Nick’s Blog

July Q&A

 Posted by at 1:06 am  Nick's Blog
Jul 212024

I’m back with more questions from blog readers about my writing activities, what’s happening in our lives, and all kinds of other things. While I try to answer all questions individually, I also share some here occasionally.

Q. In yesterday’s blog, in your desk the cubbyhole on the right appears to have a wood carving of a cowboy. If so, do you remember where it came from or who carved it?

A. It is a sculpture of the late Arizona artist Ted Degrazia, who I knew when I lived in Tucson many years ago. I found one currently for sale on eBay at

Q. With your new Tinder Street book coming out, I remember you writing something about a family tree for all of the characters. Did you ever put it together and will it be included in the new book?
A. I did make a family tree for the series, mostly to help me keep track of the main characters. However, I have not figured out a way to include it in the books. But it is on Ancestry as a public tree under the name Tinder Street Family Tree.

Q. In a blog post last week called What Could Possibly Go Wrong you showed a picture of a new knife you cut yourself with and said it was a switchblade. I’m confused on two things. It looks like a traditional Buck Folding Hunter knife, and I don’t think Buck makes switchblades. And aren’t switchblades illegal?

A. It is a Buck 110 (Folding Hunter) automatic knife. The same as the standard model but opens with the push of a button as a switchblade. There is no federal law prohibiting switchblades, and they are legal in 46 states, though some states have restrictions on blade length and who can legally carry one.

Q. Nick, would you mind telling me how much you had to pay for your whole house generator? Here in Central Florida my power company is asking $10,500 for Generac plus tank and propane.

A. Depending on the size, that sounds in the ballpark. Ours is a 24 KW Generac and was $15,000. That included over 150 feet of trenching needed to run the gas line. The tank and propane were extra.

Q. Why not get a pet sitter to stay at your house and take care of your animals when you go out of town instead of boarding them? Wouldn’t they be more comfortable at home than in a boarding kennel?
A. We live out in the country and finding a pet sitter with references is difficult. The boarding place we are considering does not keep animals in a kennel, they stay in a house, each with their own room, and are walked/exercised/played with several times a day.

Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing for an Camping Journal & RV Travel Logbook donated by Barbara House. Barbara makes several variations of these, and they all have pages where you can list the date, weather, where you traveled to and from that day, beginning and ending mileage, campground information including amenities at RV sites, a place for campground reviews, room to record activities, people met along the way, reminders of places to see and things to do the next time you’re in the area, and a page for notes for each day.

To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed. After 30 days, unclaimed prizes revert back to the drawing pool for a future contest.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us. I guess it’s all a matter of how you look at things.

Thought For The Day – They say don’t try this at home, so I’m coming over to your house to try it.

Nifty New Stuff

 Posted by at 12:42 am  Nick's Blog
Jul 202024

Yesterday Terry finished editing and proofreading the last chapters of my new book, and after I made her corrections, I sent them off to Roberta and Judy to have them go through them. I thought while I’m waiting for them to get the chapters back to me, today I will tell you about a couple […]

Life Besides Writing

 Posted by at 12:55 am  Nick's Blog
Jul 192024

While most of my time has been spent finishing my new book, The War Years, there is more to our lives than just writing and editing, believe it or not. It was time for the cats to get their annual shots, so the other day we took them to Western Alabama Animal Hospital in Carrollton, […]

That’s #56

 Posted by at 1:03 am  Nick's Blog
Jul 182024

Because of all the research required, it took a little longer than I had hoped for, but yesterday I finished writing the last chapter of The War Years, the sixth book in my Tinder Street family saga. I started on the book April 12th, so a little over three months. It came in at 111,653 […]

Feeding The Troops

 Posted by at 12:41 am  Nick's Blog
Jul 172024

Note: In researching my new book The War Years, I was reminded of this story about the amazing people of one town who made sure each service member who passed through was made welcome.  My father and uncles were part of the generation that liberated Europe from the Nazis and wrested control of the Pacific […]

Jul 162024

His name was Dave, and the first time I met him I thought he was an old geezer. What hair he had left was white and he walked with a noticeable limp, aided by a cane. But there was nothing old about Dave. Not at all! His daughter was visiting from California and called my […]

A Wet Week Ahead

 Posted by at 12:36 am  Nick's Blog
Jul 152024

According to the weatherman, we have a wet week ahead of us. Or at least a good chance of a wet week. Starting today and tomorrow there is a 20% chance of rain, which increases to 80% by midweek. We won’t complain about that. The news says we are in a moderate drought, and our […]

Jul 142024

I know I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but yesterday was another good writing day, 2,250 words in my new Tinder Street book, The War Years. Previous books in the series have run from a low of 96,842 words (A Changing World) to 105,823 (the first book in the series, Tinder Street). I […]

Jul 132024

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has been taking a lot of hits in recent years from customers unhappy with their service, or I should say lack of service. And in many cases, those hits are well deserved. Back when we were publishing the Gypsy Journal, we started out sending the papers out by Standard […]

Jul 122024

We had a rather unpleasant start to the day yesterday. We received a letter from the State of Alabama telling us that the $3,000 credit we were supposed to receive off our state income taxes for the purchase of our storm shelter was disallowed because the paperwork we sent in did not include a separate […]

Still Not Done

 Posted by at 1:10 am  Nick's Blog
Jul 112024

We had a busy afternoon yesterday. We left the house a little after 1 o’clock for a 2 o’clock appointment at Alabama Dermatology Associates in Northport. Having had a bout of skin cancer once, I don’t want to repeat it, so I get checked semi-annually. I only had to wait a few minutes before I […]


 Posted by at 1:07 am  Nick's Blog
Jul 102024

Definition of potpourri – 1: a mixture of flowers, herbs, and spices that is usually kept in a jar and used for scent. 2: a miscellaneous collection. The second definition above pretty much describes today’s blog, a collection of miscellaneous thoughts and info that I’m sharing because I don’t have anything else to talk about […]

Jul 092024

I have written before about an area in northern Arizona called East of Snowflake that attracts all kinds of weird people. If you’re a burned-out hippie, a survivalist, a conspiracy theorist, or any other flavor of eccentric, you can buy land east of the small town of Snowflake for very little money and live happily […]

Taking Advantage

 Posted by at 12:47 am  Nick's Blog
Jul 082024

Yesterday was not quite as hot, with the temperatures in the upper 80s and the heat index somewhere around 95°. That’s not great, but much better than the triple digit heat indexes we’ve been having. We took advantage of the opportunity to get some mowing done, me on the Kubota tractor and Terry on the […]


 Posted by at 12:41 am  Nick's Blog
Jul 072024

That’s about the only word for me in the last couple of days. My back has flared up and it’s giving me a lot of discomfort. I am back to the point where I’m using my cane again. I am scheduled to have my RF ablation August 8th and I really hope it helps. In […]

An American Hero

 Posted by at 12:30 am  Nick's Blog
Jul 062024

Given the patriotic theme of this week, I wanted to repeat a blog from a few years ago about one of the men who fought to give us the freedoms we have in the country. On a trip through South Bend, Washington, I stopped to pay my respects to an old friend. Bob Bush owned […]

No Fireworks Here

 Posted by at 12:52 am  Nick's Blog
Jul 052024

I hope you all had a safe Independence Day holiday, and if you played with fireworks, I hope you still have all of your fingers. There were fireworks displays around the area yesterday, but we didn’t go to any of them. I was busy writing, getting another chapter done in my new book, and Miss […]

Jul 042024

Don’t ask me how, but I managed to get my days wrong again and started this week’s free drawing a day early. Don’t ask me how, but I did the same thing last month. My only excuse is that I am calendar challenged. Happy birthday, America. We have a lot of problems in this country, […]

Jul 032024

Between the two nerve block shots I received recently, and Terry getting her second one yesterday, the Spine Care Center in Tuscaloosa is starting to feel like home. Medicare requires two of the nerve blocks, done at least two weeks apart, before they will approve the RF ablation to sever the nerve and stop the […]

Jul 022024

Here’s another blog post from my days publishing small town newspapers Back during my newspaper days on the Pacific Northwest coast, my headquarters was in Aberdeen, Washington, in Grays Harbor, which is located at the bottom of the Olympic Peninsula. Aberdeen is an old seaport and lumber mill town, and Gray’s Harbor is the largest […]