Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Lost in space

Our Prime Minister Gordon Brown seems to have lost all contact with reality. The latest pronouncement by Labour is that they are going for a "Growth Economy" and to "get Britain moving forward." We are still in recession and have a massive public debt yet this government is still spending money like they will never have to pay it back. Does he not realise that the British Public know that his lack of attention while at the helm allowed the British bank system to collapse? It was his decision to split the Bank of England's monitoring responsibility.
He is like a bankrupt with a credit card in a betting shop. "Just a couple more bets on this card and it will all be better."

Sunday, 27 December 2009

A traditional Christmas

A white Christmas here in Edinburgh, even some roads closed in the countryside. We had the "kids" round on Christmas and Boxing days. All in all a good Christmas.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Back in the UK - chaos

In Feb 2009 local authorities were having trouble getting sufficient supplies of road salt to treat the roads in the UK. Yet still we see reports in December 2009 that the Local Authorities have not learned their lesson, with lorries queueing for over a mile to get salt supplies. When the Automobile Association warns in advance that salt supplies are too low people like Councillor David Sparks of the Local Government Association say, "It is ridiculous scaremongering for the AA to suggest that councils are not prepared for prolonged winter weather." These local Government Officials penny pinch on holding salt stocks and pretend that they can get extra supplies at short notice. Meanwhile the rest of the UK population suffer chaos when snow falls. Now it's snowing here in Scotland.

I note that Peter Mandelson, the unelected Business Secretary chooses to release news about a £533,000,000 cut in University Funding just before the Christmas Break, no coincidence in timing there.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Back to reality soon

Just two days in the USA - I hope the East Coast snow storm hasn't screwed up the air transport system too much. I'll be back in Edinburgh in time for the endless wrapping parcels and visiting relatives. It's been a good break out here, plus so far I've not broken any of my bones.

I see that the Copenhagen conference on Climate was pretty much a waste of time with the "developing" countries digging their heels in and wanting to keep increasing the amount of emitted Carbon. I foresee that the only way forward is for the "western" countries to impose a carbon tax on imported/locally produced goods that is proportional to the amount of energy used to create and transport the goods. The tax raised should be used to develop low energy technologies. Meanwhile something has to be done about population growth in the third world. It is the prime driver in the global warming problem. I touched on the matter in the first Adam Cranford book - Teen Valour.


Friday, 18 December 2009

Muscles I didn't know about

Ok so now I have rediscovered muscles that I'd long since forgotten. They are protesting about me sliding down steep snowy slopes supported by a pair of flexible sticks. Well today they will have more to contend with because I'm taking some snowmobile lessons today. It is about time I learn properly how to use one of these beasts. I wonder if I can convince my accountant that this is valid research for my third book? I'm sure that Adam Cranford would want to escape from somewhere using a captured snow mobile.

Ironic really I come all the way over to Vail to get snow, but when I check the weather back home I find that it has been snowing back in the UK - where's all this global warming.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Monday, 14 December 2009

Lunchtime in the mountains.

Just come down for lunch from the ski slopes. A massive steak with fries, but I'll burn that off this afternoon.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

e-book giveaway

Still can't sleep - I hate jetlag. I've spent a couple of hour's this morning ploughing through lists of military personnel sending them emails to invite them to take a free copy of the e-book version of Company Mole. I hope the scheme works out. Currently it just seems to be US military personnel. Hopefully it will be extended to British forces as well, though I do wonder if they will get access to internet bandwidth.
I had a good day on the snow yesterday, even got the wife to come out.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Gold Bar Giveaway

The publishers have launched the Gold Bar give away promotion for the Adam Cranford books. They have a genuine 99.999% pure gold bar sitting in the bank for the competition winner. It weighs one troy ounce and is worth over $1100.

No tricks, but you have to know your Adam Cranford stories. The information is on-line, but it will be much easier to buy or borrow a copy of the Adam Cranford books to find the information that you need to answer the quiz.

Snow - yippee!

Finally arrived, sorted the car rental and arrived at the lodge. Now jet lag is kicked in and I'm awake at my "normal time". So I might as well sign in and check on-line stuff. It looks like the snow will be good, now all have to do is to remember how to ski. It will be rented ski's but that saves the hassle of bringing my own through USA tourist security.
Picked up some new ideas for book No 3.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Offline for a few days

I've gone skiing in Vail in Colorado USA to get some R&R after a busy year. I'll be checking email occasionally and maybe even blogging.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Public Libraries in the UK must be rich

As part of the marketing campaign for the book Teen Valour my publishers have sent a free review copy of the book to local authorities to see if the library department would want to receive gratis donated copies for their branch libraries. No commitment and no expectation of purchase. In each case before sending the book  the publishers phoned ahead to check the correct person who should receive the book. If the local authority said no to the offer nothing was sent so it can hardly be called junk mail.
The publishers have sent out 30 such review copies to different local authorities and have so far received only one response/acknowledgement in the 6 week period since the books were sent out. That respondee was pleased to receive copies.  The rest of the libraries didn't bother to respond. The publishers made some follow up enquiries and got the response from the libraries that they prefer to go Library Suppliers and they do not accept unsolicited books.
In effect the libraries outsource their selection process to third parties (effective monopolies) who then in turn make a profit on that outsourced activity. The libraries think that it is cheaper to buy the books than accept donated new copies.
I ask just how much does it cost to stamp a book with a library stamp and record the entry in their catalogue? Are libraries actually still interested in books?

Company Mole is electronic

My second book Company Mole has now been released. It is available on Amazon in printed form or on Smashwords in e-book form. People in the UK can visit our online shop, we often offer discounts.