Jots 11-16-2009

From our “Better to Travel Hopefully” department
Williamsburg was work, but it cudda been worse. A major nor’easter, the remnants of Ida whose coat tails we experienced, passed through the day before we arrived, leaving leaves, limbs and hundred-year oaks littering the sandy landscape. It was miserable, gale-force misty cold, so my microbrews tour never happened and the camera stayed in the bag all the way there and back. Ann’s meeting was good, and even though they only had cable Internet in the rooms (and I was tethered to the tiny desk that would barely even hold the laptop) I did get some things done.

Calendars Closing Fast
I am approaching the 60 orders I said I wanted in place before the calendars arrive by month’s end, but there are still some pre-order slots available. If you’re interested, go back and look at the links and details from an earlier post, and comment there or email to get your name on the list. I anticipate being the One-armed Paper Hanger of Goose Creek the first few days after my 100 calendars arrive, keeping track of all the details. Can do!

Getting Adroit with Droid
Mostly while motel-room-bound Friday and Saturday, I played at things-Droid, adding a few apps, learning from various websites and the manual, signing up for Google Voice and using some of my 450 free calling minutes I can’t use from the house. The GPS navigation took a little tweaking, but with the unit in my shirt pocket, it directed us by voice right to our hotel room. I had planned on buying a Garmin anyway, so figure I didn’t do so bad with the Verizon deal. The service is an extra dollar a day over basic phone service, but I think I’ll be glad I have it.

I’m hoping to get back to the novel this week where I left off–at about 18k words–but I will not be stressing to have 50k by the end of the month. I’ll hope to have a first draft by late spring, maybe, and go from there. Also in the near term on another front, I’ll have spend some days in the task of converting the files for offset printing of the second book into the slightly different format for print on demand through Lightningsource so they’ll be available for wholesale orders by B & N for the Festival of the Book in Charlottesville in March.

Told Ya So
Ann holds not the least interest in my techie indulgences, and scoffed when I showed her the Flashlight app I installed on the Droid. Fumbling for the keys in the dark when we got home (having forgotten to leave the porch light on) I was feeling self-righteously vindicated when I whipped out the cell phone and it lit our way to the keyhole. See! Dear!

Sinking Feeling
After a year or more without, we finally got around to replacing the memory foam topper on the bed, this time, a three-incher that came the day before we left for W’burg. It makes sleep more a matter of being IN bed versus simply ON bed, and I especially notice I use less fidgit-energy getting my elbows, heels and shoulder blades comfortable. Sleeping on my side also is also is nicer. Could have lived without it, but it is a luxury we decided was worth the pennies a day it will cost us by the time we recycle it to chair cushions and car pillows.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Oh, 3 inch memory topper is heaven; like lying on a cloud. How did you live without one once you had one?? I’m always a side sleeper (to avoid snoring) so all tose bony parts are so happy and calm.