Monday, September 28, 2015


There is an old, old song by Carly Simon which has the phrase: You're so vain, you thought this song was about you. Sometimes it is necessary for one to actually be somewhat vain. Of course, I mean that in only the nicest of ways.

BTW, here's a link to a remake of Carly's song:

Years ago, while I was in the service, at a duty station, one of the secretaries told my buddy he was vain to which he replied: That can't be. Vanity is a fault and I have none.

Nonetheless, give it a try, be a little vain — in other words do some egosurfing, auto-googling, egosearching, a vanitysearch ... whatever you want to call it.

Using your favorite browser — Google, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.  Type in your name, hit "Enter" and see where your name appears. You might be surprised!

On a whim, I did this the other day and discovered I was all over the Internet.  A pleasant surprise — okay, I'll admit, my head did swell just a tiny, tiny amount, if you're comparing it to Jupiter.  I'm amazed I didn't soar with the other hot-air balloons in the area that day.

Discovering your name at this website or that website can make a person rather proud. Of course, what is even more exciting, to find your name at a site you didn't know your name was going to show. Imagine my surprise, years ago when I did this to find one of my "paintings" at a website to honor John Carter. I'm a big fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs and his writings, including the John Carter of Mars series. I'd created a 3-D image, rather bland in shades of reds, blues and lavenders. With the soft plateaus and hazy plains, I envisioned it as Mars. I need to have that website updated, too. LOL.

But, I digress. When I did the search the other day, being coerced by PCH (Publishing Clearing House) to use their search engine to enter the drawing, I entered "Bob Nailor" to see what would display.

To quote Gomer Pyle: Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

I discovered on one of MY personal web pages, the data was a tad out of date, by about three (3) years!!  Of course, I was able to immediately go into my domain and correct the offending page(s) as needed with more updated information.

I also discovered that my information was out of date at several other web pages including Google+, Good Reads, Amazon and, color me red, too many other places that I had some control over but had not kept updated.

Therefore, don't feel it is vanity to search for your name. Do so and find out if you are inadvertently being publicized on a page you'd rather not have your name plastered on, or discover, as I did, that your data is out of date — which could be worse!

Did you catch that?  On a page you'd rather not be on? Imagine finding yourself on a web page, which in and of itself can be considered an honor, but it's a website that you'd rather not have your name associated with.  For instance, a raunchy romance web page with an image of your book cover and your name.

I found my latest book cover, The Secret Voice which is an Christian Amish novel on a gay site with the following blurb: One hot dude. I sent a letter to the web owner with a simple request, either post a review of the book or remove the cover since I was quite sure the original photographer would be upset.  I had no issue with it being on a gay website but I didn't want it the cover to be used as sensual endeavor.  I can't control who reads my books or who reviews them or how they review. The web owner was very nice and explained that other people could post to his page and he would take it down since the object of the page was to invoke sexual responses.  Not all website owners will be as nice, but if you approach them nicely and professionally, most will respond politely.

The bottom line to this ego trip is simple. Find out where your name is listed.  Is it correct? If not, can you correct it or have it corrected?

Go forth, my friends, and EgoSurf.

Until next I ramble on...

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sound Off

Got to brag a little... just a little.  I finally con(ned)vinced my wife into a 60 inch LED Smart TV. I ordered it and it arrived on Wednesday.  I was elated.  I had also ordered a 32 inch for the office area.  I connected the smaller one and was amazed at the clarity and picture. Yeah, I HAD to set up the big one immediately.

OMG!  Talk about huge.  I love it.  I love it.  I love it.

I wanted to attach it to the wall and also ordered a wall mount.  It advertised as a universal mount that tilted and allowed the television to "roll, pitch and yaw" as needed for viewing.

Uh, the only thing the package I got would perform was - tilt.  Okay, I can call that pitch.  What happened to my roll and yaw?

For those who aren't familiar with the terms - I prior U. S. Navy.  Our ship would roll - that means it would rock left to right on the waves  The ship could also pitch - in other words, the bow (front) of the ship would dip down into the wave and then move upwards sort of like a teeter-totter moves.  Now the yaw if more difficult to describe.  It basically is all the other directions now covered by roll and pitch. The rear view mirror sort of does a yaw movement. It allows you to place the mirror in almost any angle and direction.

So, for me, paying for a mount that just tilt - not a happy camper.  Where I wanted to put the TV on the wall, it would be near the ceiling and about 5 inches from the corner on the one side.  Take a peek at the drawing. The red line in the corner indicates the TV as per how the mount will install. The blue line in the way I need it to be mounted for viewing - hence the roll, pitch and yaw requirements. The green lines are seating and the long lines are couches. The couch by the hall arch is for "overflow" seating when the family comes to visit and at that time, the TV is seldom on.  Just image having to sit on the couch and be the person nearest the door? With the blue line, you have a chance. With the red line, the viewing is going to be terrible.
Don't ask me to rearrange the furniture.  I despise having the TV being the focal point of the room. And that little green line at the upper corner is my lounger - need I say more?  Not all the furniture is shown and things are quite to scale, but close. The room is 24x15.

Now, let me get to the real meat of this discussion.  SOUND!!

I was watching a movie Friday night and the music practically blasted me out of my seat and then the characters would start to talk.  Actually it was more like a whisper.  I'd have to raise the volume and then the movie would have the dramatic music and once again I was blasted to become one with the stuffing of the chair. So I would lower it and then dialog whispering would start and I'd have to once more ... Long story short.  My finger got tired of raising and lowering the volume.  The next movie on and did the same thing.

WHY? Why do producers feel that we need to have our butt shaken in the seats?  I think it started back 1977, at the theaters when Star Wars was introduced to the public and the introduction blared and rumbled our seats.  We were hooked.  It was awesome!!

I was busy on Saturday and most of Sunday so I didn't get to watch much television. My #1 son came over, I had the TV on and of course, the music blasted us and I started to rant and rave.

He showed me a setting on the "Audio" menu.  I couldn't believe it.  "Sound Leveling."  If you think your teenage son is a smart-ass - just wait until he is over 40.  My son gave me an innocent stare and said: It's a smart tv, dad. Let it do its job.

Ah, yeah.  I wanted to rant and rave here about movie producers not have the brains they were born with and only wanting to destroy what little ability we have remaining to hear things.

But, in the infamous words of Roseanne Rosannadanna, Oh, never mind. It just goes to show you, it's always something - if it ain't one thing, it's another.

The mount I think is going to be shipped back and we'll get a large piece of furniture to hold the TV up close to the ceiling.  I don't want my little munchin grandchildren stopping between me and the screen as they try to remember why they were going/doing what they were going/doing.

Until next I ramble on...

Monday, September 14, 2015

What A Week

My buddy is retired and he is continually complaining to me about how bored he is.  How can that be since I now find my life even more hectic than when I worked.

This week is a perfect example...

Monday: Holiday celebrating Labor Day.  It should be a day of relaxing, enjoying the last of the sun fun and even getting a picnic in.  NOPE.  For me, it was my #1 son and family visiting and telling us about the cars they been looking at for their daughter since she wants a little bigger one with the baby coming.  So far, pretty normal.  He takes us to a dealership where they have a car that has piqued our curiosity — since my granddaughter doesn't want it and my son thinks it is a great car.

WOW!  It's a 2014 Ford Escape - hold on - brand new!!  Only 175 miles on it.  Seems it came in late last year, got shuffled to the back of the lot and only when somebody questioned the "mistype" on the inventory sheet did they discover it.  That's right.  The 2016s are already on the display floor and they have a brand new 2014 to sell.  They were practically giving it away.  My wife liked what she saw.

Step back a moment.  Remember me mentioning dealing on a new RV?  Yeah, that's never moved another step forward.  I'd sent 3 emails to the salesman stating I was interested and I received 3 emails stating that that particular email address didn't exist.  Hmm?  I went to the website. Yup, I had the correct domain name.  I had the salesman's business card.  I decided that if a person can't give me the right info, maybe I should step back.  Plus, he didn't want to take my old RV in as a trade.  No deal at that point on my behalf.  Yes, in my magnanimous heart, I gave up my RV for my wife's car.

Tuesday: The dealership opens at 9am, I arrive 9:30am — don't want to look too anxious.  A salesman comes out and putters around and finally ambles over to help us.  I tell him I'm interested in the 2014 for sale BUT before we go any further, can they apply the Ford family discount since my #4 son works for Ford.  He gave me a strange look and ushered into his office so he can find out.  The next thing, I'm out test-driving the vehicle.  My wife gets behind the wheel.  She is in love.  We get back, Nick (the salesman) is working out the figures and we decide to "go for it" and see what happens.  Just then, a couple I've seen wandering around the lot amble over and start checking it out.  A few minutes later, Nick comes in, the deal is done and we are buying a car.  He picks up the keys, aims it at the auto and VOILA!  The car is locked just as another couple amble towards it.  Another guy shows up at the door, Nick gives him the keys and a mere 2 hours later, we are walking out and my wife is driving the new car home.  Of course, we have to get something to eat and get the insurance company notified.  A quick visit to her brother after supper and the day is about over.

Wednesday: My grandson calls and asks if it is okay for them to start moving things into our house. So, it is official.  My grandson and his family will be living with us for a few months to help them out. Uh, that means we have to get the guest room cleaned out for them.  I guess I should mention that the big walk-in closet has been a playroom for our #4 son's two oldest daughters (6 and 5) plus a bedroom for whoever wanted to stay over.  We got to get it all moved over to the smaller bedroom which was our office and most recently, my wife's mother's room until she went to the nursing home.  So stuff had to be moved out of the office so the guest room could be moved.  We're talking total chaos and my wife and I have discovered, there has never been a need to do everything in a rush — there was always the next day to get things done.  They want to move furniture by Saturday.  HUH?  So we got hopping on that.

Thursday: The day is mostly spent on moving stuff either to our bedroom or from the guest room to the office (new guest room) or to the basement.  Whew!  The first boxes start to arrive.  The room is basically empty, just a few items remain to be addressed.  We decided we needed a break and since we wanted to go camping but with all the work to be done, we didn't go.  A little spin out to the campground to see how busy it is.  Very surprised by the number of campers.  Of course, we stopped and visited some friends and they joined us on the trip to the campground.

Friday: More stuff gets moved in and the first box of my TV order arrives.  The wall mount.  Sometime in the next 3 days, the 60 inch and 32 inch LED televisions will arrive. My wife needs a little help with the baby shower cake she is decorating.  Seems it is bigger than any board she has, so I have to find her a sheet of spare wood for the "owl" cake.  This is for my great grandson.  My granddaughter likes owls.  It just fit in the back of the Escape.  Whew!

Saturday: My #4 son and family arrive to visit for the weekend and go to the shower.  Yup!  I now have 6 adults and 5 children, ages 6 to just over a month old staying at my home.  Chaos?  Just a little but that's our family.  Oh wait, #1 son, his wife and daughter come over and #2 son, his wife and his daughter visit.  The only ones missing are #2's eldest son and my #3 son, his wife and 2 daughters. The grandson staying with us is #2's second son.  While the ladies are gone to the shower, the boys move the furniture in and then bring over a truckload of wood for a campfire.  I take the 2 granddaughters (6 and 5) over to a park for them to play and be out of the way.  We also go to the store and I get the makings for tacos.  Silly me —I thought 3 lbs of good ground beef would be enough.  Wrong!  We went through it quickly.  Next time, I use 4 lbs or if more family show, even more meat.  Fortunately, the garden was willing to offer up fresh tomatoes for the event. LOL. That night a great fire.

Sunday: Ignored the alarm and my wife - didn't get up until 11am so I missed church.  Guess it was too much excitement for me the day before. LOL.  Usual chaos as #4 and family got ready to head home and everyone else headed out, too.  You can only park 4 cars abreast in my driveway — and with my 2 cars, my grandson's 2 vehicles (car and truck), my #2 son coming on his motorcycle, his wife and daughter in their SUV, my #1 son in his truck and their daughter in her car and my #4 son in his SUV... it begins to look more like a car lot than a driveway.  Guess I should mention, my RV is up along the house, too, so when somebody decides to leave, it can get to be a tad interesting as to who has to move a vehicle. LOL.

But that's my week, and somehow, during that time, I was able to almost finish the edits on a client's book, get a chapter and a half of a new book written and watch a little television, too.

Until next I ramble on...

Monday, September 7, 2015

Updates to Updates

As we go into the third tri-mester of the year (the last four months), I thought I'd give a little update to what is happening.

Weight.  Good news, bad news.  Remember the 28 pounds I lost back in June when I was sick?  As a friend said, I found some of them. The good news is: Only half of them - so I'm still 14 pounds down which makes my target of 25 pounds by the end of the year - well, it is something I can possibly attain.  At least, I plan to make it.

Overall Health.  I'm not up to par.  I bought into the "you can't do this and that" and my sons have tried to make sure I don't do this or that.  So... now I can't do this or that without getting totally winded.  As stated last week, I bought a lot of mulch to put down.  Of course, having temperatures up into the high eighties and low nineties isn't helping, but I do a little and then need to rest.  I mean, like work for maybe 15-20 minutes and then break for 40 minutes.  It is all about bending over - pushing the gut into the lungs.  Still, I think it might be why the weight hasn't all come back... all that bending.

Mulch.  By the way, the mulch is looking good.  Of course, I didn't buy enough while it was on sale so the one area that I wanted to do probably won't get done - the swing set area.  Just as well.  I think I should put ALL rubber mulch there rather than a mixture of wood mulch with a light sprinkling of rubber mulch.  Since the rubber mulch wasn't on sale, I'll keep an eye open for it to better priced in the next few weeks.

Camping. Took the grand kids camping and now my wife and I can go alone and enjoy some quiet time at the campgrounds during the week since most families have their kids back in school.  OH! Went shopping for a new RV.  We own a 28 foot 1998 Allegro motor home.  Yes, a land-yacht. I'd like to get a "wider" motor home - not necessarily a bigger one.  Let me explain.  I want slide outs in the living area.  If my current motor home had a slide out, I'd keep it since I'm more than thrilled with the mileage I get with it.  Uh, we're talking 10 mpg and up to 14 mpg on flat interstates on cruise.  The new one I looked at would get "maybe" up to 7 mpg, possibly 9 mpg.  LOL. Sure.  I think we're going to hold off on it until maybe next year... unless the salesman comes back with a deal I just can't pass up.  (Like that's going to happen!)

Writing.  Has been stalled.  I've been doing a lot of editing for clients, so I don't have a lot of time for writing.  I've done some - a little - on my second Amish novel.  Was stumped for a while but with a little brain-storming with another writer (thanks, Elyse!), I've now got some great ideas to weave into the tale and give it depth.  With NaNoWriMo coming up in November, I have to decide if I want to attempt it yet again.  I  mean, I've competed 14 years, accomplishing 50K+ words 13 of those times. I've done NaNoWriMo since it's 2nd year of inception and only failing to complete the word count when I attempted a cookbook and my dad passed the month before.  Hint: Don't attempt a cookbook.

Gardening. The garden is coming to an end - sort of.  The corn is done and I've removed all the stalks from the raised bed.  My wife finally agreed that the green pole beans were finished, as were the wax bean plants.  Unfortunately I didn't tie-up my tomato plants - so they've sprawled all over but are doing fine.  We've canned a lot of salsa, diced, and stewed tomatoes - with more to come.  The shelves are filled with beans for the winter.  Still growing are the beets and carrots which appear might be a good crop this year.

Publishing.  I wanted to publish 3 books this year.  So far, only one book out. My Amish novel which has been selling like hotcakes at signings and shows.  On Amazon?  Not so well.  It would seem that the book hasn't sold well at all.  I've order copies twice now and figure I might have to order again before then end of the year - maybe twice!!  If you haven't checked it out - - you won't be sorry.  But, back to publishing.  Maybe with a little luck I'll be able to get out book 2 of my writing tips and book 1 in my Jewyl adventures is complete, for the most part, just some minor edits and a book cover design.  It's all about time.

Do you remember your New Year's Resolutions?  How are they coming along?  Given up?  Have you accomplished them?  Share.

Until next I ramble on...