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Friday, July 29, 2016

Turning On the Old Computer

30th July 2014
Dear Cassi,
Somewhere in the working of getting my drawing desk back I determined that I needed to setup my old desktop computer to examine research materials when drawing. Until now I’ve had a laptop on that desk but the thing takes so long to turn on and turns itself off so quickly that it just wasn’t worth the work of running the thing.

I had tried. I had turned it on and set it to a number of tasks. One of those was an online game I was using to keep the computer thinking that it was active. This idea failed and the computer shut itself off and when I turned it back on it kind of got confused.

By this I mean that after I turned it back on it was still thinking about what it was doing when it shut off more than half an hour after powering up. The internet was useless. At some point I had to force shutdown the program. I’m not sure what I’ll windup doing with the old laptop but the desktop I’ve set up cost me eight hundred and the laptop only two so getting my money out of the desk top is a bigger thing.

In any case, two years of in operation had left the computer in a sorry state and it didn’t exactly want to turn back on.  First it gave me a long beep and never connected to the screen. I had to look this up on another computer and found that it was the ram failing to connect to the motherboard.

After that the computer got its legs under it the thing sat there being old and slowly getting it mind back. Two years and the computer turned on but just looked at me so I gave it some time.

I came to find it had shut down and rebooted and so I gave it a defrag and compression. I then stuck my flash drive in and set about working on the next comic. It shut itself off, and I couldn’t get it on again.

Now I was the one confused. I couldn’t figure this out. The computer kept telling me it had no operating system. That was until I pulled out the flash drive and it started right up.

Computers are hard,

Richard Leland Neal

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Washing Little Moo

27th July 2014
Dear Cassi,

I’ve heard the expression every now and again ‘it works as well as washing a cat’.  Well, today I washed a cat and she was okay about getting her fur cleaned. Little Moo has a mouth infection and so has trouble cleaning herself. It came to be that her front legs were both covered in goo, and so she needed a washing.

Now Little Moo was a cat I found at my work and she was so timid on her arrival that feeding her was hard. I didn’t give it much effort at first as she would just run away when she saw me, but then I got a good look at her and noticed the skin hanging loose on her tail. It was at that point that I made up my mind to get food to the poor animal.

It came to pass that one night someone found a kitten on property. They had informed us they were from a cat rescue, and so we gave them pass to remove the animal. I thought this cat was Little Moo and went out to help them. By the time I got there they had the cat but it wasn’t Little Moo as I saw her in the bushes.

On my way back in I showed Little Moo a can of cat food and opened it before leaving it on the ground for her. When I came back in the morning the can had been picked clean. The next day Little Moo came out of the bushes to see me. She wouldn’t make eye contact but rather sat on her hind side looking at the ground, hungry but expecting nothing, and seaming so pathetic.  

From that point on she was at my car every day. That is until my work forbad me from feeding her, and so I ended up taking her home. I’ll tell you that story some other time.

As it came time to bathe Little Moo I was not sure how she would react. She never minds being handled, and she loves to be petted. Still I donned my heavy handling gloves and carried her to the kitchen.

The sound of the running water was more to blame for her fear and she tried to get away but never in that time clawed at me. Her greatest objection came from the soaking and with water I could see the flee sand as the white of her fur came red. She seemed to like the scrubbing which I did with a surgeon’s brush and Dawn dish soap. Then I wrapped her in a towel and she was so calm that even Pickles was willing to pat her head.

Little Moo does not like Pickles and he’s has a healthy respect for her claws. This would be the first time in more than a month of her living with me that the two made contact.

Today was a good day for the little creature. I can only hope that there are more.

Find the love, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

No Right to Cry

20th July 2014

Dear Cassi,

Adding injury to injury, I left my home this morning on some errand into the front lawn and found on the driveway tuffs of fur in the color that once adorn the neck of my cat Cheshire. There is a slim possibility, but it is unlikely that she still lives. I could tell by the amount of fur that she put up a fight, but what could have killed so timid an animal I have a hard time saying.

It could have been no bird even as she was a small cat for a bird would have carried her off and the caller would have been lost, but I found it on the ground. Then I imagine that the wild dog and coyotes have been coming down from the hills have dried and left no food for the rats and such. Well, what good would knowing the killer do for my poor cat.

I gave order with Pickle to keep the animals inside from now on. The two cats that I call my own will not like this but in the last six months two animals have been taken. I have to admit that a human could have done this, one that wanted it to look like an animal attack, but what can I do?

For reasons that I haven’t found in the morass of my brain I when and collected what fur I could find and set it in a jar. Then I cried, I cried and told myself I have no right to cry as I should have done better for my little girl. I should have worked harder and made this a home better suited for life and she may have stayed in more and been safe.

Stay Safe, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

Monday, July 25, 2016


18th July 2014
Dear Cassi,

Today I was given paperwork requesting that I sign over my home to Pony Girl and Pickle. Can you say with any sincerity that I am wrong in thinking of myself without family? This would be the third attempt at removing me from my mother’s estate, and so I have no option but to ignore it as I have ignored the last two. There is no crime in asking for the unreasonable only in forcing the unreasonable. The offence is moral not legal.

Still, there has been a crime committed and recommitted over the years cutting at me and braking down my sensibilities. Why have I not done better in my life? Why am I still at the mercy of these monsters? Is it that I am lazy or simply so damaged as a man, or could the world I live in be to blame?

I remember the first time Pony Girl tried to take my home from me. She came home from her college graduation and insisted we sell the house. When I said no she said that she would have me removed from my mother’s estate. Aunt Cabbage “will do it because she’s daddy’s sister” Pony Girl said to me and she honestly thought this was true.  I talked to old Cabbage about it and she said she wouldn’t do anything like that but now I’m not so sure she was telling the truth.

The second time was when Pony Girl moved out. She talked to Cabbages daughter (I haven’t come up with a name for her yet) and look for ways to have me declared derelict on the property. That was a total failure, because she had paid less than I on the subject.
Now here is the last time. They sent the paperwork over and at first I didn’t even look at it but Pickle insisted that I at least read the bundle of forms. I did, and it named me as a seller and not a buyer of the property. They had paperwork to take my home away from me. Can I now call myself anything but disowned?

What will the future hold for me, Cassi, will I one day be homeless like those I protect? I don’t know. I can say is that I have a long road ahead and little to guide me. I know I need to fight but I’m not sure I’ve even known how.

Stay safe, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Life Coach

17th July 2014
Dear Cassi,

This week I talked with a career counselor. I can call it a low point among low points as it was little more that a waste of my time. It came to me to look to such a person after a bad spot at work where I believe I have been treated unfairly. Well, no, unfairly isn’t the right word. I feel like I’m being dumped on.

The technical term for this is ‘toxic work environment’ but getting dumped on echoes my feeling so much more. So, I’m getting dumped on and after getting dumped on I ran an internet search for career counselor and found an online website that let me ‘chat’ with a fellow named Drew.
Drew works as a ‘Life Coach’ which is a technical word for dim bulb who gets paid way too much to tell you what you already know. This fellow asked me to describe myself so I gave him the description I felt he needed. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, I have worked in security for more than ten years, I want to change fields. What more should a career counselor need to know?
He pressed deeper and said I should pursue a career as a novelist. “Why, yes, I am pursuing a career as a novelist. I can’t keep my head around my stories, because I’m going through so much crap at work!” This dingleberry thought I was going to change my mode of thinking and go back to chasing my dreams. I have to face the reality that I may never become a novelist. If I do become a novelist I may never be able to support myself in that occupation.

I informed him that I felt I would soon lose my job and he said “is there any way to stop it?” As if people lose their job as if it were a set of car keys. He just couldn’t come to understand that his advice was outdated. This isn’t the 80’s when any job was enough to have. In the modern day you need a good job to go after your dreams. As for the rest of us we live in nightmares.

Stay safe, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Sphincterus and Alan

8th July 2014
Dear Cassi,
It comes as some odd happening that I told Pickle about your ex husband Turtle Nose wanting me to forgive Alan for his transgressions against me. Pickle was wounded at the thought of Turtle Nose approving of his father and the link between these two men was the spear.
Here we have two men who have caused be so much strife and been so similar to one another but counted separately. Alan claimed to be of relation to me by blood and expected me to serve and obey him without earning respect.

Sphincterus the Turtle Nosed, no-god of his own universe, demanded a loyalty that he felt he had no need to pay back in kind. He wanted me to forgive Alan because he liked to see me in pain. Even Pickle recognizes this and found the thought of these two men on the same side jarring.

In the end I find that there are so few people of value in my life. What can I do but move on?

Stay safe, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal 

Friday, July 22, 2016

For the Homeless or Myself

14th April 2013
Dear Cassi,
The morning passed in sleep and so the day has come to mid afternoon with me drifting in and out of this world. Even now my body finds its stamina in short supply as sleep and resting easily calls me from my work. I had no sleep of any kind on the thirteenth and so have come to this state as my being slowly regulates and comes back to a more normal way.

I question if I can call the ordeal result of my dedication or greed because my lack of sleep came as result of my labors with the homeless. I work Friday night into Saturday morning and the evening shift came open with an opportunity for eight hours overtime.

Normally, I would jump at the chance to work more hours, but I gave the opening a few days to sink in with the other guards before letting folks know that if it was still open I would come in for the shift. I was the only one to make such an offer and so took to have eight hours of free time between leaving and returning to work on Saturday.
As you know, this situation would mean little to me if I have no other engagements on the day in question. I sleep when there is time to sleep and work when work is needed but have no trouble getting the two completed. Unfortunately, this was a day elected for a bond assessor to arrive and examine the work left unfinished by a contractor.
One of the rooms to be inspected, as you may recall, is my washroom, and so I could find no sleep with my bed room disturbed. Further, Pony Girl would be here making a ruckus and you know how she bothers me. As Pony Girl and the truth are rare companions I knew I had to have something to do with this event and so I did engage myself with the assessor.
I should have taken control of this event from the start but what is done is done. Pony Girl had first missed several key points of the failed repair. The largest of these was a place where the drywall was rotting through the paint. The assessor said that the promises made by the contractor were not bondable so the cheap cabinets installed are my problem. Further, the mismatched tile can only be repaired out of my pocket rather than the contractors. Apparently they can use tile from will not match up and to a poor job of installing it to boot.
The cherry on top of the assessor’s visit was negligence on the part of Pony Girl who set a latter for the man that was unstable. It slipped from under him and he hurt his hand. He came to the kitchen and washed away the blood but we had no idea where our first aid kits had ended up after Pony Girls run through the house. Like a soldier in the fight the assessor finished his work with his wound but I kick myself for not preventing this injury.
After that I came into work and in doing found the shift I expected. The evening shifts always mean more work for me and so I wrote a long report over the passing eight hours. By the time the night had replaced day I felt the exhaustion in my head. By shift’s end I was having trouble and wondering if I could find my way home.
I found my limit and so still have to ask if I did this for the homeless or myself. I suppose it makes no difference now. The night has gone and they next day has come and finally I find myself ready for any real work.

Stay strong, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Count Your Blessings

21st July 2016
Hay David,

It looks like you’ve been going through some bad things lately, and it’s not all that much my business, but you put it out there for me to see. I’m a fellow struggling with health issues and I think I get something out of your videos. That makes it only right that I try to give you something out of my experience.

The internet is a cesspool of hatred and would be experts who think they know more than you because they read a book. It’s like when I drag my three bills to the gym and get some six bill chick who smells like pudding and B.O. tell me that I’m doing it wrong. The only thing is that there are a few dozen people at the gym and thousands on the net.

You gave me the advice “Stay strong, stay safe, stay focused”. Well, that’s not easy when I have a nose full of B.O. and Pudding is it? It’s just as hard when some troll gets up on me and says I shouldn’t show my fat pig face on YouTube. When people get on me like that I remember what you said, and I don’t let it get to me.

David, you got a shout out from Phil. That’s like getting knighted by the King of the internet. If he gave me a shout my problems would be over. You don’t need YouTube, you still have a job. Me, the last place I worked refuses to tell me why I got canned or even when.

Count your blessings, bro, you could be in my shoes,

Richard Leland Neal

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jailby Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee: Book Review

I ran into this volume at the used book store some years ago and on the advice of a professor took to "read every play you can get your hands on and watch every play you can afford to see". I can say I'm glad I read this play.

'The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail' is a fictional account of moments and contemplation in the life of Henry David Thoreau. It serves to humanize the writer and bring him closer to modern ideas such as war, racism, and violence.

Where as this needs a large company of actors to be produced it is a good read as a piece of literature. I also believe there is a restriction against professional companies producing this work.

All and all, I recommend this work for anyone who likes to think. 

Who should read this book? Thinkers 

Books Read: 26 of 5,000

Pages 98

Total Pages Read for 'The 5,000 Project' 6,133