Read&Delete FAQ (Foolishly asked questions)

Q. What is the Read & Delete?
A. The Read & Delete (for the lack of a better term) is a "newsletter". It is a monthly sampling of a stream of conciousness (mine) and is dedicated to the firm belief that life has meaning, even if there is evidence to the contrary. 

Q. Why do you write this newsletter?
A. It is simple cause and effect. Because in order to read it (or delete it) it must be written first. 

Q. Why is your newsletter called the 'Read & Delete?
A. When it first started out in 1994 (as an e-mail only newsletter),  I was going to call it 'The Delete', but I was afraid that nobody would read it, so that is how it got its name. 

Q. Why does your website look really cheap and amateurish?
A. It looks cheap and amateurish because I am a cheap amateur. I don't like tons of graphics, and I believe that it takes away from the real purpose of this website, namely having fun with my writing. If you you want to see impressive frames, go to an art gallery. Most of the greatest works in literature were written without the aid of clip art, the Internet, or even typewriters.  All you need to enjoy a good story is legible text and an imagination. I'll provide the legible text, you provide the rest. By the way, most of the graphics you see on my pages (except for photographs) are hand drawn by me.  

Q. What's with your retrospective pages and those weird pictures? Are they for real?

A. No. We are on the Internet now, and just like the Wild West, legends are subject to interpretation. There are litterly thousands of fake photo generating websites available on the web, and for the sake of humor, I use some of them. (See the stinkin' links page for ideas.) I also use 'graphics enhancement' programs occasionally-- Adobe Photoshop for instance- and some plain-old hyperbole. It's like giving your history a 'boob job'- the politically correct term is 'revisionism'- which has been practiced by politicians and textbook writers for years. Don't assimilate everything you see and read on the web. If something is real, I'll tell you so-- other than that-- you're on your own.

Q. How old are you?
A. Younger than dirt, but older than most mortgages. Let me give you a hint. If you took all the lawyers in America, laid them end to end, and you were to dig a six foot deep trench next to them, you could then roll them all into the trench and bury them.  Then all our health insurance rates would go down, and you would win the Nobel Prize for improving humanity.  OOPS! Wrong analogy.  

Q. Where did you grow up?
A. I never did. Actually, my formative years were spent in Creeping Bent, where I attended Sanford E. Simoniz grammar school and graduated from Yae High sometime during the disco craze. I then attended Warehouse Club Community College and worked my way through Illinois Boilerplate University where I majored in Academic Suspension. I have failed in more English classes than most students ever attended. 

Q. Where do you live? 
A: I live in Aurora, Illinois, in a house that I share with my wife, two children and the bank. 

Q. I am getting the Read & Delete every month in my e-mail. How did you get my e-mail address?
A. BWAAAAAAHAAAHAAAHAAAHAA! I have my ways. Truthfully, it is because you asked for it. If you want to be included with those in the 'inner circle" who want the dementia delivered directly to their desktops instead of crawling out on the web to get it, just send me an e-mail and ask to be added to the list. Think of it as 'direct deposit' for your mind. Conversely, if you want to be removed from the list, send me another e-mail asking to be removed. Just so you'll know-- you can't be removed from the list if you are not on it already -- at least I think it works that way-- I'm not sure. The Internet might work like the phone company-- you know-- where you have to pay 'extra' for an unlisted number or else the telemarketers won't leave you alone. But I digress. It's that 'stream of conciousness' thing. But for the record-- the Read & Delete subscription list is kept secret. It never has been and never will be traded or sold or even given away. Your privacy is kept intact-- even for you folks who go out at night dressed in top hats and leopard print leotards and chase cars out on the highway.

Q. Where do you get your silly ideas?
A. The Freedom of Information Act of 1967 (amended 1996) guarantees every American an uninterrupted supply of silly, stupid and otherwise worthless ideas from a plethora of sources-- including THE MEDIA, the Internet, institutions of higher (and lower) learning, the corporate jungle and of course-- the government. There are any number of publications available today that are designed to frighten, confuse, irritate and mislead you-- many of which are prominently displayed on your local newsstand. The crack(ed) Read&Delete staff peruses these publications and monitors the electronic media outlets for any information deemed worthwile for publication. So far I haven't found any. Thus I have had to resort to alternate sources for input: bumper stickers, comic strips and my favorite-- voices inside my own head. Some friends and I were actively campaigning for a Federal grant in order to develop a group of addled minds into a psychotic 'think tank'- where major life-changing decisions could be made by a group without any connection to reality whatsoever. That was until we found out that this is how congress works. It was a noble idea, but when it comes to lunacy, you can't outspend the government.

Q. How much does the Read & Delete cost?
A. It's free- to you anyway. It costs me some time that otherwise could be spent doing other things, like home repairs or hanging around the doctor's office trying out new stress medications. Then again-- you might be reaching for your own bottle of asprin just from reading this. This is my way of depressurizing. Last year I missed out on a gig as a columnist for a national magazine, so I decided to build my own media empire from a single web page. It costs me a litle money just to own the domain and maintain the page, but it is worth it just to jack up my self-esteem a little. You can do it too.  Thirty bucks a year and you can be Ted Turner. What a country!

Q. Where did you learn to write?
A. In the first grade. Later on, I enrolled into the Cletus Spamhammer Institute for Resume Retouching and Real Good Writing- and made captain of the alliteration team- (Cassie can cook codfish confidently 'cause Kimberly cleans them completely and Callie is a codfish catching champion. Kelly can't, 'cause her cooking is caustic and causes cramps.) I didn't do well there; I was only a 'c' student. 

Q. Have you written anything serious? Have you considered writing as a career? 
A. Yes and no. I have written several serious pieces, and some editorials. For the last few years I have been working on a story about knights and battles and mysterous characters, with some magic and secret stuff thrown in. It could be an autobiography- if I ever lived in a place with knights and battles and mysterious characters-- with some magic and secret stuff thrown in. I've written a couple of chapters already. When it is finished, I hope to win the worlds' record for the rejection of a single manuscript by every publisher on the planet. 

Q. Do you have a real job?
A. Yes, I do. I am an engineer (gasp!) But don't let it worry you. I spend enough time with real people so that I can communicate with rational minds. Part of my job includes overseas travel, so some newsletters are more of a 'cyber-travelog'. I can post to this website from almost anywhere in the free world. 

Q. What is your political view?
A. Approximately 5 feet 7 inches (eye level) above the local terrain (when I am standing upright.)

Q. Are you affiliated with any party?
A. I show up at parties ocassionally, but I never get affiliated. (I confess- that's an old Gracie Allen joke. She ran for president in 1940- on the Surprise Party ticket.) Actually when it comes to politics and my views-- I am a protagonist. The party I am most connected with is my wife and our two boys. 

Q. Do you have any regrets?
A. Yes I do. I regret that I am three dimensional. It can be quite a problem, having depth. Years ago I had aspirations of going into broadcasting-- and if I were more two-dimensional, I might have become the next Dan Rather.

Q. What would you like to see written on your tombstone?
A. Rent this space.

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