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11-11-2018

Well, it’s day 11 of NaNoWriMo. I’ve exceeded my expectations. I had assumed that since I had pretty much stopped writing for almost six months, only beginning again just a week before, that I would get going then peter out after a few days. To my pleasant surprise, I’ve done well.

My daily average is well above the 1,667 words per day called for to finish in thirty days. In fact, at my current daily average, I’ll cross the 50,000 goal line on November 18th. I can attribute this to my being retired and quite driven to make the numbers. I can spend lots of time writing. It helps that I got into a plot line that worked and have seen it through and still have a few tendrils to follow before I need to change direction altogether. Even if things slow way down, I only need to make 1,000 words a day to finish the month with the full 50K words.

What’s better than the above is that the plot line I’ve been following has been fun and exciting. I am looking forward to continuing the quest to whatever conclusion I find myself tumbled into.

On other items, We’ve been visiting friends and family this past two weeks. I can say that I am happier here with them than I am at home, five hundred miles away. Don’t misunderstand; I am glad when I’m at home too. But I have missed my kids something awful. Shoot, they don’t need us anymore. They’ve all done so well financially that they have far surpassed our efforts in the workforce.

Considering some of the conversations I’ve had with friends. I have lots of pride for what my kids have achieved. What my friends have seen is that  the millennial generation has proven to have no work ethic. I know, that’s too big a generalization. I am going by the experiences they’ve had. One friend is a contractor, he brings on helpers on occasion and has found that most of the 30 to 40-year-olds are incapable of listening to instruction, pooh-pooh advice from those who have done the job longer than they’ve been alive and are flat out undependable.  Another is a systems administrator, and he has found that that the same age group and those just coming out of college have a lack of loyalty or desire to see a project to an end. One young man they hired worked two months and decided one morning that he wanted to travel. He walked out the same day, no notice and never looked back (Or so my friend assumed.)

I fear for the future of our country if this is the way of things for the workforce. True, it isn’t my problem, and I am certain there are just as many positive stories about the millineals as negative.  I do have kids and grandkids who have to live with what is happening in the world, long after I’m gone.

11-02-2018

It’s day two of this year’s NaNoWriMo event.  I’ve gotten off to a decent start. My two-day total word count is 6,428 for an average of 3,214 per day. Wow.  Don’t normally average that high. But when I’m on a roll, things just flow out of me.

My wife and I are off on a little adventure, babysitting four cantankerous cats, a house full of plants for one of our daughters, and visiting our other daughter and friends. Don’t know for certain how long we will be gone from home. As usual, things tend to be somewhat fluid on return dates, maybe next week, maybe next month. But we will likely be here on December 4th as my oldest granddaughter is having surgery and I cannot imagine that we would be anywhere else; even though the only thing we can do to assist is sit with our daughter while her daughter is being worked on.

The website still has a glitch. I can’t seem to force it to accept comments as I expect it to. If one scrolls from the home page down to the blogs, there is no issue, and the comments box greets the visitor. But if one clicks on the menu to arrive at the blog posts, there is no comment box. Doesn’t make any sense to me at all and it may require me to change the theme for the site once again so that I can get things the way I want them.  I hate to keep switching the website around. It makes it hard to grow a following when everything seems to remain in a state of flux. On the other hand, I like things to work correctly, and they don’t.

 

 

10 23 2018

Today has been one of those emotional days where things seem pretty bleak. We learned that our RV, the one we lived in for five years, that had sit in storage for the better part of four years has a problem. First, we knew that the thing would not move. The engine started just fine. Put it in gear, and it would not go. The brakes were locked. It has air brakes, and there could be a large number of things to cause that. We got hold of a mechanic who, three days ago sent two guys over to pick it up and they could not make anything happen. Yesterday, the manager went to the storage lot and got it moving.

Getting it moving to the shop and learning there is nothing wrong with the brakes is the good news he had for us. The bad news: There is an electrical issue that is affecting the transmission. Or a transmission issue that is keeping the thing stuck in gear. It will no longer start. The local shop doesn’t work on electrical or transmission issues. Now, we have to have it towed from his shop in Newport to a shop in Eugene, Oregon, 96 miles away. Towing a thirty-seven foot RV is not inexpensive. The lowest quote my wife got was $450 per hour. The towing company is in a town called Albany, 60 miles away. The fees start the moment the driver pulls off his lot. Hmm, 1.3 hours from Albany to Newport and another .75 hours to load the 17,000-pound monstrosity onto a truck; plus1.75 hours to get from Newport to Eugene and then of course .75 hours to unload said monstrosity; oh and the tow truck driver has to return to Albany, add another hour. Towing would work out to $2,700. This is before any work starts.

Then there is the repair shop, they quoted a mechanic rate of $140 per hour. Who knows how much time will be required to figure out what the problem is? Electrical issues are notoriously difficult to find. And then, how long to repair? What parts are going to be needed? Last time I had an automatic transmission rebuilt it set me back $6,000 That included a rebuilt transfer case and replacing a wiring harness that had caught fire. That was on a Jeep Grand Cherokee, back in 2010. I fear we may be talking about something more substantial here. Truth is we don’t have $6000 to do a rebuild, nor do I have any way to come up with that kind of money.

Through the day’s darkness, a real piece of good news surfaced. I am so happy my wife thought of it because I never would have. Our insurance on the RV covers necessary towing fees. I would have thought that was only in the instance of an accident. Turns out that is not the case. Our insurance lady called into the company and got verification. We do have to the insurance company who will call a tow company whom they will pay directly. Oh, last time I had the RV towed, the tow truck driver broke the windshield, that was $500 out of my pocket to pay a deductible on a $1,500 piece of glass

My thought at this point, especially knowing that the tires are ten years old, there is an odor of mildew running through the rig’s living space, and that we are unlikely to use it much anymore, costs are too high, I’d like to get it running, take it to an auto auction and sell it to the highest bidder. It is worth between $18,000 and $25,000 probably closer to the low end of that. So at auction, we should get something in the range of $9,000 to $12,000.  I could let it go at that. And even if only pulls in $5,000 we are better off. If I can’t get it running or sell it at auction, we probably will donate it to NPR or something. Either way, we are rid of it and $135 a month in storage and insurance fees.

I’ve made my thoughts clear to my wife. She favors selling it to an individual, says the only auction she can find is eBay, but I can’t see us taking the time or stress go through that. I’ll wait and see what she decides, that will be tomorrow at the earliest. Whatever, we have to move it in the next forty-eight hours.