Best Seller Books and My Budget – 2015

“We Shouldn’t teach great books; we should teach a love of reading.” B.F. Skinner

Whether you’re a lover of hardcover books or e-readers, it’s nice to know people still love to read. If you follow the USA Today top selling books column you can watch what people are reading. Most of those titles you can get in your “big city” library system.

For those of us in rural America, our e-readers are priceless. Yes, we have a book mobile that comes twice a month, a local library (with minimal books and one month requests from other libraries) but choices are few and non-fiction mostly not available.

While my 91 year old mother thought the Kindle would be great, she prefers her hard covers. I doubt she’s read one complete book on the Kindle. And reading is a passion for her. She visits her public library every two weeks for a fresh round of murder, mayhem and mystery.

For the rest of us, we’ll continue to download. Our only hindrance is our budget. It’s sooooo easy to spend more than we should. Whether it’s fabric, yarn, rocks, or books, keeping to our budget is work. Especially when you start watching the best-seller list and say, wow, I’d like to read that one, and that one, and that one — – – – – . My “Want To Read” list on Good Read is way too long, but I like using it because it helps me stay organized (what I’m reading, what I’ve read, what I’ve reviewed, etc). But you won’t find many Best Seller List Books there. One of those is half of one month’s budget, so I limit myself to 4 a year.

My 2014 Best Seller List Reads were:
• The Boys In The Boat by Daniel James Brown (My favorite)
• The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks (Second Best)
• If I Stay by Gayle Forman
• All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

My 2015 list starts with:
• Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

The rest of my reading is provided by the 00 cent and free Kindle offerings. I keep 4-6 in my “To Read” folder on my Kindle at all times. No matter where we travel I always have a pile of books hand, which is more than “enough”.

“It is likely I will die next to a pile of things I was meaning to read”. Lemony Snicketbookworm

Until next time — – – -

Beginning Again – A New Year 2015

We’ve had our retail operation closed since Oct. 31st and I miss meeting people, helping them and retailing in general. But these old bones can’t take the standing anymore.

We were blessed in completion of our closure plan. It took about 18 months to implement Phase I. Now for Phase II – clean out the commercial building. We need to get our dream out of the way so someone else can bring theirs in. We’ve made one huge load to the storage facility, now we’ll take a load every time we go to Cedar City.

In addition, the small amount of misc. giftware will go up on ebay. Tracy has finished photographing everything. We’ll get started in the new year. There’s about 25 small pieces of Navajo Potter, a couple of baskets of beads, a basket of baskets, and misc.

Phase III is to alter the product line, focus on beaded basketry and Jewelry and spend quality time together. It feels good to laugh and play.

Wishing you all an excellent New Year. It is a time of change. We have written our goals and dreams for 2015. I’ll tell you how that goes as the year proceeds.

Many blessings to you all.

Thank You Sony for the Right Answer!!!

I am saddened by a President who walks away from the “ones that brung him” – Hollywood donations. So much for loyalty. And then he tries to take the high road with his comments ” imagine if producers and distributors and others started engaging in self-censorship because they don’t want to offend the sensibilities of somebody whose sensibilities probably need to be offended.” That just pertains to other countries and not our own various populations and cultures?

And what is worse? The lack of sensitivity for the theater owners. These are our neighbors and friends. They own these facilities and contract for movies. If the movie had been shown and an attack had occurred, who do you think the loved ones of the victims would blame first? I can see the attorneys lining up for class action lawsuits against the theater owners and they are the ones that asked Sony to pull the picture.  They are the ones that would suffer the financial hardships from such a horrific event.

I salute Sony and their decision to pull the movie. I hope they consider letting one of the carriers lease the movie and get it out there over the various streaming services. There’s more than one way to skin a cat and letting North Korea get away with this is not the answer. However, I’m not walking in Michael Lynton’s shoes so I can’t say what is the best answer. Only he and his people know what really happened. Their efforts to keep our country and it’s people safe from harm should be saluted, not slandered. And the theater owners? Thank you for caring.

Pass It On

I have learned to listen to my dreams and premonitions. That doesn’t mean I always undertand them, but I’m not surprised when the event occurs. It was one of “pass it on” experiences.

A few days before we went travel trailer hunting I felt a vehicle accident was going to occur. I dreaded going out in the “big city” traffic and was even more worried when we actually bought a trailer and brought it home. What did the universe have in store for us? Whatever it was, I knew when I least expected it was when it would occur.

A trip to San Diego and back with the trailer resulted in no event, but the one-day adventure without the trailer to Moab did not. On the way home we’d decided to go the back way on the byways we most enjoy. A stop at the Hite overlook resulted in a visit with a pair of Ravens who got the rest of the popcorn and loved it. They are creative, fun and mate for life. Deciding he had enough pictures of the pair, Tracy and I ventured on up one of the most remote sections of highway in the U.S.

She was standing by the side of the road in front of her little red Ford Focus Wagon. The hood up, tail gate up, doors open and a jack behind the front passenger side wheel. If you didn’t notice the flashing lights you could certainly tell something was wrong. The skid marks on the rural, isolated highway implied an ugly incident and the bent and twisted highway sign appeared to have saved her life.

As we pulled up and stopped she looked scared. Should she talk to these strangers with Utah plates? Alone on a trek from West Virginia, she was on her way to Natural Bridges when she lost control, almost went in the ditch on one side, over corrected and almost went in the gully on the other albeit for the sign. Result – two tires blown out and only one spare.

She struggled in making a decision, get in the truck with strangers and try to get help or let them get her some help and stay with her broken down car alone, in the dark, with no cell service, 26 miles from the nearest town, population 215. In the end she gave us her name, cell # and other pertinent information and we set off to town. We hated to leave her there, but it was her choice and it was obvious she needed to make it.

Small rural townfolk are used to helping out at all hours of the day and night. And the tow company in Hanskville, Utah was used to calls helping tourists on their adventure around Lake Powell and the other backcrountry byways. This night was no different even if it was the full moon. They picked her up, got her into a hotel room and some folks would see to her vehicle on Saturday.

Little did she know, she was one of our “Pass It On” opportunities from our roll-over accident in 1999? Or was this for our daughter who had an incident with a U-Haul trailer and a man stopped and fixed the problem by giving her a new hitch to get her on her way, wouldn’t give her his name and wouldn’t let her pay for it? Whichever, we were glad we could help.

We headed home knowing we had two and a half hours to get to Escalante, UT. The roads were good, the full moon helped light our way, and the animals stayed off the highway. We traded text messages later that evening and she was fine. Holed up in a hotel room, car to be repaired, and on her way the next day. I reminded her that someday she’ll need to “pass it on”. Her response – “I look forward to it”. I know she will.

Until next time – – -

T-Mobile – Please Port My Phone

After many calls, emails, and letters, I think I understand why T-Mobile won’t agree to port my phone number, even though Congress says it shall and the small phone company who has the number can’t refuse and doesn’t have an exemption.

Problem: I live in a remote section of southern Utah where cell service is all roaming and T-Mobile does not have a porting agreement with the local carrier. Why? Because we are not in their service area. Okay, but you provide me and others in town with cell service. In fact, it’s the most reliable of all the carriers.

Solution: I need T-Mobile to initiate a porting agreement with South Central Communications in Escalante, Utah.

Background: South Central Communications used to provide cell service but shut down their system and sold their tower in 2012. This co-op based company is “locally owned and operated” but forgot what local meant when they shut off the tower.

When they quit providing cell service they told us they “sold that portion of the company to Verizon”, then it was they recommended you transfer your cell service to Verizon. However, Verizon could not provide the same level of service because they wouldn’t buy the tower and couldn’t provide the service. After they got us roped into expensive agreements you could not rely on having phone service, including our Ambulance/EMT providers.

I filed an FCC complaint requesting Verizon let us out of our contracts without buyouts and we’d find another way to solve our phone needs. They argued with us until I finally asked the man from corporate to log on to their own website and click on the page that allows potential customers to get service and put in our zip code of 84726. What did it tell you? Sorry, we don’t provide service in your area. No duh, nor does anyone else, because of the tower issue, we’re all on roaming. We understand that, so a large number of us went back to landlines.

We’ve closed our brick and mortar retail operation and gone mobile but I can’t take my phone with me. T-Mobile will not port my business phone from South Central because there is no agreement. The suggested resolution from South Central Staff – get a number with Verizon and port it there and then port it to T-Mobile. Sorry, that still won’t solve the problem.

South Central Dir of Sales and Service told me it is not in their best interest to port numbers and won’t without an agreement but it’s T-Mobile’s responsibility to initiate an agreement. The staff in the Number Transfer Center at T-Mobile slipped and told me I’m not in their service area so they don’t have an agreement, but South Central must release the line.