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Sun, May. 29th, 2016, 10:35 pm
Up Dated

Well as of today we are operating with Windows 10 on our desktop computer.  I'd been seeing the notices for a free up grade but haven't been all that anxious to go for it.  I'm still getting used to 7 which was new a couple of years ago when we got this unit.  Took me quite a while to learn it's intricities as compared to the older versions we'd had before.  However, today we got upgraded automatically... I hadn't requested it or agreed... it just happened.  Glad I wasn't right in the middle of something or pressed for time.  So far it seems that all of my files made it through the conversion, and I've figured out most of the pecularities of the new system.  Probably better in the long run, but as I get older I find I'm more resistant to change, especially change for it's own sake.

In spite of the delays caused by the unscheduled upgrade, I did manage to get the June issue of SASP NEWS completed and sent out to the members.  Still have to print a few hard copies.  I can do that tomorrow, because I won't be able to mail the one or two I send out until Tuesday morning.  If you want to see it, it's on the SASP web-site.  Go to "Newsletters" and click on the month desired. (June 2016)

Planning to go in to work a couple hours later than normal tomorrow.  The club will close early in the afternoon and I want to use the time after members are gone to show one of the new guys how to operate some of the cleaning equipment.  Thus, I'm up and on the computer when I'd normally be in bed and asleep on a Sunday evening.

Watched the biggest portion of "Red Tails" this evening... the story of the Tuskegegee (did I spell it right?) Airmen.  Thought it was well done.  If I have one complaint it would be that none of the pilots flew with their goggles down, ever... even in combat.  I would think that would be a requirement.  Wonder if it was a concession for filming, so we'd be able to see the actors' (charactors') eyes?

B-25 Mitchell bomber, at an airshow in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho a few years ago.  B-17 Flying Fortress in the background.  B-17s figured in to the story told in the film and B-25's were around then too.

Sun, May. 22nd, 2016, 09:40 am
Rainy Sunday

For the latter part of the past week, the weather guessers have been threatening us with rain.  Had a lot of cloudy and windy days, some of which may have had momentary sprinkles or the occasional shower.  Seems that happens so often.  They predict rain and all we get is clouds.

Well yesterday, just as I left to go to my Book Signing, the skies opened up and it poured.  Driving east on the freeway was almost like being in a submarine.  It was one of the few times I've ever had to put my windshield wipers on high speed.  Usually it's raining pretty good if I have to go to low speed.  Normally I'll keep them in the delay mode and adjust the amount of delay.

Got to the store where the signing was to be and discovered that the area had not been set up.  Evidently they were short of staff and just hadn't had the chance.  Even after arriving it was nearly forty-five minutes before they got a table ready for me.  In the mean time I went and got my books off the shelves and set up an impromptu display on a corner of a sales table.  What's interesting to note is that I did better there than I did once I was formally established.

All the way through the signing, I had this nagging thought in my mind, wondering if I had left the truck's lights on.  On the way there I'd noticed I'd turned them on because of the weather, but for the life of me couldn't remember turning them off.  Yes, it's a newer vehicle that should have the bells and whistles to remind me... but I remember arriving and making a made dash to the store to get out of the rain, and thought maybe I'd ignored any cautionary chime.  What a relief to walk out a couple hours later and discover the lights were indeed turned off.

Awoke this morning to the sound of rain, and it looks like it will be here for the day at least.  Figure it will give me some time to get caught up on indoor (computer) stuff.  Won't need to water the yard, and although it needs mowing, won't be able to do that until it dries out.  Mariners game on TV in a hour our so, so I'll watch that and then get busy in the "office" and on the computer.

I finished reading Patrick O'Brian's The Commodore (#17 in the Aubrey/Maturin series) a week or so ago.  Now I'm reading The Wolf of Britannia, a historical novel set in Roman occupied Britain.  I bought it a few weeks ago when I stopped by one of the stores to check on my books and the author was there doing a signing.  I'm not mentioning the name because it has temporarily escaped my memory.  The book is at work so I can't run to find out.  (And while I could look it up via the computer, I can be a bit of a klutz and don't want to lose this before I post it.)  Anyway, the story is intriguing and I'm about a quarter of the way through it.

Photos taken a couple of years ago, but basically what we have outside today!

Sun, May. 8th, 2016, 10:44 am
On a Normal Schedule!

Completed my first week at work on what might be considered a normal schedule! 7:30 am until 4 pm, Monday through Friday!  Great to be able to sleep when my body says I should, and great to be awake when I'm supposed to be.  I can also watch entire ball games in the evening, rather than having to get ready to leave in the second or third inning.

Of course for every up side, there is a down side, and with the new shift, it is that the days seem to drag a bit.  I'm doing the same sort of work, but because it is while the Club is open, I can't just charge ahead and get stuff done.  Quite often I'll want to accomplish a certain task but can't, because members are using a particular facility or location.  And a lot of other things that I was used to doing once and being done with are now recurring tasks.  Clean a certain area and an hour later it needs cleaning again.  There are also times when even when one wants to busy, there is just nothing one can do.

Even with these complications, I'm really glad to be on a real daytime schedule.  It's a lot better than the early morning schedule I had before going to the "graveyard" shift a year and a half ago.  I don't have to go to sleep early in order to be up in the wee hours of the morning.  For now at least (spring/summer) I can drive to and from work in the daylight and not have to use my headlights.  I'm also feeling more alert and people already are saying that I look better.  Hope this will carry over to the creative processes as well.

Mentioned in my last post here that a Travis Yocum had won the signed book giveaway.  Delivered his copies of the Stone Island Sea Stories on Friday.  Hope he enjoys them.

Hoping all the Moms in the world have a great day today. (Daughter took Mom (and me) to dinner Friday evening for an early celebration.)

Island Expedition, principal vessel of the Stone Island Sea Stories

Sun, May. 1st, 2016, 05:20 pm
Book Giveaway Winner!

By a secret process known only to me, a winner in the Signed Book Giveaway celebrating 100 likes on my Facebook Page has been determined.  Congratulations to Travis Yocum of Spokane, WA. USA!  I'll be contacting him to find out how, or to whom he would like the books signed.

Thanks you all who entered.

Sun, Apr. 24th, 2016, 06:01 am
One More Week

Our manager at work has revised the work schedule.  I'll be going to a normal day shift, roughly 8 am until 4 pm.  I've got one more week of working 9 pm until 5 am, and I'm looking forward to being a normal person again.  Well, normal in terms of work hours.

Going to the overnight shift in the fall of 2014 was a challenge and one that I hope I met.  For the most part, I was happy with it.  Usually members and other staff would be there at the start of my "day," and then again as my shift ended.  For the better part of my time, however, I was by myself.  Nice, because I didn't get in anyone's way, nobody got in mine, and I could do things best done when no one was around.  Probably the biggest drawback was that anything I needed to do had to be done during the day... my sleeping time.  If I didn't have to get up in the middle of the day, it wasn't too bad.  I've also realized my ambition and creativity have suffered.  Hopefully they'll pick up once I'm back on a more human schedule.

Sun, Apr. 24th, 2016, 02:22 am
Still Time to Enter

We are into the final six days or so of the Signed Book Giveaway!  Let me know if you'd like a chance to win a signed copy of Beyond the Ocean's Edge: A Stone Island Sea Story and a signed copy of Sailing Dangerous Waters: Another Stone Island Sea Story.  You can comment here, tweet or DM on Twitter, comment, message or post on Facebook, e-mail (if you have my e-address), or otherwise contact me to let me know.  I'm sure there are many in the following_sea and anything_aos communities who would enjoy these Age of Sail/Naval Adventure stories.  (Yes, they do have a slight Science Fiction twist, but the are predominently Age of Sail.)  I'm prepared to ship copies to the winner no matter where in the world they might be.

P.S.  Currently reading The Commodore by Patrick O'Brian.  I'd started out reading Summer Rain by Bob Manion, a fellow member of Spokane Authors and Self-Publishers, but it disappeared from work over the previous weekend.  I'll have to see if I can locate another copy sometime and finish the story.  I'm getting close to my second trip through the Audrey/Maturin series, so it might be time pretty soon to revisit Forester and the Hornblower tales once again.

Sun, Apr. 17th, 2016, 02:43 am

For some time I've watched the "LIKES" for my Facebook Page creep upwards.  A few days ago the "LIKE" count reached 100.  As promised, I'm conducting a Signed Book Giveaway to celebrate!  Details below.
Signed Book Giveaway!
To celebrate my Facebook Page reaching 100 “Likes”
I’m giving away a signed copy of both
Stone Island Sea Stories!
(Science Fiction cleverly disguised as Age of Sail/Naval Adventure)

For a chance to win a package containing both stories and possibly some extra surprises, simply let me know…
Comment on or “message” my Facebook Page
Tweet, reply to, or DM on Twitter
Comment on my Live Journal
E-mail, call, tell me in person, leave me a note, etc.
Please specify you are entering the Giveaway

Entries accepted through the 29th of April
Winner will be announced on April 30 or May 1st.

(Visit www.stoneislandseastories.com for links to my Facebook Page, Twitter Account and Live Journal.)

Sat, Apr. 16th, 2016, 05:19 pm

As of late, nodbear has been featuring poems about pets, or companion animals on the Saturday Poem feature of her journal.  The other day I came across this picture via Twitter (I believe) that should serve to illustrate the overall flavor.  I have no idea of who took the picture so I cannot give appropriate credit.
Not sure of the breed of dog nor what kind of bird it is.  Bird appears to be about the same size as our late He-Lo (Quaker Parrot) although this one seems to have a much shorter tail.  Also, if this feathered critter is anything like He-Lo, you can bet he is the one in charge of this situation.

Wed, Apr. 13th, 2016, 07:34 am
Truckin' Tunes

Well to commemorate last week's passing of Country Ledgend Merle Haggard, I dug out the two CD's I have of his and have been listening to them whenever I drive.  As I was looking for those, I discovered a Red Sovine CD that I bought not that long ago... perhaps while Christmas shopping.  Anyway, I forgot I had it.  So I've been listening to that as well.  If you are unfamiliar with him, he is know for his narration songs... spoken, not sung with a musical background.  He did well several years ago during the CB craze.  Probably his best known "songs" were Teddy Bear, Giddyup-Go, and Phantom 309.  One I recall from my drive home a while ago is called An Angel's Way of Saying Good Bye.  Like so much of his work, sad and poignant.

Sun, Apr. 10th, 2016, 05:20 am
Ambitious? Me?

So the last time I was here, I mentioned the possibility I would trim the shrubs and bushes.  Guess what?  I did just that Saturday afternoon.  Well, I did all but two.  Everything else can be done with the electric hedge trimmers.  The two I passed on usually require use of a hand operated cutter.  Branches, etc are thicker and have to be cut one at a time.  Just didn't have the gumption to do that on this go around.  Maybe something to do next weekend.

Here's a couple pics of the results.  (Maybe I should have taken some "before" photos to allow you to see the changes and improvements more easily.)

Looking from the porch toward the street.  At least now they don't cover half the front walk or spill over to far on the driveway.  The angle is such that it's hard to make out three low bushes and two taller ones.  One of the taller ones used to be shaped into three balls and the other was a spiral.  I've given up on maintaining those shapes.  Instead I'm simply trying to keep them somewhat symmetrical.

Another view of the same ones.  Again, if I'd included "before" pics, the results would be more obvious.

Here you can see the two I did not attempt... the two Scotch Pines on either side of the front window.

As you might guess from the pics, our weather has been great.  Mid 70s during the day for the several days.  If if doesn't rain in the next few days might have to break out the sprinkler for the first time this year.

Continuing with the rare state of ambition, I've made some updates to my web-site, and as well to the Spokane Authors and Self-Publishers web-site.

It's early Sunday morning now, and I'm still up.  Hoping that I will stay up until after the sun arises so that I will be back on schedule for going back to work in the evening.

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