Month: May 2015

Updates…and teacher pay!

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Yes…it’s been awhile since I’ve posted.  Sorry!  Been busy with work and all that fun stuff that fills my days with responsibility and whatnot.  Over the last two weeks I did manage to watch Longmire Season 3 and Vikings Season 3 so stay tuned to reviews on those shows.  Vikings Season 3 is haunting me.  I’m still trying to put it together in my mind. Also, I’m about a third of the way through my current writing project (Book 2 of The Captive Galaxy series) and making good progress that I would be much more thrilled about if I had an extra day or two per week to work on it but when I get home my brain is absolutely fried and watching Longmire, Vikings, or the Mariners lose is pretty much all I can stand.  School is out in less than 3-weeks so I hope to get the rest done, edited, and up on Amazon by the end of the summer.  I’ve learned a lot this year, between starting and pausing projects and juggling work with much needed downtime, so I hope next year will be much more productive in regards to my writing.

I did come across this and found it quite interesting:

 dollar sign clip art

“Teachers’ hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work nine or ten months a year! It’s time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do — babysit!
We can get that for less than minimum wage.

That’s right. Let’s give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and planning — that equals 6-1/2 hours).
So each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day…maybe 30? So that’s $19.50 x 30 = $585 a day.

However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations.


That’s $585 X 180= $105,300 per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).

What about those special education teachers and the ones with Master’s degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6-1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year.

Wait a minute — there’s something wrong here! There sure is!

The average teacher’s salary (nationwide) is $50,000.

$50,000/180 days = $277.77 per day / 30 students = $9.25 / 6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student — a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!)




Review: The Awakening – Period Piece Ghost Film That’s Better Than Most

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J. W. Kurtz

Film Review:  The Awakening (2011)

My Rating:  5 craft beers on a 6-pack scale.

Genre:  Horror/Thriller

Rating:  R

Runtime:  107 mins

Directed by:  Nick Murphy

Writers:  Stephen Volk, Nick Murphy

Stars:  Rebecca Hall, Dominic West, Imelda Staunton

Note:  English language film, a UK production.

So I write this a day after watching The Awakening.  Looking at the film a day later I almost wonder at my initial high rating.  Perhaps too high in fact.  When compared to the IMDP and Metascore ratings I see I’m indeed a little elevated.  Perhaps my 5 craft beer score has more to do with the fact that I was on my 5th beer by the end of the movie and again I’m on my 5th brew as I write this now.  Perhaps.  I’m sticking with the rating however so here we go.

IMDB The Awakening

IMDB The Awakening

There will be no spoilers so don’t…

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Best day yet yesterday! Thanks! Top-100 in 3 Sub-cats

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J. W. Kurtz

Wow!  Yesterday was great!  Had Bellerophon in the Top-100 in three sub categories.  The best day of downloads thus far!  Pretty awesome to see.  But now we are into Friday…and for some reason there are not many books downloaded on Friday.  Oh no, so sad.  It will pick up tomorrow I know.  (UPDATE:  It did pick up this past weekend!  Record number of downloads!)

And to put these numbers in perspective…there are more than 2.9 Million eBooks…

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Thanks Australia! Writing Update: Sigma Draconis and Other Projects

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J. W. Kurtz

Writing Project(s) Update:

First off I’d like to thank my readers in Australia.  October was a pretty good month for downloads there.  I taught my students the awesome song Waltzing Matilda weeks ago so obviously that news made it’s way from Washington State to the land down-under and thus the uptick in downloads there.  I love that song…perhaps the best unofficial national anthem ever.  The real one, “Advance Australia Fair,” is the official anthem but the one everyone really knows is Waltzin’!  Love it!

To YouTube:  John WIlliamson - Waltzing Matilda To YouTube: John WIlliamson – Waltzing Matilda

Sigma Draconis is coming along.  Not as quickly as I’d like but it’s coming along.  The trouble is not the writing.  It’s finding the time to do the writing!  Holding down a full-time job with a commute that’s more than an hour round-trip really cuts into my writing and brain-working time.  I’ve changed things up this week writing at home…

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Book Review: The Far Call, Gordon R. Dickson (serialized 1973, book form 1978)

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Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations

THFRCLLXXXX(Robert Adragna’s cover for the 1978 edition)

2.5/5 (Bad)

Gordon R. Dickson introduces a medieval tapestry (perhaps The Lady and the Unicorn in Paris’ Musée national du Moyen Âge)—filled with symbolic representations that make up the sum of the world—as the central framing metaphor for The Far Call (1978).  Our idealistic young politician main character sees himself and everyone else as “caught up in its pattern” where “countless threads like his own make up the background.”  The brighter threads “would be the movers and shakers among the people” yet no one would be more than a single thread (35).  

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