Friday, November 30, 2007
Anyway...For SBL, a 10 x 10 booth costs $1500, corners are $150.00 extra—and don't forget that premium booths are an extra $600.00. Just to put that in perspective, Eisenbrauns had 8 booths this year, with 4 corner booths. While that is a significant chunk of change, there are other expenses that add up very quickly. In order to run a booth, you need electricity ($275.00), phone line ($245, plus a surcharge for each call. The phone line is needed for credit card purchases.), tables ($40-$75.00 each, depending on size), chairs ($40-$60 each, depending on type), carpeting ($121.00 per 10 ft booth, for the basic unpadded carpet. Premium is about twice that). There are other options that we don't use, but others do, such as back drapes (we bring our own), table risers, draping (we bring our own), etc.
That was just the furnishings. We are also charged a significant chunk of change for freight handling. I'm not talking about the cost of shipping the freight from Indiana to the convention, but the charge of moving it from a warehouse to the convention center. This charge varies depending on the city and unions, but for San Diego it was $62.65 per 100 pounds, which is about normal. Books are heavy, in case you hadn't noticed :) We shipped about 4000 pounds of books this year. Ironically, it costs more to move the freight across town than from Indiana to the convention city!
OK. I think we have covered most of the booth costs. Now add in the advertisements in the program books (about $750 for each one), any special fliers you make up (cost varies), the order forms, and catalogs, etc. Then there are the personnel. You will probably have to fly everyone in, and house them, and feed them. Oh, and don't forget the preparation time. It takes at least a week to pick and price all the books. Real costs, but hard to get an exact figure on. Then whatever didn't sell has to be unpacked and unpriced and reshelved back at the warehouse.
Does this sound like I am complaining? I'm not. I thoroughly enjoy conferences, even though they are tiring. I enjoy meeting customers and discussing with them what they are reading, researching, and teaching.
Is the cost worth it? Yes; definitely. That's why we keep on doing it. But, don't think that your $135.00 SBL admission fee is paying for the conference; it is the exhibitors who bear the brunt of it. So, next year you owe me lunch—just kidding.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
So, this morning, I get out the camera and turn it on. Blank screen. The light is on, but nothing shows up. Well, I think, I'll try taking it anyway; it's just a point and shoot digital. Light goes out, lens stays out, dead. Totally dead. The batteries are gone. So, no pictures. Sorry. But, I replaced the batteries today and will try again. Maybe tomorrow?
Oh, and another plumbing note: The drain on the washing machine isn't working right...
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
When we moved in, both tub faucets leaked, the hot water supply line leaked on the downstairs faucet, as did the cold water handle. No problem, usually! Just replace the cartridges in the faucets and put on a new supply line. Right! The upstairs tub faucet was so corroded that in removing the cartridge cover, the copper supply lines bent and cracked. Ouch—time for a new faucet. Well, that would be easy if the access door had been intelligently placed, which it wasn't. I was working at a 90 degree angle with CPVC piping, and the old faucet had to be chiseled out, since they didn't use the correct spacer on the back, but put fiberglass resin around it in the front to build it up. I got it all done in a day and it works well. Since we aren't using the downstairs tub, I just capped it for now.
The downstairs faucet was another story. The supply line was so corroded that I had to take the sink off the wall in order to get enough torque on it. But, it finally came off and I was able to replace it. The cold was a different story. It, too, was heavily corroded. So heavily corroded that I ended up having to just replace the whole fixture :( But, hey, that's part of owning, right?
So, both bathrooms are fixed and working. Now for hooking up the washer...R-i-g-h-t! I don't know who plumbed the basement, but it wasn't a plumber! The supply line to the hot water heat boiler was a copper line that just kind of curled over the doorway about 2-3 feet away from the wall, extending into the doorway on the left side about a foot with an icemaker tube coming off of that. Of course, the tubing was just floating freely in the air at about the correct height to strangle the unsuspecting person. On the other side, there was a plastic line that came off the main feed from the water softener and careened up into the floor joists before connecting to the kitchen supply line. Next to that was a line that fed everything else in the house, except the washer. The washer supply consisted of 2 faucets, one on each side of the basement dividing wall, with an extra 3 inches of pipe so that it extended into the other room. This was stabilized, if you can call it that, by winding a coat hanger around it and the hot water supply.
The hot water supply was in the form of copper tubing that snaked around the basement ceiling just below the floor joists for about 10 feet. There was no strapping on any of it. And, all four of the washer faucets leaked, a lot. Weekend project: clean up the plumbing in the basement, but AAR/SBL intervened first.
Afer AAR/SBL, both Ryan (our son) and Joel (our son-in-law) agreed to help me fix the mess. Now, bear in mind that none of us are plumbers. Joel is a carpenter, Ryan is an IT guy, and I'm a bookseller who has worked as a handyman throughout my varied career :) We put up the replacement lines on Friday, figuring to cut the old lines out and the new ones in on Saturday. We figured it would be about a 1 hour job. Hah! Were we ever wrong! Three hours and two trips to the hardware store later, it was done.
By now, I am sick of plumbing and don't want to even think about it for a while. Guess what? I come back upstairs, and Debbie shows me the cabinet under the kitchen sink. Yep, water, significant amounts, leaking from the drain and the faucet. That will wait until after Joel, Renee and the grandkids leave! Ryan and I will tackle it.
So, Sunday evening we began. We loosened the faucet and put plumbers putty under it. That was easy and stopped the leaking from it; the source of water from it had only been runoff from the sink itself. Now for the drain. Hmmm. No metal washer between the rubber gasket and the washer, which had caused the rubber gasket to come loose and allow the drain to leak. No problem...except that the drain had become so corroded and rusty that it took about 1/2 hour to get it loose. Talk about prayer! I certainly didn't want to have to replace the whole sink! OK, I admit it, I didn't start out praying, but I should have. I thought I knew what I was doing and didn't need God. Talk about a dichotomy! Anyway, Debbie, ever the observant one, said, "Why don't you pray?" Mumble, mumble, grumble, grumble...OK. "Lord, make this drain come loose. Thanks." Real spiritual prayer, right? 45 Seconds later, it came loose! I know, sounds trivial, but our God is in the trivial—and the big.
This is getting long, but we managed to clean everything up nicely, but by then everything was closed, so we had no kitchen sink until last night, when I was able to get the parts and put it back together again.
That only leaves one bathroom fixture and the two toilets that I haven't had to do any plumbing on...Please, Lord, no.
Now do you see why I dislike plumbing?
Monday, November 26, 2007
Joshua, our grandson, had a good time playing with it over the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. It still lives in the barn, so when Debbie went out to feed it, Joshua would go along. The first day Joshua was here, Debbie brought it back to the house and we allowed it to be in the kitchen for a few minutes. It enjoyed climbing all over Joel, purring loudly, prompting Joel to name it FM for Fuzzy Motor. I don't know if the name will stick or not...
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Here are a few pictures of tear down to give you an idea of what happens after the show:
OK, so the show wasn't over yet :) One of the first things they do is pull up the aisle carpet so that they can bring out the skids.
We came with 4 tall skids. We left with 2 skids, plus a half skid. One of the skids is display materials, so we always have that.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
This guy and a friend of his were repacking all of his book purchases; it took them about an hour. They ended up with about 5 boxes that were stuffed to the gills. He told me he would also end up carrying some in his suitcase and carry-on.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
In the booth, I was able to meet some more bloggers and e-listers and finally put faces to names. That, too, is gratifying. In a virtual world much is lost, to have a face and a short time of live interaction to peg to a person when I see a virtual communication helps make it more personal.
Tuesday is the last day, and it is only a half-day, although it starts at 8:00 instead of 8:30. We have an unusually early flight, leaving at 4:00, which only gives us 2 hours to tear down a booth that takes over 8 hours to build. So, we started early, taking down the display elements that are the hardest to do once the show is over.
Here is a before and after picture:
This one is a bit dark; they had shut off most of the lights by the time we finished. It was Dave's idea to put the Bridging the Gap book in the "gap."
Monday, November 19, 2007
I mentioned yesterday that I was hoping to meet with the bibliobloggers for lunch, since my 12:00 appointment had to cancel. Well, as I was afraid of, my 11:00 ran until 11:50. I ran up to the front of the book sales area, but it was too late; they had already left. I talked to Kevin Wilson later, and he told me there were over 20 there, and he showed me the list. Very nice; wish I could have made it. Maybe next year...
I was supposed to meet with Michael from Eerdmans at 5:00 today, but he had to cancel. We were trying to reschedule, standing in the middle of the aisle comparing free times. Jim Miller from NEGS was watching and listening to us and all of a sudden he started laughing. Michael and I looked at him and asked what was so funny. He said he wished he had a camera and tape recorder to record our conversation. One of us would give a time, and the other would say, nope, won't work. Then that person would give a time and the other would say, nope, won't work. This went on for about 3-4 minutes. I bet it did sound pretty funny! Anyway, we did manage to get a time set for tomorrow, but only half as long as we had originally planned. I just hope that neither of us has the previous appointments run long, or we won't meet at all.
I spent tonight with Gary and Catherine, friends from U of Chicago days. We hadn't seen each other in over 10 years, although we communicate regularly via e-mail and phone. It was a wonderful time; we went to a nice Thai restaurant and had a leisurely meal and then sat and talked until about 11:30. They had to drive back up to Ventura, outside L.A., yet tonight, otherwise we would probably still be talking. It was great catching up in person on what God is doing and has done in their lives.
I forgot to use my camera today. In fact, I totally forgot I even had it along. I saw some great ones that would have won me the Jim West/Chris Tilling prize, hands down. :)
Well, tomorrow is another long day, with a breakfast meeting with the folks at CBOTS/CNBTS about being their North American distributor. This is something we have wanted for a long time and I hope it works out for their sake, as well as ours and yours—the book buyers. They do some good stuff that is difficult to get here in the U.S.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
I stayed in the booth most of the day today, so I had the chance to meet quite a few other bibliobloggers. It is always nice to put a face to a name. Tomorrow at noon is the bibliobloggers' luncheon, and my 12:00 appointment had to cancel, so it looks like I might be able to participate, unless my 11:00 runs long...
One of the things about AAR/SBL is the receptions that fill the evenings, and tonight was no exception. I wanted to get to 3 of them, but only managed two in the end. The first one was well worth the trip. Abingdon and Liturgical Press joined forces to offer a night at the museum for the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit. But, this wasn't just the Dead Sea Scrolls, this was food, drink, but best of all, the Dead Sea Scrolls with a tour guided by either Peter Flint or James Charlesworth. We got the Charlesworth tour, and it was well worth the time. He would walk up to a scroll and start reading it and tell a story about piecing it together, or something else like that. I was wonderful. Thanks, Abingdon and Liturgical!
We got back from the reception at around 10:00, so that put an end to the chance of attending the Baker reception. Instead, I wandered over to the de Gruyter reception, where I ended up talking to fellow blogger James Getz until about midnight. We discussed theology, Ugaritic, scapegoat rituals, what have you.
Tomorrow will be filled with appointments, and then a night with some friends from University of Chicago days whom I haven't seen in over 10 years, although we talk regularly via e-mail and phone.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Anyway, here are a few pictures:
All 4 skids, pretty as you could please, waiting for us at 8:00 AM this morning
What a mess! This is about 2/3 set up
The carpeting being rolled down the aisles.
The finished product. Note the tote bag on display; free with a $75.00 purchase this year. Otherwise it is $7.50.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
No, I don't participate in the "picture of my room" tradition :)
Off to dinner; it's only 6:15 here, but my stomach says it is 9:15.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Of course, I still have to get a few things done at home before I leave tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM. One of those is finding the boxes with all the clothes I need for AAR/SBL :) Note to self: Don't move 1 week before a major conference!
I don't know how Internet connectivity will be at the conference, but I will try to post pictures from the setup and the conference, as I have in years past.
"In everything give thanks!"
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I'm sitting here listening to Mozart and setting up new books, when I run across this little curve ball:
You know the dollar is in the tank when publishers no longer print the price on their website! I was setting up a new Blackwell book today and went to their website for all the details, only find that the price is not displayed. They refer me to Wiley's website. Yikes! Does that mean the price will change between now and when it publishes later this month?
Monday, November 12, 2007
Yep, not even in the house 48 hours and locked out. It is has one of those doors that stays locked even when you open it; we haven't had one of those for years and forgot. Debbie walked out to sweep the porch, and I walked out about 2 minutes later to change the door knob on the garage. I pulled the door shut and didn't think anything. A few minutes later, Debbie asked if I had a key. Uh oh! Nope, we both walked out without a key. Now what?
Well, I had repaired a basement window temporarily with duct tape, so it wasn't really in there very well. So, I pushed the plexiglass pane in—only to find out that the window had steel bars preventing easy entry. Yikes, now what? Hmmm. The bottom side of the frame, also steel, appeared to be rusted, if I could just break enough of it away to slide the window off its frame and release it...15 minutes later, it gave way and I was able to slide through into the basement and open the door.
First order of business: extra keys!
Verse for the day: In everything give thanks...
Now, to unpack enough to pack back up for AAR/SBL. We leave on Thursday morning.
Friday, November 09, 2007
It would hear us when we came outside, and would venture out from under the shed and start meowing, but if we started walking towards it, it would retreat back under the shed. I tried about 5-6 times to pick it up, but it always disappeared under the shed before I could retrieve it. Debbie was more patient than I, and last night she managed to get a hold of it. The poor thing is all skin, bones and fur; it must barely have been weened. And it stunk; it had poop all over the back half of it. Ever the merciful one, Debbie brought it into the kitchen (there's no furniture yet), put some dry cat food in a bowl and added water to soften it. The kitten started eating, but kept on meowing while it ate. It polished off the food in no time, still meowing endlessly. Debbie picked it up and cleaned it up some, although it still stunk, and started petting it. It started to purr. She put it down on the floor and it started to cry again.
Since she had work to do, she let it follow her around. While she was painting, it would get as close as it could and fall asleep for a little while, then wake up and cry some more until it realize she was still there, within reach.
While I don't spiritualize everything, this seemed like an obvious parable to me, especially the way the kitten ran away from us at first and was covered with poop. We are drawn to God, but we run away from Him. We know that it is better with Him, but we are afraid to leave the shelter of our poop infested hole in the ground. But, the Holy Spirit, Debbie in this case (it certainly wasn't I!), keeps on pursuing us; He catches us, feeds us, and cleans us up. He stays close to us, even when we wake up and don't see Him at first.
Oh, we put the kitten in the barn last night when we left, along with more food and water. There is straw there and a small cat door. I'm not as hopeful as Debbie that it will survive, but we'll see.
Well, Eisenbrauns will probably display at both of them, at least the first year. But, the pricing is highway robbery. Displaying at the joint meetings is expensive, but you have the potential to reach 7,00-10,000 people. The figures for the individual meetings are significantly less, so you would think that AAR and SBL would factor that into the pricing. Did they? Nope! Not only are prices the same, but in the case of AAR, they have actually reduced the booth size and shortened the show by a day! But, that's not all. They split the exhibit area into two sections (bad enough) and, to add insult to injury, they priced most of the exhibit hall one booths at premium prices (an extra $550 per booth)!
Let's see if I get this straight. You are decreasing the attendance by almost 1/2, cutting my display space by 20%, decreasing the length of the conference by 25%, relegating me to the Exhibit Hall 2 and wanting me to think you are doing me a favor?
Hmmm...let me think about that for a while. Oh, I almost forgot, if I reserve the booth space during this year's AAR/SBL, I get $50.00 off! Of course, I have to include 50% of the cost with the application! So, they get to use the exhibitors' funds for 11 months. Yep, I'm definitely in the wrong business...
Thursday, November 08, 2007
This is my favorite from his collection, although the seven blended into one is very nice, too.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Edited by Simo Parpola and Robert M. Whiting
Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project - NATCP, Forthcoming January 2008
xxii + 289 pages, English and Akkadian
Your Price: Not yet set
Far too many PhD students, and they really do begin the issues during their master’s degrees, learn to “bracket off” their faith in some sort of “objectivity” so they can learn to study the Bible without bias or faith commitment. If you learn to think about the Bible apart from your faith you will soon learn how to live without your faith. This is dangerous. We must not ever let our faith be bracketed off. We are first Christians.
Read the whole thing; as a professor of mine used to say, "You owe it to yourself."
I saw too many students fall prey to this while I was in graduate school; I did it to an extent myself. As Scot says, we can't bracket off our faith, it needs to inform all we do. If it doesn't, we are essentially nothing more than practicing atheists at best and hypocrites besides.
Cash Advance Loans
So there! :)
Now, back to submitting to the Lord and allowing Him to kill my pride, because I certainly can't!
Monday, November 05, 2007
Of course, that also means that on November 16, I will have 5 skids of stuff waiting to be set up. 8 booths, 5 skids, 8 hours to set it up so that you can buy it all in 3 1/2 days.
We tore up the carpeting on the first floor, because we knew that underneath it was a hardwood oak floor. We figured it could be refinished more easily before we moved in. Besides, we prefer hardwood floors. So, last weekend (not the one that just ended), after spending the better part of two days pulling up the carpet, we had the floor guy come out. Sure enough, he said the floor was in wonderful shape—except for the big dog pee stains in the middle of the floor! Verdict? Not a chance that those would come out!
Now what? Quick check on the budget—both time and money :) OK, let's do it! So, Monday last we ran out and bought the stuff to put down a floating hardwood floor. Yes, the real stuff, not Pergo. By the grace of God, our son, whose job takes him all over the US, was in the area and had Friday-Sunday off. He showed up Thursday night, we did some preliminary prep work and then Friday night through last night we attacked the floor, one living room, two bedrooms and a hallway. This morning at about 2 AM, we finished it, including the trim.
I must say, it looks good, very good. If I had remembered to take the camera, I would post pictures :(
I had forgotten how frustrating, time consuming, and rewarding owning a house could be. Uh oh, look at the time. Off to work!
Friday, November 02, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Not very saleable, even as used :( We pull the boards of them and recycle the pages. I suppose you could build a library eventually if you did a lot of dumpster diving!
Enuma Elish Tote Bag
Eisenbrauns, Forthcoming, November 2007
600-denier polycanvas, Akkadian
Cloth, 15 x 14.75 x 1
Your Price: $7.50
These are very sturdy and nice totes, perfect for all those books you can't live without :)