Wednesday, November 06, 2002

November 6, 2002
We got attacked by a pack of javelinas last night. About ten, I heard banging and barking out at the front gate and went out to see about seven javelinas rooting around (they are basically wild pigs but someone told me today they are not really pigs, but large rats, which makes them even more creepy). They were banging around the dog food trays like a rodent biker gang, chomping on everything (they even eat charcoal briquettes!). I was banging the front door in my shorts and yelling, but they were real casual about leaving—plus they are very aggressive and will charge on a moment’s notice. All but two left (they were too fat to make it through the edge of the gate and the wall, and so they ran into the back yard and started ramming the back gate, almost taking it off the hinges.) Peaches was in the studio barking and scratching at the door. I ventured out in my undies and turned on the hose for defense, sprayed it in their direction which drove them away from the gate, I scrambled over and opened the back gate. The two trapped rats had jumped up on some rocks at the edge of the pool and were glaring at me like John Ashcroft at a press gathering. About this time Peaches got out and the whole back yard became a race track, with the javalenas going one way, me the other, with the hose spraying mostly me, and the dog going the other way (Peaches didn’t really want to catch them any more than they wanted to be caught). After about two laps, out the back they went, scrambling off down the slope to the creek, while Peaches ran to the front and back and cleared the perimeter.

I changed my shorts and sat up in bed wide awake for about an hour.

I voted yesterday. Same ol' pig story (see above).

The boys from Banta, our printer in Kansas City, came in today. Bart Etzenhouser. and Neil Brand flew in with many suggestions on how we can streamline production, save money and create a better magazine (they suggested we go to perfect bound, a square spine, and I’m all over that for Feb.-Mar. issue). Really a class organization (they brought gift bags full of honey, KC bar-b-que sauce, coffee, candy and a coffee cup). Every time they met somebody in our office, two business cards came down in front of the person they were meeting, and each offered to help in any way. Banta is 101 years old. Bart gave us a printout and photos of his “Customer Service Team” and how they operate, with work phone #s, fax #s, pager #s and E-mail addresses. He encouraged us to utilize his box-letterer, and mail custom mags to shows, etc. Very impressive. They have a printing seminar twice a year called Partners In Printing Excellence (PIPE) where they invite all their customers to come to KC and they put us up for three days and nights, feed us and take us through their printing process step by step to educate and maximize efficiency. Wow! Free food. I’m driving!

Bob Brink took them, Robert Ray, Carole and I to lunch at his private golf club. Fun. Learned a bunch.

The only problem is all these meetings have put me behind the eight ball with my Classic Gunfights copy, editorial, Westerns copy, cover illustration, etc.

“A perfect method for adding drama to life is to wait until the deadline looms large.”
—Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby

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