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Letters to the editor, July 2006

This a traditional letter column. You are encouraged to write a letter of comment on anything that you find worthy of comment. It will (may) be published in this column along with my reply. As editor I reserve the right to delete material; however I will not alter the undeleted material. E-mail to me that solely references the contents of this site will be assumed to be publishable mail. All other e-mail is assumed to be private. And, of course, anything marked not for publication is not for publication. Oh yes, letters of appreciation for the scholarly resources provided by this site will be handled very discreetly. This page contains the correspondence for July 2006.

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From: Peter Neilson
Date: 7/22/2006
Subj: More preefrooding – Cypress Dreams again

Harter, your lettercol is screwed up yet again. I wrote to you about the Cyprus Dreams, and mentioned the name of the fellow who is pushing that Cyprus website, I mistakenly wrote his name as “Christopher” even though he called himself Christian.

Any moronic idiot could have detected this error in my letter and corrected it before publishing it for the whole world (not to mention your subscribers on Mars and the Moon–NESFA’s Moon, I might add) to see. You saw fit to leave it as it was, showing everybody my shoddy research. Have you no sense of decency or whatever?

I won’t even try to pronounce what Dr. Flynn might have said.

You do yourself an injustice; I wish you would stop that. I prefer doing you injustices myself. If you inspect my letter column carefully you will indeed see that you spelled his name as Christian. Reality has a way of changing out from under you, doesn’t it?

In any event his name might well be “Christopher” with “Christian” merely being his nom de ploom. If such is the case you would have been right if you had called him Christopher.

No one can pronounce what Dr. Flynn said.

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From: Don Crowder
Date: 7/14/2006
Subj: Still graceless I see…………

I last wrote to you in January of 2003 when I was writing an ezine for an ink company. I was linking to a story on your site and wrote to ‘scold’ you for not having alt text on the images you use. The one or two images I checked still don’t have alt text which leads me to suspect you of being irascible and set in your ways. Since I’m somewhat that way myself, I can hardly gig you for it so I’ll just “leave off” about the alt text. I lost my job with the ink company and have gone through one or two other mundane jobs since then but I’ve continued to write a twice monthly ezine. I connected with freelists.org for hosting and never missed an issue. My subscriber count did go down by an order of magnitude but that’s a matter of perspective. As I see it, the quality of my subscribers is up by an order of magnitude.

All of which is a convoluted path simply to say I’ll be listing your site in my ezine again and this time it really is my ezine. Or maybe it’s community property since my wife helps me with it, We have our own website as well. I’ve no idea what moves you to reproduce some of your email online but if this email “wins” the signal honor, do me the kindness of not reproducing my email address in clear HTML for the ‘evil web minions” to cabbage onto and send me unwanted email. None of my appendages require enlargement or chemical assistance to achieve normal functionality.

I am irretrievably graceless. Some one of these days I will do something about that alt text business. Fear not, these things do happen, they just take time … lots of time.

Not to worry about the email address thing. Some time ago I went through and cleaned out all of the email addresses. When I started the website it was a cleaner and more innocent time; internet email address harvesting wasn’t a vicious underground industry. I move with the times though – creakily and begrudgingly perhaps – and decade by decade I will be catching up with the last century.

It goes without saying that your subscribers are all personable and intelligent, the cream of the crop the internet community. Since it goes without saying, I shan’t say it.

Your ezine (http://www.don-guitar.com) looks nice. Best of luck with it. Mine suffers from bloat – both in the readership and the content. Alas, the quality of the content isn’t bloated at all. I guess one can’t have everything.

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From: Peter Neilson
Date: 7/20/2006
Subj: Cyprus Dreams

I was dreaming about how to avoid buying property in Cyprus. Suddenly I was face to face with Christopher’s letter in your lettercol. What a stroke of fortune! I went immediately to his website, and saw a huge selection of properties I would never dream of owning.

Thank you for including a link to his Cyprus properties page. I would never have imagined that staying totally away from Cyprus could be so easy!

As for Christian, prosperity is surely following him, as you wished. He seems to be running pretty fast, though, and I’m afraid it’ll never catch up with him.

This sort of public service is just the thing that I am good at. If it hadn’t been for me you probably would have found yourself with a Cyprus property. That might have been all right (assuming you are fond of stuffed grape leaves) but you probably would have ended up having to extend hospitality to refugees from Lebanon.
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From: C Groberty
Date: 7/13/2006
Subj: Your Website

This is Christian from http://www.cyprusdreamproperty.com

Today, I visited your web site and I like it. I am interested in your site because it looks like it’s relevant to a site for which I am seeking links.

I have already added your web site link to our link exchange page at: http://www.cyprusdreamproperty.com/cyprus-resources/

I would be very grateful if you could link back to us.

I couldn’t find the link to my site; that is quite all right with me. You may keep it or delete it just as you choose. Your letter will appear in my correspondence column where your URL will appear. To be honest I can’t see that this will do you much good. I rather fancy that few of my readers are seeking property in Cyprus, and, if they are, they would be looking for information on my web site. Still, you never know. Many people read my pages and perhaps someone …

In any event may prosperity follow you for the rest of your days.

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From: Merle Gifford
Date: 7/11/2006
Subj: MG

could feel a thousand needles puncturing his face. “For- ward!” he kept don’t get pulled out of the meatgrinder. He did pull him out of the Zone, on that tough freckled mug of his.

Another marine, I see.
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From: Charlotte Blount
Date: 7/12/2006
Subj: O04

it?–and slithered into the field, behind the hushes and the rotten fences, and Scandinavia, increasingly in Spain, Portugal, and Latin America, and is heads every which way and their fear was almost all gone. They started purpose for life? For a thousand years we have scrabbled after fish heads,

Oh dear, that sounds bad. And here I thought I had troubles.
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From: Sam Hine
Date: 7/13/2006
Subj: article submission

Please consider publishing this commentary in Richard Harter’s World. Johann Christoph Arnold is the author of ten books and an advisor to some of the world’s best private schools. If you have further questions, I can be reached at 724-329-1100. If you decide to publish this piece, please let me know.

I will be pleased to include Arnold’s commentary; it will probably appear in the August issue. As before it will be in point/counter point form.
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From: Robert Eggleton
Date: 7/10/2006
Subj: Rarity from the Hollow Update

Thanks again for the blurb. I’m writing to let you know that “Rarity from the Hollow” was published: www.fatcatpress.com. Jag Lall did the cover pro bono. A satirical essay about its self-promotion was also published by Wingspan Quarterly: www.wingspanquarterly.com (the online is free).

I’m not sure if I told you before — a percentage of any profits will prevent child abuse in West Virginia where I work as a therapist in a children’s mental health program. I’m hoping that this angle will also help sales in addition to kids.

You did mention the division of profits; it is quite commendable. I do hope that you achieve all of the success that you deserve.
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From: Jim FitzPatrick
Date: 7/13/2006
Subj: Childer’s oeuvre

I just read your review of   The Doppelganger of Dabney Prood. While other works of Nathan Childers are available (both earlier and later works), I cannot find Doppelganger. 

One used book sales person suggested that the original was in Latvian and that the translations did not (yet) include English. 

My own thought is that your review gives the glue (er, rather, the clue): “Tolstoy”

Is it not true that the original is in Russian and the Latvian is merely a translation (and possibly a poor one at that!)?

I remain on the alert!

That is a very astute observation on your part; however it is slightly off the mark. The original edition was in English; it did absymally. I have heard that only seventeen copies were sold, and that three of these were purchased by Childers himself to give as presents to his mistresses.

Childers then translated it into Russian; the Russian edition did very well indeed. This success, it must be said, was not due to the literary merits of the work, formidable as those might be. Rather, it seems that many of the practitioners of samizdat exchanged their writings in the form of margin comments in exchanged copies of Dabney Prood.

After the fall of the soviet regime there was a mania for collecting these marginal copies. Eventually a Latvian collector published his collection of marginal comments in a series of volumes entitled “The Samizdat of Dabney Prood”. Each page had side by side columns, the left being the comments in the original Russian, the right containing his translation into Latvian. As you surmise, the quality of the translation left much to be desired. The text of the original novel was omitted – it’s only vestige was the page numbers on which the samizdat commentaries were written.

The Varinoma Press edition, however, definitely was in English. I have heard that it was translated from English to English and that there were difficulties with the translation; however I cannot confirm that.

The real difficulty is that the distribution of Varinoma Press offerings is notoriously erratic. I have heard some people say that they cannot locate a single offering from their line.

I, myself, do not have a copy of the Varinoma Press edition. My copy is of the original edition; it was given to me by one of Childers’s mistresses. The circumstances of the gift are of no interest except to scandal-mongers, and I shall not go into their details.

I do hope this is of help.

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From: Peter Neilson
Date: 7/2/2006
Subj: lazy spelling errrors

There may be others yet. Think of A. P. Ershov’s mushrooms.

I must (or at least I shall) admit that I am not familiar with his mushrooms. I know, of course, that he was the author of “Modeling a Fast Deflagration to Detonation Transition in Porous PETN”, but, then, I imagine that everyone knows that. I blush to admit that I have never read that paper.

In any event, I pray that you will inform me about his mushrooms. If nothing else, if you do and I print your exposition, a google search will turn up something more informative in a search on “A. P. Ershov” + mushrooms.

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From: Anthony R. Lewis, PhD, FN
Date: 7/6/2006
Subj: Absolutely necessary information


please inform your readers (who might otherwise not know) that the two small moons of Pluto have been named. S/2005 P1 is Hydra, S/2005 P2 is Nix. Please do not confuse Nix with asteroid 3908 Nyx.

No word on “Xena” yet.


I quite agree that my readers should be acquainted with these facts. I fear that some of them have been quite remiss in keeping up with the latest happenings in the local solar system. I do feel, though, that they should have named Nix Nox. Nox is Roman, and Nyx is Greek, whereas Nix is simply … let me put it this way: A google search on Nix turns up lots of information on head lice!

The besides of which, if it were called Nox they could put a university there. Given that it probably is frozen hard, the univerity would be the school of hard Nox.

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From: Brady & Wendi Rinehart
Date: 7/3/2006
Subj: trouble maker…hmmmmm

Excuse me…….you wrote,”See how much trouble you are causing.”

I do believe you are stressing over something you can never control.

Seconds into minutes, minutes into hours, hours into days, etc. Time stands still for no one, not even you.

If eliminating the 29th day of June on your own calendar makes you tickled……well then, go for it.

We shall of course ignore it and you. We will sing you b-day greetings again, off key and with smiles in our voices…..Deb has the best voice by far, then the Nebraska crew, I, unashamed, will gladly screech my version out and come in last…..You have a whole year to dread the day…. (giggle).
Happy thoughts……Wendi

If performing dreadfully cruel acts floats your boat then so be it – I shall just have to suffer. If only I had been born on February 29 I could have gotten away with having a birthday once every four years. That is a happy thought. On the other hand, I would not have yet attained by 21st birthday and thus would not be of age to purchase wine. There is a price for every boon.
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From: Mark Holczhammer
Date: 7/6/2006
Subj: good website

The funny thing is: I found your page by googling for:

motorcycle +”black box”

and I found https://richardhartersworld.com/cri/2004/behe.html J

Anyway. I found your page interesting so I send a mail to others with a quotation from your page: > “This site is best viewed with a bottle of scotch.”


The roads into Richard Harter’s world are many and devious. Someone, Tolkien, I believe, said that not all who wander are lost. Someone, me, I believe, said that not all who read my website are confused, but if they keep reading they will be.
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From: Peter Neilson
Date: 7/2/2006
Subj: lazy spelling errrors

Your recent presentation, “You grew up in rural South Dakota if…” contains several spelling errors. Perhaps they are intentional. At any rate, I am not going to bother to list them. Proofread for them yourself. It’s a moral obligation. Think of Dr. Flynn.

I posted it as I received it. However I suppose I should protect the reputations of my sources, to say nothing of my obligations to Dr. Flynn. Therefore I will do something. What that something might be is yet to be determined.

(The only spelling errror that I found was “tounge” for “tongue” – it shall be corrected.)

… continued on next rock …


“its really windy”
“your getting wet”
“last for 6 blocks”

Make that a double sheesh.

And an extra one in honour of Dr. George Flynn, may his example lead all of into fewer ypographical terrors.

I am shocked, sir, simply shocked that you would say such a thing. None of your quoted instances are spelling errors; all of the words in question are spelled correctly. All that is wrong is that the author used the wrong word. I admit that the sentence
“You grew up in rural South Dakota if cruising “main” last for 6 blocks.”
is rather peculiar. I can’t imagine what the intent was. That isn’t quite right – I could imagine it if I were sufficiently pressed, but I prefer not to. In any event it scarcely counts as a spelling error.

Likewise your last example is not a spelling error; it may be an unfortunate deficiency of space but it is not a spelling error. As for changing it, do you realize what they are charging for web space these days. I would be ruined if every comma had to be followed by a space.

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From: Peter Neilson
Date: 7/1/2006
Subj: Abolishing 29 June

Mr. Harter,
If you did so, then the 30th would replace the 29th, and the 31st would replace the 30th. This would lend an air of truthfulness to a previously famous memo that someone at work (maybe at Prime, maybe at Teradyne, about 25 or 35 years ago) wrote on the first of July. He accidentally dated it as 31 June and then later had to make reference to it. “See my memo of 31 [sic] June.”

Your birthday, being sneaky as birthdays are, would fall on the 30th.

There are additional problems. June is your mother’s own month, and presumably you would have to obtain her posthumous permission to rearrange the days in her month. Furthermore, she was actively involved in the selection of your birthday. My unsolicited advice would be, “Don’t mess with June.”

All things considered (or at least all that occur to me at the moment) your advice is excellent, and I shall take it, even though there is documentary evidence for the existence of the 31st of June.
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From: Jo Dansie
Date: 6/19/2006
Subj: Thanks

Dear Mr Harter

Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading all about Piltdown Man. My curiosity was aroused by a reference to it in The Forsyte Saga which I am currently reading. I found the information on your website fascinating.

Thank you for writing; I’m pleased that you found the Piltdown pages enjoyable. The Piltdown hoax and its aftermath are quite remarkable.
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From: Judas Iscariot
Date: 6/25/2006
Subj: Guten Tag, Herr Professor!!

Stopped by your site, wanted to drop a note to say hello; I hope all is well and a gentle breeze is blowing in your neck of the woods…

Gentle breezes indeed – why just the other day a tornado touched down 21 miles north of here.

All is well here. Do you still hang out at Hayes Bickford? I’ve been back in the Boston area a few times and stopped by there but you were off somewhere. I still write a bit of fiction now and then, but not as often as I did a few years ago – these days I’m into house remodeling and such like.

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From: vicky ford
Date: 6/30/2006
Subj: Morning sickness

is it possible to have morning sickkness a week after sex?

It is possible, but it probably wouldn’t have anything to do with being pregnant. I am far from an authority on the subject but my understanding is that morning sickness shows up a little later. In case of doubt, take a pregnancy test.
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From: Brady & Wendi Rinehart
Date: 6/29/2006
Subj: B-day greetings

At 03:15 PM 6/29/2006 -0500, you wrote: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUUUUU!

Can’t ya just hear my wonderful “Northern Plains Redneck” rendition, pounding this little ditty out to you? I did hear you had the Ms. Monroe version of this tune earlier today……..(be nice Richard, its the thought that counts)

Never mind, don’t bother answering the question.

On second thought …..here is a warning, turn the volume down on your answering machine….NOT OFF Richard…… just down and I’ll sing it to you…..lucky b-day boy.

May you and Deborah, have a lovely evening of dining on the scenic Missouri River at Cedar Shores Resort.


P.S. Brady sends a normal : Happy Birthday Richard 😉
We’ll celebrate at a later date….next time it rains like an S.O.B. and he can relax alittle.

We did indeed have a lovely evening. I will say, though, that the threat of caterwauled messages on my phone may require drastic measures, such as getting rid of the phone or else getting rid of my birthdays. Since I do not really want to put a period to my existence (the conventional way to cease having birthdays) the latter option would require that I abolish June 29th from the calendar.

Do you realize how trouble that would be? I would have to bribe thousands, perhaps even millions, of calendar makers to remove June 29 from their calendars. Consider how confusing it would be for the day after June 28 to be June 30. Then, too, there would be a missing day in the week. That wouldn’t be so bad this year – Thursdays can generally be dispensed with – but what would happen if it fell on a Sunday? Golf games and sermons would be disrupted everywhere.

See how much trouble you are causing.

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This page was last updated July 22, 2006.
It was moved January 9, 2008

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Hyde County, South Dakota is the Pin Tail Duck Capital of the world. Visit scenic Highmore, SD in 2006!