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Friday, April 29, 2011

Firestone and the Indy 500

As a boy growing up, every year I would sit with my Dad and we would watch the Indy 500.  When I was a boy it used to take all day to run 500 miles.  The Indy 500 is about to be run for the 100th time.  I read a great article in the April Edition of Tire Business about Firestone and the Indy 500 and thought I would share some tidbits in today's post.  The Article "Brickyard's signature race marks its 100th", was written by Kathy McCarron of the Tire Business Staff.

Firestone tires debuted on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1909 on a car racing in the Indianapolis 300, the precursor to the Indy 500.
In 1909, 3.2 million paving bricks were laid on top of the original crushed rock and tar surface of the speedway – hence the track's nickname, "The Brickyard."
Today, there is only a 36 inch strip of the original bricks visible at the start/finish line.
During the race these days the tread surface of the racing tires approaches 212 degrees F, which creates a tar like consistency to help the tires and car adhere to the track.  An Indy car will burn about 1.3 gallons of fuel per lap giving it an average of 2 miles per gallon fuel mileage.
Firestone tires have been on 61 winning cars out of the 94 500 mile races held since 1911.  If you're wondering why 94 races in 100 years, the race was suspended during both the World Wars.
For comparison purposes, 29 winners have run on Goodyear, 2 on Goodrich, 1 on Michelin, and one on Palmer Cord.
In 1911, Ray Harroun won the first Indy 500 in his Marmon Wasp running on Firestone tires.  There was no such thing as race tires in 1911, Mr. Harroun just put street legal tires on his his vehicle.  The Race at the time was called the International Sweepstakes.  Ray Harroun had heard that Firestone tires were subject to fail if they were run over 75 miles per hour.  There were many cars that day that ran faster than Ray Harroun's but it took a long time to change a tire back then so Ray paced himself and won the race with an average speed of 74.6 mph.  He didn't have any tire failures and only changed the right rear tire three times.  The faster guys who got flats on the back stretch took a long time to hobble around to pit lane.  Mr. Harroun's winning purse was $14,250, compared to Dario Franchitti last year who won $2.75 million.
This year during the race each car will use 10 to 11 sets, which is 40 to 44 tires per car.  They will run an average speed of 220 miles per hour.  Since they can change all four tires in the time it takes to refuel the car, they will change them every time they stop for fuel. 
I found it extremely interesting that staggering the height of the tires was found out by accident while testing with Mario Andretti in 1969.  He had tires of different construction and they were not the same height.  With larger ones on the right side and smaller ones on the left side, the right tire rolls further so the car naturally turns in arc around the oval track.  It really freed them up in the turns and greatly increased the speed they were able to run.  Everybody runs a staggered fitment today.  Mr. Andretti – who is a "celebrity spokesperson" for the Bridgestone and Firestone brands went on to win the Indy 500 that year.
The former Firestone Tire & Rubber Company took a hiatus in 1974 for 20 years so it could focus on retooling it's plants in the switch from bias ply tires to radial tire production.  After Bridgestone Corp. purchased Firestone Tire in 1988, there was uncertainty in the U.S. market about whether the Japanese company would retain the Firestone brand.  After Bridgestone executives visited Indianapolis, they saw the race, the people, and visited the motor speedway's museum, which showcased Firestone's history on the racetrack.  They pretty much decided on the spot, "We're going to take Firestone back to Indy."
In the period between 1993 and 1999, Bridgestone doubled the amount of Firestone tires sold in North America (U.S. and Canada).  In 1996 when Firestone re-entered the series it competed directly with Goodyear until 2000, when it became the sole supplier by default.
Early this year it seemed this relationship was going to come an end when Bridgestone announced March 4th it would no longer supply Indy Car racing after 2011.  The drivers stepped in to urge a resolution to keep Firestone tires and an agreement was reached on March 11, 2011.
I didn't come up with any of this myself, I just plagiarized and retyped bits and pieces of Kathy McCarron's article from Tire Business magazine.  It did list her E-mail address kmccarron@crain.com and her telephone number 1-330-865-6127.  I did not get her permission to use pieces of her article.
Being a fan of the Indy 500, and that it is the only race I follow at all, of all the racing that takes place in the world over the course of any given year.  Miss McCarron's article caught me as one of the most interesting articles the magazine has done in some time.  I thought I would share it in this post because as those who read my blog know my day job is moving rubber, my night job is writing adventure novels.  It is a shame more people will not get the opportunity to read this wonderful article.  There are way more Indy 500 fans than just those who work in the Tire Industry and happen to get Tire Business Magazine.

Results of Search Engine Test

On Feb. 21st of 2011 I conducted experiment by creating a post Titled "FREE NUDE PICTURES."

When you have a Blog such as this you have a DASHBOARD where there are tabs at the top
Posting   Comments   Settings    Design   Monetize    Stats

Under the Stats Tab there are further options which allow you to see where searches came from, how many people from different countries viewed your blog, which posts they viewed, and how many hits came in at different times through out the day.

It has become apparent that after a certain hour which is very late in some overseas countries that this experimental post is attracting repeated attention.  With doing some math at the number of posts being looked at compared to the number of hits to my blog some of the visitors are looking at more than one particular post, which is great, that's what is supposed to happen.  I have figured out that those attracted to the particular test posting are either curious or looking for the results of their search with out actually reading the post!!! 

I at least know if I just wanted to get my traffic numbers up for the case of attracting more attention all I would need to do is put suggestive labels on different posts for about a month and I am sure my traffic numbers would go through the roof.  The problem with that is the same as actually do bad things, you attract the wrong kind of attention.  I would rather my numbers where up because I was in contention for beating the record of the most books on the New York Best Sellers List at one time.  I believe the current record to beat is seven at one time.  I can't imagine unless the books were just extremely popular or he was sandbagging and released several books in a short period of time.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Old School Customer Service

I work for Community Wholesale Tire of Kansas City.  We are located in Kansas City, Missouri, not Kansas. 
I have worked for this great company for almost twenty years now and it has always been company policy that if a customer orders something we will deliver it.  I know that sounds simple and silly but I still have to argue with some of my younger drivers about the logic and reasoning behind this seemingly bazaar policy.
They argue that we are losing money by driving 30, 40, or 50 miles out of the way to deliver a single tube that maybe only costs a few dollars and that we only make maybe a few cents on delivering it.  Yes they are correct in the assumption that with the high price of gas, the cost of running a delivery truck, and paying that driver by the hour I am losing money delivering that tube.  Yet I will staunchly defend mine and the company's policy to deliver that tube if the customer ordered it.  I will deliver a valve stem that costs pennies to that customer if that's all he ordered that day.  Yes we will lose money, today!
As I have stated I have been working at Community Wholesale Tire for almost twenty years and most of our big customers were not so big twenty years ago.  Neither were we.  When I started here we had four delivery trucks at the Kansas City location.  Two route trucks, two city for city deliveries.  The city trucks, one went in a circle one way and covered half the city, the other went the other way and covered half the city.  Today I routinely send out eight to nine trucks to cover just the city, and another twelve trucks to cover our out of town routes.  We didn't get to where we are over night.  We didn't buy an established company with an established market and customers.  We built it, customer by customer, delivery by delivery, and yes sometimes with only delivering a valve stem or a tube when we went to a customer.
It says something about our character and our commitment to our customers and their success that Community Tire will deliver what they ordered when they order it.  That they can depend on us to be there for they need when they need it.  That we will be here day in and day out doing what we need to do to make them successful and grow, because in turn that's how we have grown over the last twenty years I have been here.  One customer at a time, one sale at a time.  We do it very well.
We have no minimum to buy, no agreements that you have to only buy from us, or buy a certain amount from us.  We don't charge a fuel surcharge or a restocking fee if you send something back.  We do ask that if return something to us that it is in new condition as it was when we delivered it to you.  We do ask if you return something to us that you actually bought it from us at some point in the past.  Beyond that, we are very easy to do business with.
I just thought in this world where most companies are too focused on the bottom line instead of customer service, and marketing is web sites, tweets, posts to blogs, status updates, or commercials.  That customer service is still important and still job one in some places.  Go back far enough and it is a lot of little guys who made America what she was.  If we focus too much on the just the big dogs, you may be fighting to be here when the little dogs get bigger.  I also want to point out that Rome was around for hundreds of years and even Rome fell eventually.  Don't ever forget where you came from or what it took to get you where you are.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Traveling with an Orchestra

Life would be so much more dramatic if you traveled around with an Orchestra playing music to go with what ever you are doing at the moment.  Of course this would never really work and would be quite embarrassing after two and half hours of working in your office you jump to your feet and the Orchestra cranks up with the Indiana Jones Theme song as you emerge from your office.  Your making cut motions with your hands as you try to explain you just have to run to the restroom!

Of course the main reason it wouldn't work is because it should be illegal to listen to certain pieces of music while driving, like the William Tell Overture would be at the top of the list.  Peter Gunn Theme would be up there also (for all the Spy Hunter Game fans, that's the theme song for the game.)  'East Bound and Down' from Smokey and the Bandit would make that list.  Because let's face it, who could really drive to these tunes and not start taking corners faster or speeding up a bit.  The officer isn't going to buy the fact you were doing 95 in a 35 because of the music you were listening to, and that the reason he had to follow you for four blocks with his lights on is because you couldn't hear his siren with the music playing so loud in your car.

What started all this is that I day dream about scenes, characters and stories I am writing, I will be writing, I want to write while I am going about menial tasks through out my day, and in my head I hear the music that goes along with each scene as if it was a movie playing out for me to watch.  Of course a lot of the music is from John Williams the American composer, conductor, and pianist who has thrilled us all for over the last sixty years.  In case you didn't know I will list some of his accomplishments, and if your like me you can hear the pieces of music from the movies in your head as you read through the list.

Music By John Williams

Star Wars Movies               Jaws                                     Superman
Indiana Jones Movies          Harry Potter Movies             E.T Movie
Hook                                  Jurassic Park Movies           Schindler's List
Home Alone

He did the theme music for four Olympic Games, the NBC Nightly News, and Dreams Works Logo Music.

He was the Principle Conductor for the Boston Pops Orchestra from 1980 - 1993.
To his credit he has 45 Academy Award Nominations, 5 Academy Awards, 4 Golden Globes, 7 BAFTA Awards,  and 21 Grammy Awards. 

There pretty much isn't anything you could have a character do that John Williams hasn't already done a piece of music that would fit the scene for it.  Traveling around with an orchestra would get a lot of people in trouble, and killed, but it would make life more interesting and much more dramatic.  I usually find most of my accidents have been the direct result of trying something stupid while being carried away by the music I was listening to at the moment.

That reminds me that I need to buy a new set of ear bud speaker things for my MP3 player, my left side speaker has stopped working.  I hope everyone who reads this may have a life as wonderful as the soundtracks in their heads.  If your not happy with your life, may I suggest listening to more music, or changing the music your listening to.  Change the sound track, change your life. 
Warning !!
Listening to certain pieces of music can be hazardous to your health depending on what your doing at the time.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Some Funny Truths

Once again my friend sent this to me, I edited it, there was one about, is learning cursive writing really necessary, and I am a huge proponent of people learning the very basics of communication, which includes writing legibly.  I deleted that one.  Sorry for nothing original I have been swamped with family obligations and rewriting my second book and editing my second book to get it ready for publication.

1.  I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.
2.  Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.
3.  I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.
4.  There is great need for a sarcasm font.
5.  How in the world are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
6.  Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5.  I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.
7.  Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.
10.  I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.
11.  Bad decisions sometimes make the best stories.
12.  You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.
13.  Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray?  I don't want to have to restart my movie collection...again.
14.  I'm always terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.
15.  I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.
16.  I think the freezer deserves a light as well.
17.  I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with alcohol of some sort other than Kay.
18.  I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid this neighborhood" routing option.
19.  I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.
20.  How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?
21.  I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!
22.  Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.
23.  Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.
24.  The first testicular guard, the "Cup," was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.
Ladies, quit laughing.
Oh Yeah,  Clair Stewart when you posted the Neo the Cat thing on your face book page I got more hits on my blog in one day than ever before, what an awesome personal network you have!  Way to go!!   Please post something about my book sometime.  I may want to hire you as a publicist when I get ready to publish my second book!!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Congress, Monkeys and a Banana

I was e-mailed this from a friend.  I didn't come up with it but thought it was terrific and that I would post this.  I don't know who did come up with it, but HOOOORAAAHH for whomever did!!!

If you start with a cage containing five monkeys and inside the cage,
hang a banana on a string from the top and then you place a set of stairs
under the banana, before long a monkey will go to the stairs and climb
toward the banana.
As soon as he touches the stairs, you spray all the other monkeys with
cold water.  After a while another monkey makes an attempt with same
result ... all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water.
Pretty soon when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other
monkeys will try to prevent it.
Now, put the cold water away.  Remove one monkey from the cage and
replace it with a new one.
The new monkey sees the banana and attempts to climb the stairs.
To his shock, all of the other monkeys beat the crap out of him.
After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb
the stairs he will be assaulted.
Next, remove another of the original five monkeys, replacing it with a
new one.  The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked.  The previous
newcomer takes part in the punishment... with enthusiasm.
Then, replace a third original monkey with a new one, followed by a
fourth, then the fifth.  Every time the newest monkey takes to the
stairs he is attacked.  Most of the monkeys that are beating him up have
 no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs.
Neither do they know why they are participating in the beating of the
newest monkey.
Finally, having replaced all of the original monkeys, none of the
remaining monkeys will have ever been sprayed with cold water.
Nevertheless, none of the monkeys will try to climb the stairway for the banana.
Why, you ask?  Because in their minds...that is the way it has always been!
This, my friends, is how Congress operates... and is why, from time to time,
 all of the monkeys need to be REPLACED AT THE SAME TIME.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Looking for a Good Book

Book Reviews is something I think every author should want.  Good or Bad.

I ran across a story where a gentleman was a political journalist associated with a magazine or something, and he decided to write a book about the Lincoln assassination, nothing to do with his day job what so ever.  The day he published on Amazon the people who where familiar with his name from his journalistic political arena started a trashing campaign on his book.  Horrible reviews written the say day everybody bought the book.  First mistake was none of the trashers actually read the book.  It got such attention from so many people trashing it that others bought it to see for themselves and then the true readers started reviewing the book and trashing the trashers. 
Amazon took notice to so much activity to such a newbie writer, first time published author, had somebody actually read the book and ended up offering the guy a publishing deal to turn the e-book into a real paper book.  So even huge amounts of negative publicity can be good.

Efinds at http://e-finds.blogspot.com/ reviews books.
So whether your a writer looking to get your book reviewed or a reader just looking for a good book, please check out this site.  She also lists several other places that also does reviews of books,  and there is the Indie Hall of Fame that if you qualify for you can get your book listed in there.

In relation to two of my earlier posts, one Neo my retarded cat and Two About the Love you have for your children, we found out that Garth is very allergic to cats.  My daughter is moving out at the end of the month and taking her cat Trinity, so we had to find a new home for Neo.  We have found a wonderful home for him where I am sure he will be very happy, but it still is going to break my heart to be with out my cat.  It astounds me how attached we can get to our pets, and only because it is for my sons continued and better health would I even consider giving Neo up.  I have to admit I am a bit heart broken and he hasn't even left yet.  He truly is the best Cat I have ever had in my entire life, in spite of his being retarded and acting like a dog more than a cat.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bonding with the Boys

I have not posted for a bit because I have been on full time domestic duties. 

My wife went to a woman's conference in Illinois with a bunch of ladies from our church.  I got to stay home and take care of the boys.  It was a learning experience, bonding experience, wonderful and exhausting all in one.  We took the kitchen chairs and brought them into the living room and covered them with about every blanket in the house.  It was a fort in the living room that both boys could get inside and stand up and walk around in.  They could sneak out in through numerous tunnels leading to the outside.   Daddy climbed into the fort and joined the fight against an army of pirates and a bunch of fire breathing dragons.  We fought long and hard and after a lunch break we all had to take a long nap. 

We watched the scary batman movie and then lightened things up with the new movie Tangled. 
I think everybody is happy mommy is home.  I am looking forward to getting back to work where I have a schedule and can get some reading and writing done.  It was busy, scary, loving, fun and an experience I am looking forward to doing again.  It will get easier as they get older.  I am looking forward to being able to pack them up with sleeping bags, tent, and meager supplies and go camping for a weekend together.  Need to get them both potty trained first. 

I went to the doctors Thursday just before I got home and mommy left for two days.  I had an upper respiratory infection and started antibiotics that first night alone with the boys.  My daughter who is much older than her brothers said I looked like death warmed over,I went to bed Thursday night by 10, about two hours after the boys,  Feeling better tonight, but still not recovered.  I managed with the kids, doing bedding, clothes, and dishes and feeding, washing, dressing and taking care of two vibrant active boys.  I feel proud of my accomplishment.  I do feel closer to the boys after all is said and done. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Unconditional Love

Until you get the privilege of being a parent and realize the unconditional love a parent has for their children you will never begin to understand the love our heavenly father has for us, his children.

Monday, April 11, 2011

People in Europe

This is to the people in Europe who are reading this blog...
Please if you have not done so already, goto
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/38922
Download the free portion of my first book or buy it and read the whole thing.
I know you can read English or you wouldn't be reading my blog.  According to research I have read beside the United States, Europe is the second largest book market in the world.

"Whisper" is an alright story, but it sucks as far as being a shining example of literary know how.  I would like as many people who have visited my blog and read and enjoyed any of the posts presented here to Read Whisper before they read my second book.  I mention this because all I am working on at this time is polishing my second book to get it ready to be e-published.  Hopefully by this summer.  You will not appreciate the huge transformation in my writing unless you suffered through the roughly and poorly written first book I wrote. 

"No Rules Of Engagement" will be out later this year, not sure when yet as I can't track that mathmatically enough to even get close to a release date.  It is not the Sequel to Whisper!!  There will be a Sequel to Whisper, that will be my third book.  It is outlined, and written in rough draft at least through Chapter Six.
No Rules Of Engagement is a Sci-Fi war story, with futuristic weapons, craft, Alien Gatoriods with guns, time travel, and an Army of children from earth.  Fast paced like Whisper, more polished, and closer to me being a professional writer.  I won't say I am there yet, but I am definitely taking steps in the right direction. 

I've been working with a literary writing coach, who I affectionaly refer to as my literary angel.  She edits with a katana and I am sure she would have a snub nosed .38 in a garter belt holster in case she gets tired of swinging the sword.  The results have been awe inspiring in how my writing is improving and how much better my story is flowing.  It is requiring an almost entire re write of my second book, but it will be well worth it in the end.  In the mean time if you havn't read Whisper, goto Smashwords and check it out.

Stay tuned for my second book...No Rules Of Engagement!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Why my Son is named Garth.

When my wife was pregnant with Hayden my oldest boy, I wanted to name him Garth.  My wife doesn't like the name Garth, but she made a deal with me, that if we had another son, we could name him Garth.  So my first son is named Hayden after a Great Uncle on her side of the family who was a real cowboy, had a ranch, he used to break horses.  The deal my wife made with me was made after several years of infertility and what we both consider a miracle that we managed to get pregnant at all, but that will be a story for another time.  My point being she knew the chances of her getting pregnant a second time was astronomical, and so were the chances of her having a son named Garth.
When she got pregnant again, I knew immediately it was going to be a boy.  For one it was the curse all parents put on their children at one point or another, 'I hope you grow up and have kids who act just as bad as you are.'  That curse!  I knew we we're doomed.  I also knew without a doubt because of the deal my wife had made with me and God's sense of humor, that we were having another boy.  Right before the sonogram I was the only one who said it was going to be a boy, and his name was going to be Garth.  The family thought the name was just a joke between my wife and I, she really didn't like the name and was sure it wouldn't end up as Garth.  Plus she said, 'Everybody will think you named him after Garth Brooks.'
I knew who he was being named after.  Garth Farmer, my mother's uncle.  It was her dad's older brother.  As a child my family lived in a rock infested dirt farm in the middle of a huge forest against the side of the Rocky Mountains.  The nearest town was Athol, Idaho, so that's what our address was, but we actually lived a bit a drive into the woods from Athol.  Our next door neighbor, forty acres away, was my Uncle Garth.  He was actually a Great Uncle, but I never knew that until years later, to me he was always really old, and always Uncle Garth.  My Dad was in his late twenties to early thirties in those years and Garth was in his sixties and early seventies and could out work my father.
Uncle Garth was as far as you could go in the Masons, and he had retired as a E-9 Master Sergeant after twenty some years in the Army starting when he joined and fought with under General Patton in World War II.  He built his own log cabin house at the age of sixty something on his property up there in Idaho.  Every spring we would have to burn the grass off, Garth would go out and set fires all over and go have a cup or two of coffee and let them get out of control so he could go battle the flames in the woods the rest of the day.  Many a times mom would round us three kids up and we would take shovels, buckets, and wet blankets to go help Uncle Garth battle the forest fires so it wouldn't end up burning our trailer down.  One time Garth showed up in the afternoon, mom had been busy with something, he was covered in soot, and asked, "Where in the hell where you, I had a fire get outta control and expected you all to show up and help put it out, and nobody ever came."  He had managed to get it put out.  We moved to Missouri where Garth and my Grandfather grew up in 1979.  In the early eighties my mom got a letter from Garth that he had bought a Army surplus flame thrower, that same year a lot of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming burnt up because of forest fires.  We knew it was probably Garth who set them and went and had a cup of coffee.
As a child I remember hanging around with Garth as a small boy.  He would take me logging, and let me pull branches into piles, so later we could make fires.  I had to pee once and he said he did too, so we went around behind the truck and pee'ed.  He asked me if I had ever pee'd on an electric fence?  I said no, wouldn't that hurt you?  He said oh hell no, and he pee'ed on the electric fence that was right there, and I watched, nothing happened.  To give you an idea of how young I was I had to aim up to pee on the fence.  It was just a piece of wire, there was no other fence, with cows all you needed was one piece of highly charged wire and they wouldn't get near it.  Us kids knew about the fence and how it would bite the hell out of ya if you got to close to it. 
When my stream of pee crossed that wire, Lightning struck me, well you know where.  I immediately fell over in convulsions on the ground like what you see on TV when somebody gets zapped by a Taser.  I pee'd all over myself in the process, I was embarrassed later I had to walk home and change clothes.  While lying on the ground I looked up to see if my Uncle Garth was coming to help and he was laughing so hard he almost fell over himself.  I learned several important lessons that day, about electric fences, that you couldn't always trust those you love not to keep you out of harm's way if the result was funny enough.  Garth and I were always buddy's, even after that.  I still have warm feelings, and fond memories of him even in spite of his sense of humor which he partially passed on to me in the process. 
I have been told I have an old world work ethic and I partially blame that on my folk's and a lot on Garth, and him teaching me about what real men (old time, old world men) are really like.
My son Garth Jeffrey Wilson is one working on two, laid back, and at the weirdest times just chuckles low to himself as if some private little joke or something caught him funny.  He'll belch and laugh and then tries to do it again because he thought it was funny.  I knew when my wife and I got our second miracle, that Garth was going to be the result, and he reminds me a lot of his namesake.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Neo the Retarded Cat

Did I mention I have a retarded cat?
The movie "The Matrix" was real big at the time my wife and I acquired him and my daughter named him Neo, after the character in the movie.  Shortly after that we got an all black girl cat who named Trinity. 
Neo thought he was a dog when he was a kitten.  He had a little stuffed mouse that he would play fetch with.  I would throw the mouse the cat would go get it and bring it back to the point it would be irritating, because you would be done playing and the cat would follow you around and keep dropping the mouse for you to throw it again.
My bed room is at the end of the house and the door to the hallway is in the middle of the room.  The hallway runs right down the middle of the house.  At the other end of the house is the kitchen and straight line of sight out of my room used to be the side of the refrigerator in the kitchen at the other end of the house.  I would fold clothes in the bed room and play fetch the mouse with the cat between folding or hanging clothes.  I got to where I could throw this little stuffed mouse and bounce it off the refrigerator.  Thumditty, Thumditty, Thumditty, you could hear Neo gallop in a full out run down the hard wood floor across the length of the house. 
He would enter the kitchen at a full run and attempt to put on the brakes and slide into the refrigerator head first.  Now a person or a dog might realize that maybe I shouldn't run so fast since I can't stop before I plow into the giant white thing.  Maybe the cat enjoyed the sliding sensation followed by a good rap in the head.  Whatever the situation he would retrieve the mouse run back down the hallway and drop it for me to throw again.  I lost count how many times he hit that refrigerator but apparently he got further brain damaged through repeated blows to the head.  Bear in mind this repeated thrashing was all entirely self inflicted either through his absence of memory, no thought about action / reaction.
Once he was running into my bed room and made the turn coming in the door and jumped to the bed.  His front feet lifted off the floor in good fashion but before he could adequately push off with his back feet they lost traction on the hard wood floor and slipped in the direction he was headed, which was toward the bed.  He pretty much fell straight backward onto his back smacking his head against floor and with the momentum that existed slid under the bed skirting on his back.  This was way more amusing to see than to read about, and my wife and I both saw it.  I had never seen a cat slide on its back before, I burst out laughing hysterically.  I think Neo was embarrassed because he wouldn't come out from under the bed for a while.  My first thought was maybe he killed himself, so I peeked under the bed and he was right side up and moving.
He is by far the best cat I have ever had.  He is a true lap cat.  When I sit down in the evening to write and lean back in my lounge chair with my laptop computer in my lap, Neo is always crashed out on my legs sleeping.  He is needy like a dog in he will follow me around from the time I come home until bed time.  Most cats do crave that much attention or hang all over you like dogs do.  He is utterly retarded, is crazy for Q-tips, we have to lock them up and you can't throw any in the trash because the cat will get in there and knock the trash can over to get them out.  He likes playing with them for some reason.  He still chases the mouse and anything you even pretend to throw.  You can pretend to throw stuff all evening and he never figures it out that you didn't throw anything.  He looks and looks and when he can't find it, he will come back and you can pretend to throw something and off he goes again.  I love him dearly but my sick sense of humor won't let me stop messing with what's left of his mental faculties.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Indie Author Lounge

A NEW Website to list books for Independent Authors or Indie Authors!

I just listed Whisper!  It's was fun I haven't done anything promotional at all in over a week, and I re-submitted my book to a Website offering it for free until May 10th.
http://ereadernewstoday.com/

and Listed Whisper at
http://www.indiebooklounge.com/

Note to Self . . Make a list of all places where you have listing of your book or that does Reviews and Interviews of Indie Authors so you can utilize them again when you publish your second book.

Which by the way is Re writing the same as Editing?  I dunno! 
"No Rules Of Engagement" is getting re written and polished.  I like the newer version of it much better, it will be a faster read.  As if my stuff is ever going to be slow or tedious to begin with.  I have to share that it is frustrating how long the process takes and how much time I have to spend doing so many other things instead of writing, I hate the editing and proofing process, but I realize it is the price you pay ( Your Dues ) to be a professional Writer.  Which is really the end result of my dream.  I don't want to be a hack with 40 crap books in 20 years.  By the same token I don't want to get to the end with tons of stuff that never left my head and written because I wasted 15 years reproofing good stories.  I want them to be as good as I can make them, but in a reasonable amount of time so I can move on.  Readers will already notice a huge difference in my writing ability from book one to book two, but only if I ever get book two finished and published.

Sorry for the rant, but if your reading this as a author, looking for advise and knowledge and inspiration, realize now this is a frustrating, slow and tasking business to be in. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

About The Reposts

A Gentleman asked about my previous posts because I think he may be working to put something together to help artists, writers, editors, and trailer makers get hooked and matched together for collaborated efforts on Books, book covers, book trailers, where everybody could work on the parts they enjoy the most and want to do anyway.  If we could get these areas brought together for more professional self published books, or Indie Authors then we would have everything the big publishing houses offer, as a collaborative effort. 

Everybody involved in the process helps promote the books because the more that sell the sooner everybody gets paid for their portion of the book.  When the editor, Artist, and trailer maker are paid for their portions then the rest of the royalties go to to the author from then on out.  If the artists, editors, and trailer makers were really smart they would start off working really cheap and only raise their prices when they have too much work and increase their price incrementally until the level of work levels off to where they want to be. 

Obviously a lot of this depends on talent and expectations of everybody involved.  There are some writers that no how polished you make their stuff, nobody is going to buy it.  Some artists who will still starve even in a overflowing market of writers needing art work for book covers.  Trailer makers who nobody is going to watch the whole thirty seconds even if it was free.  Then again there are some many types of books, movies to be made, and types and styles of art work that there is somebody for everybody.  The trick is finding the right mix.  Editors is the tough part because it takes an OCD type person, who is honest and is basically telling people that their babies are ugly but describing how they are ugly.  I can't imagine they ever get paid enough to put up with the stuff they have to.  NO GROUP in the world has ever needed another GROUP as Independent authors need EDITORS!!!! 

If the changes in the publishing industry are going to take place, that all us who are self publishing want to see happen and change, we need to clean and polish up our work and make it Professional, or we are never going to be taken seriously, by readers, publishers, or the world in general.  If you think editors and publishers are harsh, the reading community will tear you a new one if your writing trash.  I have been very rudely dealt with for responding to a post in a discussion and not spell checking it.  Readers ultimately catch and see every mistake.  It is our dues as being writers to constantly strive to better our mastery of the craft of writing if for no other reason than to stop the degradation of the English language for future generations.

Also a Repost From March 18th, 2011

Sharing Issues, Ideas and Thoughts

I've spent the majority of the last two days sharing, reading, posting, with people on Linkedin and Writer's Digest Community.  It dawns on m there there are a lot of friendly, helpful an smart people out there.  It is funny how the same concerns, questions, and themes keep showing up. 

I started a discussion on a collaborated effort of Artists, Movie Makers, and Authors.  I now want to add a fourth element to this which Professional Editing. 

A gentleman by the name of Carter Harkins, says affiliated with both sides of the fence on this issue and he suggested a means by which Artists, Editors, and Movie Makers (for Trailers) could set a price for said work, contribute their portion to the work in question, then they would get a percentage of the book until that amount was reached and then they would paid in full and after the Author has paid them all back the rest of full proceeds would be the authors from then on out. 

If your already a starving artist, you could starve a little longer for Professional Help.  In a scenario such as this everybody would be getting work.  Better Art covers, trailers (good or bad, what you dreamed of or not, it would rely on who you choose, the price you set, etc.), professionally edited work.  This would definitely bring up the level of Indie Authors to a more professional level to that of the Big Publishing companies.  We would sell more books!  Eventually make more money.  We would definitely be noticed more easily.  Especially if Artists were promoting 'Say check out this book, I did the cover Art!!'
Movie makers sharing the trailer around promoting their work with a link to your book.  Every time we sell a book they get closer to be paid off for their contribution to it. 

Carter Harkins is right on track.  Still need a web site, or some place like Smashwords to step up and be the on stop shop, where as Authors are working on their next project they sign in and sign up and collaborate with the artists, editors, an trailer makers so it can all come together as a finished product.  Each team doing what they do, to the best of their ability, for the price negotiated in the process of deciding how intricate and much work is needed to finish each piece.  Bring it all together as a finished product, everybody promoting it through their friends and networks, from where ever they happen to reside.

As I write this we could add a fifth element of Promotion, and let the promotional experts do their thing and cut down on the cheesy self promoting posts on the social sites and have it successfully promoted, reviewed, interviews of Artists, Writers, Movie makers, Editors (the unheralded heroes behind many great works, who hardly ever get mentioned). 

If properly done this would be huge.  I predict their would be a flood to the site, to collaborate together, share, and promote every body's work.  It would be overwhelming at first.  The Big Publishers would really come up short because then the Indie Publishers could compete professionally on the same level they do, and pay their way to doing it.  This is a work in progress.  Stay tuned....

I HAVE AN IDEA

I Have An Idea Reposted From March 15, 2011

I think Craig Thompson and the Artist's Internet Cafe may be trying to create a Cooperate Service For Writers, Artists, Fim Makers, Editors, and anybody else who wants to join in and help!!!

I think somebody needs to create a group within Linkedin, Facebook, Writer's Digest, or one of these platforms, to bring together the following:

New Beginning Self Published Authors – who need Art work (Book Covers), and short movie clips (Trailers) for their books.

Artists wanting to get their name out and get requests for Artwork, doing cover art for books.

Budding Film Makers to make short trailers for books.

Each in their own right is a creative enterprise.  Everybody wants to make money.  Everybody needs to get established, get their name out into the world.

We need a place where these three groups can work together for next to no monetary gain at the outset.
Obviously when any member of this group gets somewhat established and some degree of success then they can pay more for said services or charge more for said services.

The more professional an Authors book looks on a web site ( COVER ART ), and if it has a creative catching trailer that gets customers to purchase the book, then they will sell more books, make more of a name for themselves.

The more work an Artist has, then they can raise their prices slightly from Free to $20-30 dollars for a piece of Cover art. 

The more work a movie maker has the higher they can set their price.

Maybe start everybody joining the sight at FREE and Tier One, and each time an Author uses a piece of Cover Art, or a movie clip, made to order, it jumps him up a tier with each book he publishes.  With each piece of work an Artist gives away, it moves them up a tier to $10 dollars for the next piece they commission.  Same with Movie people.  Do Ten pieces you have made you have made $450.00 and can legitimately commission your work for $100.00 or more a piece, but by this time your established, you have a track record of 10 books you have Illustrated the cover art for or Ten Movie Trailers for Books. 

Each Persons Profile will show their work.  Authors – books
   And What Tier they are in.                        Artists – Covers Published
   Contact information for Person                 Movie Makers – Trailers

To start with, at tier one through ten; the Author must list the Artist and Movie maker in the Copyright page in the front of their Book.  Where ever they are promoting their book they must mention by name the Artist and the Movie maker. Whenever possible promote or publish a link to Artists and Movie Makers Platform.

As each person graduates Tier Ten they are on their own.  The Website or Platform puts them on a Wall of Success as having progressed through the Tiers and established.  If any of these three groups cannot progress through the ten levels successfully they maybe should reconsider their objectives.

I Don't want to create or run this kind of a service, but I honestly believe it would be a beneficial service to all three categories.  I want to write.  I am an Artist and could do my own art work, but I would rather use the time to get another book ready to be published.  The Authors could distribute rough drafts of their books to the Artists and Movie makers to read to get a feel for the piece they are trying to create that would be right for the book.  I realize this would require a lot of trust on the part of all three groups to not steal or take advantage of each other through this process.  I have done my first book with Smashwords dot com and Mark Coker the creator of Smashwords has operated the site on a trust basis and I believe it is doing extremely well.  There will be instances of miss understandings and miss use but those people could easily be removed and blocked from the platform as well as maybe even a page where dis respectful behavior is noted and certain people to avoid contact with.  Somebody with a lot more intelligence than me would have to work that out and write the appropriate language to facilitate that aspect of the platform.  

It is an idea.  I will post a link to my blog on a few of the places where I am making connections and contacts through the writers communities.  We can only wait to see if some enterprising computer savvy person steps up to the challenge.

Friday, April 1, 2011

National Atheist's Day!

Happy Atheist's Day! 
Do not let it be said you do not have your own day to celebrate your beliefs!

To Everybody else, no matter what your faith, Happy April's Fools Day!

There has been humorous posts on this for a few years now.  This is the first time I have had a blog and got to join in the celebration.  This of course refers to Davids Psalm 14, "The fool has said in his heart, there is no God."  I'm don't believe in Atheists!  There are those that claim that they don't believe.  The Army has a saying, "There are no Atheist's in Fox Holes!" 

A Fox Hole is a six to eight foot by 2 to 3 foot hole dug in the ground for cover while fighting.  During the mid 80's I know damn well the Army still taught soldiers how to dig them, and a folding shovel was part of the gear a soldier carried to the field.  I was a 'Tanker', or Armour Crewman, and we dug fox holes in basic training.  We guarded Fox Holes in peacetime in Fort Knox, Kentucky like it was life or death, when you knew nobody was coming to take it from you.  I still remember how much smarter the shit my Dad said to me growing up seemed to get while guarding a fox hole at three in the morning, shivering my butt off, standing in three feet of water that had seeped into it from the clay walls of the hole.

In the Army when the bullets start flying, mortar and artillery shells coming in, and the Tanks show up!  Apaches and A-10's chewing up your machinery.  There will be nobody who isn't praying to somebody, I Guarantee It! 

Happy April's Fool's Day!!!  

 
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