Saturday, September 18, 2010

What I Did on My Vacation (and other news)

Just like any kid returning to class, I have to report "what I did on my vacation." I will try to make it as painless as possible by posting a few photos.

Before we get to that snoozefest, I would like to point out a new appeal for contributions to this site from longtime correspondent Cheryl A. Cheryl's previous pitch has, I am sure, worked its magic on many of you, and your donations of coins, cash, books, tools, bicycle seats, music CDs have offered me encouragement and financial support of the most direct and meaningful kind.

It is a little embarrassing, of course, to print praise about oneself, but Cheryl has offered this note of her own free will. Thank you, Cheryl, for your longtime support and encouragement--starting with the delicious peanut butter you sent me several years ago.

I have finally settled on what I can offer long-suffering subscribers and other insanely generous contributors. It isn't much, but I've decided to email all subscribers and outrageously generous contributors sections of my work in progress as I complete them. This includes non-fiction and perhaps even the latest fiction I'm working on.

The working title of my current effort is An Unconventional Guide to Investing in Troubled Times which will join the Survival+ series as a short book devoted exclusively to investing/speculating/hedging/prospering in the undoubtedly exciting decades ahead.

Subscribers will in effect get the entire book before publication. Again, it isn't much, but it is a modest token of my appreciation for your financial support.

At the behest of one insistent subscriber, I will also be adding $10/month and $20/month "subscriber" buttons to the offerings. Believe it or not, all the donation-related stuff is here at the insistance of generous readers.

I recently discovered a box of proof copies of my first novel I-State Lines. Needless to say, these books are rare (which is not the same as claiming they have any value). No more will ever be printed.

Just for fun I have conjured up a unique colored illustration/drawing interior title page for each one. Each book has a one-of-a-kind, hand-drawn/colored interior title page, which is signed and numbered. Am I a talented artist? No, but they are unique.

Number 1 went to Paul L. for his extremely kind donation of a high-quality gardening spade.

Will these hand-drawn and signed illustrations have any future value? Probably not, but there will only be a few dozen of them in existence. As per the standard policy here (again, suggested by a reader with more financial moxie than myself), any donation (or annual subscription) of $40 or more gets you a free book of mine. So if you want to take a chance on a crazy hand-drawn and signed illustrated copy of I-State Lines(

OK, on to the snoozefest.

My brother-in-law Fred Roster was honored with a major exhibition of his sculpture/art at the Honolulu Academy of Arts this month: It Seemed Like The Future: Works by Fred H. Roster, 1969-2010 (September 3-26, 2010).

. I helped him build this soffit and paint the display areas. All we had was some recycled ply, scrap wood and a skilsaw. I cut all the ply by sight (no table saw or guide). Considering the material and paucity of tools, it turned out OK.

We hung his art-surfboards with plywood strips, toggle bolts and other hidden goodies.

The artist and his assistant (one of many volunteers) at the opening night festivities. Family and friends spent days preparing food and refreshments for the opening night crowd of over 200.

The leis Fred received that night, laid out for display at home.

The tired assistant.

I played tour guide to some off-island family and friends. This is Lanikai Beach, O'ahu, Hawaii.

My friend Steve T. showing me some tricky augmented chords for a jazz standard.

The catchment water tank we painted for my mother-in-law.

Typical fare at our friends S&C's home: sashimi, sliced nori (seaweed), homemade vegetarian spring rolls, salmon, roasted burdock/gobo grown by Seizen Bonk and Marlene Honma in Waimea.

Another fabulous meal: fresh poi from Waipio valley, fried ahi, tofu with green onions, fresh corn from Seizen and Marlene (Waimea), green beans from S&C's garden, spring rolls.

Brown rice and ahi, garnished with nori.

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, Big Island.

Lastly: I have dozens of stimulating topics to explore in the weeks and months ahead, so please join me here as the balance of 2010 unfolds.

A special note of sincere gratitude to longtime contributor D.M.T. for the one-ounce gold coin. I am speechless and humbled by your generosity.

I am slowly catching up on correspondence after several weeks away from my desk --your patience is appreciated.

If you would like to post a comment where others can read it, please go, (registering only takes a moment), select Of Two Minds-Charles Smith, and then go to The daily topic. To see other readers recent comments, go to New Posts.

Order Survival+: Structuring Prosperity for Yourself and the Nation and/or Survival+ The Primer from your local bookseller or from or in ebook and Kindle formats.A 20% discount is available from the publisher.

Of Two Minds is now available via Kindle: Of Two Minds blog-Kindle

Thank you, D.M.T. (one-ounce $50 Canadian gold coin, value $1,300), for your beyond-belief, beyond-measure generous contribution to this site-- I am greatly humbled and honored by your continuing support and readership.

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