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letter from dad! by Margaret Downs
Hey Nick and Tom! (also grandma and everyone)

Thanks for that great note, Nick! Please get a note to Meg each week and she can bring it Friday, she's a sneaky little jail visitor. Just finished another Reggie story, this one a follow up to the one in which Tom and Reg make an A-bomb. It's a good read, I'll put it in the mail on Monday. Not sure how long things take to get to you, seems to be 4 to 8 weeks depending on incompetence of the jail and Qatar post. You should continue to get a steady stream of stuff. Enjoy, give me feedback and pass on the grandma.

A motor head here wants a photo of your el camino, please send it so Meg can bring it. He's a car nut. Poor guy's been in sejn (jail) since 1997 so he hasn't been behind the wheel in a while.

Have a young guy here, Steven, a Chinese Malaysian, part of a gang of 10 Malaysian fraudsters that call themselves "Ocean's 10". Steven is smart and eager to learn so I loan him books, he cooks me Chinese food. Peter is another Chinese Malaysian- nice guy, I teach him Windows, he's my Chinese professor.

Would love to hear what stories and novel portions you've received, the suspense is agony. It would be great if you could build a spreadsheet with the full inventory, maybe send me a copy inshalla. Feel free to replace old stories like "Friday Bike Ride" and "Alabama" with new stuff! If you could write all the typed stuff on a CD it would be great!

It's plenty hot here of course but I'm determined to stay in shape, I'm the only nut out walking when it's 100 degrees. Feel great- eat apples, brown bread, Chinese veggies and olive oil. Still going to library once a week mostly to teach Peter the PC but there are a few good items there. I don't write as much as I used to. I get discouraged sometimes since I have no idea if it's getting to you, or if it is, if anybody looks at it. Last week I complained to Meg about her reading, she promises to do better.

Wonder if there are any jobs in oil industry with crude at $120 a barrel. Haha, as you say. Meg says you're thinking about grad school out west. You should consult Uncle Wally and maybe John McBride out in Utah, they might advise you. Tom, I am so proud of how you're doing. Meg says you get up every day at 5:30- is that possible? This is not the Tom I remember. You guys should call me once a month, coordinate with Juju. A note would also be great, I bet your writing has improved. Is Ackal Brothers still your favorite? Tom, I write a special story for you called "World of Warcraft", about our trip to Baalbek in Lebanon. It describes our trip to the Roman ruins but while we're there the Israeli Air force attacks Hezbollah. A bomb calls on the old Roman quarry and a shocking secret is revealed- a surprise! Track it down, it might be in Eureka. It's a good one. Another good one is "Roscoe and the Body Barge", about one summer I had to help fish downed people out of Beaver lake- spooky! Hope you have a great time in Eureka, work hard and make some money. Give your sweet Mom and Tussa Lump some hugs for me. Sorry to go on so about my writing, I know you guys are plenty busy.

The news from Iraq gets better and better. The Al Qaeda boys ran a disastrous campaign. First they blow up women and children in markets, this makes people mad. Then they impose Taliban rules, closing little booze shops and video stores- that was the last straw! Pretty encouraging news, maybe a comfort to those families who lost loved ones there. Still enjoying my New Yorker magazines, maybe someday they'll publish something of mine.

Here are suggestions from Steven on increasing traffic to Meg's blog and my website!

1) try to get listed on
2) must have popular key words that people tend to search on
3) links "from" other sites better than links "to". Try to get reputable/well known sites to like to you
4) use visitor tracker and location counter to see geographic spread of hits
5) clean, simple layout. don't cluster everything in the sidebar.

Well, better log off, poor Meg will get tired typing this stuff. Her visits are wonderful and I love her to pieces. I love you all as well. More next week!



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