Horse Pucky

 Posted by at 12:25 am  Nick's Blog
Mar 072023

Yesterday was a good day for writing, even if it was frustrating. I had narrated a full chapter in my new Tinder Street book, using Microsoft Word’s narration feature, and I thought I was saving all along. But for some reason, all of a sudden the entire chapter, over 2,300 words, disappeared. It was just gone, and no matter what I did I could not retrieve it. I checked and the auto-save feature was on, but after a good half hour of trying to find where it was, I gave up and started over again. Fortunately, the information was still fresh in my mind so it did not take terribly long to duplicate it.

This has happened before and I still don’t know why. It only does it while I’m actively narrating into Word. From now on I think I’m just going to narrate into my Sony digital recorder and transcribe it into text with Dragon. I can actually transcribe with the newest edition of Word, but it does not recognize punctuation, so it takes a long time to go in and correct all of that.

One of the biggest regrets of my life is that I never learned to type more than with just two fingers. When I was in high school, boys weren’t allowed to take typing. That was for girls. We had to take shop class. And now, at age 70 with arthritic fingers, trying to learn how to type is just about impossible.

While I was doing that Terry finished editing and proofreading the first five chapters of the manuscript. I went through it and made her suggested corrections, then sent them off to Judy and Roberta, my next two proofreaders. I’m always anxious when I start a new book, not sure how it’s going to come along and if it follows the flavor of the other books in whatever series it is. Terry told me not to worry, this one is good and she’s hooked already.

In yesterday’s blog I told you about discovering through, that my great-great grandfather, George Russell, was doing time in the Ohio State Penitentiary for “hoss stealing” as it was listed on the 1860 census. We’re not going to be stealing any horses around here, but today we’re going to be dealing with a lot of horse pucky.

The folks we bought the property from had three horses here, and when they were getting ready to clean everything up for us, I asked them to just leave all of the manure in the stalls and where it was piled up outside of the barn because our son Travis wanted it for fertilizer for his gardens. Today he’s going to come over and help me take the mower attachment off of my Kubota tractor, and then start cleaning out the stalls and getting everything together to take over to his place before planting season.

That’s not a job I envy him doing. When I was a firearms instructor at West Point, they kept the Army mule mascots there, and sometimes when a young soldier got into trouble he was assigned to muck out the stalls out on his off-duty hours as punishment. One of the reasons I was always a good soldier and avoided things like that was because I haven’t seen a manure fork yet that would fit my hands.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us.

Thought For The Day – Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from behind, or an angry wife from any direction.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  4 Responses to “Horse Pucky”

  1. Old “typing” teacher here. Best skill I was ever taught and manage to teach to thousands of kids over 34 years at the trade. Do you know that they do not teach it nowadays? With kids on computers as toddlers, the bigwigs figure that the kids don’t need it and by the time they become adults they will have it figured out. It just doesn’t happen that way, as you know. They used software at one point to teach them, but that was not a good substitute.

    First off, typing was much more than learning the keyboard. We learned punctuation, letter construction, etc. A lot of what was known as ” business English.” It’s easy to see when you read correspondence/documents today that it is no longer taught.

    I doubt you could find a class anywhere, but one is never too old to learn. Perhaps as an adult, typing software might work for you. I can tell you now that the “hunt and peck” method you use is a lot harder on your joints. I now have TWO kinds of arthritis in my hands. On most fingers, I have different kinds of it in different joints. Typing “correctly” is actually very good therapy for my hands and they never hurt or ache from “properly” typing. Your fingers actually move very little when typing properly. They move more and suffer more from the “punching” you do on the keyboard. Just my two cents.

  2. I envy people like you that can make up stories in their head and put them down on paper. Whatever method they use.

    Having had horses for years before doing the fulltime RV thing, I can attest that the manure is worth mucking into the garden.

  3. Typing was the very best elective I studied/practiced in high school. It was invaluable during my college years. I might also note that the school district where I taught in central Pennsylvania for almost 33 years hired a new “Director of Language Arts” and decreed that English grammar and English usage would be taught henceforth through writing only! I received a directive to cease using a grammar-based book, and begin using a new linguistics” book that would “teach grammar, usage, and spelling through writing.” I replied that this was akin to building a house with no foundation. Still, I was out-voted by what today might be described as a “wokie” argument. I retired not long after, and as I count the written and spoken errors by the various media today, that woeful theory has spread far beyond my county.

  4. Love it. Thanks for sharing.

    I too never learned to type quickly until I decided to type at my keyboard in the dark, back in the AOL-instant messaging days. I found my brain learned to correct the typing fairly quickly, so long as I was able to reach the Backspace key.

    I enjoy your writing. Looking forward to the new book.

    Dawn B

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