Sunday, August 31, 2008

My "New" Trailer

1966(?) Shasta Compact - 13' total length!
Yes, she needs a lot of work, but for a 40+-year-old trailer that's been sitting out in the weather for at least 5 years, she's in pretty darn good shape.

And a plus, my parents have one just like her, so I have a lot more experience on my side (my dad!) to help me get her in good order.

I hope I don't get into a tight $$ spot and have to sell her, because this is the size I've been looking for -- for years!

This is going to be fun!

I Bought A Trailer!

Well, only a minute today.

I bought a vintage trailer last weekend. I'm not even going to tell you how little I paid, because you'll be mad! LOL!

It's about a 1966 Shasta Compact, only 13 feet end to end, including the hitch.

Yes, it needs a ton of work. But the exterior is intact, the windows are intact, and once it's stripped out and I've checked the framing, fixed the leak in the ceiling, etc, it's going to be great for my son and I. (Daughter says she doesn't like to camp. Yes, I know, that's what she says.)

I've already taken care of the DMV business. Only $41 and that included the $17 for the title. (I always get the title because then if I need $$ and I sell the trailer, it's just so, so much easier!)

So today's project is to roll over there, put the new jack on the front, get the trailer up off that rim so we can remove the flat tire, check everything else, and then head home. I'll get a "new to me" tire at my favorite used tire place and then go back to put the tire on and then carefully limp it home.

Then we can get busy on it.

Yeah, I know, like I need another project.

This will be fun!

Got to run, much to do on this long weekend!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Burning Man Blues

The other night I was over at Wally-World (Wal-Mart) and saw a bus. The paint job of primer grey plus various happy smilies and other art on the sides made me think of the 60s.

Yes, I stopped and asked the kids if they were going to Burning Man.

Oh, those sweetie pies asked me if I was going! Honestly, I was flattered that they'd think I might go.

They looked like they were ready to have a good time, I could see inside the open bus door. The front seats were gone and it looked like they had a couple of sofas up in there. Very cool.

I sort of wish I was going.

And then I think of the dust, the heat, the long drive.


As I told the kids, nope, I have to go to work in the morning. So I don't get to go.

Burning Man blues...

I kinda wish I was going.


Well, darn, those poor kids went all that way, and I see on the Internet this am (August 31) that a huge dust storm has sent many participants home early. Maybe that "kinda wish I was going" has turned into "Thank You Lord that I couldn't go..."

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Should Roller Hockey Be An Olympic Sport?

This is a conversation we had at the rink last weekend.

Should Roller Hockey be an Olympic Sport?

Heck yeah!

Roller Hockey is a great sport and a lot of the teams are coed times, so it would be great to see our sport at the Summer Games. It's definitely a growing sport, with more interest all the time.

I know that there are a LOT of kids and parents who'd watch Roller Hockey. There are even high school, college and professional teams!! (Bet you didn't know that!)

On Monday, I asked some coworkers about Roller Hockey. All said yes, it would be great to see at the Summer Games. One said, yes, she'd watch it and they need to drop ping pong, that's not even a real sport. (Not my opinion! I'm just repeating her words!)

Olympic Committee, take note, there's a lot more interest in Roller Hockey than you realize.

Roller Hockey should be the next addition to the Olympic Games!

Journey To The Center Of The Earth

My kids and I went to the movies last night. We saw Journey To The Center Of The Earth.

They liked the movie. To be honest, when taking the movie as it is, a fast ride like a ride in Disneyland, it was pretty fun.

According to my preteen son, it was a little slow at the beginning, but once the ride started, it was fun. My teen liked it.

The 3-D effect was interesting, it succeeded in making me jump several times. LOL!

I thought there could be a LOT more to the movie, the 3-D effect could have been used more effectively, the characters were merely OK. Charging an extra $3.50 for tickets, I assume to cover the cost of the 3D glasses, was a bit much.

OK fare for kids and budding sci-fi fans. (My son has expressed some interest in Jules Verne, I'll have to find my copy of the book.) Definitely go to the matinee so you can stop by the library or bookstore to pick up a copy of Jules Verne's book after the movie.

I rate it as a B-.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Children Keep You Young

Yes, that is so, so true.

Children do keep you young.

But then...

But then...

But then they grow into teenagers -- who will age you beyond your years.

I LOVE my kids dearly, but omgosh, when they're teens, I don't always LIKE them very much.

Fortunately, they do eventually grow up.

I want to give some hope to all the other mothers (and fathers) of teens. Yes, they will grow up to be fine young people. Those little flashes that you see bursting out, every now and then, past the drama, attitude, and rotten rude behavior, are the signs of what your teen will become.

Just stay on track. Keep being the bad guy. There is still time to be your teen's friend -- in about 10 more years.

Children keep you young.

Teenagers remind us why animals eat their young.

Thank God, we're not animals!

FYI: A teenager's brain does eventually connect to the body and then the teen will turn into a human being. Sometime between 18 and 22 or so.

Oh, yes, there will still be much growing and learning, but you'll see them growing into themselves, becoming the man or woman they're supposed to be.

And just so you know, no matter how stupid your teen thinks you are today, when he/she has kids, you'll become the all-knowing mom and grandma (or dad and grandpa) that he/she turns to for advice in raising his/her own kids.

So hang in there!

The teen years, they too shall pass, like all the other storms in your life.

Dang it's going to seem quiet...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Is Self Publishing An Option?

Hmmm, that's always a good question.

You probably don't want to be trapped with a vanity press, where they charge an arm and a leg for the books, and you have to do all your own promotion, shipping, etc, etc, etc. Although "How to Shit in the Woods" by Kathleen Myer is a self-publishing classic that has sold well over a million copies, most self published books are not very successful.

On the other hand, trying to get "hooked up" with a regular publishing house can be overwhelming to a first time author. Major publishers see many, many manuscripts and a whole lot of them go straight to the shredder. Aspiring authors usually have a lovely selection of "thanks but no thanks" letters.

However, with computers and the Internet, there are other options.

I've been looking at BookSurge, This company is owned by Amazon.

The basic premise of the company is that you don't have to maintain a large inventory of books. Essentially, the book is printed on demand. So if someone is perusing Amazon and comes across your book, they put in their order and the book is printed and shipped directly to the customer.

Good side, easier for you. Larger royalties per book. No inventory to maintain. BookSurge gets the ISBN number for you. You have choices in hard cover, trade paperback, color, black and white, submitting in .doc, .txt, .rtf or a completely designed book in .pdf.

Bad side, you still have to do your own promotion. You still have to write, edit, design the book or pay extra to have it done. I haven't gotten that far yet, but I expect there are some up-front costs for the book. Cost per book may be higher than a traditional run of 10,000 (but you don't have to pay for that 10,000 all at once, so it's six of one, half dozen of another). You don't get the customer list, so there's no opportunity to do mailings for new books (unless BookSurge does it for you -- haven't gotten that far into the website yet).

I'm still looking into this option, as I'm not ready to go to print yet. I'm still writing the first draft, then I'll have my sister, the geologist and fellow sci-fi fan, review it for accuracy and to bluntly tell me if it's interesting or not. (My family is NOT known for being tactful! LOL!)

So, I thought I'd mention this company today. I'm definitely looking for other opinions and options in publishing, so comments are more than welcome.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Dark Knight

Yes, we went and saw the new Batman movie on Sunday night.

It was good.

Plenty of action, the plot line was pretty good. Lots of ins and out. Interesting how no one really "got" the Joker.

Most criminals have obvious motives. The Joker, oh my goodness. We never did find out where he came from or what happened to him to make him so psychotic. Heath Ledger's performance was awesome. His death is a true loss, he was enormously talented.

Morgan Freeman was good too. He is such a great actor, underappreciated by most. His performances are often way too subtle for the average person. You have to pay attention, it's not just what he says that's so good, it's the body language, the subtlety of his face and expressions.

I wouldn't recommend this movie for small children, this is the grown up Batman, a seriously damaged man trying to do right in the world. Little kids wouldn't understand it.

I'm definitely going to buy the DVD for my collection.

I'm actually looking forward to the next Batman movie.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Projects, Projects, More Projects

I have been busy.

I do kinda poke along on my projects. By the weekend, I'm hecka tired.

I've been gathering window screens and old sliding door screens for my patio project. Between what I've gathered and buying a roll of window screening (48"x25') next payday, I have almost enough materials to start.

Now to start looking for the wood. Yes, now I need to scavenge for 2x4s for the frame. Then either boards for the half wall or siding. I don't know which yet. It might be easier to go to Home Depot hell and actually buy (gasp! buy???) inexpensive 4x8 sheets of siding or exterior strand board. I'm going to paint it anyway.

Oh, better make a note, put up an ad for exterior house paint. White satin.

Between and freecycle, I expect I'll be ready to work on the room by the end of August. It's truly amazing what people are ready to throw away, all you have to do is ask, and you shall receive!

Projects, projects and more projects.

Sometimes I don't know where to start.

But you know, I'm hot, I'm tired. Maybe I'll go take a nap and work on my yard when it cools off a bit.