Missing Global Warming

My wife and I went for a walk today along the Fox River, which is mostly frozen these days. This winter has been colder than most in recent memory, but we haven’t wanted to let it keep us from enjoying the exercise and scenery. The temperature was slightly below zero when we left the house.

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I generally like warm weather better than cold, and this winter has made me miss the days of global warming. My intention isn’t to enter the debate about whether or not there is such a thing. There are plenty of people on both sides who know they are right, and everyone who thinks otherwise is an idiot. No, I just prefer warmer weather. However, I’ve found that even sub-zero isn’t a big deal if you’re dressed warmly. The only real casualty was my face as the wind chills made it hard to form coherent words. I suppose my wife didn’t notice any difference.

One thing we’ve been enjoying on our winter walks is the return of the eagles. Lots of them make their nests along the river, especially at this time of year. Today we saw six or seven, including two in a tree.

IMG_1157We also saw  two hawks, a robin, a cardinal, and a black squirrel. Oh yeah, and there were some ducks out on the unfrozen part of the river. We also saw some flying, and after seeing the eagles gliding so easily, it looked like the ducks were putting way too much effort into flapping their wings.

I’ve been wondering if the birds feel the cold at all. Do they miss global warming? Up there where the eagles were soaring, it had to be a lot colder than where we were, but I didn’t hear them complain. They looked like they were enjoying themselves.

Some Unexpected Help

Not long ago, my wife called me at work to tell me where I could find the car. “Oh, great,” I said, because that must mean our car was broken down somewhere. It’s our only car at present, because we’re letting our daughter use our good vehicle. Besides that, we recently put two somewhat faithful old cars to sleep. They had served us and our six kids pretty well for many years.

I’ve been riding my bicycle to work, which is about three miles one-way. After work, I rode home, had dinner, and then rode to where the car was waiting, which was not too far. My wife had told me the exhaust had fallen and was dragging on the ground, so I brought some wire to wire it back up. I was hoping it wasn’t anything serious, which would mean getting a whole new exhaust. This car isn’t worth what it would cost to install a new exhaust.

As I drew near to the place, I was dreading what I would find. I don’t have a lot of confidence about working on cars, so I wasn’t sure if it would be something I could temporarily fix, or if I’d have to drive it home with the muffler dragging on the ground.

As I turned onto the street where the car was parked, I saw a light under the car. “What’s that all about,” I wondered. Coming to the back of the car, I found an older man under it, wiring up the muffler. He crawled out from underneath and said, “Can I help you?” I smiled and said, “It’s my car.” He seemed a little embarrassed being caught working on my car, but explained that he saw the car there in front of his house with the muffler hanging down, and thought someone probably wouldn’t want to come back to the car after work and find the muffler on the ground.

All I could say was, “Wow, thanks a lot.” Many times. I asked him his name, and he said it was Dave. Some folks might think it wasn’t any of his business to work on the car of someone he didn’t know, but I say God bless Dave. A lot.

More About Book Covers

Yesterday I wrote about my not-too-good book covers, and I posted a link to where you can see my new cover for Volume 2.  I uploaded a new one to Smashwords, because Volume 2 was in more need of a change than Volume 1.

Today I’ve uploaded a new cover for Volume 1. Once I’ve made the change at Kindle and with Create Space (for the printed versions), I’ll change them on this website. I guess I would like to see what the reaction is, if any. I may be deluding myself, but I think the new ones are quite a bit better.

I’m open to any comments. I may not let all the comments be visible, being as this is a family-friendly site, but I’d like to have some honest feedback.

You can see the new Volume 1 cover here.

Who Designed My Book Covers, Anyway?

A concerned reader recently asked if my book cover was designed by a kid. Ha ha! That’s not a bad idea! It probably would be better. Actually, I think the question was insulting to kids in general.  The reader said my cover was dreadful. I’m not sure which one he or she was referring to, but the I don’t deny it for either book. I especially think  the Volume 2 cover stinks.

I have been in the process of redesigning the covers. Yes, I am the designer. No, I’m not an artist. I’m a writer. I’ve never been good at art. So, you might ask, why would I design the covers? Why don’t I hire a kid to do it? I guess it comes down to not being able to afford to hire a kid or anyone else until I start selling enough books.

That brings up the next problem. People judge books by their covers. They generally won’t even look at the description if the cover doesn’t look appealing. So if nobody likes my cover, they probably won’t buy the book, so I may be forever stuck with bad book covers and selling no books.

Hopefully my next one will be better, and I uploaded a new one for Volume 2 to Smashwords to see how it goes over. You can see it here. It will take a while, but my plan is to have new covers for both books in the print and ebook form.

And I hope when Volume 3 is finished (which is not very soon), it will start out with a decent cover.

Many thanks to those of you who read my books in spite of the covers.

Smashwords July Promotion

Smashwords, one of my ebook publishers, is having a big promotion this month. I’m participating in it, so my books will be discounted. Volume 1, which is normally $0.99, will be free with the coupon code SW100. Volume 2, normally $2.99, will be $1.50 with this code: SSW50.

Many authors will be discounting their books this month, so it’s a good time to check it out.

Another Penguin Film Coming Soon

A documentary type film, called Penguins 3d,  is scheduled to be released in the U.S. in May. This one is about a young King penguin as he returns to his home at South Georgia Island in the far south Atlantic.

Perhaps they read my book. Probably not. After all, mine is about a Rockhopper.

It looks like a fun and interesting movie. I’m wondering if it will be as popular as March of the Penguins was a number of years ago.

Read an E-Book Week

bookmanI’m participating with Smashwords.com in Read an E-Book Week. Volume 1 is already free, but Volume 2 will be discounted to half price ($0.99). This goes into effect after midnight tonight and continues until 11:59 pm March 9. If you already have Volume 1, and you’ve been waiting for a price break on Volume 2, here’s your chance. Even if you don’t have Volume 1, because you never heard of it, here’s your chance. It’s free. More information about these books is available all over this website.