful of pretty girls. Well-respected by all except the town bully who is just jealous.
Andy Foger – said bully, and pain in the neck. After he destroys Tom’s lovely little monoplane, Tom declares Andy to be a “scoundrel”. Tom and Andy have a skirmish early in the book that, today, would have resulted in multiple felony chargers.
Mr. Wakefield Damon – Eccentric and fanboy of Tom. He blesses EVERYTHING, BTW. In this book, a few of his things he blesses include: watch-chain, multiplication tables, kitchen-range, collar button, shoe-laces, deflection rudder, pocket knife, radiator, individuality, gizzard, storage battery…you get the drift.
Mary Nestor – Tom’s girlfriend. She makes an appearance in the book mainly to provide apple turnovers, and to worry about her parents. Poor Mary had Tom drive her to the “Intelligence Office”, which is, apparently, where one went to find employees, when one’s cook abruptly quits on one for demanding apple turnovers, and one simply didn’t know what one was going to do. Mary certainly seemed incapable of creating apple turnovers. And, as everybody knows, the BEST cooks are Irish, so that is what Mary had to have. Not to be racist. Speaking of which
Eradicate Samson – is the handyman about town, who always travels with his trusty steed, Boomerang the mule. The Droning Voice points out that Tom lives in NY state, but that Eradicate speaks a particular “southern” dialect, which was dutifully transliterated by “Mr. Appleton”, and then attempted to be pronounced by The Droning Voice. If you thought her French was bad, just wait until you hear this. Also, The Droning Voice finds the name of this character particularly apt, and wonders if “cancel culture” won’t come for her, possibly beating the Stratmeyer Syndicate to the punch.

Oh, yeah. The plot. Most of the book is devoted to flying about either in Tom’s monoplane or on Mr. Fenwick’s airship, which, The Droning Voice assumes, was some sort of dirigible. At any rate, they load up this airship with piles of supplies for a test-flight/day journey, get caught in a hurricane, get swept down to somewhere near the West Indies and crash on an island which is about to collapse from earthquakes. The SAME island where Mary’s parents wind up shipwrecked from a pleasure cruise. Of course. And Tom, of course, figures out how to create a ham station from the airship wreckage, complete with shack, sends out “C.Q.D.” and gets them all rescued. Really, it’s a GREAT book. Please call off your goons.

Pleasant dreams, devoid of goons.