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Mon, May. 25th, 2015, 07:43 am
Memorial Day

Just got this video from my cousin, an Army Vet.
It is actually a commercial for a Southern grocery store chain, but seems to do a good job of passing along the meaning of the day.


Sun, May. 24th, 2015, 02:19 am
Early B'day Celebration.

Wife and daughter took me out for dinner Saturday Evening!  Great to be on the town with these lovely ladies!

After dinner we stopped by a local store and I got to chose a recliner!  I guess I'll go from being a couch potato to a recliner spud!

Saturday's book-signing turned out to be sort of a "non-event."  There were alot of people in the store, but most were going for videos and the like.  I did pass info on where to find the e-versions to one shopper, so hopefully I'll have a sale there.

Fri, May. 22nd, 2015, 07:30 am
Favorite time of the Week

Friday morning... I'm home from work now, the week done at last.  I've realized over the past several months that this is probably my favorite time of the week.  I'm off for the week end, have read the paper, along with some snacks and a couple glasses of wine... or a couple beers or a bit of stronger stuff.  No thoughts of having to get up and go to work this evening.

If anyone is interested, or cares, Birthday coming up Sunday.  Not sure why LJ doesn't mention it.  Two Beatles' songs seem to be appropriate.  "Birthday" and "When I'm Sixty-Four!"  Book signing tomorrow afternoon.  Not sure how well it will go as it is a Holiday weekend.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Mon, May. 18th, 2015, 04:32 pm
An Upcoming Book Signing!

Hey, for any of you in the Spokane area, or those who might be in the area on Saturday, May 23rd...
I have a book signing scheduled at the Shadle area Hastings.  I'll be there from 1:00 pm to 3 or 4:00 pm or so.  Stop on by, say "hi" and allow me to sign a copy of Beyond the Ocean's Edge: A Stone Island Sea Story and or a copy of Sailing Dangerous Waters: Another Stone Island Sea Story.

If one or both of my books does not satisfy your reading needs, stop by Auntie's Bookstore (downtown Spokane) and pick up an autographed copy of Cindy Hval's War Bonds: Love Stories from the Greatest Generation.  She will be signing books there at the same time I'm at Hastings.  (I've read hers, and it's great!)

Sat, May. 16th, 2015, 04:02 am
If you have a truck...

Sunday the 17th will mark one year of having bought our Nissan Frontier pick-up.  I've always figured that if one has a truck, he/she should use it as a truck now and then.  Right after we got it, the daughter moved to her own place and we hauled some of her stuff for her.  I also hauled home some scrap wood from work to make a cover for the old coal chute along the side of the house.  Friday afternoon we used it to bring home a yard of top soil for Eva to use in the back yard garden.  (She figured that would be easier than buying bags a few at a time.)

No, she didn't unload the whole thing herself!

Hope everyone is having a GREAT WEEKEND!

Mon, May. 11th, 2015, 05:17 pm
Air Cooled Weekend

Even though I no longer have any Chevrolet Corvairs, much less any that run, I decided that I would take part in this year's Econo-Run Northwest.  It is an annual event hosted by one of the Corvair Clubs in the Pacific Northwest.  While the obvious purpose is a competition for best gas mileage, it also serves as a means to get together for a weekend, visit and exchange ideas on keeping these half century old cars running.

So a month or so ago, I filled out the entry form, mailed it and my entry fee in, and made my reservations at the host hotel.  My plan was to take my less than year old 2014 Nissan Frontier pick-up and do the run as brand "X."  They always have a brand "X" class for those who want to compete, but whose Corvairs might not be running at the time... or for those like me who no longer have one of Chevy's air-cooled, rear-engined wonder cars.  And because of the dates involved versus my working hours, I put in for a couple days of vacation.  Basically I took the last day of last week off, and the first day of this week.  (Darn, have to go to work later tonight.)

Anyway, drove down Friday afternoon.  For some reason I thought the distance from Spokane to the Tri-Cities (Pasco, Richland, & Kenniwick) was greater than it was.  I'd figured something like three or three and a half hours to get there, but I arrived in just over two hours even.  (I may have been remembering the last time I went, when I drove my '62 Corvair Rampside pick-up.  It ran fine but I found it ran easier at a slower speed than was possible with the new rig.)

For previous econo-runs, mileage was always measured on the honor system, while enroute to the event.  This time, however, they planned to have everyone drive the same course on Saturday morning.  One of the other local club members was there as well, and like me going solo.  We put our heads together and realized that it might be a hassle trying to drive and follow the instructions for the route.  I decided to pull out of the brand "X" competition and ride with Craig as his "navigator."  Now, one of the reasons I wanted to go to this was to get the new vehicle out on the road and see how it did on longer trips, especially in terms of fuel economy.  I realized the trip down and back would serve that purpose.  (BTW, I got over 21 mpg, which isn't all that much, but better than I had expected.)

So I enjoyed a ride in a superbly maintained 50 year old car as we motored sedately through the wine country of the Columbia Basin.
a couple pics under the cutCollapse )
Also donated a copy of each of my books for door prizes at the Saturday night awards Banquet.  Also sold two sets of books while there, so the author/book seller in me went along for the ride.

Finished reading Patrick O'Brian's The Thirteen Gun Salute last week and started on The Spider and the Stone by Glen Craney.  I'm not very far into it, but it looks to be an exciting book.  Primarily about the Black Douglas of Scottish history.

Sun, Apr. 26th, 2015, 12:49 am
An Author Interview

I recently had the opportunity and privilege of being interviewed by Stacie Theis of Beach Bound Books.  You can see it here.  She has copies of both books and will hopefully be writing reviews sometime in the future.  By the way, if you are looking for books for younger readers, it appears that she has written a few children's books and they just may be what your youngster is looking for.

PS: Currently reading Patrick O'Brian's The Thirteen Gun Salute again.  So far have come across one goof, a mention of the ship sailing at "eleven bells."  I'm sure POB or an editor was debating between 11 o'clock or 6 bells and co -mingled them.  This is also the story where one of the younger midshipmen aboard insists that the slogan for the American Revolution was "no reproduction without copulation!"  Fun reading the Aubrey/Maturin series a second time.  Much easier to pick up on POB's sense of humor.

Sun, Apr. 12th, 2015, 12:51 am
Mr. Townsend's Chronometer, Pt III

Well it's been a couple of days since I posted pt. II of Mr. Townsend's Chronometer.  Here's the final part of it.
BTW, Island Enterprise is a near sister vessel of Island Expedtion, the biggest difference being one more gunport per side and thus carrying 18 guns instead of 16.

Mr. Townsend’s Chronometer, Pt III
By D. Andrew McChesney

           “On the flight deck!  Time to get in proper flight deck gear!  Helmets on and goggles down!  Check chocks, chains, and tie-downs!  Check for FOD!  Start ’em up!”  The Air Boss’s voice boomed from the 5MC on USS George H. W. Bush.   Crewmen in a rainbow of colors moved about the deck, preparing to launch the first sorties of the day.  Power cables were connected, fueling hoses stowed, and tow tractors mounting air-start units or huffers positioned at the aircraft slated for this first event.  Flight personnel came on deck from the catwalks and approached their assigned aircraft.  Plane captains saluted and the Naval Aviators and Naval Flight Officers began a thorough walk-around.
           Captain Ray Saldivar watched the activity from the bridge.  After two weeks of flight operations, things were going well.  Hitches experienced at the beginning of the current at-sea period were behind them, and the deck functioned smoothly.  He rarely intervened in daily flight operations, knowing the Air Department and Air Wing were competent and well trained.  Still, having ultimate responsibility, he kept a close watch on everything.
           The voyage ends...Collapse )

Thu, Apr. 9th, 2015, 04:57 pm
Mr. Townsend's Chronometer, Pt. II

Figure it's time to put up the second part of the Stone Island (Short) Sea Science Fiction Story.  Hope you like it!  Feel free to comment and let me know what you think.

Mr. Townsend’s Chronometer, Pt II
By D. Andrew McChesney
           The jumps in longitude following each crossing grew larger as well, with all of them being greater than experienced before.  After passing through the fourth point, calculations placed the schooner in what would be the South Atlantic Ocean.  On deck, Townsend watched the crew as they went about the daily routine.  He sensed their uneasiness, and in fact, felt it himself.  With one more location to cross, would the schooner’s crew hold together?  Would their sanity hold?  As nerve wracking as it was, logic told him that it was all illusion and that no harm would come to them.  Still, when Lieutenant Everett came on deck, Townsend entered in to quiet conversation with him.
           “Hands are restless, Mr. Everett.”
          The voyage continuesCollapse )

Tue, Apr. 7th, 2015, 04:33 pm
Mr. Townsend's Chronometer, Pt. I

I've been promoting the Stone Island Sea Stories as Age of Sail with a Science Fiction touch.  This short story leans more to the Science-Fiction side.  It was originally created as a submission for an anthology being put together by jpsorrow and pbray of Zombies Need Brains, LLC.  It didn't make the cut, and I've been wondering what to do with it.  I've finally decided to share it here on Live Journal.  For those who may have read Beyond the Ocean's Edge, Sailing Dangerous Waters, or both, you may recognize a number of the characters and may even remember situations mentioned in passing.  I hope you enjoy this.  (Parts II and III will be posted in the next few days.)

Mr. Townsend’s Chronometer, Pt I
By D. Andrew McChesney

           William Townsend watched nervously as the Admiral’s barge came alongside.  He had known Edward Pierce since their days aboard HMS Theadora as they blockaded the French coast.  He had been a midshipman then, and Pierce the frigate’s third lieutenant.  Still, an unexpected visit from one’s superior before sailing was nerve wracking.  Presumably the visit would be short.  The tide would turn soon and the opportunity to depart would be lost.  Townsend gave a last minute glance to ensure side boys, marines, and bo’sun’s mates were in position.
           The barge hooked on at the entry port, and Pierce’s cocked hat appeared at deck level.  Pipes squealed, side boys saluted and marines stamped muskets to the deck.  Townsend doffed his hat, and Pierce returned the salute.  “Welcome aboard, sir!”
          the voyage begins...Collapse )

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