December 28. “Happy New Year”

Written by Jack van Ommen on December 28th, 2017

My new year resolution is to make up for the void in my blog regularity. I’m embarrassed to check back on my previous blog and realize the void. It will still be a while before I’ll be under sail again. It is bitterly cold here in Virginia, it dropped below 20 degrees Fahrenheit this morning. After flying back from the Northwest visit on December 12, I worked a week on the boat in Cape Charles and now enjoying the hospitality at my youngest daughter’s family home in Chesapeake, Va. I shall return to Cape Charles on January 2nd. 

The replacement engine will arrive sometime in February from China. My continuous search for a rebuilt or used engine turned up nada. This new 2 cylinder 15 HP with transmission and controls should end up installed to less than $4,000, about half of what a new similar engine would cost from a dealer.  The rudder finally came down and is set to go to the machine shop to straighten the shaft. With the main damage to the hull repaired, there is still much work left to rewire, repaint/varnish the interior, replace electronics. I am working towards being able to be on my way in June and take the same route, interrupted by the June 23rd shipwreck. The Wooden Boat show in Mystic Seaport in early June, the inland route to Quebec and the Great Lakes and down the Mississippi in late summer to the Gulf of Mexico. 

Lisa, my oldest daughter hosted, with Harry, the Thanksgiving dinner at their home in Fife, Wa., south of Seattle. My youngest son, Seth, came up from Oregon. So did my oldest granddaughter Corrine with her husband Euan. Seth moved last summer from west of Portland to Corbett, east of Portland high above the Columbia River gorge. I visited him on December 8 and 9, by Amtrak train. There is a 1 3/4 minute video of the train ride along the Puget Sound and over I-5, the same spot where ten days ago the same “Cascade” Amtrak derailed. 

With Seth at "Shirley's Tippy Canoe" Restaurant in Troutdale, Or.

With Seth at “Shirley’s Tippy Canoe” Restaurant in Troutdale, Or.

   The family here, my oldest grandson Mark flew in from Texas, granddaughter sailor girl Gabrielle, daughter Jeannine and son in law Sean totally spoiled me with gifts and love. New warm clothes, socks, a heavy wool blanket to replace the ones I lost in the second shipwreck, etc. The Northwest relatives also sent me away with early Christmas gifts.

I attended the 4th Advent Sunday service at Sainte-Thérèse church in Chesapeake.

Lighting the 4th advent candle

Lighting the 4th advent candle 

We crossed the river to Norfolk for Christmas eve mass at “Scared Heart” church, where Jeannine is a member. This is a beautiful turn of the century building with the 1927 Midmer-Losh pipe organ and Jim Gallatin as its music/choir director and superb organist. Read the article that appeared day before yesterday in the Virginia Pilot about Jim Gallatin’s 37 year career at this church. What a treat to worship here and especially on Christmas Eve. Earlier this year I happened to sit in on a church meeting where Jim’s choice of hymns in the services had been challenged by a few parishioners. And I wondered what my fellow parishioners back in Gig Harbor, with an attendance four times that of Sacred Heart and no organ and a tiny occasional choir,  would give to be so privileged. I suspect that father Mark, and a legion of pastors, would absolve a mortal sin or give their right arm for such a privilege. 

Jim Gallatin and his organ

Jim Gallatin and his organ

Father Paul Muyimbwa, Christmas Eve

Father Paul Muyimbwa, Christmas Eve

Temporary Price Reduction on “SoloMan”: The preferred option to purchase the USA printed version from Create Space has been taken over by Amazon. This means that my 80% royalties go down to 60%. But to soften the blow Amazon will allow me the 80% until April 1st on the Color English version. This allows me to reduce the price $45 from $60. The Black and White version remains at $19.50. I have made smaller reductions in the color versions of the Dutch printed versions in all Amazon US and international outlets. Please, check the updated web sites www.SoloMan.us and www.SoloMan.nl  

Just in case you contemplate to quit your job and become a successful author like me, when you fixate on this Amazon 80% royalty, let me bring you back to reality. I ran their smoke and mirrors percentages through Excel.  The below does not copy well. Amazon takes their 20% off the list price and then deducts all the costs (which include their printing profit…) and then what I end up with is the 25.53% off the same amount as they take their measly 20%…. And from April 1st forward with their 40% I end up with 17.22% even at the $10.00 higher List price.  

 

Amazon Royalties: Cost Royalty Amazon Royalty Amazon royalty calculation
Nbr Title List Price Currency Pages page per book Total 60% 40% 80% 12/11/17 80%
5915347 Sman US Color 45 US 338 0.07 0.85 $24.51 $12.29 $8.20 $16.39 $11.49 $11.49 25.53%
5960419 Sman NL Color 55 US 324 0.07 0.85 $23.53 $18.88 $12.59 $9.47 $9.47 17.22%
The last years, when visiting, away from the boat, I kept busy on the Dutch and English versions of my two books. This year I encountered boredom. I have a new project, I am digitizing our father’s Diary, he wrote while our mother was kept from subverting Hitler’s schemes. I am right now at today’s date in 1944 and should be at the end , when mother returned in late May 1945, from Dachau, before I leave here on January 2nd. The English translation will follow at my next point of boredom. Stay tuned.

I wish all a very happy, exciting, challenging and blessed New Year.

 

 

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