Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Great Liquor War with Partners and Homesteader

            As I’ve mentioned here and in other forms I’ve been working toward the release, or perhaps re-release of my first novel, “The Great Liquor War” and things are moving along. I have had another edit done and its surprising how many errors slipped through the three edits done the first time it was printed. However, done now.
            Once GLW is out, possibly by June or July I’ll have three available with “Partners” and “Homesteader”. I also have “Jake’s Justice” ready and a collection of short stories.
            I had thought about using the same cover as the first time. It is/was a sketch done by Marilyn Meikle and though it does not show liquor, or the two police forces involved in the disagreement it does show another important character in the story which is a railroad steam engine and a depot with a man standing between the two holding a rifle. It is also a cover I like very much. However I only have a copy of it as a document, which can not be manipulated to any degree and Marilyn is far too busy to attempt another one.
            As I mentioned in an earlier post I’ve been looking at a couple of other possibilities. One is a train and the other is two men holding a bottle from opposite sides. I have a designer/artist/editor extraordinaire (www.tracywandling.com) working on a new cover and should have something soon.
            A couple of ideas:





            Several people have said in a variety of places, “Why read fiction when it isn’t real?”
            There are several answers to that question. Sometimes, perhaps more often than not, a fictionalized version of events communicates a better understanding than the “facts” surrounding that event. One of the reasons for that is that fiction is often presented in such a way that it requires the reader to “fill out” some descriptions or actions with their own imagination. This allows that reader the opportunity to “picture” what is “happening” (or isn’t, really) in a way that person can better understand.
            As I’ve said many times, a reader of fiction can be their own director/cinematographer/actor with the development of some imagination. Make your own movie in your head.
            Studies have supported this contention and shown other benefits. It has been shown, for example that those who read fiction show far more empathy for and understanding of others.
            More about that at another time, but for now, click on the book covers over to the right to be taken to my SBPRA web page or go to www.amazon.com/books and type in one of the titles or D.M. McGowan. There you can have look inside to see what you think.
            I have a couple of reviews on the back cover of “The Great Liquor War” but a new one is from R. Hadland.
“Anyone who has ridden a horse, or enjoys the history of our pioneer era, will get a lot of enjoyment out of this story.”
From A.G.Wayne Ezeard, author of “Where Eagles Soar”:

“This book is a must read. Well researched and written with an accuracy of historical events. Highly Entertaining.”

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Learning New Tricks and an old novel

Last October I took a trip down to Red Deer, AB and spent 2 weeks trying to absorb information presented by two NACE (type that into Google and then click on NACE International and it will be explained) Level 3 Inspectors. Despite having been away from the business of fabrication for 28 years I managed, somehow, to pass the Level 1 course the first week and then, lo and behold, Level 2 the next week. I am therefore a NACE Certified Level 2 Coating Inspector.
            Just goes to prove you CAN teach an old dog a new trick.
            There is a need apparently since some of the coating manufacturers are finding that their products may or may not have been applied as recommended. If they should fail and item they are supposed to protect fails who is responsible, the fabricator, applicator or manufacturer? Was material substandard before fabrication?
            On the first day of the first course, during the introduction to Level 1 an explanation of Corrosion and its costs were outlined. For example, a 1998 study shows that 3.1% of the US gross domestic product was lost to corrosion. As a percentage that doesn’t sound like a great deal but expressed as a dollar value the loss was $276 billion.
Worse than the cost factor, however is the safety factor. Pipelines often contain volatile materials, sometime in a gaseous state. They are usually built for several decades of service with engineered safety factors far in excess of the expected lifetime. Despite those built in safety factors they often fail and it is most often due to corrosion which might be caused by failure of the pipe or the coating or unexpected changes in atmospheric conditions.
So the need for coating inspectors in manufacturing, shipping, both off-shore and on-shore petroleum production, in the transport of those petro-chemical products, in bridges and in critical concrete construction.
The information required to be a NACE Level 2 Inspector is not the type of thing I use in writing a novel, singing a song or hauling Diesel around the country. However I’m looking forward to using that information and my Positector.

Speaking of novels, I’m hoping my first novel, “The Great Liquor War” will be available once again by June or July. Right now I have Tracy Wandling (www.tracywandling.com/) working on a new cover design.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Discovery of a New Element


I must first state that I did not write this.
I must then admit that I don't know who did or where it came from.
I was scrolling through some things from long ago and there it was.
Whoever wrote it, I thought it was funny, brilliant and, saddly, accurate.
Scientists at CERN in Geneva have announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element Governmentium (Gv). It has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons and 198 assistant deputy neutrons giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by forces coiled morons which are surrounded by vast quantities of right-on-like particles called peons.
Since Governmentium has no electrons or protons, it is inert. However, it can be detected because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. Even a tiny amount of Governmentium causes a reaction which normally takes only a few days to complete to four years or more to finish or resolve.
Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2- 6 years. It does not decay but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium 's mass will actually increase over time since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientist to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical point of concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.
When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons. Vast sums of money are consumed in the exchange yet no other by-products are produced.
 
By the way, here is another page you can check out;
along with the videos and interviews off to the right.
 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

David Milton McGowan: Remembering trips on the Heritage Highway

David Milton McGowan: Remembering trips on the Heritage Highway: I just found – through some help on FB – a link to some great videos of the country around Tumbler Ridge , BC . A couple of years ago I...

Remembering trips on the Heritage Highway


I just found – through some help on FB – a link to some great videos of the country around Tumbler Ridge, BC.
A couple of years ago I was going up there once a week or more but now don’t get up there much at all. These pictures will give you some idea of why I enjoyed the trip and why I elect to be in this country.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Corporal Nathan Cirillo, October 22, 2014


On October 22, 2014 a man shot one of Canada’s soldiers who at the time stood guard over the memorial for those who have defended our country and way of life and whose sacrifice is otherwise not recorded. He was also representing those men and women who have died to maintain the country and the freedom its citizens enjoy. As a serving member of Canadian forces he also represented those who did serve, survived and returned to life as a citizen and part of the fabric of this great country.

Corporal Nathan Cirillo. If you are a Canadian he represented YOU.

Corporal Nathan Cirillo. If you live in a country where you have the opportunity to express your views, however small and fleeting or large and long-standing that opportunity may be, then he represented YOU.

Corporal Nathan Cirillo. An attack on him was an attack on civilization.

Kevin Vickers, Sergeant-at-Arms within the Canadian Parliament buildings shot the attacker and brought to a halt this atrocity.

In Canada we have some of the best armourers and security training personnel to be found anywhere in the world. We have people with the fortitude – the “parts” if you will – and training to handle any situation that they may face.

Therefore the fact that Mr. Vickers stopped the attack before it became a massacre does not particularly surprise me.

The fact that Mr. Vickers had the training necessary does not surprise me too much since he is old enough to have, perhaps, received proper training such as is not usually enjoyed by some entering the security professions in the last few years. Perhaps he has had time to privately and at his own expense augment whatever initial training he did receive.

What does surprise me is that with the illogical and antiquated attitude toward firearms that is usually broadcast by Canada's traditional media Mr. Vickers was not only allowed to carry a firearm it was actually loaded and useful. I do expect our politicians will continue to spread false, misleading and un-supported information about firearms because they see such statements bringing votes ... even though it is obvious some of their lives were saved by a man with a firearm who knew how to use it.

I do hope a few real people (those who actually contribute thereby assuring the country grows and prospers) remember this event the next time firearms are vilified.

But more important, remember Corporal Nathan Cirillo.

RememberSergeant-at-Arms, Kevin Vickers.

The attacker? Forget him. He was either a fool who believed lies or he was unbalanced ... probably both. His only contribution was providing a focal point to show how important real Canadians can be to each other and the continuation of the country.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Old Time Threshing


No (for some of the younger) this is not a post about talking to some un-likable person by hand. It’s about separating cereal grain from the (ripe) dry plant in a manner in many areas prior to 1955 and in some places well into the 1970s.

My Uncle Sam cut and bundled about 8 acres on the front of the field next to his house and my cousins and their children stooked (standing the bundles up so they will continue to ripen and dry) it. With the help of many friends who also have heavy draft horses and some wagons a threshing was held on Sept. 20, 2014. I didn't actually count them but there was well over 100 people in attendance, helping, watching, and either evoking memories or building new ones.

Here are a few pictures from the day.
There was also a team of tough little Fjords there hauling children (and the occassional adult) around but for some reason that picture does not want to down-load.


Here's a pretty paint team bringing in another load of oat bundles.


A couple of hard working volunteers feeding the threshing machine.

Sam's Oliver 88 powering the threshing machine with little effort

Sam Roberts and his team heading for the field and another load of bundles

Having just hauled a load of oats to the grainary

Sam Roberts and Gordon Meek

1928 "General Motors Truck" almost finished restoration - and the usual cell phone interruption but they did help to record the event.