Saturday, July 23, 2016

Suggested Reading List

Here is a suggested reading list given to me by a friend, who optimistically suggested that these novels be consumed at the rate of one per week.  Between packing, closing the deal on a new home, and general aggravation, I think a more realistic rate might be one per month.

The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler

The Crossing by Michael Connelly

Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

The Tooth Tattoo by Peter Lovesey

The Lion's Mouth: Hanne Wilhelmsen Book Four by Anne Holt

Icarus by Deon Meyer

Since Zeus has been incessantly bumping his head against my leg and meowing for the past 15 minutes, I'll have to go and see what his whimsical majesty is demanding from me this time.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Fun Ends - Temporarily

Back in June we had a nice thunderstorm with a good, stiff, breeze.  The following morning I discovered a brand new opportunity for getting some exercise in the out of doors and renewing my friendship with Frank and John Fischer - two stalwart young men with a passion for developing everyone's Puritan work ethic.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Possible New Home

Last Friday (7/8/16) I went down to Columbus to see a condominium, which I found to be in good repair and suitably priced.  On Saturday I made an offer, which was ultimately accepted.  Now we're down to the contingencies.

1868 Misty Way, Columbus, OH
If the place passes inspection, I'm going to interview the neighbors and see if any of them are members of a death metal band or prone to having drug fueled orgies every weekend.  If not, I've found my new home.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Lilly's Reprieve

Yesterday I wrote that Lilly was euthanized (RIP Lilly), but today I found out that Lilly has gotten a reprieve.  Kim, Bob's wife, decided that she would take special care of Lilly and see if the veterinarian in Wisconsin could help her.

My brother and his family are moving from Brighton, Tennessee (a Northern suburb of Memphis) to Rice Lake, Wisconsin, which isn't large enough to be a suburb of anything, were there anything else around Rice Lake - which there is not.

But Kim thinks Lilly can be mended, and I hope she's right.  I'm also thinking that the veterinarian in Rice Lake is a better vet than the one in Memphis, who doubles as a pediatrician.  Well, kids, you know, always did remind me of primates, so I can see the crossover here.

Anyway, I am happy to get the good news.

Friday, July 8, 2016

R.I.P. Lilly

When my mother passed away, my brother and I concluded that his old cat Zeus wouldn't like living in Tennessee with 5 dogs and four other cats, and might not survive the trip.  Rose is in the same kind of shape, so he took Lilly.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

I'm A Celebrity!

On the way to finding something else entirely (which I'll post if I should find it), I stumbled across this article from the Toledo Blade: Under The Hat of Jack Roush. The author, Rachel Lenzi, quoted me and almost got it right.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Questions of the Universe Answered

It seems that Terry Wagner on Facebook is tearing his hair out this morning over a few simple questions.  I've decided to help him out, mainly because I am, by nature, a kind and generous person.  I'm also a little bored.

Fireworks of the Past

This is a photo (used without permission) of the 'Cannon Cracker' that my father always talked about, and set off when he was a boy. The American Cannon Cracker was patented on July 7, 1885 by the Masten & Wells Fireworks Co of Boston, Mass. The cracker or salute has wooden end plugs and is 9½ inches long by 1¾ inches in diameter. Salutes over 5 inches long or over ¾ inches in diameter were banned from US trade in 1912.

Canon Cracker
The enormous size of this monster made it the short-lived prize possession of every boy in the United States; many dreamed of setting if off in church. My father used the metaphor 'like a cannon cracker in church' (coupled with a few expletives) to describe the accidental slamming of a door during a tranquil summer morning. I always wanted to know about the canon crackers, but he'd never describe them except to say they were big. I think he didn't want me to get any ideas I didn't already have.

Anyway, here it is. It used black powder for the explosive, and back when canon crackers were legal and fun, I'm certain that some little miscreant somewhere set one off in the rear of the sanctuary right in the middle of a particularly tedious sermon.

Not that I, personally, would ever find any amusement or pleasant diversion in such a nefarious activity... I wonder how young Pastor Alan would deal with that sort of interruption.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Book Promotion and What to Avoid

I ran across this article by accident, which describes a very bad experience by one author who hired a company to promote her latest publication.  The author is Linda Formichelli, and her latest work is How to Do It All: The Revolutionary Plan to Create a Full, Meaningful Life - While Only Occasionally Wanting to Poke Your Eyes Out With a Sharpie, which sound a lot like something I ought to read, but isn't.  For one thing, I already have a meaningful life, and if my life gets any fuller I don't think I'll be able to stand it.

Linda contracted with Insurgent Publishing to promote her book from ground zero into the NYT Bestseller stratosphere, which didn't happen.  The entrepreneur in question, Tom Morkes, denies responsibility and wrongdoing.  Linda doesn't agree with that, which you can read all about in two posts: Brave Author Outs Marketer Who Messed Up Big Time and How One Author Got Ripped Off and How You Can Avoid It.

Speaking for myself, I wouldn't have done any business with Insurgent Publishing, for the simple reason that I can't find a mailing address or phone number anywhere on their web site.  Another item I can't seem to find is a long list of testimonials from grateful authors and their contact information.  In fact, testimonials seem deuced hard to come by.

The real procedure that should be used with any promoter or advertiser is this: Listen to their presentation (their spiel), and get a number.  In the case of a book promotion, it's the number of books the company will help you sell, or cause to sell, if you use their service.  If you'll just sign on the dotted line... Then get the cost.  You summary is, "So you're telling me that if I spend x dollars with you, my book will sell y copies within the first 90 days of its release - and I need do nothing more than hand you x dollars and a book that's ready to publish."  As soon as you get an affirmation, put a caveat on the end of the agreement.  "I'll tell you what - if what you say is true, I'll pay you twice what you're asking.  And by that I mean you, personally.  But, should sales fall short of the promised number, I owe you nothing."

Watch them back off.