Wednesday, May 28, 2014


   I sent off the majority of "Offsets & Savings" to a beta reader this morning. She remodels homes and does construction for a living. That’s of course a group of people who I think would be interested in the book. Of course many average home owners would be also I think would be interested. The entirety of the book consists of things I’ve done to lower my utility bills and I’ve also become a little greener in the process.
   The feedback I got from her is that she thought the book is really good which greatly pleased me. There are others I’ve also ran the concept by and they thought it was a good one.
   Since it looks like I mostly have it together the manuscript will now go through the various editing stages. That will take a little while I’m sure. I want to make sure it’s as clean as possible and readable though.

   Here’s the cover that I’ve created for the book. The image just fit the subject matter in my mind the moment I’d seen it.

   When the book comes out it will be available on Amazon and Smashwords at first. Give it a few weeks and it will probably be available at most of the other online e-book stores.

   Having the manuscript available to both my computer and Droid phone at the same time has been great for this project. It’s the first one I’ve worked on exclusively where the manuscript is on a cloud drive. Pretty much anywhere that I've been at I’ve been able to work on the manuscript. I haven’t been tied to any single place and it's quite wonderful. It also sped up the process a lot. I’ll be doing more books the same exact way in the future.

US drought 2014

There is severe drought in significant portions of the United States. Nevada, California, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, and Arizona are affected along with a few other places like parts of Colorado where I live. Here is a map that shows the affected areas of the US.

Current U.S. Drought Monitor
Map courtesy of:

If you are living in such states you really need to be careful with open flames, BBQ's, etc. The last thing you want is to start a fire that might burn down your house along with the rest of the neighborhood. One thoughtless moment and that's all it takes. 

It also is a good idea in the affected areas to go xeriscape with your lawn and use drip irrigation for a garden if possible. Drip irrigation systems can be expensive I'll note and not within my budget though I do have a soaker hose system that works similarly. I'm expecting drought issues to become even bigger in the future.

Now I'm not expecting to actually see a full fledged dust bowl. Significant areas of the US aren't plowed up these days like they were in the 30's which lessens the possibility considerably. Still, fire is a significant issue and will continue to be.