Thursday Thoughts

I’m so pleased to report that Laurie Kahn’s Love Between the Covers project met its $50,000 goal this morning.  But you still have four days to become a backer, and pledges of any amount are welcome.  Under the Kickstarter system, someone raising money sets a minimum goal and an end date, in this case $50,000 and midnight on Monday (August 27).  If the minimum goal isn’t met by the closing date, no one’s credit card is charged, and no money changes hands.  If the goal is met, fundraising continues until the end date.  So it’s not too late to join in.

Maybe love has something to do with an odd phenomenon I’ve noticed the last couple of weeks at work, but I have yet to invent a story to explain it.  Every afternoon lately, around four o’clock, a car has parked in front of the Scorekeeper or next door, in one of the few parking places available on the street.  Same car, same Latino couple in it, she’s driving, he’s in the passenger seat.  They sit there, motor running, for fifteen or twenty minutes.  Then they get out of the car, trade places, and drive away.  On several occasions they’ve arrived while I was on my daily trip to the post office, forcing me to park two or three houses down the street, only to disappear by the time I get back to my desk.  What the heck are they up to?

I’m still on the fence about Twitter.  I’m not sure I want to know that much about other people’s daily lives, but on the other hand I’ve followed links to some interesting, and occasionally hilarious, web sites.  Try this wacky list of bedroom tips inspired by a certain notorious trilogy:  Ten Shades of Stupid.  Or this excellent analysis of changes in the publishing industry:  Publishing Is Broken.  So far I’ve pretty much kept up with the flow, since I’m at my computer much of the day, but when I look at profiles of folks who are following hundreds, or even thousands, of Twitter acounts, I have to wonder when they have time to do anything else.

Seen this afternoon on Highway 59 in downtown Houston, on the back of a pick up truck filled with furniture and boxes, a bumper sticker reading TEXAS : the balls of America.  Look at a map.  Then think about . . . Florida.

Wednesday Roundup

I just did something I’ve been meaning to do for nearly a month:  I pledged $35 toward the $50,000 Laurie Kahn needs to finance the completion of her documentary film Love Between the Covers, part of the Popular Romance Project.  We were treated to a trailer for the film-in-progress at lunch at the RWA National Conference last month, and the audience loved what we saw.  The money is being raised through Kickstarter, a site I had never visited.  You can watch the trailer there.  Consider kicking in a few bucks.

I checked another item off my perpetual ToDo list this morning when I renewed my military ID card, a task that has ranged over the years from pleasant (when my late husband Jack and I used to drive down to the Coast Guard Station on Galveston Island) to aggravating.  This time it was reasonably painless, once I found the new phone number for the Ellington Field information line (no humans involved, just a recorded message) and got the schedule and new location.  I’m not sure I’ve ever found the ID card office in the same place twice.  Last time I spent fifteen minutes searching the far reaches of Ellington, a one-time Air Force Base now partially commercial and generally confusing.  The ID card office is now in a newer building (with a parking lot!!) outside the secure part of the base where the military retains a presence.  Its hours are technically 8 to 12, but they are prone to closing when they “reach capacity,” so I was happy to be the third person to sign in.  I was out with my new card by 9 AM, leaving a rapidly filling waiting room behind.

I’ve never actually been in the military myself.  My dad was in the Navy from shortly after Pearl Harbor until he was released several months after the end of the war.  I always thought he had the personality and ability to be a fine officer, but perhaps he didn’t like the regimentation.  At any rate, once he left active duty he seldom talked about it and never looked back.  Jack, on the other hand, joined the Army Air Corps at the age of seventeen, saw a few months of World War II from the ball turret of a B-17, and would have happily remained a career officer if the Army hadn’t reduced its forces after Korea.  He had the foresight to remain in the Army Reserves (and had some fun along the way, especially when we lived in Louisiana, where he enjoyed Cajun food with the Lafayette unit and helped a Colonel stationed in New Orleans accumulate artifacts for a museum) until he retired.  The medical benefits and annuity I inherited make any number of visits to renew my card (which I usually only have to do every four years) worthwhile.  In fact, I feel horribly ungrateful even mentioning it.  Thanks, Jack!

The Firebirds site launched on Monday.  We’re still on a bit of a shake-down cruise, but we’re setting up our author pages, organizing our posts, and welcoming visitors.  We’re even giving prizes to random commenters now and then, so please come by, meet the Firebirds, and say hello.