Hello Card  -  Volume 14  -  John Card Number 0  -  Tue, Jun 26, 1990 02:55 AM

I am smack dab in the middle of one of the most beautiful summers Montana has ever produced. The bees are buzzing and the birds are chirping and the hills are bursting with green and the sky is so blue it's almost purple. Last night the raccoon who comes regularly to my porch brought six baby raccoons with her and at one point I got to sit out there while the six of them turned somersaults at my feet.

After two years of planning, work has finally begun on my mother's underground house. It's being built a few miles up the road in this spectacular meadow overlooking a beaver dam. My job is to trot out each day and take pictures; the whole process is rather remarkable. One day there was a road leading nowhere in particular. Then gaping holes appeared in the earth. A tiny phone box sprang out of the ground. Suddenly ten foot high concrete walls appeared. For a moment there was a shallow basement, and then a floor of sweet smelling wood. Now there is wood flying in all directions. God only knows what I'll find tomorrow...

The other major distraction of the summer is my little sister's wedding, which is now IMMANENT. I have been dragooned into reading poetry at this affair; with Stuart's wise counsel I was able to find two Robert Frost poems that should do nicely. It should be quite an event. A governor and various congressmen and supreme court judges and half the legislature and more than half of the press corps will be there, not to mention Roger and Zoey the Atomic Physicist. The whole thing takes place on a dude ranch in the Sawtooth mountains and will last for THREE DAYS! No doubt Roger and I will have tales to tell in next month's voice cards.

There are no wedding bells in MY immediate future, although I have been making some progress on the dating front. The woman who partly inspired last winter's Dick and Jane saga reappeared and softened her earlier hardline position. I had lunch with Dionne today and she was warm and friendly and full of surprises. And there are some new contestants on the horizon. Stay tuned.

I have been spending about half of my time in Idaho Falls putting the final touches on my billing package (it probably won't be finished until autumn). The last time I was there, Paul and I managed to get together for a very enjoyable visit. We staged the second joint conference to further design on our wargame (now called Alexander), I allowed him to win at a game of pool, and I even dragged him to the track where we gambled away our loose change on the horses.

I have started gathering rejection slips again (two so far, a third on the way) and I MAY attend a writer's conference in Squaw Valley this August (I'm on the waiting list). I have also begun work on my new software project, a commercial package of personality tests. My two partners came up to the ranch tonight for a big barbeque and brainstorming session. We had two Macs going at once with ideas flying like sparks while the raccoons tried to make off with our burgers.

A good summer, so far, with much more to come...