Movin' them dogies on the Cattle Drive
by Carol Murphy

I just blinked and suddenly it's October. Time to ride on out and check up on the progress of our cowpokes.

Riding back along the trail, the first driver I can spot is Juliane Gross. She's moving her little bit of the herd through Servlet territory. I think she's over there on Servlets 3a. Funny I didn't spot her before this, but then, I kinda had my head down. (More on that later.)

Let's see, there's a dust cloud just over the horizon. Somebody must be ridin' hard and fast. Wonder if it's one of our drivers? We'll just mosey on over and have a look. Yep, it's Tom Henner, who has been positively prolific punchin' them doggies, ( no, no cows were actually assaulted ) and recently bagged his first Moose Head for completing the first 8 assignments. Don't think he even stopped to water his horse before movin' on to the next part of the trail. He's currently rounding up strays in Oop2 country.

Dav McCartney is lurking around these parts as well, but he hasn't been spotted since July, so it's possible he's holed up somewheres takin' a wee break. Maybe we'll pass him a bit later.

Working my way back up the trail, I can just see Tommy Leak and John Cooper way over yonder. They're both stuck in the badlands better known as Say 4b. Don't think I'll ride over to say Hi, though, too many bad memories. We'll get in touch when they find a way out of there!

Now, according to my map, we should be coming up on one of our newer drivers, Barb Rudnick. She started the drive back in July, and her last known position was Assignment 3. Have to keep a sharp eye out and see if I can spot her somewhere along here. Also have to keep an eye out for Patrick van Zandbeek and Daniel Hyslop. They're our 2 newest buckaroos, and they should be around here somewhere. Patrick last checked in at Assignment 3, and Daniel, a cowboy from the UK, is close behind working on 1b, last I heard. Let's give them a hearty welcome, and be on the lookout for these two, just in case they need a little help along the trail.

Speaking of help, yours truly would like to thank all those who came to her aid in recent days. As mentioned in the last edition, I have been tossing around the idea of getting back in the saddle and going after the new versions of the Servlet assignments using JSP. I finally screwed up the courage and took the plunge. Yes, the Village Idiot rides again.

If anybody is feeling discouraged about their progress on the drive, please check out any one of my recent posts in the Cattle Drive forum. Baby, if I can do this, anybody can do this. I would like to thank specifically Michael Ernest, Marilyn de Queiroz, and Kristin Stromberg for their help, without which I would probably have hacked my monitor to pieces with a hatchet by now.

After riding into many a box canyon, and dead-end paths, I have finally rounded up enough strays to submit a working version of Servlets 3a. Me and my over-worked cowpony are resting up awaiting the results of the nit-picking.

Anybody who has completed the original Servlet assignments is hereby challenged by me, the Village Idiot, to go back and do the assignments in their current form. I double-dog dare you.

Well, I think that's about it for this update of the Cattle Drive. I'm gonna hunker down by the camp fire and reflect upon the beauty of the night sky.

See ya' on the trail!