Saturday, October 31, 2009

POtW: The Old Havensville School

Havensville School
There's nothing more depressing than an old school in the middle of a town that is abandoned and forgotten. This is the old Havensville school in Havensville, Kansas in Pottawatomie County. I don't know when the school was built (I would say in the 1920s or 1930s) but it now stands abandoned on Barbara Street.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Seven #2.12

Nicholas was taken out of Robideaux's grocery store and taken to the Indianola Bridge. "With Ernest's untimely death," Samuel began, "we need someone to take over the bridge."

"And you're choosing me?" Nicholas was stunned. "But when my friends get here, Tara and I have to leave."

"And when you come back, the job will still be here. I've made certain of that. You've been a good citizen and I've loved you and Tara living with me and Mary. If you ever need a place to stay or anything else when you finish this journey you're on, just let me know," Samuel smiled.

"Thank you very much Mr. Vieux," Nicholas smiled back. "I'm fairly certain Tara and I will come back to Indianola when we're done with our journey."

"Glad to hear it," Samuel patted Nicholas on the back. "I'll see you back at home."

Samuel walked off leaving Nicholas alone at the toll booth. Nicholas went inside the booth and sat down. It was nearly thirty minutes before the first person came down the bridge.

"Toll, please. Ten cents," Nicholas said.

The small man turned his head toward Nicholas. "How about I give you everything you want instead?"

Nicholas eyed the little man. "Sounds good but I think I'd rather have the ten cents," he chuckled.

"Would you?" the little man smiled and threw his hand up into the air and everything went black. Almost a split-second later, Nicholas awoke, back in Cassoday.

"What in the...?" he stammered.

Standing over him was his brother, Gregory. "What are you doing on the ground? Come on, we have to get to the church."

Gregory helped Nicholas up. "The church? What for?"

"Such a joker. Your wedding, Nick. You're finally marrying Tara today," Gregory said.

"Mr. Uskglass"
"What is going on?" Nicholas turned to the little man.

"I'm giving you everything you want," the man said and began peeling a banana that appeared out of nowhere.

"But I'm back home and...marrying Tara?"

"Yeah. I don't know who this Tara person is but in half an hour or so she'll be your wife," the man said and finished his banana. "This is what your subconscious said you wanted."

"What? No it isn't. Well, yes but Seven likes Tara and I..."

"Seven? Who's that?"

"My best friend."

"Well if he's your best friend then he should be happy for you. What kind of name is Seven?" the little man wondered. "I guess there is that 1990s television show that has a person named Six on it," he muttered to himself.

"What? Television?" Nicholas was more confused.

"Nothing!" the man covered up. "Come on, your wedding is about to start."

"I'm not getting married. Who are you?" Nicholas demanded.

"My name is Mr. Uskglass," the little man removed his hat and bowed. "I come from a place very different from this one. But since I can travel through time and other dimensions, I keep myself well-entertained."

"Time travel? That's impossible," Nicholas said.

"Obviously not because we're here, aren't we?" Uskglass said.

"Send me back to Indianola," Nicholas demanded.

"Don't you want to marry Tara?"

Nicholas looked at the church and sighed. "Not like this. Send me back."

It went dark again and soon Nicholas and Uskglass were back in Indianola. "Okay. So you didn't like that one," Uskglass stroked his chin with his fingers. "Maybe you'll like this one better."

Then it went dark again.

The huge missile got closer and closer and Seven prepared himself for what was next. Seven crouched down and closed his eyes.

"You need to go," Corrine suddenly said.

Seven opened his eyes and saw a ghostly visage of Corrine standing in front of him. "I'm sorry I failed," he said.

"Don't worry. We'll see each other again soon."

Then Seven was torn from the rubble he was standing on and sent back through the water. He reached the top and threw himself out of the water, gasping. Major Beam and Cassius were standing at the pond's edge and saw Seven emerge.

"What in tarnation..." Major Beam gasped. He and Cassius went into the water and helped Seven out. "What are you doing in the water?"

"I was called here," Seven coughed. "Corrine--the Lady of the Lake lured me in. She wanted me to help fight in a war and...and we lost."

"A war?" Cassius asked. "Why did she choose you? Let's get you inside." The men began helping Seven back to the house.

"She said a Luther person saw that I would become a great hero someday. That's why she came into your visions, Cassius."

"When we get you inside you can tell us all about it," Cassius said. The men got Seven inside and helped him dry off before sitting him at the kitchen table. "Now, tell us what happened?"

Seven told them what happened in Aquarius finishing up with the missile closing in and Corrine sending him back. "I was set to die but she saved me. I lost sight of the city when the missile hit. I can only assume the city was destroyed and they all died."

"That's amazing," Major Beam said. "I do hope everything works out for those--what were they again?"

"Aquarians," Seven said.

"I have a feeling you'll be hearing from them again," Cassius said convincingly. "We need to continue walking if you are ready, Seven."

"About as ready as I'll ever be," Seven said.

Within an hour, Cassius and Seven were ready to go. They bid farewell to Major Beam and began walking away from Smallwood and toward Indianola.

"I hope Nicholas and Tara are still waiting for us in Indianola," Seven said.

"They are. I had a brief vision about them. They're actually becoming pretty well-known and successful," revealed Cassius. Cassius also saw something else. Nicholas and Tara kissing. Cassius was not sure when it would happen but he hoped Seven wouldn't find out.

Nichols and Uskglass suddenly appeared on a moving train. "Now where are we? Where are we headed?" Nicholas asked.

"We're on a train headed to Keya Paha in Nebraska. I'd tell you why but that would spoil the fun. Sometime in the future you will be riding this exact train," Uskglass said.

"So are we in the future now? Can I expect to see myself wandering around?"

"No. If anyone would actually see themselves in another plain of existence then your head would explode," Uskglass said. "At the very least, your eyes would bleed."

"Why are we here?" Nicholas was getting fed up with this little man.

"Just give it a minute," Uskglass said. Shortly after he spoke, the train suddenly lurched and the brakes squealed. People fell down and began exclaiming as the train continued to lurch and jostle around.

"What is going on," Nicholas asked as the train suddenly bucked up.

"This is how you die," Uskglass said. "I thought you might like to know."

"Well, I didn't! Why would I want to know that?"

"So you can make changes to it and your life," Uskglass grinned. "What else would you do with this kind of knowledge?" The train suddenly bucked up and began sliding off the track. "I better get you out of here. Don't want to give too much away."

Back in Indianola, Nicholas was asleep in the toll booth and awoke with a jolt when Tara tapped him on the shoulder. "Nicholas, what's wrong? You fell asleep," she said.

"Asleep...Yeah, I guess," Nicholas said but could only think of the train crash. "I am so glad to see you."

He stood up and hugged Tara. She hugged him back although she was a bit confused. "I'm glad to see you, too. The next guy should be here soon and we can head back home..."

Nicholas kissed Tara right on the lips. At first she was stunned but soon her eyes closed and she kissed him back.

Cassius and Seven arrive in Indianola and the team is reunited.

No, It's Not Necessary

Born Loser 10-30-09
I've never understood why people feel obligated to have candy available for trick-or-treaters. I remember a time when all you had to do when you didn't have candy was just leave your porch light off. Now you have to have candy or the kids will egg or toilet paper your house? I've even heard that if you are gone then you are supposed to leave a bowl of candy out so kids can take it. Really? Since when does Halloween mean parents and adults have to cower in fear to their pint-sized costumed overlords? If Veeblefester doesn't want to hand out candy or paper clips then that is his right.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

August Coppola

My favorite actor is indisputably Nicolas Cage, from the stoner surfer in Fast Times at Ridgemont High to the crap-tastic Bringing Out the Dead (I had the movie poster), I love all of his work no matter what. Even the stuff that is certifiably crap. Lately, ol' Nic has been in the news because he apparently owes the IRS over six million dollars. That's a lot of change. Presumably his business manager never paid the taxes so we'll just see how all this plays out. Anyway, his father, August Coppola, has passed away at the age of 75 after suffering a heart attack. Coppola was a literature professor at San Francisco University. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. Coppola is survived by three sons, Nicolas, Marc and Christopher, and three grandchildren (including Cage's Weston and Kal-El).

Do Not Take Advice from Brutus

Born Loser 10-29-09
You don't need muscle to stand up to bullies. Besides, Wilberforce should just get used to being forced into the fetal position because it's going to happen on the playground, in the locker room, during fraternity initiation and during his wedding because his father made him a loser.

Speaking of bullies, I remember when I was on a field trip, years and years ago. I had brought my own lunch (a sandwich, bag of chips, pudding and a Coke) and was eating on the bus along with everyone else who was there. The teacher was letting two seats full of kids go to the bathroom, when one seat came back another got to go. It was my turn so I, along with my seat got up and headed to the bathroom. I was gone, at most, five minutes but when I came back my lunch sack was gone. Along with my pudding and Coke. I sat down and wondered what to do. A couple kids came back who were sitting in a seat a couple rows behind me and one of them looked at me funny. I can't for the life of me remember who it was but I am pretty sure they took my lunch sack and threw it away. I never told anyone because if it was in the trash, like I'd eat it after that anyway so I just acted like nothing happened and began reading my book while that douchebag a couple seats behind me probably was laughing at me.

Edited on Oct. 29, 2009 at 2:00 P.M.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hot Off the Weekend

Well, I had a very busy weekend. And next weekend will be almost more of the same. On to the comics I promised.

Born Loser 10-24-09
Is Brutus watching soccer (futbol?) or some other sport I have no knowledge of? I love the enormous flat screen TV though.

Born Loser 10-25-09
Let's meet Arnie, Brutus' negro friend. Well, neighbor I guess. Hey, wait a minute! Didn't Hattie rake Brutus' leaves back on Friday? Either she didn't do a very good job or Brutus has a lot of trees in his yard.

Born Loser 10-26-09
Yeah, those bastards! Here's how I think a tie-game of football should be decided. Each team gets to kick a field goal and the first team that misses, loses. See? How simple is that? I guess you can call me a genius but I just want those games to stop interrupting my regularly scheduled programs.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

One-Night Stand #1.4

Heather, along with her mother, Adelaide, her two aunts, Lois and Donna and two best friends, Jillian and Lisa, gathered in the Marsh house. The mother-to-be was surrounded by presents and everyone was so ecstatic about the baby shower and the baby in general.

"What are you gonna name it?" asked Aunt Lois.

"We don't know yet. We have a couple names picked out but we're just tossing them around right now," Heather explained.

"I always liked the name Shawn," said Aunt Donna.

Heather scoffed. "That name is so overused nowadays," she said. "There were three girls who got pregnant in our senior year and gave birth before graduation. All of them named their child 'Shawn'."

Jillian nodded her head. "Yep. Shawn Tyler, Shawn Aiden and Sean--S-e-a-n--Dmitri Calvin. That one has two middle names which makes the first name pale in comparison."

"My brother named his son Shawn. Shawn Malcolm," Lisa said.

"Sweet God! Do people even have girls anymore?" Aunt Lois laughed.

"I can't believe this," Brett shook his head. "In less than a month you are going to be tied down and held captive by a baby and this is where you want to spend what could be your last free night?"

"It's my choice, Brett. Besides, this is really only thing in town that can be considered fun. I think you'll survive, Brett," Chris said.

"Fine," Brett said. "Two games and size eleven shoe."

"Size thirteen," Chris smiled.

The man behind the counter totaled the cost and gave Chris and Brett their shoes. They then went down to the alleys where they put their shoes on and began looking for a ball to use.

"Just promise me one thing," Brett said. "That you will at least attempt to get laid tonight. Like with her," Brett pointed to a girl a couple alleys down. She had short blond hair, glasses and a cute face but was short and kind of on the chubby side.

"Maybe," Chris said.

"A Night Out"
The women passed out Heather's sonogram and cooed in delight as they made out the baby's face, hands and feet. After the sonogram made the rounds, they gave it back to Heather and sat back down in a circle.

"Well, he's going to be adorable," Aunt Lois said.

"Say what you will about Chris but at least he's attractive," Heather said. "Of course I'm not really one to sleep with someone that's not attractive."

"What about that guy back in junior high?" Adelaide asked. "He wasn't very attractive. Skinny as a sign post and he had such a pointy face."

"Mom! You knew about that?" Heather was embarrassed. It was back in eighth grade and she and David had been going out for a couple months although she wasn't happy in the relationship. She had decided to have sex with him to change their relationship but mainly to just get it over with. They only had sex four times before David broke up with her.

"Of course I knew about that," Adelaide said. "Your bed kept pushing against the wall."

"Your next guy was a big step-up from David," Jillian said.

"The stories you told me about him," Lisa smiled. "I almost went after him myself when you two broke up."

"What was so special about that guy?" Adelaide asked.

Heather, Jillian and Lisa blushed and giggled. The next guy, Michael, was a senior in high school while Heather was a sophomore. They only dated for four months but during that time they had sex just about everyday, and it was with Michael that Heather first performed oral sex and engaged in anal sex. She loved both of them. Plus, Michael was huge.

"Michael was just...special," Heather blushed. "Can I open my presents now?"

Chris and Brett were halfway finished with their first game of bowling and Chris was beating Brett badly. Brett looked over at the girls they saw earlier and noticed they were getting ready to leave.

"Hey, Chris. Those girls are leaving," he pointed.

Chris looked and shrugged. "So?"

"So? So we should ask them to join us on our next game. I'm becoming kind of smitten with that girl in the green shirt," Brett said. "If you're not gonna go over there, I am."

Brett went over to the girls and stayed in the background for a minute before actually approaching them. "Hello, ladies. My friend and I," he pointed to Chris, "were wondering if you would like to join us. We have a second game coming up."

The girls all looked at each other and shrugged. "I think we can do that. For awhile anyway," said the short and chubby girl.

"I can't stay. I have a date," said another girl.

"Then it's just us three," the girl in the green shirt smiled. "I'm Wanda. These are my friends Allison, Leslie and the one leaving is Crystal. Give us a couple minutes to clean up and we'll be over to join you," Wanda smiled.

Brett went back over to his alley where Chris was sitting and waiting. "They will be over soon," Brett said. "We should hurry this game up."

The girls joined them and they took turns going since only two people were programmed into the game. It took Chris awhile to warm up to everyone but soon he had become closer to Allison while Brett focused on Wanda. Leslie was slightly left out of the loop.

In an hour, the game was finished and the five of them stood outside the bowling alley. "Thank you for letting us join you. It was a good evening," Wanda said. "I had fun."

"Me, too," Brett said. "Do you need a ride home or anything?" he offered.

"Actually, yeah. That'd be nice," she said.

Chris leaned over to Brett. "Um, Brett? You drove me..."

"Well! I'm going to take Wanda home. I'll see you later, Chris," and Brett walked off with Wanda by his side.

"All right then," Chris sighed.

"We should probably get going as well," Allison said, motioning to Leslie. "Maybe we'll see you around?"

"Yeah, maybe. It's a small town. Well, you two be careful. Thanks for making the night fun," Chris said and Allison and Leslie walked to the parking lot. Chris watched as both cars drove away. He continued to stand in front of the bowling alley. "I probably should've asked for a ride."

Kim sat at the bar in one of the town's more popular watering holes. As she nursed her drink, someone tapped her on her shoulder. "Funny seeing you here," John said and smiled.

"I thought I'd give it a try. It's not going too well," Kim chuckled.

"I just got bored sitting at home by myself. I tried to do some work on the basement but..."

Kim interrupted. "Do you think we're doing the right thing?" she asked.

"What do you mean?" asked John.

"Doing our divorce while our son and his baby and his baby's mother are living in our basement?"

"I get what you're saying and no, I don't."

"Maybe we should postpone it," Kim said. "At least until Chris, Heather and the baby move out."

"We can just see how it goes," John said.

"Who knows. This might help in keeping our marriage together," Kim laughed.

"Well, it couldn't hurt," John shrugged.

Chris runs into an old teacher; Brett and Heather talk.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

POtW: Ratner Road Bridge

Today's picture is the Ratner Road which is located in Shawnee County between 89th and 101st Street.
Ratner Road Bridge
The bridge, which crosses the Wakarusa River, was built in 1914 by the Topeka Bridge and Iron Company. It was joint effort between Shawnee and Osage County. Just north of this bridge was an old wood and iron bridge, that bridge was replaced in 2003 or 2005 with a standard concrete bridge.

Friday, October 23, 2009

I Guess It's Just In a Sling, Not Broken

Born Loser 10-23-09
Well, Gladys' abuse of Brutus has finally taken a scary turn as she has shattered Brutus' arm in a fit of chocolate cake-induced rage. Hattie should come over to my house and do my leaves, I'd give her ten bucks.

Also, apparently you are supposed to volunteer. I would if I wasn't more worried about finding a job and paying my bills.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Yda Hillis Addis

Born in 1857, Yda Hillis Addis was the first American writer to translate Mexican oral stories and written histories into English. Addis published these stories in The Argonaut but also wrote original fiction that included ghost stories, love triangle stories and feminist stories. Her work was also showcased along side work by Ambrose Bierce and Mark Twain in various publication but unlike some of her other contemporaries, her work has been mainly lost.

Yda was the daughter of photographer Alfred Shea Addis. Alfred was born in Philadelphia and moved to Lawrence, Kansas in the 1850s where he became an assistant for Thomas Short, a photographer. He soon married Short's daughter, Sarah and they had two children, Yda and Judge (born in 1862). The Addis' and the Shorts were Confederate sympathizers and when the situation in Lawrence grew too violent, they moved to Leavenworth, Kansas under the protection of Fort Leavenworth. Soon after Missouri seceded from the Union, both families fled to Chihuahua, Mexico where Alfred soon began photographing Mexican landscapes and the people. The Addis' stayed in Mexico until after the Civil War and then moved to California.

Yda was a young writer in her twenties when Argonaut founder Frank M. Pixley introduced her to his good friend, former California governor John G. Downey. The two got engaged but when Downey's sister realized the two got engaged, they shanghaied him to Ireland, leaving Yda to sue for breach of contract. Before the trial however, Yda left for Mexico City to write for the bilingual newspaper and where she met editor Theodore Gesterfeld. Gesterfeld's wife, Ursula, who suspected her husband of cheating on her, sued for divorce and named Yda a co-defendant. Amidst the scandal, Yda moved to Santa Barbera to publish a book of biographies. During one of the interviews, she met and soon married Charles A. Storke.

Yda was treated badly by both Storke and his teenage son Tommy, and she accused Storke of some peculiar intimate behaviors and violence toward her. Storke retaliated with a divorce complaint on the grounds that Yda was insane. During the divorce Yda discovered that her attorney, Grant Jackson, was in duplicity with Storke. She shot Jackson, who survived, but she spent eight months in prison. When she was released, the divorce was not final and Yda requested alimony. At this time Clara Shortridge Foltz stepped in briefly to defend Yda. Storke refused to pay the $500 a month that she requested and instead had Yda committed to an insane asylum. Yda later escaped the asylum, and disappeared.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Think! It's Easier Than Doing Stuff

Born Loser 10-21-09
Is Brutus at work? If so I don't think Veeblefester would appreciate how Brutus is spending his time. Also, if the look on Brutus' face in the first panel is any indication, Brutus now needs to register as a sex offender.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

One-Night Stand #1.3

Chris went into his mom's office in the house and began looking around in her desk for a phone book. He found a phone book and copied down the address to the doctor's office he was going to with Heather.

As he put back the phone book, he saw a group of stapled papers. He looked at the papers, which were a form already filled out. The top of the first page read 'Form for Divorce of Marriage'. And in the first box was the name Kimberly Gaelan.

"Doctor's Visit"
Chris and Irene waited on the long line of people at Round Corner Coffee. Chris was handling the complicated orders while Irene was handling the register and simple orders.

"So what's the plan after work?" Irene asked.

Chris continued working, squirting chocolate syrup onto the whip cream that was on top of the coffee.

"Chris! I'm talking to you," Irene giggled.

"What?" he looked over at her as he slid the coffee onto the counter. "Iced mocha mint!" he shouted.

"What are you doing after work?"

"Heather has a doctor's appointment this afternoon so I am going to that. Mainly as moral support really," Chris said.

"Aww, but that is very sweet. You'll be a great father."

"I'm glad you think so. I'm getting nervous. My dad and I are going to start remodeling the basement so Heather, the baby and I can all be together."

"Really? I thought you and Heather weren't going to date," Irene brought up.

"We're not. We're gonna live together in the basement and in separate rooms. It'll be weird but it's what everyone kind of agreed on," Chris explained.

"Do you think living together will bring you together? Get you to fall in love or something?"

"Probably not. We'll probably get so angry at each other that we'll kill each other and the baby will wind up an orphan," Chris joked.

"I'm sure it won't be that bad," Irene rolled her eyes.

"I suggested getting our own apartment but neither set of parents thought that we could afford it since Heather's not working right now."

"Yeah. Well maybe after a year or so you two could get your own place," Irene shrugged.

"I think after a year we'll be wanting to get away from each other," Chris smiled.

"I think you two will end up getting together," Irene said.

"Somehow I doubt that but it's good to know you're rooting for us," Chris said. "Let me ask you something personal now."

"Okay," Irene smiled.

"Are you seeing anyone right now?"

Irene got excited but tried to remain calm. "No. No I'm not. I mean, as much as I would love to date one of the many losers in this town has to offer, I feel that I can wait until I find something I really want to be with."

"I guess I'm okay with you calling me a loser..." Chris hesitated.

"You're excluded in that generalization of course," Irene laughed.

"My parents are getting a divorce," Chris said suddenly.

Irene looked at Chris. "Really?"

"I found the forms in my mom's desk while looking for a phone book," Chris said.

"Are you okay?" Irene asked.

"Yeah, I just think the timing is bad. Like they forced themselves to stay together just for me. That doesn't seem right--or fair to them."

"My parents got divorced when I was eleven and let's just say that that wasn't fair to me. I would've preferred it if they faked it at least until I was out of the house," Irene revealed.

"I think the main issue I have is that I don't really want to know my parents are dating other people," Chris smiled.

"Yeah, that dating other people thing is the worst," Irene smiled back.

The medical technician moved the ultrasound probe around Heather's stomach. Chris stood next to Heather wondering what to do with his hands. An image slowly appeared on the screen and soon both of them saw their child that was growing inside Heather.

"Oh, wow, that is so cool," Chris said as he took Heather's hand and leaned in for a closer look. Chris pointed to something on the screen. "Is that what I think it is?" he asked.

The technician looked and nodded. "I believe so. That's a penis. You have a son."

"A son?" Heather smiled and began to cry. "That's good because I only have boy names picked out."

"Everything looks fine. Ten fingers, ten toes, one nose, two eyes. You're doing just fine and that baby should be here in a month and a half."

Afterward, Chris and Heather were walking back to his car in the parking lot. "Heather?" Chris asked.


"We get along okay, right?"

"We get along better than I thought we would," she replied. "Why?"

"I don't know. I just...I want things to remain civil between us. For his sake," Chris stopped and felt Heather's stomach.

Heather looked at him oddly. "We'll certainly try. I don't want to fight or argue in front of Chauncey any more than you do."

They resumed walking. "That's good and if we do have a problem with one another, let's talk about it," Chris unlocked the door and helped Heather in.

"I can do that," she nodded.

Chris shut the door and went over to the driver's side and got in. He started the car then paused. "Wait a minute. Chauncey?"

A guy's night out and a baby shower.


Born Loser 10-20-09
Well, I guess this strip absolutely proves that Gladys is just a mean old bitch.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Seven #2.11

Seven stood in front of a group of Aquarians that had gathered to help defend the city and their beliefs. Unfortunately, only eight people had volunteered in the three hours that had passed. Caesar's army stopped advancing and settled on the east side of the city. Seven looked at his team and shook his head.

"What's wrong?" Corrine asked.

Seven sighed. "I don't know if I can do this. Caesar's army is so much larger than what we have..."

"We are still recruiting," said one of the volunteers. "Norrell and Antonio are out recruiting. Don't worry, soon we'll have an army ourselves."

Seven walked up to this man and looked at him. "Who are you?" he asked.

"Horatio," the man answered. "I'm a guard at the museum."

"Thank you for being here. You're my second-in-command. If Norrell and Antonio really get a bunch of recruits then I'm gonna need help," Seven said.

"Here," Corrine approached Seven. "We're getting more weapons--what few we have--and you should take this," she handed Seven a gold trident whose three prongs were a shimmering blue, the color of bright blue water.

"What's this?" he asked.

"The Lake Trident--it's prongs are made from the heart of the lake. The soul of Viviane. The water possesses amazing capabilities. Now, let's get some armor," Corrine said.

They all congregated outside of the Citadel Tower. Norrell and Antonio had gathered just over a hundred Aquarians to fight on the side of Corrine. Each had been armed with some form of weapon and were armored to the best of Aquarius' ability.

"So what are we going to do?" Horatio asked.

"I don't know. Do we go to them or wait for them to come to us?" Seven wondered.

Suddenly, a missile flew over the army and into the Citadel Tower sending everyone scurrying away from the falling debris. "Looks like they come to us," Corrine said.

"The Battle for Aquarius"
More missiles were launched and the Aquarian army advanced toward Caesar's army. Seven and Horatio led the way through the streets of Aquarius. Many missiles flew overhead and into the buildings causing debris to rain down on the streets.

Caesar's army's weapons were a lot more advanced than what Seven and his army had. With the trident, Seven was able to stop a couple of fighters and keep the army at bay.

"They outnumber us!" Seven shouted. "And their weapons are much more advanced!"

Horatio elbowed a combatant in the face and took his weapon. "All things considered, we're doing better than I thought we would."

In his laboratory, Homer Caesar stared at a huge monitor showing the battle. Caesar was unable to blink and his wide eyes gave him a maniacal look.

"How can this be?" Caesar strained to be heard. "How can they hold their own against my advanced army?"

"They appear to have two formidable leaders. That one seems to have an odd looking trident," one of the scientists pointed at Seven.

"Trident? The Lake Trident? With the trident they may be able to defeat us and I can't let that happen!" every word emitted by Caesar was strained but loud. "Send out the air force and prepare the underground torpedoes. If I'm going down, I want the city to go down with me."

"You're lucky no one died," General Baker said as he, Soule and Houk stood in Samuel's office he maintained in the building of the Indianola Bridge Company. "You made just about everyone homeless and you destroyed the town."

"We had a treaty. If you would have come to us or built south of the Republic River we wouldn't have had this problem. We came to you to peacefully discuss with you what could be done about it and you opened fire on us," Samuel explained. "Building the bridge broke the treaty but firing on us was an act of war."

"The question remains," George Robideaux interjected, "what to do now?"

Samuel inhaled and continued. "Establish your 'Uniontown' here. We've been wanting to develop south of Morton Street--our southern most road--and you and your citizens are more than welcome to come here."

Baker, Soule and Houk looked at each other. "What about the toll on the bridge? The government army still doesn't want to pay the toll," Baker said.

"You can build a new bridge over the river off of Morton Street. It can be toll free so people can have a choice when crossing. However, you have to pay us something to make up for what we're losing so everything south of Morton Street has to pay a property tax," Samuel said. "We all agree that's fair. Do you?" he questioned.

"Give us a moment to discuss it," Baker said darkly.

Samuel acquiesced and he and Robideaux left the office, leaving the three Uniontown men alone.

"How dare they pander to us," Soule growled.

"You shouldn't have shot that man, Mitchell," Houk said. "They attacked because of your actions!"

"You don't have to settle here but I think we should take the offer," Baker said. "We still get what we originally wanted only now we're in an established town."

"You can build in this town if you want and you can also go to Hell!" Soule began storming out of the office and ran into Samuel. "I hope your town burns!"

An awkward moment passed and Samuel and Robideaux reentered the office. "I assume you spoke about our offer?"

"We accept," Baker said. "We feel that your offer is more than fair, considering. We would like to move our citizens immediately."

"Fine with us," Samuel shrugged. "I look forward to working with you, General Baker. I'm glad we were able to talk under a more cordial atmosphere," Samuel shook both Baker and Houk's hands.

The air force hovered above Seven and his men, directing the lasers on their wings to the ground and the fighters. The lasers tore into the street and buildings and they did manage to hit a couple of people.

"Stay away from those lasers!" Seven shouted. "If they can slice into the street, they can slice into your skin."

Suddenly, the ground started rumbling and something began moving underneath the city, tearing up the streets. Then several torpedoes shot out of the ground and rose up into the air. Then they exploded. Buildings fell all around both armies and they scrambled to keep from getting injured or crushed.

"Yes!" Caesar celebrated as he saw Aquarius begin to fall.

"Sir? How can you be happy about this?" one of the scientists began. "All of your own work will be laid to waste. You'll no longer be revered. Those who survive will curse your name."

Caesar thought about this. "That is why no one must survive," he said and used all of his strength to press a button inside his life support canister.

The missiles and torpedoes stopped but the damage had been done. Most of the city was in ruins and people had to claw their way of the rubble.

"Do you think it's over?" Horatio asked as he helped Seven up.

"I don't know. There's not much more to destroy," Seven said.

"It's not over," Antonio said.

"How do you know?" asked Seven.

"Because of that," Antonio pointed up at a huge bomb heading toward the city.

He, Seven and Horatio just stared in awe...

Seven returns to Smallwood; Nicholas takes over the Indianola Bridge and Seven and Cassius resume walking.

Don't Drink the Water

Born Loser 10-18-09
I think the Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and possibly the Department of Homeland Security need to investigate the water in this city because it seems like everybody is growing stupider by the day. I'm pretty sure this a widespread epidemic and needs to be checked out.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

He Is Kind of Right

Born Loser 10-17-09
So, wait.  You mean to tell me that your newspaper ran the article but left out the part where they explain why sleep loss may lead to weight gain?  That seems kind of weird and not at all very professional at all.  But since I like to consider myself a professional, here is the reason why:
Scientists have found that sleep deprivation increases levels of a hunger hormone and decreases levels of a hormone that makes you feel full. The effects may lead to overeating and weight gain.

Now was that so hard?

POtW: Abandoned House Near Rock Creek

Welcome to the return of Picture of the Week. I'm sure you've missed us. Over the next several weeks I will be showcasing some of my most favorite pictures and places. First up is an abandoned house south of Clinton Lake near Rock Creek. I don't know when this house was built or when it was abandoned (long ago, apparently) or even what kind of car it is (guesses, anyone?) but this house creeps me out. The whole area kind of creeps me out because it's very secluded and it's in a valley because it's in the Clinton Lake floodplain which makes it kind of darker and shadowy than other places. I can only imagine what has gone on in and around that house and car over the years.
Abandoned Near On Rock Creek

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Captain Lou Albano 1933-2009

Professional wrestler Captain Lou Albano passed away today at the age of 76 after being in hospice care since the 10th. Besides being a wrestler, people may know him as Cyndi Lauper's dad in the music video for "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" and as the live-action and voice of Mario in the Super Mario Brothers Super Show in the late-1980s.

The Pumpkin-Colored Wall

Well, it's October 14th and you know what that means. It's time to celebrate the birthday of Night Court's Harry Anderson who turns 57 today. Anderson, one of my favorite television actors was last seen in the 30 Rock episode "The One With the Cast of Night Court" with fellow co-stars Markie Post and Charles Robinson and Friends star Jennifer Aniston back in November of 2008. Happy birthday, Harry. Hope it's a good one.

Born Loser 10-14-09
I'm confused.

Also, typically street signs do not pertain to pedestrians. There are some exceptions, like signs placed at crosswalks and intersections but one-way signs (even the ever-rare "the other way" signs) do not.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What Is Brutus' Position at Veeblefester Corp.?

Born Loser 10-13-09
Well, I guess we can faithfully assume that The Born Loser takes place in an at-will state where employers are allowed to fire you just because they don't like your shoes. Meanwhile, what is Brutus doing? Helping out the distribution department with their tea cozy deliveries?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Yet Another Monday Rant

Before we get onto to today's strip, let's take a moment to thank WTS's advertisers courtesy of the great Project Wonderful. On Saturday I hit over 10,000 visitors and I'm hoping to get even more throughout the next year so please keep telling your friends about this blog and let me know what you think. Don't forget that you can follow Tauy Creek on Twitter, join the Facebook group and become a fan or a follower at the bottom of the sidebar. You may also donate money so we can keep the site name. And now, without further ado, let's get onto today's strip.

Born Loser 10-12-09
Those Monday jokes just never get old, do they? The thing that pisses me off is that even if we eliminated work weeks that start on Monday, we'd get mad at Tuesday or Wednesday or whatever day the work week then started on.

Why did the strip suddenly morph into The Family Circus in the second panel?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Seven #2.10

Seven seemed to awaken but he knew he hadn't been asleep. Standing above him was a beautiful blond haired woman in a bright white robe and tunic. She had the greenest eyes and a slight blue tint to her skin. Seven looked at everyone standing around and saw they all had green eyes and bluish skin.

"What's going on? Where am I?" Seven asked.

"You are in Aquarius. I am Corrine, and I am the Citadel Minister of Aquarius. I am their leader," Corrine smiled and helped Seven up.

"I am Seven Kazachov," he said. "You're the Lady of the Lake aren't you?"

Corrine chuckled. "Yes, I believe that is the moniker your Major Beam has given me. I brought him here to protect us from the Overworlders and I brought you here to help us."

"What's going on?" Seven crossed his arms and readied himself for Corrine.

"One of our brightest scientists and his followers have been trying to take over Aquarius and we feel that they are close to succeeding."

Nicholas came home to the Vieux house at almost three o'clock in the morning. As he walked down the hallway to his room, Tara came out of hers. "Where have you been?" she asked him.

Nicholas looked at her with sleepy eyes and scratched the back of his neck. "I was helping Samuel and the other men," he said.

"With what?"

"Samuel and all the men in town are riding to Uniontown to burn it down."

The men took their positions in a semi-circle one mile from Uniontown. They had planned everything out, gathered the men and rode to the up-and-coming town.

Samuel and two other men positioned themselves at the top of a hill, making certain the other men could see them. "When we light this torch," Samuel began in a hushed voice "we charge into the town."

They waited for what seemed like hours. Samuel looked up at the sky, then struck a match and raised it to his torch...

"The Uniontown Massacre"
"They're gonna do what?" Tara shouted.

"They're going to burn Uniontown down. Uniontown broke the treaty and when Samuel, Mr. Robideaux and Mr. deBoissiere went to Uniontown, they shot deBoissiere," Nicholas explained.

"What? They shot him?"

"And killed him."

"Are we safe here? Should we leave or...?" Tara was starting to cry.

"We should be fine. Besides we have to stay here and wait for Cassius and Seven," Nicholas said and pulled Tara closer to him.

"I wonder if Cassius is out of jail..." Tara said.

"I'm sure they are headed our way now."

"Homer Caesar was Aquarius's best scientist. Caesar helped establish most of what you see here," Corrine pointed to all the amazing buildings and various technology scattered around the city. "As he got older, he got more respected but during the last decade began fighting the government at every turn then an assassination attempt three years ago left Caesar paralyzed from the waist down, it was also learned he had a terminal disease and is currently near death."

"If he's that close to death, then why is he such a threat?" Seven asked.

"He has many followers willing to fight and die for him. His followers are well-armed and rumor has it that Caesar has missiles and bombs placed strategically around Aquarius," Corrine said. "We're afraid that if we attack him, the explosives will detonate."

"I see," Seven nodded. "Then why did you lure me here? I'm just an average boy."

"The great prophesier, Virgil Luther, has determined that you are to become a great hero which is why I appeared in your friend's visions and why I lured you here," Corrine revealed.

"I would love to help out but I don't know what I can do," Seven said.

"Being willing to help may be enough," Corrine said.

The men of Indianola charged at Uniontown, carrying their torches. They rode through the streets burning every wooden building and attempting to weaken every stone structure. Women and children screamed in the night as the Uniontown men attempted to shoot and incapacitate their attackers.

Samuel and half a dozen other men rode to the bridge and jumped off their horses. They began pushing stones and tools being used to build a stone bridge into the river. As a final gesture, they set the wooden bridge on fire.

All of Uniontown was in flames and the citizens of Uniontown were helpless and could only watch as their raiders rode around town ransacking everything they came across.

Samuel, his face covered by a bandana, rode up and stopped in front of General Baker. "Enjoying watching your town burn, General Baker?" Samuel guffawed.

"Why are you doing this?" General Baker asked, nearly pleading.

"You declared war. Why start something you can't finish?" Samuel looked off to the east and saw the sun coming up. "The sun!" he shouted and the raiders began dispersing in different directions so no one in Uniontown knew where they were headed.

When the men returned to Indianola, they all returned to their houses as if nothing had happened. Samuel walked into his house and walked down the hallway past his bedroom like a zombie. Mary opened the bedroom door and saw her husband.

"What is going on? You've been gone all day and all night," she said with a panic in her voice.

"I had some business to attend to," Samuel said with a sigh. "I will be in my study if anyone desperately needs me."

Samuel shut himself in his study and locked the door. He sat at a huge desk and pulled out a small book. He opened it and took out a quill and a small jar of ink. He began writing.
Uniontown had broken the treaty--something the treaty itself says is an act of war. The men at Indianola came up with a plan and we followed through. By the time the sun rose, Uniontown was just a charred memory. We all rode back in silence, not wanting to acknowledge Indianola's darkest time.

Homer Caesar was sitting in his wheelchair as he watched the monitor. Once the smartest and most powerful man in Aquarius, Caesar was slowly being reduced to a wrinkled husk. Barely able to move under his own power, Caesar could only give orders and watch people follow them.

"Sir, we really need to get you into your life support tube," said another scientist.

"Very well," Caesar croaked. The scientist wheeled Caesar over to an elongated egg-shaped device and a couple other scientists helped hoist him out of the chair and placed him carefully in the life support system. "Are the fighters ready?" Caesar asked.

"Yes, sir. They are positioned exactly where you said. The Aquarius officials have no idea we're going to attack."

"Excellent. I've waited too long to see Aquarius as the city it should be--a city of technology and power. I will destroy them all."

Elsewhere, Corrine and Seven were in the huge Citadel Tower near the center of the city. "So what's the plan? Do you have an army or some form or military you can use to prepare the city in case Caesar does attack?" Seven asked.

"We have no formal military," Corrine began "but we do have our guards and security forces. They are at your disposal."

"My dis...? You don't even have a general or anything to plan for an attack?" Seven was shocked.

"The people of Aquarius are peaceful and we had no need for weapons," Corrine said.

"But you do now. We need to get every guard and security personnel here as soon as possible. Plus we need to enlist any citizen out there who's willing to fight for our side," Seven was cut off as a large explosion rocked the city sending him and Corrine to the floor. They got up and ran to a window. There were several fires in the area of the city to the east and a couple damaged buildings. They could see a large group of people advancing on the city capturing and, if needed, killing innocent citizens. "We need to get organized as soon as possible," Seven said.

The Uniontown aftermath and the Battle for Aquarius.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Obama Wins Nobel, World Still In One Piece

Our country is weird. We seem to cheer when our president fails and jeer when our president succeeds. It never used to be this way. Bush screwed it all up for us. He and his ilk has drawn a line that is becoming more and more difficult to erase. President Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize and I am, yet again, seeing that line being broadened instead of narrowing. Shouldn't we feel at least a little excited? I don't quite understand how or why he won it either but I'm still proud of him and feel like now he should be forced to get stuff done. Winning shows him (and us) that not only are we (America) hoping for the better good but that the world is hoping too.

I agree there is still a lot of work to be done. Gitmo is still open, we're still fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, we lost the 2016 Olympics (so?) and health care that is affordable and available to all is still just a pipe dream. But again I feel that giving Obama the award is to push him into ignoring anyone and anything who says what he's doing is wrong and bad for our country. When Bush and Cheney did something that was incredibly unpopular with the public (wiretaps, anyone?), they ignored it and claimed it was for the good of the country. Nothing they did was for the good of the country, it was for the good of obtaining a second term and avenging daddy. If they were really acting in the best interest of our country then they would've told news outlets and the military that Bin Laden was determined to strike in the U.S. I'm pretty sure if everyone would've been on alert, 9/11 never would've happened.

But explaining why Bush is bad to someone who constantly screams and thumps on a Bible is like talking to a brick wall. You will never change their mind even if everything Obama promised comes to fruition and America becomes the number one country in the world in health care, education, jobs and economy. Obama will still be the devil. It must be nice to be perched on your golden Holy Book in your world where you are right because Fox News told you so.

Women Hate Brutus

Born Loser 10-09-09
Wow, I'm shocked that 'the works' included bacon. I'm assuming that the deluxe, which is on special, costs less than a regular cheeseburger since it's on special and that's why she ordered him a deluxe instead of a regular cheeseburger. If not then the women in The Born Loser are horrid shrews. What's weirder is that this sounds like a joke that would be in Ziggy strip. I guess Brutus is wearing pants.....

Thursday, October 08, 2009

No. 6: Ryugyong Hotel

It has been called the worst building in the world, a sign of North Korea's weakness and the closest thing humanity has every come to building a Death Star. It is the Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea.

Construction on the hotel began in 1987, people suggest that the hotel was begun because Pyongyang wanted to co-sponsor the 1988 Summer Olympics with Seoul. Then-President Kim Il-Sung hoped that the hotel would be a kind of shining beacon of North Korean prosperity and the hotel began being featured prominently on travel brochures, promotional posters and postage stamps. Pictures of the hotel at night were even airbrushed to show the hotel lit up and in use despite not being close to completion. Unfortunately, most of North Korea's funds for the hotel came from the Soviet Union which collapsed in 1991 and construction was halted in 1992. Had the building been completed it would've, at the time, been the 28th tallest building in the world and the tallest hotel.

The concrete hotel is made up into three wings, all of them angled at 45 degrees into triangles. The grounds have several gardens and pavilions surrounding the building and the hotel is the most prominent sight in Pyongyang's skyline. The hotel rises 105 stories up and has 3,000 rooms. At the top of the main pinnacle were supposed to be five rotating restaurants and an observation deck. Both remain unfinished and a construction crane sits atop the hotel and has remained up there since 1992.

The Ryugyong, named after one of Pyongyang's historic names, sat untouched for 16 years before construction resumed again. Egypt's Orascom Group began refurbishing the top floors in April of 2008 and Orascom did reveal plans to begin creating a GSM infrastructure for 100,000 initial cell phone customers. Currently, only government officials are allowed to have cell phones in North Korea and use of a cell phone is banned for both citizens and tourists. At least one side of the hotel is now covered with glass as are the rotating floors at the top. A government official did say the hotel will be finished by the 100th birthday of Kim Il-Sung in 2012.

Since 1992, the hotel has been left open to the elements and questions about it's safety has been brought into question. When construction stopped, people believed it was because the hotel was unsafe and would collapse if finished. Now that construction has resumed, safety concerns have been brought up again. It's unknown if, when completed, North Korea will continue to use the building for a hotel or if Orascom will use it to house cell phone equipment and offices or just leave it abandoned.

The thing that gets me are the nicknames the hotel has been given by people outside of North Korea. Had this hotel been completed, it would probably be a beautiful glass-covered building although I don't think it would be full very often because you don't exactly hear of people wanting to visit beautiful downtown Pyongyang. I'm wondering if the nicknames "worst building in the world" and "Death Star" are really deserving. If the hotel was in the United States, Egypt, Dubai or just about anywhere else I think people would find the hotel an amazing feat of architecture but because it's in North Korea, it is mocked.

If you take a look at the Google Maps satellite photo of the Ryugyong, a lot of work still needs to be done on the building and the surrounding land. If you pan around the city of Pyongyang you may notice something else. None of the roads are labeled in Google and there are few, if any, cars. It's hard to believe, even taking into consideration North Korea's lack of knowledge of the outside world, their country pride and heightened egotism that anyone there would think building a 3,000 room hotel was a good idea. North Korea only allows a certain number of people into their country every year and most of these people are from China and other parts of Asia and photography is strictly controlled as is interaction with local people. Another question is why North Korea didn't just tear down what had been completed on the hotel if it was such an eyesore and a black eye on their pride. Whatever the reason, I look forward to seeing the completed building--North Korea or not--and hope that it's not the folly everyone else is turning it into.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

It's Time to Bring Them All Home

Army Reservist Staff Sgt. Brett Bennethum holds the hand of his daughter, four-year-old Paige before being deployed to Iraq. No one had the heart to pull her away.

Sgt. Bennethum is expected home in July. May he and everyone else come home safely.

Photo taken by Paige's mom, Abby Bennethum at Fort Dix.

Why Use That Stuff, Everyone Wears the Same Clothes Anyway

Born Loser 10-07-09
No, otherwise I would've said it takes the wrinkles out of stuff. Now maybe if Grandma was made of fleece...

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Yes, There Can Be Too Much Football

Born Loser 10-04-09
I just have one thing to say about today's strip. Who in the hell is he talking to?

Saturday, October 03, 2009

The Kid Is Doomed

I originally wasn't going to post today's strip but I just wanted to showcase Wilberforce's stupidity. It's really out of the park this time and I feel that there is no hope for Wilberforce anymore.
Born Loser 10-03-09
Yeah, I guess a huge flat-screen TV is considered a picture--if you're retarded.

Friday, October 02, 2009

If You Think Buttermilk Always Tastes Spoiled, Why Do You Buy It?

Born Loser 10-02-09
So the Thornapples buy groceries they hate? Seems like a waste of money since they apparently just let that buttermilk sit in the fridge for the last month or so. Meanwhile, I'm a follower of the saying "if it tastes good, drink it".

Of course, I don't like buttermilk at all.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Seven #2.9

"The Lady of the Lake?" Seven asked.

"That's what I call her. I've never seen her but I know she's there, under the lake," Major Beam said.

"Maybe that's what my vision was about. How far is this lake?" Cassius asked.

"It's on my property, next to the tree line," Major Beam pointed.

"Can you show us?" Cassius asked.

"Sure. Follow me."

Major Beam led the way to the lake which Seven noticed was slightly smaller than the foundation of the house. The lake was fed by a nearly empty creek that emerged from the woods.

"This is the lake?" Seven asked, unimpressed. "It looks more like a pond. How is this...lake so full when barely any water is in the creek?"

"That's the strange thing. The lake is always full no matter what," Major Beam explained. "And it is the best tasting water you'll ever have. Go ahead, give it a try."

Seven shrugged and knelt down before the lake and dipped his hand into the water. He tasted the water and his eyes widened. "It is delicious."

"I can't understand why my visions sent us here," Cassius wondered.

"I don't know but you're here now. Stay awhile. I have a big house and a couple extra beds. It'd be an honor to have company," Major Beam offered.

"We can stay for a night or so but he have to head off to Indianola soon," Cassius said.

"Good! Come on in and I'll start supper," the three of them began walking back to the house.

"Act of War"
Samuel Vieux, George Robideaux and Ernest deBoissiere rode to Uniontown. Uniontown was a small but bustling city with men from the military constructing buildings and leveling out the ground for roads.

The three rode up to one of the men. "Excuse me," Samuel said. "Whose in charge here?"

The man looked up at them. "You must want General Baker. He's in the big stone building near the river," the man pointed behind him and toward a building that rose slightly over the other completed buildings in town.

Samuel, George and Ernest rode to the stone building and tied their horses up to the posts in front. They walked inside the building and saw only one person in the lobby.

"Is General Baker here?" Samuel asked.

"Yes, right up the stairs to your left and at the end of the hall," the man said.

"Thank you," Samuel nodded.

In General Baker's room, Samuel, George and Ernest sat across the desk where General Baker was sitting. On either side of him were Mitchell Soule and Jerome Houk--two of the major businessmen in town.

"Now what can I help you gentlemen with?" General Baker had a booming, boisterous voice which went well with his ample frame and bushy salt-and-pepper beard.

"We wanted to talk to you about your town," Samuel began. "Each of us have a pretty big stake in the town of Indianola about ten miles north of here."

"Yes, yes. Good town. Been through it a couple of times on military missions. Please go on," General Baker invited.

"A little more than thirty years ago, a group of Natives and the government signed a treaty allowing the establishment of Indianola. It also allowed for Indianola to have the only crossing across the Legionnaire River and gave us permission to charge a toll. Now I don't care that your town is here but the bridge will have to come down. It's in violation of the treaty," Samuel explained and then awaited an answer.

"The government sent me here to establish a free river crossing. They don't want to pay your toll anymore," General Baker said.

"And that's fine. The Legionnaire's only a twenty-seven mile river. Can't you build a crossing at it's terminus with the Republic?" asked Samuel.

General Baker smiled. "Now we thought about that. We originally staked out the junction of the rivers two miles south but in order to build a crossing that wasn't in violation of the treaty we would've had to build two bridges and that's just plain stupid from an economic standpoint."

"So you're blatantly violating the treaty?" Samuel asked.

"With the government's approval," Houk interjected.

"Your town is usurping our business and our travelers," Samuel said. "People may not like it but we charge a toll for the upkeep of our main road and bridge and the rest is placed in the city coffers for the townspeople to use during the winter elections."

"Honestly, why do you need that money? Taxes should be collected for road and bridge repair and property taxes should be used for any municipal projects," Soule said.

"That's why we collect the tolls so our people aren't burdened as heavily for those things," Samuel said.

"The tolls pay for important stuff. Last year the townspeople voted for a nice fire house with water pumps from the river. The year before they voted for a new city hall and the year before that a new schoolhouse and library. This year it looks like the winning choice is going to be a new stone bridge over the river," George said, trying to show the importance of the tolls.

"All of that could've been gained through bond issues," General Baker waved his hand. "We have the backing of the government to do this so you'll have to take it up with them."

"No we don't," Samuel stood up and George and Ernest followed suit. "In the treaty there is a clause where if someone--anyone--establishes a crossing along the river then the town of Indianola can consider itself under attack and can retaliate any way it chooses."

"Is that a threat?" General Baker barked as he stood.

"No, General. Just a warning..." Samuel and the others left the office, went downstairs and exited the building. They got on their horses and began to ride away.

Suddenly a gunshot rang out and deBoissiere's horse reared up, dropping deBoissiere. Samuel and George looked and saw Soule standing outside city hall with a gun. They looked down and saw Ernest had been shot.

"That was a warning, too," Soule said and went back inside.

Samuel and George leaped off their horses and saw that Ernest was dead. They placed him on Samuel's horse and began slowly riding back to Indianola.

"Now it's war," Samuel said.

Seven awoke to a soft humming. It was a luring humming and he immediately got out of bed and began following it out of his room, down the stairs and into the night.

The humming led him to the lake but he saw no one and the humming was the same volume it was when it was in the house. He looked at the lake and knelt down. The humming seemed to be coming from the lake. Almost unconsciously, Seven stuck his hand in the water and was suddenly grabbed and pulled in.

The Burning of Uniontown and Seven meets the Lady of the Lake.

Tauy Creek Has Blocked Access to

Born Loser 10-01-09
You know Brutus, there's something out there that will help prevent downloading viruses. It's called a anti-virus program. You can get Norton, McAfee, SpySweeper among many others. There's also something you can do to prevent clicking potential viruses. Only download from reputable sites--don't click the ad with the muscular guy exclaiming how he became buff in six weeks that you see on MySpace. No one's body should look like that--it's unnatural. That ad is one of the many reasons I deleted my MySpace.

No. 5: The House on Baker Street

"Liberty" is going to go through some changes as I apparently suck too much to keep posting short stories here. I decided to use "Liberty" as a place to begin telling stories of my past and current ghost hunting experiences and stories about the histories around where I live. The first entry in the new "Liberty" is about a house that was abandoned in Baldwin City. The house was an abandoned house on Baker Street just off of Eleventh Street. You could see it from the highway but I never really noticed it until I was dragged there one day. It was a nice house even though it had been abandoned for several years. What was nice was that even though it was abandoned, it was still relatively in tact as in no broken windows and unhinged doors. Probably because of it's proximity to the highway and another house that was actually lived in.

It was daytime when I first went to the house. We (Randy and Joey and Nathan and I) parked way down on Elm Street and followed the railroad tracks to the house where other kids were lurking around, mainly exploring the basement. I didn't look too far into the house because it was light outside but we said we'd come back later that night which we did. I only got one chance to go into the house so I'm glad that I took the time to look around the explore the cabinets and drawers. When I walked into the house it looked as if someone had just lived there the previous day. Although it was messy from probably years of people rooting around through the drawers, it was still creepy to be in this house knowing that someone could come back at any moment. The house was stuck in either the fifties or the seventies, I couldn't really tell because they had a 1950s television but a more modern kitchen. It was first place where I could actually take a souvenir which I did but more on that later.

Randy, Joey and I looked around the house but I was more intrigued by the upstairs. The bedrooms were upstairs and in one room, it looked like the child had just made his bed and would be heading to sleep at any minute. I found the picture of Mopsy drawn on an old newspaper (I want to say the Kansas City Star) and I just had to keep it. Another bedroom was strewn with old books and I did take a couple books featuring Mistakes in English and teaching you Faulty Diction. The books were printed in 1887 and 1917 respectively so I'm glad I saved them from an unknown fate. I also took a copy of the book A Sentimental Journey although I have yet to read it but I do want to. The next bedroom was once that I should've spent more time in and took a greater effort in preserving it's remains.

The next bedroom, which I believe was the master bedroom despite having only a dresser in it (no bed or anything else). In a box in the middle of the room were a bunch of letters to and from the family who lived there about vacations and random family trivia. I wish I would've kept some or read more of them because then maybe I could've learned more about the people who once lived in that house until they all drowned at Yellowstone according to some 11-year-old.

The house was torn down in 2003 or so and I believe all the stuff inside was auctioned off which would've been cool to go to. The only remnant of the house was a tree that only had branches on one side of it, all others were chopped off. In the last couple of years, the tree was chopped down so now nothing remains of the house. Unfortunately I never got a picture of the house or the tree but I guess I could go back and take a picture of the empty lot...