Morning in Frankfort

A walk into town this morning revealed lots of activity. It is special for me for two reasons. First it was my first walk into town this year. Usually, I walk this walk several times a week beginning in January.

Second, the annual Frankfort Fall Festival rated in the top ten craft fairs in the country, begins on Friday. Today, however, is the set up for the entertainment venue and food court. My Lions Club will arrive at 5 this evening to set up our Wurst Fest venue. The Wurst Fest kicks off the Fall Festival on Thursday evening with German themed entertainment, food, drinks, and lively fellowship.

Everyone is invited to join us. All it takes is to buy a raffle ticket good for two people to enter. In addition to the grand prize of $10,000 and six lessor cash prizes we will have 50/50 raffles and chances to win any number of liquor baskets and more.

2023-Wurst Fest Venue in Preparation

Finding Life On Mars

Many of you have read my posts regarding my reading habits. The last time I went to the library, I made the mistake of looking at the non-fiction genre. It happens every time, I find an interesting nonfiction topic, and I buy into it. This time, the book is “The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.” I would be better served reading a book about finding intelligence on planet Earth. I picked it because it is short, 155 pages, and I am writing a story involving space travel. Maybe, just maybe, I will learn something.

Wrong. The first sixty pages were like reading a collection of doctoral theses on the biology involved with finding life in Martian rocks. The language is way too technical and boring. To liven my life, I began reading the second book I picked up at the same time. It is “The Secret to Happiness.” This is fiction, but the story involves dealing with depression and helping others. I finished the story in two days and loved it. Then I picked up the doctoral thesis collection to finish. I read another two chapters and decided I didn’t need, want, or enjoy this kind of education. I was about to close the book and put it into the take-it-back pile.

The little man sitting on my shoulder whispered into my ear, “Quitter.” Okay, I told myself I’ll read on, and I am glad I did. It is like the entire narrative changed gears and became interesting and understandable. The authors switched from discussing life outside of the world as a biological search to one of practical matters like all the space probes that have been sent on their way into space, and what we didn’t learn from them. Other than learning what not to do on the next space probe they have decided to get some real answers. The problem they have is that it takes so long for these space probes to get to their intended destination that many of the problems they are equipped to learn from are non-problems any more.

The final chapters have been a joy to read, but getting past the first pages was definitely a bore and a waste of time. The publisher could have saved a lot of money by not using the information.

I’ll give this book two stars.

Bootleg Gasoline?

A good blogging friend posted a question to one of my recent posts. What will happen if we buy a sixty thousand dollar car and the government outlaws the same in favor of electrics? Well, for one thing, Uncle Sam would never be able to do such a thing without starting a civil war. That is something the liberals would be very unhappy about because they would be the unarmed bad guys that we, the armed conservatives, would be shooting at.

Americans would improvise to keep their cars running. It occurred to me that in January 1920, the government passed a federal law prohibiting the sale of drinkable alcohol. The law caused a lot of pain to the population, and ‘we the people’ began to improvise by bootlegging alcoholic beverages. The government was put into a sad state of affairs because the citizens didn’t pay taxes on any of the booze they drank, or produced. This era also spawned a huge gangster industry that has never been completely eliminated, much like the drug industry today.

Prohibition lasted for thirteen years before Uncle finally cried Uncle, and Congress repealed prohibition. If it takes that many years to prohibit electric cars, the roadside will be littered with millions of these cars abandoned without charge. I hope to live to see the day. Americans, being Americans, would sadly innovate and carry gasoline-powered generators to run their charge-less cars. No doubt, they would be using 100-proof vodka to run the generators.

Too Busy To BLOG

Since I finished my Intarsia project, I have not been in my wood shop, but I have jumped into the next project on my bucket list, i.e., write a book, or should I say write a half book. This project began in 2013 and was shelved in 2014. The story was taking on a life when I had a second story burst through my brain membrane. Walla, book number one, took the back seat. Space Rod lost out to BAC. Sadly, both books were tabled by 2015. Peggy began her journey with dementia, and I decided she was more important than any of my stories. In this return to book writing, I have decided to focus on completing one. Space Rod is a story that has been playing in my mind like a movie so it will be the one I finish this year.

An important lesson I have learned is that picking up a story almost ten years after it started is not as simple as I thought it would be. The initial enthusiasm that I had when I began is deeply rooted in the memory sector of my brain, and it requires a lot of coaxing to get it to resurface.

I began by editing the part I had written so long ago. I made another decision to use an editor program called Grammarly to assist with my shitty punctuation and phraseology. My logic was that if I edited the twenty-three chapters I had written, the story would become refreshed in my mind. It worked.

What hasn’t worked is recalling all the ideas I had to finish the story, like how it ends, and simple stuff like that. I am now at a point where I must go forward and struggle with what to write. I have reverted to my BLOG system of if I don’t have an idea of what I want to write, I should just start, and the words will flow. It did work for one chapter in which I tried to describe a character with all her wonderment and flaws, but when I go back to the story, I hit a wall because I don’t know how to blend the new stuff in with the prior stuff. When I BLOG and just begin writing, the flow carries me toward an eventual point that makes sense. Does that make sense? No? Not to me, either.

Another step that has consumed me is researching for the Space part. Back in 2023, when this idea first germinated, I thought the reader would believe any bullshit I wrote about space travel because space travel is a relatively unknown entity. What has happened in the past ten years is that Space X, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic have come into existence and are making space travel seem like it will be commonplace, and available very soon. That tells me that my readers will need to be convinced that what I am writing is within the realm of possibility. Up until now, I’ve taken the attitude that all things are possible, and I don’t need to answer questions about how they are possible. Anyway, this is a Fantasy Fiction story so maybe my first plan of making the reader fill in all the gaps can still work.

As I’m writing this Fantasy, I am also researching how to publish. The traditional method of submitting a manuscript to the major publishing houses seems no longer workable. These big guys are so inundated with material that they can’t handle it all, so they have trumped up an intermediate step of recommending that writers use an agent. The writer must convince the agent to read the story and to decide if he can make money on it. If he deems it worthy, the writer signs a contract to include the agent in any and all income derived. A alternate system to use is to self-publish on a platform like Amazon. Either way, the work of selling the book resides with the writer. Marketing is probably 99% of getting the public to read the story.

As I write this tome, I am considering establishing an Author BLOG or website dedicated to the book. Another BLOG will no doubt steal my effort from writing BS on this BLOG and spending all my effort on the book-selling BLOG.

The bottom line is I am better off making pictures out of wood. At least I can use the finished product to heat my home by feeding the works of art into the flames of a fireplace.

It All Adds Up to Ugh!

My life has never been this amazing. This week, my car odometer turned 186,000 miles, and I gave it a huge Yahoo! Never have I owned a car that carried my sorry ass so faithfully for so many years and miles. Previous transport appliances never lasted more than 110,000 miles. They were all rusted, oil-leaking, and unreliable. But like many love affairs, this one also, may be coming to a rapid end.

It all began when I noticed that my tires began showing the wear bars between the treads, and the car has been leaning left, indicating a need for wheel alignment. The “maintenance required” light has been on for the past two months. Stranger, yet, during the past week of ninety-degree days, the air conditioner has been blowing hot air into my face. Compounding that, there is a strange squealing sound straining my ears whenever I back out of the garage in reverse. The frosting on the cake was applied today when I took the Death Star to the Toyota dealer for its regular oil change.

As usual, when I go in for the hundred-dollar oil change, I decide to get my money’s worth by asking them to answer some questions like those posited by the list of strange experiences above. Never ask for trouble someone is likely to find it for you. Steve, my friendly service advisor of seventeen years, came to me with the report. He was shaking his head negatively as he chased me down in the luxurious waiting chamber. Oh, Oh, this won’t be good messaged my mind. My mind was right. The good news came first: all my gripes from the list above have been fixed except one; the squealing noise is what I suspected the brakes are in need of new brake pads, and by the way, while we were looking, we found that the boot on the drive axle is leaking and needs to be replaced, and the transmission gasket seal is seeping. I fought back with “that seal has been seeping for the past seventeen years, why would I change it now?” Anyway, Ca-ching went the cash register as the oil change bill came to $371.00 after a special $40 discount.

I have written several positive blog posts about the merits of owning a Toyota, and now I am faced with adding more accolades to the former post. This week I replaced the tired tires with the fourth set, and aside from tires and brakes, I have paid a minimum for failed parts. It is the finest car I have ever owned and now, after spending all this money to keep it running I have decided to keep it until it becomes the last car I ever owned.

I decided it to be my last car because while I was at the dealer, I took the opportunity to peek at some new cars. I immediately went into sticker shock of an immensity that overwhelmed me. In the year 2021, I was at the same dealer getting an oil change, and I took the same peek at the new models. The one I fell in love with had a sticker price of $46,000. Today, that same model is priced at $60,000. Thank you, President Biden, for being such a strong world Asshole who supports the Ukraine war, and the solar and wind industries over fossil fuels. You never got my vote, nor will you ever! I am almost at the point of resuming political cartooning and expressing my opinion on this blog again.