Tuesday, 7 October 2014

08:07 – Work on The Ultimate Family Prepping Guide continues. I’m still in the initial phase of stubbing out what I intend to write about. As I think of things I want to cover, I add notes to myself. Sometimes those notes are only a sentence or paragraph. Other times, I end up writing an entire section of a few thousand words. Eventually, it will come together and start to flow. At that point, I’ll finish the first draft and go back to fill in the gaps, fix what I’ve already written, and add in stuff like images and graphics.

I set up a mailing list last Thursday for people who are interested in following the progress of the book. It worked fine for a couple of days and then started redirecting requests to an ICANN error page. I finally got the ICANN glitch resolved. If you want to join that list, visit http://lists.family-prepping.com/listinfo.cgi/tufpg-family-prepping.com. I’ve yet to send out the first message to the list because I don’t have anything yet that’s worth looking at.

26 thoughts on “Tuesday, 7 October 2014”

  1. Bob, since you are self publishing, there is something that you find distasteful that you are going to have to do that your publisher has always taken care of for you. You are going to have to do marketing. Your book is going to be far better than most of the books out there on the subject. You need to be thinking about marketing now. A lot more people will be prepared if you work on marketing the book. You are selling a book that lots of people are going to want, they just have to know it’s coming. You aren’t selling polluted ice to Eskimos. You are creating a product that people want, they just need to know it will be available.

    You need to have some kind of page up at the book’s web site indicating that the book will be coming out in 2015. Even though it is an e-book, you have to have cover art. You have been talking about emergency kits for the car, so maybe it’s time to make a video about that and put it on Youtube, and link to it from the book’s web site.

  2. Bob, if we signed up for the list when your site first went up, do we need to sign up again?

    Edit: just checked by going to the site and logging in and I see I am on the Non-Digested Members list. So at least your list was not lost.

    I see that there is a Digested Members list too. How is that different?

  3. @DadCooks – I’m not sure what the difference is. I suspect it’s just a matter of whether you subscribe to get individual emails or a once-a-day digest email.

    @Dave B. – You’re probably right, but I despise marketing and particularly advertising. Which I suppose is pretty odd, given that I was supposed to have learned a lot about both of those when I did my MBA.

    I do none of either for our science kit business, and I’m happy that way. Word of mouth works pretty well. Yeah, I’ll do a decent cover. I shot the cover images for the biology and forensics books, and O’Reilly produced the actual covers. I’ll shoot a cover image for this book, which’ll probably be a stack of cases of LDS long-storage food in #10 cans as the background with a bunch of firearms and ammunition, etc. stacked/leaned in front. I’ll also probably shoot some YouTube videos, but I don’t consider either of those to be marketing/promotion.

  4. You should write a letter to the White House and see if you can get Obama to write the foreword. 🙂

  5. Pournelle should write the forward. After all, he has been a prepper since the 1970s (“Lucifer’s Hammer” anyone).

  6. “Why I have grown to hate steamgames.com”

    “A son of mine, I’m not saying which one, borrowed from my desk a credit card and — quick like a bunny — bought over $200 worth of in-game weapons, tools, etc. for the Steam game platform from steamgames.com, which is owned by Valve Corp. Needless to say, the kid is busted, but the more important point for this column is how easily he for a time got away with his crime.”

    This is why I believe in corporal punishment.

  7. I’m not real big on corporal punishment, except the floggings for Congressmen, lawyers, stockbrokers and politicians.

    I had it doled out to me as a kid from both parents and teachers and usually had it coming, but neither my siblings nor I have ever laid a hand on our own kids. My parents were fagged out from dealing with me and then my next-younger brother, while my middle brother and younger siblings were very well-behaved, by comparison, so we got the brunt of it. They stopped when I got to be thirteen and six feet tall; for that sort of punishment to work, they’d have had to use a baseball bat or tire iron.

    And my next-younger brother maintains that we probably didn’t get hit enough.

    But in Cringely’s case, I’d say cutting off the kid’s pooter and net access for a good long while would be more appropriate; put the bugger to work on house and yard and shove his now into a damn book. With a report due weekly. And the books have to date from before 1965.

    Another very windy day here on the bay; mostly sunny, though.

    Recruiters stepping up their calls and emails again now…let’s see where I end up this time.

    And just now, yet another ass-hat went flying down our street, which has a 10-MPH limit; this bastard was doing 40. We have kids, pets, older people, etc. here. I’m ginning up a letter to the select board and the police chief accordingly; the ass-hats also go flying around the curve behind us, like it was a race track, gunning their engines and scrubbing out, a 35-MPH zone, but they hit it at twice that.

    Mrs. OFD and I want ped crosswalks in a couple of locations, and ditto, speed bumps. They got money for resurfacing the main drag into town and putting a nice walkway along the shore and into the park behind us? Then they can afford some white paint and speed bumps.

    If no satisfaction from the Authorities, then other action will have to be considered.

  8. I haven’t asked him yet, but I suspect Jerry will be willing to write the Foreward.

  9. Digested Members List / Non-Digested Members List

    You will be assimilated.

  10. Hey, Dr. Bob, maybe get a second forward or intro from Nancy Tappan? She’s still out there…

  11. I’ve just about had it with my iPhone; to make a long story short, another couple of hours messing with trying to get app updates, re-setting the password, unable to sync w/iTunes on the Windows 8 box, agreeing to changed policy announcement twice, and finally not accepting the newly re-set pw again. And I have to drive three miles in any direction to be able to do any of this anyway.

    I’ll be looking at alternatives when the contract is up, rest assured.

  12. I’m not sure Nancy would even remember me. I interacted mostly with Mel.

  13. I’ve just about had it with my iPhone

    I’d recommend my phone, but as I recall Chuck is having problems with the exact same model. Although it may have as much to do with your being in a dead zone with your current carrier.

    Our cable modem has WiFi built in, so all my updates are installed over WiFi instead of the carrier’s data service.

  14. We’re in a mostly dead zone, apparently; peeps along the lake shore tell us it’s normal all along the shore. To top it off, the town highway department garage on the shore, about 200 yahds away, has a big pile of scrap metal sitting there, which the postmaster told us also causes cell phone coverage problems here in the village.

    I’ve tried updating with the thing connected to the computer, using the modem’s built-in wireless, and driving three miles out to get five bars on it; what riles me is the hoops Apple makes me jump through with passwords, syncing it, signing agreements, and constant updates in the first place. For the remainder of the contract I’ll only be using it to make and receive calls, check the weather, and use it as a watch and camera.

    Maybe by the end, there will be a whole new phone technology out there that I can glom onto and be cutting-edge.

  15. Maybe by the end, there will be a whole new phone technology out there that I can glom onto and be cutting-edge.

    Android? My Galaxy S5 has zero problems like this.

  16. Maybe. I just want a damn phone that makes and receives calls and has a few apps that I use regularly and where I don’t have to jump through all kinds of proprietary hoops all the time to get the most basic chit done on it. They say it’s for security, but it stinks to me of the show that is put on for the benefit of airline travelers and the media. A lot of b.s. for nothing much in the way of positive results.

    I’m not sure, but I think I have about a year left on the contract; will be researching it all meanwhile.

    Just arranged for us to change over from a residential to a biz internet/landline account here via Fairpoint, with whom our problems can be counted on one hand over years. We’ll be getting a new modem/router and jacked-up speed. With a free yellow pages ad for the wife’s biz and a white pages listing for it.

    And an interview sometime this week for yet another Windows-centric sys/net admin gig, but at least it would be only four miles away and have actual bennies. A potential interview somewhere else in the area when I hear back from a guy. Just need sumthin to pay the bills while I get out from under PHB manglers and get my own thang established.

    Still very windy here, and ditto, I am given to understand, in Portland, Maine and northern Nouveau Brunswick. Mrs. OFD has to drive out to some point up there nearer to a cell tower to call down here and the charges are around a buck a minute.

  17. I seem to have relatively good luck with technology…

    I have (or have had) an iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, iPod Nano, iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad Air,, and an iMac and all worked exceptionally well and I fully endorse Apple’s “It just works” slogan about Mac OS X. I also used Windows Me and Windows Vista and both worked just as well for me as Windows 98SE and Windows 7, respectively.

    I am an IT professional and so I certainly use my computer and devices to a greater extent than the “average user,” but not as much as many other “super users.” I just don’t experience all of these headaches and frustrations that everybody else does.


  18. @Chuck W – I’d support a Kickstarter for that 😉

    @OFD – remember the sales people at the phone stores are actually a step below used car salesmen IMHO when it comes to the facts, the truth, and trustworthyness.

    Personally we have been using Samsung phones (Vibrant then Galaxy series) for the past 6 years and T-Mobile as a provider. For some reason T-Mobile provides the best coverage, signal, and signal here, plus we are grandfathered into a complete truly unlimited family plan with no throttling that is less than half of any similar current plan on any carrier.

  19. “I just don’t experience all of these headaches and frustrations that everybody else does.”

    Outstanding! I was OK with Windows NT, 2000, 7 and now 8. Also OK with just about every Linux distro I’ve tried. I work in IT, too, on and off, and I probably don’t beat the hell out of all these devices with strange and arcane usage. We shall see how that goes when we get cranking on Ubuntu Studio and various media stuff.

    “Something like this, maybe?”

    Ja, Mr. Chuck, wäre dies sehr schön hier zu dienen. Danke für die Idee.

  20. “…using Samsung phones (Vibrant then Galaxy series) for the past 6 years and T-Mobile as a provider.”

    We are stuck with Verizon here for the cells and pretty bad coverage in the village and immediate area around our house.

    It remains to be seen how wunnerful our net speed is gonna be when we change over to the new biz plan. But it bettuh be substantial.

  21. Hey QFD,
    My current gig is with CSC. I work virtually, full time with benefits. I basically have a company cell phone and laptop. On the contract I work, most people are sys-admins, about 50-50 Linux-Widows. I do development work, so I only know bits of what the sys-admin work is like. Feel free to contact me if you want to know more. terry at nerva.com.
    http://www.csc.com/careersus may have some job posts, but I have not looked lately.

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