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RLetson discovered that tweaking Wiki articles (Hawaiian music, science fiction, the guitar) is at least as challenging as writing paying copy, but without any of those pesky deadlines (or money). He has written professionally about all those topics and others as well for various magazines and reference books and hopes to do so again.

Old times[edit]

Hi Russell, glad to hear from you again after all these years! Yep, I do indeed recall you from your time Chez Jack, and I know that you had at least one meal at our place on Presidio Avenue. I don't think, however, that I recall Cezarija -- my memory is that you stayed at Jack's more than once and that when we met you were by yourself. If you recall, Douchka and I were shuttling back and forth between S.F. and Tahiti in those days, so it may well be that our visits to the Bay Area never coincided with those of your wife....

I think you've done a great job with all your editing to the article. Everything you've corrected had always jumped out at me like a thumb poked in my eye but the task of fixing it up always seemed like too much work for me. I had previously spent a lot of time with the Frank Herbert article correcting all the fannish bullshit that had originally been put in and I despaired of doing it a second time. It's too bad that so many people who are fans of Jack and Frank (and many others, of course) are so enthusiastic and so semi-knowledgeable but also so friggin' semi-literate. I gotta wonder what they are learning in schools these days except, I suppose, cut and paste techniques....

Hope that all goes well with you and that the other idiots who stick their noses into the Vance article will leave your stuff alone. I will, of course, revert as warranted.... Best, Hayford 19:55, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

how the phone works[edit]

Yah, I think the normal Wiki way of doing this is for you to post your messages into MY Talk page, so that a notice will pop up for me, and then I reply to YOUR Talk page, so that you see a notice. Obviously, it's also possible to just conduct it within a single page.

Geez, I don't remember your wife at all!  :( I remember you clearly, however. In defense of my poor old senile brain, however, I will say that we DID do a lot of entertaining in those days. When you came for dinner, were you with Jack and Norma? Was Dave Alexander there? Silverberg? I remember a LOT of those meals, also I have photographs of many of them. But, of course, more and more they all blur together....

What sort of Hawaiian music are you working on? The Don Ho variety or the old, old stuff?

Best, Hayford Hayford Peirce 22:33, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Hawaiian music[edit]

When I first went to Tahiti in 1961 and lived for a while in a Brazilian-type slum, I had a Tahitian-type uncle (who was only 12 year older than me) who was a dockworker/hunk who was illiterate (and also the strongest guy in the Islands). He didn't play music professionally (although in those days, almost any Tahitian could play a guitar or Tahitian uke) but he sure impressed me when he would take an ordinary guitar and run a glass tumbler up and down the strings while he plucked out a tune. It sounded just like the music I occasionally heard on the radio back in Los Angeles as being typically Hawaiian. What in the world was he doing? Hayford Peirce 04:44, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

"More than you wanted to know, eh? Ask a nerd, get an info-dump." Nope, that's just exactly what I wanted to know, neither more nor less. As you speculated, he did indeed lay the guitar flat on something, either his knees or a low table, and then he ran the water glass back and forth on the strings. I was *amazed* -- I've never conceived of such a weird thing! (You gotta remember I wuz 19 years old and had never particularly liked "Hawaiian" music....) Anyway, ask me some obscure question about a couple of things I know about and I'd give you the equivalent answer.... Best, Hayford Peirce 20:48, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

WordPerfect 4.2[edit]

Are you the gentlemanly type scholar who so kindly gave me a bootleg edition of either 4.1 or 4.2 (the latter, I think). I distinctly remember that it was a Bay Area person who was also a friend of Jack's and who *also* had dinner at our place at least once. If that isn't you, then I dunno who else it could be????? Hayford Peirce 00:35, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Hmmm. But you must have been *staying* in the Bay Area at some point, otherwise you wouldn't have come to dinner. My memory of the dinner with the person who gave me WP was that it was definitely a couple (husband and wife), that he/they were connected with Jack, and that they were staying (or living) in the South Bay Area. My further memory is that Jack was *not* there. Were you staying with Jack when you came for dinner? Was Jack with you? Questions of major import, hehe.... Hayford Peirce 16:24, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
Okie, now I see that I have been totally confused. We had an apartment over on Presideo Avenue from about 1981 through 1988 and I was convinced that it was *there* that you came for dinner. So the couple I was visualizing was someone else entirely. And he had given me WP 4.2 back around 1985. By 1993 I was up to 5.2, I think. And by 1993 we were living in a gorgeous Victorian flat on Pine Street. I do remember the WorldCon that year, and I had several people in for dinner at various times during that Con. I know that Gerald Nordley was there, and also Carol Severance, and maybe a couple of others. So now I have to completely reorient my visual memories. Geez.... I guess that over the years I met a *large* number of people through Jack.... Have you got a picture of you and yours that I can take a look at? Confusedly yours, Hayford Peirce 19:11, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
Geez, now I'm absolutely baffled!!! The pictures don't ring a bell at all! I think that *once* during the WorldCon we had a bunch of people up from the Con for dinner, maybe 6 or 7, but I sure don't place you as being among them. Are you sure it was '93 -- we were living in a big, old Victorian apartment on the second floor. It had a formal dining room way in the back and a double parlor-living room in front. Before that, for a couple of years, we were in a weird, narrow house way out by the ocean. And before that we were in a much smaller, but colorfully decorated apartment on Presidio. Jack and Norma had many meals there over the years and if you were staying with them it's quite possible that you came over with them one time.... Hayford Peirce 19:11, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

The World as myth[edit]

What, if anything, are we gonna do about this? It sounds like both nonsense to me, plus ORIGINAL RESEARCH! Personally I think it ought to be edited out of the Heinlein article PLUS the article it links to should be put up for deletion discussion. I'm just baffled as to where it came from. In fact, the Heinlein article, like the Vance, has an incredible amount of non-factual baloney in it.... Hayford Peirce 23:27, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Okie, it seems to be an academic term, then, that the average Heinlein fan or reader is probably not aware of. So it should probably be in the Heinlein article, and there should be a separate article about it. BUT I feel strongly that there ought to be a couple of citations and maybe something along the lines of "some academic studies of RAH have referred to the 'World as myth' blah blah." What do you think? Hayford Peirce 18:56, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Measure twice, cut once[edit]

That's a good idea about the Notepad tryout to let off stream! I'll see if I can do it myself -- I ought to, I know.... As a guy who wasted several years screwing around with a semi-fixer-upper in San Francisco once, plus myriad other projects, I long ago learned that in MY case it is: "Measure FOUR times, cut once." Especially when it's a question of crown molding.... Hayford Peirce 17:48, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Failed History[edit]

You commented on the term - see my comments on the Failed History talk page: the stats you quoted are no longer valid. A "useful list" of potentially confusing historical objects. Jackiespeel 18:51, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Re: My Dave Guard article[edit]

Thanks for your note re being cautious about original research. I doubt very much that I can get Bobby Schoën to verify the stuff I wrote about his and Dave's musical base in Hawaiian-style often 1930'-1940's C&W-based, sing-along, ukulele/guitar music, contemporary pop (Guy Mitchell, Frankie Laine, Four Freshmen, and slow dance music. But I'm trying to get in touch with Cyrus Faryar (Punahou '53), who experienced exactly the same musical basis as Guard and Schoën, and possibly a few quotes from him will help substantiagte my statements.

The point of my bio about Dave is to provide a more in-depth look at his amateur and professional musical life.  I knew Bobby Schoën pretty well in the 7th and 8th grades (we were in the same Boy Scout troop, etc.), a bit less on through high school even though we were both on the junior varsity track team for a couple of years. I always thought well of Dave, was on our school's football and track teams with him. Personally, I harbor the suspicion that Dave got sandbagged and was essentially "eased out" of his Trio by Schoën and Werber, with Reynolds simply going along with his pal Schoën.  But that's the kind of stuff that would be, in my opinion, original research. For the rest, it's simply culling information from the web and other available sources to set the record straight about Dave.  For example, I've got a visit to the U. of Wisconsin planned for May or June to go over the library's collection of Dave Guard materials, particularly materials on Dave's "Colour Guitar" guitar teaching method he developed while in Australia, which I'd like to include in the article.

By the way, if you're interested I also have a stub article on the Whiskeyhill Singers going as well as my Dave bio.

Again, thanks for your note.  And if there's anything I can help you with, please let me know.  K. Kellogg-Smith 05:44, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

New Encyclopedia[edit]

Hi Russell, I thought I had your email address but can't seem to find it. So I'm taking the liberty of communicating with you here....

I'm still enjoying my Wikivacation. I look in from time to time to see what the idiots have been up to lately and all it does is make me roll my eyes and grit my teeth.

You've probably already heard about it, but one of the original Wikipedia founders has started a new project: a Wikipedia-like encycl. that has some serious controls on it. Anyone who wants to be an Editor or Author has to submit an application, along with a biography; they are then invited to join or not. Only *real* names can be used, no nicks. And there are "Constables" that can ban people instantly and forever. So, whether the project succeeds or not, at least it won't be plagued by vandals, crazies, and Soup Nazis....

The articles are supposed to be written by, and vetted by, *experts*!

It's still in its infancy: there are hardly any articles. I joined a couple of days ago and have already transferred a couple of major articles from Wiki that I worked on there and that were hacked at by butchers over the years.... Perhaps you would care to take a look at it: at least you would have a virgin field to be working in. I put in a brief article about my friend Dave Alexander -- he's the first science-fiction/mystery writer to be there!

If you do apply to join, a word of warning: it took them about 3 or 4 days to process my application. There was a recent article about CZ in the latest issue of PC Magazine and that may have stirred up a lot of potential applicants. Eventually, however, they'll get around to you.

It's sure a nice feeling to know that some idiot with an agenda (or a screw loose) won't come in and hack away at my edits!

In any case, I hope that all is well with you!



Science fiction genre[edit]

I just commented on the oddly-named Science fiction genre article, which I came across by accident. Metamagician3000 (talk) 07:39, 20 November 2007 (UTC)


Just like to say I edit Citizendium alongside Hayford & it's a lot of fun, much freer than here. Cheers - Rothorpe (talk) 20:34, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

JV emulation[edit]

No hoohah, cobber -- I knew that you weren't dissing *my* work. I happen to agree with you that a lot of problematic stuff got thrown into the list.... WP is truly amazing -- I go away for a couple of years and when I look at my watchlist from time to time, I see that some of the same (idiotic) arguments and reversions are still going on between the same editors, cretins, vandals, and others as were years ago, particularly in some of the tennis article. How *you* can put up with it baffles me! In any event, all the best! Hayford Peirce (talk) 23:50, 7 July 2008 (UTC)