Author Archives: jaymerton

Danger Bay—Episode 33—the Voyage of the Motor Vessel Sparrow Begins

MV Sparrow-Foggy Danger Bay ©2007 New Codgers

By Boomer Jack Boardman

(Read Episode 32)

Plenty of time for this after we get under way!” Captain Molly said in her outdoor voice, but with a big smile as well, “Lets finish up, and meet at the Sparrow in the morning!

And after another hour of tying up loose ends, and, in spite of Molly’s admonishment, the AR colleagues managed to continue to get to know one-another in person, their friendships forged on the ‘net, and cemented in Danger Bay.

The full moon struggled to peek through the predawn fog the following morning. The villagers, guests, Sparrow officers and crew, still sleepy from the late night of planning, found their way to Hiram Silverthorn’s café. Hiram is known for laying out a fine & hearty North Woods breakfast, and this morning was no exception! Eggs (all styles), thick sliced and crisp bacon, sausage (links & patties), hashed browns, grits, pancakes, waffles, and several complete vegetarian entrées were ready, not to mention organically & shade-grown, fair-trade, Danger Bay Blend coffee (tastes just like your favorite coffee—only better!).

After breakfast, still dark & foggy, everyone worked together to load the luggage and personal effects to last the nine or so months of this voyage. Sarah offered the use of her pick-up, and Medlar Farkleberry helped out with his old truck.

Soon, all was ready for the departure of the Motor Vessel Sparrow. The village was vacant, Mayor Gamboge went quickly through and found all secure. He the threw the switch on the Internet Search Confusticator—in the back room of Farkleberry’s Star Service Station (Full Service Only, Thank You Very Much)—to prevent any search from finding the village while the Sparrow is gone.

With Mac at the helm, the Sparrow was skillfully launched on her journey. She slowly pulled away from the pier making hardly a ripple in the still fog enshrouded water of the Big Lake. With little to see that they hadn’t seen before, the villagers set about exploring the Sparrow.

The “Real World” people, Ines, Sarah, Bob, Lysa, Fred, and Maggie were on the upper deck, marveling at the eerie beauty of the foggy lake and shoreline. The only thing intruding on their quiet thoughts as they slowly made there way towards the breakwater was the deep rumble of the two powerful biodiesel engines.

“I’m glad we have the Search Confusticator,” Sarah said quietly, as if not to disturb the fog, “I’d worry about my store and not be able to enjoy all this—it is beautiful.”

“It is beautiful,” Ines replied, “This Big Lake is remarkable, just a lake, but it so resembles the northern seas. I too, am glad the village is protected.”


Big A Remains Behind © 2007 New Codgers

Codger Archives—Codger Lodge Post—May 2007

By Jay Merton

Sometimes we like to present an old post from ActiveRain—this one represents the forerunner to our current Danger Bay series, Enjoy:

20 May 2007: Codger Lodge on Sunday—Because it’s Warmer than the Real World St. Paul!

Cyber Codger Lodge, 20 May 2007 ©2007 New CodgersThis fine Sunday morning, we are enjoying our fine porcelain, not china, but made in China, Codger Collectible Mug filled to the brim with organically & shade-grown, fair-trade, Sumatran-roast coffee, at our respective homes. Medford, as usual, is here at my back porch where Pruett’s informs us it is 43ºF, and our lens-assisted eyes tell us it is cloudy.

Not so at the Cyber-Lodge! It is a sunny 72ºF, with a light breeze off the cyber Lake Superior (at the real Lake Superior, at Knife River, where we have placed our Lodge, it is a very brisk 30ºF & partly cloudy—[[shudder]]). So, why wouldn’t we hang out here—at least for this post?

Again today—since we have little else to post about—at least that we WANT to post about, we’ll regale you with a couple more new or modified photo-graphic combinations.

The first is a modified Cyber Codger Lodge full view, at the top of this post. It features a docked Pegasus II, the crew, Codger-Mascot Daisy, and Carl’s smoker/barbeque, in which Carl is preparing a fine meal for later in the day.

The second, below, is a close-up of the same photo-graphic. This features our custom Codger characters up-close & personal (note another replica Pruett’s Pig Powders thermometer over my shoulder)!

And finally, this is a new big map of our little corner of cyberspace. This details character Maggie Florida’s new home (the former Cyber-Codger Lodge), and the new Cyber Codger Lodge.

Lodge Close-up & Cyber-Map ©2007 New Codgers

Danger Bay—Episode 32—Sarah’s Adventure—Conclusion

Episode 31

By Sarah CooperCooper’s 12 Nov 07 ©2007 New Codgers

As you may remember from our earlier post (Episode 28), I was telling Ines about my Poofing-and-Popping adventure.We’d just gotten to the good part when there was a (not so) surprise cliffhanger ending.

As we left off last time, I was telling Ines about how I *Popped* into a parking lot full of motorcycles.I could hear blues music and was just beginning to realize where I was when suddenly *POP!* — someone else suddenly appeared in the parking lot!

“Well?” asked Ines.“Who was it?”

“You’ll never believe this, Ines!” I said.“It was … Bob Carney!”

I thought Ines was going to fall over, she was so surprised.She looked at me with her mouth hanging open for a second, and then said:

“Well?What did he say?”

I laughed a little and continued my story.

“At first he looked totally flabbergasted!He wondered how he got there, what was going on … but you know, he’s a regular reader of Danger Bay, so it only took him a minute to decide to just go with it and see what happened.”

Ines giggled and nodded.Yep, she knew the feeling.

Iron Horse 12 Nov 07 ©2007 New CodgersSo Bob and I decided to go inside and see what was going on.We walked up to the building and noticed it said The Iron Horse across the front of it.That’s what we thought!!We’d learned about it through Active Rain, because …

Ines guessed it, “LYSA!

Yes, there was Lysa Napolitano, RIGHT THERE in front of us!How likely were we to just POOF and POP right into her territory!She gave us a great big hug and introduced us to her friends.

It seems that we were just in time for a big event. A HUGE group of bikers was about to leave that morning from Daytona to Danger Bay, on a fund raising ride called “Iron Butts for Boobs”.It was to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness. And yes, we got to ride back with them!

Ines was so excited!She wanted to know, asking, “Bob and Lysa?Are they HERE, in Danger Bay?Now?”

“But of course!” I replied.Cooper’s 12 Nov 07 ©2007 New Codgers

At that moment they walked through the doorway with huge smiles on their faces.There were hugs all around and we realized there was something very special about having our Active Rain friends here with us in Danger Bay at this very special time …

We saw the lights were still burning across the road at Silverthorn’s Café. I could see Maggie Dokic in the window of the café, so we all went over.

Ines went in first, with me following closely behind.

Hey everyone…” Ines began.

Silverthorn’s Café 12 Nov 07 ©2007 New CodgersAnd I finished: “…Look who’s arrived in Danger Bay!

Everyone turned to look, and as the shadowy figures entered the light of the room they saw Bob & Lysa.

Maggie’s wide smile became wider as she rushed over to greet her AR colleagues and friends. A full-blown party was just beginning when:

Plenty of time for this after we get under way!” Captain Molly said in her outdoor voice, but with a big smile as well, “Lets finish up, and meet at the Sparrow in the morning!

To Be CONTINUED…Getting Underway

Danger Bay—Episode 31—Ports-of-Call!

By Jay Merton

Yes, Gentle Readers, I DO still write on this blog! I asked Boomer to handle the political posts of the past week or so, but now it’s back to Danger Bay!

We have two story lines running concurrently: the tale of Sarah Cooper’s adventure in cyberspace (written by Sarah), and the planning for the Sparrows longest voyage, written by Boomer & I. Sarah’s adventure will conclude on Monday, Nov 12 (that’s RIGHT, Monday), and the voyage planning line will end today.

If you’ve never read our Danger Bay Stories, and don’t mind cheesy melodramas, take the time to visit “Danger Bay Episodes,” where you will find links for the entire series in easier to follow chronological order.

Silverthorn’s Episode 30 & 31 ©2007 New CodgersNow, for today’s episode:

We find our heroes at Hiram Silverthorn’s café. From left to right: Sam (behind the counter); Maggie Dokic, MV Sparrow’s business manager; Sam’s father, Hiram Silverthorn; MV Sparrow’s first Officer, Trigg Guudlender; Sparrow’s Captain, Molly Halloran and the Sparrow’s chef & pilot, Mac McIntyre. They continue to plan:

From Episode 30:

“We’ll close the village until we return,” Hiram said, “this IS cyberspace, and we can do that!”

Continued today:

“I should have known that,” Molly, slapping her forehead in a “well-duh” manner said, “I live in cyberspace, I knew that!”

“As it stands now,” Trigg looking at the draft itinerary, “we don’t yet have any ports-of-call along the chain of big lakes, or the Seaway. Our first port-of-call is Gales Ferry on the Thames River off Long Island Sound in Connecticut.”

“Hey, that’s near Ledyard,” Carl rumbled, smiling wide indeed, “we can visit…”

“…We sure can,” Maggie interrupted, with an even wider smile, “I can’t wait!”

“If you will let me continue,” Trigg interjected, with just a hint of irritation, “after that, we are scheduled to visit Chesapeake Bay, and even motor up the Potomac River.”

Wow,” Hiram exclaimed, “lots of history there!”

“From there,” Trigg continued, “we’ll make ports-of-call at Daytona Beach and Miami.”

Just then, the door to the café burst open and Sarah & Ines arrived, just a little out of breath.

Hey everyone…” Ines began.

And Sarah finished: “…Look who’s arrived in Danger Bay!

Everyone turned to look, and as the shadowy figures entered the light of the room they saw…


Danger Bay—Episode 29—Preparations…

Silverthorn’s Preparations ©2007 New Codgers

…for Sparrow’s longest voyage! Story inspired by Bob Carney.

By Jay Merton

At the same time Sarah Cooper was telling Ines Hegedus-Garcia of her adventure, directly across the road at Silverthorn’s Café were gathered: Sam (behind the counter), his father Hiram Silverthorn, Sparrow First Officer Trigg Guudlender, Captain Molly Halloran and Chef & Pilot Mac McIntyre.

“Mac,” Hiram said looking at Mac’s right hand, “your knuckles look a little scuffed.”

“Ummm, yeah, they are,” Mac said quietly.

“Well?” Trigg, with a large smile, encouraged.

“I’d rather not say,” Mac rumbled.

MAC!” Molly said ominously, “I think you’d better explain yourself.”

“I, ummm,” Mac began, “had a little chat with Big A, outside Swigs.”

“And—the knuckles?” Trigg asked.

“I got in the last word, I guess.”

“So, what brings you all in here this time of night?” Hiram queried, “Besides Mac’s knuckles.”

“We’re working out some of the details,” Trigg smiled, “of our longest voyage.”

“Really?” Hiram replied, “Where to?”

“First, we’ll visit all the Big Lakes,” said Molly.

“And then,” Mac added rumbling, “traverse the seaway to the North Atlantic.”

“Where will this voyage end?” asked Sam.

“We’ll hug the Eastern Seaboard of the States,” Trigg continued.

“Making stops along the way.” Mac added, smiling.

“Along the way to where?” Hiram insisted.

Miami!” Molly answered with gusto.


Danger Bay—Episode 28—Sarah’s Adventure in Cyberspace

Story by Sarah Cooper (of ActiveRain and under construction, TheCooper’s General Store ©2007 New Codgers Putnam Scoop)

(Takes place just following the events of Episode 27)

Ines hears all kinds of stories as she pours the drinks over at Swigs, and I’m sure a lot of them are just tall tales. I had to tell her where I’d been, but I worried she’d never believe me, even though it’s true! After the excitement at Swigs, she left the bar in the capable hands of “The Codger” and met me at my store.

Well, through the magic of cyberspace, I’ll take you back in time and let you listen in to what I had to tell her. You may judge for yourself whether or not my story is true.

“Ines,” I started, “I have to talk about what happened. You might think I’m crazy, but I have quite a story for you, and I swear it’s true!

“You have me all excited,” Ines said, “to hear of your adventure.”

“I was just minding my own business, when suddenly … I heard ‘POOF!’ there was a flash of light and … I just didn’t feel the same, and then ‘POP’. ‘WOW! What was that?! Where am I???’ The sun was too bright, and with the warm, humid breeze I knew I just wasn’t in Kansas—er—Danger Bay anymore.”

“I looked around and saw I was standing in a gravel parking lot. Wow. This ‘POOFING & POPPING’ thing could take some getting used to.”

“I realized I needed to find out where I was and figure out WHY I was there. Then I noticed something weird about the parking lot. It was full of nothing but motorcycles. Motorcycles were everywhere! I’d never seen so many at one time. That was kind of suspicious. It made me think of someplace, but I couldn’t quite put a name to it.”

“I needed a place to sit down for a minute to clear my head. This whole ‘POOFING’ business can be hard on a girl. I decided I’d head for the building at the end of the parking lot. And hey, how come I didn’t notice that music earlier? Do I hear someone singing the blues??”


“Suddenly, I knew exactly where I was.”

“OK girl,” Ines said with anticipation, “go on!”

“But right then, right at the very moment of my revelation,” I continued, “I heard a ‘POP!’ and saw a flash of light.”

“Someone else ‘POPPED’ in?” she asked.

“Yes, Ines! Someone else got ‘POPPED’ into the same parking lot as me, just a couple minutes later! I couldn’t believe the coincidence myself. But it got even stranger.”

“As my vision cleared, I was even more shocked than ever. It was someone I knew! No, not from Danger Bay, from Active Rain! Girl, let me tell you …”


Danger Bay—Episode 27—Swigs (continued)!

Story By Ines Hegedus-GarciaImage of “swigs!” ©2007 New Codger

From Episode 25: “…and Mac sensing things were about to get out of hand, was just turning to face Big A, when he was hit by a well-aimed beer mug…”

Mac, stunned, grabbed the table-top and was shaking his head trying to recover from the unprovoked attack, and I was incensed that such a thing could happen in my place, much less in Danger Bay. I ran to intercept Simpson who was moving towards Mac:

Whoa – whoa gentlemen!” I said very firmly, “there will be no beer spilling within the confinements of my bar!”

Hey lady,” Simpson said loudly, “Butt out! This is none of your business!”

Have you totally lost your mind?” I said, standing directly in front of Simpson, looking defiantly up into his face, “I don’t know about the rest of Danger Bay but you are no longer welcomed at Swigs!

Molly, rightly sensing I might need a little support moved quickly towards me while calling out, “Hy, Sam, Trigg, Lar—c’mon! Ines needs our help!

Even Sarah, her eyes flashing, ran over to help, as Molly continued, “Let’s escort Big A to the door!”

Surprisingly enough, Simpson allowed himself to be escorted outside without resisting.

Mayor Gamboge standing there shaking his head said “Ines, this cannot be good for business.”

“I’ve never liked that guy from the first time I laid eyes on him,” I replied, “I was waiting for an excuse to banish him from Swigs. Now to celebrate! Drinks for everyone – on the house!

No one noticed that Mac had left Swigs until we heard what sounded like a scuffle outside. It was over as quick as it started, and Mac returned, his large face decorated with an even larger grin.Image Smilin’ Mac ©2007 New Codgers

Hmmm—wonder why he’s so happy—oh never mind, I think I know!


Danger Bay—Episode 26—Swigs!

By Molly HalloranImage of Swigs

This episode takes place after “Return to the Real World—Old Men & Coffee Shops” (a continuation of Episode 25).

Today we find the following folks of Danger Bay gathered that evening for a little relaxation at “swigs!” bar: at the tables – MV Sparrow crew members Trigg Guudlender (1st Officer), Molly Halloran (Captain), Mac McIntyre (Chef), Sam Silverthorn & Medlar Farkleberry. Along the bar – Hy Silverthorn, the “Codger” (bartending), Mayor George Gamboge & “Big A” (the heck is He doing here?), Swigs owner Ines, and Sarah, prodigal owner of Cooper’s General Store.

“Sarah,” Ines, with a wary eye cast on Big A at the bar, greeted her friend, “Welcome home! Where have you been? We’ve missed you.”

“Oh Ines,” Sarah replied, “How long have I been gone? I have had…” Sarah’s narrative of her adventure was cut short (her absence was noted in Episode 21, bet you didn’t even notice that) by the raspy voice of Big A, and delaying the telling of Sarah’s story:

“Over there, Gamboge,” Big A Simpson snorted to his one-time supporter, “we see the rag-tag crew of the Sparrow drinkin’ their Shirley Temples.”

The Sparrow crew members who were chatting about their recent successful voyage to “Blackfish Bay” became silent as they realized Simpson was talking about them.

“Hey Al,” Gamboge said, “c’mon man don’t start anything here.”

“I ain’t startin’ nothing,” Simpson continued, sounding a little drunk (after one Appletini???), “I’m just saying what I think, and what I think is, over there sits the sorriest crew of any boat on Big Lake! Imagine a first officer whose banking experience got him the job…”

Trigg stiffened at the insult, but Mac murmured quietly: “Take it easy, Trigg, they’re only words spewed by a drunk.”

“And that big old man,” Simpson, warming to his rant continued, “who couldn’t get a job at a fast-food joint, is their chef!

“Ignore him,” Mac said quietly not really believing his own words, “he’ll settle down soon if we don’t react.”


OK Gentle Reader, I admit it—I was majorly pissed (can I say that?) and Mac, sensing thing were about to get out of hand, was just turning to face Big A, when he was hit by a well-aimed beer mug…


The Codgers discuss Danger Bay at the Café (Tuesday)

Codgers at Joe’s ©2007 New Codgers

As Boomer & I ambled from his house over to Joe’s Café for our almost daily meeting, we were greeted by a temperature of 58ºF, at least according to Boomer’s replica “Pruett’s Pig Powders” thermometer, and we could clearly tell that the sky was cloudy..

We couldn’t help but notice there was something missing from in front of the café, and we were pleased – no stretch limo. Apparently Boomer’s block worked just fine.

As we entered Joe’s and made our way to the counter, the guys were already enjoying their “Danger Bay Collectible Mugs” of organically & shade-grown, fair trade, Guatemalan-roast coffee.

“G’mornin’ Carl, Fred,” I greeted as we sat at the counter, “howyall doing?”

“Morning, Jay, Boomer,” rumbled Carl as he placed his mug on the counter, “s’bout time you guys got here, Joe’s about out of coffee!”

Josef Rusicka, poured us each a mug of his fine “elixir of the gods” to help fire up our remaining brain synapses and cause them to begin firing. Rusicka is, like many in St. Paul’s “West End,” or “West 7th” neighborhood, of Czech descent, his family having crossed the pond in 1887.

“So, we’re taking a break from Danger Bay?” Fred asked, “You’re only going to post on Fridays?”

“I like it,” Carl chimed in (as if his baritone voice could “chime”), “Where are we headed there?”

“I think we’re not done with ‘Big A’ and his antics, yet,” Boomer suggested, “and I think it’s time to get some of our namesake characters involved in the story.”

“Who do you have in mind?” Fred asked.

“Perhaps Ines,” I said, with just the hint of a sly smile, “and ‘swigs!’”

Does this strike chord with you, Gentle Reader(s)?

Posting Comment Disclaimer

Danger Bay—Episode 25A—the Return!

By Molly Halloran

From Episode 24:

“How about this?” Boomer queried, and then:

Images Episode 24

As suddenly as they left, Hiram & Hy “POPPED” back in to Silverthorn’s Café. Both looked a trifle disoriented, you would too if you were suddenly and without warning “POOFED & POPPED,” trust me on this.

“I feel dizzy,” Hy said with a weak voice, “and my whole body feels as though it’s been torn apart.”

“Welcome back gentlemen,” Jay greeted, “Feeling a bit stretched, are we?”

“My head aches,” Hiram said rubbing his forehead, “and my arms hurt. What happened?”

“We just corrected your appearance,” Boomer smiled, “Quit complaining and look at yourselves.”

“And provided the accessories you requested for the café.” Jay added, pointing to the napkin holders and the salt & pepper shakers.

“OK, I’m happy,” Hiram, now recovering from his experience, “but still hurting some.”

“Change is often a bit painful,” Boomer replied, “one must be careful of what one asks.”

“We must return to the Real World,” Jay announced, “and make sure no further cyber-encroachments into RW by cyber-folk are possible.”

“Already done, Jay,” Boomer replied, “Our return will end THAT phenomenon. I’ve installed a block preventing cyber-folk from entering the Real World.”

“S’long folks,” Jay said, “We will be back from time-to-time.”

“I’m glad that’s over,” Jay whispered to Boomer as they departed. He was wrong.


Image Big A in the Real World