Midian Ranch Blog

This is the web log for Midian Ranch, an isolated homestead in rural Nevada. It is owned by Jason and Tina Walters, whom are also its regular posters. This blog is exclusively for the enlightenment and edification of our friends, family, and colleagues.

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Location: Gerlach, Nevada, United States

Saturday, August 05, 2006

July 29th, 39th, and 31st

There is a powerful mystique behind the image of the cowboy. To many Americans he’s a mythical figure: a lone horseman living close to the land, tending to the herds of large, often dangerous cattle that many of us depend upon for our sustenance. The cowboy is a man of few words, possessed by brooding, elemental emotions that are only expressed through desperate actions or passionate moments with the only woman he will ever love. He’s loyal, trustworthy, and independent. Though a pacifist by temperament, he’s also a terrible (though often reluctant) warrior when he has to be. In short, on those rare occasions when an American pauses to consider his ideal – the man that he would be if he only could - those of us who have not been utterly poisoned by the well of urbanity envision “cowboy” without a second thought.

Well, another word for cowboy is “ranch hand” - and a day as a ranch hand generally scrapes a bit of the luster off of this myth. Very few people longingly envision a new life as a ranch hand - even though that is what the vast majority of cowboy (and girls) both were and are. To further my education (and in trade for a day using their Bobcat) I spent a dust soaked day working on Dog Ranch. Let me be the first to tell you, Ron and Dahlia Cole work hard on their place. The Cole’s great love of animals inspires them to Herculean heights of labor. On this particular day we worked toward making life easier for Ron’s horses by clearing a field and repairing a stall. All of which is conceptually simple yet difficult in execution.

After being treated to an extraordinarily tasty meal by Dahlia, I drove the ranch’s bobcat back to Midian for a day of work on Sunday. I cleared a new pad for a future building (or shipping containers – I’m not certain which I’m going to buy yet), cut firebreaks here and there, filled in some holes that have been left by previous endeavors, and worked on my gravel pit. THAT project is going to take some time. I need maybe a week of uninterrupted labor to get it right. Well, soon now - very soon indeed.

On Monday 1400 copies of the first book ever to have solely my name on the cover arrived at the Midian warehouse for reshipping. Physically You Gotta Have Character came out even better than I thought it would. It’s a nice looking volume. The preorders weren’t quite what I had hoped for, though: only around 450 copies. Darren Watts (the editor of Hero Games) thinks that there will be another two or three hundred ordered by the distributors in the near future for various reasons, which certainly makes me happy. Also I hope to sell another 40 or 50 copies myself at GenCon Indy in a few weeks, which should leave just a few hundred plus overages in the warehouse to be trickled out by direct order or sold at conventions over the next few years. All of which is exactly what I hoped for.

A lifelong dream of mine has now been accomplished. Who can ask the good Lord for more than that?


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