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Traveling faster than the speed of light always gives me a headache. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t think that traveling 300,000,000 meters per second is necessary. I like to daydream about the ‘good old days,’ a time when everyone wasn’t in such a hurry. My grandpa told me a story about traveling to the moon. The first time his Dad went, the trip took over 8 hours! Can you imagine? People would actually go there to spend the weekend, and it would take them over half a day, traveling there and back! I can’t imagine why anyone would want to go to the moon, but if they did, now it would take them less than a second, traveling FTL, faster-than-light.
I guess that since this is my first entry into this journal, I should introduce myself, just in case anyone ever reads it. Call me Ishmael. No, I’m just kidding, that’s a line from a book that my Mom gave me to read. Should I explain what a ’book’ is – there aren’t many left, and there might not be any left by the time anyone reads this. No, I’m getting off-track, my name is Dhartile, everyone calls me Dart. My parents are traveling agents for Global Traveling Unlimited; they monitor the quality of their vacation packages. We are currently traveling through the 32nd quadrant of the nebulous Harticle, and will be stopping soon to visit a hotel that has been getting a lot of complaints lately. It was my Dad’s idea to start this journal while we’re traveling; he says that I spend too much time on the Hologram-Sims, creating virtual universes. He’s probably right, but it’s hard to walk away from all of those lives that I’ve created. I have an alien race called Borg; they spend their time traveling the universe, taking other species by force. If you’re a media historian like me, you’ll recognize the Borg from an old TV show called ‘Star Trek’. Should I explain what ‘TV’ is; never mind, I just heard the neutrino generator turn off, so we’ll be stopping soon. I’ll write more later.
I’m getting ready for bed and thought I’d write about today’s events. Mom and Dad let me roam around the area for a while as they talked to the hotel manager; you’ll never guess what I saw – a Bluetonic-Satatorian! I didn’t know they still existed! Let me tell you how it happened.
It was early afternoon when we landed. In case you’re not a Star Trek fanatic like me, Stardate 67216.2 corresponds to noon on October 1, 2063, Earth time. Anyway, as I walked towards the storage facility, where the traveling ships dock to unload their cargo, I noticed a lot of activity. There was a group of kids harassing the Satatorian, you know, calling him names while he gathered the Jardons that attach themselves to the hulls of the ships. I walked up to him and said, “There you are! I’ve been looking all over for you. C’mon, we have to get back, Mom is worried about you.” I almost laughed out loud when I saw the look of surprise on his bright blue face. Satatorians weren’t exactly known as being very smart; probably why they were almost extinct.
He followed me, and when we got out of earshot of the kids, I said to him, “Does that happen to you very often?”
With a piercingly high voice he replied, “If you mean do people walk up to me and tell me that Mom is worried, no, that does not happen very often. But, if you are referring to the children that were attempting to hamper my work, yes, that happens all of the time.”
I know quite a bit about Bluetonic-Satatorians from reading their history. For instance, they were known as ‘scrapers’ from their obsessive fondness for consuming Jardons, which they scraped off the hulls of ships, using their sharp-edged hands.
“I must get back to work now,” he shrieked.
“Why don’t you come with me,” I said, “I want to know more about you. Where do you live? Are there more Satatorians on this planet? How do you…” But he was already headed back to the docking area to resume his scraping. “Hey,” I yelled, “what’s your name?”
He turned his head towards me, and I think there was a grin on his face as he said, “Call me Ishmael.” I don’t know how long I stood there with my mouth hanging open, but I eventually closed it, and decided that it would be best if I let him go for now. I knew that if went back tomorrow he’d be there.
67218.4 (Oct.2, 2063, 7:00)
Great news! Mom and Dad told me at breakfast that we’re done traveling for a while, and that we’ll probably be staying here longer than they originally thought. It sounds like they’ll be running the hotel while they find a new manager. I wasn’t really listening after they said that, I was thinking about spending more time with Ishmael. Is that really his name? Are there more of them? How old is he? I have a million questions to ask him, I’ll be back tonight to let you know what I find out.
I didn’t find Ishmael. When I went back to the storage unloading area he wasn’t there, so I asked a few of the workers about him, and they all looked at me like I was crazy! Everyone said they didn’t know anything about a Bluetonic-Satatorian, had never seen one – ever! I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m determined to find out! It just doesn’t make sense!
I’ve spent that last couple of days walking around town trying to find out what happened to Ishmael. I was about to give up and head back home, when I spotted one of the kids that was teasing him earlier. He didn’t want to talk to me and actually started running away when I called to him. I run track at school and didn’t have any trouble keeping up with him. When he finally got tired of running, I asked him why they were teasing the Satatorian. He had a scared look on his face and kept glancing around, like he was afraid that someone was listening. “I don’t know what you’re talking about! “ he said, and started running again. I let him think that I wasn’t going to chase him, but I followed him to see where he went. I’m going back there tomorrow to try to talk to him again.
To be continued:
I have been an auto glass installer for 35 years and have seen a lot of changes in the auto glass and the insurance industries over the years.
Gone are the days of someone with basic mechanical skills being able to install a windshield under the shade tree in their backyard. Auto glass installations in vehicles during the 70s were done with butyl tape kits or rubber gaskets.
Today, installers use urethane and primers that are manufactured and tested to meet federal and industry standards.
Years ago, the main function of the windshield was to keep the wind and bugs out of your face. Today’s windshields are an integral part of the safety restraint system in your car. The passenger air bag uses the glass as a back support during deployment, the timing down to milliseconds. If you have had an improper installation of your windshield it is possible that the air bag will not deploy at the correct time. This could lead to serious injury, or death! The windshield also supports the roof of your vehicle in case of a rollover, keeping you from being crushed!
I talk to customers everyday that are shopping around to get the lowest price for their new windshield. Some of the reasons they give me are, “I don’t want my insurance rates to go up so I want it done as cheaply as possible,” or “my insurance company told me to get 3 estimates and have it done at the cheapest place.” My question to them is, “aren’t you concerned about the safety of the passengers in your car?” Of course, they say they are concerned, so I explain to them that by having their auto glass replaced by the cheapest shop, they may be jeopardizing not only the value of their vehicle, but also the integrity of it’s safety system.
Over the years I have seen the damage done by auto glass installers that are in a hurry to finish a job and move on to the next one. In my next post, I will list the steps that are taken during an auto glass installation and talk about what steps may be skipped by the “cheaper” shops and how it can affect you.
Have you had a windshield replaced? Did you have any difficulties? Please feel free to post any questions or comments.