Roman Sturgis Take care of each other and make good decisions.

December 23, 2008

All I want for Christmas is to be a certified HVAC mechanic

Filed under: Blog — Roman @ 5:01 am

The NYTimes had a grim article on South Carolina in Monday’s paper. 14% unemployment expected in our state. Yikes. Laura has a job waiting for her when we get back, but I’ve been worried about what I’m going to do while I’m taking the HVAC classes at Horry Georgetown Tech College. I have very little expectation of generating any income with my writing until much later in life.

Some hopeful news to combat that chilling article in The Times: yesterday I found a job posting for an HVAC mechanic position in South Carolina that pays $52,000 a year. In Charleston County, where Laura and I hope to live, the salary schedule for a high school teacher with a master’s degree doesn’t reach $52k until the 18th year of teaching.

December 17, 2008

What happens next?

Filed under: Blog — Roman @ 12:38 am

Less than 100 days before we return to the US. We will fly back to Texas on the 13th of March, will stay with the family for a bit, and then on to South Carolina. (more…)

December 6, 2008

India, part II

Filed under: Blog — Roman @ 11:30 am

(In case you haven’t read Part I, here is the link.)

Cochin, Kerala.

We arrived at night. The airport was spacious and uncrowded. I got the sense that most travelers came here for vacation, not for business. It’s much warmer than Delhi, a fine tropical 75 degrees, and immediately we felt a major difference from the northern bustle. Kerala is one of the poorest states in India, though it has one of the highest literacy rates in the country, and one of the lowest birth rates. Situated along the southwestern tip of the sub-continent, the state has a long coastline on the Arabian Sea and extends into the mainland to the southwestern slopes of the Ghat mountains. On the other side of the Ghats is Tamil Nadu, a much larger state, which goes to the Indian Ocean and the very tip of India, near Sri Lanka. You’ll recognize Tamil from Tamil Tigers, which are one of the factions fighting a civil war in Sri Lanka.

A question for General Motors

Filed under: Blog — Roman @ 1:17 am

How come y’all haven’t offered to start building EV2s as part of your bail-out? Don’t tell me you lost the blueprints for the EV1.

This seems like such a no brainer…

December 4, 2008

The Trigger Finger, by Steve Sanders

Filed under: Blog — Roman @ 3:40 am

Steve and I recorded this at 236 Bay State Road in Boston during the late summer of 2008. The Trigger Finger is a short story about love, sacrifice, and coming of age in north Texas. I love this story and wish that I had written it myself.

Steve hails from Norman, Oklahoma and has an MFA in fiction from Boston University.

He has previously been awarded 2nd Place in the Playboy College Fiction contest and been rejected by every major literary magazine in America.

Home and Garden Section 4

Filed under: Blog — Roman @ 1:35 am

Home and Garden, section 4

December 3, 2008

India Part I

Filed under: Blog — Roman @ 2:09 am

Some of you will remember my departure from Washington, DC, and the comprehensive roadtrip around the United Sates that followed. When I eventually settled in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, I began to put my thoughts down. Early on, I wrote on an index card in red marker: INDIA. I taped this note to the bookshelf over my desk, right in front of my eyes as a reminder: get your ass there. When I return to South Carolina in the spring, I look forward to throwing that note away.

A lot of westerners dream about going to India; many want nothing to do with the place. The folks my age who end up going there tend to be hippie backpacker types in search of Buddhist, yoga, or meditation training. They seem to be attracted by the mystique of an ancient civilization. Older businessmen types come back with reports about how difficult it is to travel, how dirty and crowded it is, and how it’s so nice to be back home in the States where they can drink the tap water. I have more than a few friends who believe they lost their jobs to outsourced operations in Bangalore. My trip to India was informed by all of this, and also by my interest in wanting to better understand, first hand, one of the most populous countries in the world, and a land rich in resources. India was the largest jewel in the crown of the British Empire. Why was that? I wanted to know.

December 2, 2008

News from Thailand

Filed under: Blog — Roman @ 6:11 am

Today the Thai Supreme Court ruled that the People’s Power Party (PPP) which was, until recently, led by the puppet brother-in-law of Thaksin, commited electoral fraud. All the PPP party officials have been banned from Thai politics for 5 years. Thaksin (pronounce TOXIN) is the PM who stole money from Thailand, fled the country after the Olympics, bought Man City, sold Man City, and had his visa renewal denied by the UK, hence the real trouble maker in all this) The current PM, Somchat, was also convicted, so he’ll likely be removed from office soon.

The Bangkok airports, which have been closed at great cost to Thailand, as this is high tourist season, will be opened soon, as PAD (anti-govt) demonstrators have agreed to leave in the wake of this court decision.

So, will we have a coup? The PAD wear yellow shirts in support of the king. The PPP supporters wear red shirts. Until recently, the yellow shirts have been causing all the problems with their demonstrations, but now it looks like the red shirts will retaliate because of this court ruling. So far, the military has not been mobilized to force a coup, as has been tradition in coups past. It seems that we’ve had a judicial coup. What remains to be seen is the reaction of the PPP. They will likely form a new party with new officers. We might have snap elections.

All this is happening in the days leading up to the king’s birthday, which is a major big deal over here. The timing of this, along with Jupiter and Venus and the moon are good omens.

But most important of all, I passed 15,000 words today on part one of my novel, AND last night had a major break-through in terms of how I want to end part two. This means I now have a solid outline and I’m off to the races. Finishing the first draft by March is looking good.

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