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David McLeod

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David McLeod last won the day on October 10 2009

David McLeod had the most liked content!

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3,256 You Wish You Were Me


About David McLeod

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    Modern Richardian

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    Serious writing, symbolism, imagegry; language; medieval fantasy, magic; happy endings.

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  1. Happy Birthday and best wishes to you!

  2. Happy Birthday David!

  3. Happy birthday - I'm glad you saw the reviews I left.

  4. Timothy M., Thank you for your loyalty to this story, and for taking the time to write reviews. It's good to know that folks are still enjoying them.
  5. Cajbor, some of them will appear in later stories. May I suggest you check the "timeline," posted with the stories, to help you select a few that will eventually lead to what is now the final book in the series. (Not to say that there might not be more, someday.) Thank you for reading and for your comment.
  6. Timothy, please excuse my tardiness, not to be confused with the Tardis which would solve that problem. George is my first love, the person with whom I'd want to spend the rest of this lifetime and perhaps the next. Chandler is, however, my favorite character--someone who struggles and has the courage to finally wins that struggle. I'm happy for them both, too. Thank you for reading.
  7. My friend, Brendan, invited me to read Geron's stories. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to really delve into them. I knew when I saw the title of this one that I'd not be disappointed, and Geron didn't. Disappoint me, that is. The story is an affirmation of the notion that courage of one's convictions may be (and, I hope, always will be) enough to overcome obstacles. Alas, while that may not be true always in real life, it was a pleasure to read of a situation where it was true. Charlie Boone and Friends came alive in so many ways, and the details of the "dry ice" fog machine were wonderful. The story offered a pleasant diversion from life, and a hope for the future. Thank you, Geron.
  8. David McLeod


    This story offers an outstanding and believable mix of fantasy and reality. My visits to Amsterdam were brief, but Geron Kees evoked an image that brought me back in an instant. No story can be called truly great unless the author is able to create an environment, a milieu, in which the story exists. The milieu must be solid, but not intrusive. Geron's Amsterdam is not only solid, it is haunting, and it is a fit location for this story. The invocation of "The Night Watch" is genius. For readers: If you have a few moments, I could encourage you to check this video: https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/monarchy-enlightenment/baroque-art1/holland/v/rembrandt-nightwatch My compliments to you, Geron. David
  9. Good time of day, Thank you for taking the time to write a review, and for your frank evaluation of Book 3. I thought about what you said, re-read the manuscript, and agree that there's probably a lot that is unnecessary, and that it does slow the pace of the story. However, there is, I think, a lot about relationships: Paul and his sons (and other metas), metas' and their parents, Paul and his superior. It may have been lost in other material. I'm in the process of (very slowly) rewriting the ms of all three books and combining them into one. (Part of the reason for a lot of the repetition is that I wrote Book 2, then Book 1, then realized things needed to be "tied together" and "tied up," and wrote Book 3.) I'll keep your thoughts in mind during the re-write. Thank you. David
  10. Happy Birthday David!

    1. Timothy M.

      Timothy M.

      and from me too. Tillykke med fødselsdagen!

  11. Chapter 42: Holidays, but Not for All Evian Boutique Georgetown, DC December 20, 2018 @ 10:27 AM “I’m sorry, Mrs. Lennox,” the clerk said. “But your credit card was declined. Perhaps—” “Impossible,” Mrs. Lennox said. “Black cards don’t get declined.” “Perhaps the magnetic strip—” “Give me the card. Use this one,” Mrs. Lennox said, and held out a gold card from a different company. The clerk swiped the card, and stared at the terminal. Then, “I’m sorry ma’am, but this one’s been declined, as well.” Bursar’s Office George Washington University Georgetown, DC December 20, 2018 @11:00 AM “Mr. Lennox, your check in payment of your son’s spring semester tuition has been refused by the bank. I don’t understand . . .” “Yes, sir, we scan directly to the Automated Clearing House . . .” “No sir, no reason was given. It was just refused.” Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC December 20, 2018 @11:00 AM “Senator McDonald? I am Special Agent Kane; this is Special Agent Raleigh. We have a warrant for your arrest.” “You cannot arrest a sitting member of Congress!” McDonald sputtered. “Article 1, Section 6 of the Constitution—” “Except in cases of treason, felony, and breach of the peace,” the FBI agent interrupted. “This warrant was issued by a federal grand jury. The charge is treason. You cite the constitution, sir, I trust you know that treason is the only crime defined in the constitution, and one which calls for the death penalty.” The senator’s attempt to seize the gun in his desk was thwarted when the agent slammed the drawer on McDonald’s wrist—breaking three bones as he did so. It took both Special Agents to subdue the senator before he was strapped to a gurney and taken to the prison wing at the new Walter Reed Hospital. National Bank of Georgetown Georgetown, DC December 20, 2018 @ 1:00 PM “Now, why did I have to come here in person?” Mr. Lennox demanded. He returned his driver’s license to his wallet and jammed the wallet into his pocket. “Sir, your accounts have been frozen by the IRS. It’s not something I can say over the telephone.” It’s happening, Lennox thought. Lady Chapel, Warren Cathedral Washington, DC December 21, 2018 @ 11:00 AM “What do you mean, the accounts are locked?” “Lennox must have changed the passwords. We can’t get into any of the accounts.” “How could he have done that? It takes two . . .?” The Bishop kept silent. Son of a bitch must have had a key logger on the computer. If anyone ever finds out that it was my password, I . . .” Lady Chapel, Warren Cathedral Washington, DC December 21, 2018 @ 2:00 PM Mr. Lennox carried a large, rectangular black briefcase such as an airline pilot or navigator might carry. The UFC leadership was anxious to see him. Mr. Lennox set the briefcase on the table. He smiled, and then snapped open the two latches. The arched and domed ceiling of the Lady Chapel had been designed to bear the weight of the two bell towers that stood on the southwest side of the cathedral. It was not designed to withstand pressure from below. When the forty pounds of C-4G explosive in the briefcase detonated, the dome of the chapel collapsed. The falling bell towers crushed the ornamental flying buttresses, which turned out not to be so ornamental, after all. Without the support of the flying buttresses, the walls collapsed outward. The roof dropped burying the nave. The chain reaction extended toward the apse and then to the transepts. “Holy crap!” said the pilot who was maneuvering his plane into the S-Turn that would take him over the Potomac River and into Washington’s Reagan Airport. Crap hardly covered what was revealed when four television networks and seven major newspapers opened the files Mr. Lennox had emailed before entering the cathedral. Nothing in those email messages gave any clue where the money was: all accounts traceable to the UFC were empty, and the hundred or so legitimate charities throughout the world that received large but anonymous donations didn’t make the connection. New Year’s Reception Anconia Montana Compound January 1, 2019 Nicky and I were exhausted from our whirlwind visits to hospitals (built with my trust fund) and orphanages, plus command performances by the Bolshoi Ballet and the National Symphony Orchestra. The icing on that particular cake had been a very Russian (but also very secular) Christmas celebration at the Winter Palace. I think the two of us slept all the way from St. Petersburg to the airport at the Montana compound. We accompanied Jonathan, his mother, and Davey as well as members of Jonathan’s staff and security detail on an IL96-300. Jonathan’s visit was billed as “private,” although afterwards he would fly to Washington, DC for talks with the president and to address a joint session of congress. Hence, the Russian plane. The right-wing press had already picked up on plans for Jonathan’s DC visit, and AM talk radio was full of the usual. “They’re lettin’ a commie pinko into the White House . . .” “Reagan was right—Roosha is the evil empire.” “Ben Gazi. They’re trying to cover up Ben Gazi.” “_____ing Bolshevik. And them Ancondas are nothing but fellow travelers.” Francesca was monitoring and sent me transcripts. I had invited our closest friends from the crew, Sea Cadets, and students to the reception. Macon Randolph was already there, after spending several days in Washington and Kentucky with a member of Tom Pershing’s legal team, settling his father’s estate. I was surprised when Jimmy and Timmy Hastings accepted the invitation. Azisa and Bert declined; they were in Africa. Captain Izzard and his wife were there, but they were family and automatically included. Nearly the entire science staff attended, as well, but they were employees of the university and also automatically invited. It was midafternoon when I found Aunt Elizabeth in the gazebo. She had just put out her pipe and knocked the dottle into an ashtray. “Come on inside,” I said. “You can’t escape forever.” I led her toward two boys. One was in a wheelchair. “Aunt Elizabeth, this is Jimmy Hastings and his brother, Timmy.” Aunt E offered her hand to Jimmy, and then to Timmy. “I’m Nicky’s mother and Alexander’s aunt. And you are the young man who shut down Tupelo. That was masterful. My friends are still puzzled. It was so nice to meet you.” Nicky arrived, took his mother’s hand, and led her away while Jimmy and Timmy were still trying to think what to say. “Commander? Who . . . who are her friends?” Timmy asked me. I smiled. “If I told you, I’d have to kill you. I’m sure you can figure out what that means.” “Oh my god! She’s C—” Timmy said, and then shut his mouth. “They know? Am I in trouble?” “Actually,” I said, “I think they have something much better in mind, but you’ll have to ask her.” The Grove Anconia Montana Compound January 1, 2019 @ 10:00 PM After the reception, Mother held a family supper. Family included Jonathan and Viktoria, Nicky and Davey, and by Dad’s orders, Macon. By custom, no business was discussed. The triplets teased their sister about her date. It was the same boy who had escorted her last year, and they had already decided they wanted him to be their brother-in-law, but not for a few years. I announced that Jonathan, Davey, Nicky, and I would visit the grove after supper. Dad understood. I think Aunt Elizabeth did, as well. For the others, our visit was considered a routine thing, a family thing. That visit was the first time that Jonathan, Davey, Nicky, and I had been alone together in over a year. I parked the four-wheeler in the middle of the path. We were bundled against the cold; our breath trailed behind us in clouds of ice crystals. At the center, we stopped. “Alberto? Colin? Hansel?” They stepped from the trees. I almost expected to see others: Langen, Fabiop, Mandarin, Pan, and Jaf’s friend from Russia and his compatriots. They were not there, but I think we all felt them, and the worldwide bond among the dryads and between the dryads and those of us who had been changed by them. The feeling grew stronger as dryads and humans exchanged hugs and kisses. “Are you not cold?” I asked. The dryads were wearing only their long T-shirts and sandals. Colin shook his head. “We are not. Come, sit.” Those were the last words spoken for a while. We exchanged thoughts. Jonathan’s plans for environmental cleanup in Russia, my plans for the Explorer’s next voyage, the dryads’ plans to waken more of their brothers to help us both. “Will it be worth it? Will you succeed?” Colin asked. “Progress has been slow,” I said, “but there has been progress. Students and campers have carried our message and new knowledge to their countries. Thousands of kids are being helped: diseases treated; clean water supplied; literacy and trades taught. The number of coal-fired power plants is going down; soon, the people of China will once again be able to see the sky. All this has been done without the hateful, so-called morality of the old way. And thousands more kids discovered that they could make a difference.” The End of Book 2 Book End Notes and Dramatis Personae Book End Notes From the first voyage of the Global Explorer, Member Brendan has been an inspiration, a beta reader, and a line editor. His knowledge of Russian history and culture as well as his comments and thoughts have inspired and steered this manuscript. If you like what you’ve read, please thank him. If you don’t like it, blame me (and please let me know, either way). Author Ricky has offered invaluable assistance as a beta reader and line editor. His support and sometimes tongue-in-cheek comment on my ideas about science have been more helpful than he realizes. In Alexander’s universe, as in all universes it touches, “boy” means a young male of the age of consent. Many of the epigraphs attributed to National Public Radio, Al Jazeera, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the Wall Street Journal, and other media sources are from years 2014 and 2015 in our reality (Earth Analogue III)—about four years before this story takes place in a different but parallel reality. They are all accurate. Many names, including Francisco, Wyatt, “Frisco,” “Slug,” Ragnar, and Anconia were inspired by Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. “Supercargo” originally meant a person on a ship who represented the owners of the cargo, and watched over it. More recently, it may be taken to mean “non-revenue” passengers. That is how we use it. “White Crow” by Jamie H. Cockfield is a real book, although not easily found. If you are interested, check your public library’s inter-library loan system. “Don’t Sleep, Here There are Snakes” by Daniel Everett tells of an evangelical missionary, graduate of one of the leading bible colleges of the USA, who loses his faith trying to convert natives of the Brazilian Amazonian jungle to Christianity. It’s a fascinating journey both for the attempted conversion and also for the discussion of linguistics. Much of Alexander’s discussion of evolution is based on “Why Evolution is True,” by Jerry Coyne. It’s available for Kindle and the Kindle app on the iPad. To see some of the things seen in the cameras of the submersibles, Google “Ted Talk David Gallo” for five minutes of phenomenal underwater photography in a lavishly illustrated talk entitled, “Underwater Astonishments.” Members Yettie One and Daddydavek provided reviews of the first voyage that inspired visits to dead zones and garbage patches. Thank you, both. Author Quokka was kind enough to review my thoughts on Australia and its culture, and provided links to material adapted for the Explorer’s visit to that Continent-Nation. Please remember that these events take place in a reality that is like yours, but which is not yours. Nevertheless, trademarks used herein, and which exist in both realities, including Apple, Associated Press (AP), Band-Aid, Embraer, Escapade, Formica, Four Seasons Hotel, Google (maps and more), Jell-O, MacBook, Mercedes, Speedo, and Valium are property of their owners in all realities. The GE90-115B was, in 2014, the most powerful jet engine in the world—in Earth Analogue III. Helen Thomas was, in our reality, a reporter for the Associated Press, and perhaps one of the sharpest yet most gracious members of the press ever to cover the White House. The title of Chapter 38 was inspired by “I Fought the Law (and the Law Won),” from the album, “Love is All Around” by the Bobby Fuller Four. 1980. People Russia: Tsar Jonathan I (“The First”) Romanov Davey Jones, Ensign, UNSC; Jonathan’s boyfriend, head of IT, and chief of staff; old hacker name, Beantown Bomber; later Captain, Russian Navy, of Standart, the imperial yacht Grand Duke Leopold (the pretender) Jonathan’s mother Mrs. Victoria Romanov: Victoria/Viktoria (Виктория); later, Babuska of Russia Computer geek Lukas Achterberg; hacker name, Junge auf Feuer, usually Jaf. Lukas’s father, who becomes Jonathan’s chancellor after the mole is arrested Babushka to Mrs. Viktoria Romanov: Izabella Gurin Viktor Tchekov, also known as огнемет, ‘Flamethrower’ fifteen-year-old computer hacker arrested, and then recruited as Jaf’s helper Lt. Anatoly of Standart, sometime mentor to Davey Jones Colonel Ainsley, interim commander of the Protectors Dryads in Russia Vitaly veeTAHleey Виталий meets Davey in Switzerland at first vault opening Leonid lyeoNEED Леонид meets Davey in Winter Palace shortly after Jonathan’s arrival; teaches Davey Russian; becomes Jaf’s boyfriend Yuri Юрий—YOOreey Spartak Спартак sparTAHK Global Explorer: Alexander (Alex) Perseus Anconia, Commander, UNSC; mission commander Nicholas “Nicky” O’Brian Pershing; Alexander’s boyfriend and science and IT advisor; Ensign, UNSC Captain Izzard (Merchant Marine) Bobby Bell, Ensign, UNSC; communications; boyfriend of Jimmy Hastings Tommy Samson, Ensign, UNSC; boyfriend of Artie Michaels Azisa N’Kosi, Ensign, UNSC (Zulu name meaning honor, esteem, pride) part of Dr. Brewster’s team and the command team, independent scientist investigating fungi; boyfriend of Bert Hayes Macon Randolph III [son of senator], Sea Cadet; later Ensign, UNSC Artie Michaels, high school student who recognized Tommy’s nuclear insignia and became Tommy’s protégé and boyfriend; later Ensign, UNSC Sonar Tech Klystra, ex-Navy; Merchant Marine Dr. Purdom, reactor chief Coastie Sean Casey and his boyfriends, members Strike Team GX 1; other strike teams 1st Officer Thackery, Merchant Marine 3rd Officer Ignirtok Anik, Merchant Marine (adoptive brother to Alexander Anconia) Drs. Brewster and Gannon: Science Team Dr. Helen Stroud; geneticist on science team; Alexander’s aunt Rutherford “Rocky” Griggs, Lt. Commander, UNSC and Lieutenant, British Royal Naval Reserve Sea Cadets Jorgensen; Eisenmann; Ludwig Rhein; Jacques Boudreaux (sonar watch stander) Cuthbert “Bert” L. Hayes III: Science fair winner, biology geek Naval aviators (fixed wing) Army Warrants (helos) High school students and Anconia “campers” and their chaperones and teachers Jimmy Hastings: in electric wheelchair; boyfriend of Bobby Bell; Jimmy’s twin, Timmy Pavel Korsokov; prepares tea syrup for Jonathan’s visit to the Explorer in Australia; perhaps later in China, after Korea; high school student; son of Anconia employees TV/press crew: Ms. Susan Munford (video reporter, print journalist), Mr. John Watts (print journalist and still photographer), and Mr. Kay Gertain, videographer and sound technician. Hans Bleiber, German boy associated with Max Planck Institute Anconia Industries: Francisco Anconia Aunt Elizabeth Pershing, CEO of Becker Corp Uncle Carlos (seafood) Uncle Ricardo (metal) Ricardo’s son, Wyatt (oil tenders, etc.) Uncle Ragnar (shipping) Tom Pershing (lawyer) Francisco’s younger brother, Alexandre [sic] 3-star Uncle Admiral Caruthers, retired 4-star Uncle Admiral John Pershing, retired Uncle Harry Luce (career ambassador) Cousin Louise (accountant) Anconia family not listed elsewhere: Mrs. Lydia Anconia Francesca (Alex’s younger sister) Triplets Alberto, Carlito, and Demetrio (Alex’s younger brothers) Political: President Theodore (Todd) Hawkins and Mrs. Helen Hawkins John _____: Presidential press secretary UN SecGen Nigel Manning US Sec State Barbara _____, cousin to Francisco Anconia Australian Prime Minister Watson Canadian Delegate, Uncle Asaalak and his translator, younger brother of Lt. Anik Chinese Premier/Chairman Quin Huang Pennsylvania Governor _____ Christianson. Camarilla in US Congress Senator Macon Randolph, II KY Senator McDonald, KY, junior senator, in the pay of the KGB Senator Charles “Chuck” Zinio, WY, Chair, Senate Energy Subcommittee; in the pay of the Western Company and probably others Senator Able, AZ Senator Jefferson, AZ Senator Ernest Chambers, GA Senator George Paine, PA Rep. Nancy Peligrini, CA Randolph’s political aide Randolph’s opponent in 2018, Mr. Abe Fortmain. Various lobbyists Navajo: Joe White Eagle Wings Gallup, NM Unnamed child (female) who contacts Francesca after the UFC attack on Window Rock Montana: Two Anconia cousins in November circuit laboratory UFC: Guiding Council of the First Apostolate of the Universal Fundamentalist Church (UFC)—Bishop Boggs, Elder #1 [Thurmond], Elder #2 UFC senior accountant, Mr. Lennox Reverend Fallmuth, Prelate of Washington and principal preacher at the Warren National Cathedral Dryads not named elsewhere: Colin, Hansel, Alberto (Montana) Fabiop (Nassau, Bahamas) Langen (Virginia) Mandarin (China) Pan (Panama) Russian Rump KGB: Colonel Ulinov; Major unnamed; aide unnamed; others unnamed Romanov Organization not listed elsewhere The mole: Count Maximilian von Bismarck (real name Vasily Putin) Others: D. Taggart (“Slug”) of Taggart Transcontinental Director “Frank” Kabua of the Marshallese Oceanographic Institute
  12. Happy to learn that; thank you. It is an outstanding film. I donated one copy to the local public library and one to a budding videographer. Nice to know I can still watch it from the comfort of my computer.
  13. Thank you! Not only have you offered an important correction, but you've taught me something. One of the great things about this site and the interactions is the education I've received. I'll correct that in future publications.
  14. Incredibly wasteful...my apartment complex has a 1,200 cubic foot trash compactor that is emptied at least twice a week. A similar apartment in Germany would have a couple of recycle bins and a 1,000 cubic foot (what's that in meters?) trash bin. There are auto junkyards near here that drip chemicals that find their way into our drinking water. And we're in a "wealthy" county. Oh, yes. Waste. But, as someone once said, it's a political decision and too many people in the USA seem to find their big-screen TVs, beer, nachos, and pro sports more important than...just about anything. There are many who are passionate about the environment, but their voices are stifled by the right-wing press. IMHO.
  15. Uh, oh. Looks as if the Muse of Time (and I'm not really sure that is) messed up. Thanks for the heads up. I'll look at that, but it's probably too late to fix it. What did you think of the treatment of Aus?
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