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Monday, July 18, 2016

Donation Drive

Help Jim relocate from Alaska to Florida and win fabulous prizes!

Posting here has been a bit sporadic, because as I prepare to pick and move just about as far across the continent as it’s physically possible to go I find that I don’t have much time to write long essays.

For those that aren’t aware, I’m in the process of selling my house here in the Alaskan Matsu and in about 10 days the movers will arrive to pack up our stuff – including my workshop – into trucks for shipment to our house in Florida. My wife and I will bid a teary farewell to our son, who will remain here in Alaska where he has his own life now, and we will head down the Alaska-Canadian Highway south. Why are we moving to the Florida Panhandle, land of heat, humidity, and rednecks? Well, that’s a personal matter, but the short answer is we need to be closer to family and after long consideration, we’ve decided this is the best course of action. I can write and do artwork anywhere. And like I said, we own a house there and some property. Our son is now an adult. It’s time.

We expect to arrive and be settled and back in business mid-July. During the intervening period, posting here is likely to be catch as catch can, though I will likely post short updates, observations, and descriptions of our adventures to Facebook and Twitter as we journey 5000 miles across the continent with our cats. I have no idea what route we’ll take. We tend to ass backward into the unknown, life is more interesting that way – at the moment all I am certain of is that this trip will likely be a source of much material for future essays and social media posts.


Update:
I have now successfully reached Florida. Regular writing and new posts to Stonekettle Station will resume shortly – just as soon as my office furniture arrives and the local cable company can get broadband installed (at the moment, my “office” is a folding camp chair, a laptop, and tethered Bluetooth connection through my phone). Hopefully that will be this week. Then I can get back to work.


As previously noted, unless you’re Wil Wheaton, making a living from social media is an adventure and based on my evolving business model, every once in a while I need to ask for money.  

I don’t like this.

I don’t like asking for money.

Ideally, I write something and if you like it enough, you’ll kick in.  And thankfully, you do so often enough that I can mostly survive doing this. I’ll never get rich, but it beats writing advertising jingles or flipping burgers or getting shot at.

That said, I don’t like asking for money, it makes me very uncomfortable. So the last time I did this I found a way to assuage my conscience.

Any reader who donates any amount during the period of June 1st to July 30th will be put in the running to win one of my high-end handmade art pieces worth several hundred dollars. That means if you’ve already donated to Stonekettle Station this month, you’re already entered to win.

You may enter more than once. Each donation will be counted as a unique entry.

Winners will be selected August 1st, 2016 by Shopkat.

To donate, click on the “Donation” button on the upper right side of this screen and follow the directions.

Note: Those of you who already donate via an automatic monthly payment, you’ll be entered automatically in the drawing. 

Thank you all for your continued support. See you all in Florida!

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Disclaimer: To be clear, this is not a lottery or a raffle.  Donations are voluntary subscription fees specifically in support of this blog, i.e. you’re paying for content not a chance to win something.

I am not claiming any tax-exempt status or charity.

Donations are considered business income and I pay all applicable state and federal taxes on that income and I have the records to prove it.

The items I give away are my artwork, created and paid for by me.  As such I chose to randomly give them away to supporters, just as I gave away my custom pens to my fellow writers.

I’m simply using this month’s subscriptions as the pool to select from since I have no other way to determine who readers are. 

You are not paying for a chance to win a prize, you’re paying for the content of this blog and my associated social media feeds.  And I’m using this opportunity to give something back other than just my usual blog essays, Facebook posts, and Tweets.

Note: My store on Etsy is closed until 1 August, 2016.

62 comments:

  1. I am sure this will be quite a moving experience for you and your wife. Best of luck.

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  2. Have a safe trip.
    Since there's no minimum donation for a chance at the art, I will make a smaller donation every week until the end of July that will total at least as much as my usual donation.

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  3. Me and mine wish you a safe and fun trip to FL. Jim. We will be traveling there in about a week ourselves for a family and friends reunion.
    We always look forward to your new essays and we follow you on both FB and Twitter.
    I'm a monthly donator and consider it money well spent. I hope others will follow suit. It's rare in this day and age of broken media to find a real jewel.
    Best wishes.
    Kirk & Deb Welch.

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    1. I feel the same way! I am happy to contribute monthly for your brilliant commentary.

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  4. Hope all goes well! May your cats not kill eachother and may you run into as little setbacks as possible.

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  5. Wondering if I donate does that put me higher on the accepted friends list on Facebook? LOL I mostly read your posts there or Twitter but am not above wishing to make a random comment from time to time. You are acquainted with and FB friends with my son, Ron RJ Rappe) Looking forward to your new journey. Every time I prepare for you to be off the grid while doing a moving project, you pop back online. Just can't help yourself can you and I LOVE that.

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  6. I'll be donating again once I figure out my finances for the next couple of months - always in flux!

    I look forward to tales of your time on the road as much as I have enjoyed your tales of life in Alaska. Should your journey bring you near the mid-Hudson Valley in NY, I'd love to take you and your wife out for coffee (or something stronger, whichever you might prefer). Safe travels!

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  7. I'm envious of your impending adventure but promise to live vicariously though you, your wife, and the cats. If you're in Louisville and need a lay-over, I have a spare bedroom and all the good Kentucky bourbon you can drink. The cats will have to put up with the Yorkies.

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  8. Dang, I should have waited a few days to donate...lol..if I can swing it again, I will...you are worth it. Angelle

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  9. I can't friend you on Facebook, so I'm using this forum to tell you that you and your followers have enriched my online experience no end. So glad to have found you. Good luck with the move, and here's a widow's mite or two to keep you writing.

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  10. Naturally you'd post this when I'm between paydays. Hopefully my Swiss-cheese memory will remember this come payday. I've been enjoying your essays & posts for quite a few years & still hold out hope of joining your minion clan. Safe travels ~ I grew up in north central Florida. Love it except for the roachzillas. Remind me to tell you a funny story about a friend of mine & his battle with a particularly stubborn one.

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  11. Congratulations on the move, in which you will be raising the average intelligence of both . . . no, wait, lowering the average intelligence of both . . . no, that's not right. Both places suck. Enjoy the move!

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  12. I spent most of my life in Flori-duh, and made my post-mid-life move to NYC when my son left for college...shaking it up is always great for the energy!
    Travel safe and InJoy your Journey!
    Keeping ya'll in mind and heart ~

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  13. I’m sure you will enjoy the Rockies. Take photos and short driving days. Not so sure about the vast prairie. Lived in Kansas for three years, and I would 4-500 mile it through there. But it is spring-ish, so things should be green. Oh, and if you are in Kansas, it has (one of) the largest ball of twine in the world!

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  14. When I recoup from paying estimated taxes that I forgot about and some travel expenses that I did anticipate, I'll kick my monthly up a bit. Hey, people, easy to contribute automatically each month through PayPal. I imagine that monthly is helpful for the Wright budget.

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  15. Safe trip! Let us know of you will be heading through Chicago. Stop by for a bite to eat and such!

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  16. What's the latin for "Those who are about to travel across the country in a U-haul, we salute you!"?

    Been there, done that, at times thought 'morituri' would have been preferable! Good luck all!

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  17. Jim - I just became aware of your fb page and subsequently of this blog. If I didn't like your take on life, I wouldn't comment. But - I've been looking for ways to leave my two cents in the form of a comment and have not found a way to do just that on fb. So, if your schedule allows a response, is this blog (Stonekettle etc.) the only way to add something to the general discussion? Oh, btw, you'd better have a damn good reason to move to FLA; I lived in Boca in the early 80s and pretty much hated it. I wish you all the best! Happy trails!

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  18. Michelle Godkin ListJune 4, 2016 at 10:08 PM

    For the last couple of months I've been reading, with much enjoyment, your Facebook and blog posts.

    I am following your move with interest as I am still dealing with my own downsizing following a divorce in 2010 and a home sale in 2013. It takes time for one person to deal with 25 years of a 6 member family's belongings, especially when moving from a 3200 sf Victorian house with a full attic to a 900 sf Mountain cabin.

    Today's Facebook post about donating your books prior to your move reminded me of the dissolution of my independent bookshop prior to my move. I did not have time to have a sale, so I donated all of my stock to the local Friends of the Library. I honestly feel that the tax deduction has worked more to my favor than a going out of business sale would have.

    I look forward to reading of your adventures as you and your wife and kitties cross the country.

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  19. Wishing you the best on your cross-country trip with cats. Stay safe and sane. Mona

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  20. You'll help get my old home state back on track. Have a safe trip and enjoy setting up your new home!

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  21. I moved one mile down the road last year, and it was an awful experience! I don't think I could handle a cross country migration. I made a too small contribution, but hopefully, every little drop can help. Safe travels!

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  22. You're a good man to relocate for a family member. Florida is not a place anyone could pay me, strong-arm me or inveigle me to move to, visit or get withing shouting distance of.

    Essentials, Dude: Swamp coolers; hurricane and tornado shelters; Avon Skin So Soft for the chiggers, mosquitos (now with Zika virus for your dining pleasure) and sand fleas; solar panels.

    I hear alligator tastes like chicken, though :) Hope you like chicken :)

    Depending on your route you may go through Wyoming and Nebraska. You'll think they go on forever. That's because they do. Because evil little gnomes come out at night and tack on more state when you aren't looking. Srsly. But that's why God made Audible and James Lee Burke novels.

    you may also go through the State of Browbackistan. It used to be Kansas. Just keep moving you aren't missing much. Except the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame in Bonner Springs, KS right off I-70. Kinda cool - old fashioned implements right alongside modern ones. Educational opportunity.

    If you go through Kansas City - Gates Bar-B-Que. Srsly, Dude.

    Happy Trails.

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  23. I was just laid off from my job ... so cannot give as much as I'd like ... but did just send a little something! Will be watching you, vicariously, as you make this long journey. Safe travels, for all humans and all felines!

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  24. Done. I've enjoyed your blog and Facebook posts for awhile and even though I can't comment on FB, I thank you for being a sane voice during these insane times. Best of luck with the move and love to hear if you stop in Michigan because we'd love to meet you & buy you a beer. Travel Safe & Enjoy the Adventure!

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  25. I moved 11 years ago. Next time will be feet first out of this house. Good luck with the cats.

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  26. Dear Jim you caught this retired lady before SS check comes but you'll be the first to get a few bucks out of the next one. Next to my husband you are the most intelligent man I know :) . I read your tweets and column faithfully and enjoy reading the well written, well thought out, and concise information you provide. I really think you do a better job than the media and those so called TV anchors. Thank you for all you do to help keep your readers informed. Have a safe trip. If you come through Portland, OR the dinner is on me.

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  27. Safe travels, if you go straight down the western part of Canada & cross the border back into the states in Washington (Blaine...Peace Arch) you will pass my home about 12 miles south of there...Wave as you pass Ferndale! Donation will be soon, I wish sanity for you and your wife (& cats) on the long journey!

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  28. Best of luck in your move. Thank you for your intelligent, sarcastic and funny posts, essays, blogs and Twitter rants. You are my internet boyfriend.
    Happy to donate but I do have a question, I might have missed you saying something but did you lose your sweet dog? If so, sorry to hear that.

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  29. When you get to Florida, go talk some sense into my cast iron conservative brother in Pensacola.

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  30. When you get tired of the Florida sinkholes, rising sea levels, unbelievable summer humidity and hurricane-level rainstorms, sell your holdings there and move halfway back to Alaska -- the Oregon coast is cool, sunny, and the high coastal winds are only half as strong as Florida hurricanes.

    Here's wishing you luck and good traveling, nevertheless. ;-D

    P.S. I have a gray tortie named Babe. Does that win points for the donation drawing?

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  31. I'm happy to hear that you will be a full-time Florida resident. Lord knows that we Floridians could use a little more sanity.

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  32. Safe journeys and I hope to be able to donate mid-month!

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  33. Best wishes for as pain-free a move as can reasonably be expected, and thanks for all you write.

    Kristina Clarke

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  34. Start a youtube channel and read your essays aloud, or find someone to read them. Mix it up with some photos of your art, your cats, landscapes or whatever... The YouTube website seems to be where some good money can be earned as far as social media is concerned. That is what I would do in your shoes, at any rate. Just some unasked for advice, by a long-time reader of your blog. Have a nice night. Cheers.

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  35. I don't think I could ever bring myself to move back to the third world hellhole that the Southeastern US has become.

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  36. Happy trails to you, your wife and cats as you journey to Florida. The cats will have a ball chasing lizards.

    You'll also enjoy our politics. Our Govenor, Rick Scott was CEO of Columbia/HCA when the Hospital was fined 1.7 billion dollars for Medicare fraud and we still re-elected him. His Attorney General, Pam Bondi, once had Rick postpone an execution (not for new evidence or last minute appeal)because it conflicted with her re-election kick-off fundraiser.

    Maybe Palin isn't so bad. Okay, yes she is.

    The opportunities for your essays are endless in this state

    CS in Florida

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  37. Stay safe; try to stay sane on that long, long trip. You're a better person than I am, to live in any part of Florida that isn't Key West. A donation will happen later in the month. Good luck to you and yours! That Other Jean

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  38. I gave what I could as a token of my appreciation for what you do and the enjoyment I get out of reading your thoughts and observations. Someday, I hope to be a minion! (Everyone needs a goal.) Have a safe and enjoyable trip. I'd invite you and the family to swing by Texas for a dip in the pool (Stupid would love that!) and a cold beverage, but I doubt it's on the way. Also, I wouldn't wish Texas on anyone.

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  39. I, for one, would like to see Shopkat riding along with his head out the window. Also; we, your shiny electronic friends, are all going to come visit when you get settled in. I've purchased three half-barrels of HTTP Digital IPA for the event, which can be distributed free of charge, with no deposit required. Light airs and following seas, Mr. Wright.

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  40. Happy trails to you Jim and Mrs.Jim! Please let us know how you manage that trip - with cats. We will be making a similar move. To Florida. From Michigan. With a somewhat paranoid, very vocal, siamese cat. Good luck and may the forks be with you.

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  41. I've been really finding, as a supporter of people, that the patreon model makes a lot of sense, and I think for artists and writers, it can make for a lot more steady support. The fandom I'm most active in gets $5 per month from me no matter what. One of my favorite musicans gets $5 every time he posts a song. Another friend gets a buck for every song, a favorite writer is doing short stories that are exclusive to patreon and gets $5 every time one comes out.

    The artist periodically streams things and puts out little snippets.
    The musicians put out things that are exclusive to patreon (a special recording of a song, usually live/acoustic) or we get them a week earlier than everything else.

    In no case am I supporting the artist just to get the free stuff, it's a brainless way to keep supporting someone doing the things that I want to see/read/hear so that they can keep making art, music or interesting words.

    And it's not "charity" or "begging", it's just... they're doing something that I want them to keep doing, and in one case, between me and all the people who agree with me, they're getting $6000 per thing to do it, or nearly 4 grand per month, or maybe a couple hundred per song, or whatever.

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  42. Glad to hear you're making your move, but wish it was under better circumstances given the recent shooting in Orlando. Reread your blog about guns this morning. I was hoping to find solace or hope in it. Sadly, there is neither. Is there a solution to this madness Jim?

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  43. Time to share in the fun, considering my husband always Shares your Posts on FB with me - he's the political brain around here, I just try to stay on top of things. So PayPal will be coming your way and if I win, allow me to cover the postage to Germany LOL. having said that, if you feel like moving again, I highly recommend Europe.

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  44. Hi,
    I don't see a button to donate???
    Paul

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  45. I can't interact with the community you've built on Facebook, so I'll say it here. Your writing has been among the most pertinent commentary (along with followers comments) I've read this year. Thanks for all you do. Safe travels and best of luck in alligator country.

    Jody G-K

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  46. This may be more successful if you provide a link for us to donate in.

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  47. Just read about the move to the Florida Pan Handle area and I made a small donation to help keep you in cheese sandwiches during your move. I have lived in SE Fl for the last 13 years. Never been to the Panhandle area, but have many friends and personal heroes who come from there. If you like 'Opry' and are near Crestview on Sept 17th, stop by for "Patriots Night" at the Pan Handle Opry show there on Saturday night. My wife and I will be there and I'm doing a book signing for, "Remembering Vietnam - 50 Years Later" at Amazon Books.

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  48. I am SO looking forward to your views on Swampville. Gonna be fun.

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  49. Hi Jim, welcome to Floriduh!I've been following you on Facebook for a couple of months and love your work. Keep it up, please!

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  50. Jim,

    Reading your articles the last few weeks have been both entertaining and thoughtful. I loved your misadventures travelling from Hoth to Dagoba (my cousin made the same journey, but went down the CA coast), and I absolutely adore Shopkat and Stupid. Keep up the good work dear sir...it's going to be a wild ride come fall and I can't wait to read your thoughts on the matter.

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  51. FWIW there doesn't appear to be a donation button when viewing the mobile version of the site.

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  52. Happy to contribute! Your posts are thoughtful, on point and weighed with your experience and qualifications. Thanks for helping me cope with this election year and beyond.

    Welcome to Florida ! I've lived here nearly all my life, even though I've been trying to figure out how to get the hell out of this idiot state for 35 years after marrying a good man (a Marine) who moved down here from Buffalo. He's worth it. ;-)

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  53. Glad you folks and Shopkat made it to your new home in Florida. Sounds...great.....really. You've been gracious to occasionally let this former Bonehead barf all over your comment section, so happy to chip in and take a flutter on an original Jim Wright wood turning! (You DO know that your art becomes more valuable after you are gone? Not a threat or anything.)

    Of course you could run a real Floridian raffle and give away an AR-15, a Kimber 1911 or a lifetime supply of catheters and matching Depends (length of remaining lifetime may vary).

    Are you gonna shave ur head like the Governor? Makes him look so.....normal. Semper Fi and keep cool - Tommy D

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  54. Thank you Mr. Wright. I usually lurk in the background and just read your wonderful posts and the multitude of comments. Coming out of lurkdom to tell you how much I enjoy Stonekettle Station, FB and Twitter posts and to do my part helping with the FL move! More pictures of ShopKat please!

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  55. Just chipped in for the first time after enjoying your FB stuff for several months. The vasectomy story is what tipped me over from "probably should" to "do it right now." Mind, I don't think it made the political point as well as the flaming shit story, but it made me laugh. And laugh. And hand it to my husband, who laughed. Thanks for that.

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    1. I haven't read for long, but like it was for you, the vasectomy story is what made me reach for my dusty wallet.

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  56. Delurking to welcome everyone to the neighborhood, and to thank you for this blog (especially the cat stories).

    Alas, my rescued feral destructocats do not coexist peacefully with beautiful art work. I'll wait until after August 1 has safely come and gone before making a small donation.

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  57. Jim, please keep us posted on how the cats are doing. Thanks.

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  58. You remind this Brit that not all Americans are like Trump. Thank you

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