Getting there is all the fun

Volume 1: The early years 1948-1966

Volume 2: College, Army, first jobs 1966-1977

Volume 3: PC Revolutionary: Computerland, Beehive, Novell 1977-1989

Volume 4: Beginning The Great Panic: Divorce, bankruptcy, mid-life crisis 1990-1993

Volume 5: Being a Sea Cucumber 1994-1997

Volume 6: Searching for a new life, 1997-2002 (and discovering how deep the Panic Scars are)

Volume 7: Recovering from Panic Thinking 2003-2008

Volume 8: Remaking a home in the USA 2008-2010

Volume 9: Searching for positive feedback 2011-

Remaking a home in America 2008-2010

Summer 2008: Singing I'm back in the USSA!!

On the 4th of July I hopped on the big jet plane at Incheon Airport in Korea, and headed back to America. My three year stay in Korea was finished.

The next few months were an exciting and suspense-filled time, much more so than I expected, and I was expecting a lot.

Moving in October 2008

In October 2008, 4 months after stepping off the plane, I finally moved into an apartment of my own.
Roger III and Altair are helping my move stuff from my storage shed up to my new apartment.
Good-bye storage shed of ten plus years. Hello new Ford F-150 pickup truck that I just bought.
I got this truck because the bench seat up front is sooo comfortable compared to the bucket seats most regular size cars have these days. Yeah, this choice was part of the "Life Beyond the Ergozone" that I have to live these days.
It gets better... really. But this was Phase One of moving in. And, yeah, it's a nice, sunny place.
my office This is how the front room looks when I finally get it fully set up, a couple months later.

Wha Ho Ho! What's this I'm on!

At last! I'm sleeping on a waterbed again!
This kind, a free flow with an airframe around the outside, was darn hard to find! The newer styles, ones that don't slosh, feel like a "mudbed" to me, not a waterbed.
Yay Sloshing!


First, The Wonder

By 2008 I'd been out of the US a long time, about four years. During that time I lived a simple, rather monkish, life in Yeongtong, Korea. I taught classes, played computer games, and wrote. The school, my apartment and all the shopping and entertaining I needed were within walking distance, so I walked everywhere I went. When I wasn't teaching, eating, or shopping, I wrote stories and essays, and played computer games. I got a lot of writing done, and in the last year, I converted all my short stories into movie scripts, as well. I enjoyed this life. My writing is important to me, and my Korean lifestyle encouraged me to do a lot of it, there were few distractions.

Living in the US was always different. This time, the first thing I did was rent a car, and two weeks later I drove to Los Angeles as a first exploration into getting my film scripts produced and my stories published. Driving is an interesting thinking topic because I picked up how to do it again so quickly. I'd been not driving for over two years, but it was sure easy to remember how to do it.

As I drove, I discovered... My goodness, America has changed! The roads were so crowded compared to what I remembered. Things seemed more commercial, and what people were thinking and talking about had changed. "Green" thinking was a lot more pervasive, even in the face of the huge Subprime Financial Crisis that was still unfolding as I arrived.

I also spent the first month reconnecting with friends and family. At a barbecue hosted by Sue, I gathered with my children, in-laws and four grandchildren. Four is an important number in grandchildren. By gene count, I've broken even on spreading genes, anything beyond this is gravy. (and at the time of this picture, I was thinking, "I sure hope I get some!")

Yeah, you saw my grandkids at the end of Volume 7.
What can I say? I'm real proud of them.

All this was good and fun.

As I listened and talked and traveled, I came up with a plan: the plan was to spend a few months studying film and acting at Salt Lake Community College. As I was doing this, I would be building community, learning more about how to "pitch" my films and stories, and be out-and-about so I would have better opportunities to find paying work.

This plan was addressing my "First Worry", and it was a good one.


My First Worry

I hadn't worked successfully in the USA for over three years. I had no community in the USA, even though for three years I'd been trying hard to come up with a plan to develop one. The net result: There were just a huge number of things that I had to solve and make decisions on. Things such as: Where to work, where to live, where to get medical care, who to build a community around. ...

So, my first worry was finding good work. One choice in this search for good work was to return to Korea and make more money -- that was a quick and easy process... well... it should have been a quick and easy process, but there was a fly in that ointment. The fly in the ointment was part of the first two "big and bad" surprises I experienced as I returned to the US. (more on those later)

Technology and cultural changes I noticed

One of the oddest changes I noticed when I returned to the US was the demise of written checks, and even cash. Many stores had notices that they weren't taking checks anymore, and as I drove around, I saw there were dozens and dozens of a new kind of store advertising that they did: The payday advance stores.

These new stores, such as Check City, were not noticeable when I left in 2005. Now they were spending a ton on marketing. They were located in high profile, high traffic locations throughout the Salt Lake valley. Wow, a new industry booms in just three years, and it wasn't in computers or something "green". This left me with the question, "What was happening?" How had America's finances changed in the last three years so that this payday advance industry was booming in such a high profile and lavish way?

As in Korea, cell phones, and more elaborate handheld alternatives, were in the hands of school kids everywhere.

Flat screens had pretty completely displaced glass tube displays.

And someone, someone out of their mind in my opinion, had made it a federal regulation that all shower heads be equipped with flow restricters. What! I'm a big guy. It really pisses me off when I have to work hard to get wet because there's no water coming out of the shower head, and now I find I owe this pain to The Feds? "Hey guys... go win a war, then you can tell me how to take a shower."

I drove down University Ave. in Provo/Orem, Utah between I-15 and BYU campus and noted two things: first, how it was now completely developed, second, the development was totally car-oriented -- multi-lane University Ave. was flanked on both sides by endless huge parking lots, which were flanked by huge retail store buildings. It was totally car-oriented... something I've dreamed of seeing. But dream turns out to be a Chinese Wish. The result is formidable looking, not friendly looking, so as I drive by I don't feel like tarrying. And I discovered it was really hard to find a particular building! I went there one time looking for a specific restaurant, and spent ten minutes driving around the parking lots asking people where this restaurant was.

Oh, and "green" was now a serious topic in more business conversations.


Always look on the bright side of life*

*Monty Python song at the tail end of the Life of Bryan

To my surprise, it took about four months -- July to November -- to get settled in. I was expecting one-to-two months. I thought this because when I returned to the US, I was still living out of just four bags of stuff. My life was very simple. But it wasn't going to be. So, four months and thousands of choices later, I was in an apartment in Taylorsville, near the Salt Lake Community College, Redwood Road campus, and taking some acting and film-making courses at the college.


In November, when the dust was finally settling on moving in, a voice in my head told me, "Ah... welcome back to the USA, son. Life isn't going to be so simple. That's why you returned, isn't it? To do more things than you could do in Korea."


The film and acting class were successful at getting me started on connecting. Salt Lake Community college is full of busy twentyish people, and they were busy connecting, just as I was. Also, Sue and Roger III were there, working at the bookstore, and they were comforting and a big help, too.

My first couple of weeks at the film class, I experienced more about film pitching. When the class started, it needed some film ideas for the class film project. I had a beautiful idea. I had a completed script, I gave an enthusiastic pitch... and my idea was... passed by! Whoa!

The lesson I learned was that my ideas are good, but strange, and this is going to be a chronic problem when pitch time comes. I'm going to have to bring a lot of "cred" to overcome the strangeness of my ideas. The first way to get that is to produce some of my films so that people can see them, and see they are interesting, rather than have work hard to visualize them, not succeed well, and thus think they are something other than interesting.

In the acting class, I got to work closely with a lot of young people, and it was more successful and more fun.


An exercise in acting class at SLCC (Salt Lake Community College.

___, Daniel, Amy, Valie

Two "fairies" from the Mountain Con science fiction convention October 2008
My new settling in place in the US: Lakeside Village Apartments, Taylorsville, Utah.
November sunset clouds from my apartment window. These are the Wasatch Mountains that overlook the Salt Lake Valley on the east side.



A Roger White, Dave Deoring and Ed Liebing reunion at a Life, the Universe and Everything writers symposium at BYU in Provo in February 2009.
I'm here to network with the science fiction writing community. And... I'm a panelist! Weee!
The conference was well attended. I sat on four panels and did a reading. I got lots of compliments on my insights as a panel speaker, and on my stories.


2009: Moving ahead on moving ideas


During the first half of 2009 my living routine in the US finished shaping up: I lived at Lakeside Village, I walked around the block three times a day for exercise, my thousands of choices when I first arrived back in the US narrowed down to just a few choices a week, and the choices were between good alternatives, such as eat now, or eat later?

Sadly, but not surprisingly, my success at finding work in the US was comparable to my past successes: I could not find a regular job. The problem, in sum, is that I'm now a generalist, and managers want to hire specialists for regular jobs. When I try to look like specialist, I look like a beginner.

So I filled my day with more classes. I took web design, more film and more acting classes. The web design class took most of my attention. I learned, and what I learned I applied immediately to my web site. By the end of June, White World was transformed into a CSS-style-based web site, and I broke it into four "lands": Cyreenikland, Technofictionland, ScriptsToFlixland and Familyland. Whew! A lot of work, and a lot of learning. I mastered the basics of Dreamweaver and Photoshop and finally spent more time on the Mac than I did on the PC.

The film and acting classes were not so productive. The acting class suffered from having a teacher who was a really good actor, but had not yet learned a lot about good teaching technique. As the class progressed, I really wanted to recommend to him that he take the CELTA class I took, just so he could learn some of the good teaching basics I had learned there, such as don't run a teacher-centric class.

He was also a classic actor in feeling that acting must come from the heart, from emotions. I'm still an analytic guy who learned his role-playing at the D&D table -- I want to research a part. It was an oil-and-water situation.

Ironically, we did have one problem and solution in common: He was an older guy, and he was feeling that his community was slipping away, and that's why he was teaching at the community college, to rebuild his community.

In the film class, the same problem of the first semester, not being able to pitch one of my ideas or participate in one of the other class projects, reared its ugly head again. I worked on more of my one-man science videos, but it was really hard to get involved in anything else. The one other project that came to fruition was the SLCC Mystery Science Theater video, and I'm sure happy it did. It was a lot of fun.

As the school year ended and spring slid into summer, my First Big Project for living in the US coalesced. I decided it was time to transform much of what I'd written for White World into hard copy: into published books.

But, it wasn't going to be cheap or easy. At the two writers conferences where I'd been panel speaking, I'd also done a lot of listening. What I heard about conventional publishing routes was discouraging.

The root of the problem was two-fold: First, there were a whole lot more people writing science fiction and fantasy books than there were slots in publisher schedules. It was so much of a buyers market that even those who were lucky enough to get picked found it usually took three years to get from acceptance to a book on the shelves ready to be purchased. Whew! This was quite different from the market I experienced when I wrote "Wordstar with Style" back in the 1980's. Then, the publishers were screaming for anything to fill the demand for a PC word processing how-to book, and my book was on the shelf within weeks of my finishing it. And, I did nothing to promote it, the publishers took care of it all.

Second, like all other entertainment markets of the 2000's, the buyers were much more excited about acquiring works that followed tried-and-true formulas. When I presented my ideas, I got the classic response to a Roger White idea: "Huh?"

So, I decided my route to the bookshelves would be the self-publishing route. I would pay for the publishing, and I would take charge of the promotion. I had the time, I had the money, so why not?

I assembled the ideas I'd been putting up on White World... and out came... nine books! And 2009 became the Year of Nine Books.

The summer of endless editing

It turned out that book assembling is much like software developing: At the planning stage it always looks like it will be a two week project, no matter how long it will really take. I looked at this book project and figured I would take about a week per book to do the assembling and final editing. Well, it turned out to be more like a month a book. I enlisted my old editing partner from Wordstar with Style, George Trosper, whom I met again at one of the writer conventions, and we started grinding away.

By the end of the year I had added a small wrinkle to my grinding away at editing and learning book promoting routine. I would spend a couple of hours a couple of days a week in the SLCC student center. The chairs were comfortable and it was comforting to look up and watch people moving around.

I Get Quoted

As I was working on book editing in the SLCC student center, I was approached by a reporter/photographer team. They asked me how I felt about Obama getting the Nobel Prize? Well, that was the first I'd heard of it, but I did manage to come up with a quotable opinion.


Quotes from Utahans on Obama's Nobel Prize
The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated: 10/09/2009 06:48:56 PM MDT

"I don't think that Iran will suddenly wake up and say, my God, we're dealing with a Nobel Prize winner, here."
Bob Seltzer, Salt Lake City, a Westminster College administrator
"As Americans, no matter what your politics, people ought to be pleased that our leader, our president, was singled out for this honor -- the same way we were pleased when a professor from the University of Utah won a Noble Prize."
Bob Seltzer, Salt Lake City, a Westminster College administrator
"That is so ridiculous. First of all, why is he making efforts to reach out to the Muslim [world]? There are so many other issues close to home I feel should be dealt with before you go outside. Reagan, Lincoln and Washington, they never got any Nobel Prizes, and they were the ones who deserved it."
Elizabeth Pedersen, Salt Lake City, student
"Frankly, I think the best thing Obama has done for us relating to peace is end America's terrorist panic the Bush era brought about. That's what he should get the peace prize for."
Roger Bourke White Jr., Taylorsville, business and technology writer and student
"As much as the recognition is for him, it is a recognition that the United States is a leader in international diplomacy and that we, as a nation, have made a renewed commitment to international diplomacy and peace in the world."
Salt Lake County
Mayor Peter Corroon




In December the first of the nine "Tips for Tailoring Spacetime Fabric Vol. 1" hit the Author House virtual shelf. Yay! And by then I was discovering how much work book promoting is!


I read more and talked more and discovered that books are a low profit margin item, so promoting, not advertising, is the core of book selling. The book I read on it talked about a dozen, or so, different ways of promoting books: book signings at book stores and other gatherings, radio and television interviews, schmoozing book reviewers, web marketing and maintaining a mailing list were the main ways mentioned. All were ways of spending mostly time, and some money, to give the book a higher profile.


The scary part was that nothing I read talked at all about ROI -- Return On Investment. It seems that book promoting, like so many other entertainment industry endeavors, is powered by vanity as much as profitability.


I win first prize!

Roger and Darlene with door prize

It was my lucky day! I won a door prize at a health fair held at Lakeside Apts.

Darlene, the manager, is giving me the prize.

Sharing with the family

What better thing to do with good luck than share it around? We had a family get together and we opened the prize and passed around goodies.

Here we have Jania, Adrienne, Roger Jr., Jaden, Roger III and Benjamin.

Ben with his neat portable light bulb.


Jaden looking coy with a fan from Korea.


And Roger III looking udderly satisfied with a prize cow.






The end of the year brought an unusual adventure: One day in October Sue started admiring the bulging fixtures on my tow-equipped pickup truck. It was for good reason: She wanted to move a player piano from her house to Heather's new house at Elsworth AFB, near Rapid City, South Dakota, and felt that Thanksgiving was the perfect time to do it.


"Whoa!" says I, "There's so much that could go wrong! Are you sure you don't want to hire someone... like a professional mover?"


She had researched, and she was sure. It was an adventure and it took two days of driving with a piano-filled trailer to get there, but the trip went smoothly. The side benefit was a side trip to Mount Rushmore with Heather and her family, husband Ward Fischer and daughter Dahlia.


Thanksgiving at Mount Rushmore

Family at Mount Rushmore entrance

Sue, Roger III and I traveled to Elsworth AFB to spend Thanksgiving with Heather, Ward and Dahlia.


We traveled to Mount Rushmore after our Thanksgiving lunch. It was a good choice: There are six levels of parking at Mount Rushmore these days, but during our visit we shared the place with roughly a hundred other people.


Added Head to the Rushmore Quartet

I decided that while we were here, we should Photoshop in another head to the Rushmore Quartet.


This is in the restaurant area. It was a nice setting for the end of exploring and a bit of hiking.

We have Sue, Dahlia, Heather, Ward, Roger III and Roger Jr.

First book

And a really, really neat December present: My first science fiction book is hard copy!



I start Internet social networking

In the last part of the year another neat technology got into my life. I got more involved in Internet social networking. I set up accounts on Myspace, Facebook, Linked-In and Plaxo, and by the end of the year I was visiting Facebook daily and engaging in lengthy discussions with MIT alumni on the Linked-In discussion boards.

Thanks to that networking, I reconnected a lot with my old friends at MIT, and a little bit with old friends at Novell. I made some connections with Hawken alumni, and found one old Army buddy, but it was interesting that the MIT connections flowered strongly and these others only weakly.

I added steadily to my Cyreenik Says entries on human thinking, and not so much to the other sections of White World. I explored a revamp of White World to make it look more commercial, but decided against it when I found that all the commercial revampers wanted to transition the site from html/CSS format to a new CMS (content management system) format. I researched CMS and found it too commercially-oriented for what is still an intensely personal site. So, maybe later, after I see thousands of copies of my books.


2009 Technology Change: Dealing with cell phone numbers

In 2009 I tangled with the cell phone companies.

It was clear I was going to be settled in in Taylorsville, so it was time to get off prepaid and on to something more permanent.

Whew! This is an area of American lifestyle that really needs to get simplified. It's suffering a lot from The Curse of Being Important. (something I write about in Cyreenik Says)

As I researched, I didn't like my choices much, at all! The last time I had a cell phone in the US, I got a conventional two year plan. But when I went to Korea I had to cancel it because the company I was contracted with, T-Moble, didn't offer service in Korea. I contacted my dealer, and thought I'd made a clean break with them -- I'd jumped through all the procedural hoops they'd asked me to do. But, when I got back in 2008, I discovered that the dealer had pulled a cheap shot, claimed I owed them another $500, and handed the account to a collection agency. Ouch!

The moral for me: no more multiyear contacts! I'll pay as I go, thank you!

But the pay monthly plan I selected turned out to be expensive because I wasn't using the phone much. (Ironically, I ended up with a T-Moble plan again.)

So, with some hassle because the accounting procedures couldn't handle it, I switched back to pre-paid, paid $100 up front, and got service for a year. So far, so good: That cut my phone bill from $39 a month to under $10 a month, unless I did a lot more gabbing than I planned on. I liked that.

The bad news was I had to switch phone numbers (because of the accounting hassle). Not such terrible news, I thought, since I didn't use the phone much.

But I was wrong about that, the phone number switch turned out to be terrible news: this number had been used by several people before me, and they were deadbeats. For more than two years after I got the number, I'd get robot phone calls at odd times saying, "This is a call for [new voice] Gjorel Wrohlel. [it was a garbled new voice] If you are not... Gjorel Wrohlel... please hang up." And then get calls from the same outfit again and again. I finally got wise and said I was Gjorel Wrohlel long enough to get a person on and tell them they had a bad number. This helped, but the decline in calls was slow.

So, a new kind of pain in the ass has come into our American lifestyle: The overused prepaid cellphone number, that comes complete with lots of robot phone caller fans.

2010: Living in the Comfort Zone and The Year of Book Promoting

In 2009 I signed my contract with Author House to publish nine books. By January 2010 the first two were finished and on the shelves. For 2010 my big projects would be finishing the editing on the remaining seven -- with the help of George Trosper, a wonderfully diligent editor whom I'd previously worked with on Wordstar with Style -- and getting these fine works promoted so that many people would buy them and read them.

In 2009 I'd read up on promoting, and I sensed that, like movie scripts, I was once again dealing in an activity that was easy entry, powered mostly by hopes and dreams, and thus very low on profit for the average participant. I also got some practical tips, so in 2010 I started following through on those practical tips.

I also continued my class-taking at SLCC, and the first part of the year I dove-tailed class-taking with book promoting by taking another film-making class and producing two book promoting videos as my class project. Here is one of the results.

Technology overview: Salt Lake Weather and Climategate

The winter of 2009/2010 was memorable for two reasons: First, the weather was unusual -- it was winter-cold in November and December, and nearly winter cold from March through May, there were snowstorms as late as mid-May.

Second, we got to add irony to freakishness: This was also the year of Climategate and an important global climate warming conference in Copenhagen... where Europe was also experiencing a freakish cold winter.

Much of my time and effort the first part of the year went into improving the SEO of White World (Search Engine Optimization). I took a half-day class and learned that SEO improves when search engine bots look at your site and see lots of connections into and out of it, and I learned which inbound connections count the most in the eyes of the bot.

So, I started including lots of links to Wall Street Journal news articles in the essays and blogs I wrote for Cyreenik Says and I looked for ways to get links back into White World from other sites. The three on which I managed to cultivate the most links back to White World were Buzzle, Ezinearticles and Wikipedia -- all three are white-hot for SEO according to the class I took. In Buzzle I contributed science articles, in Ezinearticles I contributed movie reviews and in Wikipedia I contributed a couple of science articles, references to White World in other science articles, a biography of my dad and citations from his autobiography on White World into Margaret's article.

All were a bit tricky to deal with. Buzzle wanted only new articles, so my first submission attempts were blocked because I would submit neat articles I had put up in my non-fiction technofiction section.(Although I did manage to slip in my first contribution as a reprint because White World's SEO was so low that the editor didn't catch it, and it is my most popular article to date: How Hot is Venus?) I learned, and I started writing essays, submitting them to Buzzle first, and after they were approved, posting them on White World.

Ezinearticles didn't mind reprints, but they didn't want me advertising my stuff, so my efforts there were rejected when I started sprinkling book ads through my web pages. I dodged that problem by setting up a parallel indexing structure for White World that had no advertising, and I pointed the Ezinearticles articles to that parallel structure.

For Wikipedia I would surf through articles and see if I had something to contribute, and if I did I would add a citation. I did this with articles on space travel and Margaret. For a few weeks I was also successful at sneaking in citations to my movie reviews in the movie articles, but some wiki-super-editor-nazi-type caught up on that and wiped all those out. Ah-well... but the science citations, and a complete science article on constant acceleration space drive, remain.

By June the SEO results were impressive: if you searched on "Roger Bourke White Jr." or "Tips for Tailoring Spacetime Fabric", you would get an arm-long list of entries that pointed to White World or on-line book stores. Yeah!!!

Sadly, the book sales were not yet as impressive as the SEO results -- I sold all of six books the first quarter. Gag!

What Ho!! At Sixty One I invent something new!

At one of my checkups my doctor suggested that I needed more potassium in my diet. He prescribed some pills. But before I started on those, I thought to myself, "Potassium... that's easy! That's fruit!" So I swapped out some of my baked goods snacking for fresh fruit snacks.

One of the fruits was bananas.

Well, I've peeled bananas for decades, but now I was dealing with several a day, not one every-so-often.

One day I noticed that, especially on solid, barely-ripe bananas, if I pushed the top down rather than pulling it sideways or up, I could get the peel to split more easily. I further noticed that if I then treated the peel like a jacket you unzip and opened just one side most of the way down, that the banana that slid out sideways was a lot neater -- it didn't have all the stringy things hanging off the sides -- and the empty peel was easier to throw away because it was all one piece and the gooey insides stayed inside.

Viola! I had invented a new, cleaner, slicker way to open bananas!

How neat!


A Blast from 2010

A gathering of old Baker House college buddies for the 35th Reunion. I was there in spirit. They are playing Boo-Re, the card game I introduced to Baker. From left to right we have Jim Rutt, Rick Stadterman, John Chisholm, Robert Fazio, Philip Mandel, and James Moody.

And here we have some of those same people way back when in 1973! Left to right: Beth Holmke, Art Kort, Valery Flugenhiemer, Roger White, Andy Celentano, Phil Mandel, and Jim Rutt. This was my Birthday party, and after getting tossed in the shower I was being given the "Green Fish" Award because I'd had such a losing streak on the game I introduced.


video promtion

Here I am in July 2010 making some videos to promote my existing and upcoming books.



By the second half of 2010 I had well-settled and comfortable routine. I would get plenty of sleep, read news and check mail in the morning, drive over to the Student Center for lunch, then do reading and writing work over there while I enjoyed watching people move about. The student center was surprisingly multi-cultural. I would see people from Southern Sudan, the Middle East, East Asia and Latin America, and plenty of Mountain West Americans. Then I would come home and do more writing and book editing and play City of Heroes to take a break. All-in-all, quite comfortable.

My chronic complaint was that I wanted to get out and see movies in the evening at the cineplex, but there were so few worth watching... and no one was grabbing up my movie scripts to make really interesting ones!

In the summer I took a fun philosophy class, and was inspired to write a series of essays on Ethical Issues. In the fall I read an inspiring book. As part of my book promoting I was buying, reading and then reviewing on various books related to mine. I would review and add, "If you liked this you might also like..." and put in a link to my books. One of the books I did this with was F. A. Hayek's "Road to Serfdom". What I found was that his descriptions of socialism, collectivism and competition meshed very nicely with my models of human thinking. I ended up writing a blog on what I read and his ideas became mixed with mine as I worked Cyreenik Says essays and on my science fiction story of life in 2110. Another book that impressed me in late 2110 was Ray Kurzweil's "The Singularity is Near". That I did not blog until 2011, and it greatly influenced my thinking about what to put into my World of 2110 stories.

A tale of the 2010's: using Google to find a long-lost book

When I began my journeys to Korea I triaged what I owned, and I stored very little -- it all fit into one five-by-ten storage locker. One thing I did pack away carefully was my favorite science fiction book from my high school years. Sadly, I stored it so carefully, I couldn't find it again!

For a couple of years after I returned I wondered about it, and missed it, and made some half-hearted attempts to located it again, in both my stored stuff and on the Internet, but to no avail.

Part of the problem was I had forgotten the title and the editor. I knew what it looked like, and I remembered some of the stories in it. (It was a thick, light brown, hard cover anthology of short stories from the pulp magazines of the 1930's and 40's.) But how to do you search for "thick, light brown, hard cover anthology" on the Internet?

Finally, in the fall of 2010 I had an "Ah-Hah". I started researching the author names of the short stories in the book. It still was not easy. Success finally came when late one night I used Wikipedia to research pen names for Robert Heinlein and John W. Campbell, two of the authors I remembered being in the book, for sure. I came up with Anson MacDonald and Don Stuart. Linking those two names in a Google book search, I came up with several titles published in the 2000's... and one dating back to 1957: Famous Science Fiction Stories. That was my book!

Even neater, I looked that title up on Amazon and was able to get a used copy in good condition for $4, plus $4 shipping.

What a score! And what a neat technology surprise!

-- The End --

Volume 1: The early years 1948-1966

Volume 2: College, Army, first jobs 1966-1977

Volume 3: PC Revolutionary: Computerland, Beehive, Novell 1977-1989

Volume 4: Beginning The Great Panic: Divorce, bankruptcy, mid-life crisis 1990-1993

Volume 5: Being a Sea Cucumber 1994-1997

Volume 6: Searching for a new life, 1997-2002 (and discovering how deep the Panic Scars are)

Volume 7: Recovering from Panic Thinking 2003-2008

Volume 8: Remaking a home in the USA 2008-2010

Volume 9: Searching for positive feedback 2011-