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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.

Fri, Apr. 8th, 2016, 02:47 am
Loving the Time Off!

Today marks the last actual day of my vacation.  Of course I still have the coming weekend before I go back to work, and as always that will go way to fast.  If things are like they usually are, by this time next week it'll feel as if I never had the week off.  As I entered into the week without work, I thought about rearranging my sleep schedule to put me on more of a normal daytime routine.  I did advance my times a little but not all that much, knowing that I would soon have to adjust back once the time was over.  On average I've been getting to sleep about four hours earlier than when I'm working, and consequently, I've been getting up that much earlier as well.

Early enough to make it to an Inland Northwest Corvair Club event this past Sunday,  It started at 10 am, and although I didn't get there at the start, I was there for a good portion of it.  Normally I would not have even been out of bed until it was all done.
Here's a pic of some of the cars, Corvairs and otherwise that showed up.

Also managed to get the yard mowed and trimmed for the first time this year and washed both my truck and Eva's SUV.  I'm hoping I have enough ambition in the next day or two to trim the shrubs.  It's one of those jobs I don't mind doing, but hate the clean up part of it.  Need to do it though, as it hasn't been done in a couple of years and everything is looking a little unkempt and shaggy.  We'll see!

One other nice thing about being on vacation is that I was able to go to the Spokane Authors and Self-Publishers' meeting and be at least semi-awake for it.  Most importantly I didn't need to come home with the need to try and get a little sleep before going to work.  I wouldn't mind that so much, except it seems I never can sleep when I want or need to on those occasions.  Then I'm so sleepy at work.
Here's another pic taken at the Corvair Club event last Sunday.  It's the latest acquistion made by our host, Craig N.  It's a 1960 Corvair Coupe, and while it isn't complete, seems to be fairly solid.

Now all I have to do is put up with the work routine for another year.  (Oh, I'll be taking a week off now and then over the summer, so it's not like I'm wired in for a solid twelve months.)  Then I'll be retiring, and all I can say is that I am really looking forward to it.

But I will be going back to work late Sunday evening, and with that I'll resume the reading habit.  I won a door prize at the SASP meeting today, a copy of one of the other member's book.  I'll probably take and read that for the next couple of weeks.  It's called Summer Rain and is by Bob Manion.  It's the sequel to Springer's Heart which I read a couple of years ago... also won as a door prize at a SASP meeting.

More next time,

Sun, Apr. 3rd, 2016, 02:15 am
Somewhat Ambitious

Got busy tonight/this morning and put the latest issue of SASP NEWS together.  I've already sent it out to members of the group and others who happen to be on the mailing list.  In case anyone wants to see it, it is available on the Spokane Authors and Self-Publishers' web-site.  Click on Newsletters, and then on the month. (April 2016)

For anyone who might be in the Spokane area, SASP will be meeting this coming Thursday, the 7th of April. We meet at the Golden Corral on N. Division St.  The meeting room is open at 2 and the meeting proper starts at 2:30.

Had a call a couple of days ago from one of the stores in town where my books are available on consignment, asking me to come pick my books up.  A little disheartening to hear that, but I went up to get them Saturday afternoon.  Looks as if the store is being re worked/re-configured and shelf space is going to be tight.  They are asking all authors with consignment books to come get them.  Looks as if we can still do signings there, and when we do, we can have books there for a week prior to and a week after the signing.  We just can't have them there permanently.  From what I gather it's being driven by the store's corporate headquarters and not by local management.  Usually the way that stuff goes.

Anyway, I do have a signing lined up there in the middle of June.  Also have ones at the chains two other stores, one the end of this month and one in the second half of May.  Haven't heard of any such changes there like the one mentioned above.  Best advice is to be flexible.

Sat, Apr. 2nd, 2016, 12:44 am

The past work week seemed to last forever.  I guess I was/am really ready for/ in need of a bit of time off.  A lot of it is no doubt due to my work hours, almost exactly opposite of what they should be.  My original thought was to stay on my overnight schedule for the coming week, but I have a lot of things I want to do during the day, so I'll see if I can't transistion to a more normal daytime schedule over this weekend, and back to my usual contrary one next weekend.  The idea of being on vacation really hasn't sunk in yet, but I imagine it will come Sunday evening and I don't have to head off to work.

Weatherwise we are in full transition to springtime.  For a number of mornings over the past week I've had to scrape a thin layer of frost from my windshield in order to drive home, yet in the afternoon it is shirtsleeve weather.  I ran some errands Friday afternoon with no jacket at all... just a t-shirt.  Pants and shoes, of course, for those who might interpret "just a t-shirt" literally.  Hope the nice days continue while I'm off work.  Want to get a little yard work done.  We've had a lot of rain over the previous couple of weeks and the yard already needs mowing and trees and shrubs need to be trimmed.  Also have a lot of computer stuff to get done... newsletters for Spokane Authors and the Inland Northwest Corvair Club.  In addition I need to try to write a few reviews for books I've read as of late, and maybe, MAYBE get some more written on the next Stone Island Sea Story.  I've got a lot of it figured out now, so once I get going, I hope to make a little better progress.

Reading wise, things worked out perfectly and I finished POB's The Wine Dark Sea last night at work.  Not sure if I'll start on something else while on vacation or if I'll wait until I'm back to begin.

Next time,

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