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Dragged into the 21st century, kicking and screaming

January 30, 2012

People have been bugging me to do a blog for quite a while.  I’ve resisted.  I’ve never even seen a blog, I avoid them.  As usual, I’m very contrary.  But, I checked this out, and maybe this IS a better way to get the word out rather than sporadic emails, always fearing that maybe people will see the emails as spam and not the great literature that is intended to be (and often is not).

It won’t hurt to give this a try, I suppose.

As I was working on putting my first book together, Small Mountain Rambles, I sat in the Great Bear Coffee house and I could see, several tables away, a gentleman was editing some writing on his laptop screen.  Though I couldn’t make out the words on the screen, I’ve written enough prose and enough computer code to recognize the editing process, blocks of type being moved here and there to different parts of the document.  I thought to myself, if you want to consider yourself a writer, you better get to know other writers and learn the business from them.

So, as shy as I am, I go over and introduced myself to the guy.  Luckily, he invites me to sit at his table.  He is editing and he is a writer.  His name is Rudy Rucker and he has had over 30 of his books published.  “Wow,” I think to myself, “this guy is the real deal.”  We talk for about ten or fifteen minutes and he turns me on to several publishing web sites, agrees to look over some of my stuff and gives me his email address.  Not wanting to be a pest, I withdraw to my own table.  I immediately checkout what Google found on Rudy Rucker.  There were some very impressive responses to my simple search.  This guy is the real deal, what luck.

As I proceed on with SMR (this is how one of my friends refers to Small Mountain Rambles), I contact Rudy for some pointers.  He is not anxious to actually have any meetings but is fine with answering specific questions.  We exchange several emails.  My little netbook computer held up through the rigorous months of November and December so that I was able to get out a hundred copies of SMR but I guess I pushed the brave, little engine (computer) too hard.  Just after the first of the year it gave up the ghost and died on me, just when we started talking about doing another run of SMR, new and expanded, and without glue poisoning.  A friend met me at the Great Bear with some jeweler’s tools and we took the poor netbook apart very gingerly to determine if there might be a chance to resurrect it.

While we were dissecting the little  machine, Rudy Rucker walks in and says hi.  I reach into my backpack, pull out a small, green SMR and hand it to Rudy.  He stares at it blankly for a few seconds, then he asks, “Is this the book we were talking about a month ago?”  I tell him yep and his face erupts into a big, huge grin.  He looks it over, front and back, checks out the binding then opens it up.  He asks who I had make it and I tell him I did, I used to be a printer.  He smiles even bigger.  He tells me, “Well, you have to sign it!”  He sits down and chats with us for a few minutes then withdraws so we can proceed with our computer autopsy.  For all the great compliments I got about SMR, I have to admit, Rudy’s response was the most gratifying of all.

Every now and then I bump into Rudy at the small round of coffee houses near Main and Santa Cruz Avenue here in Los Gatos.  A few days after handing my fledgling book over to Rudy, he hands me his latest book, his hardback autobiography and signs it, “to my fellow Los Gatos scribe.”  Holy Toledo, what a stroke!  As they used to say, it gave me a turn.

I’m about three quarters the way through “Nested Scrolls,” the autobiography, and I am very pleased.  Not only is Rudy a much published author, he’s also a very good writer.  He is into Sci-Fi, I’m into recent history, his style is that of the avante-garde beat generation of the early ’60s, mine follows the 19th century Russians.  But the parallels in our lives are surprising, we are about six or so years different in age, he the elder, but we both experienced living in the country early on, he on the east coast, me on the west.  We had tract house developments encroach on the country life, he fairly indifferent about it, it seems in his book, for me this encroachment has been the life long crusade I scream and yell about at every opportunity.  We both hated school but he became a professor and I became a protester.  He married and had three kids, I married and got agoraphobia.  The sameness and the differences.

Nested Scrolls is a really good book, a great story and a great read, simple and honest.  Check it out.

This is my first blog entry.  What say you?


p.s.:  Much thanks to the Marguerite and Rick Padovani for supplying me with a great replacement laptop after Marguerite left the ranks of Windows for the Mac world on Christmas day.  They volunteered a great Toshiba laptop to my long standing wordsmith efforts.  Also, much thanks to a new friend from the Los Gatos old days, John Eichinger, who has spent many hours helping me resurrect my laptop identity.  If you should ever need Windows help, get hold of John, all of the posts on Yelp about his service are a full five stars, very impressive.  Call John’s cell, 391-6550.  This isn’t an advertisement, it is gratitude.



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  1. I like it Ed!

    • John said it would cost more than it was worth just to really diagnose the planar mounted components, let alone fix it. It’s in pieces in a high class shopping bag, but I salvaged the hard drive, whew!!

  2. Tim permalink

    Looks good Ed!
    What ever happened to the little laptop?


  3. JoAn Smith permalink

    Looks very nice. I can see you’ve been busy!

  4. Welcome to cyberspace, Ed! And thanks for the mention. Long may you wave.

  5. Gail DiBenedetto permalink

    Hi Ed, This is the first blog I have ever replyed to. Looks great. I went into the Blow Fish at Santana Row this weekend and talked to the day manager about their format. She did not know about the Los Gatos location coming, but gave me a run down on what they are all about. They serve sushi and Japenese food from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm. At 10:00 pm – 2:00 am they turn into a night club. They move out the tables for dancing and pack the place. They turn the sushi bar into a 2nd bar for drinks. They play techno music and show Japenese cartoons on their TV. Their age group in 20’s and 30’s.

    • Thanks Gail. You know I’m allergic to fish so I probably won’t be going there real often . . .

  6. larry arzie permalink


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