Friday, August 28, 2020

The cost of houses in 1946 compared to today

 I'm reading a biography of the mystery writer, Raymond Chandler and have reached the point where he buys a house overlooking the Pacific Ocean in La Jolla, California not far from where I live. It's 1946 and he pays $40,000 for it. The bio then states that "today it is worth three times that amount." Really? That low? So I looked at when the bio had been published -- 1979. Ah. That explains it. Today (2020) it's probably worth several million dollars.

My own house, further north up the coast, cost half a million. And it's a tiny house, but it's ten minutes from the beach. And suits me just fine.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020


 Do you save your manuscripts in the "cloud?"

The cloud isn't in the clouds. It's in a huge room with huge computers saving all our stuff. If that area is zapped with a problem -- there goes the stuff in our 'cloud.' That's why I hate that Apple has now taken all the stuff that previously had only been in my computer memory and put it into the 'cloud' which means I can't access it if I'm not on Internet. Making it useless for me when I'm in the deep woods on a writing retreat.  
Luckily Dropbox lets you work on your manuscripts already on your computer when you have no internet and then will update their cloud base whenever you get to a place with internet and turn your computer on.

Monday, August 24, 2020

The cost of living goes up u p up

 I just re-read Zenna Henderson's Pilgrimage: the book of the People.  Published as a paperback and sold for 75 cents!!!  Paperbacks now sell at about nine dollars.   

Minimum wage has also gone up. And every time that goes up, corporations jack up the prices of everything.  Meaning that no matter the raise in income, the equivalent cost of living remains the same.

How are we going to stop this constant spiraling upwards?

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Where have I lived? Let me count...

When I say that my father was a traveling salesman, people giggle. But yes, he did keep changing jobs. When I was born in 1943 (i'm the oldest) he quit his job and ran all over the state looking for a better one. He ended up at Sylvania during WWII working with something hush hush, so he didn't have to join the military like his brothers did. My first years were in Towanda, Pa, then he moved us to a larger house in a little town over the mountain called Monroeton. First through the beginning of fourth grade. A two room schoolhouse. The fourth grade teacher pushed and pushed me once she learned I was moving down state. She pushed so hard that I was put in the higher groups at the school in Trooper, Pa and again in a few months later in Pottstown, PA. Fourth through 7th grade. While there my father got a Chemical engineering degree at Drexel in Philadelphia and he got a job in one of the first companies to make plastic. So we moved to Oak Park Ill. end of 7th grade and then bought a house in Glen Ellyn, Ill. 8th and 9th grade. He got another job at Marbon Chemical Company so we moved to Vienna, WVa. 10th-12th grade. The family remained there while I went on to college. two years at Keyser, WVa and then on to Morgantown, WVa. (West Virginia University. I married and the two of us moved to Lexington, KY to grad school at UK. Got a job with Baltimore County Public Library and moved to Cub Hill, Maryland where we raised children. Now I'm retired and living in California near my two daughters and granddaughter and grandson. Whew!

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Pony Express

 I was amazed when I learned that the pony express only existed for short while.

In operation for only 18 months between April 1860 and October 1861, the Pony Express nevertheless has become synonymous with the Old West.

The Pony Express was forced to close after the opening of the transcontinental telegraph. Telegraphs could be sent much faster and with less expense. In the end, the business venture that was the Pony Express lost a lot of money and became outdated fairly quickly.

Monday, August 10, 2020

A surprise in my back yard

 I live in a condo area. It does have a fence around it, but no gate (with secret code). The road behind me comes straight toward my house, then curves sharply to parallel the fence before reaching the condo entrance.

Last night I stayed up late watching TV, so it was only when I went to bed and noticed that the background noise I had thought was coming from the TV - just kept on going. and going. and going.
Finally I noticed flashing lights behind my house. Looked out the patio door and -- there was a SUV in my back yard being towed away. It had misjudged the curve and crashed through the iron fence. (so that's what that crash sound had been, not on the TV after all.) Two fence sections lay on the grass. No, it didn't get close to my house, but what a surprise.
This morning they're working to clean up the mess. They just now carted away the fence sections, but I don't know when they'll replace the fencing. I hope it's soon.
On the other hand, I've always wanted to leap over the fence as a shortcut to my house when coming back from my walk around the neighborhood, instead of having to walk all the way to the entrance of my condo area, and then back to my house.
Now I have that shortcut.
At least - until they mend the fence.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Carrying a weapon

I was the assistant Fencing Coach in grad school. One day while walking from class to the gym for practice with my fencing gear in its special carry bag,, I was stopped by police in a car. "Are you carrying a weapon?" they asked. "Yes," I replied. "Would you please show it to us?" (This was in Kentucky and they were very polite, but I could see they were on edge because of all the protests around the country in the 1960s) So I pulled out my fencing foils. One of them wanted a fencing lesson right there and then. 🙂  
Oh, and walking after fencing practice I had to go through a park to get to my bus stop. Other college women had warned me about danger in that park, but for some reason, I was never accosted. Might be because I was carrying a 'weapon?"