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Aphelion Editorial 106

November 2006

by Dan L. Hollifield

The Usual Rant from the Aphelion Senior Editor

Start planning for ApheliCon 3 in May of 2007!

Having a cold is no fun, but I guess that if that's all I've got to complain about then I must be doing pretty well, all things considered. I've been under the weather for a couple of weeks now, but I'm starting to feel much better. I hope that by the time the Thanksgiving holidays are over and I go back to work that I'll be 100% again. I've managed to battle the germ back to just general aches and a stuffy nose. I can cope with that.

Those of you who know me well will have spotted the anomaly in the previous paragraph. I can just hear the wheels spinning now... "Wait a minute - He works rotating shifts... He doesn't *get* holidays off. What gives?" Well, it seems that there's this slump in the housing industry here in the US. People were building new houses like madmen all year. Then in September, they slowed down for the coming Winter months. The company that I work for is somewhat overstocked with insulation at the moment. They're cutting back a little on making new insulation in order to try and get the present inventory cleared out of the warehouses. So the company has shut down all of its factories during the Thanksgiving holidays, and will do so again during the Christmas holidays. What does that mean? It means that I - and several thousands of co-workers - will be getting two extra vacation weeks this year. All expenses un-paid, of course.

So if you've been putting off buying new fiberglass insulation to add to what's already in your attics and floors, now is a good time to rush out and buy some! You'll be making your homes more energy efficient, and putting me back to work at the same time. Both are good things, in the long run. Your heating bills will be lower this winter, and your cooling bills lower next summer. Plus you'll be making sure that I can afford all the little extras in life, like electricity, running water, house payments, and- Oh, things like internet access... 8^)

OK, now that we've all had a good laugh, you can stop worrying. Aphelion is not going to vanish because I miss two paychecks between now and New Years. I was only kidding about that. Nor am I about to get tossed out of Casa Vila. The November house payment was made weeks ago. The December house payment is already in the bank waiting to be paid out. And the January house payment will get built up over the next seven weeks. I'm in no financial danger yet, nor will I be unless the housing market falls into a bottomless pit. And if nothing bad happens between now and Income Tax time, Lyn and I will have an additional safety belt in the form of a hefty IRS return on my 2006 taxes.

So what am I going to do with my time off? Well, Lyn has been after me to work on another story for Aphelion, and to finish the manuscript for the novel I started last year. With her to inspire me to greater efforts than I'd have made by myself, maybe I can even sell this one. It's a brave new world out there. I'm going to see if I can carve myself a slice of it!


I now return you to your regularly scheduled reading...


2006 Dan L. Hollifield

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