The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

Volume 1, Issue 2
April / May, 1992 C.E.

Table Of Contents:

  1. The GWAM Report
  2. CC Financial Report
  3. Anyone for Climbing?
  4. CC Goes Big Basin To The Sea
  5. March General Meeting Minutes
  6. Sailing on the Monterey Bay (seperate flyer inserted into The Crier)
  7. Castle Survey
  8. Calendar of Events

The GWAM Report

by Lance McVay

ello again! Well, we made it. Life here at the home office has been incredibly busy so my apologies for the delay in sending out this, the second newsletter.

Things are going very well. Your enthusiasm to get things rolling has led to a great deal of activity. We just completed a successful Big Basin to the Sea trip, we have the Easter Egg Treasure Hunt at Boomeria in two days, we have an upcoming historical tour of a local cemetery, a sailing trip in Monterey Bay, a climbing class, a railroad trip, a movie screening (we hope), and a group reading of the book of Revelations. Whew! Lot's to do! This means we here at the home office are in quite a frenzy, but we like it, REALLY! Please don't let our chaos dissuade you from swamping us with even better and bigger suggestions for activities and/or fund raisers.

The Castle Corps encourages the following traits wherever they are encountered:
Respect For Others
Unbounded Imagination

There have been some great suggestions and questions coming in so keep them coming. One member requested a report on our financial status, so...'tis done. Another member had some concerns about ghost hunting, and there was a great deal of discussion concerning "what's next now that we have enthusiasm and organization behind our ideas?". This is great stuff. Please write us (the newsletter staff) so we can address these con-cerns on an individual basis. I'm sure we'd all like to hear everyone's concerns and ideas.

Oh! I almost forgot; one of our members from Felton, California, (Mr. Darin Edmund Gossett) is currently in the UK somewhere. Hello Darin! Hope all is well. Now back to business.

We received wonderful responses from the first newsletter. We're glad you liked it. It brought in a few new members and their dues helped cover the cost of printing. Hurrah! Let's hope this continues. This brings up two topics, dues and the next newsletters.

First...dues. Needless to say we need them. We have enclosed a list of those who have not contacted me yet, so please, check the list and see if you're there. If you are, please contact me. We really need the money if you have it, if not, just let me know and it's OK, we just need to know your intent.

Concerning the next newsletters. Well, it seems we may have some difficulty. There is the greatest of probabil-ities that we will soon be unable to access the technology we currently use. This means it will be a bit more difficult to get these out to you folks on time. So if the next newsletter isn't quite "up to snuff``, don't be shocked. We will try to let our creativity compensate, so be prepared. We will let you know as we progress. We would still like articles from you, the mass-es, so start brainstorming. How about an article from Germany on the reunification? Eike, Ulli, Brigitte, how 'bout it? We'd real-ly like some good, meaty KNOWLEDGE stuff. Share what you know. We want to hear it!

Now, the important stuff: Where do we go next? I think at this point it is important to remind us all exactly how it is we try to do things and what we're shooting for. We all know about the castle (our LONG-term goal), but this is kind of hard to explain to people who ask what we are. So, for your convenience, buried in each issue is 'The Official Blurb". There we state a summary of our goals and basic principles we follow to achieve them. We call it the "Charter" and it is really the heart of the Castle Corps. So if you're ever wondering what we're doing or trying to figure out what we're look-ing for in activities, or someone asks you what we're all about, re-read the Charter, it may help. I will give it to you now for easy reading and in the future it will always be in "The Official Blurb". So, here it is, the one, the only... DUM DA DA (bugle blast):


The Castle Corps is an informal club of world citizens dedicated to the joy of life and pursuit of knowledge. We are dedicated to human eq, mlity and the dignity and appreciation of all life. The Castle Corps believes in taking positive steps towards achieving ideals based on personal dreams and the well being of the world community. We promote communication and interaction both among our members and in the world around us. The Castle Corps. encourages the following traits wherever they are encountered: Honesty, Selflessness, Respect for others, Creativity, Inquisitiveness, Happiness, and Unbounded hnaginalion.

So... there it is, there we are, and here we go. Let this be the basis for our direction and a focus for our enthusiasm. There are no limits, only goals, and only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible!


CC Financial Report

by Lance McVay

his financial report is accurate as of April 17, 1992 C.E. (12:10 AM, Pacific Standard Time).

For those of you wondering where those Castle Corps funds go to and come from, we have, for your convenience, at no extra charge to you, created this, the OFFICIAL CASTLE CORPS FINANCIAL REPORT. We hope it is to your liking.

We are currently looking into various possibilities for opening accounts and have recently purchased (just this very evening in fact) a ledger. Anyone, at any time, upon request, is welcome to examine the ledger and receipts.

Paid Dues: 16 people @ $20.00 each 320.00  
Partially Paid Dues 6.00  
Big Basin to the Sea Hike & Bike donations 26.00  
$ 352.00  
Campsites (2) for Big Basin to Sea Hike 14.00  
Food for Big Basin to Sea Hike & Bike 19.91  
Postage for international newsletters 2.37  
Postage for returned newsletters (Germany) 4.33  
Postage for March newsletters 11.60  
Plastic Easter Eggs for Easter Egg Treasure Hunt 5.57  
Candy for Easter Egg Treasure Hunt 4.51  
Prizes for Easter Egg Treasure Hunt 9.66  
More Prizes for Easter Egg Treasure Hunt 1.25  
Copies for Easter Egg Treasure Hunt flyer 2.22  
Building supplies for shed $25.00  
Payback Amy Shivers for newsletter copies 10.00  
Strongbox 29.17  
Ledger for CC accounting 4.28  


...Which, ladies and gentlemen is EXACTLY how much much we have in the strongbox! (WHEW!)


Anyone For Climbing?

by Craig Polson

ou've seen them... darting about on the sand and rocks, their cold eyes staring blankly from atop an old weathered retaining wall or fence post... tiny flanks pulsating, head cocked to one side; then FLASH!... with amazing dexterity they scale an impossible surface while fleeing from the Slow-But-None-The-Less-Perilous-Big-Giant-Lizard-Killing-Bad-Scary-Thing (i.e., you) which looms now over head, bringing doom in the form of an old empty mayonnaise jar to all reptiles unwary and unquick! Dang, but them lizards're good at scaling impossible surfaces, ain't they!

Now you, too, can scale impossible surfaces.., or at least get scared and look funny at the same time! If any of you Corps members are interested, I (and probably at least one other rock-dude) would be happy to introduce neophytes and not-so-neophytes to the world of technical rock climbing. It's a lot of fun and you don't have to climb big scary things to have a good time, either (just ask Mr. Lizard). I have taught several people the basics of safe climbing, and I know some good, not too intimidating beginning climbs up at Castle Rock State Park (half way between Boulder Creek and Saratoga off of Hwy. 9). Also, having professionally sat inert on my butt for the past five or six years, I'm not really in prime climbing condition and I don't plan on killing myself.., which means most people are probably safe from overexertion, too, so fear not!

I want to reiterate that the emphasis would be on learning & practicing the basics: types of handholds and footholds, basic rules of climbing, basic climbing equipment, trust of equipment, rappelling, maybe even a knot or two for those so inclined (NOT declined or reclined, 'though maybe Patsy Clined)... and having fun (safely)! All climbers will be roped and nobody will have to do anything they don't really want to do... well, not really. But best of all, you get to spend an entire afternoon entertained by my degenerative humor and acerbic wit! Now how much would you pay? $25.00? $35.00? Even $50.00!?! Actually, a couple of local climbing shops teach the same material for about thirty bucks, so... WHAT A DEAL! A THIRTY DOLLAR VALUE (INCLUDING MELON SLICER AND VEGETABLE PEELER AND ACERBIC WIT) ABSOLUTELY FREE!!! I tell ya, that $20 for dues is getting to be a heckuva deal!

Speaking of which, this is free to all Corps Members able to get to central California, of course, but non-members could probably hitch along for a nominal donation to our cause. If anyone from across the Atlantic cares to show up for this event, I guarantee I'll make room for them in the group... plus, I promise to give them a free ride in my pickup truck (in the front) as a special bonus incentive! Gosh, what are you waiting for?

If anyone's interested in trying out something new, or maybe re-trying something not quite so new, let's make a day out of it! I'd like to get at least a couple people to sign up to make the trip worth while and more fun. Feel free to contact me at (408) 335-2227 (I have an answering machine) or call Lance at... well, y'all know his number!

Take care, people of the Corps!

PS: Climbing skills learned here could prove useful when and if the CC takes a trip to Yosemite!

PPS: My apologies to our European Members (or any others, as appropriate) upon whom much of the above humor may have been lost, but I would like to assure our beloved members across the seas (or any others, as appropriate) that the above mentioned humor was indeed just as uninspired and ill conceived as it appears to be. By y'all.


CC Goes Big Basin To The Sea

by Lance McVay

t 12:00 noon on April 4th five brave souls climbed into the back of Craig Polson's pickup truck and began their journey into the great wilderness of Big Basin, California's first state park. At approximately 1:00 PM that same day they packed up their bags and disappeared into the deep, redwood undergrowth, not to be seen for another 26 hours, earth time. Thus began the long awaited Castle Corps Big Basin to the Sea Hike and Bike Trip. Those disappearing into the aforementioned redwoods were Lyle Troxell, Ken Erez, Derrick Psaros, Noah Gilbert, and Gaela Wagner.

The next day eight equally courageous daredevils challenged the twisting back roads of Old Gazos Creek Road, a dirt road that winds its way from Big Basin Headquarters to the sea and ends just 6 miles north of the final destination of their hiking counterparts. Those riding were: myself, Ken Laws, Francie and Alicia Dayton, Trish (Mad-Dog) Fisher, Cris Moreno, Renee Garcia, and Tony (Mr. Fitness) Root.

All kidding aside, it was a beautiful trip. We were a little concerned that the hikers had forgotten to set their watches forward for Daylight Savings Time and arrive an hour late at their destination, but heck, there wasn't a whole lot we could do about it so... oh well. The Gazos Creek ride was about 33km to the coast and then another 13.2kin on HWY 1 south to our rendezvous with the hikers. Other than a minor crash involving the Flying Dayton Sisters, (well...OK...maybe not so minor), the ride went remarkably well. We arrived at our destination on time and found Dan Richey and Amy Shivers with return transportation, food, drink and the long lost hikers, all of whom seemed to enjoy the trip.

Thank you to all who helped and participated. I'm sure we'll do a repeat trip in the future.


March General Meeting Minutes

by Amy Shivers

ello from the desk of Amy Shivers, Most Honorable Recorder of Fellowship Events (i.e., CC Secretary). Here is a basic run down of the minutes for the general meeting held on Tuesday March 10, 1992 at CC Shedquarters (well, really Lance's house). The meeting began at 7 p.m. with the following in attendance: Lyle Troxell, Crystal Phoenix, Kusum McPherson, Noah Gilbert, Spring Gordon, Craig Polson, Troy Beckwith, Ken Laws, Trish Fisher, Amy Shivers, Cris Moreno and Lance McVay.

  • First order of business was the discussion of a 10-acre plot of land in the Sierra Foothills near Yosemite that Lance is looking into which could be used for CC campsites or other facilities in the future. Keep you fingers crossed for success.
  • The first Castle Crier (official newsletter CC) came together well. Thanks to everyone for their good work.
  • Shedquarters is under continuous refinements. The interior is mostly wired for power. There still needs to be some work done to hook it up with the circuit breaker in the garage, and a small expenditure made with CC funds for electrical wiring & some conduit (about $25.00). This was voted on and approved by attending members.
  • Two candidates for honorary membership were discussed: Preston Boomer, local science and eccestriccity icon; and Ed Schell, voluntary emergency services authority, a.k.a.: the Disaster Guru (please note that they are both currently on the roster pending approval). The terms of honorary membership in general were discussed, see "The Official Blurb" in this newsletter for details. Voting on their official induction will be at the April 14th General Meeting.
  • Summer Events: Darin Gosset is off to the British Isles (congrats to Darin for graduating as a civil engineer from Cal Poly!!!!). Patrick Muti is now in England. Patrick, please write to us! Cris Moreno will be in Peru at the end of the summer. Kusum McPherson & Spring Gordon are having a guest from Germany.
  • Birthdays in March: 19th Lyle, 20th Derrick, 21st Ken. Happy B-day everyone!
  • The possibility of another Live "Dungeons & Dragons" was discussed (for those who don't know what one is, watch for a future article on the subject). This time maybe a Town Adventure at Boomer's with paying players and encounters.
  • Slug-a-thon gaming convention April 25th in Santa Cruz was discussed again. Nothing was decided for the CC, but it should be fun (see calendar of events).
  • Big Basin to the Sea Hike & Bike April 4th & 5th (see calendar of events). Hike the trail in two days (there is a New Moon so it should be a great star watching night) or bike it in one day. We'll have a campfire or tailgate party at end of the trail at the beach. Lance is coordinating, call him for more info.
  • Pacific Locomotive Association (non-profit) in Fremont, CA. which owns and operates the Niles Canyon Railway is always looking for volunteers (or new members) for laying track, working on steam engines, and performing the other duties of running a railroad. They offer free train fides on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month. The possibility of either going up in a group to work on the track crew, or at least go for a train ride, were discussed as potential CC functions. If you'd like details ask Craig.
  • The possibility of a 5 day CC trip in the summer was discussed. Some ideas: Yellowstone, Lavabeds, Shasta Lake, etc.
  • We'll be having some sailing trips in Monterey Bay for CC members (yeah!) courtesy of CC members David Rummins and Joan McVay (our hearty thanks to both)! These would be classy 4-5 person excursions which will be discussed in more detail in the future.
  • Lyle Troxell reminds us that local events are good too. Volleyball at the beach will be starting soon.
  • Cris Moreno, being Commissioner of Fund Raising, has some ideas to be considered: Flea Market, Live D&D, Frisbee Golf, our own gaming convention. New ideas should be referred to Cris.
  • Lance mentioned firehouses as a meeting site if meetings get too large for his living room... I mean, Shedquarters.
  • The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday April 14th. (Actually, the next Castle Corps General Meeting will be on May 12th, since the April meeting is over. Minutes of the April Meeting will be in the next issue...I hope...Ed.).

A special note about the March Castle Corps meeting is that everyone helped with dinner. We had a Barbecue and Ken Laws was a great chef. Tasty and fun. We even had brownies. Thanks for your participation. See you next time.



Castle Survey

by Amy Shivers

elcome to the first correspondence with the 'acting' Castle Commissioner. My name is Amy Shivers and I'm pleased to have been charged with the task of organizing the Castle Corps member's ideas regarding the CASTLE. To help me get a feel for your thoughts and images I would really love to talk to each one of you individually.

Two things can be done. First, you could give me a call when you've given yourself time to think about the castle. My number is (408) 338-6952, just ask for Amy.

Second, which can actually assist with the first, is this questionnaire I've constructed to get you thinking. Please take the time to read this and fill in the blanks with as many thoughts as pop into your head. If I've not allowed enough room in any particular area DON'T let that stop you! Draw pictures, cut out magazine photographs, quote visions from movies, most importantly think. What do YOU want on this dream land? Don't worry about how it will fit in with the others ideas. What have you always wished for? Put it down on paper and let's share in making it a reality.

TERRAIN: (i.e., woods, plains, trees, ponds, wheat field, waterfall, cliffs, etc.) What do you imagine?

STRUCTURAL: (i.e., mansion, fortress, keep, towers, walls, windows, gates, catacombs, etc.) Where do you live in your dreams?

GROUNDS: (i.e., rose garden, vegetable garden, pebble-lined paths, ivy, etc.) How does your garden grow?

FACILITIES: (i.e., stables, convention hall, baseball field, ball room, open-air amphitheater, pool, pool table, tennis courts, beds enough to sleep twenty people, individual living quarters, music studio, film editing room, library, etc.) What would you like to do today?

Remember to include drawings if you like. I can't wait to hear from you!

Have fun with this. I did.

Please complete and return to Castle Survey, c/o The Castle Corps, 180 Woodston Way, Ben Lomond, CA 95005 Remember, before you mail this, the calendar of events is on the other side of this page, so make a copy or something!

April / May 1992 CE
Activity Contact (see roster)

Royal Boomerian Easter Egg Treasure Hunt
12:00 PM at Boomer's Castle

Lance McVay

"Slug-A-Thon" Gaming Convention
12:00 PM at Boomer's Castle

Crystal Phoenix

Officer's Meeting
7:00 PM, Shedquarters

Any Officer

Tour of Historical Graves at Hervey West Cemetary
4:00 PM to around 5:30 PM, Harvey West Cemetary

Lyle Troxell

May General Meeting
7:00 PM, Boomeria Crew's Quarters

Any Officer
16 or 17

Sailing on Monterey Bay
By reservation ONLY, call Lance for further info.

Lance McVay

Officer's Meeting
7:00 PM, Shedquarters

Any Officer

Basic Rock Climbing Class
By reservation ONLY, call Craig for further info.

Craig Polson


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