A blog of the Freer Family's adventures and misadventures emigrating to Flinders Island, Tasmania, Australia, and settling there.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
The new chooks
A not very good picture of the new chooks inspecting the local decor. They've settled in quickly (laying 2 eggs en route to us) eating drinking and scratching up the dirt much better. I took them a box full of woodlice (isopods) and they partied - going absolutely moggy (chooky?) chasing and pecking. It seems things like this are a big treat. So far they're very good-natured and easy - the antithesis of Mrs Black who can be seen sulking here. I've seen her drink and eat, but she's not a happy chook.
We had a bit of stripey trumpeter (or typey strumpeter?)--a gift--for our tea. It's a good fish, but I am not sure it's better than many others. Of course it had been frozen and I didn't catch it.
On other news 'the cheque is in the post' actually arrived... a cheque for a short story in Vampire spoof anthology 'FANGS FOR THE MAMMARIES' which got sent to South Africa, sent back to the US, re-issued, sent to New Zealand, and then finally, here. About 2 and half years... So: just once in a while it is true. The exchange rate between posting and now cost me about 20% of the not very large value of the story, but hey, it got here.
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Glad to see that the notorious chookabago actually exists... I was beginning to think it was another myth like the one about the Czech in the maleReplyDelete
I suppose it's too much to ask that a _SF PUBLISHER_ use such modern technologies as electronic transfer. An immigrant brick layer can walk to any one of thousands of retail outlets in the US and send money to his home country.ReplyDelete
I'm sure that Western Union and Xoom conduct business in Oz and I'll bet there are dozens more.
I hope you have this resolved for future transactions.
The bricklayer will also leave a serious chunk of his money with Western Union. Okay, mabye not twenty percent.ReplyDelete
The bit that blows my mind is that it's an issue with Baen; I could understand if the books division of MegaConglomoCorp was stuck in the 19th century and still ran entirely on paper; but small businesses are supposed to be Agile and Baen has always been ahead of the curve on customer facing technology.ReplyDelete
I'm curious, have you ever looked into companies that offer people abroad a US mailing address/debit card(/checking account???) to get around "we don't support international customers" stupidity? Assuming they're able to cash paper checks for you, having checks send there and the contents wired to your local bank account should cut a big chunk of the latency out of the transaction.
For that matter, don't checks that go for months without being cashed give accountants major heartburn? I wonder how long a check would have to wait in order to give enough heartburn to equal the $30ish the US post office wants to express mail (3-5 days) a flatrate envelope to Australia.ReplyDelete
Danneely - It's not Baen, but Tekno (who produced the book for Baen). Not that I haven't had check issues with Baen Toni is nice about it, but Marla finds paying me electronically a great hardship and keeps sending me checks every so often, (and I carry the cost of the transfer - meaning they save money on the check, which I mildly resent - after all if I bought a product from you, and paid you by bank transfer the the cost of said transfer is not normally deducted from the sale price. With a check that cost is partially shared) but Baen are seldom more than 4 months late on the contracted date for royalties - good by publishing standards - and can pay signing money really fast.ReplyDelete
I now have a paypal account which I use for small payments -- and spend in general in the US. I haven't looked at the US account, but must. The costs on foreign checks are exhorbitant - to the extent that back in South Africa anything under 30 dollars cost more money to put into my account than they paid -- I endorsed one for $12 as 'pay to the order of a specific Political party'(that I violently disliked) and sent it to them. I took enormous childish delight in the fact that I could claim to have donated to them -- and thus made them poorer. Yes actually I can be an evil childish bastard at times.
Quilly, although some sf publishers are better than others, the issue let's make authors (especially minor midlist authors) lives easier and more pleasant is a long way down the priority list. It has, historically, been something they didn't need to do, and cost time and possibly money to impliment, and although good for all parties in medium term, short term strategy ruled. I believe (although publishers don't see it yet) that the equation is changing rapidly with e-books, and publishers will need to start looking to improve the quality of what they provide to authors and the quality of their relationship with authors -- or established authors will simply go directly to Kindle. This will do everyone good, although like most medicine, right now it seems nasty.ReplyDelete
Ugh. If regularly breaking contractual deadlines by 4 months counts as good, the industry is far more fubar than I realized.ReplyDelete