Looking for a new title

About 2 years ago I posted about rewriting my book and making it much longer. I’ve recently finished the first draft and am working through the laborious task of editing. It’s possible I could be ready for a re-release by the end of the year. I’ve decided I want to retitle the book too. The Qori, The Illia, and Michael Sanders is a little too long for good SEO and stuff. I’d like to come up with something a little easier to rattle off when someone ask, “Hey, what is that book you’re reading?” If anyone who has read the book has any ideas I’d love to hear them.

I’ll be getting a new cover too, actually hiring an artist. I’m very excited for that step.



And, if you want to read the book as it is released right now, here’s a link.

I’m looking forward to your suggestions.




Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Barn Construction Time Lapse Video

I’m excited for the new barn. That’s an understatement, really.

To help pass the waiting I used my old laptop and set up a camera to create a time lapse video of the construction process. It’s not perfect but I learned some things in the process and I’m fairly happy with how it turned out.

Here’s the video:

This is a pretty low-effort video. I didn’t add any intro our outro. I didn’t work very hard on the music. I mostly just wanted to get it posted. I’m feeling a little impatient, with the whole thing. And it’s Friday.

The barn isn’t 100% done yet either. The concrete floor will be done sometime next week or later. Then I still need to wire lighting and stuff like that. Not to mention rebuilding my collection of tools.

I want to thank Kevin Merrill from K & R Construction. His team did a great job and Kevin answered all my questions as the build progressed.



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Barn in Progress

A few people have asked about how the new barn build is going so here’s some pictures. These were taken early last week. The roof is now complete, windows are in, and some of the trim is in place. The siding and concrete are the two major components left.

Though smaller than the lost barn, this space will be much more comfortable, well lit, and usable.

I’ll post more pictures when the new barn is completed.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hawaii Trip 2017

I had grand ideas for creating a whole wonderful travel blog. That takes more time than I have right now so here’s a bunch of pictures, mostly in chronological order.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Spring Break 2017 Trip to Idaho and Utah

We were in Idaho and Utah recently. Here are some of the pictures.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Barn Fire Cleanup – An Update

So the barn fire destroyed pretty much everything. I found a few tools that I’ll save for sentimental reasons, my good hammer mainly. I also found lots of stuff that is recognizable but not really salvageable. I should have taken more pictures of that stuff.

I do have some pictures of the aftermath and cleanup though.

2017-02-18 08.27.39

This first picture is from a couple days after the fire. I hadn’t published it before and it shows the barn destruction in all its glory.

2017-03-13 17.43.03

This picture shows the cleanup after the first day. The piles of rubble are scrap metal that the company hauled away later.

2017-03-13 17.45.10

Here’s another angle after the first day cleanup.

2017-03-14 16.34.37

This last picture shows the site on the second day of cleaning. All that’s left is rocks and dirt.

The cleanup effort will include some new fill and eventually grass. We’ll get around to rebuilding later but maybe not in the same location.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Please, Let’s Get Rid of Daylight Savings

I really don’t care if it’s standard time or daylight savings adjusted time or a whole new 14 hour cycle, I just want to be rid of the add-an-hour, lose-an-hour mess. It hurts.

Personally, I feel the lost hour. It hits me like a mild cold. I feel drowsy, and my eyes hurt. I also didn’t sleep well last night which I also attribute to the time change.

My kids feel it too. Maybe they don’t know it but they are grumpy. Every year they are grumpy for at least a week. Kids can’t change their bedtimes based on the clock. They don’t know how to tell time. We have to change their bedtimes to match what their bodies are used to. Every Spring we move their bedtimes from 7 to 8 pm then slowly start working them back to around 7:30. Then in the Fall we go the other way.

It’s a real pain. And honestly, it cuts into our evening time too. As parents we need that time after the kids are in bed for ourselves. When the kids go to bed later, we also go to bed later. That makes for less sleep overall. It’s a terrible cycle and it needs to end. Let’s get rid of daylight savings time.

Rant over.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My Crappy Weekend :-(

On Friday January 17, 2017 my century old barn and workshop burned to the ground. This is what I came home to.

Nobody was hurt, that’s the important thing. Still, I’ve been sick with stress and worry ever since I got the call that “our barn is on fire.” I was 10 minutes away on my way home and arrived to a dark plume of smoke. The fire department wasn’t even there yet but they had been called. There was nothing they could have done. Even by the time I got there it was obvious that the whole interior of the barn was aflame. I think the pictures below tell the story fine from here.

The inspector couldn’t determine a sure cause and said he’ll report it as undetermined. We’re still waiting to hear back from the insurance company.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Window Shrink Film Saves Me So Much Heat

I heat my home with cord wood. Wood is a very hands-on way to keep a home warm and I notice a big difference in wood consumption when the weather is colder or the wind is blowing. I even see a difference in how my home holds heat if the wind is coming from the east or the west (east is worst for my home, not 100% sure why).

This winter I took a few hours and installed indoor window shrink insulation to several of the older windows, the ones that I noticed more cold air moving through.

I could have done all the windows I needed to do with one of the packs pictured above. I messed up on a window though and needed to buy a second pack that I’ll use next year.

My home is a little over 2,000 sq ft. It’s an older home, 1950s or so. In the past I would have to fill my wood furnace twice a day minimum. If it was colder or very windy I would sometimes check the wood levels mid-day just to be safe.

This year, I’ve been able to fill the furnace just once a day. That has never happened before in the past, even on “warmer” winter days. Sealing my windows has made a tremendous difference to heating efforts. It’s an easy simple thing to do.

Someday I might think about new windows. For now though, I can buy a whole lot of window insulation for the cost of even one replacement window.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Best Audiobooks I’ve Read

I remember family road trips listening to Sue Grafton novels and other books on tape as we drove down to Florida or out west to see family (all our road trips were to see family). Audiobooks have long been a great way to pass time traveling.

My daily commute over the past years has afforded me about an hour per day to partake of the mind-freeing escape that comes from audiobooks. I haven’t kept track of how many books I’ve listened to over the years but I estimate that I get almost 250 hours of listening time per year. That’s a lot of audio time.

In the years I’ve been making this commute (since early 2014) I’ve had several favorite books. Most of these are well known and probably not much of a surprise. I’m going to list them anyway.

The very first book that really took my breath away was City of Thieves by David Benioff. A fantastic story and filled with some very interesting and a few disturbing historical tidbits (cannibals and exploding dogs) this book recounts the story of a young man’s quest through Leningrad during the German siege. One of the most delightful surprises of this book is the narrator, Ron Perlman, who I only really know from Hellboy. He did an absolutely amazing job of this. I was halfway through the book before I realized who was reading and I was honestly blown away. Mr. Perlman, I apologize for ever underestimating you. Your reading of this book has moved you to a new level in my regards.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, what a trip. If you want mind-twisting-mystery-roller-coaster stories, Gillian Flynn is the author for you. The story is great. The readers both did an amazing job. I really enjoyed listening to the different parts of the story read by the different characters.

During a very long, one-day road trip I listened to the entirety of The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I don’t have much experience with drinking. None really. This book was very insightful for me as the main character is an alcoholic. Listening to the book all in one day had a strange affect on me too. I found that the narrator’s voice was ingrained in me. By that night when I finally got home around 1 am I’m pretty sure I remember dreaming in that same narrator’s voice.

The first book over thirty hours long that I listened too was a collection of short stories called Rogues. My only regret with this book is that I didn’t pay better attention to the authors so that I could look them up again in the future. Every story was great. Compiled by George R. R. Martin of a Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) fame the stories are mostly fantasy with a few exceptions. Someday I plan on revisiting the list of contributors and picking out a few of the authors for further reading. My list of books to read is so long. How does anyone keep up with all the amazing books out there?

Just an absolutely beautiful story, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is probably my second favorite book of all time. I’ve been on a bit of a historic fiction kick and this book was so well written and read. I felt like I was there, in Nazi occupied Paris. It’s not a happy place. If you have any interest in historical fiction, particularly WWII stuff, this book is great.

Finally, my favorite book of the past two and a half years is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Wow. I mean. This book still haunts me, in a wonderful way. Narrated by Death (yes, death), we follow Liesel Meminger through Nazi Germany in 1939. Yes, this is another historical fiction, but don’t let that stop you, this is a work that will stand for ages. It has heart, humor, love, and spirit. This book might just change your life.

I’ve read dozens of other audiobooks over the past few years. These are just a few that have stood out to me.

Amendment: I wanted to add one more book to this list. And good news, it’s not a historical fiction. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, a magical stroll down memory lane. I think this was the first book I read by from Neil Gaiman. I’ve read many more since. They were all great but this one is still my favorite from him.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment