Welcome to the New Maloneyum

January, 2000

Greetings and welcome to the new Maloneyum!
All of January 2000 is designated as official Y2K letdown month. For those of you all psyched up for the end of humanity---- well maybe next time. We did put away a few provisions here at the Maloney Tract Ranch, but nothing more than we would use on one of our regular camping trips. As for bottled water, I washed both the cars on New Years Day (I had about eight gallons stashed-- six of it was in my camping tote). 
As for other provisions; I got a millennium cigar, which I smoked in my car. The next time Wendy drove the car, she asked me the question, "Did you smoke a cigar in here?" To which I replied, "ME? Smoke in the car? I must have run over a skunk or something." Her response was, "If you ran over a skunk, he must have been smoking a stogie at the time." (To set the record straight, I am not a regular smoker. There are those rare occasions when a baby is born, or a wedding or retirement party takes place, or a millennium changes over, and I am presented with a free cigar. I enjoy those occasions, so I smoke the cigar.)
Christmas here was your pretty typical Naperworld event. (Lots of outdoor lights and displays, designer snow, 9ft Christmas trees with thousands of lights and carolers with perfect pitch going door to door on Christmas eve) That's the way it is here, so we took the family up to Wendy's parents' farm in Wisconsin. 
On Christmas Day the kids made out like bandits. James' prized gift was a safe-- yes a safe. He wanted some place to keep his stuff so that Peter couldn't get to it. Peter got a "Robin Hood" toy playset-- the one with small "action figures" that hold miniature swords and sharp pointy tools. (Try stepping on one of those buggers in the middle of the night. You'll know why they're called "action figures".YEEEOUCH!) 
Tonight James and I started building our first model car together. This may not seem like a big event to most of you, but for me this is a milestone. I started building plastic car models just before James was born, and over the next two years I built over fifty of them; with close attention to trim and detail. Later I gave it up, and I lost track of all the kits and paint I have bought over the years. So James and I sat down and discussed the assembly instructions, he picked out the color scheme he wanted, and away we went. After a little instruction on how to hold the paint brush, James took over. I don't know which one of use is more excited. It's a big step for a seven-year-old. Someday soon we will pull out the airbrush and do some BIG projects.
As a Christmas present, Wendy gave me a copy of "The Christian Writer's Market Guide"; a book that lists the majority of the publishers of books and periodicals in the Christian marketplace. This I don't know about. I've written some things in the last few years (other than e-mail). I've penned a few articles and even some chapters of a --(cough) novel, but I don't know squat about publication. It worries me a little, too. What do F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Edgar Allen Poe have in common? That's right! They're all dead, and not by natural causes. Scotty mai' tied himself to death, Hemingway O.D.'d on shotgun pellets and nobody is quite sure about Poe. It may have been D.Ts or a rabid dog bite. But I'm probably safe. I don't think I have enough talent to achieve the kind of fame necessary to bring about discontent, disillusionment, depression, despair, despondency and untimely death. But I can write mediocrity with the best of them. Move over Dave Barry, here I come.

Gotta go, this disparity is disparaging 

Neil