1984: Murder in F-flat at the Daily Nebraskan

1984 was an interesting time to be alive, because you felt, every day, as if you were living in the George Orwell novel of the same name. Reagan was president, and the world seemed to be collapsing around you — likely just as many of us feel today with another, repressive, Republican president. 1984 also happened to be the year I started writing for the Daily Nebraskan — the school newspaper for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I was a Sophomore in 1984, and I was writing a weekly, serialized, novel called “Murder in F-Flat” — in the wake of Mark Twain, and others like him — and the effort was curious, odd, joyful, frustrating, and purely delightful.

1984 was the dawn of the Personal Computer Age, and while we could save electronic copies of our writing, the work was stored on a fragile 5 1/4″ floppy disk that was kept in a sleeve because its magnetic surface was exposed to the elements. You wrote on the computer, printed out your articles, handed in the paper, and an editor retyped what you wrote into their computer. Yes, you saved what you wrote, but retrieving it later, was an issue then, as it is now; so when I discovered yesterday that the Daily Nebraskan archives for 1984-1987 were now online, I pounded my memory to try to remember when, and what, I wrote in 1984; and the key to the memory trick was my 1984 September 28 pay stub from the Daily Nebraskan. I remembered a check was cut for us every 30 days and each article paid $10.

My search began, and ended, in money — and now I present to you what I was able to find — four FIVE installments of “Murder in F-flat” by Dave Boles! I think a couple of episodes are missing from the online archive; I will keep an eye on that Daily Neb portal, and if the other stories flash into the now from the past, I will dutifully update this article! If you prefer a larger version to read, please head over to my Boles.com Periodicals Archive.

August 22, 1984
(UPDATE: 5-31-10 — I found the first installment!)

August 31, 1984
Too bad you can’t see the whole graphic logo for the column — and today, you’d never want a graphic byline, because your name would never index online as text — “Murder in F-flat” is stylized, and hand-drawn, and I wish I could remember the artist’s name. I just realized now, the pen doing the writing, is being held the wrong way, and is actually stabbing me, the author, in the chest. Murder, indeed! The opening reference to “last week” tells me at least one previous episode installment is missing, so we’re leaping into the story mid-stream.

Continue reading → 1984: Murder in F-flat at the Daily Nebraskan

Writing a Journal of Memories: The Education of a Teacher

[Publisher’s Note: What you see on this page is the beginning of a publication project Dr. Howard Stein was preparing for David Boles Blogs in the year 2000 upon the celebration of the occasion of his birth — July 4 — when he was 78-years-old. We have unearthed this early draft of — The Howard Stern Journal of Memories — and we share it with you today so you may not only enjoy Dr. Stein’s wisdom, but also revel in the revision process you can see below in an image of his typewritten submission. You may view a larger size of the image on the Boles.com Howard Stein Archive Page.

Howard’s health began to nag him as the days aged, and he never returned to this project, but you may still read a lot of Dr. Stein’s work here, there and elsewhere. Howard Stein died on October 12, 2012 of heart failure. He was 90. We miss him every moment of every notion and it is amazing that 15 years after he wrote this for us, Howard is still publishing with us from the grave. Howard Stein always said he was “born lucky” — and so, too, are we lucky to have this article! — but this is his story.]

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The Nincompoop

Scene:  A blackened room.

Time: Yesterday.

(THE ACADEMIC is shining an interrogation light suspended from the ceiling into the eyes of THE PUBLISHER — who is blindfolded and tightly lashed to a steel chair with lengths of rusty chain.)

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The Best of Urban Semiotic Now Available on Amazon Kindle Direct!

After the glowing success of publishing our Hardcore American Sign Language Learning series via Amazon Kindle Direct, I started thinking about other ways to more permanently preserve the record of the best of what has been written.  Hurricane Sandy, and the death of Howard Stein, have made me consider worst case possible scenarios that led me into thinking about what if WordPress.com went down forever or something happened to me, or my Pair Networking hosting woke up and died.  How would the writing survive?

I decided having access to multiple article resources was becoming paramount in moving forward in a treacherous world, and so I thought to finally do something many readers have been asking me to do for many years:  Create a “Best of” series of writing that they can purchase and read in their own time and on their own devices.

Since the break of the New Year, I have been whittling down this Urban Semiotic Blog into its best, redacted, stories that I alone have written.  It was a long and sweaty job and the results are interesting.  There are no images or hotlinks or reader comments or quotes from outside sources.  It’s just me and my word against your eye.

The results of that effort are twofold:  The Best of Urban Semiotic, Volumes 1 and 2 on sale now on Amazon as Kindle Direct Publishing books!  You can read these books on your smartphone, Kindle, tablet or computer!

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The Readability Review

I am late to the Readability party, but now that I have a seat at the table, I’m delighted to report I love the whole idea and driving purpose behind the product.  As a fan of Instapaper, I was surprised to see Readability so readily adopted by major RSS feed readers like Reeder.  I wondered what that red chair icon meant, and I wanted to know how Readability differed from Instapaper.

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The New York Times Loses Control of their Content with a Paywall

Yesterday, I received this email notice from the New York Times that they would, once again, begin charging me for reading their content.

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On Hand-Importing 756 Articles Using Copy and Paste

It has been a wild week of mindless copying and pasting from the old Go Inside website — to the New And Improved Go Inside Magazine blog — but we are pleased to announce we have over 750 articles dating from 1996, and before, right here for you to search and read and enjoy once again!  Gordon Davidescu imported all 140 articles he wrote over the last decade or so and we now have 510 “Guest Author” articles that still ring with authenticity and authority.

Continue reading → On Hand-Importing 756 Articles Using Copy and Paste