Hey all! I’m currently on Amtrak train 14, the Coast Starlight, heading home. The high desert country of Eastern Oregon is the scenery right now, soon we will be crossing the Cascades. Overall an okay trip, and I’ll have a full update when I get back to a real computer. You can check out loads of photos here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskWptecB
In the meantime, here’s the postcard reports from the trip. Enjoy!
Amtrak’s Coast Starlight left just a little after 2:30 PM PDT yesterday, Sunday March 19. This was the first time in three yearsthat I used this train. So I got to use the new roll on bike service. Bike hooks! No more boxing of bikes!
This was also the first time using the new Business Class on the Coast Starlight. What does that mean? For about $40 more, I had a pretty empty coach car. Compare this to the usual packed to the gills coach cars on this train! I also got a $6 voucher which I used for the wine tasting in the Pacific Parlour car. Yes, the swanky old Santa Fe lounge car (built in the mid 1950’s) generally reserved for the Sleeping Car passengers! Style and class. I also ate dinner in the Dining Car. While this is an added fee for Business Class, (it’s included for the Sleeping Car passengers), I just felt like being swanky. And I got to have an interesting conversation with an “on vacation” Amtrak Conductor and her very railfan husband.
Night fell as we crossed Willamette Pass and I fell asleep after the train crossed into California. I awoke around 5:30 AM in Sacramento. I retrieved my bike from the baggage car and noticed a bulge from the tire sidewall. Damn. The bike must have done a bit of rubbing on the hook. Now I have to figure this out before I go further.
But no bike shop is open at 6 AM. So I killed time with breakfast and coffee, and also contacted Compass to get a replacement RTP tire sent to me in SF. I found a bike shop open at 10, but they seemed… Disinterested in helping me out. So I crossed the river into West Sacramento and found Edible Pedal, who was enthusiastic about helping me out! (It’s always a good sign when one is greeted with “Cool bike!”) He booted the tire with Gorilla Tape, and also adjusted my front brake too!
So the bike is back in shape, so time to ride…
Hello friends! I have decided to continue my 20% off sale a little while longer. From now until March 15, you can get 20% off ANYTHING in my store. This includes pre-orders and the Postcard Club! Simply use the discount code IDESOFMARCH in the checkout. (20% off is not valid for shipping rates.)
And this will probably be the last time I will offer a percentage off sale, since after the 15th Storenvy (my web store provider) will require me to pay a monthly fee to create discount codes. I don’t do enough business to justify that, at least not at this time. I will most likely offer sales on individual items, just not an across the board sale.
And now is a good time to make a purchase, as in the next couple months I’ll be revisiting the prices on my comics and zines. Most likely a few of them will go up. The reality is that inflation has happened in the five to ten years since I initially priced some of them. I don’t intend to get rich selling zines, but don’t want to go broke, either. And I’d like to do a bit more than just cover my costs.
And honestly, I’ve always undersold my stuff. Part of this comes from my “punk rock zine” background. When I started making mini-comics twenty (yeesh) years ago, one dollar was as much as you could charge something without getting grief from someone, and you still could get grief.* (They’d only allow you to charge $2 if it was nicely printed or 100 pages long.) Now? I see people sell zines that are the same size as mine for at least double what I charge, if not more. I want to keep my prices fair, but also don’t want to undersell my work.
In any case, if you feel like supporting my work, now is a good a time as ever to do so! And thank you for your support.
And you can find all my stuff at my store.
*A review of my first-ever comic, TEN FOOT RULE #1, complained about my dollar price tag, which the critic felt was “too much” for what it was, though they overall liked it.